Michael Rother of Neu! & Opinions on Robyn and Superchunk

Find out why Neu! truly deserves it’s ! Tune in to hear Jim and Greg’s conversation with German rock pioneer and Neu! co-founder Michael Rother. And stay tuned for reviews of the latest from Swedish pop singer Robyn and American indie rockers Superchunk.

Michael Rother
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With CD sales down by 50%, the music industry has been counting on digital sales, which have been climbing steadily for the past few years. But now, according to Nielsen, digital sales have stalled. Most analysts attribute previously high sales to consumers wanting to replace their physical music with digital files. But now most people have digitized their collection and the flurry of sales have ended. Jim thinks it might just be the music.

Lil Wayne recently released a digital album calledI Am Not A Human Being...weeks before his CD drops...and from jail! The rapper, who made his name through self-released mixtapes, has always embraced the digital realm. But brick and mortar stores are not happy about this trend.

In the past royalty organizations only needed to worry about radio, and perhaps, television. Ah, the good old days. Now there are tons of internet streaming sites, and a federal appeals court admits it’s more complicated than once thought. A recent ruling, involving Yahoo/Real Networks and ASCAP, says that a lower court’s method for calculating music royalties is flawed; streaming royalties shouldn’t be the same as radio. This decision is significant, as Greg explains. Had it gone the other way, many music sites would either start charging or make less music available to fans.

Michael Rother

Our guest this week might not be a familiar name to most. But, Michael Rother is one of the most innovative figures in rock. Along with Klaus Dinger, he formed Neu! and created three hugely influential albums in the 1970’s. They were part of a great wave of German art rock of that period and continue to be name checked by everyone from Wilco to Sonic Youth to U2. Rother talks to Jim and Greg about his solo work and his time with Neu!. The band’s back catalog is now available in a limited edition box set, and Rother is touring the country with a new band under the name Hallogallo 2010.

Body Talk Robyn

Body Talk, Pt. 2

Swedish pop artist Robyn has been making music since she was a teenager. You might think of her as Sweden’s answer to Britney Spears. But, she has since gone indie and edgy and began releasing a three part series called Body Talk last year. Body Talk, Pt. 2 feels like a full album to Jim. He loves her maturity and experimentation, noting that Robyn has even managed to make Snoop Dogg sound original. He gives it a Buy It rating. Greg agrees, and prompts Katy Perryto pay attention: This is how you make smart pop music. He doesn’t hear anything as catchy as Body Talk Pt 1’s Dancing on My Own, but also gives the 2nd round a Buy It.

Majesty Shredding Superchunk

Majesty Shredding

Perhaps no band better symbolizes the indie rock underground than Superchunk. They have been committed to being indie both in terms of sound and practice since forming in Chapel Hill in 1989. Two of its members have gone on to run Merge Records, home to Arcade Fire and Spoon. While they never officially broke up, the band hasn’t released an album in almost a decade. Majesty Shredding is worth the wait according to Greg. They do pop rock as good as anyone, and Mac McCaughan still sings with the enthusiasm of a kid. Jim agrees, adding that they did lose the plot for a little while. He’s happy to hear they have returned to form - simple exuberance - and Superchunk gets a double Buy It.

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