Cut Copy & Björk Review

The Australian electronic pop band Cut Copy performs live in the studio.

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Amazon recently announced its move into the publishing world. Authors like Laverne and Shirley’s Penny Marshall have inked deals to have their books published and distributed by the online retailer. These kind of deals are similar to the exclusive releases sold by music retailers like Wal-Mart and Starbucks. So it begs the question: Is Amazon the music label next?

Longtime soul musician Syl Johnson’s songs have been sampled by countless other artists. And consequently he’s turned into a serial litigator according to Greg. The latest people to face his legal wrath: Kanye West and Jay-Z. The hip-hop stars used a sample of Johnson’s track Different Strokes in their song The Joy from Watch the Throne. And now Johnson is seeking an injunction, damages and legal fees.

In other music news, Stone Roses fans will be happy to learn that the Manchester band will hit the stage for the first time in 15 years. Greg compares the group to the Oasis of its time, but wonders if they’ll still have the chops. After all, The Stone Roses split after a disastrous show at the Reading Festival in 1996.

Cut Copy

Next up Jim and Greg are visited by members of the Australian quartet Cut Copy. The group merges classic pop sounds with electronic dance beats, but began as just a bedroom project for former graphic designer and DJ Dan Whitford. He added guitars, drums and keyboards to the mix, and the result is a live instrumentation that rivals the production you’ll hear on record. Cut Copy performs songs from their recent album Zonoscope, which packs in hooks and a sheen that harkens back to ‘70s pop radio. Check out video of the band in the studio.

Biophilia Björk

Biophilia

Björk is always ambitious. And on her latest release Biophilia, she releases her iPad compositions as a full-blown multimedia project with apps and animation. You have to admire it, but the music is something else for Jim and Greg. She employs custom instruments and unconventional rhythms and time-signatures, but nothing comes out very coherent or melodic. It’s robotic and lacks emotion, and Jim and Greg say Trash It.

Greg

It’s Greg’s turn to drop a song in the Desert Island Jukebox, and he chooses to honor Bert Jansch who died recently at age 67. The Scottish folk guitarist can count Neil Young and Jimmy Page among his followers, and his east meets west sound continues to be an influence for a new generation of folk artists such as Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart. Greg chooses the tune When the Sun Comes Up, featuring Orton from his 2006 release Black Swan.

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