Sunday, January 18, 2009

Songza - Music aggregator search engine

Whew. Between a touch of the plauge, an extra busy work week, and working on my second podcast this blog hasn't gotten much love lately. But never fear. Lots high weirdness (I mean Jewish music) by Internet coming your way.

Last week I found yet another new Internet music service I can no longer live without. It's called Songza (yes, all Internet music services have wonky names. But I'm no one to judge. Last week I named a NASA research project I'm working MCP for "Mission Control Procedures" and also for Master Control Program, the evil computer program in Tron. Nerd bliss.) Anyway, back to Songza. Songza is a meta-search engine. If you punch a query into it, say "Adon Olam", you'll get back 40 hits from music sites such as YouTube (Ross Levy's "Funk Version" and "Yehuda Glantz's on the Charango" Yee Ha!) and Imeem (The Shetl All Stars and Fortuna). Did you know that Moshie Skier's first band Kaballah recorded a cool version of Adon Olam that sounds a lot like Blue Oyster Cult? Now you do.

Here are some fun queries to get started with. Songza won't let me link to them, so you'll have to go types them in yourself.

Adon Olam, Rabbi (over 40 hits including lots of Israel Mizrachi recordings), and Jewish (naturally. Results include both recordings of Hava Nagila, the song Jewish Women that played recently, and an interview with Jewish secular musician Gary Lucas talking to a Jewish Leadership website, a Yemeni Jewish Dance, and a Moroccan Sephardic wedding song). I got good results for Mizrachi, Sephardic, Klezmer, and Yiddish (including Janet Klein's inimitable "Yiddish Hula Boy". Random Hebrew and Yiddish phrases work great including Golem, Shir, and Belz. (Ladino phrases don't work as well because of the similarity between Ladino and Spanish. Too many false hits for me, but give it a try.) And of, course, try your favorite artists. Here are a few that I tried immediately and got lots of hits on: Basya Shecter, Sway Machinery, Socalled, Lipa, Davka, Craig Taubman, Daniel Kahn, and Geoff Berner.

Have fun and let me know what you discover.

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