Local Rhythms – MySpace Helps Find The Way

There’s an old saying that if you left a typewriter in a room full of chimps for 100 years, they’d write the Magna Carta.

I say if you gave them a computer, an Internet connection and the same amount of time, they’d create a crappy MySpace page.

There’s such a thing as too much technology.

Just because it’s possible to place a purple unicorn, surrounded by sparkling stars, with “Dare To Dream” in dancing pink letters flashing at a seizure-inducing rate on a chartreuse background, doesn’t mean you should do it.

Most MySpace pages are busier than a Tokyo subway.

It’s widget overload, with spinning photo cubes, embedded video players, and annoying apps like SuperPoke clanging about on a page that’s too wide for my screen to display.

Though it may be a bandwidth torture test, MySpace is still a great place to find music.  Lately, I’ve noticed a few improvements that make it even better.

I’d done little with my own MySpace beyond “friending” local bands, and encouraging them to “friend update” me with their events.

When it comes to music, MySpace is the iTunes of social networking sites.   But it’s long been a chaotic chore to actually find a band, even if you know their name.

Now MySpace Music, the recently launched joint venture with the major labels, offers some spiffy new tools.

A Top Artists search engine is perfect for locating area bands.  All it takes is a zip code and a genre.  A couple more clicks creates a list of shows.

Best of all, it’s easy to make a music player with all my favorites so everyone can hear it for themselves.

I know that Facebook is better for networking with people, but when I want to find a Friday night destination, these are the tools I need.

The rabid community of MySpace music fans doesn’t hurt, though.

Recently, Dave Van Guilder of Christopher’s Bar and Grill in Ludlow launched The Local Scene (myspace.com/localscene68), with links to a passel of area bands, promoters and producers, many of which are new to my ears.

It’s not perfect, but MySpace is definitely improving.  I haven’t seen a purple unicorn in days, and my personal playlist, located at myspace.com/localrhythms, is growing like crazy.

So please friend me, or just stop by and play with my retro-cool embedded Beatles video widget.

With a little help from my new favorite search engine, here’s some entertainment to think about in the coming days:

Thursday: Dar Williams, Woodstock Town Hall –
A singer-songwriter who works at the junction of heartache and hilarity, Dar is touring behind a new album.  “Promised Land” features a pop sound with more sheen than her previous works, particularly on the hand-clapping “It’s Alright.”  Though she had plenty of help on the record (Marshall Crenshaw, Suzanne Vega) she’s going out solo for this show, true to her coffee house roots. (Uh, no, apparently – she’s bringing two musicians, Bryn Roberts on keyboards and Everett Bradley on percussion. Plus, the charming Shawn Mullins is opening. Thanks to Amy Putnam for the info!)

Friday: Hexerei, Imperial Lounge – Claremont’s heavy metal heroes have been busy laying the groundwork for a big at the golden ring. Their New York City-based management team landed them a spot on “Rock The Ink” a three-day celebration of music and tattoos later this month in Providence.  The show also features Sevendust and Godsmack, so good for them.  Oh, and their “Paid in Full” CD is polished and ready – great news all around.

Saturday: Xylem, Seven Barrel Brewery – Fans of the Grateful Dead should like this band, a four piece that blends folk, rock and grooves.  They’ve played several times at the Goshen Pagan Fest. The existence of such an event surprised me; it might even surprise some residents of Goshen.  It’s nice too see Seven Barrel returning to two nights of music a week.  It’s a bit cramped at times, but always fun – plus, the beer is great.

Sunday: Second Wind, Newport Bridal Show – I heard a comic the other day saying that there is no greater love in the world than that between girlfriends at their weddings.  What else explain their joy in spending 500 bucks on the ugliest dress they’ll ever wear in?  Anyway, I love the folksy duo providing the entertainment for this ladies only event – is that why it’s on a Sunday in the middle of football season?

Monday: Old 97’s/Charlie Louvin, Higher Ground – What a double bill!  The headliner is a high energy Americana outfit that hit a sweet spot in the mid-90’s.  Charlie Louvin is a living legend that’s practically in his 90’s, who’s influenced many a player, including George Jones, Elvis Costello and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, all of whom helped out on his eponymous 2006 CD.

Wednesday: Jukejoynt, Wilder Club & Library - Dave Clark and Jed Dickinson play their original music in the performance space in celebration of a major accessibility project.  Dave’s local music library at yellowhousemedia.com is growing every day – you should check it out.

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3 Comments on “Local Rhythms – MySpace Helps Find The Way”

  1. Amy Putnam Says:

    Hi Michael, Couple of corrections about Dar tonight.. The new CD is called “Promised Land” (a phrase which is used on the track called “Holly Tree”). “It’s Alright” was the first single. And while she isn’t doing the whole band approach on this tour, she is out with two other musicians, Bryn Roberts on keyboards and Everett Bradley on percussion. Shawn Mullins is opening a lot of the dates on the tour, including tonight. Will I see you there?

    Amy

    PS Dar is supposedly playing at Spaulding Auditorium at Dartmouth, too, on Nov. 18 though I can’t find any details on the Dartmouth site about it. I have an inquiry in, though. I saw the date on Dar’s website.


  2. Thanks, Amy, I’ve fixed my error. You’re my Dar-thority.

  3. Amy Putnam Says:

    Well, I need to eat some crow. Turns out, Dar did play solo and with no opener, which started only last night in Maine. She will do a few more dates this way, through this weekend, and then the opener and side musicians configuration picks up again when they go out to Colorado and points west. So, I apologize for being so quick to correct since my own impression based on recent concert reports was that the whole “big tour” presentation was still happening.


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