September 2011

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MusicNew Music Weekly

New Music Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Every Fall, there is a day when a huge number of excellent records all see the light of day. This season, it’s today — critics and fans alike will be drooling all over this set of albums that’ll surely be on year-end “Best Of” lists. Many exciting indie rock bands both young and old are part of today’s excitement, including Mates of State, Wooden Shjips, Girls, Mogwai, Wild Flag and Blitzen Trapper, as well as Bush and Me First And The Gimme Gimmes.

Playlist Notes

  • James Blake and Bon Iver - “Fall Creek Boy Choir” 
    Earnest, soft-voiced hype-laden songwriters James Blake and Bon Iver make a lot of sense together, but that doesn’t mean anybody expected a collaboration from the two busy musicians. “Fall Creek Boys Choir” is on James Blake’s upcoming EP and available for your listening pleasure right now. 
  • Das Racist - Relax 
    One year after they tore up the blogosphere with back to back, self-released mixtapes, Brooklyn’s most pop culture-savvy hip-hop trio are dropping their full-length debut, and the iron’s still hot - just check out their new single ”Michael Jackson.” 
  • Lady Antebellum - Own The Night
    It’s not all indie music today. Blockbuster country-pop sensations Lady Antebellum, who swept the Grammys last year with their hit sophomore album, Need You Now, are returning early with a third album. Get whisked away by the trio’s new harmonies. 
  • St. Vincent - Strange Mercy 
    Art-pop mastermind Annie Clark, who records as St. Vincent, has outdone herself this year. In her new album, Strange Mercy, she uses the recording studio as a tool in ways she hasn’t done previously. Don’t be surprised if Strange Mercy ends up topping more than a few critics’ top tens come year’s end. 
  • Neon Indian - Era Extraña
    Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo is both a pioneer and posterboy for “chillwave” music, a sub-genre that melds hazy, mid-tempo synths with dance beats. Today he returns to the spotlight with the follow-up to his excellent breakout disc Psychic Chasms. Fans of nostalgia-soaked beats shouldn’t wait to hear this one.

Exclusive: Hear Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations

Josh Rouse 0811 Banner

Last June, after more than a decade of recording folk-pop ditties, Paxton, Nebraska singer-songwriter Josh Rouse promised his fans an album later in the year that would feature a new band called Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations.

This September 27th, he’ll make good on that promise with the release of their self-titled debut album on his own label, Bedroom Classics. The album is a showcase of Rouse’s influences — Ryan Adams, Jason Collett, Ben Kweller, Wilco — but it’s spun with Rouse’s own quirky take on folk and melody, and should please anybody who likes folk music with a little spring in its step.

Rdio is pleased to announce that we're exclusively streaming the album right now, two weeks prior to its official release. Listen to Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations and share it with your friends.


Five Questions with Josh Rouse

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Josh Rouse: That´s a tough question because I know so many that have small followings but have not managed to reach a larger audience. Bart Davenport from San Francisco is one of my favorite singer-songwriters that a lot of people don´t know about.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    JR: The La´s one and only record. Lee Mavers wrote what I believe to be one of the finest pop songs of all time with "There She Goes".
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    JR: There are so many but the other day listening to a 80´s radio station in the car I remembered what a big fan of Kool and the Gang I was. Good grooves and simple melodies.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    JR: Making love
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    JR: The sea
New Features

Rdio for Windows Phone 7: Now with Offline Music

Alongside its sleek design and access to millions of songs, the Rdio for Windows Phone 7 app now provides you with music whether you're online or offline. For those times when you don't have a data connection, you can Sync your favorite must-have music and listen wherever you are.

To Sync your favorite playlists and albums on Windows Phone 7, long-press their album art and select 'sync to mobile' from the resulting menu. Download or update the app from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace and let the music flow.


Win Two VIP Badges to Nashville’s SoundLand Festival


This September 21-24, Nashville, Tennessee's streets and concert halls play host to the 2011 SoundLand Festival. Promising “music, art, food and fun,” the festival's biggest draw is music—it features performances from acts running the gamut of musical genres, rock to electronic to hip hop and beyond: Foster the People, M. Ward, Ghostland Observatory, Big K.R.I.T., Bonobo, CULTS and many more. For the full list, check out SoundLand's website or listen to the “SoundLand 2011 Crash Course” playlist.


Win SoundLand 2011 VIP Badges

Rdio and SoundLand want to send you to the festival in comfort and style, so we’re giving away a pair of VIP Badges. Get priority entry to every single event at the fest, free food and drinks at VIP parties, and a chance to learn and network with media and musical personalities. For more info on SoundLand's VIP experience, read about it on the SoundLand blog. So how do you win these sweet VIP badges? Put your name, email address and who you're most excited to see perform at SoundLand into the form below between now and September 14 at 12:00 PM and we'll randomly pick one winner. For more information, read the Official Rules.

Update: Thanks for playing! The entry form for the SoundLand Festival Ticket Giveaway is now closed.


Exclusive: Listen to Southern Culture on the Skids’ Zombified


Skronking, North Carolina quartet Southern Culture on the Skids have been performing together for over 20 years now, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost an ounce of their original energy. They still play a thrilling mix of rockabilly, surf rock, country and punk rock, and their shows remain highlighted by their trademark: throwing fried chicken and banana pudding into the audience.

This month, their 1998 Halloween-themed EP Zombified is being reissued, remastered and repackaged, with five new tunes added to the original disc. The album is streaming right now, only on Rdio, which means you get to be the first to hear these new tracks. Fans of the Reverend Horton Heat and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion should find plenty to love about Southern Culture on the Skids, whose exciting sound and memorable live shows still remain after all these years. Listen to Zombified now and share the EP with your party-loving friends.


Artist SpotlightsMusic

A Re-Introduction to: Pia Toscano


Any American Idol enthusiast will certainly remember Pia Toscano. The Howard Beach, New York-based singer was eliminated too early during the contest’s tenth season, placing ninth, surprisingly low for someone of Toscano’s vocal ability. Judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez were understandably shocked.

Nevertheless in June, she signed a major label record deal with Interscope, and her first non-American Idol single, “This Time”, dropped in July (watch the video here). Expect a debut album soon; in the meantime check out Toscano’s answers to our questions and listen to her “Summer Playlist” below.

Four Questions with Pia Toscano

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Pia Toscano: My sister... She taught me a lot about work ethic and works harder than anyone I know and she is very talented. People should go and see the Tucson Symphony.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    PT: Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom. She is so soulful and I can relate to a lot of her songs.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    PT: Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard. This was the album I used to sing to when my father first discovered I could sing!
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    PT: Inspired.
Artist SpotlightsExclusivesMusic

Exclusive Album Stream: Alessi’s Ark - Time Travel

Alessi's Ark cover art

Alessi Laurent-Marke is the 21 year-old wunderkind behind Alessi’s Ark, the vehicle for her folk-tinged songs of truth, joy, anxiety and despair. At just 17 Laurent-Marke released her first album, which she recorded with Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis; in subsequent years she toured with fellow folk-influenced acts such as Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and the Willkommen Collective. Despite only releasing two studio albums, Laurent-Marke is already a veteran — the songs on Time Travel ring with her mellifluous, whispery voice that sounds as natural as it does achingly beautiful.

Time Travel is the sound of a musician coming into her own, at the tender age of 21. Her songwriting belies her age, and her lyrics—mostly a collection of Laurent-Marke’s homespun musings—broach subjects of emotional depth with subtlety and maturity not often found in music so sweetly melodic. This month, enjoy Rdio's exclusive Time Travel stream add it to your collection and share it with your friends. Alessi’s Ark is an act that simply must be heard.



Rdio Gift Cards at Target


Today we’re happy to announce that you can now add the gift of music to your shopping cart, thanks to our physical Gift Cards available at Target. In addition to purchasing Rdio Gift Cards online from, you can also find them at over 700 select Target stores across the USA and on

Why is this so exciting? It’s the first time you can find Rdio in a retail store. And exclusive to Target, you also get some bonus cash built into every card—a $10 card has $12.50 of Rdio value, and a $25 card is worth $30 on Rdio. Your lucky gift-recipient can use their card toward all of Rdio's subscriptions, including Web, Unlimited, Unlimited Family, and even mp3 downloads).


Exclusive: Listen to Jonathan Wilson’s Gentle Spirit now

Jonathan Wilson

North Carolina folk-mainstay Jonathan Wilson has the connections and the chops to make a name for himself. What sets Wilson apart comes to him naturally; gentle, sparse folk songs that haunt and inspire. His new album, aptly titled  Gentle Spirit, finds the long time Laurel Canyon producer and Bonnie “Prince” Billy collaborator tapping into his own songwriting ability. Combining pianos, banjos, guitars, and his plaintive voice, the results are greater than the sum of their parts and worth a listen.

The new record, his first since his 2007 self-recorded debut, includes guest appearances by veteran musicians like Barry Goldberg (from Muddy Waters’ band), Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks) and Andy Cabic (Vetiver), among others. Gentle Spirit is available exclusively this week on Rdio. Listen, add it to your collection, share it with your friends—don’t miss out of this gorgeous new alt-country album.


Artist SpotlightsMusic

Rdio Exclusive: Get Acquainted with Milagres


Brooklyn indie rock quartet Milagres' new album, Glowing Mouth, was born of solitude and confinement. Singer-songwriter Kyle Wilson wrote the album after a back injury left him bedridden for months, and provided the spark necessary for his return to songwriting. Back in New York, Wilson met up with the rest of the band and added instruments and power to his demos, which now make up their debut LP.

Glowing Mouth officially drops September 13, but it's exclusively available on Rdio right now. Grizzly Bear and Arcade Fire fans should find something to love here, as should fans of any music that’s as affecting as it is grandiose. Check out the album now, as well as Wilson’s responses to our Five Questions:

Five Questions with Milagres

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Kyle Wilson: I could make a long list: Harry Partch, Arvo Pärt, Stanley Jordan, Scott Walker, Krysztof Penderecki... In particular I think there are a lot of musicians in the jazz and classical world who are really influential and important, but very obscure.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    KW: I would probably be more excited to have access to any unrecorded music in the world, but since I don’t, I’m listening to an album by Linda Perhacs that I stumbled on while I was putting together this playlist. It might be a stretch to say that the internet gives one access to all recorded material, but it seems to come pretty close.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    KW: My earliest memories of music are pretty random: Leon Redbone (I listened to this on cassette when I went to bed), ZZ Top, Chuck Berry, and Raffi (I have his autograph somewhere!). But the Beatles' Please Please Me was the first album I actively sought out. From there I explored my father’s vast record collection and learned the classics fairly well. Nirvana’s Nevermind was probably the first album I spent my own allowance on, but my adolescence was filled with stuff like Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel, Tom Waits and Husker Du - as well as classical music which I had begun to study academically. 
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    KW: Captivated.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    KW: Life.