features 2017

Sample Platter: Voices of Conquest's "O Yes My Lord"

Jim and Greg explore how a 1960s gospel track out of Detroit found new life recently in two contemporary tracks. Both pop duo Phantogram and Chicago rapper Common sample "O Yes My Lord" by Voices of Conquest on their respective songs "Same Old Blues" and "Kingdom." The sample features a large church choir and John Bonham-like drumming. J&G discuss the origins of all three songs, and how both artists use the sample to enhance their tracks.

Go to episode 600

Hooked On Sonics: Lydia Loveless

Lydia Loveless At age 14 Lydia Loveless was living in Columbus, Ohio, trying to find her way around a bass guitar as she played in bands with her sisters. The song "Put It On You" from the now defunct New York rockers The Fever changed all that. For our segment Hooked on Sonics, Lydia tells us how that song changed her approach to playing bass, inspired to her to start writing songs, and ultimately led to a career singing about“miserable, unrequited love.”

Go to episode 599

C.W. McCall's "Convoy"

Convoy C.W. McCall had a surprise #1 hit in 1976 with the novelty country song "Convoy," sparking a global C.B. radio craze. But C.W. McCall was, in fact, a fictional creation. Producer Evan Chung tells the strange story of how“Convoy”became a cultural phenomenon. He speaks with the songwriters behind“Convoy”– ad executive-turned-lyricist/vocalist Bill Fries and composer Chip Davis (later of Mannheim Steamroller fame) – who reveal the origins of C.W. McCall in a series of Nebraska bread commercials. With its tale of trucker rebellion told through C.B. radios,“Convoy”reflected actual nationwide strikes by truck drivers in the '70s. Historian Meg Jacobs, author of Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s, explains how the oil crisis of 1973 upended Americans‘ self-perception as consumers and led to turmoil across the country. Like the song“Convoy”itself, it’s an odd, rollicking tale that takes many surprising turns.

Go to episode 598

Sample Platter: James Brown's "Funky Drummer"

Stubblefield's drumming also formed the rhythmic basis of hip-hop, with his breaks being sampled hundreds of times. Most famously, a few bars of his playing on "Funky Drummer" from 1970 has become one of the most sampled pieces of music of all time. Jim and Greg do a Sample Platter, charting the track's use in dozens of rap and pop hits, from Public Enemy to LL Cool J to George Michael.

Go to episode 587

Hooked on Sonics: Jason Narducy

This is the first of our new series called Hooked on Sonics, where we ask a musician to talk about a single song that turned music into their passion. For this installment, we hear from Jason Narducy. Jason tours as part of Bob Mould's band, he plays bass for Superchunk, and has his own band Split Single. The song that got him Hooked on Sonics was "Ramones Medley" from the Ramones' Rock n Roll High School soundtrack.

Go to episode 587

Sample Platter: Lupe Fiasco's "Kick, Push"

In 2006, Lupe Fiasco released the song "Kick, Push" which introduced Lupe to a national audience. According to Jim, the song accomplished for skateboarding what the Beach Boys did for surfing. In this installment of Sample Platter, Jim and Greg talk about the unconventional sample that drives "Kick, Push". The sample is pulled from Philipina singer Celeste Legaspi's early 1980s song "Bolero Medley." Plus, we hear Lupe's take on the sample, and how it created inroads for new audiences.

Go to episode 586

Sample Platter: Kraftwerk

Often overlooked is Krautrock's influence on hip-hop. So and Jim and Greg present another installment of Sample Platter, where Jim and Greg take a look at chart toppers that prominently feature a unique sample. This week, they analyze how Krautrock has influenced hip-hop artists for decades. Jim and Greg discuss how artists from Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force to Kanye West have sampled Kraftwerk and Can to create new pieces of music that still evoke the industrial rhythm of the streets.

Go to episode 583