Best Family Bands & The Handsome Family Review

In honor of Father'€™s Day, Jim and Greg celebrate rock's best Family Bands.

The Jackson Five
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Google recently made big news with its new streaming radio service. But once again, Apple is here to take back the spotlight. iTunes Radio will allow users to customize their stations, like with Pandora, and use "DJ Siri" to make requests. Who will win the battle of the streams? It might be a fight to the death.

Speaking of Pandora, the company recently bought its own terrestrial radio station. But it isn't as much interested in getting into the traditional radio biz as it is benefiting from arcane royalty regulations. Radio corporations like Clear Channelpay less in royalties than digital streaming sites like Pandora. Hits 102.7's new tagline may be, "Take that ASCAP!"

Great Family Bands

The family that plays together, stays together, right? If you've ever traveled in a van you're your mother, father, sister or brother, you know it's not that easy. But these great Family Bands made it work. Happy Father's Day from Sound Opinions!


  • Staple Singers
  • The Roches
  • The Breeders
  • Sly & The Family Stone


  • Sister Sledge
  • Heart€Ž
  • Wu-Tang Clan
  • The Cowsills

Wilderness The Handsome Family


Jim and Greg continue the family theme with a review of Wilderness, the 10th studio album from husband-and-wife duo The Handsome Family. Formed in Chicago in the '90s, Brett and Rennie Sparks'™ Handsome Family has often been lumped in with alternative country. But Greg contends that the band'™s macabre lyrics and pre-rock influences have always set it apart. Jim says Wilderness proves that more than ten albums into its career, The Handsome Family still represents the "old weird America" better than any group in rock. Who else sings about General Custer and malicious octopi? He says Buy it. Greg agrees; With lyrics that run the gamut from sci-fi to magical realism, and music that draws equally from Stephen Foster and chamber pop, Wilderness sounds completely unique. Double Buy it.


Until recently, Sonic Youth'€™s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore were one of the most visible families in rock. For his DIJ, Jim commemorates the group'€™s best track (in his humble opinion). "Death Valley €™69€" from 1985's Bad Moon Rising is also about a family€: the Manson Family. Written by Moore and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks'€™ Lydia Lunch, the track captures the insanity of Manson'€™s cult with some pretty insane hooks.

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