Hero Worship & Reviews of Van Hunt and Mastodon

Hero Worship – Jim and Greg play a collection of songs that name-check great artists from the history of rock and roll. And later they review new albums by R&B singer Van Hunt and metal group Mastodon.

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Hero Worship

Today's theme is Hero Worship. The genesis of this idea was that we here at Sound Opinions started noticing that a lot of artists have written songs about their own heroes. Think of Bob Dylan's "Song To Woody." It's the kind of love only one rocker could express to another. Though when it comes to name-checking important musical figures, critics like Jim and Greg come a close second. Here are their favorite moments of musical Hero Worship.


  • The Replacements, "Alex Chilton"
  • Television Personalities, "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives"
  • Cheap Trick, "Surrender"
  • Robyn Hitchcock, "I Saw Nick Drake"


  • Van Morrison, "Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)"
  • The Hold Steady, "Constructive Summer"
  • Frank Black, "I Heard Ramona Sing"
  • Stevie Wonder, "Sir Duke"

What Were You Hoping For Van Hunt

What Were You Hoping For?

After being cut loose from his major-label deal, singer/songwriter  Van Hunt has a new independently released album out called What Were You Hoping For. Jim and Greg received exactly what they were hoping for - a musically inventive album that doesn't fit into one particular genre. Van Hunt is finally free to let his freak flag fly, and fly it does. Jim and Greg compare him to George Clinton and Prince and encourage you to Buy It.

The Hunter Mastodon

The Hunter

Some call Mastodon the saviors of metal. Others...hipster sellouts. But Jim and Greg just think they make terrific music. Combining a little Black Sabbath with a little Melvins, they are experimental and hard rocking without losing their sense of melody and harmony. Their new album The Hunter marks five successful releases in a row. Jim and Greg say Buy It.

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!