Neko Case & Opinions on Paul McCartney

Neko

Neko Case returns to her old Chicago stomping grounds for a special live Sound Opinions recording at The Hideout. Then Jim and Greg review the latest from Sir Paul McCartney.

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Music News

Social media continues to be controversial terrain when it comes to music. This week comes the announcement that Twitter has shuttered its music app. What music app? you say. #Music has been a rare flop for Twitter. It was introduced with great fanfare months ago, but hasn’t made any noise. And so the company is rethinking its strategy. Instagram is another social networking tool much beloved by those in the entertainment industry. But The Guardian is wondering if it’s killing music videos. Heck no, YouTube might respond. It’s hosting its first YouTube Music Awards next month. Place your vote at youtube.com/musicawards.

The Brits continue to surprise us stateside. The #1 album this week is not by Sir Paul McCartney. It’s not by Pearl Jam. It’s by… John Newman? This up and comer (and Rick Astley look-alike) debuted in the top slot on the U.K. Billboard chart. Pearl Jam fared better at home with its 5th number one. Listen to Jim and Greg’s review.

Neko Case

Singer/songwriter Neko Case is back with a new album called The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. This is Neko’s 6th release, and over the past few years she’s let the world see a little more of her humor and unique point of view. Granted, she still lives quite privately on a farm in Vermont, but the songs on this album, not to mention all the tweets, are more revealing than ever. The album is also poised to bring Neko the biggest profile of her career, so Jim and Greg thought it would be fun to bring her back to the place where it all started: the Chicago music club, The Hideout. She worked as a bartender there in the early 2000s, and even bunked upstairs. She performs songs from the new album with Eric Bachmann & Kelly Hogan.

New Paul McCartney

NEW (Deluxe Edition)

The end of The Beatles certainly hasn’t slowed the output of Paul McCartney. This year, Macca releases his 16th solo album called New. He’s teamed up with a stable of pop music super producers like Mark Ronson ( Lily Allen and Bruno Mars) and Paul Epworth ( Florence & the Machine and Adele). Greg thinks the recording sessions with these hotshot producers brought bits of brilliance to the album. But the other bits are too undercooked and tired to earn the record more than a Burn It. Jim also appreciates the sound of the record. However, lyrically, McCartney has done better. Jim doubts McCartney’s team has the courage to tell him, making New a Burn It.

Greg

Talking about Paul McCartney got Greg thinking about one of The Beatles’ longtime friends and contemporaries: Harry Nilsson. Nilsson was especially fond of John Lennon, and the two collaborated on a 1974 album called Pussy Cats. The results, though, were a bit... out there, perhaps because of all the drugs, drink and heartbreak. But that dark mood piqued Greg’s interest, and he chooses the song Black Sails for a rainy day on the desert island.

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