Results for Beck

specials

Copyright Criminals

Musicians throughout time, from Igor Stravinsky to MC Hammer to Girl Talk, owe a great debt to sampling. The act of quoting, re-contextualizing or“stealing”from other artists has become an art form in itself. But the practice of sampling has also caused a lot of controversy when it comes to the law and ideas about intellectual property. So Jim and Greg spend the bulk of today's episode digging into sampling. First they talk to Kembrew McLeod, a filmmaker and professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa. His latest documentary, Copyright Criminals, examines debates about the value and legality of sampling.

Jim and Greg also play their favorite sample-based songs:

Go to episode 277
reviews
The Information (Bonus Video Version)The Information available on iTunes

Beck The Information

Beck released his ninth album this week, and boy, do we feel old. The L.A. rocker is also feeling more mature now that he is a married man and a father, but he's still up to his old cutting and pasting, genre-hopping ways. On The Information, Beck Hansen teams up with longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich to pump the album up with a hodgepodge of samples and sounds. For an extra psychedelic touch, the final track is a spacey outro read by author Dave Eggers and director Spike Jonze. Greg is happy that Beck isn‘t repeating himself like he did on 2005’s Guero; he's experimenting with sounds in really inventive ways. But, Greg explains that the hooks and melodies are lacking on the second half of the record. He recommends that fans cut and paste to make their own album, and he gives The Information a Burn It. Jim, however, doesn't think that Beck has ever been better than he is on the good moments of The Information. He recommends fans Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 45
Mirror TrafficMirror Traffic available on iTunes

Stephen Malkmus Mirror Traffic

Pavement fans eagerly awaited the band's 2010 reunion. And Jim and Greg think they'll be happy to hear Stephen Malkmus' new solo effort Mirror Traffic, as well. It's a return to form in many ways. You'll hear that signature smirk, the short, bursting pop songs and the quizzical lyrics. It was produced by fellow alt-rock idol Beck, and despite Malkmus‘“slacker”rep, there’s a great deal of pop craftsmenship on the album. Both hosts say Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 300
Modern Guilt (Deluxe Version)Modern Guilt available on iTunes

Beck Modern Guilt

Modern Guilt is the 10th album from post-modern poster boy Beck. Beck has always gone for adventurous producers, and this time he's paired with DJ Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley. Greg thinks this is the most exciting“sounding”Beck record in years, but believes the innovative production is masking some poor songwriting. He only hears half a great record and gives Modern Guilt a Burn It. Jim is surprised to hear this because he has finally learned to stop worrying and love the Beck,“weirdo”that he may be. Jim loves the unlikely combination of sounds and the soulful writing and gives the record a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 137
IRM (Version deluxe)IRM available on iTunes

Charlotte Gainsbourg IRM

Next, Jim and Greg review Charlotte Gainsbourg's new Beck-produced album IRM. The name refers to the French term for an MRI machine, something the actress and singer spent a lot of time in after suffering a near-fatal accident. Greg describes how you can hear that experience come through in this album, though without being self-pitying. He also hears a lot of Beck's influence and was glad that the producer pushed Gainsbourg into new territory. Jim agrees, noting that you don't need to know her backstory to enjoy the record. Both Gainsbourg's parents, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, have influenced her sound, but in the end she's her own woman. IRM gets a double Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 218
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Version]Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World available on iTunes

Nigel Godrich & Broken Social Scene & The Black Lips & Beck Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Reviews have been pretty solid for the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. But what about the music? The film was scored by producer Nigel Godrich, and the soundtrack features songs by Broken Social Scene, The Black Lips and Beck, or Sex Bob Omb as the fictional band is known in the film. Greg doesn‘t think it holds up much as an album. It’s more of a souvenir of the movie than anything else. He gives it a Trash It. Jim calls Greg cold-hearted. He loves this“generation Y mixtape,”and tells people to get the record even if they don't see the movie (though he recommends that too). Jim gives a Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 247
ColorsColors available on iTunes

Beck Colors

Beck won a surprise late career Album of the Year Grammy for his 2014 record Morning Phase. Now, he's back with his 13th album, Colors, co-produced by Adele and Kelly Clarkson collaborator Greg Kurstin. Although Beck constantly reinvented himself in the 1990s, Greg says that here, he's simply recycling his greatest pop moves of the past. Greg acknowledges that he still knows a great hook and continues to mix and match genres. Because it's so cheerful in comparison to the melancholy Morning Phase, Greg finds it difficult to dislike, but it still only merits a Try It. Jim, however, finds it a big improvement over the last record. While Beck isn‘t reinventing the wheel, he’s having fun with pastiches to The Police, Elliott Smith, and more. According to Jim, these songs are as good as any he's ever given us. He says Colors is a great party record and a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 621
Washington Square SerenadeWashington Square Serenade available on iTunes

Steve Earle Washington Square Serenade

The album up for review this week is Washington Square Serenade by veteran roots-rocker Steve Earle. This is Earle's 12th studio album, and was partly inspired by his 7th wife. The singer/songwriter has always combined rock, folk and country with strong political messages, but, now he's adding“happiness”to the mix. As you can hear in many of the album's songs, Earle is very much in love with new wife Allison Moorer, who also appears on the record. Another new person in Earle's life is Dust Brothers producer John King, who has previously crafted albums for Beck and the Beastie Boys. King brought in elements of hip hop and Latin music, and Jim loves the results. It took him longer to get into Washington Square Serenade, than any other Earle album, but with the exception of two bum tracks, he gives it a Try It. Greg is less pleased with the happy Steve Earle. He explains that with the new wife, producer and location, this effort has all the trappings of a“mid-life crisis”recording. Only some of it works for Greg, and he misses the political broadsides of previous albums. Greg also gives Washington Square Serenade a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 97
Morning PhaseMorning Phase available on iTunes

Beck Morning Phase

It has been nearly 8 years since Beck released a new album, and there have been quite a few life changes in that time. He's married with a child, and has moved from Interscope records to Capitol Records. His new album, Morning Phase, is a contemplative, introspective slow-moving record, akin to his 2003 record Sea Change. Beck also makes this record a family affair by having his father, David Campbell, arranging many of the string sections on the record. Greg didn't enjoy the album initially, but grew to appreciate it by listening with headphones at night. He gives it an enthusiastic Buy It. Jim, on the other hand, thinks the material is slightly lacking substance lyrically and wishes Beck had more to say. Still, the music arrangements are beautiful, and so he gives Morning Phase a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 430
JoanneJoanne available on iTunes

Lady Gaga Joanne

Lady Gaga needs almost no introduction at this point. A solo career that started about a decade ago on the dancefloor and the pop-charts has seen Gaga make some surprising choices in the spotlight (the meat dress) and in the studio (Cheek to Cheek, her duet album with Tony Bennett). Her latest album, called Joanne, finds her jumping across genres with a wide variety of collaborators (Beck, Josh Homme, Mark Ronson). While the album tries to be many things, it ultimately bores Jim. He finds the album scattered and“a mess”using the collaborators to try to find direction instead of using them to bring out her musical best. Jim says it's a trash it. Greg concurs. He thinks all the collaborators and genres are a continuation of her attempt to say“I'm a serious artist”that started with her Tony Bennett project. Instead, Greg says Joanne falls back on“nostalgia mongering”and results in a weak album. It is a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 570
dijs

Greg

“Tropicalia”Beck

Drawing inspiration from the discussion with Ernesto Lechner, Greg chooses Beck's "Tropicalia" as his Desert Island Jukebox pick. The notion that people were ever jailed or sent into exile for playing Tropicalia music in Brazil got this host all fired up — especially because this music, pioneered by artists like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, has remained such a formative influence on contemporary artists. Beck displays his love for the tropicalistas in this song from his 1998 album Mutations (a nod to fellow Brazilians Os Mutantes). Beck combines the Bossa Nova chords and gentle singing of Tropicalia music with art rock guitar and synthesizer. The result is a perfect example of Beck's pop collage style and a perfect homage to his Brazilian heroes.

Go to episode 27
lists

The Best Songs of 2008 - Mixtapes

At the end of the year, many music fans take on the challenging task of making a mixtape. And, Jim and Greg are no exception. They've both made compilations of their favorite songs of 2008.

Go to episode 162

Satirical Songs

Next week, South Park and Book of Mormon creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone join Jim and Greg in the studio to talk music and comedy. The duo's trademark musical satire has won them tons of fans - and a few Tony awards. In advance of the boys' visit, Jim and Greg warm up the crowd with a mix of rock n' roll's Best Satirical Songs. Whether they're pointing a finger at society's ills or sending up pop music forms, these artists turn the funny up to 11.

Go to episode 373

Weird Instruments in Rock

Since its earliest days, rock music has been dominated by guitar, bass, and drums. But, as Jim and Greg reveal in this episode, sometimes it's the more unusual instruments that really make a song. They play their favorite tracks featuring non-traditional rock instruments.

Go to episode 202

Turkey Shoot 2008

On Thanksgiving most Americans give thanks for things like their loved ones and their health. But at Sound Opinions we like to take this opportunity to give thanks of a different variety. During this Turkey Shoot segment Jim, Greg and some listeners give thanks that they‘ll never have to hear the year’s most disappointing albums again. These are records that had great potential, but fell flat. Say farewell to the following Turkeys:

  • R.E.M., Accelerate
  • My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
  • Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun
  • The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely

Our listeners“shoot”the following:

  • Weezer, S/T (The Red Album)
  • John Legend, Evolver
  • Beck, Modern Guilt

For more Turkeys, check out the Sound Opinions Message Board.

Go to episode 157

Best of 2006

Jim

  1. Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  2. Lily Allen, Alright, Still (Listen to the original review)
  3. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (Listen to the original review)
  4. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (Listen to the original review, or listen to lead singer Colin Meloy's appearance on the show)
  5. Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor (Listen to the original review)
  6. Grandaddy, Just Like the Fambly Cat (Listen to the original review, or listen to front man Jason Lytle's appearance on the show)
  7. Neil Young, Living with War
  8. Peaches, Impeach My Bush (Listen to the original review)
  9. The Dresden Dolls, Yes, Virginia…
  10. Rhymefest, Blue Collar (Listen to Rhymefest's appearance on the show)
  11. Cursive, Happy Hollow (Listen to the original review)
  12. Beck, The Information (Listen to the original review)
  13. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (Listen to the original review, or listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  14. Van Hunt, On the Jungle Floor (Listen to the original review)
  15. The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers (Listen to the original review)
  16. Mission of Burma, The Obliterati (Listen to the original review, listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  17. Tom Petty, Highway Companion (Listen to the original review)
  18. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Listen to the original review)
  19. Secret Machines, Ten Silver Drops (Listen to the original review)
  20. Album Leaf, Into the Blue Again

Greg

  1. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (Listen to the original review)
  2. Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury (Listen to the original review)
  3. Mission of Burma, The Obliterati (Listen to the original review, listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  4. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (Listen to the original review, or listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  5. Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther
  6. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale (Listen to the original review)
  7. Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  8. Girl Talk, Night Ripper
  9. Parts and Labor, Stay Afraid
  10. Lupe Fiasco, Food and Liquor (Listen to the original review)
  11. M. Ward, Post-War (Listen to the original review)
  12. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Listen to the original review)
  13. Love is All, Nine Times that Same Song
  14. Rhymefest, Blue Collar (Listen to Rhymefest's appearance on the show)
  15. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (Listen to the original review, or listen to lead singer Colin Meloy's appearance on the show)
  16. Mastodon, Blood Mountain (Listen to the original review)
  17. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (Listen to the original review)
  18. Tom Waits, Orphans (Listen to the original review)
  19. Lily Allen, Alright, Still (Listen to the original review)
  20. Cursive, Happy Hollow (Listen to the original review)
Go to episode 54

The Best Songs of the Millennium - Mixtapes

Jim and Greg like to end every year with a good old-fashioned mixtape (presented as a new-fashioned mp3 stream). But this year they decided to go even further and compile their favorite songs of the entire decade. They pick highlights to play during this episode, and their entire playlists are below. You can also stream their full mixtapes:

Go to episode 214
news

Music News

No matter what you thought of this year's Oscars, Grammys or Superbowl, one thing is certain: TV sells. After Common and John Legend's emotional performance at the Academy Awards, industry forecasters predict a big sales bump for the winning tune "Glory." Just a few hours after the ceremony ended, the song was projected to post a 70% gain. Jim and Greg predict similar success for Lady Gaga, who wowed skeptics with her "Sound of Music" belting. Music from the Grammys is also going like gangbusters. Album of the Year winner Beck has enjoyed a 483% sales increase. And, Nostalgia, the new album by Grammy performer Annie Lennox, shot up 335%. But perhaps most curious of them all is the musical effect of the Superbowl. Albums and songs by halftime performer Katy Perry experienced a 92% sales boost.

Dr. Dre aarp

In other news, happy 50th birthday Dr. Dre! The rapper and entrepreneur celebrated with an appearance on the front page of AARP. That's right…the magazine for the American Association of Retired Persons. But, while that is certain to make a lot of music fans feel old, no one is in a better position to retire than the hip hop O.G. He again topped Forbes' list for the highest paid musicians of the year with a whopping $620 million earned.

Go to episode 483

Music News

Many recent news stories have been about the music industry struggling to change its current paradigm. This week is no exception. With the rise of digital music distribution, the need to pay money for a hard disc no longer seems so great. So, the question is: how will musicians continue to make money? Tim Fite's answer is,“I won't.”The Anti- recording artist has decided to make his latest album, Over the Counter Culture, available for free on his website. Jim and Greg talk to the musician, who can be described as an intersection between De La Soul, Beck and the folk singers of O Brother Where Art Thou, about his decision not to use his label's resources. Fite explains that the album is anti-commerce, so the album's distribution had to be as well. While Anti- probably hopes this freebie will fuel future for-pay-albums, Fite hopes this model can survive in the future.

Go to episode 65

Music News

After recovering from the intense musical spectacle at this year's Superbowl, viewers were ready for the Grammy Awards. But, it seems 11% less viewers were ready. Those that tuned in witnessed Beck's surprise win for Album of the Year and the coronation of Sam Smith as pop music's new prince. But, they also had to sit through an out-of-left field tribute to ELO and bizarre performance pairings including Jessie J and Tom Jonesand Ed Sheeran and Herbie Hancock.

As always, Jim and Greg note that the collection of Grammy-winning tunes and albums does not provide an accurate picture of what was really the best of 2014. A better barometer has always been the Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll of critics. This year's list includes D'Angelo, St. Vincent and even Taylor Swift. An even better barometer? Sound Opinions' Best Albums of 2014, of course!

Go to episode 481

Music News

A number of free agents are popping up in 2009 including 50 Cent, Beck, Ryan Adams, Pearl Jam and Metallica. These music heavyweights have been on label rosters for years, but now, following in the footsteps of bands like Radiohead, it appears they have a shot at going out on their own. Jim and Greg agree that none of these artists actually need a record label. But, Greg points out that many might be tempted by 360 deals similar to what Madonna and Jay-Z have with Live Nation. The money's not in record sales anymore, so if major labels can entice an artist with the promise of profits from touring and merchandise, we may not see as much independence.

Go to episode 165