Starting Points

Ever get a brain freeze when you go to enter a song or an artist into
Pandora? Want to try a new, completely unfamiliar style of music? I’ve
been combing through the stations created by Pandora listeners over the
past month and I’d like to tell you about some of them.  These stations
have lots of listeners and those
listeners give many more thumbs up than thumbs down to the songs that
play on them.

Tune in to some of these stations and you will hear a lot of
interesting
music. When you hear a song style you particularly like you can use
“Make a
new station from this song”. Or just let it play and enjoy.

Reel Big
Fish
” – This is a cool station. Like the band this station covers a
range of music including Ska, Punk, Alt-Rock and Grunge. Don’t know
what these terms mean? Not to worry. If you like catchy electric guitar
riffs, fast tempos, brilliant horn section backgrounds and two-part
vocal harmonies, give this station a try.


Aphex Twin
– Want to explore the world of electronic music outside the dance club?
This station will take you from Ambient to Techno with a bit of Trance
thrown in for good measure. Some people call this “Intelligent Dance
Music. However, you probably won’t find much to dance to on this
station. What you will hear is plenty of beautiful moods and terrific
interplay between the keyboards and drums.

The Roots” –
Want to hear tremendously well-crafted Hip-Hop? I’m talking about great
poetry backed up by real instruments and catchy grooves? This station
covers a lot of territory. You’ll hear Funk, East Coast, Hard Core and
more. Don’t know Rap? Start here. Love Rap but getting tired of the
same-old same-old? This station will take you to new places that will
make you smile.

John Coltrane
– One of the more polarizing characters in the history of Jazz. His
station will take you through 30 years of Avant-Garde, Bop, and Free
jazz. This is not for the faint of heart. Suspend your preconceptions
of what a song, or even a melody should sound like and tune in this
station. Your toes will be tappin’ even if you can’t hum the melody.
This stuff is addictive.

Dragonforce
– This station will take you safely through a great range of Metal and
Hard Rock along with a smattering of beautiful angst-filled ballads.
Distorted electric guitars backing powerful tenor vocalists are the
rule here. You will also hear spectacular lead guitar and drum work.
Drop in and hear why this is one of the largest neighborhoods in the
world of Rock music.

“Stevie
Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble” – Forget Jake and Elwood. This is
the real deal. You’ll hear all kinds of Blues on this station. Many
popular music styles have their origins in the Blues. If you like
Country, Rock, R&B or Soul you owe yourself a trip into the land of
the flat fifth.

Rufus
Wainwright
” – There are so many singer songwriter artists; it can
be difficult to figure out where to start. The Rufus Wainwright station
will reward you with a selection of Adult Alternative, Soft Rock, and
Folk influenced music. If you like acoustic guitars, and thoughtful
lyrics this station is for you.

DJ Shadow” –
Trip-Hop and Breakbeat are two interesting styles of electronic music.
This station will play music with tricky beats, samples, turntable
effects and synthetic sounds. There is a consistent funky feel even as
the tempo and intensity vary widely.

 “Dream Theatre
– On this station you will hear a big electric sound with upfront drums
and gritty vocals.  There will be a lot of multi-sectioned compositions
with multiple themes and time signatures. This is some great Epic
Progressive Rock. It grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. This is
not background music.

Alison Krauss
– Interested in traditional Country and contemporary Bluegrass? The
Alison Krauss station serves up a terrific selection of tunes spanning
these popular musical styles. Common elements you will hear include
solo vocalist, slide guitars and banjos.

St. Germain
– What happens when you mix Jazz with Downtempo Electronica? Tune into
this station and find out. This is a great station for a dinner party
or when you just want to chill out. It doesn’t overpower – just one
comfortable groove after another. Sweet.

Damian Marley
– What happened to Reggae since the untimely death of Bob Marley? Look
no further than his youngest son Damian. This station showcases Reggae
spiced up with R&B, Hip-Hop and Dancehall influences. Reggae has
touched almost every type of popular music. Tune in and hear why.

Ella
Fitzgerald
” – Here you will hear many familiar songs performed by
the most talented musicians in the history of Jazz ensemble
performance. Even if you don’t particularly care for Jazz you should
give this station a try. Even the sad songs are joyous!

Jill Scott
– This is a great starting point if you want to hear contemporary style
R&B. Smooth vocal deliveries and jazzy themes predominate, backed
by a combination of electronic and traditional instrumentation. No
rough edges on this station.

Boney James
– What do you get when you cross solo instrumental jazz and popular
R&B?  Smooth Jazz of course. This important segment of the musical
landscape is popular with a very broad audience. Perfect for your next
cocktail party, this station will play mostly saxophone features. If
you prefer more variety of feature instruments, try “Rick Braun” or “Jeff Golub“.
Any of these three stations is sure to keep the mood bright and never
intrude.

Shania Twain
– It’s difficult to describe the musical landscape of this station.
Whether you consider this to be Country, Pop or Light rock, you won’t
be alone if you like it. Straightforward melodies,
lyrics you can sing along with, and emotions you can identify with.
That’s what this station is all about.

Kansas” – This station
is a gateway to a generous selection of Progressive Rock. Listen for
lead, rhythm and bass guitars driven by a solid back beat. Prefer
something a bit heavier? Try “Deep Purple“. For
something lighter, try  “Todd Rundgren
All three of these will play music in the classic rock style, no matter
what era it was recorded.

Try some of these starting points and enjoy the music! That’s the
reason we’re here.

Pandora

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

53 thoughts on “Starting Points

  1. Hey!
    My recommendation if you like Neo-Classical Music, try Autumn Tears.. very good..
    Congratulations for the team that created and it’s managing pandora!

  2. For all of you out there looking for some Broadway songs, if you search Alan Menken you get a few Broadway selections, “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”, and “Music of the Night” were the first ones up on my list. I’d like to find more if anyone knows anything else that helps.

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