Jill Sobule & Opinions on Booker T. Jones and The Handsome Family

Longtime singer/songwriter Jill Sobule got fed up with the music business. So, she decided to reinvent it. Tune in to hear Jim and Greg’s conversation with Jill and hear songs from her innovative fan-funded album.

Jill Sobule
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One of the biggest court decisions regarding file-sharing and piracy came down this week. The organizers of the site Pirate Bay were sentenced by a Swedish court to pay $3.6 million dollars and spend a year in prison. The defendants claim they merely provide a menu of available media, including music files, movies and software. But a judge and jury has deemed them pirates. Pirate Bay is fighting back, but meanwhile Jim and Greg point out that hindering file-sharing might actually hinder sales. A new study out of Norway says that people who illegally share music via P2P networks are overwhelmingly more likely to purchase music. Rather than stealing, the record companies might want to look at this kind of consumption as sampling.

One place you can sample free music is MySpace.com. The social networking site has quickly become the go-to place to promote your band and discover new music. That said, it’s yet to make any serious cash. The newly revamped MySpace Music site is attempting to do just that with the addition of tour and release information, as well as links to purchase music. If MySpace stays on this path, it will essentially be like a 360 record label a la Live Nation.

Jill Sobule

This week’s guest is Jill Sobule. Jill first got attention with her 1995 hit I Kissed A Girl (not to be mistaken with the current hit So after years of maneuvering through a crumbling music label system, she decided to try something new. Last year she solicited donations from fans directly and raised $75,000. Now she’s back with her fan-funded album, California Years. Jill performs songs from the new album, and is also joined by friend and performing partner Julia Sweeney.

Honey Moon The Handsome Family

Honey Moon

The Handsome Family has a new album out this week called Honey Moon. Like the title, many of the songs on the album relate nature to love. Love songs are a dime a dozen, but both Jim and Greg are hugely impressed with what the husband and wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks do with the topic. Brett has mastered their home studio, bringing their alt-country sound to a more pop one. And, according to our hosts, Rennie is one of the greatest songwriters working in rock today. Both Jim and Greg give Honey Moon a Buy It, and Jim also encourages listeners to go back to the duo’s 1998 masterpiece Through the Trees.

Potato Hole Booker T. Jones

Potato Hole

Multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones also has a new album out called Potato Hole. It’s a rare solo release from the man behind much of the Stax Records sound. This time around he’s joined up with Neil Young and the Drive-By Truckers for a more guitar-centric record. That was problematic for Jim, who wished there was more of a focal point. He gives Potato Hole a Try It. Greg was impressed when he heard about the project’s esteemed line-up. But, for him it didn’t translate to the music. Greg didn’t hear anything persuasive and thinks Booker T. should stick to soul. He gives the album a Trash It.

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