Results for 1992

interviews

Penelope Spheeris

Wayne's World Penelope Spheeris is best known for directing Wayne's World, the 1992 movie about two suburban headbangers producing a cable public access show in the basement. With an iconic soundtrack and some well cast cameos (Meat Loaf and Alice Cooper), the movie has endured. Jim and Greg talk with Penelope about Wayne's World's enduring appeal 25 years after it was released, the true story behind the famous "Bohemian Rhapsody" headbanging scene, and more. Plus, they'll discuss her life, from growing up in a travelling carnival to her directorial debut with the documentary The Decline of Western Civilization about the Los Angeles punk scene in the early 1980s

Go to episode 609

The Flaming Lips

This week's guests are two of the members of Oklahoma's Flaming Lips, co-founder Wayne Coyne and long-time member, multi instrumentalist and co-songwriter Steve Drozd. Wayne chimes in that their two other current band members, Michael Ivins and touring drummer Clifford, couldn‘t make it to the interview. Ivins was too preoccupied erecting the UFO for that night’s live gig in Chicago. Greg points out that Wayne at one time admitted he was part of a band that couldn‘t play, had a singer that couldn’t sing, and heralded from an unknown town. Yet, here they are 25 years later, still going strong. As someone who wrote a book about The Flaming Lips. Jim continues to be astounded by the extensiveness of their career. He feels it parallels the career of Pink Floyd who had at least four different incarnations over 30 or 40 years. The Lips' first era was their '80s psychedelic era with it's key album In a Priest Driven Ambulance from 1990. On this album, former Lips drummer Jonathan Donahue replaced Nathan Roberts and the band collaborated for the first time with producer Dave Fridmann. Fridmann, who would go on produce many other Lips‘ albums, brought a higher level of musicality and production to the Lips’ sound. In a Priest Driven Ambulance was also the album that introduced Steve Drozd to the Flaming Lips (he did not join the band until almost a decade into the band's career). Drozd loved the album's“loud psychedelic rock guitar”with "hokum balladry". Greg also adds that the record contained a non-ironic cover of Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World" amidst the cynical and cooler-than-thou indie rock community.

Even though the band started in 1983, it wasn't until 1992 that The Flaming Lips signed to a major label. The first album for Warner Brothers Records was Hit to Death in the Future Head. Wayne and the band saw this as an opportunity to make a record that's worth the“billion dollars”major labels can spend on albums. Greg feels that their new ambition really exceeded the ambition they had with their previous work. He feels it's clearly evident in 1993's Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. To Jim this album marks the moment when Wayne's songwriting started to rise from the background and move towards the caliber of the Lips' sonic density. Transmission from the Satellite Heart's, "She Don't Use Jelly" is such an example. Even though the song became their breakthrough“wiggy, novelty hit.”it was a "beautiful bubble gum song with a poignant lyric" wrapped inside an amazing musical production. Wayne and the band knew almost from the beginning that the song could be a hit. The song's hook was created from the lyrics which Wayne got from equating smearing chapstick on your lips to buttering your toast. Wayne's story dispels the rock critic myth that these lyrics were a code for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Greg brings everyone back to the dense sound of Transmissions From the Satellite Heart. He wonders how Steven came upon the idea layering the heavy“Bonham-esque”drums underneath pop songs. Steven admits that the sound was inspired by Larry Mullen's drums on U2's War.

Greg wonders if the band's next transformation happened after guitarist Ronald Jones left the band in 1996. Wayne agrees that Ronald's leaving changed the band. Although, Steve adds that he himself was burnt out and heavily into drugs at the time. At this point the Lips re-tooled into the era of their parking lot experiments, boom box experiments and the 1997 release of the four-CD album Zaireeka — an album designed for the listener play all four CD's simultaneously on four different sound systems in the same room. Each project was an orchestration of random sounds, a symphony of noise. Wayne wanted to try something new and take a chance.

After the band went through their two year sonic experiment they released the album The Soft Bulletin in 1999, which Jim considers a pop masterpiece. Wayne thinks the signature song from that album is "Race For the Prize". The song is in reference to two scientists fighting to cure a disease. Also on the album is "Waitin' for a Superman," inspired by Wayne and his brother jogging around the lake to deal with their father's bout with cancer. These two songs are full of meaningful and heartstung lyrics. Jim pipes in that that Wayne wouldn‘t have been able to write lyrics like this earlier in the Lip’s career. Wayne chalks it up to the experience of life changing you, which changed him and the band for the better.

2002's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is a continuation of the band's lyrical progression, especially with its song "Do You Realize??" Another key song is "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1." (You can hear their live performance here.)

The critical response to these last two albums was, as Jim puts it,“nothing short of ecstatic.”The latest album, 2006's At War With the Mystics hasn‘t seen the same response (including from our own Greg Kot.) Steve and Wayne kind of expected it. They’re just as happy to win a Grammy for a song titled, "The Wizard Turns On…The Giant Silver Flashlight And Puts On His Werewolf Moccasins."

Go to episode 94
reviews
The Breakthrough (Bonus Tracks)Mary available on iTunes

Mary J. Blige Mary

Jim and Greg next review the latest release from reigning R&B queen Mary J. Blige. Blige is an artist who has been put through the ringer, but things were a lot more stable during the making of The Breakthrough. This didn‘t affect Blige’s sound, however, which is as gritty as ever. While Jim and Greg prefer the singer live, they agree that this is Blige's best album since 1992's What's the 411. (Sound Opinions H.Q. also recommends her 1999 release Mary). Our hosts are especially impressed with how Blige manages not to be overshined by the presence of so many star producers like Dr. Dre, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Will.i.am, nor star guests like Jay-Z, Raphael Saadiq and Nina Simone (from the beyond). Fellow divas Beyoncé Knowles and Alicia Keys can't always say that.

JimGreg
Go to episode 6
dijs

Greg

“Seasons”Chris Cornell

This week, Greg pays tribute to the late Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. Cornell died recently at age 52, and Greg is bringing his song "Seasons" to the Desert Island Jukebox.“Seasons”was a track prominently included in the 1992 Cameron Crowe film Singles, about a group of friends living and working in Seattle during the emerging 1990's rock scene. Cornell, a talented writer and vocalist, was able to capture the atmosphere perfectly of the time with this rock ballad. While "Black Hole Sun" may be his signature hit, Greg thinks“Seasons”is the perfect song to remember Cornell by.

Go to episode 600

Greg

“What's the New Mary Jane”The Moles

Lately Greg has been binging on the music of Australian songwriter Richard Davies. Davies has worked as a solo artist and also released an album with Eric Matthews under the moniker Cardinal. But this week Greg is especially drawn to Davies' first band, The Moles, which merged baroque pop and psychedelia with a skewed sense of melody. The Moles' 1992 single "What's the New Mary Jane" lifts its title from a famous Beatles outtake, but it's much more substantive than what the Fab Four actually recorded. It's a twisted, druggy slice of pop music unlike anything else coming out during the grunge era, so it earns its place in the Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 483

Greg

“You Don't Love Me Yet”The Vulgar Boatmen

Greg takes a trip to the desert island tax shelter this week. Lately, he's been thinking a lot about the rock band The Vulgar Boatmen. The group began in Florida/Indiana in the early 1980s when a University of Florida professor teamed up with one of his former students. They made some cassette-only records before making full albums in 1989 and 1992. The 25th anniversary re-issue of their first album, You and Your Sister, came out a few months ago. Greg started listening to that record again, as well as 1992's Please Panic. The song he chose was a track from their '92 record called "You Don't Love Me Yet." He feels the song exudes all the uncertainty and cautiousness surrounding love and thought it would be the perfect song to hear on the desert island.

Go to episode 541

Jim

Thundercat left a bad taste in Jim's mouth but it did get him thinking about other artists that could be considered alternative hip hop. And the band that came to his mind was one that has never been discussed on Sound Opinions: Arrested Development. The socially conscious hip hop collective garnered huge critical and commercial success with its first album 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of… but never captured that same praise again despite a long recording career. Jim says the message and the melody of the 1992 track Tennessee secures its slot in the Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 589

Jim

“Unknown Legend”Neil Young

The final Desert Island Jukebox pick of the year goes to Mr. DeRogatis. Both Jim and Greg had the pleasure of seeing Neil Young on his recent tour. Jim explains that there has never been a Young misstep live although such is not the case with his recordings. In particular, he was not originally a fan of the 1992 album Harvest Moon. But now he's motivated to give the album and its track "Unknown Legend" a second look. This shift was partly inspired by the use of the song in the new Jonathan Demme film Rachel Getting Married. Lead actor (and TV on the Radio frontman) Tunde Adebimpe sings "Unknown Legend," as part of his character's wedding vows, and Jim came to realize that it's a classic tune in the vein of other Young greats.

Go to episode 161