Much like spring flowers, Metal pops up in many varieties: Grindcore, Metalcore, Death Metal, Black Metal, and legions more. If you’ve ever had difficulty distinguishing between these many styles and subgenres (as I certainly have), then this show is for you. Three metal mavens — Ava, Kurt and Weasel — enter the recording studio to perform original songs in each of these styles, and to explain how these genres are musically distinct. They don’t shy away from Progressive Metal or Hair Metal, either. Get out your black leather, your chrome studs, and your best steel-toed boots and check out the show.
Please remove sharp objects before banging your head,
p.s.: What’s your favorite metal?
p.p.s.: Any glaring omissions in that list of examples? What do you think we overlooked?
We had the pleasure of meeting many of our San Francisco listeners on May 13. Thank you to the hundreds of people who came out for the event. It was great to talk with you, not just about your Pandora stations, but about all things musical.
The occasion for the party was the premiere of our latest Studio Stories video. After screening the piece, we hosted a Q&A session with the leaders of the Plant Studios, Arne Frager and Mari Tamburo. It was enlightening to hear Arne and Mari’s insights about the music industry, and their opinions on what studios need to do to thrive in today’s climate of home digital recording and shrinking production budgets.
In the latest episode of the Pandora Video Series, our guests are Arne Frager and Mari Tamburo, the leaders of the Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA. The river of great albums made there is stunning, with notable records by Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, and Rick James just skimming the surface. In the video, “Studio Stories: The Plant Studios,” we talk about the ways that the lavish studios of yore can adapt to survive in a changing music industry. We also look at one creative way that a recording studio can involve itself in music education, as the Plant has done.
If you want to download the full-sized video rather than stream it from the page, subscribe to the feed in iTunes or any other feedreader.
Drumming wizard Jeff Anthony has returned! When Jeff isn’t analyzing music for Pandora or playing recording sessions, he is frequently thinking about rhythmic patterns. The man is dedicated. In this newest episode, “Drum Feels (For Toms and Kick),” Jeff shows a range of drumset variations that infuse arrangements with spice and zazz. Anticipations, tribal-sounding tom patterns, surf sounds, fills to cover BPM changes, and more. He is around to field questions, too, so fire away on the show page.
Shave and a haircut… two bits,
p.s.: We now have separate subscriptions for our Audio and Video programs… This one for the Audio Series, and this RSS feed for the Pandora Video Series. As always, they’re all free. Enjoy!
Wow. My previous post somehow managed to elicit a few fairly incendiary comments regarding rap music: so I think we’d better have this discussion now. Let’s keep it civil, and aim to have as our ultimate goal the promotion of a greater awareness of all the amazingly great rap and hip hop music that’s out there.
Ok. One listener wrote “I can’t figure out for the life of me why rap is considered music”; another made the rather extraordinary claim that “…rap music is non-music and it is forced on the media to reach kids to pull them into the gansta, dope dealing, guns and prostitution junk while as they depict their lifstyle as the high life.”
This idea that rap somehow “isn’t music,” is pretty prevalent, so let’s check it out. Setting aside the minefields of class and culture and race and just keeping it to the music, I’ll just say that musically speaking the idea that rap is “not music” probably comes from the fairly obvious observation that (en masse and in very general terms) rap songs don’t have melodies in the same way that popular songs do. There are plenty of melodies in rap, and there is lots of great music as well; but the salient point here is to compare what there is in rap songs to what there is in the basic popular song.
Pop songs, folk songs, art songs, and even instrumental music are almost always built around a melody. In most rap, that focal role of the melody is replaced by the voice of the rapper, and by the words. Now it turns out that the vocal cadences of rapping do in fact have a whole music of their own (as do our own speaking voices), and it’s a music that is quite subtle and absolutely bursting with the kinds of deep human information that animate the strongest art. But, to the new listener, or to the listener who is accustomed to singing along with melodies, or who carries with them a certain idea of what music is and is not, it’s worth observing that the fundamental composition of most rap pieces is in fact a radical musical challenge.
As such, if someone were to say that they didn’t like rap in general because they listen to music primarily for melodies, then that would be at least a concrete musical argument.
I made a Cinco de Mayo radio station for you… Enjoy the day!
We are having a Pandora meet-up at the Santa Monica Main Library Auditorium in Santa Monica. Hope to see you there–excited to meet our Santa Monica listeners!
If you would like to attend, please RSVP by sending an email to Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org with SANTA MONICA in the subject line.
When: Monday, May 12th, 2008 @ 7 PM
Where: The Santa Monica Main Library Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (
We’ve had a great time in the past year visiting college campuses all across the country. I’ve given lectures to music classes, business school classes, entrepreneur clubs, engineering groups… you name it. We’ve held discussions on everything from starting and financing your own company, to music theory to product design, to digital rights management to RIAA lawsuits… and everything in between. Always a great experience to speak directly with the generation on the cutting edge of digital media.
We’re looking forward to more this year… already plans for Northwestern, USC, UCLA, Columbia, Tennessee, Georgia and more. If you’re faculty or staff, or an enterprising student or alumnus interested in getting involved, drop us a note. We’ll be traveling throughout the year and are always looking for help.
Cheers. Tim (Founder)
It’s true: while you’re listening to music on Pandora, we’re listening to what you have to say about Pandora.
Pictured above are most of the people who answer your email when you write to Pandora. No robots in sight!
We like to keep in touch with our listeners. It’s been a pleasure for us to meet so many thousands of you, virtually and in person.
We want to know what works well for you on Pandora, and what doesn’t work for you. We answer your questions the best we can and your suggestions directly affect our priorities in terms of what features to add and what music to collect. Indeed, many of our added features and songs over the years have come from your feedback.
We’ve always responded personally to every email we receive and we read every comment you leave on our blog. Thank you for all of your insightful commentary. We especially love the personal stories you tell us about music and your use of Pandora, and I’ll share a few stories next time I post here. (If you’re one of the many people who has asked Pandora to marry you or “run away” with you, don’t worry, I won’t out you.)
It’s really easy to get support from us: you just write us an email, and we write back. No automatic reply from “no-reply,” no ‘thank you for your email, here’s your tracking number.’ Just one human communicating with another.
As always, you can suggest music at suggest-music [at] pandora.com.
You can suggest features, get tech support and ask questions at pandora-support [at] pandora.com.
Whether your feedback is about the music, your “playlist,” the advertisements or the web site itself, you can rest assured that we’re sharing your feedback with the people who can do something about it. Pandora’s music analysts, music buyers, engineering team and ad team are only a few steps away from our desks.
Besides email and this blog, here’s a few more places you can find us:
We’re on Twitter: we answer your questions, note your feedback, and post tips and announcements.
We post photos on Flickr.
We have profile pages at MySpace and Facebook. (The Pandora Facebook application is here.)
And of course, we continue to tour the country meeting with you in person.
We love music and our mission is to guide you to music you love. And while you’re listening, we’re behind the scenes making Pandora the best it can be.
We thank you for your generous feedback over the last 2 1/2 years.
Lucia, and the whole communication team
Our guest this week is Chris Horgan, the captain of Pandora’s Dance Music Genome. He’s a rhythmatist, and the subject this week is time changes — specifically, abrupt changes in BPM that use a beat subdivision to pivot to the new tempo. That’s called “Metric Modulation,” and it can be a startlingly effective way for a full band to jump immediately into a new feel, without the potentially awkward process of speeding up or slowing down.
p.s.: To subscribe to all of these free audio shows: Pandora.com/podcast.