CMA Awards Preview: Country Music’s Biggest Night!

1378839266_stretchCountry music’s biggest night is right around the corner! The CMA Awards (basically the Oscars of country music) will air live from Nashville on Nov. 6. The star-studded show will be co-hosted for the sixth straight year by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and will feature performances by Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Tim McGraw and many more. Listed below are some of our early thoughts about the show. And be sure to listen to New Country on Slacker to hear all of the nominees!

lukebryan2Most Predictable Category: Male Vocalist of the Year. We will be shocked if Luke Bryan doesn’t walk away with this honor for the first time in his career. The Georgia native has dominated the charts in the past year, shattered sales records with his “Crash My Party” album and has sold out show after show on the road. Blake Shelton has had Male Vocalist bragging rights for the past three years in a row and is Luke’s biggest competition, but don’t expect a Shelton fourpeat. Other nominees are all dark horses in the category: Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Keith Urban.

carrie-underwood-2013-cma-music-festival-04Most Unpredictable Category: Album of the Year. All five nominees in this category are equally strong contenders. Sure, some projects sold triple the amount of copies than others, but keep in mind that the CMA Awards are voted on by people who work in the industry, and they always love a critic darling as much as a sales titan. The nominees are Blake Shelton’s “Based on a True Story,” Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” Taylor Swift’s “Red,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” and Little Big Town’s “Tornado.”

Most Unique Performance to Watch: Taylor Swift’s collaboration with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. Sure, they’re all lumped into the country genre together, but let’s face it, Swift’s signature sound is about as similar to Gill and Krauss’ style of music as Lil Wayne is to Little Jimmy Dickens. Still, that’s all the more reason to expect this performance to be spectacular, and most likely more country-friendly than anything Swift has had on the radio this year. Other noteworthy collaborations will include Zac Brown Band with Dave Grohl, and Hunter Hayes with Jason Mraz.

Most Fabulous Fashionista to Watch: Carrie Underwood.  At last year’s CMA Awards, the blond beauty changed clothes 12 times! Expect no less this year, as the night’s hostess is sure to dazzle us with fantastic frocks, flowing locks and a whole lotta leg.

New Top 33 Station Featuring Eminem

EMINEM-TOP-33-472x472Eminem releases his eighth album “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” next week, and to celebrate we’ve created a station counting down his biggest songs, as determined by you and millions of Slacker listeners.

Single artist stations are usually reserved for premium subscribers, but thanks to a special agreement, everyone can listen for a limited time.

Take a look at the Eminem Top 33 here. 

Album of the Week: Katy Perry’s “Prism”

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 8.46.49 AMKaty Perry digs deep on “Prism,” her third studio album that draws inspiration from everything from Swedish dance music to her painful divorce.

The project shows a more mature side of Katy with its emotive ballads, but also reflects what made her a superstar with its catchy pop numbers.

Take a listen and see if you love it as much as we do. Listen to “Prism,” Slacker’s Album of the Week on demand all week here.

Countdown Tom Petty’s Top 33 for a Limited Time!

TOM-PETTY-TOP-33-472x472Few artists reach the status of icon, but Tom Petty definitely qualifies.

He turned 62 on Sunday, and to celebrate we’ve created a station counting down his biggest songs, as determined by you and millions of Slacker listeners.

Single artist stations are usually reserved for premium subscribers, but thanks to a special agreement, everyone can listen for a limited time.

Listen to Tom Petty’s Top 33 here.

AFI is the Artist of the Week

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 1.33.30 AMIf you can keep a band together for one decade you’re lucky…but two decades? Why that’s outlandish! Good for AFI that was always kind of the goal.

They started in high school with a hardcore punk sound and basically took that sound and threw it in the washing machine with a load of darkness. After 20 years their live shows are still melting faces. Call it punk integrity or musical sagacity. Although having a frontman that looks like Tegan and Sara’s hot sister can’t be bad for business either.

AFI just released their 9th studio album Burials this week and this week’s Artist of the Week station includes the artists they inspired, influenced and collaborated with.

Listen to AFI on Slacker’s Artist of the Week here.

Take a Look at the New EQ Charts for the Week!

EQ PlayWelcome to the first EQ charts for the week of October 13th! You can take a look at the full charts here. 

We know that when we feature a song or artist on Slacker as a “Song Stuck In My Head,” “Artist of the Week” or “Album of the Week,” that artist typically sees a big spike in our weekly EQ charts. But what happens when an artist is at the center of a pop culture phenomenon? We see Blake Shelton’s EQ scores ebb and flow depending on how his team performs on “The Voice” from week to week, and after Miley’s controversial VMA performance, she shot up the chart. This week, Drake was the beneficiary of a viral meme called #StarbucksDrakeHands, and as a result, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” got a significant boost on the charts. Details and key insights from this week’s EQ charts across all genres are below.

Within the EDM chart we observe several genres of electronic music co-existing peacefully, all enjoying equal enthusiasm and engagement of millions of Slacker music fans. We see the pop-dubstep of Krewella—who have 3 tracks on the chart, the indie-electronic sounds of Lorde--who holds the number one spot on the chart, the progressive trance of Tiesto and Armin van Buuren, and the house stylings of Avicii all represented here. Tiesto’s “Chasing Summers” makes the biggest jump of the week, moving up 11 spots to land at number 25.

On the Pop chart, for the first week in recent memory, the biggest movers are hip hop and R&B artists, rather than the recent EDM invaders. Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” is up 17 spots to settle at number 11—this spike is in direct correlation with this week’s #StarbucksDrakeHands phenomenon on Instagram and Vine. J. Cole’s “Crooked Smile” is up 19 spots to land at number 32, and Bruno Mars’ “Gorilla” makes a huge debut this week, moving 35 spots to number 33.

As is often the case, once Slacker listeners are introduced to a new artist that they love, they dive deeper to discover more of that artist’s music. That would explain why Lorde has a record 3 songs on the Alt/Indie chart this week. “Royals” is number one for the 4th week in a row, followed by “Tennis Court” at number 10, and “Team” makes its debut on the chart this week—moving up 23 spots to number 28.

At Hip Hop, Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” takes the top spot—again, we see the power of the #StarbucksDrakeHands meme. Travie McCoy returns to the game after a lengthy absence, as his “Rough Water” makes the week’s biggest jump, moving up 65 spots to debut at number 27. Jay Z, as always, looms large over all of hip hop, as his “Holy Grail” holds down the top 5 while he’s got back to back spots at nos. 38 and 39 with “F**kwithmeyouknowigotit” and “Tom Ford.”

Pop Evil’s “Trenches” is the first song in weeks to challenge Black Veil Brides’ “In The End” for the number one spot on the Rock chart, and Pearl Jam’s “Sirens” makes a big jump to debut on the chart at number 29. Incidentally, Pearl Jam’s “Lightning Bolt” is Slacker’s Album Of The Week—so you can listen to the whole thing, as much as you would like, all week long!

Finally, Slacker’s Country chart has a new number 1 and a rootsy debut. Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night” knocks Florida Georgia Line out of the top spot, and Zac Brown Band’s “Sweet Annie” debuts at number 40.

Hear Lorde, Avicii, Luke Bryan, and Drake all living together in relative harmony on the Slacker Top 40 station here,–a countdown featuring the 40 most engaging tracks of the week, hosted by Slacker DJ Parker. And check back next week to see how millions of Slacker music fans just like you push songs up and down the charts—just by listening, skipping, Hearting, and banning the songs that you hear!

Want to learn more about what the EQ score is? Read more here or check out our nifty infographic here.

Stagecoach Music Festival Reveals Star-Studded 2014 Lineup

Three guys at the top of their country music game will co-headline the 2014 Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Eric Church lead the names on a long roster of talent for the three day event, set for April 25-27 at the Polo Empire Club.

The full lineup of more than 60 artists includes mainstream country singers along with Americana and Alt-Country acts, plus a few country legends. Eric Church will close Friday’s show, after performances by Loretta Lynn, Brantley Gilbert, Easton Corbin, Jon Pardi, Eric Paslay, Thomas Rhett and more.

Jason Aldean has headlining duties Saturday night, with his opening acts including Ashley Monroe, Crystal Gayle, Danielle Bradbery, Holly Williams, Hunter Hayes, Jennifer Nettles and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, among many others.

Luke Bryan will close the festival Sunday after sets by Asleep at the Wheel, Charlie Worsham, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Lee Brice and more. See a full roster for all three nights here.

Tickets go on sale Oct. 18, with the three-day general admission price set at $249. Get tickets here, and get the party started early by listening to our Stagecoach 2013 station here.

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Pearl Jam’s “Lightening Bolt” is Slacker’s Album of the Week

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 11.24.46 AMPearl Jam proves its 23-year secret to longevity with “Lightning Bolt,” the Seattle-based rock legends’ tenth studio album.

The collection is reminiscent of what fans love about classic Pearl Jam, with its contemplative lyrics and unique, grunge-rock style. The album is Pearl Jam at their best.

Listen to “Lightning Bolt,” Slacker’s Album of the Week, all week long on demand.

 

 

 

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