Results for Actor

interviews

St. Vincent

This week Jim and Greg welcome singer and musician Annie Clark, otherwise known as St. Vincent. After making a name for herself by touring and recording with Sufjan Stevens and The Polyphonic Spree, she recently released a second solo album called Actor. St. Vincent blew our hosts away at this year's SXSW festival, and Greg is already calling Actor one of the best albums of the year. They were excited to have St. Vincent along with her band into the studio for a live performance and conversation about dirty tour buses, digital oboes and Disney cartoons.

Go to episode 189
reviews
Actor (Bonus Track Version)Actor available on iTunes

St. Vincent Actor

One of Greg's favorite acts at this year's SXSW was St. Vincent, also known as Annie Clark. After performing with the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens, she's released her 2nd solo album Actor. Greg finds this sophomore effort to be a big step up. Clark wrote and produced the material all on her own, and the arrangements blow Greg away. He thinks it's one of the year's best records so far. Jim agrees, noting that while Clark may look like a Disney heroine, her songs are full of dark, subversive images. Actor gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 181
Strange MercyStrange Mercy available on iTunes

St. Vincent Strange Mercy

St. Vincent has a new album out called Strange Mercy. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, also known as Annie Clark, visited Sound Opinions upon the release of her second album Actor. That ended up Greg's top album of 2009. He's equally impressed with this effort, noting that she's blowing out the dynamics mix to a greater degree. The same goes for her guitar playing, which is at times unrecognizable. He loves the layers and the complicated storytelling and gives the record a Buy It. Jim couldn‘t disagree more. He admits St. Vincent is unique and talented, but totally doesn’t buy“the schtick.”He finds her characters inauthentic and pretentious and says Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 304
dijs

Jim

“The Ballad of Easy Rider”The Byrds

It's Jim's turn to add a song he can't live without to the Desert Island Jukebox this week. He honors iconic actor Dennis Hopper, who died last week at age 74. Hopper not only directed classic movies like Easy Rider, he chose their soundtracks. So for his track, Jim chooses "The Ballad of Easy Rider." The version in the film features a solo performance by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, but Jim prefers the version by the whole band.

Go to episode 236
lists

The Best of 2009… So Far

Lists are just too much fun to do them only once a year. Here are Jim and Greg's mid-year best album lists.

Greg

  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night
  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz

Jim

  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's You
  • Morrissey, Years of Refusal
  • Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  • PJ Harvey and John Parish, A Woman a Man Walked By
  • Moby, Wait for Me
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz
  • Passion Pit, Manners
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Metric, Fantasies
  • K'Naan, Troubadour
  • Cursive, Mama, I'm Swollen
  • Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
  • Leonard Cohen, Live in London
  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Sonic Youth, The Eternal
  • U2, No Line on the Horizon
  • Wilco, Wilco
  • The Handsome Family, Honey Moon
  • Art Brut, Art Brut vs. Satan
  • Peaches, I Feel Cream
  • Screaming Females, Power Move
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst

A message from Jim: The following, LISTED IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, is my tally of albums mid-year in 2009 that have all warranted 3.5 stars or more on the Chicago Sun-Times‘ 4-star ratings scale (making them all very enthusiastic“buy its”on the“Sound Opinions”scale). I will mention that these are in no particular order (sorry, but that’s reserved for the year-end list), that this list is not all-inclusive (I will no doubt catch up with quite a few discs released earlier in the year by the time I tally the year-end list) and, also, because this always confuses people, THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Yet. But they're all really, really, really good albums.

Go to episode 190

Best Albums of 2009

Go to episode 211
news

Music News

Everyone loves a steal, even corporations. Specific Media recently got quite a deal in procuring MySpace. News Corp. purchased the website in 2005 for $580 million; now they‘ve unloaded it for $35 million. It’s proof that MySpace doesn't have the cultural cache it once did. But Justin Timberlake is doing his best to fix that. The pop singer and actor (who incidentally portrayed Facebook's Sean Parker) will work with the new owners to“rebuild and reinvigorate”the site. But websites are like reality stars – it's rare to get more than fifteen minutes of fame.

Speaking of cheap deals, pop music is anything but. Planet Money recently tallied the costs that went into making Rihanna's "Man Down" a hit. Between the big name songwriters, producers and expensive promotion, the dollar amount comes to $1,078,000. As Greg explains, this is nothing new. Record companies were spending this kind of dough twenty years ago. But at that time the returns were much greater. To spend a million on a song that might make two to three million? The math doesn't add up.

Go to episode 293