If you haven't come across Pandora Internet Radio yet, it's time to check it out. Type in an artist or song name and a new station will automatically be generated that plays songs with similar musical characteristics. Later you can add more names to diversify your station. Its founder explains it this way:
Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.With each new song you're able to further customize the station by giving a "thumbs up" (play more like this) or "thumbs down" (I don't like it!) to that song. It requires that you sign up for a free account where your stations with be saved. I started with Massive Attack: Pandora responds: "To start things off, we'll play a song that exemplifies the musical style of Massive Attack which features electronica roots, downtempo influences, trippy soundscapes and many other similarities identified in the music genome project." With that it began playing "Future Proof" by Massive Attack (it doesn't always start with the band you chose), followed by a pretty cool and trippy track by a band I've never heard of, Breakbeat Era: "From here on out we'll be exploring other songs and artists that have musical qualities similar to Massive Attack. This track, "Rancid Remix" by Breakbeat Era, has similar a female vocal, trippy soundscapes and many other similarities identified in the music genome project." How cool is that? It's all free with advertisements, but if you absolutely can't stand the ads it'll cost you a cool 36 bucks a year to lose those (apparently you gain nothing else with a subscription!). Enjoy.