Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Psychedelic rock mastermind ventures into electronica.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala (aka Aussie Kevin Parker) perfected lilting, hypnotic, Beatles-esque psychedelia on his first two albums. With Currents, he reinvents himself. Guitars are all but abandoned for keyboards, DJ-style looping and filter trickery. There’s even R&B crooning, evoking great genre-smashers from Beck to Daft Punk. It’s a strong contender for album of the year. –Party Ben

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Americana tunesmith hits his stride.

Billy Shaddox

Billy Shaddox’s I Melt, I Howl revives “Golden Coast,” a decade-old chestnut from his prior project Billy Midnight. But the weight of paying his dues is intensely palpable this time around when Shaddox sings, “Somewhere it seems/ I lost my dreams/ Or it might be/ That they were all taken away.” Stellar guitar solos abound. –Eric Shea

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Migos ‘Yung Rich Nation’ Now Spinning On Pandora Premieres

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Quavo, Offset and Takeoff have taken the crown in Atlanta on Yung Rich Nation. Shining like a neck full of gold chains, Migos’ new album bounces between club hits and cookhouse anthems. Chris Brown adds his vocals on “Just for Tonight,” putting an R&B touch on Migos’ signature club sound. With production from some of the hottest heavyweight beat-makers in the game, YRN shows off the family skills over hits from DJ Mustard, Zaytoven, Metro Boomin and Murda Beatz.

Migos are a definitive force with their triplet flow; fans have been eating up mixtapes, singles and features in anticipation of this year’s hottest hip hop summer release. Between starting a clothing line, building their crew of MCs and performing at Pandora’s Discovery Den – Migos are busy. Now they’re popping the champagne on Yung Rich Nation, exclusively, right here on Pandora Premieres, hear the album before it’s released.

Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

933_MusicMonday_Blog

Oakland metal trio melts their own faces.

High On Fire album art

High On Fire gets countlessly compared to Motörhead, Celtic Frost, Slayer, etc. But their 2015 masterwork Luminiferous will change all this. From Matt Pike’s relentless fretboard wizardry to the band’s well-oiled rhythm section chugging throughout, Luminiferous is so godhead that from now on, other (worthy) bands will be compared to High On Fire. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Taylor Negron lives on with UnCabaret Presents.

taylornegronIn the wake of his untimely death earlier this year, ‘90s alt-comedy showcase UnCabaret has released a compilation of beloved comedian’s Negron’s finest sets and “UnCabaret moments.” Tales include bumming cigarettes to Jude Law and Heath Ledger at an Oscar party, adventures with his childhood pet monkey and discovering a cult for models. –Kelly Anneken

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Grateful Dead apple falls further from the tree.

Midnight_NorthWith Scarlet Skies, Grahame Lesh (son of Phil) and Midnight North eschew expected jam-rock trappings for a more disciplined and soulful stew of modern Americana. Singer Elliott Peck comes out swinging like a tougher Nicki Bluhm on “Phoenix Motel” while the Lesh-led “Turn Around” plays like a more rocking Delaney & Bonnie. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

The return of the world’s only avian death metal crew!

HatebeakWith lead vocals by Waldo, a 21-year-old African grey parrot, and featuring members of Pig Destroyer, another (less literally) animal minded combo; Hatebeak’s Number Of The Beak is a brutal barrage of furiously fowl, metallic crush. The group grinds out pulverizing thrashers like “Beak Of Putrefaction” and “Hellbent For Feathers!” –Andee Connors

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Kacey Musgraves continues to follow her own arrow.

Kacey_MusgravesFollowing the success of Grammy-winning Same Trailer, Different Park, the country singer-songwriter pulls off another win on Pageant Material, with the tolerance-promoting sing-along “Biscuits” already generating “song of the year” buzz. She continues to find ways to assert her own convictions and individuality without sounding preachy or judgmental. And it’s a beauty! –Michelle Solomon

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Leon Bridges debuts with Coming Home.

Leon_BridgesJumping onto the scene with lead single “Coming Home,” newcomer Leon Bridges’s debut is a welcome dose of classic feel-good soul that will take you right back to the ‘60s. His earnest vocals move effortlessly through the album, heavily influenced by his gospel roots and southern sensibility. –Kike Aluko

 

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Sweating to Katy Perry?

When it comes to working out, putting in those long hours at the gym just isn’t the same without music.  And let’s be honest, with winter upon us, we figured it’s about that time for some musical motivation to help burn off those hearty winter meals.

Pandora’s got your workout stations covered – with everything from Spinning to 80s Cardio to Bollywood Workout, our curation team has created a whole host of workout playlists to keep you sweating.

With so many options, we took a look at your favourite workout stations so far for this year, with Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout being the unanimous favourite overall. Breaking it down, Hard Rock Strength Training and Rap Strength Training came out on top for men, while Pop Fitness and Yoga Fitness stations ranked highest for women – interesting, given that Yoga came in as the top group exercise for both sexes. Read More →

Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

933_MusicMonday_BlogThis is how you reissue an album.

Rolling_StonesThe Rolling Stones totally get it. Sticky Fingers (Super Deluxe) comes with 23 extra songs. There’s an alternate version of “Brown Sugar” with Eric Clapton playing a mean sounding slide guitar. The Gram Parsons inspired “Wild Horses” gets the acoustic strip-down. And a live cover of “Little Queenie” boasts a bionic boogie. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Hudson Mohawke Radiates Creativity on Lantern

Hudson_MohawkeScottish producer Hudson Mohawke (real name Ross Birchard) vaulted from Glasgow obscurity to Kanye West producer and, arguably, inventor of trap music. But on his second album Lantern, he doesn’t aim for hits, instead exploring jittery noise, surprising samples, and emotive vocals, delivering a remarkably assured and innovative work, aglow with inspiration and soul. –Party Ben

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LGBTQ Hip Hop On Pandora

Hip hop is a powerful artistic tool for expression. In celebration of Pride we are highlighting some of the LGBTQ performers who’ve chosen hip hop as their canvas. These are MC’s who come out with courage, rocking rhymes with an emphasis on sexual orientation and gender expression. The music blasts a message of empowerment to the communities they represent, from the underground to the mainstream.

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The Beginning

Often under fire for lyrically depicting misogyny and homophobia, hip hop may seem like an unlikely medium for LGBT artists, but not so. LGBTQ hip hop has roots in old school classics. Rappers like Queen Latifah, Da Brat, Medusa, Bahamadia and Invincible were showing and proving back in the day without wearing their identity on their sleeve. Those who loved and supported these artists saw the writing on the wall and connected with their art, style and vibes. This began to tear away the fear and open up opportunies for artists like Cazwell, Deadlee and Angel Haze to put their stamp on hip hop.

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

933_MusicMonday_Blog

Troy Ave takes you to the streets of Brooklyn on Major Without a Deal. 

Troy_AveGetting down with Puff Daddy, Mase, Fabolous, Jadakiss and Cam’ron gives the album a Bad Boy throwback feel, but the singles with Ty Dolla $ign and A$AP Ferg keeps the sound updated and soulful. “Doo Doo” is a fun song for a sing-along. –J Boogie

 

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Last Comic Standing finalist releases her first comedy album.

Nikki_CarrNikki Carr comes on strong with her new release, Trophy Wife. The Bronx native tackles topics ranging from coming out as a lesbian on national TV, discrimination in hand-washing and missing child photos on milk cartons, and her distinctive gap tooth. –Kelly Anneken

 

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Go Skateboarding Day: Skate Rock

Ever since my first day working at Pandora, I’ve always wanted to make a Skate Rock genre station. With the 11th annual Go Skateboarding Day coming up this Sunday, I thought it might be the perfect time to drop in on this rabbit hole. As a native Californian, I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a skateboard in my possession. But it wasn’t until age 12 that I first became aware of skateboarding as a lifestyle, replete with its own soundtrack.

fc065ab0-04c8-487a-8792-daf84ab531b2_zpsvkcfdicoIt was the summer of 1983 and I was learning how to pump the transitions of a big wooden halfpipe in the North Tahoe woods when I overheard some older guys. They were talking about punk bands I’d never heard of. When I mentioned that I liked The Clash and The Jam, a guy with bleached bangs hanging over his left eye barked at me, “That British stuff’s for girls!” He told me that real skaters listened to The Misfits, Black Flag, JFA, Agent Orange and other “skate rock” bands. My next trip to Clementine’s Records in Kings Beach found me starting a skate rock collection that I still obsess over today.

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