Peter Gabriel launches The Filter

June 2, 2008 12:36:19 PM PDT
While the Internet may be a great place for entertainment, not everyone has the tech savvy - or the patience - to search seemingly infinite Web sites to discover something new. But rocker Peter Gabriel thinks he's found a way to help with his site, appropriately titled The Filter, debuting on Tuesday.

"The Internet, which I think is an amazing creation, provides access to an ocean of limitless information, but without filtering it's easy to drown," Gabriel, 58, told The Associated Press recently by phone from England. "But if you have this little friend on your shoulder, that can pick out music to listen to and films to look it, it's something I would use provided I could steer it a little."

The site, which will provide users with daily recommendations, was founded by Gabriel and Martin Hopkins, a huge jazz fan. Hopkins first came up with the notion of filtering content to discover new or forgotten music according to one's individual mood.

Users who visit The Filter will initially be asked to fill out basic information and rate different genres of music and film, and also different acts and movies as well. The filter uses that information to figure out what kind of suggestions to make, and the more a fan uses the site, the more accurate the recommendations, according to the site's developers.

Gabriel recently had soul music and Nick Drake on his own Filter page. He also likes Radiohead and Icelandic band Sigur Ros.

"It's the attraction of being still in touch with interesting and new things without having to make the effort to research them all the time," said Gabriel, laughingly pointing out the "inherent laziness in my nature."

"I'm a tired thumb person, I'm a channel clicker. Maybe it's a male thing. I know there's good stuff I'd love to watch out there but I don't want to search all the time," Gabriel added.

He also doesn't have the time, in general.

The singer has a 6-year-old son and another son on the way with his second wife. He also has two adult daughters.

"I'm very fascist about family time nowadays. I don't work weekends. That's very important," Gabriel said. "Being a dad is still the thing that has given me the most pleasure in life."

Gabriel has also been multitasking projects, from a song for the Pixar-Disney animation movie "Wall-E" to recording at his expansive Real World Studios a few hours from London. He has also been working on a Web site to be called TheMemory.com that he dubs "the first social network for the dead," a way to store memories and remember loved ones.

But he still loves touring, although he says he won't do yearlong tours anymore because of family.

"It's balancing life with any other life. Nothing beats the experience of playing live music with great musicians," Gabriel said.

The Filter is not the former Genesis frontman's first foray into technology. He also founded Real World, a group of companies including a multimedia outlet. In 2000, he co-founded online British music distributor On Demand Distribution (OD2), which sold for millions to a Seattle company in 2004.

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On the Net:

http://www.thefilter.com/
http://www.petergabriel.com/
http://realworld.co.uk/

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