Thursday, March 24, 2011

The SixtyOne. Part Internet Radio, part... MMORPG?

I've written before about my new daily routine as an Unemployed Geek, but I've left out an important part of any given day... my music. I've developed my musical tastes over the years to be something... unusual, as I listen to a little bit of everything, from Top 40 radio, through classical, nerdcore hiphop, Australian Folk-Rock, Christian Country Acid-House, Blues, Oldies... I could fill an article just listing genres... it'd just be boring. My musical taste was once described as “somewhere between eclectic and schizophrenic,” and I particularly like wildly different mixes of music with jarring transitions between songs.

NOT on TheSixtyOne... Unfortunately... after learning about these guys from playing Alan Wake, this Finnish Rock Band became one of my favorites.

My tastes mean that I like a constant influx of music I haven't encountered before. This isn't always easy, especially on a very, very limited income. I've tried a lot of streaming internet radio stations, like Pandora and, and I like a lot of what I've heard, but most of it isn't new to me, and my tastes confound the matching algorithms and I don't get quite the right mix. One day, browsing the internet, I discovered a page featuring “websites you should visit, if you don't already.” The hook for one of them in particular drew me in.

Kill 16 indie-rockers and bring me their Vans to complete this quest. was listed as a Pandora-style site with a focus on new music and... gaming elements? I raised an eyebrow. Sure enough, the site had daily quests, an experience point kind of system, and even achievements. Dialing in on two separate elements of what I like on the internet, blending them haphazardly and making it all work, somehow? Yes, please.

The blend of music on thesixtyone isn't for everyone. There is a LOT of indie-rock, chick rock and other “white boy college radio” stuff on there, not a whole lot for, say, a heavy metal fan. If you like The Decemberists, Tetrastar or other similar artists, you'll find this site is targeted at you. I managed to also find quite a bit of nerdcore rap/hip-hop I'd never heard of, and the entire catalogue of Jonathan Coulton (Of Portal's “Still Alive” closing credits fame) is up there.

The cake may be a lie, but check out his other stuff... this guy is hilarious and amazing.

Some of the tracks on the site are available for download, and about half of those I've encountered don't even charge for the privilege. For those who feel strongly about artists getting paid for their work instead of supporting the recording industry, this site is real solid on that front, with a higher percentage of any digital sales going directly to artists than most other sites I've encountered. If anyone starts using the site and wants to add me as a friend, I'm on there, of course, as DocStout.
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Thatoneguy said...

Interesting post.

G said...

I have a similar love of jarring transitions between music genres...

Jay.CA said...

nice, thanks for the links. :)

Patti D. said...

Very nice! thanks for the info

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