September Beats presented by @thursplay


Our friends at @thursplay have compiled this playlist for September.

First up on this September Beats by @thursplay is 17-year-old Chloe Chaidez, who brings a rock-star attitude to the LA musical group called Kitten. We’ve added the song “Cut it Out” from their second EP. Find also the latest single by The Killers, “Runaways”; and from Cat Power’s latest album, “Sun”, the song “Cherokee”.

Also on this playlist: meet American rock band Alabama Shakes with their groovy new song “I Found You”, followed by Canadian twin-cuties, Tegan and Sara, with their latest single “Closer”. Band Thieves Like Us appears as well on this playlist with their song “Stay Blue”, and Swedish sweetheart Jens Lekman pours his heart out on “The World Moves On”, a song from his latest album called “I Know What Love Isn’t”.

What have you listened to the most during this month of September? Let us know by sharing your favorite beats with us on Twitter using the hashtag #thursplay.

Enjoy the playlist!

Unsung Heroes

You may not recognize their names, but you’ve heard their music more times than you know. These teams of studio musicians have played on hundreds of hit records over the last 50 years. Do you know any other Unsung Heroes? Let us know in the comments.

The Wrecking Crew

That’s the nickname these musicians from the 1960s gave themselves after the old line studio players, who hated rock, complained that they were “wrecking the business.” The band, which included Hal Blaine (drums), Joe Osborne (bass), Larry Knechtel (keyboards), Glen Campbell (guitar), and Leon Russell (piano), were producer Phil Spector’s “go-to” guys.

The Wrecking Crew played on six consecutive Record of the Year Grammy winners: “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (1966), “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra (1967), “Up, Up and Away” by the Fifth Dimension (1968), “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel (1969), “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by the Fifth Dimension (1970), and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel (1971).

Selected Hits: “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes • “Surf City” by Jan and Dean • “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers • “I Got You, Babe” by Sonny and Cher • “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds • “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas • “This Diamond Ring” by Gary Lewis and the Playboys • “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys • “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees • “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner

Muscle Shoals Rythm Section

Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), Barry Beckett (keyboards), and Donny Short (lead guitar) are known as the “Swampers” by the music legends who’ve come down to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to record with them since 1967. The musicians were given the nickname “Swampers” during a recording session with Mick Jagger because of the swampy land in Muscle Shoals. They were referenced by name in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” The Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was founded in 1969 in an old casket warehouse. Their first client was Cher.

Selected Hits: “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett • “Old Time Rock ’n’ Roll” by Bob Seger • “Respect” by Aretha Franklin • “High Time We Went” by Joe Cocker • “Tonight’s the Night” by Rod Stewart • “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon • “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge • “Sweet Soul Music” by Arthur Conley • “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff • “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin • “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones • “Land of a Thousand Dances” by Wilson Pickett • “Lay Down Sally” by Eric Clapton

The A Team

Immortalized by John Sebastian in his song “Nashville Cats,” these superpickers—including Bob Moore (bass), Buddy Harman (drums), Grady Martin, Hank Garland, Chet Atkins, Harold Bradley (guitar), Hargus “Pig” Robbins (keyboards), Floyd Kramer (piano), Pete Drake (steel guitar), and Charlie McCoy (harmonica)—have played on hundreds of country hits over the past half-century.

Selected Hits: “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison • “Stand by Your Man” by Tammy Wynette • “Just Like a Woman” by Bob Dylan • “Crazy” by Patsy Cline • “King of the Road” by Roger Miller • “El Paso” by Marty Robbins • “Big Bad John” by Jimmy Dean • “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee

The Memphis Sound

In 1958 the Royal Spades were a band of white kids from Memphis who loved black music. When sax player Packy Axton’s mother opened a studio called Satellite Records (later Stax-Volt) to record local talent, they changed their name to the Mar-Keys and became the house band. Local black musicians soon joined, led by keyboard player Booker T. Jones, drummer Al Jackson Jr., and sax man Andrew Love. In 1962 guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn split off from the Mar-Keys to join Jones and Jackson as Booker T. and the MGs (“Memphis Group”), and Love and trumpeter Wayne Jackson still play as the Memphis Horns. But together this assembly of black and white musicians wrote the book on what came to be called classic Southern soul.

Selected Hits: “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding • “Soul Man” by Sam and Dave • “Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett • “Knock on Wood” by Eddie Floyd • “Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding • “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield • “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley • “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green • “Shaft” by Isaac Hayes • “I’ll Take You There” by the Staples Singers • “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Albert King • “Cry Like a Baby” by the Box Tops • “Mercury Falling” by Sting • “Storm Front” by Billy Joel

The Funk Brothers

They worked in a basement called the “Snake Pit” and churned out legendary Motown hits hour after hour from 1958 to 1973. The band included Benny Benjamin (drums), James Jamerson (bass), Joe Messina, Larry Veeder (guitar), Earl Van Dyke, Joe Hunter (piano), Hank Crosby (saxophone), Paul Riser (trombone), and Herbie Williams (trumpet). They claim to have played on more hit records than the Beatles, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra combined. Recording sessions began at 10 a.m. and were over at 1 p.m. The musicians were on call seven days a week. Originally, each band member was paid $10 per song. It usually took about an hour to record each song, but sometimes less.

Selected Hits: “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas • “Stop! In the Name of Love” by the Supremes • “My Girl” by the Temptations • “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops • “Ain’t That Peculiar” by Marvin Gaye • “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops • “Do You Love Me” by the Contours • “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles • “My Guy” by Mary Wells • “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes • “Cloud Nine” by the Temptations • “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five • “Going to a Go-Go” by the Miracles • “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye

Random Session Notes:
• Drummer Hal Blaine of the Wrecking Crew played a set of tire chains in Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
• Billy Joel played piano on the Shangri-Las’ teenage angst classic “Leader of the Pack.” He was 16.

Listen to the selection here:

Originally published in Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music”. Translated from original text in English. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader books are currently printed in English only.

Enter our Spotify Community Photo Contest

Do you like music? And pictures? Then you’re in the right place. Enter our very first Spotify Community Photo Contest, where you will be able to win 6 months of Spotify Premium.

Grab your camera or smart phone and go crazy! Take a picture of you or your friends holding our logo in a cool place, on your favourite place to enjoy music, or just make one that is very funny.

You can then upload your picture on this Spotify Community thread to participate.

Good luck!

Our interview with thenewno2

“The last time I was in Stockholm I got punched in the face…”, Dhani Harrison, thenewNo2

When Dhani Harrison’s band thenewNo2 turn up somewhere they really turn up somewhere. About 300 people (OK, possibly eight), pile into the office carrying guitars, briefcases, drums and laptops. We steer them into a side room to talk before the gig, but before we get to ask a single question, they are pulling out their phones and flicking through their Spotify playlists.

“It pays for itself!” enthuses multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Sadoff. “It’s ridiculously good. I download what I want when I travel and have the music wherever I go.”

“Right now we’re all about Psy’s Gangnam Style,” laughs guitarist Jeremy Faccone. “That’s on my playlist. And I see you have the new Killers… It’s all so easy and enticing, Spotify has got me into buying records again and you experience so much new music.

The man Rolling Stone magazine have entitled, “Beatles heir” Dhani Harrison says that when he first went to university in America in 1997 he was mad for Napster.

“Over time I bought and downloaded the history of music,” he smiles. “But I got very disenchanted with downloading – there’s no value there. Now I think I’d like to help Spotify update your Indian Classical music section…”

So what have you found on there?
JS: The entire Bernard Hermann catalogue – that’s just amazing. And our record’s been on there from the day it was out.

DH: I was looking for a Thom Yorke record from the Atoms For Peace show. They’re not even named and they’re on Spotify…

ThenewNo2 started out in 2001 as a film, photography, design and music collective. Initially there was only Dhani, then Paul Hicks joined and so they began to grow.

“Now we travel the world collecting people,” Dhani says. “One day everything will be made by thenewNo2 – all the petrol, the cigarettes, though ours give you vitamins, not cancer, the coffee cups. We’ll make wheelchairs and aqua-jet packs. We will assimilate all technology…”

Someone asks if Spotify is based in Stockholm, which causes Dhani to reveal the last time he was there he got punched in the face.

How exactly did that happen?
“I was talking to a Hari Krishna monk in the doorway of this club and the bouncer didn’t like that I wasn’t in or out of his establishment, so he dragged me inside and punched me in the face! Later we had a mayonnaise fight and it all got a bit weird. That was an odd night. I’m still a little traumatised!”

Tell me, what music couldn’t thenewNo2 exist without?
DH/JS: “OK, well, Massive Attack Blue Lines and Mezzanine, Tricky’s Juxtapose, Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold As Love, Prince Sign o’ The Times, The Beatles’ Revolver, Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde, ELO’s A New World Record, Something Else by The Kinks and Ol’ Dirty Bastard Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. That’s a lot of music!”

DH: More personally, I love Hoagy Carmichael and Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman and Blind Willie Johnson. The blues is where we live.

How does someone begin to live in the world of blues?
DH: You basically wake up every day and immediately listen to blues continuously for 25 years! But it’s also about listening to all music. We were having dinner in a curry house in Oregon one night and I thought I recognised the CD and I said so, but the owner sort of made a face and said it would be too complicated to explain who it was and it was very obscure music. But I was sure I knew it so I said, “Well, is it Hari Prasad Chaurasia’s Call of The Valley, track four?” And the guy actually took a few steps backwards in surprise! Then he gave me a mango lassi on the house.”

So, any Indian Classical in the set today?
DH: No. Today will be a bit more accessible.
JS: Western pop.
DH: I hate the word pop. It doesn’t mean anything.

Dhani drew this lot to illustrate his point about them making everything.

Don’t you think there’s something pure about saying, ‘We’re a pop group’?
JS: But we’re not popular!
DH: We’re alternative, apparently.

You’re a rock group then?
DH: No! We’re Hawaiian Dub Hop. Or are we Grave Wave?
JS: Or maybe Trancehall. Or Grunge and Bass.
JF: I’m sure someone said we were Space Rock…

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

Monday and as always time for a brand new playlist!

We start with an indie pop favorite from Australia called “Colour Coding”. I love their catchy song “Kick” and what a nice way to kick off a new week!

We continue with the beautiful “Yet Again” from “Grizzly Bear”s newly released album “Shields” and then time for “Memory Tapes” (also known as Dayve Hawk) and his song “Bicycle”.

“alt-J” is a British alternative indie pop quartet, formed in 2007. The just recently released their debut album “An Awesome Wave” and I really like their song “Something Good”!

The last song in our playlist this Monday is the first single from “Superfamily”’s upcoming album: “Pay the Price”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

Get your chance to win a signed Ukulele!

A new Ukulele phenomena and revival has been happening all over the world and has now hit the University campuses, beaches and homes across the UK. This small 4-string guitar has been riding high on a wave of popularity of late and has become a symbol of laid back, relaxed and good will vibes.

The Ukuleles are a fresh new young and exciting band who are capturing a musical moment in history.

The Ukuleles debut album, released September 3rd, features a collection of beautiful Ukulele covers from chart-toppers including “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, “Forget You” by Cee-Lo Green and “Price Tag” by Jessie J and is set to have huge appeal amongst music fans everywhere.

And for your chance to win your very own signed Ukulele from band members Martha and Logan click here.

Our Interview with Danko Jones

What have the band been up to this summer?

We’ve been playing shows, releasing our DVD “Bring On The Mountain” and getting geared up to release our new album – Rock and Roll Is Black And Blue

Where did you find inspiration for this album?

Inspiration comes easy for any album. The thought was being able to tour the world playing Rock Music night after night and getting on stage in front of an audience is all we need to start making the next record. Sounds real dumb but it’s true.

What do you look forward to this fall?

Well, obviously we’re looking forward to everyone hearing Rock and Roll Is Black And Blue. We think it’s bangin’. But we also have a book coming out in October called Too Much Trouble – A Very Oral History Of Danko Jones, which is a bio book told through quotes ala Legs McNeil. It was written by Stuart Berman and everyone from Lemmy Kilmister, Jello Biafra, Peaches, Dizzy Reid, Damian Abraham, Marty Friedman and a ton more people are quoted in it.

We’re also gonna be touring our balls off! In Europe then Canada and hopefully we’ll be able to do a few dates in the States. Next year it’ll be more Europe and Australia.

What are you listening to on Spotify at the moment?

Listening to the new Gojira, Melvins, Future Of The Left and Turbonegro.

ShareMyPlaylists launches new bespoke Spotify App development studio,

Our friends from have been developing Spotify Apps since late 2011 when the Spotify App Platform was in beta. Since that time they have released two versions of their own app as well as developing apps for clients, such as Coca-Cola Germany.

And now they have launched, which is we believe the first bespoke Spotify App development studio in the world.

If you are interested in having a Spotify App developed and want to have a free consultation, you can get in touch with here.

Our interview with Ryan Monroe from Band of Horses

Rock music is like a mirage, you get too close to it and there’s nothing there…”, Ryan Monroe from Band of Horses.

How was the Spotify show?
It went so smoothly! It was a really laid back atmosphere in the office too. I wish any real job I’d ever had could have been that cool.

The new album is called Mirage Rock – that’s a great title…
Ha! Well, Ben wrote a lot of the songs in his garage, so it’s a play on words. But we also like that idea that rock music itself is like a mirage, you get too close to it and there’s nothing there.

How would you explain Band of Horses to an elderly relative?
I’d ask them if they had heard of Neil Young or Creedence Clearwater Revival, then say we’re like Southern music mixed with angular indie rock. In short, we’re whatever we want to be!

What’s your most cherished possession?
Definitely my Roland 8-Track recorder. My brother bought it for my birthday about 10 years ago and I used to travel with it, but it was getting too beat up. I get a lot of use out of it and I love it. I don’t have a yearning for fancy cars or anything, so I’m happy with that.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a professional touring musician?
Two things stand out. One is it’s better to look for the notes not to play rather than the other way around. Secondly, be as sweet as you can to everyone you meet – the business is a lot smaller than you think.

What five records couldn’t Band of Horse exist without?
That is a tough question! You know, it’s very hard to say as we like a huge spread of music, but let’s go for Dinosaur Jr’s Bug, Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, The Beatles’ White Album, Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger and Ween’s Chocolate And Cheese. That’s quite a mix!

What’s happening for the rest of the day?
We’re playing in a bar. Yeah, it does sound good, doesn’t it! It’ll be a stripped down acoustic show with me, Ben and Tyler. Just six or seven songs, I’m really looking forward to it, we’ll play some new songs. We like to branch out and experiment when we can.

Finally, and crucially, what’s your favourite noise?
Let me think… OK, it’s my girlfriend laughing.

Good choice.
Isn’t it? Can I get the URL for this? She’ll love that answer.