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Tag: Playlists (1-10 of 10)

Spring playlist with Banks, Sam Smith, Lo-Fang and more: Listen now

Shake off a long, cold winter with these breezy new tracks from artists on the verge—slinky singers, bedroom R&B auteurs, and FoLs (Friends of Lorde).

Sam Smith, “Money on My Mind”
The Londoner’s swinging track—already a U.K. smash—pairs his aching voice with a groove fit for an energy-drink-stocked cocktail lounge. (It also helped nab him a slot on SNL.)

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What would Kurt Cobain's music sound like today?

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, I ruminate over the anniversary of the death of one of the last great rock stars with a simple question: Had he not died in April 1994, what might Kurt Cobain’s music have sounded like now?

In order to find some possible answers, I talked to Cobain’s friends and collaborators about his potential musical directions; the master playlist craftspeople at Beats Audio took those cues and built a batch of songs that help extrapolate what Cobain might have sounded like had he lived.

“Cobain always seemed like an old soul and I agree that he would have continued to explore more acoustic music, as opposed to electric,” says Beats’ Scott Plagenhoef. “He wrote personal lyrics but they were opaque and non-linear and he never wrote narratives. There is also a temptation to assume major creative forces like Cobain would remain progressive into their older age but the fact of the matter is that was never a quality that he displayed even during his lifetime. There is no indication he would have embraced electronic music, for example.”

The playlist includes a handful of tracks that seem like inevitable Cobain compositions (Elliott Smith’s “Waltz No. 2 (XO),” Wilco’s “How To Fight Loneliness,” The White Stripes’ “We’re Going To Be Friends”), as well as some reasonable stretches (EMA’s “California,” Cat Power’s “He War,” Lambchop’s “My Face Your Ass”). Spin the whole thing here while you consider what might have been.

What do you think Kurt Cobain would have sounded like in 2014? Let us know in the comments.

SXSW Music 2014: 20 acts to see

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The annual South By Southwest festival/conference/conventio-con is underway, with the music getting started in earnest on Tuesday and rolling headlong through Saturday night.

This year’s event has its share of big name visitors: Lady Gaga will be delivering the keynote address and performing, and the likes of Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, and Pitbull will be headlining a series of shows as part of the iTunes Festival.

But SXSW was originally designed as a showcase for new music, a place where baby bands could get their first big taste of exposure and where those artists who were about to break finally actually broke. EW will be on the ground covering acts both big and small, including these 20 on-the-cusp artists we’re going out of our way to check out.

Temples: Throwback psychedelia is hard to do, but this British quartet blends just the right amount of crushing beauty and off-kilter left turns.

Angel Olsen: In the grand tradition of PJ Harvey, Olsen marries muscular guitar with her delicate warble for blow-away blasts of folk-rock and power blues.

Perfect Pussy: Despite their censor-baiting name (and what honestly seems like a pretty standard-issue fuzz-punk sound), there’s a lot of buzz on this Syracuse foursome.

Sleepy Kitty: For fans of Sleigh Bells — but sub in post-grunge jangle for noisecore.

Cloud Nothings: Noisy Cleveland-based anarchists nearly made it big with their exceptional 2012 album Attack on Memory. Could the bigger, badder, forthcoming Here and Nowhere Else put them over the top?

Vertical Scratchers: Ultra-fuzzy indie jangle care of a pair of blissed out Californians.

SKATERS: Four New Yorkers who split the difference between driving punk surges and carefully-curated sonic tapestries, all wrapped in a whatever-man sneer.

ScHoolboy Q: Sure, he topped the charts with his latest album OxyMoron, but the top lieutenant in Kendrick Lamar’s army is ready to take the next step into household name-ness.

Chet Faker: The Australian’s downtempo bedroom R&B that would swerve dangerously into the cheese lane were it not for bearded mastermind Nick Murphy’s convincingly syrupy baritone.

You Blew It!: Don’t look now, but an emo revival is about to kick into gear, and this Orlando-based combo are the finest purveyors of the new pollution.

Oh Honey: Nothing but positive jams for this strummy, soulful Brooklyn duo. Like Matt & Kim with better production values.

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Bruno Mars on his tour playlist: Waka Flocka, Jake Bugg, Michael Jackson and more -- EXCLUSIVE

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This week’s cover star Bruno Mars is about to spend the next five months crisscrossing the globe on his massive Moonshine Jungle Tour — and man cannot live on backstage catering and laptop DVDs alone. He needs music!

We got Mars to tell us about the songs and albums that soundtrack his life on the road, and put it all in a Spotify player after the jump so you can tour the tunes for yourself.

JAKE BUGG
“He’s kind of got an Arctic Monkeys thing, who I love, but there are also some parts that remind me of Elvis. I think his song ‘Lighting Bolt’ has a very rockabilly, ‘50s like Elvis [vibe], and I like ‘Slide.’”

 WAKA FLOCKA FLAME
“We’ll put on the most ratchet music you can think of backstage. ‘O Let’s Do It’ by Waka Flocka was kind of our anthem for the last tour — every night before the show it’d be that one, so we’ll probably do it again, just for comfort reasons. We’ll jump around, taking shots — ‘Alright, let’s go!’ and then the curtain opens on a bunch of 14 year old girls. [laughs]” READ FULL STORY

George Jones: The Essential Playlist -- LISTEN

George Jones, who died today at 81, left behind an enormous body of work to sift through and enjoy. Here’s a smattering from his half-century-plus recording career to get you started. (You can also stream the full list at Spotify, after the jump.)

“White Lightning” (1959)
His first No. 1 song was an ode to bootleg booze—and fittingly, according to his 1996 autobiography, I Lived to Tell It All, it took him 80 takes to record vocals during a drunken day in the studio.

“Love Bug” (1965)
One of his more rockin’ hits captures the playful side of “the Possum” and features backup vocals by Jones protégé and bandmate Johnny Paycheck.

“The Door” (1974)
Another No. 1, on which Jones lists the most awful sounds he’s ever heard (“the sound of my dear old mama crying/And the sound of the train that took me off to war”)—but nothing hurts as bad as “that lonely sound, the closing of the door” when the girl he loves walks out of his life.

“These Days (I Barely Get By)” (1974)
One of the great low-down, everything-that-can-possibly-go-wrong-is-going-wrong songs.

“Golden Ring” (1976)
This No. 1 duet with Tammy Wynette (whom he divorced 14 months before the song’s release) tracks a wedding ring from a Chicago pawnshop to its new home with a happy young couple and eventually, when their marriage falls apart, its journey back to the pawnshop.

“I Ain’t Got No Business Doin’ Business Today” (1978)
In which Jones extols the virtues of playing hooky to make whoopee. READ FULL STORY

Best and Worst 2012: Carly Rae Jepsen, Taylor Swift, and the other best singles of the year

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One encouraging trend that ran throughout 2012 was the egalitarian nature of hit singles. Whether you were a Joni Mitchell-loving Canadian Idol survivor, an Australian with a bruised ego, or a bunch of Florida emo survivors high on Queen, the music world fully embraced you as long as your inescapable earworms continuously delivered thrilling results.

Check out EW’s list of the 20 greatest singles of the year below (as they appear in the current issue of EW, which is on newsstands now), and be sure to check out this specially-curated VEVO playlist that takes you through the year that was one glorious pop hook at a time.

BEST

1. Carly Rae Jepsen, ”Call Me Maybe”
Before the countless YouTube lip dubs, the nine weeks at No. 1, and the 1,000th time you heard it at a BBQ, there was just a song: a purple-ink love letter with a tiny voice whispering about wishing wells and ripped jeans like it was a secret she wanted you to keep forever. It might have been the soundtrack of your summer, or you might’ve rolled your eyes at parties but then secretly put it on your workout mix. But every time it played, life sounded just a tiny bit different. Better maybe. Adam Markovitz READ FULL STORY

Rod Stewart, John Travolta, Cee Lo Green, and the best (and best-worst) of the season's new Christmas music

For some of you, the focus on Christmas shifted roughly 20 minutes after swallowing the last bite of Thanksgiving pie and you set out to find the best spot for your Black Friday tent.

One of the great joys (or, depending on who you are, nightmares) of the holiday commerce season is the never-ending stream of Christmas music filling in all the empty airspace in your local shopping malls and department stores. But what if you’re shopping online, and somehow avoiding every other vestige of public-space holiday-music inundation?

To help you, here’s a rundown of some of the new stuff added to the yearly snowpile of Yuletide releases (and at the end of this post, a Spotify playlist to let you try out the wares like so many Costco samples.)

Rod Stewart, Merry Christmas, Baby
The undisputed champ of this season’s holiday music bonanza is Stewart, whose first holiday album is currently doing big business (it narrowly missed preventing Alicia Keys from being the top album in the country this week). His approach is very much “Over-Eggnogged Uncle Croons Hugs ‘Round the Tree,” but it’s still Rod-ily charming, and his original composition “Red Suited Super Man” will be an alternate-universe hit next Yuletide season.

Cee Lo Green, Cee Lo’s Magic Moment
The music world was half-expecting a new album from Green’s old hip-hop group Goodie Mob this holiday season, but instead we got The Voice favorite’s blast of red-velvet funk (and that’s red velvet like Santa’s suit, not the sexy cake kind). Its Motown bounce recalls all the great Stevie Wonder Christmas tracks of yesteryear, and the inclusion of the Muppets (on “All I Need Is Love”) is never not awesome. READ FULL STORY

'The Walking Dead' star Norman Reedus: What's On My iPod

On monstrously popular cable-TV beast The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus plays Daryl Dixon, an expert zombie killer whose lack of social graces are made up for with his efficiency with a crossbow.

It’s a stretch for Reedus, who tends to prefer painting or working on sculpture to taking out the undead. And, of course, expanding his musical horizons. When EW gave Reedus a call while he was deep in the heart of Georgia shooting the last episodes of the show’s current season, and he talked about the ways that music not only helps him get into character, but also lets him dictate his mood wherever he might be.

Check out his selections below, and hear all the songs on our customized Spotify playlist.

The Black Angels, “The First Vietnamese War” 
“I can’t remember how I first got introduced to them, but when we first started this new season, I played that for our entire cast. I kept putting it on my iPod and passing it over to Andy [Lincoln] before shooting really violent, desperate scenes, and I was like, ‘This song should be on the soundtrack to our show.’ It’s so heartfelt, and it sort of described what we were shooting at the time: Getting into that prison and what people had to go through. It really felt like us.” READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Rec' posts the full Benji's Cool Times Summer Jamz Mix on Spotify: Stream it here

During an ill-fated road trip scene last night, Park and Recreation fans were treated to a taste of an amazing mixtape by one Ben Wyatt, the nerdy-cute politico played by Adam Scott.

But you don’t have to visit the Beltway to belt out the “Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz” mix CD that April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) unearthed in the episode, because the fine folks behind the NBC sitcom posted the entire playlist on Spotify for your streaming pleasure.

As viewers learned last night, the mix begins with Salt-N-Pepa’s “Shoop,” but that’s just the tip of Ben’s ’90s iceberg. Other cuts on the magnificently nostalgic playlist include Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You,” and the Gin Blossoms. Yes, the Gin Blossoms!

Also, Ace of Base. Also, Shaggy. Also, everything that’s awesome. This playlist is just one of the many clever ways the Parks and Rec staff flesh out their characters; if you’re still reading this, you should most definitely set the site for Pawnee’s sickest night club Snakehole Lounge, run by Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford, as your home page.

Jam out Ben Wyatt-style by listening to his 18-song mix in the Spotify player below:

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Fly like GOOP: Gwyneth Paltrow reveals her ultimate travel playlist -- Hear it here

Are you still catching your flights to Brian Eno’s Music For Airports? Pssh, that’s so last century.

Thanks to the consistent knowledge droppings we pick up from GOOP’s weekly newsletters, we now know how Gwyenth Paltrow likes to flyfancily!

First of all, we learned that Mrs. Chris Martin boards planes with high doses of vitamin C to “ward off viruses and strengthen immunity.” Contagion taught her well! On top of that, she also makes sure to carry on fizzy quantities of magnesium (to calm her nervous system, of course), as well as bottles of “active silver.” That’s right, wankstas — active silver.

But despite all that GOOP-y goodness, we’re still more interested in what she dubs her “transatlantic playlist,” which she jams on her iPod/iPad devices during her frequent flights between Los Angeles and London. It’s quite long — 27 songs long, to be exact — and full of surprises. READ FULL STORY

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