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March 14, 2013

Quick Tip: Keep better track of favorite bands using Buzz

When the South by Southwest festival fires up each March, my thoughts turn to music—and the fact that I’ll probably never get to Austin to see any shows. It also reminds me I need to do a better job keeping my antenna up for new music.

In theory I’d like to keep track of new and old bands, but somehow it never quite works out. Concert and album announcements tend to get lost in the noise of Facebook, Farmville, and family. I usually find out about local shows from reviews the next day.

But lately I’ve been doing better on this front thanks to Buzz, a recently-enabled feature of Windows Phone 8 that rolls up info from social media and Bing to provide a snapshot of what your favorite musicians are up to. Where available, you’ll find it in the Music+Videos Hub when you tap on an artist.



Recently, for example, I was pleasantly surprised to see a Buzz section for the French band Phoenix, and that my phone had picked up some recent tweets about a new album. A couple of taps, and I’d purchased and downloaded the first single.

I started checking other artists, and found plenty more fun stuff. A lot of my Facebook friends like Van Halen, apparently. Roxy Music made some amazingly cheesy videos. Peter Gabriel gave a TED talk. Even more interesting: I discovered that in July there’s a David Byrne and St. Vincent show a few miles away from my house. I could even tap a link in Buzz to buy tickets.

Maybe I won’t need to read the concert review this time.