Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My choice: Myspace

Sometimes, a friend will ask me, "Hey, want to go this concert?" and I will say, "Uhhhhh..." Even if the artist is a popular musician, it is likely I will only know one of their songs. And I'm certainly not paying exorbitant concert prices without knowing what I'm getting myself into. So I turn to the Internet to help me learn more about the performer. But this is a frustrating exercise indeed.

I can always try YouTube. Find a video that looks like it might be the right artist, watch an ad for a minute, then hear a song that someone recorded with their cell phone at a concert. Or some teenager's basement performance. Or the dreaded acoustic version! Spotify gives a lot more predictable results, but the ads that take over the entire screen every 10 seconds are a dealbreaker for me. Yes, you can buy a subscription, but for someone who only uses the service every couple of weeks for pre-concert research, that's overkill. MOG is a decent alternative, but their spam-your-friends-or-pay pricing structure is a huge turnoff.

That's where Myspace comes in.

Remember MySpace? The site you stopped using in 2007? Well, it's back! Technically, it never left.

After years of languishing in semi-obscurity as the washed-up star of the aughts (broken only by those brief moments when it was resurrected to be the butt of everyone's jokes), Myspace reinvented itself, converting from the Big Social Network That Couldn't into what I'd like to describe as (for the sake of parallelism) the Medium Media Network That Can!

It's not cool these days to use Myspace, but I'm here to tell you why you should! And no, no one's paying me for this endorsement; Myspace is just one of those things that recently made me stop dead and think, wow, I really like it!

Myspace is no longer the crazy cluttered marketplace of narcissism, questionable friend requests, and garish profiles that it used to be. All that has been replaced with cleanliness, simplicity, and what seems to be a single purpose. As far as I can tell now, Myspace is music.

Using this site, you can connect with artists and discover artists, you can get alerted about upcoming concerts, you can even, if you're still into that, post statuses and connect with friends, but most importantly, you can listen to songs. It seems simple, but of all the music sites I've tried, Myspace is the one that makes it easiest to actually listen to music.

It excels at letting you build your own playlist of specific songs from various artists—especially handy when you're thinking of going to a music festival.

Just yesterday, after my friends asked me if I wanted to go to the Equinox music festival here at UMD and I replied with my requisite "Uhhhhh," I pulled up the headliner's profile on Myspace...and I was like, "Wow! I really like Paper Diamond!"

It's been a long time since I discovered new music that I actually love (although since I didn't do a 2013 Musical Revue New Year post, I should at least mention that Martin Garrix's "Animals" was pretty cool, and Avicii's "Wake Me Up" grew to be one of my favorites after I originally dismissed it) so I am thrilled that I finally discovered a new artist to be a fan of, and I'd just like to state again for the record, Myspace made it happen.

P.S: If you become a rabid Myspace user and you figure out how the "affinity score" works, will you please let me know?