Results for 2000s

interviews

Stephen Witt

When digital music piracy began dominating headlines in the '90s and early 2000s, many understood the issue to be a phenomenon perpretrated by a horde of anonymous hackers. But in his new book How Music Got Free, author Stephen Witt has traced a large part of the story back to a single individual with a name. Dell Glover, an employee at a North Carolina CD manufacturing plant, smuggled out hundreds of major recordings and helped leak them online before their official release date. So while the record industry was aggressively prosecuting college students and other members of their own consumer base, one of their own employees was in fact responsible for the bulk of their piracy issues. Stephen Witt joins Jim and Greg to discuss Glover's accomplishments, the ethics of file sharing, and the music industry's inept response.

Go to episode 507

Neko Case

Singer/songwriter Neko Case is back with a new album called The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. This is Neko's 6th release, and over the past few years she's let the world see a little more of her humor and unique point of view. Granted, she still lives quite privately on a farm in Vermont, but the songs on this album, not to mention all the tweets, are more revealing than ever. The album is also poised to bring Neko the biggest profile of her career, so Jim and Greg thought it would be fun to bring her back to the place where it all started: the Chicago music club, The Hideout. She worked as a bartender there in the early 2000s, and even bunked upstairs. She performs songs from the new album with Eric Bachmann & Kelly Hogan.

Go to episode 413
reviews
MosquitoMosquito available on iTunes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Mosquito

During the 2000s, two bands forged a New York garage rock revival: The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Two weeks ago, Jim and Greg eviscerated Comedown Machine, The Strokes' fifth studio effort. This week, they take on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' latest, Mosquito. Is this yet another case of early promise and later disappointment? Jim says“no way.”The album art might turn his stomach, but he's digging Mosquito, which shows the band experimenting with musical styles from gospel to hip-hop. Unlike The Strokes' similar genre experiments, Jim says Mosquito sounds organic, not contrived. Greg agrees. He was a big fan of lead singer Karen O's 2003 song "Maps," so he's glad to hear more of her emotional vocals on this record. Mosquito gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 385
FoodFood available on iTunes

Kelis Food

Singer (and Cooking Channel personality) Kelis Rogers has just released her sixth album, called, appropriately, Food. Kelis was huge in the UK in the early 2000s, but her 2003 hit "Milkshake" was the first (and last) time that American audiences paid her much attention. On Food, Kelis is again blending the creative and the culinary — not only does the album have songs titled "Breakfast" and "Jerk Ribs," but she also uses cooking to signify themes of love and family, notes Jim. He's thrilled to see Kelis creating energetic neo-soul again. Greg hears“layers of flavors”on the album, and appreciates that producer Dave Sitek took care to showcase her voice, which comes out as sultry, ragged, and honest. Food is some of the best music Kelis has made, and our hosts gobble it up. It's a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 440
DiversDivers available on iTunes

Joanna Newsom Divers

Performing on a huge orchestral harp, singer/songwriter Joanna Newsom has stood out since she arrived on the scene in the early 2000s. Divers is the fourth album of her career, and the first since the 2010 triple album Have One On Me. Greg has always been intrigued by Newsom's work, viewing her as a complete original. But although he admired the musicianship on Have One On Me, he found it an exhausting listen. Divers, by contrast, is relatively accessible. She still peppers in obscure literary references, but lyrically she is much more direct in creating an emotional connection for the listener. For Greg, this is the album that Newsom's skeptics should dive into – he gives it a Buy It. Jim, however, is baffled. He scoffs at Newsom's faux-Shakespearean sentence constructions. He finds the album's lyrical concept, in which Newsom reflects on mortality after marrying comedian Andy Samberg, to be bloated. Jim is usually a big fan of pretentious prog rock, but musically he thinks Divers is sodden and lacking hooks. And he's extremely irritated by Newsom's voice, hearing it as the affected voice of an eleven-year-old girl. According to Jim, there's nothing at all to like here, so Divers gets a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 517
american dreamAmerican Dream available on iTunes

LCD Soundsystem American Dream

LCD Soundsystem – one of Jim and Greg's favorite bands of the 2000s – broke up in 2011 after a huge farewell show at Madison Square Garden. But only six years later, leader James Murphy has brought the group back for a fourth album, American Dream. Greg was skeptical after hearing the initial singles. But upon hearing the whole record, he calls it their most emotional work yet, designed to work as an album from beginning to end. He cites the haunted quality in Murphy's voice as he confronts getting older and loves the record's polyrhythmic vibes. While Greg gives it a Buy It, it pains Jim to give American Dream a Trash It. He's annoyed at hearing a 47-year-old complain about being old. According to Jim, the new album has lost the sense of humor, groove, and songs of the previous records, and he will never listen to American Dream again for pleasure.

JimGreg
Go to episode 614
dijs

Greg

“Thin Line”Jurassic 5

While on a recent nostalgia trip through late 90's, early 2000's hip-hop, Greg spent some time on the West Coast, which at that time was experiencing an underground hip-hop renaissance led up by the likes of DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born and Jurassic 5. Greg especially loves L.A.'s Jurassic 5, as it was the antithesis to the better-known, yet simplistic, gangster rap coming out of the city. Throughout the group's four album run, its four MCs and one DJ (sometimes two) exercised a consistently complex musicality and often employed narrative lyrics that were at their most effective on a track like, "Thin Line." This thoughtful song about the pitfalls of a man-woman friendship turning into something more comes off the group's third album, Power in Numbers, and is Greg's Desert Island Jukebox pick of the week.

Go to episode 469
news

Music News

First in the news, Jim and Greg discuss a story emerging out of the next decade. They talk to Wired writer Eliot Van Buskirk about his recent piece on the "Copyright Time Bomb." As Eliot explains to Jim and Greg, the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 poses a new threat to the major label system. Songs copyrighted after 1978 can be terminated by the author in 2013 (1979 in 2014, etc.) That means that if a musician sold his or her work to a label after 1978, they can choose to take it back and manage it independently in the next decade. Many labels rely on back cataloge revenue, so this will be a big hit to them. In addition, it may be another reason an artist chooses to go it independently and without a label.

Jim and Greg couldn't welcome 2010 without looking at the decade past. The 2000s brought us N'Sync and the boy band explosion, but they also ushered in great change in terms of business and technology. As Jim and Greg discuss, advances in digital music were at the heart of all the decade's major news-from lawsuits (Metallica vs. Napster, RIAA vs. consumers) to innovation in sound, marketing and distribution (Wilco, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails). And while the Aughts were a time of industry revolution, there wasn't necessarily a revolutionary sound. Jim thinks people may have been too shocked by technology to create something comparable to a punk, disco or grunge movement. But he and Greg are hopeful that something great is just waiting to come out of a basement near you.

Go to episode 214

Music News

Seven years later, the saga of file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rassett has reached an end. Caught in the net of file-sharing suits brought by the RIAA in the 2000s, Thomas-Rassett was the first of the Kazaa generation to fight back in court. In a series of four trials she claimed she had not been aware that she was sharing 24 illegal tracks. Now that the Supreme Court has declined to review her petition, Thomas-Rassett is on the hook for $220,000 - money she says she doesn't have.

Jason Molina, leader of americana acts Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. is dead this week at age 39 after a prolonged fight with alcoholism. The singer-songwriter's death prompted a moving tribute from his label, Secretly Canadian. Molina's was the first single released by Secretly Canadian when the indie label was a fragile upstart in the nineties.

Go to episode 382

Music News

Adele continues down her path of superstardom by scoring the biggest recording deal in the history of music. After three albums on the British indie label XL, Adele has signed a deal with Sony for around $132 million. She will be on the conglomerate's subsidiary label, Columbia, alongside artists like Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and John Mayer. In the mid '90s and early 2000s, musicians like Prince, R.E.M. and U2 were signing massive recording deals. However in 2016, substantial contracts are much harder to come by due to the large decrease in album sales. Adele seems to be the exception to the rule, which is reflected in her new, record-breaking contract.

Go to episode 548