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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things We'd Like To See Google Do for Music: NextBuzz, the NextMuni for Buzz Bands

Posted By on Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Nice nails.
  • Nice nails.
So Google's new Instant Search function has the web-literate world all atwitter over why, exactly, we need Google's new Instant Search function. Self-involved music scribes that we are, we got to wondering how this technology could benefit us directly, and after many hours of fitful brainstorming (plus one more trying to get past the infuriating wax cap of this beer) it has hit us: Google should acquire (hostilely, if possible) the inspired algorithm-jockeys behind NextBus, the system that uses real-time location information to tell denizens of San Francisco and Delaware and Arlington when their next bus or train is coming. Then they should put that technology to work telling us when to blog about bands.

Time was, to stay ahead in this business you had to have a sixth sense about who was talented and who was all hype, who was going to be selling out stadiums and who was going to be selling peanuts at those stadiums. But like privacy, sixth senses are going obsolete. We can just crowdsource them! A band's share of Internet real estate may be as close to an empirical success-imminence metric as we'll ever get. And for (cough) busy tastemakers like ourselves, that data could be crucial.

Take San Francisco's Social Studies. They're getting some good murmurs around town, but they're not quite ready to blow up. How can we tell? Because they're still behind "social security" in Google's query-suggestion hierarchy. Once you type that T in "studies," it's their game -- the band beats out the middle-school subject handily -- but they've got a little ways to go. Somewhere on our cubicle-mounted NextBuzz monitor, it should say "Social Studies: arriving in 6 Internet-news-cycle-rotations."

L.A.'s Local Natives, meanwhile, come in fourth as soon as you enter "loc" (first is Lockerz--see? this exercise has already paid off in cultural awareness); even if they never eclipse perennial favorites "local weather," you'll be hearing plenty from them, and soon. Local Natives: arriving.

Dominant Legs: A few blocks away, just behind Domino's Pizza. 7 rotations.

Surfer Blood: Seventh query for "surf," first for "surfe." 4 rotations.

Arcade Fire: Second as soon as you type "ar." Have your money out already.

Apache Beat: Broken down behind Apache Beanutils. Other routes serving this stop: Crystal Castles, Mi Ami.

J Church: No prediction available.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown and @dlb

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Daniel Levin Becker


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