Largehearted Goat?

4 October, 2006

Here's something ridiculous.

Like many people who find themselves both music- and blog-inclined, I read Largeheared Boy with some regularity. It's amongst the more influential and more professional members of the mp3-blogosphere, replacing the conventional diary-driven individual record and song responses with regular daily postings that cover a wide swath of indie culture from book reviews through music.

By far the best feature produced by Largehearted Boy is a daily segment called "Shorties" that rounds-up the best web coverage of the authors and musicians in LB's pantheon. It's a great way to make sure not to miss the newest TV on the Radio interview or the most recent entry in the debate about mp3 blog aggregators and online music sharing.

After reading Shorties for a while, I began to notice that it contained a mild irritant which, over time, really got under my skin. LB couldn't seem to go for more than a day or two without mentioning long-standing indie rock stalwarts, The Mountain Goats. Now, I have nothing in particular against The Mountain Goats. Mostly, I couldn't care less about them one way or another. But something about the absolute consistency with which LB covers them -- as if they and their new record were the single most important thing happening in the world of music right now -- started to make me crazy.

And so, eventually, I came up with a plan that was also a little crazy. The result of that plan (and just a half-dozen or so hours of work), I now present to you: Largehearted Goat, a web app that tracks the obsession of indie rock mp3 blog Largehearted Boy with the band The Mountain Goats. With just a little hand holding, Largehearted Goat watches each day's new Shorties post and indicates whether or not it, in fact, mentions The Mountain Goats, by displaying the words "Goat" or "No Goat" (on a red or green background as appropriate) with links to the relevant LB posts. On Goat Days, hovering over the box will display the relevant excerpt (works best in Safari; Firefox, it turns out, truncates title tags after the first dozen or so characters). As the days accumulate over time, the app gives a quick-glance view of LB's Goat activity over time.

Anyway, I hope that this app serves as a balm to others who share my irritation, or at least as a mild distraction.

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