My latest obsession...
This week I discovered (on the advice of good friend Ian Shane) the music site pandora, and I am now ridiculously, shamelessly, hopelessly addicted. It's one of those "create your own radio station" sites and it fucking rocks. It's also my new favorite time waster at work...I've been rediscovering bands and musicians that I haven't listened to in years (Japan, Missing Persons, Erasure, Berlin) and--even better--I have discovered so many new and obscure artists I'd never heard of before and likely wouldn't have found on my own. A lot of these bands have the most awesome-est, trippiest names ever: We Are Scientists, The Weather Machines, Vanishing Kids, The Ladybug Transistors, No Wait Wait, Manda and the Marbles, and--my absolute favorite--I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness (yes, that's an actual band name). Check out my "favorites" page if you like (it's already 4 pages long!) at www.pandora.com/people/daizycakes. And feel free to make fun of my list, I am fully aware that my taste in music tends towards the eclectic; some of my entries are The Cure, David Bowie, Depeche Mode....and Andy Gibb. You may also scoff at selections like "Push the Button" by Sugababes (a song that practically drives me insane, I love it so much! Can't help it, I'm a sucker for catchy New Wave-ish Britpop). And there is one song that absolutely defies description, in fact I saved it to my favorites largely because it is so bizarre and goofy and it totally cracks me up, a song titled (no joke) "Elf Call" by an outfit going by the name of Steel Eye Span and Maddy Prior (I don't know). Check out the sample, it is a total riot! Their sound is difficult to describe, sort of a cross between Bjork and Smashmouth on some serious acid. Truly weird.
My only real issue with pandora is the songs it occasionally tries to sneak in on the radio stations I've created. They generally do a good job of sizing up your musical tastes and throwing out stuff that is similar, but at times its random choices are so off-the-wall and wrong that it's downright annoying. For instance: I ask for Kim Wilde, I get Samantha Fox. Not the same thing. Okay, maybe a little, but not really. Also, on my Go-Go's station it keeps trying to throw me shite like Celine Dion (UGH!) and Barbra Streisand, no matter how many times I hit the "don't like!" button when that crap pops up. It's as if they think, "Okay, famale artists: here's Blondie, Joan Jett, and, uhhhhh, oh hell, why not--Amy Grant! She's a chick, too. Enjoy!" And today it did the unforgivable...on my Disco Glam station it tried to foist some pukey song by The American Idol Season 4 "Runners Up" (read: rejects). If there was a gun nearby I would have pulled an Elvis and blown a hole through my damn computer monitor. (Good thing I didn't have any firearms handy, I probably would have gotten my ass fired for that one).
Anyway, check out pandora. Especially my list, because it rocks.