Courtney Barnett & Opinions on Lydia Loveless

Courtney Barnett

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett’s 2015 album Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit was a critical success and Sound Opinions favorite. Her conversational songwriting manages to be simultaneously clever and poignant, and her guitar technique combining lead and rhythm parts is nothing short of impressive. All of her skills are on display as Courtney Barnett joins Jim and Greg for an interview and intimate solo performance in front of an audience. Plus, a review of the new album from country singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless.

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Michael Phelps

The Olympics are in full swing in Rio, and already they’re providing plenty of drama, spectacle, and frivolity. Everybody’s chatting about the ubiquitous practice of cupping among Olympians, as well as the angry game face of superhuman swimmer Michael Phelps as he listens to music in preparation for a race. Jim and Greg look at some of Team USA’s favorite songs to get them psyched for competition, and then they share their own picks. Greg would get pumped up by the glorious imperfections of A Great Divide by former Sound Opinions guests Parts & Labor. Jim, however, takes a different approach, preferring to center himself with Thursday Afternoon, a 60-minute ambient composition by Brian Eno (ding!).

Courtney Barnett

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett takes small moments of the every day and turns them into musical masterpieces. Barnett’s writing style is conversational and chuck-full of words. She uses sarcastic, witty and genuine lyrics to set herself apart from the alternative rock pack (she even ended up on President Obama’s Summer 2016 playlist!) Aside from being a unique songwriting talent, Courtney Barnett’s music is punctuated by her explosive guitar playing and powerful stage presence. While performing live, Barnett frequently plays both the lead and rhythm guitar parts, and her energy is electrifying. Jim and Greg spoke to Courtney about her 2015 debut Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, which both hosts had in their top 10 albums list of 2015. They’ll also chat about her songwriting process and musical influences, plus Courtney performs an exclusive solo set live from the Goose Island Tap Room.

Real Lydia Loveless

Real

This week Jim and Greg review the new record by country singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless, Real. Loveless is back at her signature songwriting with themes about small town lives and everyday events. Greg loves that she has stepped up her songwriting and singing to be more refined and honest, and gives this a Buy It. Jim agrees, pointing out that there is a whole range of songs on this record unlike what previous ones had, from pop to sparse acoustic to new wave, but all with her country flair in them. Real gets an enthusiastic Buy It from both Jim and Greg.

Greg

Greg’s newest addition to the Desert Island Jukebox is by Guided By Voices. Greg recalls seeing them at one of the first Lollapalooza festivals when they were first emerging, and how great of a live show they put on. While they have a lo-fi sound on recordings, Greg says that live they have a giant, exciting sound that drew crowds from all over. In remembrance of that concert over 20 years ago Greg adds I Am A Scientist by Guided By Voices to the Desert Island Jukebox.

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