MTV

MTV's 25th Anniversary & Reviews of Slayer and White Whale

This week MTV celebrates its 25th anniversary, so Jim and Greg will welcome some industry experts and music fans to discuss the station's impact on the music industry. Plus, they'll review albums by death metal rockers Slayer and indie up-and-comers White Whale.

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MTV's Silver Anniversary

MTV turns 25 this week. To celebrate (or perhaps mourn), Jim and Greg discuss the station's impact on the music industry. To kick off the dissection, Sound Opinions surveys the opinions of festivalgoers at Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival.

reviewWWIWWI available on iTunes

White Whale WWI

The first album up for review this week is by White Whale. This up-and-coming indie rock group from Lawrence, Kansas first caught the attention of our hosts at this year's SXSW Music Conference. Now they have released their debut album, WWI. Whether the title refers to the Great War, or a great record, is unclear. But, both Jim and Greg agree this album is worth a listen, though not necessarily a purchase. Jim loves the prog rock approach, but can't go with a full Buy It. Greg agrees, explaining that he likes the music and finds White Whale intriguing, but isn't clear on the emotional subtext. He wonders where the“meat”is. Therefore, WWI gets two Burn Its.

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reviewChrist IllusionChrist Illusion available on iTunes

Slayer Christ Illusion

Shifting gears completely, Jim and Greg move on to Slayer. Christ Illusion is their first new release since the one they released on 9/11, and the death metal rockers are as angry as ever. Greg describes some of the lyrics on the album as a“big middle digit”to all religions and all establishments of“the man.”But, as our hosts explain, you don't listen to Slayer for political science lessons. They are a“great American rock band”because of what they do with guitar, bass and drums. Jim prefers them live, but both critics give Christ Illusion a Buy It rating.

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“Where Did You Sleep Last Night”Nirvana

Greg wraps up the show by picking a classic MTV moment for the Desert Island Jukebox. He highlights "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," which Nirvana performed live as part of MTV's Unplugged series. If Greg had to choose a single performance by the band, it would be this one. The late Kurt Cobain pours his heart and soul into it, and the band's backing is incredibly empathetic. Of course, Cobain did not pen this tune. It was originally recorded as "In the Pines" in the late 1930s, and Jim and Greg discussed its evolution as part of a conversation with cyberlaw and free culture guru Lawrence Lessig.

Featured Songs

  1. The Ramones,“Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,”Leave Home, 1977
  2. Michael Jackson,“Thriller”(instrumental), Thriller, 1982
  3. A-ha,“Take On Me,”Hunting High and Low, 1985
  4. Madonna,“Like a Virgin,”Like a Virgin, 1984
  5. The 45 King and Louie,“The 900 Number,”The 900 Number, 1987
  6. The Buggles,“Video Killed the Radio Star,”The Age of Plastic, 1980
  7. White Whale,“We're Just Temporary Ma'am,”WWI, 2006
  8. White Whale,“9 Good Fingers,”WWI, 2006
  9. Slayer,“Jihad,”Christ Illusion, 2006
  10. Slayer,“Cult,”Christ Illusion, 2006

Footnotes

sff.net Professor Paul Levinson kentucker.net Ken Tucker ew.com Entertainment Weekly whyy.org Fresh Air pitchforkmusicfestival.com Pitchfork Music Festival washingtonpost.com Is MTV still doing what it does best? allmusic.com White Whale sxsw.com SXSW mergerecords.com White Whale's ‘WWI’ pbs.org This WWI? jimdero.com Jim talks prog rock slayer.net Slayer's homepage amazon.com Slayer's ‘Christ Illusion’ snopes.com Slayer's 9/11 release: coincidence? wikipedia.org Death metal lyricsfreak.com“Where Did You Sleep Last Night?”lyrics wikipedia.org MTV Unplugged allmusic.com Nirvana Unplugged allmusic.com“In the Pines” nirvanafreak.net History of“In the Pines” lessig.org Lawrence Lessig