The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 863: A guide to genres, part 2

I’m trying to imagine what it might be like to design an Amazon warehouse. A typical fulfillment centre covers at least a million square feet and features zillions of kilometres of shelving.

And given that Amazon is about speed–the company is always trying to cut the gap between the time you click “checkout” and when the package shows up at your door–they’re always looking for the most efficient ways to find whatever you ordered on those shelves and stuff it into a box.

The logistics of this are mind-boggling. Not only does Amazon have to categorize millions of items, but they have to be grouped in such a way that products in demand don’t create choke points for the robots that grab the stuff off the shelves.

Music is a lot like an Amazon warehouse, except worse. Not only do we have to categorize everything down to a very granular level, but we also have to make it possible for us to fortuitously stumble over something we might like.

This is where we get into the whole idea of genres. At last count, Spotify has organized its music universe into 2,424 different genres. There’s also a website called EveryNoiseAtOnce that lists about 2,000 different genres.

This is both terrifying and fascinating. And it deserves study.

Songs heard on this show:

Art Brut, Formed a Band

Stone Roses, She Bangs the Drums

Oasis, Live Forever

Mighty Lemon Drops, Happy Head

Lana Del Rey, Blue Jeans

Washed out, Feel It All Around

Nine Inch Nails, The Hand That Feeds

The Creepshow, Run for Your Life

Bangles, Hero Takes a Fall

Belle and Sebastian, The Boy with the Arab Strap

Playlistists Eric Wilhite has this for us.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

If you ever miss a show, you can always get the podcast edition available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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