Results for classic rock

interviews

Against Me!

The punk band Against Me! formed in Gainesville, FL in 1997 by then lead singer Thomas Gabel and guitarist James Bowman. The band took the aesthetics and ideals of punk rock and filtered them through the lens of classic rock, indie rock and folk to create a sound all their own. Against Me! landed a major label deal with Sire Records but then things began to change. They were dropped by Sire, the band began to break apart and Thomas Gabel began a gender transition to Laura Jane Grace. Laura Jane has documented her transition in the band's 2014 critically lauded album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. She and the group sat down with Jim and Greg late last year to discuss the evolution of her personal and musical life. The band also played songs from their 2014 record, to which Jim and Greg both gave a Buy It rating.

Go to episode 493
specials

Remembering Tom Petty

Tom Petty

Through four decades of success, Tom Petty entertained audiences around the world. Jim and Greg now pay tribute to a man who defined classic rock. Petty died at age 66 after suffering cardiac arrest in his Malibu home. Throughout the show, Jim and Greg play excerpts from an exclusive Sound Opinions interview with Tom Petty from 2003.

In the interview, Tom Petty discusses meeting Elvis Presley as a child in Florida and falling in love with rock ‘n’ roll. He also reminisces about hanging out with Bob Dylan and George Harrison, his idols and future bandmates in Traveling Wilburys. Jim and Greg make a case for Petty's underrated songwriting abilities and share some of their favorite of his songs. Plus, we hear from recent Sound Opinions guest Benmont Tench, founding keyboardist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, about hearing "American Girl" for the very first time.

Go to episode 619
classic album dissections
Rust Never SleepsRust Never Sleeps available on iTunes

Neil Young Rust Never Sleeps

For our 300th episode, Jim and Greg wanted to do a Classic Album Dissection of one of their favorite records of all time: Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young. The 1979 release was mostly recorded live during Young's 1978 tour, save some overdubs. As Jim and Greg discuss, it was in large part a response to the emerging punk music. How does a classic rocker from the '60s grow and evolve? This is how. As Young sings in "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)," "It's better to burn out, than to fade away."

That song bookends the album, with the middle tracks broken into an acoustic section and an electric one. Jim remarks how brave it was for Young to come out with nothing but an acoustic guitar. He particularly loves the song "Pocahontas," which makes reference to the Native American icon in addition to the Hollywood icon Marlon Brando. Greg chooses to highlight the hard-stomping electric "Powderfinger," which attempts to reconcile America's complicated identity.

Go to episode 300
reviews
Broken Boy SoldiersBroken Boy Soldiers available on iTunes

The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers

The next album up for review is Broken Boy Soldiers by The Raconteurs. The Raconteurs is a side-project for Jack White of The White Stripes. He is joined by power popster (and fellow Michigan native) Brendan Benson as well as members of garage band The Greenhornes. This marks a bit of a departure for White, who favors a much more minimalist approach with the White Stripes, and Greg is not entirely impressed. He feels that too much of the record is merely a classic rock imitation. Greg suspects that White ceded too much power to Brendan Benson, and wishes that he made more innovative musical choices, as he did on the album he produced for country star Loretta Lynn. Broken Boy Soldiers gets a Burn It from this critic. Jim, however, cannot stop listening to The Raconteurs, and for him that's all that matters. Rock and roll has never been about originality, and according to Jim, every song is catchy and energetic. Jim would Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 25
Once More 'Round the SunOnce More 'Round the Sun available on iTunes

Mastodon Once More 'Round the Sun

At the peak of its popularity, the Atlanta metal band Mastodon has just released its sixth album Once More 'Round the Sun. The band is favored by hardcore and mainstream fans alike, with its melding of influences including progressive rock, classic rock and classic metal. Jim thinks the success streak continues with Once More 'Round the Sun because the hooks and riffs are prominent and irresistible. He gives the album a Buy It rating. While still a Mastodon fan, Greg, wonders if the band has watered down its approach in order to read a mass audience. He likes the Once More, but misses the inventiveness and cohesiveness of the previous 5 albums. Greg says Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 449
dijs

Jim

“One for the Vine”Genesis

A couple of classic rock reunions made the news recently. First was Black Sabbath sans Ozzy Osbourne. The second was Genesis sans Peter Gabriel. Jim is a self-professed "prog rock nerd" and wanted to use his turn at the Desert Island Jukebox as an opportunity to defend Genesis, even in the days after Gabriel (and according to some, the band's credibility) left. He goes with "One for the Vine," which our host explains may have been written by Tony Banks as a companion to "Salsbury Hill," which was written by Gabriel, his friend and former bandmate. Jim believes the song is about a messianic leader who brings his people into a war fought in his name, and then gets pulled up into heaven… or something like that. Regardless of the content, Jim thinks it's a beautiful song. Greg scoffs, but you be the judge.

Go to episode 49

Jim

“I Try”Macy Gray

With a main course of Ramones and a side of Tom Petty, Jim has had his fill of boomer classic rock for this episode. So, for dessert, he offers up Macy Gray as a Desert Island Jukebox selection. And he'd encourage any eye-rollers to remember how great her debut album was in 1999. Most memorable of all from On How Life Is, is "I Try," one of the best songs of the '90s. Here's hoping her forthcoming release in harkens back to these good 'ol days.

Go to episode 453

Greg

“Sister Surround”The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Riding a wave of nostalgia for the early 2000s, Greg washed up onto the shores of the dessert island in search of a fix for his Scandinavian garage rock craving. While bands like The Helicopters and The Hives can sometimes do the trick, Greg turns to his favorite Scandinavian invaders: The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Led by Scott Lundeberg, these Swedish music mavericks culled their favorite elements of the classic rock, post punk, and grunge to create a distinct sound from“the best of the best.”Greg plays the track "Sister Surround" from their third album Behind the Music.

Go to episode 457
rock doctors

Sandy

Once again, it's time for the Rock Doctors to put on their white coats and stethoscopes. During this appointment, Jim and Greg attempt to mend a broken heart with some great new tunes. Their patient is Sandy from Chicago. She's recently divorced after 17 years of marriage. She wrote Sound Opinions saying it“was an eye-opening and heartbreaking experience.”Sandy is now in her early 50s and feels like she“lost or squandered her youth.”The doctors' job is to help her awaken her musical self.

Sandy was completely open to new genres of music but tends to favor classic rock. Some of her favorite artists include Led Zeppelin, Heart and Van Halen, however she also enjoys more eclectic artists like St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs. While she is a consultant by day, she has a background in acting and singing opera. Sandy is looking for music that will make her feel a sense of exhilaration like she does when she's performing and making art.

Jim's prescription is the album Show Us Your Mind from Portland's Summer Cannibals, while Greg recommended Fantasies by Canadian rock band Metric. During their follow-up appointment, Sandy shared that she really enjoyed both records. She liked the strong voices of the female lead singers as well as the instrumentation. Greg and Jim decide that Sandy might be the nicest patient the Rock Doctors have ever treated and are glad to have helped her.

Do you need to see the Rock Doctors? Or know someone who does? Fill out new patient form and send to interact@soundopinions.org.

Go to episode 484

Mag & Patrick

Jim and Greg know that not everyone can spend all their waking hours studying and discovering music. So as The Rock Doctors, they can help listeners ailing in the music department. This week's patients are Mag and Patrick, a young couple from Brooklyn. This is Jim and Greg's first stab at couple's therapy, and their task is to find music both Mag and Patrick can enjoy. Mag favors classic rock, while Patrick is a huge fan of Dave Matthews Band and Green Day.

Jim is interested in finding a Green Day equivalent that Mag can stomach. He recommends Texas punk band The Marked Men. Greg's prescription, Blitzen Trapper, has bluesy classic rock elements that Mag loves, as well as the strong lyrics Patrick appreciates.

Both patients diligently take their course of pills and report back a week later. Both Mag and Patrick absolutely loved the Blitzen Trapper. Mag was less high on The Marked Men, but says she‘d be willing to listen again as long as it was with Patrick. It sounds like the healing has begun, and that’s all the Doctors can ask for.

Go to episode 172

Family Practice

Time now for The Rock Doctors to open up the clinic. Every so often Jim and Greg like to give back, so to speak, and help some listeners with an ailment of a musical variety. Whether someone is allergic to hip hop or addicted to jam bands, our hosts hope they can provide the right musical prescription. Heck, they've even taken an appointment with Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman.

Before they get to their main appointment of the episode, they run over to the emergency room to take a call from Anne in Philadelphia. Anne is getting married next month and has been racking her brain to come up with a good song for the“Father/Daughter”dance. Problem is, Dad is something of a music expert who likes to dig deep for his wedding selections. But songs like Leadbelly's "Ain't It A Shame" don‘t hit the right emotional chord (and aren’t exactly crowd pleasers).

So, Anne wants to know what Drs. Kot and DeRogatis would recommend? Greg goes first, suggesting "The Way You Look Tonight." Sure, this Oscar-winner could be an obvious choice, but it's the lesser-known version by The Jaguars that Greg prescribes. Jim takes a cue from one of rock's best Dads, Loudon Wainwright III (father to Martha and Rufus and Marshall). His song "Daughter" has the perfect mix of humor and sentimentality.

Jim and Greg call their next two patients in from the waiting room. Doug and Susan have been happily married for 18 years. But they've never been able to get along…musically. Doug is a Presbyterian minister with an indie rock past who remains as passionate as ever about music. He loves jangly pop and expansive Spector-esque production, but doesn't give a lick about lyrics. Susan, he tells our nurse, is stuck in "Classic Rock Hell and '70s Rock Purgatory." She still favors FM rock like Jimmy Buffett and Little Feat, and has little tolerance for Doug's“trash can music”and fondness for“whiny broads.”So the doctors are tasked with finding this couple something new they can listen to together.

Jim begins by recommending a dose of the California quartet Delta Spirit. He couldn‘t resist prescribing Susan a band that actually uses trash cans, but more he thinks the couple will appreciate the group’s emotional and spiritual lyrics. Greg prescribes Arrow by Heartless Bastards. On their 4th release the Ohio group finally has the songs to match the intensity of Erika Wennerstrom's vocals. And they reference much of the classic rock and soul that Susan favors.

So how did the medicine go down? Doug gives a Buy It to Delta Spirit, noting that Matthew Vasquez can really sing. Susan still just hears this as something up Doug's alley. Doug also appreciated Heartless Bastards, but despite Wennerstrom's singing style, not because of it. He's curious to see the band live, but didn‘t fall in love with the record. Susan liked the direction Greg went in more, but again, didn’t find a winner in Heartless Bastards. But both husband and wife enjoyed the process of listening to and critiquing music…and that's all the Doctors can really ask for!

Do you need to consult with the Rock Doctors? Or know someone who does? Fill out a patient form and send it to interact@soundopinions.org.

Go to episode 335
news

Music News

who-tour The big summer concert season is getting underway, and many fans have their sights set on big ticket tours to see their favorite classic rockers. But, Jim and Greg wonder if they are really getting the full band experience? The Who, for example, just kicked off their 2015 tour and are likely to rake in the bucks despite being at half capacity. Drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle have passed away, so the answer to“Who are The Who?” is merely Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. That duo brought in $13 million during their 2012-13 tour, far more than Pete or Roger could do solo. So, for incomplete acts like The Who, AC/DC, Smashing Pumpkins and Queen, Jim and Greg suspect the brand is more important than the band.

Go to episode 492

Music News

The first story in the news this week involves that age-old practice of“pay-for-play,”or payola, in the music industry. In recent years, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been investigating major record labels like Sony and Warner who engaged in this practice. But now, the FCC has joined the battle against this unethical behavior by launching an investigation of the four major radio corporations: Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting and Entercom Communications. The FCC's enforcement unit is looking into accusations that broadcasters illegally accepted cash or other compensation in exchange for airplay of specific songs without telling listeners. As per usual, the federal government is late to the game — but this investigation is admittance of a problem. And as we all know, that's the first step.

Also making news recently are some major acts from the early 1990s. It seems that people are already nostalgic for the music of the alternative era, and many of the surviving bands are cashing in on it. Alice in Chains announced tour dates for this summer, despite the fact that their original lead singer, Layne Staley, died of a drug overdose in 2002. Like the members of Queen and The Doors, the surviving Alice in Chains bandmates don't seem fazed by this loss, and will continue with the addition of Guns 'N Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Comes With the Fall vocalist William DuVall. Former Jane's Addiction members Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins will also tour this summer under the name Panic Channel, though their lead singer has not passed on. Rather, he's now the impresario of what may prove this summer's big moneymaker: Lollapalooza.

In the typical fashion, Neil Young is stirring up some controversy. The prolific rocker finished recording music for an upcoming album mere days ago and will have it in stores within a couple of weeks. Young is just coming off his last release, Prairie Wind (featured in Jonathan Demme's recent concert film), but on Living With War, he will shift gears completely. According to Greg, this release is a completely political, guerilla-style protest album. Young wrote and recorded songs like "Let's Impeach the President," in just one day in response to the current administration and its failed war in Iraq. Jim points out that Young works well in this situation. Less than two weeks after the Kent State shootings in 1970, Young was inspired to write "Ohio," and it was on the radio within a week. Almost 40 years later, the classic rock icon shows no sign of slowing down — neither his writing, nor his politics.

Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins are also in the headlines again. Nirvana widow Courtney Love sold 25% of her share of the band's publishing rights to Larry Mestel, a former executive at Virgin Music. She reportedly received over 50 million dollars for this settlement. That should help alleviate Love's financial woes, though not necessarily the woes of Nirvana fans who worry that Cobain's legacy will be boiled down to Teen Spirit ads. Smashing Pumpkins fans are also a bit curious about the fate of that band. Lead singer (and Love ex) Billy Corgan has stated that the Chicago group will reunite, but no one is quite sure in what incarnation. That really just leaves Pearl Jam, who you'll hear about later in the show.

Go to episode 22