Results for Bjork

specials

MTV's Silver Anniversary

MTV turns 25 this week. To celebrate (or perhaps mourn), Jim and Greg discuss the station's impact on the music industry. To kick off the dissection, Sound Opinions surveys the opinions of festivalgoers at Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival.

Go to episode 36
reviews
Volta (Deluxe Version)Volta available on iTunes

Björk Volta

Finally, we get to Björk. The reigning Icelandic music queen just released her sixth studio album, Volta. After abandoning her trademark electronic beats for vocals with Medulla, Björk has returned to form and enlisted the help of beat-makers like Timbaland. She is also joined by Antony of Antony and the Johnsons and Malian kora player Toumani Diabate. While listeners hear two of the more upbeat tracks, including the Timbaland produced "Earth Intruders," the rest of the album is more of a mixed bag — a fact that is frustrating to Greg. To him there were great moments, but also abysmal ones. He realizes that Björk is being intentionally political and provocative, but the album as a whole is just too incoherent for her message to be heard. Greg can only give Volta a Burn It rating. Jim can't even agree that Björk is being provocative. To him, the singer is just trying to make us think, "Boy, isn't she weird?" He found himself hating this record, describing it as cold, pretentious and dreadful. Jim not only gives Volta a Trash It rating, but would like to give away the copy he currently has.

JimGreg
Go to episode 75
VulnicuraVulnicura available on iTunes

Björk Vulnicura

After experimenting with various multimedia projects, Icelandic avant-garde powerhouse Björk is once again focused squarely on songwriting. Her new album Vulnicura is a heartbreak album, candidly addressing the end of her relationship with artist Matthew Barney. Greg loves how she finds universal themes within her personal struggles. As always, Björk uses brilliantly unconventional beats, augmented now by beautiful string melodies. Jim misses the poppier vocal style of her early albums, but still finds it her best effort in a decade. Both critics give Vulnicura a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 479
Have You in My WildernessHave You in My Wilderness available on iTunes

Julia Holter Have You in My Wilderness

Avant-garde singer-songwriter Julia Holter returns with her fourth studio album, Have You in My Wilderness. Holter is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who is influenced by both folk and electronic experimental music. Her earlier efforts were more abstract and disjointed, however her latest album takes on a more simple, pop demeanor. Greg really enjoyed this record and found its songs to be intelligently catchy. He really looks forward to hearing where she goes next in her musical career and gives this album a "Buy It." Jim agrees, and finds Have You in My Wilderness to be a pure joy. He appreciates her specific and unique interests in classical, folk and electronic music. Jim also compares her artistry to that of Bjork and gives Holter's album a "Buy It."

JimGreg
Go to episode 536
BiophiliaBiophilia available on iTunes

Björk Biophilia

Björk is always ambitious. And on her latest release Biophilia, she releases her iPad compositions as a full-blown multimedia project with apps and animation. You have to admire it, but the music is something else for Jim and Greg. She employs custom instruments and unconventional rhythms and time-signatures, but nothing comes out very coherent or melodic. It's robotic and lacks emotion, and Jim and Greg say Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 308
dijs

Jim

“It's Oh So Quiet”Björk

Jim has spent the last week looking at images of the volcanic eruption in Iceland and thinking about a way to honor the European nation. Arguably its biggest musical export is Björk. Jim hasn't loved her sparse, robotic sound in recent years, but will always remember songs like "It's Oh So Quiet" fondly. So, he adds his favorite Björk track to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 230
lists

Rock's Best Lead-Off Tracks

This week's show is dedicated to the true rock geeks out there. Continuing in the tradition of "Track 1, Side 1" Jim and Greg take the discussion into the post-vinyl age. What songs best kick-off an album? Here are their picks for the best Lead-Off Tracks of all time:

Go to episode 92

Turkey Shoot 2007

Every Thanksgiving Jim and Greg celebrate by breaking out the double barrel and taking out the year's biggest musical“turkeys”in a Turkey Shoot. These aren't just flops or bad records, but albums Jim and Greg had high hopes for that turned out to be disappointments. Here are this year's birds:

Go to episode 103

Turkey Shoot

Time to round up the turkeys! Jim and Greg name this year's most disappointing albums as part of their Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot. These aren't just bad records, but ones that should have been so much better. Here are the Butterballs and Tofurkeys for 2011:

Go to episode 312
news

Music News

Remember when the recording industry was upset that you could record your music and share it via cassette? Then that technology transitioned to burning CDs. And now some car navigational systems allow drivers to record music from personal CDs in addition to calculating routes, playing DVD's, etc. Well the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies continues to dislike this practice and has launched a suit against General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. Ford, for one, is hoping that the precedent established by the Audio Home Recording Act (Congress' compromise between the record industry and CD burners) will throw this one out of court. But it will be interesting to see how this battle of the Big Guns pans out.

Jim and Greg remember electronic music pioneer Mark Bell who died this week at age 43. Bell first came to prominence as a member of the English group LFO (no, not this LFO). But it's his work with Bjork on albums like Homogenic that we'll really miss.

Go to episode 464

Music News

The Grateful Dead are coming back from…well…the dead. The four surviving original members of the jam band progenitor are reuniting for a series of shows this July at Soldier Field in Chicago. These performances will commemorate their 50th anniversary as a band, as well as the 20th anniversary of leader Jerry Garcia's death. The band claims these will be their final shows together, but Jim and Greg have their doubts.

The buzz is already building for this summer's big music festivals. Major events like Coachella, Bonnarroo, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest are already announcing big name headliners. There seems to be a growing trend of booking veteran performers like Billy Joel and Elton John who could otherwise fill stadium gigs of their own. Greg's early pick is the Governors Ball in New York featuring Björk, while Jim's curiosity is piqued by the avant-garde lineup at Knoxville, Tennessee's Big Ears Festival.

It's one fine day for fans of Mariah Carey. The chart-topping chanteuse will be holding a residency at Caesars Las Vegas beginning in May. She'll perform selections from her many #1 singles to coincide with a new release aptly called #1s. And while it seems like the stuff of sweet, sweet fantasy, Mr. Showmanship himself, Liberace, is also returning to Vegas, despite having died in 1987. Following in the footsteps of Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur, the glittery entertainer will be recreated as a hologram by the company Hologram USA.

liberace

Go to episode 478

Music News

Lady Gaga has cancelled her "Born This Way" tour due to a hip injury. Millions of little monsters will be deprived of 22 national shows. And the Gaga camp might be out $35 million. With all the dancing and acrobatics, it's surprising more pop artists aren't wiped out by injuries which gives Jim and Greg a new appreciation for Tina Turner.

In other concert news, Paul McCartney will be headlining the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. He'll be joined by Mumford and Sons and Tom Petty, but also Wu-Tang Clan and Nas-some surprising additions to the traditionally roots and jam festival. Concertgoers will also be excited to hear about the Firefly Festival's plans for its second year, including theYeah Yeah Yeahs and Kendrick Lamar. Here in Chicago, the Pitchfork Festival has booked Bjork and in perplexing move, controversial hometown artist R. Kelly.

Finally, Jim and Greg bid farewell to songwriter and producer Shadow Morton. He was instrumental in bringing the Shangri-Las to fame with hits like "Leader of the Pack" and "Remember" that compressed teen angst dramas into three-minute pop operas. Shadow also later worked with Janis Ian and The New York Dolls.

Go to episode 378

Music News

While more visual spectacle than musical, the MTV Video Music Awards have come and gone again, and what's most interesting is what didn't happen, rather than what did. And by“what”we mean controvery. After the Parents Television Council urged MTV to avoid a repeat of last year's Miley Cyrus twerk-fest, the watchdog group announced that they were mostly pleased with the more family-friendly content. But, the PTC did express concerns about the way women were portrayed. Guess they missed Sofia Vergara's Emmy posing.

And there were still some naked performances…Deadspin released the isolated vocals from both Taylor Swift and Beyonce's appearances. They added a spectrum analysis layer to show how well each singer stayed on pitch. Beyonce fared better, but Jim can sympethize with Miss Swift; only a capella singers sound great without musicians.

bush

Also making news, music fans around the world are celebrating the comeback of the great British singer Kate Bush. After 35 years being offstage, she received an enthusiastic response after announcing "Before the Dawn," a run of 22 shows, which sold out in 15 minutes! Fans (some say including Madonna, Lily Allen and Bjork) watched as Bush opened the first show at London's Hammersmith Apollo with "Lily," from the 1993 album Red Shoes. Bush says she was encouraged to return to performing by her son, Bertie. The show was incredibly elaborate and theatrical- hopefully not too exhausting for Kate.

We also say welcome back to Prince and his longtime frenemy Warner Bros Records. His Purple Majesty will release two new albums at the end of September, marking the end of one of the longest-running employment disputes in musical history. Prince fell out with the label in the early 1990's, prompting him to change his name to an unpronounceable symbol and appear in public with the word“slave”across his face. Now he plans to release two albums: Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum with his all-female band, 3rd Eye Girl.

Rounding out the news, Jim and Greg discuss the idea of the perfect length for a pop song. Long ago technology dictated the length of a tune. A 78 vinyl record came in two sizes—a 10-inch that held 3 minutes of music and a 12-inch that held 4. Midway through the rock ‘n’ roll era, songs like "Stairway to Heaven" blew out those conventions. And certainly, with the digital music revolution, all bets should be off, right? Not so. Brevity is the soul of Top 40. And a radio station in Calgary, Alberta is taking that philosophy to the extreme. 90.3 AMP is telling listeners they will no get“twice the music.”In fact, they'll hear half a song. The station will be editing its plays in order to keep listeners from getting bored. In effect, this is the 140 character limit of music.

We don‘t endorse this approach, but here’s our own celebration of "Short but Sweet" tracks

Go to episode 457