March 29, 2009
Comprehensive Americana “Daterbase” Archives Musicians’ Romantic Relationships in Searchable Format
Revolutionary social resource to go online soon
CAMBRIDGE, MA — The enterprising young musicians behind the Internet startup called Daterbasix now report that their company is close to launching its first online database, an ambitious venture to systematically catalog every romantic relationship from the world of bluegrass and acoustic music between 1981 and the present day.
This flagship project, called the Americana Daterbase, aims to provide its information free to the public in a highly useful, well-organized format.
Users will be able to query the database with an individual name, email address, phone number, or band name. For each search, the web server will return all known relationship data for the search subject, including names of partners, date and duration of each liason, and a very brief classification of each encounter.
“And from there you can link to the full history of any of the partners listed on the page,” said Laura Cortese, a staff member and co-founder of Daterbasix, Inc.
In addition to these functions and an up-to-the-minute Twitter feed, the site will provide a sophisticated and exhaustive calculation of the degrees of separation existing between any two people along each distinct social pathway connecting them.
“Are they friends? Have they hooked up with people who are friends? Have they hooked up with people who have hooked up with each other? Have they have hooked up with two different people in the same band? You get the point,” said gossip researcher and amateur sociologist Aoife O’Donovan, a roommate of Ms. Cortese’s and a consultant for Daterbasix, Inc.
“These data are incredibly valuable, if presented properly. Say, for example, that you meet a girl at a bluegrass festival and you would like to get to know her better. You’d probably want to know if she’s ever hooked up with one or more of the Grascals. You might also want to know if you yourself have ever hooked up with one of her good friends, enemies, or bandmates,” said Ms. Cortese.
The project grew out of an early attempt by Cortese, a renowned gossip expert, to write down and preserve her own vast knowledge of other musicians’ romantic encounters. Her original effort, which resulted in a single Microsoft Word document, has gone on to become the nucleus of the online Daterbase, which already includes vast amounts of data from thousands of sources.
The news of Daterbasix’s efforts has elicited a wide range of reactions from musicians and fans.
“I just wish this had existed all along. It could have prevented so many awkward encounters,” said old-time banjo player J. Herrmann.
“This will revolutionize the whole game,” said singer and mandolinist C. Klauder of the Foghorn Stringband.
But opponents of the Daterbase have already raised potentially serious privacy concerns.
“This thing is the definition of too much information. I don’t really care that my own privacy is violated, but if my mom hooked up with Red Allen in 1986 I definitely do not want to know about it,” said one young bassist.