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Welcome to New Orleans! Mixtape

Posted by Tyler Schiro on May 10, 2021 4:48:43 PM

With flowers blooming and a new normal starting to emerge, you may be dreaming of travel, preferably somewhere hot, sunny and full of culture. Don’t overlook great destinations right here in the states, including one of the best all-around cities in the world: New Orleans. I’ve cooked up a New Orleans mixtape stuffed with classics and new tunes for both newcomers and connoisseurs to enjoy.

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Topics: Music History, Music Genres, Mixtape

Pop is Perking Up

Posted by Dario Slavazza & Eric "Stens" Stensvaag on Dec 6, 2020 8:56:10 PM

Last December, our curation team made a handful of Music Trends for 2020 predictions, including that “songs have been getting slower, that’s going to change soon.” While this year has been full of unpleasant experiences, this modest prediction has proven accurateresulting in a welcome number of upbeat, energetic chart hits. While others are busy publishing their year-end lists (which we also love), we wanted to celebrate some of the biggest artists and songs behind this trend of musical acceleration.

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Topics: Music Curation, Music Reviews, Music Genres

Modern Songs of Dissent: 10 Black Lives Matter Anthems

Posted by Eric "Stens" Stensvaag on Jul 31, 2020 2:09:43 PM

The past two months have seen a significant renewed interest in protest songs. Music streaming of these songs has increased, and countless musicians have recorded new ones in support of Black Lives Matter. As this movement continues to demand racial justice, we’ve been reflecting on protest songs from the last century, from the timeless “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie (1944) continuing through such Civil Rights anthems as “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan (1964), “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke (1964), and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (1967).

America has a rich history of dissenting through music, which can be traced from these early songs to late-20th century classics like “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy (1989) and “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine (1992), to those of today. We’ve picked 10 Black Lives Matter songs that speak truth to power in profound ways.

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Topics: Music Reviews, Music Genres

Bored with Billboard? Time for Classical: 30 Pieces Every Music Lover Should Hear

Posted by Eric "Stens" Stensvaag on May 5, 2020 5:38:27 PM

Music industry leader Chartmetric recently published a data-driven analysis of COVID-19’s effects on listening habits. Their primary finding? Classical and ambient are “the big quarantine winners.”

As we all struggle to find healthy outlets for combatting stay-at-home stress, classical music is a winningly creative option. The physiological benefits of music listening are well documented, and in the words of respected neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Levitin, “[music] doesn't have the unwanted side effects that many pharmaceutical products do.” Pandemic considerations aside, we’ve chosen 30 classical pieces every music lover should hear...both classical fans and those needing an introduction.

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Topics: Power of Music, Joy of Music, Music History, Music Genres

Funk 101

Posted by Jeff Yasuda on Feb 28, 2020 2:39:52 PM

There are a number of reasons why I love funk, but to boil it down: funk is all about the groove - a highly rhythmic experience where each musician needs to think about their specific part and most importantly, how it fits within the broader context of the song. The guitarist may be doing something different from what the keyboardist and bassist is playing. The kick drum might be locked in with the bass while the overall rhythm is different from the guitar strumming. Each musician has a role - they need to find and stay in their lane or “pocket” - so that they properly fit with what the rest of the band is doing. Finally, adding a hooky melody and horn section over the rhythmic section requires a deep understanding of finding your place in a band.

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Topics: Music History, Music Genres, Mixtape

Looking Ahead: Music Trends for 2020

Posted by Admin on Dec 27, 2019 2:08:27 PM
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Topics: Music streaming, Music Genres

What the Hell is “Post-Genre” Pop? Top 13 Genre Mashups of the 2010s

Posted by Eric "Stens" Stensvaag & Erin First on Nov 21, 2019 6:04:18 PM

As we reflect on the most popular, breakthrough music of the 2010s, an interesting trend stands out. A lot of ink has been spilled over the idea of “post-genre” pop - pop that subverts traditional genre definitions and blends different styles in a way that makes it difficult to categorize. Put simply: pop songs that are genre mashups (think “Old Town Road”). We were inspired to pick 13 of our favorite “post-genre” pop songs of the decade, describing why they fall into this non-category and why we love them.

Before getting to our top picks...

What the hell is "post-genre" pop?

Let’s agree on a loose definition, that post-genre pop is popular, often top-charting music that doesn’t neatly fit the definition of today’s Billboard categories.

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Topics: Music streaming, Joy of Music, Music Genres

Waves in Electronic Music – Trends in 2019 & Beyond

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on Oct 22, 2019 2:32:05 PM

One of the distinguishing features of electronic music is how rapidly it changes, both in absolute terms, and relative to other genres. Modern electronic music traces back to the 80s with new wave and synth pop bringing electronic to the mainstream. The 90s saw an explosion in distinct sub genres and underground techno and the sudden access to production tools like Fruity Loops that opened up production and composition to something anyone could do.

The turn of the century ushered in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) era and electronic is no longer just a genre, but an influential component of all mainstream music. “Electronic” is an alarmingly broad term that encompasses both the mainstream pop tracks so prevalent today, as well as a thriving underground ranging from house to dubstep to minimal techno.

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Topics: Joy of Music, Music Genres, Music Industry

5 Tips for Selecting the Right Music for Your Brand

Posted by Eric "Stens" 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: Music Curation, Music Genres, Music Industry

Arcade Fire: Best Arcade Fire Songs of the Last 15 Years

Posted by Eric "Stens" Stensvaag on Sep 7, 2016 4:52:38 PM

Top 15 Arcade Fire Songs of the Last 15 Years

A friend gave me a copy of Arcade Fire’s debut Funeral in a stack of ripped CDs shortly after the album was released. It happened one ordinary morning as I was walking to catch the bus for work, not feeling terribly inspired. I pushed play on my iPod. Just 3 ½ minutes later: transcendence.

Since forming in 2001, Arcade Fire quickly distinguished itself as an exceptional talent. With four trailblazing albums under their belt, it’s timely to reflect on Arcade Fire at 15 years. From the beginning, the oversize band had the ability to craft distinctive, fully engrossing albums and to perform these live in ways that capture their music’s intensity and intimacy.

Arcade Fire has successfully evolved its sound with each release while producing consistently great songwriting. In this respect, they’ve joined an elite group of groundbreaking artists including U2, Radiohead, Talking Heads, and Bruce Springsteen, whose influences have been melted down in the band’s own cauldron.

For fans and the unconverted alike, I’ve selected Arcade Fire’s 15 best songs, sequenced chronologically. Taken together, these make it clear why an unlikely band from Montreal attained global acclaim. While it’s more than we have any right to expect, to quote a favorite Arcade Fire lyric, “us kids know” their musical journey is far from complete.

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Topics: Music Curation, Joy of Music, Music Genres

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