Cursive & Opinions on Coldplay and Weezer

Omaha’s own Cursive sits down with Jim and Greg live in their hometown to perform some never-before-heard tracks. Then the critics will rate the latest releases from Coldplay and Weezer.

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AC/DC is following in the path of Garth Brooks, The Eagles and Journey. The veteran hard rock band inked a deal to sell its forthcoming album exclusively at Wal-Mart. This formula has been successful for bands in the past; The Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden sold almost 3 million copies, all without the help of a record company. But, AC/DC is still on Columbia Records, which makes Jim and Greg wonder about their motivation. They'll be curious to see how the profits break down between the band, their label and the retail store when the album is released this fall.

The latest in the line to follow the Radiohead record release model is Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis. The sample-based artist and former Sound Opinions guest is following up his underground hit Night Ripper with a new album due out soon. Like In Rainbows, Feed the Animals will be a pay-what-you-want release. But the real question is if Girl Talk will have to pay. The new album will have over 300 samples -- none of which Gillis legally obtained. As more fans take notice of his work it's possible more lawyers will as well.

The godfather of soul passed away two years ago, but James Brown left behind a treasure trove of his earthly goods. Many of these items will be auctioned off at Christie’s later this month. Who will reap the benefits of the sale is unclear due to the chaotic state of the singer's estate. But fans can get hold of such artifacts as Brown's Grammy and Kennedy Center Awards, his baby grand piano and Hammond organ, as well as personal notes and photos. Jim and Greg are most interested in all his grooming products though. Just imagine the hair magic Greg could produce with Brown's pick.

Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends Coldplay

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

After months of anticipation and a high profile iTunes publicity campaign Coldplay's new album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends has finally been released. This album follows up three multi-platinum releases, making the band one of the biggest of this century. The Chris Martin-fronted act sought out Brian Eno to take their music to the next level, but neither Jim nor Greg hear anything particularly groundbreaking. In fact, they both think X&Y was a little more radical. Greg appreciates the sound of this record, but wishes Martin had more to say. And, as far as arena rock anthems go, Jim doesn't think anyone does it better these days. But neither critic thinks listeners need to invest money in this album. Viva La Vida gets two Try Its.


Greg and Jim took a trip out to Omaha, Nebraska to hang out with post-hardcore  indie rockers Cursive. Performing live from The Waiting Room, the band serves up some brand new songs that have yet to be put to record. Tim Kasher talks with Jim and Greg about how he has recently added screenplay writing to his resume, in addition to his side project, The Good Life. Kasher thinks out loud about being a 33-year-old rocker with a teenage fan base, and shares what it means to him to be a songwriter. Though typically remembered for The Ugly Organ, Cursive feels content amidst evolving styles and lineups, and look forward to creating their as-yet-unnamed sixth studio album for Saddle Creek.

Make Believe Weezer

Weezer (Red Album)

Weezer is back with yet another self-titled album, and on this release they return to their roots. 2005's Make Believe showed the band's foray into arena rock, but now Rivers Cuomo, with a little help from his bandmates, is going back to its more complicated, heartfelt compositions. In fact, Greg thinks Cuomo is regressing emotionally as well as musically. He wishes the singer's angsty lyrics reflected his adult life and can only give Weezer a Try It. For Jim the whole album is about the track "Heart Songs," which portrays what it's like to fall in love with music. If the whole album was as good as that song it'd be an instant classic. But Jim still gives the new Weezer a Buy It.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!