Five New Dance Music Songs in Heavy Rotation Right Now

Spring is here! It’s time to shed our winter coats, opt for cocktails that slush and add a shiny new playlist to our respective iPods. With back-to-back music festivals underway (ie SXSW, Ultra and Coachella), it’s not surprising that we’re being pleasantly inundated with sweet new tunes for all to enjoy.

In order to preemptively honor your booze-fueled, poolside shenanigans this weekend, here is a compilation of the top five new dance songs that are getting a lot of repeat play right now. These songs will have you fist pumping in your sleep. Grab your dancing cleats, turn up the volume, press play and enjoy!

1. “Meet Her in Miami” – Gareth Emery
First up is Brit DJ and one of a few personal favorites, Gareth Emery, who has revamped the classic dance beat “Meet Her at the Love Parade” from Da Hool. The song is masterfully re-purposed and designed to really get you off your feet and onto the dancefloor. How fitting that he’s changed it to “Miami”, since he will be spending a solid chunk of spring break time in the Magic City. Challenge accepted Gareth, we’d love to meet you in Miami.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwvOFdX1Xrg

 

2. “Summertime Sadness” – Cedric Gervais
French House DJ, Cedric Gervais, also has a new song for us this spring. It’s a slight diversion from last year’s controversial hit “Molly”, but just as play-worthy. Here he is, adding some sultry beats to the already enchanting “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey. Is anyone else in love? *Swoon*

 

3. “Together We Are” – Arty (Featuring Chris James)
Feel good jams are far and few between – but the universe has done us a solid with Arty’s new dance hit “Together We Are” featuring Chris James. At only 23, Arty has already made an indelible mark on the dance music scene and this song is only one in a succession of chart-toppers from Arty the Great. “Together We Are” will no doubt penetrate the club circuit in no time. Prepare to see glittery masses hand-in-hand, dance-battling it out with smiles from ear to cocktail.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsIr877r4SM

 

4. “Black Room Boy” – Above & Beyond
Never ceasing to amaze, Above & Beyond has remained en pointe since their inception.  “Black Room Boy”, their latest single, is no exception. The delicious vocals are driven from Above & Beyond’s Tony McGuinness for your voracious consumption. Music that is entertaining and transformative is a rarity, but leave it up to the trance trio to give birth to the musical equivalent of a unicorn. This song will be all the “group therapy” you need this spring.

 

5. “Clarity” – Zedd Featuring Foxes
“Clarity” is third single from Zedd’s Clarity album, and already a chart-topping success. This song is dangerously addictive and easily one of the favorite songs of 2013 so far. Equal parts club banger and poignant ballad, this hit is a music lover’s dream. To further show off his musical prowess, Zedd released a stripped-down version of “Clarity” relying solely on a piano and the angel sounds of Foxes. Perfection!

 

Check out all these songs and more on Slacker’s 2013 Ultra Music Festival Station, which is set for two weekends this month: the 15th through the 17th, and the 22nd through the 24th.

Artist of the Week – Justin Timberlake

Justin-TimberlakeSlacker’s Artist Of The Week is Justin Timberlake. From his boy-band beginnings to rocking both SNL and the hipsters at SXSW in the last week- JT has done a remarkable job of trading his frosted tips for a suit and tie.

His new album- The 20/20 Experience– dropped this week, and a co-headlining tour with Jay-Z will follow. On this station, Slacker explores his beginnings with NSYNC, his biggest hits as a solo artist, his collabs with artists like Timbaland, his influences, and his musical peers.

You can also catch some old NSYNC and new JT on Slacker’s Attack of the Boy Bands Station.

 

Enjoy the world of JT, on Slacker.

Artist of the Week – The Band Perry

Slacker’s Artist Of The Week is The Band Perry. Kimberly, Neil, and Reid Perry are siblings from Mississippi that broke through in 2010 and 2011 with huge hits like “If I Die Young” and “All Your Life”.

They are currently preparing the release of their second album- Pioneer is due April 2nd, and they’ve already got a #1 single from it with “Better Dig Two”. Slacker Country curator Bo Thomas recently sat down to interview the band on the eve of their album release, and on this station you’ll hear exclusive clips from that interview, plus their biggest hits, and music from their influences and contemporaries

Brit Sensation Emeli Sandé is Artist of the Week

Slacker's Artist of the Week

Emeli Sandé is a 25 year old British/Scottish artist that is poised to make a major impression in the US this year and is spotlighted as our new artist of the week.

After dropping out of medical school in her 4th year, she went on to become one of the biggest artists in the UK.

Since its release in February, her debut album, ‘Our Version Of Events’, went on to become the UK’s biggest selling debut album of 2012, winning Emeli the coveted BRITs Critics’ Choice Award as well as the Best British Female and Best British Album of the Year at the 2013 Brit Awards.

She’s now set her sights on the US. After securing the coveted support act spot on Coldplay’s US tour, Coca-Cola’s Olympic Torch Relay City Celebrations, and public support from the likes of Bono and Elton John – we doubt it will take long for the US to catch on to this powerhouse.

Take a look at her recent performance on Ellen this past month:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGSLMH1OLtE&feature=youtu.be

 

On Slacker’s Artist of the Week station, you will hear Emeli Sandé as well as other collaborators, influences, and contemporaries. Just think – in a few months you’ll be able to say you heard her here first.

Five New Country Artists to Watch in 2013

Every year, the Nashville labels trot out one or two new artists apiece.  And the truth is, not many become even “B” list country stars. Most will see their single releases stall out in the mid-30’s on the country charts and after a few of those, the labels will bid them adieu and move on to the next big thing.

Country music has definitely shifted from being an artist-driven genre to being a song-driven genre.  Yes, you still have your superstar artists like Blake, Carrie, Brad and Taylor… and perhaps Miranda.

The old list of usual suspects have now been put to pasture as far as radio is concerned. It’s very hard for Martina, Faith, Alan and George to get automatic airplay and even now to have top ten songs. It’s sad, but that’s change. In 2013, I predict the same fate for Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts.  Their music just doesn’t appeal to the younger demographics like it used to.  Hence, less airplay and songs that die mid-chart.

But there is new blood on the horizon and talent is abundant. Whether or not it is marketable talent is up for debate.  And marketability is at least 50 percent of an artist’s success.  Nashville is filled with really talented singers, songwriters and musicians.  But it’s that certain something that is both hard to define and difficult to quantify that separates the talented from the stars.

Here is my list of five that I believe have the chops to make a run to the top in 2013.  See what you think.

Parmalee

Parmalee

This four-piece band has just enough of a rock ‘n’ roll attitude to get people’s attention. Their first single called Musta Had a Good Time did okay, but eventually fizzled out due to lack of exposure. But some folks noticed. I thought the song was catchy and I feel even better about their second single Carolina.

Their label, Stoney Creek, has a good promotions team and has big success with the likes of Randy Houser and Thompson Square. Hopefully, the promotions team isn’t spread so thin that they can’t give Parmalee the backing they deserve.

 

Henningsens

Henningsens

I really dig their first single called American Beautiful, although it is starting to show signs of death. Again, it’s just really hard to get exposure on a debut single from the established country outlets. Slacker New Country has seen positive feedback from you, our listeners.  So, I feel confident in my own opinion that perhaps their next single will be the one to get them into the top ten.

Their Achilles heel might be the abundance of groups featuring two guys and a girl (Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, etc.).  However, the twist here is it’s a brother, sister and dad.  Hope dad doesn’t hold the kids back.

 

Kacey Musgrave

Kacey Musgraves

She certainly has the look.  Wow!  And looks mean marketability in country music. Does she have the talent?  I think she does.  Her first single Merry Go Round has rocketed up the charts and is threatening to crack the top ten.

If it does –  look out.  Radio programmers will be chompin’ at the bit to get her next song and see if she’s the real deal.  I like her a lot.  And again, our feedback from listeners has been positive.

 

Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry SmokeIt’s been a long time since I heard a band that make my heart skip a beat the first time I heard them.  Not since the Zac Brown Band have I been as excited as I am with Blackberry Smoke.  They are edgy and earthy at the same time.  They can twang and they can bang.  And they are oh, so cooool. Look at their pictures and you’d think it was Three Dog Night or Creedence Clearwater Revival.  But these guys are country rock at its best.  Of course, it could just be me.  Living in Austin, I tend to lean favorably to this sound. We’ll see. Listen for their debut single Pretty Little Lie, now playing on Slacker New Country.

 

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia LineYeah, I know… you’re saying that these guys are already a hit in 2013, and you’re right.  Their debut song Cruise went all the way to number one and then stayed there for another week.  Multi-week number ones are rare enough in this genre, but from a debut single?  Unheard of.  These guys are the real deal and their follow-up single Get Your Shine On is already screaming the charts and will positively be a top ten song for them… and ultimately another number one.  Slacker Country listeners continue to tell us that this duo is the next Brooks & Dunn and they have already been featured as Artist of the Week.  I have to agree. Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, aka Florida Georgia Line, are superstar material.

 

Till next time … keep your powder dry and keep listening to Slacker Country!

“Big” Jim

 

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.

 

Who Should Win the Oscar for Best in Original Song

Oscars 2013 Best Original Song Slacker

So here we are.  Deep in the heart of awards season, with the Academy getting ready to pass out their golden statuettes this weekend.

As Slacker’s (arguably) most pop-culture obsessed curator, I want to talk to you about this year’s Academy Award nominated songs (best original song), and who I think will (probably)(maybe)(most likely) win.

Let’s start at the top, alphabetically speaking:

“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”

Music and Lyric by J. Ralph

This song features Scarlett Johansson & Joshua Bell – the latter, in case you don’t recognize the name, is a grammy award winning violinist.  Scarlett sings this haunting track that plays over the credits of the documentary about climate change in Greenland, which was expected to earn a nomination for Best Documentary Feature, but was left off of that list.  The academy might want to throw it a bone in this category, but more likely this just wasn’t high profile enough to win this year.  You never know.  Could be a dark horse.

 

“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted”

Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane

Can I be honest here and say that if Seth MacFarlane wins an oscar I’m probably going to boycott these awards for the rest of my life?  That being said, this is a sweet throwback to the 40’s sung by Norah Jones.  Despite the fact that he’s hosting this year, I just feel like the Academy knows better than to RECOGNIZE SETH MACFARLANE.  EVER.  Or I hope so, at least.

 

“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”

Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri

Everyone I know who read this book (including myself) got super excited about the movie, and then came out of it feeling… OK?  Not amazing, not entirely disappointed, just…  I think at that point we all finally recognized the challenges of making a story almost entirely set in a boat in the middle of the ocean interesting for 2 hours.  Anyway, this song is ok, but it’s nothing compared to the final contenders.

 

“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Listen, nobody ever likes the new song added to these productions, especially one as tried and true as Les Mis.  I’ve been a fan of the musical since 8th grade and there’s no way this song was going to stir me in the way “I Dreamed A Dream” or “On My Own” would.  It’s not even exhilarating in the way “Do You Hear The People Sing” is.  But they had to nominate something in this category from the film (or look kind of silly) and this is the only new, original song in it.  Probably added explicitly for the purpose of getting nominated for this exact award.  This song could win – it’s got the star power and the promotion behind it, but my bet is safely on…

 

“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”

Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

Awards shows love Adele.  They don’t just love her, they luuuuuuuuve her.  They want to marry her.  And not only do we have a big ol’ crush on Adele, we have a societal obligation to love James Bond films.  This was an amazing flick, with a perfect, old school sounding theme song.  It’s *almost* too obvious, but I think Adele is going to win it (as usual.)  It’s not so hard to imagine Adele going on to perform on Broadway at some point, where she’ll win a Tony.  Then just throw a television appearance or two into the mix, and Adele is certain to be the world’s next EGOT winner.

 

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s review.

Will win: “Skyfall”

Could win: “Suddenly”

Should win: “Skyfall”

Obviously I could be wrong about all of this, so feel free to speak up and share your predictions – plus your arguments for or against  – in the comments! Also make sure to check out the new Oscar Movie Music Station on Slacker Radio for more scores, themes and songs of the greatest cinematic masterpieces

The 50 Most Embarrassing Songs on Facebook Shows Online Personas are Virtually Naked

Until now, music fans could hide their deepest, darkest secrets. The power to manipulate your public persona with music preferences was actually something that could be done in years past.  Sure you were Indie Guy, Punk Rocker, Goth(lite) Cure Groupie, or raving Candy Kid to everyone who knew you. But, in private – in the quiet comforts of your home where no one was watching – and you sat watching tv or listening to music by yourself, you could shed the grunge flannels, the black eyeliner or the rave gear and listen to *that* song. You know the one. The latest bubble gum hook, the show tune that makes you cry, the anthemic love song that would melt icebergs, the musical equivalent of the latest celebrity gossip magazine – Remember those days? Musical Skeletons could remain hidden – locked inside that special place.

The 50 Most Embarrassing Facebook SongsThose days are over.

Online music listening has changed all that, as playlists often populate personal Facebook timelines and expose carefully guarded musical secrets and fetishes. Life in the digital age has turned 15 minutes of fame into a lifetime of nakedness. Slacker not only understands this conundrum, we’ve decided to embrace it by calling on seasoned experts to take listeners on a journey through multiple decades and genres as they depict the top 50 songs deemed to be the most detrimental to the online personas of music fans.

Experts and pop culture mavens Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, authors of the best seller I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of Music Video Revolution, serve as our tour guides through Slacker’s “50 Most Embarrassing Songs on Facebook” station. And this isn’t just a station that ho hums through an ordinary list of your typical guilty pleasures and bubble gum favorites of yesteryear. Craig and Rob have used their expertise of music and pop culture to serve as masterful tour guides through a thought provoking countdown that embraces the fact that, while Facebook and social media provide an outstanding platform for music discovery and sharing, it is also the digital community that exposes us all.

We got a chance to talk with Craig and Rob about what this evolution of public personas means for music fans, how Facebook and social media have changed music, why they picked various songs and, after a lot of prying – what musical skeletons they keep tucked away in the closet.

[hr]

Slacker: You guys are hosting the “Top 50 most Embarrassing Facebook Songs” station on Slacker Radio. This I am sure must come from some personal experience in the loss of your music street cred. So we must know – what are your most embarrassing music skeletons in your closet?

Rob: I am proud of the bad music I listen to as the good music I listen to. In fact, the bad music I listen to is pretty good and the good music I listen to is pretty bad. I am not hiding anything. I am completely naked.

Craig: One of the reasons I enjoyed curating this list is  – I really don’t like the public display of EVERY song people listen to. There is music that I don’t like but nothing I would be embarrassed about. And, unless someone is displaying that they are listening to Neo Nazi music, I tend to think there is nothing to be embarrassed about…. No, I take that back. #1 on our list. If I saw someone was listening to our #1 Chris Brown – I would question things.

Slacker: I tend to think I would be most embarrassed by the fact that I secretly dance around my living room listening to showtunes may damage my street cred to my Facebook friends.

Rob: I just got an idea for a new ap. It would show that you are listening to Velvet Underground when you are actually listening to Hall and Oates.

Craig: Anyone of your friends who would look down on you for listening to showtunes is not worth being a friend.

Slacker:  Your book delves into the golden age of music videos and how MTV shaped an entire generation. One of the things your list brings to light is the major differences between the MTV Generation and the Facebook Generation.  What do you think are the major differences between the two in pop culture and music? 

Craig: Rather than a major difference, I see the integration between online radio and Facebook is an attempt to recreate what happened in the early days of MTV. Back then, every time we interviewed someone they would say the same thing about its emergence. And that was “my friends would come over to my house every day and we would spend three hours together watching MTV.” So MTV was really a group viewing experience. It bonded you with your friends. You would collectively scream when your favorite video came on. You may have argued about other songs you did or didn’t like. But, it was something you all had in common. When MTV stopped playing music videos – people’s music experiences became more isolated.  What Facebook has done is take over where that left off. Groups are larger now but the experience is still there.

Rob: The Internet and the way people listen to music now is, in my opinion, the opposite of what it was like with MTV. When MTV played music videos everyone just sat back and watched. Everyone was watching the same videos at the same time and that is why some of those artists from back then, such as Madonna and Bon Jovi, have the level of success they have now. Everyone was watching or listening to the same thing at the same time. Now, with Slacker and online radio, people can listen to whatever they want, whenever they want and on demand. No one ever has to listen to music that they don’t already like. It is a more active listening experience compared to the more passive one in the past.

Slacker: Ok  since online radio really gives people the flexibility to only listen to what they want. And since the transparency of what we listen to is so public  and what we listen to has such an effect on our online persona where one song can derail your hipster status- what sorts of songs do you present in “50 Most Embarrassing Facebook songs” do you think have the biggest effect? 

Craig: Lets say you meet someone on OKCupid.com and think they are really cool. You dig a little deeper and go to their Facebook profile and see they just listened to “Crash Test Dummies’ Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” – that would be a deal breaker.

Rob: If all they listen to is emotional songs from the 90s, all I am going to picture is candles burning while they sit in a bubble bath and cry. I would imagine you read Nicholas Sparks and perhaps have too much of an investment in rom-coms.

Slacker: Any songs on the list you think would be surprises in the amount of embarrassment they provoke? 

Rob: One of the things we really looked for was bad songs by great bands. For example, Craig and I really love REM. But, even the biggest REM fan in the world – especially the biggest REM fan in the world – knows that Shiney Happy People is a terrible song. The Michael Bolton’s and Celine Dions are too easy. We brought in some incredibly respected and revered acts, and make fun of them too.

Slacker: Clearly no one is safe from embarrassment. I have to ask again – music skeletons? You can’t be completely naked. 

Craig: You first.

Slacker: I actually know the Shiny Happy People dance. Poison’s Unskinny Bop dance too. 

Rob: I would be embarrassed about my adolescent fervor for Jackson Browne. His extreme sensitivity is a little embarrassing in retrospect. I was 14 though, so I had an excuse. But if you are a grown ass man listening to those weepy lyrics – you should be embarrassed.

Craig: I know the words to a lot of songs by Yes.

[hr]

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video RevolutionCraig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum understand the pitfalls in creating the carefully cultivated online images of the Facebook Generation. But, clearly they also understand, and are able to poke fun at, the evolution that has taken place from the humble beginnings of digital music during the MTV Generation to the scale it is today. This made the duo the perfect hosts for the station that celebrates our often embarrassing transparency and lack of separation between public and private personas.

Head over to the new station “50 Most Embarrassing Songs on Facebook” to hear what songs made the cut, what songs surprisingly didn’t, and what songs can tarnish your online reputation for good. Our digital footprints are naked. We may as well learn to live with it.

Make sure to also check out Craig and Rob’s smart and decadently entertaining journey through the golden age of music television: I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. 

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