April 2011

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Label SpotlightsMusic

New on Rdio: Blood & Fire

We’ve got big news today for dub and roots reggae connoisseurs—Rdio now has the reissue catalog from Blood & Fire, a British Label featuring some of best Jamaican archival material ever recorded.

Blood & Fire Artists

Unfamiliar with Blood & Fire? Influencer XLR8R Magazine picked some of their favorite catalog tracks to make a great playlist—the perfect introduction to these roots reggae and dub advocates.

Previous label features include: Rounder Records, Hyperdub, ]Bella Union, XL Recordings, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, 4AD, Epitaph Records, Merge Records, Domino Records and Nettwerk

∞  April 15, 2011 — 12:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

All About: Duran Duran

Longtime and new fans of UK legends Duran Duran were delighted with their first new album in four years, All You Need is Now. The Mark Ronson-produced gem is full of the same familiar vocals yet-reinvigorated-sound that they’ve honed since the band started 30-plus years ago.

We were floored when these fine blokes gave us their answers for Five Questions with the Band, and even built a driving-themed playlist just for you all. If you’re in California and itching to see them live, be sure to keep reading for more information. 

Five Questions with Duran Duran

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran: Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter [from Kraftwerk]
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    NR: The Lobby by Jane Sibery
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    NR: David Bowie - particularly The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    NR: Inspired
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    NR: Contemporary culture and emotional impact

Ever wonder what the Duran Duran drive-time sounds like? Check out this playlist by Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon called Retro Driving.

Duran Duran Around California

If you’re at Coachella this weekend, catch Duran Duran on Sunday, along with their special guest Ana Matronic from Scissor Sisters at 7:25pm on the Coachella stage.

Not going down south? San Franciscans can catch Duran Duran at theBerkeley Rasputin tomorrow for a record signing during Record Store Day. If you’re one of the many lucky people who bought tickets for the sold-out show,Duran Duran is playing the Fillmore Saturday night.

∞  April 15, 2011 — 12:00AM


Get Ready for Coachella 2011

Road-tripping to Indio for this weekend’s hottest music festival? Put on one of the many excellent Coachella 2011 playlists and get ready for a music-packed desert adventure.

Some of our favorites:

Who are you most excited to see live at Coachella? Not going? What band do you recommend?

∞  April 13, 2011 — 12:00AM

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This week’s playlist is mellow and rather relaxed. In between the digitized instrumentals of Lone, Dirty Gold, Panda Bear and Joan as a Police Woman are the guitar-heavy longings of Low, Danger Mouse and new Paul Simon. On the perkier and pop side of things, Jessie J is the newest woman on the charts along with Little Dragon and former Destiny’s Child Kelly Rowland. If a big, amphitheater-filling sound is more your thing, the Foo Fighters and TV on the Radio are waiting to rock your headphones. Just press Play for a sample of this week’s newest albums and singles—when you’re done, don’t forget to check out the New Releases yourself.

Playlist Notes

  • Panda Bear, Tomboy: A side project of Animal Collective member Noah Lennox, his fourth album builds from the base laid by Person Pitch—there’s more slow, building drama and unexpected melodies.

  • Foo Fighters, Wasting Light: For their seventh album, the Foo Fighters ditched fancy recording studios in favor of the analog and a garage. Perhaps lead singer Dave Grohl’s garage is fancier than most, but nonetheless this album is a return to the style that made these guys hugely popular.

  • Magnetic Man, Magnetic Man: To contrast the Foo Fighters’ dedication to the old-school, Magnetic Man’s album was made entirely on computers. When respected producers-and-DJs Benga, Skream and Artwork get together, each manning different digital sounds, the result boasts complexity and speaks to their respective digital chops.

  • Amadou & Mariam, Remixes: The list of artists who lent their remixing skills to Amadou & Miriam reads sundry as the duo’s influences. Akon, Theophilus London, Miike Snow and Vitalic, among others, transform each track, passing along the style of many genres.

  • Low, C’mon: Recorded in a large, empty church, the echoing and grandiose nature of the location elevates Low’s ninth album to a gradually-building, pulpit-shaking fervor.

  • Deerhoof / Xiu Xiu, Almost Xiu Xiu, Almost Deerhoof: Inspired almost wholly by the concept, Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu swap songs and re-record each. The results disorient but remain pleasing, with an imprint of each band’s sound left on the other.

  • Kelly Rowland, Motivation: With something to prove after the rise of Beyoncé out of Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland aims to not be forgotten with her third studio album, out later this year. The album’s kick-off single features a performance and songwriting by Lil Wayne and producer Jim Jonsin.

∞  April 12, 2011 — 12:00AM

Label SpotlightsMusic

New on Rdio: Rounder Records

Started over 40 years ago by three college friends, Rounder Records has a long heritage of supporting historically important music and recordings. Broadly covering Americana—blues, jazz, folk and beyond—they’re also known for releasing the work of Alan Lomax, an ethnomusicologist who did field recordings all over the country and the world. If you really want the long read on Rounder’s storied history, there’s a 2008 book about the Label called, The Never-Ending Revival: Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance.”

Rounder Artists—Past and Present

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

Previous label features include: Bella Union, XL Recordings, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, 4AD, Epitaph Records, Merge Records, Domino Records and Nettwerk

∞  April 8, 2011 — 12:00AM

Artist SpotlightsGiveawaysMusic

All About: Maritime

Begun after the demise of The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan,Maritime find themselves four full-length albums deep into their legacy. Their most recent album, Human Hearts, was released last New Music Tuesday, and if you haven’t spent time with it yet, you will certainly want to after reading the rest of this post. As a bonus, if you love Maritime and live in Chicago, we’ve got an easy way for you to win tickets to their April 22nd show, so keep reading.

Five Questions with Maritime

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Dan Didier: Honestly, not only because he is a friend of mine, but because he is an amazing songwriter… Mike Feuerstack who creates music under the name Snailhouse out of Montreal. His first record Fine is still one of my favorite records ever. It is a gem of a record that I am shocked that no one really knows.
    Davey von Bohlen: Phil Ochs. Phil Ochs. Phil Ochs.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    DD: Recently my hard drive that had all of my music on it crashed, so of all the CDs I burned and then sold, the one I have been missing lately is an album called Strand by The Spinanes. Some of those songs keep creeping back into my head and it kills me that I ever got rid of it.
    Phil Ochs, Rehearsals for Retirement
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    DD: This would have to be The Rolling Stones as Tattoo You, the first record I bought. I remember excitedly bringing it home and listening to it on our HUGE record player, you know, back when record players were actual pieces of furniture.
    The Guess Who - ‘45’s’, Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music. 
    DD and DvB: Better off somehow 
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    DD and DvB: Not thinking too much

You can find Maritime’s eclectic list of the Best Songs of 2010 on Dangerbird Records’ Rdio page. Keep reading for a fun jaunt through Maritime’s thoughts on why they picked each song.

Playlist Notes

1. HOT CHIP (Thieves in the Night) A great opening track for their albumOne Life Stand that is the shortest six minute song I’ve heard. I am drawn to this song because of the imagery of somebody lost in a crowded club calling out to a loved one with all of this innocence and desperation, “open your arms I want to be found!” DD
2. USHER (Oh My Gosh) For a dance song, this is one is so organic and strangely natural to me, that I was blown away the first time I heard it (on the radio driving in a rental car with Mike Kinsella (Owen) through downtown SF). I also love the song’s chorus of “oh my gosh”, which is so sissy it actually wins cool points. Plus, for all the entertainers out there, Usher can actually do it well. DVB
3. NATHANIEL RATELIFF (You Should’ve Seen the Other Guy) I saw this band live before I ever heard their record. You could have heard a pin drop in the 1500 seat theatre within a minute of this “opener’s” first song. They pulled off the most amazing harmonies live so, naturally, I had to buy the record. This track just stuck with me from the first listen, especially after reflecting back on their performance. JDK
4. LADY ANTEBELLUM (Need You Now) Kudos goes out to the songwriter here, as this song is so easy and great that Lady Antebellum can’t screw it up. Would be awesome if any genre had picked it up. I am a sucker for the male/female power duet (Lita Ford/Ozzy etc) as well, so this one sorta scratches my itch too. Lyrically it sags, but whatever top 40 song gets bumped because of the overplay of this one is probably way worse. DVB
5. BEACH HOUSE (Walk in the Park) There was a period of some time in 2010 where Teen Dream was the only record I listened to, so clearly I think the whole record is amazing, but this song especially stands out nicely. I don’t know if the vocal delivery reminds me sweetly of theCocteau Twins or if the lyrics remind me of the hours I spend walking around the cities we play on tour, but something grabs onto me. DD
6. TAIO CRUZ (Dynamite) When I was in LA overseeing some of the mixing of Human Hearts I rented a car and the radio station that was on when I started it played mostly top 40 and R&B type stuff. I was surprised that I never thought to change it to something else the whole time I was there. There must of been a part of me that appreciated the ‘ear cleanser’ after sitting in the mixing studio for most of the day. This station basically played the same handful of songs throughout the day so when I got into the car I always hoped that Dynamite was on. DD
7. VOLCANO CHOIR (Island, IS - Live in Tokyo) For a guy who demands a lot of structure in song, I am totally carried away by the mashup ofJustin Vernon’s voice and COCO Bees playing. The record came out in 2009 and was wonderful, but when I saw the video of the show at O-Nest I had one of those moments where making music seems so important that anything else one does in life is either unimportant or should be put to music. Just an incredible collection of musicians, can’t say it enough. DVB
8. BUILT TO SPILL (Things Fall Apart) As a long-time Built to Spill fan, this record was really refreshing. After their last couple of releases, I was beginning to think they’d lost something. It turns out they haven’t. I found myself missing those eerie jams from Perfect from Now On and this track filled that void. It never gets crazy or overdriven, but it just has an incredible vibe that sucks me in for the whole six minutes. JDK
9. JUNIP (In Every Direction) I absolutely love Jose Gonzales’ voice and think the way that they pull off this “acoustic with fuzz” sound is amazing. This leadoff track just grabs you right away and sets the tone for the whole record. It’s close to sonic perfection in my ears. JDK
9. JONSI (Grow Till Tall) Now, there are far better songs off Go than this one, but none of them match what Jonsi accomplished with this song live. Every time I hear it I am reminded of that crazily amazing stage set and video production that went along with the ups and downs of the song and specifically the buildup to the bombastic end. Just think of how you feel when fall turns to winter while the wind picks up and the world gets dark and things start crashing in around you. DD

Maritime Ticket Giveaway

Chicago-based Maritime fans get a special treat today—the chance to win two tickets to the April 22nd show at the Empty Bottle. Respond at the bottom of this blog post or tweet @Rdio with your favorite Maritime album + the hashtag #MaritimeFavorite. Do this between now and 1:00 PM PST on Monday, April 11th, we’ll pick a random winner. Read the Official Rules for more information.

What’s your favorite Maritime album?

∞  April 7, 2011 — 12:00AM

Artist SpotlightsGiveawaysMusic

All About: The Naked and Famous

Since overtaking SXSW with their many high-energy performances, The Naked and Famous have climbed the Rdio Top Charts and are probably gracing your network’s Heavy Rotation too. If you can’t get enough of their new album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, we have a treat for you—Five Questions with the Band, a playlist of what they’re listening to and a ticket giveaway for some lucky people in Austin. They’ll be performing with Foals andFreelance Whales—so locals, be sure to enter.

Five Questions with The Naked and Famous

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    The Naked and Famous: F In Math is Michael Logie from New Zealand. Very clever and entertaining individual. Check it out.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    TNAF: I would listen to Ravedeath, 1972 by Tim Hecker which I have right now!
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    TNAF: Who ever wrote the Power Rangers and Pokemon theme songs.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    TNAF: Wearing headphones or driving really fast or wearing headphones while driving really fast
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    TNAF: Various themes but a lot of time was spent thinking about pizza.

Compliments of The Naked and Famous’ Label, Universal Republic (who is on Rdio), we have a playlist of what TNAF has recently been listening to.

The Naked and Famous Ticket Sweepstakes

We have two tickets to The Naked and Famous at Austin’s own La Zona Rosa on April 21st. They’re performing with Foals and the Freelance Whales—it’s sure to be an awesome show. How to enter? Leave a comment below with your favorite TNAF song or respond on Twitter to @Rdio with the hashtag #TNAFtix. Do it between now and noon Friday and we’ll randomly select a winner. Read the Official Rules for more information.

What is your favorite The Naked and Famous song?

∞  April 6, 2011 — 12:00AM

Artist SpotlightsGiveawaysMusic

All About: Sean Rowe

To give a brief introduction to Sean Rowe, this singer-songwriter has an incredible, deep voice and as a naturalist, he tends to write much about man and nature. His songs tend to be sparsely instrumented, likely to showcase the subject matter of his songs. The truly best introduction to Sean Rowe is to listen to his first album on ANTI-, entitled Magic. If you’d like to experience the force of his baritone in person and happen to live in Canada, we have two tickets to give away to his April 14th show at Dakota Tavern. Keep reading for more information, along with a playlist of songs he likes, and Five Questions with the Band.

Five Questions with Sean Rowe

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Sean Rowe: The late…Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I first heard his voice from a soundtrack called the Bandit Queen. His sound is so unreal and unbelievable. To me he sounds more like the voice of creation rather than human. He was certainly a lot more famous in India/Asia then in America.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    SR: There’s a really rare version of the soundtrack to the Bandit Queenrecorded by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan I’d love to get my hands on again.
    I only had that particular version on cassette and lost it a few years back. 
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    SR: Beach Boys (Endless Summer) for sure. I used to play that album religiously on my 8-track cassette when i was 7 years old. That music was my sanctuary.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    SR: Not committing atrocities
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    SR: Justin Bieber

Sean Rowe’s label, ANTI-, is also on Rdio. So if you love Sean’s music, follow them to find more great artists. Today they are hosting a playlist, created by Sean Rowe.

See Sean Rowe in Toronto

Would you like to see Sean Rowe live? If you live in Canada, this may be your lucky week. Answer the question below by leaving a comment on this blog post (or respond to @Rdio with your answer and include the hashtag #SeanRoweCA) between now and midnight tomorrow. We’ll randomly pick someone to win two tickets to Sean Rowe’s April 14th show at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto. Read the Official Rules for more information.

What is your favorite line of Sean Rowe lyrics?

∞  April 5, 2011 — 12:00AM

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There’s an especially electronic and remixed feel in this week’s New Music Tuesday playlist. As to why we can only guess, but it’s not an unwelcome trend. Next to established musicians like Moby and Daft Punk (with TRON: Legacy Reconfigured) are rising stars Sebastian and Matthew Dear. Also, fans of Glasvegas, The Kills, Maritime, The Raveonettes, Cold Cave and Timber Timbre will be treated to brand-new albums. Sample our picks, then dig in to the New Releases and find something great today.

Playlist Notes

  • The Submarines, Love Notes/Letter Bombs: If you follow the discography of indie-pop duo John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard, you can track the evolution of the pair’s involvement. Featuring catchy, upbeat hooks mixed with witty (and occasionally heartbreaking) lyrics, it catalogs the bittersweet ups and downs of a relationship.

  • Leon Russell, The Best Of: Rock & Roll Hall of Famer (and Oklahoma music icon) Leon Russell is the creative force behind a long, distinguished list of 1960’s and 70’s hits. This album is a polished collection of some of his best work, featuring live performances and songs from his 2010 collaboration with Elton John, The Union.

  • Timber Timbre, Creep On Creepin’ On: What do you get when this folk rock Candadian trio, known for their eerie, gothic-inspired music, record their newest album in a converted church with producer Mark Lawson, who’s known for his work with Arcade Fire? You get a delightfully spooky album, rich with layers of atmospheric echoes and ominous lyrics.

  • Y.C., Racks feat. Future: We don’t know what “Racks on rack on racks” means, but that’s not keeping this catchy single from getting stuck in our heads. Turn up the volume and let your head bop along to this solid hip-hop track, straight out of Atlanta.

  • Micachu & the Shapes and the London Sinfonietta, Chopped & Screwed: This gets a mention in Playlist Notes simply for being a remarkable concept album from Micachu & The Shapes. Penned “Classical Crunk” by the band’s label, Rough Trade, Chopped & Screwed is 9 tracks of collaboration with the London Sinfonietta—a departure and re-imagining of Micahu’s generally upbeat sound.

∞  April 5, 2011 — 12:00AM