Willie Nelson

Joe Nick Patoski on Willie Nelson & Opinions on Bob Dylan

Biographer Joe Nick Patoski joins Jim and Greg to talk about Willie Nelson, then they review the latest from Bob Dylan and Greg puts a quarter into the Desert Island Jukebox.

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Music News

First up in the news is the Future of Music Coalitions' report on the state of indie airplay on commercial radio stations. In 2007, after controversies surrounding payola, the FCC and four major radio corporations signed a voluntary agreement to air more local and independent artists. The FMC has been keeping tabs on how they're doing, and the stats are not good. Just as before, 85% of music on the radio comes from major labels. This may have been the conservative and profitable way to go for radio conglomerations in the past, but as the major label system crumbles, it would behoove radio to walk on the wild side a little more.

Following in the esteemed footsteps of Prince and No Doubt, Coldplay will give away a free live album with the purchase of a ticket to their Viva La Vida tour. Jim and Greg are always encouraged to see musicians try to give consumers a little more bang for your buck, especially since Coldplay tickets are not nearly as expensive as a lot of summer shows.

In other concert industry news, one group that isn't holding back spending in this economy is the corporate sponsor. According to IEG Sponsorship Report, sponsorships will hit an all-time high in 2009. Companies like JC Penney, Clorox and KC Masterpiece want to cash in on big name music acts. After seeing the Virgin Mobile-sponsored Britney Spears show recently, Jim and Greg wonder if these are such wise investments though. And, they shudder to think of the corporate presence at the upcoming Woodstock reunion.

interview

Joe Nick Patoski

This week Jim and Greg are joined by Texas music authority Joe Nick Patoski for a discussion about the life and career of Willie Nelson. In his many decades making music, Willie has never fit into any boxes—rock/country, religious/profane. But, as Patoski reveals in his book Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, that is what makes him such an amazing musician and such a thriving American icon. Jim and Greg discuss with Joe Nick the difficulties Willie had in making the transition from a songwriter to a successful solo artist. They also talk about his family history, his outlaw status, both literal and figurative, and his role as the“zen bubba”of pot.

reviewTogether Through LifeTogether Through Life available on iTunes

Bob Dylan Together Through Life

Another rock icon, Bob Dylan, has a new album out this week called Together Through Life. This is Dylan's 33rd studio release, and for this effort he's enlisted some help including David Hidalgo of Los Lobosand lyrics writing partner Robert Hunter. The release of this record took Jim and Greg by surprise, and to Greg it feels a bit tossed off. The lyrics especially don‘t feel as important as what you’d expect from this legendary wordsmith. Greg calls the album“mid-tier”Dylan and gives it a Try It rating. Jim admits that the lyrics aren't full of gravitas, but to hear the rocker jamming for pure joy at the age of 68 is wonderful, especially with the squeezebox stylings of Hidalgo. He gives Together Through Life a Buy It.

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Greg

“"Where Did You Sleep Last Night?"”Nirvana,The Vaselines,Nirvana

To cap off the show, Greg adds a track to the Desert Island Jukebox. Last week he played Nirvana's live version of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" This week he wants to highlight another great song from that Unplugged set: "Jesus (Don't) Want Me For a Sunbeam." It was written by the Scottish duo The Vaselines. The band has headed out on a new US tour and re-released their acclaimed 1992 album The Way of the Vaselines. Both are excellent opportunities to take another look at one of Greg, and Kurt's, all-time favorite songs.

Featured Songs

  1. The Ramones, Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio, End of the Century, Sire, 1980
  2. Coldplay, Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love, Viva La Vida, Parlophone UK, 2008
  3. Britney Spears, Toxic, In the Zone, JIVE, 2003
  4. Willie Nelson, On the Road Again, Honeysuckle Rose, Columbia, 1980
  5. Willie Nelson, Family Bible, Yesterday's Wine, RCA, 1971
  6. Willie Nelson, Shotgun Willie, Shotgun Willie, Atlantic, 1973
  7. Willie Nelson, Red Headed Stranger, Red Headed Stranger, Columbia, 1975
  8. Willie Nelson, Nightlife, Country Willie: His Own Songs, RCA Victor, 1965
  9. Roy Orbison, Pretty Paper, In Dreams, Monument, 1963
  10. Willie Nelson, Columbus Stockade Blues, Country Favorites- Willie Nelson Style, RCA Victor, 1966
  11. Willie Nelson, Yesterday, Live Country Music Concert, RCA, 1966
  12. Willie Nelson, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Red Headed Stranger, Columbia, 1975
  13. Willie Nelson, Your Memory Won't Die In My Grave, Spirit, Island, 1996
  14. Bob Dylan, Beyond Here Lies Nothin, Together Through Life, Columbia, 2009
  15. Bob Dylan, It's All Good, Together Through Life, Columbia, 2009
  16. The Vaselines, Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam, The Way of the Vaselines: A Complete History, Sub Pop, 1992
  17. Grateful Dead, Operator, American Beauty, Warner Bros., 1970
  18. The Beach Boys, Darlin', The Beach Boys in Concert, Capitol, 1973
  19. The Allman Brothers Band, Done Somebody Wrong, At Fillmore East, Capricorn, 1971
  20. The White Stripes, Jolene (Live at the Wireless), White Blood Cells, Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2002
  21. Warren Zevon, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Stand in the Fire, Rhino, 1981

Footnotes

npr.org FCC announces payola settlement billboard.com FMC reports low indie airplay bbc.co.uk Coldplay gives away free album billboard.com Music sponsorships to spike this year joenickp.com Joe Nick Patoski bobdylan.com Bob Dylan facebook.com The Vaselines