Disco & Opinions on Sonic Youth and Dave Matthews Band

Forget what you think you know about music’s most maligned genre and tune in to hear Jim and Greg reveal the real Disco.

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Pearl Jam made big news this week after announcing an exclusive deal with Target. The alternative band will release a new album along with the big box chain. And in addition they will allow Target to use a Cameron Crowe-directed video in a series of ads. Pearl Jam has long been known for its anti-corporate and anti-commercial attitude, so this was a surprise to Jim and Greg. But, as Greg says, at least they aren’t selling the album exclusively through Target—good news for mom and pop record stores.

The usual record industry story goes like this: Label likes artist, label pays artist, artist makes music. But, in a twist, EMI recording artist Joss Stone has offered to pay her label not to make music. The British pop/ soul singer is apparently desperate to get out of her four-album contract, after making only one of those records. This is one of many blows to the label, which has already said goodbye to Radiohead and Paul McCartney.

After a six-year trial, producer Phil Spector was finally sentenced this week. The judge showed no mercy and put him behind bars for 19 to life, with a mandatory 15 years. That means that Spector will not be eligible for parole until he is 88.

Disco Dissected

disco

Disco often gets a bad rap—silly songs, silly clothes, silly people. But as Jim and Greg discuss this week, the music and the scene surrounding it were much more. Songs like I Feel Love by Donna Summer and Good Times, by Chic are as artful and influential as anything pop music has produced. And, as opposed to the exclusive disco world of Studio 54, authentic discos and disco music gave a sense of community to many outsiders, much like punk did. You can hear this in tracks like You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), by drag performer Sylvester.

Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King Dave Matthews Band

Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King (Deluxe Edition)

Summer concert kings the Dave Matthews Band have a new album out called Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King. The title comes from a nickname given to the band’s late saxophonist LeRoi Moore. The shadow of Moore hangs over this album, and his death almost prevented its release. Not that the DMB needs to release albums—they make over $40 million a year from touring alone. But, Jim has always preferred the band on album to in concert. He doesn’t love their rhythms or Matthews’ lazy vocal style, but recommends people Try It... if that’s their thing. Greg thinks the Dave Matthews Band have finally given us a record worth hearing. It’s much more rocking and robust than previous releases. It actually rocks pretty hard, so Greg gives Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King a Buy It.

The Eternal Sonic Youth

The Eternal

Rock veterans Sonic Youth have released their 16th studio album, The Eternal. With a lineup shuffle and label change, they have returned to form according to Jim and Greg. Neither critic hears anything groundbreaking or new, but the urban surf grooves are back in a big way. Jim hasn’t enjoyed anything the band has done in 17 years, but finally hears some truly great songs. The Eternal gets a Double Buy It.

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