Apple Music and Beats 1 Launch Tuesday June 30th

I haven’t grown up much. I’m still that kid who started collecting records at age five (thanks, Danny, Michele, mom, dad), programming on an Apple II at age 8 (thanks, Mike), making mock radio shows on cassette at age 7 (thanks, Nate), went to vocational school for radio broadcasting at age 15, and started hosting radio at age 16 (my first non dish washing job, thanks, Jon and Tim at WVPE).

In 1993 I was a Computer Science student at Indiana University when Dr Fenske gave me an opportunity to put my studies together with my love, music. He set me off writing an app on NeXTSTEP to stream music (wav) from one part of the campus to another (thanks Rob Francis). I’ve been streaming music ever since. From posting MP3 files immediately after the show in 1998 (thanks Mike, Adam, Adam, John, Bethann) to Winamp, SHOUTcast Radio, Gnutella, and Waste (thanks Rob, Justin, Tom, Steve) to Muse.Net to building and releasing the first ever $5/month music subscription service (thanks Dave and Bob). From walking Capitol Hill post CRB ruling to sitting on the stand in White Plains all in defense of streaming radio. Add to that endless Topspin stump speeches about giving artists direct access to the people who love their art (thanks Shamal, Peter) and more recently building and releasing a human-curated, music-respecting service, Beats Music (thanks Luke, Jimmy, Trent, Dre).

Seeing Apple Music on stage at WWDC this month (fast forward to 1:43:00 in the above video) it was hard not to feel like the last 20+ years was leading to this day.

Tuesday morning we’ll be unveiling the next chapter. Please make a note to upgrade to iOS 8.4 Tuesday, June 30th and listen to our first day of broadcasting. Here’s a Facebook invite to make it easy for you to say yes, you’ll be there, and invite all your friends. See you there.

Americana Music Awards Setlist

Americana Music Awards 2014 on Beats Music

Perhaps you had a chance to listen to the Americana Music Awards on NPR. If not, take a listen to this playlist which collects the songs performed on the show front-to-back. It’s not the specific performances from the show but a great playlist nonetheless.

Also dig this stunning collection of artist portraits from the fest.

Listen to Americana Music Awards 2014 on Beats Music.


Getting Ready for Americana Music Festival Next Week

Americana Music Festival 2014 on Beats Music

If you love Americana music you need to be at Americana Music Festival in Nashville next week. 150+ live performances at historic venues starting with a star-studded award show at The Ryman — it’s up there with the best of the year.

To get ready I asked my mom (@paulette on Beats Music — if you were battling her in American roots music trivia I’d take her for the win) to make me a playlist of her favorite artists performing next week. You’ll find the playlist here, and downloaded on my phone for the 9 hour flight I’m about to board. Take a listen and let her know what you think.

Listen to Americana Music Festival 2014 on Beats Music.

See you in Nashville next week,

Common and No I.D. discuss “Nobody’s Smiling”

Listen to Common, Beat by Beat on Beats Music

Lonnie Lynn Jr and Dion Wilson met in 4th grade growing up on the South Side of Chicago. Together they grew up and as young men produced three seminal hip hop albums as rapper Common and producer No I.D.. After those first three Common albums they parted ways and blossomed apart, No I.D. as a producer and A&R exec for Jay-Z (“Run This Town”, “Holy Grail”, etc), Drake, Kanye, Nas, Big Sean, and more, and Common as a rapper, actor, and author.

Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, released Tuesday, is the first Common/No I.D. full album collaboration since 1994. To commemorate Beats Music had Common and No I.D. sit down together and talk about each song on the album. If you’ve heard the new Common album or not, take a listen with Common and Dion’s ruminations at least once through.

Listen to Common’s Nobody’s Smilin, Beat By Beat edition, on Beats Music.


Pulling Stars Out of The Sky

Listen to Pulling Stars Out of The Sky on Beats Music

This is my failed attempt at making an electronic dance music playlist. What started out as a playlist that would solely be electronic music ended up becoming it’s own weird little journey that includes a wide spectrum of music where James Brown is only two songs away from Mazzy Star… find out how I made that leap and kick back with this one. Headphones required!


Listen to Pulling Stars Out of The Sky on Beats Music.