One of the great things about our information culture is you don't have to pay much for music anymore—as long as you aren't bent on displaying a record collection at your house to wow visitors. You can stream just about any song you want online for free.
Internet radio has been around for some time, and sites like Pandora Radio and Last.fm make the user the DJ: You pick the artists that you enjoy, and an algorithm spits out other music that you may also enjoy. As data from thousands of other listeners are plugged in, the results can get startlingly accurate.
Apple's iTunes Genius, while not a radio station, operates on a similar principle by using the music you've loaded onto your computer to tell you what you might like (and what you should buy) based on what others like (and bought).
When I started listening to Pandora a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised to find how well the site found music I already liked, with minimal input. This, though, is also the reason I stopped listening to Pandora a couple of weeks ago.
If, say, I wasn't in the mood to listen to Wilco at that exact second, Pandora would remember my preferences, and that would be it for Jeff Tweedy and co. Automated music-recommenders don't exactly deal well with instantaneous tastes. And how many songs can you name that get better with each subsequent listen?
Pretty soon, I was putting as much time and effort into playing curator as it would take to put together a playlist on my own.
For all that work, I'm sure there's an app for that.
The week on the Range
Last week's big SB 1070 news was well-represented on The Range: We brought you the details on which parts of the state's controversial immigration law were struck down; posted a roundup of what pundits and politicians had to say in response; and told you about Jan Brewer's plans to change bits of the law in the court-decision aftermath.
Also in politics, we shared a poll showing that former Tucson City Councilmember Rodney Glassman held a slim lead in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary race.
We shared the news that the city has told the Rialto Theatre to stop displaying those murals that everyone seems to love—even though the works of art have been a regular feature at the downtown music venue since October of last year.
We filled you in on other major news items of the week, including the medical-helicopter crash, and the NCAA's punishment of the UA men's basketball team for program violations—all while finding time to wish Tucson a happy 235th birthday.
We also showed you what a donkey-zebra hybrid looks like, and shared the do's and don'ts of dressing like an illegal immigrant.
On the food beat, we filled you in on Baggin's move into the old Jason's Deli location on Broadway Boulevard; told you that Nimbus is moving into the soda market; and shared details about Janos Wilder's new downtown eatery.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"You don't have to show proof of citizenship to get a driver's license in all 50 states; therefore, a driver's license is not proof of citizenship. Anywhere. Ever. SB 1070 wasn't calling for people to fork over their driver's licenses, anyway. It was calling for people to fork over "papers" to prove citizenship, which, again, does not include a driver's license. I don't know where you get your information from, but I highly suggest you educate yourself ASAP."
—Holly Mounger, via our Facebook page, responding to other readers regarding the fallout from the SB 1070 ruling.
BEST OF WWW
It's tour de videos week at TucsonWeeklyTV.com! The proposed Rosemont mine south of Tucson and east of Green Valley has upset environmentalists due to its proximity to the Coronado National Forest—and the habitat of several Southern Arizona endangered species. This week, we schlepped a video camera down to the proposed site to give you the animal's-eye view of the terrain that everyone is up in arms about.
Also this week, we tour the Valley of the Moon, a Tucson staple that seems to be from another time. This weekend, Valley of the Moon will be giving free tours of the magical landmark; see City Week for details.