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Boys’ New Favorite Pandora Station: Danny Elfman

Danny ElfmanMy kids have loved music since they were babies. When they were fussy, music was the way to calm them. Along with lullabies and rounds of Wheels on the Bus, they listened to Toe Jam Puppet Band, Dan Zanes and Bill Harley along with a heavy dose of Motown, The Beatles, They Might Be Giants, 10,000 Maniacs, Talking Heads, REM and The Specials.

Once they were introduced to movies and live musicals, the musical scores and soundtracks that accompany the films or shows have become some of their favorite things to listen to. Their Star Wars and Harry Potter obsession introduced them to composer John Williams. And once they learned how to use Pandora Radio, they created their own John Williams station.

I’ve been listening to Pandora Radio since it started in 2000 before my kids were born but have grown to love it even more as my time to stay on top of new music and leisurely select my favorite tunes dwindled once having kids. Pandora is a website (free if you put up with the ads and ad-free if you pay a small fee) that allows you to create your own station by entering a singer / composer / song you like. Pandora then plays similar music to your first selection. Chances are you will hear something new or not heard in a long time. You can further fine tune your station by rating  the selections with your approval or disapproval.

In our house the John Williams’ station led to Danny Elfman. Some may know him from his Oingo Boingo days. My boys saw and LOVED Alice in Wonderland and have learned Elfman is Tim Burton’s composer of choice. Although they still adore John Williams, Danny Elfman is the boys’ preferred station on Pandora these days. (Click to listen to Danny Elfman station.)

When the boys are not listening to Danny Elfman I’ve been listening to The Style Council or the Sondre Lerche station. What are you listening to on Pandora these days?

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  • I noticed that I like my iTunes genius much more than Pandora. The genius seems to really “get” me. Then I realized the reason my iTunes genius seems so great is that it plays only my fifty or so very favorite songs. Will I ever get tired of “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”? Yes. I will. ELO’s “I’m Alive”? Never.

  • Pandora (based on the music genome project) is one of my favorite things about the Internet. It’s like having your own personal dj, which you get to fine tune. In our house, I use it sometimes with headphones, sometimes over Cambridge Soundworks desktop speakers, and sometimes with Airfoil (http://www.rogueamoeba.com/) to connect computers in the house to a wireless device (http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/) connected to a 20 year old stereo, which hadn’t been used much lately, until it became a streaming connecting to the Internet. I also use Pandora on an iPhone while driving, connected to a car stereo, streaming over 3G – not sure AT&T predicted that Pandora would be choking their 3G bandwidth, but it has made me love the iPhone even more.

    And what am I listening to? Well that’s a long list – not enough time to comment now. But I will share that you can also add multiple artists, composers, or songs to improve/narrow what will play.

    Wondering if people also use http://www.last.fm? It works based on “if you like this, then you might like this other song, because people who like the first song also liked this”, which is different from Pandora that starts with their music genome (http://www.pandora.com/mgp.shtml) and then fine tunes based on user input.