ca_Smiths_Meat.jpgMany interesting comments from my last post – I had no idea so many people might find the Beatles to be underwhelming, but there you have it…!
Last week I watched several of Radiohead’s recent webcast performances, and one of the covers they did was The Smiths’ The Headmaster Ritual. I loved that song when I was younger, and hadn’t listened to it in quite a while; and seeing Radiohead’s cover reminded me of how much I like the song.
Then when I investigated it a bit more, I realized that not only do I still like the song a lot, but I also believe it is actually quite a good piece of recording and writing, considered from general artistic and aesthetic perspectives.
Musically, it’s an interesting song which contrasts a dissonant opening chord progression with a loping, chiming guitar and bass riff, and which overall has a kind of shimmering power. It’s a diatribe against the abusive effects of British boarding schools, with lyrics like “belligerent ghouls run manchester schools / spineless swine, cemented minds / sir leads the troops, jealous of youth / same old suit since 1962,” and images like “bruises bigger than dinner plates.”
Pretty great.
Listening to it again, I started to think about all the music I listened to when I was a kid, and how cool it is is when that music, which is so important and remains so vivid for so many years afterwards, also turns out also to be really interesting and, yes, good.
What music did you have in your formative record collection or did you hear on the radio when you were younger, which you not only loved, but which you think also turned out to be good, very good, or even great? And for bonus points, can you describe how and why you assess the music in that way?


  1. Roland
    April 13, 2008 at 11:03pm
    I started my journey in a small surburban in N.J. in the mid 50's. I earliest memories was from the RCA fidelity. Big band Jazz and Gospel, in the 60's of my learning youth. I had the selection of Black AM radio and Rock and Roll broadcasting through the studios of Cousin Brucey.So while I twisted my way to Chubby Checker, I was also being subjected to The Monkees,James Brown,The Beatles,The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, and the Surpremes, Cream,and American Bandstand  I do this miss those golden days sometimes. Even though there was so much turmoil in our nation  with the civil rights movment  as well choas over seas. Some things have changed because of those ripples and other things....well; we seem to learn. The music of early teens, Jimi Hendrix,Sly And The Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Grand Funk Railroad, Crosby Seals And Nash, Stevie Wonder, Leslie West, The Allman Brothers, and the beat went on and on from AM to FM. These were the songs and musicians of my youth. They impacted my mind and opened my ears to the world of music of my adulthood,into my middle age and hopefully the joy will follow me into the gray and may People Get Ready play at my graveside surrounded grand children
  2. Mitzi
    April 14, 2008 at 8:51pm
    I remember Cindy Lauper singing Time After Time...I remember thinking how alone she looked how she tried to stand out so much that she finally did...I her music you can hear a certain sadness as well as a bit of satisfaction to her presents. Soft melody hard core voice soft voice hard core melody--Lot's of Counter Action. I think she was lonely even though she made it...Now I just don't know.... Saw her on the net looks the same only older..Don't know if she ever found her niche.
  3. Scott Bringe
    April 15, 2008 at 8:31am
    I'm with Sara, she posted a comment April 13 wherein she wondered if it would be possible to hear acoustic versions of songs exclusively. As a computer programmer I realize that this shouldn't be much of a problem given the fact that you track over 400 different aspects of each tune in your database. This certainly would be a nice feature, a station based on several of these criteria could more accurately reflect what the listener desires. Granted you would have to limit the number of parameters so that database queries don't get too complicated but I think it would be worthwhile. I also realize that this is basically what you do now, it's just that you get your initial parameters based on an artist or song or group of artists. This shields us from the gory details but also removes a certain amount of control, I really think Sara has a good idea.
  4. Appleseed
    April 25, 2008 at 7:02pm
    Screw the acoustics crap. Hear the music as it was PLAYED ON THE RADIO!!! This is the whole point of Radio Genome.... This is a good idea, don't let the artsy-fartsy elitists screw it up!!!!
  5. Appleseed
    April 25, 2008 at 8:04pm
    Look guys, I know this is my first night of exposure, but I have to wonder why 99% of my threads lead to total crapulence??. Is this an exercise in tolerance? Or is this a cynical attempt to market the bottom of the barrel through some future writer's strike? Ick!!!!
  6. Lucia @ Pandora
    April 28, 2008 at 11:04am
    Appleseed - Thanks for your thoughts. Our goal is to guide you to be able to create Pandora stations you love. Sorry the stations have seemed a bit "bottom of the barrel" to you so far. I have confidence that Pandora can come up with some stations you enjoy... Sometimes stations do take a little bit of time to "train" to your tastes... Here's several things to try that might improve your stations: - Entering a song to create a station is often better than entering an artist. This is because sometimes artists have broad repertoires. This can lead to some eclectic results. - Enter more than one artist/song into the station. This will add more appropriate songs to the playlist. - Add multiple songs or artists to a station by clicking the triangle next to the station name and selecting "Add more music to this station". - Give feedback: thumbs up songs that do fit in the station, and ***thumbs down songs that don't.*** - To ban an artist from a station, just give two songs by that artist thumbs downs. Keep in mind, this is station-specific; it will only affect the station you're currently listening to. - If you're sick of a song, but don't want to ban it from the station, you can always just click on 'Guide Us' and put the song "to sleep" for a month. - Consider only giving a thumbs up to a song when you like (almost) every aspect of a song, because each thumbs up will add more songs to your station, perhaps in a range that is wider than you had hoped. - Look here ( for more info on creating and tuning Pandora stations. I hope all that helps. Good luck, and let us know if you have more questions / comments! Cheers, Lucia, from Pandora
  7. Judie
    April 30, 2008 at 3:12pm
    I totally LOVE Pandora Radio Free. It's the only site where I can listen to music that I love and enjoy!! Thank you so much for being there!! I'm so frustrated that the local radio stations no longer play Classic Country Music:-( Oh, when the music stops because the "site" believes "I'm no longer listening" is because I turn on my computer to listen to my favorite music while I am working around the house. I don't know what I would do without you!! I know I'm in the minority, and that is why Panda Radio is my savior! Thanks to much PLEASE! Keep my Classic Country Music alive!! Judie

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