Sound Opinions

Saturdays 9-10 PM
  • Hosted by Greg Kot, Jim DeRogatis

Sound Opinions is where music lovers come together. You can make discoveries, debate, learn about pop culture, engage, have fun and find new ways to further enrich your life through music. Whether you're an expert, or just a casual fan, Sound Opinions is your source for smart and engaging music criticism and conversation. Each week on the show, nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis interview artists, talk about pop culture and music industry news, review new record releases and give trends a historical context. And, because on Sound Opinions,“everyone's a critic,” you are invited to join in the debate.

Ways to Connect

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett’s 2015 album Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit was a critical success and Sound Opinions favorite. Her conversational songwriting manages to be simultaneously clever and poignant, and her guitar technique combining lead and rhythm parts is nothing short of impressive. All of her skills are on display as Courtney Barnett joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for an interview and intimate solo performance in front of an audience.

Sound Opinions: Ska & Opinions on Jamila Woods

Dec 1, 2017

In the late 1950s, Jamaican musicians blended home-grown rhythms with R&B to create ska. The genre’s influence quickly spread across the globe, paving the way for the reggae phenomenon. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore the history of ska from its island origins to its British revival to its most recent punk incarnation.

Sound Opinions: Songs of Thanks

Dec 1, 2017

Thanksgiving is a time to gather around the dinner table with family and friends to reflect on the past year and give thanks. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite songs that say "thank you." Plus, the story of the twangy guitar-bass hybrid instrument known as the Bass VI, and Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions: Al Green's The Belle Album

Dec 1, 2017

Al Green sang some of the most acclaimed soul records of the 1970s. So when he decided to leave it all behind for the church, many questioned why. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss Al Green's life and his pivotal transitional record, The Belle Album, with biographer Jimmy McDonough. 

Sound Opinions Show

Nov 30, 2017

It's time for the 2016 Sound Opinions Holiday Spectacular! Each year, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are joined by holiday music collector Andy Cirzan who shares a mix of rare Christmas records scavenged from dusty record bins around the world.

Sound Opinions: Esperanza Spalding

Nov 30, 2017

 

Best Albums of 2017

Nov 30, 2017

With the year winding down, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reveal their lists of the Best Albums of 2017. They also hear top album picks from Sound Opinions listeners. Featured artists include Kendrick Lamar, Aimee Mann, and Lorde.

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

Halloween is all about being someone else for a night – and musicians like to put on costumes, too. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite examples of artists temporarily donning a musical costume and performing in a different style under a fake name.

Sound Opinions: Julie Klausner

Oct 19, 2017

As creator, writer, and star of the critically acclaimed TV comedy Difficult People, Julie Klausner not only crafts the show's jokes but also guides its soundtrack. This week, she joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a hilarious discussion of the show's music and her own musical tastes, and she even attempts to win them over to musical theatre. Plus, Jim and Greg review a new album from Beck and a collaboration between Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Manipulation.

About Steve Ramirez's TED Talk

Neuroscientist Steve Ramirez used lasers to enter the brains of mice and edit their memories. He imagines a future where this technology might be possible in humans as well.

About Steve Ramirez

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Manipulation.

About Elizabeth Loftus's TED Talk

Years of research have taught Elizabeth Loftus just how unreliable our memories are. From tweaking a real memory to planting a completely fabricated one, tampering with our minds is surprisingly easy.

About Elizabeth Loftus

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Manipulation.

About Ali Velshi's TED Talk

Journalist Ali Velshi began his career to "speak truth to power." Now he worries that fake news has subverted the meaning of truth.

About Ali Velshi

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. 

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.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Citizen Science.

About Mary Ellen Hannibal's TED Talk

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Citizen Science.

About Joi Ito's TED Talk: Part 2

Thanks to the internet, citizen science is easier than ever before. Joi Ito says now, we no longer need permission — or a degree — to try new things.

About Joi Ito

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Citizen Science.

About Tabetha Boyajian's TED Talk

In 2009, the Kepler telescope was sent out to search for other planets. But when astronomer Tabetha Boyajian asked thousands of amateurs to comb through Kepler's data, they found something entirely unexpected.

About Tabetha Boyajian

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.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Future Consequences.

About Anab Jain's TED Talk

It's hard to imagine how the future might look and feel. Anab Jain wants to change that. She designs prototypes of potentially grim futures to raise awareness of our choices in the present.

About Anab Jain

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Future Consequences.

About Juan Enriquez's TED Talk

From genetically modified animals and crops, we can already manipulate DNA. But futurist Juan Enriquez argues soon we can take full control of human evolution to create a better life for all of us.

About Juan Enriquez

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Future Consequences.

About Sam Harris's TED Talk

Does superhuman artificial intelligence sound like science fiction? Not for Sam Harris. He says it's not a question of if but when — with potentially destructive consequences.

About Sam Harris

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.

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.

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Moshe Szyf's TED Talk

Many think genetic makeup is fixed from the moment we're born. But Moshe Szyf says this understanding is incomplete because our experiences and environment have the power to change our basic biology.

About Moshe Szyf

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Brian Little's TED Talk

Are you introverted or extroverted? It depends. When it comes to personality, psychologist Brian Little says we can actually act against our biology — especially if we pursue a "core life project."

About Brian Little

Pages