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Facebook and iLike Team Up for Sneak Peek at Thievery Corporation's "Radio Retaliation"

September 15, 2008 8:11 AM ET

Thievery Corporation will offer an advance glimpse of the duo's upcoming new album in a first-ever joint venture between iLike and FaceBook. The band's fifth independent studio album will stream in its entirety exclusively on iLike on September 19th, five days before the album's official release. Additionally, the D.C.-based outfit of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have made a series of video messages in which they discuss their new album Radio Retaliation. "This is an uncensored and unrestricted channel for the band to directly connect with their fans without editorializing or censoring or white washing," iLike CEO Ali Partovi tells Rolling Stone. "Apart from a few independent bastions, there is no musical or informational freedom on the U.S. airwaves anymore. They've been bought up, consolidated and homogenized," says TC's Eric Hilton. "Music is suffering and Radio Retaliation is about an exodus of conscious people who are willing to acknowledge something is wrong."

The 15-track album leans on the duo's trademark world music vibe, with a political rebelliousness while riffing on inspiration from the sounds of Jamaica, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. "This record is our most internationally oriented," says Garza. "The roots of our inspiration have always come from what is happening globally. It's hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up." It's true. Guests include Nigeria's Femi Kuti, Brazilian singer and guitarist Seu Jorge, India's sitarist Anushka Shankar, Slovakian violinist Jana Andevska, and D.C.'s Chuck Brown.

And as for iLike choosing talent? "We'll take what we can get," laughed Partovi. The truth is far from that. While iLike has carried new acts in the past, they have also helped promote established talent. "We can move the needle with major label artists and also with breaking artists," he says. In the past, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M., Radiohead, Beck, Keith Urban, 50 Cent, Beyoncé and John Mayer have used iLike to market and distribute on the Web. In the case of REM's Accelerate, where iLike had the exclusive advanced streaming a week before the album's release, it hit Number One in pre-order sales, which to a degree proves iLike's effectiveness. After R.E.M., they streamed the album of new artist Lady Antebellum. That, Partovi says, "was a well controlled experiment."

Related Stories:
iLike Strikes Streaming Deal With Rhapsody
Facebook Looking to Launch Music Service
MySpace Readies Music Service

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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