Been meaning to check out Pandora for a while, and reminded by two Birdhouse readers in a week that I really needed to jack in. “Pandora is a music discovery service designed to help you find and enjoy music that you’ll love. It’s powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken.”
Create a Captain Beefheart playlist, and it includes The Minutemen, Shellac, Pere Ubu, Iggy Pop, Love… Had similar experiences creating lists starting from Warren Zevon and Chet Baker. The associations it makes feel incredibly natural – uncanny even. Lather, rinse, repeat the experience starting from nearly any artist or song you can think of.
Pandora plays to your current mood like nothing I’ve experienced. Associations are not based solely on the usual “what other people who liked this song also liked,” but on musical analysis of more than 10,000 artists, building a database cataloguing tonality, syncopation, rhythmic style, vocal style, etc. But you can thumbs up/down individual tracks, so it’s an analytic database fine-tuned by associative listener impressions.
Free version is ad-supported, but subscriptions are affordable. Audio quality is a bit on the lo-fi side, but not terrible.
Tune into my Cheap Thrills station.