Album Of The Week: Oxymoron from Schoolboy Q

IOS SCHOOLos Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q got his start making mixtapes and as part of a group called Black Hippy, along with acclaimed hip hop star Kendrick Lamar. Well it’s finally time for Schoolboy to graduate to the big leagues. His debut album “Oxymoron” has just come out, and it’s got an all-star lineup of guest vocalists from A$AP Rocky to Danny Brown. Listen here as much as you want.

Album Of The Week: Voices from Phantogram

IOS PHANTNew York duo Phantogram may not quite be a household name yet, but they’ve steadily built up a following for their edgy, electronic style, with influences as diverse as J Dilla and Sonic Youth. Their second album is out now; it’s called “Voices,” and it’s our Album of the Week–listen here as much as you like and “Fall in Love” with Phantogram!

Top 44 Anti-Love Songs

44 GREATEST ANTI LOVE SONGS-ELove is all you need…unless, of course, you’ve recently had your heart broken into a million pieces. Red hosts this countdown of the greatest songs about splitting up and holding a grudge, covering every genre and era…because, after all, heartbreak and revenge are universal. Click here and enjoy, (but not too much). 

Album Of The Week: Sinatra, With Love

IOS SINATRAIs there a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with ole blue eyes himself? Frank Sinatra continues to soundtrack our most romantic moments with great songs like “It Had to Be You” and “Moonlight Becomes You.” Now a new compilation album pulls together 16 romance classic from both the Capitol and Reprise years. It’s called “Sinatra With Love,” Frank Sinatra and you can listen here; it’s Slacker’s Album of the Week.

Album Of The Week: ‘Random Access Memories’

png-3Congratulations to Daft Punk, whose “Random Access Memories” just won the Grammy for Album of the Year. The Grammy voters chose the most ambitious of the nominees, nearly 5 years in the making and utilizing a crowd of guest musicians from Nile Rogers to Panda Bear. And of course “Get Lucky” was at least tied with “Blurred Lines” for the song of the summer. It’s the Grammys’ Album of the Year and Slacker’s Album of the Week, listen as much as you want to “Random Access Memories” by Daft Punk.

Artist Of The Week: Bruno Mars

png-2This week, singer Bruno Mars performs on one of the biggest stages an artist ever gets, the Super Bowl Half Time show. It’s the culmination of a great year for the 28 year old singer, named Artist of the Year by Billboard Magazine and scoring five Grammy nominations. In celebration, Slacker has put together a station just for Bruno Mars fans, featuring music from his two multi-platinum albums as well as inspirations and collaborators. Bruno Mars is Slacker’s Artist of the Week and you can listen here!

Thomas Dolby: Where Is He Now?

thomas_dolbyThis week at Slacker we’re celebrating all things 80′s & New Wave while our Slacker countdown, the 101 Greatest New Wave Songs cranks in the background. What can we say, we’re New Wave fans! Some folks here (like myself) would even argue it was the greatest period ever in the storied history of Rock music. The hair, the synthesizers, the androgynous edge, the elevation of punk ethos and pop excess straight into outer space- what’s not to love?!

So in the spirit of celebration, we’re taking a rewind/fast forward look at some stand out New Wave artists to get a sense of what exactly they’ve been up to since their New Wave peak and where they are now. Today: Thomas Dolby!

I got to interview the legendary musician as part of Slacker’s partnership with Moogfest, an eclectic music festival in Asheville, North Carolina back in 2012. While predominantly known for his quirky 1982 hit “She Blinded Me With Science,” Dolby’s career has taken off in multiple fascinating directions.

After releasing his fourth album Astronauts & Heretics back in 1992, Dolby took a break from recording albums and turned to the world of business and technology. His first venture was called “Headspace,” a company that developed a new file format for downloadable music. He then founded a ringtone company and even composed the now ubiquitous Nokia theme. (Listen to it here, you totally know it!)

250px-Thomas_Dolby_at_TEDIn 2001 he came on board as musical director of the TED Conference, both providing actual music for the event and booking guest speakers and entertainers. And in 2012 he filmed a documentary about the decommissioning of a lighthouse near his home in Suffolk England. One thing’s for sure: Thomas Dolby, like any true artist and innovator, is never bored!

[Post by @PartyBen – partyben.com/]

 

B-52s: Where Are They Now?

The+B52s++1980This week at Slacker we’re celebrating all things 80′s & New Wave while our Slacker countdown, the 101 Greatest New Wave Songs cranks in the background. What can we say, we’re New Wave fans! Some folks here (like myself) would even argue it was the greatest period ever in the storied history of Rock music. The hair, the synthesizers, the androgynous edge, the elevation of punk ethos and pop excess straight into outer space- what’s not to love?!

So in the spirit of celebration, we’re taking a rewind/fast forward look at some stand out New Wave artists to get a sense of what exactly they’ve been up to since their New Wave peak and where they are now. Today: the B-52s!

First up, let’s get one thing clear: the apostrophe in “B-52’s” went away in 2008; it’s just one of the many mysteries surrounding this band. The Athens, Georgia combo were both ridiculously innovative and innovatively ridiculous for their time. It’s hard to imagine now how truly odd they seemed back in the late ‘70s, with beehive hairdos, a thrift store aesthetic, and gay members who aren’t afraid to be a bit camp on stage. This was Georgia, people!

The release of “Rock Lobster” in 1978 catapulted the band to international fame. It reached the Top 10 in Ireland and Canada and eventually inspired John Lennon to return to making music. While founding member Ricky Wilson’s tragic and untimely death from AIDS in 1985 sidelined the band for a few years, they were to go on to even greater success, with “Love Shack” and “Roam” both peaking at #3 in the US.

b522The band laid low for an even longer period after 1992’s Good Stuff, and didn’t release a new album until 2008’s Funplex, which received strong reviews. While the band continued to be a successful concert act, playing around 50 shows a year, in 2012 founding drummer and multi-instrumentalist Keith Strickland announced he would no longer tour with the band. Currently, Kate Pierson is reportedly working on a solo album. While there are no tour dates or releases planned for the band at the moment, you never know what to expect with the B-52s, one of the strangest and most groundbreaking acts to ever grace the charts.

[Post by @PartyBen – partyben.com/]

 

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