Sound Opinions

Sat 3p

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary, and exclusive interviews and performances, add a huge pile of records old and new, and the result is Sound Opinions—the world's only rock and roll talk show.

Based in Chicago, Sound Opinions is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, two of the finest and best-recognized pop music writers in the nation. For over a decade they were dedicated competitors at Chicago’s two daily newspapers—Jim at the Chicago Sun-Times and Greg at the Chicago Tribune. Today, Jim writes about music for WBEZ.org and teaches criticism at Columbia College.

Every week, Sound Opinions fires up smart and spirited discussions about a wide range of popular music, from indie rock to classic rock, hip hop to R&B, and every genre under the sun.

Sound Opinions' consistently informed, engaging, and controversial dialogue makes it a unique and essential source for the top stories, albums, and trends in music. This is cutting-edge criticism and journalism presented in the great tradition of Siskel and Ebert. The discussion is as indispensible to the hardcore music fan as it is to the casual music fan who feels out of touch.

Sound Opinions is a direct result of the experience and credibility of its creators. Jim and Greg are both critically acclaimed authors who also write for some of the nation's most prestigious rock magazines, including Rolling Stone, Spin, and Vibe.

Before coming to WBEZ Chicago in December 2005, Sound Opinions aired for seven successful years on one of the Midwest's most powerful rock radio stations, Chicago's WXRT. The show has built a thriving and loyal community of inquisitive and engaged fans hungry for smart conversation and new sounds.

http://www.soundopinions.org/

Sound Opinions: Late Bloomers

Sep 14, 2017

Some say that making music is a young person's game, but several artists beg to differ. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite "late blooming" musicians - artists that didn't achieve success or even start music until later in life. Plus, the debut album from rock supergroup Filthy Friends, and the song that got Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions: Art vs. Artist

Sep 7, 2017

Should we hold up a musician's output to a moral standard? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk about whether art can be evaluated separately from the artist's ethics. Plus, reviews of new releases by The National and Queens of the Stone Age, and tributes to Walter Becker of Steely Dan, and Holger Czukay of the influential "Krautrock" group Can.

Sound Opinions: Back to School

Aug 31, 2017

The beginning of September means students return to the classroom. Whether you're excited to be back to school or the very thought inspires dread and anxiety, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have put together a playlist to ease back to the grind. Plus, they review albums by LCD Soundsystem and Van Hunt.

Sound Opinions: The Melvins & Billy Bragg

Aug 24, 2017

The Melvins were an inspiration to the '90s alternative explosion, but the band's unclassifiable sound and uncommercial stance set them apart. In a frank discussion with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, the Melvins reflect on their career and bust myths about the grunge scene. Plus, singer-songwriter Billy Bragg makes the case for the 1950s skiffle craze as the origin of guitar rock and punk sensibilities in the UK.

Sound Opinions: One-Person Bands

Aug 16, 2017

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

FEATURE:

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite One-Person Bands – projects where one artist wrote all the lyrics, played all the instruments, and sung all the vocals themselves. Featured artists include Stevie Wonder and Grimes.

REVIEWS:

Jim and Greg review the albums Dark Matter, from legendary songwriter Randy Newman and Cost of Living from Rhode Island punk band Downtown Boys.

DIJ:

Sound Opinions: Steve Earle

Aug 10, 2017

Over his decades long career, Steve Earle has been many things - songwriter, novelist, actor, activist. But for his latest record, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, he went back to the foundation he started from: outlaw country. Steve joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about about those early influences and how he sees his duty as a songwriter. Plus, he performs a special solo set in front of a live audience at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago. Plus, a review of the debut album from Chicago rapper Vic Mensa and a tribute to the late Glen Campbell.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures

Aug 3, 2017

ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up on Sound Opinions… Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot dig out some buried treasures – albums not yet in the mainstream but deserve some more attention. Plus, an in-depth look at the history of the wah-wah pedal.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

FEATURE:

Jim and Greg expand your summer playlist by sharing some of their previously unearthed buried treasures - obscure albums by relatively unknown artists. Featured artists include Capitalist Kids, Chicano Batman and Gothic Tropic.

INSTRUMENTAL:

Sound Opinions: Penelope Spheeris

Jul 27, 2017

Penelope Spheeris has directed some of the most influential movies about music of all time, from Wayne's World to all three installments of The Decline of Western Civilization films. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Penelope about the 25th anniversary of Wayne's World, her fascinating path as a director, and the legacy of her films. Plus, a review of the new album from Arcade Fire.

Sound Opinions: Fantasy Songs

Jul 20, 2017

The fantasy powerhouse Game of Thrones is returning for its penultimate season. With dragons, knights, and magic on their minds, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot play their favorite songs about fantasy worlds. Plus, a review of the latest from hip-hop stalwarts Public Enemy, and Neil Halstead of Slowdive shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions: Year Punk Broke (pt 2)

Jul 13, 2017

In part two of our series 1977: The Year Punk Broke, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot look at the punk movement stateside with music writer Ira Robbins. They discuss how The Ramones, Talking Heads, and the rest of the CBGB scene inspired generations of artists. Plus, an interview and live performance from Montreal electronic duo She-Devils.

Sound Opinions: Year Punk Broke (pt 1)

Jul 5, 2017

In part one of our two-part series on the historic year 1977, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore the punk explosion in the UK with music writer Jon Savage. They discuss important British bands like The Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols and The Clash and what made them so influential. Plus, they'll review the new record from indie folk band Fleet Foxes, and Big Star's Jody Stephens shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions: World Tour New Zealand

Jun 28, 2017

The Sound Opinions World Tour rolls along, making its next stop in beautiful New Zealand. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot take a virtual trip to the other side of the world to explore the best of kiwi music, focusing on the influential jangly pop movement known as the Dunedin Sound. Plus, they review the sophomore album from New Zealand's biggest pop star, Lorde.

Sound Opinions: Best of 2017...So Far

Jun 22, 2017

There are still six months of 2017 left, but there are already lots of contenders for album of the year. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorites of the year...so far. Plus, we hear picks from Sound Opinions listeners. 

Sound Opinions: Musical Road Trip

Jun 15, 2017

ANNOUNCER COPY:

Coming up on Sound Opinions...Jim and Greg take you on a musical road trip, playing songs about American cities and states, from the bustling streets of New York City to the beaches of California. Later, they’ll review the final album from rock and roll legend Chuck Berry.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

FEATURE:

Sound Opinions: Generic Promo "We're Here For You"

Jun 9, 2017

New :30 generic promo. Lighthearted, focusing on caller interaction.

Sound Opinions: Benmont Tench

Jun 8, 2017

Keyboard player Benmont Tench was instrumental in the formation of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in 1976. He's also had a fruitful career as a consummate sideman and session musician, working with artists like Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, U2, Johnny Cash, and more. Tench joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for some lively conversation about his successful career in music. And we review the latest from soul-rocking guitarist and singer Benjamin Booker. 

Sound Opinions: Jack White

Jun 1, 2017

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot revisit their conversation with the hardest working man in rock, Jack White, recorded at Third Man Records in Nashville. Plus, an exploration into the history of the Rickenbacker 12-string guitar in rock. And we remember Gregg Allman, who died at the age of 69. 

Sound Opinions: Jenny Hval

May 25, 2017

Norwegian singer-songwriter and performance artist Jenny Hval has released six albums of ethereal and challenging music. On her latest record, she explores the links between vampirism and the female body. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot speak with Jenny Hval about her career and process. Plus, reviews of the new albums from Harry Styles and Sir the Baptist.

Sound Opinions: The New Analog

May 18, 2017

In a world becoming increasingly digital, Galaxie 500 co-founder and author Damon Krukowski says we need to hang on to aspects of analog media. Damon joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about the value of noise, liner notes, and his book The New Analog. Plus, a review of the latest from barroom rockers Low Cut Connie, and Lydia Loveless shares the song that got her Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions: Fictional Bands

May 11, 2017

Some bands are are born, and some are just made up. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite fictional bands from movies, TV, and more. Plus, a review of the new album from cartoon creation Gorillaz, and the strange story of C.W. McCall's trucker hit "Convoy."

Sound Opinions: Velvet Underground at 50

May 4, 2017

The 1967 debut from The Velvet Underground didn't sell many records, but arguably no album in the past half century has had a greater influence on rock music. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot offer a Classic Album Dissection of The Velvet Underground & Nico in celebration of the art-rock classic's fiftieth anniversary.

Sound Opinions: Guitar Riffs

Apr 27, 2017

Perhaps the most essential element of rock ‘n’ roll is a great guitar riff. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite guitar licks of all time.

Sounds Opinions: Drive-By Truckers

Apr 20, 2017

Drive-By Truckers have tackled politics and social issues in their music for decades, but never more strongly than on their latest album, American Band. Members Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood join Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about the record and perform acoustically in front of an audience. Plus, reviews of the new record from rapper Kendrick Lamar and the Danger Mouse-produced album inspired by The Man in the High Castle.

Sound Opinions: Review Round-Up

Apr 13, 2017

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot give their take on several of the biggest new records, from Spoon to Mastodon, in this Review Roundup. Plus, a conversation and performance with Scottish duo Honeyblood.

Sound Opinions Fundraiser: Going Solo

Apr 10, 2017

This is a special fundraising edition of Sound Opinions hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. This episode features Jim and Greg's collection of songs from artists known for being in a band who went on to made a successful solo record. Features the music of Lauryn Hill, Peter Gabriel, Morrissey, Justin Timberlake, and more.


There are three (3) episode segments plus an optional billboard to be aired sequentially during the Sound Opinions hour. Pitch time has been allotted.

Sound Opinions: Conversation With Mavis Staples

Apr 6, 2017

As a member of her family group The Staple Singers and as a solo artist, Mavis Staples has used her huge voice to power the Civil Rights Movement and inspire generations. The gospel and soul legend joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for an intimate discussion of her life and career.

Sound Opinions: Report from SXSW

Mar 30, 2017

Every spring, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot head to Austin, Texas for the sprawling SXSW Music Conference. This week, they report back on their favorite musical discoveries of the festival.

Sound Opinions Remembers Chuck Berry

Mar 24, 2017

Chuck Berry died on March 18th at the age of 90. Jim and Greg celebrate the life of Berry by looking at his iconic tracks, as well as his vast influence on future artists. They also talk about his work in later years and what it was like to share a stage with the guitar legend.

Sound Opinions: Remembering Chuck Berry

Mar 23, 2017

Chuck Berry, one of the architects of rock 'n' roll, has died at age 90. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reflect on the life, music, and enduring legacy of the legendary guitarist and singer.

Sound Opinion: Desert Island Jukebox

Mar 16, 2017

The proverbial Desert Island Jukebox is filled with songs that hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot would want with them if they were marooned on a remote isle. This week, Jim and Greg hand quarters out to guests like Mary J. Blige, Sleater-Kinney, and Rush to select the tracks they can't live without. Plus, an interview and performance from the Brooklyn rock band Sunflower Bean.

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