Inside The Collection: Pandora’s Guide To Colombian Rhythms

If you’re looking to stretch it out and dance this weekend, we recommend tapping into the boundless rhythms of one of the most musically and culturally diverse nations in the Americas, Colombia. We’re highlighting the incredible musical output that Colombia has generated over the past 70-plus years by offering up a trio of genre stations: Cumbia Colombiana, Salsa Colombiana and Vallenato.

The rhythm that has become most synonymous with Colombian identity is that of Cumbia. Centuries in the making and born out of the confluence of African, Indigenous and European cultures; Cumbia is by far the most popular Latin American dance rhythm and continues to be endlessly appropriated and adopted up and down the hemisphere, spawning countless offshoots and innovations.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 6.09.00 PMFrom the infectious swing of the early big band interpretations, pioneered by bandleaders like Pacho Galán, Lucho Bermúdez and Pedro Laza, to the stripped down accordion sound of squeeze box masters such as Alfredo Gutiérrez, Lisandro Meza and Andrés Landero; Cumbia as interpreted by the architects of the sound define the genre. Also included are some of the groups that would become international superstars like La Sonora Dinamita and Los Corraleros de Majagual, responsible in large part for so effectively disseminating Cumbia across Latin America and the world. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts 

Puss N Boots

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.41.20 AMAfter playing live together since 2008, Norah Jones (remembered for her smash hit album Come Away With Me), Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper have at last taken their collaboration into the studio. Their debut album No Fools, No Fun features a collection of original songs and covers that were cultivated from their live sets, including “Bull Rider,” written by Rodney Crowell and made famous by Johnny Cash. Over the years, they have shared the stage with the Beastie Boys on the Get Out The Vote tour and joined Wilco at Madison Square Garden, providing background vocals on “Jesus, Etc.”, of which their own interpretation is also featured on their debut album.

Boogaloo Assassins

Based out of Los Angeles, the Boogaloo Assassins are reviving the classic Latin Soul sounds of 1960’s New York. Their natural ease and flair, coupled with the meticulous attention to detail and authenticity, makes diehard aficionados and record-collector nerds smile from ear to ear. They have played a large supporting role in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the famed New York Latin music label Fania, backing up living legends Roberto Roena and Joe Bataan in concerts from East Coast to West. They first came to our attention as an independent artist submission and their debut release has recently been picked up by non other than Fania Records. Read More →

Inside Song: Inviting The Muse

Excellent songs can be made at lightning speed, with little intent, hardly any effort and no training, using a minimum of technical ability. It doesn’t matter how it was made. A good song is a good song, and sometimes all that’s needed are a couple chords, some very simple lyrics and a basic melody. But it’s not often the case that great songs come effortlessly, and even when they do, it’s usually because of something more than just blind luck or “natural” talent.

IMG_1104I started writing songs when I was a junior in high school. Actually, it’s more accurate to say, “I started writing song fragments” back then. I would write a riff (that was a direct rip-off of “Sunshine of Your Love” or “Black Dog”) or a chorus or pages of words that were neither good enough to pass as poetry or musical enough to cram into a verse.

This went on for a couple of years resulting in maybe a small handful of completed songs that time has generously erased. I studied Music Composition and focused on other musical practices before winding my way back to songs. When I did return, I wrote secretly for a few years, fortunately having enough insight to recognize that the songs were “not yet ready for prime time.” It took grinding my way through dozens and dozens of songs over more than a decade before I felt like I had something worth sharing publicly.  Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Perma perform “Little Light”

Perma is an indie alternative duo that combines the voices of Max Bemis from Say Anything and Sherri Dupree-Bemis from Eisley. A blend of pop, punk and acoustic elements, the band’s sound emerged as an interplay between two independent talents connected by a musical love story; Perma’s station features artists such as Lydia, Dresses and The Paper Kites. They stopped by Pandora and performed their song “Little Light”

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

The Madden BrothersScreen Shot 2014-07-21 at 8.47.19 AM

The Madden Brothers are a new project featuring brothers Joel and Benji Madden, the founding members of the rock band Good Charlotte. Their side project began in 2011 as a way for them to branch away from punk/rock to an “upbeat, sunny pop-rock” sound. They have teamed with producer Pharrell Williams and released their first single “We Are Done” from their upcoming debut studio album, Greetings From California to be released in September. 

Shawn Mendes

Check out this 15 year-old singer-songwriter from Toronto who became an overnight Vine sensation with his six-second cover of Justin Beiber’s “As Long As You Love Me”. It received 10,000 likes within hours of its debut last August and is now liked at well over 2.5 million. This phenomenon lead to a recording contract with Island Records and the debut of an original composition. “Life Of The Party” advances his upcoming EP later this summer. Not only that, he is also preparing to go on tour with Austin Mahone! Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Eric Hutchinson performs “Tell The World”

Eric Hutchinson is an American pop singer-songwriter with roots in both NYC and LA. Distinguished by rhythmic guitar and piano melodies, Eric’s music is often matched to the works of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and John Mayer, all of whom can be heard on his station. His catchy acoustic energy can be discovered in the live rendition of “Tell the World” from the most recent album, Pure Fiction.

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

Meghan Trainor

20-year-old singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor has written tracks for artists like Rascal Flatts and Common Kings. But now she’s been receiving a lot buzz with her catchy debut single “All About That Bass”, whose viral video has received close to 1.5 million YouTube views and gaining a huge following with its body-positive message.

Roadside Memorial

Drawing influences from Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, The Damned, Tears For Fears and Joy Division, San Francisco’s Roadside Memorial are “New Dark Romance built on the bones of all three British Invasions,” weaving New Wave, New Romantic and Post-Punk sensibilities to be enjoyed on the dance floor!

Matt PalmerScreen Shot 2014-07-14 at 8.50.08 AM

LA-based R&B/pop singer-songwriter who before graduating from NYU’s Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music singed his first publishing deal. As a songwriter, he has written for Big Time Rush and Leon Thomas, in addition to working with producers Oak Felder (Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown), Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Britney Spears) and Jackie Boyz (Madonna, Justin Bieber). As an artist, he has worked the past six years creating songs that were truly representative of himself: being a gay musician. He successfully raised enough funds via Kickstarter to release his EP Stranger Than Fiction along with an official music video for its single, “Teardrops”. Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: The Dandy Warhols perform “Sleep”

The Dandy Warhols started making music in Portland back in 1994. Known for blending elements of garage rock and psych pop, the band can be heard on many Pandora stations including Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Kasabian. The Dandys came by the office for a warmhearted set featuring Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Peter Holmström and Brent DeBoer all on acoustic guitar and Zia McCabe on keys. The band takes on their classic “Sleep” from their seminal album Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia in this performance at Pandora HQ in Oakland.

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

EDJ

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.17.38 AMEric D. Johnson put in some time with The Shins before leading indie rock band the Fruit Bats for many years. He’s releasing songs under his initials now, and they are a treat. Beautiful melodies float over lush West Coast pop flavors and hints of country twang on his new single featuring the songs “Lose It All, All The Time” and “A West County Girl”. Dig these feel-good summer tunes.

RUFUS DU SOL

This up-and-coming indie dance band out of Sydney is known in Australia as Rufus, but was forced to change their name in the US due to an existing trademark on the name Rufus. Now under the moniker RUFUS DU SOL, this DIY band has released 2 EPs on their own label. Having played stages as far away as Moscow and New York, they have built a strong online following. Their album Atlas (due for a US release later in the year), debuted at #1 on the Australian album charts, propelling the band into the spotlight with their “equal parts sun drenched melodies and late night dance floor rhythms.” Read More →

From The Curators: Pandora’s Guide To 4th Of July

Summer is in full swing and it’s time to celebrate the USA’s birthday with parades, fireworks and BBQs. So, what’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about summer? What’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about 4th of July? The curation team had a blast putting together Pandora’s 4th of July genre stations, and we’re excited to finally share them with you!

4th of July RadioScreen Shot 2014-06-27 at 2.20.55 PM includes a mix of patriotic tunes across genres sprinkled with summertime favorites. On this station you’ll hear Country, Heartland Rock and popular songs that celebrate American pride; artists include John Mellencamp, James Brown, Miley Cyrus and Simon and Garfunkel.

Another American classic, Barbershop quartet music, has enjoyed a colorful revival. The barbershop served as the community center where African American men harmonized while waiting their turn. In the early 1900s, white minstrel singers adopted the a cappella four part harmony style and performed early standards. Think “Sharp Harmony,” a Norman Rockwell painting from 1936. Our Barbershop Quartet station is perfect for waking up early and prepping the grillables. Read More →