This may be old news for those of you on the Bleeding Edge of the internet. I have just discovered Pandora, a totally nifty little tool for discovering new music based on music you already like.

It works like this: Enter the name of an artist or song you like, and then click “create”. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. You are given a large list of songs by a large list of artists, and you can listen to those songs and vote on whether or not you like the songs which Pandora selected for you.

For instance: I chose to create a station with the seed “Richard and Linda Thompson”. The first song was “When I Get to the Border”, by Mr and Mrs Thompson. Next was “The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon & Garfunkle. Then “Little Hands” by Alexander Spence. Number four was “Pro-Girl” by Janice Ian.

All in all, an exciting (and potentially extremely expensive) site to have discovered.

About Pandora
Pandora developer’s blog

A Song For Our Times

There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going;
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing
Or which way the river’s flowing!
Is it raining, is it snowing?
Is a hurricane a-blowing?
Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing!
Are the fires of Hell a-glowing?
Is the grisly reaper mowing?
Yes, the danger must be growing
For the rowers keep on rowing;
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing! –
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

A Day Full of Music

Spent all day yesterday at the Rockford Celtic Festival. Drank much Guinness. Saw many friends, several of whom are disreputable musicians.

The following three photos are of the Conklin Ceili Band , a traditional Irish group. They put on a great show wherever they go. Natalie (the fiddle player) had her first go at singing at the Celtic Festival, and performed wonderfully.

Conklin Ceili Band

Conklin Ceili Band

Conklin Ceili Band

The next three photos are of local band Craic Wisely . They have more than a little of The Pogues in them (stylistically, not politically) and had the whole audience jumping well into the night.

Craic Wisely

Craic Wisely

Craic Wisely

Today I feel a wee bit hung over. Funny, that.

And I Think It’s Gonna Be a Long Long Time

What do you get when you bring together the following people: A grunge bassist; a grunge drummer; a soul/jazz singer; a Christian-rock guitarist; an electric violinist with anger-control issues; an indie-rock percussionist; and an ex-factory worker with a theremin?

An amazing version of Rocket Man . (linked .mp3)

And a great story , too. (linked RealAudio file)

Red Molly

“Oh,” says Red Molly to James, “That’s a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like”
Says James to Red Molly, “My hat’s off to you
It’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.
And I’ve seen you at the corners and cafes it seems
Red hair and black leather, my favourite colour scheme.”
And he pulled her on behind and down to Boxhill they did ride

“Oh,” says James to Red Molly, “Here’s a ring for your right hand
But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man.
For I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen,
I robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine.
Now I’m 21 years, I might make 22
And I don’t mind dying, but for the love of you.
And if fate should break my stride
Then I’ll give you my Vincent to ride.”

“Come down, come down, Red Molly,” called Sergeant McRae
“For they’ve taken young James Adie for armed robbery.
Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside.
Oh come down, Red Molly to his dying bedside.”
When she came to the hospital, there wasn’t much left
He was running out of road, he was running out of breath
But he smiled to see her cry
He said, “I’ll give you my Vincent to ride.”

Says James, “In my opinion, there’s nothing in this world
Beats a ’52 Vincent and a red headed girl.
Now Nortons and Indians and Greeves won’t do,
Ah, they don’t have a soul like a Vincent 52.”
Oh he reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys
Said, “I’ve got no further use for these.
I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome,
Swooping down from heaven to carry me home.”
And he gave her one last kiss and died
And he gave her his Vincent to ride.

Richard Thompson
1952 Vincent Black Lightning