Thanksgiving Dinner Party Mixtape, 2017 Edition

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Nov 20, 2017 8:44:47 PM

With Thanksgiving around the corner, most of us are focused on tying up loose ends at work, travel plans, and meal planning. We can’t help with any of that, but we can help set the right mood for your Thanksgiving dinner. has pulled from different eras and musical styles to create an ideal 3-hour mixtape to enjoy with your turkey or tofurky!

For our 2017 edition, we also wanted to honor some of the amazing musicians who've passed away this year. Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Gregg Allman, and too many others: we are thankful for the musical gifts you shared with the world...

Listen below or here


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Topics: Blog, Music as a Service

Context (Not Content) is King

Posted by Jeff Yasuda on Oct 27, 2017 3:32:47 PM

Miles Davis always said, “Music is the space between the notes. It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play.”

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Topics: Blog

The Many Colors of Beck, our Favorite Musical Chameleon

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Oct 25, 2017 5:28:37 PM

Beck Albums Ranked on the Color Spectrum

Beck’s long-awaited 13th album has arrived. Entitled Colors, it continues an unpredictability streak established early in his career. The energetic, poppy Colors follows the “serious,” mostly downtempo Morning Phase.

Most artists have a well-defined, identifiable sound or one that evolves somewhat organically over time. A few examples include U2, Foo Fighters, and Nine Inch Nails. Beck’s output falls outside of this norm, often zigzagging between musical styles while still managing to retain his distinctive voice.

Over more than 20 years, Beck has proven himself to be a highly adaptable musical chameleon. In tribute to the stylistic diversity of Beck’s discography, I’ve chosen a specific color to represent each of his albums (except his out-of-print debut). It seems an appropriately quirky way to showcase the prismatic range of this singer-songwriter.

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Topics: Blog

Revolutionary Music for Fall Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Sep 11, 2017 10:47:45 PM

With leaves starting to turn, weather cooling, and days getting shorter, change is in the air. Perhaps you're starting a new school year, focusing on new work responsibilities, or trying to shake up your life in some other way. If you're anything like us, sometimes it's tough channeling the energy and inspiration needed to bring about change.

Being music lovers, we started thinking about artists that have approached change with a spirit of openness and adventure...and some of the great songs this has brought about. As a few examples: Run-DMC's groundbreaking fusion of hip-hop and rock in classics like "King of Rock;" John Coltrane's radical reworking of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music; and the (perfectly named) heavy metal that Black Sabbath forged out of psychelia and hard rock in songs like "Paranoid." 

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Topics: Blog, Music as a Service

5 Tips for Selecting the Right Music for Your Brand

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jul 28, 2017 4:49:19 PM

Retail and music go hand in hand. Try to imagine walking through a shopping mall without hearing music wafting out of all the stores. Or turning on your TV to find that the ads don’t have a music soundtrack. The love affair between corporate brands and music isn’t a one-way street either…As one of many examples, Chuck Berry name-checked Cadillac in one of the very first rock ‘n’ roll songs, “Maybellene.”

The positive correlation between music and shopping isn’t surprising given the emotional, visceral impact music has on people. While sports, movies, and television also inspire powerful emotions, music has the unique ability to be part of the overall experience without dominating. These qualities make music ideally suited to businesses for winning and keeping their customers.

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Topics: Blog, Retail, Music as a Service

10 Unexpected Songs to Boost Your Workout

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on Jul 18, 2017 1:05:57 PM

Need a break from Drake? Mix up your workout music for more motivation.

We all know that music is crucial for motivation and performance, no matter what your workout. As we’ve shared, Dr. Costas Karageorghis and other researchers have shown that music distracts from fatigue sensations, meaning that athletes need less oxygen to do the same work when they synchronize their movements to music.

If you have music playing as a background soundtrack (not a pace driver), Karageorghis says the ideal tempo range is 120 to 125 BPM for a jog and 140 to 145 BPM for a sprint. If you’re leveraging the beat to help push you harder, then the ideal tempo range is 150 to 180 BPM.

Dance/Pop music stations are consistently the number one workout selection for customers, which means we all get our sweat on to Beyonce, Drake, JT and Kanye. And the number one Power Song? Eminem takes the top spot with “Lose Yourself”.

 But how about a little variety as push into the dog days of summer? Sometimes we all need a change of audio scenery as that extra bit of motivation. We went to our editorial team and snooped around their playlists to find the most surprising songs that get them moving.

Tegan and Sara  - Boyfriend

125 bpm, Glittery pop and sparkly synths

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Topics: Blog

Wu-Tang Forever? 20 Years Later, these 20 Songs Ain’t Nothing Ta F*** Wit

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jul 1, 2017 11:44:09 AM

1997 was a major year in hip-hop. The Notorious B.I.G. dominated the charts following the release of his posthumous second album, while in many ways achieving the pinnacle of what it means to be a solo MC. 1997 also saw the Wu-Tang Clan—often hailed as the greatest hip-hop collective—release their second album. The Clan titled this release Wu-Tang Forever.

It’s been 20 years and our love affair with B.I.G. proves Life After Death was an appropriate album title. So how is the Wu-Tang Clan’s claim to immortality holding up? Their music still sounds fresh and has proved as influential as any of their peers. For example, Kanye West credits Wu-Tang as an influence in his early production, Childish Gambino got his moniker from the online Wu-Tang Name Generator, and Drake went so far as naming a song “Wu-Tang Forever.” In honor of Wu-Tang Forever’s anniversary, we reflect on the legendary group’s history and spotlight 20 Wu bangers that should endure as long as hip-hop is played.

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Topics: Blog

Star Wars Original Soundtrack at 40

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on May 12, 2017 6:17:58 PM

I was born in 1974, a few years before one of the biggest pop culture events of the last century. Star Wars. The movie and its sequels dominated my childhood and still resonate today. I doubt that I’ll ever stop idolizing Han Solo or loving Princess Leia, but if forced to pick just one thing that defines Star Wars I’d claim the music.

Even if you don’t know Star Wars composer John Williams by name, there’s a good chance you know some of his music. With 50 Academy Award nominations, John Williams is the most Oscar nominated person alive. CNN has a great 2-minute primer on Williams’ prolific career.

Star Wars OST = GOAT

John Williams started composing for films in the late-1950s, paying dues and developing his craft through a large number and variety of movies. In 1975—at the age of 43—he commenced a decade-long tear of film composing that can best be described as shit-hot. His greatest scores from just this period include the original Star Wars trilogy, Jaws, Superman, the first two Indiana Jones films, and E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial.

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Topics: Blog

Music Curation Drives Today’s Listening

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Apr 17, 2017 5:11:26 PM

The widespread concept of music curation is extremely new, an unexpected outcome of the internet’s collision with music industry and media. With the introduction of Napster’s MP3 file sharing platform in 1999, an incredible, ever-growing amount of free music became available to the public. In response, music gatekeepers such as radio and television programmers, record stores, and the music press were forced to consolidate and rethink their revenue models. The result of these tectonic changes is that today's listeners have more music options and fewer traditional go-betweens than ever before.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Music curation emerged as a way to fill this gap and help people decide what music should I listen to now? Answering this question can be surprisingly complex. While YouTube now accounts for 1 in 4 music listening hours, the majority of us select some type of playlist—possibly powered by YouTube itself—or digital radio station to deliver a sustained listening experience.

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Topics: Blog, Music Business, Music streaming

Celebrating Coachella at 18 Years: Ultimate Headliners Mixtape

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Mar 24, 2017 5:35:02 PM

I remember first learning about the Coachella Music Festival in the early-2000s, probably through a full-page ad in my coveted Spin magazine. Then there was the self-titled documentary film, which brought viewers impossibly close to Bjork, Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, and other music heroes performing in a gorgeous setting. When I decided to relocate to San Francisco, Coachella was definitely part of the draw and my first festival delivered on all expectations.

From the start 18 years ago, Coachella succeeded by taking the best elements of other music festivals—principally Lollapalooza and the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival—and delivering a consistently awesome experience. The isolated desert location was selected so that people would surrender fully versus going back and forth from their homes.

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Topics: Blog, Music streaming