Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Dresses perform “Painting Roses”

Dresses is an indie pop duo consisting of Portland, Oregon musicians Jared Ryan Maldonado and Timothy Heller. Their vocal harmonies backed by a ukulele naturally lend well to an acoustic set. Artists such as Air Traffic Controller, Echosmith and Kodaline can be heard on their station. They came by Pandora and performed “Painting Roses” off their album Sun Shy. Audio from the full session can be found here.

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Artist Debuts

The Vamps

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.36.06 AMThe Vamps are a British pop band that formed in 2012 and immediately signed to Mercury Records. They have toured as support for artists like McFly, The Wanted, Little Mix and Demi Lovato. Their debut EP Somebody To You features the charting singles “Wild Heart” and “Somebody To You,” with guest vocals by Demi Lovato.

You Me and Apollo

This Fort Collins, Colorado-based band specialize in “…stompy blues and sing along folk rock with hints of psychedelic and soul music.” Their debut album Sweet Honey was produced and engineered by Jeff Powell (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Big Star, Sharon Jones) at the famed Ardent Studios in Memphis. In addition to playing festivals like SXSW and Hangout, they have toured and supported for acts like Dr. Dog, Brandi Carlile, ZZ Ward, Third Eye Blind, DeVotchKa, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers and Dashboard Confessional. Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: O.A.R. perform “Peace”

O.A.R., short for Of A Revolution, formed in 1996 as a small band from Rockville, Maryland. Starting their career as an independent college band at Ohio State University, O.A.R. is now a chart-topping group, recognized for their soul-filled melodies and driving rhythms. Artists such as Dave Matthews, Counting Crows and Jack Johnson can be heard on their station. O.A.R. stopped by the Pandora, Oakland office and performed a mostly acoustic version of their song “Peace”

Honoring The Legacy Of Robin Williams

To be a standup comic in the San Francisco Bay Area is to live in Robin Williams’ shadow. He lived here. He came up here, performing in the legendary Purple Onion and Holy City Zoo comedy clubs. Every so often, my Facebook and Twitter feeds would light up with posts reading “ROBIN WILLIAMS IS AT MY SHOW” or “Robin Williams saw my set and told me I was funny!” or simply a photo of an open miker, beaming next to a comedy demigod who looks exactly as kind in reality as he did on the big screen in his Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting “inspirational teacher roles.”

Robin_WilliamsI never met Robin Williams. Not once. I never found myself standing in a room with him, and even if I had, I doubt I would have approached him. I don’t take photos with celebrities, as a rule—it always feels self-serving and weird to me, a strange visual humblebrag that my Midwestern upbringing tells me is inappropriate. And what on earth would I have said to Robin Williams? “Hey, I’m a comedian, too, sort of. I have a day job, but someday I’m going to quit, and then I’ll be a real comedian, like you.” That, too, feels gross—if I couldn’t tell Robin Williams “I’m a comedian,” full stop, with no qualifications, then I wasn’t really a comedian. I would wait. I would become a real comedian. And I would run into him some other time, later.

I thought I had more time. We all did. 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

PARTYNEXTDOOR

Manifesting a sultry combination of R&B, electronic and hip hop music; PARTYNEXTDOOR showcases his smooth sounds with October’s Very Own camp. After touring with Drake, Future and Miguel, this Canadian vocalist has been groomed to be the next OVO star. His futuristic slow jams flicker through your speakers like candlelight.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 8.50.35 AMConnecting Stars

Connecting Stars is a South African folk-rock duo made up of Cheryl Engel, a studio session singer and Martin Engel, former bass player of rock band Tree63. Opening with the anthemic track “Pieces,” their self-titled debut release weaves acoustic guitar, piano with haunting melodies, harmonies and strains of glockenspiel, mandolin, ukulele and harmonica. Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Hunter Hunted perform “Operating”

Hunter Hunted, formed in 2012, is an indie pop duo based in Los Angeles. Composed of Dan Chang on guitar, Michael Garner on keys and both musicians on vocals, the group’s sound is often described as melodic dance mixed with pop, rock and indie components; their station plays artists such as Coldplay, Local Natives and Keane.  Hunter Hunted, along with their live band, performed a special acoustic version of “Operating” at Pandora’s Oakland headquarters.

Artists on Pandora…Prologue

blog_post_image3Today marks an exciting new chapter for Pandora. From the first day we launched, we have looked forward to the time when we would begin enabling artists to become active participants in the service. Personalized internet radio has a set of capabilities that make it unique in its potential to empower musicians and activate fans. Where broadcast radio spins a few thousand different songs a year, we play hundreds of thousands. And as we approach 10% of all radio listening in the U.S., the audiences for many of these artists are becoming very meaningful. Combine that scale with the rich understanding of each listeners’ taste and the ability to communicate with them in a personalized, one-to-one way and you have an opportunity to reinvent how music is discovered and promoted, allowing it to flow much more freely between artist and fan.

I spent years in working bands, back before the web came along, and it was the challenge every band faced in building an audience and surviving that was the original inspiration for this company. So much great music has never reached its audience because it never found a home on broadcast radio…without radio, all we had were flyers and a staple gun. We have the chance to change that in a fundamental way.

The first step in making that happen is a partnership with artists and their labels. Close collaboration and the active involvement of musicians and their partners is crucial to a successful design and implementation. Today, the first such partnership for Pandora was formally launched through an agreement with Merlin. Merlin is the world’s largest organization for independent record labels, whose members represent over 20,000 labels. This agreement will give us the flexibility to accelerate the discovery of thousands of bands, and to enable them to begin actively communicating with their audience on Pandora. 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 

Majid Jordan

Majid Jordan are a production and R&B duo out of Toronto that were featured on Drake’s hit single “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” off his critically acclaimed 2013 album Nothing Was The Same. Formerly known as GOOD People, Majid Jordan have been active since late 2011 and were most recently signed to Drake’s record label OVO Sound. Their debut single “A Place Like This” blends dark and soothing melodies with a distinguishing hip-hop sound.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 9.40.24 AMChristopher Tin

Christopher Tin is a two time Grammy award-winning composer whose work combines classical and world music influences. He has composed music for films, commercials and video games – being best known for his composition “Baba Yetu” featured in the 2005 game Civilization IV. He made history with this track by winning the first Grammy ever awarded to a piece written for a video game. His newest work The Drop That Contained The Sea debuted at Carnegie Hall in April, and comprises ten songs sung in a different language including “Water Prelude,” voiced in Proto-Indo-European as well as “Waloyo Yamoni – “We Overcome The Wind,” featuring the Soweto Gospel Choir and sung in the South African language, Xhosa. Read More →

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 →