Musical Road Trip & Opinions on Chuck Berry

Road Trip

Summer is upon us so that means one thing: road trip! Jim and Greg take a virtual cross-country drive playing their favorite songs about American cities, states, and regions from coast-to-coast. Plus, they review the posthumous album from rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry.

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Musical Road Trip

It’s summer time, which means for many of us that road trips are on the horizon. Jim and Greg highlight some of their favorite songs about American cities, states, and regions, from Boston and New York in the east, all the way to California in the west. Of course, they also stop by the Great Plains and the south on the way.

Jim

  • Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys, Empire State of Mind
  • Glen Campbell, Wichita Lineman
  • Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, Montana
  • Phantom Planet, California

Greg

  • Warren Zevon, Desperados Under the Eaves
  • Isaac Hayes, By the Time I Get to Phoenix
  • Ike & Tina Turner, Nutbush City Limits
  • The Standells, Dirty Water

And some of our listeners weighed in with their picks:

  • Kurt from Seattle - Hole, Malibu
  • Miriam from Chicago - Gordon Lightfoot, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
  • Matt from Richmond, VA - Avail, South Bound 95
  • Joe from New York - John Denver, Aspenglow

Chuck Chuck Berry

Chuck

When Chuck Berry, one of the architects of rock ‘n’ roll, died in March, he had completed work on what would be his final album. Chuck, his first record since 1979, has finally been released. Jim warns that critics need to evaluate posthumous albums on their own terms when they come from beloved artists. In the case of Chuck, Jim says, the record features some of the worst songs in Berry’s history – from the Caribbean pastiche of Jamaica Moon to the talking blues of Dutchman and Eyes of Man. Berry’s lyrics, voice, and guitar playing are not what they were in his prime. Greg is charmed that Berry is including family members and talking about his family for the first time on record. He’s also intrigued by the insight into Berry’s odd personality that comes though. But he agrees that it’s not much of a musical accomplishment. Chuck, sadly, gets a double- Trash It.

Jim

Jim gets a little edgy when summer begins and things get hot. So this week, he nominates one of the nastiest songs in the history of rock to the Desert Island Jukebox: Orphans by Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Fronted by the great Lydia Lunch, the band was part of the no wave movement that tossed out the chords and melodicism of earlier punk rockers in favor of pure noise. Teenage Jesus was one of the bands featured in the definitive no wave compilation, 1978’s No New York, produced by Brian Eno. Orphans features only three lines of lyrics, furious guitar playing, and pounding drums. For Jim, it’s the antithesis of a summer song.

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