Picks of the Week

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B.o.BB.o.B. gets you high on the funk with Psycadelik Thoughtz.

His perfect mixture of soulful harmonies, funky bass, southern slang, vocoder and spaced out beats provide the soundtrack for a spaceship landing in Georgia. Back and Forth has a funky steppers vibe, and guests Jon Bellion and Sevyn Streeter add to the flavor on this surprise release. –J Boogie

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Bay Area gem radiates goth-folk garage-rock gold.

Calls

“Don’t know it yet/ You’re going to love me,” warns gauzy voiced Kati Knox, as if she’s casting a siren’s spell. Her Oakland based band Calls has a penchant for recording bewitching, lo-fi songs. Drenched in reverb and analog hiss, Tiny Flowers sounds like John Dwyer produced it in Paula Frazer’s home studio. –Eric Shea

 

Dornik is finally here!

Dornik

Coming to us from PMR Records (the label behind Euro-Soul greats Disclosure and Jessie Ware)

Dornik’s self-titled debut album is finally here after his quiet introduction with single “Something About You” in 2013. His beautiful vocals sound uncannily like he trained directly behind The King of Pop himself, making Dornik well worth the wait. –Kike Aluko

 

Lana Del Rey just wants to get “High By The Beach.”

Lana Del Rey

The latest single sees the pop singer return to the bold honesty that first put her on the map. Lacing the hip-hop inspired groove heard on Born To Die with the storytelling rigor of Ultraviolence, she creates a fresh and familiar intoxicating sound that will leave you hooked. –Michelle Solomon

 

 

Louis CK, live once again.

Louis CK 2

Hot on the heels of January’s Live At the Comedy Store, the reigning king of comedy is back with Live at Madison Square Garden. Some jokes are repeats, but MSG offers a totally different sound and enough new jokes to stand alone. Standouts include musings on American Girl Dolls and privileges the elderly should enjoy. –Kelly Anneken

 

For the Church of Joanna Newsom, a time of rejoicing.

Joanna Newsom

Fives years we acolytes have awaited the return of our anointed one, and verily she comes bearing the fruits of her labor. Enter the mysteries of “Sapokanikan,” reminiscent of the Book of Have One On Me, with liturgical harmonies gracing her soaring melodies and arrangements that recollect prophetess Shirley Collins. –Diego Gonzalez

 

Bang your head! NEDal health’ll drive you mad!

Okilly Demos

On Okilly Demos, Phoenix’s Okilly Dokilly, clad in matching pink Izods, pay homage to beloved Simpsons do-goodilly-two-shoes Ned Flanders. The four episode-themed tracks fuse chugging riffs and monster drum pound to wild synth squiggle and shrieking garage-punk for a sound like a metal Tears For Fears or a more lo-fi, sci-fi Tool.  –Andee Connors

 

Picks of the Week

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Bro country approaches middle age.

1. Luke Bryan

Don’t let the title of Luke Bryan’s fifth album fool you; He’s still young at heart. Kill The Lights opens musing on trucks, tractors and partying. And the title-track fuses disco beats with country-pop. But “Just Over” reveals Bryan maturely handling a breakup while “Scarecrows” finds him accepting things that change and things that don’t. –Eric Shea

 

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Jay Pharoah impersonates everyone else while asking, Can I Be Me?

2. Jay Pharoah

The SNL veteran’s debut comedy album features a rapid-fire parade of the celebrity impressions he’s known for, alongside more personal tales of why he’s scared of Richard Sherman, his pre-fame gig working at Golden Corral, and how a shark attack ruined his relationship. –Kelly Anneken

 

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Picks of the Week

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Quavo, Offset and Takeoff take the crown for Atlanta on Yung Rich Nation.

bf72e14e80f1deaa8727e11447c37be0

Shining like a neck full of gold chains, Migos’ new album bounces between club hits and cookhouse anthems. With production from some of the hottest heavyweight beat-makers in the game, YRN shows off the family skills over hits from DJ Mustard, Zaytoven, Metro Boomin and Murda Beatz. –J Boogie

 

 

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Behold San Francisco’s best-kept indie rock secret.

a4182013143_10

You probably won’t see Verst gracing the stages of those popular SF tastemaker festivals, but you should. Starship Crash is a noise-pop masterwork that infuses ‘90s sonic wizardry with innovative melodies, both barbed and sublime. Guitar effects whisperer John Dickey croons like Stephen Malkmus channeling Neil Young. There’s not one mediocre song here. –Eric Shea

 

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Picks of the Week

1335_Picks_Blog

The force is strong for Jeff Tweedy and co.

Wilco

Wilco fans were treated to the group releasing their ninth album for free online. Star Wars is the most experimental LP the veteran band has offered since A Ghost Is Born – from the spiky, distressed guitars of opening instrumental “EKG” to the stunningly hazy fugue state conjured by closer “Magnetized.” –Michelle Solomon

 

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Beloved British space rockers make an unexpected return.

Flying Saucer Attack

Flying Saucer Attack frontman David Pearce goes it alone on Instrumentals 2015, the first FSA release in 15 years – and a stunning collection of abstract sonic sketches. These impressionistic instrumentals smolder, shimmer and occasionally howl. They drift between pastoral twang, blurred prismatic thrum, keening feedback-drenched drone and hazy smears of soft-focus sound. –Andee Connors

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My Head Is An Animal – Of Monsters and Men Live

When I speak their name, it evokes feelings of dancing in mystical, magic fields, of firefly’s and dandelions flying in the wind…Of Monsters and Men.

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The Sydney State Theatre was a flawless venue choice for the OMAM gig. With beautiful, ornate chandeliers, historic gilted walls and sweeping staircases combined with OMAM’s enchanting melodies, we felt like we were entering a fairy tale. 

“Crystals” was being performed as Jackie, my fellow folk rock devotee, and I found our seats. But, alas, “King and Lionheart” got us back on our feet. We were told to go closer to the stage if we wanted to dance. Closer to the stage? We couldn’t get there fast enough as “Empire”, “Slow Life” and “Human” filled the theatre.

Jackie and I twirled our way through the crowd, until we were so close to Nanna and Ragner, we could see their guitar picks. This was just in time for a favourite of ours; “Mountain Sound”.

Here we stayed for the remainder of the performance, getting swallowed by the swaying crowd as we sang loudly out of tune to songs like “Lakehouse” and “Six Weeks”. The indie folk band didn’t seem to mind and treated us to “Dirty Paws” and “Silhouettes” for their encore, concluding with the moving, “We Sink”.

Seeing this six-piece Icelandic group live is a spiritual experience. They have the ability to convey a plethora of human emotions with their hauntingly striking vocals, rhythmic acapella and mixture of regimental drumming and brass.

To experience Of Monsters and Men’s dulcet tones, listen on Pandora.

Words: Cherie Brady, Ad Operations, Pandora Australia
Image: Jackie Dunfee, Ad Operations, Pandora Australia 

Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Psychedelic rock mastermind ventures into electronica.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala (aka Aussie Kevin Parker) perfected lilting, hypnotic, Beatles-esque psychedelia on his first two albums. With Currents, he reinvents himself. Guitars are all but abandoned for keyboards, DJ-style looping and filter trickery. There’s even R&B crooning, evoking great genre-smashers from Beck to Daft Punk. It’s a strong contender for album of the year. –Party Ben

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Americana tunesmith hits his stride.

Billy Shaddox

Billy Shaddox’s I Melt, I Howl revives “Golden Coast,” a decade-old chestnut from his prior project Billy Midnight. But the weight of paying his dues is intensely palpable this time around when Shaddox sings, “Somewhere it seems/ I lost my dreams/ Or it might be/ That they were all taken away.” Stellar guitar solos abound. –Eric Shea

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Oakland metal trio melts their own faces.

High On Fire album art

High On Fire gets countlessly compared to Motörhead, Celtic Frost, Slayer, etc. But their 2015 masterwork Luminiferous will change all this. From Matt Pike’s relentless fretboard wizardry to the band’s well-oiled rhythm section chugging throughout, Luminiferous is so godhead that from now on, other (worthy) bands will be compared to High On Fire. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Taylor Negron lives on with UnCabaret Presents.

taylornegronIn the wake of his untimely death earlier this year, ‘90s alt-comedy showcase UnCabaret has released a compilation of beloved comedian’s Negron’s finest sets and “UnCabaret moments.” Tales include bumming cigarettes to Jude Law and Heath Ledger at an Oscar party, adventures with his childhood pet monkey and discovering a cult for models. –Kelly Anneken

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Grateful Dead apple falls further from the tree.

Midnight_NorthWith Scarlet Skies, Grahame Lesh (son of Phil) and Midnight North eschew expected jam-rock trappings for a more disciplined and soulful stew of modern Americana. Singer Elliott Peck comes out swinging like a tougher Nicki Bluhm on “Phoenix Motel” while the Lesh-led “Turn Around” plays like a more rocking Delaney & Bonnie. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

The return of the world’s only avian death metal crew!

HatebeakWith lead vocals by Waldo, a 21-year-old African grey parrot, and featuring members of Pig Destroyer, another (less literally) animal minded combo; Hatebeak’s Number Of The Beak is a brutal barrage of furiously fowl, metallic crush. The group grinds out pulverizing thrashers like “Beak Of Putrefaction” and “Hellbent For Feathers!” –Andee Connors

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Kacey Musgraves continues to follow her own arrow.

Kacey_MusgravesFollowing the success of Grammy-winning Same Trailer, Different Park, the country singer-songwriter pulls off another win on Pageant Material, with the tolerance-promoting sing-along “Biscuits” already generating “song of the year” buzz. She continues to find ways to assert her own convictions and individuality without sounding preachy or judgmental. And it’s a beauty! –Michelle Solomon

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Leon Bridges debuts with Coming Home.

Leon_BridgesJumping onto the scene with lead single “Coming Home,” newcomer Leon Bridges’s debut is a welcome dose of classic feel-good soul that will take you right back to the ‘60s. His earnest vocals move effortlessly through the album, heavily influenced by his gospel roots and southern sensibility. –Kike Aluko

 

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Sweating to Katy Perry?

When it comes to working out, putting in those long hours at the gym just isn’t the same without music.  And let’s be honest, with winter upon us, we figured it’s about that time for some musical motivation to help burn off those hearty winter meals.

Pandora’s got your workout stations covered – with everything from Spinning to 80s Cardio to Bollywood Workout, our curation team has created a whole host of workout playlists to keep you sweating.

With so many options, we took a look at your favourite workout stations so far for this year, with Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout being the unanimous favourite overall. Breaking it down, Hard Rock Strength Training and Rap Strength Training came out on top for men, while Pop Fitness and Yoga Fitness stations ranked highest for women – interesting, given that Yoga came in as the top group exercise for both sexes. Read More →