Coachella 2014!

HAIM-472x472The 15th Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will be held over two consecutive weekends in Indio, CA- the first on April 11-13 and the second on April 18-20. The 2014 line-up includes headlining performances from OutKast, Muse, and Arcade Fire. Coachella 2014 also features some of the best EDM artists around like–The Knife, Zedd, Girl Talk, Skrillex, Pet Shop Boys, Disclosure, Alesso and much much more. Hear all of this year’s Coachella artists in one place- on the Coachella 2014 station on Slacker Radio!

CMA Awards Preview: Country Music’s Biggest Night!

1378839266_stretchCountry music’s biggest night is right around the corner! The CMA Awards (basically the Oscars of country music) will air live from Nashville on Nov. 6. The star-studded show will be co-hosted for the sixth straight year by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and will feature performances by Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Tim McGraw and many more. Listed below are some of our early thoughts about the show. And be sure to listen to New Country on Slacker to hear all of the nominees!

lukebryan2Most Predictable Category: Male Vocalist of the Year. We will be shocked if Luke Bryan doesn’t walk away with this honor for the first time in his career. The Georgia native has dominated the charts in the past year, shattered sales records with his “Crash My Party” album and has sold out show after show on the road. Blake Shelton has had Male Vocalist bragging rights for the past three years in a row and is Luke’s biggest competition, but don’t expect a Shelton fourpeat. Other nominees are all dark horses in the category: Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Keith Urban.

carrie-underwood-2013-cma-music-festival-04Most Unpredictable Category: Album of the Year. All five nominees in this category are equally strong contenders. Sure, some projects sold triple the amount of copies than others, but keep in mind that the CMA Awards are voted on by people who work in the industry, and they always love a critic darling as much as a sales titan. The nominees are Blake Shelton’s “Based on a True Story,” Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” Taylor Swift’s “Red,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” and Little Big Town’s “Tornado.”

Most Unique Performance to Watch: Taylor Swift’s collaboration with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. Sure, they’re all lumped into the country genre together, but let’s face it, Swift’s signature sound is about as similar to Gill and Krauss’ style of music as Lil Wayne is to Little Jimmy Dickens. Still, that’s all the more reason to expect this performance to be spectacular, and most likely more country-friendly than anything Swift has had on the radio this year. Other noteworthy collaborations will include Zac Brown Band with Dave Grohl, and Hunter Hayes with Jason Mraz.

Most Fabulous Fashionista to Watch: Carrie Underwood.  At last year’s CMA Awards, the blond beauty changed clothes 12 times! Expect no less this year, as the night’s hostess is sure to dazzle us with fantastic frocks, flowing locks and a whole lotta leg.

Stagecoach Music Festival Reveals Star-Studded 2014 Lineup

Three guys at the top of their country music game will co-headline the 2014 Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Eric Church lead the names on a long roster of talent for the three day event, set for April 25-27 at the Polo Empire Club.

The full lineup of more than 60 artists includes mainstream country singers along with Americana and Alt-Country acts, plus a few country legends. Eric Church will close Friday’s show, after performances by Loretta Lynn, Brantley Gilbert, Easton Corbin, Jon Pardi, Eric Paslay, Thomas Rhett and more.

Jason Aldean has headlining duties Saturday night, with his opening acts including Ashley Monroe, Crystal Gayle, Danielle Bradbery, Holly Williams, Hunter Hayes, Jennifer Nettles and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, among many others.

Luke Bryan will close the festival Sunday after sets by Asleep at the Wheel, Charlie Worsham, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Lee Brice and more. See a full roster for all three nights here.

Tickets go on sale Oct. 18, with the three-day general admission price set at $249. Get tickets here, and get the party started early by listening to our Stagecoach 2013 station here.

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The Slacker Tour is Heading to Los Angeles for Culture Collide 2013!

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 9.27.07 AMThe days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and that means it’s almost time for FILTER Magazine’s Culture Collide 2013.

The fourth annual Culture Collide Festival returns to Los Angeles this October 10-12, bringing three days of incredible music, art, film and more to Echo Park. As one of the most buzzed about festivals of the fall season, Culture Collide will welcome performances by some of our favorite international artists – and Slacker will be there to take part in the festivities.

We are gearing up the Slacker Tour truck so make sure to stop by! The truck will be in the parking lot of Taix French Restaurant located at 1911 W. Sunset Blvd. 

We will be handing out free 1 month premium memberships to Slacker Radio as well as tons of goodies like bags, t-shirts, and cool SWAG. Plus, high score winners of our High Striker Guitar Game can win one full year of Slacker Premium.

Take a look at the lineup full of more diversity and ear candy than we know what to do with. Prepare your ears with Slacker’s Culture Collide 2013 Station here. 

Download the full schedule for the international event of the year here, which also has the detailed schedule for the 2013 Creative Summit, maps and important info. Click here to purchase tickets. We hope to see you there!

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Tim McGraw Honored for “Highway” Milestone

Less than two dozen artists on the planet can boast 34 No. 1 singles, so there was a big reason for Tim McGraw to celebrate this week in Nashville. Friends and colleagues threw a party for the country superstar in midtown Music City to commemorate his 34th chart-topper, “Highway Don’t Care,” which also features Taylor Swift on vocals and Keith Urban on guitar.

Photo by Rick Diamond- Getty

Photo by Rick Diamond- Getty

“I’m a big fan of Keith’s and big fan of Taylor’s. They’re two of the best artists we have, not just in country but in music in general,” McGraw told Slacker and other partygoers, including Urban himself, who beamed at his friend on stage. “Keith is one of those guys who makes everyone look at us here in Nashville, and I’m so proud to have him represent us. And Taylor is so smart, talented, beautiful, and a spectacular songwriter. It was a big deal to have her on this record, and especially a big deal for my three daughters!”

Plaques commemorating the song’s rise to the top were presented to the singer, his producer Byron Gallimore and the “Highway Don’t Care” songwriters, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Brad Warren and Brett Warren. McGraw showed as much appreciation for the writers as he did his collaborators.

Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore; photo by Thien Phan

Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore; photo by Thien Phan

“There are people at 7-Eleven who can sing better than I can, but there are not a lot of people who can write a great song,” he mused. “This town is full of those people. They’re passionate about what they do and work hard at it. The best (songwriters) in this industry are right here in Nashville.”

McGraw’s wife, Faith Hill, was also at the party, as the couple shared a rare night out together in Nashville. They will resume their series of Soul2Soul shows at Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel and Casino in October. McGraw is also working on a new movie but is keeping mum on details, joking that he’d lose his role if he said anything about it just yet.

Listen to McGraw’s latest No. 1, “Highway Don’t Care,” here.

 

Mumford and Sons, Phoenix Wow the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

This past weekend, August 2-4, some 135,000 people (over the 3 days) flocked to Parc Jean Drapeau on the small Montreal island of Ile St Helene to take part in the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival. The largest of its kind in Canada, Osheaga has solidified its spot as THE festival to attend over the Canadian August long weekend, drawing fans from all across Canada, the US and Europe.

With 5 stages nestled throughout the woods of the park and the cityscape of Montreal as a backdrop, Osheaga is an outdoor concert experience you won’t find anywhere else!

Sharing its lineup with Lollapalooza 2013 in Chicago, Osheaga hosted some of the biggest names in music including Mumford and Sons, Beck, Phoenix, The Lumineers, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Vampire Weekend, The Cure and New Order.

 

Capital Cities kick it off with a bang!

The first band to hit the main stage on Friday afternoon was Capital Cities. What a kick off! Their fun and energetic set had people on their feet from the moment they started right till the end. Playing all their big tracks from their album In A Tidal Wave of Mystery (trumpet player and all!) it was a perfect way to get people in the mood to party!

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

But then the happy vibe quickly ended when Canadian hip-hop artist k-os took the stage 20 minutes late. They were obviously having sound issues because when k-os finally started his set he only played for 2 minutes then said “I can’t do this right now – I can’t hear myself”, and threw his all access pass into the crowd and walked off. Undoubtedly the crowd booed.

The next 3 artists on the main stages – Daughter, Ben Howard and Alt-J – were a bit too chill, especially after Capital Cities.  Two Door Cinema Club stepped out in class with lead singer Alex Trimble sporting a pompadour coif and belting out hits like “Something Good Can Work” and tunes from their latest album Beacons. The crowd was back on their feet and stayed that way through Ellie Goulding and Vampire Weekend.

The best show of the night went to Phoenix. Their catchy and fun melodies perfectly matched their high energy on stage, and that enthusiasm quickly spread like wild fire to the crowd. The epic moment came when lead singer Thomas Mars “fell” into the crowd during their song “1901” and paraded through while being kissed by all those that could reach him. It was awesome to watch.

Photo by Pat Beaudry

Photo by Pat Beaudry

Unfortunately for the Cure, Phoenix was a hard act to follow. Although they played all their hits (well almost, the organizers had to pull the plug on them at 11pm), they just couldn’t get the crowd to that same energy level.

Day 2 – k-os comes back!

I arrived a little later on Day 2 of the festival, missing Grouplove and The Heavy, but heard they played great sets. Canadian twins, Tegan and Sara received a warm welcome and played a nice mix of hits from their latest album Heartthrob and old fan favorites.

Miguel was due to play next at the main stages but cancelled last minute due to a vocal cord injury. Who could they find last minute to fill his spot? How about k-os? He’s gotta work to get paid, right?

Not impressed by his previous day antics, there were a lot of people who decided to skip his show, including myself.

Heading over to the Scene Verte stage in the woods, another set of twins were just getting ready to play, Kim and Kelley Deal of The Breeders. A large crowd of 30 and 40-somethings gathered to relive the mid-90s as the band played their epic album Last Splash from start to finish. Everyone sang along as they rocked through classics like “Cannonball” and “No Aloha”. Pure Awesomeness!

Back to the main stage, the Imagine Dragons performed one of the best shows of the festival.  Energetic, passionate and playful, lead singer Dan Reynolds gave it his all…and the crowd ate it up! Touring on just one album, Night Visions, they were the surprise show of the weekend.

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

After that, the crowd was pumped for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who kept the party going with their party anthems “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us”. For their latest radio hit “Same Love”, they invited Tegan and Sara to sing the chorus, usually performed by Mary Lambert. They only managed to play 8 songs in their hour long set because Macklemore would ramble on before every song, telling stories about his grandmother who once worked at the Montreal General Hospital. It was sweet but annoying after the second story.

The Saturday night closer was Beck, whom the promoters had been trying to get to Montreal for 7 years. Coming out in a cowboy hat and looking like Bob Dylan in his younger days, Beck kicked it off with a funky rendition of “Devil’s Haircut”. Despite the rain, fans held on. A fave moment came when Rishi Dhir of Montreal band Elephant Stone played sitar during “Loser”. Although Beck played nothing from his albums Mutations nor Midnite Vultures, he played several covers including Korgis’ “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”.

Day 3 – Mumford and Sons draw record attendance

Day 3 of the festival was the first day to sell out, and most can assume it was because of Mumford and Sons. The day was quite cool and windy and there was a heavy downpour of rain in the afternoon (which can always ruin a buzz) so the earlier shows such as Little Green Cars, Silversun Pickups, Big Boi, The Lumineers, Father John Misty and Kendrick Lamar lacked luster, compared to the artists of the previous days…or maybe it was just me!

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As the sun (or what there was of it) started to fall, the crowd revved up for 80s/90s legends, New Order. With ¾ of the original band (minus Peter Hook) present, Bernard Sumner belted out classics such as “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “True Faith”, “Blue Monday” and “Temptation” to an adoring crowd…most of who weren’t even born in New Order’s heyday! Their hour and a quarter set closed with a trio of songs from their Joy Division days – “Atmosphere”, “Shadowplay” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – with pictures of singer Ian Curtis splashing on the screen behind them.

Last but not least, the final show of the festival, Mumford and Sons. With stringed lights strewed from the stage to the sound booth, the crowd was on their feet before they even took to the stage. The place was packed, there was barely anyone sitting down. There was no doubt this was a record attendance for Osheaga!

Marcus Mumford and his bandmates took to the stage in blue light and softly harmonized to the beginning of “Lovers’ Eyes”, until the peak of the song when the bright white lights came on and the energy on stage as well as in the crowd was explosive.  “Little Lion Man” followed, everyone in the crowd sang at the top of their lungs. From “I Will Wait” to “Lover of the Light” to an awesome Springsteen cover of “I’m on Fire” to the closer “The Cave”, Mumford and Sons demonstrated they were worthy of being top headliner at this festival.

It was a perfect way to cap off the amazing weekend and put the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in the top ranks of summer music festivals worldwide.

 

 

 

Florida Georgia Line Announces Dates for First Headlining Tour

FGL_Hi-Res_Photo_8.29.12-1024x682It’s been a long time since an act has shot to superstardom as quickly as Florida Georgia Line. The country duo, comprised of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, signed their first major label record deal just one year ago … and what a year it’s been! They have already scored quadruple platinum sales of their debut single, “Cruise,” which stayed at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart for a whopping 19 straight weeks, and their debut album is closing in on platinum sales. That’s on top of ACM and CMT award wins and yet another chart-topper with “Get Your Shine On.”

After opening two of the hottest tours of the year, Taylor Swift’s Red Tour and Luke Bryan’s Dirt Road Diaries trek, the guys’ next road trip will feature their own name at the top of the bill. This fall, Florida Georgia Line will embark on their first headlining run, the Here’s to the Good Times Tour 2013. “This is another dream of ours coming true,” says Kelley. “I couldn’t be more excited and more proud of the tour.”

Kicking off Oct. 3 in Brookings, SD, the trek will hit 32 cities before wrapping up Dec. 14 in Kent, WA. (See below for a full list of cities and dates on the tour.) Colt Ford will open, along with Tyler Farr on select dates and Dallas Smith on alternate dates. The first show to go on sale – the Oct. 19 stop in Lexington, KY – sold out in just 23 minutes.

While we wait for this fall’s high-energy shows, savor the rest of summer with Florida Georgia Line on our Country Summer station. Along with “Cruise,” you’ll find several other songs on the station that are perfect for an August road trip, including Brad Paisley’s “Beat This Summer,” Easton Corbin’s “All Over the Road,” Jake Owen’s “Summer Jam” and more.

Click here for a full list of tour dates and listen to Florida Georgia Line’s hits on Slacker’s New Country First and Country Hits now.

Win a Free Pair of Passes to Loufest!

The Slacker Tour is heading to Loufest next month and now you may have the opportunity to join us! Starting today (8/1) through August 16th, enter Slacker’s sweepstakes for a chance to win a free pair of two day passes to Loufest.

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Click on the picture or here to enter the sweepstakes on Slacker’s Facebook page.

The Killers, Wilco, The National, Robert DeLong, Alabama Shakes and many more will be playing Loufest at the St. Louis Central Fields in Forest Park September 7-8, 2013 and it is set to be a solid weekend of music, art and fantastic food.  The full lineup is available for Friday here and Saturday here. 

Listen to all of this year’s artists at Slacker’s Loufest 2013 station here. We hope to see you there!

 

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