Results for Brian Eno

interviews

Brian Eno

Frequent Sound Opinions listeners know they can count on one thing: Brian Eno references. In fact some have taken to making it a drinking game. The legendary producer and electronic music pioneer seems to come up no matter what Jim and Greg are talking about. And for good reason-Eno is not just an innovator in the experimental world, but a major pop force as well, first as a member of the new wave band Roxy Music, then as a producer and collaborator with David Byrne and the Talking Heads, John Cale, Devo, U2 and Coldplay. He also composes solo work as well, though whether or not he'll use lyrics, singing or poetry is never known. His last album Drums Between the Bells was inspired by the poetry of Rick Holland. And he has a new EP called Panic of Looking. Brian joins Jim and Greg from England and shares his unique philosophies on writing, recording and the studio as an instrument.

Go to episode 310

Giorgio Moroder

Giorgio Giorgio Moroder is on his 6th musical decade, and he's showing no signs of slowing down. He's a name many will identify with Donna Summer's great hits of the Disco era, as well as solo hits like "From Here to Eternity." In fact, subsequent artists and producers talked about going after that“Moroder beat.”While today we hear the synth-heavy "Love to Love You, Baby" and "I Feel Love," and are immediately taken back to the 1970's, at the time they were the sounds of the future. No less than Brian Eno said just that to David Bowie, one of Giorgio's collaborators on the Cat People soundtrack. Giorgio also composed memorable scores for movies like Scarface and Midnight Express, as well as hit songs like "Flashdance…What a Feeling," "Call Me" and "Take My Breath Away." Recently, he's ad a renaissance of sorts, collaborating with Daft Punk on their Grammy-winning album Random Access Memories. And at 73, he's still appearing at festivals like Ultra Music, Pitchfork and MoogFest.

Go to episode 437

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Jim and Greg sit down with the band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. This East Coast quintet was one of the success stories of 2005. They paid for, produced, and released their self-titled debut album on the ‘net without the help of a record label. Now they’ve sold over 100,000 albums and are selling out shows across the country. Professor Lawrence Lessig, cyberlaw expert and esteemed Sound Opinions guest, cites the band as an example of how people can use the Internet to propel music. A community formed around the band — one that was still willing to pay for their music despite the fact that it was available for free. As Jim points out, this completely contradicts what the RIAA and music industry execs would have you believe.

The lead singer of Clap Your Hands, Alec Ounsworth, is often compared to Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, and this goes beyond just vocal quality. Alec mentions his love of Another Green World by groundbreaking“non-musician”Brian Eno (or Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno as his parents know him). You can hear a lot of the New Wave sound and Eno's philosophy in the band's music, like on the spartan, rhythmic New York sound of "Sombre Reptiles."

The band, which got its name after the members saw“Clap Your Hands Say Yeah”scrawled on a Brooklyn wall, play several songs from their debut album. Jim sees keyboardist Robbie Guertin's parents sitting in the Chicago Public Radio control room and reminisces about when his own mom used to come to see him play at less-than-refined venues like CBGB's. He adds that Joey Ramone's mom also used to carpool him and the rest of the band to their gigs. It seems parental support is crucial to punk rock success.

Go to episode 22

Philip Sherburne

EDM - or Electronic Dance Music - has exploded over the past decade in Europe and the United States. But if names like Skrillex, Tiesto, Deadmau5, and David Guetta mean nothing to you, never fear. Jim and Greg have brought in Spin's Philip Sherburne, author of the“Control Voltage”blog, to offer a primer for the un-initiated. They kick off the conversation with a discussion of the genre's recent evolution: from the short-lived nineties rave scene with its anonymous DJs spinning in dark rooms, to the audio/visual spectacles presided over by celebrity DJs that we see today. A new emphasis on showmanship, and the adoption of dub step's aggressive, bass-heavy beats have won superstar producers like Skrillex, Tiesto, and Rusko a huge, youthful following says Sherburne, effectively making EDM the new stadium rock. But he'd also suggest keeping your eye on the up-and-comers, artists like SBTRKT, Four Tet, and Caribou.

Wrapping things up, Jim and Greg put the new artists we've heard in historical context. After all, as Jim says, covering dance music can give you deja vu. Greg reminds us that todays EDM producers are following in the footsteps of disco artists like Giorgio Moroder, Chicago house and techno musicians, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Fatboy Slim, and - dare we say it - Brian Eno.

Go to episode 341

Bryan Ferry

In his 4 decade long career Bryan Ferry formed the hugely influential band Roxy Music, launched a successful solo career and became a style icon. Now, he's gone "jazz." He joins Jim and Greg to talk about his new album The Jazz Age, which features reinterpretations of his songs in a 1920's big band style. The album reunites Ferry with his Roxy co-founder Brian Eno, and despite previous creative differences, he says Eno pushed him to places he couldn‘t have gone on his own. Plus, Mr. Eno has even stated that the Roxy album released after he left is the band’s best.

Go to episode 395

The Decemberists

When Colin Meloy visited the show last year he promised to bring back his entire band, The Decemberists, next time they were in town. This week he makes good on his word. Meloy, Jenny Conlee, Chris Funk, John Moen and Nate Query join Jim and Greg for a conversation and performance. The band was in Chicago to perform a show and promote their most recent album The Crane Wife. This orchestral pop concept album is harder rocking than previous efforts, much to the delight of Greg, who only recently became a Decemberists‘ convert. Colin explains, "We’re really interested in rocking."

The band came into Chicago only a couple of weeks after the Virginia Tech massacre. Greg asks the band how that had affected their live shows. Colin responds that he was horrified by the incident, and was struck by how the media glommed onto the shooter's“macabre aesthetic.”In this case, these were perhaps warning signs, but Colin hopes people don't become unnecessarily paranoid about young people expressing their dark sides. Greg agrees, saying that art can often be the best way to respond to violence or tragedies.

The night Jim and Greg saw the Decemberists play live, Colin spoke about the Virginia Tech shootings, and the band followed that with a performance of "I'll Come Running," by Brian Eno. Sound Opinions listeners know that Jim has a special place in his heart for Eno, and he appreciated the choice of this song, which is about love and helping a friend. You can hear this song, as well as a rousing rendition of the three-part suite "The Crane Wife" in the course of the interview.

Go to episode 80

John Cale

John Cale is known for many things: co-founding The Velvet Underground, producing major albums for The Stooges and Patti Smith, and doing one of the best covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." So when John Cale was touring in support of his most recent album Black Acetate in 2006, Jim and Greg wanted him to stop by the Sound Opinions studio to be their first guest on public radio. Now almost 100 episodes later, we wanted to revisit that terrific conversation.

During Cale's visit, the three men covered everything from Brian Eno to Lou Reed to Snoop Dogg. And, Cale played two of his songs live: "Set Me Free" and "Gravel Drive," which he names as his favorite track on the record. He explains to Jim and Greg that this song was his way of talking to his daughter about some complicated issues, and why“Dad”sometimes wasn‘t around. Greg notes that despite Cale’s admitted anger, and his undeniable punk rock attitude, a number of the songs on Black Acetate are equally heartfelt and beautiful.

Go to episode 98

Glyn Johns

soundman One day in February 1969, engineer and producer Glyn Johns disembarked a flight from Los Angeles to London. He went straight to a studio to work with the Beatles on what would eventually become Let It Be. That was followed by an all-night session with the Rolling Stones for Let It Bleed. And after that, he rejoined the Beatles and jutted on over to Royal Albert Hall to record Jimi Hendrix live. Just“a day in the life,”eh? Those legendary recordings are just beginning of Johns tremendous list of credits which includes Led Zeppelin, the Faces, the Kinks, The Who, the Eagles and more recently Band of Horses and Ryan Adams. He relays this life spent recording in a new book called Sound Man. And he is as candid in his conversation with Jim and Greg, as he is in print. The aforementioned Let It Be? Johns remarks that Phil Spector“puked”all over it. Of Eric Clapton, Johns admits he initially refused to bring him into a session with Pete Townshend due to his drug-addled personality. And he talks about parting ways with the Eagles after they wanted to go in a more rock ‘n’ roll direction—something Johns says the band wouldn't know if they fell over it.

For more behind-the-booth conversations, check out Jim and Greg's interviews in the Footnotes section with Stephen Street, Butch Vig, Bob Ezrin, Tony Visconti, Mark Howard, Giorgio Moroder, Joe Boyd and of course, Brian Eno.

Go to episode 528
specials

U2's Legacy

U2 recently debuted a song from the forthcoming Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical. Reeve Carney, the actor playing Peter Parker, performed "Boy Falls from the Sky" on Good Morning America. And the Irish rockers played their own version in concert this week. Jim and Greg couldn't help wonder how a bunch of Dublin art-punks became stadium giants and now Broadway darlings.

Jim and Greg discuss U2's unique place in music history. With 12 albums, 22 Grammys and over 150 million records sold, very few rock bands from the '70s and '80s are at their level. And they are still selling out stadiums around the world. But they didn‘t begin on such a large scale. Jim and Greg trace U2’s journey to this blockbuster point and discuss the band's different artistic phases and career highs and lows. They agree that Achtung Baby is U2's masterpiece, and can't stomach some of the righteousness and bombast of records like The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree. But each has a unique favorite. Jim chooses to highlight "An Cat Dubh" from the 1980 album Boy, and Greg plays "Your Blue Room" from the 1995 Brian Eno-produced album Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1.

Go to episode 254

Remembering David Bowie

bowieremembered

Although passing away at the age of 69 seems early by today's standards, it's what music innovator David Bowie did with those 69 years that is significant. Bowie died after an 18-month battle with cancer on January 10th. He was responsible for creating magical personas, from Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to the Thin White Duke. Bowie released more than two-dozen albums exploring the genres of glam rock, dance, electronic and even jazz. Along with many of his solo hits, he participated in many memorable duets alongside artists like Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and Queen. He earned a considerable amount of success in the art world and as an actor in films like Labyrinth and The Prestige. His freedom of expression in his music, art and sexuality opened people's minds and inspired countless artists. David left behind a son (filmmaker Duncan Jones), his wife of 24 years (the supermodel Iman) and their daughter Alexandria. In this show, Jim and Greg discuss David Bowie's legacy and offer highlights from his long career. Producers and long time Bowie collaborators Brian Eno and Tony Visconti also share their memories of the pop chameleon.

If you're still missing David Bowie, take a listen to our Spotify playlist, Sound Opinions' Salute to David Bowie.

Go to episode 529

U2

Jim and Greg recently experienced the launch of U2's new arena tour. While neither believe that music is at its best in a stadium, Greg admits that the band has mastered the art of spectacle. Jim was happy to hear a number of songs from U2's latest album No Line on the Horizon, but wouldn't recommend anyone pay over $200 to see the show.

The concert got our hosts thinking about U2's place in music history. Very few rock bands from the '70s and '80s can still sell out stadiums around the world. But they didn‘t begin at such a large scale. Jim and Greg trace U2’s journey to this blockbuster point and discuss the band's different artistic phases and career highs and lows. They agree that Achtung Baby is U2's masterpiece, and can't stomach some of the righteousness and bombast of records like The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree. But each has a unique favorite. Jim chooses to highlight An Cat Dubh from the 1980 album Boy, and Greg plays "Your Blue Room" from the 1995 Brian Eno produced album Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1.

Go to episode 199

Synth-Pop

Next Jim and Greg embark on one of their trademark genre explorations. They've mentioned the term "Synth-Pop" a lot in the past year. The electronic sound of the 1980's has been heavily influencing a slew of new bands including Passion Pit, MGMT and Phoenix. So where does that synth sound come from? Of course, Jim traces a line directly to Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, but notes that it wasn't until technology became cheap and portable that it really came into the mainstream. He and Greg cite Daniel Miller of The Normal as an example of an artist who really embraced synthesizers and didn't merely use them to replicate other instruments. And acts like the Human League developed the sound further to have more warmth and emotion.

Go to episode 225

The Moog

The Moog company of Asheville, North Carolina recently announced it would end production on its flagship synthesizer, the Minimoog Voyager. That got Jim and Greg to thinking about the incredible influence the Moog synthesizer has had on rock and pop music since it debuted in 1964. Robert Moog's invention has seen a renaissance in the past decade, as acts ranging from M83 to Future Islands to Taylor Swift have taken inspiration from the synthpop sound.

To get some perspective on the Moog's history and legacy, Jim and Greg turn to Brian Kehew, the former official historian for the Bob Moog Foundation. Kehew also co-founded an all-analog band called Moog Cookbook in the '90s and has worked in the studio with Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann and Moog superstars Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In addition to ELP, Kehew points to the following as great synthesizer musicians:

Go to episode 522
reviews
Small Craft On a Milk Sea (Bonus Track Version)Small Craft on a Milk Sea available on iTunes

Brian Eno Small Craft on a Milk Sea

In the Sound Opinions drinking game, "Brian Eno" is the key word. Perhaps no name in rock gets dropped more than the pioneering producer. But, for good reason-especially this week since he has a new album called Small Craft on a Milk Sea. Jim's“hero”has produced albums for the Talking Heads and U2, he's collaborated with John Cale and Robert Fripp, and he's been extremely influential in the worlds of experimental and ambient music. His new album is another instrumental effort. Jim wouldn‘t put it up there with Eno’s best, but thinks it's a big step up from other recent recordings-especially if considered in the ambient context. He gives the record a Buy It rating. Greg heard moments of undeniable beauty, but he wasn't wowed. He says Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 259
The ShipThe Ship available on iTunes

Brian Eno The Ship

If you‘ve ever listened to Sound Opinions, you’ve learned one thing – Jim loves himself some Brian Eno. Eno has worn many hats over his long career, starting as a member of Roxy Music, collaborating with artists like David Bowie, and producing commercial successes for U2, Talking Heads, and Coldplay. His own solo output has varied wildly in style, recording pop albums in the '70s and basically inventing ambient music. His latest work, The Ship, is a concept album about the Titanic and the slaughter of World War I. Greg says Eno is finally merging his pop and ambient music, resulting in one of his best albums yet. He's freed himself from traditional song structures and rhythms to create cinematic images filled with orchestral synthesizer colors. Greg gives it a Buy It, impressed that Eno is still coming up with new ways to express himself. In a shocking turn of events, Jim is less impressed. He thinks that Eno's voice is the strongest tool in his arsenal, yet here he's burying it under the mix and fussing with Vocoders. Jim loves some ambient Eno, but feels he's done it better than on The Ship. But Jim says the doo-wop inflected cover of The Velvet Underground's "I'm Set Free" is amazing, earning The Ship a Try It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 545
SurpriseSurprise available on iTunes

Paul Simon Surprise

Gnarls Barkley is not the only noteworthy collaboration discussed on this week's show — in fact, all of the albums up for review feature artists working with noteworthy producers. For example, singer/songwriter Paul Simon made the interesting decision to work with electronic music pioneer Brian Eno. Eno, who co-founded Roxy Music, has produced for David Bowie, The Talking Heads and U2. While this is an impressive résumé, Jim and Greg explain that Eno was still a surprising choice for Simon. Eno is infamous for dragging musicians out of their comfort zones, and Simon is certainly at a stage in his career where he could remain comfortable if he wanted. The result is literally a Surprise, though not necessarily a success, according to one of our hosts. Jim is fond of both the album's multi-layered, ambient sound and its complicated, occasionally self-deprecating lyrics. He gives it a Buy It. Greg, on the other hand, feels that this was a missed opportunity. He predicts that the two artists“tiptoed”around each other too much. It's a little too gentle, too sleepy, and too stagnant for Mr. Kot, who gives it a Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 23
High LifeSomeday World available on iTunes

Karl Hyde & Brian Eno Someday World


Pop/Rock icon (and enabler of the Sound Opinions drinking game) Brian Eno boasts a tremendous library of groundbreaking work, as well as a long history of rich collaborations, including joint projects with artists such as the Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2, and Coldplay. Most recently, Eno joined forces with electronic Underworlder Karl Hyde. The partnership produced two albums, Someday World and High Life, both released in rapid succession this year. Jim believes the that the two albums must be considered together, with the latter, High life, simply an extension of the first and former Someday World. That one was a“poppier”album, mostly comprised of Eno's previously unfinished pieces bolstered by Hyde's intervention. From Jim's perspective, the duo's attempt to combine Phillip Glass-minimalism with afro-beats is“not the greatest in the world”(a staggering response from the "unofficial president of the Brian Eno fan club). And most importantly it fails to provide Eno fans with what they truly want: more singing Eno. That said, an ever-faithful student, he asserts a Buy It stance for himself and a Try It for the rest of us.

Unlike Jim, Greg argues that these two albums must be viewed as two distinct entities—separate endeavors each with their own merits and shortcomings. Although he dishes out a borderline Trash It rating to the patchwork Someday World, he remarks that“the duo really hit their stride,”with this second, more experimental attempt and gladly jumps on board Jim's Eno train to give High Life a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 450
Drums Between the Bells (Bonus Track Version)Drums Between the Bells available on iTunes

Brian Eno Drums Between the Bells

And now it's time for everyone's favorite Sound Opinions drinking game: How many times can Jim name-drop Brian Eno? But let it be known that these mentions are entirely warranted. Jim's favorite“Super Genius”is out with a new record, Drums Between the Bells, a collaboration with the British poet Rick Holland. Eno has a been a major influence in the music world since the early seventies, first as a member of Roxy Music, then as a solo artist and ambient music innovator, and most recently as a producer for industry powerhouses like U2 and Coldplay. First to the plate to review Drums Between the Bells is Jim, who wants to set the record straight. He's no slavish Eno devotee, though he's championed the artist at his best. Unfortunately Eno's best isn‘t what Jim gets on“Drums.”The album is part ambient music - perfectly fine for what it is, but Jim misses the vocal gravitas that Eno himself might have brought to Holland’s poetry (instead, Eno has regular folks - non-actors and singers - speaking Holland's lines). Jim gives Drums a Burn it. Greg agrees, calling the album's vocals a little too dry. But he was intrigued enough by all the interesting rhythmic work on Drums to give the album a Burn it.

JimGreg
Go to episode 295
Viva la Vida or Death and All His FriendsX&Y available on iTunes

Coldplay X&Y

After months of anticipation and a high profile iTunes publicity campaign Coldplay's new album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends has finally been released. This album follows up three multi-platinum releases, making the band one of the biggest of this century. The Chris Martin-fronted act sought out Brian Eno to take their music to the next level, but neither Jim nor Greg hear anything particularly groundbreaking. In fact, they both think X&Y was a little more radical. Greg appreciates the sound of this record, but wishes Martin had more to say. And, as far as arena rock anthems go, Jim doesn't think anyone does it better these days. But neither critic thinks listeners need to invest money in this album. Viva La Vida gets two Try Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 133
No Line On the Horizon (Deluxe Edition)No Line on the Horizon available on iTunes

U2 No Line on the Horizon

Irish super rockers U2 have a new album out called No Line on the Horizon. It's the band's 12th album, and after a brief stint with producer Rick Rubin, they've returned to working with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. Greg was pleased to hear that after a couple of“U2 by numbers”albums, they‘ve returned to emphasizing sound. They’ve restored the sense of mystery and atmosphere on a handful of tracks. But, Greg wishes the entire album was like that. He doesn't feel they quite pulled it off and gives No Line on the Horizon a Try It. Jim is shocked to hear himself say it, but he disagrees. Bono was wrong to suggest this record is the band's best, but Jim thinks they are definitely still relevant. And he finds the good tracks so extraordinarily good that they overshadow the bum ones. Jim gives the new U2…a Buy It!

JimGreg
Go to episode 170
Everything That Happens Will Happen TodayEverything That Happens Will Happen Today available on iTunes

David Byrne and Brian Eno Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

While Jim and Greg are certainly the top duo in rock and roll, there are some runner ups, including the artists up for review this week. After nearly 30 years, collaborators David Byrne and Brian Eno are back with a new album called Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The musicians first came together when Eno produced some Talking Heads albums, and later they teamed up for My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Now Eno and Byrne have made what they're calling an "electronic gospel" album. Greg thinks they‘ve succeeded. Byrne’s vocals are not traditionally gospel, but have never sounded better. And the subject matter, which is about rising above tough times, certainly hits gospel themes. He gives the album a Buy It. Jim agrees, but doesn‘t want listeners to think that he gives that rating merely because he’s an Eno fan. He didn‘t think their first collaboration was all that successful, but this one is much more enjoyable and more accessible. He wishes Byrne didn’t dominate the singing so much, but also gives Everything That Happens Will Happen Today a Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 144
Mylo XylotoMylo Xyloto available on iTunes

Coldplay Mylo Xyloto

One band that has been working with Brian Eno in recent years is Coldplay. They first linked up for Viva La Vida in 2008. And now Eno has co-written songs for their 5th album Mylo Xyloto. It has already shot to #1, but does it deserve it? Jim compares the band to rice pudding. It's never phenomenal, but sometimes exactly what you want and need. But rice pudding should never be deconstructed or overcomplicated, and perhaps that's where the band went wrong with this release. Eno's presence alone doesn‘t make them any more experimental. And he didn’t do much to improve the inauthentic and melodramatic lyrics. Jim says Trash It. Greg agrees, but admits the Coldplay lyrics game is quite a fun one. He is disappointed by the stale arena rock formula and accuses them of cribbing notes from Bruce Springsteen, or worse The Killers imitating Springsteen. Mylo Xyloto gets a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 310
MicrocastleMicrocastle available on iTunes

Deerhunter Microcastle

Next up Jim and Greg review Deerhunter's third album Microcastle. Jim describes the lead singer Bradford Cox as being obsessed with Brian Eno and My Bloody Valentine, so listeners can imagine they are kindred spirits. Jim thinks these two discs are brilliant and gives them a Buy It rating. Greg agrees that you can hear Cox's love for experimentation in this sound. He didn't hear much expression lyrically, but luckily the sound makes up for it. For sheer ambition alone, Greg gives Microcastle another Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 154
Some Loud ThunderSome Loud Thunder available on iTunes

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Some Loud Thunder

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah also recently released a new album. Some Loud Thunder is the follow-up to their highly successful self-released and self-titled debut. The band has again released the album on their own and is selling it on their website. This time, however, they got help from producer Dave Fridmann, who is responsible for the studio sound of the Flaming Lips. In fact, Jim explains that Fridmann serves as the Brian Eno to the band's Talking Heads, despite protests from fans who shy away from that comparison. Greg agrees that he definitely hears David Byrne's influence on lead singer Alec Ounsworth. And for the most part, that influence agrees with the critics. There are a number of solid songs on Some Loud Thunder. Some are even poppy and danceable. But, the remainder of the album is just plain difficult to listen to. For that reason Jim and Greg can only give a Burn It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 62
Congratulations (Remixes) - EPOracular Spectacular available on iTunes

MGMT Oracular Spectacular

After gaining attention with their 2007 debut Oracular Spectacular, Brooklyn duo MGMT are back with Congratulations. They've expanded their synth pop sound and have looked to Jim's hero Brian Eno for inspiration. So, he wonders why he doesn't like their music more. He finds their vocal style irritating and the subject matter flimsy and can only give Congratulations a Burn It. Greg is impressed with what producer Pete Kember of Spaceman 3 has brought to the table, as well as their darker lyrics and gives the album a Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 230
Codes and Keys (Deluxe)Narrow Stairs available on iTunes

Death Cab for Cutie Narrow Stairs

Death Cab for Cutie also has a new album out called Codes and Keys. It's been only three years since Narrow Stairs in 2008, but lead singer Ben Gibbard has a whole new outlook on life. He's become Mr. Zooey Deschanel, and he's become sober. But Greg insists that the lyrics still express a lot of anxiety, mostly about the idea of“home.”Greg also notes the wonderful sonic experimentation courtesy of band member and producer Chris Walla. In fact, this was their Eno-inspired album, much to Jim's delight. He hears a much happier Gibbard, nothing like the emo-sap that repelled Summer from The O.C. Both critics give Codes and Keys a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 287
In BetweenIn Between available on iTunes

The Feelies In Between

The New Jersey rock band The Feelies has just released their sixth album in four decades called In Between. The group is noted for its cohesion and consistency over its long tenure. Greg thoroughly enjoys this record, and admires The Feelies‘ skill in combining elements of rock with zen and existential messaging ("make a plan, let it be.") He also appreciates the band’s ability to perform as one voice, which speaks to how close these guys are. Greg gives it a Buy It. Jim couldn't agree more, and he expresses his deep admiration and love for The Feelies. He finds this record to be well worth the wait, and praises the group for their combination of the best sounds of The Velvet Underground and Brian Eno (ding!) Without hesitation, Jim gives In Between an enthusiastic Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 588
dijs

Jim

“St. Elmo's Fire”Brian Eno

As discussed earlier, U2, and countless other artists, turn to Brian Eno as a producer. For this week's Desert Island Jukebox pick, Jim wanted to illustrate why. Eno is a magician in the studio. He turns one sound into another and the result is pure joy. You can hear this in Eno's 1975 song "St. Elmo's Fire" from Another Green World.

Go to episode 170

Jim

“Orphans”Teenage Jesus and the Jerks

Jim gets a little edgy when summer begins and things get hot. So this week, he nominates one of the nastiest songs in the history of rock to the Desert Island Jukebox: "Orphans" by Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Fronted by the great Lydia Lunch, the band was part of the "no wave" movement that tossed out the chords and melodicism of earlier punk rockers in favor of pure noise. Teenage Jesus was one of the bands featured in the definitive no wave compilation, 1978's No New York, produced by Brian Eno.“Orphans”features only three lines of lyrics, furious guitar playing, and pounding drums. For Jim, it's the antithesis of a summer song.

Go to episode 603

Jim

“St. Elmo's Fire”Uilab

After hearing the news that fellow music critic Sasha Frere-Jones was stepping down from his post at The New Yorker, Jim was reminded of Frere-Jones's own band Ui. Ui was active throughout the 1990's as part of the so-called "post-rock" scene, experimenting with strange instrumentation including electronics, banjos, tubas, and multiple bass guitars. In 1998, Ui collaborated with another of Jim's favorites, Stereolab, under the moniker Uilab and recorded an EP of deconstructed covers of "St. Elmo's Fire" by (who else?) Brian Eno. The combination of Eno's songwriting, Laetitia Sadier's wonderful vocals, and Ui's trancelike performance add up to a DeRogatis triple threat, making it Jim's Desert Island Jukebox pick of the week.

Go to episode 477
lists

Thick Listening

Greg and Jim expound on Damon's idea by providing some of their favorite examples of tracks that benefit from Thick Listening.

Go to episode 599

Shelved Albums

On this week's show, Jim and Greg stick it to the man — or, more specifically, the record companies. They discuss the phenomenon of major labels pulling the plug on established artists. The most recent victim is Nellie McKay, whose album Pretty Little Head was denied release by Sony Music. McKay wanted to release one version, Sony wanted to release another, and after the“Pretty Little”singer told her label to take it or leave it, they left it. Of course, upon hearing the advance copy, our hosts can't necessarily blame them.

Whether you enjoy the music or not, McKay's situation does pose an interesting question of how much creative control an artist has while under major label contract. In Jim's words:“As long as there have been major labels, there have been executives deciding that they know better than the artist.”What are some of the other lost albums that fell prey to the big bad record company? Jim and Greg list off some of their favorites.

  • Butthole Surfers, After the Astronaut
  • Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  • Brian Eno, My Squelchy Life
  • Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
  • The Velvet Underground, VU
Go to episode 10

Revolver covers

To show the range of influence Revolver has had on the music industry, Jim and Greg commissioned this montage of Beatles covers from this album. Here's a list of the songs you hear:

  • "Taxman" by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • "Eleanor Rigby" by Ray Charles
  • "I'm Only Sleeping" by Rosanne Cash
  • "Love You To" by Bongwater
  • "Here, There and Everywhere" by Emmylou Harris
  • "Yellow Submarine" by Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops
  • "She Said, She Said," by Gov't Mule
  • "Good Day Sunshine," by Jimmy James & the Vagabonds
  • "And Your Bird Can Sing" by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
  • "For No One" by Rickie Lee Jones
  • "Doctor Robert" by Bozo Allegro
  • "I Want to Tell You" by Ted Nugent
  • "Got To Get You Into My Life" by Earth, Wind & Fire
  • "Tomorrow Never Knows" by Brian Eno
Go to episode 117

Revolver covers

To show the range of influence Revolver has had on the music industry, Jim and Greg commissioned this montage of covers from The Beatles' album:

  1. "Taxman" by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  2. "Eleanor Rigby" by Ray Charles
  3. "I'm Only Sleeping" by Rosanne Cash
  4. "Love You To" by Bongwater
  5. "Here, There and Everywhere" by Emmylou Harris
  6. "Yellow Submarine" by Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops
  7. "She Said, She Said," by Gov't Mule
  8. "Good Day Sunshine," by Jimmy James & the Vagabonds
  9. "And Your Bird Can Sing" by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
  10. "For No One" by Rickie Lee Jones
  11. "Doctor Robert" by Bozo Allegro
  12. "I Want to Tell You" by Ted Nugent
  13. "Got To Get You Into My Life" by Earth, Wind & Fire
  14. "Tomorrow Never Knows" by Brian Eno
Go to episode 25
rock doctors

Rachel

Next up Drs. Kot and DeRogatis call another patient in from the waiting room. Rachel from Chicago, IL describes her musical symptoms as that of being stuck in a rut. She explains that she hasn't purchased any music in the past few years, and only listens to albums or mixes that her friends give her. Rachel is eager to improve her musical health though, and is willing to take her medicine — however bad it tastes. In order to steer Jim and Greg in the right direction, Rachel gives her medical/musical history . She counts U2 (during the Joshua Tree-era) and Tom Petty as two of her favorite artists, and explains that she really appreciates melody and lyrics in her music.

Dr. Jim gives the first prescription. He clues into Rachel's heartland rock leanings, but also wants to challenge her more. He decides to give the patient a dose of Wilco. Like '80s-era U2 and Tom Petty, Jeff Tweedy and the members of Wilco are strongly influenced by guitar-based American folk and rock. There is a strong emphasis on lyrics and on telling stories of the American condition. But like U2, who chose to work with avant-garde producer Brian Eno on The Joshua Tree, Wilco can also be very experimental. Jim finds this is especially true of their last album A Ghost is Born.

Dr. Greg is up next. He suspects that one of the things Rachel likes so much about her favorite music is how anthemic it is. Both Bono and Petty are strong frontmen that get a rise out of their audiences. He believes this is also the case with the music of Montreal band The Arcade Fire. In fact, U2 opened up their last tour with a performance of the song "Wake Up" off their debut album Funeral. Again, the Arcade Fire might be a little more stylized than what Rachel is used to, but Greg hopes she will appreciate their epic sound.

A week later, the patient returns. Rachel relays that she is feeling a bit better, but is not totally cured. She realized that some of the Wilco and Arcade Fire songs were actually already in her iTunes collection without her even knowing it. Rachel enjoyed both albums, but not completely from beginning to end. She liked the more anthemic songs on Funeral like "Rebellion (Lies)" and "Crown of Love," but found some of the tracks a little noisy. However nothing was as noisy as Wilco's 15-minute experimental jam "Less Than You Think." But, even Jim and Greg agree that it's OK to skip past that“test”to more traditional pop/rock compositions like "Theologians" and "The Late Greats." Rachel doesn‘t think she’s replaced her favorite standards, but looks forward to keeping up with these two bands and getting more new music like… The Shins (up next in the show).

Go to episode 61
news

Music News

It's no secret that Lil Wayne and his label, Cash Money, are not the best of friends these days. In fact, Cash Money boss Birdman and rapper Young Thug were recently named in an indictment for the attempted murder of Lil Wayne back in April during Wayne's tour in Atlanta. While Thug's manager Jimmy Winfrey was the only person charged with the shooting itself, the incident is yet another installment in the decade old conflict between Weezy and his label. To add to the drama, Wayne sued Cash Money earlier this year for $51 million over losses from the recorded but unreleased Carter V album. Instead of settling the suit, Cash Money has responded with its own $50 million suit against Jay Z's Tidal streaming service. Wayne's The Free Weezy Album was released earlier this summer as a Tidal exclusive, and Cash Money claims that Jay Z is using the profits in a“desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service.”

German/Swiss electronic musician Dieter Moebius has passed away at the age of 71. The Krautrock experimentalist had a prolific career, releasing a total of 17 albums credited to his name in one way or another. Moebius is best known for his work with Harmonia and Cluster, his collaboration with Jim's old friend Brian Eno. The musician's passing was confirmed by bandmates Michael Rother (of Harmonia and Neu!) and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of both Harmonia and Cluster) on their personal Facebook pages. Eno once called Harmonia“the world's most important rock band,”and Jim agrees that the band has influenced the work of many modern rock artists. Jim plays "Dino" by Harmonia to honor the great electronic pioneer's legacy.

Go to episode 504

Music News

Michael Phelps The Olympics are in full swing in Rio, and already they're providing plenty of drama, spectacle, and frivolity. Everybody's chatting about the ubiquitous practice of "cupping" among Olympians, as well as the angry game face of superhuman swimmer Michael Phelps as he listens to music in preparation for a race. Jim and Greg look at some of Team USA's favorite songs to get them psyched for competition, and then they share their own picks. Greg would get pumped up by the glorious imperfections of "A Great Divide" by former Sound Opinions guests Parts & Labor. Jim, however, takes a different approach, preferring to center himself with Thursday Afternoon, a 60-minute ambient composition by Brian Eno (ding!).

Go to episode 559

Music News

After being heralded as the next wave of music retail, Starbucks' Hear Music label is folding and moving its artists to Concord Music. Apparently Starbucks has realized that physical music sales is not an easy business. And now artists like Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Sia won't be able to depend on the coffee chain for their…um…buzz.

Jim and Greg's next news item concerns one of the biggest selling bands of all time: Coldplay. But this time, the British pop group is making headlines for making absolutely no money at all. The Chris Martin-fronted band released their new single "Violet Hill" as a free download earlier this week, and so far their strategy is a success. Within a day over 600,000 people downloaded the song the song for free. Jim and Greg will review the Brian Eno-produced album when it comes out in June, but right now they're more interested in this promotional plan. In the music industry's new era, even a band as established as Coldplay has to shake up the formula to get and keep fans.

Go to episode 127