The Best Songs of 2007 - Mixtapes
Jim and Greg present their Mixtapes for 2007. Check out the track listing below.Go to episode 109
Best of 2007
It's a critic and a music fan's favorite time of year. Jim and Greg run down their top albums for 2007. You can view their complete lists below.
For more end-of-year discussion, check out the Sound Opinions Message Board.Go to episode 107
Jim and Greg unearth another batch of Buried Treasures. Here are this week's gems:Go to episode 104
Turkey Shoot 2007
Every Thanksgiving Jim and Greg celebrate by breaking out the double barrel and taking out the year's biggest musical“turkeys”in a Turkey Shoot. These aren't just flops or bad records, but albums Jim and Greg had high hopes for that turned out to be disappointments. Here are this year's birds:Go to episode 103
Rock's Best Lead-Off Tracks
This week's show is dedicated to the true rock geeks out there. Continuing in the tradition of "Track 1, Side 1" Jim and Greg take the discussion into the post-vinyl age. What songs best kick-off an album? Here are their picks for the best Lead-Off Tracks of all time:Go to episode 92
Next Jim and Greg dig up some recent Buried Treasures. Here are some albums you may not have heard, but should.Go to episode 87
The Best of Rock Whistling
"Young Folks" features some of the best whistling in rock history — some of it done live, some of it done with the help of a sampler and whistlers in the audience. In honor of the band's appearance on the show, Jim and Greg decided to name some other great moments in rock whistling. Here are their picks. Whistling fans should also check out this DJ Riko's whistling mashup, "Whistler's Delight."Go to episode 83
The Best of 2007… So Far
Jim and Greg just couldn‘t wait until the end of the year to start picking their favorite albums, so they’ve decided to name their 2007 mid-year best.Go to episode 81
Best Cover Songs
In the age of karaoke and“American Idol,”it's easy to forget how great a cover song can be. But, as Jim and Greg discuss, an artist's interpretation of someone else's song can often be better than the original. In those cases, the performer brings passion and a new spin to a song. During the course of the show, Jim and Greg run down their picks for best cover songs. (For an even longer list of noteworthy cover songs, go to the thread on the Sound Opinions Message Board.)Go to episode 79
It's true that rock and roll can never die, and neither can its icons. Recently music fans have been treated to three major posthumous releases from Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake. Releasing music by a deceased artist is tricky business; you can run the risk of doing overkill or being tacky. Let's see how these three memorial efforts pan out:Go to episode 78
Best of SXSW 2007
While Jim and Greg definitely heard some clunkers during their time in Austin, they were mostly impressed with the wide variety of underground bands. For Jim and Greg's full wrap-ups, check out their day-by-day accounts in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. Here are some they recommend checking out:Go to episode 69
Desert Island Jukebox Highlights
As the hosts of the show, Jim and Greg are always given the tough challenge of picking just one song they can‘t live without to drop into the Desert Island Jukebox. But, over time, they’ve also asked some of their favorite musical guests to make this difficult decision. It's interesting to hear what music these artists want to be stranded with. Here are just some of the selections:
- Thom Yorke of Radiohead - "The Old Man's Back Again" by Scott Walker
- Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead - "Kool Thing" by Sonic Youth
- Robyn Hitchcock - Revolver by The Beatles (in his mind)
- Scott McCaughey - "Walking in the Rain" by The Ronettes
- Peter Buck - "Daddy Rollin' in Their Arms" by Dion
- Lupe Fiasco - "The Highwayman" by The Highwaymen
- Julian Casablancas of The Strokes - "Moonlight Sonata" by Ludwig van Beethoven
- Jon Brion - "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tenille
- Rhymefest - "All I Do," by Stevie Wonder
- Jason Lytle of Grandaddy - "Roscoe" by Midlake
Valentine's Day Live
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Sound Opinions decided to have an intimate celebration — just Jim, Greg…and a couple hundred of their closest friends. They invited listeners to join them in a live taping at the Chicago Cultural Center. They were also joined by alt-country troubadour Robbie Fulks and his wife Donna. Robbie and Donna agreed to act as the Paul Shaffer of the show and perform the hosts‘ favorite love, lust and anti-love songs. They also treated the audience to some of Robbie’s own songs.
There are so many different types of love songs in rock and roll, that Jim and Greg had to divide their picks into 3 different categories:“Love Stinks,”"Endless Love," and“Carnal Love.”These hit all the notes of heartbreak, romance and lust that run through rock music. Jim and Greg picked out some of their favorite love songs and asked Robbie and Donna to perform them. Here are the selections featured on the show:
- Jim: Rolling Stones, "Dead Flowers"
- Greg: Richard and Linda Thompson, "Walking a on Wire"
- Jim: Mudhoney, "If I Think"
- Greg: Smokey Robinson, "You Really Got a Hold On Me"
- Jim: The Troggs, "I Want You"
- Greg: Amazing Rhythm Aces, "Third Rate Romance"
The audience also got a chance to get in on the action. Here are some of their favorite love songs:
- Sebadoh, "Not a Friend"
- Extreme, "More Than Words"
- Neutral Milk Hotel, "In The Aero Plane Over The Sea"
Sound Opinions H.Q. also dug up some trivia on two famous rock couples. Biographer Michael Streissguth, who wrote Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: The Making of a Masterpiece, believes that Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash's“song”would have to be "Meet Me in Heaven." While "Ring of Fire" encapsulated their relationship early on,“Meet Me in Heaven,”is a song the couple loved to perform together later in their life. The lyrics really expressed how Johnny felt about growing old with June.
Also, Charles Cross, who wrote Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain, told us that Kurt and Courtney Love's song was an odd one. "Seasons in the Sun," by Terry Jacks was a favorite of the punk-loving couple. This was the first song Kurt Cobain ever purchased on a 45, and he appreciated its origins. The song was based on a French story by Jacques Brel called "The Dying Man." He wrote it for the Beach Boys, but that band thought it was a little too dark for them to record. Sounds perfect for Kurt and Courtney.Go to episode 63
The early winter months may be a sleepy time for major-label record releases, but tons of great music is still hovering under the radar. Jim and Greg dig up some of their favorite "Buried Treasures" during this week's show. The latest installment of undiscovered gems include:
- The Album Leaf, Into the Blue Again
- The Paybacks, Love, Not Reason
- The Gossip, Standing in the Way of Control
- The Polyphonic Spree, Wait
- The Memory Band, Apron Strings
- Wild Carnations, Superbus
- Tokyo Police Club, A Lesson in Time
- Benjy Ferree, Leavin the Nest
- Imogen Heap, Speak for Yourself
- Emily Haines, Knives Don't Have Your Back
- Espers, Espers II
Best of 2006: Listeners' Picks
Jim and Greg sounded off on the best albums of 2006 a few weeks ago, and this week it is the listeners' turn. Sound Opinions H.Q. received many calls and emails telling us what Jim and Greg got wrong, what Jim and Greg got right, and what some other great albums were. During this show we hear from just a few of you.
- John from West Virginia called in to take Jim to task on his choice of Neil Young's Living With War as one of the best albums of the year. He found it to be just terrible and one of the worst albums of the year. But he didn't disagree with everything, stating that he also really enjoyed Lily Allen.
- Carl emailed his“Top 40”of the year: a very extensive list with great descriptions of each album. His number 1 album was by The Decemberists, but Greg asks Carl to explain why he chose Night Ripper by Girl Talk as another one of his favorites. He says it's“perfect for the no-attention span generation,”and adds that it“kicks ass.”We couldn't agree more.
- Matt also wrote in with his five favorite albums. On that list were many alt-country bands like The Drams, the Drive-by-Truckers and Glossary. He and Jim also agree that The Raconteurs had one of the best albums of the year. Matt explains that one of the reasons Broken Boy Soldiers is so successful is that it is so concise: 10 songs all averaging three minutes. The short attention span of a listener is something Matt and Jim both agree is still an important consideration in the post-vinyl era.
Thanks to everyone who gave us his or her "Sound Opinion"!Go to episode 59