Today’s pooper shoot is testing out Last-FM. This is internet radio that learns what you like in two ways. They have a vast database of listener information and you program your personal station by telling them a band or bands that you like, and using listener data for other people that like and listen to those bands they program your station. They also utilize a plug in that can hook up to your media player, meaning anything you play on your computer they can use to fine tune preferences, and they use this to become more sophisticated in making links between bands, influences and styles.
We’re throwing them some curve balls. We’re only programming with a single band at a time. First program key: Billy Squier! YEAH!
1. The Whole in My Wall-Warrant
Need to check on that spelling, but from Dog Eat Dog. Squonkier, and crunchier than you might remember, Warrant was from the Bon Jovi wave of hair bands, less glammy (Poison-esque), very slick of course. Terrible as well, but I always respected the slickness of Warrant. 2/10
2. Well Spent-LA Guns
I never really could figure out the whole LA Guns business. G ‘n R came from LA Guns and Hollywood Rose, so why does LA Guns still exist? Dirtier and less poppy this one, definitely not Unskinny Bop. I could actually imagine this being played in a bar. Also has the break down in the middle where it gets all quiet and noodly. Not quite terrible, shockingly. Listening this you can almost hear some Jane’s Addiction in it. 4/10
3. Don’t Say You Love Me-Billy Squier
The man, the myth. I don’t care what anyone thinks. This guys sh*ts out hits. 10/10 (actually this is not my fave BS song)
4. Don’t Tread-Damn Yankees
You know the Nuge is a Damn Yankee. This sounds like it has Nuge Spooge all over it, just the lyrics, it’s not really all that Wango Tango. In fact, I’m going to fast forward, because if I had to listen to all of this, it would be cyanide capsule time. 2/10
5. Love is a Battlefield-Pat Benatar
Clearly, the programmers were able to divine the inner diva within Billy Squier and discerning listerners also linked the two. WE ARE YOUNG!! 6/10
We’ll give them an A for that, keeping in mind all these connections are based on other listener data.
Next keyword: Curve (early 90′s dance-gaze from the UK- we’ve been discussing them at Song of the Day).
6. Asteroid-Killing Joke
HEAVY does this start. When Flood or Jaz or whoever lets go with the “As-ter-oid!!!!!” at the beginning over the grinding and then some hard to understand stuff, then “VAPORIZE” and then “ASTEROID” wow. IN-DUS-STRIAL. 6/10
7. Can’t Shape Up-The Wonder Stuff
So they throw us a loop, this shows how the music is linked via listener’s libraries. Someone has some early 90′s UK music. This is no “Size of a Cow”. 4/10
8. Menofearthereaper (The Concrete No Fee No Fear Mix) -Pop Will Eat Itself
Proto-big beat? How would you characterize PWEI? I can’t remember. Electro-guitar dance floor stuff. Shamen-esque? Not that heavy on the bass side. 6/10 for nostalgia sake. Oh, Kasabian must have ripped these guys off too.
9. Great Things-Echobelly
AHA! A mix of Banarama-esque vocals, Smiths and Echo (Bunnymen) guitars with more swirl. Echobelly were NME huge for maybe a week or so, and I think their guitarist payed in Curve a little bit. This is off their debut On, I have someone’s copy (borrowed, oops). Her delivery is a little mannered, but the production is nice and clean. You might know “King of the Kerb”, my fave off this album is “Dark Therapy” (more later, I’m gonna dedicate it to some people for dedication week). 7/10
10. Flowers in Our Hair-All About Eve
The first band tonight I have never heard of. Some slightly darkish female vocals. Sounds like a cross between Concrete Blonde and someone else, with not really almost Siouxsie guitar. Doesn’t suck, but I think I know why I’ve never heard of them. 4/10
Nice connection. Alison Goldfrapp is a dance floor diva (ask teh l4m3) and Toni Halladay from Curve had that same allure, even if the styles are disparate. Goldfrapp hits much higher highs than this though. 6/10
Now we switch to indie faves, the harmlessly psycho campfire folksters Animal Collective.
12. Me and the Bean-Spoon
Austin sons Spoon. I like Spoon, but I feel like this song isn’t doing it for me. They’ve done better. I can only describe this as non-descript. 6/10
A delicate song, with a More mature sounding Joanna Newsom-like voice and backing vocal, soft piano. Joanna Newsom is the neo-folkie (amazing) that Gina thinks sounds like a strangled cat, others thinks she sounds 8 years old. The lead here has some attributes but not nearly as extreme. No, Jedmunds, this isn’t the crappy Oasis song. This one might make you cry just the same, only they will be tears of sadness/joy, not pain. 8/10
14. Visiting-Animal Collective
Some drony strumming that washes and swells between ears with some whispering and sampling. This is from the last album, Sung Tongs. Lazer Animal Collective would actually be awesome. This is more of a sound collage than a song, but for some reason I really like them. Their new CD. Feels, is much more accessible although it trends toward Arcade Fire happy chant territory, which is not a bad thing, it’s just that there will be a backlash soon, and for no reason. 8/10
15. Fennesz-Good Man
I’ve hear of these guys, but never heard them. A fuzzy soundscape. Fits in nicely with the last track. Is this some sore of ambient business (some dripping water and some odd sounds here and there, then some keyboards and some floaty sounds). 7/10
I have to give this Last-FM a pretty big A, I think they’ve got the chops. You don’t have to get the media player plug in and they do have some subscriber features that look interesting, but for now it is free.