Protomartyr and Opinions on The Preatures

Detroit postpunk band Protomartyr visits the Sound Opinions studio, and Jim and Greg review a new album by the Australian quintet The Preatures.

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The Turtles are best known for hits like 1967's "Happy Together." But, vocalists Flo and Eddie, or Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, are still making news—but more for their legal battles than their music. Last year they sued SiriusXM for $100 million, saying that by playing its songs without permission, the broadcaster had infringed on the group's rights under state laws. The first ruling came down in September in California, in favor of The Turtles. Then, earlier this month, a district court judge in New York ruled against SiriusXM and rejected its motion for summary judgment. This is being considered a major victory for artists and record companies in the copyright debate. But, more significantly, it may have wider impact if the cases lead to changes in copyright law—specifically an obscure provision on recordings made before 1972 when federal copyright protection went into effect. For songs by the Turtles and other "oldies" acts, neither SiriusXM nor services like Pandora pay labels or artists. They do, however, pay royalties for songwriting. So, it begs the question - who should get credit, financial that is, for a song—the songwriter, the performer, or both? And as Wondering Sound Lead News Writer Marc Hogan explains, $60 million/year is at stake according to royalties organization SoundExchange. So lawmakers better get cracking.





In the 1990's, the musical attitude of Detroit was reshaped by artists like Eminem and Jack White. But now the Motor City's mood has changed even more, and the minimalist post-punk sounds of Protomartyr are at the fore. The four-piece made a big impact on Greg back at this year's SXSW in Austin, TX with an almost contradictory mix of urgency and restraint, courtesy of guitarist Greg Ahee's stripped down playing and vocalist Joe Casey's sometimes callous, sometimes cool vocals. The band is rounded out by bassist Scott Davidson and drummer Alex Leonard and Greg welcomes them into the studio for a conversation and performance of songs off their sophomore album, Under Color of Official Right. In addition to their connection to literary icon Elmore Leonard, the band also tells Greg about how they went from a somewhat nonchalant beginnings, to constructing a tightly arranged and thoroughly purposeful album guided by the philosophy of doing more with less.

reviewBlue Planet EyesBlue Planet Eyes available on iTunes

The Preatures Blue Planet Eyes

While Greg discovered Protomartyr at the 2014 SXSW Music Conference, Jim came back from Austin raving about The Preatures. The Australian quintet's new album is called Blue Planet Eyes, and both Jim and Greg think it's the warm, upbeat salve we need during these blistering months. The album was produced by Spoon's Jim Eno, and Greg can hear his taut, syncopated touches all over it. And while Preatures singer Isabella Manfredi is being compared to New Wave divas like Blondie and Chrissie Hynde, Jim adds another joyful influence:“Walking on Sunshine”by Katrina & the Waves. If you're making your list for Santa, add Blue Planet Eyes—a double Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. The Turtles, Happy Together, Happy Together, Sundazed Music, 1967
  2. Aretha Franklin, Rolling in the Deep, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, RCA, 2014
  3. Protomartyr, Scum, Rise!, Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  4. Protomartyr, Come & See (Live on Sound Opinions), Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  5. Protomartyr, Maidenhead, Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  6. Protomartyr, Trust Me Billy, Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  7. Protomartyr, Wine of Ape, No Passion All Technique, Urinal Cake, 2012
  8. Protomartyr, Want Remover (Live on Sound Opinions), Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  9. Drake, Do It Now, Drake – Born Successful, mtmjmedia, 2009
  10. Protomartyr, Cowards Starve (Live on Sound Opinions), unreleased, N/A, 2014
  11. Protomartyr, In My Sphere, No Passion All Technique, Urinal Cake, 2012
  12. Protomartyr, Come & See, Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  13. Protomartyr, I'll Take that Applause (Live on Sound Opinions), Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  14. Protomartyr, I'll Take that Applause, Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  15. Protomartyr, Ain't So Simple, Under Color of Official Right, Hardly Art, 2014
  16. The Preatures, This is How You Feel, Blue Planet Eyes, Harvest, 2014
  17. The Preatures, Cruel, Blue Planet Eyes, Harvest, 2014
  18. The Preatures, Business, Yeah, Blue Planet Eyes, Harvest, 2014
  19. Katrina and the Waves, Walking on Sunshine, Walking on Sunshine, Capitol, 1985
  20. Kevin Lyttle, Call Me, Kevin Lyttle, Atlantic, 2004
  21. Cannibal Ox, The F-Word, The Cold Vein, Definitive Jux, 2001
  22. Led Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin II, Atlantic, 1969
  23. Led Zeppelin, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Led Zeppelin, Atlantic, 1969
  24. Joey Ramone, Don't Worry About Me, Don't Worry About Me, Sanctuary Records, 2002

Footnotes Marc Hogan on the Turtles lawsuit The Turtles vs. SiriusXM SoundExchange The Turtles Jim and Greg at SXSW 2014 Protomartyr Greg talks to Protomartyr Jim reviews The Preatures Greg reviews The Preatures The Preatures Walking on Sunshine