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June 29, 2009

Adele, Chaka Kahn, and Pandora

I've already posted my tip about the great deals and value available at the Hollywood Bowl. Last night was my first Bowl concert of the summer! I had to skip the Bowl last year because of all the renovations on my little guest house, so I've really been looking forward to integrating this experience back into my life.

And tonight's concert only cost me $10! The shuttle was an additional four bucks, but it really makes the experience easy and convenient. I parked at the LA zoo and shuttled in from there. I was home within a half hour after the concert ended. I went to this concert alone, but was lucky to bump into a friend at the shuttle bus, and spent the evening with her and her girls' night out. We had a spectacular mishmosh picnic sharing what each had brought. The views at the Bowl are incredible.

Scheduled to perform last night was Etta James, a real icon in my life, but she bowed out due to illness. Chaka Kahn generously filled in for her at the last minute. What a powerful lady. Her performance of "Into the Fire" might have been my favorite song of the night.

I'd chosen this night for my concert series specifically for Etta James, so I was disappointed she couldn't appear. But I had a sweet treat in store in the form of Adele. I'd heard her top-radio song "Chasing Pavements" but didn't know her name to her voice until last night. She's a young Welsh singer who's just released a single original album, and now a live version. Her second release will be out in the next couple months. She's definitely a star in the making. And she's very sweet--hope she's able to hang onto her personality in the storm of publicity she's receiving.

When I came home last night, I decided to investigate a site a friend had introduced me to some time ago, Pandora Radio. This site customizes musical selection based on what music you tell them you like. From their website:

Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers. We believe in the value of music and have a profound respect for those who create it. We like all kinds of music, from the most obtuse bebop, to the most tripped-out drum n bass, to the simplest catchy pop tune. Our mission is to help you connect with the music YOU like.

Since I just shut off my cable, I'm on the lookout for ways to keep my house from feeling empty. I created my own custom channel last night on Pandora, and I have a feeling I'll be listening to it nonstop. So far I've loved all the suggestions they've played, and I'm discovering new artists I'd never known existed. Oh, and Pandora is free...unlike the majority of iTunes...

Do you use Pandora, iTunes, or some other web-based music service? Tell me your favorite in a comment on the blog. And look for me next time you're at the Hollywood Bowl!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you missed Etta James, but Chaka Khan sounds amazing. I LOVE the Hollywood Bowl! It's such a quintessential L.A. summer activity.


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