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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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05-30-08 Footnotes
Show 131: Death Cab for Cutie, Usher Review, Jim's Desert Island Jukebox Pick

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1 One of the oldest songs in the book continues to be more expensive. But, that should change according to George Washington University Law professor Robert Brauneis. Brauneis, who is the Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Law Program at the university, recently published a paper on whether or not the song “Happy Birthday to You,” still holds a copyright. As of now, Sound Opinions and anyone else who plays the song, has to pay for that right, but Brauneis argues that Warner Music shouldn’t be able to make a copyright claim. So, will this paper bring “Happy Birthday” to the masses for free? Unlikely says Brauneis; until the royalty fee out-prices a lawyer’s fee, people will continue to pay up.

2 Jim and Greg are always fascinated and impressed by bands that are able to emerge from out of the underground fairly unscathed. The major label system today isn’t always such a friendly place for bands to navigate, particularly those that have a sense of integrity. So, when given the opportunity to have Death Cab for Cutie, a true indie rock success story, on the show, Jim and Greg were excited. Then add an audience of about 200 people and a beautiful theater space—the show really couldn’t ask for anything more. Lead singer Ben Gibbard, who many listeners will know through his side project The Postal Service, explains that the band has been really lucky. They spent 10 years growing and growing, with their last album going platinum. And their latest Narrow Stairs debuted at #1.

3 Ben Gibbard, Chris Walla, Nicholas Harmer and Jason McGerr treated Jim, Greg and the audience to a number of live songs. You can hear all their tracks on our website.

4 Usher, one of the reigning kings of R&B, has a new album out called Here I Stand. This is the fifth album for the crooner, and the first since he has gotten married and had a child. How do Jim and Greg like the more mature Usher? Jim appreciates his take on an old art-form. It isn’t radical, but refreshing, especially compared to some of his raunchier counterparts. Greg wishes Usher had a stronger identity and relied less on his collaborators. But, both critics think Here I Stand is worth a listen and give the album a Burn It rating.

5 It’s rare that Jim and Greg look to their children for critical expertise, but Jim was recently impressed by his 11-year-old daughter. While practicing for her school’s Broadway revue, she noted that The Coasters’ version of “Yakety-Yak” is far superior to that in Smokey Joe’s Café. And indeed, she is right. Jim chooses to add the 1958 song to the Desert Island Jukebox. He explains that songwriter Jerry Leiber of the team Leiber and Stoller thought of the song as “a white kid’s view of a black person’s conception of white society.” Pretty heady for a doo-wop song, and perfect for desert island contemplating.


Songs Featured in Show #131
Marilyn Monroe, “Happy Birthday to You,” 1962 Live Performance
Death Cab for Cutie, "No Sunlight," Narrow Stairs, 2008
Death Cab for Cutie, "Title and Registration," Transatlanticism, 2003 Live in the Studio
Death Cab for Cutie, "Long Division," Narrow Stairs, 2008
Death Cab for Cutie, "Soul Meets Body," Plans, 2005
Death Cab for Cutie, "I Will Possess Your Heart," Narrow Stairs, 2008 Live in the Studio
Death Cab for Cutie, "405," We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, 2000 Live in the Studio
Death Cab for Cutie, "Cath," Narrow Stairs, 2008 Live in the Studio
Usher, "Love in this Club," Here I Stand, 2008
Usher, "This Ain't Sex," Here I Stand, 2008
Usher, "Yeah," Confessions, 2004
Usher, "Moving Mountains," Here I Stand, 2008
The Coasters, "Yakety Yak," Rock and Roll Party, 1964
Ratatat, "Falcon Jab," LP3, 2008
Wolf Parade, "Language City," At Mount Zoomer, 2008
Los Campesinos, "Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats," Hold on Now Youngster..., 2008
Man Man, "Harpoon Fever," Rabbit Habits, 2008


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