Historic Venue: The Ryman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 4.27.49 PMWith the release of a brand new live album from Band of Horses, we look back at what has made this Nashville venue the hallowed ground it is now considered to be.

The historic Ryman Auditorium, now 124 years old and going strong, is one of the most iconic venues in the world. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, the Ryman was once home to the Grand Ole Opry, the radio show that many credit with bringing Country music to mainstream audiences. The show remained at the Ryman for more than 30 years, cementing it into music history forever; this momentous time at the venue earned it an impressive nickname: the “Mother Church of Country Music.” Since, the venue has undergone some changes, but it remains one of the biggest stops in the bustling Nashville music scene.

Over its storied history, the Ryman has hosted some of the biggest names in Country music. In it’s beginnings though, the Ryman was known for producing amazing speeches and non-musical performances by the likes of Teddy Rooseveldt, William Howard Taft, Charlie Chaplin, and even Helen Keller.  Up until 1943, the venue rarely hosted musical performances, but this changed in a big way with the arrival of the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1943, the Ryman took on the name the Grand Ole Opry House. From then until 1974, artists such as Elvis Presley, Hank WilliamsEarl Scruggs, Johnny Cash (who met his future wife, June Carter, backstage), Louis Armstrong, and Patsy Cline all performed at the historic venue. The Grand Ole Opry then moved to Opryland USA, which marked an end of an era for the Ryman.

After a period of considerably slowed activity, the Ryman was renovated and by 1992 the auditorium came back into public attention when Emmylou Harris recorded her classic album, ‘Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers at the Ryman‘. Since, the Ryman has been very active, hosting musicians like Dolly Parton, Weezer, and many more. A good deal of whom recorded amazing live albums, including Levon Helm, Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen, Jonny Lang, and, most recently, Band of Horses.

Check out our playlist, Historic Venue: Ryman Auditorium, for some of the biggest music moments in the Ryman’s illustrious saga. Enjoy!

 

‘Add to Spotify’ with SoundHound

Love SoundHound? So do we! Today, there’s even more to love with the launch of a rich ‘Add to Spotify’ integration for iOS enabling users to convert SoundHound music discoveries seamlessly into Spotify playlists. Now you can add newly discovered and previously searched tracks to a playlist within Spotify without ever leaving the SoundHound App! It’s simple to set up – just link your SoundHound and Spotify accounts. Once linked, you can opt to have discovered songs added to your playlist either automatically or manually by tapping the Spotify icon. You can then listen to the full track, add it to other playlists or share directly with friends using your favorite social networks. The SoundHound app is available for free for iOS, AndroidWindows Phone and BlackBerry 10 devices.

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SXSW, here we come!

For a third, fantastic year, we will be painting Austin green. From March 10th through the 14th, the Spotify House will be your go-to venue to unwind and discover the best in new music.

This year, we’re moving to a brand new venue with more room to check out bands and catch up with friends.

Our 2014 lineup boasts 30+ must-see acts – including emerging stars G-Eazy and MØ, along with Glass Animals, Tove Lo, Jungle and Betty Who, to electro rockers Phantogram, St. Paul and The Broken Bones and many more – we’ve got something for everyone! In years past, Spotify has hosted a number of break-out artists during SXSW such as Kimbra, Haim, Kendrick Lamar, Tom Odell and St. Lucia and this year will be no different. Get the full line-up day by day here.

The CW Network, partner of The Spotify House and home of shows including The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and Supernatural, will have stars from the upcoming sci-fi drama The 100 and other hit series stopping by to hang with some of the coolest new bands.

For even more awesomeness on the ground, we’ll be introducing a music-themed mosaic photo booth created by The Brigade, an interactive playlist generator as well as music trivia installation created by Beak Labs.

RSVP now and follow us on our dedicated SXSW Spotify handle @sxspotify to stay up to date on the latest news and giveaways! You can also subscribe to our text line [Text YES to 61235] to get up-to-the-minute updates from all the activity on the ground.  With so much on the go, be sure to follow us on Vine and Instagram for more information about our SXSW plans this year.

See you at SXSW!

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Repeat One

You asked and we listened! Today we rolled out a highly requested feature from our users, repeat one . That’s right — you can now listen to that favorite song over and over and over again.

Clicking on repeat now toggles between “no-repeat”, “repeat-all” and “repeat-one.”

We’ve rolled it to 100% users, available right now on Desktop 0.9.7+.  Android and iOS will be supported in upcoming releases – watch this space!

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Game On! Win awesome Sonos gear this Super Bowl

It’s game time! We’re going to make a cameo in Sonos‘ ad during the First Half  and to celebrate, we’re giving away some amazing Sonos gear and Spotify Premium!

Up for grabs:

  • Grand Prize – One (1) Sonos Playbar soundbar, two (2) pairs Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speakers, and 6 month Spotify Premium Membership.
  • Five First Prizes – One (1) Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speaker and 1 month Spotify Premium Membership.
  • One Hundred (100) Second Prizes – 1 month Spotify Premium Membership.

Want in? Simply re-tweet our tweet to get in on the action. See competition Terms and Conditions for more details.

Be sure to follow @Spotify and @Sonos on Twitter throughout the game as we live playlist the inaugural Spotify #MusicBowl.

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Denver and Seattle Mayors Share Their Super Bowl Playlists

The big game is this Sunday, and whether your preparations include refreshing the latest Broncos and Seahawks news or gathering all the chili, guac, wings and beer you can get your hands on, you’re going to need a solid pump-up playlist and Spotify has you covered.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray teamed up with Spotify and created exclusive playlists to rev up fans of both sides before Sunday’s showdown. Their playlists span many decades and genres, showcasing the unique culture, musical talents and fighting strength of each city – while also revealing the eclectic musical tastes of each Mayor.

Some of our personal favorites on the lists include John Denver, Queen and The Osborne Brothers on the Denver side, and Jimi Hendrix, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Phish from Seattle. So which city do you think has the best taste in music? Take a listen to each playlist below and decide for yourself.

Denver Playlist:

Seattle Playlist:

Syd Barrett: Pink Floyd’s Madcap Genius – enjoy his solo albums

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Roger Keith Barrett – the nickname “Syd” first appeared when he was around 14 – was one of the true geniuses of British rock music. Born in Cambridge in 1948, he met his future Pink Floyd bandmate Roger Waters while still at primary school, while David Gilmour was a teenage friend. The talented product of a musical family, young Syd – a fan of jazz and obscure blues – was an accomplished piano player, guitarist, artist and poet even before he moved to London to attend Camberwell Art College. When Roger’s band Sigma 6, which already featured Richard Wright and Nick Mason, suddenly lost two members, Syd joined up immediately and by the summer of 1965 they were known as The Pink Floyd, a name conjured up by Syd and inspired by American blues artists Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

As 1965 became 1966, the fast-developing UK psychedelic music scene gave this new band the chance to develop Syd’s performance-based ideas into something truly unique and by late 1966 Pink Floyd were the biggest underground band in the land. They signed to EMI Records in February 1967 (for an advance of £5000), releasing the brilliant singles Arnold Layne and See Emily Play – both written by Syd – and followed that up with the Piper At The Gates Of Dawn LP – again, mostly composed by Syd – which has long been recognised as one of the greatest ever British psychedelic albums. However, as the band’s fan base grew and grew, it became clear that Syd’s own approach to writing, performing and recording – favouring the spontaneous over the rehearsed – was increasingly at odds with the expectations of a musical scene that was still very conservative, especially outside the Pink Floyd’s London base.

Possibly exacerbated by Syd’s frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs, his behaviour became more erratic. Pink Floyd decided to add a second guitarist for live performances, the idea was that Syd’s compositional genius would survive in the studio, while David Gilmour would step-up for the live shows – but this well-meaning experiment didn’t work and, in January 1968, after a handful of shows as a five-piece, the band chose not to pick Syd up on the way to a Southampton University show. Two months later, he was no longer a member of Pink Floyd.

In April 1969 EMI’s new Harvest label commissioned a solo Syd LP and The Madcap Laughs, featuring both Gilmour and Waters, was released in January 1970. The album was well received and sold reasonably, so a follow-up was called for straight away and in late February 1970, with David Gilmour as producer, Richard Wright on keyboards and Humble Pie’s Jerry Shirley on drums, the album Barrett was begun. Released in November that year, it would be the last official Syd Barrett album. Both albums were popular on American FM Radio in the mid-70s, but by August 1974 Syd had withdrawn entirely from the music industry and returned home to Cambridge where he spent his time painting, creating large abstract canvases.

Roger “Syd” Barrett died of pancreatic cancer in July 2006 and a tribute concert was held at London’s Barbican Theatre the following summer. Curated by Nick Laird-Clowes it featured Joe Boyd, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, Damon Albarn, Captain Sensible, Robyn Hitchcock, Chrissie Hynde, John Paul Jones and more. His endlessly striking creations had, over 40 years, developed a life and a following of their own. As early as 1976, bands like the Sex Pistols and The Damned had been talking about Syd’s influence – indeed, both tried to get him to produce their debut albums. Later David Bowie, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Primal Scream covered his songs, while Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and, most famously, Blur took their love of Syd’s music onwards to whole new generations. And now Syd’s uniquely wonderful music is available on Spotify. Explore it, love it, share it – there’s a whole world to discover here.

Get on-demand music streaming on Last.fm with Spotify

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We’ve teamed up with music recommendation experts, Last.fm, to bring on-demand playback to their popular site. Yes, you read that right — you can now play our entire catalogue on Last.fm using your Spotify account. 

Starting today. Last.fm ‘s users, spanning over 50 countries, will now be able to listen to the entire Spotify music catalog  on-demand, including individual tracks, full albums, playlists and Spotify recommendations.  It’s never been easier to get access to both the music that you know and love, and all of the music we know you’ll love. 

To use the new integration, Last.fm users can either sign-up for a Spotify membership or sync their Last.fm profile with their existing free or premium Spotify account. They’ll then be able to:

  • Browse Last.fm’s database of 60M+ artists and 700M tracks with streamable tracks from Spotify highlighted with a play button
  • Simply press play to launch the Spotify player
  • Load all tracks  on a Last.fm page as a Spotify playlist with play control through Last.fm 
Try it out now! 

http://www.last.fm/music/Daft+Punk/+charts

Want to know more? Get the lowdown on this exciting partnership here!

 

Featured App: Rhino

We can’t get enough of the new Rhino App for Spotify. A trusted name in music curation for more than 30 years,  Rhino is bringing their expertise to your Spotify.

The  App re-creates the feeling of flipping through the racks of your favorite local record store – complete with playlists for every taste and genre, expertly curated by Rhino Musicologists.

Check out the Classic Rock, Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave, Left of the Dial – College Rock playlists, plus weekly playlists curated by Aquarium Drunkard, Bob Lefsetz, and much more. Playlists are updated regularly, so there’s always something new to discover.

If you’re on your computer, click here to explore the new  Rhino App on Spotify.

 

Meet Peter – one of our community’s Rock Stars

Peter+Daniel(1)Have you ever wished you could reach out to an expert with questions about Spotify? The Spotify Community has your man.

A few months ago, we were incredibly happy to have our top community Super User, Peter Doggart from the UK, visit our headquarters in Stockholm. Peter alone is responsible for answering almost 30,000 questions for customers in our community! Peter received a tour of HQ, a day trip around Stockholm, and one-on-one time with Daniel, Martin and several top members of our organization. He was thrilled to be there and so appreciative of the opportunity to really get to know the Spotify team!

When asked why he helps out in the community so much here’s what he said:

What was the first time you came to the community like?

“I am almost certain I came to the community like the majority of current Spotify customers, looking for some help. Even now as a Super User, we need help with new features on occasion, but we are the lucky ones who can bug the staff team directly for answers! Whilst I was on the community myself, I noticed a topic from another community member which I could answer, so I did! The rest is history.”

Why did you keep participating in the community?

“I know music is an important part of peoples’ daily lives, knowing that I have helped someone overcome an issue which means they can enjoy their music, or anyone who says thank you for helping, those are the people who make me smile and make what I do worthwhile.”

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What was the best part of your journey to Stockholm?

“The best part of my trip was definitely meeting the people who live and breath Spotify. I have never been in an organization where I have seen so much passion and energy from the people before. It was really a dream come true to meet the founders of the company, as well as the product teams and of course to finally meet the wonderful community team I interact with daily. I feel like I am even more part of the Spotify family now!”

To find out more about how to contribute to the community and earn rewards, check out our new Spotify Rock Star Program.