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Jocelyn-Brown

Spotlight: Unsung Hero Jocelyn Brown

When Jocelyn Brown appeared at a recent Manhattan street party in celebration of legendary Paradise Garage DJ Larry Levan, thousands of revelers were reminded of her enduring vocal power. Although her name remains mostly unknown outside R&B and club music circles, she has appeared on literally hundreds of records — sometimes under her own name, sometimes in the background, and quite often as[…]

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Nikki-Lane

Artist Spotlight: Nikki Lane

We here at Rhapsody are always on the hunt for exciting, innovative new musicians. So this year we decided to reinstate our Ones to Watch series, where we focus on one emerging artist for an entire month and provide you with exclusive content from the promising up-and-comer. For the month of May, we’ve chosen smoky alt country rocker Nikki Lane as our featured artist.[…]

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Swedish-Pop

Spotlight: Swedish Pop

Swedish pop presents an interesting conundrum — or, more accurately, a series of interesting conundrums — for American music fans. Older Swedish pop stars (like ABBA or Roxette) are often portrayed as kitschy guilty pleasures, but they’re also foundational icons whose influence continues to be felt in contemporary pop. Meanwhile, current Swedish pop stars, from buzzy diva Icona Pop to pop princess Niki & the Dove to pop[…]

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MadMen

Spotlight: Music from Mad Men

When Mad Men first hit AMC in July 2007, Don Draper and his Sterling Cooper cronies were working the advertising accounts of March 1960. But most of the notable music earmarked for that first season was Tin Pan Alley pop and exotica from the previous decade, still happily oblivious to rock ‘n’ roll and seemingly designed to make the protagonists’ past seem[…]

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Sonny-Rollins

Artist Spotlight: Sonny Rollins

It’s hard to think of another living musician who can claim as great an influence over their chosen form of music than Sonny Rollins can. He played on Bud Powell‘s first recordings for Blue Note. That’s him playing a pivotal sideman role on Thelonious Monk‘s Brilliant Corners album, too. And Rollins also mixed it up with the likes of John Coltrane, on the title track of the album Tenor[…]

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Lily-Allen

Spotlight: The Brutally Honest Lily Allen

Lily Allen is one of those pop stars where you always know what’s going on with her. On 2009’s It’s Not Me, It’s You, she cried pretty openly about her lover’s disinterest in reciprocation on “Not Fair”: “You’re supposed to care but you never make me scream.” But on the new Sheezus, she’s found the “L8 Cmmr” of her dreams. Oh, and she[…]

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Billboard

Spotlight: Billboard Music Awards 2014 Nominees

The Billboard Music Awards on May 18 will spotlight the best of 2013, a year that was quietly one of pop’s most iconic years in ages, from Daft Punk‘s helmets to Macklemore‘s thrift clothes to Robin Thicke‘s, um, naked assistants. Miley Cyrus gave new meaning to “Wrecking Ball,” while Pharrell Williams put an irresistible new spin on being happy if you know it. Lady Gaga‘s underrated Artpopand synth odysseys[…]

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Eels

Artist Spotlight: Eels

Like Thom Yorke or Mike Doughty, Mark Oliver Everett didn’t necessarily start out as someone you expect to still be hearing from in 2014. His band, Eels, had an MTV and alt radio hit with “Novocaine for the Soul,” won some comparisons to a creepier Beck, and mostly disappeared from the airwaves forever afterward. But his second album, Electro-Shock Blues, a concept record to help him[…]

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Music-Festival-Nation

Spotlight: 2014 Music Festivals Map [Infographic]

Time to pack up the van and make some noise – it’s festival season! From Outkast and Queens of the Stone Age in Washington state, to Eminem, Pearl Jam, and Skrillex in Austin, these 2014 music festivals will no doubt keep you tune junkies busy all over the country. And in case you need a map and a plan, check out the infographic below[…]

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Sly-and-Robbie

Artist Spotlight: Sly & Robbie

Other reggae musicians may be more famous, but few have been more prolific than Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. It’s been estimated that drummer Dunbar and bassist Shakespeare have played on and/or produced some 200,000 tracks. Even if that figure seems impossible, the influence of Sly & Robbie, as they’re professionally known, cannot be disputed. Not only have their rhythms adorned all styles of[…]

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