Mat Diablo

Mat Diablo

Mat Bates, or Diablo as he is known, is the Senior Radio Program Manager at Slacker were he oversees the team of curators that create great radio stations for you. You can hear him as a host on Slacker’s festival stations, and as the curator of Indie, Adult Alternative, and the New Music First stations. Mat is always nose deep in music discovery but you may also find him on classic motorcycles or snowboarding the nearest peak.

Slacker’s New Artist of the Week – The Strokes

Strokes Artist of the WeekWelcome back to Slacker’s Artist Of The Week. The Strokes are back in the game with their 5th album- called “Comedown Machine”, and while this record will still appeal to long-time Strokes fans, they are a long way from This Is It- and the band seems fully comfortable with that.

Led by the single All The Time, this album finds the band experimenting with synths, falsettos, and even songs that could only be categorized as easy listening.

The Strokes, consisting of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar, backing vocals), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar, backing vocals), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums, percussion) are one of the many indie-rock bands to hail from the US at the dawn of the 21st century that helped solidify the garage rock revival movement. Their debut album, Is This It, was ranked number 199 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

On this weeks Artist of the Week station you’ll hear The Strokes- old and new- along with tracks from their side projects, collaborations, influences, and contemporaries. The Strokes are Slacker’s Artist Of The Week.

Trinidad James is Slacker’s New Artist of The Week.

This week we would like to introduce you to Atlanta rapper Trinidad James- he is Slacker’s Artist Of The Week. I had the chance to interview Trinidad James at the Grammys this year, and it was there that I realized how truly eccentric and unique he is. Check it out:

 

 

Trinidad James is one of the most charismatic and distinctive new artists in Hip Hop, and this may be due to his background in fashion. Prior to persuing his rap career, he managed a high-end boutique in Atlanta, and he’s got his own line- called “Gold Gang”.

To get an idea of how quickly things happened for Trinidad James: in July of last year, he released his very first mixtape- Don’t Be S.A.F.E. By November, he had a hit with the track “All Gold Everything”, and in January, he signed with Def Jam Records, who re-released his one mixtape as a proper album- that’s how strong his debut tracks are.

Even with so much success so quickly, Trinidad James has a lot of powerful rappers in his corner. In a recent interview, T.I. had this to say about the possibility of James being a one hit wonder-

“When Atlanta first came out, it made a huge impact on the scene, but it was thought to be something that was gonna be fly-by-night — here today gone tomorrow, and we withstood the test of time.” Trinidad is an example of that new generation of what’s next to come, because there’s still a lot of talent out here,” he said. “He’s gonna be one of the ones spearheading the charge to the future.”

On this station, you’ll hear tracks from Don’t Be S.A.F.E.-  “All Gold Everything”, “Females Welcomed”, and “Gold On My Macbook”. You’ll also hear tracks from his extended Atlanta family- artists like T.I., Young Jeezy, and 2 Chainz. You’ll hear his influences- like Jay-Z and Eazy-E, and we will also give you a look at his equally eccentric and creative counterparts in the new Hip-Hop scene, like LA’s Black Hippy crew, New York’s A$AP Mob, and Danny Brown.

 

Artist of the Week’s Florida Georgia Line are Country’s New Stars

Florida Georgia Line - Slacker's Artist of the WeekSlacker’s new Artist of the Week is Florida Georgia Line. The band is composed of two friends that met in college: Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. Brian’s from Florida and Tyler’s from Georgia, hence the name. And when they meet in the middle, they make some of the biggest hits in Country music right now.

Even though they’ve been releasing their own music since 2010, this time last year the band didnt have a record deal and they were touring the country in a used SUV. Their first proper album “Here’s To The Good Times” came out 3 months ago, and they’ve already scored a number 1, Double Platinum song with “Cruise”. They’re also up for the “New Artist Of The Year” and “Vocal Duo of the Year” awards at this year’s Academy of Country Music awards. They’ve spent the last few months touring non-stop, and it was their fans’ response at the live shows that lead them to pick their new single, “Get Your Shine On”.

The band’s rise was so quick that they have the distinction of scoring a spot on both Slacker’s Top 50 Country Songs of 2012 countdown AND our Artists To Watch 2013 station.

The boys make feel-good Country- not unlike Jason Aldean or Eric Church- with an occasional hip hop twist. On their station you’ll hear their hits- like “Cruise”, their influences- like Jimmy Buffett and Garth Brooks- and music from their contemporaries like Jake Owen and Brantley Gilbert.

 

Grammy Winner fun. Debut New Artist of the Week

fun. bandSlacker’s new Artist Of The Week is New York based indie pop group fun.

It’s a bit ironic for the trio to have won the Best New Artist award at this year’s Grammys, as they joked throughout the ceremony, they are not actually “young” any more. In fact, the band is the product of 12 years of work as artists. Nate was in a band from Phoenix called the Format for many years, Jack was in a pop-emo band from New Jersey called Steel Train, and Andrew was in a band from Michigan called Anathallo.

It’s also notable that “Some Nights” is actually their second album, preceded by 2009’s “Aim and Ignite”. After going through the music business ringer, with several label deals and prior band breakups behind them, the members moved to New York City and went back to the drawing board. The result of their creation and collaborating is fun. (fun with a period) – the band that took home 3 Grammys this year, including song of the year in addition to their best new artist nod.

On the origins of fun., Nate told Interview magazine “I had always kept note that those were the two people that if anything ever happened… maybe I could see the writing on the wall, or something like that. As soon as that became a possibility, I just called them up right away. I asked if there was something we can do. Next thing I knew, I found myself in New Jersey a week later.”

Their music has been given the Glee treatment (twice) and their mixture of theatric baroque pop and hip-hop influence has won over fans of musical theater and pop music alike.

We are debuting a new Artist of the Week station here at Slacker. On the station this week, youll hear the band fun., their previous projects like The Format and Steel Train, artists they were influenced by, and hits from their contemporaries.

Slacker’s 2013 Grammy Awards Recap

Slacker Grammy Awards Station 2013For the 4th year in a row, Team Slacker was backstage at the Grammy Awards, getting you closer to the music than anyone. Over the course of the event, I had the chance to interview nominees such as Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, Diplo, and Lecrae. I was also able to interview emerging artists like Trindad James, Kid Ink, and Youngblood Hawke, and more established artists like Incubus, Ryan Tedder, and Chaka Khan.

You can hear these interviews, and music from the winners, on Slacker’s Grammy Awards 2013 station. Plus, to give you a sneak peak, check out what went down and what we found out behind-the-scenes at the Grammy Awards.

 

Neyla from The Lumineers spent last year’s Grammy night waiting tables in Denver. Talk about a big step up! Watch our interview with her here:

Brittany from Alabama Shakes gave us a preview of the tribute to Levon Helm, which was clearly a meaningful experience for her:

Fall Out Boy is back from hiatus with a new album and tour- even though they swore it wasn’t happening. I gave them a hard time about the misinformation. Also, Andy actually talked, which never happens.

In addition to being one of the funniest guys on Twitter, Diplo is always a reliable source of music discovery. He has been on the cutting edge of new music from all genres for many years so I asked him, “Whats next”?

Joey Fatone was there, and I just couldn’t resist asking him about JT and a N*Sync reunion…

Oh yeah, I hung out with Rebecca Black for a minute.

Rebecca Black and Slacker

It was awkward…

The Grammys were a great time as usual. I’ll wait till some other time and tell you what Red Foo from LMFAO did to my leg. Slacker has a ton of events coming up. Festival season is nearly upon us, and our next stop is SXSW in Austin.

Until then, don’t forget to check out our Grammy Awards 2013 station to hear more interviews and discover music by this years Grammy Award Winners.