Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Islands In The Stream

I have longed for a job where I can spend part of my day at a desk, working on my computer and listening to radio. My job at the arts council allows for this and I quite enjoy having music or talk radio play underneat my work.

The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN radio is pretty entertaining and informative. From 2pm until 3pm, Keith Olbermann joins him in the studio or by phone. By 3pm, I usually am listening to WGR550, sports radio from Buffalo. A lot of good Bills talk occurs on this station. Alternately, I listen to Fresh Air or World Cafe during this time.

I listen to streaming radio throughout the day as well. I-Tunes has many fine streams for just about every musical taste. WOXY.com is still my favorite source for alt-rock, old and new. Sadly, they'll be shutting down on Friday due to lack of funding. I am saddened by this, but another door has opened...

Walt, who you may recall from my recent Maniacs blog, told me to check out Pandora.com. Well, I a-looked-a and I a-liked-a! My god this thing is amazing. You sign up for free (all you incur are a spate of pop-ups in the browser), plug in the name of an artist you enjoy and one of that artist's songs begins to play. The entire song is played. What follows is a string of songs by similar artists whose music is linked together by many shared elements. If you plug in "The Specials", Pandora will cull together a list of songs that have "electric rock instrumentation
punk influences, reggae influences, a subtle use of paired vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic rhythm piano, repetitive melodic phrasing
demanding instrumental part writing, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
paired vocal harmony, minor key tonality and prominent organ".

You can create up to 100 music streams, each named after the first artist you choose. If you don't like a song, you can give it a thumbs down or skip ahead up to 6 times an hour. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy the tunes!. And it's free!

If you want to try it out, check out the sidebar in my blog.

5 comments:

PreppyGirl said...

I forgot to tell you I checked this out yesterday and it is REALLY cool. I started a station based on 10,000 Maniacs stuff. They played Alison Kraus and Aimee Mann - and I could just pitch a song if I didn't like it. I highly recommend!

Tim of Suburbia said...

I'm checking out your stations. I'll probably post one to

http://pandorastations.crispynews.com

Come check it out.

I'm from the Buffalo area but I'm in North Carolina now. Go Bills. It's amazing how many people I meet here that grew up in Western New York. The rest don't even know what Western New York is. They think it's somewhere near Manhattan.

-R- said...

I only think of Pandora when I am going to be at my computer for just a few minutes. I will have to make a point to check it out.

Galoot said...

PGirl - Pitch away!

Tim - When the Sabres were in the playoffs, there was some news coverage of a Buffalo-style restaurant in the Carolinas. I get friends from New York City who think we're somewhere on the Hudson River.

R - Pandora is really low maintenance. Just tune it in and let it go...

Greg said...

Yeah, I discovered this a little while ago. Made my own. It's a nice little project.