Concert season is here, and JamBase is the best way to find and track who's coming to town.
Although you wouldn't know it from the weather in Seattle (colder than Siberia!), summer's almost here, and that means lots of touring bands are passing through town.
As always seems to happen when summer approaches, I've been on a live music roll: a couple friends' bands last Friday, Return to Forever on Sunday (Stanley Clarke is the best bass player I've ever seen, but the four of them together--that's a lot of notes!), and guitarist Bill Frisell with violinist Eyvind Kang and drummer Rudy Royston last night (great players doing a remarkable blend of avant-jazz with a touch of noise and country--check this lineup out if you're a modern jazz fan).
I'm all set for the Old 97s on Saturday. But because I'm slightly obsessive-compulsive, I decided I needed to hit a show tomorrow (Thursday) as well to make it a full week of every-other-night live music.
There's only one place to turn for detailed, searchable live music listings for nearly every city in the United States. JamBase. The site boasts about 50,000 concert listings, many of which are fan-contributed, and all of which are created by real live people rather than bots or crawlers. The Web site itself should live in every music fan's bookmarks, but it also powers the live music listings in Rhapsody's music calendar, imeem, Fuzz.com (a social networking/music site so far focused on Seattle and San Francisco, with more cities coming soon), and Zvents, which in turn provides information to dozens of local newspapers.
I searched Thursday June 12 in Seattle and found that Wolf Eyes is playing about a mile from my house. I don't own anything by the band, but I've seen them praised (and slammed), their MySpace samples sound interesting, and it's only eight bucks.
My only suggestion for JamBase: why did I have to visit MySpace for audio samples and the venue's Web site for pricing information? While there's a way for me to add a new show or submit a correction, it'd be nice if there were a wiki-style way for users to update information about shows (and--gasp!--upload live songs or samples) on the spot. It might require some monitoring to avoid spam and abuse, but I bet the useful information would outweigh the noise.