Tag Archive: music
May 4 - 15
Tamara Deike is a Global Brand Development Director at PlayNetwork. She consults with PlayNetwork clients, inspiring innovative and engaging campaigns to help shape their customer experiences. With a background as a DJ, 12 years working in dance music across record labels, tech startups and artist management, as well as a Brand Development Director, Tamara has a unique perspective on both the music and artistry of the event, as well as the brands with pop-up experiences.
Suffice it to say that I’m no stranger to music festivals. I’ve attended everything from Sonar to Lovebox to Melt! – but this, was my first-ever Coachella. Now in its 16th year, 2015 featured 200 acts across both weekends with crowds of 100k+ people braving the 100°+ temperatures at a blisterin’ $375+ per ticket.
You’d have to be completely off the grid to miss the fervor of product placement, festival-inspired editorial, social media buzz, and artist releases staking claim pre-Coachella. As I drove down the 10 Freeway from L.A. to Indio, I was reminded again by a slurry of billboards featuring everything from Kaskade’s upcoming Vegas gigs to H+M’s official Coachella clothing line to AC/DC’s upcoming tour dates.... Read More
February 13 - 15
Whether we like it or not, the days leading up to Valentine’s Day always seems to conjure up memories of love lost and found, candy hearts, and grade school Valentine cards. Then there’s all those silly love songs that either assuage or amplify our romantic moments–a first date (or heartbreak), your wedding day, the first time you said those three little words. Hearts are swelling as we get swept up in some of our team’s favorite love songs:
Michelle G., Video Operations :: Elton John (and more recently Elle Goulding) – “Your Song”
I get all misty-eyed just singing the chorus. There is no sweeter lyric ever written than “How wonderful life is/while you’re in the world”.
Brian J., Local Sales :: Alphaville – “Forever Young”
Takes me back to every 8th grade dance…
John W., Media Services :: John Martyn – “Couldn’t Love You More”
A song that is a simple message of love and what one would do to prove that love…”I would lay all night in the rain for you.” What else can you say after that?
Michelle U.,... Read More
December 10 - 14
Associate Music Supervisor Alex Ruder reviews and programs music for a small but diverse range of brands here at PlayNetwork. With extensive knowledge of the indie electronica and pop music landscape, he dials in on some of the year’s best undiscovered music.
Familiar big name pop acts such as Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Pharrell Williams, and Taylor Swift have largely dominated the charts this year. And while I can’t deny that these artists make some incredibly infectious tracks, there are plenty of artists making equally catchy tracks that haven’t quite caught the ears of millions yet. In my never-ending attempt to expose artists and songs that I feel are worth your ears’ attention, here are 10 pop songs from 2014 that you won’t find on Billboard’s or iTunes’ top charts or racking up multimillion views on YouTube:
[hover over song title for Alex’s commentary]... Read More
November 18 - 14
As part of our PlayLive concert series, we bring exceptional, diverse, artistic talent to the PlayNetwork offices, exposing our Music Supervisors to new and up-and-coming artists from around the globe. Many of these artists are already playing in-store at your favorite retailers, while others are on the horizon of breaking. Much of what we do hinges on music discovery for our brands, turning them into tastemakers for their consumers.
Juno award-winning Canadian artist LIGHTS recently performed cuts from her latest release, “Little Machines”, at our Redmond headquarters. Lights blew onto the electropop scene in 2008 with her hit “Drive My Soul”, and her brand of gleaming, heartfelt pop music has continued to captivate fans around the globe.
“Running With The Boys” opened the set, with the kind of powerful chorus you’d expect to hear chanted in arenas. “Up We Go” showcases Light’s gorgeously fun vocals, only surpassed by her on-stage energy. Much has been said about Light’s road to rediscovery during the writing of “Little Machines” (she shared that the verse for “Muscle Memory” came to her as she drew a bubble bath), but her story for the album’s closer, “Don’t Go Home Without Me”,... Read More
October 28 - 14
Alex Espinosa, one of our veteran Music Supervisors in Seattle, shares why he still buys and collects music in, arguably, its most nostalgic form.
Records–as I like to call them–have been a big part of my life as long as I can remember. Ever since grabbing one of my older brothers’ Beatles records, hearing that distinctive cracking sound before the music started–it’s been a love affair still going strong today. You see, music is such a huge part of my life that I’ve made a career out of it for the past 25 years, and it all started with that first glance and that first feel of holding a record.
Some enthusiasts argue that the sound of a record playing is much richer and warmer than that of a compact disc; others like the simplicity of just downloading a song digitally from virtually any platform on the web. I, on the other hand, like to treat music like that of being in a relationship. I know it may sound a little weird and cliché, but I truly enjoy the satisfaction of being able to study the cover artwork and liner notes before placing the wax onto my record player.... Read More
October 2 - 14
Our resident Senior Music Supervisor, Sean Horton, is the founder of the long-running Decibel Festival here in Seattle – an expansive production highlighting electronic music performances, visual art, and new media. On the festival’s opening night last week, the Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter kicked things off with a panel focusing on new ways for artists to make money through alternative revenue streams. From licensing to streaming to ad partnerships, experienced industry professionals covered how artists build both exposure and income through a variety of sources. Panelists included PlayNetwork’s music industry veteran John Wooler, the1175’s Jody McKinley, Jen Cziesler of Rogue Octopus, and Jeff Owens of Ghostly International.
Questions for the panelists ranged from talking about music piracy, the efforts to improve metadata delivery, and how artists and bands can create new revenue stream via the digital space.
Jen Cziesler discussed Synch Licensing and why it’s such a great opportunity for artists to cash in on film and TV placements. Of the ways music can be paired for sync opportunities, Jen mentioned Synch Tank as her vehicle for pitching music to Music Supervisors.
Jeff Owens from Ghostly Intl represents the artist Tycho,... Read More
September 16 - 14
Here’s a look to what is consistently spinning under the needle of Music Procurement Associate Grady Tyree’s record player in 2014 so far…
Crosses – Crosses (Sumerian Records) – to say this was a highly anticipated release in my world was an understatement, any project that involves Deftones front man, Chino Moreno, will be a hotly sought after relic in my life. So, when he paired up with friend, and fellow Sacramento native, Shaun Lopez, of the early ’00s band, Far, my attention was solely focused on what they were releasing, when they were releasing it, and how long I would have to wait to see them in the flesh – as this side-project blossomed into a real band with multiple releases and tour dates to follow. The album’s sound is a departure from anything you would naturally associate Chino – with it’s heavy-handed synth sound is more akin to the new wave post-punk sounds of the early-to-mid 80’s, not the heavy, gnashing riffs of his mainstay, the Deftones. Chino tones down the blood-curdling screams and instead chooses to show a more vulnerable side to his voice, something I really wasn’t expecting,... Read More
September 12 - 14
PlayNetwork’s Marketing Coordinator Christy A. is a massive music fan and has attended every Bumbershoot since she moved to Seattle. She shares her brand + band highlights from this year’s festival experience.
Summer’s final beacon here in Seattle is the Bumbershoot festival, held every Labor Day weekend at Seattle Center. Bands large and small take over for three days of music discovery, comedy, and art. What caught my eye were brands large and small weaving their way into the festival experience, with plenty of opportunities for comfort, fun, and special perks as the weekend wore on.
PlayStation’s Road to Greatness touring truck greeted us at the main entrance, giving players the chance to test their skills at new and unreleased games, compete in live tournaments, and win prizes. Coca-Cola’s Share A Coke tour came to life with a custom kiosk, where we could personalize our own Coke mini cans with our first names. I’m not one for sipping soda all too often, but I had to step up to the plate!
Sparking ICE gave visitors reprieve from the heat with an air conditioned giant “ice cube”... Read More
July 17 - 14
Though we’ve grown globally, home will always be where our heart is, here in beautiful Seattle, Washington. We are pleased to announce Pianos in the Parks – a program from July 17-August 17, which uses the power of music and art to encourage discovery and enjoyment of some of our region’s beloved parks and open spaces. Made possible by Laird Norton Wealth Management in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP, Gage Academy of Art, City of Music, Classic Pianos, PlayNetwork and others, Pianos in the Parks invites you to come discover our parks, explore your musical chops and enjoy some unique art. Visit the official website for more information and fun content throughout the month: www.PianosintheParks.com
Watch as local artists’ inspired re-designs of 20 pianos for the program come to life in this PlayNetwork-powered launch documentary:
Have you always dreamed taking center stage ala Elton John, Stevie Wonder, or Chopin? Enter the Facebook video contest between July 17 – August 17 for a chance to perform on Friday,... Read More
March 26 - 14
Julia Cummings is Director of Music Services at PlayNetwork. She oversees the team of Music Supervisors who design in-store playlists (as well as on-line, video syncs, and beyond). With a background in radio production (KEXP) and Music Supervision herself, Julia has created the soundtracks for iconic fashion brands from Anthropologie to MAC Cosmetics.
SXSW is a sensory assault. A mad maze of music, music, people, music, lines, late-night food truck visits, sketchy bathrooms, drunk meanderers, and spontaneous jams in the middle of 6th street. Surprises. Navigating blocks and kids banging on buckets and the strangest strangers to catch as many shows as possible or just sitting on a dirty curb because your feet are so sore you JUST NEED TO SIT. Then there is the dancing, the swaying, and the all-out full body listening to live performances- one after the next.
Check-in. Meet Susie Brown, from Lively formerly of PlayNetwork, for dinner. Then journey off Rainey St. near the food cart court. Kind of a cool night. Cool enough to wish I brought a jacket, but not too cold for a Northwesterner. Very glad I catch moody set of Icelandic electronic (?) singer-songwriter Ásgeir at Blackheart,... Read More
December 23 - 13
This is the last one! This review of Grey Reverend’s record will conclude the reviews of some of our top albums of 2013. We hope you have enjoyed reading these reviews as much as we enjoyed writing them. Happy Holidays!
Artist: Grey Reverend
Album: A Hero’s Lie
Label: Ninja Tune
Louis Armstrong once observed that “All Music Is Folk Music, I Ain’t Never Heard A Horse Sing A Song.” Satchmo’s wit eloquently dissolves the notion that music needs to be categorized and that is precisely what I like about “A Hero’s Lie” – the second album under the name “Grey Reverend” by D.L. Brown. Steeped in serious music theory and jazz improvisation (in addition to rock and blues), Brown was on his way to becoming a jazz guitar soloist when a neurological disorder called “focal dystonia” limited his ability to play such complex and intricate music. Undaunted, Brown purposely leaned inward toward a more direct subtle, melodic, thoughtful, thankful, literate side of songwriting. The highly complex became more accessible and sincere; jazz music became folk music;... Read More
December 22 - 13
Here is the second to last review of some of the PlayNetwork music team’s top albums of 2013. Stay tuned for the last review tomorrow! Enjoy.
Artist: Milk Carton Kids
Album: The Ash and Clay
Label: Anti Records
What I love most about the Milk Carton Kids is the simplicity of their approach and the haunting beauty of their songs. What I love almost as much about them is their carefully crafted live act and stage personas. That might not be strictly applicable when selecting your favorite studio-recorded album of the year, but once you’ve experienced the duo in a live setting their personality and charisma cannot be separated from their music. To cheaply convey the aesthetic of the Milk Carton Kids to the uninitiated, they could be simply pegged as Simon & Garfunkel harmonies with Dave Rawlings (Gillian Welch’s musical partner) style guitar playing. Which you might expect to just be some lofty hyperbole, but the thing is those harmonies are actually on par with the legendary Art and Paul, and Kenneth Pattingale could sit-in for Dave Rawlings on guitar any day.... Read More
December 20 - 13
We have a few more reviews of some of our top 10 albums from 2013. Enjoy this review of Goldfrapp’s Tales of Us.
Album: Tales of Us
On their sixth studio album Tales of Us Goldfrapp (Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory) take a substantial departure from their previous record Head First. Gone is the synth-driven electro of “Rocket” and “Believer.” In its place is a lush collection of acoustic and intimate songs that are subdued and somber. The instrumentation is sparse – acoustic guitar, strings, and piano with nary a drum to be heard. But the arrangements are effective, creating the proper atmosphere to take you on their personal and reflective journey. Although the record lacks a true standout song (my favorite is “Annabel”) the album as a whole is mesmerizing – proof that the duo’s talent goes well beyond pop hooks and electronic production.
-Mark Campbell, Music Supervisor... Read More
December 19 - 13
We are keeping them coming… four left in our series of ten reviews of some of PlayNetwork’s top albums of 2013. Enjoy!
Artist: Danny Brown
Label: Fool’s Gold/Warner Bros.
On the opening title track of Danny Brown’s last full length offering, 2012’s XXX, which catapulted him into the mainstream consciousness, Danny exclaims, “If this sh*t don’t work…I’ve failed at life…I’ve turned to these drugs now these drugs turned my life”. Contrary to the popular perception, XXX was not an album about parties and popping molly, but rather the desperation of a relatively unknown 30-year -old rapper, living in a city in turmoil (Detroit), using Adderall to write into the wee hours, and street drugs for self-medication. Now with 2013’s Old, an album appropriately split into Side A and Side B, we find Danny torn between celebrating his success in an excess of parties, drugs, and women (Side B), and reflecting on the consequences of this lifestyle on himself, his loved ones, and his craft (Side A). On “Clean Up” Danny acknowledges, “it’s time for me to clean it up,... Read More
January 31 - 13
We round out the month of January with the final 20 artists from our top 40 Albums of 2012 Music Supervision team. Stay tuned through 2013 to more great music coming our way!
An added bonus for you audiophiles: we’ve built an exclusive channel on our web radio player featuring all of artists on our Top 40 list. Click the image below to enjoy!
... 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
August 30 - 12
What better way to start the Labor Day Weekend than with some music? We’re much obliged to take that advice and are happy to welcome Gypsy Soul to the PlayLive stage, tomorrow, Friday August 31st at 2:00pm.
Gypsy Soul is a California based Celtic soul band led by Cilette Swan and Roman Morykit that sings catchy folk based pop/rock songs.
Their music has aired all over the world and been featured in numerous television shows including Felicity, Roswell, and Providence.
The pair met in Scotland and formed a creative partnership that’s resulted in over ten CDs-including the latest, Grace and Tranquility.
They have been featured as critics Choice and Top Picks in numerous publications including the Seattle Post Intelligencer, LA Times, SF Examiner, Palo Alto Daily News, Bass Player, and Performing Songwriter.
In honor of their 11th CD they are offering a free download of their new song, “Where Did We Go Wrong” available here: http://www.gypsysoul.com/
Click below to view one of their live performances from the Triple Door in Seattle.
If you’re in the Redmond area,... Read More
May 17 - 12
Brent Knopf has accrued a lot of overtime at his job. At least from my point of view… I’m thinking about how many hours a week I spend at the office (I’m paid hourly, they cap me at 40). So when I consider doubling my workweek, besides feeling exhausted, I feel amazed to hear Knopf assert in a recent OregonLive article that he spends 80 hours a week or more working on band projects. Even for a prolific and devoted artist, that level of involvement and intense dedication has the potential to result in a serious case of burnout. Apparently not so for Knopf. As one-third of Portland based Menomena, several years ago he decided to branch out with Ramona Falls (because one band is just never enough), a new side project he named after a waterfall near Mt. Hood. Now releasing their second album Prophet, the band is nearing the end of this summer’s West Coast run and will be hitting the road again soon after for 12 more dates in June.
PlayNetwork is quite happy to be bringing our first artist on the Barsuk label to the PlayLive stage. Unfortunately for Brent Knopf,... 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
January 9 - 12
Our second to last post about our favorites in music from 2011 brings up PlayNetwork Music Supervisor, Traci Stetzer, who serves us something new, some old magic, and something to spread the word about as her favorites from 2011.
Top Eight of The Year (in no particular order)
*Foster The People/Torches
This debut from the LA based trio is an amazing first showing; every track is superior. It’s my hope they don’t fall into the sophomore slump by placing all the best eggs into the first basket. But I have hope for them, they’re young, creative and even entrepreneurial, working alongside “The Do Good Bus” during their first US Tour. “The Do Good Bus” is a Los Angeles-based volunteer organization designed to add an element of mystery and fun into volunteer work. The Do Good Bus has a simple premise, taking groups of do-gooders to sites around the city to perform services such as building houses and planting gardens. Where the fun factor comes in is that each day’s task and destination are unknown to the volunteers. You can find more information about them here: http://dogoodbus.com/
This was difficult to choose what video to share,... Read More
January 3 - 12
Happy New Year world! We continue our look back at 2011 in music…
Alex Espinosa, our newest member on the Music Services team, gives us a look at his favorite albums from 2011 which includes a few Latin artists you may not have heard of. Disfruten!
The Black Keys – El Camino (Nonesuch)
For having just two members as their core, this blues rock band from Akron, Ohio put the crunch in dirty blues rock. Their seventh release titled “El Camino” was such a surprise to me from the start that I couldn’t wait until I heard every track. With the first single “Lonely Boy” that has this guitar riff and analog synth sound at the start; I immediately wanted more. El Camino delivers especially with my favorite on the album “Run Right Back”. This song has not only sex appeal but that dirty, kick the dirt type of sound that gives the Keys a swagger like the days of Bowie and T-Rex. Listen to “Run Right Back” here
Hello Seahorse – Lejos, No Tan Lejos (Nacional Records)
Mexico’s indie sensation, Hello Seahorse latest release titled “Lejos, No Tan Lejos” which translates to “Far,... Read More
December 27 - 11
We hope you’re enjoying your holidays! As we reflect back on 2011, our second installment of ‘bests’ n music as seen by PlayNetwork’s Music Superivisor’s brings up Music Supervisor, Heather Thueringer’s Top 10 Albums of 2011. Without further ado…
10. Ellie Goulding – Lights
PlayNetwork was fortunate to host a PlayLive event featuring Ellie Goulding just weeks before she was tapped to play the Royal wedding and Saturday Night Live. She did a great set on our mainstage and was as nice as could be. Listening to her album Lights, it’s easy to see why she was one of the top-selling British artists in 2010.
Watch Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” Video…
9. Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting
I was lucky enough to catch Jamie Woon at South By Southwest and he was fantastic! His whole album is great and I would highly encourage seeing him live if you can! You will not be disappointed.
Watch Jamie Woon’s “Night Air” Video…
8. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Lykke Li had one of my favorite albums as well as my favorite video of the year. ... Read More
September 20 - 11
Today we’re excited to welcome internationally acclaimed musician Paul Kelly as our next PlayLive guest!
Paul Kelly has recorded seventeen studio albums as well as several film soundtracks and live albums, in an influential career spanning more than thirty years.
Also a celebrated author, his memoir, How to Make Gravy, (born of a 2004, 4-night concert series in which he recanted stories in-between the 100 songs he performed) was short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in the non-fiction category in May of 2011, and in July it was named co-winner of ‘Biography of the Year’ at the Australian Book Industry Awards.
Should be a great show! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter for pics!
Blake Kirpes, Associate Music Supervisor
PlayNetwork... Read More
August 5 - 11
Seems like summer always has its own soundtrack that helps weave the fabric of stories that only summer can pump out. The barbecue that ended with a visit from the fire department. The epic road trip. Water skiing for the first (and perhaps last) time. There’s usually a song or two associated with those summertime events that trigger memories of them long after they’ve happened.
That brings us to summer 2011. Our team of Music Supervisors picked ten of our favorite “Hot Picks” for your 2011 summertime playlist. These songs make a great soundtrack for your sunshine day-dreaming, adventuring and storytelling.
What’s in your heavy rotation this summer?... Read More
June 30 - 11
What a year it’s been for Audri & Aaron! After winning maurices “Small Town Sound” nationwide band search, our favorite duo from Alton, IL performed at their local maurices store, played a showcase at SXSW, flew to Los Angeles to record their winning single “Home” and shoot the video right here in our PlayNetwork studios!
We’ve loved working with Audri & Aaron and their debut single is incredible. We’re so excited to watch their success continue.
Check out Audri & Aaron’s “Home” music video:
Also, be sure to catch them on Facebook and Twitter and tell them their friends at PlayNetwork say hello!... Read More
March 28 - 11
We’ve got some great news to kick off the week! One eskimO’s video for “Amazing,” which was shot originally for one of our PlayLive sessions, has just been added to Palladia, the music-centric high definition television channel. Keep your eyes peeled for it on the channel’s video rotation so you can see it in all of its hi-def glory!
Congrats to the band! We’re honored our PlayLive session video was chosen to be the song’s official music video and if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out “Amazing”:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2w3MM8htP8]... Read More