......so brilliant ........a website that uses 500 key musical components such as "minor key tonality" and "discordant harmonies" to create a you-specific genre of music to suit your personal needs.
Pandora is my new love.
www.pandora.com, to be precise.
For those poor souls unfamiliar, what you can do is log on, and then select "start new station". Type in 10 to 15 artists that you find similar from your unique perspective, and then save the station. Pandora is a program masked as a live radio station that will play the artists you list as well as artists that Pandora determines to be similar. If Pandora misses the mark, the song can recieve a thumbs down rating. If Pandora nails it, the song recieves a thumbs up. If Pandora sends you a song better suited to another station that you have created, you can send the song and artist to that station.
Finally, Pandora has a "bookmarking" feature, which saves the titles of the songs and artists that you are unfamiliar with but would like to find out more about. I have discovered artists such as Ratatat, Helium, Black Sheep, and Little Pepper. This has renewed my interest in discovering new artists, which was an interest that has waned in the last year or so.
If you want to tinker with pandora, here is my suggestion.
Start many stations, and just play them while going through day to day activities. The station is constantly defined by the listener giving the song thumbs up or thumbs down ratings, so click it when you have a strong opinion of a tune.
In case you care, my stations are as follows
70's and 80's underground - Gang of Four, Can, Wire, Pere Ubu - the station leans a little more toward the Cure than I would like, but otherwise, it works out great for me
Alt-Country and Alt Folk - My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, Sonvolt -
Angular Rock - Shellac, Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Fugazi - kind of a strange characterization, leans toward the more abrasive, mathy side of rock. Sometimes stumbles into metal, but usually stays on course.
Clever Pop Music - Strokes, White Stripes, Spoon, Belle + Sebastian its hard to keep this one on point, but i'm trying.
Grunge-Punk-Gen X - Mudhoney, Nirvana, Hum, Melvins, Soundgarden - works great, with occasional lapses into seven mary 3 and audioslave.
Indie and Art Rock- Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Blonde Redhead - the broadest station i have, kind of larger sounding "indie" bands -
Instrumental Rock - Tristeza, Explosions in the Sky, Tortoise
Music you can dance to - LCD Soundsystem, Justice, Cake, Soul Coughing - was about to say that i was amazed at how well this potentially-too-broad station worked out for me - then they played "float on" - oh well.
New Orleans blues, jazz, and brass - Dirty Dozen, Fats, Rebirth, Soul Rebels, Bonerama - makes me cry. cuz I miss home. Perfect.
Organic Hip Hop - Roots, Guru, Tribe Called Quest - Perfect
Slow Core and Minimalism - Low, American Analog Set, Songs Ohia, Smog - not only perfect, but the only way i can hear this kind of music on a consistent basis. Amazing. Right now I'm listening to Big Sewell Mt. by Songs Ohia. Great song.
Wall of Guitars - My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Kinski - self explanatory, hopefully.
anyway, you can see this is my new obsession.