Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pandora Presents: Portugal. The Man

"Pandora Presents: Portugal. The Man" at Bowery Ballroom
Internet radio sensation, Pandora, recently implemented yet another innovative way to bring music to the masses -- through live "courtesy" concerts geared towards Pandora listeners' preferences. Last night, WGINY attended the second installment of the new concert series, "Pandora Presents," and was treated to an intimate, and totally free, show by "Portugal. The Man" at the Bowery Ballroom.

Pandora Founder, Tim Westergren, Introduces the Show

These guitar-driven, percussion heavy purveyors of rock performed solidly for nearly two hours, and were full of energy, enthusiasm and jamming instrumental solos. So, what's the catch? That's the best part -- there is none! The Bowery Ballroom show was personally introduced by Pandora's founder, Tim Westergren, who described his dream that the "Portugal. The Man" show, and a prior "Dawes" show in Portland, Oregon, would be the first of many "Pandora Presents" concerts, with a goal of creating a "musicians middle class," increasing exposure of featured Pandora bands and making live music more accessible.

Pandora users who received an exclusive invite to the "Portugal. The Man" show included internet radio listeners who had "thumbed up" songs while listening, indicating that they liked similar tunes.

Admittedly, WGINY recently strayed from Pandora and has devoted much music discovery time to the cloud-like site of a competitor. (Thus, I received my "Pandora Presents" invite from a friend...). This type of marketing, however, may be just what Pandora needs to remain a fierce competitor in the wake of sophisticated cloud computing. As I write this, I have myself rediscovered my lost Pandora account. Feeling mellow at this particular moment, I decided to listen to my Okkervil River station, and was instantly reminded why this site has been such a huge success. When you use Pandora enough, it literally learns your tastes, playing songs it thinks you may like, by various artists, including some you may never have heard before. (Case in point -- I now plan to research Pedro The Lion, a band I previously had not heard of, which just came up on my Pandora radio. Just before and after that, my ears were pleased as Pandora pumped out tunes by Elliot SmithBand of Horses and Noah and the Whale for me).

Want to see "Portgual. The Man" before these Alaska-based boys embark on an Intercontinental tour? Tickets are available for a NYC show this Friday, January 20, at Brooklyn Bowl. (Note: The Brooklyn Bowl show is not affiliated with Pandora).

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