Buried Treasures & Opinions on Animal Collective

Buried Treasures: Jim and Greg dig up another set of underground musical gems.

Buried Treasures
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2008 has come to a close, and the numbers are in. According to Nielsen SoundScan's end-of-year report, Taylor Swift was the top-selling artist of 2008. Lil Wayne and Coldplay also had good years, but overall album sales were down a whopping 14%. It's not all bad news for the music industry, however. While physical sales for complete albums continue to plummet, music sales overall are up; more than 1 billion digital tracks were sold. And, profits from concert sales are up 8%. This figure is the result of fewer tickets being sold for more money, and Jim and Greg wonder if consumers will be able to keep up with rising ticket prices in this failing economy.

It looks like digital music sales will only continue to increase. Steve Jobs of Apple has made it even easier for music fans to purchase and download music from the iTunes store by removing all Digital Rights Management software from its files. But, accessibility comes at a price--$1.29 to be exact. Amazon and other online stores have been selling DRM-free files for almost a year, but iTunes was the last to hold out with the labels' demands. So if both Apple and the music industry are winners, where does that leave the consumer?

Pioneering punk  guitarist  Ron Asheton of the Stooges died this week at the age of 60. While he died at young age, Asheton lived long enough to experience a Stooges reunion and revived fan interest. He is best remembered through his music, in albums like Fun House. And you can listen to Asheton's 2006 interview with Jim and Greg during this Sound Opinions episode.

Buried Treasures

Feeling guilty about holiday gluttony? Why not start 2009 fresh with a healthy New Year's resolution to find more undiscovered music? Jim and Greg are here to assist your efforts with these Buried Treasures:


  • Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Sunday at Devil Dirt
  • Springhouse, From Now to OK
  • Blackstrap, Steal My Horses And Run


  • Ponytail, Ice Cream Spiritual
  • Fucked Up, The Chemistry of Common Life
  • Women, S/T

Merriweather Post Pavilion Animal Collective

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Has the first great album of 2009 come upon us? That's the question Jim and Greg answer in their review of Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective. This is the 9th album for the experimental indie rockers, and one that is inspired by the concert venue in Maryland. Their goal was to make an album worthy of such an outdoor arena, and both Jim and Greg think that Animal Collective was successful. Previously Jim has felt that they veer too much towards the jam band spectrum of things, but with Merriweather, he's won over by the fresh melodies and dense harmonies. Greg explains that the songwriting is much stronger on this album. He calls it an "ecstatic dance record," one that is a perfect antidote for the gloom of winter. Both critics give Merriweather Post Pavilion a Buy It.

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