Results for Franz Ferdinand

interviews

Franz Ferdinand

Next up Jim and Greg are joined by Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy from the band Franz Ferdinand. Many people will be familiar with the Scots' 2004 hit "Take Me Out," but they've since gone on to do two more albums. Their most recent, Tonight, shows the band experimenting more. As Alex explains, they like to keep fans surprised — whether it's with a lengthy house track, unique sense of style or even a live acoustic performance of the songs "Katherine Kiss Me," "Darts of Pleasure," and "Walk Away." Alex further confounded expectations by taking a turn as a food author with his 2006 road food memoir Sound Bites: Eating on Tour with Franz Ferdinand.

Go to episode 181

Gang of Four

When your musical heroes have their own musical heroes, you know it's worth checking out. And one name that always gets checked by everyone from Franz Ferdinand to REM is Gang of Four. The British band debuted in 1979 with Entertainment!, an album that showcased Andy Gill's unorthodox guitar style, Jon King's smart lyrics, and a whole lot of danceable groove. The band is still going strong on its latest release Content, and Jon and Andy sat down with Jim and Greg while they were on tour.

Go to episode 274

Robert Wyatt

Jim and Greg are joined by Robert Wyatt in the next segment. While he may not be a household name, Wyatt is one of the most influential musicians of the rock era. As a drummer with 1960s group Soft Machine, Wyatt reinvented prog rock, and was a pioneer of jazz-rock fusion. He was later ousted from Soft Machine, and in 1973 a terrible fall rendered him a paraplegic. But, as his interview with Jim and Greg reveals, Wyatt never ceased to be an innovator. Jim explains that Wyatt's been having a career resurgence in recent years. He was not only up for the prestigious Mercury Prize in England in 2003, but he is releasing a new album, Comicopera, on Domino Records, the label that is also home to Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys.

Greg begins by asking Wyatt about his appeal to a younger generation of musicians, including Thom Yorke and Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip. Wyatt can‘t explain this phenomenon, but he imagines that people respect how he does his own thing and makes music for music’s sake. It's inspirational for young musicians to see that you can maintain artistic integrity and, at the same time, longevity.

Wyatt formed the Soft Machine with three other schoolmates, and he never imagined that they'd eventually be opening up for Jimi Hendrix on his 1968 tour. The music of that time influenced his politics as well as his sound. But while contemporaries like The Rolling Stones looked to the blues, Wyatt and the Soft Machine looked to jazz. After his accident, though, Wyatt was forced to approach drumming differently than other jazz musicians. By eliminating the element of acrobatic virtuosity that jazz drummers often focus on, Wyatt was free to focus on the beats and the sounds. But, listeners shouldn‘t confuse Wyatt’s experimentalism with an anti-pop attitude. He says, "Pop music is the folk music of the post-industrial era, and folk music is the most important music in the world."

Go to episode 100
specials

Desert Island Jukebox

Frequently at the end of Sound Opinions, Jim and Greg add songs to the Desert Island Jukebox. This jukebox is filled with tracks that Jim and Greg would take with them if stranded on a desert island. They‘ve posed this same age-old rock question to many of their guests. In this episode you’ll hear the music that these artists say they can't live without:

  • Saul Williams: James Brown, Live at the Olympia
  • Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand: Leonard Cohen, The Songs of Leonard Cohen
  • Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand: Neil Young, "Ohio"
  • Peaches: Prince, Purple Rain
  • Laurent Brancowitz of Phoenix: Serge Gainsbourg, Histoire de Melody Nelson
  • Thomas Mars of Phoenix: D'Angelo, Voodoo
  • Craig Finn of The Hold Steady: The Replacements, "I Will Dare"
  • Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady: Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti
  • Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady: American Music Club, Mercury
  • Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit: The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
  • Grant Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit: Bob Dylan, Planet Waves
  • Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips: John Lennon, "(Just Like) Starting Over"
Go to episode 213
reviews
Tonight: Franz FerdinandTonight: Franz Ferdinand available on iTunes

Franz Ferdinand Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Scottish indie rockers Franz Ferdinand have a new album out called Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. It's the third release for the New-New Wave band, and after a terrific debut, and a so-so follow-up, Jim and Greg were eager to see what the quartet had to offer. Greg hears a reconfiguration of their original sound. The dance element is more up front, making the rhythm section the most important one. Greg keeps waiting for lead singer Alex Kapranos to step up to the Bryan Ferry level, and until he does Greg gives Tonight: Franz Ferdinand a Try It. Jim doesn‘t think it’s fair to compare any mere mortal to Bryan Ferry and thinks Kapranos does a terrific job. He calls the group's routine“winning”and gives this album a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 164
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (Deluxe Edition)Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action available on iTunes

Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

It has been four years since the Scottish quartet Franz Ferdinand released an album. But, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action picks up where the band left off—smart, tongue-in-cheek wordplay meets catchy hooks and dance beats. The album is not as strong as the band's debut, according to Greg, so he goes with a Burn It rating. Jim thinks he's being stingy. He loves this new-millennial Roxy Music and says Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 410
Favourite Worst NightmareWhatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not available on iTunes

The Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

The Arctic Monkeys is one of the biggest success stories of recent years. The English group's debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, was the fastest selling album in U.K. history. Their U.S. sales were not as strong, but people were still anxious to hear what the group would do for its sophomore act. In fact, they face the same scrutiny that hot debut bands like Franz Ferdinand and The Strokes had to overcome. Neither Jim nor Greg think that their new album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, will be any more successful stateside than the last, but both urge listeners to give it a listen. Greg compares lead singer and chief songwriter Alex Turner to some of the best British wits including Ray Davies and Damon Albarn, and likens his songs to short stories. Jim agrees, calling Turner an astute social critic. The Arctic Monkeys may not be the phenomenon it once was, but Favourite Worst Nightmare gets two Buy Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 75
album art

Test Icicles For Screening Purposes Only

For Screening Purposes Only by Test Icicles is the next album up for review. This UK trio joined the Domino family along with successful acts like Franz Ferdinand, Clinic, Sons and Daughters and the most recent hype, The Arctic Monkeys. Many of these acts are considered the "New Wave of New Wave" — yet Test Icicles seem to be derivative of a slightly later period. For Greg, it's too much of a good thing. For Jim, though, it's too much of everything. For Screening Purposes Only gets a "Burn It" from Greg and a "Trash It" from Jim.

JimGreg
Go to episode 9
This GiftThis Gift available on iTunes

Sons and Daughters This Gift

Next up is This Gift, the second full-length album from Sons and Daughters. The Scottish quartet first gained attention after opening up for fellow Domino artists Franz Ferdinand. Now, with the help of producer Bernard Butler, they've really come into their own. Singer Adele Bethel has been moved into the position of front woman, and the updated roots sound, influenced by X, has a more pop sensibility. Jim and Greg agree that each track is a hook-filled winner. They give This Gift two Buy Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 118
The RedwallsThe Redwalls available on iTunes

The Redwalls The Redwalls

Next up is The Redwalls' self-titled album. The band has a quintessential rock and roll story: Band covers Beatles, Band gets signed to a major, Band tours the world, Band burns out. But, after being dropped by Capitol Records for insufficient sales, they didn't become disillusioned enough to scrap the dream. The Chicago natives packed up to record with Swedish producer Toré Johanssen, who has worked with Franz Ferdinand and The Cardigans. Greg thinks they outdid themselves with this effort. He explains that they stepped it up a notch lyrically, and he loves what Johanssen did with the arrangements. Jim agrees that the sound has been sharpened, and hears a more mature side of the men. Despite the fact that they aren't many years out, they can look back at their teens with some wisdom and humor. That gives The Redwalls a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 101
dijs

Greg

“Moody”ESG

This week it is Greg's turn to choose a song for the Desert Island Jukebox. He goes back to the late '70s and early '80s, the era when rock and dance music merged. This period has been referenced a lot during discussions of contemporary bands like Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem. For his pick, Greg goes to one of the sources—ESG. This South Bronx group made up of four sisters worked with Martin Hannett, best known as the producer of Joy Division. While not skilled musicians, the Scroggins Sisters had a unique sound that greatly influenced house and post-punk bands. Their track "UFO" is actually one of the most heavily sampled songs in music history. But for his DIJ, Greg chooses to play "Moody," which is both atmospheric and danceable. Listen for the conga solo by the sisters' friend Tito.

Go to episode 7
lists

Buried Treasures

This week, Jim and Greg have some Buried Treasures to unearth. This is one of their favorite shows, in which they dig deep for musical gems that you may not have heard, but certainly should. This time around the booty includes:

  1. Franz Ferdinand & Jane Birkin, Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited
  2. Midlake, Bamnan & Slivercork
  3. Joan Jett, Sinner
  4. Parts & Labor, Stay Afraid
  5. tapes 'n tapes, The Loon
  6. Eleventh Dream Day, Zeroes and Ones
  7. Goldstars, Purple Girlfriend
  8. Calexico, Garden Ruin
  9. Rainer Maria, Catasrophe Keeps Us Together
  10. Tom Verlaine, Around

We also heard some Buried Treasure picks from callers. These listeners recommend you check out the following:

  1. Apostle of Hustle, Folkloric Feel
  2. Richard Hawley, Coles Corner
  3. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, The Dust of Retreat
  4. The Living Things, Ahead of the Lions
  5. Guillemots, Trains to Brazil
Go to episode 28

The Best of 2009… So Far

Lists are just too much fun to do them only once a year. Here are Jim and Greg's mid-year best album lists.

Greg

  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night
  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz

Jim

  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's You
  • Morrissey, Years of Refusal
  • Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  • PJ Harvey and John Parish, A Woman a Man Walked By
  • Moby, Wait for Me
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz
  • Passion Pit, Manners
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Metric, Fantasies
  • K'Naan, Troubadour
  • Cursive, Mama, I'm Swollen
  • Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
  • Leonard Cohen, Live in London
  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Sonic Youth, The Eternal
  • U2, No Line on the Horizon
  • Wilco, Wilco
  • The Handsome Family, Honey Moon
  • Art Brut, Art Brut vs. Satan
  • Peaches, I Feel Cream
  • Screaming Females, Power Move
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst

A message from Jim: The following, LISTED IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, is my tally of albums mid-year in 2009 that have all warranted 3.5 stars or more on the Chicago Sun-Times‘ 4-star ratings scale (making them all very enthusiastic“buy its”on the“Sound Opinions”scale). I will mention that these are in no particular order (sorry, but that’s reserved for the year-end list), that this list is not all-inclusive (I will no doubt catch up with quite a few discs released earlier in the year by the time I tally the year-end list) and, also, because this always confuses people, THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Yet. But they're all really, really, really good albums.

Go to episode 190

The Best Songs of 2013 - Mixtapes

We‘ve said goodbye to 2013, and now we want to salute the tunes that wowed us. There’s no better way than with a personal mixtape from Jim and Greg to you.

Go to episode 423
news

Music News

This week everyone is talking about music from across the pond. That'd be The Beatles, of course. But, another British artist is also making headlines. UK rapper Speech Debelle has just been named the winner of the prestigious Mercury Prize after only selling 3,000 copies in her home country. As Jim and Greg explain, this is quite a contrast from the highly commercial acts rewarded by The Grammys. Speech Debelle is certain to see a sales boost after winning this prize, however it's uncertain whether she'll follow suit of past winners like PJ Harvey and Franz Ferdinand, or less successful ones like Roni Size who amazingly beat Radiohead.

Go to episode 198

Music News

While Taylor Swift fans may think she made history way back in 1989 by simply being born, the charts will remember Swift for the year 2014, as it marks the first time in twelve years that an artist's album has sold more than one million copies in its debut week. This feat, achieved by Swift's fifth studio album 1989, is no small one given our age of streaming music services and record leaks. That's why the secret to Swift's physical album sales success might just be her recent decision to pull all her music off of streaming music supergiant Spotify. Swift now joins a growing chorus of musicians like Radiohead's Thom Yorke who reject Spotify's business model, one that only pays artists a fraction of a penny for each stream of their songs. Spotify, of course, defends its model, but Swift stands by her assertion that music is art, art is valuable and therefore it should be paid for. And yes, by art she means "Shake It Off."

On the opposite end of the commercial spectrum from superstar Taylor Swift is the self-described “Liberian/Nigerian/Scottish psychedelic hip-hop electro boy band,” Young Fathers. Despite the alternative hip-hop group's relative obscurity, its album, Dead, just won the UK's Mercury Prize, an annual honor given to the best British or Irish album of the year. The win was an upset for more buzzed about artists like FKA Twigs and Damon Albarn, and many criticize the award for favoring obscure bands that are never heard from again. To be fair, well-known and still active acts like PJ Harvey, Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys have taken the prize home in the past, but whether Young Fathers have staying power or not remains to be seen.

Go to episode 467