From the Curators: North Indian Classical Genre Stations for Every Time of Day

Today, we have a guest post from Sameer Gupta, a long time Pandora Music Analyst and professional musician living in Brooklyn, NY. Sameer has helped translate Indian Music into the language of the Music Genome Project. Thanks to the hard work of Sameer, you can now discover Ragas on Pandora.

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Indian Classical music is known across the world for its melodic beauty, rhythmic complexity and meditative mood. Even though this music is as complex as it is old, it is possible to deeply enjoy Raga Music without knowing the technical details and terminology. I invite you to experience this beautiful and dynamic genre through four new stations.

sameer_drums_tablaIn North Indian classical music, Ragas are assigned to a particular time of day, which is a system known as Samay Raga (Sum-May / Rah-Gah), because they capture the mood of that time. With this in mind, we have created four curated stations that will correspond to the listeners’ “time of day”: Read More →

From the Curators: Buck Owens and Bakersfield Country

“I’m not going to beg and compromise what I believe in just because somebody in Nashville don’t approve. Screw that. I am who I am, I am what I am, I do what I do and I ain’t never gonna do it any different. I don’t care who likes it and who don’t.” –Buck Owens*

buckThe late, great Buck Owens would have turned 84 on August 12th. Along with his band The Buckaroos, Owens’ helped pioneer what has become known as “the Bakersfield sound,” a collective rebel-reaction against what some deemed as the over-slick sound of Nashville produced country music with its lush string arrangements and choral backing singers.

To commemorate Owens’ birthday and the sound he helped innovate, we’ve put together a new Pandora genre station, Bakersfield Country. Read More →

From the Curators: New Classical Genre Stations, Featuring Complete Classical Works

In a world so often dominated by pop hits, we are taking a moment to reflect on the importance of some of the oldest music in our library, some of which dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries! In an effort to provide our classical listeners (both novices and aficionados) the richest listening experience possible, we have been hard at work enhancing our classical music collection, adding over thousands of new tracks to the Pandora library. And for the first time, we are offering listeners the ability to enjoy complete classical compositions in one, uninterrupted session! This new offering is featured on three new classical genre stations: Classical Complete Performances, Classical for Work, and Classical for the Soul. Each of them spans the vast world of classical, from the Renaissance to the Modern era, paying lavish attention to the popular Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.

classical imageThis expanded feature of being able to hear a complete classical work allows you to explore the classical terrain in a new way.  Ever wonder what the rest of Beethoven’s massively famous 5th Symphony sounds like? Now you can find out. You can also hear complete works from well-known masters such as Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart as well as Modern composers like Stravinsky, Holst, Strauss and more.

By listening to the full-length classical compositions, listeners can discover the original way the composer intended them to be heard.  Until now, most classical tracks played are just one part or “movement” of a multi-movement piece, so this addition is an exciting first and marks the beginning of an ongoing project for Pandora to play all complete classical works.  Read More →

From the Curators: Your Summer Soundtrack for 2013

Every time I hear “1st Of Tha Month” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, it takes me back to a 1996 family vacation in Florida. Even though it’s been years and my musical tastes have changed, I just can’t shake the feeling that song gives me. Music is known for its ability to transport you to a time and place; it’s likely that if you hear “summer anthems” from past years, you’ll be transported back to that time. It just wouldn’t be summer without a soundtrack.

summer3What will be your soundtrack for Summer 2013? In an effort to unlock some themes for this summer, we’ll take a look at a few of this season’s anticipated releases. How might the “genetic” makeup of this year’s releases evolve your current playlists? Read More →

From the Music Genome Project: The Beatles – Lennon vs. McCartney

In an apparent dig at his former Beatle bandmate Paul McCartney, John Lennon sang: “The only thing you done was ‘Yesterday’… the sound you make is muzak to my ears,” that was in his 1971 song “How Do You Sleep.” It’s no secret that tension was running high between John and Paul in the years leading to The Beatles breakup in 1970. Tension continued in the years following the breakup. In the early 70s, the band endured a four-year legal battle that dissolved their contractual partnership. John and Paul never recorded together again.

paul_v_john-v2

Who was the musical genius behind The Beatles, John or Paul? Anyone familiar with the Beatle’s catalog will offer an opinion. I’m going to stay out of that debate but in the following entry I’ll show you what the Music Genome Project can tell us about John and Paul’s singing and songwriting styles. Let’s take a look…

Vocal performance

For starters, Paul possesses the wider vocal range. His song “Helter Skelter” is a great place to hear him pushing the limits of his upper register. “Helter Skelter” has a hard rock approach, which is a bit of a departure for Paul because he usually sings with a smoother tone. Read More →

From the Curators: Your Guide to National Puerto Rican Day

Every June, on the second Sunday of the month, New York’s Puerto Rican community takes to the streets of Manhattan in a mass outpouring of nationalist pride and profound love for their beloved Isla del Encanto, manifested in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, a hugely prolific event that’s been taking place in the Big Apple since 1958. Also known as el desfile puertorriqueño, the parade is a mass celebration of the social and cultural contributions of the more than four million Puerto Ricans currently living in the United States, as well as the four million that still reside on the island. The day is an opportunity for the island’s diaspora, many of whom have never set foot in the Caribbean, to reflect on and honor their ancestors.

puerto rico imageMore than anything, the New York parade is a huge street party, where friends and family can let loose to the traditional sounds of bomba, plena and of course, salsa! With this in mind, Pandora invites you to dig deep in to the sabor boricua and unleash your inner coquí with these two Puerto Rican themed salsa stations! Read More →

From the Curators: Pandora’s Guide to Summer Listening

Memorial Day weekend is here! Kick off your summer fun by firing up the BBQ, hitting the beach, hangin’ at a picnic, hitting the road and launching into some summertime music. Our freshly sun-screened curators invite you to bring our expanded selection of Pandora Summer Stations with you!

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 Decades of nostalgic summer hits….

Evoke a carefree summer mood with feel-good Summer Hits of the 2000s including tracks from Matchbox 20, Christina Aguilera, Nelly and Jimmy Eat World.

Flashback to the Summer Hits of the 90s with summer Pop, R&B and Rock hits from Boyz II Men, Third Eye Blind, Britney Spears and Nirvana.

Read More →

Inside the Comedy Genome: The Art of Analyzing Humor

Pandora has been offering comedy for over two years now and we thought it was about time we shared some of the inner workings of our Comedy Genome Project. This month we have a guest post from our esteemed Comedy Analyst, Dave Thomason. In addition to analyzing comedy bits in his day job, Dave is a fine stand up comic in his own right. Thanks for reading!

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I think it’s some sort of rule that if you’re going to talk about analyzing comedy, you have to mention that E.B. White quote: “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested, and the frog dies of it.” I’ve been analyzing comedy at Pandora for two-and-a-half years, and I thought it would be fun to explore some of the characteristics we listen for in a typical comedy track.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 1.38.00 PMIn our Comedy Genome, the categories of genes I find most interesting are the ones that characterize the “Comic Hook” of a particular track. These genes try to answer the question, “What’s funny about this?” We don’t have an objective measure of funniness; a joke that you find hilarious and insightful, another person may find dull and offensive. But what we try to do is keep track of some of the most common devices comedians use in pursuit of a laugh. Read More →

Pandora Comedy Celebrates Two Years of Laughter

Funny stuff is happening at Pandora!

This week marks two years since Pandora launched the Comedy Genome Project. Just like our music stations, Pandora Comedy is designed to give our listeners a personalized listening experience to help them discover comedy they love, while providing artists with radio airplay and a new way to connect with fans.

Pandora-Radio-Comedy

Since May 2011, our Comedy collection has grown from 10,000 comedy tracks to over 25,000 tracks, and from 700 to 1,700 comedians. Each of those tracks has been analyzed according to specific comedy traits before being added to the collection.  We’ve captured exclusive content at performances in both New York and Los Angeles and hosted live comedy sessions at our Oakland HQ for comics Jason Love, Don Friesen, Beth Stelling, Will Durst, Ian Karmel, and Kevin Avery. Since the launch, we have also doubled the number of comedy genre stations with exciting additions like Women in Comedy, Alternative Comedy, and Latino ComedyRead More →

From The Curators: Your Pandora Guide to Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the somewhat improbable victory in 1862 of the Mexican army over a larger and better equipped invading French force, in what became known as “La Batalla de Puebla,” or “The Battle of Puebla.” The French returned the following year, occupying Mexico for the next three years, but we’ll save that for a different blog.

Cinco de Mayo Photo

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a festive celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, which seems to gain in popularity every year. It provides us with a chance to indulge in some of Mexico’s many profound cultural contributions, with music being at top of the list. With this in mind, we at Pandora would like to invite you to give our Cinco de Mayo genre station a spin! Read More →