Fantasy Songs, Slowdive & Opinions on Public Enemy

Fantasy Songs

The fantasy powerhouse Game of Thrones is returning for its penultimate season. With dragons, knights, and magic on their minds, Jim and Greg play their favorite songs about fantasy worlds. Plus, a review of the latest from hip-hop stalwarts Public Enemy, and Neil Halstead of Slowdive shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.

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Music News

Earlier this week, Jim published an in-depth piece on BuzzFeed about new allegations against R&B star R. Kelly that he is keeping women in controlling relationship and requiring them to sever communications with their families. The article details the allegations of two families who say their daughters have been brainwashed by Kelly and that he is controlling when they can eat, what clothes they can wear and who they can communicate with. Kelly, and at least one of the women in the piece, denies these allegations. Jim has reported on similar claims about Kelly going back to the year 2000.

Nothing is Quick in the Desert Public Enemy

Nothing is Quick in The Desert

Earlier this month, Hip-hop stalwarts Public Enemy released their 14th album, Nothing is Quick in the Desert. The release was available as a free download for only a limited time; but can still be listened to on YouTube.

Greg notes that the group has been around for thirty years, providing important, socially conscious rhymes on albums like 1988’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. This album attempts to continue that tradition.

Jim can do without Flavor Flav, but Greg disagrees saying that the emcee adds comic relief and flavor to what can be an otherwise heavy group. However, Jim adds that Chuck D provides insightful, politically charged lyrics.

Jim says that though half of the album is as good as anything Public Enemy has given us, he can only give the record a Try It.

If you are looking for the old Public Enemy, according to Greg your best bet is to seek out old Public Enemy music. But, the group is still an arena-rap draw, he says; and the material on the album will play better on the stage. In that context, Greg gives the album a Try It, as well.

Fantasy Songs

Whether Mordor, Westeros, or a dystopian landscape, multiple artists have written songs that pay homage to their favorite fantasy worlds. This week, Jim and Greg share their inner nerdiness and pick their favorite prog rock and fantasy-inspired songs.

Greg

  • Deltron 3030 - 3030
  • Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale
  • Iced Earth - Dystopia

Jim

  • Led Zeppelin- Ramble On
  • Genesis - Time Table
  • David Banner - My Uzi

David Weigel

prog rock

Perhaps more than any other genre, Progressive Rock has a particular penchant for fantasy motifs. From Gensis, to Yes, to Rush, to King Crimson dystopian worlds, hobbits, and medieval imagery found a home within those sprawling 14-minute long songs. But why? Jim and Greg speak David Weigel, national correspondent for the Washington Post, and author The Show That Never Ends: The Rise And Fall Of Prog Rock. Weigel says that in the early 1970s as prog was making its rise, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien were not the blockbuster films we know today. Instead, they were much more a part of the counter-culture, like prog rock.

David’s 4 Favorite Prog Fantasy Records

  • King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King
  • Bo Hansson - Music Inspired By Lord Of The Rings
  • Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
  • Magma - Magma (AKA Kobaia)

Hooked On Sonics: Neil Halstead of Slowdive

Neil Halstead

Our latest installment of our Hooked on Sonics series features Neil Halstead – singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the English shoegaze band Slowdive. Slowdive recently reunited and released their first album since 1995. Halstead describes being blown away when he heard the leadoff track from an EP by a shoegaze progenitor: My Bloody Valentine’s You Made Me Realise. Combining Byrds-like harmonies with a sonic assault, the song forever changed his musical life.

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