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Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot 2010

It's Sound Opinions's annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot! Jim and Greg give thanks by taking out this year's biggest musical disappointments.

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Music News

The digital music site eMusic has angered some listeners and labels in recent weeks. They moved from subscriptions to a tiered pricing model similar to iTunes that will include higher priced major label songs. After making this announcement, three of the biggest indie labels in the business decided to take their music elsewhere. Domino Records, Merge Records and the Beggars Group, which includes Matador, XL, Rough Trade and 4AD, have not elaborated on their decision to leave, but Jim and Greg suspect it's because of this new deal with major labels. In their statement, eMusic explained that this change was necessary for their long-term sustainability.

What's the best music town in the country? Some would say Chicago; some would say Seattle; but according to, it's Austin, Texas. Austin has always touted itself as the live music capital of the world, and now they've got this to back it up. In their survey of live shows per capita, Songkick also put Madison, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Denver in their Top 5. Some surprising winners, especially when you scan down to find that New York and L.A. didn‘t even make the cut. And it’s interesting to note that these cities had lower average ticket prices than bigger markets.


Sound Opinions Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot 2010

It's time for the annual Sound Opinions Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot! It's the perfect way to say thanks…thanks that we never have to listen to the year's biggest musical turkeys again. There are plenty of lousy records released each year, but calling some of those out would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Since we're shooting turkeys here, Jim and Greg only pick out albums that they expected to be much better. Here are this year's biggest disappointments:

reviewThe Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Bruce Springsteen The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story

Bruce Springsteen fans are always hungry for more of The Boss, and they get it with the release of a new box set, The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story. But what about folks who don't belong to the "Cult of Springsteen"? Greg loved hearing the reissue of the 1978 album. The previously unheard recordings illustrate Springsteen's sound right after his hit Born to Run. It's a mix of the romanticism of that record and the leaner, meaner rock of Darkness. Greg gives it a Buy It rating. Sound Opinions listeners know Jim is no Bruce-lover, but he counts Darkness as one of the better albums. Going back to these unreleased tracks, it's even clearer what an anomaly it was. The songs on the The Promise reissue are full of the Born to Run era, over-the-top schmaltz. So Jim says Trash It.

reviewEpicEpic available on iTunes

Sharon Van Etten Epic

Jim and Greg both saw singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten perform at this past year's Pitchfork Music Festival. And while Jim was unimpressed, Greg highly anticipated this new album, Epic, which does not disappoint. Van Etten's first record was largely about a troubled relationship. On this one, Van Etten is much stronger and more confident, even in her orchestrations. Despite Jim's feelings about Van Etten's Pitchfork show, he loves this album – all seven songs of it. Very few women in indie rock have pipes like this singer. Epic gets a double Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Clinic, Walking With Thee, Walking With Thee, Domino, 2002
  2. Steve Earle, Guitar Town, Guitar Town, MCA, 1986
  3. Ohio Players, Jive Turkey, Skin Tight, Mercury, 1974
  4. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jefferson Jericho Blues, Mojo, Reprise, 2010
  5. Kings of Leon, Molly's Chambers, Youth and Young Manhood, RCA, 2003
  6. Kings of Leon, Birthday, Come Around Sundown, RCA, 2010
  7. Sleigh Bells, Riot Rhythm, Treats, Mom + Pop/N.E.E.T., 2010
  8. The Soft Boys, Cold Turkey, A Can of Bees, Two Crabs Universal, 1979
  9. XTC, The Disappointed, Nonsuch, Virgin, 1992
  10. Joanna Newsom, '81, Have One On Me, Drag City, 2010
  11. Katy Perry, Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), Teenage Dream, Capitol, 2010
  12. Johnny Cash, Ain't No Grave, American VI: Ain't No Grave, American/Lost Highway, 2010
  13. Johnny Cash, Hurt, American IV: The Man Comes Around, American/Universal, 2002
  14. Bettye Lavette, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Interpretations, Anti-, 2010
  15. Christina Aguilera, Not Myself Tonight, Bionic, RCA, 2010
  16. Peter Gabriel, Heroes, Scratch My Back, Real World/Virgin, 2010
  17. Bob Dylan, Turkey Chase, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Columbia, 1973
  18. Bruce Springsteen, Because the Night, The Promise, Columbia, 2010
  19. Bruce Springsteen, Outside Looking In, The Promise, Columbia, 2010
  20. Sharon Van Etten, Save Yourself, Epic, Ba Da Bing!, 2010
  21. Sharon Van Etten, Don't Do It, Epic, Ba Da Bing!, 2010
  22. Gorillaz, On Melancholy Hill (Instrumental), Plastic Beach, Parlophone, 2010
  23. Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz, The Telephone Song, Getz Au Go Go, Verve, 1964
  24. The Rolling Stones, Tumbling Dice, Exile on Main St., Rolling Stones/Atlantic, 1972
  25. Brian Eno, Paleosonic, Small Craft on a Milk Sea, Warp, 2010

Footnotes eMusic's pricing model Songkick's Top Music Cities Bruce Springsteen Sharon Van Etten