The Pandora Team


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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Pandora at BayCHI Tonight

If you live in the bay area and are interested in learning more about Pandora’s approach to user experience and playlist creation stop by tonight’s 7:30PM BayCHI meeting:
Several exciting developments in social search and personalization help users find information: recommendations based on personal tastes, social trends, tags, ratings, popularity, and friends tastes. These methods go beyond the classic search paradigm of relevance and flat lists of results, resulting in different user experience challenges. This panel brings together panelists from Netflix, Live365, Pandora, and digg to explore trends in social search.

Rashmi Sinha has put together a great lineup for the panel including Neil Hunt from Netflix, David Porter from Live365, Kevin Rose from Digg, and Joshua Schachter from I’m really looking forward to meeting all of these people; I’m a big fan of their work. Hope to see you there.


Arrived in Biloxi after a drive through the windblown, woodsy/marshy Hwy 10. Evidence everywhere of the storms. Fallen lamposts, litter, even still some abandoned cars that are gradually getting cleared away.
First stop was the Government Street Grocery cafe in Ocean Springs, a quaint little town that was spared the flood because it sits on higher ground. After a nice evening chatting with local musicians/fans, and a beautiful sunset, I headed out with my guide, Justin Hooks, the entertainment editor for the Sun Herald for a tour of the local music scene. (Justin thanks for everything).
We wound up out in the woods several miles off the main highway at a storage shed that has been adopted as the rehearsal space for a bunch of local bands…

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New Orleans

I need to go in reverse order on this one. Spent the last night at Maple Leaf Bar near Tulane’s campus listening to Papa Grows Funk. Monday regulars for the past 4 years. For anyone who has ever played in a band and really tried to funk, you know how hard it is to really funk.
Papa Grows Funk could FUNK…

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Baton Rouge

Any day that starts with a garbage bag full of fresh crawfish, homemade cocktail sauce, wine, and bluegrass music is likely to end well… If first impressions count the most, I’m moving to Louisiana.
Big thanks to John and Alan for the warm welcome and great food. John regaled me with stories about the clubs known as the ‘crawfish circuit’ and salt&pepper bands. Imagine a mixed race band playing across the South in the 50s. Johnny said those mesh wire cages really were used…

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Meetup tonight in New Orleans, LA
MONDAY, April 3rd, 2006 at 8:00pm
Carrollton Station
8140 Willow Street
New Orleans, LA
Meet up in Mississippi
A special thanks to everyone who wrote in with suggestions on where to go while I am in Mississippi this week.
If you live nearby and want to meet-up for a drink, here’s where you can find me:
TUESDAY, April 4th at 6:00 pm:
Government Street Grocery
1210 Government Street
Ocean Springs, MS
WEDNESDAY, April 5th at 8:30 pm (drinks, then open mic at 10:00):
The Thirsty Hippo
211 S. Main Street
Hattiesburg, MS

Update: On September 21, 2006, I’ll be meeting listeners at the Magnolia Theatre in Dallas (3699 McKinney Ave), beginning at 7pm. Join us and send an RSVP to with ‘Dallas’ in the subject line!
I’ll be back in Texas in the middle of September for the National Association of Broadcasters conference being held in Dallas, and would love to use my time there to host a listener meetup for local Pandora users. Last time I was in the area, the people were very welcoming – met some great folks in San Antonio, Houston, and Austin to name a few. If you have any ideas about venues that you think would be great for a town hall meeting, please suggest it below in the comments section!
We love reading and responding to your feedback on the blog – the comments have been a treasure trove of great insights and guidance as we plan our visits. If you have a particular idea you want to discuss, or just want to get more involved, we’re eager for help – just drop us an email at Please include your location in the subject line of your message too. No idea is too big or small!

Houston day 2

Continued a very enjoyable stay in Houston. Morning with John Lomax (great nephew of the music historian Alan Lomax), a long time Houston music journalist. His father managed Steve Earl and Townes van Zandt – John was Earl’s youngest roadie (12 yrs old). As with so many folks who’ve been around music, John was full of interesting anectodes and history. Explained how Zydeco was largely supported by the churches – clubs wouldn’t have it because people came to dance, not drink. Most Zydeco bands tour regional parishes, where their shows are actively promoted by the priests, and often include a potluck. Arhoolie, a label in Berkeley is the principal label for these acts.

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Baton Rouge – NOLA – Biloxi – Hattiesburg

I’ll be in Baton Rouge this evening, then heading to New Orleans tomorrow:
Meetup in Baton Rouge, LA
Meetup is set for Saturday, April 1st at 6:00pm
The Chimes
3357 Highland Road, Baton Rouge (north end of the LSU campus, next to the Varsity Theatre)
(225) 383-1754
Meetup in New Orleans, LA
Meetup is set for Monday, April 3rd at 8:00pm
Carrollton Station
8140 Willow Street, New Orleans
(504) 865-9190
Biloxi & Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Biloxi, April 4th
Hattiesburg, April 5th
If you have suggestions for must-sees and must-dos in either town, please drop us a comment.
Thanks. Tim

Houston Day 1

Began my tutorial in Chopped&Screwed today at the side of Eric ‘BigLove’ – long time Houston rapper, composer, producer and entrepreneur. Eric spent many years alongside DJScrew at the inception of what has become the next big evolution of rap/hiphop. It’s a totally infectious style of music, mashups of the latest rap & hiphop records, or classic R&B sounds, slowed to half speed and mixed with samples, grooves and original parts. It’s hypnotic. I was treated to a realtime screw session in his northside studio with Stink, BigLove’s up and coming protege); including a freestyle duet with Big Tee (the file will make it’s way to this post soon enough) thanks for the shout out you guys). I have to say, I’ve always been blown away by folks who could freestyle. I highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t done so, go check out a freestyle rap show, genius poets at work. Plain and simple.

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