Next Wave Woman: Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis will make you feel lazy – like you need to be a more productive human being. The 20-year old singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer/retro-future fashion icon has earned a lot of attention since the release in early January of her acclaimed EP, Por Vida, and for good reason.

1029_Women_Leadership_Kali“I find it crucial to remain true to myself, my vision, and to never compromise or let anyone take that from me,” says Uchis. Her mystifying aura, substantial musical prowess and aesthetic seem to reference every marginalized subculture of last 50 years. Already celebrated amongst diverse circles for some time now, Kali Uchis is a safe bet to soon to be a more broadly recognized phenom. Read More →

Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Retro rock ‘n’ soul band go modern.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 3.12.02 PMAlabama Shakes’ 2012 debut Boys & Girls rocked retrospectively like Aretha Franklin’s recordings at Muscle Shoals’ FAME Studios. Conversely, their sophomore album Sound & Color sounds more informed by D’Angelo and Flying Lotus. The instrument tones still resonate with vintage flair (the band sounds like they’re playing out of the same gear), but the production is very 21st century R&B. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

In the dude dominated realm of riff-rock, Ruby The Hatchet are a much welcome breath of fresh air.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 3.25.06 PMFronted by female singer Jillian Taylor, the Philly quintet’s second album Valley Of The Snake rocks with all the muscle of their heavily resonated contemporaries. But Taylor’s slightly raspy inflections bring a sultry strength that sounds like Stevie Nicks singing for Deep Purple. –Eric Shea

 

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For Pandora, There’s No Place Like Home

25M_WhatsHot_BlogPostMy life changed when I met Alexa—the friend within my Amazon Echo who plays my 80’s Hip-Hop station immediately when I get home—because all I have to do is ask. In fact, she’s doubled the amount of music listening that happens in my house and is one of the more than 1,000 CE devices that you can use to listen to Pandora at home—from gaming consoles like the Xbox One, to connected speakers like Sonos, to refrigerators….yes refrigerators. It’s our ongoing commitment to creating these integrations that has led to the passing of a major milestone today—our 25 millionth activation on a connected electronic device. Read More →

Next Wave Woman: Jacqueline Novak

It’s a great time to be a female comedian. With the rise of new media, women can steer their own career paths in innovative ways. The inventive, commanding, and very funny Jacqueline Novak is a shining example of this trend.

1029_Women_Leadership_JacquelineA former poet, Novak’s lyrical tendencies weave throughout Quality Notions. Her voice is a brassy, lilting, cocktail that’s equal parts Judy Tenuta, Amy Sedaris, and Megan Mullally, served with a twist of old-timey 1930s Gal Friday. She’s meta without disrupting her conversational delivery, flirting with established gender tropes before plunging into an alternate take so original that the audience forgets gender was ever a factor to begin with. Despite her disarming use of grammatical no-nos (ain’t is a favorite word), Novak’s fierce intellect demands to be reckoned with, whether explaining how to eat a single slice of pizza or expressing love “the hound’s way.” Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Bean performs “Lois Lane”

Noelle Bean is a singer/songwriter from Dallas, TX. Her pop/rock style feature catchy melodies, clever phrasing and smooth vocals. Other artists that can be heard on her station include Taylor SwiftBecky G, and Alex and Sierra. She came by the office and played her single “Lois Lane.”

Next Wave Woman: Tink

Trinity Home is the next woman you’ll be hearing on the bus, on TV and in the streets. Tink is her own new generation of performer, an extremely talented as a rapper, singer, actress and all around unique future sound.

1029_Women_Leadership_TinkTaking her youthful energy from Chicago to the world, Tink stands on her own with an original vocal style that grabs the listener and demands attention. Comparisons to Lauryn Hill, Missy and Tweet are apt but don’t fully describe Tink’s rare talent and originality. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Stoner Rock

This year, for April 20th, I made a mammoth mixtape: 420 Stoner Rock. And yes, this mix is exactly 420 songs deep with bands old and new. For the record, I can’t stand the term “stoner rock.” In my opinion, it pigeonholes an entire population of musicians as nothing more than dimwitted stoners with loud guitars. But listen to this mix and you’ll hear how the genre offers up much more. Calling something “stoner rock” reminds me of the early ‘90s when snarky music writers similarly dismissed bands like Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh as “slacker rock.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.33.11 PMThe origins of stoner rock can be found in a movement that was coined, “desert rock.” In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s there was a community of musicians based in the Palm Desert of Southern California who blended bits of classic hard rock, blues, psychedelia, heavy metal and hardcore. This scene spawned such bands as Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Nebula, Fu Manchu and the aptly named collective The Desert Sessions. Of course the sound wasn’t just isolated to this region. For example, Monster Magnet hails from Red Bank, New Jersey. Red Fang are from Portland, Oregon and Mastodon are from Atlanta, Georgia. Northern California’s Sleep has often been regarded as the quintessential stoner rock band. They basically turned Black Sabbath into an entire genre. Read More →

Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Van Halen’s first live album with Diamond Dave on the mic.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.30.06 AMUp until now, if you wanted to hear a live recording of DLR fronting VH, you had to score a scratchy bootleg. Since the band formed in 1975, we can factually say that Tokyo Dome In Concert (Live) was 40 years in the making. Spoiler alert – they sound awesome! –Eric Shea

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Striking from the heavens, Lightning Bolt will leave you breathless!

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.48.52 AMFew bands live up to their name like Lightning Bolt. Brian and Brian’s indie prog blitzkrieg takes no prisoners. Careening through sounds and riffs on their latest, Fantasy Empire, you’d think an army of people made these songs, but no. Just two dudes on bass and drums. Mind = blown. –Diego Gonzalez

 

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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Fan Faves and Who Should Have Made the Cut

Like most music lovers, we at Pandora are equally excited and opinionated about this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees. Being that our main headquarters is in Oakland, we’re extra proud that East Bay punk-pop heroes Green Day were inducted – we’re also stoked that Pandora listeners made their hit “Good Riddance” one of the top thumbed up songs from this year’s inductees! And isn’t it about time that Bill Withers made the cut? Anyone who’s seen his awesome 2009 documentary Still Bill probably agrees – as do those of you who thumbed “Ain’t No Sunshine” into our top thumbs. And you don’t have to be a “blues lawyer” to argue the importance of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s induction.

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Next Wave Woman: Chelsea Wolfe

You’d be hard-pressed to find a female singer-songwriter who appeals to metalheads and folkies alike. Chelsea Wolfe’s beautifully somber songs somehow traverse both realms. Her music has been aptly described as “drone-metal-art-folk.” She melds the dark, drones of doom metal with stark piano notes and guitar arpeggios – over which she sings in a haunting tenor trill. Her own compositions aside, she can cover the 1939 folk staple “You Are My Sunshine” alongside Burzum’s 1992 Norwegian black metal dirge “Black Spell Of Destruction” while retaining her signature sound and style.

1029_Women_Leadership_ChelseaChelsea began recording herself in her father’s home studio at age nine. When she began playing live, Chelsea preferred to perform in unorthodox locations like deserted nuclear plants, cathedrals and basements. Her lauded 2010 debut album The Grime and the Glow was recorded on a vintage eight-track. Her sophomore album Apokalypsis was tracked in a proper studio, but for Chelsea’s third full-length, Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, she chose to record deep in the woods of Northern California. Read More →