There are a few new features last.fm introduced last week (I guess it was last week, it may have actually been earlier, they're sneaky that way.) that make it an even more useful service than it already was.
Along with the introduction of some shiny new widgets that are sure to appeal to the myspace crowd, they threw in some great new functionality:
RSS/Ical feeds for the recommended events.
YAY! Now I can see what artists that I listen to are playing venues near me. This is sure to make my schedule even more hectic and my wallet more empty. upcoming.org has been doing the same thing for a long time, but there are two reasons why I expect last.fm to work better for me: It does only music, whereas upcoming is starting to include a lot of business/tech conferences, which I have other channels for. It filters on my taste or where my friends are going, in addition to location, (upcoming only does locations), and it does that in a smarter way too: it allows you to set a geographic radius, instead of saying, I want to include these and these cities. I'm not sure how much difference this will make in practice, but I do like that I will be notified of stuff happening near me, even if it's happening just outside one of the cities in my area.
One thing I like about upcoming that the last.fm don't yet seem to have is the buttons to send an event directly to a calendar. The ical feed can be used to send all events to a separate calendar, I guess, but I like a little more manual control. The 'Add this to your [foo] calendar' buttons in upcoming are a great thing. (For me foo==google calendar, especially now that it's fully integratable with thunderbird + lightning through this nice plugin. Installation instructions here.)
Configure your overall top artist and top tracks lists to include the last 12, 6 or 3 months only.
This is great if you have been using last.fm for a while, and would like your evolving interests to show up in your profile. For instance, I have listened to a *lot* of Joni Mitchell, and I suppose I will continue to do so, which means that she and other long time favorites tend to keep newer dicoveries out of my charts. Now that I've set the charts to show 12 months, she'll still be in the top 10, but not on 1st place, and other older artists which I've not been listening to quite so much anymore actually have a chance to drop out of the top 50.