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Sound Opinions

Author: WBEZ Chicago

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Sound Opinions is the World's only rock and roll talkshow. Hosted by Jim DeRogatis of WBEZ and Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune. Each week Jim and Greg bring you the latest music reviews. Plus, tune in to hear exclusive interviews and performances. Sound Opinions is a production of WBEZ Chicago and distributed by PRX. Updated weekly.
733 Episodes
As 2019 comes to a close, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reflect on the best albums of the year. They also hear from Sound Opinions producers and listeners about their favorites.
Beat writer William S. Burroughs had a profound impact and interaction with rock and hip-hop music from the 1960s through his death in the late 1990s. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with author Casey Rae about his book on Burroughs and "the cult of Rock 'n' Roll." They also review new albums from Leonard Cohen and singer and violinist Sudan Archives.
As we finish eating Thanksgiving leftovers, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot clear out musical discussions still left over from earlier in the year. From chart-topping phenomenons to surprising archival finds, there was just too much music this year to cover it all as it happened. Plus, DJ Shadow explains how he found the sample for his latest single, "Rocket Fuel."
For one reason or another, everyone has got a handful of songs that make them cry. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of the songs that bring tears to their eyes. They also review something old and something new: they revisit The Replacements' album Don't Tell a Soul 30 years later and share their thoughts on the new record from FKA twigs.
As we all settle in for the season, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot figure Sound Opinions listeners are ready for a playlist refresh. This week, they dip into the wealth of great new music beyond the FM dial and play you some Buried Treasures. These artists might not be household names, but they're definitely worth adding to your collection. Plus, blues legend Bobby Rush shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.
Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot both fondly remember discovering new bands on their FM dials; and though there are many ways find new music, there's still a bit of magic to hearing a new favorite over the airwaves. To honor that legacy, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite radio-inspired tracks by artists like Wall of Voodoo and Donna Summer. Plus Jim and Greg review Kiwanuka, the latest album from English soul-folk artist Michael Kiwanuka.
Janis Joplin was known for her iconic singing voice, gregarious image and refusal to conform. But behind her chill, blues mama persona was an intellectual, intentional artist. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the life and career of Janis Joplin with author and biographer Holly George-Warren. They talk about the legacy of Joplin's music and identity almost 50 years after her tragic death. Jim and Greg will also review new albums from Kanye West and Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
Rock and roll has never been purely about the music. The image a band puts forward can be almost as important as their songs. Some bands take it an extra step and make theatrical costumes an integral part of their act. In honor of Halloween, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite bands in costume. They also review the latest from rock band Battles and bid farewell to music journalist and biographer Nick Tosches.
Though originally panned by many critics, the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile on Main St. is now considered a masterpiece. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot serve up a classic album dissection for the deeply influential recording.
Have you ever listened to a song and loved it, only to find out it’s by an artist you can’t stand? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot will explore the concept of great songs by horrible artists and share a few of their favorites. Plus they'll review Ghosteen from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and pay tribute to drummer Ginger Baker and The Muffs' Kim Shattuck.
The family that plays together, stays together, right? If you‘ve ever traveled in a van with your mother, father, sister or brother, you know it's not that easy. From Sister Sledge to The Cowsills, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of the great Family Bands that made it work. Plus, Jim and Greg review Ode To Joy, the latest album from alt-rock band Wilco.
Washington D.C. post-punk band Fugazi reshaped the definition of punk in America. Their 1990 debut album, Repeater, connected with a generation and eventually sold more than a million copies. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with founding member Ian MacKaye about the writing and recording of the album and its impact. Plus we review Sturgill Simpson's new album, Sound and Fury, and learn what song got a member of the band Dehd "Hooked on Sonics."
With an influx of new music, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot decide it's time for a review roundup. They share their opinions on records by Tool, Lana Del Rey, Common and more. They also pay tribute to the late Cars' frontman Ric Ocasek and solo artist Daniel Johnston.
Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are always on the lookout for buried treasures - newly released music that is flying underneath the critical and commercial radar. They're back this week with some exciting new songs. Jim and Greg also talk with a member of a somewhat buried treasure act from the past, Peter Lewis of Moby Grape. They discuss ways the 1960s San Francisco group turned convention on its head and some of the bad luck that befell the band.
This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are joined by legendary funk and R&B bassist James Alexander of the Bar-Kays. They discuss his early days as a pivotal part of the Stax Records house band in Memphis and the enduring legacy of 1971's Shaft Soundtrack, which featured the Bar-Kays as the backing band. Then, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite bass lines (as well as the songs' players). Bass players usually aren't the flashiest members of a band, but they're a pivotal part of its heartbeat.
While critical and commercially successful “soft rock” music is rare in 2019, the Chicago band Whitney found a way to make it sound fresh and indie. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with the two main members of the band about how they came to their unique sound and their new album Forever Turned Around, released August 30th.
Sometimes, all it takes for a song to go from good to great is the addition of a guest artist, whether it’s a rapper going in on the verse or a guitarist shredding a solo. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite musical cameos. They also review the latest from R&B singer Raphael Saadiq.
Over the course of 17 albums, The Mountain Goats have gone from a super lo-fi solo project to a polished four piece combo. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are joined by the whole band for an exclusive performance and interview with songwriter John Darnielle and drummer Jon Wurster. They also review the new albums from Sleater-Kinney and The Regrettes.
For decades, the myths surrounding Robert Johnson overshadowed his contributions as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. From the legend that he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads to mystery surrounding his untimely death at age 27, the truths of Johnson’s life have remained untold. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with music historian Bruce Conforth about Johnson’s career, death and working to give the guitarist his identity back. They also share some of their favorite covers of Johnson's songs.
Back in the 1970s, punk was shorthand for a subculture that took pride in breaking the mainstream’s mold. And at the vanguard of punk rock was The Ramones. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore the cultural contributions of the band, beyond the myth, with the author of Why The Ramones Matter, Donna Gaines. Plus, they revisit their 2007 conversation with the late Tommy Ramone. They also review the latest from Chicago's Chance the Rapper.
Comments (13)

Jim Eiden

Convoy is a Rap Song

Oct 16th
Reply (1)


still no Billie Eilish reaction. only the Album of the Year. you are officially irrelevant.

Apr 29th


you've never seemed less relevant than when you ignored the release of Billie Eilish's new album.

Apr 24th

Lisa Lawson

10 NEON 20.18. GOD

Jan 18th

Maria Liliana DE

hi what's. is going one you shoube come over and pick. up youre #ages ovst ate. Will. house. ok. monies popes that were I. live. love you. ok. pope. charlie..

Nov 12th

Sen Inno

... the music is nice ... but wtf you need talking sooo much? bigsmiley

Jul 9th

Kathleen Zimmerman


Jul 3rd

iTunes User

I have been listening to this show for a few years.I was happy to see it on itunes.Most music shows are pure crap,so this show is a nice change.

Aug 31st

iTunes User

Jim and Greg sort out the cool from the crap with their "buy it, burn it, trash it" review system. It's great for commuting because it mixes their review with playing the actual songs or albums they review. If you are looking to expand your musical experience and hear reviews of popular music, deep cuts, and music news...this is a must have.

Aug 31st
Reply (2)

iTunes User

I have not listened the last couple of shows, but I have been a big fan of this radio show since started here in Chicago (7 years ago, I think, but not positive). I don't always agree with them, but Jim and Greg are really on the ball. For the novice or the hard-core music fanatic, this is a show that everyone can listen to and still feel like they're part of the conversation. If you're not in Chicago and can't listen to them on the radio, get the podcast. You'll be happy you did.

Aug 31st
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