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Boil the Frog
January 7, 2013 12:00 PM   Subscribe

"Boil the Frog lets you create a playlist of songs that gradually takes you from one music style to another. It's like the proverbial frog in the pot of water. If you heat up the pot slowly enough, the frog will never notice that he's being made into a stew and jump out of the pot. With a Boil the Frog playlist you can do the same, but with music." Here's more about Paul Lamere's new project, where he suggests some fun & incongruent playlists to try.

Lamere's music projects previously on MeFi:
infinite jukebox - infinite gangnam style - road trip mixtape - the labyrinth of genre - slow build - six degrees of black sabbath
posted by flex (83 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
Let's find the longest playlist! I'll open with "Beethoven to G. G. Allin," which is 24 songs.
posted by theodolite at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


The frog jumps out of the pot.
posted by thelonius at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


This was a fun challenge that we did as college DJs, trying to segue between distinctly different songs in the fewest songs possible. I have gotten pretty rusty, this site looks like a fun refresher.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:09 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Its just the playlist, yes?

I tried a couple of tests and it never played the whole song through and even started in the middle of the rest.

Does it require a rdio.com account?
posted by lampshade at 12:16 PM on January 7, 2013


"Flatt and Scruggs to Skrillex" is also 24, as are "Dvorak to Parov Stelar" and "Captain Beefheart to Killer Mike."

Ah! I beat it! "Dvorak to tUnE yArDs" in 26!
posted by cmoj at 12:17 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


It readily paths between Shonen Knife and Monday Michiru, to its credit, but it hits some pretty odd stops along the way. Going from Il Bacio...Tu Baci by the Noisettes directly into Joy by the Scanners was a bit jarring.
posted by darksasami at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013


Every one I have put in has at least one song where the listed song is dramatically different than the song being played. It hurt my brain.
posted by Seamus at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013


So, who's the Kevin Bacon of the music world?
posted by schmod at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Skrillex to Operation Ivy yields 27.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


And "Will Smith to Chopin" at 26.
posted by cmoj at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013


I'll raise you, theodolite:

Found a path from Skrillex to Loreena McKennitt in 29 songs.
posted by threeants at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anal Cunt to Bizet: 32 songs.
posted by fungible at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Iris Dement to Brandt Brauer Frick took 23, and still is pretty jarring.
posted by umbú at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2013


Does it require a rdio.com account?

If you aren't logged into rdio.com you will hear 30s samples only when you listen. Otherwise, no.
posted by brianwhitman at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2013


So, who's the Kevin Bacon of the music world?

Pigface.
posted by brianwhitman at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins (in and after Genesis) provide an effective metal-to-top 40 pop-through-prog pivot that made Andrew WK to The Carpenters work pretty well.
posted by umbú at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2013


Elvis Costello to Diana Krall took 21 songs. On the other hand, Iris Dement to Greg Brown, just 2 songs. What's the longest path between a husband and wife?
posted by Grumpy old geek at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hate that hackneyed phrase - boiling the frog.
I wonder how many sub-human's were inspired to do it just because they heard about it.
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 12:26 PM on January 7, 2013


"Sorry, Can't make a path from The Beatles to Wings."

(hahahawhut)
posted by 23skidoo at 12:28 PM on January 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


I can't beat my record. Disturbing that G.G. Allin to Veggie Tales is only 21 songs.
posted by fungible at 12:35 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Disturbing that G.G. Allin to Veggie Tales is only 21 songs.

G.G. Allin to Raffi is only one GI tract.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ok, so apparently Boil the Frog doesn't like european metal bands because I keep trying them and it keeps telling me that it can't make a path.

In the music world, metal lives on a remote island in a sea blacker than the blackest black (times infinity) and nothing can traverse its unmerciful breadth.
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:44 PM on January 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've actually spent a not insignificant amount of time marveling that bluegrass, metal, and classical music are so continuous.
posted by cmoj at 12:46 PM on January 7, 2013


The Eagles to Eagles of Death Metal in 14 songs.
posted by swift at 12:49 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Slayer to Pedro Infante in 30 songs.
posted by swift at 12:52 PM on January 7, 2013


So, who's the Kevin Bacon of the music world?

My guess is Dave Grohl. That dude has played with pretty much everyone.
posted by rocket88 at 12:52 PM on January 7, 2013


Yeah, so, Chopin to Mozart took 23 songs and went through "Nature Sounds and Natural Soothing Music to Calm and Relax Newborn Babies: Natural White Noise".
posted by charred husk at 12:53 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Sorry, Can't make a path from The Beatles to Wings."

Yet it can go from Beatles to Plastic Ono Band in 2 songs.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 12:54 PM on January 7, 2013


isn't this really just called making a great mix tape?

i tried Pearls Before Swine to Burzum and it started out pretty great but got derailed on some pretty serious crap before reaching the end point.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 12:55 PM on January 7, 2013


John Tesh to Motörhead in 28 songs.
posted by rocket88 at 12:58 PM on January 7, 2013


Ha, to get from Woody to Arlo you have to go through Pete Seeger first.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:59 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jefferson Airplane -> Janis Joplin -> Jimi Hendrix -> Eric Clapton -> Dire Straits -> Fleetwood Mac -> The Doobie Brothers -> Jefferson Starship
posted by darksasami at 1:05 PM on January 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Two tricks I figured out back in the day. Prince + T-Rex will pretty much always allow you to jump from one incongruent genre to another.

Also, From Here To There Eventually -- that's what we used to call this game.
posted by philip-random at 1:07 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The longest was 39 at some point. But, that link shows only 31 songs now.
posted by mkb at 1:09 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Beethoven to Mindless Self Indulgence: 33 songs.
posted by lekvar at 1:11 PM on January 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow, this one is super weird.
posted by mkb at 1:15 PM on January 7, 2013


Found a path from Coldplay to Coldplay in 1 songs.

I think that says it all.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, who's the Kevin Bacon of the music world?

Pigface.


Being a huge Pigface fan (up until the last album or two), I can verify this is true. What's even better is that the rest of that 'connectedness' list is a pretty excellent musical collection on its own, altho I suspect Painkiller is only on there due to being a collab between Bill Laswell, Mick Harris and John Zorn. And Material is another Laswell project. And he's done a couple things with/around Pigface as well (as has Harris and F.M. Einheit, and JG Thirwell.. and Flea!).. and of course Harris was in Napalm Death. Mike Patton's been related with all sorts of these projects as well, and then to top it off Brian Eno did invent the entire concept of music, so of course HE'S on there.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:17 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Frog boiling is a myth. The frog jumps out when it gets too hot.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:20 PM on January 7, 2013


I asked for Tears for Fears to Nirvana. It only took 13 songs. But I think it's cheating to use one of Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged" songs.

It used Lou Reed, which I suspect may get a lot of use to and from pop.
posted by oddman at 1:21 PM on January 7, 2013


Apparently it's never heard of Tchaikovsky .
posted by oddman at 1:25 PM on January 7, 2013


Does this actually work as advertised? One of my New Years Resolutions is to broaden my musical tastes, so I was listening to some Ministry of Sound compilation CDs on a road trip. The sounds were so harsh - so shrill - so alien - that I almost had a panic attack. And then my friend described The xx as 'acoustic' because they used a drum machine when playing live, while I still think of a drum machine as a robotic cheap. Can this program turn a rockist into a robot-music lover? I bet LCD Soundsystem and Postal Service are the key but I'll need to experiment.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:25 PM on January 7, 2013


Frog boiling is a myth. The frog jumps out when it gets too hot. to Merzbow.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:25 PM on January 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Huh. It got me from The Hold Steady (starting on my namesake song) to Skrillex via 9 moves, mostly bands I've never heard of.

Then I tried Springsteen to Gaslight Anthem as a 'control', which rambled through 7 alt-country singers instead of just going from one to the other.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:30 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Steely Dan to Genesis worked for me. (For which I was surprised). It went via Toto (relax, it worked) via Peter Gabriel to a Phil Collins song I'd never heard but I liked. And I'm the gnarliest "Genesis shouldn'ta sold out" curmudgeon you can find.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:47 PM on January 7, 2013


Windmills Frogs do not work that way!
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:58 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know which I find more astounding: that the path from Karheinz Stockhausen to Frank Sinatra is only 12 songs long, or that it goes through the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode 3: Return of the Sith.
posted by baf at 1:59 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Steely Dan to Genesis worked for me. (For which I was surprised). It went via Toto (relax, it worked) via Peter Gabriel to a Phil Collins song I'd never heard but I liked. And I'm the gnarliest "Genesis shouldn'ta sold out" curmudgeon you can find.

Hmmm...it goes directly from Genesis to Peter Gabriel, as expected; but when you ask it to go from Genesis to Phil Collins it has one intermediary song...by Peter Gabriel.
posted by rocket88 at 2:10 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


electrofrog.gif
posted by exogenous at 2:18 PM on January 7, 2013


Anthony Braxton to Martin Carthy in 22 moves through a whole bunch of interesting new music!
posted by salishsea at 2:22 PM on January 7, 2013


More disturbing is Gwar to Raffi in 12 moves, pivoting on George Carlin. Sheesh. What a world.
posted by salishsea at 2:28 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can't make a path from Glinka to Branca

Bunkum.

Obviously it would be Mikhail Glinka -> Blinka 182 -> Glenn Branca
posted by moonmilk at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2013


This is pretty tasteless, since a member of The Frogs drowned last year.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:04 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Debbie Gibson to Cannibal Corpse...12 moves.

For the last 20 minutes I have been trying to find the shortest path between two diametrically opposed artists. This will consume my evening.
posted by Benway at 3:17 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


fungible: Anal Cunt to Bizet: 32 songs.
Nonsense: that's firsthand experience for Bizet.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:22 PM on January 7, 2013


Puccini to Archers of Loaf really shouldn't take that many steps.
posted by thivaia at 3:28 PM on January 7, 2013


Sorry, Can't make a path from The Frogs to The Fugs

the hell you can't
posted by louche mustachio at 3:35 PM on January 7, 2013


"Sorry, Can't make a path from mariee sioux to siouxsie sioux."

WTF????
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:38 PM on January 7, 2013


Guess how many steps it took to go from Negativland to Negativland?

11.

you better believe it
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:45 PM on January 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Carpenters to Ministry in 20 songs

The Carpenters to Die Toten Hosen in 18?

For some reason all I see is blank boxes, no idea what songs those are...
posted by pupdog at 3:48 PM on January 7, 2013


Cookie Monsta to Dead Can Dance in 24 songs.

Sunn O))) to Vanilla Ice in 24 songs.

This is the best thing ever.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:13 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow... going from Bruce Springsteen to Aqua in 14 songs sounds reasonable, but wow. After 3 songs it takes a solid right turn into musical hell, including a tour through Michael Bolton, George Michael, Rick Astley, Right Said Fred, and Ace of Base...
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:16 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Springsteen is amazing, but his earnestness (which I love) can lead a bit into MOR (which I also love). I think it would have been easier if they'd started with the more produced Born in the USA instead of The Rising.

I suppose Candy's Room is saying the same thing as Barbie Girl, only more artfully.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:21 PM on January 7, 2013


"Found a path from Amy Grant to Watain in 20 songs."

Excellent...
posted by spinifex23 at 5:03 PM on January 7, 2013


Sorry, Can't make a path from The Clash to Beiber

I laughed and laughed and then realized I misspelled Bieber.
posted by Mojojojo at 5:18 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Guess how many steps it took to go from Negativland to Negativland? 11.

I found a 13-step path from an artist to their identical copy.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:48 PM on January 7, 2013


Sorry, Can't make a path from Celine Dion to Whiskey Shit Vomit

Can't, or won't?
posted by Panjandrum at 6:59 PM on January 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sunn O))) to Vanilla Ice in 24 songs.

This is the best thing ever.


No it isn't. 24 songs is way too close to Vanilla Ice.
posted by philip-random at 7:47 PM on January 7, 2013


Bob Dylan to fake metal group Dethklok with a mere 23 steps.
posted by Green Winnebago at 8:12 PM on January 7, 2013


There is no good reason it should go from Mike Patton to himself in one song. This thing has no sense of whimsy.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 8:14 PM on January 7, 2013


It proposes some gnarly playlists when a musician has done some spoken word. The path from a crappy bargain CD, "Quad City DJs", to the Dead Kennedys:

- I Like To Move It Move It
- Hampster Dance Remix [sic]
- BBC - Children To Be Evacuated From London
- Winston Churchill - Britain Must Arm, America Must Arm
- Malcolm X - Race War in America
- Noam Chomsky - 9/11
- Jello Biafra - Still Is Still Moving to Me
- Dead Kennedys - Moon Over Marin

The funny thing is, I replaced Dead Kennedys with Black Flag as the end-point, expecting to get some Henry Rollins spoken word, but the path is the same except the very last item is a Black Flag song.

Anyway, my next party's gonna be sweet, guys.
posted by Beardman at 8:47 PM on January 7, 2013


Well...

"Sorry, Can't make a path from steve roach to delta 9"
posted by symbioid at 8:49 PM on January 7, 2013


"Skrillex to Operation Ivy yields 27."

Operation Ivy to Daler Mehndi in 29. Which is odd, because to my ears, Operation Ivy is as close to Panjabi as Western music will ever get.
posted by legospaceman at 10:24 PM on January 7, 2013


"Found a path from Amy Grant to Watain in 20 songs."

Excellent...


It would be only one link if they allowed John Darnielle's blog.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:43 PM on January 7, 2013


From Joni Mitchell to Megadeth in 25 songs.

I may not go to bed tonight.
posted by dean winchester at 11:59 PM on January 7, 2013


I've been DJing for getting on 30 years now. It wouldn't take me 25 songs to get from Joni to Megadeth.

In fact, Raised on Robbery ends kind of hard and thus would flow nicely into something like Die Dead Enough.
posted by philip-random at 12:12 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


What I really enjoy about this, is finding new artists that I was not aware of.
posted by quazichimp at 12:57 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I tried going from metal to polka, but it just made a huge jump at the end. "From the same Scandinavian country" doesn't necessarily mean "sounds the same".
posted by dunkadunc at 1:33 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


But polka and metal have already been united before. Note: Do not recommend for sanity's sake.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 5:16 AM on January 8, 2013


Hell.. a surprsingly large portion of the entire Scandinavian metal scene is polka/humppa influenced.
posted by mediocre at 2:00 PM on January 8, 2013


Darn, I was hoping this was for moods instead of artists. Like, here's my morose and mopey playlist, but by the end of it I'll be happy again. Decent results with:
Elliott Smith -> The B52s
Counting Crows -> The Monkees
David Ford -> Cake

Or maybe I should just listen to Sigur Ros, which always does the trick by itself.
posted by vytae at 3:19 PM on January 8, 2013


vytae: It does attempt to keep the same 'energy' from track to track, actually.
posted by flatluigi at 4:09 AM on January 9, 2013


Michael W. Smith to Finntroll in 28 steps!
posted by dubold at 1:47 AM on January 11, 2013


« Older David Blázquez...  |  Starting in the early 1700s an... Newer »


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