World Music Festivals Take on the Summer

Desert Blues, Latin Alternative, Gypsy Funk, Arabic,  Brazilian, Afro-pop, Asian, Celtic and a lot more is on tap as festivals, music series and historic tours roll out for Summer 2013.  Here’s a taste of what is in store for the year.

Festivals and Music Series

Maracatu Naçáo Estrela BrilhanteA bunch of summer fests and music series that feature World Music have announced their line-ups.  And there is a LOT to choose from, whether you are into trad, cutting edge, cross-cultural fusions or world DJ culture & dance.  So get out there, some are even FREE!  Here’s just a sampling.

California World Fest 

Celebrate Brooklyn

Grand Performances Los Angeles

Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing 

Lincoln Center Out Of Doors 

Rhythm Foundation Miami

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 

Stern Grove Festival San Francisco 

Ukelele Festival Hawaii 

 

Tours

There are some major – and historic – tours coming this summer too.  Be on the lookout for these and more:

A Tale of Two Nations featuring Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat. This historic tour not only pairs one of the oldest traditional maracatu groups from Brazil with a contemporary Brooklyn-Brazil cross-cultural mash-up, but it is the first time a trad maracatu group from Brazil has ever toured North America! Thiscarnaval is not to be missed.  August.

Festival au Desert_Caravan For Peace TourFestival au Desert: Caravan of Peace featuring Mali’s Mamadou Kelly & The Ali Farka Touré AllstarsTartit, and Imharhan.  Another historic tour and one with a message and the hope of keeping Timbuktu’s legendary Festival au Desert alive, which has been canceled due to Mali’s tumultuous civil war.  “Until the music can return to its roots with freedom of expression and dignity, the Festival au Desert has become, a Festival in Exile.”  July.

Fatoumata Diawarawho has enjoyed quite a buzz since the release of her debut CD Fatou,brings more of Mali’s rich musical tradition and songs about love, politics and empowerment to North America for a two month tour beginning in June

Nigerian Toureg guitar sensation Bombino, who just released a new CD produced by Black Key Dan Auerbach,  will be on the road through July 26.  His hypnotic show is something to revel in!

The legendary Gipsy Kings return to North America July 28 through August 12.

Reggae stalwarts Steel Pulse will bring their groove all this summer too with dates through August.

Up-and-coming Indian folk-rocker,  Raghu Dixit joins Indian tradition with contemporary stylings.  He brings his energetic show to North America in July

Solas, the quintessential Irish-American band, is touring all summer long and well into the fall in support the release of their latest CD.

Italy’s fabulous Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, who hail from Salento, Puglia, will be in North America for most of July.  

Like I mentioned at the start,  this is just a taste. There is so much more world music going on across North America this summer.  Rise up, get out, enjoy and support live music!

 

 

 

10 Remixed Pop Songs in Heavy Rotation Right Now

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.10.59 PMHellllllloooo pop music fans! Live from the city of San Francisco where EDM lives and breathes. I’m Ms. Jackson…music head, DJ and pop music monster. I wanted to pull together a few of the hottest House, Electro, Hip-Hop and Pop remixes from the best DJ / Producers right now.

From the king of the remix, Diddy putting his magic touch on “Scream And Shout” to powerhouse producers and DJs, Sick Individuals, adding hard hitting electro sounds to Icona Pop’s dance anthem – the talent in remixing is alive and well.

Enjoy all these songs on Slacker’s Pop Remix station and let us know which ones are your favorites!

Bruno MarsBruno Mars “Locked Out Of Heaven (Sultan And Ned Shepard Remix)”
Yeah we have been singing along to this tune since it came out but this remix will make your heart buckle from all the bass. “Ah yeah yeah, ah yeah yeah yeah yeah…”

 

Rihanna “Diamonds (Dave Aude 100 Edit)”
Shining bright like a diamond with some beats added from the king of dance and house remixes.

 

Emeli Sandé “Next To Me (Kendrick Lamar Remix)”
The hip-hop heavyweight Kendrick Lamar adds his lyrical force to Britain’s rising pop star debut single.

 

Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera “Feel This Moment (Riddler & Reid Stefan Radio Mix)”
In straight 1980s synth style using A-Ha’s “Take On Me” sample, Riddler and Reid Stefan keep the fist pumping effect with a powerful electro house remix.

 

Calvin HarrisCalvin Harris featuring Florence Welch “Sweet Nothing (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)”
Diplo and Grandtheft join forces to this already killer collaboration with trap style snares and synths.

Krewella “Alive (Cash Cash & Kalkutta Remix)”
Crank this one up and say Y.O.L.O.

 

Will.I.Am ft. Britney Spears Diddy Hit Boy Lil Wayne and Waka Flocka “Scream and Shout (Remix)”
Diddy calls this the “Super Black Man Remix”….OKAY (in my Lil’ Jon voice)?!?!

 

Icona Pop “I Love It (Sick Individuals Remix)”
I don’t think there could be a mix to top this pop dance anthem but (no pun intended) this is SICK.

 

David Guetta featuring Ne-Yo and Akon “Play Hard (R3hab Remix)”
Maybe Mr. Guetta didn’t mean to straight pull the hook from Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone” but dang R3hab (that’s the number 3 instead of an ‘e’ for all that don’t know) kills it as always with this electro banger.

 

Ellie GouldingEllie Goulding “Anything Could Happen (Alex Metric Remix)”
Her voice is undeniable as is her blonde, half shaved head…I wish I had the balls to do that btw. Fellow Brit, Alex Metric created this lush and pulsating song and made it into an electro dance jem.

 

Slacker’s New Artist of the Week – The Strokes

Strokes Artist of the WeekWelcome back to Slacker’s Artist Of The Week. The Strokes are back in the game with their 5th album- called “Comedown Machine”, and while this record will still appeal to long-time Strokes fans, they are a long way from This Is It- and the band seems fully comfortable with that.

Led by the single All The Time, this album finds the band experimenting with synths, falsettos, and even songs that could only be categorized as easy listening.

The Strokes, consisting of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar, backing vocals), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar, backing vocals), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums, percussion) are one of the many indie-rock bands to hail from the US at the dawn of the 21st century that helped solidify the garage rock revival movement. Their debut album, Is This It, was ranked number 199 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

On this weeks Artist of the Week station you’ll hear The Strokes- old and new- along with tracks from their side projects, collaborations, influences, and contemporaries. The Strokes are Slacker’s Artist Of The Week.

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

Artist of the Week’s Florida Georgia Line are Country’s New Stars

Florida Georgia Line - Slacker's Artist of the WeekSlacker’s new Artist of the Week is Florida Georgia Line. The band is composed of two friends that met in college: Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. Brian’s from Florida and Tyler’s from Georgia, hence the name. And when they meet in the middle, they make some of the biggest hits in Country music right now.

Even though they’ve been releasing their own music since 2010, this time last year the band didnt have a record deal and they were touring the country in a used SUV. Their first proper album “Here’s To The Good Times” came out 3 months ago, and they’ve already scored a number 1, Double Platinum song with “Cruise”. They’re also up for the “New Artist Of The Year” and “Vocal Duo of the Year” awards at this year’s Academy of Country Music awards. They’ve spent the last few months touring non-stop, and it was their fans’ response at the live shows that lead them to pick their new single, “Get Your Shine On”.

The band’s rise was so quick that they have the distinction of scoring a spot on both Slacker’s Top 50 Country Songs of 2012 countdown AND our Artists To Watch 2013 station.

The boys make feel-good Country- not unlike Jason Aldean or Eric Church- with an occasional hip hop twist. On their station you’ll hear their hits- like “Cruise”, their influences- like Jimmy Buffett and Garth Brooks- and music from their contemporaries like Jake Owen and Brantley Gilbert.

 

Grammy Winner fun. Debut New Artist of the Week

fun. bandSlacker’s new Artist Of The Week is New York based indie pop group fun.

It’s a bit ironic for the trio to have won the Best New Artist award at this year’s Grammys, as they joked throughout the ceremony, they are not actually “young” any more. In fact, the band is the product of 12 years of work as artists. Nate was in a band from Phoenix called the Format for many years, Jack was in a pop-emo band from New Jersey called Steel Train, and Andrew was in a band from Michigan called Anathallo.

It’s also notable that “Some Nights” is actually their second album, preceded by 2009’s “Aim and Ignite”. After going through the music business ringer, with several label deals and prior band breakups behind them, the members moved to New York City and went back to the drawing board. The result of their creation and collaborating is fun. (fun with a period) – the band that took home 3 Grammys this year, including song of the year in addition to their best new artist nod.

On the origins of fun., Nate told Interview magazine “I had always kept note that those were the two people that if anything ever happened… maybe I could see the writing on the wall, or something like that. As soon as that became a possibility, I just called them up right away. I asked if there was something we can do. Next thing I knew, I found myself in New Jersey a week later.”

Their music has been given the Glee treatment (twice) and their mixture of theatric baroque pop and hip-hop influence has won over fans of musical theater and pop music alike.

We are debuting a new Artist of the Week station here at Slacker. On the station this week, youll hear the band fun., their previous projects like The Format and Steel Train, artists they were influenced by, and hits from their contemporaries.

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