Giorgio Moroder and a Review of The Both

Giorgio Moroder

Jim and Greg talk to Giorgio Moroder, one of the architects of Disco. And they review a new collaboration by Aimee Mann & Ted Leo.

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Museums will soon get to display an artifact as precious as the Rosetta Stone or the Shroud of Turin: the new Wu-Tang Clan album. The Clan is creating only one copy of the upcoming record, The Wu—Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which they’ll take on tour around the world before auctioning off. (Unsurprisingly, the Clan has already been offered millions for the disc.) The idea is to provoke a discussion about the value of music in the modern era, RZA explained—but as Greg notes, it’s a lot of spectacle and money for an album that few may even hear.

Coachella is coming up, and several celebrities will be in attendance—for a price. It turns out stars are getting paid big bucks to not only attend the festival, but also get spotted wearing certain brands. Lea Michele of Glee will get $20,000 from Lacoste to wear its clothes, while McDonald’s is paying High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens $15K to stop by one of its parties. Other celebs, like Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul and Joe Jonas, have named their prices and are waiting on offers. Jim would gladly support any Kickstarter campaign that sends a Jonas brother to the desert.

Giorgio Moroder

Giorgio

Giorgio Moroder is on his 6th musical decade, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. He’s a name many will identify with Donna Summer’s great hits of the Disco era, as well as solo hits like From Here to Eternity. In fact, subsequent artists and producers talked about going after that Moroder beat. While today we hear the synth-heavy Love to Love You, Baby and I Feel Love, and are immediately taken back to the 1970’s, at the time they were the sounds of the future. No less than Brian Eno said just that to David Bowie, one of Giorgio’s collaborators on the Cat People soundtrack. Giorgio also composed memorable scores for movies like Scarface and Midnight Express, as well as hit songs like Flashdance...What a Feeling, Call Me and Take My Breath Away. Recently, he’s ad a renaissance of sorts, collaborating with Daft Punk on their Grammy-winning album Random Access Memories. And at 73, he’s still appearing at festivals like Ultra Music, Pitchfork and MoogFest.

The Both The Both

The Both

Unlike other collaborations, Jim and Greg have reviewed in recent memory, the coming together of two of indie rock’s most esteemed stars, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, finally feels like a collaboration that works. Mann is probably best known for her Grammy and Academy Award nominated songs in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Magnolia, while Leo has been the leader of the Ted Leo and The Pharmacists for the past fifteen years. Known collectively as The Both, the two singer-songwriters have released a record that Greg thinks does a remarkable job of creating a sound all it’s own instead of just sounding like Leo and Mann took at the wheel of every other song. Leo’s impressive guitar playing perfectly underscores Mann’s emotional melodies throughout, making The Both a Buy It for Greg. Jim thinks the potential to bring together Mann’s penchant for heartbreak and Leo’s political idealism is there, but the two eschew all of that in favor of an album that amounts to just a decent collection of pop songs. Jim expected more, but likes enough of what he hears to recommend listeners Try It.

Jim

While recently scouring the Bermuda Triangle for long-lost artists, Jim rediscovered Norway’s Ida Maria who specializes in energetic punk rock blended with new wave melodies. The song 10,000 Lovers from Maria’s second album Katla is a little less punk, but still a lot of fun and reminded Jim why Maria’s debut album Fortress Round My Heart in 2009 was his favorite of that year. 10,000 Lovers features Maria’s first use of her native Norwegian on a song, and while Jim doesn’t understand any of it, there’s no mistaking Maria’s shout-out to Frank Sinatra at the end.

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