Bully and The Weeknd

bully

Led by singer/songwriter Alicia Bognanno, Nashville’s Bully draws upon the sound of the ‘90s alternative era to create blistering two-minute anthems. Bully joins Jim and Greg for a discussion and live performance. Plus, the number one album from The Weeknd.

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Music News

Miley Cyrus has gone from Disney star to Flaming Lips devotee. She and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips have released a 23 song long free album called Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz. The album purportedly is a tribute to her dead pets as evidenced in a song like Pablow the Blowfish. Jim thinks the record is nothing to write home about and is generally a waste of your time. Disagree? Call 888.859.1800.

EMI has stepped into the 21st century by doing something no other record label has done: allowing amnesty for samples. The company says the amnesty was put in place for the aim of encouraging new sample requests from its broad catalogue as well as ensuring already existing samples are properly licensed. It’ll allow samplers who used EMI samples in the past to declare their samples without the fear of a royalty back claim. Too little too late or a big step forward, you decide.

Going Going Gone! We love a good rock auction here on Sound Opinions. Jim covers the auctioning off of rock inflatables by the English company Air Artists which includes inflatable Freddie Mercury and Brian May from Queen’s 1986 The Magic tour; two life-size polystyrene and fiberglass casts used to make the inflatable Babylonian woman used on the Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon Tour; and the fiberglass train model used for AC/DC’s Runaway Train concert. Also averrable for cold hard cash? A night’s stay in the house that Bob Dylan and The Band wrote Music from Big Pink. Asking price per night - $650. Greg covers the auctioning off of the piano used to write ABBA’s Dancing Queen. ABBA cofounder Benny Andersson certified the piano and the asking price is $1.1 million. Finally The Beatles have their first recording contract up for auction. The band served as Tony Sheridan’s backing band on the song My Bonnie recorded in Hamburg Germany. The asking price on this piece of Fab Four history is $150,000 just a little more than the $80 the band was paid to make the record in the first place.

Bully

Our guest this week is the alternative grunge band out of Nashville, Bully. The group is fronted by Minnesota native Alicia Bognanno, with drummer Stewart Copeland (no, not the drummer of The Police,) bass player Reece Lazarus and guitarist Clayton Parker. In 2013, the band signed with Columbia on their Startime International label and in June of this year, released their debut full-length album, Feels Like.

Jim first saw Bully perform at SXSW this year in Austin and was blown away by their sonic power and emotional lyrics. A few weeks ago, Bully came into the studio and while unfortunately Greg couldn’t be there, Jim had a great time talking to the members about their past professions, ‘90s nostalgia and their unique sound.

Beauty Behind the Madness The Weeknd

Beauty Behind the Madness

CanadianR&B artist Abel Tesfaye spent several years as a mysterious underground phenomenon, releasing acclaimed EPs for free under the name of The Weeknd. After guesting on songs by his friend Drake, he’s now become a star, selling out arenas behind his new album Beauty Behind the Madness. The Weeknd is a major voice in the new wave of neo-soul along with Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs, and Solange. Jim thinks his musical ability is undeniable, particularly in the moments when he is reinterpreting the sound and vulnerability of Michael Jackson. Yet on the more R. Kelly-inspired half of the album, Jim feels The Weeknd crosses the line from sexiness into lewdness, so he can’t give the album more than a Try It. Greg agrees the sexual content of the lyrics is troubling, but believes Tesfaye is self-aware and ultimately critical of the attitudes his character expresses. The album represents a huge step forward musically, thanks in part to master pop producer Max Martin who managed to add hooks without watering down the darkness. Greg says Beauty Behind the Madness is a Buy It.

Stuff Like That There Yo La Tengo

Stuff Like That There

Yo La Tengo’s live sets are famed for including covers of obscurities from the rock canon. Their 1990 album Fakebook was filled with surprising unplugged covers alongside acoustic reinterpretations of songs from the band’s own catalog. Now on their fourteenth LP Stuff Like That There, the indie veterans are revisiting that concept. Greg admires the group’s mission to direct listeners’ attentions to neglected records they revere, both deep cuts from the distant past as well as songs by their underrated peers. But Greg wishes there was more variety in the hushed sound, so he gives the album a Try It. Jim has always loved the acoustic side of YLT since the band formed in his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey. Jim finds the interplay of Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan’s vocals to be lovely and is happy to see the return of guitarist Dave Schramm. It may be a surprise for fans of the noisier Yo La Tengo, but for Jim, Stuff Like That There is a Buy It.

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