Pandora

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

Nashville Part 1

Any city that has a music club where they kick you out if you talk during the performance is ok in my book… such is the Bluebird Cafe, an unassuming little venue that is a coveted spot for visiting musicians (also a consensus favorite from the many comments to our TN post – thanks everyone!)
Nashville… what a music town…
BlueBird.jpg

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While you listen to Pandora, I listen to you.

**Update**
Here’s a couple more of my recent blog posts that you may find helpful!
Tips for perfecting your Pandora stations!
How to use Your Pandora Favorites Page
The use of Pandora in classrooms
** **
Hi, I’m Lucia. I’m your Listener Advocate here at your musical playground, Pandora. I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” thousands of you already, via email. Pandora employs me to make sure that your Pandora-related needs and wants are being paid attention to. Back when Pandora was being tested on a few listeners, I was a die-hard Panfanatic and couldn’t stop talking about Pandora to anyone who would listen. Now that I work here, it’s considered a good thing that I obsess about Pandora all the livelong day.
If you were to walk around our office on any given day, you would hear numerous exciting (and excitable) discussions about how to make Pandora better. This team is at work night and day coming up with new ideas and new-and-improved plans. The Pandora brainiacs work passionately at bringing you the best music, the best service, the best of the web.
One of my favorite parts of the job is hearing your anecdotes about Pandora. Many of you are kept saner at work because of Pandora. You tell us that your city only offers up tired radio stations, and that Pandora has saved you from musical boredom. Others of you have abandoned your radios and even your ipods because of us. And many DJs have written to us to thank us for providing them with a perfect way to find new tunes. Pandora has become your musical companion, and that makes me happy! All we want is for you to find music that moves you, and for more moving music of all kinds to be heard.

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No Mainstream Fridays! Vol. 3

Welcome to Volume 3 of “No Mainstream Fridays.” For the uninitiated, NMF is a weekly listing of songs that are:
1. worth listening to
2. probably not being featured elsewhere at the moment
3. would be mainstream if there were such a thing…
Go here to see Volume 1 and Volume 2.
ok, I picked a baker’s dozen this week, and so without further ado, the nominees are:
Imogen Heap -Hide and Seek – one of those fascinating and frighteningly catchy pop songs… for everyone who thinks autotune and noise gating are cheating, check this out.
Tyrannosaurus Rex -She Was Born To Be My Unicorn – oh, how I love Tyrannosaurus Rex. this song is full of weird magic.

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We’re coming back to New York City on May 15th and 16th, 2006. We’re planning a gathering on the evening of the 16th. Please leave any comments or suggestions here – always looking for fun music-related things to do and hear. So much to do in the big apple, and so little time! We’ll post details on the get together as soon as we have more specifics. Really looking forward to this visit.

Welcome to the Music Genome Project

We’ve learned a lot during Pandora’s first 6 months and, candidly, one of those lessons is that purely “musical” matches don’t get it right 100% of the time. While we work hard 7 days a week to get it there, if you’ve listened to Pandora for any length of time you know that the Music Genome is not perfect. The great thing though is that when we’re wrong, you tell us with your “thumb” feedback.
So starting tonight, we’re making you part of the Music Genome Team.
We’ve just given Pandora’s playlist system a big upgrade so that now when our listeners as a group overwhelmingly tell us that a song is a terrible fit for a particular station, we listen and everyone listening to that station benefits from the feedback.
For example, since you’ve clearly told us that “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston doesn’t make sense as a match for Massive Attack, we’re not going to play that song on anyone’s “Massive Attack Radio” anymore*.
Incorporating your feedback and input in compelling ways is a major priority for us, and it won’t stop at playlist improvement. We’re cooking up lots of ways to bring your collective wisdom and knowledge to bear at Pandora in lots of interesting ways.
Welcome to the team!
Tom
CTO @ Pandora
* In reality it’s a tiny bit more subtle than that — what we actually do in a case like this is radically reduce the play frequency of “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” on the Massive Attack station. That way there’s some room for the song to come back into more frequent rotation if the listeners as a whole or individually change their mind about the song at some point in the future.

Clarksdale

The first guitar was called ‘wire on the wall’ . Workers on the southern plantations took the wire from worn out mops, and strung them between two nails pounded into the wall. They used rocks wedged on either end as bridges to tighten the wire enough. Then someone decided to pull the board off the wall and lay it on their lap, using bottles as slides. This was called a diddley bow. Flip those words and now you know where Bo Diddley got his name… So much history down here…home of the famed ‘crossroads’ where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in return for mastery of the blues guitar…
Crossroads.jpg

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No Mainstream Fridays! Vol. 2

Ah, another Friday has come, which means it’s time for me to post some more choice alternatives to the usual….
For everyone’s info, the song links below go to Pandora song-info pages, where you can hear a sample clip of the song, and see artist info. There are station creation links from the song pages, as well, so you can easily create a Pandora station based on the song. How cool! And as usual, the artist names go directly to Pandora stations based on that artist’s music.
This week’s list is, as always, off the cuff, unpremeditated, and UNUSUAL!
Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra * Bollywood – I love this track! bliss out to bollywood-based, extra-groovy electronica, with tablas, sitar, synths, and much swirl….
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Memphis

Well, I didn’t make it to Graceland, but there was lots more to see. I’ll just have to go back. There’s a certain aura about Memphis – music history so rich you really feel it in the air. Across the street from my first stopoff (Stax Museum) was an old church where Rev. Herbert Brewster used to pen songs for the legendary Mahalia Jackson. He wrote them on the cardboard inserts for laundered shirts, that parishioners delivered to him every Sunday…
ChurchInterior.jpg

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Hattiesburg

Wound my way up to Hattiesburg, home of the University of Southern Mississippi and little known fact, home to the world’s first rock recording. Anyone know what it is? Had a nice lunch and chat with John Smith – longtime band manager and mainstay of the Hattiesburg music scene. Popped our heads in on his latest project, Friday Night Gigolos who were working on the finishing touches to their CD. Familiar vibe of the studio…”let’s isolate the kick and bass guitar…”
John riffed on what is fast becoming a familiar theme – organic growth of bands. Worked with 2LiveCrew, Afroman…

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