Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

This is what our music curators are listening to this week on Pandora!

New Artist Additions

DJ Cassidy
A New York DJ who is known for his work at celebrity functions, including the 50th birthday party and 2009 inauguration of President Obama, and the 2008 wedding of Beyoncé and Jay-Z. He is gearing up for his debut album Paradise Royale, out in June, where he will bring together a 14-piece string section and musicians like Nile Rodgers (Chic), Ray Parker Jr., Mary J. Blige, Chromeo, Estelle, Cee Lo Green, Robin Thicke, Jessie J and more. His recently dropped single “Make The World Go Round” features a guest appearance by R. Kelly.

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Nightbringer
Nightbringer are one of those rare black metal bands that can swirl their cacaphony of guitar maelstroms to sound like a beautiful orchestra of evil. With equal parts restraint and tantrum, they’re absolute masters at reining in their chaos. Also, their singer sounds like he can gargle glass and barf blood into a Shure SM-58 microphone.
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Inside the Collection: Western Swing

Most times, the first things you’ll notice are the hiss, pops and crackles of the antiquated fidelity. The genre’s earlier recordings are delightfully haunting – as if you’re hearing ghosts play scratchy old records. And then the slide guitars and fiddles sound like they’re laughing joyously over buoyant rhythms. But when those bouncy horns, piano and guitars saunter in; that’s when you’re hearing some top-shelf Western Swing. And should some cartoonish vocals pipe-in with a high-pitched, “A-ha!” you can be certain that you’re listening to Bob Wills, the king of Western Swing.Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 12.12.51 PM

Every few years I go through a Bob Wills phase – and by proxy, a Western Swing phase. Subsequently, I just updated Pandora’s Country & Western Swing station with a bunch of my all-time favorite tunes from this realm (as well as some Classic Country and Honky-Tonk for complimentary flavor).
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Inside Song: Genre Through the Lens of a Songwriter

It happens, without fail, every time I carry an instrument in public. I’m usually at the airport. I’ll have a saxophone or a guitar strapped to my back because it’s too fragile to check underneath the plane. I ease it into the overhead bin and as I settle into my chair, the person seated next to me asks, with genuine warmth and curiosity, what type of music I play.

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What type of music do I play? I’ve encountered this enough times that you would think I’d be prepared with a quick, easy answer. After all, people only ask out of interest and kindness, they are not expecting a discussion of aesthetic philosophy and music theory. I should just politely say, “rock” or “jazz” and ask them what they do. But the problem is, I (and most songwriters I know) don’t think of the music we make in terms of genre.
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