Results for Liz Phair

interviews

Roger Ebert

Film critic Roger Ebert joins Jim and Greg this week. The three critics sit down to discuss some of their favorite movies made about music. Roger has called Woodstock the greatest rock documentary ever made. In fact, he thinks it's just one of the best movies ever made. He also recommends Hard Day's Night and Gimme Shelter. One movie Roger didn't love was Martin Scorcese's film Don't Look Back. In Roger's original review, he took Bob Dylan to task for being kind of a jerk (though he reconsidered the movie years later).

One of Jim and Greg's favorite rock and roll movies was actually written by Roger Ebert himself. He wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with Russ Meyer. The movie was quite successful and eventually became a cult classic, particularly in the rock world. The original story, written by Jacqueline Susann, was about struggling actresses. In this version, the actresses were turned into struggling rock stars. Despite the fact that the movie is not mentioned in Fox's official history, it is coming out this year on DVD.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was not our guest's only screenplay. Roger and his partner Russ Meyer also penned a The Sex Pistols movie entitled Who Killed Bambi. The movie never came to frution, but Roger describes his memorable experiences meeting Sid Vicious and John Lydon.

Before they let him leave, Jim and Greg ask the movie expert about music. Roger chooses Hank Williams as his DIJ pick, and also talks about being a fan of the Mills Brothers, Laurie Anderson, and fellow Chicago native Liz Phair.

Go to episode 14
specials

Touch and Go Records

This week Jim and Greg wanted to take a look at one of the music industry's most important independent labels: Touch and Go Records. Touch and Go recently turned 25 and celebrated with a three-day bash at Chicago's Hideout Block Party. Over the course of the show, you‘ll hear why Jim and Greg wanted to focus on this modest Chicago label. You’ll also hear from the founder himself, Corey Rusk, and a number of the label's artists, including Scott McCloud from Girls Against Boys, Janet Weiss from Quasi (and formerly Sleater-Kinney), Ted Leo, David Yow from Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard and recording engineer and musician Steve Albini of Big Black and Shellac fame.

Touch and Go's founder Corey Rusk is known not just as a tastemaker with an incredible ear for talent, but also as one of the most honest businessmen in the biz. This is what separates Touch and Go from other labels, major and independent alike. Rusk's business model, which doesn't shy away from the Internet and which relies merely on trust and a handshake, has kept it going for 25 years, helping it to outlive its peers. Labels like Twin/Tone in Minneapolis, which launched The Replacements, SST in California which launched Black Flag and Hüsker Dü, and I.R.S. in which launched R.E.M. and The Go Go's, all emerged in the early '80s after punk's mainstream explosion and before alternative's reign. However, Touch and Go is the only one of the bunch not only to stay in business, but to do so successfully and independently.

The best way to understand the label's significance is to sample some of the music. You'll hear these songs in our short-but-sweet montage of Touch and Go music:

  1. Killdozer, "Hi There"
  2. Girls Against Boys, "Kill the Sexplayer"
  3. The Dirty Three, "Doris"
  4. Jesus Lizard, "Mouth Breather"
  5. TV on the Radio, "Dreams"
  6. Butthole Surfers, "Fast"
  7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Art Star"
  8. Calexico, "Cruel"

Touch and Go has put out a lot of music over the past quarter century, but Jim and Greg both manage to pick their single favorite T&G tracks. Greg goes first and chooses "Stage 2000" by Seam. Touch and Go is often thought of as the place to go to for loud, hard-edged punk music, and that is certainly true. However, their roster is actually quite diverse, and there are a number of bands like Seam, who are making beautiful, soft, melodic music.“Stage 2000”is on Greg's favorite Seam album, The Problem With Me. That album was recorded with Chicago producer Brad Wood, best known for producing Liz Phair's classic Exile in Guyville.

Jim's Touch and Go pick is "Kerosene" by Big Black off their 1985 album Atomizer. Though Atomizer was initially released by Homestead Records, Big Black moved to Touch and Go a year later, and the label reissued the band's entire catalog. So we'll let Jim slide on this one — especially since no one has been as closely associated with Touch and Go as Big Black founder Steve Albini. Albini came to Chicago to study journalism at Northwestern, and Jim can hear this sensibility in his lyrics. Songs like "Kerosene" are essentially sensationalistic tabloid stories backed with thrashing noise-rock.

Go to episode 43

Songs About Money

This week on Sound Opinions, Jim and Greg play their favorite songs about money. It's a show honoring public radio's favorite season—the spring pledge drive.

Go to episode 17
dijs

Greg

“Mother Richard”Lida Husik

Looking at an artist like Sharon Van Etten, one is reminded of how much the music landscape has changed in the past two decades. It's possible that despite her talent, Sharon wouldn't have gotten noticed without the help of critics and fans on the internet. Take Lida Husik. Greg explains that in the '90s she was every bit as good as singer/songwriters like Liz Phair and Beth Orton. But, without blogs, message boards and social media, she never got her due. Greg can still give Husik a little love by adding her track "Mother Richard" to the Desert Island Jukebox this week.

Go to episode 336
lists

Off the Rails

Sound Opinions is a show that celebrates music. But, once in a while we have to get a little negative and call out artists that disappoint us. In particular, there's a crop of singers and musicians who began as great talents with promising careers, but ended up breaking our hearts by going "Off the Rails." Think of it as the musical answer to“Jump the Shark.”Jim and Greg think these career wrong-turns are too big to ignore.

Go to episode 242

Guilty Pleasures

Even professional rock critics like Jim and Greg are occasionally guilty of musical crimes. So this week, they come clean and admit to liking some music that they should know better than to enjoy. Whether these songs are actually bad, or just really un-cool, Jim and Greg stand by their Guilty Pleasures. A few of you brave listeners also made confessions. We at Sound Opinions absolve you for these sins.

Go to episode 41

Songs About Mom

Throughout the year Jim and Greg like to mark special occasions by playing the best and most appropriate music to celebrate. And nobody deserves more love than Mom. Here are some of our hosts' favorite songs for Mother's Day.

Go to episode 492

Songs About Mom

Throughout the year Jim and Greg like to mark special occasions by playing the best and most appropriate music to celebrate. There has been Valentine's Day and Father's Day, but shockingly, they've never tackled Mother's Day…until now. Pop music is full of tunes inspired by Mom, and here are some of our hosts' favorites.

Go to episode 337
news

Music News

First up in the news is the report that both the House and Senate have reauthorized the Higher Education Act with new provisions that essentially make colleges akin to cops. The bill requires universities to implement tougher traffic filtering technologies in order to deter p2p filesharing. Jim and Greg think any attempts to deter filesharing will be as effective as attempts to curb cheating, binge-drinking and plagiarizing.

Jim and Greg recently spoke with Big Champagne's Eric Garland about artists benefiting from filesharing and album-leaking. Labels have now caught on, but they don't want you to know it. When a track from the forthcoming Buckcherry album was leaked on the internet, the band and its label were quick to complain. But, according to a Wall Street Journal article, they were the source of the leak. It's an old PR stunt for the hip hop world, but now mainstream, albeit“boneheaded”acts like Buckcherry have caught on. Get ready for more faux file-leaking sob stories.

In other music news, music retailing giant iTunes may be getting some competition soon. Amazon launched a digital music service less than a year ago and has yet to make a dent in that market. Now the website has teamed up with MySpace to offer music fans a way to sample and then purchase individual songs and albums. The tracks will be DRM-free, and users won't have to launch a separate application to purchase music. Jim is quickly running to add the Amazon CEO as his MySpace friend.

There's never enough Abba on Sound Opinions, so we were excited when the Swedish pop quartet appeared in the headlines. The band's greatest hits album Gold recently went to #1 in the U.K., breaking the record for the oldest band to ever hit the top of the charts. The reason for the resurgence is the release of the movie Mamma Mia, but hopefully the legacy of the band will not be tarnished by the film.

Frequent chart-topper Chris Brown is also making news this week. His hit single "Forever" has made it to the Top 10 , but little did fans know it was written as a Wrigley gum jingle. For a long time artists have lent their music to advertising companies, but as far as Jim and Greg can tell, this is the first time a song was developed initially as an ad campaign. Is it just a chicken/egg argument? Or does the commercial intention matter to a song's integrity? Let us know what you think.

The final discussion in the news is about the proliferation of '90s nostalgia in the music industry these days. Alternative-era artists like Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and Sonic Youth are all drawing from their former glory days and cashing in. Jim believes such nostalgia is anathema to the alternative philosophy, and doesn't think touring behind one singular album is much better than a greatest hits concert. Greg is surprised that Jim is surprised, citing the Sex Pistols' 1996 tour as the day he gave up on any notion of rock-era integrity.

Go to episode 141