Ty Segall & Reviews of Miguel and Grizzly Bear

Ty Segall and his band join Jim and Greg onstage for a special live taping of Sound Opinions at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall.

Ty Segal Performing
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With the Zune dead and buried, Microsoft is ready for try two at breaking into the digital music industry. This time, Jim reports, they're bringing out the big guns, introducing their new music and entertainment service under the industry-leading Xbox brand. That's right kids - Xbox isn't just for gaming anymore. If Microsoft has its way, it'll soon be your center for music streaming, buying, and sharing. Is it too late for Microsoft to regain its mojo and compete with Apple, Spotify, and Pandora? Jim says only time will tell, but Microsoft's certainly ceded a lot of ground since its world dominance in the nineties.

After notorious border checkpoint Sierra Blanca, TX busted yet another music industry star this week, Greg takes it upon himself to issue a PSA to all tour bus drivers: if you know what's good for you, clean out your bus! Since 2010 the checkpoint has caught Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and Fiona Apple in the act of transporting drugs (and the occasional gun) across the border. Now we have Nelly, busted for an impressive 36 pounds of heroin, ten pounds of pot, and a loaded pistol. Guess he'll know better next time.

Ty Segall

Knowing Jim and Greg's affection for pop melodies smothered in noise, it should come as no surprise that Ty Segall's music hits them right in the sweet spot. The 24-year-old musician was born in Orange County California, but made his name in San Francisco's thriving garage rock revival scene. Ty is nothing if not prolific. Since 2008 he's released eight albums, including three this year: Hair in April, Slaughterhouse in June, and now Twins in October. Shortly after Slaughterhouse's release Ty and his band joined Jim and Greg onstage at Lincoln Hall in Chicago for a live taping of Sound Opinions. He talked about the MTV reality show that ruined his hometown, his early punk influences, and his love of old garage rock. And of course, he and the band performed a raucous live set (we've only just regained our hearing).

Kaleidoscope Dream Miguel

Kaleidoscope Dream

Kaleidoscope Dream, the new album by Miguel debuted at #3on the Billboard chart. But he's still an unfamiliar name to most people. The R&B  singer and songwriter had moderate success with his first record and has penned songs for Mary J. Blige and Usher. And with this sophomore effort, he really goes all out. You can hear influences from all over the map - from Marvin Gaye to The Zombies. But it's his unique spin and musical chops that make Jim and Greg give the album an enthusiastic double Buy It.

Shields Grizzly Bear

Shields: Expanded

Jim was a fan of Grizzly Bear back when the band appeared on Sound Opinions in 2009. But something was missing from their album Veckatimist. Who knew that "something" was a little Coldplay? The harder rocking stomp and grandeur on this year's Shields fits perfectly with their beautiful harmonies and baroque-pop craftsmanship, according to Jim. He says Buy It. Greg loves Grizzly Bear's take on chamber pop, and especially the drumming on Shields. But he's missing a sense of immediacy on the songs. So Greg goes with a Burn 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!