Tax Day & Opinions on PJ Harvey

Tax Day

More like H&R Rock: Nothing improves the irritation of filing taxes like a good soundtrack. As we prepare to give back to Uncle Sam, Jim and Greg carry out an audit of the best songs for Tax Day. Then, they review the new album from veteran British rocker PJ Harvey.

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After fifteen years on the air, American Idol is being voted off. The pop cultural juggernaut ruled the airwaves for years, producing stars like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson (along with plenty of forgettable idols). The show averaged 31.1 million viewers a week in 2006, but ratings during this final season are not even a third of that mark. Jim and Greg note the significance of Idol, but won’t miss the overemotive style of singing it promoted. The show’s legacy, in any case, lives on in newer programs like The Voice.

Tax Day Special

No matter what bracket you are in, no one likes paying taxes. Nothing makes things more tolerable, though, than great music. So Jim and Greg have compiled the perfect playlist for Tax Day:

Greg

  • T. Bone Burnett, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend
  • Fenton Robinson, Somebody Loan Me a Dime
  • Wu-Tang Clan, C.R.E.A.M.
  • Barrett Strong, The Beatles, Flying Lizard: Money (That’s What I Want)

Jim

  • The Beatles, Taxman
  • The Kinks, Sunny Afternoon
  • Johnny Cash, After Taxes
  • ABBA, Money, Money, Money

The Hope Six Demolition Project PJ Harvey

The Hope Six Demolition Project

English singer-songwriter PJ Harvey’s newest album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, drops April 15. This is her ninth album, and Jim and Greg have been following her from the beginning. The self-taught musician came into the spotlight in 1991 and debuted her album Dry in 1992 to critical acclaim. On this new album, Harvey pulls inspiration from her travels to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington D.C., where she observed local politics and infused her thoughts on them into her songwriting.

Greg notes that her writing style has changed in the past few albums. It was during her eighth album, Let England Shake that she transformed into a storyteller, and that approach comes through on The Hope Six Demolition Project as well. She’s an outsider looking in, but her reporting is still personal. Greg appreciates the emotional core of the record as well as the uplifting melodies that color her bleak accounts. The Hope Six Demolition Project is a Buy It for Greg.

Jim agrees, taking note that the theatricality of her third album To Bring You My Love returns in this album. Harvey also introduces an anthemic quality—her passion and anger are audible, and Jim loves it, making The Hope Six Demolition Project an enthusiastic double Buy It.

Greg

Greg takes a trip to the desert island tax shelter this week. Lately, he’s been thinking a lot about the rock band The Vulgar Boatmen. The group began in Florida/ Indiana in the early 1980s when a University of Florida professor teamed up with one of his former students. They made some cassette-only records before making full albums in 1989 and 1992. The 25th anniversary re-issue of their first album, You and Your Sister, came out a few months ago. Greg started listening to that record again, as well as 1992’s Please Panic. The song he chose was a track from their ‘92 record called You Don’t Love Me Yet. He feels the song exudes all the uncertainty and cautiousness surrounding love and thought it would be the perfect song to hear on the desert island.

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