Miguel Martín (LyricsGaps) – Interview (Part 1)

I’ve had the pleasure to interview Miguel Martín from LyricsGaps, a startup I reviewed two weeks ago, and which (as a non-native speaker of English) I found more than interesting.

Below you will find the first part of the interview. Part 2 (“Music & You”) can be read here.


Full Name: Miguel Martín
Age: 30
Startup: LyricsGaps.com
Position: CEO



Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?

I have been studying English since I was a child, and (in my case) the funniest and easiest way to learn the language was when teachers used songs. I think this is the best way of learning new vocabulary, as this allows you to practise your English everywhere.

What did the idea for LyricsGaps came to you?

It was a few months ago, when I was studying at the Official School of Languages in my city. I suddenly had the idea of mixing my two main interests, the music and the net.

What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?

Well, nowadays it is really difficult to answer this question, but I can tell you that during this time we have been very well-accepted online, and the number of users of lyricsgaps.com has been increasing day by day.

What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?

We are always thinking about how we can improve our site, for instance nowadays we are thinking about increasing the number of supported languages. And we are also thinking about adding rankings …

These are just two examples of the things we have to work on in the months to come here at lyricsgaps.com. Continue reading

Max Mathews Passes Away At 84

Max Mathews (1926 - 2011).

Max Mathews (1926 - 2011).

The man who was unanimously regarded as the father of digital music passed away last week. Born in 1926, Max Mathews was a relentless innovator in the world of computer-generated music.

Employed at Bell Laboratories, he both created devices and wrote software applications of which the most popular was probably “Music” (1957). That software basically allowed an IBM 704 mainframe computer to play short jams.

Mathews passed away at his home in San Francisco on the morning of April the 21st. I have embedded a short video below in which he talks about the future of musical instruments. This video was actually shot last year at SF MusicTech Summit – it is one of his final major public appearances.

1Band1Brand – New Bands & Fashion Brands


Name: 1Band1Brand
URL: http://www.1band1brand.com

This is one for the music lovers among you who are also style-minded. 1Band1Brand is quite a unique site in which both emerging bands and fashion brands get a chance to become more widespread.

In essence, this site introduces people to one band and one fashion brand per week. The band sells a sampler (whose price is actually determined by each buyer), and the fashion brand offers a bargain.

And the means are provided for promoting anything that is bought through the site all over the Social Web – Facebook and Twitter are extensively supported, so that band (and brand) advocacy is radically simplified. Which is the aim of the site, really – making early adopters set the scene for a much larger audience.

Barenaked Ladies’ “What A Good Boy” (Video)

I have begun writing the final book in the trilogy I started in 2009 with “Once”, and that saw the release of “Ten” just last year.

This time around, it is a book of short stories.

I am blogging about this new book extensively in the months to come (it is being published on the 2nd of December – the day I’m becoming 32).

What I want to share with you today is the song that is firing me up to write the main story of the whole book. It is a song by Canadian linchpins Barenaked Ladies, and it is found on their debut album, “Gordon”. I’m also listening to Soul Asylum a lot – I’ve just got the band’s full discography.

Stay tuned for more updates…

Dream Theater Turns The Search Of A New Drummer Into A Whole Social Experience

Dream Theater Has Managed To Turn The Departure Of Original Member Mike Portnoy Into A True Publicity Magnet.

Dream Theater Has Managed To Turn The Departure Of Original Member Mike Portnoy Into A True Publicity Magnet.

Who could have guessed that Dream Theater would be able to turn the loss of a mainstay like drummer Mike Portnoy into something that could actually draw new fans in?

Because that is exactly what the epic metal band has done. It has engaged people on Facebook with a video page that prompts them to “Like” it in order to know how the search for Portnoy’s replacement has been going (the band has tested seven drummers so far).

And in an even cleverer move, fans who want to know the identity of the new drummer can submit their email addresses, and be notified the minute the decision has been taken by the band.

All in all, this is unarguably one of the cleverest uses of the “Like gate” method on Facebook yet seen. The band has been getting fans (and presumably email addresses) by the bucketload. Of course, this move has been so effective because Dream Theater is nothing short of a standard-bearer of excellence. People were bound to be interested in what they were offering. But the way in which the band is playing with intrigue is nothing short of ingenious.

Weird Al Yankovic Parodies Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way”

"Perform This Way" Is The First Single To Be Culled From Al Weird Yankovic's New Album, "ALPOCALYPSE” (out on June 21).

"Perform This Way" Is The First Single To Be Culled From Al Weird Yankovic's New Album, "ALPOCALYPSE” (out on June 21).

For those who can’t stand Lady GaGa, it doesn’t get much funnier that this…

Weird Al Yankovic has just recorded and uploaded a parody of GaGa’s newest single (“Born This Way”) to his YouTube channel.

This parody is named “Perform This Way”, and it basically pokes fun at Lady GaGa’s flamboyant stage antics. It also puts its finger on the similarities between Gaga’s song and Maddona’s “Express Yourself” – something that will have the nay-sayers frenziedly clapping their hands in approval.

“Perform This Way” is going to be the leadoff single of Weird Al Yankovic’s new album, “ALPOCALYPSE” (out on June 21).

Free Uruguayan Music For Download: “Espiral” By Miguel Campal & Grubb’s Self-titled Album

"Espiral" By Miguel Campal

"Espiral" By Miguel Campal

“Espiral” [Spiral] is the debut album of Miguel Campal (download link), a Uruguayan musician and producer who is better-known around this pleasant side of the globe as the guitar player for Grubb.

Obviously, that name might mean nothing to you in the States (in the same way that normal folks here have no idea who Willard Grant Conspiracy or Drive-by Truckers are) so a few quick facts are in order:

1) They play a mixture of rock, funk and soul, and they play it well.

2) They issued an 8-song EP in 2008, including both studio recordings and live cuts.

3) They have just issued their first full-length studio album. It has 11 tracks, and it can be downloaded for free on their website. (The same goes for their debut EP.) Continue reading

Spotify Will Begin Limiting The Free Streaming Of Music

Beginning In May, Spotify Will Put Some Serious Limitations On The Free Streaming Of Music

Beginning In May, Spotify Will Put Some Serious Limitations On The Free Streaming Of Music

People outside of the US resort to Spotify to satisfy their musical cravings time and again. Which makes just too much sense, really – it is a free streaming service that gives you access to the best music around, right as it surfaces.

However, Spotify recently announced a series of measures that (to all intent and purposes) will translate into the end of the free, limitless service users knew and loved.

Basically, new free users of Spotify will be able to listen to music at no cost for six months only. After that, they will become limited to listening to just 10 hours of free music per month.

People are up in arms over this. It is understandable – who wouldn’t become all angry if he had to begin paying for something he previously had for free? Yet, once one begins putting two and two together it is easy to understand why did this happen. Continue reading

Viral Music List.com – Learn How Viral Your Favorite Music Really Is


Name: Viral Music List
URL: http://www.viralmusiclist.com

There are two types of music listeners: those who revel in exclusivity (and consume nothing but songs by obscure bands), and the ones who get their kicks only by listening to what lots and lots of people listen to.

If you fall in the former category and live in Uruguay (like I do) you buy compilations of underground/indie/emerging bands from America and Britain, and then drive all your friends off the bend by harping on Okkervil River, Bear In Heaven and The Antlers.

And if the latter group is where you belong, then you turn to a service like Viral Music Lists for approbation.

What this site does is to let you know which songs have gone viral. You can do that by picking one of the three main categories (“Tracks”, “Albums” and “Artists”) and then setting down the time range that applies (the provided options are ”24 Hours”, “7 Days” and “All Time”). And you can also launch an artist-specific search, and see how these musicians you love are doing in terms of online popularity. Continue reading