Tribute to the Triangle!

What a week! Charlottesville, Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill (plus Dallas last night, recap of that on the next post). Beautiful part of the country, super-hospitable people, and lots of music. Been a while since I’ve seen so much green.
Thanks to everyone who attended the various meetings and talks. I left town energized and armed with a bunch of great new ideas. I’ve posted some pix and thoughts below… if you have any you’d like me to add, please send ’em in –
First stop was Charlottesville, VA and UVA’s gorgeous campus where I spoke to Prof. Fred Maus’s music theory class…

Not a bad looking music building!
Very cool to hear that they’re really integrating rock/pop music into the core curriculum. I learned how hard it is to keep chalk from squeaking when you write on a chalkboard…
Enjoyable lunch with Brad, the first luddite blogger I’ve met. He writes for We both stopped by Plan9 Music store (clear favorite on the blog comments and emails – thanks everyone) to pick up some local discs. The impact of the DMB success is very noticeable – they’ve done a lot to promote music locally.
Raced across campus to Darden school to speak with a group of MBA students.
So much green everywhere… Thanks to Miguel and his entrepreneurs group for a stimulating discussion. Felt like something of an imposter given my rather lackluster educational history…
Drove back across town for a meetup at the Gravity Lounge – one of the best music rooms I’ve seen in a while. Paradise for an acoustic show – you don’t find a lot of spots that are clearly built with a music-appreciating audience in mind. Low ceilings, rugs and nice absorbent bookshelves around the room. Took a picture of the venue pre-meeting.
About 50 folks showed up for a lively dialogue. Lots of discussion about how we create ‘sets’ on pandora playlists.
Ran out of steam, so skipped the clubs that night. Recovering the previous night’s redeye.
Woke up bright and early the next day for the 4 hour drive to Raleigh Durham. Where I started the day at Duke with Prof. Marc Farris’ advanced music theory class. Some sharp kids there – learned that a IV-I cadence is called “plagal”. Suggested that modes would make for good genome genes – the “phrygian” construct of some rock is a signature style.
Spent the afternoon chatting with folks at Fuqua BSchool, followed by great dinner with some of the students. “I want to start my own company” was clearly the theme. The business discussions definitely are invaluable in stimulating thoughts about how to make this whole thing work. I also learned that undergrads campout for months to enter the lottery to get basketball season tickets… biz school students in RVs, ugrads in tents!
Another beautiful day on Wednesday, headed over to Chapel Hill with my wonderful host David – a million thanks to for being such an extraordinary host – driving me around, helping with boxes of hats and Tshirts. Can’t thank you enough. Music communities are sure to grow with people like you.
Started at Kenan Flagler, the UNC bschool to speak to a group of entrepreneurs. Sharp questions.
Then met up with some undergrads on the main campus in the blendCoLab group. Really dug talking to the students – about 12 or so. Young and eager to become entrepreneurs. Also some interesting perspective on community sites. On the way out David and I stopped by SchoolKids Records (thanks all ye commenters) to pick up local stuff. There are clearly some consensus local favs – headed for the Music Genome.
Got together with about 100 folks at the Carolina Theatre that evening for a terrific meetup. People talked a lot about different ways to start stations – mood, genre, and a random start station… also a strong desire to be able to control the playlists through specific musical attributes.
Also a lot about commerce – how to fulfill more of our catalogue. We went for a couple hours, and kept rapping afterwards with some hardy souls. It’s just so great to see such enthusiasm for music. Also very pleased by the reception of our new pandora gear! More options and finally some style :)
Topped the evening off with a great show from Calexico (thanks for rallying Jennifer!) at the fabled local Cat’s Cradle (definitely the consensus favorite spot among the blog commenters). Cool room and great sound. Had to capture the wall-o-posters. THis is giggin’ country.
Slept the sleep of the dead…
Up early and on to Dallas, TX… to be continued.


The Pandora Team

48 thoughts on “Tribute to the Triangle!

  1. The pleasure was ours, brother. You’ve done so much for us musically that it was an honor to have an opportunity to return the favor. Thanks for showing such great commitment to our community and openness to feedback and sharing your wisdom with young and not-so-young. We’ll keep on spreading the word.
    Travel safely and c’mon back again, y’hear?

  2. Hi!
    Thanks for the incredible work! This comment is more of a question: Anyone know how to get Pandora Radio playing on Mac?
    Peaceful blessings/Ostroshinsky

  3. i hope some one told yall bout twisted black ive been hoping yall would add him his style and music is real good

  4. Pandora works just fine on my Mac, a G4 Titanium Powerbook using Safari. I didn’t do anything special — just followed the directions.

  5. It seems that the only songs that will play off of an album are the ones listed in the “try track” list in the album backstage page. Why are only certain tracks available instead of the whole album?

  6. Some suggestions:
    1) Please please PLEASE let us see which genomes you’ve selected for a particular station.
    2) Related to the above: let us create a station by specifying a genome rather than an artist or a song (so we could make a station of, say, guitar solos)
    3) Select songs based on not just the genomes, but the period, genre and country too (you could make this optional).
    4) Let us see which songs are coming up next — unless this violates your license.
    5) Most of all, put up some predefined radio stations — like classic rock, metal, rap, 1950s pop and so on.

  7. This is coming from a professional software product manager… Not that you should take me any more seriously than anybody else (ahem).
    These are 2 obvious enhancements I can thnk of( in order of priority):
    1) A desktop player: The web-only interface can be clumsy (often when typing in a song name a backspace will be send me to the previous website as the “back” button) and bump up against other activity (often website crashes close all instances of explorer). A desktop player will open the door to more interface options, user preferences, etc.
    2) User Preferences: This may be covered with a desktop application. The preference I would like to see most is a “shuffle” mode versus a “genre” mode. Currently the selection algorithm seems to run multiple songs from a single genre and then switch. If it could shuffle between genres more frequently it would be like listening to an infinite Ipod with stuff you haven’t heard before but will like. Pretty cool huh?
    On a side note, I’ve done my best to confuse your AI by throwing my any-genre tastes into my profile and so far so good. Other than a desire to mix up the genres more frequently I love this thing. you guys have re-invented braodcasting. Good job.

  8. Loved to have heard you talk or just talk with you…make a trip to Charlotte, NC next time?
    Safe travels to you.

  9. I would like to suggest that you could include more music in spanish. I’ve been searching for that and only found Gloria Stefan (O_O)

  10. Hey cris,
    Here is a couple of Spanish artists you can start with on Pandora. El Tri, Cafe Tacuba, Jaguares, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Mecano, Gilberto Gil, Banda El Recorda, Andres Calamaro, Los Piratas… Different styles so check them all out!



  13. I missed your NC trip, only learned of recently. Major correction needs to be made. Do not call my hometown, the great City of Charlotte, by any other name, especially Charlottesville. Charlotte, home of the Superbowl Team “Charlotte Panthers”, Charlotte Hornets, and the world-famous Charlotte Motor Speedway and home to Jeff Gordon, multiple business home of Richard Petty, and Ava Gardner’s soft drink plant surpasses Atlanta Georgia in the total number of banks and monetary assets. Its airport is 20th in the nation, and first in the number of rocking chairs for air travelers!
    Tongue in cheek,
    Paulette Purgason

  14. I have a problem with your concept- the whole genome where you decide what a person would like to listen to based on whether or not they like “syncopated beats”, “cash obcessed lyrics” and the like. What kind of robotic idea is that? Human beings cannot be dissected when it comes to tastes. When I try to tell your “Pandora” what I like, it throws back what it guesses I like based on somebody’s idea (probably very musically educated, no doubt, but lacking in any real creative spontaneity, and definately removed from todays music scene.) Sorry, but the general public does not consist of a bunch of automatons willing to be milked by someone who thinks they understand how to know a persons musical taste based on their so called, “genome”. Hope you will extend the courtesy of a response.

  15. I just discovered Pandora (two whole days) and I love it! Your formula works for me. I’ve heard some great music I would never have known about without you. Thanks!

  16. would love to see you guys in Wilmington, North Carolina…Thre’s a lot of “death metal” around here, I really listen to all kinds of music and have thoroughly enjoyed theis website…had to have my little brother tell me what a genome is.

  17. Love the new way that I can listen to music–I was getting tired of Yahoo Music selections–keep up the great work!!!!

  18. Wow, Paulette. You have completely missed the point of the MGP. It’s aim (from what I have gathered) is not to pick apart a person’s tastes and serve them back in what is considered a correctly calculated manner. One can hardly make an attempt at this without realizing the nuances of the human mind; the mind is not a simple puzzle. The MGP simply aides exploration of one’s own likes and dislikes, just as trying on clothes might help you find your style. It gives you samples to work with. What i like so much about Pandora is that it not only gives me the samples, but they are organised and geared towards me using information I myself have given it. Pandora doesn’t tell us who we are or what we want. It just gives hints :)

  19. ~hey im so glad that i have people to appreciate and understand music as much as i do!! Music has been in my blood quiet a while, but all in all, the true music comes from within the human soul, and thrives to another heart!~ :-) Thanks again!

  20. Hi Tim
    Just would like to thank you for your welcome, I discover you in the last 36 hrs. and I love every bit of it. I am a avid lover of Gospel Music and Smooth Jazz, but Gospel is my first “Love”.
    I was wondering though is there a way that the circular music does not mesh it’s way into the library? What I mean is, for example on last night I was listen to my Fred Hammon station and a selection from the Whispers popped up! I am not aware of any Gospel music that has been recorded by them, I may have missed it, but I would prefer if it is all the same to you, that the R&B not be mixed in with the Gospel please.
    I mean it’s like my mom says everything has it’s place, hopefully I have not offended anyone I would like to say that you’ve got something great here and I appreciate you and your project. Keep up the good work, and if there is anyway I can assist you guys from this end of the world please let me know and if it is in my power I will see that it is carried out. Good Luck!!

  21. Someone’s Sister is a politically active feminist type of folk/soft rock band based in my town Greenville NC. Sounds like Indigo Girls. Very good and doing awesome works against violence against women and children!

  22. I would like to pick a couple of artists for a station and only hear those particular artists. I like to listen to music while I drive, clean up or just check my email and sometimes I am in the mood to hear certain people. That’s not to say that you don’t pick good people for your stations because I have come upon some new voices and songs that I do like. I would like to be able to go back to a song I was listening to before. I made the mistake of skipping a bunch of songs when I first started listening thinking that I could just see what was next and go back and listen through, needless to say, I learned the hard way that that’s not how it works. I do love what you have done and hope you keep up the good work!

  23. this is one terrific idea radio for free pandora i salute you!

  24. So far I have enjoyed the music. One suggestion though. I am new to this so if I missed it please forgive me. But my suggestion is when doing a search for a group or album it would be nice if you had the option to play the entire album or ad the songs from that album to your station. For example i was searching for a group i liked and made a station from that group but it would be nice if i could listen to more than one or two songs from that lbum and ad it to my station.

  25. Just looked at Tennessee and Virginia. I have to highly recommend Bristol, TN/VA. This is the birthplace of Country music, but that is not at all the only thing here. This is the sort of place where just about everyone you meet is musical involved. We have so much music here, you would not believe it. That is about all you will find here with the exception of the race track. Oh, if you do come, I recommend coming in September when we will be having the Rhythm and Roots Festival. Thanks.

  26. Just read that you were in the Raleigh North Carolina. Thanks for the great comments on our great “Green” state. I live about 60 mile south of the Raleigh area in what is known as “The Sandhills on NC” ! Also know as the golf capital as we have over 47 courses to play in our area. And the #1 course…Pinehurst #2 known world wide.
    I was very surprised that while in the area you did not hear anything about our “Special” music of North and South Carolina. What is our special music and the well know dance that goes along with it?
    “Carolna Beach Music”, and the dance known as “The Carolina Shag”. This music and dance has been going on since at least the 1940’s when all the school kids would save their money and drive to the beach to dance to the jukebox sounds of our beach music and dance the nigth away. Now and for quite awhile there is a gathering twice a year at our neighboring state South Carolina at North Myrtle Beach, also know as Ocean Drive Beach. The music and dance has spead far and wide and 1000’s of fans come down for what is known as SOS Spring and Fall Migration to share our love for the dance and music. Bands such as Craig Woolard Band, The Embers, The Fantastic Shakers, The Holiday Band, The Tams,etc. all show up for this celerbration.
    For more info on the music and dance craze check out this website.
    I also have a radio station set up for me on your website..”Dons Carolina Beach Station” for anyone to check out.
    Love your site, sounds, music, blog, etc.
    Thanks for a great way to make our own radio station and share with others.

  27. Im a 61 year old retired military, grew up on old fashion blue grass music and blue grass gospel. I loved Jimmy Martin, Chubby Wise and Curly Ray Cline, whom I learned to play the fiddle from, Curly was one of the best fiddle players and I met him once when I was about 13 years old. Im still hanging in here with my roots from western north carolina. Keep up the great work.

  28. I wish that there was a way to weight your ‘quickmix’. In other words, 30 percent here, 10 percent there etc.
    I also wish that there was a way to enter a producer instead of just an artist or song as a means of generating a station.
    My 2 cents.
    Brent Lambert
    The Kitchen Mastering

  29. Sorry to have missed you during your visit to Raleigh Sept. 2006. I’m taking it out on my friends who were present for not letting me know!
    Please give a shout the next time you’re in the area. Also, keep up the great work!
    Mark Turner

  30. I’ve been hooked on pandora since I was introduced and thank you for introducing me to so many ‘unknowns’! And in the meantime thought I would throw a band name in your direction. “Skywire” is from Raleigh, NC, and since I saw them in November, and subsequently purchased their cd, I can’t seem to take it out of my cd player. :) Either way, just thought I’d throw it out there! You can check out their stuff on and on i-tunes.
    Keep up the AWESOME JOB!

  31. I think this is the best music website ever. It’s Great. I would enjoy coming to one of your meeting in the near future. I live in Charlotte North Carolina so I will be looking forward to seeing you somewhere near by. By the way I am a student and could help find a meeting place in the Charlotte area so contact me via email if you come this way or anywhere near by. I have to say great ideal and great job. Thank you.

  32. YO!! You have a great thing going,,,,,,,,,,,for us listeners!! I am in the DC area, and you have the BEST blues out there………..OK,,,,,,,,I want a hat and T shirt!!! If you get this, email me and I will send my address,,,,,,,,,
    Thanks for Pandora,
    Rich P.

  33. Hey people! If you can vote for music, you can vote in this election. Please register to vote. I am meeting so many young North Carolina listeners who are not registered. This election is so important. Help make history, VOTE!

  34. will you please take the picture of the kid eating the marshmellows off. I understand it is intended to cute, but I dont want to anybody eating with their mouth gapped open with food. please remove.

  35. When I choose the Moody Blues to listen to I ONLY want to listen to the Moody Blues. Can you offer this service?