EventsExclusives

AIR Announces Rdio as Major Partner of Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards

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The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) is pleased to announce leading digital music streaming service, Rdio Australia, as a Major Partner of the 2014 Carlton Dry Independent Awards.

As part of the partnership, Rdio will present the Best Independent Album Award in 2014, further demonstrating the streaming service’s commitment to fostering local talent - nominees for the catagory are:

Chet Faker - ’Built On Glass’

RUFUS - ’Atlas’

Sia - ’1000 Forms Of Fear’

Total Control - ’Typical System’

Violent Soho - Hungry Ghost’

“Rdio Australia is thrilled to be able to award those paving the way in Australia’s independent music community at this year’s Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards,” said Colin Blake, Head of Territory Australia & New Zealand at Rdio.

Since its beginnings, Rdio Australia has worked hand in hand with Australia’s indie labels to profile, promote and support local artists. To achieve this, Rdio actively invests in the local music industry and delivers holistic support campaigns for Australian releases, tours and festivals.

“Rdio is passionate about championing local independent talent and we hope this partnership will give Australia’s best up-and-coming artists the opportunity to become established artists in Australia’s ever growing music scene,” Blake commented.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Rdio on board as a Major Partner for the 2014 Carlton Dry Independent Awards. It is fantastic to have Rdio support AIR in our objectives of promoting the interests and development of Australian independent musicians, labels and music companies,” said Joanna Cameron, Communications Manager for AIR.

Presented and produced by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), the ninth Annual Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards are an opportunity for Australian labels, artists and the industry at large to celebrate the successes of some of the country’s most vibrant and eclectic artists. For more information on the Awards, Charts and Independent music click here. To stream tracks from Australia’s hottest independent artists, head to Rdio or follow the AIR profile.

∞  09/29/2014 — 9:03PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 9:03PM in Events, Exclusives |

EventsExclusivesInfluencer Spotlights

The Faders Announce Australia & New Zealand F.U.N 2 Tour

The Faders Tour Poster - Cropped

Get ready to get down - Aussie DJ darlings The Faders have announced a slew of club dates across Aus and NZ and Rdio are proud as punch to be presenting them.

2014 is shaping up to be the duo’s hugest year yet - a new album, support slots on the hugely anticipated Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour and now their own headline shows.

Known for their ability to bring the party, The Faders jam-pack their sets with feel good hip hop, old school R’N’B and mainstream pop hits. Make sure you get along to one of their shows so you an experience the F.U.N first hand - Dates for their shows are as follows, to purchase tickets, click here:

Friday 3rd October - SYDNEY - Albion Hotel

Saturday 4th October - GOLD COAST - Komune

Wednesday October 8th - AUCKLAND - Vector Arena (Supporting Miley Cyrus) & Roxy

Friday October 10th - MELBOURNE - Rod Laver Arena (Supporting Miley Cyrus) & Eve Bar

Friday October 17th - SYDNEY - Allphones Arena (Supporting Miley Cyrus)

Saturday October 18th - MELBOURNE - Crown Golden Ale Marquee (Caulfield Cup)

Saturday November 1st - MELBOURNE - Savoy Tavern

Friday November 7th & 8th - DARWIN - The Vic

Friday November 14th - ADELAIDE - Victoria Hotel

Saturday November 15th - BERWICK - Dance Nightclub

Friday November 21st - WOLLONGONG - Hotel Illawarra

Saturday November 22nd - BYRON BAY - Beach Hotel

Wednesday December 31st - SYDNEY - Sydney Opera House

The Faders are on Rdio - Follow them to see what music they’re favouriting and subscribe to their bangin’ playlists.

∞  09/29/2014 — 6:48PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 6:48PM in Events, Exclusives, Influencer Spotlights |

Artist SpotlightsEventsExclusives

Rdio Presents Ed Sheeran 2015 Australian & New Zealand Tour

Ed Sheeran - pic 1 Apr14-3

Everyone’s favourite ginger haired singer-songwriter will be returning to our shores for his biggest tour to date!

Ed Sheeran will be performing in arenas across Australia and New Zealand in March and April 2015, becoming the first musician in twenty years to undertake a headline national arena tour completely solo - accompanied on stage by only a loop pedal, his trusty acoustic guitar and his catalogue of hit songs.

In good news for fans, everyone has an equal opportunity to score the best seats in the house - tickets to the entire tour will be available for the same price - $99 (+fees).

This will be his fourth visit down under in as many years - All six shows on his first headline tour in 2012 sold out straight away and his return in 2013 received a similar reaction with additional shows added rapidly to meet demand.

Ed’s latest album ‘x’ - featuring lead single ‘Sing’ and it’s biting follow up ‘Don’t’ - is a world-wide smash, having debuted at #1 in twelve countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

With the triple talent of intuitive songwriting, infectious charisma and hip hop flow, it’s a sure bet these shows will sell out fast, so make sure you get in quick!

Tickets go on sale from 10am, Thursday October 2nd, click here for all the information.

Friday 20th March - BRISBANE - Riverstage (All Ages)

Tuesday 24th March - SYDNEY - QANTAS Credit Union Arena (All Ages)

Saturday 28th March - MELBOURNE - Rod Laver Arena (All Ages)

Wednesday 1st April - ADELAIDE - AEC Arena (All Ages)

Saturday 4th April - PERTH - Perth Arena (All Ages)

Wednesday 8th April - CHRISTCHURCH - Horncastle Arena (All Ages)

Friday 10th April - WELLINGTON - TSB Bank Arena (All Ages)

Saturday 11th April - AUCKLAND - Vector Arena (All Ages)

∞  09/24/2014 — 3:06AM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 3:06AM in Artist Spotlights, Events, Exclusives |

Artist SpotlightsExclusives

Exclusive: Rdio Sessions - Strange Talk

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The next exciting and exclusive live recording in our Rdio Sessions series comes from Aussie electro pop charmer’s Strange Talk.

The Melbourne 4 piece are all about combining indie sensibilities with EDM beats - crisp summer-inspired sounds packed full of shimmering synths and pulsing pop vibes. Says front man Stephen Docker, ”It’s odd; you’ve got a classically trained violinist, a dance producer with a DJ background and two funk/soul musicians. It’s weird how it all gels together, but that’s the unique flavour of Strange Talk.”

Recorded in Austin at SXSW earlier this year, the band performed a mix of tracks from their buzz-worthy debut EP Strange Talk - ’Is It Real?’ and ’Eskimo Boy’ - as well as their debut LP Cast Away - ’Climbing Walls’ and title track ’Cast Away’.

There’s even more Rdio Sessions to come, until then, you can listen to our Rdio Sessions Station to hear more recordings from this exclusive live series.

Also, follow Strange Talk on Rdio to see what music they’re listening to and loving.

∞  09/22/2014 — 6:29PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 6:29PM in Artist Spotlights, Exclusives |

MusicNew Features

BANKS Hosts Rdio’s Artist To Watch Station

When we recently announced that curated radio stations were now a core, free feature at Rdio, we teased you with some upcoming news about the next phase of Rdio stations. Today, we are excited to reveal our first-ever hosted Rdio station.

Los Angeles singer/songwriter BANKS is our first host, taking control of Rdio’s Artists To Watch Station. The station features music from the 20 artists - including BANKS - that Rdio hand-selected in January as the next big thing you’ll hear. As host of the Artists To Watch Station, BANKS talks about her just-released debut album ’Goddess’, her musical influences and what artist’s she’s currently discovering and enjoying.

In honor of her new album and her role as our inaugural hostess, BANKS has also put together a playlist exclusive for Rdio featuring some of the artists that have inspired and influenced her, including Portishead, Alanis Morissette and The Weeknd. Check out her Inspirations playlist now and listen to some of the artists that have had an impact on BANKS’ distinct sound.

∞  09/16/2014 — 4:00PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 4:00PM in Music, New Features |

Artist SpotlightsExclusives

Exclusive: Rdio Sessions - The 1975

Rdio brings you another exciting and exclusive live recording from our Rdio Sessions series, this time from enigmatic English indie rockers The 1975.

Recorded in Sydney earlier this year, the band laid down three alluring acoustic performances of tracks from their stunning self-titled debut album - the lust, intoxication and unabashed gritty modern youth-laden ’The 1975’.

Critics have long been bemused and thrlled by the Manchester four-piece and their amorphous drifts between brooding alt-rock, crisp electronica, dancefloor R&B and 80’s gloss pop. ”I Don’t think it’s confusing,” says lead singer Matty Healy, ”Feeling a lack of identity and the searching within oneself to acquire a real understanding of what you want to be, that’s something that loads of people can connect with. It’s so strange that with music people want so many rules.”

The band strip things right back with this Rdio Session, the acoustic renditions really showcasing the heart and soul of their tracks ‘Chocolate’, ’Sex’ and ’Is There Somebody Who Can Watch Over You’ as well as Matty’s street-smart yet vunerable vocals.

We’ve got even more installments of Rdio Sessions on the way for your ears; in the meantime, listen to our Rdio Sessions Station to hear more recordings from this exclusive live series.

∞  09/15/2014 — 6:01PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 6:01PM in Artist Spotlights, Exclusives |

Artist SpotlightsExclusives

Exclusive: Stream Lowell’s Album ‘We Loved Her Dearly’

Lowell2

In another exclusive, Rdio users can stream ‘We Loved Her Dearly’, the debut album from Canadian songstress Lowell exclusively on Rdio before it’s available anywhere else.

Lowell is like dynamite - ferocious, unrelenting and determined. Her honest and heartfelt debut EP ‘I Killed Sarah. V’ garnered the attention of fans and critics alike.

‘We Loved Her Dearly’ picks up where ‘I Killed Sarah. V’ left off, challenging gender conventions and inspiring freedom from social limitations; brilliantly blending deliriously catchy melodies and feminist punk gender politics. Lowell’s refreshingly rebellious approach is what stands her unique brand of sophisticated synth-infused pop apart from the rest.

Follow Lowell on Rdio and discover what she’s listening to.

∞  09/14/2014 — 5:06PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 5:06PM in Artist Spotlights, Exclusives |

EventsExclusives

Rdio Presents St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2015 - Dates & Locations Announced

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Rdio is proud to present St Jerome’s Laneway Festival for another year! The Laneway Festival - which turned 10 this year - has just announced the 2015 Australasian festival dates and venue details.

In 2015, the festival returns to New Zealand and five Australian cities. An urban music experience like no other, the [Laneway Festival][2] continues to define itself by its creative collabs (food, markets, local art and more) and A+ line-up.

The full festival line-up will be announced at 9AM on Thursday 2 October - In the meantime, get in a Laneway-state-of-mind with a recap of 2014’s amazing line up.

AUCKLAND: MONDAY 26 JANUARY - SILO PARK

This urban pocket will dish up a day to remember as punters take in music between the Waitemata Harbour and towering Silos. There's plenty of gems back for another year, including The Vivian, fresh local markets and the Thunderdome in Silo Seven.

BRISBANE: SATURDAY 31 JANUARY - BRISBANE SHOWGROUNDS, BOWEN HILLS (16+)

Brisbane Laneway punters are going to be thrilled: the festival will be held on a Saturday for the first time in six years. Plus it’s moving to a completely new, more spacious part of the RNA grounds. Same convenient location: new, improved look and feel. The festival will showcase an impressive line-up of local artistic talent, turning the venue into a creative celebration of both music and the arts. Brisbane Laneway will be open to punters 16 years and older for the first time.

SYDNEY: SUNDAY 1 FEBRUARY - SYDNEY COLLEGE OF THE ARTS (SCA), ROZELLE

Laneway’s long-time home at the SCA in Rozelle combines the natural beauty of Callan Park with the historic sandstone of the College. The addition of two main stages to the natural amphitheatre worked a treat last time and we welcome back the SCA artists who enhanced the site with their work, along with some of the city’s finest food vendors.

ADELAIDE: FRIDAY 6 FEBRUARY - HARTS MILL, PORT ADELAIDE (16+)

After its successful debut in 2014, Laneway returns to the historic site at Harts Mill, Port Adelaide, where an industrial space meets the stunning waterfront of the Port River. The festival promises more grass, incredible food and more shade as it continues to step up the grade at this gorgeous venue. Adelaide will also welcome those aged 16 years and older for the very first time.

MELBOURNE: SATURDAY 7 FEBRUARY - FOOTSCRAY COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE (FCAC) AND THE RIVER’S EDGE

FCAC and the River’s Edge is the now long-running venue for the spiritual home of the Laneway Festival. Sit on the grass and catch the breeze as you watch the bands on the Amphitheatre Stage or down by the Dean Turner stage on the water. Stellar amenities plus an extravagant Food Village will also feature.

FREMANTLE: SUNDAY 8 FEBRUARY - ESPLANADE RESERVE AND WEST END

This year's move from Perth to Fremantle’s historic West End and Esplanade Reserve was a good idea. There’s a more free flowing space, with pop up restaurants, food stalls and markets helping create the perfect setting for a summer music festival. Watch your favourite artists underneath the giant Norfolk Pines of the Reserve and catch a ride on the resident ferris wheel to take in the stunning views over both the city and the harbour.

∞  09/08/2014 — 10:38PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 10:38PM in Events, Exclusives |

Artist SpotlightsEventsExclusives

Rdio Presents Sam Smith ‘In The Lonely Hour’ Australian Tour

Sam Smith

His soulful voice has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world, now baby-faced crooner Sam Smith is set to bring his highly anticipated In The Lonely Hour tour to Australia in April/May 2015!

Sam Smith first announced himself to the world as the distinct guest vocalist on Disclosure’s chart-scorching breakthrough track Latch. He then featured on Naughty Boy’s number 1 hit single La La La, amassing a monumental 400 million views on Youtube and counting.

In July of last year, Smith released the Nirvana EP. A unique fusion of soul and pop, the EP showcased both his breathtaking vocal abilities and adeptly melancholic lyricism. Anticipation had reached fever pitch by the time he released his debut album In The Lonely Hour and boy, did he deliver. An astonishing debut that is equal parts heartbreaking and stirring, In The Lonely Hour has already gone Gold in Australia, debuting at #2 on the ARIA Albums Chart and has spawned three hit singles to date - Money On My Mind, Stay With Me and I’m Not The Only One.

Live and on-stage Sam Smith is a force of nature. His tour of Australia next April and May is set to be some of the most talked about performances of 2015. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Tickets go on sale Monday September 15th, click here for all the information.

Saturday 25th April - BRISBANE - Riverstage (All Ages)

Monday 27th April - SYDNEY - Hordern Pavilion (All Ages)

Tuesday 28th April - SYDNEY - Hordern Pavilion (All Ages)

Thursday 30th April - MELBOURNE - Margaret Court Arena (All Ages)

Friday 1st May - ADELAIDE - AEC Theatre (All Ages)

Monday 4th May - PERTH - HBF Stadium (All Ages)

∞  09/07/2014 — 4:00PM

Posted by Sarah McKenzie at 4:00PM in Artist Spotlights, Events, Exclusives |

News

The Renaissance of Music Collecting

By Marc Ruxin

I was six when I first fell for music. I raided my parent’s record collection, skipped the classical records, didn’t quite understand jazz or blues, but fell hard for The Beatles. Although it was the music that made me smile, it was also the act of pulling the record from the sleeve, admiring the art, reading the song titles, cleaning the vinyl, and dropping the needle on the record that was very much part of the fun.

As it turned out, this was not a passing phase. I’d listen to the radio to fall asleep. It was the mid-70’s so the commercial music on the radio was what we now describe as classic rock, with a heavy dose of disco. By the time I was 12, I would begin to spend my hard earned allowance on records. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Styx, Foreigner, Wings, Billy Squire, The Police, The Who, Ozzy Osborne - it was pretty obvious stuff I suppose, even though some of it didn’t endure the test of time. In the 7th grade, a buddy with cool older brothers, played me a cassette called “This Are Two Tone.” My mind was blown initially by the stark black and white mod cover art, but then I listened to the music. It was on that tape that I discovered The Specials, The Selector, Madness and finally The English Beat. My life was changed by rock and roll. The next day I raided my piggy bank and bought all the records I could find by the artists on the compilation.

I was hooked. I begged my parents to get me a subscription to Rolling Stone, and then Spin, and a few years later Option Magazine. I clipped out album reviews, band photos, and hung them on the cork wall in my bedroom next to the posters that came from the various albums: Devo, Wings, Rush. The first thing I did when I turned 16 and got my drivers license was drive to Cleveland to buy records. For the next 20 years I frittered away most of my allowance or paychecks, and much of my free time, milling through bins of records and CDs building a massive collection of life-changing music.

But at some point in the early 2000’s I started buying digital albums, primarily from eMusic and then eventually from Amazon or directly from artist sites. I never liked the DRM on iTunes, and so I steered clear of Apple as a music store. I stopped going to Amoeba Music music every weekend, Kim’s Video in NYC closed, and slowly but surely a huge part of my lifelong obsession collecting physical music ended. Option Magazine was long gone, Rolling Stone had become a magazine about politics and celebrity photos, and Spin had long lost its focus. I now bought external hard-drives and spent an ungodly amount of time digitizing CDs, scrubbing the messy metadata and multiple copies of albums digitized at various bit rates. Then Napster happened, and the music business was turned on its head. It became easier to steal music than to buy it. I never bought into file sharing, because after all if artists couldn’t make a living making music, there wouldn’t be as many artists trying to make music. I was trying to do my part in a very small way, so I continued as a small patron buying tracks and albums.

There were no more beautiful double albums, liner notes, and song lyrics. There was no more flipping of albums, browsing through walls of CDs in search of the perfect album. It was more about accumulating digital bits on increasingly small and slick drives. But then came the iPod. The Walkman and headphone culture had been largely dead for eons, but these digital files could now be consumed on these small sleek devices. Tiny white headphones became a fashion accessory, and collecting music started to get interesting again.

But then something amazing happened. Online music services started to emerge. There was Pandora, Rhapsody, Mog, iMeem and eventually Spotify, Soundcloud and Rdio. Initially they were web services because mobile devices weren’t sophisticated enough to handle the software, and there wasn’t enough storage to take advantage of the promise of “renting” infinite amounts of music. Broadband signals were weak so streaming was often challenging. But then came the iPhone and the app store, and the companies that survived built apps, and the labels started to allow for the legal streaming of music to phones and computers. Companies like Sonos made it easy to stream files from central archives, and eventually blue tooth devices like the Jambox made it easy to push music over Bluetooth to compact devices.

The magazines of old were replaced by wonderful blogs like Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, Aquarium Drunkard, and Hipster Runoff. Artists could now release singles, covers and EPs immediately, and ride the hype cycle into instant stardom. Distribution was becoming increasingly influenced by artists, and these new platforms made being a music collector so much more immediate, accessible and inexpensive.

In the old days, you needed to be rich, or content being poor to be a great collector. Albums, CDs and cassettes were expensive relative to today’s $10 a month subscription service. For less than the cost of one downloaded album on iTunes or Amazon, you can have over 30M tracks available online or offline, on the web or your phone, played through a stereo, or computer or tablet. Instead of having to commit to buying something on a whim that might suck, you can easily test drive a song or an album at no additional cost. Had this option been available to me as a teenager, I would have saved literally thousands of dollars a year. Instead of buying magazine subscriptions, I can read reviews, watch live concerts and videos for free.

Discovery is also considerably easier. You now have social features that prompt you when there are new releases and highlights popular music across your social graph accessible in a single click. After all people turn people onto music and that will never change. Things like bios, photos, and social media are integrated into these services, reducing the endless trolling for the right reviews, or buried diamonds in the new release rough. Now you can have most of the music ever recorded complete with all the context (reviews, ratings, etc.) delivered over the Internet to whatever device you happen to be on.

The act of collecting has become more about consuming and connecting. The times they are a changin’.

At Rdio we have built what I would argue is the most comprehensive service available to give music lovers music any way they want it. Songs, albums, playlists and starting today radio stations built around you. From algorithmically generated stations that can be initiated with a song or artist, to fully curated stations based on mood or genre, to personal stations where people can listen to other people’s recent activity. You can now access all of this for free supported by ads or uninterrupted for a fraction of the cost of a single CD.

The future is now. Artists can reach a global audience instead of the one restricted by physical distribution and retail marketing. This is a good thing. The more listeners an artist can attract directly, the more money they can make. The more money they can make, the more artists will continue to pursue creating art.

In the end surely something was lost when the act of physical collecting disappeared. The era of “High Fidelity” is largely over. The Jack Blacks who man the counters of dusty record stores are gone. The smell of new vinyl is restricted to purists, and the hand printed zines of old are all but extinct. The walls of records and CD’s have disappeared from apartments and houses, but now these private collections can be shared with the world in pint-sized digital images.

Collecting music is now a democratic, global endeavor. You don’t have to live in hip cities to access limited edition music. You don’t have to be rich to afford the pursuit. Nearly everything is available to anyone with a smartphone or computer. Music is, after all, one of the world’s most creative inventions. It is highly local, yet massively global. After years of trying to build a model where both consumers and artists win, we are finally at the beginning of something amazing. Technology has caught up, and the business of music has finally entered a safe and exciting time.

I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a company that built a business specifically to bring music to everybody, wherever they are and no matter what music they like. In the immortal words of Bob Marley “where there is a will, there is always a way.” It has been a long journey, but today the song doesn’t remain the same, but then again it does … only differently.

Marc Ruxin is the COO of Rdio.

∞  09/04/2014 — 8:18PM

Posted by Rdio at 8:18PM in News |