Fantasy Songs

Fantasy Songs, Slowdive & Opinions on Public Enemy

The fantasy powerhouse Game of Thrones is returning for its penultimate season. With dragons, knights, and magic on their minds, Jim and Greg play their favorite songs about fantasy worlds. Plus, a review of the latest from hip-hop stalwarts Public Enemy, and Neil Halstead of Slowdive shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.

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Music News

Earlier this week, Jim published an in-depth piece on BuzzFeed about new allegations against R&B star R. Kelly that he is keeping women in controlling relationship and requiring them to sever communications with their families. The article details the allegations of two families who say their daughters have been“brainwashed”by Kelly and that he is controlling when they can eat, what clothes they can wear and who they can communicate with. Kelly, and at least one of the women in the piece, denies these allegations. Jim has reported on similar claims about Kelly going back to the year 2000.

reviewNothing is Quick in The Desert

Public Enemy Nothing is Quick in the Desert

Earlier this month, Hip-hop stalwarts Public Enemy released their 14th album, Nothing is Quick in the Desert. The release was available as a free download for only a limited time; but can still be listened to on YouTube. Greg notes that the group has been around for thirty years, providing important, socially conscious rhymes on albums like 1988's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. This album attempts to continue that tradition. Jim can do without Flavor Flav, but Greg disagrees saying that the emcee adds“comic relief”and“flavor”to what can be an otherwise“heavy”group. However, Jim adds that Chuck D provides insightful, politically charged lyrics. Jim says that though half of the album is "as good as anything Public Enemy has given us", he can only give the record a Try It. If you are looking for the old Public Enemy, according to Greg your best bet is to seek out“old Public Enemy”music. But, the group is still an arena-rap draw, he says; and the material on the album will play better on the stage. In that context, Greg gives the album a Try It, as well.

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Fantasy Songs

Whether Mordor, Westeros, or a dystopian landscape, multiple artists have written songs that pay homage to their favorite fantasy worlds. This week, Jim and Greg share their inner nerdiness and pick their favorite prog rock and fantasy-inspired songs.

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David Weigel

prog rock Perhaps more than any other genre, Progressive Rock has a particular penchant for fantasy motifs. From Gensis, to Yes, to Rush, to King Crimson dystopian worlds, hobbits, and medieval imagery found a home within those sprawling 14-minute long songs. But why? Jim and Greg speak David Weigel, national correspondent for the Washington Post, and author The Show That Never Ends: The Rise And Fall Of Prog Rock. Weigel says that in the early 1970s as prog was making its rise, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien were not the blockbuster films we know today. Instead, they were much more a part of the counter-culture, like prog rock.

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Hooked On Sonics: Neil Halstead of Slowdive

Neil Halstead Our latest installment of our Hooked on Sonics series features Neil Halstead – singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the English shoegaze band Slowdive. Slowdive recently reunited and released their first album since 1995. Halstead describes being blown away when he heard the leadoff track from an EP by a shoegaze progenitor: My Bloody Valentine's "You Made Me Realise." Combining Byrds-like harmonies with a sonic assault, the song forever changed his musical life.

Featured Songs

  1. Public Enemy, Smash the Crowd, Nothing is Quick in the Desert, Self-Released, 2017
  2. Public Enemy, Nothing is Quick in the Desert, Nothing is Quick in the Desert, Self-Released, 2017
  3. Public Enemy, Yesterday Man, Nothing is Quick in the Desert, Self-Released, 2017
  4. Prophets of Rage, Prophets of Rage, The Party's Over, Caroline, 2016
  5. Donovan, Atlantis, Barabajagal, Epic, 1969
  6. Ramin Djawadi, Main Title, Game of Thrones: Season 1 (soundtrack), Varèse Sarabande, 2011
  7. Led Zeppelin, Ramble On, Led Zeppelin II, Atlantic, 1969
  8. Detron 3030, 3030, Deltron 3030, 75 Ark, 2000
  9. Genesis, Time Table, Foxtrot, Charisma, 1972
  10. Yes, Relayer, Relayer, Atlantic, 1974
  11. Yes, Don't Kill The Whale, Tormato, Atlantic, 1978
  12. Utopia, Singring And The Glass Guitar (An Electrified Fairytale), Ra, Bearsville, 1977
  13. Magma, Aïna, Magma, Philips, 1970
  14. Leonard Nimoy, The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy, Dot, 1968
  15. Spinal Tap, Stonehenge, This Is Spinal Tap, Polydor, 1984
  16. Procol Harum, A Whiter Shade of Pale, A Whiter Shade of Pale (single), Deram, 1967
  17. David Banner, My Uzi, The God Box, A Banner Vision, 2017
  18. Iced Earth, Dystopia, Dystopia, Century Media, 2011
  19. Slowdive, Sugar for the Pill, Slowdive, Dead Oceans, 2017
  20. My Bloody Valentine, You Made Me Realise, You Made Me Realise, Creation, 1988
  21. The Byrds, Eight Miles High, Fifth Dimension, Columbia, 1966
  22. Slowdive, Beach Song, Beach Song (single), Sunday, 1992
  23. The Nerves, Hanging on the Telephone, The Nerves, The Nerves, 1976
  24. Ramones, Do You Wanna Dance, Rocket to Russia, Sire, 1977
  25. Talking Heads, Psycho Killer, Talking Heads: 77, Sire, 1977
  26. Talking Heads, Artists Only, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Sire, 1978
  27. She-Devils, You Don't Know (Live on Sound Opinions), She-Devils, Secretly Canadian, 2017
  28. The Smiths, Rusholme Ruffians, Meat Is Murder, Rough Trade, 1985