Buried Treasures & Divine Fits Review

Jim and Greg share some of their favorite music under the mainstream radar in the latest installment of Buried Treasures.

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Buried Treasures

After three months of Call Me Maybe and Somebody That I Used to Know playing non-stop on commercial radio, Jim and Greg figure Sound Opinions listeners are due for an aural cleansing. This week, they dip into the wealth of great new music beyond the FM dial and play you some Buried Treasures. These artists might not be household names, but they’re definitely worth adding to your collection.

Greg

  • Chromatics, Kill For Love
  • THEESatisfaction, awE NaturalE
  • The Very Best, MTMTMK
  • Scott Lucas and the Married Men, Blood Half Moon

Jim

  • Bassnectar, Vava Voom
  • Lester Bangs, Infinite Stretch
  • The Black Belles, The Black Belles
  • Django Django, Django Django

A Thing Called Divine Fits Divine Fits

A Thing Called Divine Fits

Jim and Greg are generally dubious of supergroups. Too often they’re not the sum of their parts. But Off!’s visit last week had them feeling hopeful about the debut record from yet another indie supergroup, Divine Fits. Divine Fits is composed of songwriters Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade (and Handsome Furs), and drummer Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks. The combination of Daniel and Boeckner, Greg notes, is an interesting and potentially troublesome one. Whereas Daniel is cool and reserved, Boeckner is intense and in your face. So does A Thing Called Divine Fits live up to its lofty pedigree? Greg says it does. Daniel and Boeckner might bring different personalities to this partnership, but the two are kindred spirits when it comes to production style. Both embrace a minimalist, stripped-back approach to recording that Greg says makes listeners hyper-aware of musical details like the occasional castanet or maraca. He gives A Thing Called Divine Fits a Buy It. Jim can’t echo Greg’s enthusiasm. He says Divine Fits fails by abandoning the most successful elements of its members’ previous groups. Divine Fits has all the angularity of Spoon, for example, but none of its driving intensity. It has all Handsome Furs’ electronic edifice, without any of the sensuality that made that group compelling. Jim gives A Thing Called Divine Fits a Trash It.

Greg

For his DIJ, Greg wants to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Los Lobos’s Kiko. In 1992, grunge acts like Nirvana were shaking up the mainstream, and veteran acts like Los Lobos had to either reinvent or face irrelevance. Kiko, Greg says, was Los Lobos’s answer to grunge’s challenge. The group started out in the seventies playing a fusion of American roots rock and Mexican folk. Kiko saw main songwriters David Hidalgo and Louie Perez moving in a more trippy psychedelic direction, writing lyrics that were so concise, they were almost haiku-like. The band’s new sound only really began to gel however when their label put them in the studio with producers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake. Froom and Blake pumped up the distortion and keyboard effects, and suddenly Los Lobos were walking into a new sonic world. Greg says the album’s opening track, Dream in Blue, represents the door opening onto that new world. Hidalgo and Perez’s lyrics describe a sleeping child who, as she begins to dream, finds herself entering a realm of unprecedented freedom.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!