dijs 2007

Greg

Jim

Jim

Jim plays one of the greatest songs of all time. Enough said.

Go to episode 103

Greg

“Tangerine”Led Zeppelin

According to Greg, Jim hit the nail on the head with his Led Zeppelin III reference. That's exactly where he went for this week's Desert Island Jukebox pick. The band was often misunderstood and merely a hyper-masculine rock act. They had a substantial reflective side, and that's evident on III. Plant was also wrongly categorized as simply a“banshee screamer.”He could also be subtle, conversational and moving. You can hear the softer side of Led Zeppelin in Greg's DIJ choice, "Tangerine."

Go to episode 100

Jim

“Powderfinger”Neil Young

Jim took his turn at adding a track to the Desert Island Jukebox as an opportunity to hear more Neil Young. He chooses "Powderfinger" from Young's 1979 album Rust Never Sleeps. As Jim explained in the review segment, many of Young's best songs were on the original, never-released Chrome Dreams, and“Powderfinger”is one of those songs. He considers it a standout in the musician's career for two reasons: the powerful, emotional guitar-playing and the fascinating, albeit enigmatic, lyrics. However you interpret the song, Jim is certain it's one you'll want with you on a deserted island.

Go to episode 99

Greg

“The Look of Love”Dusty Springfield

The Annie Lennox review prompted Greg to think about other UK soul singers. Of course there's Amy Winehouse now, but the mother of them all was Dusty Springfield. Many people know Dusty for her song "Son of a Preacher Man," which was featured in the movie Pulp Fiction. But the track Greg wants to take with him to the desert island is "The Look of Love," which was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. For Greg it highlights Dusty's subtle sexy voice, one that is almost doing a duet with the saxophone. And it also summed up, at one time, what Greg thought marriage was going to be all about: lust, romance and glamorous hair.

Go to episode 98

Jim

“Credit in the Straight World”Young Marble Giants

It's Jim's turn to pop a quarter in the Desert Island Jukebox. Mr. Kot is pleasantly surprised as Jim reveals his choice: "Credit in the Straight World" by Young Marble Giants from their 1980 album Colossal Youth. Elements from this late 1970s post-punk band are heard in orchestral pop bands such as Belle and Sebastian. Even Courtney Love's Hole covered this song on their 1994 release Live Through This. Young Marble Giants consisted of female vocalist Alison Statton and brothers Philip and Stuart Moxham. They went against the English punk grain at the time by choosing to be quiet and minimalist. The band reunited this past May at England's Hay Festival for the first time in 27 years.

Go to episode 94

Greg

“Train Kept A-Rollin'”Johnny Burnette Rock 'N Roll Trio

The Mekons' 30-year run is an impressive one, especially when you consider that the dominant story in rock is one of instant and fleeting fame. An example of this is the Johnny Burnette Rock 'N Roll Trio, the band behind Greg's Desert Island Jukebox pick this week. The Memphis trio comprised of the Burnette brothers and their friend Paul Burlison only had one recording session in the mid-'50s, but for that brief period they were all the rage. Johnny Burnette was Elvis and then some, and Burlison had a completely unique and groundbreaking guitar style. You can hear this on the song "Train Kept A-Rollin'," a Tiny Bradshaw-penned tune, that has since been covered by everyone from Led Zeppelin to Aerosmith to Motörhead. But it's The Johnny Burnette Rock 'N Roll Trio version that deserves a slot in Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 93

Jim

“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”Kanye West,Daft Punk

It's Jim's turn to pick a track for the Desert Island Jukebox. Still on a high after seeing Daft Punk perform at Lollapalooza, he chooses a song by the French electronica duo. In fact, if you haven‘t heard the group’s original, you may have heard it being sampled in Kanye West's new single "Stronger." The track is "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," and it's also based on a sample-"Cola Bottle Baby" by Edwin Birdsong.

Go to episode 89

Greg

“Home of the Brave”Naked Raygun

Greg chooses a Desert Island Jukebox track this week. Taking inspiration from The Effigies' visit, he picked a song from the Chicago punk scene of the 1980s. Naked Raygun was one of the bands that really got national attention, partly because of their intense live set, and partly because of their emotionally charged songs. Greg chooses one such song, "Home of the Brave," to take with him to the deserted island. In the song, the band plays three terse verses about the outrage they experienced during the Reagan administration. The song asks the listener to think about what it really means to be the“home of the brave,”and both Jim and Greg are amazed at how appropriate the song's lyrics still are today.

Go to episode 88

Jim

“The Bulrushes”The Bongos

To conclude this week, it's Jim's turn to drop a track into the Desert Island Jukebox. Jim becomes a bit nostalgic and recalls fond teenage memories of the thriving music scene of Hoboken, New Jersey, the hometown of classic power-pop outfit, The Bongos. Taken from the seminal album, Drums Along the Hudson, which has just been reissued, the track "The Bulrushes" connotes a“messianic”rock and roll coming of age. Jim calls this The Catcher in the Rye of power-pop, and an essential choice in his Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 85

Greg

“This Wheel's On Fire”Dylan and The Band,Bob Dylan

A lot of people, including Jim and Greg, have brought up Bob Dylan's The Basement Tapes when discussing Sky Blue Sky. Dylan and The Band recorded those songs in upstate New York in 1967 after Dylan retreated from music. The musicians gathered in the basement of a house they called“Big Pink”and started jamming, much as the men of Wilco did in their practice space on Chicago's Northwest side. Dylan describes the kind of music they played as something you can sit down to play, but also something that makes you lean forward a little. It's subtle and intimate, but not without a sense of urgency and passion. You can really hear this in the song, "This Wheel's On Fire," making it Greg's Desert Island Jukebox pick for this week.

Go to episode 77

Jim

“No Self Control”Peter Gabriel

The show concludes with Jim's Desert Island Jukebox pick. Reviewing Tori Amos' new album got Jim thinking about other artists who have used characters in their performances and albums. One of the people who has done it best is Peter Gabriel. Gabriel assumed different identities throughout his time with Genesis. But it was on his third solo album that Gabriel really let the schizophrenia rip. In the song, "No Self Control," Gabriel sings from the perspective of an insane man in an asylum. We don‘t know what crime he’s done, nor do we know what violent act he's poised to do, but the lyrics as well as the music definitely give the listener a sense of chaos and paranoia. Part of that atmosphere can be attributed to the innovative drumming. Gabriel enlisted former Genesis mate Phil Collins and Jerry Marotta to give the drums a heavy bottom and not use any cymbals. Instead they used a Gate, an electronic device developed by Hugh Padgham. The sound was incredibly influential, and for that reason the drum geek in Jim wants it with him on the deserted island.

Go to episode 76

Greg

“Saturday Night Special”Lynyrd Skynyrd

Up next Greg drops a track into the Desert Island Jukebox. Coming off of the Kings of Leon discussion, he goes back to Southern rock's roots and chooses a song by the real kings of the genre: Lynyrd Skynyrd. He describes them as one of the most misunderstood bands of all time. Dismissed as just that bunch of yokels who sang "Freebird," Greg doesn't think they get the credit they deserve. Ronnie Van Zant, the original lead singer, and other members of the band died in a plane crash in 1977. But before that, he was able to lend a subtle sophistication to Skynyrd that other, blusier southern rock outfits didn't have. The track that best illustrates this is "Saturday Night Special." The song is an eloquent bit of social commentary about the dangers of guns — not the sort of thing you expect these folks to sing about. And unfortunately, not the sort of song that gets requested at live shows.

Go to episode 72

Jim

“Sour Times”Portishead

It's Jim's turn to select a song to take with him to the desert island this week. His DIJ pick was inspired by the two albums reviewed in the show. Amy Winehouse considers herself a modern day Nina Simone, and Timbaland uses a Nina Simone sample in his song "Oh Timbaland." Jim is in favor of referencing the past, but wanted to go back to a band that was able to bring a hip hop attitude to classic '60s soul and jazz much more successfully than Winehouse ever could. That band is Portishead. Portishead came out of England during the 1990s as part of the "trip-hop" movement. While their tenure was short (though word is they are making music again), Jim is still impressed by the group's ability to merge American hip hop with British psychedelia with early soul and R&B. The album he urges listeners to go back to is 1994's Dummy, and the track he wants to add to the Desert Island Jukebox is "Sour Times."

Go to episode 71

Greg

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”Ennio Morricone

Now it's time for Greg to add a track to the Desert Island Jukebox. Inspired by last week's Oscar Awards, he chooses a song by film score composer Ennio Morricone. As a music critic, he's always baffled by the songs that are honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But, he was happy to see that the broadcast featured a tribute to Morricone. The composer is best known for providing scores for“spaghetti westerns.”While he was based in Rome, with no knowledge of the Old West, Morricone's music was still evocative of that time and place. Greg credits the fact that many of these films were similar to Italian operas — biblical stories with larger-than-life characters. Morricone's music is definitely theatrical, and more importantly, cinematic. Indeed if you listen to the theme to the classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, you can picture the landscape and understand the story without even opening your eyes.

Go to episode 66

Jim

“Everybody's Happy Nowadays”The Buzzcocks

Jim's Desert Island Jukebox pick is an act of punk rebellion. One of his favorite singles, "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" by The Buzzcocks, has been co-opted by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) for their recent ad campaign. AARP has been trying hard to attract younger people, but they seem to have missed the point of the song. It's an ironic statement on how crummy life can be, rather than a celebration of getting older and retiring. In an effort to reclaim this great track, Jim steals it away to his deserted island.

Go to episode 65

Greg

“Make It Through the Summer”The Chamber Strings

It's Greg's turn to pop a coin into the Desert Island Jukebox this week. He recently saw a performance by Chicago band The Chamber Strings, and was reminded of how great the band is. They released two great albums in 1997 and 2001 before frontman Kevin Junior's descent into drug addiction and eventually, homelessness. After working with a doctor, Kevin started on the road to recovery, and now, Greg reports that the band is working on new material. But, our host cannot wait that long, and wanted to hear some Chamber Strings on the deserted island as soon as possible. He chooses, "Make It Through the Summer," from their album Month of Sundays.

Go to episode 62

Jim

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”Iron Butterfly

For his first Desert Island Jukebox pick of 2007, Jim makes a surprising choice. Inspired by Nas' use of the song in his latest single "Hip Hop is Dead," Jim decides to go with the epic rock track "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly. Not many music critics will defend this song, but Jim stands by it — the single version, that is. He can't defend the 17-minute album version with an unnecessary drum solo. There are rumors that“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”was supposed to be“In the Garden of Eden,”as interpreted through… LSD. Then some say it refers to the Bhagavad Gita. The most common explanation is that it was a lack of communication between band members and their headphones. However the song got its name, Jim is looking forward to sitting on his deserted island and rocking out to the classic guitar and bass riff, or ostinato.

Go to episode 58