Drive-By Truckers & Opinions on Kendrick Lamar & Resistance Radio

Drive-By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers have tackled politics and social issues in their music for decades, but never more strongly than on their latest album, American Band. Members Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood join Jim and Greg to talk about the record and perform acoustically in front of an audience. Plus, reviews of the new record from rapper Kendrick Lamar and the Danger Mouse-produced album inspired by The Man in the High Castle.

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Drive-By Truckers

Eleven albums into their career, Drive-By Truckers have written perhaps their most provocative and timely album to date American Band. Tackling politics, race relations, gun violence, and rebellion the album holds a mirror up to the current feelings of division in the United States. But the album has a groove to it as well -- it doesn't feel like a civics lessons. For all those reasons the album was a favorite of both Jim and Greg in 2016. Drive-By Truckers are no strangers to Sound Opinions but this time the prinipal songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley joined Jim and Greg and an audience at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago for an interview and an exclusive acoustic performance. Hood and Cooley talked about inspiration, resistance, and how two college roommates have been making music together for more than 30 years.

DAMN. Kendrick Lamar


Rapper Kendrick Lamar just released his latest album, DAMN. which follows his massive 2015 record To Pimp a Butterfly. Since his rise to prominence a few years ago, Lamar has become the standard to which other rappers and hip hop acts are measured. Jim finds DAMN. to be a "grower" that the listener appreciates with repeat listenings. While this record doesn't grab you in the same way as To Pimp a Butterfly, he loves Lamar's latest effort. Between his enlightened lyrics and classic gangster rap sonics, Jim thinks this album is a Buy It. Greg agrees, as Kendrick shows a mastery of storytelling and flow with this record. And while the sound may be stripped down from previous albums, Kendrick is no less ambitious as he draws lines between street violence and American foreign policy. Greg says DAMN. is no less than a "masterpiece" making for a double Buy It.

Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album Danger Mouse

Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album

Danger Mouse (Bryan Burton) and Sam Cohen have produced a new concept album called Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album, which serves as a sort of companion to the Amazon Prime TV series Man in the High Castle. The TV show imagines a dystopian, alternate, early 1960s America where Japan and Germany won WWII, rather than the Allied Forces.

The album features retro covers of mid-century pop standards like "Taste of Honey" and "Who’s Sorry Now". Gregsays he "didn't get anything new… from these interpretations". He calls Resistance Radio a Trash It record, and thinks listeners are better off seeking out the original recordings of the songs.

The recordings on this album were mastered from vinyl to get that vintage sound. Jim says that the sound was well executed. And, he notes that the songs take on additional resonance because they are "American anthems from a very different America in the setting of this show". For Jim, it's a Buy It record.

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