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Because, let's face it—sometimes even we have no idea what the heck Jim and Greg are talking about.
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03-21-08 Footnotes
Show 121: SXSW '08 Wrap Up, REM Review
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1 Jim and Greg always return from the annual SXSW Music Festival with more than new favorite bands. They always get great insights into music industry trends. One issue that has been coming up for years now is how the music industry will survive in the digital age. This year Jim and Greg heard an interesting solution. Jim Griffin, a veteran music consultant, has proposed that Internet service providers charge an extra fee to compensate music copyright holders. Jim and Greg disagree about how effective this plan will be, but it’s certainly nice to hear solutions coming out of the music industry, rather than whining.

2 Another major industry figure to speak at SXSW was Ticketmaster CEO Sean Moriarty. In a panel led by Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith, Moriarty discussed how Ticketmaster will adjust after Live Nation severs ties and takes away 15% of its business. The ticketing company has plans to get in on the secondary ticket market, which prompts the question: What’s to stop Ticketmaster from holding back hundreds of tickets to an event only to re-sell them later at hugely marked up prices? The answer, according to Jim and Greg, is nothing. And for consumers who have already been treated unfairly by the ticket monopoly holder, the future does not appear bright.

3 One of the most buzzed about events at the festival was the debut of songs from R.E.M.’s new album Accelerate. The band played its first *show at SXSW, as well as Austin City Limits. Jim and Greg both saw the rock veterans perform and have listened to the new album. So what’s the verdict? Jim’s feelings are mixed. R.E.M. is a band that has meant a lot to him in the early part of their career, but has disappointed him in the past decade. They’ve never reached the peaks they did with albums like Life’s Rich Pageant, Murmur and Automatic for the People. He thought the ACL live show was better than recent tours, but not amazing. And the same can be said of Accelerate. They’ve returned to their roots, but not to form, and Jim can only give it a Burn It. Greg was actually pleasantly surprised to hear the band re-invested again—for the first time since losing drummer Bill Berry. That was an incredible loss for the other 3 members, and Accelerate is the first album in years that can stand up to their earlier work, according to Greg. He hears a renewed urgency in Michael Stipe’s voice and the emphasis placed once again on Peter Buck’s guitar. Greg gives Accelerate a Buy It.

*You can hear their live performance of “Fall On Me” during the show.

4 Every year Jim and Greg return from SXSW with a list of “freshman” bands they recommend listeners check out. Here’s the 2008 class:

Marked Men
Syd Straw
Crystal Castles
Pity Party
Space City Gamelan
Dark Meat

Ting Tings
Los Campesinos
Jay Reatard
Dark Meat

You can read Jim and Greg’s complete SXSW reports.

And check out last year’s picks to see where they are now.

Songs Featured in Show #121

R.E.M., “Horse to Water,” Accelerate, 2008
R.E.M., “Living Well is the Best Revenge,” Accelerate, 2008
R.E.M, “Fall on Me,” Live at Stubbs, 2008
Yeasayer, “Sunrise,” All Hour Symbals, 2007
The Frantic, "Fast Girl," Audio and Murder, 2007
Santogold, "L.E.S. Artistes," Creator, 2008
Crystal Castles, "Alice Practice," Crystal Castles, 2008
Los Campesinos, "You! Me! Dancing!," Hold on Now, Youngster, 2008
The Ting Tings, "That's Not My Name," The Ting Tings, 2008
Syd Straw, "CBGB's," War and Peace, 1996
Monotonix, "Deadly Weapon," Body Language EP, 2008
The Marked Men, "A Little Time," Fix My Brain, 2006
Trae, "Ghetto Queen," Life Goes On, 2007
Bootsy Collins, “What's a Telephone Bill?” Ahh...The Name is Bootsy, Baby! 1977
Bob Mould, “I Apologize” New Day Rising, 1985 Live in Studio
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, “Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth,” Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, 2005 The Arcade Fire, "Wake Up," Funeral, 2004
Billy Joel, “Captain Jack,” Piano Man, 1974

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