Sound Opinions
Sound Opinions, being the scholarly work it is, has provided footnotes to help you navigate through the show's vast maze of musical knowledge.

Because, let's face it—sometimes even we have no idea what the heck Jim and Greg are talking about.
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07-15-06 Footnotes
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1 The Nielsen Soundscan midyear report for 2006 came out this year, and some of its findings are surprising. While the buzz seems to be that the music industry is being killed by digital music sales, which increased by 77% from 2005, albums are only down by 4.2%. So Jim and Greg aren’t consoling record executives just yet, not just that the more significant revelation is that the disconnect between what the critics are enjoying and what people are actually buying is even greater than one might think. The number one selling album of the year so far is not by a venerated rock artist or a hip hop star, but rather is the soundtrack to High School Musical, a Disney made-for-TV movie. The tween phenomenon shows how young girls still have much of the buying power in the industry. Coming in second is country/pop act Rascal Flatts. And a further scan of the list reveals that Jim and Greg were only compelled to review two of the records on it: Mary J. Blige’s The Breakthrough and Taking the Long Way by the Dixie Chicks. So, we hope that trends turn around in the months to come. Otherwise Jim and Greg will have to score that interview with Zac after all.

2 Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett died this week in his home in Cambridge, England. Barrett started the band, which he named after two American bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, in 1965. After releasing The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which was recorded at Abbey Road the same year as the other British psychedelic hallmark, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, the group, and particularly Barrett became a superstar. However, as Jim and Greg explain, this natural frontman shunned the spotlight. Barrett became a heavy LSD user and was likely suffering from schizophrenia, and by 1968 he was forced to leave the band. Subsequently, he made two solo albums, but eventually went into virtual exile. However, his influence on the band, and on future musicians, remained strong. You can hear band mate Nick Mason talk to Jim about his feelings on Barrett’s demise. He, like all Pink Floyd fans, understood what a talent Barrett was and wished they had had the foresight to intervene and prevent such a tragic end. But, Barrett’s legacy will live on through his music. Listen to “Baby Lemonade,” one of Barrett’s last performances with members of Pink Floyd, as well as David Bowie’s cover of “See Emily Play.”

3 Rapper Rhymefest joins Jim and Greg on the show this week. Rhymefest, born Che Smith in Chicago’s Jeffrey Manor neighborhood, is one of many Chicago rappers slated to be the next Kanye or Common. However Rhymefest is not a novice to the scene. A longtime staple of the city’s battle rapping scene, Rhymefest initially claimed fame after defeating Eminem in an emcee tournament. Then, he helped to pen Kanye West’s Grammy Award winning song “Jesus Walks.” But now listeners can hear some of his own work. This week Rhymefest released his major label debut, Blue Collar.

4 Two of the tracks you’ll hear in this interview are “Devil’s Pie,” which is based on a sample of The Strokes’ “Someday,” as well as “Bullet,” which Rhymefest performs live in the studio. Bullet, which the emcee performs live in the studio, also samples a rock song—Citizen Cope’s song “Bullet and a Target.” Rhymefest explains the story behind this track to Jim and Greg. He recounts being at the mall, and seeing a promotion for a brand new Hummer. However, upon further investigation, the rapper discovers that this is not a sweepstakes he is signing up for, but rather the U.S. Army.

5 Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke recently put out a new album, The Eraser. It’s his first solo album, though as he explained to Jim and Greg when he visited the show, it’s perhaps unfair to label it as such. Many of the tracks were composed by members of the band, and it was produced by longtime Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich. But the record is credited to Yorke, so Jim and Greg decide to go ahead with the term “solo.” Jim has long resisted jumping on the Radiohead train, though he’s always enjoyed their rhythm section as well as their live performances. So, it is interesting that it is with this album, one that lacks the bombast of their live shows, that Jim finally learned to “stop worrying and love the Yorke.” He gives it a Buy It rating. Greg, a longtime Radiohead fan, is actually the dissenter here. He likes the record, but finds it to be merely a modest production. So he gives it a modest Burn It.

6 The number one album this week is India Arie’s third release Testimony: Vol.1, Life & Relationship. This is the first number one record for the neo-soul singer, who previously achieved success with Acoustic Soul and its hit single, “Video.” But, while they admired that album’s stripped down and sensual approach, neither Jim nor Greg find this effort to be successful. In fact, Jim says that even though it means well, he “despises” Testimony and its pseudo-self-help lyrics. Greg agrees, citing cliché after cliché as reasons he won’t be going back for another listen. So, this number one album gets two Trash Its.

7 Just as Rhymefest was inspired by The Strokes song “Someday,” which he sampled in his track “Devil’s Pie,” Jim, too, was inspired to choose it as his Desert Island Jukebox song. While the Strokes don’t have a typical hip hop sound, Jim explains that their rhythms, which echo a New York subway train, have a very hip hop beat and momentum. The man largely responsible for that sound is drummer Fabrizio Moretti, who Jim admires for being a masterful, simplistic drummer, if not for a few other reasons.

Songs Featured in Show #33

High School Musical Cast, “Start of Something New,” Original TV Soundtrack to High School Musical, 2006
Rascal Flatts, “I’m Moving On,” Rascal Flatts, 2000
Pink Floyd, “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” Wish You Were Here, 1975
Pink Floyd, “Astronomy Domine,” The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 1967
Syd Barrett, “Baby Lemonade,” Peel Sessions, 1970
David Bowie, “See Emily Play,” Pin-Ups, 1973
Rhymefest, “Devil’s Pie,” Blue Collar, 2006
Rhymefest, “Bullet,” Blue Collar, 2006 Live in Studio
Rhymefest, “Chicago-Rillas (instrumental),” Blue Collar, 2006
Thom Yorke, “Black Swan,” The Eraser, 2006
Thom Yorke, “And it rained all night,” The Eraser, 2006
India Arie, “India Song,” Testimony: Volume 1, Life and Relationships, 2006
India Arie, “I Am Not My Hair,” Testimony: Volume 1, Life and Relationships, 2006
The Strokes, “Someday,” Is this It, 2001
Credits: I Am Robot and Proud, “Good Sleep,” Electricity in Your House Wants to Sing, 2005

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