From the lonesome lakes of Wisconsin to California’s fields and orchards, JJ Schultz has been traveling and writing country-folk ballads. As we hear here, one of the main tensions in classic country songwriting is the balance between sweet, major-key melodies and melancholy words. It’s a tradition of songcraft that places value on specific imagery, concrete visual descriptions, and identifiable situations. Those lyrical scenes are key. This episode explores the tradition, and extols the virtues of great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson. (12 mins.)
That link above is to JJ’s site, but this one is to his Pandora artist profile.
When he’s not here working at Pandora’s headquarters, you might find JJ Schultz hosting a great weekly open mic night at Hotel Utah in San Francisco. You might also find him with pen in hand working on new songs. His three albums of original songs range from folk to country to other strains of Wisconsin-bred Americana. Today, however, we focus on that country music. We get into classic country songwriting, looking at how major-key melodies mix with sad lyrics to establish a setting for those vivid, very specific images.
Thanks for listening,
This is a very sad day for Pandora, and for me personally. Today we reduced our staff from 140 to 120 employees. Like virtually every company, Pandora is not immune to the challenges presented by the current economic turmoil. We are trying to react quickly and responsibly to the new environment.
We cherish our employees. We have painstakingly built a team that I am tremendously proud of – there’s not a person in our company who hasn’t contributed substantially to what we do, and who we are. The twenty folks we let go today were no exception.
I started this company nine years ago. I lived through some very tough times back in 2001-2002. But letting go of an employee will, for me at least, always be the most gut-wrenching thing there is. We tried our best today to treat these friends and colleagues with great understanding, and with as much financial support for their transition as we can afford.
There are tough times ahead for the economy, but our listenership is growing rapidly, the Internet radio royalty rate resolution seems finally near, and the explosion of mobile devices like the iPhone are opening up a world of opportunity for internet radio to expand off the desktop. Moreover, our ad sales are growing so well that, not only did we not make any reductions there, we need to continue to hire more.
It’s just hard to be excited about all that today.
A couple more verbal answers to commonly asked questions. This week’s topics:
IS PANDORA REALLY FREE?
HOW CAN I MAKE MY STATION BETTER?
HOW DO I LIMIT MY STATION TO A PARTICULAR STYLE?
Please feel free to post any questions you’d like elaborated… we’re all ears!
Cheers. Tim (Founder)
If you missed the recent Pandora meet-up in New York, you can catch me at the Apple Store in SoHo on Thursday, October 16th, 2008.
This will be a get together to talk about Pandora on the iPhone–including the newest updates to the application. I’ll also share a little about the history of Pandora, how the Music Genome Project works and answer any questions you might have about the service and the company. Should be a fun evening.
Please RSVP to let us know you’ll be there by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “APPLE STORE” in the subject line. Feel free to bring as many guests as you like! Seats will be first come first served.
Full details below:
What: Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, at the Apple Store in SoHo.
When: Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 6 PM
Where: Apple Store in SoHo–103 Prince Street, New York City
Hope to see you there!
Congratulations to the winners of the 2nd Annual Pandora Poster Contest! We had a lot of great entries this year from some amazingly talented people.
The Grand Prize winner will receive $500, the Runner-up will receive $250, and the Editor’s Choice winner will receive $500.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the contest, and an extra congratulations to the winners.
|Grand Prize Winner
Artist: Rebecca Zaharia
Artist: Hadley Rouse
Artist: Mandy Gordon
Donate now to one of our Global Giving projects to get a poster. With a minimum $10 donation, you can select which poster to receive. Donate at least $20 and receive all three.
This evening the Senate approved passage of HR7084. Hooray! We still have to finish up the negotiations, but now the table is set.
Thanks to everyone for your incredible support over the past few days. It was just extraordinary. We had some terrific allies on the Hill; a hearty thanks to our sponsors on the House side – Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) pictured on the floor below, and Donald Manzullo (R-IL), and Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) who shepherded the bill through the Senate. And a special thanks to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) for his key role as Chairman of the IP Subcommittee.
Behind all the activity within the halls of congress was the tireless advocacy by you, our listeners. None of this would have been possible without your overwhelming public support. Your voice was a constant reminder to everyone involved in this process about the importance of internet radio to music lovers and musicians alike. Your level of involvement was unprecedented. We are eternally grateful.
Thank you again for your amazing support. We will continue to keep you apprised as we work diligently to complete the process.
Rep. Howard Berman Rep. Jay Inslee
We are having a Pandora meet-up at the SouthSide Works Cinema in Pittsburgh. Hope to see you there–excited to meet our Pittsburgh listeners!
If you would like to attend, please RSVP by sending an email to Angie at email@example.com with PITTSBURGH in the subject line.
When: Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 @ 7:00 PM
Where: SouthSide Works Cinema
425 Cinema Drive (in the heart of SouthSide Works)
Pittsburgh, PA (