Supergroups & Opinions on Mos Def

Mix one famous musician and stir in some others. The results can be a recipe for success, or disaster. Jim and Greg discuss rock's best and worst Supergroups. Then, they review the newest album from Mos Def.

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Music News

First up in the news, Pepsi is launching a music label in China. This is a strange, but perhaps smart move considering the large, untapped market there. The soda company will produce a "Battle of the Bands" television show to find artists to record. In addition, those artists will be featured in Pepsi ads.

Two sad news items follow. First is the death of Mink DeVille frontman Willy DeVille. DeVille was one of the key artists from the CBGB  punk scene. But, he distinguished himself from the Blondies and Ramones with his unique sound. He was more a child of the Brill Building music of the '60s, and actually introduced Jim and Greg to a lot of those influences. To honor DeVille they play his Jack Nitzsche-produced track "Spanish Stroll."

John HughesAnother recent death is that of director, writer and producer John Hughes. While Hughes isn't necessarily a music figure, Jim and Greg know that he was a huge fan. His musical choices in films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles" influenced what young people heard, and for many teens it was their first exposure to "alternative" music. In honor of Hughes, Jim and Greg play the original version of "Pretty in Pink," by the Psychedelic Furs.


Jim and Greg ponder the history of the supergroup. This is the rock phenomenon where musicians from different bands join together to form a new group. Sometimes this is a great success, and sometimes the ingredients just don't mix. Recently there have been a number of new supergroups such as Them Crooked Vultures, Tinted Windows, Dead Weather and Monsters of Folk. For Jim the keys to a winning supergroup are that the members be individually "super," and that they have chemistry together. Greg adds that there needs to be more compelling the super-union than just business.

Here are some hits and misses throughout history:

  • Traveling Wilburys
  • Chickenfoot
  • Million Dollar Quartet
  • Cream
  • Blind Faith
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young)
  • UK
  • Golden Palomino
  • Electronic
  • Temple of the Dog
  • Audioslave
  • Lucy Pearl

The Ecstatic Mos Def

The Ecstatic

Mos Def first gained attention as a member of Black Star with fellow rapper Talib Kweli. He went on to have a successful solo career, but these days more people might recognize him as an actor than a musician. Now he is back with The Ecstatic. Jim and Greg both thought his rap career was all but over, so this record was a welcome surprise. Jim heard it more like an unfocused mixtape than an album, but he loved Mos Def's energy and the work of his producers. Greg found the rapper more engaged on this album and calls it a triumphant return to form. The Ecstatic gets two Buy Its.

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