Songs About the News is a simple idea inspired by many behaviors already fully emergent on the internet today. The goal is to give musicians a new vehicle and potentially new audiences for their songwriting craft, as well as a new content platform for music lovers who are interested in consuming news content in a much more experimental and interesting way. By limiting and constraining the subject matter of the song form to current and emerging news stories, there are always fresh ideas to mine for inspiration. Folk singers like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan used the song form as a vehicle to comment about the struggles of their times, I wanted to continue this tradition and use technology and software to inspire music itself to be more meaningful and connected to what’s really going on in the world.
Initially conceived as a website during the heyday of Digg (2006-2008), my idea was to take their model of up and down voting of content, marry it to participatory songwriting, and have a UX focused on experiencing the news of the day in a much more evocative and potentially engaging manner. To top it off, every year the best stories / songs would be compiled onto CD which users could buy; proceeds of which would go to charity (also voted on by users).