Machine Shop: Hype Machine Team Blog

Memories, Discoveries and Passion You Can Hold

Rough Trade is an independent record shop just off Portobello Road in London. It has been around for over 30 years and really is what an indie record shop should be, complete with knowledgeable staff, an interesting selection, quirky background music and beautiful posters that completely cover all of the walls.

The passion that this place attracts is quite like nothing else. Earlier this week, I got my hands on a 2-CD compilation put together from stories, discoveries and recommendations of the shop’s customers in the past 30 years. There are 30 songs and 30 stories included in the booklet by a diverse group of people. As Rough Trade puts it:

The doors of Rough Trade Shop were first opened 30 years ago, but the album to celebrate this birthday isn’t compiled by the staff themselves. This time, it is the choices of their customers, thirty of them to be precise. They requested not only a favourite record selection from the last three decades but also for fond memories and tall tales from the culture at the counter.

Most of these have had a very personal connection with the store ranging from Bjork who was inspired to create music by records she bought there, to record label founders who looked to the shop as a never-ending source of passion.


Rough Trade Compilation Cover


Rough Trade Compilation Booklet

The set of tracks is nothing short of amazing, and the stories are a mix of history and insight, or are just plain fun. Wow.

Naturally, they sell it on the site (they also have better photos), but the web is no substitute for an experience like this. If you are in London and have never been there, you owe yourself to visit and feel.

AOL DL’s Take on The Hype Machine

The AOL DL Show has put together a funny video clip that introduces their visitors to the Hype Machine.

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Last.fm’s Concert Tools Compete with Sliced Bread

Last week, as I was about to visit Markus (starfrosch.ch) in Bern, Switzerland, I was faced with a very usual question: What’s happening in the town while I am visiting?

After googling around a bit for event sites, looking at a bit of German and “events” in 2007, I figured to check Last.fm‘s concert search before giving up.

So I logged in and set my location to Bern in the profile and was surprised to see events! After some more browsing and listening, Lucien Dubuis left me very curious. A crossover jazz & rock trio, they seemed like they could be fun, so I figured to check this show out.

last.fm screenshot

Given that all the other concert tracking & notification services can’t even find Bern on the map, I was thrilled!

It turned out the show was taking place in the beautiful PROGR space which hosts a variety of cultural and music events. A lovely evening, both Markus and I really got a kick out of Lucien Dubuis’ performance – they were having lots of fun on stage and it spread throughout the room.

Lucien Dubuis in Bern, Switzerland

What’s so special about all this? It just made it very clear to me that no matter how great a concert notification service is, it is simply worthless without sufficient data. One can argue that the services I mentioned above just cover the US, but in reality, they don’t even do a complete job there.

I want to know about concerts all over the world in giant cities and small towns, all in one place. Saying “we only do cities” or “we only do the US” is a copout. Where is this service?

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