Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Music

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More and more, music is becoming a central part of my life. I scoured a number of used CD stores in lower Queen Anne on Sunday for new stuff. I believe I purchased a total of 11 CDs in all: everything from Oasis, The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie (P.S. I’m going to miss them at First Ave by a week in October [fuck!], but pre-sale starts for their Seattle shows on Thursday), and a few other things.

Finding this new music was an extremely haphazard effort, involving Amazon, Rolling Stone, MySpace, and a trip down the hill to an actual music store.

My social life increasingly revolves around where I’m going to end up watching live music; it doesn’t really matter what it is: Tuesdays are Fiasco night at the Paragon, a few Fridays ago it was Jambalaya at the Mirabeau Room. I’m going to see Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery on Friday (sidenote: sounds like Ben’s actually touring with a real band again!).

I believe that MySpace hit upon something really powerful and connecting: mixing bands with a social network, and thereby connecting fans (and prospective fans) to their idols. It’s really quite spectacular, really. I don’t think that MySpace has taken it particularly far, though. There’s a lot of untapped potential in terms of mixing people, their musical tastes, and a really comprehensive recommendation system. Amazon does a lot in this area, but they do it in a phenomenally unpersonal way. I think there’s a big middle ground there, and I believe companies will be carving out niches in this area for a long time to come.

Apple’s not going to do it; it doesn’t fit their model very well. Google’s too generic. Amazon? nah, not a core business. MySpace? Maybe, although I think their focus will be in moving up the foodchain, not down, especially post-Murdoch. MSN? They’re actually in a really good position between Messenger, MSN Spaces, and MSN Music. Is it a big enough biz for them, though? Beats me.

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