|Born||March 3, 1957|
Greg Kot (born March 3, 1957) is an American music journalist and author. From 1990 until 2020, Kot was the rock music critic at the Chicago Tribune ,where he covered popular music and reported on music-related social, political and business issues. Kot co-hosts the radio program Sound Opinions , which introduces itself as "the world's only rock 'n' roll talk show", nationally syndicated through Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ.
A native of Syracuse, New York, Kot graduated from Marquette University.Kot started his career at the Quad City Times in Davenport, Iowa in June 1978 and then joined the Chicago Tribune in 1980. He was named the paper's rock music critic in 1990, and held that job until taking a buyout from the Tribune in early 2020.
Kot has co-hosted the radio show Sound Opinions since its 1993 launch.The show is syndicated to about 150 radio stations nationwide and also exists as a weekly podcast. In 2020, Chicago's WBEZ terminated its production agreement with Sound Opinions, although the show will continue to be produced independently.
Kot's books include Wilco: Learning How to Die , Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music , and I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers and the March up Freedom's Highway.He co-authored The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry (Voyageur Press) with his Sound Opinions co-host Jim DeRogatis. His music criticism and journalism has appeared in Encyclopædia Britannica , Cash: By the Editors of Rolling Stone, Harrison: A Rolling Stone tribute to George Harrison, The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock, The Rolling Stone Album Guide and MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide . A longtime contributor to Rolling Stone , Kot has written for a dozen national publications, including Details , Blender , Entertainment Weekly , Men's Journal , Guitar World , Vibe and Request.
Kot lives on Chicago's Northwest Side and is a longtime youth basketball coach.
The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band from Chicago. Formed in 1988 by frontman Billy Corgan, D'arcy Wretzky (bass), James Iha (guitar), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums), the band has undergone many line-up changes. The current lineup features Corgan, Chamberlin, Iha and guitarist Jeff Schroeder.
Wilco is an American alternative rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. The band was formed in 1994 by the remaining members of alternative country group Uncle Tupelo following singer Jay Farrar's departure. Wilco's lineup changed frequently during its first decade, with only singer Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt remaining from the original incarnation. Since early 2004, the lineup has been unchanged, consisting of Tweedy, Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, keyboard player Mikael Jorgensen, and drummer Glenn Kotche. Wilco has released eleven studio albums, a live double album, and four collaborations: three with Billy Bragg and one with The Minus 5.
Gish is the debut studio album by American alternative rock band the Smashing Pumpkins, released in May 1991 through Caroline Records. Frontman Billy Corgan has variously described Gish as a "very spiritual album" and "an album about spiritual ascension".
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by American rock band Wilco, first released on September 18, 2001. Recording sessions for the album began in late 2000. These sessions, which were documented for the film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, were marred by conflicts including a switch in drummers and disagreements among the band members and engineers about songs. Despite this, the album would be completed in early 2001. The album's sound has been described as art rock and alternative rock by music critics. It was the band's first album with drummer Glenn Kotche, and last with multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jay Bennett.
WBEZ – branded WBEZ 91.5 – is a non-commercial educational radio station licensed to serve Chicago, Illinois, and primarily serving the Chicago metropolitan area. Financed by corporate underwriting, government funding and listener contributions, the station is affiliated with both National Public Radio and Public Radio International; it also broadcasts content from American Public Media. The station and its parent organization were previously known as Chicago Public Radio; since 2010, the parent company has been known as Chicago Public Media. Some of the organization's output—including nationally syndicated productions This American Life and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!—is branded as either from WBEZ or Chicago Public Media.
Jeffrey Scot Tweedy is an American songwriter, musician, author, and record producer best known as the singer and guitarist of the band Wilco. Tweedy, originally from Belleville, Illinois, started his music career in high school in his band The Plebes with Jay Farrar, which subsequently transitioned into the alternative country band Uncle Tupelo. After Uncle Tupelo broke up Tweedy formed Wilco which found critical and commercial success, most notably with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born, the latter of which received a Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2005.
Summerteeth is the third studio album by the American alternative rock band Wilco, released on March 9, 1999 by Reprise Records. The album was heavily influenced lyrically by 20th century literature, as well as singer Jeff Tweedy's marital problems. Unlike previous albums, Summerteeth was heavily overdubbed in the studio with Pro Tools. Tweedy and Jay Bennett wrote most of the album in the studio, a contrast to the band's previous albums, which were often recorded live by the entire band with minimal overdubs.
James Peter DeRogatis is an American music critic and co-host of Sound Opinions. DeRogatis has written articles for magazines such as Spin, Guitar World and Modern Drummer, and for fifteen years was the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Being There is the second studio album by the American alternative rock band Wilco, released on October 29, 1996 by Reprise Records. Despite its release as a double album, Being There was sold at a single album price as a result of a deal between lead singer Jeff Tweedy and the band's label Reprise Records. The album was an improvement for the band in both sales and critical reception, in contrast to their debut album A.M. (1995). Taking its name from the 1979 film of the same name, the self-produced album featured more surrealistic and introspective writing than on A.M.. This was due in part to several significant changes in Tweedy's life, including the birth of his first child. Musically, it juxtaposed the alternative country styles songs reminiscent of Uncle Tupelo with psychedelic, surreal songs. It was the only Wilco album with steel guitarist Bob Egan, their first with multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett and their last with multi-instrumentalist Max Johnston.
A.M. is the debut studio album by the American alternative rock band Wilco, released on March 28, 1995, by Sire Records and Reprise Records. The album was released only months after the breakup of Uncle Tupelo, an alternative country band that was the predecessor of Wilco. Prior to its release, there was debate about whether the album would be better than the debut album of Son Volt, the new band of former Uncle Tupelo lead singer Jay Farrar.
Sound Opinions is an independent radio talk show and podcast based in Chicago. It focuses on the discussion of music genres, history, artists and albums. It airs weekly on over 150 public radio stations nationwide and is syndicated though the Public Radio Exchange. It is also available for download and streaming worldwide as a podcast.
Anodyne is the fourth and final studio album by alternative country band Uncle Tupelo, released on October 5, 1993. The recording of the album was preceded by the departure of the original drummer Mike Heidorn and the addition of three new band members: bassist John Stirratt, drummer Ken Coomer, and multi-instrumentalist Max Johnston. The band signed with Sire Records shortly before recording the album; Anodyne was Uncle Tupelo's only major label release until 89/93: An Anthology in 2002.
Loose Fur is an American rock band comprising Wilco members Jeff Tweedy and Glenn Kotche, and Wilco collaborator Jim O'Rourke. The trio first convened in May 2000 in preparation for a Tweedy performance at a festival in Chicago. Tweedy was offered the opportunity to collaborate with an artist of his choosing, and he decided to work with O'Rourke. O'Rourke brought Kotche to a rehearsal session, and the trio recorded an album's worth of songs. The trio have since released two albums, 2003's Loose Fur and 2006's Born Again in the USA, for Drag City. The band has only toured once.
Mavis Staples is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress, and civil rights activist. She has recorded and performed with her family's band The Staple Singers and also as a solo artist.
The Jeff Tweedy discography covers albums that he has recorded with Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, solo albums, and various side projects.
Sky Blue Sky is the sixth studio album by American rock band Wilco, released on May 15, 2007 by Nonesuch Records. Originally announced on January 17, 2007 at a show in Nashville, Tennessee, it was the band's first studio album with guitarist Nels Cline and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. Before its release, the band streamed the entire album on its official website and offered a free download of "What Light".
We'll Never Turn Back is the seventh studio album by American gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples, released April 24, 2007 on ANTI- Records. Recorded in 2007 and produced by roots rock and blues musician Ry Cooder, it is a concept album with lyrical themes relating to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Upon its release, We'll Never Turn Back received positive reviews from most music critics. It was also named one of the best albums of 2007 by several music writers and publications.
Kelly Hogan is an American singer-songwriter, often known for her work as a member of Neko Case's backing band, as well as for her solo work.
Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music is a book investigating the business aspects of the music industry by Chicago Tribune rock critic Greg Kot who is the cohost of the Chicago Public Radio show, Sound Opinions. It covers the revolution of music access and consumption resulted by the digital age and the effects it has on the music industry. The book also details the ways that artists have altered their business model in response to these changes to take advantage of digital distribution and peer-to-peer file sharing. Kot uses his firsthand access to illustrate how major recording artists have responded to the declining relevance of the big record companies. The Metallica and Napster case back in 2000 is brought up defining Metallica's clear stance on file-sharing. On the other hand, already highly successful musicians such as Trent Reznor and Prince believed in giving away their albums. The book mentions Radiohead's prior hesitation of becoming an independent band due to having to deal with all the business aspects of the industry such as setting up their own business meetings. However, the band was not satisfied with the fact that their major label could not keep up with how fans were downloading their music off the Internet. Eventually Radiohead put up their album In Rainbows (2007) on their website through a pay what you want model where fans can decide how much the album is worth. Kot explains that a reason why young people started the file-sharing trend was because of the inability to connect with pop music that the record companies advertised then. Teenagers went to the Internet to find music that they can better relate to. This played a role in building the audience of indie bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, Clap Your Hands, Girl Talk, and Arcade Fire with little or no major label input. The music industry is filing lawsuits when it has a history of illegal actions such as Payola and taking advantage of artists; therefore, it is a contender for phony "moral posturing", according to Kot. Not making a deal with Napster instead to create a legal music downloading service in 2001 just further damaged the industry because other free music sharing websites were created. Kot thinks that keeping up with the way music is consumed in the digital age has not only benefited fans, but also musicians: “In this world, the fringe players could more easily find and build a dedicated audience, and a musical ecosystem encompassing thousands of microcultures began to emerge.”
Schmilco is the tenth studio album by Chicago-based alternative rock band Wilco and was released on September 9, 2016. Wilco announced the album on July 19, 2016, and released two songs, "Locator" and "If I Ever Was a Child". The album's announcement came a little more than a year after their previous studio album, Star Wars.
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