pop music

Spotify’s Awesome Serendipity Map

I got such a kick out of this Spotify project: Serendipity is a digital map that displays instances in which one song was played by two people, anywhere in the world, within one-tenths of a second.

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The songs aren’t being played in real time. (That would be so much cooler.) But they were culled from a recent one-hour period, so it’s indicative of what’s happening around the world, at any given time.

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Most songs are, not surprisingly, current pop hits: lots of Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Ariana Grande.

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But there are also some throwbacks, like Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova.”

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I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve clicked on a random song—usually some 80s or 90s jam I can’t get out of my head—and wondered whether anyone else in the world was also listening to the same thing, at the same time. Now I know that chances are, someone may have been.

(Screen grabs viaВ Serendipity)

What’s the Soundtrack of Your Life?

Last week, I stumbled upon an interesting project via NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog: The Guardian‘s “Six Songs of Me” initiative seeks to understand why music is so intertwined to human culture and why we love the songs we do.

To get to the root of these (and other) questions, they’re asking people to name songs that best answer these questions:

  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  • What song takes you back to your childhood?
  • What is your perfect love song?
  • What song would you want at your funeral?
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.

You can submit your answers here and browse and listen to others’ responses. The Guardian‘s “Six Songs of Me” blog also spotlights answers from music bloggers and famous musicians. While I don’t quite understand how they’re going to make sense of all the data they collect, the responses are a lot of fun to read. (What’s especially nice is that almost all the answers are well-known pop songs and not pretentious, obscure tracks!)

Of course, I had to answer the questions, too. Here are my responses:

  • What was the first song you ever bought? Alanis Morisette’s “Jagged Little Pill”–I think that was the first album I actually purchased with my own money. I was 11 or 12 years old and I cringe at what I was unknowingly singing about.
  • What song always gets you dancing?В Pink’s “Raise Your Glass”–it reminds me of dancing at my sister’s wedding!
  • What song takes you back to your childhood? Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” brings me back to the jazz dance classes I took as a kid!
  • What is your perfect love song? John Lennon’s “Woman.” Seriously, find me one woman who wouldn’t want to hear those words from the person they love.
  • What song would you want at your funeral?В Israel Kamakawiwo’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Pretty, uplifting and optimistic for a bleak occasion I don’t even want to think about it!
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you. “Call Me Maybe.” Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” Um, just look at this blog–every other post is about much I love my hometown. No other explanation needed. 😉

What would be your songs?

(Image fromВ audioklassiks viaВ bippityboppityboo)