December 19 - 16
Album: 99 Cents – Atlantic Records 2016
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I chose to write about Santigold’s 99 Cents as my pick of 2016 because it was an album that caught my attention from the very first time I heard the lead single “Can’t Get Enough Of Myself”. The song was catchy, fun, and unique enough to be memorable. I kept coming back to it, and then discovered that several songs off the album were getting stuck in my head: “Banshee”, “All I Got”, “Who I Thought You Were”, and “Chasing Shadows” all checked the “hey, that’s actually a pretty good song!” box for me. Individually, the tracks have their own sonic elements that really differentiate them from each other. The album as a whole has this not-your-average-pop vibe to it, which is what made it stick with me.
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October 6 - 15
Fall is turning into winter and our Music Supervisors have curated a playlist just for you. One of our Music Supervisors, Gabriel Marowitz, has featured three songs, from Fairground Saints, Strange Faith and Kaleo, that stand out from the hundreds that he hears every month. We are sure you will find these tunes as refreshing as he did.
Artist: Fairground Saints
Track: Turn This Car Around
This song starts out sounding pretty Nashville, but ends up being sunny California Country Popgrass. This makes sense, as the group’s debut album was recorded in Malibu and not Music City. This song includes catchy vocals and melodic riffs from guitar, mandolin and banjo, as well as nice string arrangements and fiddle in there too. If they can perform live on those instruments as well as they do on the record, this will be a band to watch.
Artist: Strange Faith
Track: Walking Over
This Sunday morning easy groove comes from Jeb Loy Nichols across the pond in Wales.... Read More
October 1 - 12
If you hang around the Seattle music scene long enough, you are bound to meet local singer-songwriter Kris Orlowski sooner than later. Much to our delight, he and his band recently passed through PlayNetwork on our PlayLive stage for an intimate performance. It’s easy to see how he has firmly established himself as a familiar face in Seattle’s indie folk circles, and is very well positioned to expand into wider recognition regionally and beyond.
It’s been a joy to see firsthand people’s positive responses to hearing his music played overhead in places like Starbucks or at SeaTac airport. Kris really is a great example of how PlayNetwork connects with a great local musician and everybody benefits: the company, the artist, and the audience. Seeing social media posts from excited fans surprised to hear the music in unexpected places proves that PlayNetwork provides valuable exposure for artists and a valuable service for businesses and brands. And it makes Music Supervision a very fun job to do!
Kris’s most recent project, in collaboration with violinist Andrew Joslyn, is an EP titled “Pieces We Are” which will be released on October 13th. The release show at the Triple Door sold out very quickly,... Read More
July 18 - 12
Tacoma, WA native Vicci Martinez was a singer and musician long before her successful run on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2011. Identifying primarily as a singer/songwriter creating and performing original material, she was admittedly a bit hesitant to jump into the reality TV arena at first. Not wanting to compromise her artistic integrity, Vicci reportedly passed up an early opportunity with American Idol before coming to terms with the realization that the exposure to a massive TV audience is actually a perfectly viable way to launch a career in today’s music industry.
Working closely with Cee Lo Green, Vicci was able to take full advantage of the television platform by ending the show in 3rd place overall. She recently cut her first single “Come Along” with her famous mentor featured on the track. Picking up tons of new fans, industry connections, and adding the weight of a Grammy-winning artist to her debut release on the Universal label (sorry Cee Lo, no pun intended), Vicci Martinez is living her dream. A talented singer and solid guitar player, she will be riding this wave of success for some time to come. Here is a recent video (just published) of a stripped down,... Read More
May 23 - 12
Katie Herzig’s recent performance at PlayNetwork lit up the PlayLive stage, and many faces in the crowd, with her all-girl ensemble and catchy pop songs. No, she’s not taking a page from Jack White’s playbook; she reconvened with her full band later that night, adding the guys into the mix for their show at the legendary Crocodile in Seattle. We lucky PlayNetworkers were treated to a stripped down, intimate performance of songs from her 2011 full-length album The Waking Sleep and other past projects. Katie and crew played with precision and control, the two guitars and cello combining to create an even and balanced sound that complimented her hushed vocals very well.
Her onstage banter between songs was a highlight of the set. Katie recalled accepting the challenge when called upon to relieve Fergie on a project for a movie soundtrack. The song born of that endeavor is the playful and irreverent “Hey Na Na” and due to complications onstage resulting from a tube amp and stomp box not quite getting along, the song was performed precisely in that manner (sorry for the inside joke, guess you had to be there).... Read More
March 26 - 12
Exciting news from the PlayLive Mainstage… we are gearing up for not one, but TWO excellent performances this week. We will be vacating our desks today and Tuesday to party with The Front Bottoms and Lost in the Trees. Man, work is such a bummer sometimes isn’t it?
THE FRONT BOTTOMS – Monday, March 26th
“We kinda thought we were a punk band but then we’d play on bills with real punk bands and we’d be like ‘Whoa, were not punks. What the hell are we?” – The Front Bottoms
With that quote from The Front Bottom’s drummer Mathew Uychich, it’s pretty clear that his band is simultaneously defying labels while searching for a defining identity. The fact that Mathew is also listed as the band’s official bullhorn player further supports that claim. The Front Bottoms have been tearing up the New Jersey (Bergen County, to be exact) DIY scene for some time now with their catchy brand of pop-punk. Their songs are irreverent, playful and above all thoroughly enjoyable.
Currently on tour with Say Anything, the internet has helped The Front Bottoms get their name out there.... Read More
February 24 - 12
We’ve all been there. Anyone who has ever been in a band or involved in another form of live entertainment can tell you about “that one time” it all completely fell apart. Get on stage enough and you’re gonna screw it up bad sooner or later. Some have horror stories about bombing in front of hundreds of people, others will never forget the humiliation of playing to an empty room (I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean it was just you and the bartender, and he was out having a smoke for most of your set). And then there are the times when your equipment failed, or you forgot to bring the hard drive that had all of your beats and samples to the gig, or your drummer got wasted and passed out on stage after the second song. It’s all been done before, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when it happens to you. The only consolation is when it’s finally over and you think, “At least it will never get any worse than that… right?”
If you’ve ever performed in any capacity, or have been to a show where you felt awkward and embarrassed for whoever was onstage,... Read More
January 25 - 12
PlayNetwork is excited to welcome Nashville based singer/songwriter Jessie Baylin to our stage this Thursday! She will be joined by The Watson Twins, who contributed to Baylin’s new album and are currently supporting her on tour.
Jessie Baylin set out to make a record that sounded timeless and was clearly inspired her musical heroes, but with songs clearly rooted in the present. A truly committed artist, she wasn’t afraid to take the longer and harder road to achieve the best possible result. Baylin recorded her new album Little Spark on analog tape, forgoing the modern day luxuries of digital multi-tracking. Without the ability to punch in or easily make edits, this method of recording requires one perfect take from start to finish. In a recent NPR interview she admits the process “was really exhausting sometimes. But I think it makes a difference, because there’s a performance on there.”
All of us at PlayNetwork are looking forward to being treated to another performance, this time in person. Check out this video trailer featuring Jessie alongside the producers and musicians behind the album as they work through the recording process.... Read More
January 13 - 12
Ever feel like there are just so many bands out there making music nowadays? You’re not wrong. In today’s Digital Age there are more groups than ever writing and recording music (which is a GOOD thing). But it does make it increasingly difficult for truly talented and gifted artists to differentiate themselves from the clutter of amateurs, unsigned acts, bedroom musicians and indie bands all vying to be heard and discovered. One proven method to stand out from the crowd and create some buzz is, of course, the ancient art of the viral video. Perhaps the best known case of a band jumpstarting their career via a video short is the example of OK Go, whose video for “Here It Goes Again” features the band performing a delightful dance routine on treadmills (sound familiar? The video has been viewed upwards of 60million times, and you are probably responsible for at least 3 of those).
So you wanna make a viral video? Well, turns out it’s not so easy to dream up and produce an original, creative and endearing video idea with little to no budget that will garner millions of YouTube views and skyrocket your career into the stratosphere overnight.... Read More
January 10 - 12
Here’s a great blog post by Chris Pandolfi, banjo player for The Infamous Stringdusters (one of the hottest up-and-coming bands on the forefront of the ongoing evolution of Bluegrass music). Chris talks about his band as you would any other business. You might be surprised to hear a musician discussing topics like sustainable growth, investments in infrastructure and personnel, raising capital through seed financing, supply chain management and strategic partnerships, but all of those things are mentioned here in one way or another. Of course, he doesn’t ignore the most important piece of the puzzle which is the end product itself: original music and its performance.
Just goes to show how musicians today are also independent business owners and brand managers, and perhaps now more than ever need to be well versed in both art and industry.
Associate Music Supervisor
PlayNetwork... Read More
December 29 - 11
Next in our ‘best of 2011’ series, is a favorite of Associate Music Supervisor, Gabriel Marowitz. If you’re a fan of bluegrass or skilled musicianship you’ll enjoy this, and if you’re not a fan…well, you just might become one.
Chris Thile & Michael Daves – Sleep With One Eye Open
This album rocks because Chris Thile, possibly the best mandolin player alive, met a dude named Michael Daves at a bluegrass jam in New York City and discovered that Michael was pretty damned good himself. The new friends decided to go old-school and cut an album together playing all their favorite bluegrass tunes; naturally, they went to Jack White’s place in Nashville to make the record where they stood around the mic for a day and ripped through some live takes. What we get is a classic and authentic sound with a lot of youthful energy and bravado.
– Gabriel Marowitz, Associate Music Supervisor – PlayNetwork... Read More