Influencer Spotlights

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Influencer Spotlights

Influencer Spotlight: Pitchfork

Pitchfork

Tony Montana’s pitchfork-shaped tattoo in the classic film Scarface provided the inspiration for the name of this 17-year-old Chicago-based website. And like Montana, Pitchfork has developed an almost fearsome reputation, but for its honest criticism of songs and albums across a span of adventurous musical genres. If you want real-deal honest and thorough opinions about the latest indie rock or electronic effort, there are few that are more respected than those that belong to Pitchfork.

Since launching right after high school, publisher Ryan Schreiber has grown the site and Pitchfork Media into a trusted lifestyle brand with ventures both on and offline. The annual Pitchfork Music Festival, now a three-day affair, sells out months in advance and draws thousands to Chicago, with a winter sister event held in Paris each year.

Follow Pitchfork on Rdio to sneak a peek of the site’s favorite singles from the past decade. There, you’ll also find quirky playlists, like an R&B-inspired “Do you like hugs?” mix which you can play below. Pitchfork is more than just a site that skewers — it’s a collective of true music fans, too.

Influencer Spotlights

Rdio Influencer: Follow Soundway Records

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If you’ve ever had your mind blown by a Soundway Records release, you know just how founder Miles Cleret felt ten years ago in Ghana, when he heard a local DJ spinning African funk, soul and blues. He was inspired to start Soundway, and since then, the label has released albums and compilations featuring genres from all over the world: afro-beat, funk, highlife, ethio-jazz, molam, calypso, cumbia, champeta, biguine, and latin-jazz.

The label has traditionally been known as the go-to for reissues of out-of-print albums that, in some cases, were never released outside of their native countries, and has focused on modern DJ culture and dance-music. 2012 finds Soundway in a new frame of mind, shifting from exclusively reissuing albums of the past to pushing music into the future. New albums like Ondatropica, on which modern DJ Quantic and veteran Colombian musician Mario Galeano collaborated, demonstrate the kind of forward-thinking releases that the label is pursuing this year.

Be sure to follow Soundway Records on Rdio to hear all of the label’s recent and forthcoming releases, including those by Batida, Edzayawa, and KonKoma, the latter of which can be heard below.

Influencer SpotlightsMusic

A Playlist of Awesome: Of Montreal for Bespoke Post

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Every month, men’s gift subscription website Bespoke Post sends their subscribers a “Box of Awesome,” filled with “everything a gentleman needs.” It got us thinking — Why not a “Playlist of Awesome,” too?

With that in mind, Rdio and Bespoke Post have teamed up release a monthly playlist curated by Rdio Influencers. This month’s playlist was concocted by psychedelic glam-pop outfit of Montreal, and can be found below.

For more monthly playlists, Follow Bespoke Post on Rdio, and grab a “Box of Awesome” of you own while you’re at it.

∞  June 11, 2012 — 10:36AM

EventsInfluencer Spotlights

Festival Watch: Get Ready for the 2012 Bonnaroo Festival

Bonnaroo

One of the United States’ biggest annual musical events is the Bonnaroo Festival. Every year, thousands of fans pack the farmlands of Manchester, Tennessee for four sweaty days to see some of music’s brightest stars.

This year, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, Skrillex, Alabama Shakes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Roots, Phish, Bon Iver, and tons more will entertain fans from June 7-10. The festival is an Influecner on Rdio, too, and naturally, they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what fans of all musical genres are playing. Follow Bonnaroo on Rdio and check out the Bonnaroo 2012 playlist, featuring songs from some of the fest’s best performers, below.

∞  June 6, 2012 — 11:00AM

Influencer Spotlights

Follow Modular People on Rdio

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Quick, name a few of Australia’s most critically-acclaimed, unique bands and artists from the last decade or so: Did The Avalanches, Wolfmother, Cut Copy, Tame Impala, The Presets, or Ladyhawke come to mind? Thank Modular Records.

The Australian independent label responsible for bringing us such remarkable and unique talent began in 1998, just “a few hours before the first release was due to go to press,” according to the label’s founder, Steve Pavlovic. More than a decade later, the label’s sophisticated taste in new music, especially in electronic and dance, made it a tastemaker in modern music. A look at some of the label’s other acts — Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Chromeo, The Rapture, and Robyn for example — conveys the label’s panache and style.

The label falls under the Modular People umbrella, which is responsible for Modular Touring, The Modular Agency, Modular Ideas, as well. Their Rdio profile is one worth following, especially if you’re a fan of unique dance and electronic artists.

Want more good music from Modular as they continue into the future? Listen to their playlist below and follow Modular on Rdio.

While you're at it, make sure to explore the Rdio accounts of these Modular bands for more great music:

Influencer Spotlights

Doing Music and Travel Right: Tablet Hotels

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“Hotels? What’s cool about hotels?” Not much, unless you’re the folks at Tablet Hotels. Since 2000, founders Laurent Vernhes and Michael Davis and the rest of their ultra-savvy arbiters of lodging have done the heavy lifting for the restless traveler: they send anonymous members of their review committee, “many of whom have travel industry, architecture or design backgrounds,” to rate hotels, and then report back to decide whether or not they pass muster. Hotels must be subjected to a rigorous reviewing process before being admitted, and guest reviews of the over 2000 hotels worldwide ensure that only the best stay featured on the Tablet website.

The Tablet team’s high hotel standards standards apply to music as well, making them clear influencers in both spheres. They’re tuned into what’s unique and interesting, and their travel-friendly playlists feature music from some of the most cutting-edge, critic-approved artists out there.

Follow Tablet on Rdio to ensure that wherever you’re traveling to, you’ve got the right tunes to fit your destination.

Influencer Spotlights

Five Questions with Scott Ellis, Drummer for She Wants Revenge

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Scott Ellis wears a lot of hats in the music world. Not only is he a touring drummer par excellence, he’s also the manager of Pearl Group Entertainment, where he manages bands in Santa Monica, California. A musician for over 15 years, first finding success with bands such as The Start, Man Will Surrender, Human Waste Project, Motochrist, Campfire Girls, Mellowdrone, and most recently with style-shifting rock duo She Wants Revenge.

Over that time he’s absorbed a multitude of influences from a variety of genres, and his Rdio profile shows it — his top artists include L.A. rapper Game, croon-poppers Maroon 5, campy punk troupe The Misfits, and neo-Americana rockers My Morning Jacket, just to name a few. Ellis grew up listening to punk rock and the music of the ‘80s, but his taste has broadened a lot in the past decade, when he started embracing music beyond the genres in which he typically played. Check out Scott Ellis’ Vibes playlist below, then read our Five Questions with him.

Five Questions with Scott Ellis

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Scott Ellis: Good question. In my opinion, some of the best are the musicians the general public doesn’t know of. To the musicians, my answer will be somewhat generic but as far as “Never heard of before”, I’d go with Billy Preston. Some say he was the fifth Beatle, though I disagree since he was more involved at the end of their career. Either way, he was very important and somewhat the glue to the creation of Let It Be, which is a beautiful record.
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    SE: The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta. That one never gets old.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    SE: Oh man. I grew up on a lot of ’80s punk (mostly British), rock (Zeppelin & Sabbath), and another style they called New Romantic or New Romanticism. Now they just file that under “alternative”. Basically New Romantic was music with synthesizers and dance beats. So I’ll say I associate with Duran Duran because I would run around Huntington Beach with liberty spiked hair, eye liner, painted leather jacket, boots, etc; trying to be the king of punk but I’d come home and pull Duran Duran’s “Rio” 7" out from under my bed and listen to it in private. I may have even danced around my room a little.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    SE: It’s hard for me to speak for others, but I hope people feel something when they listen to records I’ve played on or music in general. I think this is what music is supposed to do. It should be emotional. It should bring up feelings of happiness, love, pain, rage, etc.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    SE: It’s hard for me to answer this one because I’m always a hired musician and can’t speak for others. I know I was happy Justin and Adam asked me to play on this latest She Wants Revenge record as I had just broken my collarbone in a bicycle accident and figured I’d miss out. Justin called me over to track for a few days and I did most the beats with one arm. I only used the hurt side when I had to do a fill. Quite an experience!
Influencer Spotlights

Influencer Spotlight: Courtney E. Smith

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Music geekery is for everybody, but a glance at the history of the music industry shows that it’s often been defined from a male viewpoint. In her first novel, Record Collecting for Girls, Courtney E. Smith smartly chronicles her lifelong obsession with music from a female perspective.

Record Collecting for Girls is now available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Smith has constructed a living soundtrack to it on Rdio. Her playlists are suitably named after the chapters on which they’re based: “Top Five Lists” is from the first chapter, wherein she lists her top five artists of all time. Other chapter-playlists include “Making Out with Romeo and Juliet”, “Are We Breaking Up?”, “Rock ‘N Roll Consorts”, and “The Smiths Syndrome”. There are over a dozen playlists to explore — follow Courtney E. Smith for more.

∞  October 7, 2011 — 10:00AM

Influencer Spotlights

Influencer Spotlight: Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears

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Arizona-born, New York-based singer Jake Shears isn’t just the lead singer of Grammy-nominated glam-pop troupe Scissor Sisters. He’s also an outspoken gay rights activist (Scissor Sisters themselves are GLAAD Award recipients) and a prolific songwriter for artists including Kylie MinogueAndy Bell, and Tiga, with whom he collaborated on songs such as “You Gonna Want Me” and “What You Need”.

Follow him on Rdio for a fascinating new treasure trove of music, including the latest from UK IDM troupe Ladytron, chillwave pioneer Washed Out, post-dubstep songwriter SBTRKT, lo-fi experimentalist John Maus, and ’80s-inspired dance duo Ford & Lopatin.

Also check out his playlists, each carefully themed and crafted over time. His new fall playlist includes artists such as Spank Rock, Justice, the Drums, and tUnE-yArDs — see “Autumn Changes... Fall Jams 2011”below.

Influencer Spotlights

Influencer Spotlight: Brett Gurewitz

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If you're a music fan but are unfamiliar with his name, you’ve certainly felt Brett Gurewitz's influence at some point in your musical life. In addition to co-founding influential punk band Bad Religion, Gurewitz also founded well-loved independent label Epitaph Records, parent of fellow taste-making labels ANTI-, Fat Possum Records, Burning Heart Records, Hellcat Records and Heart & Skull Records. Epitaph alone released some of the last decade’s best punk and hardcore albums by Bad Religion, Converge, Pennywise, Every Time I Die and Thursday.

Gurewitz’s extensive-yet-discerning Rdio collection demonstrates his excellent taste, which boasts a smorgasbord of veterans to bolster his array of modern classics, many of which come from Epitaph's sub-labels. Follow Brett Gurewitz on Rdio to ensure that you’re current with all the latest cutting edge music, and who knows? It may just lead you to some gems you might have missed. Among Gurewitz’s most-played artists are micro-sampling DJ Gold Panda, dreamy folksters Fleet Foxes, and punk vets Ramones.

If you're looking for a taste of Gurewitz’s punk rock roots, check out his ”Just The Hits” playlist, which collects Black Flag, The Sex Pistols, Descendents, The Clash, and many more of the most influential punk bands to ever make music.

 

∞  August 29, 2011 — 12:01PM