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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Banning Music

Yes, I know, I've got to start to banning certain records or bands. That way I can take back control of my profile. But I just don't like the idea. It's almost like burning books. No one should ban anything that doesn't hurt. Especially if it's a piece of artistic endeavour.

Can music hurt?


Mind you, Creedence Clearwater Revival are worth every penny of the diversion that's led me away from indie. In this, "I Put A Spell On You".

Going Belly-Up

I seemed to have gone belly-up - I started by saying I loved a couple of songs by Iron Maiden and Deep Purple and suddenly all I get is heavy rock. I don't mind some of it, but I far preferred the indie bands the server was providing me with a week or so back.

How do I redress the balance?

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I had an interesting conversation about networks yesterday. Cities built around a grid are generally impractical for moving about diagonally. Blood vessels aren't built around grids. When we network, we should take note of how nature has already done it.

If I wanted to find out more about music, I'd build a bloodstream, not a grid. If I wanted to be political, I'd be a grid, not a bloodstream. Music is movement, politics is immobility - a hard rock facing a brick wall.

If I wanted to learn more about political thought, and expand my horizons, I wouldn't go into politics.

I need to redraw my horizons. I'm more interested in the music of thought than the thought of power.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More on Recommendation Radio

My Recommendations seems supercharged today. It's taking me off in all sorts of unexpected directions. Recently played include the following bands I know very little about, but to my surprise am finding it easy to love all the same:
  • The Shins
  • Bloc Party
  • Interpol
  • Mark Ronson
  • Death Cab for Cutie
  • The Ventures

It's strange, because upto now the system has been quite predictable, easing me gently away from my standard fare. Today's plays however take me far further. Not sure why. Did I tilt the database with one particular choice the last time I was listening? Is there a threshold of knowledge without which the database can do very little for you? Is it like learning Japanese?

Or indeed any language?

Sunday, January 21, 2007


This software is quite insatiable, in the sense that it only works if you use it quite heavily. If you don't, it seems to run out of recommendations, and you have to move over from the My Recommendations station to Neighbourhood Radio.

I'm now back on Recommendations and for the moment receiving quite a varied diet.


As I write, the program tells me there is not enough content to continue, so I've clicked back on to Neighbourhood Radio. Do the gods listen to

I'd still love to do the same thing for political thought.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Creating a Musical Profile, Breaking Down the Walls of Prejudice

I'm beginning to build up a musical profile on - about 40 tracks listened to, quite a few where I've expressed my love for them. I thought I had quite narrow tastes in music, yet the music brings to my attention seems little by little to be breaking down my prejudices, expanding my horizons quite substantially.

I recognise the names and begin to associate them with real sounds. There is just so much good music out there - I never really appreciated how much.

In fact, creating a musical profile like this is, in a way, like playing a musical instrument. Touching here, edging there, creating a landscape of meaning, exploring meaning. Its interactivity and revelatory qualities mimic the artistic process. There is a curious artistry in profiling.

Friday, January 05, 2007

How Deaf I've Been All These Years

I've been playing with the tools these past couple of days. I like a number of things about them. Firstly, much of them are free. Some buttons on the software make a message pop up which says the service is available only to subscribers, though I still haven't worked out how to become one.

It's strange how important "monetising" free services has become - and how difficult becoming a "monetisee" seems to be!

Secondly, it encourages you not only to listen but also read around your comfort zones. This technology could surely be applied to many other areas of knowledge. Political thought comes to mind, but any other subject of burning interest could come under its umbrella.

Thirdly, I'm not only listening to and reading about others but also learning about myself as I do so. Self-revelation is very gratifying. This software gratifies.

These are the main reasons I'm finding fascinating. I'd love to take its database and apply it to other fields. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the music and realising how deaf I've been all these years.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

This article and audio interview are interesting as they explain the technologies and thinking behind the site.

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