May 2011

« April 2011  |  21 posts  |  June 2011 »

Artist SpotlightsMusic

An Introduction to: The Antlers

From Peter Silberman’s unknown solo project to performing sold-out chamber rock trio shows to eager fans, The Antlers’ trajectory into the spotlight is the stuff of indie music fairytales. Their debut album Hospice captured the attention of music lovers and critics alike, with its heartbreaking storyline and mesmerizing sound. After a worldwide tour with the The National, the band got back in the studio—listen to their second release, Burst Apart, and read what the Brooklyn-based trio told us when we got to ask them a few questions.


Five Questions with The Antlers

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    The Antlers: Leadbelly
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    TA: “American Beauty” by Grateful Dead
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    TA: NirvanaEric Clapton
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    TA: Well-rested
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    TA: Shoes

Want to know what The Antlers are listening to these days? Tune in to the playlist they sent to us to hear this well-crafted selection of songs from Nick DrakeCocteau TwinsSon Lux, and more.

∞  May 12, 2011 — 12:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

All About: Yael Naim

Shooting into notability after a well-timed Apple commercial and her particularly haunting cover of Britney Spear’s ToxicYael Naim continued to write and play music in her sweet and delicate trademark style. This Israeli songstress took a moment to talk with us below and also created a playlist for a special occasion. The occasion? Her new album, She Was a Boy, is out today so queue it up and keep reading.

Five Questions with Yael Naim

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Yael Naim: Elizabeth Fraser and Nick Drake aren’t known enough …
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    YN: Blue from Joni Mitchell
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    YN: The Beatles
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    YN: Touched
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    YN: Having more freedom (not pressuring ourselves with what people were expecting)

Yael Naim created a playlist just for this, spanning from the modern chanteuseAdele all the way back to pioneer songwriter Joni Mitchell. Listen along to what’s on Yael’s mind musically.

∞  May 10, 2011 — 12:00AM

MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This week’s New Releases are a smart bunch—with wide artistic ambitions and second or third albums from bands reaching, learning and perfecting their statements. But don’t let that worry you if that’s not your thing. There are also plenty of poppy ear-worms and radio hits. Firmly planted in the art camp are bands like Man Man, Sleeps in Oysters and Joan of Arc, while some of the feel-gooders are Randy Newman, Glee’s Matthew Morrison and The Lonely Island. So dig in and find your next favorite band, album or song.

Playlist Notes

  • The Lonely Island, Turtleneck & Chain: Parody pop hasn’t sounded this good since the Flight of the Conchords migrated to the States. Using their SNL stature, The Lonely Island recruited guest starts like Justin Timberlake, Akon, Snoop Dogg, Michael Bolton and Rihanna for their second album of jokester riffs.

  • Black Moth Super Rainbow, Extra Flavor: Studio time occasionally yields more material than a band knows what to do with. In this case, Black Moth Super Rainbow decided to put all the music that didn’t make it on Dandelion Gum, the album they were recording for at the time, into it’s own free-standing LP. It’s still weird, quirky and a other-worldly.

  • Enrique Iglesias & Usher, Dirty Dancer: Conquered by a trifecta of club friendly musicians, this Enrique Iglesias single is an amalgam of party beats by Usher, rhymes by Lil Wayne and smooth-operator chorus by Enrique Iglesias himself.

  • Gang Gang Dance, Eye Contact: The New York City art-rockers make heady music that is smart enough for the most intellectual MENSA members, but also straightforward enough for anyone who just wants to listen to something different.

  • The Antlers, Burst Apart: This band had a lot to live up to after the success of their heart-wrenching debut album, Hospice. Some say that their sophomore release Burst Apart proves that they can stand up the critical acclaim and we won’t disagree. The Brooklyn-based trio maintains their moody, ethereal noise while branching out from the plot-driven conceptual take of their previous release.

∞  May 10, 2011 — 12:00AM

EventsNew FeaturesNews

Now Available: the Rdio Mobile API for Android and iOS

When we announced the Rdio API during SXSW 2011, we also promised that a mobile version would be coming soon. Today, we’d like you to take a look at our brand-new Mobile Playback API for Android and iOS.

If you had a great idea for a music app but wondered how to clear the tunes, the Rdio Mobile Playback API is for you. Make an app that searches and plays all the artists, songs, albums, playlists, and top charts in Rdio’s catalog of over 8.5 million songs. You can also build and edit playlists, show a user’s network Heavy Rotation, follow other people, and view Collections.

Attending Google I/O 2011? Take a closer look at our Mobile API on Android devices at Rdio’s Developer Sandbox at Moscone Center in San Francisco. If you won’t be there or want to see the API in action yourself, download the Rdio Music Quiz from the iPhone App store.

While our Mobile API doesn’t yet support our affiliate program, it will soon. So make sure to sign up for it now and start building that incredible mobile app you always wanted to make.

∞  May 9, 2011 — 12:00AM

Artist SpotlightsGiveawaysMusic

All About: Times New Viking

Choosing the path opposite anything slick, glossy and over-produced, Times New Viking built their sound on the imperfections and personality that come with lo-fi production. Although they recorded their new album in a studio and not in a home set-up, Dancer Equired is as fun, informed and true to their style as any of their four previous albums.

Turn up the album and keep reading below for Five Questions with the Band, a playlist of Bands They’ve Toured With and a Brooklyn ticket giveaway.

Five Questions with Times New Viking

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Times New Viking: wow, tough question. if i think of a record i play over and over again that is under the radar would be bobb trimble. i love john lennon, and he is the indiana version.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    TNV: right now i would want to listen to suicide. that kind of day.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    TNV: elo. telephone line in particular, that part where jeff lynne sounds like he is singing through a telephone. i loved literalism even back then.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    TNV: Open minded and maybe drunk/hungover.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    TNV: Sunshine and fleetwood mac.

Their label, venerable Merge Records, is hosting a playlist of Bands that Times New Viking Have Toured with on their Rdio profile. It’s got some big names on there, so listen along to appreciate where TNV has been.

Ticket Giveaway

If you live in the Big Apple and love Times New Viking, it’s your lucky day. We’re giving away two tickets to their May 27th show at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn.

How do you enter? Comment on this blog post (and make sure to leave your email address) or Tweet @Rdio your favorite Times New Viking song and include the hashtag #TNVtix between now and Tuesday, May 10th, 1:00 pm PST. We’ll pick a random winner—free Times New Viking tickets are that easy. Here’s the list of Official Rules.

What’s your favorite Times New Viking song?

∞  May 6, 2011 — 12:00AM

Label SpotlightsMusic

New on Rdio: Saddle Creek

Entrepreneurship isn’t often mentioned outside the context of technology, but from entrepreneurship (or at least a college class about it), Saddle Creek Records was born. Undergoing personnel and even a name change, the label grew to be known and respected for both its small-town, earthy “Omaha Sound” and for its roster of loosely-related bands and musicians. Originally releasing Conor Oberst’s (Bright Eyes) music, they also signed other bands from Omaha, Nebraska and in 2001, started signing musicians regardless of their location.

Check out the documentary Spend an Evening with Saddle Creek for a closer look at the creation and evolution of the Label’s first 10 years of existence.

Saddle Creek Artists

Saddle Creek Alumni

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

Previous label features include: Yep Roc, Blood & Fire, Hyperdub, Bella Union, XL Recordings, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, 4AD, Epitaph Records, Merge Records, Domino Records and Nettwerk

∞  May 6, 2011 — 12:00AM

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks: Follow the Leader

Following people on Rdio makes it easy to discover (and re-discover) music — you’ll see what they listen to most, what they add to their Collections, and their Playlists and reviews.

How do I find people to Follow?

There are a few ways to find people to Follow on Rdio — whether they’re old friends, new friends, or just people with awesome musical taste.

Find out which of your friends are already on Rdio by connecting Rdio with your Twitter, Facebook or email account directly on our People to Follow page — just click on the network you’d like to connect, and you’ll see a permissions page appear.

Once they’re linked, you’ll see a list of friends from your network who are already on Rdio, but you’re not yet following.

[Tip: if your email provider isn’t listed, you can also create and import a contact file directly from your computer using the Upload Contacts File button:

What about people I don’t know?

Browse our People to Follow section — the Tastemakers (Labels, magazines, festivals and more), Suggested Users, and Top Listeners you’ll find there are great for inspiration.

Still looking for more?

You never know what music you might discover in other peoples’ profiles, Collections, and Playlists. Following users with similar (or enviable) music taste is great for discovery and your network’s Heavy Rotation.

No matter where you are within, you can find out about other people whenever you see a user icon. Hover over anyone’s icon, anywhere on Rdio — a review, an album’s recent listeners, your friends’ followers — and you’ll see a hovercard appear.

Click the arrow to see Heavy Rotation, Top Artists and Collection details.

Once you Follow someone, you’ll see his activity reflected in Your Network’s Heavy Rotation and Recent Activity — you’ll also be able to Share albums, songs, Playlists and Artists with him directly.

Questions? Feedback? Tell us about it on Rdio’s help site.

∞  May 5, 2011 — 12:00AM


Rdio Exclusive: Listen to Booker T. Jones ’ New Album, The Road from Memphis

Leading up to The Road From Memphis’ release on May 10th, we’re thrilled to play host for Booker T. Jones’ newest album, produced by Questlove of The Roots. For the next week, Rdio is the exclusive source for this legendary musician’s new album — listen on or through Rdio’s embeddable players which you can share on your blog, Twitter or Facebook.

In his new solo album, The Road From Memphis, Booker T. worked heavily with backing band The Roots but also guests like Lou Reed, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Sharon Jones, Matt Berninger from The National, Dennis Coffey and daughter Liz Jones.

For the week leading up to the album’s release, you can stream Booker T. Jones’ new album in it’s entirety. Not only that, but all album embeds will play full tracks to anyone who wants to hear it. So Tweet it out, Queue it up, add it to your Collection and leave a Review for The Road to Memphis.

If you’re new to Rdio, make sure to sign up for the 7-day free trial so you can listen to Booker T. Jones’ new album and the over 8 million tracks in our music catalog.

∞  May 4, 2011 — 12:00AM


Rdio now in the Verizon V CAST App Store

In addition to Amazon Payments, we have more good news for Rdio subscribers — Rdio for Android is now available in Verizon’s V CAST App Store. If you’re new to Rdio, download the app and try Rdio free for seven days.

And after that? Subscribe to Rdio with your Verizon account. If you’re both a Verizon customer and a loyal Rdio subscriber, you can add your Rdio subscription to your monthly Verizon bill. From now on, the only payday you’ll need to worry about is the next New Music Tuesday.

∞  May 4, 2011 — 12:00AM


Announcing: Rdio's Partnership with The Echo Nest

We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with The Echo Nest, a music intelligence platform, to let developers access over 8 million songs that are available via Rdio’s API.

See our partnership in action at Music Maze, an Echo Nest webapp that maps relationships between musicians. Enter an artist’s name and see where following similar and suggested artists takes you.

If you’d like to build something with The Echo Nest’s recommendations and Rdio’s music catalog, register for an account with The Echo Nest. And while you’re at it, generate some green while making innovative webapps by signing up for Rdio’s Affiliate Program on Linkshare—get a monthly cut of each subscription or download purchase made through your app.

∞  May 3, 2011 — 12:00AM