December 2010

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Music

Best of 2010: Staff Favorites

For obvious reasons, the collective brain behind Rdio spent much of 2010 listening to music. We’re a pretty diverse bunch, so we decided to share with you our favorite, most listened to tunes—after all, they’re what helped power us during the past (rather momentous) year:

If these are the songs we self-reported as the most enjoyable, what did we really listen to last year? Stay tuned for our Top 10 list of honest-to-goodness albums Rdio employees listened to most this year, pulled straight from raw data. Not only that, watch for the Best of New Music Tuesday and more year-end coverage.

So besides what we already know and love, introduce us to something new. What are your favorite songs of 2010?

Music

The 12 Days of Christmas Music, Day 4: Fitz & The Tantrums

Santa, that was not cool. Why’d you have to go and steal Fitz & The Tantrum’s lady? Given the circumstances, it’s perfectly acceptable to feel crummy about Christmas (albeit in a soulful, upbeat kind of way).

Music

The 12 Days of Christmas Music, Day 3: The Hap Hap Happiest Christmas Playlist since Bing Crosby Tap Danced with Danny F***ing Kaye

From the PG-13 title to the last second of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, wiseacre curated a wholesome playlist of good holiday cheer. Featuring music from Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Comp (and other notable musicians from yesteryear), push Play when you want your house to be full of “Classic Christmas tunes that would make Clark Griswold proud.”

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday: Of Indie Rock and R & B

End-of-year releases can be a bit scattered, but this week’s playlist really showcases the best of what’s now available. R&B shines through, with songs about adoration, disappointment and rocky relationships from Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Tank, and Kandi. Alternatively, singles from the sonically-diverse Panda Bear, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cold War Kids and VVolves are available, hinting at their upcoming new albums.

Playlist Notes

  • Lykke Li, Get Some (Beck Remix): Culled from Wounded Rhythm, a new Lykke Li album to look for in 2011, Beck remixed Get Some.

  • Michael Jackson, Michael: Although he passed away before completing his next album, Michael Jackson’s last songs live on thanks to his many producers, contributors and supporters.

  • Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, III/IV: From the glut of songs recorded for 2007’s Easy Tiger come the contents of III/IV. They might be several years old, but for the most part they’re an excellent bunch of songs from the now-disbanded Ryan Adams & The Cardinals.

  • R. Kelly, Love Letter: Sentimental, saccharine and occasionally eyebrow-raising, R. Kelly records his new album in the style of old-school crooners like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

  • The Damned Things, Ironiclast: Formed by members of Fall Out Boy, Anthrax and Every Time I Die, their debut release sounds like they’re having hardcore fun.

  • Cold War Kids, Louder Than Ever: The somewhat rustic and hard-working Cold War Kids are releasing their third album, Mine if Yours, in January.

  • Diddy - Dirty Money, Last Train to Paris: It’s not clear in which dirty money Diddy could be dabbling given his lengthy stay in the pop culture spotlight, but perhaps it’s that alter ego of his. This is a concept album, where Diddy’s alter ego travels to Paris (apparently through clubs and dance halls) to get the girl.

Special Feature

Although typically limited to brand new music, this week’s playlist includes a song from each of the following newly available albums from The Smiths.

Add these classics from The Smiths to your Collection and Queue now:

Music

The 12 Days of Christmas Music, Day 2: The Boy Least Likely To

Using the power of sweet, delicate sounds familiar to The Boy Least Likely, it’s no surprise that they can easily capture the holiday spirit of Christmas. Day 2 of The 12 Days of Christmas goes to Christmas Special. Want to learn more about what inspired this album? Let them band do it themselves in the News section of their website.

Music

The 12 Days of Christmas Music, Day 1: The Killers

Starting today, we’ll be sharing a few of the festive songs, albums and playlists you can find on Rdio in our 12 Days of Christmas Music series.

Today’s track is the recent Killers single — although they’re presently on hiatus, they came together to record this song in support of (PRODUCT)RED. Besides being charitable, it also samples the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

We’ll have more music for you tomorrow, so until then, pour yourself another steaming mug of mulled cider—it’s officially holiday time. But first, do share: what’s your favorite music to play this time of year?

Influencer SpotlightsMusic

Influencer Spotlight: Spin Magazine

Expanding on the thought “Follow Influencers. They know what’s cool first.”, today we’d like to introduce you to Spin Magazine on Rdio.

Spin has been around for 25 years, observing and reporting on music and culture, and has seen many bands come and go. They’ve taken a chance on newer names only to see careers blossom into household notoriety. And having shifted from print-only to having a dedicated web arm, we love seeing their musical leanings on Rdio.

Why should you follow Spin Magazine? Because they peg, with fantastic accuracy, the bands, musicians, albums and songs that are worthy of your Heavy Rotation. They’ve spotted now-critically acclaimed bands like Mumford & Sons, Janelle Monáe and Wavves. Their playlists include monthly picks for favorite new music, coverage of things beyond the Internet (like their Must See Fall Tours), and are a great place to check in when you aren’t sure what to listen to next. Their collection is full of utterly-listenable and fun music. Who wouldn’t want to see Spin in their Network’s Recent Activity?

For a great sampling of Spin on Rdio, listen to their Top Albums for 2010.

And while you’re listening to another one of their recommended albums, enter to win one of five year-long free Rdio accounts they’re giving away. Visit Spin.com for more information.

News

New to Rdio for iPhone: View Profiles, Create Playlists

We have an early holiday gift for you, iPhone users — check the App Store for an update, which includes an oft-requested feature: Profiles. From your Network’s Recent Activity, you can tap any person’s picture to see what they’ve been up to on Rdio. Besides seeing their Collections, Playlists and their followers and who follows them, you can also see their Recent Activity, Heavy Rotation, Web Queue and Listening History. Find someone awesome who you’d like to see on your dashboard? Follow him or her instantly.

As an added bonus (in case you didn’t notice in our last update) now you can create and modify playlists on your iPhone too. Tap the action menu next to a any song to Add to Playlist. If you want to create a playlist, select New Playlist and enter a playlist title. If you make a mistake while creating your mix, tap the action menu next to a song then Remove from this Playlist.

Visit the iPhone app store right now to update the app and enjoy these shiny new features. Questions or feeback? Let us know.

Music

Daft Punk ’s TRON: Legacy Soundtrack

With every promotional photo, trailer, movie poster and soundtrack snippet shared, excitement for TRON: Legacy has reached dizzying levels. We’re still a few weeks away from the movie’s 12/17 release, but your wait for the Daft Punk-created soundtrack is almost over—you can start listening tomorrow.

If you’ve breathlessly followed every bit of TRON: Legacy news or if you just really love Daft Punk, we want to make sure you don’t miss a beat—listen to the original TRON soundtrack today or add your favorite Daft Punk song to the collaborative Daft Punk’s Greatest Hits playlist right now.

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday from Around the World

More electronic than our previously-featured New Releases, this week’s music is also more pop-inspired, but with an eclectic twist. Weirdo band The Knife melds with Dntel, Duffy and T.I. Sit down and plug in your headphones, it’s New Music Tuesday.

Playlist Notes

  • Frightened Rabbit, The Loneliness & The Scream: Newly baptized into the big leagues with their recent signing to Atlantic Records, sad Scottish (formerly indie) rockers Frightened Rabbit aren’t just releasing a single off of their last album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks—they’re also sharing an Elton John cover featuring Craig Finn of The Hold Steady.

  • Mumford & Sons, Dharohar Project, Laura Marling, Dharohar Project, Laura Marling & Mumford & Sons: In what almost sounds like a mash-up, British musicians and Rdio favorites Mumford & Sons join forces with Laura Marling and the Rajasthani collective Dharohar Project. The resulting 4 tracks are remarkable in their ability to blend and harmonize seemingly opposing music styles.

  • Dntel, After Parties 1 and After Parties 2: Jimmy Tamborello might be better known as half of the Postal Service, but he creates music beyond that notoriety. Get a double dose of Dntel with these complimentary EPs, starting off ambiently with After Parties 1 and moving into a more peppy After Parties 2.

  • Daft Punk, TRON: Legacy: If you’re expecting a Daft Punk record, don’t forget—this is a soundtrack.

  • deadmau5, 4x4=12: The Electrifying, costumed Canadian DJ takes a break from his numerous other mixes to create his third album.

  • Charlie Wilson, Just Charlie: Lead singer of The Gap Band funks his way through his fifth solo album.