SXSW Music Fest

SXSW 2010 & Opinions on She and Him

Jim and Greg are back from the SXSW Music Festival to tell you what bands to watch in 2010. Plus they review the latest album from She and Him.

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Music News

Universal Music, the home to U2, Eminem and Lil Wayne, has decided to drop its CD prices to $10 or less. These new prices will certainly be welcome by both consumers and retailers, but Jim and Greg wonder if this is a case of too little, too late for the music industry. CDs were nearly $20 a decade ago when physical music sales were at a high. Now that those sales are down, $10 may draw some consumers back in, but it's still a heck of a lot more expensive than an mp3.

Alex Chilton Next Jim and Greg remember musician Alex Chilton who died last week at the age of 59. Chilton first came on the scene as the 16-year-old singer of The Box Tops' "The Letter." He then joined Big Star, and as Jim and Greg explain, became hugely significant to musicians in the 1980's. Big Star was never a commercial hit, but everyone from REM to The Replacements has name-checked Chilton and the band's power-pop sound as an influence. The singer and songwriter died only days before a scheduled Big Star reunion at SXSW. The event turned into a tribute, one that Greg describes as one of the most memorable shows he's ever seen. To honor Alex Chilton Jim and Greg play a song from Big Star's third release Third/Sister Lovers called "Thank You Friends." For more Big Star love, check out the Sound Opinions Classic Album Dissections of #1 Record and Radio City.


SXSW 2010

For decades Jim and Greg have been making an annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas for the SXSW Music Festival and Conference. That makes them industry vets, just like this year's keynote speaker Smokey Robinson. In the digital age, it's easy to sample music from hundreds, if not thousands of bands from all around the world, but as Jim and Greg explain, a MySpace stream has got nothing on the live experience. This is why they and more than 10,000 other people converge on the Texas capital year after year. Here are Jim and Greg's SXSW discoveries for 2010:

Read more about SXSW at Jim and Greg's blogs.

reviewVolume TwoVolume Two available on iTunes

She and Him Volume Two

This episode's review is She and Him's Volume Two. The duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are back for a second collaboration. Jim and Greg both enjoyed their previous album, as well as their performance on Sound Opinions. Jim, however, is very disappointed in the 2nd volume. He calls it predictable and pedestrian, and thinks it sounds more like Deschanel's cotton commercial than their older Brill-Building, cabaret songs. He gives the record a Trash It rating. Greg thinks the album is more diverse and surprising than Jim gives it credit for. He is impressed with Deschanel's range and heard everything from country to flamenco to piano pop. Greg thinks Volume Two is better than One and gives the album a Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. The Specials, Pressure Drop, Today's Specials, Virgin Catalogue, 1996
  2. The Box Tops, The Letter, The Letter/Neon Rainbow, Bell, 1967
  3. Big Star, Thank You Friends, Third/Sister Lovers, PVC, 1975
  4. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Shop Around, Hi…We're The Miracles, Tamla, 1961
  5. Capsula, Wild C, Rising Mountains, BCore Disc, 2009
  6. Mumiy Troll,“Medveditsa,”Рок Идолы СНГ (Rock Idoly SNG), 2009
  7. Tanlines, Three Trees, Settings, True Panther Sounds, 2010
  8. Efterklang, Modern Drift, Magic Chairs, 4AD, 2010
  9. jj, Light, jj n° 3, Secretly Canadian, 2010
  10. Sleigh Bells, AB Machines, Unreleased Demo, n/a, 2010
  11. Uffie, MCs Can Kiss, MCs Can Kiss, Ed Banger, 2010
  12. Delorean, Infinite Desert, Subiza, True Panther Sounds, 2010
  13. Bear in Heaven, Lovesick Teenagers, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, Hometapes, 2009
  14. Bear in Heaven, Wholehearted Mess, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, Hometapes, 2009
  15. Salem, Frost, King Night, Iamsound, 2010
  16. She and Him, If You Can't Sleep, Volume Two, P-Vine, 2010
  17. She and Him, Thieves, Volume Two, P-Vine, 2010
  18. Washed Out, It's Kate Birthday, High Times, Mirror Universe Tapes, 2009
  19. Blondie, Call Me, Autoamerican, Chrysalis, 1980
  20. Sparklehorse, Hey Joe, Good Morning Spider, Parlophone, 1999
  21. David Bowie, Sound and Vision, Low, RCA, 1977
  22. Donna Summer, I Feel Love, I Remember Yesterday, WEA Filipacchi Music, 1977

Footnotes Universal Music Drops CD Prices Alex Chilton Dies Big Star Classic Album Dissection (#1 Record) Classic Album Dissection (Radio City) The Replacements SXSW Music Festival and Conference Jim at SXSW Greg at SXSW Capsula Efterklang Sleigh Bells Bear in Heaven Mumiy Troll jj Uffie Salem Volume Two M Ward commercial