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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Marcos on #MusicologistMonday

I think it’s important to mention here that Latin music is not actually a genre. Synthesizing the cultures of almost one billion people across two continents and an entire hemisphere into one category is not possible.

Musical expression stands on its own and defies genre; that’s what draws me to the music of Latin America and its far-reaching diaspora. Traditions endlessly reinvent themselves through creativity and drive. Today’s artists and musicians are standing on the shoulders of centuries of innovation and experimentation.
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Picks of the Week

Carrie Underwood’s first single from Storyteller tells a story.

1 Carrie Underwood

Anyone who thought that the country superstar was too posh to wax blue collar is in for a surprise. “Smoke Break” is a lighter-hoisting anthem for the working people. Underwood’s narrative spins a salt-of-the-earth country rocker that empathizes with anyone who has ever flirted with their vices after a stressful day. –Eric Shea

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Longhaired, bellbottomed riff worship from Down Under.

2 Hydromedusa

Aussie, hard rock heads Hydromedusa deliver some serious, seventies style, retro-psych, proto-metal swagger. They infuse a classic psychedelic heaviness with bristling punk rock energy. Hydromedusa sounds like it could be a genuine lost psych rock artifact from back in the day, brimming with big riffs, fuzzy bass, yowled vox and yeah, cowbell! –Andee Connors
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It’s Listener Love Day! (almost)

1376-INSTAGRAMHEADERPandora turns 10 next week, (September 9 to be exact) and, rather than celebrate alone, we want to celebrate with all of you. Our offices are just a bit too small to accommodate the nearly 80 million of you who tune in each month for an in-person party, so we decided to make September 9 Listener Love Day. What is this day you ask? Simply put, it is our gift to you. It’s a day of all music and zero ads as a thank you for listening and thumbing over the past decade.

The Details:

• Who: All Pandora listeners in the US

• What: Ad-free listening – all music, all day

• When: September 9th, 12am-12am ET

We promise to keep this short, but it’s hard since each and every one of you has played a huge role in making Pandora the most streamed music platform in the world. Together, you have listened to 74 billion hours of music, thumbed up or down over 55 billion times and created 8 billion stations. Those are a lot of big numbers, but it boils down to one simple thing – when Pandora was created 10 years ago, we had one goal – to play the best music for each listener. That has not changed, it will not change, and we thank you for spending the past 10 years with us – here’s to decades more!
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Darian on #MusicologistMonday

The earliest memory I have is being carried into a church on my mom’s hip, hearing this rhythm that sounded larger than life and thinking, “I am that sound!” My mother always told me that I was cursed to be a drummer because when she was pregnant with me, she recorded eight disco albums. My mother and her sister, better known as The Duncan Sisters, also sang background for Little Richard. My father is a trumpet player and back then he was touring with Z.Z. Hill until Z.Z. died. Both parents say that I began playing a full drum kit at age two — I would jam along to a live Michael Jackson album. They say I would play the whole album and hit all the hits with the drummer. I don’t remember any of that. But I do remember obsessing over the grooves, parts, hits and fills that drummers recorded for artists like James Brown, Pleasure and Herbie Hancock (to name a few).
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