Putting The Hip In Holiday

This last Tuesday, Pandora sent out the push notification: “Our music curators think you’ll love Hipster Holidays Radio this holiday season. Try it today!” If you’ve ever seeded or thumbed-up anything deemed cool, indie or “hip” – you received that notification. It’s really that simple.

Pandora is headquartered in a hip part of Oakland, California – which means each day, our employees walk streets considered by many to be a West Coast epicenter of hipsterdom. But this recent social conversation around the term “hipster” got us thinking more critically: what’s the history behind this word, anyway? Being the OCD music and pop-culture geeks that we are, the subject was researched! And, wouldn’t you know it, the word has a deep musical tie in.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 10.53.58 AMThe origin of the term “hipster” has nothing to do with boutique fixed-gear bicycles. But it pedals back to 1938 when Cab Calloway jokingly wrote The Hepster Dictionary to accompany his sheet music – it was a glossary of jive terms spoken by “hepcats” (African American jazz enthusiasts). So then “hepcat” evolved into “hipster” by the 1940s. In June of 1948, Anatole Broyard wrote a piece for Partisan Review entitled “A Portrait of the Hipster.” In it, he describes hipsters as blues and jazz informed delinquents on a quest for self-definition.
Read More

From The Curators: Pandora’s Guide To 4th Of July

Summer is in full swing and it’s time to celebrate the USA’s birthday with parades, fireworks and BBQs. So, what’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about summer? What’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about 4th of July? The curation team had a blast putting together Pandora’s 4th of July genre stations, and we’re excited to finally share them with you!

4th of July RadioScreen Shot 2014-06-27 at 2.20.55 PM includes a mix of patriotic tunes across genres sprinkled with summertime favorites. On this station you’ll hear Country, Heartland Rock and popular songs that celebrate American pride; artists include John Mellencamp, James Brown, Miley Cyrus and Simon and Garfunkel.

Another American classic, Barbershop quartet music, has enjoyed a colorful revival. The barbershop served as the community center where African American men harmonized while waiting their turn. In the early 1900s, white minstrel singers adopted the a cappella four part harmony style and performed early standards. Think “Sharp Harmony,” a Norman Rockwell painting from 1936. Our Barbershop Quartet station is perfect for waking up early and prepping the grillables.
Read More

From the Curators: Your Guide to National Puerto Rican Day

Every June, on the second Sunday of the month, New York’s Puerto Rican community takes to the streets of Manhattan in a mass outpouring of nationalist pride and profound love for their beloved Isla del Encanto, manifested in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, a hugely prolific event that’s been taking place in the Big Apple since 1958. Also known as el desfile puertorriqueño, the parade is a mass celebration of the social and cultural contributions of the more than four million Puerto Ricans currently living in the United States, as well as the four million that still reside on the island. The day is an opportunity for the island’s diaspora, many of whom have never set foot in the Caribbean, to reflect on and honor their ancestors.

puerto rico imageMore than anything, the New York parade is a huge street party, where friends and family can let loose to the traditional sounds of bomba, plena and of course, salsa! With this in mind, Pandora invites you to dig deep in to the sabor boricua and unleash your inner coquí with these two Puerto Rican themed salsa stations!
Read More

From the Curators: Your Pandora Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is almost here and we welcome all our listeners of Irish descent (as well as those who become Irish for the day) to celebrate the holiday in Pandora style!

As many know, St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on March 17th. It is named after St. Patrick (c. AD 385-461) and commemorates the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. It has since gradually become more of a secular celebration of “Irishness” and Irish culture.

Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 8.17.22 AMFor our Pandora listeners down under, St. Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated in New Zealand and Australia. The Irish made a large impact on the social, political and educational systems of both countries, due to the large numbers of Irish people that immigrated to the colonies.

So whether your feasting with some Irish stew, indulging in green beer, attending a parade or just wearing green, we invite you to enjoy this year’s St. Patrick’s Day with stations curated by the “leprechaun curators” at Pandora:


Read More

From the Curators: Your Pandora Guide to Valentine’s Day

It’s February, and love is in the air… depending, of course, on your stance on Valentine’s Day. But love it, hate it or plead indifference to the whole thing, February 14th provides us a good opportunity to reflect on why we adore the one we’re with, long for the one we lost, despise the one that did us wrong or simply how much we love to indulge in chocolate and champagne until we’re sick. At Pandora, we understand the intimate role that music plays in our love lives and so we’re offering up a slew of stations recommendations to get you in the mood for romance, flirtation or a good cry session in the name of shameless self-pity. Check out below for all that Pandora can offer you this Valentine’s Day:
Read More

From the Music Genome Project: The Anatomy of A Love Song

For thousands of years, we humans have used music to express our affections to one another. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought it would be amusing to mine the Music Genome Project to identify what makes a love song tick. To do this, I’ve pored over the musicological data of 100 songs from two of our most popular Valentine’s Day genre stations: “Love Songs” and its polar opposite, “Love Stinks“. If you’re a budding songwriter, I can’t give you the formula for a hit but maybe I can point you in the right direction when it comes to songs from the heart…
Read More

From the Curators: Pandora Celebrates Mardi Gras and Carnival 2013

There’s no city like New Orleans, especially during Mardi Gras when the city show cases its unique culture, outstanding food and of course: music.
If you can’t make it to the Big Easy this year, we’ll do our best to bring the French Quarter to you with a variety of authentic music options in the tradition of the holiday as well as our Mardi Gras-themed music and food pairings.
Read More