Pandora

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

Pandora at SXSW

Kevin Seal, one of the music analysts from the Music Genome Project, just sent in this update from the SXSW conference:
Music Analyst Seal here. Long-time listener, first-time caller. I’m here in Austin all week to shake hands, kiss babies, and hear live music. I love my job. For me, these are the five most revelatory music moments so far at this year’s SxSW:

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sxsw digest no 2…

so I was at the keynote interview yesterday with young and jonathan demme, which was ok, but I have to make a confession: I have major issues with the big boomer dinosaurs of song. I guess it’s mainly because I think they never accepted the teaching responsibility that naturally belongs to leading artists. teaching is a necessity for artists who work in less financially remunerative forms, and I say that’s a good thing. it’s good for the artists and the students/future artists, and it’s good for the art. it creates a scene, community, etc (however insular and backstabbing it might be).

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Austin, TX Day 1

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My first visit to Austin, TX, got off with a great start. Had a great lunch with Michael Point at Threadgills, one of the town’s longest standing restaurant and music joints. It was founded by Kenneth Threadgill, the first man to put Janis Joplin on stage (playing fiddle in a folk band).

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Meetup in San Antonio on Wednesday

Heading to San Antonio on Wednesday morning, March 15th, 2006.
If you’d like to meet me for some hearty Tex-Mex food at the Taco Garage, please do.
I’ll be the guy in the Pandora hat ordering carnitas at around 7:30 p.m. From there I’ll head to Salud! There is an open mic there hosted by Eric Geyer which I have heard good things about.
Hope to see you there. Tim

Portland, Day 2

Another great day in Portland. Woke up buzzing from last night’s open mic.
First stop, breakfast with Ezra Ace Careaff, local music editor for the Portland Mercury and owner of indie label Slowdance (home of the Velvet Teen). I continue to be inspired by the entrepreneurs who have started these labels. 50/50 joint ventures. It’s the future model for indie music.

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Pandora Sidebars for Your Blog

Tonight we’re rolling out a really easy way to integrate your Pandora stations and favorite songs into your website or blog. For an example of what this looks like click here and look in the sidebar on the right-hand-side. You can add this kind of sidebar to your page by inserting just two lines into your homepage or blog template.
Let’s say that you’d like to share the stations you’re creating with everyone that visits your blog or personal homepage. We thought it would be cool if it was really easy to add these items to your page. To that end, we’ve created this new kind of feed to compliment our existing RSS feeds.
These new feeds are JavaScript includes that you can place into your blog or homepage template with one simple step. There are two different feeds. The first generates a nice looking list of all your stations. Your site visitors will be able to click to liste and it will always stay up to date with your most recently created stations. The second feed lists the songs your discovering on Pandora; choose from a range of styles including a compact version as well as a beautiful version that shows off the song album art. Your site visitors can click through to learn more about the song, listen to a sample, buy the track from iTunes, buy the album from Amazon, or create a new Pandora station from the song.
Creating the embedding code is really easy. Just visit this page: http://www.pandora.com/feeds#blog, pick a style, enter your Pandora username (your email address) and click the “Generate HTML” button. Copy the code that’s generated to the sidebar portion of your blog and you’re done.
For all the CSS hackers out there, you’re welcome to customize the display style with CSS. Each element has been given a unique id to make it easy for you to assign custom styles.
Update 3/13: We released a new version tonight that should make things work better in a wider variety of settings. In particular we’re using CSS that is a bit more explicit about what should be displayed and how. We’ve also updated the mechanism we use for opening new windows that should fix some problems with popup blockers. Thanks for your help and feedback on all of this these last few days.

Coming back to Washington DC

It looks like I’m going to be heading back to DC for another town hall meeting. Had a great response from enthusiastic listeners last time, and can’t wait to come back to meet new users and see some familiar faces. The full details are below!
When: Wednesday, November 15th, 2006 – 7pm
Where: DCJCC Community Hall
1529 15th St NW
Directions
Please RSVP by sending an email to tour@pandora.com with DC in the subject line. Hope to see you there!
Cheers,
Tim (Founder)

Update from Portland

First let me say the Kennedy School is far and away the most unique and interesting hotel I’ve ever stayed at. A converted Elementary school that still looks and feels like… an elementary school. Complete with art projects on the walls and chalkboards. Great fun.
Pampelmoose2.jpgStarted my day with great conversation with Dave Allen, bassist for the Gang of Four, and serial entrepreneur who’s most recent company, Pampelmoose is filling the new role of modern label/manager/producer in the digital age. I was joined by his business partner Ned Failing, drummer for the up and coming Dirty Martini in Portland, and former drummer for Pacific Northwest favorites, the Strangers. Also there was Ezra Holbrook, very talented local producer and musician (I listened to his latest effort Michael Jodell in the car after our meeting – really good sounding record, nice stuff Ezra – can’t wait to hear the mastered version). Ezra also books bands for the Imbibe in town.
Spent most of the lunch talking about the changing relationship between record labels and artists… and things ARE changing. Portland is a microcosm of the change. It has a great grassroots indie scene, full of musicians that are chasing alternative career paths. Forgoing traditional label deals to release records as joint ventures with small labels or artist management companies. It’s a very fundamental shift that shows signs of accelerating. The essential arrangement is a 50/50 split on expenses/revenues. The partners grow the business organically, never getting ahead of themselves, and there’s a living to be made there for all parties.
Ezra hit the nail on the head when he pinpointed cheap home recording software as a pivotal factor in this change. And as a former Capitol and Geffen artist, he speaks from experience. Artists can now produce high quality records without needing big up-front investment to finance them – it’s the need for the big advance that has long dictated label deals. These deals are rational but tough on the artist – the label puts up all the money (often over $500K for a first record/tour) and gets the lion’s share of the profits. Labels lose money on most of their records, and hope for a couple big successes to carry the business – just like the venture capital business. Now, with artists often coming to the table with a completed record, the dynamics have really shifted. Lots of what you now hear on the radio was recorded in someone’s basement studio on ProTools (ProTools is one of numerous software programs that turn a standard computer into a professional quality music recording system… all you need is a good mic and a good pair of ears).
After swinging by Pampelmoose to load up on their latest projects, I jetted out to Clackamas Community college for a chat with Jadon Triplet – budding journalist and punk rock guitarist.
Jim-Brunberg.jpgDropped in on Jim Brunberg the owner/operator of Mississippi Studios – a beautiful listening room that books mostly acoustic shows. The room, decorated in old wood, deep red fabric and warm glowing lamps, is entirely focused on the stage which makes it a very attractive venue for visiting players. These venues are really a dying breed, which is a terrible shame because they’re such great places for musicians. Jim filled my arms with local talent – all soon to be in the Music Genome Project. He particularly recommended Raina Rose and Mira Flores. Death Cab for Cutie, Ricki Lee Jones, John Wesley Harding, Fastball, are among the better know artists that have come through.
I’ve known Jim for many years, back to when his band Box Set and my former band gigged together in San Francisco. Box Set was a great band that worked it’s way up from coffee houses to headlining the Fillmore, then got signed to Capricorn after a showcase at South by Southwest (see the upcoming Texas leg of the trip). The record didn’t pan out and they’ve since gone their separate ways. Really interesting to talk to someone who has truly been through the whole arc. Even though the label went under, the leftover advance allowed him to start the studio – happy ending. Jim has really found his niche up in Portland where he thinks of his role at band ‘coach’. Does everything from producing, and engineering (they have a full blown digital studio upstairs) to helping bands plan their touring strategy.
Prescott-Trumbos.jpgTopped the night off with an evening at Goodfoot Pub’s open mic. I was blown away by the talent. First band I walked in on called themselves the Prescott Trumbo’s – terrific songwriting. They’re just getting started, so it was raw, but let’s hope this trio makes a CD some day – would love to have them in the genome. Two Vandals Lawncare ripped through a Phish-esque guitar rock set. Some fancy arranging and good melodies (rare bedfellows).
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And the cover charge… wait for it… $1.
Can’t wait for tomorrow.