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Slayer & Opinions on Weezer and Richard Thompson

Jim and Greg sit down with members of the influential metal band Slayer to talk about speed, Satan and Tipper Gore. Plus Jim and Greg review new albums from Weezer and Richard Thompson.

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Music News

By Christmas this year, get ready for war…in the digital universe, that is. Google has announced plans to open a digital store and music service that would compete with iTunes. Not to be left out, Apple has gotten in on social networking with its new service Ping. Currently there are other sites like Pandora that merge social sharing with music, but with iTunes' 160 million users, they are likely to dominate this turf.

With a #1record on the Billboard Chart, Eminem hardly needs any handouts. But, a court ruling recently made him an even richer man. A federal appeals court has overturned a victory for Universal Music Group in a dispute over how much in royalties it owes the rapper for digital sales of his songs. A previous ruling said that Eminem would receive traditional song royalties for digital tracks. Now he'll be“licensing”his songs rather than selling them. So his rate of return jumps from 18% to around 50%. If this decision sticks, the music industry is in for some big losses.

Sound Opinions wishes congratulations to recent guests The xx. The British trio was just crowned the winner of that country's Mercury Prize. Jim and Greg note that this achievement can sometimes mean more than prizes like the Grammy's in the states because the judges are not just industry insiders, but critics like this year's chairman Simon Frith. Frith credits the group's mysterious atmosphere for the win, which many thought would go to veteran musician Paul Weller. Cheers to you xx!

interview

Slayer

In the 1980's Slayer redefined the metal genre, bringing more speed and intensity than many had ever heard. But the musical virtuosity of members Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King and Dave Lombardo was often overshadowed by their lyrics and imagery, which at times referenced violence and satanism. That made them the target of groups like the Parents Music Resource Center, which was co-founded by Tipper Gore. But despite critics, they've been going strong for over three decades and are currently out on tour. Drummer Dave Lombardo and guitarist Kerry King sit down with Jim and Greg to talk about their favorite Slayer moments, working with Rick Rubin and what they'd say to parents concerned about their music.

reviewDream AtticDream Attic available on iTunes

Richard Thompson Dream Attic

On the other end of the music spectrum is veteran folk rock musician Richard Thompson. After releasing 5 albums with Fairport Convention, he went on to form a duo with former wife Linda Thompson, and then launched a solo career. His latest solo release is Dream Attic, which is a collection of live performances of new songs. As Greg explains, live is where Thompson is at his best. It's where audiences really get to experience his tremendous guitar skills. Previous releases focused more on Thompson's songwriting, so for Greg, this is one of his best. He gives Dream Attic a Buy It rating. Jim agrees, and would tell listeners who haven‘t experienced Thompson’s music to start here and work their way back. The songs are full of wit and wisdom and deserve a Buy It.

JimGreg
reviewHurleyHurley available on iTunes

Weezer Hurley

If you've seen the mug of Hurley from Lost lately, chances are you've been looking at the cover of the new album by Weezer. The band, fronted by Rivers Cuomo, has been recording at a prolific rate in the past few years. And many original fans continue to hold out hope that they'll meet or top their releases from the 1990's. But, as Greg explains, Cuomo, now a married father, is probably as happy as he's ever been and won‘t be returning to his old style of angsty songwriting. The upbeat pop songs he’s making now are good, but the emotional heft isn't there. Greg gives Hurley a Burn It rating. Jim admits there's a lot of silliness on this record, but the songs are very well-crafted. That's enough for him, so he gives it a Burn It.

JimGreg

Featured Songs

  1. Judas Priest, Island of Domination, Sad Wings of Destiny, Gull, 1976
  2. Eminem, Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna), Recovery, Aftermath, 2010
  3. The xx, Crystalised, xx, Young Turks, 2009
  4. Slayer, Raining Blood, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  5. Judas Priest, Grinder, British Steel, Columbia, 1980
  6. Slayer, Necrophobic, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  7. Slayer, Angel of Death, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  8. Slayer, Piece By Piece, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  9. Slayer, Jesus Saves, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  10. Slayer, Criminally Insane, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  11. Slayer, Altar of Sacrifice, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  12. Slayer, Postmortem, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  13. Slayer, South of Heaven, South of Heaven, Def Jam, 1988
  14. Slayer, Spill The Blood, South of Heaven, Def Jam, 1988
  15. Slayer, Spirit In Black, Seasons in the Abyss, American, 1990
  16. Slayer, Unit 731, World Painted Blood, American, 2009
  17. Slayer, Jihad, Christ Illusion, American, 2006
  18. Slayer, Disciple, God Hates Us All, American, 2001
  19. Slayer, Reborn, Reign in Blood, Def Jam, 1986
  20. Richard Thompson, Crimescene, Dream Attic, Shout! Factory, 2010
  21. Richard Thompson, The Money Shuffle, Dream Attic, Shout! Factory, 2010
  22. Weezer, Memories, Hurley, Epitaph, 2010
  23. Weezer, Where's My Sex, Hurley, Epitaph, 2010
  24. Forest Swords, Hjurt, Rattling Cage/Hjurt 7, " No Pain In Pop, 2010
  25. The Grateful Dead, Operator, American Beauty, Warner Bros., 1970
  26. John Mellencamp, No Better Than This, No Better Than This, Rounder Records, 2010
  27. Ride, Vapour Trail, Nowhere, Creation, 1990
  28. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream, Teenage Dream, Capitol, 2010

Footnotes

reuters.com Apple Vs. Google nytimes.com Apple announces Ping wsj.com iTunes ruling thexx.info The XX guardian.co.uk The XX wins Mercury Prize richardthompson-music.com Richard Thompson's site weezer.com Weezer's site chicagotribune.com Greg reviews Weezer