Kelsey Logue of New York City has always loved the folk music scene. Her love of folk developed in her hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts, site of the regionally famous folk music venue Iron Horse Music Hall. There, Kelsey grew to especially love the music of a folk singer named Ellis Paul.
And so, when Kelsey began developing her own personalized radio stations via the popular website Pandora, Ellis Paul played a large part in her music selections.
"I had a station entirely devoted to Ellis Paul and Ellis Paul style music," Kelsey recalls. "And I went a little crazy on my thumb-upping."
As Kelsey explains, in addition to seeking more Ellis Paul airplay on her own Pandora stations, she hoped that her thumb-upping of Ellis Paul tunes would be documented by Pandora, resulting in increased fame and fortune for Paul, who was little known outside regional folk circles. In particular, Kelsey aimed to call attention to what in her opinion was possibly Paul's greatest song ever, a catchy tune called "3,000 Miles."
The thumb-upping worked. Soon, Kelsey was hearing "3,000 Miles" five, sometimes six times a day. At first, that was fantastic - literally a dream come true.
Says Kelsey, "Every time '3,000 Miles' came on, I would get this huge smile on my face and think, man, I could listen to this song all day, every day. And every time it popped up, I would thumb-up it again."
Over time, however, Kelsey came to realize that her love of "3,000 Miles" had its limits. To her own great surprise, listening to the song all day, every day didn't bring the never-ending bliss she'd anticipated. Indeed, the day came that when the opening notes of the song first sounded, Kelsey actually recoiled in displeasure - with that "Oh, God, not again" feeling that had marked her disenchantment with countless other radio songs over her teenage and young-adult music-listening years.
"But I never thought that would happen with '3,000 Miles,'" says Kelsey. "Never."
Initially, Kelsey handled her faded enthusiasm by simply forwarding through "3,000 Miles" whenever it popped up on her Pandora stations. But that tactic worked for only so long.
"Forwarding seemed to prompt more commercials to kick in," she explains now. "But even more than that, I realized I was delaying the inevitable. I didn't just not want to hear '3,000 Miles' right that second - I never wanted to hear it again! I couldn't believe I was thinking that about an Ellis Paul tune, but I was. I couldn't fake it anymore."
And so, after eight days of forwarding through the song, muting her volume, taking out her headphones and, in short, doing anything and everything she could think of in order not to have to listen to "3,000 Miles," Kelsey finally, and with great reluctance, gave the beloved folk tune an official thumb-down. When she read the subsequent Pandora pledge to never again play that particular song, on any of her Pandora stations, Kelsey breathed a huge sigh of relief. And she hasn't looked back since.
"It was hard," she says. "I felt so disloyal to Ellis. But I'm much happier now. I've learned that thumb-upping has real consequences. I don't want to shut myself off from truly loving a song with all my heart, but at the same time, I won't go there again without really thinking things through first."