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.

 

New Artist of the Week: Snoop Lion is “Reincarnated”

Snoop Lion is Slacker’s new Artist of the Week.

SNOOP LIONLast summer, Snoop Dogg took a trip to Jamaica with Diplo, where he says he was given the name Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest. He released a documentary this year about his experience, spiritual awakening, and name change. And this week, he released his new album “Reincarnated”, produced by Major Lazer and featuring guest appearances by Drake, Chris Brown, and even Miley Cyrus.

It’s a reggae album in theory, but it features plenty of Snoop’s signature flow. Not everyone is pleased with Snoop’s new identity—The Rastafari Millennium Council has warned him that “smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and reggae music is not what defines the Rastafari Indigenous Culture!“, and Bunny Wailer—who plays a major role in the documentary—says that Snoop has engaged in “outright fraudulent use of Rastafari Community’s personalities and symbolism”.

However you feel about the new Snoop Lion, his musical legacy is undeniable, and on this week’s Artist of the Week station we feature music from all eras of Snoop’s career, along with his many collaborations, his west coast hip hop family, and his influences–both reggae and classic hip hop. Snoop Lion is Slacker’s Artist of the Week.

New On Slacker Jazz: Molly Ringwald “Except Sometimes”

molly ringwaldIf you only think of Molly Ringwald as the iconic teen actress in the films Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty In Pink, think again!

Before Molly was making movies in Hollywood, she was making music in Sacramento. Molly began performing at age six with her father, jazz pianist Bob Ringwald. Molly now stars in the ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  She’s also penned her first novel and is busy raising twins. But Molly’s never forgotten her jazz roots and credits her father for instilling in her a love of swing and on-stage pacing.

Molly’s new CD on Concord is called Except Sometimes. On standards such as “Sooner Or Later,” “The Very Thought of You,” and “Exactly Like You,” Molly shows both a reverence for the Great American Songbook and an awareness of and appreciation for Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, and Peggy Lee.

Check out Molly Ringwald on Slacker Jazz for a refreshing take on jazz standards and more!

Song Stuck in Our Head – Janelle Monáe’s “Q.U.E.E.N.”

Janelle MonáeFresh off of her stellar performance at the Coachella Music Festival, Janelle Monáe is gearing up for the release of her forthcoming album, The Electric Lady.

Monáe’s first single is a funky collaboration with Erykah Badu called “Q.U.E.E.N.” which she says is an acronym inspired by personal conversations between her and Badu.

Remember, you can listen to “Q.U.E.E.N.” as many times as you want–it’s the Song Stuck in My Head on Slacker.

 

Update: The week to listen to “Q.U.E.E.N.” on demand has passed- but you can still hear the tune (plus all of Janelle) on Slacker here.

 

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.

New Weekly Series Spotlights Artists With On-Demand Music

We have a few new additions to our weekly spotlights here at Slacker that we are extremely excited about. Our Artist of the Week station has been such a big hit that we decided to also spotlight an album as well as a few songs we have on heavy rotation each week.

Best part?  ALL Slacker users have  on-demand access to our Album of the Week and Song stuck in my Head for the entire week. Hit play- hear the song. Listen to the entire album from beginning to end. Press repeat as much as you want – for the entire week!

Album of the Week and Song Stuck in my Head kick off today along with a new Artist of the Week – who is definitely an icon in the making. Take a look:

The time to listen to these on demand has passed, but make sure to check out the artist’s stations below.

Album of the Week – Michael Bublé sixth studio album “To Be Loved.”

Slacker Album of the Week Michael Buble

This week, Michael Bublé releases his sixth studio album called “To Be Loved.” The Grammy Award winning superstar has included a mix of standards as well as four original songs.

The new album also includes hits previously recorded by some of Buble’s musical heroes. Listen now to every track of his new album. “To Be Loved” by Michael Bublé is Album of the Week on Slacker.

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Slacker Song of the Week Paramore Still into You

Song Stuck in My Head – Paramore “Still Into You.”

April has been a busy month for Paramore. The Nashville band released their fourth album, “Paramore,” and, soon after, the video for their second single, “Still Into You.”

Lead singer Hayley Williams also graces the April cover of Nylon Magazine.  “Still Into You” is a great pop song that’s incredibly catchy and the Song Stuck in My Head on Slacker.

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Artist of the Week  – will.i.am

artist of the week will.i.am

Nobody can ever accuse will.i.am of being unmotivated.  In addition to his many guest appearances (11 in the last 2 years), his numerous production credits (21 over the last 2 years), and his work with Black Eyed Peas, he somehow found time to put together one of the most star-studded albums in recent memory, which was released this week,” and to celebrate- will.i.am is Slacker’s Artist Of The Week.

“#willpower” features appearances from Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Scherzinger, Skylar Grey, and he even found room for his fellow Black Eyed Pea—apl.de.ap.

His track “Scream and Shout” with Britney Spears is already an international hit, and on this station you’ll hear that song and more new tracks from “#willpower”, his biggest hits, collaborations, and songs from his biggest influences and contemporaries.

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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.

 

 

Aleks Syntek Celebrates New Album and New Home

Aleks Syntek Syntek AlbumAleks Syntek has jumped ship from his old label and has a new home, Sony Latin Music- who rolled out the red carpet and had Syntek visit Los Angeles for some much needed radio schmoozing, album promoting and celebrating.

While in town, the Mexican musician-singer-songwriter offered a special showcase at the label’s Beverly Hills offices to present his new album “Syntek,” a throwback to the 80s with a synth-heavy sound throughout the 12 songs that the artist declared as “Mexican electronic music.” We had the opportunity to attend the showcase where the multi-talented pop singer gave us a sampling of some of the new tracks on the album, including the single “La Tormenta,” as well as some classics like “Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas.”

Aleks Syntek Album PartyThe special gathering brought together a who’s who of L.A.’s Spanish-language media and radio stations, including sponsoring outlet KSSE (Súper Estrella) and of course some of us at Slacker.  Syntek’s friends, including Mexican actor Diego Boneta (that cutie from Rock of Ages), celebrity Michelle Salas (famous for being the daughter of superstar Luis Miguel and rumored to be dating Boneta), Edward James Olmos and a few other celebs.

It was a lively and fun night, which was refreshing to see in a day and age when labels don’t tend to throw these kinds of shindigs any more, at least not Latin labels. Times are tight in this “sequester” reality we live in so it was nice to experience a party reminiscent of music label glory days.

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