Peter Bjorn & John

Peter Bjorn & John

This week on the show Swedish trio Peter Bjorn & John join Jim, Greg and a live studio audience for an interview and special acoustic performance. Jim and Greg have deemed the band's hit track“Young Folks”one of the greatest“Whistling Songs”in pop music. So, in honor of their visit, the hosts will discuss other great moments in rock whistling.

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The Smashing Pumpkins Zeitgeist

After formerly announcing their reunion in May, The Smashing Pumpkins have finally started touring and have produced an album to be released next week. Zeitgeist is the band's first record since they ended their alternative reign in 2000, but this time only half of the original members are back. Pumpkins' impresario Billy Corgan is joined by long-time collaborator Jimmy Chamberlin, as well as two other musicians standing in for James Iha and D'Arcy Wretzky. In true Corgan fashion, the band is already making news. In a marketing scheme that perhaps doesn‘t fit their alternative sensibilities, they’ve struck a deal with three major music retailers. Target, Best Buy and iTunes are all getting a different bonus track along with the regular version of the album. That means that fans purchasing Zeitgeist at an independent music store will only get the LP sans bonus tracks. This has angered some, but Jim and Greg actually don‘t think this plan is so egregious. In the past Corgan has offered his album for free on the internet and has given many free concerts. And in an age where it’s difficult to get people to actually purchase CDs in stores at all, who can blame a band for adding incentives. The real question is whether or not Zeitgeist is worth purchasing at all. Jim explains how we're in an era of alternative nostalgia, and Corgan certainly seems interested in reclaiming the good ol' days of the 1990s when the Pumpkins were on top and were making music that sounded like nothing else. The problem is that now this music sounds like almost everything else. With angsty rock bands like My Chemical Romance and AFI on the scene, the Pumpkins aren't really offering anything unique. Both Jim and Greg find this reunion recording to be merely an imitation of a great Smashing Pumpkins album, and wish that the music lived up to its title. They give Zeitgeist two Burn Its.


Peter Bjorn & John

Recently Jim and Greg invited a group of listeners to sit in on their session with Swedish trio Peter Bjorn & John. Many members of the audience had heard their album Writer's Block or seen them perform at festivals like SXSW. But, certainly everyone in the room had heard their catchy hit "Young Folks." The song has been featured in TV shows and commercials and was recently sampled by Kanye West. It provides just a taste of what the band had to offer. During their interview Peter Morén, Björn Yttling, and pinch hitter Nino Keller performed a number of songs, all of which you can sample here.


The Best of Rock Whistling

"Young Folks" features some of the best whistling in rock history — some of it done live, some of it done with the help of a sampler and whistlers in the audience. In honor of the band's appearance on the show, Jim and Greg decided to name some other great moments in rock whistling. Here are their picks. Whistling fans should also check out this DJ Riko's whistling mashup, "Whistler's Delight."

Featured Songs

  1. Afghan Whigs,“What Jail is Like,”Gentlemen, 1993
  2. Smashing Pumpkins,“Tarantula,”Zeitgeist, 2007
  3. Smashing Pumpkins,“United States,”Zeitgeist, 2007
  4. Peter Bjorn & John,“Young Folks,”Writer's Block, 2007
  5. Peter Bjorn & John,“Amsterdam”Writer's Block, 2007 Live in Studio
  6. Peter Bjorn & John,“Let's Call It Off,”Writer's Block, 2007
  7. Peter Bjorn & John,“Up Against a Wall,”Writer's Block, 2007
  8. Peter Bjorn & John,“Paris 2004,”Writer's Block, 2007 Live in Studio
  9. Peter Bjorn & John,“Young Folks,”Writer's Block, 2007 Live in Studio
  10. Professor Longhair, Big Chief," Always for Pleasure, 1979
  11. DJ Riko,“Whistler's Delight,”2007
  12. Juelz Santana,“There It Go,”What the Game's Been Missing!, 2005
  13. De La Soul,“Eye Know,”3 Feet High and Rising, 1989
  14. Peter Gabriel,“Games Without Frontiers,”Peter Gabriel (3), 1980
  15. Meat Puppets,“The Whistling Song,”Meat Puppets II, 1984
  16. Bryan Ferry,“Jealous Guy,”Street Life, 1986
  17. XTC,“Generals and Majors,”Black Sea, 1980
  18. Simian Mobile Disco,“Tits and Acid,”Attack Decay Sustain Release, 2007
  19. Phoenix,“Long Distance Call,”It's Never Been Like That, 2006
  20. Nas,“Hip Hop is Dead”Hip Hop is Dead, 2006
  21. Kelly Clarkson,“How I Feel,”My December, 2007
  22. The White Stripes,“Icky Thump,”Icky Thump, 2007

Footnotes The Smashing Pumpkins' homepage Zeitgeist Wikipedia page Jim on the end of The Smashing Pumpkins Jim's chapter on The Smashing Pumpkins in his new book, Milk It! Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the '90s My Chemical Romance homepage AFI's homepage What exactly is a Zeitgeist? Jim on Peter Bjorn & John Peter Bjorn & John's homepage SXSW Kanye samples“Young Folks” The Bangles' homepage“Eye Know”on AllMusic“Generals and Majors”music video