Following the recent release of ‘New Age Norms 1,’ Cold War Kids' frontman Nathan Willett reveals the background behind some of their classic hits, as well as new favorites. Hear their Pandora Story now:
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November is Native American Heritage Month, a chance to learn about Native culture and traditions and highlight the contributions of Native people in the US. It's also an important opportunity to acknowledge Native American history and work towards a better future. Join us in celebrating NAHM in the best way: listening to Native American voices.
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Aaron Copland's peers and critics called him "the Dean of American Composers" and that legacy lives on today. His composition style evokes the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit, with works like 'Appalachian Spring', 'Billy the Kid', Rodeo' and 'Fanfare for the Common Man'. He wrote in a "populist'" or "vernacular" style, that was deliberately accessible and appropriate for the Depression and post-Depression eras.
Join us in wishing Aaron Copland a happy birthday by listening to his A-Z Playlist now:
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Good news for podcast megafans and newbies alike: Podcasts on Pandora are now available to all users on the web at pandora.com and via Pandora’s new desktop app for Mac and Windows.
Now, Pandora users can enjoy their favorite podcasts and get personalized recommendations on their mobile devices or computers whether they’re at home, in the car, or on the go.
Since launching last year, Pandora’s rich catalog of podcasts has increased over 5x to now boast thousands of shows and over 600,000 episodes across a broad range of genres including Daily News, Comedy, True Crime, Sports & Recreation, Music, Fiction & Drama, and many others.
And we’ve made it even easier for podcast creators to submit their shows and make them available to Pandora’s millions of listeners in just a few steps with our new Pandora for Podcasters hub.
With Podcasts on Pandora, listeners can enjoy a wide variety of podcasting’s most popular shows like This American Life, Serial, Dr. Death, The Moth, Lore, Song Exploder, and The Dave Ramsey Show, as well as exclusive podcasts from top SiriusXM talk hosts including Andy Cohen, Kevin Hart, Sway Calloway, Hoda Kotb and others.
Plus, both Pandora and SiriusXM listeners have exclusive access to original SiriusXM podcasts including:
17 Weeks – A new original football podcast series from SiriusXM and UNINTERRUPTED, the athlete empowerment brand founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, featuring star players Le’Veon Bell, Jalen Ramsey and Cole Beasley discussing the latest NFL stories and hottest football topics straight from the locker room.
Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues – An original podcast that accompanies Hulu’s original series,Wu-Tang: An American Saga, with 10 episodes reflecting on the themes and events depicted in the Hulu series and featuring interviews with Wu-Tang members and other special guests.
NFL’s 100 Greatest – A special original 20-part podcast series from SiriusXM and NFL Films counting down the greatest NFL memories of all time in five categories: Plays, Games, Characters, Game Changers, and Teams.
And soon, Pandora and SiriusXM users will be able to enjoy exclusive scripted and unscripted podcasts from Marvel Entertainment based around iconic Marvel characters like Wolverine, Hawkeye and Black Widow.
But what makes Podcasts on Pandora truly unique is our ability to recommend exactly the right podcast to the right listener at the right time with Podcast Genome Project personalization. Never again do users have to ask, “What podcast should I listen to next?”
Like Pandora’s pioneering Music Genome Project, the Podcast Genome Project uses a combination of complex algorithms and human curation to deliver personalized podcast recommendations based on each user’s unique listening history, preferences, and hundreds of other signals – making it capable of suggesting programming to listeners at the individual episode level.
Whether they enjoy Pandora on their smartphone or computer, users have access to a vast, fast-growing catalog of top podcasts across dozens of genres…personalized just for them.
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Happy 76th birthday to Roberta Joan Mitchell. A brilliant singer song-writer who genre-bended folk, rock, pop and jazz before it was cool. Select the image below to dive into her best hits, A-Z.
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Happy Native American Heritage Month!
Inspired by a 2017 documentary, Native American Rock explores the Native American musicians who helped shape contemporary rock music. Did you know that Jimi Hendrix was part Cherokee? Or that Link Wray was a musician of Shawnee ancestry? This playlist also digs under the hood of recordings from other influential musicians like John Lennon, Taj Mahal and Jackson Browne to spotlight the late, great, Native American guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, a stellar session musician who also recorded some awesome solo albums.
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photograph by Paul Bergen/Redferns
Halloween is a time for us to face our fears and embrace the thrill of being terrified. Usually, this means dressing up in creepy costumes and watching lots of horror movies, but music, too, is full of scares. Realizing this, the good folks at Pandora set upon the intriguing task of cataloging and ranking the world's scariest songs. To do so, the data scientists behind Pandora's Music Genome Project studied thousands of tunes around areas including song construction, production, sounds and mood to determine their Top 10. Below, see the final list — which, perhaps, not surprisingly, includes such hair-raising artists as Nine Inch Nails, Tool and Lamb of God — and read on for our interview with Pandora data scientist Erik Schmidt and Director of Music Analysis Steve Hogan to get a deeper understanding of their methodology and conclusions.
10 Scariest Songs of All Time, According to Pandora:
Nine Inch Nails - "The Becoming"
Pixies - "The Happening"
Bauhaus - "Dark Entries"
Joy Division - "Transmission"
Lamb of God - "Contractor"
Tool - "Ænima"
Nirvana - "Heart-Shaped Box"
Korn - "Bottled Up Inside"
A Perfect Circle - "Thinking of You"
Whitechapel - "Eternal Refuge"
I GUESS THE MOST OBVIOUS QUESTION IS HOW, FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS LIST, DID YOU GUYS DEFINE "SCARY"? ISN'T IT SUBJECTIVE? ERIK SCHMIDT, STAFF SCIENTIST, PANDORA Sure, it's subjective — what is scary for one person might not be for another — but we're using a few things to identify songs on the list. One is Pandora's Music Genome Project that leverages human-based analysis across 450 characteristics, such as instrumentation, genre and tempo. However, the biggest part of predicting what the mood of the song is actually through looking at how listeners interact with it.
We use more than 200 dimensions — or representations of a song we call embeddings — which allows our machine learning system to detect patterns that are informative of human emotions. But the reality is mood is a tricky signal to find in a piece of music. There are cultural aspects that come through when we have representations of how people listen to music. This is why we use machine learning and Pandora's expert curators to weigh in alongside data scientists to explore listener habits.
We looked at individual moods like anguished, distraught, eerie, harsh, menacing, spooky, tense, anxious and volatile, and the list is a representation of songs that scored the highest on this subset of moods.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE VARIOUS PARAMETERS AND METRICS AS THEY APPLY TO A PARTICULAR SONG, PERHAPS? SCHMIDT For each of the moods we talk about above, we have scores between 0-1, where 1 indicates the algorithm is 100 percent confident that this is anguished or eerie, and 0 means it is not.
For Nine Inch Nails' song "The Becoming," some of the top moods we identified include paranoid, bleak, gloomy, angry, ominous, confrontational and nihilistic. These characteristics are a result of the band's use of non-linear instrument timbres and effects, which humans are programed to find distressing.
IT'S INTERESTING THAT MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN SINGS ON TWO OF THE TOP 10 SONGS, ONE WITH TOOL AND ONE WITH A PERFECT CIRCLE. DO YOU THINK THERE'S SOMETHING PARTICULARLY SCARY ABOUT HIS VOICE AND/OR LYRICS? STEVE HOGAN, DIRECTOR OF MUSIC ANALYSIS, PANDORA I think there are some carefully chosen studio reverb effects employed to accentuate the creepiness of his voice. He also has a talent for switching between a softer, more vulnerable vocal tone, to a more explosive, aggressive delivery that makes him sound like an unstable, slightly demented character!
NINE INCH NAILS' "THE BECOMING" COMES IN AT NO. 1. WHAT MAKES THAT SONG PARTICULARLY SCARY? SCHMIDT As noted [before], for "The Becoming," the top moods we identified include paranoid, bleak, gloomy, angry, ominous, confrontational and nihilistic. Some others are harsh, epic, manic and nocturnal. HOGAN These facets contrast with the hushed and screaming vocals, which creates a suspenseful and unsettling mood. Melodically, this song makes use of an exotic-sounding scale, which features a major third but a flat second scale degree giving the song a dissonant quality.
HOW HARD WAS IT, GENERALLY SPEAKING, TO RANK THE LIST, AND HOW SLIM IS THE MARGIN ON SOME OF THE SONGS IN TERMS OF THEIR RANKING? SCHMIDT Things are pretty crowded at the top of our most-scary metric. Looking at our data, we're looking at tenths of a percentage point. The Nine Inch Nails song registers a 6.2, the next one down — Pixie's "The Happening" — is a 6.06.
WHAT SONG COMES IN AT 11, AND WERE THERE OTHER SONGS THAT ALMOST MADE THE CUT AND THAT MAYBE THE TEAM HAD TO "FIGHT" OVER? SCHMIDT When compiling the top songs, we took the highest percentage by each artist so we'd have a diverse list. The 11th unique artist and song would be "Reflect the Storm" by In Flames. Interestingly, if we grouped this list by artist, you'd find that Nine Inch Nails had a greater number of songs that scored highest according to our metric.
We talked with our curators about including the "Halloween Theme" by John Carpenter and "Superbeast" by Rob Zombie, because both are are strongly associated with scary vibes. However, both of the songs were further down the calculated list, so ultimately, we decided to go with the machine's analysis.
WERE THERE ANY SONGS THAT MADE THE TOP 10 OR MAYBE RANKED HIGH OUTSIDE THE TOP 10 THAT WERE SURPRISING TO THE TEAM? HOGAN I was surprised to see the Joy Division song, "Transmission," so high on the list. This one defies the conventional wisdom that music needs to be in a minor key to sound scary. This song is harmonically very simple, and it oscillates back and forth between two major chords, D major, and C major.
WHAT, PERSONALLY, IS THE SCARIEST SONG YOU'VE EVER HEARD? HOGAN Hands down, the most terrifying piece of music I've ever heard is a 1961 composition by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki called "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima." This piece is written for 52 strings, and is nearly 10 minutes of "nails on the chalkboard" dissonance. It triggers my primal fear response like nothing else I've ever heard. It has been used in David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and also in Wes Craven's 1991 horror film The People Under the Stairs.
Revolver Staff. (2019, October 30). 10 SCARIEST SONGS OF ALL TIME, ACCORDING TO PANDORA . Retrieved from https://www.revolvermag.com/music/10-scariest-songs-all-time-according-pandora
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It's time to get creepy 😱 Tune in to WGBH's podcast 'The Creeping Hour,' a horror anthology podcast for those who love scary stories.
Take a bite out of the most recent episode 'Perfect Teeth' now:
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