So I wrote about last.fm a few months ago (mentioning the links to songs I’ve listened to recently that usually appear on the right side of this page), and wondered if I hadn’t applauded it a little too much — you have to download stuff and sign up, etc., etc. And half the time it didn’t display anything on the blog anyway. Was it worth it? Had I led you astray?
After a week or so of dedicated listening to last.fm “radio” stations of various sorts, I can assure you that no, I have not led you astray. A while back Melissa (of renowned musical taste) became my “friend” on last.fm, and I started listening to her “radio” station — basically they track what she’s listened to, and they make a mix of music that’s somehow similar. I have no idea how they figure out what’s similar, but they’re pretty good at it. And you’re not limited to listening to other peoples’ stations, either! Let’s say, for example, you’ve been listening to Patty Griffin’s music nonstop for a few months now, and your friends are starting to roll their eyes a little bit (not that patty Griffin isn’t great — she’s fabulous!). You could just put on the “Patty Griffin’s Similar Artists” station and listen to Ani DiFranco, Aimee Mann, Neko Case, and even some Patty Griffin mixed in (because apparently she’s similar to herself). It’s a great way to branch out — listen to old favorites and find some fantastic new stuff.
Some of my recent finds: Lavender Diamond, Daft Punk’s “Technologic,” Au Revoir Simone, The Bird and the Bee’s “F-cking Boyfriend,” “Sparklehorse” [why, oh why did I not stay to listen to them after Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter in February?], Smog, and probably lots more — it’s really great background music as I’m cataloging images (today: Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel — it doesn’t get much more fun than that!). Anyway, if you listen to music online, and you’re interested in finding new stuff that’s similar to what you know you like, I recommend last.fm. They’re not even paying me to say this!
Here’s a good Bosch detail for you, courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons:
It’s from The Temptation of Saint Anthony, which is apparently in Lisbon. I’m a big St. Anthony fan. And St. Jerome (Jerome = Hieronymus — did you know that?). I think I want to catalog my postcards…