...So a guy walks into a record store and says, “I really like Radiohead. What else do you have that’s like them?” Substitute friends and family for that guy and any artist for Radiohead and the song remains the same: we look for music based on what we already know and like.
It’s the oldest method in “the book.” But, before Pockit Rockit, I don’t think anyone had really distilled this simple concept and presented it in a streamlined way, so you can make the most of it. 1000 page encyclopedias are overwhelming and don’t really provide much guidance. Magazines are cool but tend to focus on the products being promoted by the labels. Bricks & mortar stores leave you on your own. Web retailers' recommendations are often just based on purchase patterns. Friends are optimal, provided they know a lot about music and understand your tastes. Web info sites are either too narrow by focusing on only one genre or so sprawling that their “map” becomes the size of the world. Not useful.
You may have seen Zappa play a dozen times or maybe you used to check out Pixies and Jane’s Addiction shows around 1989. But Life happens. You have jobs and/or kids and you just don’t have hours every day to search for music. You’re still passionate about music and are hungry for the most interesting stuff available, whether that means discovering bands you missed the first time around, such as Magazine and A Certain Ratio for you Joy Division fans or whether that means current lights, such as Sufjan Stevens’ off-center, baroque pop or Behold…the Arctopus’ superhuman progressive metal or that could mean long lost gems such as the otherworldly folk of Vashti Bunyan and Linda Perhacs and all sorts of early 80s, mutant funk. Emphasizing what I think is most interesting, rather than what places highest in the charts (although there’s nothing saying that the two have to be mutually exclusive), I’m trying to help you get to that great music the easiest way I know how: by using artists you already DO know to help turn you on to some of the most intriguing and relevant artists you DON’T know yet. If You Like X, Check Out Y.
Music Discovery. Fun. Fast. Easy.
Pockit Rockit is meant as a super springboard into whatever you’re into or looking to get into. It’s not meant to be comprehensive and include every possible, applicable artist. Doing so would more likely just get in your way. That’s why I limit my recommendations to the 10 or so best results I can come up with, even if seventy-one might be appropriate. Of the ten, some might be familiar, some might be more off the beaten path, and several will hopefully be truly obscure to you. Either way, I am always open to your insights and suggestions.
In Radiohead’s case, many of us already know Coldplay. How about if we went deeper into our list to check out Muse (who are only now starting to get huge in the US)? Maybe we’d go even further with Cave In’s Jupiter and Velvet Teen’s Out of the Fierce Parade.
There are tons of music yet to be added here. It’ll be an ongoing effort for as long as this site exists. But I’m also finding and learning about more and more music every day, as difficult as it is to even come close to keeping up. A lot of what I learn comes from peers, friends, and readers like you, when you share your knowledge with me, just as I’m trying to do for you. So, thanks in a huge way for sharing. Please keep it coming. Most of that back-and-forth flow goes straight into constantly updating this guide, making it an organic, evolving, living thing, as well as a concise and fun way to turn on to music.
Anyway, you get the idea of what this is all about. Dig in and have fun. And if you have any thoughts—good, bad, whatever—let me hear them. If you have some favorite artists or album that I’ve inexplicably left out, let me hear about it and I will seriously consider bringing them in. That’s how this all becomes better and better and, in the end, finding the best music for you to discover is the whole point.