One Note Wonders & Opinions on Madonna

Join Jim and Greg in their celebration of the One Note Wonders of rock and roll. They may only do one thing, but they do it really well.

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Legendary hit-maker and label head Clive Davis announced that he’ll be stepping down from his post at Sony BMG. He’ll remain on as chief creative officer, but this is definitely a demotion for the man who broke the careers of Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, Alicia Keys, and most recently, Leona Lewis. With Lewis on the path towards diva-dom, why’s Davis being pushed out now? Jim and Greg surmise that the music mogul just became too expensive for Sony? Davis is perhaps the perfect representation of the old way of doing business in the music industry. But with album sales down, music videos gone and music radio on the way out, it may be time for the old guard to change.

Fans of print music journalism will be disheartened by the next news item. According to recent reports, ad revenues for major music magazines like Rolling Stone, Vibe and Blender are significantly down this quarter. Only Spin is experiencing growth, but that’s after a dismal couple of years. This comes after the news of smaller titles like Harp and No Depression closing up shop. Jim and Greg speak with No Depression co-editor and co-founder Peter Blackstock about the magazine’s decision to cease publication. Blackstock sees this trend as evidence that there’s been a devaluation of the written word in our culture. But, he’s hopeful that the long-time alt-country title will be able to thrive on the web and in longer magazine/book form.

One Note Wonders

Rock and roll is an art form that traditionally values change and transformation. But, there are a number of terrific artists and bands who have sustained careers by doing one thing really well. The best examples of these one trick ponies are The Ramones, AC/DC and Motörhead. Fans of these bands know that their sounds don’t change from album to album... but they don’t care! Jim and Greg celebrate these and other One Note Wonders. Here are their nominations:

Jim

  • Stereolab
  • The Strokes
  • Jesus and Mary Chain
  • Galaxy 500

Greg

  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Cocteau Twins
  • Run D.M.C.
  • Jesus Lizard

Listeners’ Picks

  • The Smiths
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Beirut

Hard Candy Madonna

If there’s any artist who is the opposite of a one note wonder, it might be Madonna. The pop diva prides herself on her chameleon-like ability to transform from one look or genre of music to another. So, how does she fare on her 11th studio album Hard Candy? Greg thinks not so well. Madonna teamed up with super-producers Timbaland and Pharrell to give her an up-to-date sound, but Greg thinks it’s more retro than cutting edge. For the first time the notorious button-pusher seems kind of bored to Greg. He gives Hard Candy a Trash It. Jim is shocked to hear this review. He had fun listening to Madonna for the first time in years. The beats are there, the grooves are there, and he recommends people Buy It.

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