Artist Spotlights

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Artist SpotlightsExclusivesMusicThis Week on Rdio

World Exclusive: Celine Dion Shares Album Commentary

Celine Dion

Celine Dion is back with her first English language album in five years. Loved Me Back to Life features duets with Stevie Wonder and Ne-Yo and was produced by a team of top producers including Babyface and Tricky Stewart. It’s a very fresh feeling and new release for the timeless diva, and now she’s sharing a behind the scenes view of it with you. Listen to the Loved Me Back to Life - RDIO Exclusive Commentary Version to hear Celine discuss her thoughts, feelings and motivations behind her latest release.

Artist SpotlightsNews

Meat Puppets Now Rocking on Rdio

Meat Puppets

Meat Puppets might be most widely remembered as Nirvana’s favorite band that hit the road with them on the In Utero Tour in 1993 and guested on the seminal live recording of the 1994 album MTV Unplugged in New York. But the band has had a prolific and inspiring career all its own. The band formed around the family core of brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood have been together on and off for 33 years, a partnership that has yielded more than a dozen albums and helped an independent record label called SST one of the most influential in the DIY movement of the 1980s and 1990s.

Now that the Meat Puppets catalog is on Rdio, you have unlimited digital access to the work of these largely unsung country punk rock heroes, from commercial peak Too High To Die to fan favorite II and so much more. Eat to the beat!

∞  October 7, 2013 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Scissor Sister Del Marquis Reveals Inspirations Behind Slow Knights

DelMarquis


Del Marquis is best known as the lead guitarist of the Scissor Sisters, but he also rocks out with his side project Slow Knights. In honor of the debut album Cosmos, Del has created an exclusive Cosmos Inspiration playlist for Rdio that reveals the many inspirations behind his funky solo recording.

His work channels the best elements and expresses a nostalgia for that time in the Eighties when R&B was so adventurous, it was practically intergalactic. Give Del’s mix a spin to hear classic gems from the likes of Rose Royce, Cherrelle, Prince, and Chaka Khan — and then take a trip to Cosmos.

∞  May 13, 2013 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

At Rdio Sessions: Missy Higgins

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Australian songstress Missy Higgins is hot off her tour with Gotye and back with her new single "Hello Hello" — she stopped by the Rdio HQ Penthouse for a performance last Friday. With the city of San Francisco as her backdrop, the Melbourne musician moved dexterously from the keyboards to guitar.

Ever wanted to know Missy’s favorite city to play and the song she can’t get out of her head? She indulged us and filled out an Rdio Survey. Find her answers below and view some fantastic photos of the event on Facebook.

Rdio Sessions - Missy Higgins

∞  July 5, 2012 — 1:00PM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

At Rdio Sessions: Dent May

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Mississippi singer-songwriter Dent May may have very well become a yoga instructor had Paw Tracks failed to come across the budding musician — at least that’s what Dent claimed on the Rdio Survey.

Lucky for us, Dent May seems to have a long career of funky folk beats and falsetto wailing ahead of him if his new album Do Things is any indication. Last Friday Dent May stopped by Rdio HQ’s penthouse for a soulful jam session. Take a scroll through the pictures on our Facebook and get the 411 on Dent May with his handwritten Rdio Survey.

Rdio Sessions - Dent May

∞  July 5, 2012 — 12:00PM

Artist Spotlights

Listen to Rhett Miller’s Fave Songs Playlist on Rdio

Rhett

Old 97s frontman and solo singer-songwriter Rhett Miller’s popularity rose steadily thanks to his strong songwriting and singing — no gimmicks. His latest album, The Dreamer, is another solid set from Miller. To celebrate the occasion, he’s wrangled his favorite songs into the playlist found below.

Rock, folk, pop — play Rhett Miller’s Faves now, and read his well-written notes on why he picked each song.

  • The New Pornographers - “Mutiny, I Promise You”
    Carl Newman writes great songs. Thorny, dense things, devoid of obvious handles and hooks, but sticky and slippery in the best way. Oh yeah, and Neko Case as a vocal counterpoint? Pretty sweet.

  • Guster - “Do You Love Me”
    Do you love handclaps? Do you love bells? Do you love songs that will keep you awake at night out of sheer catchiness? Then you will love this song.

  • Guided By Voices - “Teenage FBI”
    Once upon a time, The Cars' Ric Ocasek produced a record for the kings of lo-fi indie rock and this song came into being. At less than two minutes, this song challenges you not to play it again.

  • Redd Kross - “Peach Kelli Pop”
    This ultimate rocker, off their historic Neurotica album, will start any day off right. I wanted to include "Stay Away From Downtown" off their upcoming album Researching The Blues, which features the classic Neurotica lineup, but that album doesn't drop until August. In the meantime, you should be researching Redd Kross.

  • Dukes of Stratosphear - “Little Lighthouse”
    This XTC side project has never left my heavy rotation. I wish more people remembered them. Garage rock psychedelia that will melt your square brain. Play it loud.

  • The Head and The Heart - “Lost in My Mind”
    Seems these guys are blowing up these days. And rightly so. THATH are a great combination of the sweet little things I love about music (simple melodies, sparse moments), and the huge, fun things (mallet-wielding monster drummer, massive multi-part harmonies), and are, thus, one of my favorite new bands.

  • Carolina Chocolate Drops - “Cornbread and Butterbeans”
    I just love these guys. I hesitate to describe them too much. You should just find out for yourself. This song contains my new motto: “Eatin' beans and makin’ love as long as I am able".

  • Crowded House - “Fall At Your Feet”
    I toured with Neil Finn years ago and came away from the experience with a newfound respect for his enormous talent and admirable work ethic. Oh, and this new favorite song.

  • Ben Kweller - “Jealous Girl”
    BK has been blowing my mind since he was a kid. And his newest record may be his best yet.

  • Sarah Jaffe - “Clementine”
    This track appears on her new record Suburban Nature. It's a sweetheart of a song and a perfect showcase for the husky beauty of her pipes. To have such a special voice and the ability to write a song like this? An embarrassment of riches for my young friend Sarah.

  • Dawes - “When My Time Comes”
    With songs like this, Dawes time should be coming... Right. About. Now.

  • The Pixies - “Wave of Mutilation”
    The greatest song of all time. That's all.

Yrs, Rhett

∞  June 15, 2012 — 9:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Play Cadence Weapon’s Dirt City Influences Playlist

Cadweap

Edmonton, Alberta native Rollie Pemberton, aka Cadence Weapon, is not your average MC. The rapper has received acclaim in the past for experimenting with the rap format, using sparse, austere soundscapes and out-there electronic as beats for his unique flow and thoughtful lyrics.

Want to know what inspired the eclectic sounds of Cadence Weapon’s new album, Hope in Dirt City? Listen to his playlist of influences, En Route to Dirt City, and then sample his new album to hear where his hip-hop is headed next.

∞  May 31, 2012 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Listen to Kate Campbell’s New Album and Playlist

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After almost 20 years of recording songs on the acoustic guitar, folk singer Kate Campbell is returning to the instrument on which she was introduced to music: the piano. 1000 Pound Machine is a sparse and moody album, characterized by her subtle piano playing and Will Kimbrough’s elegant guitar. The album features guest spots from legends like Spooner Oldham, Emmylou Harris, and Sloan Wainwright — it is on Rdio now for your listening pleasure.

As an added bonus, Campbell selected a playlist of her Favorite Artists. Listen to 1000 Pound Machine and playlist, along with Campbell’s notes on her song choices, below.

Playlist Notes

  • The Allman Brothers Band - “Midnight Rider”
    I think “Midnight Rider” is a haunting song. I listen to it at least once a day when I'm on the road and even have it as a ring tone.

  • Will Kimbrough - “Interstate”
    Will Kimbrough is the producer of my new album and “Interstate” is another one of those life on the road songs I'm so partial to.

  • Jimmy Webb - “Galveston”
    I don't know if I need to say anything about “Galveston” and Jimmy Webb but the song usually makes me cry and I don't know why.

  • The Rolling Stones - “Moonlight Mile”
    I am currently re-listening to all of the Rolling Stones albums and working on collecting all of their re-releases.

  • Dolly Parton - “Down From Dover”

  • Emmylou Harris - “If You Were A Bluebird”

  • Shirley Horn - “If You Go Away”
    Like most of the tunes on my playlist, I always carry with me a CD by Dolly, Emmylou and Shirley Horn. These three tunes always stay at the top of my list. Dolly wrote “Down From Dover” and Emmylou and Shirley's interpretations of “If You Were A Bluebird” and “If You Go Away” are near perfect.

  • Marc Ribot - “Sous Le Ciel De Paris”
    I like so much of Marc Ribot's work, and “Sous Le Ciel De Paris” is what I call a landscape tune.

  • Glenn Gould - The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981): A State Of Wonder
    I always carry some classical music on the road. In honor of my new piano CD, I'm listening to Glenn Gould's brilliant A State of Wonder. This is a set of Bach's Goldberg Variations containing Gould's 1955 recording and the later 1981 interpretation. Really almost beyond words.

Artist Spotlights

Listen to Whispertown’s Parallel on Rdio

Whisper

Whispertown is the indie folk project of Los Angeles’ Morgan Nagler and a rotating cast of her friends. Formerly dubbed The Whispertown 2000, Nagler perfected her indie folk sound on tours with The Breeders, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, and She & Him, among others. Her full-length discography includes was 2008’s Swim, and Parallel, which updated her sound with touches of Postal Service-style electronica.

Parallel is now available on Rdio, courtesy of Gillian Welch’s record label, Acony. Listen to Parallel now, and catch Whispertown on their current tour with Margo & The Nuclear So and So’s.

∞  April 16, 2012 — 10:00AM

Artist SpotlightsMusic

Listen to Beirut Member Bright Moments’ Debut Album and Playlist

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You may not know it, but you’ve already heard the music of Kelly Pratt, aka Bright Moments. Not only is the Kentucky native an active member of Beirut, but he’s also made musical contributions to bands like Coldplay, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, the Maccabees, Harlem Shakes, and Alexi Murdoch.

This week, Pratt releases his debut album under the Bright Moments moniker. Natives was recorded over many years, and features a multitude of influences from many genres, all of which Pratt picked during his years as a musician.

Want to know what kind of music makes Pratt tick? Listen to Natives and the Bright Moments-curated playlist while reading his Playlist Notes below for a good idea.

Playlist Notes

  • Roland Kirk Quartet - “Serenade To A Cuckoo”
    The name of my band Bright Moments comes from the album of the same name by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He was one of jazz's most melodic improvisers and and an outrageous showman to boot.

  • Wu-Tang Clan - “Shame On A N*gga”
    I have probably listened to Enter The Wu-Tang more than any other album. This track features ODB (RIP) at his finest.

  • The Blow - “True Affection”
    So simple, and so gratifying. It's refreshing to hear a truly gifted singer who doesn't overdo it with the reverb.

  • Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane - "Nutty"
    Although short lived, the Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane yielded some very rich results. Coltrane thrived in this heady setting, developing his "sheets of sound" improvising style he would employ for several years to come.

  • Dolly Parton - “Little Sparrow”
    I had the great pleasure to see Dolly live last year and this song brought my friends and me to tears. Her voice has not faded a bit in the last 40 years.

  • Portishead - “Machine Gun”
    I saw Portishead over the summer and was blown away by their live performance. Beth Gibbons' vocals somehow managed to sound even better live than on record.

  • Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
    I'm a sucker for solo saxophone recordings (really!). Colin has managed to redefine how the instrument is played and recorded.

  • The Luyas - “Canary”
    Probably my favorite album of 2011. The Luyas have such a unique sound, anchored by Jessie Stein's ethereal vocals. And there's French horn!

  • Shafiq - “No Moor”
    A profoundly weird song that will stick in your head for weeks. It's a shame this record didn't make more of a splash.

  • Jay Reatard - “My Shadow”
    Punk rock lost a great songwriter with Jay Reatard's untimely death in 2010. Fortunately he left us a huge body of recorded work.

  • J.D. Crowe & The New South - “Old Home Place”
    Bluegrass giant Crowe is from my hometown of Lexington, KY. Don't let the bright tempo fool you, this is as tragic a song as you will ever hear.