Isn't technology grand? You jump into your car and flip it to your favorite college radio station (WZBC in my case). A great song comes on, getting you bouncing around in the car. Unfortunately, it's just a short jaunt to the grocery store and, even then, this being a college station, you don't know when, or even if, a DJ might come on and even then, might not even announce the song. So you take a quick glance at the clock (about 4:40pm) and hope to look it up when you get home.

Upon landing home, you dash to the web and check the program listing. There, at about the time you were listening, is a song by Beat Happening, a "truly seminal and influential American [band] of the post-punk era" - ah, no wonder it was a great sound.

Disappointingly, you can't find that particular song ("Left Behind") on, but there are lots by Beat Happening, so you grab another from that CD, as recommended by AMG, "Fortune Cookie Prize". More great stuff. So you play one from the recommended CD, their last one called "You Turn Me On". You find the "LP's heart and soul", "Godsend" and play that. Wow! Now you have two more CDs that you need to buy. And immediately go on the Best of 2009's list.

Of course, I wasn't thinking out of the box enough. I recently purchased a G1 Google phone and grabbed Shazam, "the amazing music discovery engine", but I forgot about it while I was listening to Beat Happening. So I decided to try it when I got home. First I did an easy one from the local "Classic Rock" station (yes, it is one of my programmed stations, hush now). Foreigner's "Feels Like The First Time" was playing. Press the "Tag" button, it samples about 30 seconds of music and bam, found it! Okay, back to 'zbc and challenge it a little. This time, I heard what the DJ was playing next, so it was an easy test. Sure enough, a few seconds of the opening music and Shazam tells me, correctly, it was Angels Of Light playing "Public Embarrassment Blues" - wow!


Thanks for the tip!  I just tried it out, flipping through the dial.  Apparently classical music doesn't really work, but it identified a U2 song I hadn't heard of before ("Get On Your Boots"), and a classic rock song I know I've heard a few times before but never really realized I had no idea who it was: Sniff 'n' the Tears, "Driver's Seat".  I wish it gave more links than Amazon and Youtube, though; I'd like to bring up an appropriate AllMusic or Wikipedia page.Also, it doesn't work for "what was that song that just ended 5 seconds ago?"  Maybe next version...Also, huh, I never realized the band Tiger Trap was named after a Beat Happening song. You should check them out too!

Yeah, an AllMusic link would be great. And oh yeah, Sniff 'n' the Tears is a great One Time Wonder trivia question!

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on January 19, 2009 2:56 PM.

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