The Spotify Experiment

Joseph Lambert

joseph lambert | spin sessions | may 2019

Personally, I have always been of the opinion that musical tastes were a matter of familiarity, and while I tend to be a creature of habits, I work with seven other super talented artists who have a huge variety of tastes among us to help me not get too stuck in my own limited scope. Since I am kinda nerdy, I thought we'd leave it to our new A.I. overlords! Algorithms are cool, and they will soon rule the world; so rather than tell you all about my own personal tastes, I thought it might be more interesting to dive into what the Spotify algorithms think I like to listen to based on the tastes of all eight of us weirdoes here at Skinny Buddha Tattoo who use my account daily!

To reduce this down a bit, I took note of the playlists and artists that seem to be included on every "daily mix" (which seems to also be the artists chosen automatically whenever the album or playlist someone has chosen runs out.) In no particular order it appears our current favorites are: Pavement, the Modern Lovers, DEVO, Wu-Tang Clan, Talking Heads, Sade, Dead Milkmen, Television '50s-'60s, Solid Gold Mix, the Loving Spoonful, Beastie Boys, the Pixies, the Shirelles, They Might Be Giants, Supergrass, Amyl and the Sniffers, Boris the Sprinkler, Bill Withers, Flaming Lips, Big Star, Reigning Sound, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Hussy, Aye Nako Together and PANGEA.

It is safe to say we have sufficiently confused the machine as it seems that the algorithms now can no longer separate our mixes into genres as they typically do when only one user's tastes are being computed. Some of the bands listed in "most played" section I personally have never even heard of but I can assume I have listened to them plenty while working. One way or another, somebodyhere likes 'em?!

Therefore, these same bands pop up even if you try to make a radio station based on Coltrane! Regardless, these artists must have, at least, not been skipped by anyone enough times for them to reappear frequently.

As requested, I am including a picture of myself holding a few of these records, but I am lazy, so although I think I own quite a few of these band's records, I am too lazy to dig them all out! Also, shamelessly, I shall use this last stanza to self promote: Last Sons of Krypton have TWO new records out in 2019 with TWO other great bands! A double 7-inch with Rev. Norb and the Onions (their final release/Spare Change Records) and a split LP on PMRC records with the Foamers?! Also, stay tuned for the debut Smart Shoppers 7-inch this fall, as well as the debut 7-inch from Witch Panic, also on the Spare Change label!

-- Record image by Gavin St. Ours licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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