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Creators Blog

31 posts

I’ve been waiting for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to write a little bit about Hawaiian slack key guitar. But honestly, I listen to this beautiful and relaxing genre of music much more than one month out of the year. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or anxious, the watery and ethereal recordings of slack key can loosen my knots and put my hackles down in just a matter of minutes.

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Nothing against dad rock, but back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was mom rock that wafted from the family station wagon speakers and created the soundtrack to my formative years. My dad was always traveling for work, so it was really my mom and my little sister who provided most of what I have come to know as quality time. Like a crochet Afghan blanket on the sofa or a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup on a rainy day, mom rock was music that made me feel…mothered. But to be honest, mom rock as a subgenre wasn’t something I even considered until my mid 20s.

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Come see who was featured this month!

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Happy International Jazz Day!

 

International Jazz Day is the world's largest annual celebration of jazz that’s celebrated every year on April 30, highlighting jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. It also marks the end of Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as “JAM”). So, what better way to pay tribute to America’s earliest and iconic art forms!

 

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Just like all the new growth that sprouts in spring, April unearthed some blossoming new tunes! Per usual, we also found a few old jams to help score our pre-summer soundtrack. Dial up that volume, grab your garden shovel, and dig what we've been digging! 

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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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Spring has sprung! Sure, we have to wake up earlier, but now it gets darker later and the spring isn't just in our step but maybe in our music taste as well. Some of us got to go to SXSW and others have been enjoying live music in other capacities. So, if there's a theme for this edition of Pandora Picks, it just might be the celebration of our love for live music, and how going out to shows is maybe the best way to kick off spring and discover the music that you love.

Listen to Pandora Picks – March 2024

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Come see who was featured this month!

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Like many of you who attended South by Southwest, our team is still recovering from this year’s awesomeness – an entire week of live music, engaging panels, Texas BBQ, drink tickets, delicious Mexican food, and getting to meet some amazing people. We’d like to send a huge thanks to all artists, managers, labels, and friends who stopped by the Pandora AMP booth in the SXSW green room. In addition to signing folks up for AMP, we were also gifting our latest batch of AMPLI-FIRE hot sauce!

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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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Fresh Pandora Artist Profile Features: Spotlight Picks, Custom Bios, and Cover PhotosFresh Pandora Artist Profile Features: Spotlight Picks, Custom Bios, and Cover Photos

Calling all artists! Millions of listeners visit Pandora Artist Profiles every month, so we’re very excited to share a whole bunch of improvements to Pandora AMP Artist Profiles(link to corresponding amp playbook page) that are designed to make life easier for you and your fans. Take a look at what’s new below!

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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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We got an extra day this February, thanks to Leap Year. That, along with Punxsutawney Phil giving us an early spring made for a Pandora Picks that's a bit longer, lighter and brighter than usual. Dime that volume and click here to dig what we've been digging.

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Come see who was featured this month on AMP: Fresh Cuts!

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We’re excited to announce a new fresh look and some additional features to Artist Insights in Pandora AMP! Artists can use the Insights tab to view their overall stream data, top collaborations, programming placements, artist metric graphs, their audience map and their top 5 artist tracks across Pandora!

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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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New year, new you, new tunes! But per usual, some of us dipped into our back pages. Either way, these are our 2024 walk-up songs. What were yours? 

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Come see who was featured this month on AMP: Fresh Cuts!

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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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We’re excited to announce an update to Creator Notifications! In 2022, we launched Creator Notifications, which allowed AMP users to subscribe to email notifications for artists they follow. These notifications included “Week in Review” and “At the Moment” emails so AMP users can get regular updates about recent editorial placements and spin metrics. Today marks a complete redesign of the existing notifications, as well as a new, third type of notification, Milestones!

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October is the month when we start to notice that the sky gets darker earlier than usual. Sometimes it’s hard to find your way in the darkness. But music can always be a guiding light. Fittingly, our favorite songs of October 2023 find us striking a balance between dark and light. All the autumnal feels are here. But listen close and you’ll also hear some radiant levity resonating from our Pandora Picks.

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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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What songs soundtracked September for you? This time of year, it’s easy to lean into the end-of-summer blues with some fall flavored melancholy or “fallancholy,” as we like to call it. On the other hand, some of us get inspired to wear warmer clothes and crank those earbuds as we walk in a slightly crisper climate. Here’s what some Pandora people were digging on the cusp of Autumn, 2023.

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We’re very excited to announce the release of curator profiles! All types of curators on Pandora, including DJs, songwriters, journalists, writers, actors, chefs, influencers and more, now have a listener-facing profile where they can showcase the playlists, stations, and Stories they’ve made using Pandora AMP’s free curation tools.

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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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