Show 331: The Kills, Reviews of Madonna & Dr. John
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1 Closing out a pair of antitrust suits in play for nearly a decade, a federal judge granted Live Nation’s motion for summary judgment in cases pertaining to the Los Angeles and Denver markets. Beginning in 2002, class action suits were filed against Clear Channel, which merged with Live Nation in 2010, alleging that their promotion policies were monopolistic. Jim, Greg and many independent promoters would agree, but the judge found the plaintiff’s expert testimony flawed. So for now it will continue to be big business as usual for Live Nation.
2 Mad Men fans have mixed feelings about Don Draper’s marriage to young Megan. But, no one will deny that her birthday performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou” during the Season 5 opener was a standout scene. And now the song has been released as a digital single on iTunes, and soon as a limited edition vinyl on AMC’s website. Jim would also point listeners to Sophia Loren’s version produced by George Martin. But of course, the breakout musical star from the series may prove to be John Slattery.
3 It seems unlikely that a punk singer from Florida and a blues guitarist from England would link up, but lucky for us they did. Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince formed The Kills over a decade ago, and 4 albums later, they’ve perfected a mix of gritty, soulful blues with minimalist punk rock elements, all with just two musicians and a drum machine. As Jamie explains, that setup began as a practical, money-saving decision, but it’s one they favor to this day. In more surprising fashion, they’re also loyal to their recording studio in Benton Harbor, MI. Jamie says the lack of atmosphere keeps them on track. And Alison, who moonlights with Jack White and The Dead Weather, admits to a fondness for the Meijers social scene. Check out video of the band in the studio.
4 No other dance pop artist has been at it successfully for as long as Madonna. With a career spanning 30 years and 300 million albums sold worldwide, she’s earned the title “Queen of Pop.” However, with royal status, should come different expectations. No longer is Madonna on the cutting edge, as critics of her new album MDNA have complained. But that’s okay, says Greg. She’s still able to bring personality, especially on the songs produced by William Orbit of Ray of Light fame. But Orbit only tackles half the record, so Greg gives MDNA a Burn It. Jim knows Greg thinks it’s foolish to criticize Madonna’s lyrics, but her music used to have conceptual strength in addition to pop power. Now she just goes on about being a bad girl…and at the age of 53. Jim says Trash It.
5 In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, nobody sounded quite like Dr. John. And now on Locked Down, Mac Rebennack has returned to that psychedelic, voodoo, Gris Gris, gumbo vibe, thanks in large part to producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Jim loves the use of bass and African drums, and never has the farfesa organ sounded dirtier or better. Greg agrees, noting that the Dr. is best when he’s in the zone and almost speaking in tongues. For new or old fans of Dr. John, Jim and Greg give Locked Down a Buy It.
Songs Featured in Show #331
Rush, “The Big Money,” Power Windows, Mercury, 1985
Aceyalone and RJD2, “A Beautiful Mine,” Mad Men Vol. 1, Blue Note, 2008
Jessica Pare, “Zou Bisou, Bisou,” Zou Bisou, Bisou (single), Lionsgate, 2012
The Kills, “Future Starts Slow,” Blood Pressures, Domino, 2011
The Kills, “Wait,” Black Rooster EP, Domino, 2002
The Kills, “Heart is a Beating Drum (Live on Sound Opinions),” Blood Pressures, Domino, 2011
The Kills, “The Good Ones,” No Wow, Domino, 2005
The Kills, “U.R.A. Fever,” Midnight Boom, Domino, 2008
The Kills, “Superstition,” Keep on Your Mean Side, Domino, 2003
The Dead Weather, “Blue Blood Blues,” Sea of Cowards, Warner Bros., 2010
The Kills, “Baby Says (Live on Sound Opinions),” Blood Pressures, Domino, 2011
The Kills, “Crazy (Live on Sound Opinions),” Unreleased, 2012
Peggy Lee, “Is That All There Is?,” Is That All There Is?, Capitol, 1969
Madonna, “Girl Gone Wild,” MDNA, Interscope, 2012
Madonna, “Love Spent,” MDNA, Interscope, 2012
Dr. John, “Revolution,” Locked Down, Nonesuch, 2012
Dr. John, “Ice Age,” Locked Down, Nonesuch, 2012
The Chromatics, “Lady,” Kill For Love, Italians Do It Better, 2012
The Drifters, “Answer the Phone,” I’ll Take You Where the Music’s Playing, Atlantic, 1965
Trash Talk, “Slander,” Awake EP, True Panther Sounds, 2011
Cloud Nothings, “Fall In,” Attack on Memory, Carpark, 2012
The dB’s, “Black and White,” Stands for Decibels, Albion, 1981
The Shins, “Simple Song,” Port of Morrow, Columbia, 2012