After reading my ideas on the Ska/Punk Family Tree, my pal Matt hipped me to an open-source graphing widget that he thought might help push the project along: TouchGraph is one of the most badass pieces of code I’ve seen in a long time and I thought it would be a perfect fit for the Family Tree concept… until I plugged in some data. Here’s a screenshot of TouchGraph plotting the relationships between the members of some bands you might know… pretty ugly, huh? Imaging what it would look like once we had 20 or 30 bands on the screen! If anybody knows of a tool like TouchGraph that can display data in a more linear, time-based fashion please let me know.
This one is even dumber than the hosting idea… and like the burrito how-to, it’s an idea that’s been simmering in the back of my head for years: A Houston Punk/Ska Family Tree.
Musical family trees are nothing new, but if you’re interested in music history and inter-personal band relationships like I am, seeing the 10 year career of your fave group mapped out on paper (or the screen) is hella entertaining. Here’s an excellent example by the originator of the rock family tree, Pete Frame: the Country Joe & The Fish family tree. My idea is to do what Pete does, but have it on-line. Fed by a database, editable on the fly, and fully scalable, this rock family tree app could be used by any band or scene to chart who’s done what with whom.
Needless to say, this would be one big-ass project! It would require either a Flash interface 👿 or tons of DHTML trickery, plus a screen area the size of a plasma HDTV rig. Still, it’s a valid project concept that I’m sure more than a few people could probably enjoy using… we’ll see.