Vampire Weekend is Slacker’s Artist of the Week.

VAMPIRE WEEKENDVampire Weekend have been the subject of so much hype and critical attention- both positive and negative- that it’s hard to believe that their new album “Modern Vampires of the City” is only their 3rd effort.

While they will always be the poster boys for a culture of Wes Anderson films and prep-school kids discovering afro-pop for the first time, they have managed to do it consistently, and authentically.

On this week’s Artist of the Week station, you’ll hear standout tracks from the new album like “Ya Hey”, “Hudson”, and the lead single “Diane Young”, along with the band’s influences, contemporaries, and side projects. Check our Vampire Weekend as Slacker’s Artist of the Week here. 

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. 

New Song Stuck In My Head – Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida”

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.56.15 PMAfter months out of the spotlight, Marc Anthony is back with a new single, “Vivir Mi Vida.”

 

This title track from his forthcoming album, due out in July, embraces the New York singer’s salsa origins and moves away from the pop sound of his previous albums.

 

“Vivir Mi Vida” is the new Song Stuck In My Head on Slacker so remember, you can listen to the tune on demand all week!

Update: The week to listen to “Vivir Mi Vida” on demand has passed- but you can still hear the tune (plus all of Marc Anthony) on Slacker 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.

 

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!

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