Slacker Launches the Ultimate 101 Greatest Classic Rock Songs

101 Greatest Classic Rock SongsThere is no doubt about it- At Slacker, we  love making lists.  We have fun making themed mixtapes and we thrive on “Best Ofs.” Most of all, we love picking favorites and taking our listeners on a tour through genres and movements in music that showcase the best as well as introduce the obscure.

Slacker’s new  station, 101 Greatest Classic Rock Songs, is the perfect example of everything we love about making these types of lists. It is not your ordinary list (hint “”Stairway to Heaven” is NOT #1). These 101 songs are a  journey through the greatest, the biggest, but also the game-changers – those artists that Classic Rock radio usually ignores but helped define the 70’s and alter the course of rock-n-roll in every decade thereafter. In short, Slacker’s experts have created the ultimate list of the 101 most important Classic Rock songs. Period.

To host the countdown, Slacker has called upon Redbeard, the internationally recognized rock expert and host of the celebrated “In The Studio” radio series and website, to provide his unique insights and exclusive interview highlights from the likes of Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Pete Townshend, and many more.

Describing the list- Redbeard exclaims, “Slacker’s 101 Greatest Classic Rock Songs list is refreshingly bold, entertaining, thought-provoking and historically accurate in its choices by including highly influential songs by the Velvet Underground, The Clash, and the Sex Pistols rightfully alongside the universally popular titans such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the Eagles.”

Redbeard-publicity-photo-280x280Redbeard, a true rock radio guru, has had a career that has spanned over four decades. If the song was made, he has heard it. If there was a concert, he has seen it. His knowledge and expertise of classic rock music goes deeper than most encyclopedias and as a result, his insight into what truly makes a classic rock song worthy of being called “The Greatest” was not necessarily defined by charts or popular sales.

“We need to realize that the rock music pioneers with the creative vision and courage to change the course of popular music over these last fifty years are not necessarily the ones who later popularized and cashed in on it,” Redbeard points out.

“Everybody knows that Elvis Presley was a game-changer, but David Bowie wanted to play saxophone in Little Richard’s band, not Presley’s. Without the Holy Trinity of British hard rock, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, Heavy Metal simply would not exist. Without John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline, and Neil Young’s Harvest, would Country music or Americana sound like this in 2013?”

We couldn’t agree more.

plant-pageAs we explore all of these classic rock tunes, we can’t help but notice that the sound of some of these artists are, more than any other genre of music, known and loved by everyone. Classic rock is one of those genres of music that has stood fast through the decades- and continues to recruit fans both young and old, of all races, genders and demographics. What makes it so universally cherished remains a mystery. But, our host sums it up perfectly:

“To quote what Pete Townshend of The Who told me, ‘This isn’t ‘Art’ with a capital ‘A’, man. This is magic!’

Five Alternative-Indie Artists to Watch in 2013

Indie-alternative rock music is fast-becoming popular on the music scene–even under hipster protest. The historically elusive genre, or rather bucket of genres, just can’t help itself. We blame/thank all the fabulous music festivals, like Coachella, for shedding some light on some undeniably talented indie rock artists. We would be remiss not to thank skinny jeans, facial scruff and bohemian fashion as well.

To keep you in-the-know and musically educated, let’s take a look at some hot alt-indie artists to watch this year

The Lone Bellow

the lone bellowThe Lone Bellow hails from Brooklyn, but they have the heart and soul of a country-made band. They’re a unique trio with an indie-folk sound and a peaceful, earthy essence. They sound as if they’ve been playing together for years, and have a beautiful melodic symmetry. Brought together by academia, bonded through tragedy and solidified through their love of music–we just can’t get enough of this band.

Check out their newly minted self-titled album ‘The Lone Bellow’ for some hauntingly delicious tunes. A few noteworthy songs include “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold,” “Teach me to” and “You Never Need Nobody.”

The Neighbourhood

img-the-neighbourhood_111130656135The Neighbourhood is now under the Columbia Records label. They’re an indie-alt-pop group from Newbury Park, California. Their moody sounds, mechanical drum beats, and retro-swagger have perked our ears and melted our hearts. And it doesn’t hurt that lead singer Jesse Rutherford has a marshmallow-y soft textured voice and the brooding handsomeness of a modern-day James Dean.

We’ve already added their Hallmark-card titled EPs and album to our music repository: ‘I’m Sorry’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘I Love You’. Check out their newest single from ‘I Love You’ “Sweater Weather.”

Alt-J

alt-j-456Alt-J hails from the UK–but have already won critical acclaim internationally. Their sound is eclectic and wholeheartedly unique–a blend of indie-rock, alt-rock, psychedelic, folk and experimental.

When listening to their music, you’re taken on what we can only describe as an unforgettable musical space odyssey. We imagine their soundtrack was playing when Alice fell down the Rabbit Hole into an alternate reality–but we digress.

Check out their most recent album ‘Awesome Wave’ which pulls together seemingly contentious musical categories (indie-rock, trip-hop, electri, synth pop, folk, hip-hop) and pieces them together masterfully. We can’t stop listening to “Breezeblocks” and “Mathilda.”

Gold Fields

Gold+FieldsGold Fields is a breath of fresh air for the indie-pop category. Hailing from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, the group is comprised of five talented members with a singular vision–to entertain the crap out of you. Their music is well-layered with percussion, tribal drums, synth pop beats and textured vocals–and their stage-presence is infectious.

Their newest album ‘Black Sun’ reflects poise and maturity for the young crooners with deeply moving tracks like “Dark Again” that eloquently delves into the world of post-breakup turmoil. Although unique in sound, the band is reminiscent of bands like Friendly Fires and Temper Trap.

 

Atlas Genius

Atlas-Genius_Frank-MaddocksAlso hailing from Australia, Atlas Genius is another hot indie-rock band to watch this year. Recently signed to Warner Bros. Records, the band has already received critical acclaim abroad and beyond. Their 2011 hit “Trojans” propelled them into the spotlight–deservedly.

Their music is the mellow blend of indie-rock and indie-pop that your summer playlist has been waiting for. Although rather new to the music scene, the band already has four singles that are positively infectious–we can’t wait for the full album. Check out their newest single “Back Seat”–on repeat if you’d like.

 

Want more? Make sure to check out Slacker’s New Alternative First where all the brand new music goes as soon as we get it – from emerging artists, seasoned veterans, new releases, and cutting edge music.

Album of the Week: Kenny Chesney’s “Life on a Rock”

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 2.29.42 AMCountry superstar Kenny Chesney never intended to make his new album, “Life On A Rock.” It was just the moments in his life the songwriter/singer from Luttrell, Tennessee wanted to capture for himself.

“It’s easy to let those moments go,” says the man who’s sold over a million tickets to each of his past 10 tours and sold over 30 million albums. “You get busy and let moments go. Other things come up, the moments pass…

“I probably let a 1000 of those go without capturing them. You just don’t realize how precious they are. What made me sit down and write ‘Lindy’ that day, I do not know. But when I did… Well, that’s when I saw how much of a moment a song can hold. Not necessarily for the radio, or the show, but my soul.”

61d5973234Written over time, written for no one but himself, “Life On A Rock” is a handful of postcards from the life Kenny Chesney has led when he’s not being the biggest ticket-seller of the 21st century with 24 #1 hits under his belt.

Most of the breezy songs on the album focus on island life and unplugging, with a heart that exemplifies Chesney’s ability to capture the real lives of fans- from the joy, sorrow, real moments and honest connections between friends, lovers and those who have moved on.

All week you can check out every track of “Life On A Rock” by Kenny Chesney on demand—it’s the Album Of The Week on Slacker.

**The time to listen to “Life On A Rock” on demand has passed- but you can still hear the album plus all of Kenny’s great music on his Slacker station here. 

Slacker Celebrates International Jazz Day

visual_jazz2013_facebook_480x480p_enApril marks the twelfth anniversary of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM).  Launched by the Smithsonian’s  National Museum of American History in 2002, JAM shines the spotlight on the extraordinary history of jazz and its importance in American culture through concerts, lectures, films and audio programs.

Tuesday, April 30 has been designated International Jazz Day. To date, nearly 80 events have been organized in 30 countries.  A special concert in Istanbul, Turkey organized by music director  John Beasley will feature Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, George Duke, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Eddie Palmieri, among many others and will be streamed live on the internet via the UNESCO, U.S. State Department.

Slacker Jazz and Slacker Modern Jazz celebrate International jazz artists every day of the year, including Enrico Rava (Italy), John McLaughlin (U.K.), Manu Katche (France),  Marcin Wasilewski (Poland), Eliane Elias (Brazil), Hendrik Meurkins (Germany),  Joh Yamada (Japan) Luciana Souza (Brazil), Jan Garbarek (Norway), Hey Rim Jeon (Korea), Hirome (Japan), Peter Beets (Holland), and Ray Barretto (Puerto Rico).

To follow the many events of International Jazz Day, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

In Memoriam- Country Legend George Jones Passes Away

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 5.03.38 PMCountry legend George Jones, the king of heartbreak ballads and good time songs, died this morning at the age of 81 in Nashville. Jones, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, was a permanent presence on the country charts from the 1950s well into the 21st century.

From his rowdy take on “White Lightning” to his later signature ballad sound of  “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, he scored 12 number 1 records over 5 decades. All of us at Slacker are paying tribute to “The Possum” and the legacy he left, join us here.

“My friend, the greatest singer of all time, has passed,” Brad Paisley wrote on Twitter. “To those who knew him, our lives were full. To those of you who don’t: discover him now.”

Paisley went on write a beautiful tribute to the legend:

“George Jones’ life is an example of so many wonderful things; How someone’s God-given gifts can make this a richer, better place. How one human being can overcome adversity, addiction, and life threatening obstacles time and time again. That it is not the stumble or fall that counts, but the willingness to stand again. How a keen sense of humor and a twinkle in a person’s eye can still prevail even after all of life’s hard knocks. How mistakes, missteps, and bad choices are not the end of the world if a person chooses to turn them into something good.

“And George’s life is above all the strongest example of how the love of a great woman can get a man through anything. All of this made its way beautifully into every note of the greatest voice country music will ever know and one of the greatest friends you could ever have.”

Other country music stars also took to Twitter to pay respect to what many believe was the greatest country music singer of all time.

Join us here as we pay tribute to George Jones and listen to the legacy of one of the truly great talents of our time.

Five Hip Hop Artists to Watch This Year

The days of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac have long since passed, but the hip hop game is hotter than ever. There’s a new crop of rappers and hip hop artists on the rise who are absolutely massacring the music industry. Let’s take a look at the top five hip hop artists to watch in 2013.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

macklemoreryanlewisMacklemore & Ryan Lewis have brought their unique swagger to the music industry in a big way. They’ve revolutionized the musical genre of hip hop that typically boasts of fame and life in excess with their chart-topping hit “Thrift Shop”. The duo instead beams about bargain-buying at their local Goodwill–priceless.

Staying true to their brand the duo tackles social issues gracefully, without ever forgetting to entertain the shit out of a crowd. Their progressive single called “Same Love” promotes same-sex marriage and was written during the Washington Referendum 74 campaign.

Be sure to check out Macklemore’s latest hit “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton. The song has a John Legend-esque soulful sound to it that pairs perfectly with the fire that Macklemore spits.

A$AP Rocky

asap-rockyWe got a f*%&$*# problem–we love A$AP Rocky. Reppin the East Coast, A$AP was born in Harlem and is relatively new to the rap scene. He launched into critical acclaim with his debut album Long. Live. ASAP. His influences include other famous rap and hip hop groups like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Three 6 Mafia, Run DMC and Wu-Tang Clan. In his fast rise to fame he’s already collaborated with chart-toppers like Rihanna, 2Chainz, Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

Check out “Goldie,” “I’m Different” and “Fucking Problems” for a taste of A$AP’s lyrical mastery and flair.

Kendrick Lamar

kendrick lamarKendrick Lamar hails from Compton, California. Currently under Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label and Interscope Records, he is a well-deserved nominee for our Hip Hop Artists to Watch category. Even before receiving major attention for his mixtape Overly Dedicated, Lamar was a massive internet star.

We love everything about Kedrick, his story, his struggle, his poignant lyrical fire, his raw talent. He lays everything on the table with every lyric. He doesn’t glorify urban warfare, but instead tries to help people understand the complexities of street life. He is in a subgenre of his own, even within the rap community. Check out his hit single’s Swimming Pools to better understand what all the hype is about.

Joey Bada$$

joey-bada$$The East Coast is serving up some serious talent this year, in the form of another hip-hop sensation Joey Bada$$. He’s an independent hip hop artist from New York and part of Pro Era. He has recently stepped into the light with his mixtape 1999 and his “Survival Tactics” video that spread across the internet like wildfire.

His ability to freestyle is of particular note, and has gained him widespread acclaim on YouTube. His flow, style and wordplay are proof that he is in fact a badass. Check out his single “Unorthodox” and get familiar with this soon-to-be massive talent.

Future

futuredungeontat_0Future aka Nayvadius Wilburn is a Haitian American from Atlanta, Georgia. Signed to Epic Records, this rapper lives up to his prophetic moniker. In a genre all his own, Future combines auto-tune, rap, singing, and futuristic beats.

He is the penman behind YC’s hit single “Racks” and has collaborated with Gucci Mane on his Free Bricks album. He brings a refreshing, progressive sound and flavor to the rap game and we look forward to his bright future. His newest mixtape Future Hendrix will feature Kanye West, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Drake, Andre 3000 and many more. Check out his song “Karate Chop” featuring Casino.

 

 

Insiders Guide to Coachella 2013

Coachella 2013We are officially a week away from Coachella and the air is electric with excited anticipation and spastic preparations. This two-weekend festival (April 12-14 and April 19-21) is nestled in the heart of Palm Desert, California. And yes, temperatures typically net from sweaty to Ian Somerhalder smoldering. (Nothing a little deodorant, hand-sanitizer and breathable fabric can’t champion!)

Despite the unforgiving heat, this is one for the books. Coachella brings together a multitude of characters from strung-out celebrities to aristocratic hippies to desert vagabonds. There’s much to be heard and seen; like newly minted bands and the entire Urban Outfitters clothing line.

Insider tips for a good festival experience:

Shuttle it. The shuttle lines run across the scant desert streets and only cost $50-$80 for the weekend. Driving drunk is a rookie mistake. The shuttle wait times are minimal, and even if you decide to cuddle a cactus past pick-up time, you can always taxi back or enjoy the campground twilight festivities.

carpoolchellaCarpoolchella. In an effort to promote sustainability and such, GoldenVoice has a Carpoolchella giveaway with prizes like VIP tickets to Coachella for life. So, amass a group of festival goers, paint your Nissan with DayGlow pride, and be sure to write “CARPOOLCHELLA” for all to see.

10for1. This program lets thirsty but impoverished festival goers turn 10 empty water bottles into a free bottle of H20. Awesome.

Coachella The Do Lab The Do LaB. This attraction is a festival in and of itself. The Do LaB is an immersive music and art experience with a collection of underground artists streaming sick beats all day long. Water misters and hoses will cool you off while you rock your face off. This year’s lineup includes fan favorites like Gaslamp Killer, Lucent Dossier Experience, Goldrush and Kastle.

Plan it out. Coachella is a massive festival. Brush up on all the artists performing with the Coachella 2013 station and create a plan for who you want to see (but keep it flexible!). Pre-pick your meeting times and use landmarks like the Ferris Wheel for your meetup location. There’s nothing worse than missing an entire concert because you were searching for your friends the entire time. Also, reception is spotty, so timestamp your texts.

Who to see:

Headliners

Coachella 2013 lineup Coachella wouldn’t be Coachella without some monumental headline-age. This year mainstage monopolizers include Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Prepare your thirsty ears for some epic tunes and major surprises thanks to these well-respected artists. (It’s even been rumored that Daft Punk will make a long overdue appearance during Phoenix’s set). As these bands need no introduction, let’s delve into some of the lesser known performers.

New Music

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newbie whose proverbial musical balls have yet to drop, you should leave room on your agenda to see some bands you’ve never heard of. Aside from experiencing fourth degree sunburns, Coachella is about celebrating music–new and not-so.

C2C – Not so new but relatively unknown, this french turntable group is legit. The style is a mix of funk, disco and electro. The group are 4-time winners of the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship. If you like Glitch Mob and Pretty Lights, you might fall in love with these frenchmen.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBzO3yxSfOU

Jamie XXJamie Smith, aka Jamie XX, is an English music producer , remix artist and also ⅓ of the band The XX. His melodic tracks will leave you completely spellbound. His handiwork includes remixes for artists like Glasser, Florence + the Machine and Nosaj Thing. If you like the XX and Jamie Woon, be sure to check out Jamie XX.

Janelle Monáe – If you’re lucky enough you might just fall under the seductive entrapment of Miss Janelle Monáe. An American R&B and soul sensation, Monáe gained critical acclaim at the 53rd Grammy Awards for her The ArchAndroid (Suite II and III) album. She also lent her vocal acuity to Fun.’s smash hit “We are Young.” If you like Erykah Badu or Prince, be sure to check her out.

 

The NeighbourhoodWe can’t wait to see the Neighbourhood grace the dusty desert stage at this year’s Coachella. Part indie, part urban, part pop, this native Californian band shows a lot of promise. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s voice is as smooth as velvet. Check out their single “Sweater Weather,” we dare you to not listen to it on repeat.

 

Aesop RockAn underground hip hop legend, Ian Matthias Bavitz aka Aesop Rock, is a lyrical beast on the mic. Do yourself a solid and further your musical education with the thoughtful articulation of Aesop Rock. Never one to be predictable, he even paired up with folk goddess Kimya Dawson for the charming and evocative single “Delicate Cycle.”

Portugal. The ManThis Alaskan-grown band has been around for a fortnight, but hasn’t really hit the mainstream as hard as they should. Best described as psychedelic-rock, this innovative band definitely deserves a listening to. Check out their hauntingly delicious single “All Your Light” from their most recent album In the Mountain In the Cloud. If you like MGMT or Minus the Bear you’ll probably dig this ensemble.

Make Slacker’s new Coachella 2013 station your soundtrack over the next week to get in the Coachella frame of mind. Featuring all the headliners and artists performing at the festival all in one place- consider it homework.

March Madness Time!

Slacker March Madness It’s March Madness time!

Slacker’s Hip Hop March Madness that is. All month long, Slacker is pitting Hip Hop’s greatest MC’s against each other in four regional brackets: East Coast, West Coast, North and South, and the winner in each match-up will be determined by your votes on our March Madness page.

Every day head over to our March Madness page to vote for your favorite artists for a chance to win a $500 StubHub gift certificate + year of Slacker Premium.

Will the top seeds in each region make it to the final four, or will they be upset along the way by one the tournament’s cagey upstarts? It will all boil down to one final battle, to be waged on the same day as the NCAA Basketball Championship.

March Madness ends April 8th so keep  voting!  Don’t let your favorite hip hop artists get bumped from the next round. Make sure to also check out our March Hip Hop Madness station on Slacker to hear music from all our contenders

 

 

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