Guitar and Stethoscope

The Rock Doctors Midlife & Opinions on Japandroids and Regina Spektor

The Rock Doctors are back to help a newly 40-year-old patient with a musical midlife crisis.

Subscribe via iTunesDownload This Episode

Music News

Last week a federal jury concluded that 25-year-old college student Joel Tennenbaum must pay $675,000 - or $22,500 for each of the 30 songs he was found liable of infringing. He was the country's second RIAA file-sharing defendant to go before a jury; the other was Minnesotawoman Jammie Thomas-Rasset. She was ordered to pay even more–$1.92 million for the 24 songs she shared on Kazaa. Both of these cases have been high-profile, leading Jim, Gregand guest Nate Anderson of Ars Technica to wonder if the defendents are being made examples of, especially since the damages were so high. Adding to the media attention was Tennenbaum's lawyer, Charles Nesson of Harvard, who took this case as a celebre. Nesson tried to use a fair-use defense, but the judge in the case was having none of it. Tenenbaum plans to appeal, but otherwise has plans to file for bankruptcy.

Mariah Carey announced this week that she'll include an ad-packed mini magazine with her next release, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. The 34-page spread will include ads for Mariah's perfume, as well as other luxury brands and Mariah-centric content. And a version will be included in Elle Magazine. Jim and Greg wonder if commercials between songs are next?

Black Eyed Peas The Black Eyed Peas have been consistent hit-makers since bringing Fergie on in 2003. Now they are record breakers. With "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling," they have the longest successive chart run in the history of Billboard. The last group to do this was Boyz II Men. The Black Eyed Peas are solidifying their status as the dominant force in commercial music today.

Sun Records recording artist Billy Lee Riley died last week at the age of 75. Riley never achieved great mainstream success and didn't get to record a full album for Sun, but his string of singles were hugely influential according to Jim and Greg. The best way to remember him is by listening to his biggest hit "Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll."

rock doctors


Health care reform is a huge issue for every American - even rock fans. This week Jimand Greg again become Rock Doctors to help a listener with a musical-medical problem. Their patient: the newly 40-year-old Dan from Oakland, CA. Dan contacted Sound Opinions complaining of a musical midlife crisis. He spends most of his time listening to FM radio, which these days is dominated by commercial countryand hip-hop. What he likes about country music and hip-hop is the storytelling, so that is where Jim and Greg start with their prescriptions.

Dr. DeRogatis recommends former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle's debut solo record Yours Truly, the Commuter. Lytle isn‘t a country singer, but he weaves complicated tales in his music. And as Dan explains, just add a pickup truck and a bottle of beer to some of his stories, and you’re all set.

Dr. Kot prescribes Real Animal by Alejandro Escovedo. The rock veteran takes a musical tour of his life, referencing a number of artists that influenced him along the way. Dan was completely sucked in by this rock life story and will definitely take this medicine again.

Check out Jim and Greg's conversations with Jason Lytle and Alejandro Escovedo.

To apply for an appointment with the Rock Doctors or nominate someone in need of urgent assistance, send a message to

Unless you are a full-time rock critic, it can be difficult to maintain good musical health. That's where the Rock Doctors come in. Do you have a musical allergy or addiction? Or do you have a friend or relative who needs an intervention? The Sound Opinions clinic has its doors open​.

reviewPost-NothingPost-Nothing available on iTunes

Japandroids Post-Nothing

Vancouver duo Brian King and David Prowse of Japandroids have released their third album called Post-Nothing. Jim notes that everyone seems to be a duo these days, but Japandroids rises above the pack. Amid the sea of noise are tuneful alientation anthems. He gives it an enthusiastic Buy It. Greg was impressed and energized by the two musicians at the Pitchfork Music Festival. And while he doesn't agree with Jim about the strong songwriting, he loves the textured guitar-playing and gospel-like crescendos. Post-Nothing gets two Buy It ratings.

reviewFar (Bonus Track Version)Far available on iTunes

Regina Spektor Far

Regina Spektor had some very prestigious help on her new album Far. Her big-name producers include David Kahn, Jacknife Lee, Jeff Lynne and Mike Elizondo. Were they worth it? Greg wanted to like this album, normally he appreciates strong, idiosyncratic personalities, but with Spektor, cute has become cutesy. He finds her weird for weird's sake and was driven crazy by the record. Greg gives Far a Trash It rating. Jim thinks Greg is just being mean and explains that he learned to stop worrying and love the Regina with this album. While he admits some lyrics are precious, most were poignant. Jim gives Far a Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown, 21st Century Breakdown, Reprise, 2009
  2. Mariah Carey, Obsessed, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Island, 2009
  3. The Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling, The E.N.D., Interscope, 2009
  4. Billy Lee Riley, Red Hot, The Sun Story, Rhino, 1987
  5. Billy Lee Riley, Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll, The Sun Story, Rhino, 1987
  6. Kid Sister, Get Fresh, Ultraviolet, Fool's Gold, 2009
  7. Kiss, Calling Dr. Love, Rock and Roll Over, Casablanca, 1976
  8. K'Naan, T.I.A., Troubadour, Unviversal Music LLC, 2009
  9. Mastodon, Crack the Skye, Crack the Skye, Reprise, 2009
  10. Sha Na Na, Witch Doctor, The Best of Sha Na Na, Kama Sutra, 1994
  11. Jason Lytle, I Am Lost (And the Moment Cannot Last), Yours Truly, The Commuter, ANTI-, 2009
  12. Alejandro Escovedo, Chelsea Hotel, Real Animal, ANTI-, 2008
  13. Jason Lytle, Brand New Sun, Yours Truly, The Commuter, ANTI-, 2009
  14. Jason Lytle, Ghost of My Old Dog, Yours Truly, The Commuter, ANTI-, 2009
  15. Jason Lytle, It's the Weekend, Yours Truly, The Commuter, ANTI-, 2009
  16. Alejandro Escovedo, Golden Bear, Real Animal, Manhattan, 2008
  17. Alejandro Escovedo, Slow Down, Real Animal, Manhattan, 2008
  18. The Jackson 5, Doctor My Eyes, Lookin' Through the Windows, Motown, 1972
  19. Japandroids, The Boys Are Leaving Town, Post-Nothing, Unfamiliar, 2009
  20. Japandroids“Young Hearts Spark Fire,”Post-Nothing, Unfamiliar, 2009
  21. Japandroids“Crazy Forever,”Post-Nothing, Unfamiliar, 2009
  22. Regina Spektor, Eet, Far, Sire, 2009
  23. Regina Spektor, The Calculation, Far, Sire, 2009
  24. Regina Spektor, Folding Chair, Far, Sire, 2009
  25. John Talobot, Sunshine, Hivern Discs, single, 2009
  26. De La Soul, Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey), De La Soul is Dead, Tommy Boy Entertainment LLC, 1991
  27. Allen Toussaint, Bright Mississippi, The Bright Mississippi, Nonesuch, 2009
  28. Thee Oh Sees, Enemy Destruct, Help, In The Red, 2009

Footnotes BU student ordered to pay $675,000 in downloading case Mariah's ‘Memoirs’ CD To Include Mini-Magazine With Ads Black Eyed Peas set record on U.S. singles chart Rockabilly Pioneer Billy Lee Riley Dead at 75 Japandroids Regina Spektor