Opening Pandora’s Box

So I’m at Textures Hair Spa yesterday, having my locks re-twisted and talking with an old friend, Denise and the rest of the clients, about the current state of affairs in Detroit.

Suddenly, as if the universe had spoken to us simultaneously, we all realized we wanted, needed, to talk about something else. So I asked about the wonderful Brazilian music that was flowing from the speakers’ all around the spa.

“It’s Pandora!” Nefertiti said.

Dang. I knew this was one of those moments that would embarrass my daughter, but I asked anyway.

“What’s Pandora? I’ve heard the word, but I’m not sure what it is, some kind of music site, right?”

No, it’s not just a music site.

Pandora is an infinite internet radio station. You don’t buy. You just listen. You plug in what kind of music you like, and it finds song after joy after revelation for you to listen to.

For free.

(No, I do not work for Pandora. They’d be embarrassed that I just joined the club. But then I only began using Facebook three and a half years ago. ┬áSo there.)

I opened an account and typed in my favorite music, Parliament/Funkadelic. And my mouth fell open. I hadn’t heard “Get Up on the Down Stroke” since I was a kid. And then “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” from War. A day later, it’s playing Prince’s “Lady Cab Driver.”

It doesn’t find just a single artist’s music: It imagines what music you might like if you like that artist.

I’m typing in James Taylor and Gladys Knight right now, and I know I’ll be happy all day long.

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