455 posts


The Fall and Rise of Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me Film Opens Today

Big Star

The greatest band of the ‘70s may be one you’ve never heard of. Find out about the tragedy and legend of Memphis band, Big Star, in the new documentary, Nothing Can Hurt Me. The film trains a lens on Big Star’s baffling commercial failure, unraveling of lead singer/guitarist, Alex Chilton, and sudden death of singer/songwriter Chris Bell. The band’s debut album, satirically titled #1 Record includes “In the Streets” later used for the popular TV show That ‘70s Show intro song and “Thirteen”, one of the most beautiful young love sonnets that’s been covered by a slew of artists including Elliott Smith, Wilco, Kathryn Williams, and Garbage.

What should have been a skyrocketing-to-fame debut of Big Star fizzled out quickly as distribution problems made it hard for anyone to find a copy of the album. The quartet’s next record, Radio City met the same sales disappointment. By the time Chilton recorded Third/Sister Lovers the Big Star sound had unwoven from Beatles-esque power pop into a haunting and open wound of a record.

The film, Nothing Can Hurt Me takes an unfiltered look at Chilton’s fall from the spotlight and the subsequent creation of a painfully honest album that foreshadowed the alternative rock of the ‘80s and ‘90s. It wasn’t until REM, The Bangles, Elliott Smith, Raconteurs, and others cited their inspiration from Big Star that their albums were salvaged from anonymity and recognized as pure vinyl gold. All three LPs now live on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Nothing Can Hurt Me premiers today in select theaters.

As a tribute to the new film and our love for Big Star we’ve put together 13 Going on 13: A Big Star Tribute featuring a few of their seminal songs covered by some all-time great artists. You can also check out the soundtrack for the film with previously unreleased tracks.

∞  July 3, 2013 — 3:00PM


Deftones and ISIS Create New Supergroup Palms, and This Playlist


Palms is the new heavy rock supergroup featuring members of Deftones and ISIS. The band, which just stepped out with a self-titled debut album last week, looks to unexpected places for inspiration, as seen with this new playlist thoughtfully assembled for Rdio listeners by Palms keyboardist Cliff Meyer. The two-hour set is highlighted by the classic rock of Pink Floyd, Wu-Tang rapper Ghostface Killah, and German techno minimalists Basic Channel, but there’s much more. Turn it up until you can feel it.

∞  July 2, 2013 — 4:00PM


Keep Cool With the Soundtrack to Your Summer

We’ve eliminated all worries about what you should play for your July 4th BBQ with this feel-good playlist — the Soundtrack to Your Summer is all the songs you’ll know by heart come September. In the process of grooving through this 75-minute set, you’ll be able to confidently debate which song will emerge as the song of the season. Will it be “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus, or something hotter? Listen and decide for yourself.

∞  July 2, 2013 — 1:00PM


Songs For Thought: A Playlist From Brandon Boyd

Brandon Boyd

We’ve got a new playlist from siren singer Brandon Boyd, the frontman to Incubus. Many of these crazy genus tracks kept Brandon company during the making of his second solo album, Compass EP, under his moniker, Sons of the Sea. His picks span alt rock, atmospheric flamenco, and genre-bending artists that mirror the constant evolution and experimentation of Brandon’s own music. Each song follows an introspective and inventive theme that feels like easing into a hot spring below a firework show (far enough away from sparks but close enough for childlike wonder). Take a listen below.

∞  June 28, 2013 — 9:00AM


Follow the Yellow Brick Road: The Classic Sound of Pride

Classic Sound of Gay Pride

Listen up, young'uns! While you’re celebrating this week’s step forward for marriage equality and getting gussied up for Pride Weekend, don’t forget the LGBTs and allies that paved the yellow brick road behind us. We highlight the musicians and songs that championed same-sex equality with our third Pride focused playlist, The Classic Sound of Gay Pride. At the forefront is Sylvester, known as the Queen of Disco, who was out, proud, and dominating disco when being gay was law-breaking. He’s joined by legends like Queen, Melissa Etheridge, Erasure, Janis Joplin, and George Michael. It’s the biggest reunion of gay icons since Dorothy went over the rainbow so sing along to The Classic Sound of Gay Pride from Rdio.

Don’t miss our other pride playlists, The New Sound of Gay Pride 2013 and The Year in Queer.

∞  June 27, 2013 — 9:00AM


Of Montreal Pick Flirty Favorites For Your Ears

Of Montreal

The members of eccentric rock band of Montreal, a group that actually hails from Athens, Georgia, are fans of clever songwriting regardless of genre and era, and it shows with their thoughtful playlists that they make to share with the Rdio community. They point out wry and often flirtatious tunes about unrequited love on their new throwNbones playlist, which features gems from a motley crew of diverse artists including Billy Ocean, The Cure, Peter Tosh, T. Rex, and The Black Keys.

Follow of Montreal on Rdio to hear the growing collection of their playlists, which also features a tribute to the Beach Boys and shout outs to their favorite rare tracks.

∞  June 24, 2013 — 1:00PM


The Mowgli’s Pick a Playlist That Will Save Your Summer


If you are walking ho-hum down the street and you suddenly break into a skip, there’s a good chance The Mowgli’s are in your headphones. Summer-loving pop has seen a resurgence on the streets of Los Angeles, and The Mowgli’s are taking that positivity across the country. Their new album, Waiting for the Dawn, just dropped this week with a tour spanning the US, including Lollapalooza in August.

When we asked the band for their favorite songs to unwind to during their days off, we got a smattering of indie folk, soulful pop, and tried and true road trip anthems. Every track fits with the band’s passion for motivating and heart expanding music. So get skippin’ to their Time Off playlist now.

∞  June 21, 2013 — 9:00AM


The Year in Queer

Year In Queer

Hot on the drag-queen-heels of last week’s New Sound of Gay Pride playlist, we’re rolling out the biggest gay moments of the year in our Year In Queer playlist. Voices from rap to country join with LGBT legends to bring gay life in front of the mic in 2013: Frank Ocean and Jenny Owen Youngs come out, equality ballads hit the charts, TIME’s cover goes gay, and Madonna gets booted from Russia for touting gay rights. While there’s not room for every song, we hope this shoutout highlights a truly unprecedented year in queer. Share this playlist to get the word out and Happy Pride from Rdio!

  • Frank Ocean comes out on Tumblr in poetic fashion: “Most of the day I’d see him and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence…until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him.”

  • Macklemore pairs up with out singer Mary Lambert to make “Same Love,” a marriage equality video for same-sex marriages in Washington that immediately goes viral. fun. founds The Ally Coalition to fight anti-gay bullying.

  • Lesbian twins Tegan and Sara hit it big this year with Heartthrob.

  • Sara Bareilles, inspired by her friend’s struggle, urge those coming out to be “Brave”.

  • Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane Grace announces she is transgender.

  • Alt-Country singer Kacey Musgraves tells fans to “Love who you love 'cause you just get so many trips 'round the sun” in “Follow Your Arrow”.

  • Folk singer Jenny Owen Youngs comes out on the blog Everyone is Gay: “I think it is damaging and isolating for young people to look out into the world and not see a representation of their experience. To encounter others who are like you is to know that you are not alone.”

  • Country artist Chely Wright and her wife, LGBT advocate Lauren Blitzer, give birth to twin boys.

  • Elton John and partner David Furnish welcome baby Elijah, the couple’s second son, into the world.

  • Kristen Ellis Henderson of Antigone Rising is on the cover of TIME’s marriage equality issue with her wife Sarah: “I'm kissing my wife on the cover because it's time for every American to have their civil rights. And, let's be honest, I'm kissing my wife on the cover because Portia and Ellen probably weren't available..."

  • During the presidential election, Kelly Clarkson announces that she won’t be voting for Mitt Romney because of his stance against marriage equality.

  • Out artist Adam Lambert hits #1 with his album, Trespassing.

  • Jinkx Monsoon, Seattle’s “premier narcoleptic drag queen”, wins RuPaul’s Drag Race.

  • Gender-bending rapper Mykki Blanco rises to hip hop prominence with the video for “Wavvy”.

  • The Lonely Island, James Franco, and Zach Galifianakis release a satirical mashup of alpha-bro spring break partying and support for marriage equality in their music video for “Spring Break Anthem”.

  • Beyonce comes out in support of marriage equality by Instagramming a handwritten message: “If you like it, you should be able to put a ring on it. #WeWillUnite4MarriageEquality!”

  • Prominent artists oppose the Boy Scouts of America’s leadership for their anti-gay policies including Carly Rae Jepsen, Train, and Madonna.

  • Madonna is also banned from Russia for publicly supporting gay rights on her MDNA world tour in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

∞  June 20, 2013 — 9:07AM


Heat Up With Empire Of The Sun’s Hand-Picked Playlist

Empire Of The Sun

In honor of their brand new album Ice On The Dune, Australian electronic duo Empire Of The Sun has shared this exclusive playlist with you. And as you’ll discover, they’re currently enjoying a wide range of sounds, including gems from classic singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and UK electronic act Plaid to Bjork’s old band The Sugarcubes and even “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Press play for insight into the creative minds behind Empire Of The Sun.

∞  June 19, 2013 — 9:00AM


Pete Yorn and J.D. King of The Olms In Between Sets

The Olms

Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn and guitarist (and commercial illustrator) J.D. King have joined forces as The Olms. In honor of the release of the debut self-titled album, the two artists have joined the Rdio community as fellow music fans. The duo are sharing their House Mix, a playful collection of songs from old-school acts like The Tokens, Fats Domino and The Temptations that are played before and in between their live sets.

Follow The Olms on Rdio to hear what else they’re spinning.

∞  June 14, 2013 — 9:00AM