Givers’ “In Light” does not capture the exuberant magic that the band puts out live.
Ever since I met the founders of Clio at South by Southwest, I’ve been eagerly anticipating their product’s impact on the music scene. Their idea automates and expands the Pandora music-matching process, making music discovery both more agile and more far-reaching. Their goal is every piece of music ever written, at your fingertips. I am so behind this idea.
Since SXSW, they’ve been making strides. Their first partner, music production library APM, was announced today. Filmmakers will be able to find music for their scores much easier, thanks to Clio’s advanced matching system, which takes into account everything from tempo, instrumentation and melody to seemingly intangible elements like “the groove.”
Greg Wilder and Alison Conard (the idea people behind Clio) are meeting with bigwigs of the consumer-facing music discovery products soon, hopefully bringing their technology to the masses, albeit invisibly. If Clio works properly, no one really knows it’s there – listeners just somehow feel that the service they’re using today is a ton better than it was yesterday at figuring out what they actually want to listen to.
I was sent some exclusive demos of the product that have me pretty stoked. The first demo used APM’s music catalog; while it was really cool to hear rock seamlessly morph into bossa nova in just a few short steps, it was mainly a geek-out thing. I’m that guy who makes sure the beginning and endings of songs fade into each other on mixes, so matching internal rhythm to internal rhythm through genre is immensely appealing to me. The software recognizes so much information that you can make almost perfect-transition mixes, in addition to mixes that don’t change moods one single inch.
The second set of demos was even more revealing, as it was a set of clips made by Clio that showed various popular songs being discovered via other pop songs. The set that started with Green Day’s “When I Come Around” wasn’t eye-popping on the surface (how hard is it to match up Blink-182 and Green Day?), but have you ever noticed how closely the guitar tone of “Always” resembles “When I Come Around”? Or of “Short Brown Hair” by Everclear? Then it’s straight into “Favours for Favours” by The Futureheads, which I probably wouldn’t have included in this list, but fits in perfectly, sound-wise and rhythm-wise.
That’s the great thing about Clio: It doesn’t care about demographics. Sure, Blink and Green Day sound similar and are in the same scene. But Futureheads are in a completely different scene, but sound similar. A teenage pop-punker could get turned on to indie rock via this list and connections across time and “scene.”
Other playlists do the same for other genres, but here’s the skinny: Clio works. Once a major player or two representing true independents (Bandcamp? Please please please please?) is funneled into Clio, there’s literally nothing stopping U2 fans from hearing your music if your band sounds like U2. That is a major boon for independent bands and music lovers.
Stay tuned for more info from the Clio guys; it will be big stuff. Clio will change the way people discover music, and you may not even know that it’s doing so.
There’s little I can say to add to the conversation about our reigning Best in
(though that’ll change when next week’s <i>Gazette</i> hits the
racks), except that the last two years, while being low-key in terms of
activity, have definitely preserved their live skill as players.
The Non are
experimental and progressive, sure, but you can count on them being consistent
in that progression, wherever and whenever they play. I still have yet to see
them play show that’s anything less than thrilling.
But yeah, they did their usual instrumental ping-pong in space thing we all love so much. It was Zach Zeller’s (pictured) second show of the night, and bassist Tom Bishop and guitarist Wil Norton flew in from Norman (Bishop’s a certified pilot) and out in the same night, just to play. Gotta admire that determination.
Not sure what it’s called but, the Norman/Tulsa punkers opened up with
something that had “gotta get — gotta get it” in the chorus, and it was catchy
as hell, but in a bouncy, rhythmic way. Very different from “Try Me Out
Sometime”’s melodic catchiness.
Nonetheless, Broncho remain catchy, grungy, unserious in demeanor (there’s something kind of unsettling about watching three late-twenties/thirty-something dudes all droning in unison into their respective microphones, their eyes fixed upon something seemingly hours away), and hella loud. The crowd for their set was bigger than any in the Buffalo Lounge yet, and we’ll see if anybody on tonight’s bill (which includes Fiawna Forte, Green Corn Revival, Jacob Abello, Junebug Spade, JD McPherson, and OK Sweetheart) can step up and draw more.
So Cameron Neal (my latest local-rock man-crush) and his band of teenaged
ACM@UCO students (drummer Preston Greer was the only Horse Thief-er whose hands
lacked big, smeary X’s inside Friends Bar last night) sounded even larger, more
looming and fierce than their Sooner Soundwave show in Norman last weekend,
which was my first experience hearing them in person. With all the pressure and
anticipation of the festival, I feel like they really raised the bar on local
performances at SXSW.
First off, Mr. Neal has this awesome old man authoritative rock voice that he
adopts for narrative purposes on songs like “The Magician.” Most of Horse Thief’s
topicality is mystical nonsense wrapped around nuggets of wisdom, so it’s a
useful persona, and it gets really entertaining when he starts dumping sweat
and shaking it all out in his impressive beard.
But yeah, it was really nice to see — after The Boom Bang’s raucous mess and The Non’s cerebral movements — a throwback-style band that earnestly wants to rock, while also trying to innovate a bit (they’ve got a keyboard that generates an organ sound which distinguishes them from most any other local band I know of). Cody Fowler looks up into the sky when the song calls for his bass notes to wobble all over the place and Greer makes an O-face when he gets to punish the snares. And Danny Rose looks about as happy shredding his guitar apart as Kevin Durant looks when he hits a 24-foot-stepack three.
Also, it should be noted that two members of The Boom Bang got kicked out of Friends for being rowdy at some point during Horse Thief's set which is impressive, because there was only The Non's in between them.
Photo by Doug Schwarz