Archive for Music

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Acoustic Blues: The Roots of Jack White, Zeppelin and the Stones

With just six strings and roughly 20 frets, the acoustic guitar has been able to conjure up limitless possibilities. The earliest blues musicians found that the guitar was the ultimate tool for expressing anguish, fear and love. Country blues, rural blues, folk blues . . . these are just some of the names for this music that drew from ragtime and gospel and turned hopelessness into something more lasting and transcendental. Discover the music that has made lifelong fans out of Jack White, Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Bob Dylan and more.

Metal Gear Solid: Friday Night Gamers

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” It’s that time of the week again: Time for a weekend full of gaming and this week we’re bringing you the perfect new playlist to listen to whilst playing MGS. Solid Snake, good luck to you!

Jazz New Releases, July 2014

Living legends Sonny Rollins and Bobby Hutcherson have come out with heralded new albums that have the vitality of such new lions as Joshua Redman, Danilo Perez and Marc Ribot. Melanie De Biasio and Jose James illustrate a new way forward for vocalists. Theo Crocker is a gifted teen with a long future in front of him while reissues from Stan Getz, Miles Davis and the Blue Note label show why classic jazz always stays in fashion.

1984 Rewind

The upper reaches of the 1984 US and UK pop charts made room for decade-defining superstars like Prince, Madonna, Duran Duran, Phil Collins and veteran performers like Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, and Chaka Khan. Plus, new wave, rap, R&B, and digital innovators like Art of Noise and Frankie Goes To Hollywood rubbed padded shoulders with back-to-analog indie agitators such as The Smiths and Echo and The Bunnymen.

Johnny Winter: Remembering The Blues Legend

12 bar blues legend Johnny Winter rocked the world for 46 years. His incredible career began with a mesmerising show at Woodstock, and 18 albums later his solos are officially carved into the history of music as well as the hearts and minds of all blues lovers. Let’s celebrate the life and work of a genius, a free spirit with slide guitars: John Dawson Winter III.

Southern Rock

Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers once opined that the term “Southern Rock” was as redundant as the term “Rock Rock”. His thought being that rock ‘n’ roll is synonymous with the music of the South. Fair enough, but as an editorial voice, we’ll get specific and call Southern Rock a blues-driven sound that rose up out of the rootsier aspect of the ‘60s and really grew to prominence in the ‘70s with Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. It’s never truly fallen from fashion as its heartland-loving vibes have basically become reborn in the sound of contemporary country.

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Jazz great Louis Armstrong with trumpet
The immortal Louis Armstrong was not only jazz’s breakthrough virtuoso soloist, he also helped establish the sound, style and mood of American popular music — influencing everything from the development of swing and R&B to country. Featured in our MU Icon playlist are his biggest hits, most famous “birth of jazz” tunes and a number of his stellar duets and collaborations with such friends as Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Oscar Peterson.

Listen Now: Louis Armstrong – MU Icon

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With six highly acclaimed albums under their belt, and a new album, The Black Market’, now available, Rise Against are again ready to take on the world. Lead guitarist and backup vocalist Zach Blair has shared with us the songs he digs most when it gets quiet.

Listen Now: Rise Against -  Exclusive Artist Picks

Bjork, “Army of Me”
Stereolab, “Parsec”
John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, “You Know, You Know”
Miles Davis, “So What”
Brian Eno, “Needles In the Camel’s Eye”
Steely Dan, “Deacon Blues”
Daft Punk, “Derezzed”
Neil Young, “Heart of Gold”
Rufus Wainwright, “April Fools”
Radiohead, “Idioteque”
Tony Williams, “Vashkar”
Todd Rundgren, “I Saw the Light”
Nick Drake, “Way to Blue”
Stereolab, “Three-Dee Melodie”
The Weakerthans, “Watermark”
Wilco, “Either Way”
Elbow, “Neat Little Rows”
Thom Yorke, “The Eraser”
Beck, “Lost Cause”
If By Yes, “You Feel Right”

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Listen to these new releases on Music Unlimited this week.

  • 5 Seconds of Summer, the scrappy Australian boy band that got its start on YouTube, convincingly rocks out on its new self-titled release.
  • Nobody’s Smiling, the tenth studio album from rapper Common reflects on the grim reality of crime and violence in his hometown of Chicago.
  • Former tween heartthrob Jesse McCartney is back with his retro leaning fifth album, In Technicolor.

5 Seconds Of Summer / 5 Seconds Of Summer (Deluxe)
Common / Nobody’s Smiling (Deluxe)
Jesse McCartney / In Technicolor
The Black Angels / Clear Lake Forest
R5 / Heart Made Up On You
Various Artists / Hyperdub 10.2
Jason Aldean / Burnin’ It Down
Tame Impala / Live Versions
DJ Dodger Stadium / Friend Of Mine
Glass Animals / Pools EP
Ab-Soul / These Days…
Big Deal / June Gloom (Deluxe Edition)
Rx Bandits / Gemini, Her Majesty

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Anarchy in UK Punk
Inspired by such American acts as The Ramones, punk exploded out of Britain in 1977, concentrating on lean rock’n’roll basics and anti-authoritarian attitudes that were perfected by Johnny Rotten (a mix of radical art school theater, comedy and Noam Chomsky-style braininess). The Sex Pistols, The Damned, and The Clash were the Big 3 while The Undertones and Buzzcocks helped define the punk-pop sound that would breakthrough decades later. Weird old guys, The Stranglers, were inspired by 1960s garage rock while The Jam was fronted by Paul Weller, whose disgusted “ ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street” explains why the scene’s increasing violence and thuggish orthodoxy had everyone from John Lydon to Captain Sensible moving on even as the initially playful, chaotic Spirit Of ’77 helped lead to everything from arty post-punk to sleek new wave and ska revival.

Mid-July New Releases
There’s a new full-length from Morrissey! Sam Smith comes to the streaming world! These are both huge stories in their own right, but let’s be honest – it’s all about the new Weird Al album.

Charlie Haden: Remembering The Jazz Bassist
Charlie Haden earned a major place in music history as the bassist who helped to create “free” jazz with Ornette Coleman before breaking further ground with Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Art Pepper, Paul Bley, Gato Barbieri and many others. Then, in 1991 his cool-toned bop group Quartet West, cut Haunted Heart, a runaway bestseller that played out like a film noir. Haden, a beloved musician, remained a jazz star until his passing in 2014.

Daptone Records
Daptone Records is doing its part to ensure that good, quality soul music never fades from the spotlight. Explore some of the grittiest, funkiest moves from the Daptone crew.

Final Fantasy: Friday Night Gamers
To celebrate all things Big in Japan this month, we’re bringing you an amazing new soundtrack to play alongside Final Fantasy. Time for a weekend of magic and battles!

1969 Rewind
As the ‘60s came to came to a close, the charts were rife with some of the most explosive music in popular music. And also some of the most saccharine. For every “Mother Popcorn” there was a “Sugar, Sugar.” For every “Honky Tonk Woman” there was “Build Me Up Buttercup.” Motown, Vietnam, hippie musicals, rock n’ roll, bubblegum – it’s all represented in this kaleidoscopic mix.

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Tommy Ramone, who passed away last week, was more than the Ramones’ revolutionary drummer who cracked the code for a new style of punk rock percussion. He helped create the band’s audio and visual style, was their first manager and the producer who captured their sound in the studio. A trained audio engineer, the clean-living Tommy decided to distance himself from the band after Road To Ruin, returning to produce Too Tough To Die, along with critically acclaimed albums by the Replacements and Redd Kross. The Uncle Monk cut features Tommy’s guitar and voice.

Listen to the Tommy Ramone playlist on Music Unlimited.

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When Judas Priest announced its “farewell” tour back in 2011, the British metal titans actually just meant farewell to founding guitarist K.K. Downing. Having replaced him with longtime fan and expert shredder Richie Faulkner and the band gets back to business on the new album, Redeemer of Souls, its first studio recording since 2008’s Nostradamus. To mark the occasion, we asked Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford to share some of his current favorite songs with maximum head-banging potential with us. He did not disappoint.

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford: Artist Picks

Trivium, “Strife”
Volbeat, “Dead But Rising”
Black Sabbath, “God is Dead?”
Halestorm, “Straight Through the Heart”
Stone Sour, “Do Me a Favor”
Five Finger Death Punch, “House of the Rising Sun”
In This Moment, “Whore”
Fozzy, “Lights Go Out”
Hellyeah, “Sangre por Sangre”
Three Days Grace, “Painkiller”
Alter Bridge, “Cry of Achilles”
Sevendust, “Black”
Lacuna Coil, “Die & Rise”
Megadeth, “Trust”
Powerman 5000, “How to be a Human”
Avenged Sevenfold, “Hail to the King”
Newsted, “As the Crow Flies”
Slayer, “Dead Skin Mask”
Tenacious D, “The Last in Line”

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We just launched a major refresh of the Music Unlimited application for PS4™ that delivers better performance, easier navigation and improved music discovery. The updated app was redesigned based on your feedback, so we hope that you like what you see. Here are some of the highlights:

The new app opens to the Home Screen that highlights New Releases, New Playlists and New Channels.

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A push of the Top Menu button (Square on the PS4™  wireless controller (DUALSHOCK®4)), reveals a new left-hand side vertical navigation menu that provides easy access to features like Search, Charts, Playlists, Channels, My Library, and Settings.

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The new app also features an attractive new full screen music player and play queue so users will always know what song is playing and what tracks are coming up next.

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A tap of the Options button reveals basic features such as Volume, Repeat, Shuffle, playlist options and artist and song details.

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Give it a try and let us know what you think and keep an eye open for future updates!

 

 

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Listen to these new releases on Music Unlimited this week.

  • Rise Against, the Chicago punk band, is back to take on the ills of the world with its latest, The Black Market.
  • British crooner and Disclosure collaborator Sam Smith delivers his soulful debut, In The Lonely Hour.
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic returns with his 14th album of pop parodies, “Mandatory Fun,” which includes his take on Pharrell’s “Happy,” entitled “Tacky.”

Rise Against / The Black Market
Sam Smith / In The Lonely Hour
“Weird Al” Yankovic / Mandatory Fun
Jungle / Jungle
Mark Mancina / Planes: Fire & Rescue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Bleachers / Strange Desire
Jason Mraz / YES!
Marsha Ambrosius / Friends & Lovers
Pennywise / Yesterdays
Madlib / Rock Konducta, Pt. 1
Various Artists / Soul Jazz Records Present Calypso: Musical Poetry In The Caribbean 1955-69
Monty Python / Monty Python Sings (Again) (Deluxe)
Noisia / Purpose
Kidz Bop Kids / Kidz Bop 26
Slow Club / Complete Surrender

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MAGIC! is riding the charts right now with its reggae fusion hit single “Rude.”

We caught up with the members of Canadian pop band to ask them what songs they would put on their ideal playlist to listen to while playing NBA 2K14. Naturally, “Rude” and the title track from their breezy debut album, Don’t Kill the Magic, made the cut.

Watch for MAGIC!’s complete Listen+Play NBA 2K14 Playlist video and don’t forget that you too can create your own ideal gaming soundtrack. Find out how here.

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