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.

 

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.

 [button link=”http://www.slacker.com/station/album-of-the-week?sharedby=293064770&sharedon=1366706151″ size=”small” bg_color=”#0068ad” window=”yes”]Album of the Week[/button]

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.

[button link=”http://www.slacker.com/station/song-stuck-in-my-head?sharedby=293064770&sharedon=1366698250″ size=”small” bg_color=”#0068ad” window=”yes”]Song Stuck in my Head[/button]

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.

[button link=”http://www.slacker.com/station/artist-of-the-week?sharedby=293064770&sharedon=1366705945″ size=”small” bg_color=”#0068ad” window=”yes”]Artist of the Week[/button]

Slacker’s Attack of the Boy Bands Trivia

Attack of the Boy Bands Slacker’s Attack of the Boy Bands, a new station that simultaneously celebrates the new album from Justin Timberlake and the 15th anniversary of NSYNC’s debut album, takes listeners on a journey from the 90s explosion in popularity to the new generation of pop groups and even through the nostalgic reunions of our childhood faves.

During this exploration into the music that has sparked so many dance moves and pop hooks, a quick  brush up of some facts and tidbits are in order. In fact, there are many reasons you may want to brush up on your Boy Band trivia:

1) For that one day our favorite bubble yum genre gets a dedicated category on Jeopardy.

2) To sound cool to your nieces, nephews, kids, and any of your co-workers who have more dance skills in their pinky than you did even after that summer stint in musical theatre camp.

3) To acknowledge that you are a fan – indie street cred be damned. Admit it – you secretly get down to NKOTB, BSB and JT.

Here are some cool facts about our favorite Boy Bands you may not know:

In the UK, Take That is like the Beatles of the 21st Century

When Take That reunited in 2010, which included the return of Robbie Williams as icing on the cake, they released the band’s sixth studio album, Progress, which became the fastest selling album of the 21st century and the second fastest in British history. The tour that followed set the new record for the fastest selling tour of all time in the UK. In 2012 Forbes announced Take That as the 5th highest-earning music stars in the world, Amazon (UK) revealed they were their top selling music artist of all time and the Official Charts Company announced the biggest selling singles artists in British history with Take That placing 15th overall – the highest boy band in UK chart history. That is a lot history making and recording breaking for the vocal pop group. So much so that we can’t help but be reminded of the chart dominating tidal wave that was the Fab Four.

Nick Jonas is a Seasoned Broadway Veteran

Nick Jonas has some musical and acting chops that extend beyond the scope of the tween pop sensation that is the Jonas Brothers. After starting on Broadway at the tender young age of seven,  Nick went on to star in several acclaimed Broadway plays, including A Christmas Carol, Annie Get Your Gun, Beauty and the Beast, and Les Miserables (in 2003 as Gavroche and later as Marius for the 25th anniversary concert).

Justin Timberlake is a Mouseketeer

Yes ladies and gents, it is true. As if Justin being a singer/songwriter, actor, producer, restaurant owner, fashion designer and philanthropist were not enough  – he also has Mouseketeer listed on his resume. If he were not one of the most envied individuals in the world before – he definitely is now. Being a Mousketeer is almost as cool as being a Disney Imagineer. Take a look at Justin Timberlake, along with fellow peers Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling, in the 90s hit tv show The New Mickey Mouse Club.

One Direction didn’t start out as a group.

X-Factor, has introduced some natural born superstars and serious talent to the world (remember Susan Boyle?), and perhaps one of their biggest success stories has been boy band sensation One Direction. But did you know the group of five originally auditioned for the hit TV show as individuals? It was only after they were not progressing as individuals did producer Simon Cowell rework them into a group. A big kudos to Simon for seeing the hidden potential and possibility in One Direction- who are now often described as sparking the resurgence in the boy band concept and creating a new “British Invasion” in the United States.

Here are their first auditions:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzO6x81zvNU

And after Simon’s creation:

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.

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.

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. 

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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