Results for Wire

interviews

The Gotobeds

After playing for years in the Pittsburgh punk band Kim Phuc, guitarist and vocalist Eli Kasan formed The Gotobeds along with guitarst Tom Payne, bassist Gavin Jensen, and drummer Cary Belback. The band quickly gained a following for its mix of funny, yet sophisticated, lyrics and post-punk artiness (Jim gleefully points out that they named themselves after the drummer for Wire). Their debut album Poor People are Revolting was released in 2014, followed by their Red Hot Chili Peppers-riffing Sub Pop release Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic in 2016. Both albums made it into Jim's top ten lists for their respective years. The Gotobeds join Jim and Greg for a live performance and a discussion about commercialism in indie rock, the Pittsburgh scene, and not taking yourself too seriously.

Go to episode 586

The Feelies

Sound Opinions doesn't take field trips very often, but when presented with the opportunity to talk to the recently reunited Feelies, AND see the band take the stage for the first time in 17 years, AND do it on their home turf at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ, we really couldn‘t pass it up. If you haven’t heard of the Feelies, you've certainly heard their influence. The Strokes, R.E.M. and Sonic Youth all count themselves as fans, as does director Jonathan Demme who featured the band in Something Wild. Jim, who also hails from Hoboken, points to The Feelies and Maxwell's as pivotal in shaping his love of music.

Greg and Jim spoke with the band about their decision to reunite just shortly before they performed in front of their friends, family and a group of listeners from WFUV. You can hear some live songs from that night here, including the title track from their debut album Crazy Rhythms and a cover of Wire's "Outdoor Miner."

Go to episode 138

Wire

This week our guests are the art punk innovators, Wire. Their first album, Pink Flag, catapulted the band to critical success in 1977 with its unusual song structures with shifting bursts of sound. Over the years, Wire has refused to stop making new and different music, at times refusing to even play older material live. After that incredible first trilogy of albums, Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, and 154, they took some time off and reemerged in 1987 with a very different sound. That phase lasted until the early '90s and the band again went away. But in 2003, they reunited again for a third phase of their career that is still going strong. They released their 14th studio album this year, which showed up on Jim's midyear best-of list

Jim and Greg were lucky enough to host a special performance and conversation with Wire in front of an audience at the Goose Island Barrelhouse in Chicago. The current lineup includes guitarist Colin Newman, bassist Graham Lewis, and the very soft-spoken drummer Robert Grey, all of whom were with the band at the beginning. But Jim started out the interview by asking the newest member of the group, guitarist Matthew Simms, about how he got the call inviting him to join the band.

Go to episode 512

Mission of Burma

Mission of Burma This week's guests are the men of Mission of Burma: Roger Miller, Clint Conley, Peter Prescott, and Bob Weston. The post-punk pioneers were in Chicago to perform at the Pitchfork Music Festival, so they stopped by Sound Opinions for a discussion and performance. Jim and Greg explain that Mission of Burma is a rare example of a band able to break up, reunite and continue making music as good as (if not better than) they did before. Burma's first incarnation was in the early 1980s — they recorded one album in 1982 before they had to disband due to Roger's debilitating tinnitus, but their influence is undeniable. The band returned twenty years later to tour and record OnOffOn, and have recently released The Obliterati, which both Jim and Greg say may make their Best of 2006 lists.

Mission of Burma is known for combining pop melodies with quite a lot of noise. These characteristics often get the band thrown in the same pot as bands like Gang of Four and Wire, but listeners shouldn‘t confuse these post-punkers. One of Burma’s distinctive features is their use of tape loops. During their first go-around, Martin Swope would record the band's sound and manipulate it live with a reel-to-reel tape machine. Now Shellac's Bob Weston has the job, and you can hear the effects on "Max Ernst," which they perform live on the show. Another famous looper is Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, though he works digitally.

Another Burma trademark is the songwriting. All three regular members, Roger, Clint and Peter, pen very smart, rather literate lyrics. An example of this is another song they perform live, "Donna Sumeria." While it was Roger's attempt at a love song, it's also a witty pun on Donna Summer and the ancient Middle Eastern civilization. Greg cites it as an example of Burma's punk sensibility. Their music doesn't have rules and can even have disco elements.

Go to episode 38
specials

1977 - The Year Punk Broke

This week, Jim and Greg kick off a two-part series about one seminal year in rock history, 1977: The Year Punk Broke. In this episode, they tackle the punk explosion in the U.K. with help from music writer Jon Savage. (Many consider Savage's England's Dreaming to be the definitive book on this period.) So what made punk explode in 1977? Jon chalks it up to a whole lot of rubbish pop music - songs like ABBA's“Fernando”and Elton John's“Don't Go Breaking My Heart”- that were marketed to kids but failed to address concerns about unemployment, consumerism, and of course, parents and other authority figures. More immediately, there was The Ramones playing their first London gig, and inspiring bands from The Buzzcocks to The Sex Pistols to The Damned. The Sex Pistols were the first to make a splash with their controversial single"God Save the Queen," banned across the British media. That Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's the Sex Pistols was still able to chart, Jon says, demonstrated the muscle of a nascent, independent youth media organized around fanzines and record shops like Rough Trade and Beggar's Banquet. For those who think all U.K. punk sounded the same, Jon points out some key differences. While The Sex Pistols“really had a dark heart,”The Clash had the social consciousness of a sixties band. Manchester's The Buzzcocks were into psychedelia. Regardless of any one band's take on the genre however, punk's message was the same. In Jon's words: "Pop music doesn't have to be something that oppresses you. It can actually liberate you."

Jim and Greg close out 1977 Part One by playing two favorite songs from this year. Greg goes out with The Adverts' "One Chord Wonder." Not only did The Adverts have the best names in punk - T.V. Advert, Gaye Advert, Howard Pickup, and Laurie Driver - they epitomized the genre's“no skill required”ethos. Jim goes with the Wire track "Ex-Lion Tamer" from one of his favorite records of all time, Pink Flag. This quartet of art students not only embodied the punk sound in 1977, they were also looking forward to the possibilities of post-punk.

Go to episode 350
reviews
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Bonus Track Version)Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga available on iTunes

Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

The final album up for review is Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga from Spoon. That's right: five Ga's. The title gives us a tip to the band's attitude. As Greg notes, it seems like they're“intentionally screwing with us.”Taking a cue from Wire and The Talking Heads, Spoon has always specialized in a minimalist sound that is heavy on the rhythms and keyboards, and easy on the frills. That sound continues on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but Jim was pleasantly surprised to hear the band striking out by including a Stax/Motown sound. He's really excited about this album and gives it an enthusiastic Buy It. Greg agrees, adding that it's how the band uses different elements that makes the sound so special. Nothing lingers for too long, and nothing lacks that all important groove. He also gives Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 84
UnsoundUnsound available on iTunes

Mission of Burma Unsound

Next up, Jim and Greg review Unsound, the new record from Boston post-punk pioneers Mission of Burma. Mission of Burma in its first incarnation was sadly short-lived. Guitarist Roger Miller's tinnitus ended the band pre-maturely after just one album and one EP of avant-garde noise and pop melody. The reunited Burma has already produced four times as much material as the original, most of it - to fans' delight - just as good as the old stuff. Does the trend continue on Unsound? Jim says absolutely. Four albums into their reunion, Burma has proved itself the equal of contemporaries Wire. The songs on Unsound are consistently good, and band members continue to experiment by switching up the instrumentation. Key for both Jim and Greg is that the members of Burma still seem to be having fun. Unsound gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 348
dijs

Jim

“The 15th”Wire

Sound Opinions listeners know that one of Jim's favorite bands of all time is Wire. The punk heroes just wrapped up their tour in support of their most recent album Object 47. Jim was there at the Metro in Chicago to witness the show, and marveled at how much the band fights against nostalgia, especially compared to other bands from the punk era. Wire is all about moving forward, but Jim still likes to look back now and again. He uses this week's turn at the Desert Island Jukebox to throw in the classic Wire track "The 15th."

Go to episode 152

Jim

“Up Front”Poison Idea,Poison Idea

Inspired by a recent trip to Portland, OR for a special taping of the show with Broken Bells (stay tuned to hear it!), Jim spends his latest trip to the Desert Island remembering The City of Roses's 1980's hardcore punk scene. Jim tells us that trailblazers like Greg Sage and his Wire-esque band The Wipers never quite get the credit they deserve for laying the groundwork for Seattle's grunge music explosion in the ‘90’s. (Nirvana actually covered a couple Wipers tunes.) Another prominent Portland-area hardcore band, Poison Idea, was also influenced by Sage. Specifically the band's guitarist, Tom Roberts, better known as Pig Champion. Jim recalls that what Roberts may have lacked in showmanship (he mostly sat on a folding chair while on stage), he made up for in sheer metal guitar prowess. Sadly, Roberts passed away in 2006 at the age of only 47. So this week, Jim pays tribute to both the Portland hardcore scene and Robert's indelible mark on it, by playing a live recording of Poison Idea's Wipers cover "Up Front," which features more than 12-minutes of Robert's virtuoso guitar.

Go to episode 455
lists

The Best Albums of 2015

Go to episode 524

The Best Albums of 2013

Go to episode 419

The Best Songs of 2007 - Mixtapes

Jim and Greg present their Mixtapes for 2007. Check out the track listing below.

Go to episode 109

The Best Songs of 2013 - Mixtapes

We‘ve said goodbye to 2013, and now we want to salute the tunes that wowed us. There’s no better way than with a personal mixtape from Jim and Greg to you.

Go to episode 423

The Best Albums of 2015…So Far

As of June 2015, Greg and Jim have already reviewed over a dozen records. Being good critics, they're going to point you towards some of their favorites of the year.

Go to episode 498

Best of 2013… So Far

Conscientious critics that they are, Jim and Greg don't leave their best-of list making until December. This week, they get a jump on their 2013“Best of”list by giving us their top albums of the year so far. Here's what made the cut as the mid-year best:

Go to episode 393

Short but Sweet

Today's episode highlights the short, but sweet. Jim and Greg have chosen their favorite tiny tunes that clock in at two minutes or under. There are some musicians and fans that believe that the longer the composition, the more important (Prog rockers we're talking to you), but it is possible to pack all the elements of a successful song-verse, chorus, bridge, even a solo-into a petite punch. So here are the best Short But Sweet tracks. But don‘t blink or you’ll miss 'em.

Go to episode 321

Ultimate Summer Mixtape

Summer officially begins June 21, and in honor of these lazy, hazy days and hot, sweaty nights, Jim and Greg have decided to run down their favorite songs that represent the season. These songs would make up their ultimate summer mixtape:

  1. Rivieras, "California Sun"
  2. The Beach Boys, "All Summer Long"
  3. Patti Smith, "Dancing Barefoot"
  4. Wire, "Sand in My Joints"
  5. Wreckx-N-Effect, "Rump Shaker"
  6. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Mr. Heatmiser"
  7. Sly & the Family Stone, "Hot Fun in the Summertime"
  8. Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"

On Sound Opinions, everyone is a critic. So, Jim and Greg turned to the phones for some other Summer Song suggestions. Here are what the callers recommend:

  1. The Replacements, "I Will Dare"
  2. Weezer, "El Scorcho"
  3. The Pastels, "Windy Hill (Cornelius remix)"
  4. Del tha Funkee Homosapien, "Dr. Bombay"
Go to episode 29

Ultimate Summer Mixtape

Summer officially begins in a couple of weeks, and in honor of these lazy, hazy days and hot, sweaty nights, Jim and Greg have decided to re-run one of their favorite shows which celebrates the best songs of the season. These are the tracks that would make up their ultimate summer mix-tape:

  • The Rivieras, "California Sun"
  • The Beach Boys, "All Summer Long"
  • Patti Smith, "Dancing Barefoot"
  • Wire, "Sand in My Joints"
  • Wreckx-N-Effect, "Rump Shaker"
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Mr. Heatmiser"
  • Sly and the Family Stone, "Hot Fun in the Summertime"
  • Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"

On Sound Opinions, everyone is a critic. So, Jim and Greg turned to the phones for some other Summer Song suggestions. Here are what the callers recommend:

  • The Replacements, "I Will Dare"
  • Weezer, "El Scorcho"
  • The Pastels, "Windy Hill" (Cornelius remix)
  • Del tha Funkee Homosapien, "Dr. Bombay"
Go to episode 132

Best Albums of 2016…So Far

Greg and Jim just couldn't wait until December to talk about some of their new favorite albums. They discuss some of the best records of 2016 so far. Here are their complete lists:

Go to episode 553

Best Instrumentals

The history of rock ‘n’ roll is filled with memorable lyrics, but sometimes it's the wordless songs that stick. This week, Jim and Greg celebrate the Best Instrumentals. Not just any“instrumental”track will do. Both Jim and Greg agree, no“fa fa fa's”or“la la la's”admitted. Here are their lists:

Go to episode 401