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/

Best Albums of 2018

Dec 7, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite albums of 2018. They also hear picks from Sound Opinions producers and listeners.

Sound Opinions: The Best Albums of 2018

Dec 6, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite albums of 2018. They also hear picks from Sound Opinions producers and listeners.

Sound Opinions: Singer-Songwriter Amanda Shires

Nov 29, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have a conversation with country singer-songwriter Amanda Shires at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago. They discuss her literary lyrics, her latest album To The Sunset and how becoming a mom has influenced her art. She'll also perform live.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot conduct an Album Dissection of Van Morrison's 1968 classic Astral Weeks. The landmark release celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Then, we hear from recent Sound Opinions guests about their Desert Island Jukebox picks... Tracks they can't live without.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures & Dad Rap

Nov 15, 2018

Looking for new music that's out of the mainstream? Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot uncover some buried treasures: recent releases that you need to hear! Plus, Jim and Greg talk with author Steven Hyden about the parallels between "Dad Rock" bands and "Dad Rap" stars.

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the post-Beatles careers of John Lennon and Paul McCartney... The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Plus, Jim and Greg review the latest album from rapper Vince Staples and a hip-hop infused jazz album from drummer Makaya McCraven.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the impact of protest music in the 21st century and name a few of their favorite tracks from the genre from the last 18 years. They also review Robyn's new album, Honey, and Greg chooses a favorite song to add to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot celebrate Halloween this week with a few of their favorite genre-spanning scary songs. Plus, we hear a selection of scary tunes nominated by listeners from around the country. And, Jim and Greg review the debut album from rock band Greta Van Fleet.

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Emmy-winning music supervisor Susan Jacobs. Over her 30 year career, she's worked with directors like Spike Lee, David O. Russell and Robert Altman on placing music within movies. Most recently, she made the jump to television with HBO's Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies. Jim and Greg talk to Susan about the effects of great music on screen and how she convinced Led Zeppelin to let her expertly use the band's music in Sharp Objects.  

Buried Treasures and Remembering Geoff Emerick

Oct 11, 2018

It's Buried Treasures time yet again. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some new under-the-radar music that you need to hear! Plus, they revisit their 2006 conversation with Geoff Emerick, an audio engineer who worked on the classic Beatles albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. Emerick passed away this month at the age of 72.

Sound Opinions: Wayne Kramer of the MC5

Oct 4, 2018

As the lead guitarist of the groundbreaking political rock band the MC5, Wayne Kramer experienced both the highs of recognition and the sting of defeat. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Kramer 50 years after the band's iconic debut Kick Out the Jams. They chat about his new memoir, the '60s Detroit rock scene and discuss his experiences with overcoming drug abuse and jail time.

Sound Opinions: Diss Tracks & Rock Doctors

Sep 27, 2018

Though music can be a mighty force that brings people together, it can also be weaponized. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot look at memorable times musicians have used their art to settle scores in song: their favorite diss tracks of all time. They also bring back the Rock Doctors segment to help a mom find songs that empower her son without toxic masculinity- basically the polar opposite of diss tracks.

Dessa & Opinions on Paul McCartney

Sep 19, 2018

Dessa is a poet, singer and hip hop artist who is as interested in scientific theory as she is in lyricism. Her latest album, Chime, showcases her unique hybrid of clever rapping and singing about sometimes weighty issues. Dessa joined hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot at the Goose Island Tap Room for a conversation and a live performance. Plus, Jim and Greg review Sir Paul McCartney's latest, Egypt Station.

Sound Opinions: Disco & Seymour Stein

Sep 12, 2018

For decades, people have maligned disco music. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot take an in-depth look at the genre from its origins in marginalized communities to its height of popularity. They'll also explore groundbreaking artists like Sylvester, the Bee Gees and more. Also, Greg talks to Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein about signing acts like the Ramones and Madonna.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures and Bat Fangs

Sep 6, 2018

Looking for new music that's out of the mainstream? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot uncover some buried treasures: under the radar tunes that you need to hear! They also interview the '80s hair metal-inspired band Bat Fangs.

Sound Opinions Show

Aug 30, 2018

Over seven albums and 18 years, Mastodon has stretched the definition of metal. Co-founder, drummer and lyricist Brann Dailor recently joined hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to look back over the band’s career. The conversation ranges from forming in Atlanta to coping with personal tragedy through music. Jim and Greg also couldn’t resist asking how the heck they wound up as wildlings on Game of Thrones.

Sound Opinions: Brian Koppelman

Aug 23, 2018

Brian Koppelman makes his living as the showrunner, co-creator and writer for the Showtime series Billions. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Koppelman about how he innovatively uses music in the critically acclaimed show. They also discuss his past career as an A&R executive, where he discovered artists like singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman. They'll also review the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed film Sorry to Bother You and the new release from country artist Amanda Shires.

Sound Opinions Remembers Aretha Franklin

Aug 16, 2018

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has died at age 76. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot celebrate the life and career of the legend. They'll discuss her discography, music activism and impact. They also dig into the best selling album of Aretha Franklin's career, Amazing Grace, with Aaron Cohen, who wrote a book about that seminal recording.

Sound Opinions: Remembering Aretha Franklin

Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin’s voice was powerful, moving, and unmistakable. Sound Opinions remembers the life, legacy and music of the Queen of Soul. Hosts Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot talk about her life and share some of her most memorable recordings. They also speak with keyboardist Spooner Oldham who recorded with Aretha and dig into her most successful album, 1972’s Amazing Grace.

Roxy Music Classic Album Dissection

Aug 9, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot dig into Roxy Music's influential 1972 self-titled debut album. They get the inside story of the recording of Roxy Music from former Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, and discuss the album's lasting impact.

Sound Opinions: Sound Opinions at Sea

Aug 2, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot take the show to the water with the episode Sound Opinions at Sea! They'll share some of their favorite songs about oceans, seas and more! Plus, a conversation and live performance at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago with singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers.

Sound Opinions: Alice Cooper

Jul 27, 2018

Alice Cooper invented shock-rock in the 1970s, sparking controversy with his ghoulishly theatrical live shows and hard rock hits like "School's Out" and "I'm Eighteen." Alice Cooper joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a career-spanning conversation.

Sound Opinions Fundraiser: Exile on Main St.

Jul 23, 2018

This is a special fundraising edition of Sound Opinions hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. Hosts Jim and Greg discuss the often overlooked masterpiece by the Rolling Stones, 1972’s Exile on Main St. There are three (3) episode segments plus an optional billboard to be aired sequentially during the Sound Opinions hour. Pitch time has been allotted. NOTE: This episode doesn’t make mention of pitching, pledge drives, or supporting public radio. Nor are there ‘handoffs.’ It is simply a regular episode of Sound Opinions cut to a length to allow for for pitching. 

Sound Opinions: PJ Morton

Jul 19, 2018

PJ Morton is an indie soul artist that just happens to be in Maroon Five, one of the biggest pop groups in the country. But his solo sound is light years away from Top 40 R&B, blending his New Orleans gospel roots with strains of Stevie Wonder. PJ joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and performance.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures & MSNBC's Ari Melber

Jul 12, 2018

It's time yet again from Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to open their treasure chests and reveal relatively unknown new albums YOU need to hear! They'll also talk to host of MSNBC's The Beat, Ari Melber, about his love for rap music and how he integrates it into his political coverage.

Sound Opinions Live!

Jul 2, 2018

So many talented musicians perform on Sound Opinions, but we don't always have time to air every song. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite never-before-heard live performances from artists like Beach Slang and Arcade Fire. Plus, they unearth even more favorite performances from our archive.

Sound Opinions: The Best Albums of 2018 So Far

Jun 28, 2018

The year is half over and we think it's time to share some of our favorite albums of 2018 so far! Find out what albums hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have at the top of their lists, plus hear from some listeners.

Sound Opinions: Hinds & Review Round-up

Jun 21, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with two members of the Spanish women rock band Hinds about their unique take on punk rock and how they've reached fans in America and the U.K. Also, with an influx of new releases, it’s time for a review round-up! Jim and Greg give their opinions on new albums from Parquet Courts, Neko Case and Kanye West. 

Margo Price and Remembering Anthony Bourdain

Jun 13, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are joined by country singer-songwriter Margo Price. Price is signed to Jack White's Third Man Records, and her sound is a blend of outlaw country and roots music. A natural born storyteller, Price joined the hosts for an interview and performance. Plus, Jim and Greg revisit their interview with world traveler and chef Anthony Bourdain, who we lost recently. He was 61.

Sound Opinions: Joni Mitchell's Blue

Jun 7, 2018

Almost 50 years ago, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell released what became her signature album, Blue. The record is full of complex lyrics, gorgeous guitar and deeply personal themes. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot do a classic album dissection of Blue, sharing the context of the record, exploring its lasting impact and looking in depth at its impressive track list.

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