Show 207: Progressive Rock, Weezer Review, Jim's DIJ
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1 Dr. Dre announced a partnership with Best Buy. The rapper/producer will promote the new “Club Beats” area of the store featuring the latest audio and technology products, in addition to in-store appearances by Lady Gaga, Will.i.am and Dre himself. The big box retailer sees a growing market for DJ-oriented marketing, especially with the release of DJ Hero. So has this underground urban art form officially jumped the shark?
1b One of Dre’s biggest hip hop productions was his 1993 track for Snoop Dogg, “Who Am I (What's My Name).” It featured a memorable sample of George Clinton’s song “Atomic Dog.” Most recently that song was at the center of a lawsuit between Clinton and his fellow songwriters and the R&B group Public Announcement. A federal jury agreed that Public Announcement infringed on the song’s copyright by wrongfully using the lyric “bow wow wow, yippie yo, yippie yea.” But, most notably, the jury ruled that even the word “dog,” if used in an original or unusual way, can be protected by copyright.
2 One of the terms that keeps coming up again and again on Sound Opinions is “Progressive Rock.” The Decemberists channel it, Mastodon references it, and countless of fans are obsessed with it. So, this week Jim and Greg decide to dive right in to this larger-than-life, fantastical genre that, let’s face it, sometimes makes us laugh. They talk to Charles Snider, author of The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, about Prog’s heydey in the 1970’s. Charles, Jim and Greg define the genre as having the following traits: it is visionary and experimental, it has virtuosity in both execution and composition, it’s romantic, and it has a sense of “Britishness.”
So which bands do it best? Charles and our hosts recommend the following for great, Progressive headphone listening.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
The Pretty Things
3 15 years after its debut album, Weezer is back with a new record, Raditude. The band has always been defined by Rivers Cuomo’s personal songwritng, mirrored with heavy guitar riffs. But, last year’s self-titled release was a controversial one for Jim and Greg. Jim loved the naïve, heart-on-sleeve recording, but Greg felt the lyrics were adolescent and patronizing. Now they can agree. Both Jim and Greg find Weezer to be making smart, heart-felt pop music. And the highlight is an amped up version of “Can’t Stop Partying,” co-written by Jermaine Dupri’s and featuring a cameo by Lil Wayne. Greg even compares this loss of innocence record to Pet Sounds. Raditude gets a double Buy It.
4 While reviewing Weezer, Jim was reminded of another alternative era band, Tuscadero. Like Weezer, they debuted in 1994 with a similarly named record called The Pink Album. And like Weezer they wrote songs about adolescence, nostalgia and pop culture. But unlike Weezer, their move to a major label didn’t bring them great success and longevity. Jim considers Tuscadero one of the many lost heros and heroines from alternative ’90s, and he wants to add their track “Leather Idol” to the Desert Island Jukebox.
Songs Featured in Show #207
Erykah Badu, "On & On," Baduizm, 1997
Snoop Dogg, "Who Am I (What's My Name)," Doggystyle, 1993
Emerson Lake & Palmer, "The Gnome," Pictures at an Exhibition, 1972
The Beatles, "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967
Procol Harem, "In Held 'Twas in I: Glimpses of Nirvana," Shine on Brightly, 1968
Genesis, "White Mountain," Trespass, 1970
Yes, "Yours Is No Disgrace," The Yes Album, 1971
Gentle Giant, "A Cry For Everyone," Octopus, 1972
Pink Floyd, "Pigs (Three Different Ones,)" Animals, 1977
Kansas, "Carry On My Wayward Son," Leftoverture, 1976
Pretty Things, "S.F. Sorrow is Born," S.F. Sorrow, 1968
Kraftwerk, “Autobahn,” Autobahn, 1974
Yes, "Close to the Edge," Close to the Edge, 1972
King Crimson, "21st Century Schizoid Man," In the Court of the Crimson King, 1969
Yes, “Going For The One,” Going for the One, 1977
Jethro Tull, “Thick As A Brick,” Thick as a Brick, 1972
Weezer, “(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” Raditude, 2009
Weezer, “Can’t Stop Partying,” Raditude, 2009
Tuscadero, “Leather Idol,” The Pink Album, 1994
New Edition, “Mr. Telephone Man,” New Edition, 1984
Big Black, “Jordan Minnesota,” Atomizer, 1986
Grizzly Bear, “While You Wait for the Others,” Veckatimest, 2009 Live on Sound Opinions
Grizzly Bear feat. Michael McDonald, “While You Wait for the Others,” 2009