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Published: 2006/05/17

_This month it’s
In the late 19th century, Otto von Bismarck explained economic opportunity cost theory by introducing his hypothetical society that (mysteriously) could produce only guns and butter. If it manufactured more guns, it would necessarily manufacture less butter; less guns meant more butter. The concept was not lost on Erik Yates, who penned Guns or Butter for the immensely talented Hot Buttered Rum. Yates combines elegant protest with clever self-referential marketing in the songs chorus, which demands less guns, more butter. The simplicity of the pithy, double-entendric more butter seemed the perfect fit for our site. had humble beginnings, born from the very sad passing of Missy Baron. Missy died in a car accident on January 11, 2006 en route from California to the East Coast, where she was to dedicate herself to caring for her two young godchildren (who had just recently lost their mother). Missy was a live music fanatic and an integral piece of the Hot Buttered Rum family. An encyclopedia of all things Butter, Missy had circulated a week before her passing her Buttery Song List, a comprehensive catalogue of Butters repertoire. Missy had explained that the list was not complete and asked that fans fill in the blanks. emerged as our attempt to give the list a home, to fill in its blanks, and to bring Missys love and energy to new life.
Over time, we gradually added lyrics to Missys List. From lyrics, came debut dates. Each addition led to the next, and, before we knew it and after some very patient data entry by dedicated fans we had a robust, highly-relational database of Hot Buttered Rum songs, setlists, lyrics, and venue information that could be sifted, sorted, searched, and manipulated through a very simple interface. The data points are hyperlinked such that each bit of information leads to related contextual information. Clicking a song in the setlist display leads, for example, to a page detailing that songs lyrics, authorship, debut date, and last time played; links on that song-detail page lead to a song-instances page that reveals each and every time the band played the song, in which set, and between which songs; links on those pages will lead you to the setlist display for particular shows or to the details page for the songs before and after. A statistics page aggregates information and fun facts (shows by day/month/state, average songs per set, mix of originals compositions and standards, etc.). And, for those without constant access to the internet say, if you spend your days on a bus powered by used vegetable oil offers a standalone version of the application form that can be downloaded (and seeded with data updates).
Weve made the conscious decision to keep the site slimmed-down (and admittedly geekier) by focusing on raw data and by steering away from features like user comments and ratings, fan forums, etc. The interface stays crisp and clean, the application remains fast and stable, and other resources (such as the wonderful and the bustling yahoogroups e-mail list), continue to provide ample opportunity for Butternuts to interact.
The site is primarily the work of two fans: Adam Gromfin (also an amateur concert photographer, who conceptualized the site and drives the feature releases; and John McGaraghan (also a singer/songwriter and former member of Oversoul, college band of HBRs Zac and Bryan, who is responsible for the data architecture and programming. A multitude of folks from the Butter family have contributed to the site with feature suggestions, technical solutions, and mountains of data entry. If you poke around long enough, youll find that the site is a work in progress. The demands of law school (on Johns end) and legal practice (on Adams end) leave limited time for development. Stay tuned, however, as well be announcing some very exciting add-ons soon!

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