Kelis & Opinions on Spoon

kelis

Singer Kelis talks music, cooking and Milkshakes and performs songs from her aptly titled album Food. Then, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot review the latest from Austin rock band Spoon, and Greg drops a quarter in the Desert Island Jukebox.

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R. Kelly surprised people by turning up in Chance the Rapper’s closing set on the final day of the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago this past weekend, but it’s his involvement with another, much smaller festival that has been making headlines. The Fashion Meets Music Festival (FMMF) of Columbus, Ohio, scheduled to kick off at the end of this month, originally booked Kelly as headliner of the three-day weekend celebration. However, the Columbus community and the event’s sponsors met the news of the controversial R&B star’s involvement with disapproval and condemnation. Kelly, well-known as the target of allegations of manufacturing child pornography, as well as dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct from young women, was removed from the festival bill last week. And this is one instance of an ongoing public conversation about whether or not you can support the art without supporting the artist. Jim has been at the center of this debate—with reporting that was captured in a Village Voice piece by Jessica Hopper. Kelly is certainly not the first ( Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, etc.) to raise this question, and he won’t be the last.

Kelis

R&B singer/songwriter Kelis has been making music since her debut release in 1999…longer if you count her time at the Fame school ( New York’s LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts). But it wasn’t until 2003’s breakout hit Milkshake, that Kelis really brought all the fans to the yard. That song, produced by Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, went gold. But, Kelis’ next step was surprising. She released 2006’s Kelis Was Here and then took a big break…to go to culinary school! By this time she had married rapper Nas, and in 2009 they publicly announced their split while Kelis was 7 months pregnant with her son. All of that—motherhood, family and food—has made its way on to the new record, aptly titled Food. It’s a focused reinvention of sounds, produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. Kelis stopped by our studio to performed songs from Food and talk about the pitfalls of stardom, her breakup with Nas, and how Jerk Ribs found its way into a song title.

They Want My Soul Spoon

They Want My Soul

Next to Yo La Tengo there isn’t a longer-running, more reliable indie rock band in business today than Spoon. This year marks twenty years and eight albums for the band, which has had success on both independent and major labels, thanks to a signature sound that only seems to get tighter with each outing. Spoon’s latest, They Want My Soul comes four years after the group’s previous release and features the same economical and emotional music fans and critics have come to love, but with a subtle twist that Greg feels makes this album more fragile and beautiful than past records. Jim agrees... They Want My Soul is now his second most favorite Spoon album after 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and he’s quick to point out this new album also makes a great dance record thanks to the rhythmic contributions of drummer Jim Eno. Eno’s grooves opposite frontman Britt Daniel’s vocals have always been the band’s secret sauce, and it’s still as good as ever. Both critics say They Want My Soul is a Buy It.

Greg

On this latest trip to the Desert Island Jukebox, Greg is eager to pay tribute to unsung Memphis music legend, Mabon Lewis Hodges, also known as Teenie. Hodges passed away at the age of 68 last month only a few weeks after Greg sat in on a recording session with him in Tennessee. Hodges was a dynamic rhythm and lead guitarist whose best work was done with Al Green in the 1970’s. The pair co-wrote the songs Take Me to the River and Love and Happiness, with the latter featuring an unforgettable guitar rift (and countdown) from Hodges right up top. Green credits Hodges for the song’s slow burn sound which he likened to a fever, one that only gets hotter and hotter as Hodge’s guitar and Green’s vocals glide along. In Hodge’s honor, Greg cues up 1977’s Love and Happiness.

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