If anyone knows my recent obsession, you might think that I asked ChaCha what makes a person gay. ChaCha has proved itself to be pretty unreliable as of late, so I turned to my second favorite website: Pandora. For anyone that doesn’t know, Pandora is an Internet-radio site that utilizes the music genome project to play stations tailor-suited to you. What’s amazing is the way it analyzes the music you like and then plays music with similar attributes. If you’ve ever read Blink, you know that we don’t always know why we like the things we do. This makes our judgement faulty. Pandora knows what you like better than you know yourself. For example: in the office both Ms. Boss and I like the Brass Monkey Brass Band, so I agreed to used that as an “artist seed” to start our station. I was doubtful because I don’t like most Brass Bands…some, but not all. I couldn’t pick a brass band mix that I liked, but Pandora could! The music that followed was great, but why? Here’s where it gets fun. You can ask Pandora, “Why did you play this song?” You push the button, and Pandoratells you that the mix is based on “New Orleans influence, lead big band, and alto sax solos”. Alto sax solos? Interesting! I didn’t even know I liked alto sax solos, but there it is. All the Brass Band songs I like have alto sax solos! I guess all a long I was a closeted altosaxual. (I wonder if this will come as a surprise to my family.)
Another day we seeded a station with It’s Raining Men by The Weathergirls. It was kind of a joke inspired by a chance encounter a coworker had with Paul Shaffer who penned the tune. We didn’t really think of what songs would be based on it, but they had a surprising theme. It wasn’t so much the songs that followed, but the albums from which the songs were from: Almighty Gay Anthems, Gay Happenings, Greatest Gay Movie Hits, and so on. What did all of these songs have in common that made them gay? We asked Pandora, “Why did you play this song?” The answer was, “They all have disco groove based compositions, subtle use of piano, and vocal harmonies.” That’s the answer! The definition of gay…scientifically proven. If you like songs based on disco grooves, subtle pianos and vocal harmonies, you’re totally gay!