Results for Jamaica

interviews

Tortoise

By the late '90s, Tortoise became the leading band of not only the Chicago scene, but the global post-rock movement. The all-instrumental band was founded by Doug McCombs and John Herndon as a bass and drums duo in the late '80s, inspired by Jamaican rhythm-section-for-hire Sly and Robbie. Eventually the band came to include John McEntire, Dan Bitney, and jazz guitarist Jeff Parker. Tortoise received massive critical acclaim for the 1996 album Millions Now Living Will Never Die and 1998's TNT. On the latest record The Catastrophist, the band experiments with the strangest innovation of all: vocals. Tortoise joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and live performance.

Go to episode 557
genre dissections

Ska

Ska is an often misunderstood music genre. Isn‘t it the same as reggae? Didn’t it die out in the '90s? Jim and Greg dig into ska in a Sound Opinions genre dissection with pioneering ska musician Charley Organaire and Jump Up records founder and ska scholar Chuck Wren. Charley was present at the creation in 1950s Jamaica for what is now known as the 1st Wave of Ska. He tells us where the name came from and how the sound originated by mixing folk music known as mento with American R&B, giving rise to artists like The Skatalites, Prince Buster and Laurel Aiken. Then Chuck leads us through the 2nd Wave, or Two-Tone, movement in the late '70s England with bands like The Specials, Madness and The English Beat. And finally the 3rd Wave breaks in the United States in the 1990s with an aggressive strain of punk-infused ska that looked to be reaching the mainstream, only to fade away as quickly as it grew. But Chuck tells us that ska can still be found all over the world.

Go to episode 558
dijs

Greg

“Children Crying”The Congos

Greg recently received the 2017 reissue of Heart of the Congos, the debut album by reggae group The Congos. Initially released in 1977, the album was recorded by legendary Jamaican producer Lee“Scratch”Perry. Regarded by Greg as“the perfect summer record, and one of the greatest reggae albums ever made,”it's no wonder that Greg's Desert Island Jukebox pick is "Children Crying." He loves the song's restraint, as it focuses on the singers more than the studio effects typically applied by Perry, who Jim describes as“the king of triple layered reverb.”Perry creates a rural, lo-fi sound by having baritone Watty Burnett bellow into a cardboard tube to mimic the sound of a cow mooing. According to Greg, this psychedelic scenario, combined with the beautiful lead vocals, make it a masterpiece.

Go to episode 605
news

Music News

A story out of the British press tickled Jim and Greg's fancy this week. England's Essex FM decided to launch a boycott of recent pop phenomenon James Blunt. Blunt, apparently peeved by critics bashing him, instructed the haters to just stop playing his music. Essex FM gladly took the challenge and banned both of his hit singles from their airwaves. Sound Opinions would like to encourage all radio programmers to take Blunt up on his challenge. And while we are at it, there are a few other overplayed radio hits we'd like to discuss…

Finland loves its masked death metal bands. Finnish band Lordi, who recently won the Eurovision prize, became the source of a recent uproar when the lead singer was“unmasked”by two tabloid newspapers. Fans of the masked rockers were so upset by this disrespectful move that over 200,000 of them have signed a petition forcing one of the tabloids to apologize. Sound Opinions fans need not fear however: The true identities of Jim and Greg will never be revealed.

In some sad news, Desmond Dekker died this week at the age of 63. Dekker is credited with bringing the ska and reggae sounds of Jamaica to the West, most notably with the hit "Israelites." Dekker influenced fellow countryman Bob Marley, but his impact in the U.S. and England was most notable in the ska scene. You can still hear Dekker's sound in the music of bands like The Clash, the Sex Pistols and more recently, No Doubt and Less than Jake.

Go to episode 27

Music News

phife A Tribe Called Quest founding member Phife Dawg has died at the young age of 45 from complications due to diabetes. Jim and Greg are still inspired by ATCQ's masterful early '90s rap recordings, which introduced a jazziness and Afrocentric positivity into hip-hop. Born in Jamaica, Queens, Phife had a distinctive high-pitched tone and some of the most nimble rhymes in rap history. In tribute to Phife, Jim and Greg play Tribe's biggest hit, "Can I Kick It," showcasing the humor that was his trademark.

Go to episode 539