Another great internet find
So my sister is actually responsible for this find, but like my love of the daily National Geographic photo (see post below) this is just too good not to share. Pandora is free online radio that plays music you pick (better yet with no commercials). You select a couple "seed" songs or artists (for my station "Rick's picks" I started with Gary Jules, Mason Jennings, and Brett Dennen) and it sets up a station that plays those artists, and then also songs with similar musical qualities. With each song you can give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down (which further helps Pandora figure out what you like) and it also tells you why it picked a song which helps you figure out some common themes in what you like (I apparently have a thing for mellow rock instrumentation, folk influences, major key tonality, and acoustic sonority among other things). So go check it out, play around, find some new great music, or realize exactly what it is that you've always loved about those tried and true favorites.