Show 276: The Vaselines, Review of Lupe Fiasco, & Jim's DIJ
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1 It’s the dirty little secret of the music industry. If you’ve got the loot, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado and Usher, among others, can perform at your wedding, birthday party or bar mitzvah. And these big stars don’t appear to be too selective about their gigs—a fact that has caused some controversy recently. The aforementioned pop singers performed at private parties for members of Muammar Gaddafi’s family. Now they are expressing regret, and in some instances, promising to donate their fees to charity. Usher, for one, has claimed ignorance, but Jim and Greg think these high powered artists can afford to pay a little more attention to their schedules.
2 Phil Collins has sold about 100 million albums – and to him that seems like a good place to stop. The Genesis drummer recently announced his retirement and was then hit with a number of unkind rumors about the impetus for this decision. He set the record straight on his website, explaining that he wants to spend more time with his children. Jim and Greg think this is a noble way to bow out—assuming he doesn’t launch an expensive comeback tour in a few years.
3 The Vaselines join Jim and Greg in the studio this week. The Scottish indie pop group was founded in 1986 by Eugene Kelly and then girlfriend Francis McKee. And then only 3 years, 2 singles, and 1 album later, the couple and the band broke up. But their sound managed to make its way across the pond, getting college radio airplay and the notice of emerging bands likes Mudhoney and Nirvana. In fact, Nirvana would go on to cover a number of Vaselines tracks, including “Jesus Don’t Want Me For a Sunbeam,” which they performed for Unplugged. Cobain convinced the band to briefly reunite and open for Nirvana in 1990. Now two decades later, the Vaselines are back together with a new Sub Pop release called Sex with an X. That’s a lot of effort to avoid the sophomore slump. Eugene, Francis and the band perform tracks from the album, as well as an old gem. Check out the songs and the videos.
4 Next up, Jim and Greg review the new album by Lupe Fiasco called Lasers. The Chicago hip-hop artist debuted in 2006 with Food and Liquor – showcasing a sensibility unique from most rap. This 3rd album was a labor, and not necessarily of love. Lupe has admitted to having real difficulties with his record company—difficulties that led to compromises on a lot of tracks. That said, Jim loves Lupe’s lyrics and “1960’s message.” There are inflated choruses and too many guest stars, but his words trump it all. Jim says Buy It. Greg wishes he could agree, but it’s too clear which tracks he was less involved in. He looks forward to the next effort, but for now says Burn It.
5 We really do read your letters! Last week a listener commented on our interview with Jac Holzman, saying he’d like to hear more about Paul Butterfield. So this week Jim drops a track by the Butterfield Blues Band into the Desert Island Jukebox. In 1966, on an album of the same name, the group recorded the song “East-West” written by guitarist/composer Mike Bloomfield. Bloomfield was influenced by blues, psychedelia, free jazz and Indian raga music. This track in turn influenced everyone from the Grateful Dead to Joe Boyd. It’s a landmark in rock, and it’s goin’ with Jim to the island.
Songs Featured in Show #276
Usher, "Yeah!," Confessionsv Arista, 2004
Phil Collins, "In The Air Tonight," Face Value, Atlantic, 1981
Vaselines, "Molly's Lips," Enter The Vaselines, Sub Pop, 2009
Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, "Some Velvet Morning," Movin' With Nancy, Reprise, 1968
Vaselines, "Son Of A Gun," Enter The Vaselines, Sub Pop, 2009
Vaselines, "Such A Fool," Sex With An X, Sub Pop, 2010
Vaselines, "No Hope," Enter The Vaselines, Sub Pop, 2009
Vaselines, "Ruined," Sex With An X, Sub Pop, 2010
Nirvana, "Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam," MTV Unplugged, Universal Distribution, 1994
Vaselines, "I Hate The '80s," Sex With An X, Sub Pop, 2010
Vaselines, "Slushy," Enter The Vaselines, Sub Pop, 2009
Nirvana, "Son Of A Gun," Incesticide, Geffen, 1992
Lupe Fiasco, "Words I Never Said," Lasers. Atlantic, 2011
Lupe Fiasco, "All Black Everything," Lasers. Atlantic, 2011
Lupe Fiasco, "The Show Goes On," Lasers. Atlantic, 2011
Paul Butterfield Blues Band, "East West," East-West, Elektra, 1966
De La Soul, "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)," Me Myself & I. Tommy Boy, 1989
R.E.M., "Fall On Me," Life's Rich Pageant, Capitol, 1986
Destroyer, "Poor In Love," Kaputt. Merge, 2011
Gayngs, "Gaudy Side Of Town", Relayted, Jagjaguar, 2010