Pandora Internet Radio – Unhealthy Addiction?

Other than William Shatner, my first real love was music.  Particularly the The B-52s.  Ever since their appearances on Saturday Night Live in the 1970’s.  I will never forget the plinking on that ridiculous toy piano ala Schroeder.  I was hooked.  The only band  whose complete work is in my collection.  First all  on vinyl, then replaced  all with cassettes, and eventually with CDs.  Of course now, they are all on MP3 for my enjoyment everywhere. This love culminated in an amazing road trip to see them perform live at The House Of Blues in Chicago in 2010.

Yes, readers, we were this close! My husband took this picture.

Like a lot of moms, I had many what I like to call “dry years” during my first marriage.  Those were the wonderful years devoted to raising my children.  During that time, my world was very small, and I let the pop culture of the day including music pretty much pass me by, as I was otherwise engaged.  Raffi, Disney soundtracks and Sharon Lois & Bram filled our house with music in those days.  Sometimes, I listened to the radio.  In a city with less than a handful of stations, that doesn’t expose a person to much.

Gangnam Style? Don’t think we know that one, can you hum a few bars?

It was quite a long time before I rekindled my love affair with music,  but, of course, I still had my crate of records.  I will never part with those.  My world opened up in all kinds of new ways when I was single and on my own again.   I wanted to do and see more.  I wanted to hear more.  Someone told me about Pandora Internet Radio.

Pandora. Hmmmm, that’s an odd name…or is it?

I had no idea what the Music Genome Project was.  I still don’t.  It sounds like something scary and microbial that could kill us all.  Something Ray Bradbury may have written about as a cautionary tale to just STOP PLAYING GOD already and live more simply.  Or maybe it’s  cute little amoeba like thingies getting jiggy wid it  in a petri dish, while all the brainiacs in white coats say “Awwwwwww!  That’s adorable!”

What do you mean I can give songs a thumbs down and never hear them again!? That doesn’t even make sense!

Radio that you make?  Radio you can change?  Radio that instinctively knows what you like?  How can that be?  Based on what?  I’m not going to tell you, because it’s kinda long-winded and technical.  But if you must know, you can click here to read all about it.

Music Genome Project. 

Well readers,  when I opened Pandora’s Box, it was like I had opened Pandora’s Box.  I have been listening to Pandora for such a long time, that I used to get emails, bulk emails, but emails nonetheless, from Tim Westergren, one of the founders of Pandora.   They were pretty casual.  “Hey, we’re getting together in Omaha for a chat with our members, you wanna drop by?”  Stuff like that.  I think at that time they had around 150,000 listeners.  How I ever found out about them so early in my redneck corner of the world still eludes me.

The face behind the emails from Pandora,
Tim Westergren.

Since those early days,  I have become what can only be referred to as a Pandora junkie.  I am a text-book dream listener for the Pandora brain trust.  I listen so much that now they make me pay.  But for a mere $3 a month, you can’t get a better deal.  Not only do I now have no ads, but I have unlimited stations.

I listen on my pc at home, on my internet TV’s at home, I have been banned from listening on my pc at work, as I was found to be the company bandwidth hog after much ado.  So, I plug my Droid into my computer speakers and use my OWN bandwidth–too bad co-workers.  I sure hope you like Steam Powered Giraffe, cuz that’s what I’m in the mood for today.  I have an entire WORLD of music at my fingertips now, so YOU can enjoy my love of Rosemary Clooney with me if I chose to let you.  Aren’t you people glad you don’t have to share an office with me?

What’s in the box today????? Slim Whitman? Box Car Willie? The Tro-lo-lo Man? Spin the wheel folks! Weeeeeee!

There is no end to my music variety.  Internet radio will kill CD sales you say?  Not so much when you have a dork like me with my “Pandora Rule Of 5″.  I see your eyebrow go up over there.  What is the rule of 5 ,oh wise one? you ask.    Well, remember that handful of CDs I grabbed from my past life with my clothes and a card table?  Just look at my collection now.

And there are more in the car, Lord help me.

For more seasoned audiophiles, no scoffing please, I know the collection is not impressive.  But from 5 to that in three years time is quite a jump.  You can’t even see the ones that were simply downloaded straight to my shiny Droid.  The rule of 5:–If I give a Pandora “thumbs up” to 5 songs or more on any given album, I buy it.  I must buy it.  It is required buying.  Did I mention that I have to buy the album?  Put that eyebrow down already.  It’s good to have goals.  “You’re Welcome!”  to all the up and coming artists I have fed and clothed five and ten dollars at a time.

Being exposed to new artists puts me on the cusp of tomorrow’s music scene, ya know.  Which gives me one remaining apron string choke hold on my children. When my progeny visit for a free dinner, and we talk about music, which we always end up doing, they might ask “Hey, Mom, have you heard of The Shins?” To which I answer, “Why, of course, darling, I have all three of their CDs.  Shall we burn a copy for my little man before he goes home?”

Gosh, that was one fine pot roast, Mother.
Might we watch some You Tube videos on your giant space age television of the future?

Pandora helps me keep my pole position of Coolest Badass Mom On The Block, even though all of my children have grown up and moved out.  Take your Rice Krispie Bars and shove ‘em June Cleaver.  Kiss my droopy old butt, Donna Reed. I rule.

Since I do most of my listening on my cell phone now, Pandora is truly my pal.  Like my teddy bear, it goes with me everywhere!  To the shower, the sewing room, the scary basement, the junk yard, the mini golf course, the bowling alley and the Fortress Of Solitude.  I even had my buddy Pandora in mind when I bought my last car. (Think of the “Build a house around this faucet” lady in the commercial)   It has an auxiliary jack so one little cord is all it takes to make Jim Nabors belt  “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” out the ass of my kicking 6 speaker Bose stereo.

A whole new generation of fans has found me. Thank you!

As luck would have it, once again I was on the side of the knife that does NOT have the cutting edge.  I work at a dealership as many of you know.  Right after I bought my shiny new car, the salesmen started being trained via the interweb on the new models with Pandora pre-loaded into the navigation screen.  Grrrr!!!!   This is one I will just have to skip.  I will wait to upgrade until they can implant a chip in my head.  Then all I will have to do is shake my ponytail to get me some K-Pop.

Elephant Show? Never heard of it. Does it have any Sexy Ladiiiieeees??

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15 thoughts on “Pandora Internet Radio – Unhealthy Addiction?

  1. Awesome! Would you believe I just started listening to Pandora Radio on my Nook? I think I squealed a little bit when I saw Sharon, Lois, and Bram. Skinnamarink -and- HI, My Name is Joe! Oh, yeah. Good times when the kid controlled everything in the house.

    • I used to sing the “I love you a bushel and a peck” song to my kids all the time when they were little. Now they all compete for the best side burns–youngest one wins hands down every time. SL& B had a song about 3 wishes that always made me cry. Something about how one wish would be that my dad was the same age as me. Gawrsh–I’m tearing up right now. My own dad died when I was 23 years old, when my oldest boy was just a month old. My kids had a big hole in their lives where that man should have been. He was a pretty crappy dad, but I know he had mellowed by then and would have been a wonderful grandpa. He was just 52. –Wow, I’m such a downer.

  2. Shit I thought I was cool, what with the Rap and Dubstep obsessions, but I haven’t even started on Pandora. I do take photos of my Sirius screen in the car and download the song if I like it. Wonder if our kids know how lucky they are?

    • No doubt. I remember when I was a kid, the music selection at our house sucked ass big time. Mom and dad were not very music savvy. I had to go to the basement and listen to Alice Cooper and The Stones with my older brother to hear some real music. Upstairs, it was stuff like Bobby Vinton, Tom Jones and others I care to not remember.

  3. William Shatner, the B-52’s, and Eddie Haskell, all in the same blog post?? Yow! That’s pretty cheeky, even for a diva!

    Very, very funny, and I’ve made a note to come to your yard sale when you decide to unload your CD’s and retake possession of that spare bedroom… : P

    Belated congrats on being Freshly Squeezed– er, I mean, Pressed! With your sort of rollicking good humor, it was inevitable. You and your shallow mind are doing great work here– proud to be one of your fans!! : )

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  5. My husband got me a Grace Radio that connects to Pandora,for my workroom (where I live 8-10 hours a day). Now and again my 24 yr old self-proclaimed audiophile son wanders by and asks “wow! Who is THAT?” and I can smugly say “THAT, son, is Boz Scaggs!” and he will be impressed.

  6. Pingback: Friday Fail…interrupted « The Cheeky Diva

  7. We are very similar indeed. Great post. I still have my crate full of albums as well, and I don’t even listen to my iPod anymore unless I’m somehow off the grid. My mornings go like this every day, coffee, Pandora,…then everything else. Never got a personal email from Tim though, that makes you the tops!

    • Well, I am fortunate to still be considered a bad ass among my kids friends. Which is so cool. A few years ago, they wanted me to dress up and go to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror with them on Halloween. I had just had surgery and was home convalescing. Those crazy kids-they told me they would take me in a wheel chair and that I could dress up like Dr. Scott. Can’t wait for some grandkids to mess with. :-)

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