Tag Archives: u2

Listens and flaws are found at Spotalike

It’s easy to come to a dead end when you’re trying to find more music of a certain sound, temp, or variety. I’ve posted requests for song suggestions before as proof of that. Suggestions can lead to other people’s tastes from a wide variety of performers, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into you willingly following through on suggestions… Especially if you don’t know the artists.

There’s a tool out there on the web that I crossed last weekend, called Spotalike. It’s got a winter holiday motif that you need to ignore, that and it’s powered by way of Spotify. Simple directions: if you put a song/artist in the entry field, it’ll produce a list of what it considers similar songs. The first three entries tend to be by the same artist while what follows is a variety from other artists. What sold me on the entire tool is how I would enter songs from an easy-listening playlist that I have, and some of the first suggestions would be other songs from the list. The right similarity was there.

I also know it’s not perfect, though….

I like Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen; throw it in that easy-listen playlist because of the light music (side note: I need to find Bruce’s Oscar performance of the song where he played piano).

The problem here is Spotalike’s first suggestion. Born in the USA is a rocker with a strong beat, heavy lyrics and of course the famous chorus chant that people fixate on. There are others produced in the top 10 results that fit the bill (Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton, One by U2) and others that make me shake my head and say “no” (I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith).  I guess this list is just proof no playlist suggested can be perfect, but some songs fit while others just seem to be a reach.

Yet the results for “Streets” aren’t what led to this post, no, no. I went with an early 1990’s rocker by one of the top axe men in music, Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz:

That was off a top album in 1993 (but failed to crack the Billboard Top 100). The attitude, the energy, the guitar work by Lenny, it’s just fantastic. Is it a one-of-a-kind ode? Arguable; there are plenty of songs that could be suggested just for guitar work and early 90’s popularity (Green Day and Basket Case as well as Longview immediately come to mind).

Yet one-of-a-kind is how Spotalike seems to be looking at it as it stands. Upon entering the song and going for the results, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” is the only song result. No playlist gets generated. It’s one thing for that to happen with an indie band (Pretty Voices are on Spotalike, for example, but don’t generate results) but for someone who has been so prominent in popular music and rock and roll to get brushed off? That’s either a flaw in the system, a business conflict between the powers-that-be and Kravitz’s camp or just an outright disrespect towards a musician someone at Spotalike doesn’t like. I’m going to side with the flaw factor. I’m sure it pops up with some other songs by popular artists.

This shouldn’t hold sway over you using Spotalike or not; there’s too much music out there to get hung up on flaws and misgroupings. So much music and so few quality suggestion tools exist. The system can’t be perfect but it seems like Spotalike is sound to one decree or another.

 

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics

One

I had a moment of realization over a song lyric just a short while ago. This happens to me once in a while when I think about some songs I know or I have heard. You think about the lyrics and sing the lyrics but you don’t always think of the story behind the lyrics or what they mean.

For example, “I Just Called To Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder doesn’t say much more than the lack of a special occasion… That’s the entire point of the song when you think about it. He wasn’t calling to talk to someone because it was Halloween or because it was New Years Day or a “Wedding Saturday within the month of June,” he was just calling to profess his love for no reason at all.

Now, the song that got to me is something I heard when it originally came out in 1992. One by U2. Now, this song I have been nuts about since early February when I was trying to learn the song specifically because people thought it would be in the Super Bowl halftime show as a tribute. I’ve been singing the song on and off and sometimes just thinking about the lyrics and trying to figure out what Paul Hewson was talking about (Paul, FYI, is Bono).

Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You’ve got someone to blame

You say,
One Love
One Life
When It’s One Need
In the Night
One Love
We Get to share it
Leaves you baby,
If you don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you’ve never had love
And you want me to go without

Well it’s
Too late
Tonight
To drag the past back out into the light
We’re One
But we’re not the same
We get to Carry each other
Carry each other
One

Now I could keep going and mention all the lyrics to the site but if my recollection serves me right, I am a webmaster of a BEATLES Lyrics site (if people don’t litigate me, I mean :-p ). The point of what I am talking about is what does this song – One –  mean… What does ONE Mean?

First off, obviously it’s about a relationship. It isn’t, however, a relationship that has broken up. It’s still ongoing. It seems as if the person talking is trying to talk up their relationship — how both sides are committed to it. He may have pried a little too deep at one point (Did I ask too much/More than a lot ) and the other side did not take it well because of this. The other side is a bit reserved and he’s laying down the fact that if they are in love — they’re supposed to be a single unit, try to function as one even though they aren’t the same. Sure they hurt each other but they’ll do it again — that’s what tends to happen in love anyway. Someone gets hurt over something, even if it’s not something. I think he is also trying to confess that what went down was not a fatal mistake…

Honestly, only Bono can truly know what the song means… I see this story as what is going on in the song… It definitely has little to do with the three distinctive videos that were released for the song ( 1 –  Bono in the bar, shots of a woman, shots of U2; 2 – U2 performing, Bono sitting on a couch and singing, all band members appearing in drag, cars driving through Scotland; 3 – The lone buffalo roaming the terrain ).

“What the hell brought this on John?”
Nothing to be honest. I just get to thinking on a tangent like this all the time. Something of absolutely no substance coming to mind. It’s one of my charming personality traits 🙂

I’ve been on FanHome a lot the last day… I’m trying to help boost the amount of traffic on the Football section of the site (seeing it is Training Camp time in the NFL and the season will start soon). For those of you who have never been to FanHome, first off — I administrate on the site. Second off, it’s a sports message board of some noteriety on the net. It should reach 40 thousand registered members sometime tonight. It’s definitely worth a look if you are into sports.

I updated the site a bit here and there. I now have 3 separate email addresses for all 3 sections of the site which is a big plus. I doubt anyone sends me an email from here but all the same if you need to — webmaster@stoengauge.com will do the job for ya.

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Filed under Music / Lyrics