Vernon Reid is one of rock’s greatest guitarists, having rising to stardom in the 1980s as a member of Living Colour. It’s not surprising, therefore, that he’d choose an album by one of rock’s other great guitarists: Jimi Hendrix and his final album, Band of Gypsys, recorded live at the Fillmore East and released in the spring of 1970. Reid gave us an amazing lesson into what exactly made Hendrix so brilliant, least of all on this album.
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Jim and Greg have talked on the show before about France’s “3 Strikes” downloading law before on the show, and they’ve been wondering when they US will present its own anti-piracy initiative. Well, the Senate just did. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act”, a bipartisan bill that would allow the D.O.J. to shut down websites with pirated content. Record labels and Hollywood studios have been waiting for this for some time. Jim points out that a similar bill was introduced during the Bush administration, but, perhaps rightly so, some lawmakers didn’t feel the government should be footing the bill for these legal actions. With President Obama’s appointment of an Intellectual Property Czar, Greg sees a trend toward supporting corporate copyright holders in this administration.
In related news, U2’s manager Paul McGuinness recently published his own manifesto about the future of the music industry as it relates to downloading. There are few men as powerful in music today, so his words carry a lot of weight, but Jim and Greg aren’t sure McGuinness is being very forward thinking. He feels that internet service providers are not doing enough to catch pirates, and that the solution is to bundle royalty costs into your internet fee. U2 is one of the few bands, like Radiohead, who could choose to revolutionize their business model. But, disappointingly it’s business as usual for them.
They say that it takes a lifetime to make your first record and only a few months to make your second. If that’s true, then it’s no surprise that most artists face the dreaded “sophomore slump.” But, a rare few release second albums that meet or even exceed the first. Here are Jim & Greg’s picks for Sophomore Success Stories:
- Nirvana, Nevermind
- The Cars, Candy-O
- A Tribe Called Quest, The Low End Theory
- PJ Harvey, Rid of Me
- Jimi Hendrix, Axis Bold As Love
- Sinéad O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
- Elvis Costello, This Year’s Model
- Beastie Boys, Paul’s Boutique
Now it comes time to look at a new sophomore effort: Grinderman 2. Nick Cave’s blues punk side project wowed Jim and Greg with its debut. And with this one, they’ve proved they can do more than just pure, raw energy. Jim hears a lot more experimentation, but also a lot more melody. Greg even found some songs just plain creepy. He calls Cave a wonderfully “nasty rock and roll machine.” Grinderman 2 gets a double Buy It.