When online streaming-music service Pandora first hit the Internet, the appeal was obvious: You could create a station that only plays music you like, based on bands or songs that you pick.
Other than adding sponsored channels and the requisite mobile apps, Pandora seemingly hasn't changed much since we were first introduced to the service, and while it's helpful to be able to pull up, say, music inspired by Ke$ha when my daughter is in the car (I'm a terrible parent, I know), the selection often lacks variety.
Now comes AudioVroom.
It remains to be seen whether AudioVroom will mount a long-term challenge to Pandora's grip on the streaming-music marketplace, but it's definitely worth checking out if you would like a little more variety in the music you're offered by a computer that is analyzing your tastes. While you can pick a band as a starting point on AudioVroom, the best way to use the app is to let it look through your iTunes collection to pick songs to stream.
Even though the music I keep on my phone is a random collection of stuff I mean to listen to at some point, AudioVroom's picks were a mix of songs I wasn't all that familiar with from bands I'd heard of, and songs by bands that were off my radar entirely.
This app might end up costing me money in the long run, because I'll be buying more new music thanks to AudioVroom's suggestions—but there are worse problems to have.
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
We continued following the ethnic-studies controversy that's tearing apart the Tucson Unified School District; told you that Congressman Raúl Grijalva expressed concern about the amount of money senior citizens would have to shell out if the GOP plan to scrap Medicare became law; recapped a bunch of polls about Arizona politics (you'll find details in this week's Skinny); applauded Sen. John McCain's rejection of the right-wing argument that torturing prisoners led to Osama bin Laden; and enjoyed the flavor of the Tequila Party.
We noted that federal prosecutors indicted Manuel Osorio-Arellanes for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry; looked at the decline in the number of birthers in the wake of the release of President Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate; and were impressed by the big stack of dollars involved in the new Pac-12 TV deal.
We celebrated Calexico's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!; suggested you check out Los Lobos, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, the Fleet Foxes and the B-52's during a particularly active week at downtown's Rialto Theatre; and gave away tickets to see Eisley at Club Congress.
We told you about the Saturday Sippers tasting at RumRunner; checked out the makeover at Fourth Avenue's Café Passe; brought you another entry in the Food Truck Diaries; ran down the horses in the Kentucky Derby; gazed at Flandrau's celebration of National Astronomy Day; and let you know that retiree Sharon Lin was still not moving to Tucson.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"Sorry but God don't change,same yesterday today and forever. read your bible history you will find out the new thing took place in isaiah's time, yes people change culture changes etc ... ."
—An unedited remark from TucsonWeekly.com commenter "hi," who doesn't let standard rules of grammar stand in his or her way ("A Valley in Ruins," The Range, Feb. 22).
BEST OF WWW
We look at the world of pop-up retail this week by visiting Dragon's Spark Handmade, a new temporary store opening this weekend in the Oracle Wetmore Shopping Center. Offering handmade items by local artisans and other hand-selected merchandise, Dragon's Spark has a short-term view of success, so we talk to the owner to learn more about why this sort of retail experiment works for her.
We also took a tour of the construction happening at Casino del Sol, as they prepare to open a 215-room hotel and convention center as part of their $98 million expansion. While downtown Tucson couldn't get a hotel plan together (and funded), the Pascua Yaqui tribe is still thinking big.