The Numero Group & Opinions on Lily Allen and Titus Andronicus

Throughout music history, it's been too easy for worthy artists to fall through the cracks. This week Jim and Greg speak to the founders of Numero Group—a label dedicated to lifting those gems out of obscurity.

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If your hometown looks anything like Chicago these days, it's hard to even imagine the warmer months. But, for many music fans, now is the time to start mapping out their summer concert plans. The concert business is the one area of the music industry that is thriving, and summer festivals are a huge money-maker. The lineups have been released for Coachella in California, as well as Bonnaroo in Tennessee. And, even without a lineup, the UK's Glastonbury Festival has sold out. One bad sign of things to come in this economy -- the Langerado Festival in Florida has already been cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

The Numero Group

A few times a year Jim and Greg host their Buried Treasures show where they bring in their favorite under-the-radar albums. But, as our hosts admit, they are not nearly as obsessed as many avid music collectors. So this week they turn to the ultimate Buried Treasure aficionados: Numero Group. Rob Savier and Ken Shipley are two of the founders of this Chicago-based label, and they talk to Jim about how they fanatically scour record bins and auction sites across the country to locate otherwise forgotten musical gems. They also share some of the songs from Numero Group's first album compilation, Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label.

00:37:46 Review: Lily Allen

It's Not Me, It's You

After exploding out of MySpace and into the mainstream with her debut, Lily Allen is back with a new album cheekily named It’s Not Me, It’s You. Jim and Greg were both fans of Allen's first album Alright, Still, and were impressed with the sassy attitude displayed in their conversation with her on the show. But Jim was skeptical that Allen would be able to recover from such an over-hyped, over-exposed year. He was pleasantly surprised to hear that she still has novel insights and great stories to tell. Greg agrees, noting that the wisecracks and jabs at ex-boyfriends are still all over the songs, but so are authentic emotions. Both Jim and Greg give It’s Not Me, It’s You a Buy It.

The Airing of Grievances Titus Andronicus

The Airing of Grievances (Bonus Track Version)

New Jersey rockers Titus Andronicus also have a new album out this week called The Airing of Grievances. Both Jim and Greg were wowed by the band at last year's Pitchfork Music Festival. And, the recorded songs are proving to be no less exuberant. As Greg explains, the title of the band is a nod to their mix of high art and low art. Titus' lyrics cover such lofty topics as love, death and disease, but they are all sung in the context of rude, three-chord punk songs. He gives The Airing of Grievances a Buy It. Jim admits the lead singer can't sing, but backed with his friends and the exuberant music, it's definitely a Buy It.


Last week Greg marked the anniversary of Buddy Holly's death with his Desert Island Jukebox. This week Jim honors another important anniversary: the release of Tone-Loc's Loc-ed After Dark. Tone-Loc may not be who you immediately think of when you go through the names of important hip hop artists, but Jim insists that his gravelly voice over that Van Halen riff are the perfect combination. And, his take on "Wild Thing," is as great as The Troggs'.

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!