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Jac Holzman of Elektra Records & Opinions on Adele and Lucinda Williams

Jim and Greg talk about the birth of rock and roll and the modern label system with Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman. Later in the show, they review the new hit album by British singer Adele.

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Music News

Pop music invaded the Academy Awards last week. Veteran singer/songwriter Randy Newman won the Oscar for Best Original Song. It was Newman's twentieth nomination, but only second win. Despite that, it is revenue from soundtracks like Toy Story that have enabled him to be so prolific. You can‘t count on the music industry alone, which Newman compared to a“bank that’s already been robbed.”Another rocker, Trent Reznor, went home with the Best Original Score prize for The Social Network. That category is usually dominated by composers like James Horner and Hans Zimmer. Zimmer, for one, was hopeful that Reznor's win would open doors for more non-traditional musicians in film.

If you've never heard of The Seeds, chances are you've heard their tunes. The garage rock band's music has been featured in a number of movies and commercials and covered by tons of artists. But according to lead singer Sky Saxon's estate, no royalties have been coming in. Saxon died in 2009, and now his estate is suing his former label and music publisher for royalties.

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Jac Holzman

Jac Holzman

Before there was a Merge or a Matador there was Elektra Records. The great American label recently celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, and its founder Jac Holzman is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this month. Jim and Greg talk to Jac about launching Elektra as an independent folk label out of his dorm room in 1950. Eventually the roster grew to include every genre of music – blues, rock, funk, world and pop. It became the home to The Stooges, the MC5, Love and Queen, and, Jim adds, some notoriously difficult personalities. But Jac insists no artist was too hard to handle. He did use caution when out drinking with Jim Morrison, however.

review2119 available on iTunes

Adele 19

This week British singer Adele bumps the big names off the Billboard chart. Her new album 21 is currently at #1. The former hairdresser impressed Jim and Greg with her debut 19, and now she's amped up the production with some big names including Beyoncé, Rick Rubin and Dan Wilson. But bigger isn't always better. Greg loves Adele's powerful voice, but the quality of the singing trumps the quality of the songs. He gives 21 a Burn It rating. Jim is even more disappointed. He thinks Adele should know better than to sing some of the“nonsense”on this record. She's gone Hollywood, so he's going with a Trash It.

JimGreg
reviewBlessed (Deluxe Edition)Blessed available on iTunes

Lucinda Williams Blessed

Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams also has a new album out called Blessed. Now that she is happily married she's moved on from woeful bar tales to songs about other people. Jim loves this approach, especially on songs like "Soldier's Song" that are from the point of view of a G.I. Greg agrees – Williams has reinvented herself. This goes for the singing as well, and he credits producer Don Was for pulling everything back to make way for that voice. Williams is doubly Blessed with two Buy Its.

JimGreg

Featured Songs

  1. Randy Newman, We Belong Together, Toy Story 3 O.S.T., Walt Disney, 2010
  2. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, In Motion, The Social Network, The Null Corporation, 2010
  3. The Seeds, Mr. Farmer, A Web Of Sound, GNP Crescendo, 1966
  4. Queen, Killer Queen, Sheer Heart Attack, Elektra, 1974
  5. Jean Ritchie, O Love Is Teasin', Her Kentucky Mountain Family, Elektra, 1952
  6. Judy Collins, Hard Lovin' Loser, In My Life, Elektra, 1966, (0:48)
  7. Josh White, Free And Equal Blues, The Story Of John Henry & Ballads, Elektra, 1955
  8. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Blues With A Feeling, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Elektra, 1965
  9. Carly Simon, You're So Vain, No Secrets, Elektra, 1972
  10. MC5, Kick Out The Jams, Kick Out The Jams, Elektra, 1969
  11. The Stooges, Down On The Street, Funhouse, Elektra, 1970
  12. Love, My Little Red Book, Love, Elektra, 1966
  13. Love, The Red Telephone, Forever Changes, Elektra, 1967
  14. The Doors, Light My Fire, The Doors, Elektra, 1967
  15. The Stooges, I Wanna Be Your Dog, The Stooges, Elektra, 1969
  16. Tim Buckley, Wings, Tim Buckley, Elektra, 1966
  17. Adele, Rolling In The Deep, 21, XL, 2011
  18. Adele, Turning Tables, 21, XL, 2011
  19. Lucinda Williams, Buttercup, Blessed, Lost Highway, 2011
  20. Lucinda Williams, Seeing Black, Blessed, Lost Highway, 2011
  21. Lucinda Williams, Soldier's Song, Blessed, Lost Highway, 2011
  22. tUnE-yArDs, Bizness, W H O K I L L, 4AD, 2011
  23. Grateful Dead, Operator, American Beauty, Warner Bros., 1970
  24. Monkees, Head Trailer, Head, Colgems, 1968

Footnotes

telegraph.co.uk Randy Newman at the Oscars mi2n.com The Seeds seek royalties elektra.com Elektra Records followthemusic.com Jac Holzman adele.tv Adele lucindawilliams.com Lucinda Williams