No Mainstream Fridays! Vol. 5

Hello and welcome to Volume 5 of “No Mainstream Fridays,” my weekly listing of songs that are:
1. worth listening to
2. probably not being featured elsewhere at the moment
3. would be mainstream if there were such a thing…
Go here to see the great stuff featured in Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4.
Ezra Pound said “poetry is news that stays news.” So is music, and in that spirit, here are some songs and bands from past and present that merit headlines…
This week’s news:
Hoover Factory by Elvis Costello & the Attractions. Somehow, amidst all the others, Elvis C has sort of been my center of the wheel, and this 1:46 song was (and maybe still is) my favorite choice gem of them all. When I was in my early teens, this song fascinated me endlessly. It sounds faster to me now than it did then (how trite and symbolic!) A slice of b-side heaven for everyone….


The Spirits And I by Royal Wood. This is a new record from a new artist who sings like Andrew Bird and writes pop songs that are both endearing and good. Melodies and hooks, people. I love the phrasing in this one.
Drink To Sher by Tanakh. Getting into some deeper waters here, this is a beautiful song that combines the sensibilities of orchestrated indie rock with larger, more grandiose rock idioms. Somehow, it’s both dry and lush, and always very tasteful. A lovely balancing act that just needs repeat listens, not in order to be enjoyed, but in order to be savored.
Bazooka Tooth by Aesop Rock. Changing course, here’s the brainy and zany Aesop Rock with some deliciously cluttered and crazy wordplay over gritty samples and beats. More killer hip hop from Def Jux. Warning: Contains “embargo piggybackers… bumper bolt monster mash… tim libby’s lava lamp… lobster hands… nocturnally orchestrated car alarms…”
Degradation of Tapes by Merzbow. Merzbow is the most important artist in noise music, a fearless pioneer, invincible genius, sonic wizard, and crafter of slabs of hideous, grating, hellish pieces like this 19 minute crusher. The beauty of this music requires faith and dedication in order to be discerned. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that it isn’t there….
Manzanita (First Variation) by The Tony Rice Unit. From the storm to the calm, here’s the flatpicking titan Tony Rice with a bit of newgrass. A breezy intro of typically crisp picking detours into some modern bluegrass. As always, the appeal here is greatly connected to the instrumental facility of the players, which makes it seem a bit technical to some. Decide for yourself!
Cowboys Lost At Sea by For Stars. When I first heard this record, it was maybe the first thing that a friend of mine had done that really worked as a record from start to finish. It stands up, with gorgeous melodies and a commitment to mood and focus that can teach any record-maker important lessons about how to eliminate everything but the essence. And the songs kill, too.
Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow by Strawberry Alarm Clock. Ah, my sunshine psych pop (maybe people are starting to figure out that I have a bit of a sweet tooth for this stuff…). Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow?? Are you kidding? I’m SO listening to a song called that! This one has some great harmonies, and the usual charming innocence and technicolor instrumentation that characterize the genre. We have lots of this stuff in Pandora, so make a station with this one and see what you find!
Indian Giver by 1910 Fruitgum Company. This song is borderline offensive (I do like to provoke you now and then – you know that, right?). It’s called “Indian Giver,” which is really unfortunate, because it’s an interesting song. But it’s kind of cool because 1) it’s by the 1910 Fruitgum Company for cry eye! and 2) it somehow sounds a lot like mid-period Elvis Costello even though it’s from 1968. Wonder if he ever listened to these guys.
Metallic Sonata No. 1 by The Lothars. Just when you thought it was safe to start singing along… here are The Lothars, with 3 theremins, one electric guitar, and great patience. This is drone-licious. Dark. Beautiful. A great new world of sound awaits you, should you choose to enter here…
Lost Diamond by Gregory Paul. This is a solo record by the man behind The Autumndivers, and this particular song is epic, mysterious and very very cool. The narcotic melody and good singing lead the soft charge here. Touches of strings make it even heavieer, and the reckless use of reverbs somehow manages to avoid cheesiness entirely. Right on!
Bears by Steven Fromholz. I guess Lyle Lovett covered this song, but this is the original, with banjo and (in an inspired moment of wacky genius), clavinet. It’s always interesting to listen to the songwriter’s version of a song that someone else made famous, so here ya go. Love that clavinet.
Whatcha Gonna Do by Peter Tosh. Love that clavinet so much it reminded me of the classic Peter Tosh sound from back when – I wore this record out when I was in high school in the 80′s.
Five Years by David Bowie. And finally, as a closer, here’s the classic Bowie tune that opens Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. This was on the other side of the tape that had the Peter Tosh on it. I will forever associate the two records with each other, and with my walkman, backpack, and long walks through my beloved suburban Maryland commercial and residential wastelands.
happy listening!
mz

Pandora

The Pandora Team http://www.pandora.com/

39 thoughts on “No Mainstream Fridays! Vol. 5

  1. I have just tested Pandora on my Pocket PC.
    The setup is:
    - Flash Player 7 (the latest)
    - Windows Mobile 5 OS (the latest)
    - Pocket Internet Explorer
    - HTC Universal Pocket PC with 640×480 screen
    - WiFi connection capable of about 100 KBytes/s to my Pocket PC
    - GSM 3G connection (about 40 KBytes/s)
    Unfortunately Pandora doesn’t work in this setup at all. The player doesn’t appear on the screen. A white rectangle appears in the place on the web page where the player should be.
    Most of other Flash sites work.
    It would be great if Pandora worked on my Pocket PC.

  2. HI~~ i’m a young listener here!! from a far away country” Taiwan ”
    Pandora is a great place !! i told to all my friend ^^ hope next time i’ll say more better English >< because i’m really happy to find here!! but i’m poor at using English~~sorry
    hope one day our Chinese market will do the same thing like what you guys do!!

  3. did you by chance hit Cincinnati, Ohio? one of my fave bands right now, The Times, is from there,and i am in love.
    check them out at:
    http://www.myspace.com/thetimesband
    or
    http://www.stretchtheskies.com/?goto=wallet&direct=store&artist_key=1291&album_key=189&aid=16
    swear to god i should be on their publicity team or something. that’s how great. yeah, that’s right
    anyhow, thanks so much for Pandora!!!!! it’s the best thing i’ve stumbled across in ages!

  4. Interesting to hear Steven Fromholz’ version of “Bears” — I was only famiar with Mark Weigle’s cover version.

  5. hi folks!
    theresa – hmmm. hi. “new chili peppers?” is a bit unclear, but we do have it, if that’s what you’re asking. if you’re asking why it’s not on my list this week, that’s just because it’s on lots of other lists already and it’d be redundant. in any case, you can craft a “new chili peppers” playlist by making a station from one of the songs on the new record. cool?
    zaphod b – try sending that message to pandora-support[AT]pandora.com – they’ll help you out more than I ever could!
    mei juinjie – your english is better than my chinese. thanks for the note and for listening. good luck over there.
    amanda – don’t think we’ve been through cincinnati yet. thanks for the tip.
    slimboy – ok!
    larry-bob – haven’t heard weigle’s version. will have to check it out. thanks for listening!
    mz

  6. i am a new listener, and i love pandora. but i just want to tip you about two kick ass swedish band, because i’m from sweden and i like them…
    those band are The Embassy and Suburban Kids With Biblical Names.

  7. Dunno if anyone’s suggested this before, but it would be cool to have all of these songs on one channel so we could hear the entire set. Understand the issues with that, but it would still be cool.

  8. I would love to hear some more world music. “Mana” is one of Mexico’s biggest bands, and I wish I could hear them on Pandora. Also, how about some top Arabic singers? Would love it if you had “Amr Diab” and other musicians of Arabic origin in the mix.

  9. You know, it’d be really great if you could create a windows screensaver with pandora.
    I did try creating one using the plain old IE component; and while I did get it to load, there were a bunch of issues with clicking in the interface ;-)
    A Pandora screensaver would be awesome for parties!

  10. A friend of mine recommended this website and it has been a tremendous benefit to me and my colleagues here in Nigeria. You guys are doing a great job. Wish you can add some African music to spice up your collection.
    For I’m stuck with Pandora.

  11. Thank you for highlighting my station “ambientSpace Radio” in your recent Inside the Genome newsletter. I love ambient music and Pandora has made it easier to find all kinds of great music in this relatively obscure field.
    Cheers!

  12. I really like this place. read about it in a news paper article,been listening ever since.Check out “Frozen Love” by Buckingham Nicks(yes the Buckingham Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame, before they were who they are). You guys don’t have it, but I do.

  13. i wish i had summat useful to say, but i don’t so here it is: PANDORA. FUCKEN. RULES. not sure bout this genome thing- doesn’t seem to work i’m afraid but it doesn’t need to, a massive database of cross-referenced music is heaven in itself. been enlightened to so much stuff by pandora- envy the guys that compile all the tunes. keep up the good work guys.

  14. Thank you so much, Pandora People. I love your work, and amongst others I am really impressed by how up to date you are concerning Scandinavian music!
    Still I would like to tip you about some more. The best Norwegian band is calles Motorpsycho. Now you do HAVE a band called Motorpsycho, but it’s not it.
    Next, you DO have Thomas Dybdahl, but not his exellent band, The National Bank.
    The merriest Swedish rapper since I don’t know when, is called Timbuktu. You have a tim.buktu, but it’s not the guy. Please check him out.
    You have a Big Bang, but not Bigbang, who are GREAT.
    Thank you again, and hope it will be “legal” to listen from Europe soon.

  15. Any chance you’ll be getting Tammany Hall Nyc on here? They are in the folk genre, they’re amazing, somewhat unknown with negative radio play and they have been featured on the TV show “Scrubs” which is also amazing.

  16. Hey guys, I think your program is the best free music service on the net. I love the huge selection of music you offer, and all the new songs I’ve discovered in the past half-year. Nearly half the music on my iPod is there because I heard it first on Pandora. In case you guys didn’t already know, you were featured in a small article in last month’s PopSci magazine.
    Getting down to business, you must add Angels & Airwaves new CD “We Don’t Need to Whisper”. The band features Tom DeLonge of Blink 182, and sounds quite similar to his older material. The record came out only a few days ago, so I wasn’t expecting it to be in the system quite yet, but it needs to get entered soon.
    Keep rocking.

  17. Hey Gang-
    Bang up job with the site! Still waiting on the Mecca Bodega.
    While you’re at it, how about some Michael Nicholi?
    Cheers!

  18. Check out my CD at CDBABY.com, Deidre Harston Dennis, “Intuitions”. Maybe you’ll add it to your site. Thanks, blessings, love, peace and light.
    dsioux.

  19. suburban kids with biblical names is indeed a good band.
    swedish music=overall incredible????!!!
    jag alska:
    the lovekevins
    erik hallden
    the loveninjas
    nanook of the north
    rough bunnies
    pendletones

  20. I’m totally impressed by pandora.com… Revolutionized my music listening…
    But can you recommend a good channel for classical music… That would blow my mind away…
    Thanx again… Klasse.com

  21. A lot of the non-mainstream music can be found on eMusic.com, which is a great service (and #2 behind iTunes). Seems like it would be good to link there, as right now I have to manually go see if a song is on eMusic.
    Thanks, great service!

  22. Just a request – it’d be great if you could link to eMusic! Its the #2 legal download service, after all. I have to manually go see if songs are there.

  23. Wow, this Pandora blows my mind, thanks to Pandora I found a cool band named ‘Nonpoint’, and I wouldn’t have known about them at all if it wasn’t for pandora.

  24. Me again, do you guys even know who the ‘Headstones’ are?, I asked Pandora, but didn’t receive, so please add some ‘Headstones’

  25. wanna get as much as possible of your total and much interesting information concerning all type of music………… tnx

  26. Hello there, staff of Pandora Radio!
    Thank you very much for launching this kind of radio. I have been looking for something like this for a long time, but nowI’ve found what I’m looking for. Keep up the good work. Thank God you exist!
    - Henri Niskala, Helsinki, Finland.

  27. Pandora rocks!
    this is an amazing project. I’m full of respect for you guys launching this great idea.
    Here is one I’m missing:
    Joel Streeter / Heart me out
    jung guy with loads of potential.
    Looking forward to here him soon on pandora- the only radio I hear and never get sick of :-)

  28. A great band I’d like to hear in Pandora is Sorta. They have a CD called “Strange and Sad but True” available on their myspace page. They were recently chosen as the best local act at the Dallas Observer Music Awards.
    Thanks,
    Clay

  29. Here is one of the Headstones albums i would like to see, it’s called “Picture of Health”, pretty good album, check it out.

  30. I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR MUSIC BY SMOOV-E AND OUT OF 60 SONG TITLES HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND ANY. IF IT’S NOT TO MUCH COULD YOU MAYBE ADD SMOOV-E TO THE MUSIC. IF SOMEONE LOOKS AROUND THEY WILL FIND HIM. I WOULD PUT HIM IN THE SAME TYPE OF MUSIC CATAGORY AS MAC DRE, AND ANDRE NICKATINA. MAC DRE IS FEATURED ON A COUPLE OF HIS SONGS. I KNOW YOUR ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW MUSIC SO I THOUGHT I’D MAYBE BE A PERSON THAT CAN HELP YOU AT PANDORA FIND SOME. A FEW SONG TITLES ARE, P.F.B.B., SUPER COLLOSAL, SEVEN DAYS OF LUST, AND LACED WITH HASH. YOU AT PANDORA ARE EXECELLENT AND IT IS JUST A SUGGESTION FROM SOMEONE WHO LOVES PANDORA AND DOES NOT EVEN LISTEN TO THE RADIO OR CD’S ANYMORE SINCE I HEARD OF PANDORA.
    THANK YOU

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