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Creators Blog

26 posts

According to the internet, April is International Guitar Month 🎸. As far as historians can tell, the guitar goes back to 15th century Spain. But it wasn’t until 1987 when the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) established April as the month dedicated to a stringed instrument championed by classically trained musicians, juvenile delinquents, and everyone in between. 

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Usually around Saint Patrick’s Day, I see a few playlists that mistake the phrase “pub rock” for Irish drinking songs. But pub rock has very little to do with pennywhistles, wearing green, and binge drinking. Its roots vine back to taverns of the United Kingdom during the early-to-mid 1970s. Back then, the pop scene was overrun by the lavish theatrics of glitter/glam rock as well as the hyper-arranged music of progressive/prog rock. Pub rock started as an organic, reactionary backlash to glam and prog. And some music historians say that pub rock helped spark the sound of English punk.

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As most music nerds know (current company included!), it’s difficult to decide what show to see when there are more than a couple to choose from, so if you find yourself at South by Southwest this year, and are faced with literally HUNDREDS of choices each night, we figured it might help to have a little context – and perhaps a bit of guidance.

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As a lifelong musician, shoegaze was my first love. I tried to get with the Madchester sound, but as a guitarist, I just never was able to bond with wah-wah pedals. Shoegazing seemed to arrive just in time, back in the early 1990s – when grunge was oversaturating the airwaves. Some of us who never even-flowed or snuffed a rooster turned to this innovative music scene that was emerging in England. At first, the shoegaze sound blended the haunting beauty of ‘80s goth with the distorted six-string experiments of indie rock. But shoegaze very soon evolved to take on many different styles within the genre.

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Composers Saint-Georges, Coleridge-Taylor, Bonds & StillComposers Saint-Georges, Coleridge-Taylor, Bonds & Still

February celebrates Black History Month and as the Classical Programmer at Pandora, I am excited to share the ‘Black Classical’ Mode on Classical Radio. ‘Black Classical’ features Black composers, vocalists, instrumentalists, and conductors from the 18th to 21st Century.

 

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MLK Day never fails to find us reflecting on Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. But as a lifelong record collector and musician, it also reminds me how the birth of the civil rights movement was a groundbreaking era 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 jazz included musicians singing about themes of freedom and equal rights.

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Long before the inception of Pandora, I can vividly recall the very first thumbs down that I gave to a song. This was during the Holiday season of the then-new decade. But it also happened to be my first-time butting heads with one of my parents on musical taste.

 

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Good gravy, November was bountiful with some stellar songs! This decorative gourd season found us indulging in comfort food music - the kind of songs that make you want to loosen your belt and put your feet up. But also, some songs that make you want to put your feet down and groove like a new year is just around the corner. You can listen to our Pandora Picks for the month right here.

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November might be my favorite month. Aside from its overall deliciousness, it offers a post-Halloween hangover hibernation, rife with shorter days, longer nights, turning leaves, comfort food, sweatpants, blankets, and of course, a cornucopia of deep dives into more music. And as someone with Indigenous American ancestry, Native American Heritage Month offers a time to reflect on my roots.

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After recalling the KISS themed Halloween that changed his life, Pandora Senior Curator Eric Shea cordially invites you to attend his Classic Rock Halloween Party. Let’s get in the Munster Mobile and burn rubber on the Highway To Helloween!

 

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Love, lust, and angst were among the biggest subjects of teen love songs back in the 50s and early 60s at a time where the idols of the day – no longer your mom and pop’s crooners – commanded the radio charts. I was luckily exposed to these at a very young age through cassette tapes, specifically the Cruisin’ Classics compilations sold by Shell gas stations in 1989 and 1990 for $1.99 a pop. 

 

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Remembering the Compilation CD That Introduced Me to Jazz

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