Tag Archive: PlayNetwork
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
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
May 1 - 14
The PlayNetwork story has always been about growth. Since 1996, we’ve evolved from an in-store music service to the leading global provider of immersive brand experiences. Our footprint has grown to now reach over 100 million consumers every day through the world’s most recognized brands in over 107 countries.
To support the next phase of our vision, we’re passing the torch.
It’s with tremendous appreciation that we share Lon Troxel’s retirement from his role as PlayNetwork’s CEO, and announce the election of Craig Hubbell as his successor in this role. We thank Lon for his dedication to our growth, stability, and culture, and wish him the very best in retirement.
Our goals have not changed. Under Craig’s leadership, we will remain true to what we do best: helping brands create emotional connections with consumers across the globe through branded entertainment media. We’re committed to global growth and innovation, while leveraging insights to deliver impactful experiences.
We are one team with one vision, and will continue to celebrate our culture through our Core Values and Guiding Principles.
We thank you — our team, our partners and our customers — ... 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
December 18 - 13
This review of Disclosure kicks off the second half of the 10 reviews of some of our favorite albums of 2013.
If I had to pick one defining album of 2013, it would have to be Disclosure’s Settle. Not only do teen prodigies Guy and Howard Lawrence manage to reach global popularity with Settle, they did so by focusing on a sub-genre that has yet to obtain mainstream success outside of the UK (Garage). As a fan of Garage, Deep House, Techno and other “4/4” genres that have kept dance music interesting for the past 30 years, it’s refreshing to witness emerging talent like Disclosure pay homage to the underground. Each song is an expertly crafted pop anthem, that doesn’t placate the listener with mainstream “EDM” production tricks used by David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade, Afrojack and the like. In fact, it’s the unique production on Settle that makes the album standout both as a commercial and underground gem. Much album’s success is owed to the brilliant cast of guest vocalists Guy and Howard collaborate with,... Read More
December 17 - 13
This review of Wooden Shjips marks the half way point of the unveiling of some of our top 10 albums of 2013. Stayed tuned for the second half, we promise you won’t regret it!
Artist: Wooden Shjips
Album: Back To land
Label: Thrill Jockey
On ‘Back to Land’, the band delivers a sonic milkshake that smells and tastes definitively like “Wooden Shjips music,” but it’s got a new confidence. Some washes of harder-edged electronic stuff, some happier moments and some darker moments. Miles of guitar solos / fuzz / distortion, of course, and motoric bass and drums. But the mix is heavier and more varied from track to track. You’ll hear them pushing the edges out, loosening the ties. The result is a record that’s more sonically rich than anything that’s come before, and also more accessible. Here, boundary-pushing involves the occasional inclusion of acoustic guitars in a supporting role in the band’s drone-friendly Suicide-meet-’Sister Ray’ stew, as well as tunes that occasionally risk a third chord to supplement the band’s customary two- and single-chord workouts.... Read More
December 16 - 13
We hope your weekend was great. If you need inspiration to get your Monday off to a great start, check out album review #4 of 10 of our favorite albums of 2013. Enjoy!
Artist: Jagwar Ma
Label: Mom + Pop
Not unlike the Australian outback, Jagwar Ma released a debut album, ‘Howlin’, that is vast, remote, and baked under the sun. What started as an experimental duo in Sydney quickly became a more ambitious trio in France (and now England), transforming living room jam sessions into an album of dub-heavy, psychedelic dance rock. Their first two singles, “Man I Need” and “Come Save Me”, could have been chart toppers in 1993, alongside The Charlatans or Oasis (who are big fans, incidentally) but the band still manage to sound modern and relevant. No other album in 2013 hit me so quickly, upon first review, and still sounds fresh, weird and wonderful, after 12 months of non-stop listening.
-Dean Sven Carlson, Lead Associate Music Supervisor/Procurement... Read More
December 15 - 13
Your Sunday just got better! Check out album review #3 of 10 featuring some of the best albums released this year.
Electronic Soul duo Quadron released their sophomore effort Avalanche in March. The Danish group, comprised of singer Coco Maja Hastrup Karshøj (Coco O) and musician/producer Robin Hannibal (also of the band Rhye) outdid themselves with this second album. Singles “Hey Love” and “Favorite Star” are catchy and fun enough to be instant earworms, and slow jams like “Befriend” and “Something That You Like” are smoldering burners that could make Sade jealous. It’s nearly impossible to listen any track off of Avalanche without moving a part of one’s body; tapping a foot, nodding a head, swaying hips or snapping fingers. Quite possibly, all of these things would happen at once, and that is the mark of a really great album.
-Heather Thueringer, Music Supervisor... Read More
December 13 - 13
It’s that time of year… time to pick your top albums of 2013. At PlayNetwork, we’re going to do it a little different this year. Our music team picked their top 10 albums and then wrote a review for one of the albums that made the list. We are going to feature 10 of these album reviews written by our music team. Here is the first one, enjoy!
Album: Hanging Gardens
Label: Innovative Leisure
Following a steady string of hotly-tipped remixes and singles over the last four years, LA-based electronic production duo finally unleashed their debut studio album this past summer and quickly became a go-to soundtrack for the sunny season. Hanging Gardens showcases Classixx’s seamless blend of disco, house, R&B, funk and pop styles that mixes infectious pop singles with breezy dancefloor grooves, all with an impeccable 80s-influenced touch and a talented roster of diverse guest vocalists. The album also stands out with its flawless sequencing and pacing, undoubtedly the result of the duo’s long-running DJ backgrounds before embarking upon creating their own sounds in the studio.... Read More
March 29 - 13
Brands today are leveraging the power of music to make authentic connections with their customers, but also see the benefits in their bottom line through a richer shopping experience, deeper customer engagement, stronger affinity and returning customers.
Here are 11 more ways that music impacts the shopping experience for brands and customers…
... 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
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
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
April 26 - 11
The industry is changing…..
Brands today have high expectations for their marketing programs and consumer expectations of what’s original are even higher. Large numbers of Gen X, Millennials, and Baby Boomers share an evolved online and social media-fueled habit of content consumption. Consumers today have more options, more demand, and more control over what they want to experience, and how and when to do it. With that in mind, traditional communication strategies must be re-focused to capture and hold the attention of this media savvy, content-craving audience in new ways. As a result, a shift towards new models that facilitate big ideas, custom production and alternative distribution channels of exclusive and relevant branded entertainment content is not only necessary, it’s happening.
With every new customer comes a new opportunity to extend that critical brand-to-consumer conversation “outside of the four walls” of the retail space and into their daily lives. This mindset offers a broader, more personal, opportunity for brands to engage with their audience on a variety of digital media platforms to tell stories that are authentic and strengthen brand loyalty not only in the store, but beyond the store. Having an initial “emotional” conversation rather than dialogue that is purely “transactional” is more meaningful,... 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
March 23 - 11
Emotional withdrawal is an interesting feeling.
Putting volumes of effort, preparation, energy and soul into a project and the people surrounding it, blazing through five intense days of music, meetings and media, and somehow managing to document it all, when it is all over leaves me with two distinct feelings… relief and reward. As our PlayNetwork teams decompress and recover from the mad revelry of SXSW, I find myself reflecting on one thought.
We rocked it!
At multiple points during the week, I looked around our venue and within arms length were PlayNetwork crew, team, clients, board of directors, industry partners, artists, labels and fans… all unifying around a music and cultural experience that we created and delivered. It was a truly an awesome feeling.
Our clients are ecstatic. The venue was blown away. We moved the needle. We kept our word. We built new “trusted partnerships”. And we made our presence known at SXSW.
I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a kick $&:@ PlayNetwork team.
Next year…bigger and better.
Oh…And I really miss Audri & Aaron.
John Crooke,... Read More
March 18 - 11
As I stare into my iPhone to collect my thoughts…and with 4 shots of espresso coursing through my veins…I am now aware that already almost 48 hours have passed since my last post. But considering the massive scale of this production, and total success yesterday of our maurices Small Town Sound showcase at Speakeasy and our Girls Rock Showcase at Cedar Street, it was worth the delay. The venue was packed. Audri & Aaron’s SXSWdebut, literally, brought more than a few folks on the floor to tears. Sick of Sarah and Vanity Theft absolutely blew the roof off. And the Bangles were amazing, rocked it, and brought it all home to a sold out house!
AND… We shot an interview and PlayLive live performance with Sir Bob Geldof at Austin City Limits. You have no idea how cool this was. Indescribable!
AND…We shot an interview with Moby from 28 floors high overlooking Austin at night…and then captured him DJ’ing to a packed house. Brilliant!
AND FINALLY…We had a private PlayNetwork and maurices industry party during the Girls Rock Showcase to celebrate this beautiful marriage that lasted into the wee hours.... Read More
March 16 - 11
The Bangles arrive tonight. “Small Town Sound” winners Audri & Aaron got in this morning. The crowd is swelling. We just shot video of Jackson Harris, Letlive, and are in the thick of shooting the Red Robin Austin TX street band with more shoots on deck for tonight. Looks like we might be shooting and recording a private performance by BOB GELDOF at Austin City Limits tomorrow night. HUGE!!
The storm before the storm. More to come…
Sr. Director Creative Development / PlayNetwork
... Read More
February 7 - 11
As the saying goes, mom knows best. As caregiver and purchaser of household items, moms play an important role in making sure a household functions smoothly. As the primary person in charge when it comes to day-to-day purchasing decisions, moms also make up an increasingly popular market segment for advertisers. Traditionally, advertisers connected with moms at home through television, radio, and print advertising. However, with the advent of internet-enabled phones, social communication platforms, and digital publications, advertisers can connect in new ways that moms can better identify with.
Enter the “Alpha Mom.” This new group of Moms is college-educated, tech-savvy, and wants to be involved with their children’s lives yet engage in a more active role outside of the home. Alpha Moms are constantly on the go, and this difference in habit from traditional stay-at-home Moms presents a new challenge for advertisers looking to keep up with this audience.
Getting in front of an elusive Alpha Mom might at first glance seem like no easy task. However, part of the solution can be found in their active routine. As natural social networkers, Alpha Moms maintain relationships with their friends via online social networks: they blog, they use the mobile web to find deals,... Read More
August 16 - 10
Robyn Hitchcock has been around longer than most of the stuff you listen to, and there’s a reason for that; he’s fantastic!
For a limited time, you can head over to his site and download 2 tracks from his new project The Hungry Moment, which is a ‘psyche & western’ group he’s started with Abigail Washburn & Rayna Gellerd on board!
They’ll only be up for 1 week, so head over now to grab your Phantom 45’s…
PlayNetwork, Inc.... Read More
August 13 - 10
I read on NME today that indie God Morrissey has selected his all-time favorite 13 albums for Friday The 13th! Since there are more than a couple i’ve not heard, I’ve decided to post some vids to visualtrack his picks, just to turn us all on…
Here is the list:
Jobriath – ‘Jobriath’
Jeff Buckley – ‘Grace’
The Smoking Popes – ‘Born To Quit’
Damien Dempsey – ‘Seize The Day’
Roxy Music – ‘For Your Pleasure’
The Velvet Underground – ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’
The Velvet Underground – ‘White Light/White Heat’
Sparks – ‘Kimono My House’
Iggy & The Stooges – ‘Raw Power’
Nico –... Read More
July 27 - 10
Ok, so yesterday i was hating on Nick Cave, but today is a new day and i’ve just read some exciting news! Now, i’m not a huge movie buff or anything, but one film i used to love was “The Crow“, and while i usually loathe remakes of already good films, today’s news has me singing a different tune, as Nick Cave has been tapped to pen this one.
For those of us who may not know it, Mr. Cave is regarded as the screenwriting talent for the future, and while i’ve not actually seen anything to his film credit (I’m afraid to, as I love his music and am familiar with the darkness his mind is capable of), the buzz is on!
“The Crow” may be better known as the film Brandon Lee was filming when he was accidentally shot dead on set. While the irony is almost unbearable, it is still a great movie with an even better soundtrack.... Read More
June 18 - 10
PlayGreen, the sustainability committee at PlayNetwork, has been working hard on a blog for a little while now, and PlayGreen is a vital part of our GPC, or Guiding Principals Committee. Some refer to the GPC as the soul of PlayNetwork, where we have groups that organize community outreach programs, pet adoptions, healthy living events, employee parties and events, live performances at our offices and much, much more! To view the PlayGreen blog, please click here. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you back here sooner than later!... Read More
June 15 - 10
In celebration of Crunch Gym’s 21st birthday – or 21 years of sets, grunts and rock n’ roll – PlayNetwork helped the company launch its very own custom web radio, equipped with prizes, parties and more. Set in a bar scene, users can enter contests by viewing the shot of the day. Other cool features include the “wall of shame” in the photo booth, a list of upcoming parties, fun facts about the gym by hovering over people and objects, and of course, the ability to share it all on Twitter and Facebook. Simply scroll over the DJ booth for your music controls and find a new workout favorite. Check it out here!
... Read More