Moby & Opinions on The Julie Ruin

Moby

Moby became the face of techno with the blockbuster success of his 1999 album Play. In his new memoir Porcelain, he explores his origins in the underground rave scene of ‘80s New York up until his mainstream success. Moby joins Jim and Greg for a conversation. Plus, a review of the new album from post- Riot Grrrl band The Julie Ruin.

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Moby

Moby – who first appeared on the show in 2006 – arrived in New York City in the late ‘80s as a sober Christian vegan making his way through the nascent underground club scene. A decade later, he was the public face of techno, selling 10 million copies of his album Play and living a life of excess. He’s written all about his early career in a new memoir Porcelain, a book Jim compares to Charles Mingus’s Beneath the Underdog as one of the great musical autobiographies.

This week Moby speaks with Jim and Greg about the gritty but exuberant heyday of rave culture and house music – and how quickly it all ended. After a string of club hits, Moby confused some critics with the eclectic 1995 album Everything is Wrong, and alienated just about everybody with the hardcore punk-inspired Animal Rights in 1996. But 1999’s Play was an unprecedented smash, which led, as Moby explains, to the traditional rise-and-fall story arc of fame and decadence.

Hit Reset The Julie Ruin

Hit Reset

As a pioneer of the Riot Grrrl movement, Kathleen Hanna is comfortable making a bold statement with her music. The Julie Ruin, the current project from the ex- Bikini Kill and Le Tigre member, finds her continuing to make a statement, but a much more personal and introspective one. The new album Hit Reset finds Hanna dealing with issues like illness and abuse. Jim and Greg both have deep respect for Hanna’s body of work but are divided on her vocal abilities on this record. For Jim, Hanna’s songwriting is top-notch but is undercut by the limits of her singing. He says to Try It. Greg isn’t bothered by her voice. He finds the variety of musical styles on the album to be ambitious. The girl group style harmonies, new wave homages, and surprising ballads all make it a Buy It.

Greg

In his Desert Island Jukebox pick for this week, Greg pays tribute to the late country legend Guy Clark, who died on May 17 at age 74. Although he was never as well known as some of his contemporaries, Greg wants to emphasize Clark’s influence as a songwriter and his reputation among Texas musicians for his generosity and musicianship. He wrote about drifters and rebels and mentored many prominent country musicians. Greg selects the song Desperados Waiting For A Train from the 1975 album Old Number One as an example of the kind of sparse, raw songs that Guy Clark was best at writing.

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