Tim McGraw Honored for “Highway” Milestone

Less than two dozen artists on the planet can boast 34 No. 1 singles, so there was a big reason for Tim McGraw to celebrate this week in Nashville. Friends and colleagues threw a party for the country superstar in midtown Music City to commemorate his 34th chart-topper, “Highway Don’t Care,” which also features Taylor Swift on vocals and Keith Urban on guitar.

Photo by Rick Diamond- Getty

Photo by Rick Diamond- Getty

“I’m a big fan of Keith’s and big fan of Taylor’s. They’re two of the best artists we have, not just in country but in music in general,” McGraw told Slacker and other partygoers, including Urban himself, who beamed at his friend on stage. “Keith is one of those guys who makes everyone look at us here in Nashville, and I’m so proud to have him represent us. And Taylor is so smart, talented, beautiful, and a spectacular songwriter. It was a big deal to have her on this record, and especially a big deal for my three daughters!”

Plaques commemorating the song’s rise to the top were presented to the singer, his producer Byron Gallimore and the “Highway Don’t Care” songwriters, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Brad Warren and Brett Warren. McGraw showed as much appreciation for the writers as he did his collaborators.

Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore; photo by Thien Phan

Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore; photo by Thien Phan

“There are people at 7-Eleven who can sing better than I can, but there are not a lot of people who can write a great song,” he mused. “This town is full of those people. They’re passionate about what they do and work hard at it. The best (songwriters) in this industry are right here in Nashville.”

McGraw’s wife, Faith Hill, was also at the party, as the couple shared a rare night out together in Nashville. They will resume their series of Soul2Soul shows at Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel and Casino in October. McGraw is also working on a new movie but is keeping mum on details, joking that he’d lose his role if he said anything about it just yet.

Listen to McGraw’s latest No. 1, “Highway Don’t Care,” here.

 

Rock The Bells Festival Announce Artists Additions to Lineup

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.09.01 AMThe Rock The Bells festival announced a dozen additions to it’s 2013 lineup this week, including Riff Raff, Action Bronson, and Deltron 3030. Those acts join hip-hop stars like Wu-Tang Clan, J. Cole, and Kid Cudi. And to top it off: they are promising hologram performances from Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E.

Other additions include notable EDM artists Pretty Lights, Chase & Status and Mimosa.

Guerilla Union CEO and founder Chang Weisberg said of the new additions and EDM add ons, “It’s also important to acknowledge the gap being bridged between hip hop and EDM. They’re no longer two solitary genres and we’re starting to see major overlap between both styles, especially in areas like LA, NYC, and DMV. Rock The Bells tenth year marks the perfect time to celebrate that influence with acts like Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, Chase & Status and Mimosa. Hip-hop is not one dimensional, it’s actually more diverse than it’s ever been, and I’m glad that we’re able to showcase and celebrate the many different sub-styles of the genre.”

In unprecedented hip-hop history, more than twenty artists on this year’s bill are releasing new albums this year including Curren$y, Danny Brown, Deltron 3030, Dom Kennedy, Earl Sweatshirt, Hopsin, Juicy J, Schoolboy Q, and many more.

The festival lands in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C and New York starting in September. Click here for dates and ticket info.

Hear the lineup on Slacker’s Hip Hop station.

 

 

Slacker Heads to Beale Street Music Festival

1400The 2013 Beale Street Music Festival, taking place May 3-5 in Tom Lee Park,marks the 37th anniversary of the festival, which each year attracts music enthusiasts from all 50 states and a dozen foreign countries to the storied city where rock-n-roll and blues music all began.

Slacker will be heading to Memphis, Tennessee – along with thousands of other music fans for the multistage three-day event, best known for its eclectic mix of contemporary rock, blues, soul and modern talent and its musically inspired setting.

The festival is held in a beautiful 25 acre riverfront park at the foot of historic Beale Street overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.

2013_bsmf_mapThe Slacker tour truck will be setting up shop all weekend. We will be located on-site near the Horseshoe Tunica Blues Tent by the North Entrance. Click on the map to enlarge.

Make sure to stop by and say hi! We have a cell phone charging station, sign ups for one month free Slacker Premium, games, giveaways, a chance to win a full year of Slacker Premium, and more!

Beale Street Music Festival Lineup

 

Check out the lineup for Beale Street Music Festival and head over to our Beale Street station on Slacker to get prepared for what is bound to be a fantastic weekend in the south.

 

 

 

 

Aleks Syntek Celebrates New Album and New Home

Aleks Syntek Syntek AlbumAleks Syntek has jumped ship from his old label and has a new home, Sony Latin Music- who rolled out the red carpet and had Syntek visit Los Angeles for some much needed radio schmoozing, album promoting and celebrating.

While in town, the Mexican musician-singer-songwriter offered a special showcase at the label’s Beverly Hills offices to present his new album “Syntek,” a throwback to the 80s with a synth-heavy sound throughout the 12 songs that the artist declared as “Mexican electronic music.” We had the opportunity to attend the showcase where the multi-talented pop singer gave us a sampling of some of the new tracks on the album, including the single “La Tormenta,” as well as some classics like “Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas.”

Aleks Syntek Album PartyThe special gathering brought together a who’s who of L.A.’s Spanish-language media and radio stations, including sponsoring outlet KSSE (Súper Estrella) and of course some of us at Slacker.  Syntek’s friends, including Mexican actor Diego Boneta (that cutie from Rock of Ages), celebrity Michelle Salas (famous for being the daughter of superstar Luis Miguel and rumored to be dating Boneta), Edward James Olmos and a few other celebs.

It was a lively and fun night, which was refreshing to see in a day and age when labels don’t tend to throw these kinds of shindigs any more, at least not Latin labels. Times are tight in this “sequester” reality we live in so it was nice to experience a party reminiscent of music label glory days.

Music Festival Roundup – The Festival Season’s Best

Polish off your bedazzled culottes and cowboy boots; music festival season is here. It’s that glorious time when legacy meets novelty in the musical arena. We come, we dance, we listen to music, we fall in love.

In an effort to streamline your party-planning, here’s a little guide to shed some light on the hottest music festivals this season:

Coachella – Indio, CA (April 12-14 and April 19-21)

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Slacker Each year, Goldenvoice litters the desert with spectacular musical talent, the best and worst dressed celebrities, and mind-blowing installation art. Some past Coachella unforgettable moments include: the resurrection of Tupac, Daft Punk headlining, Roger Waters playing Dark Side of the Moon, and the sounds of Radiohead penetrating the desert atmosphere.

This year’s lineup, albeit heavy on the alt-rock, is wonderfully eclectic at heart. From trip-hop to hip-hop, there’s something for everyone. The headliners are Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Highlights:

– Check out the living, breathing art installations that are scattered across the dusty desert. Each piece will pair perfectly well with your heat-induced megalomania.

– The Heineken Dome is a must-see for the 21 and up crowd. When the temperatures rise to the triple digits, cool-off in the Heineken Dome and get your electro-dance fill.

– The lineup is packed with lesser-known acts too, be sure to check out these artists: Beach House (Dream Pop), Alt-J (Experimental), Baauer aka the DJ that brought you the 2012 hit “Harlem Shake” (Trap/Bass), Yeasayer (Psychedelic Pop), Wild Belle (Indie Rock), and the Neighbourhood (Indie Pop).

 

Governors Ball – Randall’s Island, NYC (June 7,8 & 9)

This is only the third installment of the Governor’s Ball, but the lineup is stacked. Kuddos to Founders Entertainment for securing power players like Kanye West, Kings of Leon and Guns n’ Roses to headline. The Governor’s Ball is a multi-sensory experience with fun-tivities, local eats, and an impossibly cool lineup, all set against the sparkly backdrop of New York City.

Highlights

– NYC food trucks — enough said. Take a break from your head-bobbing and fist-pumping to savor some culinary magic.

– The Silent Disco, a Governor’s Ball tradition, is a must-see. Picture this – hundreds of people dancing their pants off while wearing wireless headphones that play music from live DJs.

– Everyone loves a good photo op. So take some photos on the Governor’s Ball’s dime.

– Frat parties aren’t the only place you can enjoy a casual game of corn hole or ping pong. Check out all the lawn games the Governor’s Ball has in store.

– The headliners are massive, but be sure to check out these acts too: Of Monsters and Men (Indie/Folk), Animal Collective (Experimental), Cut Copy (Electronic), Icona Pop (Synth Pop), the Lumineers (Folk Rock), Kendrick Lamar (Hip Hop), and Azealia Banks (Rap) to name a few.

Bonnaroo – Manchester, TN (June 13-16)

Imagine a festival set amidst lush greens, massive trees, blue skies, fresh air and flying songbirds. If Mother Nature herself could put on a music festival, it would be Bonnaroo. This Tennessee music festival runs for four glorious days across 700 acres of beautiful naturescape with over 10 music stages, a mini film festival and thousands of happy campers. This year’s main acts include: Sir Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Bjork. Take a look at the Slacker Bonnaroo Station to hear more from this years artist lineup.

Highlights

– We’ve already mentioned it, but there are over 10 music stages. For those with festival ADD, your needs will be more than sated.

– There’s a comedy tent because Bonnaroo celebrates talent across a rainbow of genres.

– Bonnaroo’s got swagger — it was named one of the “50 Moments That Changed Rock & Roll” by Rolling Stone.

– Attractions for days — Bonnaroo has craft vendors, a silent disco, a cinema tent and an obligatory music festival ferris wheel.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – New Orleans, LA (April 26-May 5)

The New Orleans Jazz Fest is a whopping 10-day festivus that celebrates all that is good in this world: music, cajun food, craft shops, art, mint juleps and partying. There’s heavy emphasis on the indigenous music and culture of good ol’ New Orleans, but new-age music styles influenced by bluegrass and jazz are also welcomed. The event is held at the Fair Grounds Race Course and is hailed as having a “wider, deeper lineup of essential American musical styles than any festival in the nation..” by Life magazine (nbd).

Highlights

– Eclectic food items from local businesses including: alligator sausage po’boys, Jambalaya, Oyster patties, boiled crawfish, muffulettas, beignets, fried green tomatoes and cochon de lait. You must try all of these items.

– Each day of festival attendance includes a history lesson, access to crafts and immersion into Cajun culture.

– There are several colorful parades that deck the streets, as well as marching brass bands, social aids and pleasure clubs.

– This year’s lineup includes: Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, the Black Keys, John Mayer, Phoenix, Frank Ocean, Willie Nelson & Family, Patti Smith, Ben Harper, Jimmy Cliff, B.B King, Widespread Panic and more.

Stagecoach – Indio, CA (April 26-28)

Stagecoach on SlackerStagecoach is not your average rodeo. Set against the backdrop of Palm Desert at the Empire Polo Club, also home to Coachella, is an outdoor country music festival of epic proportions. Cowboy boots, hats and flannel are recommended for this celebration of folk, bluegrass, country, roots, rock and alternative country. Prepare to be serenaded til sun down by some of the hottest country crooners in the world.

Highlights

– This year’s already announced lineup includes: Toby Keith, Lonestar, Hank William Jr., Jeff Bridges & the Abiders, Riders in the Sky, Maggie Rose, Zac Brown Band and many more to come.

– It wouldn’t be a country music festival without a BBQ contest, BBQ vendors and a pancake breakfast in the campgrounds. Noteworthy vendors include: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Fisherman’s Market & Grill, Spicy Pie, Waffleman Ice Cream Sandwiches and Jackelope Ranch.

– For all the aspiring stars and wannabes, there’s Karaoke in the RV Resort from 10 pm- 1:30 am.

– Be sure to checkout the Country DJ also in the RV Resort located in the Dome near the General Store.

Movement – Detroit, MI (May 25-27)

This massive festival was dubbed best Music Fest of 2010 by the New York Post. Aptly named, Movement, is more than just a music festival –it’s a sound, dance and technology revolution. With over 100 artists and over 107,000 attendees, things are gonna get weird (in a good way). The production is grandiose to say the least, with state-of-the-art interactive stages that will literally melt your mind. The phase I & II lineups are already looking pretty legit  with: Brodinski, Gesaffelstein, Big Gigantic, Andy C, Amtrac, John Digweed, Noisia, Soul Clap and Adult.

Highlights

– The stages are seriously high-tech. You will be shot into outer space and floating around the atmosphere. Lights shoot out from every square inch of the stage, while glowing mass dance the night away.

– The festival is dedicated to electronica and technology, and the beautiful offspring they’ve procured. From electro legends to trap bass newcomers, Movement will accommodate EDM lovers across genres, ages and ethnicities.

– The location is prime Detroit real-estate. Your partying will be accompanied with views of the glittery city. You’re hard pressed to find a better melange of technology, music, human and metropolis.

 

Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas, NV (June 21-23)

Electric Daisy Carnival Now the largest North American music festival, this is EDC’s 17th annual celebration. It is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year and an incredible 3-day exploration of electronic dance music. Thirsty souls and music lovers can satisfy their wanderlust among a sea glittery faces, laser light shows and deeply penetrating bass. Born in LA, EDC has transformed itself into a brand new experience with every new chapter. This year’s festival attendees can expect over 150 musical acts, 500 theatrical performers, 12 massive interactive art installations, exhilarating pyrotechnics and over 300,000 music fans.

Highlights

– The EDC celebrations extend further than the Motor Speedway with daytime pool parties at some of the hottest clubs on the strip. For example, Kaskade will be playing EDC weekend at Marquee Dayclub for his Summer Lovin’ residency.

– You’re hard pressed to find a more accommodating hostess than Miss Sin City herself. You can literally party 24/7 (not that we recommend it), but from after hour clubs to daybeds that open at 10 am, it’s nearly impossible to not party your face off.

– The Discovery Stage is a must-see; in an effort to recognize talent in all forms, Insomniac hosts a DJ talent contest and amasses the winners to play on this stage. It’s refreshing, progressive and entirely spellbinding.

– Neatly organized chaos. There are seven stages including: the kineticFIELD, cosmicMEADOW, circuitGROUNDS, neonGARDEN, bassPOD, heinekenDOMES, and Q-Dance Stage. Each stage has a unique theme, style and genre specific talent.

– Thirty hours of EDM, ‘nuf said.

Slacker’s 2013 Grammy Awards Recap

Slacker Grammy Awards Station 2013For the 4th year in a row, Team Slacker was backstage at the Grammy Awards, getting you closer to the music than anyone. Over the course of the event, I had the chance to interview nominees such as Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, Diplo, and Lecrae. I was also able to interview emerging artists like Trindad James, Kid Ink, and Youngblood Hawke, and more established artists like Incubus, Ryan Tedder, and Chaka Khan.

You can hear these interviews, and music from the winners, on Slacker’s Grammy Awards 2013 station. Plus, to give you a sneak peak, check out what went down and what we found out behind-the-scenes at the Grammy Awards.

 

Neyla from The Lumineers spent last year’s Grammy night waiting tables in Denver. Talk about a big step up! Watch our interview with her here:

Brittany from Alabama Shakes gave us a preview of the tribute to Levon Helm, which was clearly a meaningful experience for her:

Fall Out Boy is back from hiatus with a new album and tour- even though they swore it wasn’t happening. I gave them a hard time about the misinformation. Also, Andy actually talked, which never happens.

In addition to being one of the funniest guys on Twitter, Diplo is always a reliable source of music discovery. He has been on the cutting edge of new music from all genres for many years so I asked him, “Whats next”?

Joey Fatone was there, and I just couldn’t resist asking him about JT and a N*Sync reunion…

Oh yeah, I hung out with Rebecca Black for a minute.

Rebecca Black and Slacker

It was awkward…

The Grammys were a great time as usual. I’ll wait till some other time and tell you what Red Foo from LMFAO did to my leg. Slacker has a ton of events coming up. Festival season is nearly upon us, and our next stop is SXSW in Austin.

Until then, don’t forget to check out our Grammy Awards 2013 station to hear more interviews and discover music by this years Grammy Award Winners.