Fall is traditionally the busiest time of year for new music releases, which makes it hard to know what's worth your time and what's worth a pass. Thankfully, Jim and Greg have rummaged through their records and are ready to share the albums they think deserve to be hits.
Does anything define rock and roll more than its basic element, the guitar riff? Rock solos can be overblown and overrated, but a riff, when done right, can rule a song. It it in many ways, the essence of rock ‘n’ roll. So, inspired by Greg's recent BBCessay, Jim and Greg run through their favorite examples of guitar riffs in rock history, and they hear some picks from listeners across the country. But first, a definition. A riff is a brief statement – sometime only a handful of notes or chords – that recurs throughout the arrangement and can become the song's central hook. And for a guitarist like Nile Rodgers, it's not just a static foundational element, but like a river moving through the song. Now onto the goods.
Despite the fact that most musicians spend their lives avoiding a“real job,”there are a number of great songs about the drudgery and the glory of hard work. So this week, Jim and Greg dedicate the show to our nation's laborers with their favorite songs inspired by work.
For many music fans, when you hear "Rock Opera," you probably think of The Who's 1969 album Tommy. But, Jim and Greg assert that Tommy is neither the first, nor the best, Rock Opera. Credit for the first goes to S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things in 1968. Credit for the best? Well, there's a long list throughout music history, including those listed below. But whatever your favorite, just don't call it a concept album!
The Who's Quadrophenia
Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Green Day's American Idiot
Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger
Janelle Monae's The Archandroid
The Pretty Things's S.F. Sorrow
The Kinks' Arthur
Lou Reed's Berlin
David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust
Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage
Pink Floyd's The Wall
The Decemberists' Crane Wife
Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Greendale
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar
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The SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX is in its 27th year, and still remains the place for fans and industry professionals to see a ton of music. Every year Jim and Greg come back from SXSW with a list of new artists to watch (as well as aches, pains and headcolds). Check out the 2014 SXSW discoveries:
Remember that artist you fell in love with, hard, for about two months in 1992? Where are they now? Hopefully not in the Bermuda Triangle of Rock. This is the mysterious musical phenomenon where one day a band can be the next big thing, and the day after, poof, they're gone! Jim and Greg resurrect some of their favorite acts from the Bermuda Triangle including: