Apr 5, 2008

Music for Any Predilection

Modern day music trawlers would have a hard time subsisting without sites like Allmusic.com. Artist genealogy, discographies, influences, genre trees, and historical billboard chart inclusions are a few of the things you’ll find at this online music equivalent to The Library of Congress. But there’s one database attribute that makes this site unique. An attribute that puts this virtual library on my short list of internet obsessions: MOODS.

Each band in Allmusic's mammoth encyclopedia is assigned with as many moods from this list as are applicable to their musical sound. One can use mood as either a search characteristic or an umbrella designation to view critically acclaimed bands / albums. First, the thoroughness and accuracy of this database is mindboggling. Second, my hat goes off to this mysterious crew of professional mood-assigners; most likely the same people who review the music (right?). I don’t know who you are but know there’s at least one person out there who cares about you deeply. Third, as much as I enjoy thinking about music this way it’s pretty difficult not to snicker at the absurd precision implicated by some of these moods. I can't imagine that there are many people out there thinking “Boy, I’m really in the mood for an album that's uncompromising yet wry.” Other favorite ridiculous moods from their list include: clinical, earnest, sardonic, stately, ramshackle, austere, na├»ve, and brittle. Fourth, I do so wish that my music collection (read: my life) could be organized and sorted by mood. Let’s all hope ITunes and the many cultural collators to come co-opt this database methodology allowing users to apply MULTIPLE genres, moods, and (who knows what!) attributes to single pieces of file-away media.

3 comments:

Victoria said...

Much of my life is sorted by mood. Certain friends, certain restaurants, certain bars, certain magazines, certain blogs, certain songs, certain movies, certain books, certain walks home or to the store -- all for certain moods. Businesses should advertise themselves for different moods. Like the dark, perpetually empty cheap Russian cafe for when you're brokenhearted or the hipper than hip angry coffee house for when you're hungover and exhausted on a Tuesday or the minimalist noodle bar for when you're feeling sexy or the magazine for when you just want to forget reality and get lost in pictures of hungry models wearing shoes that cost more than your rent. You know, a desire for that fantasy feeling. If only I could wear $3000 4-inch heels and subsist on arugula! We should start introducing ourselves by categories of mood. Like, hi, it's nice to meet you. If you'd like to pursue this further and become friends you should know that I'm good for when you're in the mood for inappropriate sexual jokes or when you're in the mood to wax poetically about love, the direction of your life, your relationship with your mother, NPR's Bryant Park Project, the best restaurants in New York and this week’s New Yorker. I also do well with moods of befuddlement, wretchedness, inquisitiveness, silliness, joy, pensiveness and dreaminess.

Modestmerlin said...

V -

Yes, yes, and yes. Wretchedness? Hmmm...I don't want anything about my personality to be connected with that word!

Modestmerlin said...

http://www.ifeelnyc.com/