With so many bands playing SXSW this year, as always, attendees desperately need tools for slicing and dicing the massive list of showcasing bands down to something resembling what a human can see in a few days — based, of course, on their musical taste.
Thankfully, Peter Watts, the man behind +Music and Swarm.fm, pinged Evolver.fm to let us know about Suggest.by, which works along the same lines. Enter your Last.fm name (or anyone else’s, for that matter), and suggest.by mashes your musical taste against the SXSW schedule and returns the bands you’ll probably like who are playing the festival. It’s powered not only by Last.fm, but also Rdio (to play tracks using the Yahoo web player), the excellent Sched.org scheduling app, and music intelligence from The Echo Nest (publisher of Evolver.fm).
This web app only gives you a fairly short list for each day (at least that’s what it did for me), which is actually kind of nice, compared to how long every other list about SXSW tends to be. And judging from the results, it works well, recommending plenty of bands I already know I like — and plenty of others that sound good to my ear. To learn more about any band, you can either listen to streaming MP3s, if they’re available via Rdio’s API, or click through to the Sched.org page.
Hopefully, suggest.by won’t get shut down by SXSW too. We have a feeling that it won’t. Lastsx.sw, after all, has a name that includes the letters “sxsw,” which could have been why it ran afoul of festival organizers. Still, it can’t hurt to try it while you can.
Suggest.by is good, but it could be even better. In the words of the now-defunct Lastsx.sw website: “Here’s a thought for you: launch a public API.” Indeed, if SXSW did that, it could only make it easier for people to build apps like this, making the festival more enjoyable for people who are there to see the shows. For now, we’re happy Suggest.by exists, even in the absence of an official SXSW API.