Saturday, July 28, 2007

What to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon?

After an unsuccessful attempt to mow the lawn during a brief pause in the precipitation, I chose to stay in, surf the web, and listen to music on Last.fm.

I’m a late-comer to Last.fm, but I dabbled with its cousin, Pandora, about a year ago. I probably would have signed on to Last.fm sooner, but the novelty of Pandora quickly wore off. I usually don’t like trying to listen to music while sitting at my computer. If I sit at the computer and listen, I have a tendency to hit the “skip" button if a song doesn’t hook me within 30 seconds. For better results, I think I should rig my laptop to my home stereo, sit down with beer, and let Last run wild.

My initial thoughts on Last.fm compared to Pandora: the Last.fm music well runs much deeper. I didn’t have to listen to Pandora for very long before I started hearing repeat songs during one sitting. Last tends to stray from the reservation when running through tunes from “similar artists.” Fugazi got linked with Blink 182. On the other hand, Pandora tried to slip some Def Leppard into my Television--and I‘m talkin‘ really bad post-Hysteria Def Lep [much worse than the already bad circa-Hysteria material]. To paraphrase a line from Short Circuit, computers don’t have feelings: they just run programs.

Of all the “stations” I’ve tried so far, I’ve had the best results with Sea and Cake, which has rolled out some Red House Painters, New Pornographers, Les Savy Fav, Shins, Thunderbirds Are Now, Yo La Tengo, Neutral Milk Hotel, and much, much more. [Sea and Cake came up on my Guided by Voices station.]

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