Jason Lytle of Grandaddy

Grandaddy mastermind Jason Lytle visits the show to talk about the band’s final days and what’s in store for his future. Plus, he performs live in the studio. Jim and Greg will also discuss the latest music news and reviews and a pop a track into the Desert Island Jukebox.

Jason Lytle
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Music News

The RAND Corporation recently released the findings of their study on music lyrics and teen sexual behavior. According to the think tank, teens who regularly listened to music with "degrading" lyrics at the start of the study were more likely to start having sex over the next two years than teens who listened to music that was sexual, but not necessarily degrading. Of course, degrading is in the eye of the beholder, and Jim and Greg are a little bit suspicious of the RAND Corp.'s goals. They are reminded of previous attempts to thwart dangerous rock music, like those of the Parents’ Music Resource Center in the '80s and people concerned with future Columbines in the '90s. So Jim, Greg and many experts caution against scapegoating one single thing when it comes to teens having sex. Plus, rock and roll has always been about sex, and after speaking with a number of teenagers in downtown Chicago, Sound Opinions is convinced that tastes have not really changed. Most of these young listeners seemed to be channeling Dick Clark: They just want a great beat they can dance to.

Port of Miami Rick Ross

Port of Miami

Also making news this month is Miami rapper Rick Ross. Ross' single "Hustlin" has become the most downloaded ringtone of all time, and his new album Port of Miami, is proving to be one of the big hip-hop hits of the summer. Despite what the study above might have you believe, it is the "drugs" of "sex, drugs and rock and roll" that appear to be prevailing. Trap music is dominating the hip-hop charts, and the lyrics to "Hustlin," "Blow" and almost every other song on Port of Miami are about the joys of selling cocaine. Listening to the record was not such a joy for our hosts, however. While people like Ice-Tand Ghostface Killah have artfully written songs about the drug economy, Ross is not impressing Jim or Greg with anything new. Greg appreciates the bass-heavy production, but recommends listeners hear the music in a club setting, rather than in the confines of their own homes. this debut album gets a double Trash It.

Jason Lytle

Jason Lytle, the man behind Grandaddy, joins Jim and Greg in the studio this week. Grandaddy has impressed our hosts for years with its folk-pop melodies and adventurous, atmospheric production. The band's recent release, Just Like the Fambly Cat, however, was their last. Lytle discusses his decision to disband with Jim and Greg, explaining that the music industry and life on the road became too demanding. With the exception of a tour Grandaddy did with Elliott Smith, Lytle was unhappy with how larger corporate tours were structured. For this current acoustic tour, Lytle wanted to return to a simple road trip among friends.

Fans of Grandaddy need not mourn the loss of Lytle's songwriting and production, however. He has relocated to Montana, but promises that more music is still to come. Listen to the two songs he performs, "Disconnecty" and "Jeez Louise," the latter of which is semi-autobiographical. In addition, Lytle treats us to a Sheryl Crow cover, "Always on Your Side" -- a surprising choice for sure. Next time perhaps he'll treat us to a song by Electric Light Orchestra, another secret favorite of our guest.

00:45:34 Review: Tapes ‘n Tapes

The Loon

Minneapolis band Tapes ‘n Tapes released their debut album, The Loon, this week. The indie rock band has been getting a lot of buzz, especially after being added to this year's Pitchfork Music Festival bill. As Jim recounts, members of the band were merely members of the crowd for last year's festival. The Loon, which we learn is the state bird of Minnesota, actually came out independently in 2005, but is now being released by XL Records, a label that's quickly becoming a force in the music industry. Greg was skeptical that the young band would be able to say anything new with the standard guitar, bass, drums combo. And he was right -- they aren't saying any thing new, but he likes the way they are saying it. He praises the band for being accomplished musicians and credits the personality of lead singer/guitarist Josh Grier for the band's edge and energy. Jim finds Tapes 'n Tapes slightly more compelling live, but both hosts give this record a Buy It.

Jim & Greg

Last week, Arthur Lee, the singer and guitarist for the psychedelic rock band Love, died of leukemia at the age of 61. Jim and Greg explain how Lee was one of the most important figures of the psychedelic era. He influenced bands like The Doors, The Byrds, and even the other great African-American psychedelic rocker of the day: Jimi Hendrix. His masterpiece, Forever Changes, also influenced contemporary "orchestral pop" artists like The Arcade Fire and The Polyphonic Spree. Lee was a pioneer, but a largely unheralded one. This may have been the musician's own doing, since he was a rather dark, eccentric figure. But, while Lee certainly had many troubled years, Jim and Greg believe his music deserves to be celebrated. To pay tribune to Arthur Lee, our hosts highlight a song off of Forever Changes. They both add "The Red Telephone" to the Desert Island Jukebox.

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!