Show 239: Chrissie Hynde, Reviews of Drake and Christina Aguilera
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1 This week the White House made its first official statement on intellectual property and piracy. Victoria Espinel, the Obama-appointed Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, has outlined more than 30 steps on how to toughen up when it comes to protecting intellectual property. According to Jim and Greg, some of the steps are fairly routine, and they were relieved to see no “3 strikes” approach. But other recommendations display a hard line view of piracy — one that lines up with those of Vice President Biden.
2 On Monday the Justice Department officially gave its blessing to the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger despite pleas against it from independent promoters and consumer advocates. Check out Jim’s take on the merger and listen to Seth Hurwitz, one of the promoters who testified against the merger, on Sound Opinions.
3 Jim and Greg wrap-up the news by discussing the state of the estate of Michael Jackson. Since the King of Pop’s death a year ago, Billboard estimates his estate has made $1 billion. 40% of that has gone toward debts, but as Jim and Greg note, the revenue stream isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. Fans can expect release after posthumous release of Jackson albums, books and movies for years to come.
4 Chrissie Hynde has been making music for more than three decades. But in that time, she’s never released an album under a name other than the Pretenders…until now. She joins Jim and Greg to debut her new project JP, Chrissie and the Fairground Boys. Chrissie and 31-year-old Welch musician JP Jones describe how they began their collaboration over the trading of tapes and a whirlwind trip to Cuba. Chrissie admits the songs are intensely personal, and many deal with the two’s unrequited love. As Chrissie explains, she’s just too old for JP, despite him possibly being her “Perfect Lover.” But their lost love, is our musical gain. Fidelity comes out in August, and you can preview their live songs here.
Also check out these videos from the band’s session on Sound Opinions.
5 Thank Me Later, the debut album from rapper Drake, went to number one this week, and Jim and Greg have no doubt that the young Toronto artist has a long career ahead of him. Previously best known as the wheelchair-bound Jimmy on the teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation, Drake and his MC skills caught the attention of Lil Wayne. Wayne, along with Kanye West, Alicia Keys and a number of other heavy hitters join Drake on Thank Me Later, but it’s a testament to his strength as a performer that he’s not overshadowed by any of the guest stars, according to Jim. He presents a thoughtful album that focuses on hip hop’s latest drug—celebrity. Jim calls the record very introspective and brilliantly minimalistic and gives it a Buy It. Greg agrees, noting that Drake lacks the typical rap bravado. It’s fascinating, but also monochromatic, meaning you’ll need to sit and live with the record for a while. Thank Me Later gets a double Buy It.
6 Another big summer release is Christina Aguilera’s Bionic. This is the pop diva’s first record since becoming a mother, but neither Jim nor Greg hear any additional maturity. Greg believes she’s the most impressive voice to come out of the teen pop era of the late ‘90s, but this record is totally juvenile pop product. It’s robotic and gimmicky, and he gives it a Trash It. Jim doesn’t understand why an interesting wife, mother and singer would want to portray herself as a juvenile sex robot, but that’s what Christina does. He seconds the Trash It.
Songs Featured in Show #239
Free, “The Stealer,” Highway, Universal Island, 1971
Elton John, “(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket” Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboys, Island, 1975
Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney, “Say Say Say,” Pipes of Piece, 1983
The Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket,” The Pretenders, Rhino/WB, 1980
JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys, “Fairground Luck” 2010 Live on Sound Opinions
The Pretenders, “Back on the Chain Gang” The King of Comedy, Warner Bros, 1983
The Pretenders, “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” Get Close, Rhino/Warner Bros, 1986
JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys, ““If You Let Me,” 2010 Live on Sound Opinions
JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys, ““Perfect Lover,” 2010 Live on Sound Opinions
JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys , “If You Let Me,” Fidelity, 2010
Drake, "Over," Thank Me Later, Universal Motown, 2010
Drake, "Fireworks," Thank Me Later, Universal Motown, 2010
Christina Aguilera, "Bionic," Bionic, RCA, 2010
Christina Aguilera, "My Girls," Bionic, RCA, 2010
BS 2000, "NY Is Good," Simply Mortified, Grand Royal, 2001