This blog post about creating a taxonomy of 90’s pop songs is interesting for a number of reasons. Although my pop song taxonomy would more likely lean towards the 80’s (examples to follow), the idea of creating a taxonomy or an organizational structure to organize personal information, like music, in a relational way could prove very useful for recommending and remembering certain songs or bands.
Kind of like your own personal Pandora without the occasional bizarre tangents, this type of thinking is less algorithm and more user input focused.
Consider the author’s example, noting representative cases especially:
Summer Jam Band
Representative cases: Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray
Random, enjoyable single: I’m not sure if the one I’m thinking of is “Every Morning” or “Someday.”
At the very end of the nineties, for a few sun-drenched years, “Songs with a kitschy beach party in the video, probably” inexplicably became a genre of pop music. I’m not complaining about this, but it happened, and Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray are the class of the group.
If I had to guess, I’d wager that in the distant past this species broke off and developed independently from the rest of the third-wave ska-punk bands (not pictured) and ended up, in a musical case of the Galapogos Effect, evolving a bunch of weird, purpose-made appendages, like the acoustic-guitar-with-a-DJ-effect-on-it and the rawk organ and the checked bucket hat.
Presumably the island where they were marooned had a bunch of tiki torches on it.
Now here is a more fleshed out example with more fields from my personal audiofiles:
Moody British 80’s Pop
Representative cases: The Smiths, The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, OMD
Related to: British Pop with Clever Lyrics (see Squeeze, XTC) and Clever Men in Suits (see ABC, Spandau Ballet)
Imagine if you could populate musical relationships based on personal metadata tags. It is kind of like imagining that the Netflix recommendation algorithm mentioned last Monday actually allowed for user input (aside from ratings) to generate more ideas.