The Pandora Team

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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Pandora Widgets for TypePad

typepad.jpgTonight, in partnership with SixApart, we’re rolling out a new feature that makes it really easy for you to add a list of the songs you’re discovering on Pandora, or a list of your Pandora stations, to your TypePad blog.
All you have to do is visit our widget page, pick the widget you want to add, pick a style, enter your pandora username, and click the “Install on TypePad” button. That will send you to the TypePad website where you can easily place your new Pandora widget in your blog sidebar.
We’re doing this as part of TypePad’s cool new Widget Gallery, make sure you visit their site to see all the cool options.


We’ve made a handful of changes tonight at Pandora. Among these are one you can just barely see, and one you can’t see at all.
The first is a tiny (some would say almost invisible) progress indicator underneath the album art for the currently playing song to give you an idea of how much time is left in the song. It’s just a tiny little stripe. Look for it closely.
The other change is a pretty big one, but you won’t be able to see it at all. You’ll have to listen for it. We’ve updated our playlist engine to play a greater variety of music on your stations. For some time we’ve known that we weren’t playing the full breadth of songs in the Music Genome Project collection. This was a problem with our approach to playlist generation; it really didn’t have anything to do with the size of the collection itself. We’ve been hard at work on this, and tonight we’re rolling out a significant upgrade to the playlist generator. Don’t expect to notice a big change right away, in fact it might take a few hours of listening before you notice at all, but it’s there. Your stations really will be playing all kinds of music that they wouldn’t have before. Hope you enjoy the new music.
One other feature in this release that’s worth pointing out is a new choice in Guide Us: “I’m tired of this song.” Let’s face it, there are some great songs out there that we’ve all heard just one too many times. Now there’s a way to tell Pandora that you’ve heard something one too many times: just click Guide Us and select the “I’m tired of this song” choice and we’ll put the current song back on the shelf and not play it again on any of your stations in the next 30 days.
As always, this release has a number of other subtle little changes; my favorite this time out is that the songs fade out as you skip or change stations. Just another tiny little detail.

Denton, TX

For those who don’t know about Denton, its time to find out. It’s a small town about 30 minutes north of Dallas and is home to the nation’s largest, and most distinguished music program – the University of North Texas. Their ‘1-O’clock’ jazz band is world renowned, and truly the gold standard for undergraduate jazz performance.

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Dallas, Part 2

Dallas part 2
Started the afternoon hanging out with Chelsea and Tony – diehard music fans from Crystal Clear – a Dallas distributor. They focus on the local Texas sound – gave me a box full of stuff to check out. Interesting to know that virtually none of the musicians they gave me are making a living at it. Let’s hope we can start building the musician’s middle class.

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Dallas, Part 1

Wow. This was a day of love and good karma. Texas has an extraordinary music scene, period.
First, the morning.
Guided by our local guardian angel, Kim Young to whom I will be forever grateful, I spent the morning at Booker T. Washington high school. Probably the nation’s most productive music magnet school, whose alums include Erykah Badhu, Norah Jones, and countless others.

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Meetup in Denton, TX

Meetup is set for this week, Wednesday evening (3/22/2006) at 7:00pm
The Flying Tomato
1226 W Hickory Street, Denton
(940) 383 1111
Come by for some food, drink, music talk and maybe a flying tomato or two…

Austin, Day 3

Coming up for air.
Spent a great evening over Texas ribs (and a string of awesome bluegrass bands) with Stuart Sullivan, owner of Wire Studios, and a veteran recording engineer. Grew up in rural Indiana, eventually gravitating to the music mecca of Austin, via Bloomington and a degree in audio recording at IU. It was a period of revolution in recording – multi-tracking arrived which completely transformed the art of making records, and suddenly elevated the role of the producer and audio engineer who’s talents could now be harnessed – instead of just placing mics for a one-take live recording. Lots of experimentation (often aided by assorted substances) as artists pushed the new medium. John Lennon sang hanging upside down from a rope, spinning around to emulate the sound of a rotating leslie amp… crazy and great.

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