Saul Williams & Opinions on Los Campesinos!

Poet turned musician Saul Williams visits the show to talk about his newsmaking album "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust." Tune in to hear his unique live performance which blends politics with dance beats.

Saul Williams
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Music News

After inking a deal with Live Nation earlier this year, Madonna has announced plans to go into business with another concert industry player: StubHub. The secondary ticket company will be the official re-sellers for Madonna's upcoming tour. That means that Madonna will not only get a cut of regular tickets, which range from $55 to $350, but a cut of "fan-to-fan" tickets as well. This news begs the question -- is Madonna endorsing scalping? Jim and Greg talk to Sean Pate, StubHub's head of corporate communications, about the decision to strike a deal with Madonna and how that will impact fans.

Saul Williams

This week's guest has an incredible portfolio: poet, screenwriter, actor, activist, and, of course, musician. But, while we have many words to describe Saul Williams, it's hard to describe his music. Saul blends rock, funk, hip hop and electronica with political lyrics. This combo was most recently heard on an album Saul made with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor. Last year they released The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust exclusively on the web. Now Saul is again getting attention through his involvement in a Nike ad campaign. The singer, and admitted activist, explains to Jim and Greg why he agreed to let the corporation use his song "List of Demands," in a recent commercial. He believes that the ad calls more attention to his song than it does the product, and therefore spreads the message of his music. You can hear that song performed live on the show, as well the Niggy Tardust tracks, "Banged and Blown Through" and "Convict Colony."

Hold on Now, Youngster... Los Campesinos!

Hold on Now, Youngster

Welsh group Los Campesinos! has released their first full length album called Hold on Now, Youngster.... The seven-piece indie pop band first appeared on Greg's radar at SXSW. He was impressed by their exuberance, but admits that you have to be in the right mood for that level of enthusiasm. The formula can't sustain an entire album though, so Greg gives Hold On Now, Youngster... a Try It. Jim agrees about the rating, but was more put off by the band's lyrics. Like many indie bands today, these songwriters can be mighty pretentious. Jim really wanted to love this album, so he gives Los Campesinos! an angry Try It.


This week Sound Opinions welcomed a new station: WHDD-FM, in Sharon, CT. Hotchkiss School in nearby Lakeville produced John Hammond, one of the most important music industry figures in the 20th century. So Greg decided to take his turn at the DIJ as an opportunity to honor the man who discovered Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, and even Bruce Springsteen. But it was his signing of Leonard Cohen at Columbia Records that Greg wants to highlight. It was brave of Hammond to bring the Canadian poet to the label. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, never achieved much commercial success, but it served as inspiration for Robert Altman's 1971 film McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Greg chooses to add that album's track "Sisters of Mercy" to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!