June 2011

« February 2011  |  7 posts  |  July 2011 »

Artist SpotlightsMusic

An Introduction to: Diamond Rings

John O’Regan didn’t begin as Diamond Rings—he started with The D’Urbervilles and art school. After moving from the ‘burbs into Toronto, he then began creating music anew as Diamond Rings, releasing it with accompanying music videos. Astralwerks recently re-released his debut album, Special Affections, which got him nominated for the Canadian Polaris Music Prize.

What’s next for John O and Diamond Rings? You’ll have to Wait & See. In the meantime, learn more about what inspires him, and listen to his Astralwerks-hosted Diamond Rings’ playlist.

Five Questions with Diamond Rings

1

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Diamond Rings: Klaus Nomi
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    DR: Speaking In Tongues by the Talking Heads. But it’d have to be the one with the super limited edition Robert Rauschenberg designed album cover.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    DR: Bruce Springsteen
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    DR: Open minded
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    DR: Myself

∞  June 27, 2011 — 12:15PM

Label SpotlightsMusic

New on Rdio: Death Row Records

Young Andre “Dr. Dre” Young teamed up with Marion “Suge” Knight Jr. in the early 90’s to form Death Row Records. Together, they released early albums from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog and 2pac—and the rest of the Death Row Records’ story is long and involved. Although it went through some turbulent times, Death Row remains influential and iconic in its shaping of rap and west coast hip-hop.

Notable Death Row Rappers

For a complete list of artists who are or have been on Death Row Records, check Wikipedia or DeathRowMusic.com. Follow @deathrowmusic and Like them on Facebook for immediate updates on their new artists, albums, news and touring information.

Previous label features include: Get Physical, Sub Pop Records, Hydra Head, Pschent, Righteous Babe Records, Kill Rock Stars, Saddle Creek, Yep Roc, Hyperdub, Bella Union, XL Recordings, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, 4AD, Epitaph Records, Merge Records, Domino Records and Nettwerk

∞  June 24, 2011 — 4:09PM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

All About: Sam Roberts

 

Sam Roberts isn’t only a singer-songwriter—he’s also, unsurprisingly, the Sam Roberts Band’s front-man. Although he released music such as the Juno-winning albums We Were Born in a Flame and Love at the End of the World, he aimed to capture the same bottled lightning with the Sam Roberts Band, which recently released their first album, Collider. Sam Roberts himself took time to chat with us and create a playlist, which is hosted on Universal Music Canada’s Rdio profile. Listen now to Sam Roberts Made Us A Playlist! and keep reading to learn more about the man and musician.

Five Questions with Sam Roberts

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Sam Roberts: Rodriguez..He is a great singer-songwriter from the 60’s and 70’s who never got his due in North America although he hails from Detroit.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    SR: His album Cold Fact became a cult-classic in South Africa where my family is from and so his music was a part of our upbringing. 30 years after the fact, he was brought down to South Africa where (to his surprise) he played a sold-out tour, featuring the iconic songs from Cold Fact, with every soul in the audience singing every word. That doesn’t happen every day.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    SR: Let’s call it a given that the Beatles, the Stones and Bob Dylan featured heavily during my childhood. That being said, Paul Simon’s Gracelanddefined my whole musical world when I was 11. It stood out so completely from everything else on the radio at time and blended his amazing voice and lyricism with the South African music I had always loved.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    SR: Dancing uncontrollably
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    SR:  The !!!FUTURE!!!!

∞  June 22, 2011 — 12:15PM

EventsMusic

Rdio in Canada: NXNE

This week, Canada gets its own SXSW. Featuring a familiar roster of Film, Music and Interactive elements, NXNE has something for everyone. While there are many things to check out, we’re most excited about what began today: music.

In addition to The Postelles (which we mentioned Monday), you can see over 600 bands performing in Toronto. Not sure where to start? Canadian magazine and Rdio Influencer Exclaim Magazine created an awesome playlist of their favorite NXNE picks.

While you’re enjoying NXNE, make sure to hang out on Saturday, June 18th at the Rdio Presents: Thee Festive Afternoon Hangover Cure located at Reposado from 4-7 PM. Watch Chains of Love, Hot Kid, Modern Superstitions and Two Koreas for free, while enjoying free refreshments. And if you can’t make it, turn up Last Gang’s Afternoon Hangover Cure playlist and pretend you’re there.

∞  June 15, 2011 — 12:41PM

Label SpotlightsMusic

Sub Pop Records on Rdio

Subterranean Pop, a fanzine started by college student Bruce Pavitt in 1986, was Sub Pop Records’ first incarnation. The zine’s written word gave way to bits of music as Pavitt created and sent compilation tapes between issues. Eventually Sub Pop released its first compilation LP, and an album from Green River. Next, Pavitt teamed up with Jonathan Poneman, who financed the first Soundgarden single and EP.

The two dedicated themselves to making Sub Pop a working label, shrewdly studying the success of other legendary labels and focusing on building the Seattle music scene (and Sub Pop’a brand). Then came releases from Mudhoney and Nirvana, and the Sub Pop Singles Club, which rewarded subscribers with a new single every month, ensuring they’d get one of the limited-release singles that frequently sold out in stores.

If you’d like to read more, Sub Pop’s rise is well documented, starting with a lengthy label history celebrating their 20th birthday, an exhaustive Wikipedia page, and a Pitchfork interview with founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman.

Twenty years later, Sub Pop has seen quite a bit of change, from the graduation of Seattle grunge to the adoption of bands like The Postal Service, Flight of the Conchords, The Shins and Fleet Foxes. They also weathered the switch from vinyl to cassettes and CDs to newer ways of listening to music, like Rdio. That’s why you’ll find Sub Pop Records’ music on Rdio, as well as their presence.

Follow Sub Pop on Rdio to see what they’re listening to right now. Plus, you won’t miss any of their great playlists, like Please Enjoy This Music, a playlist of bands Sub Pop is working with—some with records already out, and some from bands with new records coming soon.

Some of the Sub Pop staff’s Favorite Albums

Active Sub Pop Artists

(*Indicates the band has an upcoming new release)

Inactive Sub Pop Artists

For an impressively long list of artists who are or have been on Sub Pop Records, check SubPop.com or see what Wikipedia has to say. Follow @SubPop and Like them on Facebook for news about Sub Pop artists, albums, and touring information.


Previous label features include: Hydra Head, Pschent, Righteous Babe Records, Saddle Creek, Yep Roc Hyperdub, Bella Union, XL Recordings, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, 4AD, Epitaph Records, Merge Records, Domino Records and Nettwerk

∞  June 10, 2011 — 4:21PM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

All About: Colour Revolt

Started by a gang of Mississippi high school boys, the band Colour Revolt has seen a lot change, including college and a recording session interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. Thus, parts of their sound and spirit grew into what you’ll hear in the newly released deluxe version of their second studio album, The Cradle. Learn more about them through their singer, guitar and keyboard player, Sean Kirkpatrick, as he answers Five Questions with Colour Revolt. While you’re reading, listen to Colour Revolt’s Songs That Never Get Old.

Five Questions with Colour Revolt

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Colour Revolt: There’s a guy named Sam Amidon who has really struck my fancy as of late. He does great revisions of old folk songs. His unique approach to these tunes is obviously apparent from the first moment you hear his voice. Rarely do I hear artists make someone else’s song seem like something completely their own.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    CR: I would love to listen to the record School House Rock Rocks. Where else are you going to find great School House Rock covers by the likes ofPavementDaniel Johnston and Biz Markie?
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    CR: The Presidents of the United States of America’s self titled record still reminds of the finer times of my childhood. Even to this day I can pop that record in and sing every single word.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    CR: In a tizzy
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    CR: The flight of the Kitty Hawk

∞  June 9, 2011 — 3:53PM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

All About: Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly combines two seemingly opposite styles of music—the traditional sound of Irish song with modern punk rock. Their new album, Speed of Darkness, is a testament to how much you can do with high-energy fiddles, guitars and enthusiastic singers. Today we have Five Questions with Flogging Molly and a special-edition playlist from band member Dennis Casey, so keep reading to learn more about Flogging Molly. 

Five Questions with Flogging Molly

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Bridget Regan of Flogging Molly: Manu Chao
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    BR: An original copy of Tigermilk.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    BR: The Smiths
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    BR: Inspired
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    BR: Being honest

Dennis Casey of Flogging Molly created a playlist of “Songs I Love” and includes a story for each one below…

Playlist Notes

1. Avey Tare, Lucky 1: Great sounding record, grab your headphones and turn it up. This record sounds like it was recorded underwater and at times on a submarine.
2. Snooks Eaglin, Funky Malaguena: Snooks Eaglin was a guitarist I found out about while in New Orleans. He was a great guitar player and singer as this song shows. He has a very loose style and a very welcoming voice. It just makes you smile and want to hear it again. He is usually called a Blues artist but a songster is more like it. He does sing and play the blues like a master but he also pulls out songs like this. You can’t go wrong with this guy.
3. Cyro Baptista, Bird Boy: This is a cool record, by a Brazilian percussionist. So you can bet this is all about rhythm and using percussion at times as a voice. It takes you to other places.
4. The Drowning Men, Rita: These guys did a few tours with us. This song was stuck in my head from day one. I found myself singing it in my head day and night. Great song. It’s nice when that happens with a great song. Check them out.
5. Jimmy Hendrix, Manic Depression: Nate, George and I like to play various covers at sound check before the whole band gets there. Nate came up with this one. So I have been listening to it to learn it. Then just getting hooked on it. Jimi Hendrix never ceases to amaze me and inspire me.
6. Billy Childish, Joe Strummers Grave: Put this song on 10 after a few beers and a few shots of whiskey. This song has a swagger all its own delivered with a snarling cockney accent. Great lyrics on top of all of that.
7. James Booker, St James Infirmary: This guy sounds like his fingers are spiders on a piano, and he sings with all the soul a man could. This is one of my favorite American folk songs. He does a haunting version.
8. Billy Bragg & Wilco, One by One: This song has such a beautiful sound, these guys really nailed it on this. They matched Woody Guthrie’s lyrics and sentiment perfectly with the music they wrote for his lyrics. It’s such a sad but true lyric.
9. Black Sabbath, N.I.B.: Heaveyyyyyyyy. One of the hugest guitar riffs ever. Who else can start a song with a bass solo and pull it off?
10. Bob Dylan, I’ll Keep it with Mine: I like the way he plays the piano on this song. It’s a nice change from the guitar he usually uses. Also the lyrics are, well, It’s Bob Dylan so enough said there.
11. Paul Westerberg, It’s a Wonderful Lie: This song is my hangover song. I can listen to it till it goes way. I have a lot of them. But this one is my current hangover soundtrack.
12. Radiohead, Reckoner: I purchased the version with all the separate tracks, you can import into Garage Band and remix it. It’s really interesting to hear all the parts of this song, as you wish to. It seems like a complex song, but when you isolate certain tracks you can hear the basic song with vocal and acoustic guitar or which ever way you like. I wish more artists did this.

∞  June 1, 2011 — 3:56PM