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 →

My kingdom for a kiss upon HIS shoulder

Eighteen years ago I woke to find a musician had died. Not just any musician but one I was so enamoured with I still had pictures of him on my wall as a 26 year old. Music transcends time and it seems like yesterday his flowing blood-driven voice wrapped itself around so many open hearts.
I was a backpacker just settled into my first share house in London, my room not much larger than a walk-in robe, lit up with his beauty. At work that day I mourned in isolation, as the middle-class English girls had no clue who I was gasping about. Luckily the music journos of the day did and every major newspaper in London had full page spreads set aside telling of the untimely loss of Jeff Buckley.
Like so many that felt as though he had let them inside his soul, we cried at what we would no longer feel. Without him serenading us and understanding the depths of our hearts, they would ache restlessly. We cried because we felt his pain, we knew he’d been abandoned by his father, Tim Buckley, who’s own death at 28 meant they never knew each other and met only once for fifteen minutes. We knew his depth threatened to engulf him and fame overwhelm, but we never imagined that he would drown, we all thought he would float and keep singing.
He will always be my dream brother, and the lines in my head will remain for him, from him.

“So I’ll wait for you and I’ll burn
Will I ever see your sweet return
Oh, will I ever learn?
Oh, lover, you should have come over
‘Cause it’s not too late

Jeff Buckley
November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997

Listen to him here pdora.co/JeffBuckley

Kick start my heart – Mötley Crüe Reviewed

It started on a typical day in the office, as we log on for the day and do the standard social media checks, I notice Mötley Crüe supported by Alice Cooper announce their Final Tour, and they’re coming to Australia! CC, my hardrock work buddy, and I screech like a pair of electric guitars and exclaim; “We NEED to go!!” Tickets are bought and excited anticipation engulfs us.

The big day finally arrives and we start off with a few bevvies at a local pub, pondering what dirty music enjoyment the boys have in store for us. Will Tommy Lee ride his 360 degree Drum Coaster? Will Alice Cooper be able to stand up?

We rock up to the arena and a myriad of tattooed, pierced, hardcore Cooper and Crüe fans surround us and sweep us into the sweaty, smoky, rocking crowd. Alice Cooper is in the middle of his set, wearing his signature top hat and make up. This dude’s still got it. CC and I sing along to “Poison”, “Feed My Frankenstein” and of course, “School’s Out”.

Mr. Cooper’s set finishes and we eagerly await Vince, Tommy and Nikki to take to the stage. The arena goes pitch black, a hush falls over the crowd, an electric guitar chord goes off along with an explosion of fireworks and the boys strut onto stage singing “We are the Saints of Los Angeles” and the crowd goes wild!

They follow this with classics such as “Wild Side”, “Primal Scream” and “Same Ol’ Situation” with the audience screaming along to every single word.


The crowd continue to rock out to the Crüe’s well known tunes – “Looks that Kill”, “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and “Shout at the Devil”. After “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” plays, Tommy Lee takes to “The Crucifier”, an impressive, roller coaster with his massive drum kit attached. He proceeds to do a manic drum solo, riding this roller coaster wave while turning upside down. It. Was. Crazy. Girls were screaming “Tommy, Tommy, Tommy”, hoping to catch the Casanova’s eye.

Vince, Tommy and Nikki maybe a bit grey around the edges and have a few more wrinkles but they are still definitely glam rock royalty!

The boys played a few more classics, suitably concluding the concert with “Home Sweet Home”. CC and I left feeling that we got a super dose of Mötley Crüe with a healthy side of Alice Cooper, happy that us “Girls, Girls, Girls” made their final tour.

Cherie Brady, Pandora, Sydney

To get your Mötley Crüe fix, listen on Pandora

BBQ & Sing-Alongs: CMA Festival Day 4


They said today was going to be the hottest day of CMA 2015 and they were right. Word to the wise: when the weather app on your magic rectangle tells you that it’s going to be high in the 90s, make sure to stay hydrated… with water.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.23.51 AMGood thing Darius Rucker was playing in the air-conditioned convention center on the CMA Close Up Stage. He was also doing a Q&A panel and talked about the songwriting and recording process. “Sometimes you’ll write 50 songs,” he said, “but you’ll have to pick 13.” He also humbly stated, “I truly believe that I was a singer in a cover band that got really lucky.” During a stripped-down acoustic rendition of “Alright,” some of the audience could be heard singing along. But of course it was when he and a fiddle player launched into his breakthrough cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” that the entire audience lit up and joined in, singing every single lyric with him. Rucker also gave props to his influences and inspirations such as Al Green, Radney Foster, Dwight Yoakam and Miranda Lambert, whose “More Like Her” he added to his quiver of covers. Even Hootie fans were rewarded with an old-school treat when he dusted off a more countrified take on “Let Her Cry.” Read More →

CMA Festival Day 3: Women Of Country Music


Carrie Underwood’sBlown Away,” in 2012, was the last huge chart-topper by a female country artist. Recently a radio consultant, in comparing country music to a salad, referred to male country artists as the “lettuce” and the female country artists as the “tomatoes.” Subsequently, a few of country music’s female luminaries (including Martina McBride and Jennifer Nettles) are speaking out against these remarks in an effort to put women in country music on equal footing as men, the debacle has been dubbed #TomatoGate.

GG2A9424Rootsy chanteuse Sunny Sweeney also offered her two cents on the matter with a screened a t-shirt depicting a cartoon image of her hoisting a salami over the text, “Sunny Sweeney – Breaking Up The Sausage Party.” When I heard she was playing CMA 2015 I made it a priority to see what she’s been up to. Read More →

From Kelsea Ballerini to Zac Brown Band: CMA Festival Day 2


Contrary to Thursday, Friday showered us in sheets of rain. It was the kind of hot summer rain that finds its way into many country songs, and most of the CMA fans seemed to welcome it. As some of the Pandora crew and I ducked under a tent, Kelsea Ballerini took the stage to an enthusiastic round of hoots and hollers from her fans. I was excited to see her live, I heard that she put on an amazing show the week before at Marathon Music Works for our Pandora Country event (she opened for Dustin Lynch and Thompson Square). I was further intrigued because of recent Taylor Swift comparisons – Ballerini also writes her own songs.


Ballerini confidently strode on stage, slung an acoustic guitar over her shoulder and sang “Yeah Boy.” Her crowd didn’t need warming up – they were instantly fervent. I paid for a cold beer and when I turned back around, the audience seemed to double in size. For a second I doubted myself but then Ballerini said, “There are so many of you! I just got word that there are over 4,000 people here right now!” And the sound of 4,000 people cheered back at her in panoramic sound. She then introduced her next number “Peter Pan” as a song about boys who didn’t want to grow up. The catchy “Dibs” got heads bobbing and the crowd sang along. But the spectacle of her set was a ‘90s mashup medley that blended Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys and Destiny’s Child. Following that she covered an especially impassioned version of Rihanna’s “Take A Bow” as her fans chanted, “Kelsea! Kelsea!” and waved their hands in the air like some kind of country-pop tent revival. Read More →

Honky Tonks, Blazing Heat, Twang & Swagger: CMA Festival Day 1


Three members of the Pandora crew and I had just missed Kenny Chesney. He played outside on Broadway in downtown Nashville and after stepping out onto the balmy Southern night following a hearty soul-food dinner; we heard the explosion of applause to what was his last song. So the four of us decided to go honky-tonkin’ at Robert’s Western World across the street. Don Kelly Band was blazing through some old hillbilly standards with help from a 20-year-old guitar prodigy named Daniel Donato. This amazing six-string jedi looked like a young Rory Gallagher and picked a Telecaster like Don Rich on steroids.

IMG_7712But it was A Thousand Horses who really set the tone for this year’s CMA Music Festival. The band sauntered on stage over a droning organ before launching into “Landslide.” Armed with three, soulful, female, backing singers, they rocked with the timeless soul of Delaney & Bonnie through a nitty, gritty, Lynyrd Skynrd swagger. Lead guitarist Bill Satcher was kicking out the jams with a punchy tone that recalled The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion era Black Crowes. There was a palpable excitement in the crowd when Michael Hobby strapped on a Gibson acoustic guitar. After he strummed the first few chords to “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” the audience ignited in applause. But their fans really went wild when Hobby announced that they were now going to play their number one single, “Smoke.” For a few seconds, the roar of the crowd even eclipsed the band’s audibility. After walking away from their set with “Trailer Trash” stuck in my head, I realized that A Thousand Horses is everything that I’ve ever wanted from Kid Rock and Shooter Jennings. Southern Rock is alive and well at CMA Music Festival. Read More →

Country Built

Today we add another great guest blogger to the list of venerable scribes who have written for us.  First Anthony DeCurtis wrote about the legendary Rolling Stones, recently Alan Light gave us his take on Josh Groban, and now James Sullivan is talking COUNTRY BUILT. James is the author of four books, including biographies of James Brown and George Carlin, and a frequent contributor to the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone and more. He’s at www.jamessullivanauthor.com and on Twitter @sullivanjames.  

country builtCountry music is often called a storytelling music. As the great songwriter Harlan Howard once said, it’s “three chords and the truth.”  On Pandora’s new specialty station, Country Built, we’re recalling some of the best stories about American music.

Your host, Otis Gibbs – himself a mighty fine songwriter in the traditional American mode – is your tour guide through more than half a century of landmark recordings by timeless artists. Each episode of Country Built will also feature a special appearance from a “future” representative of the style. Read More →

Artists to Watch at CMA Fest

cmaWho’s headed to Nashville for CMA Music Festival?  This year’s line-up is filled with some of the biggest names in country – Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Rascal Flatts (to name of few) – but we’re also really excited for a lot of the performers who aren’t already household names.  We used your listening feedback (coupled with the buzz each of these acts has been receiving) and think the following artists might just be some of your new country favorites come CMA Fest and its surrounding events (if they aren’t already). Read More →