Rock Doctors

The Rock Doctors do Valentine's Day & Opinions on Sade

The Rock Doctors are back in session just in time for Valentine's Day. They provide two listeners some musical couples counseling.

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Last week Jim and Greg endured what is always a career low-point for them: the multi-hour Grammy broadcast. While they are all in favor of honoring artistic achievement, Jim and Greg explain that the Grammys only presented 9 actual awards last week. For the most part, it's a show of celebrity spectacle, and one that rakes in big ratings. Of the winners, Beyonce took the most awards home. But, she lost Album of the Year to newcomer Taylor Swift. Jim and Greg wouldn't fight for any of the nominees to win, and instead point to the Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll as a better measure of the year's best albums.

Despite winning Album of the Year and having the top-selling album of 2009, Taylor Swift hasn't gotten a lot of Sound Opinions airtime. Jim and Greg give a quick listen to Fearless to see if it's worth the hype. Jim isn‘t sure she’s the most interesting role-model for teenage girls, and doesn‘t think she’d have such acclaim if she wasn‘t quite the looker. But, Greg hears a lot of relatable content on her album. He thinks she could develop into a credible artist, but for now she’s just a tween, not a queen.

Last week Jim and Greg reported on the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster. This week they check in with Seth Hurwitz, one of the country's leading independent promoters and owner of the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. Hurwitz testified at the Senate hearings on the merger last year and expressed concern over lack of competition in the industry. Now his concerns are reality. As he explains to Jim and Greg, the agreement's monopoly firewalls provide no consolation. And while Hurwitz feels secure in his business for the time being, he's worried about a time when Live Nation/Ticketmaster scoops up all of the mid-level acts that have so far avoided corporate arenas. He also warns about major ticket price increases.

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Valentine's Day Emergency

Jim and Greg open up the Rock Doctors' clinic for the next segment. They take an appointment with two listeners for a Valentine's Day emergency. Andrew and Kelli are a young couple from Chicago with only one major relationship problem: music. While Andrew is music obsessive, always on the search for something new and underground, Kelli is happy sticking with her favorite radio favorites. And as Andrew points out, for the most part his girlfriend's music is stuck in that dreaded decade: the 70s. Kelli admits to a fondness for bar music like Boston, Styx and Journey, but is open to new stuff as long as it's upbeat and fun. She finds a lot of her boyfriend's tastes (Wilco, Radiohead) to be too cerebral and boring. So, it's Jim and Greg's task to find something they will both enjoy.

Greg prescribes The Latest by Cheap Trick. He knows a lot of people dismiss this band for being cheesy, but he stands behind their smart lyrics, progressive compositions and terrific drumming. It seems like The Latest should be the perfect remedy, however neither Andrew nor Kelli are tremendously fond of it. Surprisingly, this record is even too cheesy for Kelli. And while Andrew admires the band for rocking out so hard for so long, he won't be attending any Cheap Trick shows anytime soon.

Jim prescribes the self-titled debut by La Roux. He loves the British duo's smart electronic pop. Jim didn't see anything like La Roux on either Kelli or Andrew's chart, but thinks radical treatment is necessary. He's right; the couple loves the record. Kelli got her dose of dance music, and Andrew got his artiness. And they won't have to break-up over rock anytime soon.

Unless you are a full-time rock critic, it can be difficult to maintain good musical health. That's where the Rock Doctors come in. Do you have a musical allergy or addiction? Or do you have a friend or relative who needs an intervention? The Sound Opinions clinic has its doors open​.

reviewSoldier of LoveSoldier of Love available on iTunes

Sade Soldier of Love

This week's review is another possible prescription. What couple wouldn't like a romantic dose of Sade? The Nigerian-British singer is back with her first album in a decade. Most people associate Sade with that smooth R&B sound of the 80s. Now she's created a smooth R&B sound for the 10s. As Jim and Greg discuss, Soldier of Love is not a radical departure. But Sade still sounds great, and has brought her complicated and compelling life stories into her music. It's a welcome return for both critics and a double Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Taylor Swift,“Fifteen,”Fearless, 2008
  2. Rush,“The Big Money,”Power Windows, 1985
  3. Panthu Du Prince,“Behind The Stars,”Black Noise, 2010
  4. The Who,“Doctor Doctor,”Magic Bus, 1968
  5. Cheap Trick,“The Flame,”Lap of Luxury, 1989
  6. Journey,“Don't Stop Believing,”Escape, 1981
  7. Wilco,“War on War,”Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002
  8. Van Halen,“Somebody Get Me a Doctor,”Van Halen II, 1979
  9. Cheap Trick,“When the Lights are Out,”The Latest, 2009
  10. Cheap Trick,“Times of our Lives,”The Latest, 2009
  11. Cheap Trick,“Alive,”The Latest, 2009
  12. Cheap Trick,“Closer, The Ballad of Burt and Linda,”The Latest, 2009
  13. La Roux,“Fascination,”The Roux, 2009
  14. La Roux,“As If By Magic,”The Roux, 2009
  15. La Roux,“In for the Kill,”The Roux, 2009
  16. Michael Penn,“Seen the Doctor,”Free-for-All, 1992
  17. Sade,“Soldier of Love,”Soldier of Love, 2010
  18. Sade,“The Moon and the Sky,”Soldier of Love, 2010
  19. Sade,“Morning Bird,”Soldier of Love, 2010
  20. Caribou,“Odessa,”2010
  21. Abba,“Ring Ring,”Ring Ring, 1973
  22. Jay Reatard,“It Ain't Gonna Save Me,”Watch Me Fall, 2009
  23. The Beatles,“I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You),”Live at the Star Club 1962, 1977

Footnotes Pazz & Jop List Taylor Swift Seth Hurwitz Sade