09 September 2010

Virtual Musical Chairs

Do you remember Pandora?

It was that site where you could listen to whatever music you wanted and then other songs were populated in kind of a playlist based on your current musical selection. You could either give the songs generated the good o'l thumbs up or down to help tailor your musical experience.

This was all rainbows and sunshine until suddenly you had to live in the US to use it. Good o'l copyrights!

I remember using it back in 2004 or 2005, so I'm assuming I relied on other means of acquiring music, like purchasing it?

Then of course, YouTube helped to bridge the gap for people like myself who are too cheap to buy music or get cable, but are still interested in music videos (I'm such a sucker for pop music and their kooky videos)

Last summer (2009) I was introduced to Grooveshark, which is another awesome musical consumption site. There are many, many, many artists on this search-able site. But two things always bugged me about it:

  1. A clear lack of organization,  songs were rarely sorted into proper album names or into albums at all
  2. It's hard to just think of who you should listen to, when faced with that many options it's overwhelming to think of what your options are and there was no way to find new music you might like (like my former friend Pandora)
So Grooveshark has almost haulted my musical moaning, they now have an option where you can select from different genres (Classical, Rock, Indie, Rap, Pop, Electronica) and just like Pandora artists will populate based on your selection.

But I find their selection is rather limited for artists and pretty repetitive (I've hear a lot of Kings of Leon and Katy Perry), but I have learned I like certain bands (The Moutain Goats, The Bird and The Bee and Beirut to name a few) more than I thought I did. So well done Grooveshark!

While listening to Q today I learned about a new site called Stereomood. This is all about picking music to suit a particular mood you are in. I was so taken with the idea that I hopped onto the website as they were still talking about it on the program.

Despite a bit of repetition it's great! They have moods ranging from happy to just woke up to feel like crying. I recommend you check it out, I've already learned about a few new bands just today.

One last (only because I can't remember the other) site I have become aware of is Southern Souls. A wonderful and musically like minded co-worker caught me onto it. There are a bunch of artists organized by a thumbnail picture, their name and a number:

The idea is that these bands and artists are taken out of their regular performance environment and just preform a song or multiple in interesting places. This calls for acoustic music and eye catching venues. I'm also pretty confident in saying that all acts are Canadians, or at least call Canada home. After reading through their About section it looks like they started by featuring artists from Southern Ontario - hence their name.

The lovely co-worker I mentioned is friends with Lowlands, one of the featured bands. They are great, and I highly recommend them. While browsing I was pleasantly surprised to find someone that I know from Halifax. He is Paper Beats Scissors.

So now in addition to borrowing music from friends and actually buying things yourself (at least I have the excuse of being on a student budget these days) you can listen to many a wonderful tune online, for the low low price of a computer and an internet connection - and hey, you can even get those for free at the library these days, or so I hear.

Now there is no excuse for someone's music collection to consist of Ke$ha and the Black Eyed Peas.


  1. I am glad you put up that Southern Souls site. I have been meaning to ask you about that again. I thought I would pass along the site I was talking about, what I believe are the original "Take a way shows" (I think that is the in term for this genre of music video). It's called La Blogotheque: http://www.blogotheque.net/spip.php?page=cae_all&lang=en

  2. Stereomood helped me immensely as I packed to leave Halifax. It changed with my oscillating moods about the move and I loved having it on in the background to make an odious task more enjoyable.


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