World Tour – Canada & Opinions on Alejandro Escovedo.

Canada

Many Americans are thinking a lot about Canada these days. So Jim and Greg take the Sound Opinions World Tour to Canada explore the music of our neighbor to the north. And we play our favorite performances by Canadian artists from the Sound Opinions archives. Plus, a review of the latest from Texan singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo.

Download Subscribe via iTunes

Canada

Justin Bieber

Every once in a while, Jim and Greg embark on the Sound Opinions World Tour and explore the music of another country. This week felt like a fine time to turn to our neighbor to the north and look at the music coming out of Canada today. As their guide, they’re joined by music critic Ben Rayner of the the Toronto Star. Ben takes them from Montreal’s experimental/ electronic scene to the noise-pop of Halifax to the country’s growing hip-hop culture. He also explains how the government supports pop music via grants and the Cancon regulations requiring broadcasters to air a certain amount of Canadian music. Ben also recommends two up-and-coming Canadian artists: Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq and Acadian folk-rocker Lisa LeBlanc.

Jim and Greg also dig through the Sound Opinions archives and share their favorite performances and interviews from Canadian artists, including a stripped down song from Montreal’s Arcade Fire, a conversation with Toronto’s Feist from early in her career, and a performance from the Vancouver supergroup The New Pornographers. Plus, they revisit their conversation with the most Canadian of all bands: Rush.

Burn Something Beautiful Alejandro Escovedo

Burn Something Beautiful

Overcoming Hepatits C and narrowly escaping a brush with a hurricane was the backdrop for the new record, Burn Something Beautiful, from Texas-based musician Alejandro Escovedo. With a decades-spanning career starting in punk bands in the 1970s, the 65-year old guitarist is no stranger to the stage (or Sound Opinions). Gregsays this feedback drenched album is the audio catharsis of Escovedo’s recent struggles. He played this summer’s Pitchfork festival and Greg said it sounded like a 19-year old kid with something to prove. Jim says it can be easy giving an aging artists a pass based on a long-storied career, but Burn Something Beautiful stands on its own. Vital, vibrant and essential are all words Jim uses to describe this double Buy It record.

Jim

What better way to end a show about the music of Canada than bringing a track by a Canadian band to the desert island? This week, Jim chose the song Hyper Faster by the stoner metal band Sheavy. Sheavey was a band that came out of Newfoundland in the early ‘90s. They are recognized most for blending hard rock in the tradition of ‘70s bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, with ‘90s flavored psychedelia. While the group sort of lost their way when their leader Ren Squires left in 2004, this 2000 song is peak Sheavy and a perfectly Canadian choice to bring to the desert island.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!