DIJs 2016

Greg

Jim

Jim

“Downtown Venus”P.M. Dawn

This week, Jim wanted to honor the late Prince Be of P.M. Dawn by taking a track of his to the Desert Island. Jim notes that like himself, Prince Be was a misfit music fan who grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey. He had a rough upbringing but went on to make four superb albums as P.M. Dawn along with his brother, DJ Minutemix. After the '90s, Prince Be virtually disappeared, sporadically releasing new music on the internet. Jim feels that he traversed a new path with the Afrofuturism/psychedelic rap he created, and inspired the sort of work being done today by artists like Chance the Rapper and Janelle Monáe. Jim chose the song "Downtown Venus" from the 1995 album Jesus Wept, a track that exemplifies his genre-melding abilities and skills as a singer. Prince Be died on June 17 at the age of 46 from complications from kidney disease.

Go to episode 552

Greg

“Irma Jackson”Merle Haggard

When outlaw country legend Merle Haggard died in April of this year, many obituaries focused on his huge 1969 hit "Okie From Muskogee." It was a divisive song from a contentious time in U.S. history. Many took it as a flag-waving anthem that mocked the counterculture. Haggard himself changed his tune many times regarding whether he personally agreed with the lyrics or not. What Greg finds interesting is that the single Haggard wanted to put out following“Okie From Muskogee”was "Irma Jackson," a song in defense of interracial romance. The record company“suits”wouldn‘t release it, believing it would alienate his new fans. Three years later, Haggard finally got his way and the single was released. Greg believes Haggard was finally able to show that he was much more than the one-dimensional character in“Okie.”And that’s why he selected“Irma Jackson”to take to the Desert Island Jukebox today.

Go to episode 551

Jim

“I'm the Toughest Girl Alive”Candye Kane

It has become a sad cliché at this point that 2016 has been a terrible year for losses in the music world. This week, Jim pays tribute to Candye Kane – an artist less famous than Prince or Bowie, but every bit as exceptional. She came out of the Los Angeles punk scene, but wore many hats throughout her life: feminist, porn star, bisexual, fat activist – and big, bold, and brash blues singer. Over dozens of albums, she showcased her power, raunchiness, humor and an unforgettable voice. Kane died on May 6 from pancreatic cancer at age 54. In her honor, Jim nominates her 2000 anthem "I'm the Toughest Girl Alive" for the Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 550

Greg

“Why”Lonnie Mack

Lost in the global media spotlight on Prince's death was the passing of another important musical innovator – guitarist Lonnie Mack, who died at 74 on April 21. Born an Indiana farmboy, Mack inspired generations of artists by blending country, blues, and soul on his famous Flying V guitar. He was one of the first to turn the whammy bar into a true textural instrument. But Greg feels Mack's vocal style is sadly underrated. He was a true soul singer, and Greg calls his recording of "Why" from the 1963 debut album The Wham of That Memphis Man! one of the great vocal performances of the era. Because of that, it's Greg's Desert Island Jukebox selection of the week.

Go to episode 545

Jim

“American Girl”Tom Petty

Jim delivers a Desert Island Jukebox twofer this week, naming both a song and a film he can't live without. After having recently seen the Jonathan Demme-directed "Ricki and the Flash," starring Meryl Streep, Jim is gaga over the movie and Streep's musical performance. Already a huge fan of Tom Petty's original song "American Girl," he finds that Streep's character Ricki Rendazzo brings new meaning to the song. Originally released as the second single off Petty's debut album, the song is about a young girl questioning her future, but when sung by an aging rocker, it's about not letting go of one's youth. For Jim, the track is a triumph for all parties involved: Petty, Demme, Streep, and the listener.

Go to episode 542

Greg

“You Don't Love Me Yet”The Vulgar Boatmen

Greg takes a trip to the desert island tax shelter this week. Lately, he's been thinking a lot about the rock band The Vulgar Boatmen. The group began in Florida/Indiana in the early 1980s when a University of Florida professor teamed up with one of his former students. They made some cassette-only records before making full albums in 1989 and 1992. The 25th anniversary re-issue of their first album, You and Your Sister, came out a few months ago. Greg started listening to that record again, as well as 1992's Please Panic. The song he chose was a track from their '92 record called "You Don't Love Me Yet." He feels the song exudes all the uncertainty and cautiousness surrounding love and thought it would be the perfect song to hear on the desert island.

Go to episode 541

Jim

“Eat Steak”Reverend Horton Heat

This week, Jim and Greg are soaking up some sun and new music in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas for South by Southwest. While Jim always loves visiting the annual festival to discover new talent, there's one element that makes him positively giddy – world famous Texas BBQ food. So for this trip to the desert island, Jim thought he would mentally prepare himself for some good old-fashioned carnivorous cuisine with the Reverend Horton Heat song, "Eat Steak." This track is some fun psychobilly rock that will get you looking for the closest barbeque restaurant, and fast.

Go to episode 538

Greg

“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”Jackie Wilson

This week, Greg has the legendary Jackie Wilson on his mind. Early in his career, Wilson drew comparisons to Elvis but in fact, you couldn't liken him to anyone. Wilson heavily influenced many artists, namely Michael Jackson and even James Brown with his style, dance moves and vocals. In the '50s, he had an amazing run with big hits but floundered in the '60s. When he came to Chicago to work with record producer Carl Davis, they cut one of Greg's favorite tracks ever, "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher." Greg thinks this is pretty much as perfect as a song can get, and that's why he selected it as his Desert Island Jukebox pick this week.

Go to episode 536

Jim

“I Won't Give Up”The Erasers

For Jim and Greg, it's February in Chicago, and they couldn‘t think of a place they’d rather get away to than a warm desert island. This week it's Jim's turn, and he wants to take us back to the burgeoning New York punk scene in the 1970s. Specifically, he wants to focus on Ork Records, a small independent label that served many underground punk bands. One such group that's a bit of a deep cut is the Susan Springfield-led band, The Erasers. Jim really digs this quartet, even though they only released one single and were never heard from again! However, the song "I Won't Give Up" is the perfect example of a great punk track that was ahead of its time.

Go to episode 533

Greg

“Trying to Live My Life Without You”Otis Clay

Greg's Desert Island Jukebox selection this week is inspired by the death of R&B and soul singer Otis Clay on January 8th. It got Greg thinking about his track "Trying to Live My Life Without You." Most people will remember Bob Seger's version of the song. And as Greg explains, Seger was such a fan, he was angry when the Eagles released something similar: "The Long Run." Eagles member Glenn Frey also died this week, but it's the Clay original Greg chooses to remember.

Go to episode 530