Results for 2011

interviews

Eleanor Friedberger

Singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger last joined us in 2008 as one half of the duo The Fiery Furnaces, along with her older brother Matthew. Famous for their fragmented and experimental sound, they made an impressive nine albums in six years together. However since 2011, Eleanor has been pursuing a solo career that is sonically quite different from the work she was doing in The Fiery Furnaces. She's put out three albums, Last Summer (2011), Personal Record (2013) and most recently, New View. While Eleanor Friedberger is an Oak Park, Illinois native currently living in New York state, she recently joined Jim and Greg during the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas for a conversation and live performance in front of an audience at the Gibson Showroom. She speaks about growing up, going solo, Seth Meyers, and Andy Warhol.

Go to episode 550
specials

Xmas Spectacular 2011

Holiday music maven Andy Cirzan joins Jim and Greg every Christmas to share a new collection of unique tunes for the season. By day Andy runs Jam Productions in Chicago. By night he searches through record stores, dustbins and basements to find gems for his annual compilation. And he shares a few favorites during this episode. Andy describes the first set as poppin' soul music from the '60s and '70s. Then he brings in the straight ahead uptempo jazz featuring songs from his 2011 compilation "Swingin' Snowflakes: Jingle Jangle Jazz Party." Finally, we go off into the wild blue yonder and get some truly weird and wonderful Christmas songs.

Go to episode 316
reviews
Lost in the DreamSlave Ambient available on iTunes

The War on Drugs Slave Ambient

The Philadelphia band The War on Drugs straddles the line between indie singer/songwriter and psychedelic rock. It was originally founded by Kurt Vile and Adam Granduceil, but Vile has since left to pursue a solo career. Granduceil continued as The War on Drugs, releasing a moderately succesful record called Slave Ambient in 2011. His new album, Lost in the Dream, is his best, according to Jim. Working out the songs on the road created a wonderful live atmosphere. It's perfect headphone music, says Jim: Buy It. Greg likes the record as well, but wishes some of the more meandering tracks were better edited. He gives Lost in the Dream a Try It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 433
Nikki NackNikki Nack available on iTunes

tUnE-yArDs Nikki Nack

Merrill Garbus, the creative force behind tUnE-yArDs, is back from Haiti with adventurous new rhythms and a whole lot to talk about. The result is her third album, Nikki Nack. Expectations for this release were high for Jim and Greg, who lauded 2011's W H O K I L L, and were wowed by the band's live performance on Sound Opinions. But Garbus has outdone herself on Nikki Nack. Greg loves the unconventional Haitian percussion tapping underneath as Garbus 's voice, an instrument in its own right, explores deep, dark themes with a soaring“ecstasy.”Jim agrees, only taking issue with the cannibalistic interlude, "Why Do We Dine on the Tots?," a quirky skit adapted from Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" that lets Garbus showcase her puppeteer training. Otherwise, Jim admires the empathy for women and the poor that comes through in these experimental pop songs, and thinks that Garbus got more out of her Haitian visit than Arcade Fire did. Both critics will Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 441
Love & HateLove & Hate available on iTunes

Michael Kiwanuka Love & Hate

British soul artist Michael Kiwanuka first came to public attention after opening for Adele in 2011. Five years later, he's released his second album called Love and Hate. While his first record had a vibe that resembled classic soul folk artists like Bill Withers, he went in a different direction the second time around. Greg loves Kiwanuka's sophomore effort because of his departure from his initial style. He thinks that Kiwanuka has found his voice as an artist, speaking out about his experiences as a "black man in a white world" as he sings in a track with the same name. Greg thought his collaboration with Danger Mouse really elevated his music to another level, he gives this album a Buy It. Jim also thought very highly of Love & Hate. He admires his willingness to speak openly about issues he is passionate about, and appreciates Kiwanuka's melding of different genres. Jim also gives the album an enthusiastic Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 557
lists

SXSW 2011

Music fans and industry insiders have been gathering at the SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, TX for twenty-five years. While it has gotten too big for its britches in recent years, SXSW remains the place to hear new artists and issues facing the business. Jim and Greg didn‘t have high hopes for this year’s keynote speaker Bob Geldof. What has the Boomtown Rats done for us lately? Well, not much. But he provided one of the most insightful keynotes our hosts have ever heard. Geldof, who brought the world Live Aid, encouraged American musicians to wake up. He explained that rock ‘n’ roll needs to be against something – whether that's in reality or in spirit. Another noteworthy panel featured independent concert promoters from around the country, as well as Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard. The Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger was approved last year, and this panel attempted to find out how that has affected the concert industry. There were no concrete answers; ticket prices have skyrocketed but it's too early to attribute this to consolidation.

It's panels by day and music by night. Jim and Greg always return from SXSW with a truckload of new music. Here are their respective discoveries of artists to watch in 2011.

Go to episode 278

Scary Songs

It's everyone's favorite time of year: Halloween! This is one of our most requested shows, so Jim and Greg are back with another installment of Scary Songs for the season. Here are their 2011 picks:

Go to episode 309

Turkey Shoot

Time to round up the turkeys! Jim and Greg name this year's most disappointing albums as part of their Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot. These aren't just bad records, but ones that should have been so much better. Here are the Butterballs and Tofurkeys for 2011:

Go to episode 312

Top Albums of 2011…So Far

We're halfway through 2011, which means it's time to get a jump on the Best-Of Lists. Here are Jim and Greg's mid-year best.

Go to episode 292
news

Music News

Spotify and other digital streaming services are definitely the wave of the future. But some artists are eschewing streaming for more traditional methods of marketing and distribution. Coldplay, for one, has decided not to make its new album Mylo Xyloto available to Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody. In addition, Tom Waits and Adele have said no thank you. The reasons behind this may be similar to ones we've heard from old school acts like Pink Floydand AC/DC-they want their albums heard as a whole, not broken up into singles. But, as Greg points out, it may simply be that acts as big as these don‘t need streaming services. They’re doing just fine on their own with radio and a large fan base behind them. Just look at Adele and Coldplay, both sales success stories for 2011.

Go to episode 310