Inside the Music Genome: Improvisation in Jazz, what the heck is going on in there?

In honor of International Jazz Day we have a guest posting from one of our longest-tenured music analysts who specializes in the jazz genre. Jeffrey Burr is not only a Pandora music analyst, he is also a guitarist who’s played with with Norah Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Ari Hoenig and has released several albums.

However you choose to celebrate International Jazz Day, we hope this posting sheds a little light on the genre from the perspective of a Music Genome Project specialist.

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In an ancient age lost to the mists of time, the Music Genome Supermen forged the Jazz Genome, the framework that we music analysts use to characterize songs in the Jazz oeuvre. I’d like to talk a bit about what makes jazz special in the context of the music analysis work I do for Pandora. Read More →

From the Curators: Summer Music Festival Guide

It’s the time of the year when festival season kicks off and many artists go on tour. Whether it’s under the blazing sun, surrounded by palm trees, in the mountains, or in a large sporting arena, there are plenty of opportunities to experience your favorite artist in person.

This summer, the popular early-90s Britpop movement is revived in full force with some of the genre’s early originators reuniting and hitting the road and festival circuit. Since headlining a show at Hyde Park for the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Blur have continued to headline major European festivals and will be back in the U.S. this spring for more! Pioneers of the Madchester movement, The Stone Roses,  have also reunited and set out on a world tour with plans of releasing their first album since 1994’s Second Coming.

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From the Curators: Latin Genre Stations Update

The Curation Team at Pandora has been hard at work enhancing some of our selection of Latin genre stations and we’re very excited to share the new additions with you. Latin music is hugely popular on Pandora, with a large portion of the songs and artists requested by our listeners. Often, Latin music is thought of as a singular, all-encompassing genre, but we think this does a disservice to the wide variety of Latin music out there. Here are a couple of the stations that we’re excited to share:latin photo

Why not give our Cumbia station a spin at your next house party. Originating on the Atlantic coast of Colombia, cumbia is arguably the most popular Latin dance rhythm in the world, routinely making dance floors shake and sway across oceans and hemispheres. While many countries have successfully appropriated and adapted the cumbia in their own way, perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in Mexico, where cumbia is as common as the ranchera and the polka. This station features some of the giants of Colombian cumbia, like Lisandro Meza, La Sonora Dinamita and Aniceto Molina, as well as some of the stars of its Mexican counterpart, including artists like Fito Olivares, Celso Piña and Rigo Tovar. Read More →

Spring forward with this season’s new music releases!

What better way to welcome more sunshine and warmer weather than with new music? Read on as we round up this upcoming season’s most talked about new songs and albums.

spring releases

Stay tuned for a bevy of new releases coming as we kick off Spring. Synth-Rock pioneers Depeche Mode recently showcased their new studio album Delta Machine on the Late Show with David Letterman along with the lead single “Heaven.” Popular boy band New Kids on the Block are back on the scene with their first album in five years,  titled 10, just in time as they embark on their summer tour along with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees. For the first weeks of April, keep an eye out for new releases from indie bands The Flaming Lips and The Strokes, country favorites Alan Jackson and The Band Perry, and hip hop artists Lil Wayne and Tyler The Creator. Also look out for your favorite American Idol alumni to release new albums this month including Fantasia Barrino, David Archuleta and Crystal Bowersox.

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From the Curators: Your Pandora Guide to Spring Break

“…it’s Spring againScreen Shot 2013-03-26 at 10.35.32 AM

I can hear the birds sing again

See the flowers start to bud

And see young people fall in love”

So goes a well-worn refrain in the song “Spring Again” made famous by Lou Rawls. As we step out of the icy, wind-swept clutches of winter and into the regenerative dawn of spring, there’s a palpable optimism that fills the air, as the days grow longer and the temperature slowly warms. The season exacts a sensation of excitement in us all, which is magnified for those of us who happen to be students. The growing anticipation of relief and respite culminates with the arrival of the infamous Spring Break, which represents a weeklong opportunity to forget about deadlines, research and studying in exchange for some well-deserved R and R…and a chance to PARTY!

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From the Curators: Your Pandora Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is almost here and we welcome all our listeners of Irish descent (as well as those who become Irish for the day) to celebrate the holiday in Pandora style!

As many know, St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on March 17th. It is named after St. Patrick (c. AD 385-461) and commemorates the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. It has since gradually become more of a secular celebration of “Irishness” and Irish culture.

Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 8.17.22 AMFor our Pandora listeners down under, St. Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated in New Zealand and Australia. The Irish made a large impact on the social, political and educational systems of both countries, due to the large numbers of Irish people that immigrated to the colonies.

So whether your feasting with some Irish stew, indulging in green beer, attending a parade or just wearing green, we invite you to enjoy this year’s St. Patrick’s Day with stations curated by the “leprechaun curators” at Pandora:

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From the Curators: Pandora’s Guide To Music From the Big Screen

Music has always been the heart of the movie industry. Intimate parlor rooms, crazy fraternity parties, a grand coronation or a foggy road are all are enhanced by music that fits what the audience sees on screen and helps to tell the story. With the Oscars being presented on Sunday to wrap up this year’s awards season, Pandora celebrates the music that makes our movies great with two genre stations: Film Scores and Movie Soundtracks. Let’s take a look back at some of the memorable music that Hollywood has offered moviegoers over the years. Read More →

From the Curators: Your Pandora Guide to Valentine’s Day

It’s February, and love is in the air… depending, of course, on your stance on Valentine’s Day. But love it, hate it or plead indifference to the whole thing, February 14th provides us a good opportunity to reflect on why we adore the one we’re with, long for the one we lost, despise the one that did us wrong or simply how much we love to indulge in chocolate and champagne until we’re sick. At Pandora, we understand the intimate role that music plays in our love lives and so we’re offering up a slew of stations recommendations to get you in the mood for romance, flirtation or a good cry session in the name of shameless self-pity. Check out below for all that Pandora can offer you this Valentine’s Day: Read More →

From the Music Genome Project: The Anatomy of A Love Song

For thousands of years, we humans have used music to express our affections to one another. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought it would be amusing to mine the Music Genome Project to identify what makes a love song tick. To do this, I’ve pored over the musicological data of 100 songs from two of our most popular Valentine’s Day genre stations: “Love Songs” and its polar opposite, “Love Stinks“. If you’re a budding songwriter, I can’t give you the formula for a hit but maybe I can point you in the right direction when it comes to songs from the heart… Read More →

From the Curators: Pandora Celebrates Mardi Gras and Carnival 2013

There’s no city like New Orleans, especially during Mardi Gras when the city show cases its unique culture, outstanding food and of course: music.
If you can’t make it to the Big Easy this year, we’ll do our best to bring the French Quarter to you with a variety of authentic music options in the tradition of the holiday as well as our Mardi Gras-themed music and food pairings. Read More →