Results for The Handsome Family

interviews

The Handsome Family

This week, Jim and Greg talk with southwestern music duo The Handsome Family. The band is the husband-wife team of Brett and Rennie Sparks, and they are perhaps best known for providing the theme song for the first season of HBO's critically acclaimed drama True Detective. However, the duo had been a staple of the Chicago music scene, crafting artfully made albums that blend alternative country sounds with clever lyrics. Over 15 years ago, the Sparks left Chicago for a quieter life in New Mexico, which influenced their music by giving it a rich southwestern flavor. Brett and Rennie join Jim and Greg in the studio to talk about their latest album, Unseen, success with True Detective, and what it's like to be married to your music partner. They also perform three songs live in studio.

Go to episode 570
reviews
Honey MoonHoney Moon available on iTunes

The Handsome Family Honey Moon

The Handsome Family has a new album out this week called Honey Moon. Like the title, many of the songs on the album relate nature to love. Love songs are a dime a dozen, but both Jim and Greg are hugely impressed with what the husband and wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks do with the topic. Brett has mastered their home studio, bringing their alt-country sound to a more pop one. And, according to our hosts, Rennie is one of the greatest songwriters working in rock today. Both Jim and Greg give Honey Moon a Buy It, and Jim also encourages listeners to go back to the duo's 1998 masterpiece Through the Trees.

JimGreg
Go to episode 178
WildernessWilderness available on iTunes

The Handsome Family Wilderness

Jim and Greg continue the family theme with a review of Wilderness, the 10th studio album from husband-and-wife duo The Handsome Family. Formed in Chicago in the '90s, Brett and Rennie Sparks'™ Handsome Family has often been lumped in with alternative country. But Greg contends that the band'™s macabre lyrics and pre-rock influences have always set it apart. Jim says Wilderness proves that more than ten albums into its career, The Handsome Family still represents the "old weird America" better than any group in rock. Who else sings about General Custer and malicious octopi? He says Buy it. Greg agrees; With lyrics that run the gamut from sci-fi to magical realism, and music that draws equally from Stephen Foster and chamber pop, Wilderness sounds completely unique. Double Buy it.

JimGreg
Go to episode 394
lists

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

Best Albums of 2016

Go to episode 576