Kenny Rogers Hosts Country Duets Station on Slacker

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.36.49 PMThere is no artist more fitting to host Slacker’s brand-new 77 Greatest Country Duets station than The Gambler himself, Kenny Rogers. The music legend has recorded some of the most beloved collaborations in both country and pop history, and has made entire albums of duets. Just a few of the many we all know by heart are “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton, “Everytime Two Fools Collide” with Dottie West, “We’ve Got Tonight” with Sheena Easton and “Lady” with his old buddy, Lionel Richie.

In hosting our new 77 Greatest Country Duets station, Rogers tells the stories behind some of his own duets and gives commentary on a wide range of other country collaborations, from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” to Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift’s “Highway Don’t Care.” We also hear personal stories about some of his friends on the countdown, including Reba McEntire, Naomi Judd and, of course, Miss Dolly.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.32.05 PMRogers and Parton have a new duet, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” on his new album of the same name. The song comes three decades after “Islands in the Stream” and reunites the platonic friends who have weathered 30 years of romantic rumors.

“People always thought we were having an affair and we didn’t want to ruin it because if we’d had an affair, we’d lose that spark. We just flirted a lot,” Rogers tells the Associated Press. “I can’t explain it but flirting is more electric than passion, it’s the anticipation … She does it better than anybody I’ve ever seen, and it’s just fun.”

Tune in to our 77 Greatest Country Duets station, hosted by Kenny Rogers, here.

The “55 Best Ideas in Music History” Station Rewards Risk-Takers Who Expanded Our Musical Palates

55 BEST IDEAS IN MUSIC HISTORY2“This is never going to work.”

That was the recurring theme when it came to creating Slacker’s brand-new station, the “55 Best Ideas in Music History.” The brainchild of music historians (and two of the funniest guys we know), Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, this station counts down the creative curveballs that left lasting impressions on the music world. Most of these ideas warrant a big, fat “I told you so” from their respective artists, as they started out as pipe dreams that others swore would never work.

“55 Best Ideas in Music History” spans several decades and genres, with an eclectic mix of musical gambles. For instance, what was Adele thinking when she made an entire album about one bad relationship? She was thinking all the way to the bank. Trailblazing folk icon Bob Dylan infuriated fans when he dared to plug in on an album and on tour. But adding a little electricity to his repertoire certainly received more cheers than jeers.

Slacker caught up with Craig and Rob, who also host the station, to reminisce on these musical milestones. The guys, who co-authored the hilariously poignant book, I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, explained to us how they crafted this station and which off-the-wall musical moves shocked them the most.

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Slacker: How did you come up with this list of ideas and songs?

Craig: We thought about shifts that may have seemed unusual or profound at the time, but turned out to be the best thing [the artist] has ever done. We put a lot of hours in, researching and combing through the history of music, and we asked some friends for their opinions.

Rob: Let’s put the emphasis on “asked friends.” We like to crowd source as much as possible, so that other people are doing our work and we’re getting paid for it.

Slacker: A lot of these ideas were huge risks at the time, from sampling animal sounds on a song to publicly poking fun at Justin Bieber. What would you say is the biggest career risk on this station?

Rob: Probably Taylor Swift dating John Mayer.

Craig: Biggest risk for whom? I’d say for him, really!

Rob: We’re talking about a risk/reward scenario. This shows how smart Taylor Swift is. There are lots of other less-smart women who’ve dated John Mayer and ended up miserable over it. She managed to make it work for her.

Rob: Another great example is Fleetwood Mac’s orgy. If you were in Fleetwood Mac and said to a friend, “Hey, what do you think of the idea of us all having sex with each other over a period of years?,” the friend would say, “Are you out of your mind? That’s a horrible idea!” And that’s why you should never listen to your friends. Fleetwood Mac ended up having multiple affairs with one another and then made one of the best rock records of all time, specifically about their affairs.

Slacker: A lot of these musical ideas also led to iconic moments in television and film — for instance, Blue Oyster Cult’s use of a cowbell in “Don’t Fear the Reaper” was hilariously parodied on “Saturday Night Live.” You also reference “Wayne’s World,” “The Sopranos” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on this countdown.  How did the big and small screens become such a big part of this station?

Craig: With “Bohemian Rhapsody” and songs like that, we wanted to tap into popular rock songs from the ‘70s and make you think about them in a new way. Plus, Rob and I think that scene in “Wayne’s World” was one of the greatest scenes in any movie in film history. And in the case of Blue Oyster Cult, it was an amazing parody of “Behind the Music” and gave the band an enormous boost.

Rob: I’d also say that Jimmy Fallon and The Roots help illustrate how we came up with this whole list: realizing we’re idiots. I remember when it was announced that the Roots were going to be Fallon’s late night band. I thought, “That’s a terrible idea. That’s never going to work.” Of course, Fallon and the Roots were right, and I was a moron. So this was a way for both of us to use our stupidity for our own personal gain.

Slacker: A few alter egos made the list, such as Beyonce’s “Sasha Fierce” persona. But why no Garth Brooks as “Chris Gaines”?

Rob: We are both fascinated by Chris Gaines and have to restrain ourselves from not putting him in every list we do. But we’re working on the “55 Worst Ideas in Music History” right now, so maybe he’ll show up on that list.

Slacker: Without giving away your choice for the #1 best idea in music, what criteria played a part in choosing it?

Rob: The decision was once again motivated by laziness. Craig and I co-wrote a book about MTV, and it’s a topic that, for once, we know a lot about. We’d already done the research. Music videos are things we love, so this gets our personal preferences up at the top.

Craig: If you listen to pop radio today, it’s largely centered around urban music. [Our #1 pick] was really one of the primary agents to allow black pop music to become the dominant stream of pop music in America. While Dylan going electric was profound, it didn’t have the affect on music that this video had that still resonates today.

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Check out our new station, “55 Best Ideas in Music History” to hear Craig and Rob’s picks for the risks that changed the course of music, along with their humorous, expert commentary. It’s a history lesson that will actually keep you awake! Also, check out the guys’ cleverly comedic ode to the good old days when MTV actually played music videos, I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. 

Enjoy New Countdowns on Slacker Radio

We know you love countdowns and Slacker has just launched some new countdowns we are sure you will enjoy. Take a look!

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 5.59.29 PMThe Twitter Top 50
Welcome to the Twitter Top 50 on Slacker. This station is based on the top 50 songs on the “Superstars” chart, representing the most tweeted-about and shared songs from today’s biggest artists on Twitter. This countdown is updated every Wednesday, so check back every week to hear the hottest music in social discovery.

 

EAGLES-MUSIC-GUIDE-472x472The Eagles Top 33
The Eagles have finally made their entire catalogue available for streaming, and to celebrate, Slacker has created a station that is filled with the most-loved Eagles songs, as determined by our exclusive E.Q. methodology that measures how often our listeners play, “heart,” and share songs. This is Eagles Top 33: the biggest songs by one of the world’s most beloved bands, as chosen by you!

 

66-METALmusicguide-472x47266 Greatest Metal Songs of all time
First, your Slacker curators conspired and argued over the 66 Greatest Metal Songs of all time. Then, we asked Metal God Dave Mustaine to host this countdown, which he graciously agreed to. Finally, we asked bands like Korn, Device, Sick Puppies, and Steel Panther to weigh in with their commentary. Put it all together and you’ve got an unholy countdown of 66 songs that are Louder Than Hell.

 

 

I Am The DJ Featuring Sara Bareilles

BAREILLES-472x472Slacker sat down with singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles and worked with her to create a radio station of her favorite music.

On her featured I Am The DJ station, you’ll hear the stories about artists and songs that inspired her to become the star she is today, from Tom Waits and Animal Collective to Fiona Apple and Justin Timberlake.

Check out this exclusive look into the musical soul of Sara Bareilles—it’s I Am The DJ on Slacker.

New Stations on Slacker Honor the Legends and Divas

We have some new stations on Slacker that truly pay homage to some of the nations greatest. Check them out!

LegendsofMotownThe Legends of Motown

Motown defined an era and dazzled the world with a steady stream of superstars from Marvin Gaye to the Supremes to “Little” Stevie Wonder to the Temptations. Slacker has assembled all of these legends on one station, filled to the brim with beloved hits and classic deep cuts. THIS is Motown like you’ve never heard it before.

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 6.08.06 PM33 Greatest All American Divas

Last week, to celebrate the 4th of July, we presented a patriotic, one-of-kind special that salutes the game-changing ladies of American pop, which we highlighted with a feature on five of the greatest here. Now you can dive a little deeper and see just what Slacker listeners think it takes to be one of the Greatest All American Divas. 

Our host Ciara, who’s new self-titled album drops on July 9th, countdowns the greatest–from Mariah to Aretha to Whitney right here. 

New on Slacker – The Weather Channel

WEATHER-CHANNEL4-472x472Slacker already brings you news from ABC, sports from ESPN, and now we’ve added The Weather Channel!

Listen here and stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of weather, as The Weather Channel on Slacker gives you the latest weather information, targeted to your region.

The reports are updated daily, so make this station part of your day, every day.

New on Slacker – Cafe Acoustic

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 5.57.36 AMThink Sunday mornings. Think coffee and a quiet day with the reading material of your choice. Think the corner cafe in your neighborhood; a place where you can relax and be alone with your thoughts. That’s Café Acoustic, our new station on Slacker.

The expert Slacker curators have created a station that’s all about setting a mood, and as such, you’ll hear world-class acoustic songs from across the musical spectrum. From classic singer-songwriters to Nashville troubadours,  jam bands to today’s neo-folk stars – this station is a showcase of acoustic texture and great songwriting.

Listen to Cafe Acoustic here and let us know what you think!

Monday Motivation Music: ’80s, ’90s, and Today

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 1.32.39 AMListening to Slacker at work is a proven way to make the day fly by and magically make certain co-workers more tolerable. ‘80s, ’90s, and Today on Slacker can be an upbeat, motivational soundtrack to your Monday- or any day you may need a little pick me up.

Slacker Radio DJ Parker is your guide to the hits from the last three decades on 80’s, 90’s, and Today. All of today’s hit music with a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Check it out here. Happy Monday!

 

 

 

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