Results for electronica

interviews

Saul Williams

This week's guest has an incredible portfolio: poet, screenwriter, actor, activist, and, of course, musician. But, while we have many words to describe Saul Williams, it's hard to describe his music. Saul blends rock, funk, hip hop and electronica with political lyrics. This combo was most recently heard on an album Saul made with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor. Last year they released The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust exclusively on the web. Now Saul is again getting attention through his involvement in a Nike ad campaign. The singer, and admitted activist, explains to Jim and Greg why he agreed to let the corporation use his song "List of Demands," in a recent commercial. He believes that the ad calls more attention to his song than it does the product, and therefore spreads the message of his music. You can hear that song performed live on the show, as well the Niggy Tardust tracks, "Banged and Blown Through" and "Convict Colony."

Go to episode 129

Top Albums of 2005

The“Best Records”list: It's“a sacred thing”in pop music fandom, says Jim, requiring a discerning ear and laser-like focus. Thankfully, our hosts are here to help. After sifting through hundreds of records, and countless days spent listening (perhaps to the discontent of their wives), they‘ve managed to pick out their absolute favorites. Here’s what Jim and Greg say they'll still be listening to in 2006.

Go to episode 2

Bob Mould

Throughout his storied career, songwriter and guitarist Bob Mould seems to be driven by the mystical power of the number 3. He's best known for his work with a couple of power trios: the pioneering Minneapolis punk band Hüsker Dü and the successful alternative era band Sugar. He's now formed trio #3 along with bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, Scharpling & Wurster). Together they've recorded three (of course) albums, most recently the double-Buy It earning Patch the Sky. This week, Bob Mould joins Jim and Greg for the third time in the show's history, this time with Narducy and Wurster in tow. They give a blistering live performance and discusses the vitality of guitar music, finding salvation through rock, and Bob's polarizing turn toward electronica.

Go to episode 552

Warpaint

Jim and Greg are joined in the studio this week by the Los Angeles band, Warpaint. The band is made of Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman on guitar and vocals, Jenny Lee Lindberg on bass, and drummer Stella Mozgawa. The band combines rock, electronica, r&b and a host of other genres into a mix that they like to call“sexy,”apt for a band formed on Valentines Day of 2004. Jim and Greg talk to them about musical influences, why it takes so long between records and what is was like working with production superstars, Flood and Nigel Godrich. The band plays us 3 songs from their latest self-titled album, Warpaint.

Go to episode 444

The Album Leaf

"Soundtracks for movies that live in his head" is how Jim describes the music made by Jimmy LaValle of the Album Leaf. LaValle's music is often grand and sweeping, while still being intimate. It is a sound that comes from the creative melding of electronica with organic instruments like the violin and trumpet. Check out our video to see how it comes together in a live setting. The Album Leaf started as a solo project of LaValle's more than 15 years ago but over time it has become a full fledged touring band. The Album Leaf joined us live in our studios to talk about its latest album, Between Waves.

Go to episode 582
reviews
MirroredMirrored available on iTunes

Battles Mirrored

Up next is Mirrored by the math rock outfit Battles. The New York quartet has been getting a lot of attention by indie rock fans for their unique take on instrumental music. In fact, the band won't even describe their music as instrumental, but rather music without any lyrics. Jim and Greg both love the combination of electronica and 1970s prog rock. Greg even compares their unique melodies and compositions to that of space age pop musician Esquivel. Both critics note how this cerebral brand of music can usually be kind of cold and off-putting, but, Battles has put a human touch to it. Therefore Mirrored gets two Buy Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 75
Electric ArgumentsElectric Arguments available on iTunes

The Fireman Electric Arguments

The Fireman is Paul McCartney's attempt at anonymity. But, when you are Paul McCartney, nothing is anonymous. In 1993, the Beatle teamed up with British electronica producer Youth as an artistic pet project. Now they are back with a more traditional album called Electric Arguments. Jim is a fan of the psychedelic soundscape tracks–McCartney practically invented the genre after all. And he appreciates the quick, punk rock approach to recording. But, as with most of his solo albums, Jim finds Electric Arguments wildly inconsistent. He gives it a Try It rating. Greg, on the other hand, really admires the songwriting on this album. The pairing of McCartney's trademark melodies with Youth's production is intriguing. And, McCartney has successfully removed much of the sentimentality that bogs down his other records. Greg gives Electric Arguments a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 158
The OutsiderThe Outsider available on iTunes

DJ Shadow The Outsider

DJ Shadow released a new album this week, The Outsider. The hip hop/electronica sound collagist, otherwise known as Josh Davis, has wowed critics and fans for years with albums like Endtroducing and The Private Press, but Sound Opinions hopes this latest effort doesn't force him into outsider status. DJ Shadow presents a somewhat different sound here, having composed many of the songs himself rather than using samples, and featuring vocals from guests like David Banner and Kasabian rather than his own production. He's also steeped himself in the hyphy sound, which, like Shadow himself, hails from the Bay Area. Jim and Greg appreciate Shadow's urge to stretch out, but neither thinks this album is a success. In fact, Greg calls The Outsider one of the biggest musical disappointments of the year. Jim agrees that the album is too jagged and pales in comparison to his previous work. Unfortunately, The Outsider gets two Trash Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 44
dijs

Jim

“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”Kanye West,Daft Punk

It's Jim's turn to pick a track for the Desert Island Jukebox. Still on a high after seeing Daft Punk perform at Lollapalooza, he chooses a song by the French electronica duo. In fact, if you haven‘t heard the group’s original, you may have heard it being sampled in Kanye West's new single "Stronger." The track is "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," and it's also based on a sample-"Cola Bottle Baby" by Edwin Birdsong.

Go to episode 89
news

Music News

Jim and Greg have done many news stories about changing modes of distribution, production and sales in the music industry. But Jill Sobule recently presented a unique idea that caught their eye. They talk to the "I Kissed a Girl" singer about why she decided to ask fans to finance her new record. Depending at what level a fan gives they're entitled to gifts ranging from a free digital download of the album ($10) to a Sobule-recorded instrumental theme song ($500). So far Sobule has raised over $80K. Now listeners just have to wait and hear the result. And, Sobule says she's open to album title names.

Obituaries are sad to be sure, but as Jim explains, they are also an opportunity to honor important artists. Last week German art rock pioneer Klaus Dinger died at the age of 61. Dinger is one of Jim's heroes, so while he was crushed to hear the news of his death, he was also happy he could showcase the musician's work at the top of the show. Dinger was a member of both Kraftwerk and Neu!, two of the most influential Krautrock bands of all time. In fact, without both groups electronica as we know it wouldn‘t exist today. Check out Jim’s blog post about Dinger and listen to his classic Neu! track "Hallogallo."

Go to episode 124

Music News

Pioneering DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles passed away this week. Knuckles' musical legacy is arguably as important to dance music as Chuck Berry's is to rock or Kraftwerk's is to electronica. In the early 1980's, Knuckles helped cultivate House music's sound from the ashes of disco at a venue on Chicago's south side called The Warehouse. (Hence the name, House). The space was an oasis for misfits of all shapes, sizes, and colors to come together and celebrate being alive. As Knuckle's musical stature grew over the years performing at various clubs and remixing other artist's songs, he never lost his generous spirit. In a 2012 conversation with Jim and Greg at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Knuckles remarked that he‘d never regarded music as a competive sport.“Even though you have people on the dance floor, and people that come out and say this DJ is better than that one, I’ve never looked at it that way and I‘ve never let that influence me because I’m too busy having a good time and showing people a good time,”said Knuckles. He was 59 years old.

Go to episode 436