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Six Degrees--Kinda. Sorta.
May 25, 2010 6:55 PM   Subscribe

Six Degrees of Musical Separation. Billie Holiday linked to Jello Biafra? Check. Clyde McPhatter to Moby? They're connected. (Well, the site allows more than six degrees, and it cheats a little by connecting songs, but it's still a neat way to associate one musician or group to a completely different one.)
posted by John of Michigan (99 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:57 PM on May 25, 2010


Odd/sadly enough, after about 3 tries my first thought was..."I gotta post this on MeFi!"
posted by timsteil at 7:01 PM on May 25, 2010


Arlo Guthrie to Interpol, just eighteen steps.
posted by adipocere at 7:04 PM on May 25, 2010


So it turns out the line from Ian MacKaye to Katy Perry runs through GWAR.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 7:05 PM on May 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sonic Youth to Musical Youth via the soundtrack from Cat People
posted by Sys Rq at 7:07 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kinda cool, but I lie it better if they actually linked artists by way of working with one another... eg... say Peggy Lee to Tom Waits (Peggy Lee worked with Randy Newman worked with Bonnie Raitt worked with Tom Waits). If you expand it to covers then youc an almost literally link anyone with anyone.
posted by edgeways at 7:07 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is cool, but I found it actually shortened the number of steps between artists in some cases if I chose to 'skip' artists.

In other news, it's only 8 steps from me to Johnny Cash.
posted by Jairus at 7:09 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with edgeways, and I just know this is longer than it has to be...you just know there's a recording somewhere of Depp jamming with Chuck E. Weiss.
posted by squasha at 7:11 PM on May 25, 2010


From Antonin Dvorak to Cradle of Filth. This is silly.
posted by Jimbob at 7:12 PM on May 25, 2010


I went from Dio to Dolly Parton in 7. Neato!
posted by cazoo at 7:18 PM on May 25, 2010




"Can't find a path from Leonard Cohen to Bucks Fizz".
posted by bunglin jones at 7:22 PM on May 25, 2010


Hannah Fury to PIG in just twenty-six steps. This is starting to get painful.
posted by adipocere at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2010


I like how Jay-Z is between Antonio Vivaldi and Georg Friedrich Händel on the list of Most Connected Artists.
posted by the painkiller at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2010


When trying to link Clem Snide to Justin Bieber, this engine said the most wonderful words I've seen in a long time:

"Can't find Justin Bieber"
posted by cheeken at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


OH SHIT

*slits wrists*
posted by jonmc at 7:35 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


*CRIES*
posted by jonmc at 7:39 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


squasha: well Depp was an executive producer for part of Weiss' Extremely Cool album, which Waits' was as well (as well as sing with Weiss). So, yeah, not a performance link, but better than a "cover" link imo.
posted by edgeways at 7:41 PM on May 25, 2010


edgeways: there's another site for that.
posted by saladin at 7:43 PM on May 25, 2010


kenny g. to merzbow in 6
posted by idiopath at 7:43 PM on May 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jelly Roll Morton to D. Boon in 11 steps. Cool.

Also: notice how almost every link to Lady Gaga goes through Beyonce? Hmmmm.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:45 PM on May 25, 2010


Dude, getting from the Dictators to Beyonce was impressive enough, frankly...
posted by jonmc at 7:46 PM on May 25, 2010


"Can't find a path from Leonard Cohen to Bucks Fizz".

That took all of one extra google search:

"Andy Hill with former King Crimson member Peter Sinfield came up with the fourth Bucks Fizz single."

From there just plug in King Crimson > Leonard Cohen.
posted by edgeways at 7:47 PM on May 25, 2010


GG Allin to Lily Allen in 17 steps.
posted by Ratio at 7:48 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]




KMFDM to NKOTB in 7 steps!
posted by Ratio at 7:54 PM on May 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ratio:

He gets to Amy Grant in 11.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:56 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]




"Can't find a path from Orrin Hatch to Mercyful Fate."

Awww...
posted by Ratio at 8:06 PM on May 25, 2010


This is the same people that have to do with the swingerizer that we saw a link to a few days ago, and one of them did eigenradio. Go echonest!
posted by oonh at 8:07 PM on May 25, 2010


Mojo Nixon to Debbie Gibson in 13 steps.

This is so much fun.
posted by Ratio at 8:09 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. The path from Third Day to King Diamond goes through Elton John and the Backstreet Boys.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:11 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


KISS to War is more than just a shot away.
posted by amyms at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2010


Minor Threat to Miley Cyrus in just six!
posted by lisa g at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tom Jones to Jesus Jones.
posted by amyms at 8:24 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Queen to Queens of the Stone Age in four.
posted by amyms at 8:29 PM on May 25, 2010




Miles Davis to Journey:

Miles Davis-->Betty Davis-->Neal Schon (Journey's guitarist) played on her record.

That's several fewer steps than I would have imagined!
posted by umbú at 8:32 PM on May 25, 2010




From Garbage to Dump in 11 steps.
posted by Ratio at 8:36 PM on May 25, 2010


From Kenny G to Ornette Coleman in five steps.
posted by umbú at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2010


Doobie Brothers to Scissor Sisters.
posted by amyms at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2010


Can't find justin bieber
posted by lukemeister at 8:41 PM on May 25, 2010


Jack Black to Jack White in four.
posted by amyms at 8:42 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]




From Wire to Coil in 11 steps.
posted by Ratio at 8:42 PM on May 25, 2010








Beethoven to Mozart
14 steps!
posted by charlesminus at 8:51 PM on May 25, 2010


My Elvis number is 4.
posted by Jode at 8:53 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


From Kenny G to Ornette Coleman in five steps.

But Kenny G to Pat Metheny is only three :-)
posted by danb at 8:54 PM on May 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sun Ra to Moondog in 13 steps. Goes through Kool & The Gang, Phil Collins, and The Fall. But you probably would have guessed that, right?
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:56 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heh. I tried to get from John Bonham to Carter Beauford, and one of the last steps is that Gregg Allman "performed the track Melissa by Dave Matthews Band." O RLY
posted by danb at 9:08 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ratio: but it can get from the Cocteau Twins to Aphex Twin in only 8 steps, so this thing stinks.

Actually I can do way better than 8 steps, by hand:

Aphex Twin remixed Seefeel's Time to Find Me, and Seefeel member Mark Clifford remixed up the Cocteau Twins' "Otherness" ep.

(If you're allowing covers you probably should allow remixes.)

So: Piffle.
posted by aubilenon at 9:10 PM on May 25, 2010






Oh dear. My stupid human trick has been outsourced by a web app.
posted by ktrey at 10:02 PM on May 25, 2010


I've seen a lot of these "six degrees" sites and I just want you to know that modern science prefers to describe it as 0.104719755 radians.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:03 PM on May 25, 2010 [2 favorites]




aubilenon: I was going to use this route.

Robin Guthrie via Lush (Mad Love EP). Lush then covers The Magnetic Fields "I Have The Moon", The Magnetic Fields cover Gary Numan's superlative ""I Die: You Die", Trent Reznor covers "Metal" by Gary Numan, Apex Twin remixes something for cash ("The Beauty of Being Numb" or "At The Heart Of It All from Further Down The Spiral"). That's six and also uses "remixes." If samples were game then all bets are totally off.
posted by ktrey at 10:18 PM on May 25, 2010


The Grateful Dead seems to be the main gateway for your Christian Singer-Songwriter to Norwegian Black Metal links.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:30 PM on May 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've seen a lot of these "six degrees" sites and I just want you to know that modern science prefers to describe it as 0.104719755 radians.

You say you want a sixtieth of a revolution ...
posted by lukemeister at 10:41 PM on May 25, 2010 [2 favorites]




From Bono to Bono
posted by Knappster at 10:56 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Grateful Dead seems to be the main gateway for your Christian Singer-Songwriter to Norwegian Black Metal links.

As amusing a thought as that is, I think the site is using some bad data there- I don't think the Grateful Dead ever covered "Freezing Moon", which is supposed to be the link there. I've never heard of such a thing happening, and I'm pretty sure I would have- Googling it doesn't come up with anything that implies they ever did. It doesn't sound like a very likely event to me, though needless to say if there's any evidence that it actually happened I'd be very interested to see it, for all that the thought of the Grateful Dead covering Mayhem makes my brain hurt. (Though as far as non-metal covers of that song go, there's a pretty amazing one by the avant-folk group Wyrd Visions out there.)

On the other hand, Anaal Nathrakh to Natalie Merchant is a mere 8 steps, and they all check out as accurate. Bill Laswell really gets around- I suspect he might be one of the most common links in pop/singer-songwriter to extreme metal connections.

Anyway, even if there's a few accuracy issues this is a very fun site to play around with- thanks for posting it.
posted by a louis wain cat at 11:05 PM on May 25, 2010


Oh, I totally agree that there's bad data here.

For example: Vintersorg to Borknagar in Two Easy Steps! It should be 0 steps...because Vintersorg is *in* Borknagar. (And I know that they mean Vintersorg the project and not Vintersorg the human being, but still.)
posted by spinifex23 at 11:08 PM on May 25, 2010




Musicroutes does this better in my opinion. They limit themselves to actual artists who've played together and don't "cheat" by resorting to covers of songs.

Lady Gaga to Queen on Musicroutes vs. echonest.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:20 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]




Ministry to Barbra Streisand in 3
posted by hydrophonic at 11:32 PM on May 25, 2010


Katrina and the Waves to the Butthole Surfers (interestingly, one of the few connections I've run across that's accomplished only with bands and band members -- i.e. not albums and songs)
posted by amyms at 11:33 PM on May 25, 2010


The Presidents of the United States of America to Dead Kennedys (another one with bands and members only)
posted by amyms at 11:36 PM on May 25, 2010


This is fun! GWAR to Kenny G in nine steps. But, as ooga_booga points out, the site does cheat by using covers. Curiously, Musicroutes linked GWAR to Kenny G in only five steps (Bonus: Randy Jackson appears on Musicroute's path).
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 11:40 PM on May 25, 2010


For example: Vintersorg to Borknagar in Two Easy Steps! It should be 0 steps...because Vintersorg is *in* Borknagar. (And I know that they mean Vintersorg the project and not Vintersorg the human being, but still.)

Using his real name (Andreas Hedlund) gets it in 1 step- apparently 0 steps isn't possible, since performing in a band automatically counts as 1 step to the site. It does seem to have some issues with pseudonyms in general- Euronymous to Borknagar is 5 steps, Øystein Aarseth to Borknagar is 6, because Øystein performing as Euronymous is counted as an extra step. Which... makes no sense at all. Not sure why they decided to count performance names as extra steps.

Moving on from extreme metal, here's the Rolling Stones to Aphex Twin in 9 steps, and all through solid bands-and-members connections.
posted by a louis wain cat at 11:44 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another one with bands and band members only: Ratt to Stray Cats.
posted by amyms at 11:45 PM on May 25, 2010


Damn Dillinger Escape Plan. I keep trying to stump it but it's all, "This guy was in Dillinger Escape Plan, which has member blah who was in blah... SOTAKETHAT!"
posted by biochemist at 11:50 PM on May 25, 2010


I stumped it by trying to link John Lennon to the Lennon Sisters. It "can't find lennon sisters."
posted by amyms at 11:57 PM on May 25, 2010


Current 93 to Celine Dion is a mere 5 steps, all bands-and-members connections, and all seemingly accurate. Somehow, I find this to be vaguely terrifying.
posted by a louis wain cat at 12:06 AM on May 26, 2010


Barry Crocker to Pansy Division in 27 steps (via Custard and Pussy Galore) - with no covers!
posted by Pinback at 12:37 AM on May 26, 2010




Oh, and Mountain to Mohammed (Rafi).
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 12:50 AM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heart to Hart (Corey, that is)
posted by amyms at 1:05 AM on May 26, 2010


Phish and Chips
Luke to Vader
Gojira to Japan
Fuck to Baby
My Dying Bride to Necrophagia
Life to Death
Denial of God to Acceptance

I owe most of these abominations to metal, but I've also saved MeFi from some of my more creative tasteless ideas. Though I feel that some of the fun has been taken out of digging up the connections--like nerding has been outsourced to a web app. Hilarious and rather useful, but my knowledge of band connections is now only useful at parties where there is no internet access. Dammit.
posted by far from gormless at 1:38 AM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


GG Allin's connected! Except with Menudo.
posted by zippy at 2:10 AM on May 26, 2010


but my knowledge of band connections is now only useful at parties where there is no internet access. Dammit.

ooh, i dunno. i stuck in robert calvert to brian eno ( a simple one step job, since bri produced one of calvert's albums) and got this. dumb. but it works on musicbrainz's advanced relationships, which are never going to be entirely comprehensive.

so, there's still a place for the music nerd, even in the age of t'internet.

musicroutes didn't even know who robert calvert was (either of them...)
posted by peterkins at 4:38 AM on May 26, 2010


Oh hey, MeFi's own Brad Sucks is in there (though seemingly only via MC Frontalot). So you can connect yourself if you're willing to allow "who posts on MetaFilter with."
posted by danb at 5:16 AM on May 26, 2010




In other news, it's only 8 steps from me to Johnny Cash.

Oddly, it is four for me.

Still, the database might need a bit of work.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:11 AM on May 26, 2010


thanks to rick rubin my elvis number is 5 AND my Jay-Z number is 4
posted by Hammond Rye at 6:26 AM on May 26, 2010


Can't find leadbelly

Can't find rune lindblad


Can find - FAIL.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:04 AM on May 26, 2010


Jonas Brothers to The Kinks in 5....but, under protest!
posted by littleredwagon at 7:43 AM on May 26, 2010


Can't find leadbelly
Can find - FAIL.
posted by FatherDag


Use the exact spelling. He's in there.
posted by brianwhitman at 7:52 AM on May 26, 2010


When two groups who share a member (however briefly) need eleven intermediaries to connect them, there might be room for improvement.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:30 AM on May 26, 2010


Cake to Marie Antoinette?
posted by NiteMayr at 9:54 AM on May 26, 2010


Thank you, musicroutes, for understanding that bandtoband does not "cheat."

Yes, the site includes compilations in a band's discography. But no, the connectivity rules do not change. A connection ALWAYS requires shared band members. From a coding standpoint, this means that a various artists compilation has an individual entry for each band that appears on the album. Here's an example:

http://www.bandtoband.com/index.php?Page=Search&CompId=159
posted by go vegan at 11:45 AM on May 26, 2010


Oops, I misread the thread. Here's what I should have said:

Bandtoband does not "cheat."

Yes, the site includes compilations in a band's discography. But no, the connectivity rules do not change. A connection ALWAYS requires shared band members. From a coding standpoint, this means that a various artists compilation has an individual entry for each band that appears on the album. Here's an example:

http://www.bandtoband.com/index.php?Page=Search&CompId=159
posted by go vegan at 11:48 AM on May 26, 2010


Connecting Duane Allman to Aretha Franklin via Mary J Blige is like traveling from Nashville to Motown via the Bronx. No, literally.
posted by goldenrulejones at 6:25 PM on May 26, 2010


Carpenters to Tool, in 8.

Flood to TMBG

Radiohead to The Rolling Stones to Green Day to Judas Priest (that is to say, bands who chose their name from a song)
posted by artifarce at 10:17 AM on May 28, 2010


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