before coming to DiS:
I always use wikipedia when I want to begin listening to a band with a formidable back catalogue (such as Pavement and Sonic Youth most notably)
It always has a good summation of the bands career, highs and lows, easy access to many reviews, and facts about albums and their relative styles/where they stand in the bands career...
Wikipedia is probably my favourite website! Especially for musical research!!! As a result of looking into bands on wikipedia, you can also discover other bands via the old 'wikipedia clicking syndrome'...
...thank god for people that have enough time to sit and write on wikipedia.
SO yeah, this is my recommendation for if you need a place to start with most bands.