Results for Pink Floyd

interviews

Nick Mason

Pink Floyd In the annals of rock ‘n’ roll there are few bands cited for both their critical acclaim and commerical sales. One is Pink Floyd. Its drummer, Nick Mason, joins Jim and Greg to talk about the U.K. band's history and recent decision to reunite to release what many believe will be its final album, The Endless River. Mason is the only member of the band to survive all of its squabbles and play on each studio album. He explains how The Endless River is a tribute to the Pink Floyd's iconic keyboardist Rick Wright. He also recalls the early dynamics between David Gilmour and Roger Waters and how he feels about the band's legacy with its 15th (and final?) release.

Love Pink Floyd? Check out this dissection of The Wall

Go to episode 483

The Flaming Lips

This week's guests are two of the members of Oklahoma's Flaming Lips, co-founder Wayne Coyne and long-time member, multi instrumentalist and co-songwriter Steve Drozd. Wayne chimes in that their two other current band members, Michael Ivins and touring drummer Clifford, couldn‘t make it to the interview. Ivins was too preoccupied erecting the UFO for that night’s live gig in Chicago. Greg points out that Wayne at one time admitted he was part of a band that couldn‘t play, had a singer that couldn’t sing, and heralded from an unknown town. Yet, here they are 25 years later, still going strong. As someone who wrote a book about The Flaming Lips. Jim continues to be astounded by the extensiveness of their career. He feels it parallels the career of Pink Floyd who had at least four different incarnations over 30 or 40 years. The Lips' first era was their '80s psychedelic era with it's key album In a Priest Driven Ambulance from 1990. On this album, former Lips drummer Jonathan Donahue replaced Nathan Roberts and the band collaborated for the first time with producer Dave Fridmann. Fridmann, who would go on produce many other Lips‘ albums, brought a higher level of musicality and production to the Lips’ sound. In a Priest Driven Ambulance was also the album that introduced Steve Drozd to the Flaming Lips (he did not join the band until almost a decade into the band's career). Drozd loved the album's“loud psychedelic rock guitar”with "hokum balladry". Greg also adds that the record contained a non-ironic cover of Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World" amidst the cynical and cooler-than-thou indie rock community.

Even though the band started in 1983, it wasn't until 1992 that The Flaming Lips signed to a major label. The first album for Warner Brothers Records was Hit to Death in the Future Head. Wayne and the band saw this as an opportunity to make a record that's worth the“billion dollars”major labels can spend on albums. Greg feels that their new ambition really exceeded the ambition they had with their previous work. He feels it's clearly evident in 1993's Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. To Jim this album marks the moment when Wayne's songwriting started to rise from the background and move towards the caliber of the Lips' sonic density. Transmission from the Satellite Heart's, "She Don't Use Jelly" is such an example. Even though the song became their breakthrough“wiggy, novelty hit.”it was a "beautiful bubble gum song with a poignant lyric" wrapped inside an amazing musical production. Wayne and the band knew almost from the beginning that the song could be a hit. The song's hook was created from the lyrics which Wayne got from equating smearing chapstick on your lips to buttering your toast. Wayne's story dispels the rock critic myth that these lyrics were a code for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Greg brings everyone back to the dense sound of Transmissions From the Satellite Heart. He wonders how Steven came upon the idea layering the heavy“Bonham-esque”drums underneath pop songs. Steven admits that the sound was inspired by Larry Mullen's drums on U2's War.

Greg wonders if the band's next transformation happened after guitarist Ronald Jones left the band in 1996. Wayne agrees that Ronald's leaving changed the band. Although, Steve adds that he himself was burnt out and heavily into drugs at the time. At this point the Lips re-tooled into the era of their parking lot experiments, boom box experiments and the 1997 release of the four-CD album Zaireeka — an album designed for the listener play all four CD's simultaneously on four different sound systems in the same room. Each project was an orchestration of random sounds, a symphony of noise. Wayne wanted to try something new and take a chance.

After the band went through their two year sonic experiment they released the album The Soft Bulletin in 1999, which Jim considers a pop masterpiece. Wayne thinks the signature song from that album is "Race For the Prize". The song is in reference to two scientists fighting to cure a disease. Also on the album is "Waitin' for a Superman," inspired by Wayne and his brother jogging around the lake to deal with their father's bout with cancer. These two songs are full of meaningful and heartstung lyrics. Jim pipes in that that Wayne wouldn‘t have been able to write lyrics like this earlier in the Lip’s career. Wayne chalks it up to the experience of life changing you, which changed him and the band for the better.

2002's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is a continuation of the band's lyrical progression, especially with its song "Do You Realize??" Another key song is "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1." (You can hear their live performance here.)

The critical response to these last two albums was, as Jim puts it,“nothing short of ecstatic.”The latest album, 2006's At War With the Mystics hasn‘t seen the same response (including from our own Greg Kot.) Steve and Wayne kind of expected it. They’re just as happy to win a Grammy for a song titled, "The Wizard Turns On…The Giant Silver Flashlight And Puts On His Werewolf Moccasins."

Go to episode 94

Joe Boyd

The guest this week is Joe Boyd. Boyd recently wrote a book, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, about his experiences as a producer, manager and club owner in London during that psychedelic era. Jim describes Boyd as one of rock's most fascinating behind-the-scenes characters. He has worked with Pink Floyd, The Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Bob Dylan just to name a few.

As an American living in England in the '60s, one of the ways Boyd made a name for himself was through his club UFO. The venue only lasted less than a year, but Boyd explains that those few months in 1967 were remarkable. UFO wasn‘t anything more than a basement, but it featured light shows, films and“happenings,”and was home base to Pink Floyd. The title of Boyd’s book gets its name from track "My White Bicycle," by Tomorrow, one of the many bands to perform at UFO. The song is about the free white bicycles that were passed around in Amsterdam at that time, and Boyd explains that by the end of 1967, most of those bicycles were stolen and re-painted. The result is a“heavy-handed metaphor”for the changing times according to the author.

One of Boyd's major contributions to music is that he is credited with“discovering”Nick Drake. During a meeting with John Cale, Boyd played some of Drake's music, and immediately Cale wanted a meeting with the rising talent. The next day, Cale abandoned his studio date with singer Nico and told Boyd that he wanted to record Drake by that afternoon. The music they made that day and in the years before Drake's tragic death propelled him into this romantic, cult status that grew even bigger after his song "Pink Moon," was used in a Volkswagen commercial.

Go to episode 73

Joe Boyd

nickdraketributecover

For the most part we think that rock ‘n’ roll artistry and commercials don't mix, but in the case of Nick Drake, it worked out. A 1999 TV commercial featuring his 1972 track "Pink Moon," made the English singer/songwriter a household name. It was success Drake couldn‘t enjoy in his lifetime. He died at age 26 of an overdose on anti-depressants after only releasing three albums. But the small catalog lives large today, with Drake’s work influencing R.E.M., Elliot Smith, Beth Orton and many more. He's remembered on the new tribute album Way to Blue, produced by the man who discovered him, Joe Boyd. In addition to working with Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and the Fairport Convention, Joe Boyd produced Nick's first two albums, Five Leaves Left in 1969 and Bryter Layter in 1970. Jim and Greg talk to him about Nick Drake's own influences, his style and his legacy.

Go to episode 387

Indians

This week Indians is in the studio. It's the alter-ego of Danish artist Soren Juul. He began as a classically trained musician, but was also schooled in pop music by his record-collecting father. So, inspired by unique pop bands like Pink Floyd, he abandoned the classics for synths and a laptop. His viral hit "Magic Kids" caught the attention of critics like Jim and Greg, After retreating to the Danish countryside to write, Soren recorded the songs for Indians' debut release Somewhere Else. He and bandmates Heather Woods Broderick and Laurel Simmons perform songs from the album.

Go to episode 397
specials

1967

Not to make you feel old, but it's been 45 years since the "Summer of Love," the year of the hippie, and some of the most influential music in rock history. So Jim and Greg have decided to look back at the watershed year 1967. Television viewers were treated to memorable performances by The Who, The Doors and The Rolling Stones. Aretha Franklin recorded her famous Atlantic release "Respect." Fans from around the country gathered in California for the Monterey International Pop Music Festival. But during this episode Jim and Greg focus on the single LP's that changed the way people thought of the studio and a collection of songs. 1967 gave birth to the idea of album as art.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band is, of course, the most prominent example of studio innovation on album in '67. Recorded at Abbey Road by George Martin on mono, stereo and four-track recorders, Sgt. Pepper's was a critical and commercial success. But, as they stated during our Revolver Classic Album Dissection, Jim and Greg don‘t think it’s The Beatles‘ best. Nor is it the best album of that year. They’d point people to the landmark recordings The Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd, Forever Changes by Love and The Velvet Underground and Nico by The Velvet Underground. Jim and Greg talk about these albums' innovations in terms of recording and artistic ambition. They also hear from Joe Boyd, who produced Pink Floyd's first single in 1967 and Jac Holzman, who discovered Love and signed them to Elektra.

Go to episode 323

The Elephant 6 Collective

The recent death of Olivia Tremor Control co-founder Bill Doss has Jim and Greg thinking about the legacy of the musical collective he was a part of: The Elephant 6 Recording Company. This week, they revisit their conversation about Elephant 6 with the collective's chief producer, Robert Schneider. For those new to this crazy universe, Elephant 6 was a label started by childhood friends from Ruston, Louisiana. The bands that came out of this group of music-lovers included some of the most beloved of the indie rock nineties: Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, and Apples in Stereo. Schneider was the chief songwriter, producer, and lead singer of Apples in Stereo. He explains how he and his friends first heard the psychedelic pop of the Beach Boys, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd hanging around Ruston's college radio station as kids. The collective's most important albums, among them The Olivia Tremor Control's Dusk at Cubist Castle and Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, bear the sonic mark of those early listening sessions.

Greg calls The Olivia Tremor Control the trippiest of the Elephant 6 groups. He and Jim discuss their debut release, Dusk at Cubist Castle, a double album whose subtitle,“Music from an Unrealized Film Script,”points to the music's psychedelic nature. Greg calls Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel the“soul child”of the collective. Jeff went for a stripped down approach that was moving and easily identifiable for many listeners. This is evident in the band's 1998 release In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, a concept album about tragedy, and at times, Anne Frank. The longest lasting of all the Elephant 6 acts is Apples in Stereo. In addition to being the collective's four-track guru, Schneider was always the“pop craftsman.”In 2007 Apples reformed and put out New Magnetic Wonder, a return to power pop form for the group, and one of their best recordings to date.

Go to episode 353
classic album dissections

Pink Floyd The Wall

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters has been busy touring the country performing the band's epic double concept album The Wall, 30 years after the first tour. Jim and Greg both saw this show, and it got them thinking about The Wall's status as a definitive classic album. Listeners know what that means…time for a Classic Album Dissection. Jim and Greg compare this record to Pink Floyd's others and discuss the personal nature of Waters' lyrics. They also pick their favorite tracks. Greg goes with "Mother," while Jim chooses "Run Like Hell."

Go to episode 255
thewall_web

Pink Floyd The Wall

With the first new music from Pink Floyd in nearly 20 years coming this month, Jim and Greg take a look back at band's 1979 classic album The Wall. It's celebrating its 35th anniversary. The brainchild of Roger Waters, the epic double album touches on a range of tortured topics like fame, divorce, mothers and paranoia. During their dissection, Jim and Greg dive head first into Water's personal lyrics and compare the The Wall to other albums in the band's catalog. Then, our hosts choose their favorite tracks; Greg goes with "Mother" and Jim selects "Run Like Hell."

Go to episode 466
reviews
On An IslandOn an Island available on iTunes

David Gilmour On an Island

This week Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour released his first album in over ten years. While fans of the band won't get any Roger Waters or Nick Mason, On an Island has a few Floydian moments and impressive credits: David Crosby and Graham Nash on vocals, Richard Wright on organ, and Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera as producer. The songs were also co-written by Gilmour's wife, Polly Samson. These facts did nothing to improve Jim or Greg's opinion of this release. The sleep-inducing, uninspired, uncreative album gets not one, but four Trash Its—one for every original member of Pink Floyd.

JimGreg
Go to episode 15
MotherMother available on iTunes

Natalie Maines Mother

In a show dedicated to a country outlaw, how could we not review the new solo album by Dixie Chick Natalie Maines. She's certainly earned a reputation as an opinionated sass. But on Mother, she wants to be taken seriously. Why then, Jim wonders, would she tap Ben Harper to produce? Someone like Jack White could've given her the unique country soul she seeks. As it is, these songs belong as much on Nashville as they do in Nashville. Greg admires covers like Pink Floyd's "Mother," but she's out of her depths with many of the tracks. Ms. Maines gets a double Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 392
50 Words for Snow50 Words for Snow available on iTunes

Kate Bush 50 Words for Snow

The always unique Kate Bush is back with a new album called 50 Words for Snow. Bush has been making music since she was discovered by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour as a teen, and she's always enchanted fans with her gorgeous voice and avant-garde aesthetic. According to Jim and Greg, Bush has done it again on this album, which is admittedly“weird,”but also beautiful, childlike and chilling. Greg doesn't understand the presence of guests Elton John or Stephen Fry, but both he and Jim say Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 313
Ten Silver DropsTen Silver Drops available on iTunes

The Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops

The first album up for review is Ten Silver Drops by The Secret Machines. This is the second album by the psychedelic Dallas band (now based in Brooklyn). Their previous release, Now Here is Nowhere, earned quite a bit of praise and won them some impressive fans. In fact, Bob Ezrin, who produced Pink Floyd's The Wall, even offered to handle Ten Silver Drops. The band decided to go it alone, however, and Jim and Greg manage to agree on the results. For them the album is full of strong melodies, surprising harmonies, and Josh Garza's signature seismic drumming. Both critics believe they may have surpassed their debut album and give this go-around a Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 20
Interpretations: The British Rock SongbookInterpretations: The British Rock Songbook available on iTunes

Bettye LaVette Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

What happens when a veteran soul singer takes on classic British rock tunes? The answer is actually not as exciting as one might think. Both Jim and Greg were really looking forward to Bettye LaVette's Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook. The album came out of LaVette's Kennedy Center Honors performance of "Love Reign O'er Me," by The Who. She put her unique, alto rasp to use on subsequent covers of songs by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. But, as Greg explains, the album's sleepy, slow-burn pace didn't do her voice or the songs justice. Jim agrees, and also wishes LaVette had chosen more original songs by these famous artists. They both regrettably give the record a Trash It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 235
dijs

Jim

“Raving and Drooling”Pink Floyd

Jim's Desert Island Jukebox pick this week is inspired by his conversation with Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. The band uses live performances as opportunities to explore and expand tracks they work on in the studio. This reminds Jim of the touring tactics of another great British band: Pink Floyd. They too would road-test songs for months at a time before taking them to the studio. And the result is similar: Both Radiohead and Pink Floyd are simultaneously experimental, avant-garde and also successful in the mainstream, a rare combination in the music industry. So Jim decides to add a track that Pink Floyd experimented with live, then later recorded in a different format. The song fans know as "Sheep" from the 1977 album Animals, was originally performed live as "Raving and Drooling." Listen to the studio version, then compare it to this rare DIJ pick.

Go to episode 30

Jim

“America”Yes

For his Desert Island Jukebox pick, Jim wanted to play a song by an artist that epitomizes“high fidelity.”He looked to a member of his holy triumvirate of rock: Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes. This week it's Yes' turn. Jim describes their version of "America" as a“headphone classic.”While you won't be able to hear the original vinyl audio fidelity on the radio or podcast, Sound Opinions H.Q. hopes you enjoy this cover of a classic Simon and Garfunkel song.

Go to episode 123

Jim

“Mink Dress”Plasticland

Jim's Desert Island Jukebox pick for this week is "Mink Dress" by Plasticland. The song is one of many psychedelic tracks found on Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era—1976-1996. This Rhino compilation is one of many Nuggets installments, the first being the two-vinyl set compiled by Lenny Kaye in 1972. While there are some gems on the most recent collection, it is pretty much a mess according to Jim, a huge fan of the psychedelic genre. "Mink Dress" is one of the standout tracks. Plasticland was started by Glen Rehse and John Frankovic in Milwaukee in the '80s. Despite their Midwestern roots, Rehse and Frankovic were drawn to the colorful '60s-era British Psychedelia. Their song follows in the tradition of "Arnold Layne" by the Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and explores the songwriter's fascination with women's clothing—in this case, a mink dress.

Go to episode 3
lists

Rock Operas

For many music fans, when you hear "Rock Opera," you probably think of The Who's 1969 album Tommy. But, Jim and Greg assert that Tommy is neither the first, nor the best, Rock Opera. Credit for the first goes to S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things in 1968. Credit for the best? Well, there's a long list throughout music history, including those listed below. But whatever your favorite, just don't call it a concept album!

  • The Who's Quadrophenia
  • Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  • Green Day's American Idiot
  • Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger
  • Janelle Monae's The Archandroid
  • The Pretty Things's S.F. Sorrow
  • The Kinks' Arthur
  • Lou Reed's Berlin
  • David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust
  • Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall
  • The Decemberists' Crane Wife
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Greendale
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar

Share your favorite at 888.859.1800, at interact@soundopinions.org or on Facebook and Twitter.

Go to episode 455

Songs That Give You the Creeps

Have you ever heard a song and been totally weirded out by it? The theme of this year's Halloween show is songs that give you the creeps! These are tracks that can be thought of as universally eerie or creepy to you as an individual. Jim and Greg share two songs each that they think fit the bill, and then we'll hear picks from listeners!

Go to episode 569

Songs About the Music Business

Rock ‘n’ roll is all about railing against the“man.”And for musicians, there's no bigger man than the record business. Some songs celebrate music's great A&R men and women or label heads. Many more skewer the suits. Here are Jim and Greg's favorites:

Go to episode 418
features

SXSW '06

This week on the show, Jim and Greg share their recent experiences at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Our hosts joined over 10,000 other festival registrants to attend music industry panels, conduct interviews, and most importantly, see new bands. In the four days they were there, Jim and Greg heard a lot of music. They share some of the best with you.

  • First is The Dresden Dolls. Jim went to see the Boston group and fell in love with their blend of German cabaret performance style and '80s synth-pop melodies. You can hear a little bit of "Modern Moonlight" off their upcoming release, Yes Virginia.

  • Next up, Greg discusses one his finds: Art Brut. He enjoyed this British band's straightforward melodies, catchy choruses, and witty monologues so much that he saw them twice in Austin. This critic even scrawled“New Kings of Rock”in his notebook following one performance. Jim joined him to see the band at the Pitchfork/Windish party, where they shared a bill with RJD2, Spank Rock, and one of Greg's other discoveries, Swedish indie pop quintet Love is All. Art Brut, who just recently played a sold-out show at the Metro, entertained the entire staff so much that they were invited to appear on the show the week after the festival wrapped. Listen for that interview in the weeks to come.

Beastie Boys at SXSW 2006

  • In between running from show to show, Jim and Greg took a brief moment to sit down with The Beastie Boys. The hip-hop pioneers were down in Austin to promote their recent concert film, Awesome; I Fucking Shot That, and spoke to Jim and Greg about making the movie, sampling, copyright laws, and the longevity of their career.

  • Back to the rundown of our hosts‘ favorite Austin discoveries. Jim’s next pick, The Black Angels, actually hails from the Texas state capital. After reading Jim's book on psychedelic rock, members of the band contacted him and explained that they were right up his alley. They were right. Jim, who caught some of the dark, Velvet Underground-influenced music in the sterile environment of Austin Convention Center, was totally blown away. To describe the band, he quotes their website which begs the listener to "Picture a red moonlit night, deep in the heart of Texas, with the ghosts of Nico and Timothy Leary being called back from the dead to guide you on a journey through Heaven & Hell and back again." Whoa, man…

  • Greg loves coming to Austin to see bands that may not get to the States otherwise. One such band is Serena Maneesh. The Norwegian group is one of many contemporary bands compared to My Bloody Valentine. Often referred to as“shoegazers,”these musicians are often literally standing, staring at their shoes, while producing a heavy, overdriven, almost symphonic guitar sound. Serena Maneesh is certainly channeling this influence — however, as Greg explains, this band is also quite performative. Our host describes how the lead guitar player, theatrically dressed as a gypsy showman, was joined by an“Amazonian”bass player. Only during SXSW can you see this in Texas, notes Jim.

Tim Fite at SXSW 2006

  • We next hear some audio of Jim recorded down in Austin. He is describing one of his favorite acts: Tim Fite. Some may remember Fite's previous incarnation in Little T and One Track Mic and their one hit, "Shaniqua." But after getting signed to Atlantic and touring with Outkast, Little T went nowhere. Now, Fite has reinvented himself as a 1920s southern preacher/rapper who combines an O Brother, Where Art Thou? sound with irreverent lyrics and hip-hop. Gone Ain't Gone is forthcoming on Anti-/Epitaph, making Fite label mates with Neko Case and Blackalicious.

  • The Swedish band Love is All (mentioned above) is another of Greg's discoveries. This Swedish indie-pop group is one of many European bands who are rediscovering American music. This band is particularly influenced by musicians like James Chance and the Contortions and Lydia Lunch who fused both jazz and punk. Love is All became Greg's go-to CD while he was driving around the city of Austin.

  • Listeners can now hear what Jim and Greg really sound like at SXSW: definitely over-tired, and perhaps over-served. Our hosts caught up with Sound Opinions H.Q. immediately after going to see Rhys Chatham at Austin's Central Presbyterian Church, an experience they described as slightly mind-blowing. The avant-garde guitarist has basically been living in exile in Paris for the past decade, but emerged in Austin with a newly-formed guitar army: eight guitarists including Doug McCombs of Eleventh Dream Day and Tortoise, Ernie Brooks of The Modern Lovers and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Jim reports that Chatham recently received a grant allowing him to realize his long-fantasized 100-member guitar ensemble.

  • One of the SXSW events Greg always tries to attend is Alejandro Escovedo's Sunday night show. This year Grady was one of the opening acts. Greg found their huge, overpowering sound on par with that of Chatham's guitar army. He also compares their sound to that of ZZ Top's early days. Listen for yourself as Greg plays a sample of their 2004 release Y.U. So Shady?

  • White Whale is Jim's final discovery. He caught the band at the Merge showcase, a label that usually delivers for this critic. He was again not disappointed. White Whale, whose members have been in a number of other indie rock bands including Butterglory, Three Higher Burning Fire and The Get Up Kids, impressed Jim with more than just its name. He found their sound to be a mix of Nick Drake and Pink Floyd, and also reminiscent of Elephant Six bands like Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel. So far their music can only be heard on Myspace.com, but White Whale may turn out to be another SXSW success story.

  • Greg's final pick is a band called Katahdin's Edge. He caught the group after originally trying to see a Finnish band who couldn‘t make it into the country. He was blown away, and despite getting thousands of free CDs for his day job, Greg was compelled to put down his own money for a Katahdin’s Edge album. This trio from Providence is an example of how jazz and rock can fuse in a great way. Rather than take an academic approach to jazz, Katahdin's Edge had a rock and roll, party edge that Greg really appreciated.

  • Greg was also caught on tape before and after seeing the biggest hype of this year's festival: The Arctic Monkeys. This has been quite the year for the young British band. In January they broke records for first-week sales in the U.K. with their debut release Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. In addition, they‘ve been proclaimed by many in the press as the greatest band to emerge from the U.K. in years. That’s a lot for a new band to live up to, but Greg was pleased with what he saw. While the Arctic Monkeys may not be what their hype claims, the music was well-rehearsed, packed with rhythm, and downright“ferocious”according to our host. Plus, the lead singer already seems to have the rock and roll attitude down.

Go to episode 18

Stranded For Real

Jim and Greg never get tired of asking each other the rock fan's favorite question: What record would you take with you if stranded on a desert island? But for listener Alex Gunderson, this parlor game was real life. After graduating with a degree in biology, he tells Jim and Greg, he found himself studying the sea bird in the Galapagos Islands for seven months. With only a solar-powered discman for musical company, Alex had a choice to make: What CDs to bring? Sadly, he says even old standbys like Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, and The Allman Brothers got old after the thousandth listen. His recommendation for real-life desert island DJs? Take something to the island you haven't yet figured out.

Go to episode 342
news

Music News

Only five months ago Apple purchased the online music site Lala.com, and now they‘ve announced it’s shutting down. While it was never clear that a streaming music model would fit into Apple's iTunes download model, they did spend more than $80 million, so it is a bit of a head-scratcher. As Jim and Greg explain, this move has prompted speculation that Apple will soon be launching its own streaming music site, and just wanted to get rid of its competition. Regardless, it's clear that soon we'll all have our head in the“clouds.”

Roger Waters, the bassist, lyricist and some might say“brains”of Pink Floyd, recently announced an upcoming tour marking the 30th anniversary of The Wall. He's now saying that fellow Floyd alum David Gilmour won‘t be along for the ride because he’s“completely uninterested.”It's clear now that we shouldn‘t be holding our breath for a Pink Floyd reunion, and according to Jim, maybe we shouldn’t want one. Syd Barrett and Rick Wright are both deceased, and there can be no Pink Floyd without them.

Black Eyed Peas

Just when you thought there would never be another blockbuster music group in the digital age, The Black Eyed Peas have come along with more proof to the contrary. Their song "I Gotta Feeling" just became the biggest selling digital track in history with more than 5.5 million downloads. Their 2009 track "Boom Boom Pow," is also in the top 5. As Rolling Stone asserts, this is the band of the moment, and they are doing it 21st century style-with lots of viral marketing, digital music sales and corporate sponsorships. Another 21st century force to be reckoned with is Lady Gaga. Her own video for "Telephone," has become a sensation, all while spawning a number of video viral copycats. The latest comes out of the 82nd airborne division in Afghanistan. Their version of“Telephone”has been viewed over 2 million times, and for Greg, it trumps the original.

Go to episode 232

Music News

After making fans wait two decades, Pink Floyd has announced it will be releasing an album of new (mostly instrumental) material in November. The Endless River will be a tribute to Rick Wright, the band's keyboardist who died in 2008, and will be primarly made up of music that Wright, guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason put together during a session in 1993, leading to the last studio album, 1994's The Division Bell. One name you won't hear uttered…Roger Waters, who departed in the 1980's.

While digital music is taking the rest of the world by storm, CD's are…big in Japan. In fact, digital sales are plummeting in the Asian nation. We discussed this curiosity during our Japanese World Tour last year. And now the New York Times is diving further into this music industry head-scratcher. To be sure, CD sales are are falling worldwide, including in Japan. But they still account for 85% of sales in the country, compared with as little as 20% in fellow World Tour stop Sweden. Jim and Greg discuss the reasons for this including a Japanese desire to“own stuff,”and stalled efforts to bring streaming services there. they still account for about 85 percent of sales here, compared with as little as 20 percent in some countries, like Sweden, where online streaming is dominant.

yaremchuk Having had a tumultuous year, Ukraine has decided not to participate in next year's Eurovision contest. The Eastern European nation came in 6th at the 2014 songwriting competition, which is not too shabby, Greg notes. But the state broadcaster NTU, which finances the entry, said they don't have enough money to do something well.

Go to episode 461

Music News

The labels are still holding onto the idea of selling physical media and have rolled out a new music format called SlotMusic. Each memory card will contain albums and other extras that can be played on mobile phones, computers and some portable MP3 players. So far listeners can only purchase these SlotMusic cards at big box stores like Walmart, but the big labels are certainly hoping they can entice digital music fans to actually purchase more than a single mp3. SlotMusic mp3s are higher quality than most purchased by consumers, but Jim and Greg aren't sure that will be enough incentive to walk into a store to buy music when you can simply do it online from your own home.

Keyboardist Rick Wright, founding member of Pink Floyd and psychedelic rock genius, passed away recently at the age of 65. As Jim explains, Wright was a quiet figure in a larger than life band, but he deserves to be honored. Wright was a huge jazz fan and brought a lot of those musical influences to Pink Floyd's sound. You can hear this in the song, "Summer '68" from the band's 1970 album Atom Heart Mother.

Go to episode 148

Music News

With Black Friday kicking off the official holiday shopping season, Jim and Greg offer gift recommendations for the music lover in your life. Jim's been known to rail against Capitol records' flagrant re-issuing and re-re-issuing of the Beatles catalogue. But even he's been seduced by the label's new Beatles Stereo Vinyl Box Set. If your giftee is more of a Pink Floyd type, consider the band's Reflections and Echoes DVD box set, chock full of rare interview footage. Greg goes literary with his first pick. In a year that saw big rock biographies from Neil Young and Pete Townshend, he recommends David Bryne's under-the-radar How Music Works - a book that's part memoir, part meditation on the musician's craft. As for music, he recommends the new Bill Withers box set, The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums.

Go to episode 365

Music News

Anyone who has ever taught his or her parent to use an iPhone knows that the older generation doesn‘t always mix well with the digital age. But don’t tell that to the Rolling Stones. The veteran rockers are celebrating their 50 years in the business by releasing an app. As Mick explains, the Stones wanted to something“special and innovative.”And of course, they wanna sell stuff. Also coming around to this new fangled digital world is AC/DC. The longstanding Apple holdouts will finally make their catalog available on iTunes. That just leaves a short list of withholders including Black Sabbath and Garth Brooks.

Rihanna hit #1 this week for the first time. Jim and Greg review the new album later in the show, but are interested in the fact that Ri-Ri joined a long list of prominent artists in an open letter to Congress opposing the Internet Radio Fairness Act. Apparently, she doesn't credit streaming services like Pandora with her success. Members of Maroon 5, Pink Floyd and Katy Perry join Rihanna in saying, we dig you Pandora, but don't gut our royalties. Check out Greg's coverage of the debate from the recent Future of Music Summit.

Go to episode 366

Music News

One of the biggest sales in record company history has just been completed. EMI, until now one of the four remaining major labels, is being broken up and sold off by the megabank Citigroup for a combined $4.1 billion. After many months of negotiations, French media company Vivendi, which owns Universal Music Group, will buy EMI's recorded music division and Sony Corp. will pick up the publishing arm. Now we're down to three. But some people speculate that consolidation is necessary for this industry's survival. One thing is certain, Universal, already the largest music company in the world, with an estimated 27% of the global market, is now an even bigger giant with the addition of Coldplay, Katy Perry and Pink Floyd to its roster.

It may be years too late, but Google is finally in the digital music business. They launched their online store with a splash on Wednesday, demonstrating how its 13 million songs will be integrated with Android and can be accessed across various devices and shared with friends. The Internet company inked licensing deals with 2 of the 3 labels, save Warner Music Group, but it seems unlikely Google be able to compete with reigning digital music king iTunes, as well as services from Amazon and Spotify. The secret to success rests with its dominant search engine. People will come to Google Music first. But will they stay is the real question.

Go to episode 312

Music News

Spotify and other digital streaming services are definitely the wave of the future. But some artists are eschewing streaming for more traditional methods of marketing and distribution. Coldplay, for one, has decided not to make its new album Mylo Xyloto available to Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody. In addition, Tom Waits and Adele have said no thank you. The reasons behind this may be similar to ones we've heard from old school acts like Pink Floydand AC/DC-they want their albums heard as a whole, not broken up into singles. But, as Greg points out, it may simply be that acts as big as these don‘t need streaming services. They’re doing just fine on their own with radio and a large fan base behind them. Just look at Adele and Coldplay, both sales success stories for 2011.

Go to episode 310

Music News

The 2006 Nielsen Soundscan midyear report came out this week, and some of its findings are surprising. While the buzz seems to be that the music industry is being killed by digital music sales, which increased by 77% from 2005, albums are only down by 4.2%. So Jim and Greg aren‘t consoling record executives just yet. The more significant revelation? The disconnect between what critics enjoy and what people buy may be even greater than previously thought. The number-one selling album of the year so far is not by a venerated rock artist or a hip-hop star — rather, it’s the soundtrack to High School Musical, a Disney made-for-TV movie. The tween phenomenon shows how young girls still have much of the buying power in the industry. Coming in second is country/pop act Rascal Flatts. And a further scan of the list reveals that Jim and Greg were only compelled to review two of the records on it: Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough and Taking the Long Way by the Dixie Chicks. Hopefully that trends turn around in the months to come. Otherwise Jim and Greg will have to score that interview with Zac after all…

Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett died this week at his home in Cambridge, England. Barrett started the band, which he named after two American bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, in 1965. After releasing The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (which was recorded at Abbey Road the same year as the other British psychedelic hallmark, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band), Barrett became a superstar. However, as Jim and Greg explain, this natural frontman shunned the spotlight. Barrett became a heavy LSD user and was likely suffering from schizophrenia. By 1968 he was forced to leave the band. He subsequently made two solo albums, but eventually went into virtual exile. Yet his influence on the band, and on future musicians, remained strong, as bandmate Nick Mason tells Jim. Mason, like all Pink Floyd fans, understood what a talent Barrett was and wished he had intervened to prevent such a tragic end. Still, Barrett's legacy lives on through his music. Listen to "Baby Lemonade," one of Barrett's last performances with members of Pink Floyd, as well as David Bowie's cover of "See Emily Play."

Go to episode 33