Not that box, but Pandora – apparently, its part of the “Music Genome Project.” I’d not heard of it, maybe I need to stay in more. Believe it or not, I don’t live, breathe and sleep Marillion, even if I did write a book about them. So, when I was prompted by Pandora to put in a band that I liked, Marillion wasn’t the only potential option. Honest.
What came next intrigued me to make the post, and yes, it is about Marillion as much as its about Pandora. It came up with the following text: “We’re playing the following track because it features electronica influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, a vocal-centric aesthetic and extensive vamping.” Now, then. Apart from the fact that I’m not absolutely sure what “vamping” is, I bet my navel that this is pretty much why the majority of Marillion fans I know listen to?the band. Its also pretty much the polar opposite of what non-fans think Marillion is about these days.
Having played me “You’re Gone” (pretty much the polar opposite, etc, etc), its then played me “Can’t Explain” by ISM, “Forever and a Day” by the Dissociatives and “Where’s the Man” by Scott Weiland. What have they got in common? Something with Marillion, apparently. Also, the fact I’d never heard any of them. Three out of?the four share an apostrophe, but I don’t think we can count that. They all have similar descriptions, akin to the above. Maybe that’s it. There’s various things I can do from here – the first is “subscribe”, and I think, why not. I can pick one of the songs so far and go down a different route, or I can just let it play – there’s the occasional advert apparently, we’ll see if it starts to bug.
Finally, and the reason I launched it in the first place, I can link it to my Last.fm account through this mashup by Gabe Kangas. Next up: “Buffalo Swan” by Black Mountain. Cool. Now, either Pandora is staffed by people that are trying to subliminally point the world towards certain bands (“AC/DC? Hmm, yes, try this – lots of vamping”) or there really is something in it. We’ll see, but for now I’ll side with the latter.