ow 248 Summer Road Trip and Isobel Campbell & Opinions on Mark Lanegan

Join Jim and Greg on a Sound Opinions Summer Road Trip. They talk to folks coast-to-coast to find out what's happening in some great music towns across the country. Then Greg pops a quarter in the Desert Island Jukebox.

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Music News

Songwriter  George David Weiss died this week at age 89. He's behind some of music's most iconic tunes including "Can’t Help Falling In Love," "What a Wonderful World" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

There was actually some controversy surrounding who actually wrote "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and Weiss would go on to tackle some of these ownership issues as the president of the Songwriters Guild of America. Jim thinks a great way to remember this "old-school" talent is by listening to The Flaming Lips' completely un-ironic version of "What a Wonderful World."

Summer Road Trip

What better way to round out the summer than with a Sound Opinions (virtual) summer road trip. Too often, New York, L.A. and Nashville get all the music industry attention. But, there are great rock scenes all across the country, so this week Jim and Greg check in with insiders in three music towns coast-to-coast. They talk to Sam Sessa, an entertainment writer for the Baltimore Sun and the host of WTMD's Balitmore Unsigned, Bob Mehr, a music critic at Memphis’ Commercial Appeal and Casey Jarman, the music editor at Portland's weekly newspaper the Willamette Week.

Check out these local acts-old favorites and new ones recommended by our city guides.


  • Dan Deacon
  • Spank Rock
  • Beach House
  • Double Dagger
  • J. Roddy Walston and the Business
  • Wye Oak
  • Darkroom Productions


  • Sun Studios
  • Stax Records
  • Big Star
  • Jay Reatard
  • The Magic Kids
  • Harlan T. Bobo
  • Three Six Mafia
  • The Grifters


  • The Decemberists
  • Sleater-Kinney
  • Blitzen Trapper
  • The Shins
  • Spoon
  • Soul P
  • Typhoon
  • And And And

Hawk Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan


Next up a Beauty and the Beast duo (other than Jim and Greg): Isobel Campbell, formerly of Belle and Sebastian and Mark Lanegan, formerly of the Screaming Trees.  Hawk is their third collaboration of pop music in the vein of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra or Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Campbell steers this ship, and Greg is happy to hear her stretch out more with the compositions and arrangements. There are even some soul and gospel references. Greg gives it a Buy It. Jim agrees about the rating, but thinks this release is the least successful of the three, and wishes they'd stretched out more.


Naturally Hawk got Greg jonesing for some Sinatra/Hazelwood. In the '60s  arranger and songwriter  Lee Hazelwood took Nancy Sinatra under his wing and turned her into a feminist icon. While father Frank wasn't crazy about the relationship, and Greg admits the sound was at times creepy, he really digs tracks like "Some Velvet Morning," and takes it with him this week to the desert island.

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!