Inside Song: Taking Off The Blindfold

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 2.32.45 PMOne of my favorite things is to hear a band for the first time without knowing a single thing about them, not even their name. It’s like having someone put a blindfold on me, lead me somewhere, then pull it off. I have to figure out where I am sonically, how I got there, what’s around the corners and behind the closed doors. It’s part detective work, part speculation, part historical research, part forensic analysis. The warm distortion on the drums in the intro sounds like analog tape; this song might be from the 60s or 70s. The fast, downstroke strumming and grit on the guitars is influenced by punk, but when the vocalist comes in, her full, smooth voice and abstract lyrics give it a more modern feel. The breathy synths that enter on the chorus sound like a tongue-in-cheek reference to New Wave, placing the song in the contemporary indie-pop realm. But I’m only a minute-forty-five into a four-minute song. Anything could happen. A scratchy, atonal viola solo could tilt the whole thing further away from the mainstream. Maybe when I go to look up the band, I’ll discover they’re from the 80s, in which case the synthesizer thing and the intentionally dirty production would be revealed as forward-thinking. As much information as I pick up along the way, I won’t really know anything until I’ve heard everything.
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Inside The Collection: Songs Of Change

MLK Day never fails to find us reflecting on Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. As a lifelong record collector, musician and now Music Curator for Pandora – it also reminds me how the birth of the Civil Rights Movement was a groundbreaking time in music. It was a time that inspired songwriters of many genres to pen some of the most powerful and beautiful songs in the history of recorded music. During this part of the 1960s and 1970s, Gospel, Folk, Rock, Funk, Soul, Blues and even Jazz included musicians singing about themes of freedom and equal rights.

To commemorate this incredibly important time in history, we’ve made a Pandora Mix Tape: Songs Of Change.

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As much as I dig all kinds of new music, it’s the songs recorded during this time that tend to populate most of my music collection – my Pandora profile alone is telltale proof of my love for the classics. My generation’s musicians are lucky in that they never had to muse on the draft or the kinds of segregation that existed in the past.


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Android Listeners: Start the New Year (and Every Day of 2014) by Waking Up with Pandora

Happy New Year!

Last month we released a new version of our Pandora app for iOS that included a top-requested new product feature from our listeners: an Alarm Clock.  The response from listeners using the new Alarm Clock has been overwhelmingly positive and today I’m thrilled to share that we’re releasing version 5.1 for Android that will now allow listeners on Android smartphones to wake up to their favorite Pandora music as well.

Just like the one we built for iOS, the Alarm Clock for Android includes key features like the ability to easily snooze.  When the alarm goes off, your music will begin to play with album art scrolling in the background. At this point, you can choose to keep listening to your music simply by tapping the song title or artist name on your phone screen, snooze or turn off the alarm. There are also a few notable features that are unique to the Alarm Clock for Android, including the ability to customize how often your alarm repeats throughout the week. Since you don’t have to keep the Pandora app running in the foreground in order for the alarm to play music when it fires, the Alarm Clock for Android is easier than ever to use.
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