Grizzly Bear & Opinions on Slayer

Tune in to hear those signature Grizzly Bear harmonies and melodies. Jim and Greg talk to the band in front of a live studio audience at the House of Blues Chicago. And later they take on metal giants Slayer.

Grizzly Bear
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Music News

Google has added music to its growing list of endeavors. The internet giants launched a new music service this week that will offer users a link to purchase records. Google won’t be selling music directly, but they’ll be competing with iTunes in cooperation with other services like Lala, Rhapsody and Pandora. It’s exciting news for artists who are concerned with getting their music out there. But after many years where a small group of labels controlled everything in the music industry, Jim and Greg wonder if this is simply a case of one corporate hierarchy replacing another.

Lady Gaga broke Billboard records this week by becoming the first pop artist to score 4 consecutive No. 1 hits from a debut album. The most recent chart-topping song is Paparazzi. The singer will continue to make news this year after she embarks on a visually exciting theater tour next month. We’ll be watching that. Other than an avant-garde look, Jim and Greg aren’t sure what separates her from any other female pop singer. But every generation needs its own Madonna. In other chart news, Michael Jackson’s This Is It movie and album both did well in sales last week. The album debuted at No. 1, and the film earned $106.3 million worldwide.

Downloading continues to be a huge issue for the music industry. The big question is how it affects the market. Now a British study commissioned by think tank Demos has one answer. According to its findings, people who engage in file-sharing spend 75% more than people who don’t. They are simply more excited about music. This news presents a counter-argument to those in favor of the UK government’s plan to sever the internet connections of persistent downloaders. But it will be hard to sway the British recording trade association BPI, who estimates that illegal downloaders cost the industry $330 million in 2009.

Grizzly Bear

Jim and Greg are joined next by the members of Grizzly Bear. The Brooklyn-based band started rather modestly in 2004. Now they’ve become one of the most talked about groups in indie music today. In addition to notable appearances at Lollapalooza and the Pitchfork Music Festival, the band opened for Radiohead and Paul Simon. Plus, they count Jay-Z and Beyonce as fans! Jim and Greg spoke with Daniel Rossen, Ed Droste, Chris Taylor and Christopher Bear on a Sunday morning in front of a live studio audience at the House of Blues in Chicago. There the band performed songs from its latest album Veckatimest. Unfortunately Michael McDonald wasn’t there to join them on While You Wait for the Others.

World Painted Blood Slayer

World Painted Blood

Completely shifting gears, Jimand Gregturn their attention to one of the cornerstone metal bands of the past two decades: Slayer. The band has consistently pushed the limits of the genre, and now they are back with their 10th studio album World Painted Blood. When they first emerged, Slayer was full of shock value. Now that some of that has worn off, it’s all about the sound. Greg hears more texture added to their trademark speed and aggression. Vocalist Tom Araya is even singing more. It’s another fine Slayer album to Greg, and he gives it a Buy It. Jim agrees, and encourages listeners to go see Slayer live. He thinks everyone needs that kind of intensity at least once in their life.

Greg

Greg wanted to honor the memory of Morphine frontman Mark Sandman with this week’s Desert Island Jukebox selection. Sandman died a decade ago, and now Rhino has released a two-disc collection of rarities and live tracks. But Greg thinks the band’s creepy, low-rock sound is best enjoyed through their studio albums. He loved Sandman’s sense of atmosphere and brilliant lyrics. They can be heard in his pick, Radar, from Morphine’s 1995 album Yes.

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