Musical Couples for Valentine’s Day

rockcouple

Rockers in Love: Sound Opinions celebrates Valentine’s Day with selections by great musical power couples. Later, Jim and Greg review the new album from punk rockers Against Me!

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Music News

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment last Sunday morning. While Hoffman, 46, was known for dozens of lead roles, Jim had a special connection to his portrayal of rock critic Lester Bangs in the 2000 Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous. Jim—who, as a fledgling 17-year-old rock critic, had interviewed Bangs in 1982—completed his biography of Bangs around the time that the movie came out. In an interview for the book, Crowe recounted how Hoffman, to get into character, would walk the streets of San Diego listening to young Jim’s conversation with the larger-than-life Bangs. As Jim says, there was a lot of rock n’ roll in Hoffman’s soul. He’ll be missed.

Musical Couples

What’s more romantic than a couple literally making beautiful music together? Nothing, we say. And so Sound Opinions celebrates Valentine’s Day with the best Musical Power Couples.

Jim

  • The Cramps
  • Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans
  • Galaxie 500
  • ABBA

Greg

  • Tom Tom Club
  • The Handsome Family
  • Common and Erykah Badu
  • Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie

Listener Picks

  • Drew from Fox Point, WI: The White Stripes
  • Jim from Batavia, IL: June Carter and Johnny Cash
  • John from Detroit, MI: Yo La Tengo

What rock couples do you adore?

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Transgender Dysphoria Blues Against Me!

Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Against Me! has gone through some changes since forming in the late 1990s, but none more radical than that of the group’s founder and front person Tom Gabel. In 2012 he announced that he would be identifying as a woman named Laura Jane Grace. This transformative experience made an impact on the group, and the result is Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Greg finds the record a harrowing document, akin to a diary entry. The stripped-down, acoustic production matches the raw content of Grace’s lyrics perfectly. But those lyrics fall down when she tackles other topics like geopolitics. That said, it’s a Buy It. Jim doesn’t think Greg fully appreciates Grace’s intellectual heft the same way he does the anthemic music. The album’s commentary on issues such as rape culture and death are just as provocative as the songs about Grace’s personal life. He hails Transgender Dysphoria Blues as the first great album of 2014 and is happy to strongly second Greg’s Buy It.

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