The Legend of Captain Beefheart, Opinions on Kacey Musgraves & Sarah Shook

Captain Beefheart

Hosts Jim and Greg explore the legend of Captain Beefheart, a musician with a larger-than-life personality who blurred the lines of music, art and noise. Also, they talk with longtime Captain Beefheart collaborator Gary Lucas and share their thoughts on why Beefheart's music, however difficult, is of value. Plus, the hosts review new albums from country artists Kacey Musgraves and Sarah Shook.

Download Subscribe via iTunes

Golden Hour Kacey Musgraves

Golden Hour

According to Jim DeRogatis, Kacey Musgraves has been recording "basically forever," he adds that, "Shortly after she could walk she started playing the mandolin." On her latest album, Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves offers a contemporary country album that has sounds that listeners might not expect on a country recording. For starters, there's the vocoder on "Oh What a World" and "Butterflies," and then there's the disco bassline on "High Horse." Jim says "Mother" could be on a Tori Amos record, while Greg says that the track is a meta-song about "what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a mother." Greg also notes that Rainbow is draped in "LGBTQ colors." Jim and Greg give the album a Double Buy It.

Years Sarah Shook & the Disarmers


Jim and Greg were both happy to find that the new Sarah Shook & the Disarmers album, Years, still has the alt-county rough edges that they appreciated on her debut, 2015's Sidelong. Only this time, Greg notes that Sarah upped her vocal game, approaching a song like "Heartache in Hell" "like a jazz vocalist… living each word, each syllable in those lines." Jim notes that in the song "Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t," "she's having these inner battles, and she's doing it in front of a microphone." Jim and Greg give Years a Double Buy It.

Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart

This week, Jim and Greg take the plunge into the depths of an artist that is notoriously difficult for many music fans to enjoy - Captain Beefheart. This writer, singer, visual artist and musician had a larger-than-life personality and blurred the lines of genres like rock and roll, blues, free jazz and more. Beefheart influenced countless artists from John Cale to PJ Harvey to Jack White - who recently reissued Beefheart's most famous record Trout Mask Replica on his own label Third Man Records. Jim and Greg go through Beefheart's origin story, discography and importance. Plus they'll talk to long-time collaborator Gary Lucas.

Cecil Taylor

Cecil Taylor

Greg doesn't use the term "genius" often, but he does think it applies to both Captain Beefheart and Cecil Taylor. Greg remembers the trailblazing free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, who passed away April 5th at the age of 89.

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!