Dear Gabe,

I understand why you didn’t put your top 20 albums from 2000-2009 in an exact order, given the time limitation of 48 hours, but Vespertine over Homogenic? Really?

we can still be friends, obvi…

post script: really? Vespertine and not Homogenic?

I never actually sent that email to Gabe when his top twenty list arrived in my inbox. But I wanted to. Not to dig for a cliched argument about why Homogenic far surpasses Vespertine, even though Vespertine was the bigger hit. No, that’s not why I would ask. If I didn’t have a better soap box (this column) I would have sent the email to ask Gabe about his choice because, regardless of the reasons why, the most intriguing conversation about music would ensue.

It always does.

Gabe Benveniste is one of the San Francisco Digital Music industry’s best conversationalists. He builds synthesized dialogue naturally which ranges from Star Wars to MMORPGs & punk rock in less than 30 seconds. Less than 10 minutes into any conversation with Gabe it becomes obvious he loves music & technology, was born to create, and has every intention of doing so.

And so he did.

He founded SonicLiving in 2006 because he wanted to provide music fans with a better way of finding out in advance when their favorite bands were touring, how to conveniently purchase concert tickets, and find places to meet up with friends at shows. Gabe loves music, and since the mid 1990s, he’s built several websites blending culture and technology and worked at Pixar Animation Studios for 6 years before taking a natural leap and dedicating all of his time to SonicLiving.

Gabe has exquisite taste in everything that he absorbs and music is no exception. He’s introduced me to new music from Japan to Israel and back again. He is my number one source for the best, most eccentric music websites, music I’ve never heard of, and music I know I will like – because Gabe doesn’t recommend it to me if he doesn’t think I’ll like it.

And that, I like.

Gabe’s company, SonicLiving, connects music fans online and in-person through communities created around the live shows their favorite bands play. With so much attention around how to integrate live performance with online behavior and consumerism, Gabe has managed to build a product which is constantly one step ahead of the rest of the music industry. The SonicLiving API provides millions of Pandora users access to tour dates for their favorite artists.

A favorite Francis Bacon quote of mine: “The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness” – Mr. Gabe Benveniste, a native resident of the Bay Area, bountiful with all 4 of those qualities and recent growth at SonicLiving, is an SF CEO in the Digital Music industry to watch. Which, incidentally, you can do, on December 7, at SF Music Tech Summit.

Top 20 Albums 2000-2009: Gabe Benveniste
(in no particular order)

Parno Graszt –  R

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