Friday, March 30, 2007

Recap: Wednesday Night- Pandora, Cash Kings, Blasphemous Guitars

I'm really sorry that I'm lagging on my Wednesday recap, but part of it was that I learned so much at the discussion with Tim Westergren of Pandora and The Music Genome Project that I didn't want to trivialize his presentation.

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Ultimately, what it really boils down to is is a really cool site and the recent ruling to TRIPLE music licensing costs for online streaming music services retroactively to 2006 is basically gonna wipe out all currently legal online music as we know it. It supposedly protects record labels who are scrambling to stay afloat but as listeners and online users, it is up to us to tell our congressional representatives that this is not ok.
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Here's my start to a synopsis:

"Tim talked about the history of the company and the evolution of their idea and how it coincided with the “bubble burst” of 2000. The Music Genome Project is a grand plan to break down songs to their base forms, extracting all the parts and rating those parts for prominence. There are 400 such traits that are rated. Various combinations of handfuls of those traits make up what they call Musical Attributes. Pandora is the internet radio that then uses the Music Genome information to find music for you that you like. You tell it to play a song or an artist and it will extract other music that it thinks you would like, guided by your thumbs up or down rating.
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What I didn’t know about the Music Genome Project was that Pandora actually employs 50 musicians who go through intense training to listen to songs and break every song down with this comprehensive analysis of 400 traits. It is truly fascinating. The database currently has over 600k songs and more than half of those are independent, unsigned bands. Any band can submit their music. I happened to have a Vinyl Radio CD on hand so I slipped it to Tim at the end of the presentation."

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I am leaving out so much, but it's all leaking outta my brain so that's all you get.

After the talk (and after some ghetto Church's Fried Chicken), Andrea and I headed to the Sports Club to see the Cash Kings and Blasphemous Guitars.

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There isn't much to say about the Cash Kings except that if you love Johnny Cash and want to see a band play covers as Johnny would play and sing them, go see the Cash Kings. They don't take any creative liberties, they play it straight. The singer looked familiar and later I learned that he's the bassist for Hot Rod Lincoln, a band that has been on the local scene forever.
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In high school my friends and I used to go see them play by the Mission Beach rollercoaster and swing dance to their music. As far as the Cash Kings go, I liked them but man, was I zonked. Apparently everyone in San Diego was as well because there were very few people there. And by very few I mean for a while the only other people there were the band members from Blasphemous Guitars. During the set more people showed up and some were even dancing, but still, the crowd was so thin, as Adam said, it was "sad but funny." It was pretty late so Andrea and I decided to call it a night.

The following may or may not (not) be an account of the rest of our night. It may or may not actually be written by Adam Gimbel. As Paul Harvey would say, "and now, the rest of the story."

Andrea & I were going to leave early but we had second thoughts and started walking back to SDSC. Out of nowhere, a proverbial ton of people showed up and we had to wait in line for 10 minutes just to get back in (thanks again for the last minute guestlistin’, Adam). I know I’m always saying that there’s a black cloud over that club but, for one glorious moment, a light shone down like a ray from heaven as the Blasphemous Guitars took the stage. I don’t know how they drew that many people in such a short time on a Wednesday night but I’ve never seen any club that packed EVER. I’ve seen the Blasphemers a few times but they really outdid themselves last night. They were so taken aback by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd that they started to take requests and played songs they’d never rehearsed like they’d been doing them for years. “I Melt For You” was FEROCIOUS and “Crazy Train” threatened to resurrect the ghost of Randy Rhodes himself (plus the bit of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” was a nice touch). The only way I could get a decent shot of the band was to crowdsurf up and take one from onstage (it looks like Adam took it of himself but I swear it was me).

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The place was so crazy that the cops showed up to shut down the show before they could even get to their pre-planned Hurt/Personal Jesus/Rusty Cage “Johnny Cash” medley. Truly awesome. And we were gonna LEAVE! There is NO way I’m going to miss the debut of their mashup club M*A*S*H*UP UNIT 619 next Saturday night at SDSC. I just hope I can get in.

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Yeah, dude. I'm such a crowdsurfer.

And that, my friends, pretty much covers Wednesday night.

1 comment:

Ryan Taylor said...

pandora. kicks. ass.

nice write-up.