Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Fan Faves and Who Should Have Made the Cut

Like most music lovers, we at Pandora are equally excited and opinionated about this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees. Being that our main headquarters is in Oakland, we’re extra proud that East Bay punk-pop heroes Green Day were inducted – we’re also stoked that Pandora listeners made their hit “Good Riddance” one of the top thumbed up songs from this year’s inductees! And isn’t it about time that Bill Withers made the cut? Anyone who’s seen his awesome 2009 documentary Still Bill probably agrees – as do those of you who thumbed “Ain’t No Sunshine” into our top thumbs. And you don’t have to be a “blues lawyer” to argue the importance of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s induction.

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Inside The Collection: Stoner Rock

This year, for April 20th, I made a mammoth mixtape: 420 Stoner Rock. And yes, this mix is exactly 420 songs deep with bands old and new. For the record, I can’t stand the term “stoner rock.” In my opinion, it pigeonholes an entire population of musicians as nothing more than dimwitted stoners with loud guitars. But listen to this mix and you’ll hear how the genre offers up much more. Calling something “stoner rock” reminds me of the early ‘90s when snarky music writers similarly dismissed bands like Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh as “slacker rock.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.33.11 PMThe origins of stoner rock can be found in a movement that was coined, “desert rock.” In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s there was a community of musicians based in the Palm Desert of Southern California who blended bits of classic hard rock, blues, psychedelia, heavy metal and hardcore. This scene spawned such bands as Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Nebula, Fu Manchu and the aptly named collective The Desert Sessions. Of course the sound wasn’t just isolated to this region. For example, Monster Magnet hails from Red Bank, New Jersey. Red Fang are from Portland, Oregon and Mastodon are from Atlanta, Georgia. Northern California’s Sleep has often been regarded as the quintessential stoner rock band. They basically turned Black Sabbath into an entire genre. Read More →

Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Van Halen’s first live album with Diamond Dave on the mic.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.30.06 AMUp until now, if you wanted to hear a live recording of DLR fronting VH, you had to score a scratchy bootleg. Since the band formed in 1975, we can factually say that Tokyo Dome In Concert (Live) was 40 years in the making. Spoiler alert – they sound awesome! –Eric Shea

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Striking from the heavens, Lightning Bolt will leave you breathless!

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.48.52 AMFew bands live up to their name like Lightning Bolt. Brian and Brian’s indie prog blitzkrieg takes no prisoners. Careening through sounds and riffs on their latest, Fantasy Empire, you’d think an army of people made these songs, but no. Just two dudes on bass and drums. Mind = blown. –Diego Gonzalez

 

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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Fan Faves and Who Should Have Made the Cut

Like most music lovers, we at Pandora are equally excited and opinionated about this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees. Being that our main headquarters is in Oakland, we’re extra proud that East Bay punk-pop heroes Green Day were inducted – we’re also stoked that Pandora listeners made their hit “Good Riddance” one of the top thumbed up songs from this year’s inductees! And isn’t it about time that Bill Withers made the cut? Anyone who’s seen his awesome 2009 documentary Still Bill probably agrees – as do those of you who thumbed “Ain’t No Sunshine” into our top thumbs. And you don’t have to be a “blues lawyer” to argue the importance of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s induction.

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Next Wave Woman: Chelsea Wolfe

You’d be hard-pressed to find a female singer-songwriter who appeals to metalheads and folkies alike. Chelsea Wolfe’s beautifully somber songs somehow traverse both realms. Her music has been aptly described as “drone-metal-art-folk.” She melds the dark, drones of doom metal with stark piano notes and guitar arpeggios – over which she sings in a haunting tenor trill. Her own compositions aside, she can cover the 1939 folk staple “You Are My Sunshine” alongside Burzum’s 1992 Norwegian black metal dirge “Black Spell Of Destruction” while retaining her signature sound and style.

1029_Women_Leadership_ChelseaChelsea began recording herself in her father’s home studio at age nine. When she began playing live, Chelsea preferred to perform in unorthodox locations like deserted nuclear plants, cathedrals and basements. Her lauded 2010 debut album The Grime and the Glow was recorded on a vintage eight-track. Her sophomore album Apokalypsis was tracked in a proper studio, but for Chelsea’s third full-length, Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, she chose to record deep in the woods of Northern California. Read More →

Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

resonance_graphic_finalGucci Mane drops another trilogy from behind bars, bringing you BreakfastLunch and Dinner.

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Guwop is the most prolific voice of Atlanta. This series of albums
includes features like iLoveMakonnen, Quavo (of Migos), Waka Flocka Flame and Trinidad James. Recording these albums between stints behind bars and hitting the streets, Scucci keeps it G over some Mike WiLL Made-It beats. (J. Boogie)

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Hampton Yount is more than Bearable.

Most comedians wouldn’t burn their best joke Hampton Yount20 minutes into an album, but Hampton Yount isn’t most comedians. His sophomore album is filled with unpredictable jokes that cast George Washington as a fictional character and Asperger’s as a dating technique. Bonus: Per Yount’s Twitter, his album also syncs perfectly with The Wizard of Oz. (Kelly Anneken)

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Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Rihanna runs the track with her new single, “Bitch Better Have My Money.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.32.12 PMCommanding the mic and calling all the shots, her vocals slap you as they bounce over blazing drums served up by Deputy and Kanye West. Her smoky vocal take masters a blend of singing and rapping that sounds like she’s been yelling at fools in the studio.

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

San Francisco’s best-kept secret unveils a beautiful, garage-pop, solo, debut album.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.34.00 PMA diamond-in-the-rough from the Mission district’s 22nd St. music community; Sarah Bethe Nelson’s wistfully sung songs are flirty, confessional, cathartic and catchy all at once. With the Midas touch of Kelley Stoltz as producer, Fast Moving Clouds is an instant classic of lo-fi spun guitar-pop gold.

 

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Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Kendrick Lamar changes the world of hip-hop with an emotionally charged, organic masterpiece. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 10.21.48 AMThis Black Hippy goes deep, dark and soulful into his hometown of Compton. It’s as if The Soulquarians took acid and decided to resurrect J-Dilla, jazz ghosts and good poetry. To Pimp a Butterfly stretches the boundaries of hip-hop into the roots of revolution.

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Oakland heavy rock quartet Queen Crescent spins sonic gold from the looms of prog and proto-metal.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 10.31.59 AMThe awesome women comprising Queen Crescent effortlessly blend late ‘60s progressive rock with Indonesian, Turkish, Mexican and West African psychedelic rock of the ‘70s to create a sound that’s even more incredible than that short-lived time when Tony Iommi played guitar for Jethro Tull.

 

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Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Rebel Heart is a testament and reinforcement to Madge’s relevance.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 10.42.03 PMEven with a premature leak and subsequent release of six tracks last year, Rebel Heart is probably Madonna’s most varied and satisfying record in years. Offering upbeat EDM cuts, lush ballads and catchy pop ditties, she proves even to new audiences that she can still dominate the pop industry.

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Swervedriver’s first album in 17 years plays like the ‘90s never ended.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 10.50.14 PMMy Bloody Valentine finally releasing an album after a 22-year hiatus may have resurrected shoegazing. Slowdive are back together, RIDE has reunited and now Swervedriver have dropped their first album since 1998. I Wasn’t Born To Lose You somehow sounds very ‘90s without succumbing to predictable retro trappings.

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We’re Getting Happy with Pharrell

How are you celebrating the third annual International Day of Happiness on March 20? We are happy (get it?) to have teamed up with Pharrell Williams to help promote the celebration of happiness.

pharrellPharrell curated a special mixtape, with artists including A Tribe Called Quest, BeckGwen Stefani, Luther Vandross, Weezer and more. Not only will you find a pretty solid listening experience, the mixtape also has information on how you can participate in Pharrell’s Happy Party.

What songs make you happy?