Amazon started this thing several years ago where based on your purchases and some questionnaires, it would make recommendations for things you might like. And most of the time, it wasn't bad at all -- though it was very important to immediately get certain gift items (like, say, a Britney Spears CD that was a gift for a daughter) out of the listing in order to prevent some really bad offers. But in general, whatever algorithm they were using wasn't bad.
Now iTunes has been doing the same thing for a few months. Well, I'll buy a single of something that I would never consider buying an entire CD of, so the offerings are a bit more oddly skewed. And so here you have my current offerings from iTunes' "Just For You".
- Elvis Costello and Marian McPartland? Yes, I'm a huge Elvis fan. I've bought everything, everything he has put out. But I'll be passing on this, thank you very much. It's jazz.
- The New Pornographers? No. I'm not ready to explain to my daughters what a pornographer is.
- Elliott Smith? I know I'm supposed to love his stuff. I don't. Not even slightly.
- Keren Ann? Never heard of her. The review says she's been compared to Dido and Portishead. Have barely heard of them.
- "My Generation" -- I'm insulted that iTunes would assume that I don't already have about 12 copies of "My Generation" lying around.
- Duncan Sheik? You're kidding, right? He opened for Aimee Mann a couple of years back. It was excruciating. (Though he did a credible Noel Gallagher imitation on "Wonderwall.")
- Modest Mouse? In a year, they will have been forgotten.
- Romeo Void? Please. I don't even like it, and I still already have it.
- Green Day's "I Fought the Law"? Listen, even The Clash had no room to improve Bobby Fuller's version, so I can't imagine these guys bring anything to the table.
- "I Melt With You," a song just about ruined by its rampant commercial use and endless play in movie soundtracks, and yes, of course I already have it.
- Can someone please explain what I did to deserve a Thin Lizzy song in my recommendations?
- Ditto for Simple Plan.
- The Buckinghams? Well, all right. I could get into that.
- "Come and Get Your Love" by Redbone? This is where I pay for all those '70s songs I bought last summer to put together a summertime CD.
So, if I don't want any of that crap, what am I listening to? My most recent additions are
- Coach Said Not To
- The brilliant "Pretty Girls Go Insane" by Outrageous Cherry -- and you can pick up some of their earlier MP3s here.
- "Dr. Evil: Doctor of Evil," by The Minus 5, first heard on the Underground Garage. Gotta love the keyboard work in this, just dripping '60s garage band.
- "Hotel California (Spanish Mix)" by the Gipsy Kings, which I just really heard for the first time in "The Big Lebowski." My collection is filled with covers of Hotel California, though not the original item itself.