Lost in (My)Space

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So yesterday, I’m on the plane flying back from Paris, and since I’d already seen a couple of the English-language movies on offer, and didn’t feel like trying to make out the subtitles on the French films, I watched an indie Scottish flick called “My Name Is Hallam Foe.” It was an interesting, twisted take on the old coming-of-age story, but the music was clearly intended to be a major part of the proceedings. There were a couple of bands that sounded familiar (and which turned out later to be Sons And Daughters, and Franz Ferdinand, two Scottish groups with an international reputation), and a number of others that didn’t. I wanted to find out more about one song in particular – something about “being on my own.” So when I landed, and eventually got home, I googled the film and found their website had a complete track list and a series of sound clips of all the music. The song I liked was called “Here On My Own” by a band called U.N.P.O.L.

This raised a couple of questions. Who were these guys? Were the rest of their songs as good? Would I be wanting this for my iPod? There are many places where you can get answers to questions like these. The thing with MySpace is it's like one-stop shopping: all the info you really need, and the chance to actually hear whole songs. So I went to MySpace and typed in the band name. Nothing. This was an outrage – I mean, what kind of rock band doesn’t have a MySpace page?! The answer is – no kind of rock band. After googling again, I found that U.N.P.O.L. is in fact a misspelling by the film maker of the band’s real name, which is U.N.P.O.C. And they have a MySpace page, because they are a real rock band and that’s what real rock bands do. And yes, all my questions were immediately answered. (In order: bunch of indie guys from Scotland; no; and only the song I heard.)

If you just go to MySpace.com, the home page, and click on Music, you can be overwhelmed by the number of choices available just on their introductory page – and that’s before you go to the literally millions of bands in dozens of genres that lie within. (The bottom of the page lists the genres in order of numbers of members, beginning with hip-hop and rap at over 2 million a piece.) But if you are interested in a band, and all you have is their name, there is still nothing like MySpace to get what you really need – the chance to hear the music.

Tell us: Do you use MySpace for music? Or is that too 2007 for you?

[U.N. P.O.C. photo credit: Sean Dooley]