October 2010

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Music

Play Ball! Baseball and World Series Inspired Soundtracks

For any baseball enthusiast or sports-lover, it’s been an exciting couple of days. The San Francisco Giants have whooped the Texas Rangers in the first two World Series games but that doesn’t mean the race to win is over! There might not be a game today, but you can still get pumped up for this weekend’s showdown with the help of these ballpark picks.

Peanuts & Cracker Jacks. by Spangley, “Everyone in SF has gone baseball craaaazy, so I made a playlist of baseball-themed (or inspired) songs.”

SF Giants by Natalie Case features a collection of walk-up music, otherwise known as what a player will hear when he goes to bat.

Texas Highways by Missy Diggs, although there isn’t a Rangers playlist on Rdio, we’ll tip our hats to them with a great Texas music playlist.

Stories and baseball interviews

If you’re more interested in the history of baseball, you’ll love these non-musical soundbites that can be found on Rdio.

There are a lot more baseball-related playlists and albums, so let us know in the comments if we missed yours. What’s your favorite ballpark music?

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday is Here

There’s excitement this week in the land of brand new Albums—new Taylor Swift, Bryan Ferry and more. And not to be forgotten are new Singles from Lykke Li, Ke$ha, Kanye West and young Hollywood legacy Willow Smith. Rounding out this collection of great music are newly remastered classics put into Best-Of compilations. Keep reading (and listening, with the help of our new embedded music players) for our favorite New Releases.

New Albums

Andrew Bird’s Noble Beast had an extra friend that tagged along. Useless Creatures are a set of instrumental and rather ambient songs. Sidle up with these lush and pleasing orchestrations and enjoy the wordless music.

Don’t be surprised that Taylor Swift is old enough for her third album. Speak Now contains what she’s best known for—songs written from her heart and sung with the bravado of a seasoned pop country artist.

If you set out to make electronic-infused indie pop without guitars, the result might be a little something like Small Black’s debut album Slow Chain. This was their goal, and they hit the sweet spot of upbeat and synth-y without any robotic soulessness.

As the premier peddler of slick, sexy cool, Bryan Ferry is good at what he does. So good that he could tap Kate Moss for his album cover and snag collaborations with David Gilmour, Groove Armada, Scissor Sisters, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, as well his Roxy Music cohorts (like Brian Eno) on his new album Olympia.

Maddslinky, English dubstep and grime electronic musician, crafted the solid album Make a Change while appropriately featuring respected musicians like Omar, radio DJ Gilles Peterson, Mr. Scruff and Skream. Dubstep and grime don’t mean anything to you? This album is a good introduction into the world of ear-pleasing electronica.

Armed with a healthy supply of stock Casio keyboard beats, Chico Mann creates spacey songs and relaxed vocals that are anything but stale. Created by Antibalas guitarist Marquitos Garcia, Chico Mann’s Analog Drift is aptly named.

Singles

Maybe you’ve seen the music video? 9-year-old is Willow Smith is bursting with energy. She channels it beautifully by creating an electric song-a-long single, Whip my Hair.

Lykke Li’s piece of her upcoming sophomore album, Get Some, is a slice of drum-heavy dance party.

Bad grammar aside, Ke$ha celebrates what makes her one of a kind with a casual club anthem, We R Who We R, that isn’t trying too hard.

This Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner collaboration, Animal Rights, has a playful melody that appeals to even the most casual Daft Punk fan and electronic-expert alike.

Another taste of Kanye’s West’s upcoming album is Monster, a longer formatted track featuring the somewhat improbable combination of Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver, Rick Ross and Jay-Z.

Classic Albums Remastered + Best Of

Have you given Bublé a chance? If you somehow missed his last album, which won a whirlwind of awards, Michael Bublé might be Canada’s most recent super-successful pop star. A little bit lounge singer with boy band romanticism, you just may love the re-issued Crazy Love Hollywood Edition.

Glam rock pioneer T. Rex (a.k.a. Mark Bolan) is given more time in the spotlight since his earthly time was cut short. Start at the beginning with his first album from 1972, The Slider.

Do you remember Neil Finn from last week? He and his brother went on to form Crowded House—a band so successful that they need The Very Very Best of Crowded House.

More than just Come on Eileen, Dexy’s Midnight Runner have an entire catalog worth getting to know. Start with this remastered Searching for the Young Soul Rebels.

Unsure who Bandfinger is? You’ll absolutely recognize the music. Just press play to hear their classic 1970’s fare found in Magic Christian Music.

Music

Celebrate Halloween with Rdio

There’s a knock at your door, you open it, TRICK OR TREAT! The most fabulous of costumed holidays is almost here and we’d like to celebrate with you. Since sewing and party planning was never in the cards for us, we’d like to help you set the mood during all your Halloween-related activities. Whether you need a soundtrack for your grown-up Halloween party, want to add a soundtrack to your haunted house or are looking to set the mood with the spookiest of instrumental music, we have something great just for you.

Music for your Grown-Up Halloween party

So you want to create a fun and festive mix for your party? Why not try one of these great playlists from other people on Rdio? With nostalgic retro-favorites and more current Halloween-themed songs, just press play for scary perfection.

An Rdio Halloween by Aprilini

A Freakin’ Halloween List by dave r

Spooky Halloween by Sebastian

Scary Halloween Sounds

Cobwebs, coffins, vampires and blood-curdling screams—it’s a homemade Haunted House! Scare yourself and others with these creepy Halloween noises.

57 Haunted House Horrors

Spooky Instrumentals

The oldest and perhaps best way to create the perfect Halloween mood lays in the shrill organ and suspenseful crescendo of a weird melody. If you can’t seem to harness the Halloween spirit, one listen to any of these spooky instrumentals will surely awake your inner goblin.

New Features

Now Live: Embedding Rdio

As if using Rdio on the web, your desktop or mobile phone wasn’t liberating enough, Rdio now provides customizable embedded music players. Show off your favorite playlists, songs or albums elsewhere on the web – like your blog or website.

How to embed

To embed stuff, just hover over or click on the plus-button next to all songs, albums and playlists and select ‘Share’. Copy and paste the code where you want to embedded player to show up – or, if you want to get fancy, click Customize and select from several sizes of embedded players.

We hope you’ll love the things you can do from the players—subscribe to playlists, add or remove songs and albums in your collection or grab a quick link to the music on Rdio.

Who can listen to music on embedded Rdio?

First off, anyone with an account on Rdio can embed music wherever they want. And anywhere on the web an Rdio subscriber sees an embedded player, they can play everything - it’s included in their subscription. What if your readers aren’t on Rdio? Or their trial expired? No worries, they can still listen to 30-second clips of available music or create their own accounts and experience Rdio’s free trial.

Technically Speaking

If you’re looking to easily support Rdio embeds on your site, we support oEmbed. Our endpoint is http://www.rdio.com/api/oembed/, so if for instance you need the embed code for the new Chiddy Bang album, http://www.rdio.com/api/oembed/?url=http://www.rdio.com/artist/Chiddy_Bang/album/The_Preview/ will give you what you need.

MusicNew Music Weekly

More Music for Tuesday

The New Music Tuesday picks this week are a little more sprawling than usual. When else would you see pop culture darling Hannah Montana right next to the prolific weird-out drummer Zach Hill? Enjoy what we hope will be some of your favorite new music. Add them to your collection, share with a friend or put it in your queue for later listening—these albums, singles and EPs were picked with you in mind.

Houses is a couple who moved to Hawaii from Chicago after one of them got laid off. What do you do when moving to Hawaii simply because you can? You record an album with your significant other (of course!). All Night is soft, sweet, and a haunting statement of love tied loosely to the world.

Elton John drops his band for the first time since 1979 in favor of working with musician Leon Russell on The Union. The second album they’ve created together includes an all-star list of featured musicians: Brian Wilson, Neil Young and Bono make this album rich not only in history, but also in sound.

Zach Hill has his drumsticks in many musical pies. His past work with indie favorites like Hella and Wavves has proven that any music he creates on his own will be worth a listen. FACE TAT is spazzy, weird and lovable. Especially recommended for fans of early No Age.

Hannah Montana Forever is the soundtrack from the fourth and final season of the Miley Cyrus show, Hannah Montana. You’ll also hear contributions from guests Sheryl Crow, Billy Ray Cyrus and Iyaz.

Singles + EPs

Music with a past

  • Pastor Troy has been rapping for a long time—11 years, at least. The Best of Pastor Troy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 attempt to capture his contributions to hardcore rap and the Atlanta music community.

  • Two notable Phish albums are now available on Rdio. Their first heavily-bootlegged mix tape, The White Tape, was also a demo. Finally given a proper release in 1986, it is long overdue for remastering. The other album is Coral Sky, a Phish performance captured at the West Palm Beach Coral Sky Amphitheater. It features guest spots such as Santana and The Allman Brothers Band.

Label SpotlightsMusicNews

New from Nettwerk

Things really shake, rattle and roll in the Rdio catalog. New albums, singles, EPs, remixes and catalog favorites are constantly being added from all of our content partners. Today we’d like to spotlight some of our newly added content especially from the multifaceted Canadian music company Nettwerk. Browse these new Rdio additions and find something to enjoy. If you’d like a quick introduction to Nettwerk’s music selection, might we first recommend starting with the Nettwerk: 25 Years of Music compilation?

Great albums from Nettwerk

Soundtracks

Other Notable Artists and Musicians

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday’s Tunes

There are some outstanding additions to Rdio’s catalog this New Music Tuesday — browse our recommended highlights and then dig into the New Releases yourself. If you find something awesome, don’t just keep it to yourself—share it on Twitter or Facebook.

And while you’re at it, nominate a Playlist of the Week on Facebook and you could win yourself (and the playlist’s creator) a month of free Rdio.

Highlighted New Albums

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If you like the angular orchestration of Jon Brion’s original Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind score, you’ll love Hauschka’s third album, Foreign Landscapes. It’s a contemporary and experimental take on wordless music.

Produced by T Bone Burnett, the man behind the O Brother, Where Are Thou? soundtrack, The Secret Sisters sing sweet, sad and lovely songs.

The quiet contemplative musings of Antony Hegarty comprise Antony & the Johnsons’ fourth studio album, Swanlights. Don’t miss Bjork’s delicate addition in Flétta.

A little bit electronic with some rap, auto-tune, and a healthy does of guest spots (from Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon, and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder) make the Far East Movement’s Free Wired.

Darius Rucker has the same likable sound as early Rascal Flatts. Surprise yourself with how much there is to enjoy from the former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman in Charleston, SC 1966.

New Music Cliff Notes

Singles + EPs

Blast from the Past

Giveaways

Playlist of the Week: A winner emerges

We were so pleased to see mix after incredible mix nominated in our first-ever Playlist of the Week! The winning playlist features outstanding music, a fun concept and lots of great collaboration. Two Faves, created by Escapist, asks people to add two songs that rule and that others might not have heard. Many thanks to XopherTaylor for nominating it.

Since it was difficult picking only one winner, we wanted to point out these exceptional runners-up:

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first Playlist of the Week. If you’re still in the market for more great mixes, check out the hashtag #RdioPlaylist on Twitter for all the submissions.

∞  October 8, 2010 — 12:00AM

MusicNew Music Weekly

As Tuesday Fills with New Music

Clear your afternoon, and get ready to fill up your Rdio queue. This week’s New Music Tuesday is full of remarkable new albums, EPs and catalog gems. With an open mind and some earnest listening, who knows what you’ll find for your collection or playlist?

(While we have your attention, be sure to check out yesterday’s blog post where we reward playlist creators and the people who love them with a month of free Rdio.)

NEW ALBUMS

Paying homage to Bob Dylan, Mirah, The Morning Benders, Sea Wolf, Asobi Seksu and 12 other musicians contribute tracks toward re-creating the classic Bringing it All Back Home in a compilation entitled Subterranean Homesick Blues: A Tribute to Bob Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home

Listening to Eskmo’s self-titled album, it’s easy to understand how audiophiles came to be. It’s impossible to fully appreciate each organic and electronic sound, texture and layer without serious listening props. Don’t let that keep you from trying this music out—it’s plenty pleasurable to be simply plugged in with earbuds.

With an undetectable Scottish accent, you can’t help but wonder if Fran Healy’s singing is influenced by his native country. The effect is a voice at once smooth but also like sandpaper, gliding between falsetto and a conversation. Stepping out from behind Travis, Wreckorder is Healy’s first solo album. Listen for guests like Neko Case, Noah and the Whale’s Tom Hobden and Paul McCartney.

Sit Ben Harper, George Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur in a room and ask them to create three songs a day for three days. The result of this trio of trios, named Fistful of Mercy, is a debut album entitled As I Call You Down.

The man behind B.o.B, Flo Rida, and Travie McCoy’s breakout songs, producer and song-writer Bruno Mars, is ready with his own hand-crafted debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans.

The comforting indie rock sounds of +/- and Pulled Punches make a good soundtrack for the changing of summer to fall. A little melancholy, it retains their well-established habit of catchy melodies.

KT Tunstall’s third album, Tiger Suit, is energetic, earnest, and we’re pretty sure she’s singing straight to you. It’s too boisterous to be intimate, but KT is hinting at what’s just below the surface.

If you’re on the fence or simply unaware of The Avett Brothers’ particular brand of folk and Americana rock, their shows are fun for all sorts of musical tastes. It’s a special treat to have their third live album, appropriately named Live, Volume 3, ready to fill your ears with foot tapping and exuberant storytelling.

The ever fan-focused and humorous bunch of fellows that comprise the band Guster are adding another studio album to their discography, the aptly named Easy Wonderful.

Music business veteran Alain Johannes, has worked with bands like the Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, and No Doubt as a studio musician, sound engineer, producer and more jobs too numerous to mention. He brings that variety of experience to create his own album, Spark. Dark with hints of the modern madrigal, it’s easy to hear why he’s been creating music for more than 25 years.

Quiet, glitchy, amped-up and other-worldly, Ghostly allowed their artists’ catalog songs to be artistically flexed by musicians such as Flying Lotus, Juan Maclean, Junior Boys and Atlas Sound in Ghostly Essentials: Remixes One.

SINGLES + EPs

With two singles out, Power and the brand new Runaway, ‘Ye fans are anxiously awaiting the full album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, next month.

The laid back, haunting voice and guitar meanderings of Sharon Van Etten are on display in her two new songs, gathered in I’m Giving Up On You.

Take That alumni Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow team up for their first song, Shame, since Williams made it big internationally.

New Mad Decent DJ and mixtape artist Mumdance has unleashed his first Mad Decent EP, Mum Decent.

Rye Rye’s first album single, Sunshine, is accompanied by M.I.A. If you’ve ever been an M.I.A. fan, her protégé will be to your liking.

Liar X 3 might not sound like the typical music from rapper Lyrics Born, but we think his turn to sultry singing looks good on him.

CATALOG GEMS

Ninja Tune, the label home for many electronic, instrumental hip-hop and drum and bass musicians, just turned twenty years old. To celebrate, they’re releasing a collection of their top Ninja Tunes XX: Volume 2.

The influential Tropicalia album Estudando A Bossa by Tom Zé is now available in its entirety.

It isn’t until you see Louis Armstrong’s greatest songs from 1963-1969 collected in Hello Louis: The Hit Years that you realize how prolific he was.

If Groove Is In Your Heart, than this Deee-Lite album, World Clique should surely be in your collection.

Marking his 70th birthday, some John Lennon classics are being re-released. Included in this batch is a new take on Double Fantasy comprised of reworked songs, called Double Fantasy Stripped Down.

∞  October 6, 2010 — 12:00AM

Giveaways

Playlist of the Week

We’ve enjoyed the last few months with you, Rdio enthusiast! It’s time to give a little something back, which is why we’d like to celebrate part of what makes Rdio so great: playlist creators and collaborators. Starting today, we’ll be on the lookout for awesome, if not under-appreciated, playlists for our new feature, Playlist of the Week.

Here’s how it works

You find a great playlist. Nominate it to us on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #RdioPlaylist and include its Rdio URL. Do this between today and 10am (Pacific time) this Thursday and we’ll announce the winner at Noon that day. Based on our (entirely unscientific) evaluation, we’ll pick the playlist that strikes our fancy the most. If we choose your nomination, you and the playlist’s creator both win a free month of Rdio.

Keep in mind

The playlist concept and description counts, as does execution and enlisting the help of valuable collaborators. And since many people will be nominating playlists they think are great, make sure to check out the hashtag #RdioPlaylist throughout the week to find more great music and other people to follow.

Rules of Play

  • Don’t nominate yourself. (At least get your Mom or best friend to do it.)
  • If more than one person nominates a playlist, the first person to tweet about it is eligible to win.
  • You must be in Canada or the US.
  • You also must have an account on Rdio (but not necessarily a subscription)

∞  October 4, 2010 — 12:00AM