The X

The X. 

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Illinois music and the great alternative, rock, folk, soul, blues, reggae artists you've come to love on 91.9-HD3.

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Ted Leo

Nov 9, 2017

After a seven year gap, veteran rocker Ted Leo has expanded his sonic palette with his latest solo record, The Hanged Man. Written in the wake of emotional and financial turmoil, the album is perhaps his most personal work to date. Ted Leo joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot in front of an audience at the Goose Island Tap Room for an interview and intimate solo performance. Plus, a review of the new album from eclectic Las Vegas singer-songwriter Shamir.

Buried Treasures & Ron Gallo

Nov 2, 2017

Each season, there's a few highly anticipated albums with a ton of buzz behind them. Then, there are other deserving records that won't get that kind of attention. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their latest batch of Buried Treasures: hidden musical gems that everyone ought to hear. Plus, a conversation and live performance from Philadelphia indie rocker Ron Gallo.

Sound Opinions: Musical Costumes

Oct 26, 2017

SOUND OPINIONS WEEKLY RUNDOWN, 10/27/2017, SO_102717

ANNOUNCER COPY:

The fun of Halloween is getting to be somebody else for the night. This week, Jim and Greg share their favorite examples of musical costumes, where an artist takes on a fake name to play in a different style. Plus, tributes to New Orleans piano legend Fats Domino and Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:


OBIT:


Sound Opinions: Julie Klausner

Oct 19, 2017

ANNOUNCER COPY:

As creator, writer, and star of the critically acclaimed Hulu TV comedy Difficult People, Julie Klausner [KLOWS-ner] not only crafts the show's jokes but also guides its soundtrack. This week, she talks with Jim and Greg about how music is the beating heart of the show.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

FEATURE:

Sound Opinions: Jamila Woods

Oct 12, 2017

On her debut album HEAVN, Jamila Woods contrasts weighty issues like police violence and the invisibility of black women with a breezy musical touch. The Chicago-based poet, singer, and songwriter joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for an interview and performance. Plus, a review of the new album from St. Vincent, and folk legend Judy Collins tells us about the song that got her Hooked on Sonics. 

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Sound Opinions Remembers Tom Petty

Oct 6, 2017

The great Florida rocker Tom Petty died on October 2, 2017 at the age of 66. Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot pay tribute to American musical icon. They revisit a 2003 interview with Petty and explore his background, his songwriting, and his legacy.

Sound Opinions: Tom Petty

Oct 5, 2017

Tom Petty was a master of the perfect three-chord pop song and an icon of American music. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot pay tribute to the late Florida rocker. They discuss Petty's tremendous songwriting gifts and revisit their 2003 interview with him on Sound Opinions.

Sound Opinions: Mavis Staples

Sep 28, 2017

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with gospel and soul legend Mavis Staples. She speaks about her role on the front line of the Civil Rights Movement as part of the Staple Singers and recounts a harrowing story of touring through the Jim Crow South. Plus, a review of the latest from Protomartyr, and a tribute to the late soul singer Charles Bradley.

Sound Opinions: Bonus Songs

Sep 21, 2017

So many talented musicians perform on Sound Opinions, but we don't always have time to share every song. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot play some of their favorite never-before-heard live performances from guests like Courtney Barnett, Drive-By Truckers, and more. Plus, a tribute to Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü.

Sound Opinions: Late Bloomers

Sep 14, 2017

Some say that making music is a young person's game, but several artists beg to differ. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite "late blooming" musicians - artists that didn't achieve success or even start music until later in life. Plus, the debut album from rock supergroup Filthy Friends, and the song that got Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions: Art vs. Artist

Sep 7, 2017

Should we hold up a musician's output to a moral standard? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk about whether art can be evaluated separately from the artist's ethics. Plus, reviews of new releases by The National and Queens of the Stone Age, and tributes to Walter Becker of Steely Dan, and Holger Czukay of the influential "Krautrock" group Can.

Bluegrass Icon Ricky Skaggs

Sep 4, 2017

This program originally broadcast on April 5, 2017. 

Country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs brings his mandolin and a lifetime of stories.

Sound Opinions: Back to School

Aug 31, 2017

The beginning of September means students return to the classroom. Whether you're excited to be back to school or the very thought inspires dread and anxiety, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have put together a playlist to ease back to the grind. Plus, they review albums by LCD Soundsystem and Van Hunt.

Sound Opinions: The Melvins & Billy Bragg

Aug 24, 2017

The Melvins were an inspiration to the '90s alternative explosion, but the band's unclassifiable sound and uncommercial stance set them apart. In a frank discussion with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, the Melvins reflect on their career and bust myths about the grunge scene. Plus, singer-songwriter Billy Bragg makes the case for the 1950s skiffle craze as the origin of guitar rock and punk sensibilities in the UK.

Flatt Lonesome On Mountain Stage

Aug 22, 2017

Spirited bluegrass band Flatt Lonesome makes its debut on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Augusta Heritage Festival in Elkins, W.Va. After singing and harmonizing in their family's bluegrass gospel group Sandy Creek Revival, siblings Kelsi, Buddy and Charli Robertson took to the open road with their talented friends to do as their band's name suggests: honor the string-and-song work of Lester Flatt with a lonesome sound that is emotional, earthy and entirely down-home.

Sound Opinions: One-Person Bands

Aug 16, 2017

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

FEATURE:

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite One-Person Bands – projects where one artist wrote all the lyrics, played all the instruments, and sung all the vocals themselves. Featured artists include Stevie Wonder and Grimes.

REVIEWS:

Jim and Greg review the albums Dark Matter, from legendary songwriter Randy Newman and Cost of Living from Rhode Island punk band Downtown Boys.

DIJ:

When he was 17, Tatsuya Kuwahara picked up a banjo for the first time. It was supposed to be a one-off for a song he was writing; he normally played rock guitar and drums.

Now, we're out in the stairwell at a small club in Tokyo called Rocky Top, where his band Bluegrass Police has just finished its first set. Today, Kuwahara, now 29, is one of the hottest banjo players in the local bluegrass scene. And, in his country of Japan — which has the second-largest music industry in the world — the genre he loves is experiencing a bit of a revival.

Hear Andrew Limbong's remembrance of Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr. at the audio link, and read on for an obituary written by Mark Mobley.

Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr., an international ambassador for Louisiana roots music with his genre-leaping band Buckwheat Zydeco, died early Saturday morning. He was 68.

Kyle Craft On World Cafe

Sep 26, 2016

Kyle Craft's music encompasses a diverse set of influences. Originally from Shreveport, La., his voice carries southern cadences and his songs revolve around distinct characters and situations that could only be from that town by the Mississippi. But you also hear the influences of David Bowie, under whose spell Craft fell at a young age, and of Craft's adopted hometown of Portland, Ore.

They came, they measured, and they returned to perform a show like no other. It was the great NPR Tiny Desk Takeover by Blue Man Group.

If you've not seen this performance ensemble and their production in New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Chicago or Berlin, then you've missed a night of magical fun. These Blue Men may never say a word, but the performances make for poignant looks at who we are as humans. They also make unusual music on instruments of their own design.

Metropolis: 9/24/16

Sep 26, 2016

This Week's Playlist

  • The Weeknd, "Starboy [feat. Daft Punk]" (Republic)
  • Glass Animals, "Youth" (Harvest)
  • Trentemoller, "My Conviction" (In My Room)
  • Phantogram, "Run Run Blood" (Republic)
  • D.D Dumbo, "Walrus" (4AD)
  • The Seshen, "Distant Heart" (Tru Thoughts)
  • Janet Jackson, "Pleasure Principle [Classixx Recovery Mix]" (Virgin)
  • Gigamesh, "I'd Do It Again [feat. Gavin Turek]" (Our Label International)

The political endorsement song is a strange beast. It's something more than just a campaign anthem — the kind of track that pumps up rally audiences before a candidate's entrance onstage. Instead, this kind of tune is an odd hybrid: part commercial jingle, part aspirational anthem and, with nearly no exceptions, a soon-forgotten novelty. (One outlier: the sturdy Whig song "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" from the 1840 presidential campaign, which was most recently resurrected by They Might Be Giants in 2004.)

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN SONG, "BORN IN THE U.S.A.")

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The founder of Rolling Stone is selling a minority share of the fabled magazine to a Singapore-based social media entrepreneur, the first time an outside investor has been allowed to buy into the property.

Several media reports say Jann Wenner has decided to sell 49 percent of the magazine, as well as its digital assets, to BandLab Technologies, a social-networking site for musicians and fans.

It makes sense that Y La Bamba's latest album, Ojos Del Sol, is a bilingual journey through cultures and genres. After all, the project comes from frontwoman Luz Elena Mendoza, who carries her multiple identities with pride.

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