Divine Fits & Rihanna Review

Divine Fits, the band with Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner is live in the Sound Opinions studio.

Divine Fits band photo
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Anyone who has ever taught his or her parent to use an iPhone knows that the older generation doesn’t always mix well with the digital age. But don’t tell that to the Rolling Stones. The veteran rockers are celebrating their 50 years in the business by releasing an app. As Mick explains, the Stones wanted to something special and innovative. And of course, they wanna sell stuff. Also coming around to this new fangled digital world is AC/DC. The longstanding Apple holdouts will finally make their catalog available on iTunes. That just leaves a short list of withholders including Black Sabbath and Garth Brooks.

Rihanna hit #1 this week for the first time. Jim and Greg review the new album later in the show, but are interested in the fact that Ri-Ri joined a long list of prominent artists in an open letter to Congress opposing the Internet Radio Fairness Act. Apparently, she doesn’t credit streaming services like Pandora with her success. Members of Maroon 5, Pink Floyd and Katy Perry join Rihanna in saying, we dig you Pandora, but don’t gut our royalties. Check out Greg’s coverage of the debate from the recent Future of Music Summit.

Divine Fits

Well they are super and they are a group, but don’t let the categorization make you think any less of the new duo Divine Fits. It combines the talents of Britt Daniel of Spoon Dan Boeckner of Handsome Furs and Wolf Parade, and Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks, along with keyboardist Alex Fischel. Britt and serial-collaborator Dan (both veterans of the Sound Opinions studio) share the singing and songwriting duties, and the musical relationship began with just a simple phone call...not an email! The result is the aptly named A Thing Called Divine Fits. Dan credits Sister Nancy as inspiration for the title. Check out video of their live performance.

Unapologetic Rihanna

Unapologetic

Reigning pop/R&B queen and hook-singer du jour Rihanna is back with a new release called Unapologetic - her first to top the Billboard albums chart. The 24-year-old Barbadian singer has been all over the news in recent weeks, though not necessarily for her music. By dueting with the man who assaulted her in 2009 (fellow R&B singer Chris Brown) on Nobody’s Business, Rihanna ensured her seventh studio album would be everybody’s business. So how’s the music? Jim calls the upbeat dance-pop fare on the first half of the record pure pop pleasure. But when things get sappier and slowed-down on side two, her limits as a vocalist become clear. Greg agrees with Jim that Rihanna’s Chris Brown collab is pure button-pushing. He points to her 2009 album Rated R as a more ambitious and successful exploration of that troubled relationship. While he appreciates that the singer is moving in a more serious direction, he laments that the pop hooks just aren’t there. Unapologetic gets a double Try It.

Jim

Jim’s DIJ pick was inspired by an article he read recently in The New Yorker. In spite of a life-long hatred of The Grateful Dead, Jim made it through (and even enjoyed!) Nick Paumgarten’s 25,000 words on the world of Deadhead bootleg tape collecting. No, this critic wasn’t converted to the church of Jerry Garcia, but the article did remind him of some particular nasty punk songs with lyrics about the Dead. His favorite, Pop Songs by Suicidal Tendencies, is this week’s addition to the jukebox.

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