The Dodos & Opinions on Norah Jones & Them Crooked Vultures

San Francisco trio The Dodos visits Sound Opinions to showcase their unique mix of Western pop and African rhythms.

The Dodos
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First up in the news, Verizon is expected to send letters to its customers on behalf of the RIAA to those accused of illegally downloading content from the web. This marks a shift in attitude for Verizon. Previously they were one of the more reluctant companies to intervene in copyright cases. Jim and Greg point out that no one knows what the letters will say, or rather what kinds of action they will threaten, but they do have concern about ISP’s making partnerships with big Hollywood.

One of the more interesting music pieces to hit the newsstand this week came from the U.K.’s Sunday Times. Their profile of Mariah Carey portrays her not just as a pop diva, but as a forward-thinking business person along the lines of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. 10 years ago, Mariah was a punchline in the music (and film) business. Now, she not only has a successful album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, but unique marketing and money-making methods, including an Elle-sponsored mini-mag. As the Times article explains, this partnership wasn’t beneficial for Elle, but did funded Mariah’s album. In addition, it gave the singer a number of different business opportunities. Who knew she was such a mad genius?

The Dodos

San Francisco band The Dodos are mixing Western pop and African rhythms in unique ways. In fact, with their third album Time to Die, they also added vibraphone to the mix. Jim and Greg talk to band members Meric Long, Logan Kroeber and Keaton Snyder about how they shake up the traditional indie rock formula. The trio also reveals its studio trials and tribulations with noted producer Phil Ek, as well as its downtime hobby. Check out the band’s live acoustic peformance here.

The Fall Norah Jones

The Fall

Norah Jones has a new album out called The Fall. It’s the 4th release from the successful pop- jazz artist, and for this one she’s tried to juggle the formula. Jones parted ways with her former boyfriend/collaborater, and for The Fall she turned to producer Jacquire King and songwriters Ryan Adams and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff. The change is subtle, according to Greg. He admires her understated approach, but wishes Jones were more adventurous. He gives this record a Burn It rating. Jim acknowledges that Jones has beaten the dreaded Best New Artist Grammy Curse, but was completely bored by Jones’ sleepy crooning. He recommends listeners Trash It.

Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures

Them Crooked Vultures (Bonus Track Version)

The heavily-hyped new supergroup Them Crooked Vultures finally released their self-titled debut. The band consists of Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters/ Nirvana and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. So how super is it? Jim was truly blown away by the trio’s live performance this past summer. But, with the record the experience is less visceral and more intellectual. The rhythm section is obviously still impressive, but for Jim the songs don’t cut it. He gives Them Crooked Vultures a Burn It. Greg thinks Jim hasn’t been this off the mark all year. The more he listens, the more he is excited by this sensual, twisting, hard-rocking record. He gives it an enthusiastic Buy It.

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