Screaming Females & the Alan Lomax Archive

The aptly named punk trio Screaming Females visit the studio.

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Jim and Greg kick off the show by announcing the winner of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, which Jim describes as American Idol on steroids. Over 125 million people watched Sweden’s Loreen take the prize in Baku, Azerbaijan for her track Euphoria. But it was the Russian Grannies from Buranovo who won people’s hearts with their unique party song.

American Idol continues to dominate the pop world, all while it slips a little bit in the television one. Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert has the #1 album this week beating out fellow Idol alum Carrie Underwood. But, this comes after the show aired its lowest rated finale to date. Greg wonders if viewers were underwhelmed by the crowning of another white guy with a guitar. Or, are there just too many music contests like The Voice and Duets crowding the airwaves? Does this over-saturation mean that Idol will never produce another Lambert, Underwood, Clarkson or Daughtry? Perhaps. And maybe you say, Good riddance.

Also in the news, Amanda Palmer just reached a huge milestone in the era of the fan-funded album. Using Kickstarter, the Dresden Dolls singer raised over $1 million for her new album - ten times what she wanted. In return for these donations, Palmer will have to do everything from provide digital downloads to participate in an art sitting. And of course, she’ll have to pony up to Uncle Sam as well.

Alan Lomax Archive

With the recent passings of both Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, Jim and Greg have been thinking about the importance of preserving the recorded legacy of America’s roots music giants. No one has done it better than the Alan Lomax Archive. From the 1930’s through the 1980’s, Lomax travelled the country making field recordings of American folk musicians. And now all that tape has been transformed into ones and zeroes. Don Fleming, Executive Director of The Association for Cultural Equity, talks to Jim and Greg about making over 17,000 Lomax recordings available to stream online as part of the Global Jukebox project. Don hopes the expanded access will encourage more artists to sample and draw inspiration from Lomax recordings, not just heavy-hitters like Moby and The Boss.

Screaming Females

If ever a band was perfectly named, it’s the Screaming Females. Ok, true, there’s only one screaming female in the New Jersey punk trio, but Marissa Paternoster has quite the set of pipes. And, as Jim and Greg point out, she can shred too. She credits people like Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead and Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins for influencing her guitar style. But when it comes to the band’s ethos, that’s pure DIY punk. Drummer Jarrett Dougherty explains that self-releasing albums was difficult at first, but they approached it with professional aims, unlike many of their New Brunswickpeers who were satisfied with nothing more than releasing internet demos. Now the Screaming Females are on their 5th release called Ugly. Check out their performance live on Sound Opinions.

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