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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11-11-06 Footnotes
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1 There were not one, but two hissy fits thrown by major pop stars this year. The first was by the always incendiary rapper Kanye West. Sound Opinions H.Q. is a big fan of West, but sometimes he makes it darn hard. At the MTV Europe Music Awards, which will air in the States this weekend, West stormed the stage after losing the award for Best Music Video. He interrupted winners Justice and Simian as they were accepting their award and told viewers that by not winning, “the show loses credibility.” The H.Q. is less shocked at the number of expletives the Chicago native used, than we are by the fact that he thinks MTV awards have credibility. But, we’ll let you be the judge:

Touch the Sky” vs. “We Are Friends

2 Hissy fit #2 was thrown by Elton John. At a recent concert in New York, the singer/songwriter ranted about his label’s lack of interest in promoting his new album The Captain and the Kid. He demanded to be dropped from Universal Music Group, and told the audience, “I’m 58 and I don’t care anymore.” He also dropped the F-bomb 15 times. (Insert “Bitch is Back” joke here). Jim and Greg are rarely ones to defend major labels, but they float the idea that perhaps The Captain and the Kid just wasn’t very good.

3 This week Jim and Greg are joined by John Davis, otherwise known as DJ Shadow. For listeners not familiar with DJ Shadow, he is best known as an innovative and experimental hip hop producer with an ability to infuse other music genres, sounds and samples into his work. For many, his album Entroducing, is one of the landmark works of the last decade. His recent album, The Outsider, was not received as well. (Check out Jim and Greg’s review). Our hosts ask Shadow about the scrutiny and why he chose to make an album composed on his own and without being so sample oriented. Fans, even those who were disheartened by The Outsider, will appreciate his desire to stretch himself and make something completely new.

4 As mentioned above, The Outsider put more of the focus on guest vocalists and rappers than on samples. But with the current state of the music industry, Sound Opinions H.Q. can’t blame him. Greg asks the DJ what it was like to make music in the post-Paul’s Boutique era, i.e. when the copyright laws made life more difficult for sample-based musicians. DJ Shadow explains that for him, using other people’s music is both a way to be nostalgic and a way to call attention to music that people wouldn’t hear otherwise. For more insight into copyright and copyright culture, check out Jim and Greg’s interview with legal expert Lawrence Lessig.

5 Lindsey Buckingham, best known as the man behind Fleetwood Mac (and Stevie Nicks’ ex), recently released his first solo album in 14 years. Under the Skin is a quiet, stripped-down record that was largely recorded in hotel rooms. But, as Jim and Greg explain, Buckingham’s dulcet tones should by no means imply a lack of turmoil. Rather, he seems as troubled as ever. Both critics really admire how open and emotional the singer is, and how much he has challenged himself musically. But, they’re not sure how accessible Under the Skin is. Jim and Greg recommend most fans try the album out for a while and Burn It.

6 After much buzz and anticipation, the major-label debut album from Lady Sovereign has finally been released. The British rapper, who is at both times diminutive and loud-mouthed, caught fans’ attention after releasing an EP and a number of hit singles, and appearing at festivals like SXSW and Intonation. Public Warning is her first full-length album and is being put out by Def Jam. Not a bad way to make an entrance, but Jim and Greg wonder if there was too much expectation. They are both a little disappointed in Public Warning, and wish Lady Sovereign had released her album earlier and with some of her old material. But, they agree that there are a number of catchy, attitude-filled tracks and impressive rhymes and strongly urge listeners to not only Burn It, but keep an eye out for Lady Sov in the future.

7 Greg is choosing not to hold Sir Elton’s recent bad behavior against him. He wants to think back to a kindler, gentler time when John wasn’t just a diva, but also wrote good songs. One such song is “Where to Now St. Peter,” off of the Tumbleweeds Connection album, and Greg adds it to the Desert Island Jukebox this week. He thinks Tumbleweeds Connection is John and writing partner Bernie Taupin’s strongest beginning-to-end concept album, as opposed to the commonly named Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Greg explains that both men were at the top of their games: Taupin at conjuring up the “Wild West” in his lyrics and John at composing great songs, as opposed to great outfits.

Songs Featured in Show #50

Van Halen, “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love,” Van Halen, 1978
Kanye West, “Touch the Sky,” Late Registration, 2005
Elton John, “Postcards from Richard Nixon,” The Captain and the Kid, 2006
Prince, “3121,” 3121, 2006
DJ Shadow, “Organ Donor” Endtroducing, 1996
DJ Shadow, “Midnight in a Perfect World,” Endtroducing, 1996
Public Enemy, “Welcome to the Terrordome,” Fear of a Black Planet, 1990
DJ Shadow, “Pushin Buttons Live,” Private Press, 2002
DJ Shadow, “High Noon,” Preemptive Strike, 1997
DJ Shadow, “What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 4,” Endtroducing, 1996
DJ Shadow “This Time (I’m Gonna Try It May Way),” The Outsider, 2006
DJ Shadow “3 Freaks,” The Outsider, 2006
DJ Shadow “Building Steam With a Grain of Salt,” Endtroducing, 1996
Lindsey Buckingham, “To Try for the Sun,” Under the Skin, 2006
Lindsey Buckingham, “Under the Skin,” Under the Skin, 2006
Lady Sovereign, “Love Me or Hate Me,” Public Warning, 2006
Lady Sovereign, “Hoodie,” Public Warning, 2006
(Credits) Elton John, “Where to Now St. Peter,” Tumbleweeds Connection, 1971

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