Music Music Music

Them and US

I was hoping to be able to share with you a great music site MM passed on to me recently but I am only able to deliver the promise of a great music site, unless of course you live in the US where you still have access to http://www.pandora.com/ . Everyone else is temporarily screwed!

Last week when I first visited the site it was like manna from heaven. Pandora is a site designed to help expand your music repertoire with the press of a button. There was a box where you could type in music of interest (artist, album, song) and they would search for examples of other music you may like and then randomly play about 15 or 20 songs. Now we all know if you like Van Morrison, your probably going to like Neil Young but it was great for sussing out more obscure artists or genres.

At the sublime Dar Attajmil (http://www.darattajmil.com/) in Marrakech I spent many a charmed moment listening to the exotic French and Arabic selections of Lucrezia, the Italian owner. She recently sent me suggestions for some of her favorites. For openers she recommended a double CD called ‘Sahara Blues of the Desert’ and another called ‘Arabian nights’ as well as music by Ali Farka Toure, Salif Keita, Diogal, the Hadouk trio and Anouak Brahim.

At Pandora I could have listened to see if I liked them, then searched for other similar music. Cool! Sadly I was too late. If you go to the site today you will see that access is now blocked for listeners outside the U.S. due to “licensing constraints”. They are working on it and promise to be up and running as soon as possible. If you scroll down to the bottom you can submit your email address to be notified as soon as they solve the licensing issues in each country…but don’t worry I’ll keep you posted. pandora1.jpgIn Greek mythology, the tale of Pandora’s Box is used to explain why there is evil in the world. Pandora was the first woman on earth. After Prometheus’ theft of the secret of fire, Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship to create Pandora in order to get revenge. Prometheus warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus for fear of reprisal, but Pandora was too tempting. With her, Pandora had a box which Zeus had instructed her not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the box and all evil such as greed, vanity, slander, lies and envy escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the only thing left in the box was Hope.

The term “Pandora’s Box is now an English idiom meaning if you go there you may encounter all sorts of unanticipated problem – like licensing constraints?


Do Not Panic!MM has come up with an acceptable alternative for the interim – http://www.allmusic.com/ If you search an artist or album you will get a biography of the artist, description of the genre and style of the music, descriptions of the moods on the album e.g. earthy, visceral, bittersweet etc., suggestions of similar artists and, if they are available, the opportunity to listen to a small clip of the tracks – just click on the speaker icon on the play list. Almost as good! Headbands and Hairdo’s MM is having a monumental meltdown. He has to have his hair cut! He has the opportunity to interview some Hockey players for a local radio (and possibly television station) and has been told he needs to tidy himself up! For several weeks now he has been sporting a new “do” – hair pulled back off his face held in place with headbands!! Yes, a big rugby brute in headbands! I have to say it is quite fetching, it reveals his beautiful face and is a definite improvement on the shaggy mop but apparently it is not a suitable “do” for Hockey players. I asked him how he happened upon the idea. He said he was in the drugstore and found himself staring at them for no particular reason and then thought “Wow! They look cool.” Why not? Not just one headband but 2, thin, tortoiseshell, one worn forward, the other worn further back. I noticed yesterday that he is mixing it up a bit and experimenting with one tortoiseshell and one with red ladybugs. He was surprised to see how supportive I was, so I reminded him when I first met his Dad, he wore his sun-bleached, long blond hair tied back in a pony tail! He was getting rave reviews, loving the extra attention and now this…..but the decision to get the haircut is a step in the right direction. The old Max would have kept the headbands and told them to sod off! He has decided to become so famous that he can wear his hair however he pleases. I hope he goes back to headbands!

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