Stethoscope & guitar

The Rock Doctors' Roots & Opinions on Nine Inch Nails and Flight of the Conchords

Paging the Rock Doctors! This week on the show Drs. DeRogatis and Kot are called upon to tend to another ailing patient. Tune in to hear if their diagnoses can save this listener's musical life.

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Music News

This summer concert season marks a number of make-ups and break-ups. First is the news that The Police will be wrapping up their successful reunion tour. The group had one of the top grossing tours of 2007, but will be ending their“journey”in the place it began: New York City. Also making news is the Gang of Four, which is now down to the Gang of Two. But on a happier note, New Jersey's The Feelies will be reuniting after 17 years for not one, but two shows this summer. Jim and Greg are also excited about the highly-anticipated reunion from groundbreaking British band My Bloody Valentine. The question is - will any of these reunions result in new music that matches these bands' former glory? Fans will have to wait and see.

reviewThe SlipThe Slip available on iTunes

Nine Inch Nails The Slip

Jim and Greg next review an artist who is popping up a lot on the show recently: Nine Inch Nails. In fact Trent Reznor's new album The Slip is the fifth volume of music he's released this year-more than his entire output between 1986 and 1989. But is being prolific such a good thing? It is if you don't have to pay for the music. Neither Jim nor Greg think The Slip is on the same level as some of Nine Inch Nails' earlier, more meticulous albums. But, both critics think the free release is definitely worth a listen. They give it a Try It.

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reviewThe Complete Collection: Flight of the ConchordsFlight of the Conchords available on iTunes

Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords

One of the most successful music acts this year actually comes from TV. Flight of the Conchords, the fictional band portrayed on the HBO series of the same name, has a new self-titled album. And, while they're stuggling musicians on their show, the duo debuted at #3 on the billboard pop chart, outselling Ashlee Simpson. There's a long tradition of satirical rock acts, from Spinal Tap to theMetalocalypse's Dethklok, but Greg thinks that Flight of the Conchords is better suited to the small screen than his CD player. The first couple of songs were smart, but after that he thought the parody went sour. Jim dismisses Greg as a scrooge; he loves the faux-folk music and thinks the music matches the humor. Flight of the Conchords gets a Trash It from Greg and a Buy It from Jim.

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rock doctors

Joel

At this point in the show Jim and Greg put on their lab coats and welcome another patient for an appointment with the Rock Doctors. This week's patient is listener Joel from Chicago. Joel describes his symptoms for Drs. DeRogatis and Kot: he's a big music fan, particularly roots rock, but hasn‘t been inspired in recent years. He’s hoping the doctors can prescribe some new music that has a definite sense of blues, bluegrass and roots music, but also has some rocking edge.

Dr. DeRogatis goes first and prescribes Sparklehorse's 2006 album Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain. The group is led by multi-instrumentalist Mark Linkous who has been paralyzed since 1996. Jim explains that Linkous‘ sound changed dramatically after being confined to a wheelchair. There’s a definite influence of alt-country and Southern gothic that Jim thinks Joel will appreciate. Plus, this album features some impressive guests like Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips and Tom Waits.

Dr. Kot recommends the new album from The Kills. The transcontinental duo met via the mail and have made three albums. Greg thinks the latest, Midnight Boom, is the best. He describes the band's sexy, in-your-face attitude and deep appreciation for the blues. Greg just hopes that Joel doesn't have an allergic reaction to their drum machine.

After a week taking his medicine, Joel returns for a follow-up appointment. He explains that the heavy production in the Sparklehorse initially put him off. But despite the fact that the music was a little slow at times, he can see himself returning to it. Joel describes Dr. Kot's pick as some strong medicine, but he really enjoyed The Kills' melodies and guitars. He thinks the album is at its best when the two singers are featured together, and was able to forget about the drum machine for the most part.

Unless you are a full-time rock critic, it can be difficult to maintain good musical health. That's where the Rock Doctors come in. Do you have a musical allergy or addiction? Or do you have a friend or relative who needs an intervention? The Sound Opinions clinic has its doors open​.

reviewMomofukuMomofuku available on iTunes

Elvis Costello Momofuku

Elvis Costello has a new album out called Momofuku, which is named after the creator of instant ramen. Costello made news after he decided to release a vinyl record a month before the digital/CD release, but Jim thinks the real news is the speed at which the singer/songwriter made it. Costello has released a number of albums and dabbled in a number of genres, but he isn‘t known for his expediency. Greg wishes that Costello didn’t dabble so much and would stick to his stripped down rock roots. Jim agrees, citing Costello's fantastic, pared down performance during his tour with Bob Dylan. Both critics wish this Ramen concoction had fewer ingredients. Greg gives Momofuku a Try It, and Jim gives it a Trash It.

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reviewSantigoldSantigold available on iTunes

Santigold Santigold

The final album up for review comes from Santigold, an artist Greg highlighted during the SXSW episode. He has been a fan of her songwriting since he knew her as Santi White, an A&R executive turned musician. He thinks the songs are as strong on her self-titled debut, which features production from people like Diplo and Switch. He gives the album a Buy It. Jim is put off by the branding of Santigold, and what he thinks is blatant ripping off of M.I.A. But he‘d be willing to forgive Santi if her voice wasn’t so irritating. He gives Santigold a Try It.

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Jim

“My White Bicycle”Tomorrow

Jim uses his turn with the Desert Island Jukebox to pay homage to a man who changed the face of rock and roll. Albert Hofman, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD, died last week at the age of 102. After LSD hit the music scene, bands that were once R&B and pop became experimental, psychedelic acts. One of the best examples of rock's psychedelic era is Tomorrow. Jim always interpreted their song "My White Bicycle," as a tribute to Hofman's famous bike“trip,”and he thinks that listening to the tune is the best way to remember the scientist.

Featured Songs

  1. My Bloody Valentine, Only Shallow, Loveless, Creation, 1991
  2. Nine Inch Nails, Discipline, The Slip, The Null Corporation, 2008
  3. Nine Inch Nails, Letting You, The Slip, The Null Corporation, 2008
  4. Flight of the Conchords, Foux Du Fafa, Flight of the Conchords, Sub Pop, 2008
  5. Dethklok, Go Forth and Die, The Dethalbum, Williams Street, 2007
  6. Flight of the Conchords, Bowie, Flight of the Conchords, Sub Pop, 2008
  7. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Equestrian Statue, Gorilla, Liberty, 1967
  8. Thank You, Pregnant Friends, Terrible Two, Thrill Jockey, 2008
  9. The Who, Doctor Doctor, Magic Bus, MCA, 1968
  10. The Steeldrivers, If you Can't Be Good, Be Gone, The Steeldrivers, Bounder, 2008
  11. The North Missippi Allstars, Take Yo Time Rodney, Hernando, Songs of the South, 2008
  12. Big Black, Kerosene, Atomizer, Homestead, 1986
  13. Sparklehorse, Don't Take My Sunshine Away, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain, Capitol, 2006
  14. The Kills, Last Day of Magic, Midnight Boom, Domino, 2008
  15. The Kills, Goodnight Bad Morning, Midnight Boom, Domino, 2008
  16. The Kills, U.R.A. Fever, Midnight Boom, Domino, 2008
  17. Elvis Costello, Harry Worth, Momofuku, Universal, 2008
  18. Elvis Costello, Stella Hurt, Momofuku, Universal, 2008
  19. Santigold, L.E.S. Artistes, Santigold, Downtown, 2008
  20. Santigold, Say Aha, Santigold, Downtown, 2008
  21. Santigold, Creator, Santigold, Downtown, 2008
  22. Tomorrow, My White Bicycle, Tomorrow, Parlophone, 1986
  23. The Andrews Sisters, The Telephone Song, Music Lessons with the Andrews Sisters, Sepia, 2003
  24. Ray Davies, Is There Life After Breakfast, Other Peoples Lives, Mercury, 2006
  25. Madonna, Beat Goes On, Hard Candy, Warner Bros., 2008
  26. Black Crowes, Remedy, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, American, 1992
  27. 311, Come Original, Soundsystem, Capricorn, 1999

Footnotes

bbc.co.uk Last Police gig to be in New York allmusic.com Gang of Four stereogum.com Gang Of Two: Original Rhythm Sections Quits Gang Of Four mybloodyvalentine.org My Bloody Valentine nin.com Nine Inch Nails nin.com The Slip album reuters.com Flight of the Conchords on HBO reuters.com Flight of the Conchords soar on U.S. chart adultswim.com Dethklok from“METALOCALYPSE”on Adult Swim sparklehorse.com Sparklehorse's metacritic.com Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain on Metacritic elviscostello.com Elvis Costello metacritic.com Momofuku on Metacritic myspace.com Santogold miauk.com M.I.A. hofmann.org The Albert Hofmann Foundation britannica.com LSD in Encyclopedia Britannica

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