|Sound Opinions, being the scholarly work it is, has provided footnotes to help you navigate through the show's vast maze of musical knowledge.
Because, let's face it—sometimes even we have no idea what the heck Jim and Greg are talking about.
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1 Music legend James Brown died earlier this week at the age of 73, so the first part of the show is spent paying homage to the “hardest working man in show business.” Jim and Greg discuss Brown’s long-running career from the soul era up through today’s hip hop music. In fact, Greg explains that Brown’s track “King Heroin” is a rap tune that pre-dates hip hop. And, Brown is one of the most sampled musicians in rock history. To illustrate this fact, our hosts take the track “The Payback” and play some of the major hip hop songs that are built on it. The medley you hear includes:
Queen Latifah, “If You Don't Know”
LL Cool J, “The Boomin' System”
Mary J Blige, “Everything”
Ice Cube “The Wrong Nigga to Fuck Wit”
Massive Attack, “Protection”
En Vogue, “(My Lovin') You're Never Gonna Get It”
James Brown fans should also check out the articles written by Jim and Greg after his death.
2 From Dallas to Brooklyn, and now to Chicago, the Secret Machines have stopped by to talk with Jim and Greg and play a rare acoustic performance. The band is known for their full-blown, spacey rock sound, which Greg explains was perfect for the outdoor setting at Lollapalooza this summer. It’s interesting, therefore, to hear them so stripped down. Listen to brothers Benjamin and Brandon Curtis on guitars and Josh Garza on percussion as they perform “Daddy’s in the Doldrums” off their most recent album Ten Silver Drops and a cover of “Rest of the Day,” by fellow Texans Bedhead. You can also check out the bonus track “1000 Seconds.”
3 The Machines talk about their evolution as a band, which wasn’t ordinary. They moved to New York and set up recording time in a studio before they had ever even played together. Their do-it-yourself attitude has paid off though. Both Ten Silver Drops and their debut Now Here is Nowhere were recorded by the band, despite requests from big name producers like Bob Ezrin. Thank god for Eno’s “oblique strategies.”
4 As 2006 comes to end, Jim and Greg take a look back at the year in music—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and give out their annual “Soopie Awards.”
Here are this year's winners:
The 14:59 Award: Kevin Federline
The dancer turned husband turned wannabe rapper started off this year with a new single, “Popozao,” and a new hope for a better, bill-free, life. Now KFed is a soon-to-be twice-divorced father of four who was dumped via text message and booed by fans on the same night. The clock is ticking…
The Most Cliched Criminal Act Award: Snoop Dogg
Rapper Snoop Dogg was arrested a number of times this year, but the final criminal act really took the cake. He was stopped after an appearance on The Tonight Show with what must be the gangsta rap starter kit—pot, cocaine and a weapon—soon to be available at a Wal-Mart near you.
The Award for Rock Aging Gracefully: Sex Pistols
Upon receiving an invitation to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Sex Pistols responded thusly. Sound Opinions H.Q. is glad the punk spirit is still alive somewhere.
The Award for Rock Aging Poorly: CBGBs
One place the punk spirit isn’t alive is Las Vegas. Yet that’s exactly where the original Lower East Side punk headquarters is relocating. We just hope Patti Smith doesn’t join Celine for an extended residency.
The Best New Sheriff in Town Award: Eliot Spitzer
2006 was a big year for the Attorney General. Mr. Spitzer not only won the office of Governor of the State of New York, but he also brought down some of the giants in the music industry who continued the practice of payola. He received his largest settlement from Universal Music (which checked off all major record labels) and is now moving on to radio.
The “Hootie” the F*** Are You? Award:
3-way tie between Rascal Flatts, The Fray & KT Tunstall No one seems to know who you are, but your names continue to appear on the charts. Jim and Greg can only blame this on the Hootie effect.
Politics Paying Too Big a Price Award: Dixie Chicks
After telling a British audience that she’s ashamed the President is a fellow Texas native, Natalie Maines and her fellow Dixie Chicks have been boycotted by country radio stations and have been forced to cancel many tour dates. Jim and Greg wonder whatever happened to free speech?
Politics Not Paying Enough of a Price Award: Barbra Streisand
Maybe we’ll rethink that free speech thing…On her recent tour, the always liberal Barbra Streisand decided to incorporate political satire and sketches into her performance. After paying hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars for tickets, many audience members wished Babs would just stick to singing. Jim and Greg agree.
Award for Best Rock Couple:
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Marshall and Kim Mathers
Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson
The Winner: Jay-Z and Nas
They’ve been “beefing” for years, and made their careers dissing one another. But now pure friendship (aka Def Jam and profit-sharing) have brought them together. Thank god those two kids worked it out!
From all of us at Sound Opinions,
Happy New Year!