Pandora

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

The ears behind Pandora….last but not least!

Here’s the last in our series of blog posts that showcase some of the musical works of our Music Analysts. As you know, every song you listen to on Pandora has been carefully analyzed by our trained staff, to figure out its building blocks so that it can be matched to other songs. But in addition to analyzing songs for Pandora, they play music. I’ve been posting a few of the Pandora stations on which you can hear some of our Music Analysts, which as you have probably noticed, represents quite a range of styles. Take a listen! (click here for the first , second , third, and fourth Analyst spotlights.)
Alan Lin can be found playing the violin on a variety of stations! You can find him playing with Pandora staff, such as Ariah Firefly and Michael Zapruder’s Rain of Frogs. Here’s three more artists whose Pandora stations feature Alan’s work: Etienne de Rocher plays catchy-but-intelligent pop music from the swamps of Alabama, with a large helping of soul. David Hopkins, a school-mate of Damien Rice’s, writes beautiful, heart-wrenching love songs as well as catchy ditties. Noe Venable is a sonic poet that a music reviewer once declared to be the secret love-child of Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones.
The group made up of the most Pandorans is called Michael Zapruder’s Rain of Frogs. In addition to non-Pandora musicians, this talented group consists of Steve Hogan (pictured below), Jeff Anthony, Kurt Kotheimer (who’s also in 24 Hr USA), Alan Lin, Yair Evnine, Josh Smith and obviously, Michael Zapruder. You should come to their CD release party on August 17th, at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. Their CD features beautifully written moody songs with deeply interesting lyrics. Their mellow sound showcases lots of strings, sometimes horns, and reminds me at times of Elvis Costello or Rufus Wainwright.
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This is Steve Hogan, our head Music Analyst and stellar human being. In this photo he’s in our music library, playing that Sesame Street song, “These are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood……” He had sung it to his baby as a lullaby the night before (without the accordion!), and the tune just stuck in his head.
It’s been really fun for me to learn a bit more about the musical efforts of my co-workers, though you’d be surprised how hard it was to get many of them to offer up information about their bands. These are some talented cats, and you know what they say about herding cats…. I hope that you, dear listener, enjoyed getting to know the music of some of our Analysts as well; there’s so much music in our collection to try out! Get to it!
cheers, Lucia

SAN FRANCISCO TOWN HALL 7/25

Calling all Bay Areans! We’re getting together for a Town Hall meeting next Tuesday (July 25th) in San Francisco. We’d like to meet Pandora listeners to talk about the service and more generally about the future of online music… The new event will be held at SWIG, a very cool club near Union Square.
Details:
When: Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 – 7pm
Where: SWIG Bar
561 Geary Street @ Taylor Directions
This is a FREE event. Seating is limited, so if you’d like to attend, please RSVP to tim.westergren@pandora.com
Should be a great evening. Hope to see you there! Tim (Founder)

…and more of Pandora’s Music Analysts…

Here’s one more in our series of blog posts that showcase some of our Music Analysts. Much of the musical output of Pandora staff doesn’t happen to be in our collection, but we thought you might like to know of some Pandora stations that feature the men and women who analyze all of the music you listen to! (click here for the first , second and third Analyst spotlights.)
Jeff Anthony, Pandora’s percussionist extraordinaire (pictured here), has quite the impressive resume. In addition to playing live with all manner of accomplished musicians, he shows up playing the drums on the following Pandora stations. Sheryl Crow: I think you may have heard of her? Jeff drums on her C’mon C’mon album, a personal favorite of mine. He also plays with the all-Pandora band Michael Zapruder’s Rain of Frogs, who just released a new CD (more on them next week). You can find him on the Dahlia station, which is an electronic duo, and on the Tom Varley and the Sun Dogs station, who describe themselves as “good ol’ fashion tiki bar music from Portland.”
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Jeff’s drumming can also be found on a Jenny Kerr station, which features roots & blues harmonica-driven Americana. He spent much of last year touring internationally with the Eric McFadden Trio, a brilliant, frighteningly unique psycho rock band that’s difficult not to love. (update: Jeff tells me that he also did a lot of touring internationally with Chuck Prophet last year.)
Evan Francis, who may well win the prize for Smilingest Music Analyst, shows up on several Pandora stations as well. He plays sax in The Ian Carey Quintet, which is jazz, and also with The Industrial Jazz Group. You can also hear him on Spaceheater radio, in the vein of instrumental hiphop/downtempo electronica.
Marina Garza, one of our newest hires, is one of our Latin Music Specialists. She plays with the Orquesta D’Soul, which she describes as Latin Salsa Pop. I notice that Pandora refers to their music as having “danceable grooves.” I concur.
Tom Griesser plays sax in the Brass Monkey Brass Band, a high-octane 8-piece ensemble in the style of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the ReBirth Brass Band, with a lineup of trumpets, trombones, saxophones, tuba, and drums. In addition to their fiery original compositions, their repertoire ranges from traditional New Orleans favorites such as “When The Saints Go Marching In” to renditions of tunes by Zappa and Led Zeppelin.

Atlanta Meetup!

I’ll be back in Atlanta later this month for a get-together with Pandora listeners in the area. Anyone interested in music and the Music Genome Project is welcome to attend, and I’m looking forward to a great discussion. Full details are below. To let us know you’re coming, just send an RSVP to tour@pandora.com with “Atlanta” in the subject line. Hope to see you there!
When: Thursday, February 22nd, 2007 @ 9 PM
Where: Defoor Centre, Forum Gallery, 1710 Defoor Ave NW, Atlanta

Atlanta, GA

Terribly belated blog entry for a great visit to Atlanta, GA. Spent the morning with folks at Turner, then met a rowdy bunch of music enthusiasts at the Mellow Mushroom.
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Very animated conversation over pizza and beer. Some local radio promoters, musicians, technologists, bloggers, web designers… then headed out for some live music…

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They listen for you!

Here’s the third in our series of spotlights on the music of Pandora’s Music Analysts. (click here for the first and the second)
Enjoy!
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Seth Ford-Young (at left, with Jeff Anthony at right) is one of our Senior Analysts and can be found playing the bass on a Myles Boisen station, as well as on a Mia and Jonah station. The Boisen cd is blues-based improvisational music. Mia and Jonah is a singer-songwriter duo blend of country, folk, and rock. It’s not hard to catch Seth gigging around San Francisco; he’s constantly playing live. And look for him on Tom Waits’ new release, coming out this fall!
Will Redmond can be found on Pandora on the Blipvert station. With a smirk, Will refers to Blipvert as “heavy duty computer music.” I saw Will perform once, and he ripped his glasses right off his face and threw them on the ground while he was playing. I was impressed by his rock star cred, to say the least!
Scott Barkan is a recent transplant from New York, where he got his degree in music composition. He can be heard on the Barky station. Barky is an instrumental indie rock and avant jazz trio based out of New York City.
Jellyroll is a band that involves several of our Music Analysts. Steve Dekrone plays the drums, Seth Ford-Young the acoustic bass, and Tom Griesser plays the tenor sax. Along with three other non-Pandora musicians, they play jump-blues and swing, some covers, along the lines of Louis Jordan, Helen Humes, early Etta James, and some original material.
Chris Horgan (pictured below, in our CD library) and Christian Runge, two integral and hard-working parts of the Pandora family, are Beatropolis. Theirs is electroacoustic music in the styles of downtempo and drum and bass. Chris and Christian are also found on the Syncrosystem station, which is a nice world fusion.
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No Mainstream Fridays! Vol. 9

Hello again!
We took the last week off to let the news about Backstage at Pandora sink in, but it’s time for another blast of rare and revisited artists and songs from the Pandora collection! We love to hear from you, so let us know how these songs strike you, and where the stations take you as well.
Go here to see what we featured in Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 6, and Volume 7.
This week’s list:
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Hyper-ballad by Bjork. A song with a chorus that’s too beautiful for words, really. For those of you who don’t know Bjork, she’s an Icelandic art-diva with a huge, distinctive voice and a brilliant artistic vision. I wish she were President of Everything, and I bet I’m not alone in that.

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Chicago Meetup Friday, February 23rd, 2007!

I’ll be returning to Chicago for a get-together with Pandora listeners and interested music fans later this month at the Lakeshore Theater. Full details of the meet-up are below. If you’re interested in attending, please send an RSVP to tour@pandora.com with “Chicago” in the subject line. Hope to see you there!
When: Friday, February 23rd, 2007 @ 7 PM
Where: Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway
How to get there from the El: Take the Red, Brown or Purple line to Belmont and head east to Broadway. The theater is on the east side of the street just south of the Belmont/Broadway intersection. We recommend taking public transportation to get there, as parking may be difficult.

2 Days in Chicago
Terrific location at the City Lit community theatre. Kurt Hanson from RAIN joined me for the first of two meetups. Another great set of discussions.
Full recap of June tour here!

MEETUPS!!!

What a great couple weeks… We had 5 town hall meetings across the country… New York City, Washington DC, Chicago (2), Seattle. What an amazing experience to spend so much time with Pandora listeners… 150 folks showed up for the NYC gathering – funny to think that just a couple months ago there were three… including me! Planning on many more.
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