Results for glam rock

interviews

Tony Visconti

While the performer gets all the glory, sometimes it's the producer who shares the guts. This week Jim and Greg hear from anonther of rock's great behind-the-scenes men, Tony Visconti. Visconti has worked with everyone from The Moody Blues to Alejandro Escovedo, but is primarily known for the albums he did with glam rockers T. Rex and David Bowie. Visconti relays how he was lucky enough to meet both men shortly after moving from Brooklyn to the U.K.; both were relatively young and undiscovered. Marc Bolan of T. Rex was still performing hippy folk songs as a member of Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Bowie was beginning song writing but had no direction. Visconti established long-term relationships with both Bowie and Bolan and helped them carve out their identities. You'll hear Visconti discuss the making of such landmark albums as Electric Warrior and Heroes.

Go to episode 143

Tori Amos

Veteran musician Tori Amos stopped by the studio recently to talk to Jim and Greg. The singer/songwriter was in town on a tour to promote her most recent album American Doll Posse, which both Jim and Greg agreed was a Buy It. Tori is known for her strong feminist views, as well as her accomplished piano skills. But, as she explains, both those things weren't seen as positives early on in her career. After failing with her glam rock project Y Kant Tori Read, Tori decided to stay true to her heart and her musical roots. She approached record companies with her honest, political, piano-driven songs and was told that no one wanted the“girl at the piano.”Luckily for us she stuck with that and has gone on to make and sell records.

For this album Tori decided to collaborate with some true rockers: drummer Matt Chamberlain and guitarist/producer Mark Hawley (aka Mac Alladin aka Mr. Tori Amos). Jim and Greg talk to Tori about why she chose to do such an earthy, almost Zeppelin-esque record. She explains that the sound partly came out of the content of the songs — which express the anger and frustration Tori felt for and on behalf of American women after 2004's presidential election. She gave a lot of thought to the different roles American women play on a daily basis, and even adopted different female characters for different songs. If you get a chance to see Tori perform on this current tour, be ready for someone different to pop up.

Go to episode 106
specials

Remembering David Bowie

bowieremembered

Although passing away at the age of 69 seems early by today's standards, it's what music innovator David Bowie did with those 69 years that is significant. Bowie died after an 18-month battle with cancer on January 10th. He was responsible for creating magical personas, from Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to the Thin White Duke. Bowie released more than two-dozen albums exploring the genres of glam rock, dance, electronic and even jazz. Along with many of his solo hits, he participated in many memorable duets alongside artists like Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and Queen. He earned a considerable amount of success in the art world and as an actor in films like Labyrinth and The Prestige. His freedom of expression in his music, art and sexuality opened people's minds and inspired countless artists. David left behind a son (filmmaker Duncan Jones), his wife of 24 years (the supermodel Iman) and their daughter Alexandria. In this show, Jim and Greg discuss David Bowie's legacy and offer highlights from his long career. Producers and long time Bowie collaborators Brian Eno and Tony Visconti also share their memories of the pop chameleon.

If you're still missing David Bowie, take a listen to our Spotify playlist, Sound Opinions' Salute to David Bowie.

Go to episode 529
classic album dissections
SeaRoxy MusicRoxy Music available on iTunes

Roxy Music Roxy Music

This week, Jim and Greg tackle Roxy Music's 1972 self-titled debut album. Fronted by songwriter and vocalist Bryan Ferry, the English glam rock band combined the talents of bassist Graham Simpson, multi-reedist Andy Mackay, synth player Brian Eno, drummer Paul Thompson, and guitarist Phil Manzanera. Phil joined Jim and Greg to talk about Roxy's early years.

Reaping from sources as varied as avant-garde electronic composition, jazz, Berlin cabaret, glam rock, and American crooners, Roxy's hyper-eclectic style“didn't sound like anything else”in popular music in 1972, according to Greg. Ferry has cited the work of his mentor, pop collage artist Richard Hamilton, as an inspiration for his own catch-all musical aesthetic. As Greg observes, Roxy Music marked a new era in which "rock was a wide-open playing field, and you could do anything with it."

Critics took notice - the record was well-received upon its release and is frequently included on Best Album lists. Though the group went its separate ways in 1983, Roxy Music profoundly influenced musical genres to come, from post-punk and the New Romantic movement to Britpop—and it can all be traced back to the group's delightfully wacky debut album.

Go to episode 663
reviews
MY WOMANMy Woman available on iTunes

Angel Olsen My Woman

My Woman is Angel Olsen's second album for Jagjaguwar, following 2014's acclaimed Burn Your Fire for No Witness. The Asheville-via-St. Louis-and-Chicago singer-songwriter is working now with producer Justin Raisen, known for more pop-oriented work for Sky Ferreira and Charli XCX. But Greg says that rather than introduce a pop sheen, Olsen uses Raisen to bring out the drama in her songs. From touches of goth and glam rock, Greg is hearing moves Olsen has never used before. He loves that her complicated and disconcerting lyrics are brought to the forefront. Jim agrees that Olsen is fantastic at confronting difficult emotions in her lyrics. And he loves the unique ambience of her records – he places Angel Olsen's work in the shortlist for best uses of reverb of all time. It's a double Buy It from both critics.

JimGreg
Go to episode 562
American Doll PosseAmerican Doll Posse available on iTunes

Tori Amos American Doll Posse

It's been six years since singer/songwriter Tori Amos released a new album. American Doll Posse is the follow-up to 2001's Strange Little Girls, and looking at both back to back it becomes clear: Ms. Amos likes to play dress up. But, this time around she takes the concept even further. American Doll Posse is a collection of songs from the vantage points of five different characters. As Jim and Greg explain, this is Tori's way of exploring what it means to be a woman in a largely patriarchal culture. Both critics love the result. Greg wishes Tori had dialed the concept back a bit, but loves how she added an earthiness and edginess that was often missing from her former fairy tales. He gives it a Buy It. Jim notes that Tori has appeared to reclaim her glam rock roots as well as her“M.I.L.F.”status. He finds the music empowering and complex and thinks American Doll Posse is the best record she's made since Little Earthquakes. This album gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 76
Day & Age (Deluxe Version)Day & Age available on iTunes

The Killers Day & Age

On their 3rd album Day & Age, The Killers have teamed up with Madonna producer Stuart Price, further confusing their identity. Are they Nu-New Wave? Are they Nu-Springsteen? Or Nu-Dance Pop? Greg's answer is that they are merely a great singles band. Brandon Flowers is not a great lyricist, but there are a handful of great, glam rock pop songs on this new album, and together with the handful of other tracks from their previous albums, he predicts they'll have a hell of a compilation one day. But for now he gives Day & Age a Try It. Jim is less kind. He finds the album over-produced and packed with the worst steel drums and saxophones he's heard in a long time. He gives it a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 157
Ty SegallTy Segall available on iTunes

Ty Segall Ty Segall

San Francisco's Ty Segall is one of today's most prolific rockers. Since his 2008 debut, he's collaborated with bands like Traditional Fools and Fuzz, in addition to his own solo work. For his most recent self-titled album, Ty Segall, he recorded with his touring band. Jim thinks that this album is extraordinary, combining elements of glam rock, psychedelic sounds, and fiery garage rock a'la 13th Floor Elevators. Jim particularly enjoyed "Orange Color Queen", an ode to Ty's girlfriend that he called "a touching love song". Greg says that this is an album to love, his most song-focused and diverse record in his catalog, right up there with 2014's Manipulator. Both critics say Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 584
WitnessWitness available on iTunes

Benjamin Booker Witness

Greg notes that Benjamin Booker's sound was initially inspired by the question of what would it sound like "if Otis Redding strapped on an electric guitar and played in a punk band?" The resulting debut album, released in 2014, got the attention of fellow artists like Jack White. Witness is Benjamin Booker's second album, which finds him“inspired by the Black Matter Movement, and by America's changing attitudes in the era of Trump”according to Jim. Witness experiments with punk rock, glam rock, and rhythm and blues. Jim loves“the fire in his guitar”and "the vocals", and for Jim, the album is a buy it. Greg says that the album is“terse”and“direct”that "broaden[s] his scope both musically and lyrically". For Greg, the record is a buy it, as well.

JimGreg
Go to episode 602
news

Music News

For the third year in a row the Lollapalooza Music Festival took over Chicago's Grant Park for a weekend. Jim and Greg were both there to report on how the festivities went down, and both critics agree the highlight was, by far, Iggy Pop and the Stooges. The punk rocker's high-energy performance toed that line between good fun and danger, something Jim wishes there was more of in rock and roll. Something Jim also wished there was more of at the festival was less of a“shopping mall”environment. He asked Lollapalooza impresario Perry Farrell about the need for such extensive VIP sections and the effect that things like the“radius clause”have on struggling bands and struggling clubs. Greg actually thought the festival was run quite well and treated fans with respect; there was plenty of food, water and bathrooms — something he can‘t say about all other festivals. This critic’s major beef with Lollapalooza is mostly aesthetic. He would like to see fewer stages, fewer filler bands, and more emphasis on thoughtful bookings. We'll just have to wait until Lollapalooza 2008 to see if they take this free advice.

The news takes a slightly darker turn next, with two stories involving Adolf Hitler and Hitler memorabilia. The first concerns the pop purveyor of all things dark: Marilyn Manson. The goth-glam rocker is being sued for $20 million by his former keyboardist, known to fans as Madonna Wayne Gacy. He claims that Manson spent band profits on personal items, including coat hangers used by Adolf Hitler, a handbag owned by Eva Braun, and the full skeleton of a four-year old Chinese girl. Manson says the claims are ridiculous, adding, "I would never spend my money on a Chinese girl skeleton… That would be crossing the line. It's a Chinese boy, for the record.‘’

Another surprising news item: Around 100 records apparently belonging to Adolf Hitler have been discovered in a former Soviet intelligence officer's attic. The collection reveals that while Hitler was publicly heralding“racially pure”German music, his musical taste included some artists forbidden in the Third Reich. Some of the findings were not shocking: Wagner, Beethoven and Anton Bruckner. But, the dictator also appears to have owned works by Jewish and Russian performers like Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov and Artur Schnabel.

To quote Elton John's own song, "The Bitch is Back." The singer/songwriter has popped up in the news again, this time expressing his beef with…the Internet, of all things. In a piece in British tabloid The Sun, John contends that the web has destroyed music, and explains, "I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole Internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span." Sir Elton adds that he's doing his part by shutting out iPods and cellphones, and, we can only guess, communication with the world. Apparently this musician hasn't had the same experience with music on the internet as fellow Brits Lily Allen or Pete Townshend.

Just a week after Jim lauded his new album Cake or Death, psychedelic cowboy Lee Hazlewood died of cancer at the age of 78. The musician is best known for writing and producing hits for others, including "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" for Nancy Sinatra. But, Jim and Greg discuss how he developed a cult following in later years, and became legendary for his innovation and independence. This earned him the adoration of a new generation of rock musicians that includes Nick Cave and Sonic Youth. Jim and Greg pay tribute to Hazlewood by playing his song, "Some Velvet Morning."

Go to episode 89