Artist SpotlightsMusic

5 Questions with Cliff Martinez, Composer of "The Knick"

Film composer Cliff Martinez may have begun his career as the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but in the past two decades, he has emerged as one of Hollywood's most prolific film composers. A long-time relationship with the director Steven Soderbergh has led him to collaborate on over a dozen projects from Sex, Lies & Videotape to Solaris and Contagion. Recent acclaimed work includes his score for Spring Breakers and Drive. Out today is his latest project for Soderbergh's new medical drama, The Knick, currently on Cinemax.

1. When you think of a TV show set in turn of the 20th century New York, you don’t normally imagine a very modern score full of haunting synths. What made you choose this sound?

The choice to go modern was Steven’s idea. Many of the ideas for sounds came from Steven’s temp score, which included Contagion, Spring Breakers and Only God Forgives.

2. You began your career as a drummer (for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) before you became a composer. Do you think first and foremost in beats and rhythm? Or has that changed over time?

Sometimes, yes. Tempo is one of the first parameters I try to figure out before any actual writing begins. If rhythm or beats feel like they will be dominant elements in a scene, then I will often start with that.

3. Do you imagine the sound of it evolving as the show transpires? What new sound elements would you like to add?

I can’t say for sure until I see it. I can imagine another minimal electronic score but perhaps with a hint of the diverse ethnicity that was transforming New York in 1900.

4. You’ve worked with Steven Soderbergh almost a dozen times over many decades. What have been your favorite musical moments together?

One that comes to mind is Kafka. I went to Prague to watch the film being shot. Steven introduced me to a Czech bar band (that is featured in the film) and we both fell in love with an exotic East European folk instrument called the cimbalom. We both knew that that would be the dominant instrument to be used in the score.

5. The Knick has already been picked up for a 2nd season. Are you going to continue with the project?

I haven’t been asked officially but if I was, yes I would continue with it.

Watch The Knick Fridays at 10pm ET/PT on Cinemax.

∞  August 19, 2014 — 1:05PM

Posted by Rdio at 1:05PM in Artist Spotlights, Music |

New Music Weekly

New Music Weekly - August 19, 2014

A lot of songs are considered for each New Music Weekly playlist, but only the best and most repeat-worthy ones make the cut. This week, we’re digging some pretty unique country releases thanks to a new album from The Voice judge Blake Shelton and an unlikely yet awesome compilation of country artists paying tribute to Motley Crue. We’ve also got pep in our step thanks to the latest full-length from Swedish indie duo JJ and a big single from Netsky featuring Beth Ditto.

Subscribe to the New Music Weekly playlist, which is automatically refreshed every week, and you’ll always be on top of the latest tunes across genres. Hit up the Rdio New Releases page when you’re ready for even more freshly hatched music.

PLAYLIST NOTES

  • Wiz Khalifa - Blacc Hollywood (Deluxe)
    Hot on the heels of the buzzing single “We Dem Boyz,” the rapper’s fifth album features guest appearances from Nicki Minaj and his Taylor Gang brethren Juicy J and Ty Dolla Sign.

  • Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker
    The debut album from a young New Orleans singer-songwriter with an old soul, fresh off a tour with Jack White.

  • Kimbra - The Golden Echo (Deluxe Version)
    The New Zealand singer’s sophomore album, the first since she achieved worldwide success with Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” takes on a more adventurous pop direction.

  • Chase Rice - Ignite The Night
    The North Carolina singer-songwriter’s third album and major label debut is buoyed by the country hit “Ready Set Roll.”

  • The Last Internationale - We Will Reign
    The rebellious New York rock trio featuring Brad Wilk from Rage Against The Machine on drums drops their first album.

  • Various Artists - If I Stay (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    The soundtrack to the gripping adaptation of the Gayle Forman novel stars young actress Chloë Grace Moretz and features acts like Sonic Youth, Beck, Tanlines, Lucius and our favorite fictional band of the summer, Williamette Stone.

∞  August 19, 2014 — 8:49AM

Posted by Rdio at 8:49AM in New Music Weekly |

Exclusives

Happy Birthday Madonna!

It’s safe to say that the topic of women in pop music – if not pop culture – can be broken down into two distinct categories: before Madonna and after Madonna.

Artists from across the spectrum have long cited Madge for her groundbreaking music videos, longevity, for breaking down stereotypes, for shepherding female empowerment and for infusing pop music with some good old fashioned sex…and never being ashamed of it.

Liz Phair: “You know who I think doesn't get enough credit? Madonna for her giant, wide, swath of road she paved for us all after her to travel on, you know? Madonna is the speedboat, and the rest of us are just the Go-Go's on water skis.”

Ariana Grande: "She is strength, she is freedom, she is wisdom beyond anybody's comprehension.”

Paulina Rubio: "I've admired her since I was a little girl and I love her because she is strong, she's a warrior, and she doesn't let anybody tell her what to do and she's an inspiration."

Beyonce: "I felt like I wanted follow in the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire. She showed other women when you get to a point in your career, you don't have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success, you can do it yourself."

Cher: "Actually I think Madge might be one of the most amazing artists I've known. She always saw trends WAY before anyone else, and had great videos."

Mary J. Blige: “I don't think the music business, as far as females, would be anything without Madonna”

Sinéad O'Connor: "I love her, I adore her and I respect her. I pity her for all the analysis she has to put up with.”

Bjork: “She made it look good to control your own life when that was something that was not supposed to be very sexy for a woman. She's one of the few women who has remained true to herself.”

Christina Aguilera: "I do look up to Madonna as a businesswoman. I enjoy looking back at the body of her work and the different changes. I love the fact that she’s been a risk-taker, and pretty fearless in some of her choices.”

Katy Perry: “If I could, I'd have Madonna's career. She is the ultimate in female pop music, and she's like the Energizer bunny.”

And one of Rdio’s Artists To Watch, Sky Ferreira, has said, “She inspires me to be strong, fearless and smart. She’s more than just sexy or someone with good songs; she’s the type of woman I want to be. I want to inspire people the way she has.” Lucky for us, Sky has inspired us with an exclusive playlist of her favorites by The Material Girl, right on time for the Queen Of Pop’s birthday.

And since it’s birthday cake time, we compiled a 56-song playlist of Madonna songs you might not have heard; one for every year of her life. Happy Birthday!

∞  August 16, 2014 — 9:28AM

Posted by Rdio at 9:28AM in Exclusives |

Developer App

Experience Rdio on U Browser

Ubrowser
We're excited to announce that Rdio is now available on U, an innovative new browser that lets you control your music while you check your email, chat with friends or read the news. With Rdio’s app on U, you can pull up your favorite music and take it with you while you keep browsing. Volume control, album artwork, and play/pause/skip buttons are always right where you want them. It's being called CrossOver™ browsing, and once you experience it you’ll never look back. U is available for download now.

∞  August 14, 2014 — 4:15PM

Posted by Rdio at 4:15PM in Developer App |

New Music Weekly

New Music Weekly - August 12, 2014

Subscribe to the New Music Weekly playlist to receive a new hand-picked set every seven days. This week, we’re dancing to the digital debut of Benny Benassi featuring John Legend, taking in the sophomore album by British singer-songwriter Alex Clare and the first EP by Southern country singer Sam Hunt and trying to play it cool and not like we have the new Ryan Adams song on repeat. You can read about more highlights from this week’s set in the Playlist Notes below and click over to the Rdio New Releases page to do more browsing.

PLAYLIST NOTES

  • FKA twigs - LP1
    A British singer also known for her extensive experience as a dancer is about to leap out in a big way with this boundary-pushing debut album.

  • The Gaslight Anthem - Get Hurt (Deluxe)
    The New Jersey rockers take a departure from their homegrown sound with an album overtly inspired by Pearl Jam and Northwest grunge.

  • Porter Robinson - Worlds
    One of American EDM’s brightest young stars unveils his long-awaited debut album, featuring guest appearances by indie pop acts Urban Cone and Imaginary Cities.

  • Tank - Stronger
    R&B’s rugged ladies’ man drops a sixth solo album following his TGT collaboration with Tyrese and Ginuwine.

  • Dilated Peoples - Directors of Photography (Deluxe)
    Also on a sixth album is LA’s renowned hip-hop trio, back for the first time in eight years with heavyweight production from DJ Premier, 9th Wonder and Alchemist.

  • Kenny Chesney - Flora-Bama
    The country crooner’s latest single is a tribute to his August beach concert Flora-Bama-Jama.

∞  August 12, 2014 — 9:09AM

Posted by Rdio at 9:09AM in New Music Weekly |

New Music Weekly

New Music Weekly - August 5, 2014

This week’s New Music Weekly playlist is a super lively one, and we’ve been practicing our dance moves with the help of the Step Up: All In Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and some hip-shaking retro tunes from Elvis Presley. We have also been getting loud with the latest long player from Florida rockers New Found Glory, basking in the cool weirdness from UK singer FKA twigs and taking in the soothing tones of a new single from “Same Love” singer Mary Lambert. For more on the best tunes of the week, press play and check out the Playlist Notes below.

PLAYLIST NOTES

  • Spoon - They Want My Soul
    The indie rockers’ eighth album is the first for their new record label Loma Vista Recordings, a bright recharge after taking a few years off that can be heard through the joy of clever lyrics, raw melodies and wonderfully loud walls of sound.

  • Godsmack - 1000hp
    The Seattle metal gods sought an even rawer sound for their first album in four years, created in their brand new recording studio.

  • Nicki Minaj - “Anaconda”
    A sassy single freaked over samples from Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” provides a taste of Nicki’s next album The Pink Print.

  • Twin Peaks - Wild Onion
    The Chicago act’s second album bears audible influence from big name legends like the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Beach Boys.

  • Arkells - High Noon
    The multiple Juno Award-winning rockers deliver power pop choruses and big room sounds on their third album.

Subscribe to the New Music Weekly playlist so that you’ll never miss a new one! And don’t forget that the Rdio New Releases page is your gateway to the full kingdom of fresh offerings.

∞  August 5, 2014 — 9:21AM

Posted by Rdio at 9:21AM in New Music Weekly |

Exclusives

Exclusive: Merge Picks a Quarter Century of Essential Songs

The mighty Merge Records turns 25 this year, and hot on the heels of the label’s anniversary festival, they’ve created an exclusive playlist of their must-hear songs just for Rdio listeners.

Clocking in at over 400 minutes (!), Merge25: The Essentials spans the label’s history, which grew from a tiny indie label pressing up 7-inch records in 1989 to the internationally respected music company it is today. The playlist brings together more than 100 tracks from key artists like Arcade Fire, Redd Kross, Lou Barlow, Spoon, The Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel and, of course, Superchunk (whose members Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan started the label). You’ll find all you need here to become a Merge expert right away! Follow Merge Records on Rdio for more playlists from the label.

∞  July 30, 2014 — 4:48PM

Posted by Rdio at 4:48PM in Exclusives |

New Music Weekly

New Music Weekly - July 29, 2014

Subscribe to the New Music Weekly playlist and you’ll always know the best highlights of the moment. This week, we’re tasting some Canadian delights, including the debut album from Drake-affiliated singer PARTYNEXTDOOR, previously unheard songs from extinct indie rockers The Unicorns, and an infectious new single from Fences featuring Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. We’re also rocking out to the return of the old school sound from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and reveling in the guilty pleasure of the new pop collabo between Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.

There’s a lot more to hear in this set, so press play and check out the Playlist Notes for more tidbits — including an amazing social media music success story. Want to do your own picking? The Rdio New Releases section gives you the unfiltered access to everything.

PLAYLIST NOTES

  • Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
    The American singer-songwriter worked with fellow recording artist Ryan Adams to produce her first album in six years, the creative result of a difficult period of insomnia that has turned pain into some of her poppiest and happiest sounding work to date.

  • James Brown - Get On Up - The James Brown Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    The soundtrack for the Godfather of Soul’s new biopic features studio and live takes of seminal cuts as well as previously unreleased live recordings.

  • Tweedy - “Fake Fur Coat”
    Fresh off having the song “Summer Noon” in the new movie Boyhood, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and son Spencer tease out another taste of their upcoming fall album.

  • Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty
    The hotly buzzed intergalactic hip-hop duo of Digable Planets’ Ishmael Butler (known as Butterfly in the Nineties) and Tendai Maraire created seven suites of songs on their second album.

  • Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes EP
    A first collection of songs from the 15-year-old Canadian singer who went from posting six-second covers on Vine to a record-breaking debut single (“Life of the Party”) that hit the top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the strength of social media.

∞  July 29, 2014 — 7:12AM

Posted by Rdio at 7:12AM in New Music Weekly |

Influencer Spotlights

Influencer Spotlight: Ethan Hawke Shares His Black Album Playlist from "Boyhood"

Hawke
Richard Linklater’s acclaimed film Boyhood was shot over the course of a dozen years, so you can see actor Ellar Coltrane age from 6 to 18 in a dizzying flash. This is not the only powerful dose of reality in this movie by a long shot, and you’re about to hear one of the most special examples.

In the movie, star Ethan Hawke shares a special playlist called The Black Album with his son (played by Coltrane), a set culling all the best solo tunes from each member of The Beatles. Hawke actually created this playlist for his daughter in real life, modifying it slightly for the film but preserving the same magic of sharing timeless music across generations. As much as we love hearing John, Paul, George and Ringo together, Hawke’s loving collection shows the strength that each musician has as a solo artist.

Follow Boyhood on Rdio for more playlists from this extraordinary cinematic release, including one charting the musical highlights from each year of the film. Boyhood is in theaters now.

∞  July 25, 2014 — 3:25PM

Posted by Rdio at 3:25PM in Influencer Spotlights |

New Music Weekly

New Music Weekly - July 22, 2014

Time is precious, so why not cut to the chase and just hear the best new songs of the week right away? Riders of the fast lane, kindly direct your listening attention to the New Music Weekly playlist, which features the first taste of upcoming albums by Jessie Ware and Weezer, plus the latest party banger from Lil Jon featuring Tyga, a new single from Jason Aldean, and the Record Store Day EP release from The Black Angels; read the Playlist Notes below for some fun facts on some of the biggies.

Listen below and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to automatically get the new playlist every Tuesday. Looking for more, more more? The Rdio New Releases page houses all the latest offerings unfiltered for your limitless exploration.

PLAYLIST NOTES

  • Alvvays - Alvvays
    The Toronto-based quartet pronounced always emerges with a debut album of timeless, sun-soaked indie pop that’s been compared to California act Best Coast despite its Canadian origin.

  • Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again
    Southern California-reared pop punk specialists join Epitaph Records (home of Rancid, Weezer and Social Distortion) for their third album, which at 19 minutes is the band’s longest release to date.

  • 5 Seconds of Summer - 5 Seconds of Summer (Deluxe Edition)
    The Aussie YouTube stars known for their pop cover tunes finally emerge with a debut album of original songs.

  • Banks - “Beggin for Thread”
    A haunting new single from the Los Angeles singer-songwriter born Jillian Banks and one of Rdio's 2014 Artists To Watch is a preview from her forthcoming debut album Goddess, which is expected in September.

  • The Raveonettes - Pe’ahi
    The Danish indie rock duo of Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner name their seventh album after a Hawaiian surf spot.

∞  July 22, 2014 — 8:51AM

Posted by Rdio at 8:51AM in New Music Weekly |