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New Web Makes Six Degrees Of Separation Become A Playlist

This new site is so much fun, powered by Spotify and the Echo Nest, Boil the Frog creates a playlist for you in a very original way. Enter the names of two artists in the two boxes and you will get a playlist of songs that will gradually take you from the first artist to the next.

If both artists’ styles of music are a bit similar or belong to the same genre, the site will find a way to navigate you through a bunch of other artists, but the path will probably be short, however, if both artists have totally opposite styles, it can be a long and wild road, but always interesting.

I had a little fun with a few names so did you know it only takes Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, Joseph Arthur, Pete Yorn, Rhett Miller, Alejandro Escovedo and John Hiatt to go from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen? That’s 7 seven intermediate songs, but if you replace Bob Dylan by the the Rolling Stones, you get a much shorter playlist with only 2 songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty in between. I guess the algorism consider them much closer. There is also another element taken into consideration, the popularity of the artist, since priority is given to paths that travel through artists of similar popularity, so if you enter big fish like Dylan, the Stones or Springsteen, you will only get very famous artists.

Trying to find a path between Angel Olsen and Cat Power, I ended up with a bunch of artists I was not entirely familiar with, such as Dark Dark Dark, Other Lives, Wye Oak, tUnE-YaRdS and St Vincent, while the path from Angel Olsen to Black Sabbath became wild with a long playlist of 14 songs to connect these two very different artists, and the presence of bands I don’t totally get, like Genesis, Supertramp, Kansas and Rush! Of course the possibilities are endless, and, once created, you can save the playlist and play it on Spotify.

I wonder which artists would make the longest playlist? You may be surprised to find there’s only 6 degrees of separation between Queens of the Stone Age and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, including, as I would have probably guessed, Mark Lanegan and Tom Waits! Try it yourself, enter the names of two artists, and just like the frog in the pot which is slowly be heated up, you may never notice the dramatic change.

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