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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Mumford and Sons, Phoenix Wow the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

This past weekend, August 2-4, some 135,000 people (over the 3 days) flocked to Parc Jean Drapeau on the small Montreal island of Ile St Helene to take part in the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival. The largest of its kind in Canada, Osheaga has solidified its spot as THE festival to attend over the Canadian August long weekend, drawing fans from all across Canada, the US and Europe.

With 5 stages nestled throughout the woods of the park and the cityscape of Montreal as a backdrop, Osheaga is an outdoor concert experience you won’t find anywhere else!

Sharing its lineup with Lollapalooza 2013 in Chicago, Osheaga hosted some of the biggest names in music including Mumford and Sons, Beck, Phoenix, The Lumineers, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Vampire Weekend, The Cure and New Order.

 

Capital Cities kick it off with a bang!

The first band to hit the main stage on Friday afternoon was Capital Cities. What a kick off! Their fun and energetic set had people on their feet from the moment they started right till the end. Playing all their big tracks from their album In A Tidal Wave of Mystery (trumpet player and all!) it was a perfect way to get people in the mood to party!

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

But then the happy vibe quickly ended when Canadian hip-hop artist k-os took the stage 20 minutes late. They were obviously having sound issues because when k-os finally started his set he only played for 2 minutes then said “I can’t do this right now – I can’t hear myself”, and threw his all access pass into the crowd and walked off. Undoubtedly the crowd booed.

The next 3 artists on the main stages – Daughter, Ben Howard and Alt-J – were a bit too chill, especially after Capital Cities.  Two Door Cinema Club stepped out in class with lead singer Alex Trimble sporting a pompadour coif and belting out hits like “Something Good Can Work” and tunes from their latest album Beacons. The crowd was back on their feet and stayed that way through Ellie Goulding and Vampire Weekend.

The best show of the night went to Phoenix. Their catchy and fun melodies perfectly matched their high energy on stage, and that enthusiasm quickly spread like wild fire to the crowd. The epic moment came when lead singer Thomas Mars “fell” into the crowd during their song “1901” and paraded through while being kissed by all those that could reach him. It was awesome to watch.

Photo by Pat Beaudry

Photo by Pat Beaudry

Unfortunately for the Cure, Phoenix was a hard act to follow. Although they played all their hits (well almost, the organizers had to pull the plug on them at 11pm), they just couldn’t get the crowd to that same energy level.

Day 2 – k-os comes back!

I arrived a little later on Day 2 of the festival, missing Grouplove and The Heavy, but heard they played great sets. Canadian twins, Tegan and Sara received a warm welcome and played a nice mix of hits from their latest album Heartthrob and old fan favorites.

Miguel was due to play next at the main stages but cancelled last minute due to a vocal cord injury. Who could they find last minute to fill his spot? How about k-os? He’s gotta work to get paid, right?

Not impressed by his previous day antics, there were a lot of people who decided to skip his show, including myself.

Heading over to the Scene Verte stage in the woods, another set of twins were just getting ready to play, Kim and Kelley Deal of The Breeders. A large crowd of 30 and 40-somethings gathered to relive the mid-90s as the band played their epic album Last Splash from start to finish. Everyone sang along as they rocked through classics like “Cannonball” and “No Aloha”. Pure Awesomeness!

Back to the main stage, the Imagine Dragons performed one of the best shows of the festival.  Energetic, passionate and playful, lead singer Dan Reynolds gave it his all…and the crowd ate it up! Touring on just one album, Night Visions, they were the surprise show of the weekend.

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

Photo by: Pat Beaudry

After that, the crowd was pumped for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who kept the party going with their party anthems “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us”. For their latest radio hit “Same Love”, they invited Tegan and Sara to sing the chorus, usually performed by Mary Lambert. They only managed to play 8 songs in their hour long set because Macklemore would ramble on before every song, telling stories about his grandmother who once worked at the Montreal General Hospital. It was sweet but annoying after the second story.

The Saturday night closer was Beck, whom the promoters had been trying to get to Montreal for 7 years. Coming out in a cowboy hat and looking like Bob Dylan in his younger days, Beck kicked it off with a funky rendition of “Devil’s Haircut”. Despite the rain, fans held on. A fave moment came when Rishi Dhir of Montreal band Elephant Stone played sitar during “Loser”. Although Beck played nothing from his albums Mutations nor Midnite Vultures, he played several covers including Korgis’ “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”.

Day 3 – Mumford and Sons draw record attendance

Day 3 of the festival was the first day to sell out, and most can assume it was because of Mumford and Sons. The day was quite cool and windy and there was a heavy downpour of rain in the afternoon (which can always ruin a buzz) so the earlier shows such as Little Green Cars, Silversun Pickups, Big Boi, The Lumineers, Father John Misty and Kendrick Lamar lacked luster, compared to the artists of the previous days…or maybe it was just me!

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As the sun (or what there was of it) started to fall, the crowd revved up for 80s/90s legends, New Order. With ¾ of the original band (minus Peter Hook) present, Bernard Sumner belted out classics such as “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “True Faith”, “Blue Monday” and “Temptation” to an adoring crowd…most of who weren’t even born in New Order’s heyday! Their hour and a quarter set closed with a trio of songs from their Joy Division days – “Atmosphere”, “Shadowplay” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – with pictures of singer Ian Curtis splashing on the screen behind them.

Last but not least, the final show of the festival, Mumford and Sons. With stringed lights strewed from the stage to the sound booth, the crowd was on their feet before they even took to the stage. The place was packed, there was barely anyone sitting down. There was no doubt this was a record attendance for Osheaga!

Marcus Mumford and his bandmates took to the stage in blue light and softly harmonized to the beginning of “Lovers’ Eyes”, until the peak of the song when the bright white lights came on and the energy on stage as well as in the crowd was explosive.  “Little Lion Man” followed, everyone in the crowd sang at the top of their lungs. From “I Will Wait” to “Lover of the Light” to an awesome Springsteen cover of “I’m on Fire” to the closer “The Cave”, Mumford and Sons demonstrated they were worthy of being top headliner at this festival.

It was a perfect way to cap off the amazing weekend and put the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in the top ranks of summer music festivals worldwide.

 

 

 

New Events Just Added to the Slacker Tour!

Slacker HomepageThe Slacker Tour is ramping up as we are about halfway through summer festival season.  We just announced a slew of new concerts and festivals we are headed to so make sure to take a look at the updated calendar of events.

You can also stay in the loop on all event news and updates on the Slacker Tour page here.

From Forecastle Festival in Kentucky to Culture Collide in Los Angeles  – you will be able to spot  the Slacker Tour bus all across the country. In case you haven’t seen it, the Slacker Tour bus is a pretty fun place to hang out. Take a look:

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We always have a lot going on at the bus including:

  • Chances to win big prizes–including an Epiphone guitar
  • Live performances (depending on the show).
  • Cell phone charging stations
  • Demos to check out the new Slacker apps
  • Chances to win a free year of Slacker Premium

and much much more! So check out the new events we have just announced and hopefully we will see you on the road this summer.

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Festival News: ACL and EDC Lineups Prove Bigger is Better

Two of the American festival season’s biggest events revealed stacked lineups full of top tier artists and expansions to make room for more people – proving that music addicts’ favorite time of year keeps getting bigger and better.

Austin City Limits Reveal Lineup and Additional Weekend

Austin-City-Limits-Music-Festival-425x350Festival favorite Austin City Limits revealed a fully loaded lineup as the organizers announce the expansion to two weekends in 2013. Muse, Kings of Leon, Phoenix, Atoms for Peace, Vampire Weekend, Wilco, Depeche Mode, the Cure, and Lionel Richie top the lengthy bill for ACL ’13, set for October 4-6 and 11-13 in Austin’s Zilker Park.

Fun., Kendrick Lamar, The National, Passion Pit, Jimmy Eat World, D’Angelo and Franz Ferdinand are also on the lineup along with some country acts like Eric Church and EDM favoite Kaskade.

Did we mention the lineup was loaded? ACL ‘13 will feature over 120 bands from genres across the board each weekend.

Check out their Web site for the full lineup and to purchase tickets then head over to Slacker’s ACL ’13 station to get a head start on festival prep.

For Dance Music Fans – EDC Lineup Has Something for Everyone

edcCOVERRarely does a festival inspire so much loyalty and faith that it completely sells out even before the lineup is revealed but such is the case for America’s largest music festival- Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). The lineup, revealed just a month shy of the dance music centered festival, makes it easy to see why. With a roster that is almost overwhelming to look at- the question is not, “Who is playing at EDC?”, but rather, “Who isn’t?”.

For the nearly 350,000 fans of electronic music that attend the massive festival, taking place June 21-23- there is something to satisfy everyone. Trance addicts can relish in Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, and Gareth Emery to name a few. Popular EDM acts Avicii, Benny Benassi, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Tiesto and Steve Angello are on the bill. Veteran favorites such as Jacques Lu Cont, John Digweed, Eric Prydz, and Pete Tong will be there. From electro house to disco to live electronic acts such as Empire of the Sun – EDC will feature over 500 “creators” over three days in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check out the full lineup below.

edc

 

Insiders Guide to Coachella 2013

Coachella 2013We are officially a week away from Coachella and the air is electric with excited anticipation and spastic preparations. This two-weekend festival (April 12-14 and April 19-21) is nestled in the heart of Palm Desert, California. And yes, temperatures typically net from sweaty to Ian Somerhalder smoldering. (Nothing a little deodorant, hand-sanitizer and breathable fabric can’t champion!)

Despite the unforgiving heat, this is one for the books. Coachella brings together a multitude of characters from strung-out celebrities to aristocratic hippies to desert vagabonds. There’s much to be heard and seen; like newly minted bands and the entire Urban Outfitters clothing line.

Insider tips for a good festival experience:

Shuttle it. The shuttle lines run across the scant desert streets and only cost $50-$80 for the weekend. Driving drunk is a rookie mistake. The shuttle wait times are minimal, and even if you decide to cuddle a cactus past pick-up time, you can always taxi back or enjoy the campground twilight festivities.

carpoolchellaCarpoolchella. In an effort to promote sustainability and such, GoldenVoice has a Carpoolchella giveaway with prizes like VIP tickets to Coachella for life. So, amass a group of festival goers, paint your Nissan with DayGlow pride, and be sure to write “CARPOOLCHELLA” for all to see.

10for1. This program lets thirsty but impoverished festival goers turn 10 empty water bottles into a free bottle of H20. Awesome.

Coachella The Do Lab The Do LaB. This attraction is a festival in and of itself. The Do LaB is an immersive music and art experience with a collection of underground artists streaming sick beats all day long. Water misters and hoses will cool you off while you rock your face off. This year’s lineup includes fan favorites like Gaslamp Killer, Lucent Dossier Experience, Goldrush and Kastle.

Plan it out. Coachella is a massive festival. Brush up on all the artists performing with the Coachella 2013 station and create a plan for who you want to see (but keep it flexible!). Pre-pick your meeting times and use landmarks like the Ferris Wheel for your meetup location. There’s nothing worse than missing an entire concert because you were searching for your friends the entire time. Also, reception is spotty, so timestamp your texts.

Who to see:

Headliners

Coachella 2013 lineup Coachella wouldn’t be Coachella without some monumental headline-age. This year mainstage monopolizers include Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Prepare your thirsty ears for some epic tunes and major surprises thanks to these well-respected artists. (It’s even been rumored that Daft Punk will make a long overdue appearance during Phoenix’s set). As these bands need no introduction, let’s delve into some of the lesser known performers.

New Music

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newbie whose proverbial musical balls have yet to drop, you should leave room on your agenda to see some bands you’ve never heard of. Aside from experiencing fourth degree sunburns, Coachella is about celebrating music–new and not-so.

C2C – Not so new but relatively unknown, this french turntable group is legit. The style is a mix of funk, disco and electro. The group are 4-time winners of the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship. If you like Glitch Mob and Pretty Lights, you might fall in love with these frenchmen.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBzO3yxSfOU

Jamie XXJamie Smith, aka Jamie XX, is an English music producer , remix artist and also ⅓ of the band The XX. His melodic tracks will leave you completely spellbound. His handiwork includes remixes for artists like Glasser, Florence + the Machine and Nosaj Thing. If you like the XX and Jamie Woon, be sure to check out Jamie XX.

Janelle Monáe – If you’re lucky enough you might just fall under the seductive entrapment of Miss Janelle Monáe. An American R&B and soul sensation, Monáe gained critical acclaim at the 53rd Grammy Awards for her The ArchAndroid (Suite II and III) album. She also lent her vocal acuity to Fun.’s smash hit “We are Young.” If you like Erykah Badu or Prince, be sure to check her out.

 

The NeighbourhoodWe can’t wait to see the Neighbourhood grace the dusty desert stage at this year’s Coachella. Part indie, part urban, part pop, this native Californian band shows a lot of promise. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s voice is as smooth as velvet. Check out their single “Sweater Weather,” we dare you to not listen to it on repeat.

 

Aesop RockAn underground hip hop legend, Ian Matthias Bavitz aka Aesop Rock, is a lyrical beast on the mic. Do yourself a solid and further your musical education with the thoughtful articulation of Aesop Rock. Never one to be predictable, he even paired up with folk goddess Kimya Dawson for the charming and evocative single “Delicate Cycle.”

Portugal. The ManThis Alaskan-grown band has been around for a fortnight, but hasn’t really hit the mainstream as hard as they should. Best described as psychedelic-rock, this innovative band definitely deserves a listening to. Check out their hauntingly delicious single “All Your Light” from their most recent album In the Mountain In the Cloud. If you like MGMT or Minus the Bear you’ll probably dig this ensemble.

Make Slacker’s new Coachella 2013 station your soundtrack over the next week to get in the Coachella frame of mind. Featuring all the headliners and artists performing at the festival all in one place- consider it homework.

The Week in Music News

Artists are branching out, Jack Sparrow’s has new friends and even more lineups are revealed for the approaching festival season in this week’s roundup of music news.

 Music Festival’s Reveal More Acts 

“The lineup is out!” has become the musical equivalent to, “Pitchers and catchers report for duty.”  This time every year, both statements ignite a flurry of excitement and tornado of chatter in anticipation for the sunny festival season ahead. This week had some big announcements in what has become a yearly tradition for music junkies everywhere.

SXSW Confirms More Artists and Music Schedule  

sxsw_2013SXSW posted the full music schedule and also confirmed more artists such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, which added to the 2,000+ already confirmed including Vampire Weekend, Paramore, Tegan and Sara, Sound City Players, Major Lazer and tons more. You can see the full schedule here.

South by Southwest, which includes music, film and interactive, will be held from March 8-17. SXSW Music takes place March 12-17.

Ultra Music Festival Releases Phase 3 Lineup 

2013_phase3_11 (1)The King of all dance music festivals lived up to its reputation when the Phase I lineup was revealed showing a mix of arena favorites, such as Armin Van Buuren and Swedish House Mafia, with live acts such as Thievery Corporation. The second phase of the lineup, revealing nice surprises like Eric Prydz and Pretty Lights, prompted the festival to sell out of GA tickets in record time, even though it had already jumped on the two-weekend bandwagon to accommodate the growing fan base. This week UMF released the third and final phase of the lineup, which basically includes every single artist who has ever touched a synthesizer on the planet. Click the picture to see the full lineup.

Ultra Music Festival will take place March 13 – March 17 and March 22 – March 24 in Bayfront Park, Downtown Miami. Some VIP ticket options are still available.

In other news…

R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe Plays With Pirates 

Collaborations, side projects and so-called supergroups are a growing trend but it isn’t too often you see something like Courtney Love and Michael Stipe joining forces with Johnny Depp on his forthcoming ‘pirate’ album. Read that combination over again. Courtney, Stipe and our favorite pirate – three things seemingly unrelated that, when brought together, mesh in some kind of illogical brilliance.

It’s like someone invented the s’more all over again.

The collaborative track, ‘Rio Grande’, appears on the pirate-themed album titled, ‘Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys’, which will be released on February 18th and include 36 tracks. The album is being put together by Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Hal Willner and also features a massive array of rock elite such as Iggy Pop, Keith Richards, Patti Smith and Broken Social Scene

Check out the video here

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Na4NdDB3GX0#!

 

More Than Just Music – Artists are Branching Out 

a-trak-infinite-legroom-mandate

“After years of learning the hard way, I can finally share my Tao of travel.”

A-Trak, the electronic music prodigy (DJ/Producer/record label owner), launched Infinite Legroom, a Web site guide to tasteful travel. A-trak has long been known for posting hilarious videos on Youtube reviewing the various hotels he stays at while on the road, so this was a logical next step for him.

Given the amount he travels, it would only make sense he would indirectly become an expert as he describes in his first post, “when you spend more time in hotels and airplanes than at home, your suitcase becomes your home and you start paying excessive attention to things like zippers and 4-way wheels. Inadvertently, your knowledge expands like an inflatable neck pillow.”

SigurRosScentedCandle

Product launches from artists and celebrities is nothing new. But this one definitely gets points for originality. Sigur Rós, the Icelandic group already known for the slightly off beat, has launched an original candle that is made to smell like campfires on a distant black beach and, “the smell of Sigur Rós’s studio while they go about the quasi-mystical business of making the magic happen.”

The Vardelur candle, named after the Valtari track, is available to purchase in their online store so fans can bring the delicious smell of  mystical magic, smokey musty music studios and campfires right into the home.

I already ordered mine.