Label Spotlights

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Label SpotlightsMusic

Now on Rdio: CD Baby

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We're excited to announce the addition of CD Baby's catalog of millions of tracks to Rdio's ever-growing library. Since 1998, CD Baby has provided a platform for artists to get their music directly to fans, and has become the world’s largest online distributor of independent music.

CD Baby’s partnership with Rdio means it's easier than ever for independent artists around the world to get their music on Rdio — find out how by visiting CD Baby now.

Artists as diverse as tuneful pop chanteuse Ingrid Michaelson, indie troubadour Gregory Alan Isakov, and comedy-folk duo Garfunkel and Oates are among CD Baby’s marquee names, and yours could be next.

Label SpotlightsMusic

Now on Rdio: Defected Records

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If you love house music, then Defected Records needs no introduction. For the uninitiated: Defected started in 1999, with the release of Soulsearcher’s “I Can’t Get Enough”. Since then, the label has released hundreds of the best-known house anthems, helping define the genre in the process.

The label is perhaps best known for their Defected in the House compilations, dedicated to clubbing capitals like Miami and Ibiza, but they’ve also released albums and singles by the genre’s biggest names, including Bob Sinclar, Candi Staton, Dennis Ferrer, Martin Solveig, and Gilles Peterson.

The Defected Records catalog is now on Rdio, so you can listen to the biggest and best in house music any time you like. For a taste, try the label’s Bodymusic mix below.

∞  July 5, 2012 — 10:42AM

Label Spotlights

Follow Polyvinyl Records on Rdio

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Polyvinyl Records actually began as Polyvinyl Press, the fanzine project founded in 1994 by Matt Lunsford and Darcie Knight. Reporting on the local Champaign-Urbana scene in Illinois, the two quickly got to know bands in the area, and by 1995, they’d released a seven-inch with the July issue of their fanzine — Polyvinyl Records was born.

Over the next decade and a half, the label thrived because of Lunsford and Knight’s dedication to the local scene, and their fair treatment of the artists on the Polyvinyl roster. They first found major success when one of their original signees, Braid, released the seminal Frame and Canvas. They found consistent success after from the label’s stacked roster of boundary-pushing acts, among them of Montreal, Deerhoof, Architecture in Helsinki, Xiu Xiu, Japandroids, and Joan of Arc.

Follow Polyvinyl Records on Rdio for the latest from their ever-exciting catalog, including Casio Kids and Loney, Dear. For just a sampling of what to expect, listen to the Polyvinyl Jams playlist.

∞  April 6, 2012 — 10:36AM

Label SpotlightsMusic

Follow Influencer Arts & Crafts on Rdio

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Toronto indie label Arts & Crafts was founded in 2002 by former Virgin Records executive Jeff Remedios and Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew. It was meant only as a means for managing the band’s critical breakthrough, You Forgot It in People, but by the time they finished, they realized they had a platform for releasing the music of their friends. By 2005, the label was releasing music by non-BSS-affiliated bands, as well.

Today, Arts & Crafts is one of Canada’s most respected and widely recognized indie labels, responsible for the release of albums by bands such as Feist, Stars, Dan Mangan, Timber Timbre, Los Campesinos, and The Dears. Feist’s The Reminder won the Juno Award for Album of the Year in 2008.

Arts & Crafts is on Rdio, demonstrating taste beyond their own roster of Canadian and international artists. They’re constantly adding new and exciting artists to their collection, including their more recent signees, like Bishop Morocco, The Darcys, and Trust, whose new album TRST is their label debut. Follow Arts & Crafts on Rdio now for their latest Canadian and international additions, and listen to their “New From Arts & Crafts (2012)” playlist below.

Label Spotlights

Listen to Ace Records on Rdio

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It’s arguable that Ace Records technically began in 1971, when Ted Carroll opened the Rock On market stall in London, but it wasn’t until 1975 that they began releasing music as Chiswick Records. The label now known as Ace became a Chiswick Records branch in 1978, and soon after established itself as a home for rock and roll, R&B, blues, and oldies. As the label grew, so did its scope: new genres such as ‘60s soul, jazz, and a host of record imprints like Stax and Westbound gave Ace a formidable reputation.

Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, Ace earned attention for its excellent compilations and box sets, and began to absorb more catalogs. Today, the Ace Records collection contains over 2000 items, including such eclectic and respected artists as The Damned, Millie Jackson, Fatback Band, Sniff ‘n’ The Tears, BB King, John Lee Hooker, and Joe Simon.

Their diverse catalog makes Ace the perfect place to acquaint oneself with the musicians and bands whose contribution to music is criminally under-appreciated by all but the most fastidious music historians. Check out Ace Records on Rdio now, and hear Machine Gun Etiquette by The Damned below.

Label Spotlights

Follow Thrill Jockey Records on Rdio

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Next year, Thrill Jockey Records turns 20. That’s a remarkable achievement for a label that started in founder Bettina Richards’s Manhattan apartment. Three years later, she moved her venture to Chicago, where it has remained since, putting out records that consistently push genre boundaries.

Thrill Jockey is responsible for some of the most beloved indie acts of the last two decades. The label stays relevant by constantly searching for new, engaging indie bands whose dedication to music matches their ability to break the conventions of it. Thrill Jockey’s Rdio profile reflects their awareness of the current music scene — they follow only the finest users, bands, and other publications, and they’re constantly adding new tunes to their already extensive library.

Amongst Thrill Jockey’s own artists are standby acts like jazz-tinged post-rockers Tortoise, expansive indie rock veterans The Sea And Cake, and the ever-changing, eclectic The Fiery Furnaces. On the newer side are acts like neo-New Romantic outfit Future Islands and the psychedelic, tropicalia-steeped High Places.

Don’t forget to follow Thrill Jockey on Rdio and for more artists from the influential label, check out the Thrill Jockey label page.

Label Spotlights

Follow Friendly Fire Recordings on Rdio

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Friendly Fire Recordings is a Brooklyn-based record label founded in 2004 by Dan Koplowitz. The label is the proud home of bands like dream-poppers Asobi Seksu, Swedish collective the Concretes, art-pop quartet Elk City, Canadian electronic outfit Faunts, and New York-based Phenomenal Handclap Band.

On Friendly Fire's label page you’ll find more albums from their own roster, but their Rdio profile reveals the extent of their tastes. They crafted a new playlist for each of the last three months, and are constantly adding new tunes to their already impressive library.

But of course it’s their own artists that matter — Friendly Fires’ next release is the debut album from Finnish-Ethiopian singer-songwriter Mirel Wagner, out March 27th. And following that, watch for a new Faunts EP.

Don’t miss out on Friendly Fire Recordings’ extensive discography and their extraordinary taste in all things music — follow Friendly Fire Recordings on Rdio.

Label Spotlights

Play Light In The Attic Records on Rdio

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Matt Sullivan was on a backpacking trip in Spain when a car crash changed his life forever. A slew of excellent records came tumbling out of the car he hit, and he and its owner (who happened to head Spanish labels Vampi Soul and Munster Records) ended up discussing music. By the end of the afternoon Sullivan had ended his trip, shacked up at the label's home in Madrid, and began absorbing the ins and out of owning a record label.

Upon returning to the US, Sullivan started work on what would become Light in the Attic Records, in his Seattle basement. By 2002 Light in the Attic had secured a reissue deal with jazzy pop quintet The Free Design, and had dedicated itself to putting out great music.

Since then, Light in the Attic has reissued classic music from artists like funk’s First Lady Betty Davis, garage rockers The Monks, blue-eyed soul troupe The Vagrants, and Detroit-born musician Rodriguez. More recent signings like neo-psychedelic group The Black Angels are proof of Light in the Attic’s unwavering commitment to their original promise.

Light in the Attic Records’ perfect balance of undiscovered gems from both the past and future make them a no-brainer when it comes to their status as an Rdio Influencer. The label isn’t about following trends — it’s about starting their own, with bands they think deserve a wider audience. Join that audience now by following Light in the Attic Records on Rdio, and checking out their playlist, Light in the Attic on Rdio.

Light in the Attic’s Top 5 Reissues on Rdio

  • Big Star - Keep an Eye on the Sky
    As the Replacements sang in the song "Alex Chilton", "never go far without a little Big Star." A lavish set for a band that deserves the world.

  • Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
    We're all obsessed with the Velvet Underground box set that came out in 1995. The Velvet Underground & Nico is the second disc in the box. Kinda where it all started.

  • Various Artists - San Francisco Nuggets & Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965 - 1968
    Enough can't be said about the amazing Nuggets box sets. Exhaustively researched and style for days. Though different types of music, they've been huge inspiration for our Wheedle's Groove and Jamaica To Toronto series. Here are two great albums from the Nuggets series.

  • Nick Drake - Digital Box Set
    The man born with "a skin too few" recorded a scant three albums and then took a trip into the great blue yonder. Essential.

  • The Stooges - Raw Power
    The 3CD/DVD/7" set that came out in 2010 is tops. Blown out and the craziest raw energy ever to be captured.

∞  January 4, 2012 — 10:30AM

Label Spotlights

Follow and Listen to Rhino Records on Rdio

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Rhino Records’ humble beginnings as a single record shop in 1973 have been largely obscured by their recording legacy since. The company started distributing records in 1978, specializing in novelty and punk records, before moving into reissuing in the mid-‘80s. By then it had found its niche releasing remastered editions from The Smiths, Joni Mitchell, The Cars, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and other musicians making pop, rock and roll, and R&B records. In-house studio master Bill Inglot’s deft touch made Rhino Records famous for their excellent sound quality.

Today, Rhino and its affiliate label Rhino Atlantic continue releasing exciting new music (such as the latest from The Streets) while ensuring that older gems, such as the Grateful Dead, continue getting their due.

Check out the Rhino label page and follow Rhino Records to ensure you’re getting your daily dose of classic cool.

Label Spotlights

Listen to Smithsonian Folkways on Rdio

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No, it’s not your typical pop music, and you’d be hard pressed to find them on the commercial radio, but the importance and cultural relevance of Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label owned by the Smithsonian Institution, cannot be overstated. The label, founded in 1948 by Moses Asch, has a simple MO: spread the music that speaks to the power of folk culture, which both illuminates our own heritage and engages us in the culture of others.

Smithsonian Folkways’ commitment to bringing historically and socially relevant music to the attention of wider audiences has rightly made them an influencer and a musical institution. Their attention to detail, which includes writing extensive and in-depth reviews for almost all of their releases, and making plenty of exciting, cultural- and genre-based playlists such as “Throat Singing”, “Boogie Woogie Piano”, “Radio Haiti”, and “Radio Africa”, makes following Smithsonian Folkways on Rdio an easy decision.

Don’t take our word for it though — straight from the folks at Smithsonian Folkways, below are their suggested “Five Essential Smithsonian Folkways Listens,” including commentary.


Five Essential Smithsonian Folkways Listens

  • Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly - Folkways: The Original Vision
    A list of music from nearly 3,000 Smithsonian Folkways albums would need to start with Woody Guthrie and Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, two singer-songwriters who are arguably the most impactful American folk musicians of the last 75 years. This album was one of the first releases by Smithsonian Folkways after the Smithsonian Institution acquired the Folkways Records collection in 1987. A companion to this album is Folkways: A Vision Shared, which features the same songs performed by other artists including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Willie Nelson, and helped raise funds for the launch of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

  • Various Artists - Classic Folk Music from Smithsonian Folkways
    We often take for granted the influence of artists such as Doc Watson, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete, Mike and Peggy Seeger, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee, Elizabeth Cotten, and other folk musicians. This compilation, one of the numerous albums in the “Classic Series from Smithsonian Folkways,” sheds new light on the success of the urban intellectual-driven movement that made rural white and African-American artists and their music favorites everywhere.

  • Elizabeth Mitchell - You Are My Little Bird
    Quality family music that doesn’t “talk down” to children has been essential to the Smithsonian Folkways mission. An excellent recent example is You Are My Little Bird, the 2006 recording from Elizabeth Mitchell that brings a fresh sound to cherished American folk songs, contemporary covers, and other melodies from around the world.

  • Various Artists - ¡Cimarrón! Joropo Music from the Plains of Colombia
    Smithsonian Folkways has one of the largest and most diverse collections of music, spoken word and sounds from around the world. The “Tradiciones Series” features 33 recordings that showcase the diverse musical heritage of the more than 50 million Latinos living in the United States. A recent stellar example is ¡Cimarrón! Joropo Music from the Plains of Colombia, which features percussive strings, dynamic vocal expression, and a full-throttle pace that makes Joropo one of the most exciting regional musics of Latin America.

  • Babatunde Olatunji - Drums of Passion: The Invocation
    Smithsonian Folkways not only produces new recordings, but it also accepts donations of other independent record labels or collections, such as Monitor, Fast Folk, and Cook Records, which would not otherwise be made available to the public. A recent acquisition is The Mickey Hart Collection, 25 albums of music the Grateful Dead percussionist performed, recorded or co-produced, that furthers his endeavor to cross borders and expand musical horizons. Drums of Passion: The Invocation is one of two albums by Nigerian artist Babatunde Olatunji in the series.