Picks of the Week

Neon Indian shines in the dark.

1. Neon Indian

At its best, retro art can dance on the razor’s edge between ironic pastiche and celebratory revival. Neon Indian’s electrifying third album VEGA INTL Night School arrives like a radio broadcast from 1985 with fizzy bursts of Scritti Politti and Ready For the World, reimagining synthpop like Random Access Memories reimagined disco. –Party Ben

CURATOR’S PICK

Don’t forget the song.

2. GospelbeacHThough Beachwood Sparks’ fruitful family tree yielded FrausdotsFurtherThe TydeFarmer DaveFairechildPainted HillsAll Night RadioMystic Chords of MemoryLilys and Strictly Ballroom – GospelbeacH is the closest falling apple. Pacific Surfline debuts with sun-flared vocal harmonies and Neil Casal’s twang-jam guitar leads. But it’s Brent Rademaker’s beautiful songs that stay with you. –Eric Shea\


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Picks of the Week

Toby Keith redefines patriotism.

0. Toby KeithFollowing 9/11, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” used vengeful and dividing lyrics to describe patriotism. Conversely, “Drunk Americans” opens 35 Mph Town with the uniting line, “We ain’t black, we ain’t white/ We just came here to drink/ We’re all mud flaps and bourbons/ All ball caps and turbans.”  –Eric Shea

CURATOR’S PICK

No one will replace the voice and guitar of Ariel Camacho.

1. Los Plebes Del RanchoHe was a once-in-a-generation artist. Los Plebes Del Rancho have chosen to honor his legacy by continuing on the path that he laid down. DEL Negociante serves as a reaffirmation of the group, as well as a demonstration of unity, strength and focus on the part of DEL Records. –Marcos Juarez


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Picks of the Week

1335_Picks_Blog

Janet Jackson returns, unbroken.

1. Janet JacksonWhen I think of Janet, I think of innovation, social consciousness and silky, seductive pop. Unbreakable (her first release since brother Michael’s death in 2009) delivers on all counts, aided by fresh yet restrained production from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Janet herself waxes reflective: “Wherever life takes me,” goes “Well Traveled,” “I’m willing to go.” –Party Ben

 

CURATOR’S PICK

A decidedly sophomore UN-slump from these San Francisco post punks.

2. Dirty GhostsWhile Let It Pretend shares plenty of sonic DNA with Dirty GhostsMetal Moon debut, the new songs sound more like Patti Smith fronting ‘70s era Devo – or a grittier, garage rockier Pretenders. Tracks like “Cataract” fuse ‘80s MTV rock to sinewy, angular, post-punk; delivering some seriously addictive, retro-pop action! –Andee Connors

 

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Picks of the Week

Eagles singer releases his first solo album in 15 years.

1. Don HenleyDon Henley’s fifth album is more than a return to form. Recorded in Nashville, Cass County is a celebration of his Americana roots and influences. Henley covers The Louvin Brothers and Tift Merritt. He’s also joined by friends like Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride. –Eric Shea

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Discover the hottest new sound of soul with Louisville’s Bryson Tiller.
2. Bryson Tiller
The infectious tone of bass drops and sensual vocals creates a seductive combination of R&B and trap on T R A P S O U L. Can this young man revive the soul of the South? Creating a signature vibe some have called RnBass, Tiller is the next voice. –J Boogie

 


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Picks of the Week

Doom pioneers bestow exceptional eighth album.

1. Pentagram

Curious Volume sounds noticeably stronger than 2011’s Last Rites. Like a feral cat on its ninth life, Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling channels his demons and victories into these riff-rife rockers with historic authority. His adoration for Blue Cheer’s songwriting surfaces throughout. Young longhairs with big amps take note – your riffs won’t endure without memorable songs. –Eric Shea

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Koffi Olomide honors the Voice of Lightness.

2. Koffi Olomide

Koffi Olomide is one of Africa’s most revered active artists. As the title implies, Koffi Chante Tabu Ley documents his tribute to one of Africa’s most revered singers of yesteryear, Tabu Ley Rochereau. Recorded live in Kinshasa, Koffi’s band is crackin’, his voice butter. Sparkling tunes to lift your spirit with beauty. –Diego Gonzalez


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Pandora – 10 years and beyond

We’ve crossed the ten-year mark at Pandora. It has been a long and winding road, but never have I been more excited about the future. We’re on the cusp of a massive transformation in the way music is discovered and distributed and everything we’ve done has put us in a position to be the force behind that change.

pandora_analysts[2]When we analysed “Dancing Queen” by Abba (the very first song in the Music Genome Project) we had no idea what lay ahead. We were too naïve to realise just how absurd our idea was. It took about 30 minutes to analyse that single track. We listened multiple times to capture every detail of the recording. Close to 200 attributes were notated using pen and paper, then double-checked by a second music analyst before being transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet. Who knew that this intensive, detailed, manual process would become the foundation for personalised radio.
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Pandora 2015 – 2025

We’ve crossed the ten-year mark at Pandora. It has been a long and winding road, but never have I been more excited about the future. We’re on the cusp of a massive transformation in the way music is discovered and distributed and everything we’ve done has put us in a position to be the force behind that change.

10 Years of Music Discovery

When we analyzed “Dancing Queen” by Abba (the very first song in the Music Genome Project) we had no idea what lay ahead. We were too naïve to realize just how absurd our idea was. It took about 30 minutes to analyze that single track. We listened multiple times to capture every detail of the recording. Close to 200 attributes were notated using pen and paper, then double-checked by a second music analyst before being transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet. Who knew that this intensive, detailed, manual process would become the foundation for personalized radio.
Read More