Results for Lester Bangs

specials

Buried Treasures

After three months of "Call Me Maybe" and "Somebody That I Used to Know" playing non-stop on commercial radio, Jim and Greg figure Sound Opinions listeners are due for an aural cleansing. This week, they dip into the wealth of great new music beyond the FM dial and play you some Buried Treasures. These artists might not be household names, but they're definitely worth adding to your collection.

Go to episode 355
reviews
St. ElsewhereSt. Elsewhere available on iTunes

Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere

St. Elsewhere is the debut album from Gnarls Barkley, the imaginary front-person for a project helmed by vocalist and rapper Cee-Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse. Gnarls describes himself as the pen pal of long-deceased rock critic Lester Bangs, soul singer Isaac Hayes, and Violent Femmes singer Gordon Gano. He also claims to be the lover of both Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey and the man who taught Kraftwerk English. Most importantly, though, he has become a British phenomenon. The first single, "Crazy," went to number one on the UK singles chart after simply being released as a download, and Jim and Greg hope that the hype can be sustained stateside. Both critics love the combination of Cee-Lo's half-preacher, half-freak vocal style and DJ Danger Mouse's eclectic production choices. St. Elsewhere gets a double Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 23
dijs

Jim

“It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”R.E.M.

In true rock and roll style, Jim makes a cheeky Desert Island Jukebox pick this week. As discussed above, this week marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Many people would have gone with a solemn, or even political track — but, as listeners know, Jim is not many people, and he can't resist choosing R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." Jim likens the Dadaist song to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," a similar surreal expression of social discontent. The song comes from R.E.M.'s pre-major label era, which Jim believes is their best time period. He also offers bit of insight into one of the song's most famous lines: "Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs. Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom!" Jim wrote the biography of rock critic Lester Bangs, and learned that this line was written after Michael Stipe and Peter Buck attended Bangs' birthday party. Hungry and poor, the young band members were hoping to get a meal out of the event, but were only offered birthday cake and jelly beans. Then an over-served Bangs insulted his fan Stipe and started a food fight. Make sense now?

Go to episode 40
news

Music News

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment last Sunday morning. While Hoffman, 46, was known for dozens of lead roles, Jim had a special connection to his portrayal of rock critic Lester Bangs in the 2000 Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous. Jim—who, as a fledgling 17-year-old rock critic, had interviewed Bangs in 1982—completed his biography of Bangs around the time that the movie came out. In an interview for the book, Crowe recounted how Hoffman, to get into character, would walk the streets of San Diego listening to young Jim's conversation with the larger-than-life Bangs. As Jim says, there was a lot of rock n‘ roll in Hoffman’s soul. He'll be missed.

Go to episode 428