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LIGHTS Brings “Little Machines” To PlayNetwork

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 […]

Seattle’s Pianos In The Parks

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 […]

A New Era at PlayNetwork

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 […]

SXSW 2014 Recap – Julia’s Journal

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.

Day 1:

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. […]

Top Albums of 2013

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

http://greyreverend.com/

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 […]

Top Albums of 2013

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

http://www.themilkcartonkids.com/?page=media

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 […]

Top Albums of 2013

We have a few more reviews of some of our top 10 albums from 2013.  Enjoy this review of Goldfrapp’s Tales of Us.

Artist: Goldfrapp

Album: Tales of Us

Label: Mute

http://goldfrapp.com/#music/

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

Top Albums of 2013

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

Album: Old

Label:  Fool’s Gold/Warner Bros.

http://xdannyxbrownx.com/videos/

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, I came […]

Top Albums of 2013

This review of Disclosure kicks off the second half of the 10 reviews of some of our favorite albums of 2013.

Artist: Disclosure

Album: Settle

Label:  Island/Universal

http://disclosureofficial.com/music/

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 […]

Top Albums of 2013

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

http://www.woodenshjips.com/media/

 

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 […]