George Jones was one of the greatest voices in 20th century music. Period. So even non-country fans will miss Texas singer, who died recently at age 81.
No Show Jones had a long, very public battle with alcoholism. And he was no stranger to divorce. But when he sang about these issues, it was never corn pone clich’es. As Greg explains, George was nothing if not authentic. And that’s what made his relationship to fans so strong. To say goodbye to George Jones, Jim and Greg play what many believe is the best country song ever written:
He Stopped Loving Her Today.
Two months ago, Jim and Greg kicked off the Sound Opinions World Tour with a musical survey of pop powerhouse Sweden. This week, our series on global rock and pop continues with a stop in Japan. Jim and Greg recruit Tokyo-based music journalist and podcaster Daniel Robson to be their guide through the contemporary Japanese music scene. As Daniel explains, it’s a scene that’s at once similar and very different from that of the Americans and Europeans. Consider this: the Japanese music industry is still profitable, and physical sales still outpace digital. That’s in large part to the stranglehold J-pop production companies have on the domestic market. But for every saccharine commercial confection like AKB48, Daniel says there’s an underground group sure to thrill indie ears. Mamadrive and Shinsei Kamattechan are just two bands poised for Western success in the tradition of Japanese experimenters like Boris, Melt Banana, Acid Mothers Temple, and The Boredoms. Another point of difference with the West? Japanese musicians are roughly 50% women. Today singers like Shiina Ringo and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu carry on the tradition of eclectic rock and J-pop pioneered by all-women groups from Shonen Knife to Puffy AmiYumi.
UK singer Jessie Ware has slowly been making her way stateside, first with buzz from tracks like
Wildest Moments and then with a U.S. tour. Now her album Devotion is getting a proper American release with bonus tracks. Greg loves the shadow play of her vocals and chiming keyboards and hears a little reggae in the mix. But for him the key is restraint, with Jessie demonstrating that it’s a choice, not a limitation. She can belt it when needed, but overall it’s a beautiful, subtle record. Jim loves the new R&B palette and is excited by this trend that also includes The Weeknd and Rhye. Devotion gets a double Buy It.
Greg has traveled by
bathysphere to the desert island to pop a quarter in the jukebox. And right now he’s in a Miles Davis kinda mood. Specifically, Greg has been going back to Davis’ jazz-fusion period and his 1971 release A Tribute to Jack Johnson. He had perfected his studio language with Teo Macero, and you can hear that in just a snippet of the almost half hour track
White Lightning,White Lightning and Other Favorites, Mercury, 1959
He Stopped Loving Her Today,I Am What I Am, Epic, 1980
Planet Tokyo,Nice., Epic, 2003
Smile for Me,Smile for Me (Single), Polydor, 1969
Kaze Wo Atsumete,Kazemachi Roman, URC, 1971
Riding on a Rocket,Let’s Knife, Virgin, 1993
Thank You,Nice., Epic, 2003
Manatsu no Sounds Good!,,Manatsu no Sounds Good! (Single), You, Be Cool!, 2012
PonPonPon,Moshi-Moshi Harajuku, Warner Music Japan, 2011
Statement,Smile, Diwphalanx, 2008
Fierce Space Symphony. 7th Movement (Infinite Love),5th Dimension, Starchild, 2013
*,Vision Creation Newsun, Birdman, 1999
La Le Lo,Mantra of Love, Alien8, 2004
Spider Snipe,Bambi’s Dilemma, A-Zap, 2007
Otoko Ha Roman Daze! Takeda Kun,Minna Shine, Perfect Music, 2010
Marunouchi Sadistic,Muzai Moratorium, Toshiba EMI, 1999
Filth in the Beauty,Stacked Rubbish, PS Company, 2007
Sad Whistling,Sad Whistling (Single), Columbia Japan, 1949
Brand New Wave Upper Ground,Great Escape, Sony, 2001
Hebi No Onna,Mousou Tengoku, Third Stone From the Sun, 2012
Dream Fighter,Triangle, Tokuma Japan, 2009
Fashion Monster,Fashion Monster (Single), Unborde, 2012
Urban Guitar Sayonara,Sappukei, EMI, 2000
Wildest Moments,Devotion, Interscope, 2013
Still Love Me,Devotion, Interscope, 2013
Something Inside,Devotion, Interscope, 2013
Right Off,Tribute to Jack Johnson, Columbia, 1971
Pink Moon,Pink Moon, Island, 1972
Place to Be,Pink Moon, Island, 1972
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