Some musicians want to make you dance. Some musicians want to make you rock. Some musicians want your money. Some musicians want to make you think.
While I was in Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest, I was able to talk with Greg Wilder and Alison Conard of Orpheus Media Research. They are touting a service with an April launch called Clio that they feel will revolutionize music listening (its predecessor, Myna, is live now). It’s a computer program that listens to music and categorizes it by its qualities. Doesn’t sound that cool? Wait for it.
Ever heard of the Music Genome Project?
But Clio’s library isn’t going to only hold production music, or even major-label music. Clio was started by two indie musicians, and they want to help out independent artists. They have plans to partner with companies like ReverbNation and Bandcamp to make large quantities of indie music accessible to Clio, too. That means when the music director puts in one tune he likes — say, a number from post-rock instrumental act Maserati — it will spit out an entire suggested soundtrack — perhaps something by Explosions in the Sky, something by The Non (pictured).
“That will help independent artists stand right next to established artists based on the quality of their music,” Wilder said.
People who haven’t played a single show could be queued up over U2, as long as their contribution sounds more like the chosen starting song than “Where the Streets Have No Name.” When Clio powers your listening portal of choice, you’ll easily be able to find new things you actually want to hear.
With the processing power that Clio has (remember: tens of millions of songs at a time), it is not an overstatement when the founders compare their endeavor to a musical Google. Clio has the ability to categorize almost every piece of music ever written and make it streamable to you.
Streaming music may never be the same.
While you’re here, grab these MP3s:
“Lower Away (Unplugged)” — Sunshine Factory. Surprisingly mellow and graceful piano piece.
“Big Sick” — Big Pauper. I guess you don’t need guitars for druggy psych anymore.
“How Does It Feel to Be in Love?” — The Bynars. Probably something like this power-pop gleefest.
I hit Traindodge every year at the festival, because their crushing rock'n'roll has a been a favorite of mine since 2002's "On a Lake of Dead Trees." They mashed out their solid set of bruising tunes at Bill and Dee's. If you're not familiar with their rock'n'roll, you should check it out; it's heavy, loud and passionate. They've got a new EP coming out soon called "Remains," and I assume that Traindodge remains as heavy as ever.
Also, at some point during Friday evening, I hit up the Sonder Music open jazz jam, partly because I wrote about jazz jams a couple weeks ago and partly because I hoped Cami Stinson would be there.
The next day, I started my day with Gum, whose pensive piano rock was punctuated with bursts of noisy rock. With the bright blue sky behind them and a full day of music ahead of me, the mood didn't really fit, but the music was good. Also, the Red Bull had not kicked in yet, so this set is a little hazy in my mind.
Dr. Pants gained my love by introducing their drummer as Disco Pony. Their power-pop did even more to gain my love once they started singing about young men who love John Cusack (guilty), bearded hipsters (guilty), Firefly references (guilty), donuts (guilty) and ironic rapping (guilty). This band seems as if it were scientifically engineered for me to like it. Their power-pop tunes split the difference between Fountains of Wayne and Weezer, albeit with ironic rapping every now and then.
I'm really thankful that Bluebonnet was literally next to the main stage, because The Non went on promptly at 1:20, just barely giving me time to step out the door from Dr. Pants' set to the OKC four-piece's instrumental mastery. After the band's incredible showing last year at NMF with a full orchestra, I was interested to see what they would do to top it. They didn't try to: They just went out and did their really excellent thing on a really huge stage. I and other writers have gushed about The Non before, so I'll say this and then go on: This band could open for Sigur Ros or Explosions in the Sky tomorrow. They are ready.