Greg Kot (left) and Jim DeRogatis (right) with Booker T Jones
Greg Kot (left) and Jim DeRogatis (right) with Booker T Jones

Ok, not really a website. Sound Opinions is a podcast to most of the world and a radio show in America. They call themselves “the world’s only rock ‘n’ roll talk show”, and for us, it’s a mandatory weekly listen. Based in Chicago and hosted by music writers Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, they comment and review an amazing amount of material, interview some huge names, fascinating characters, and seem to have a lot of fun the whole time.

Both Kot and DeRogatis are music critics at Chicago papers. Both are published authors on music, whether it be band biographies or anthologies (like the wonderful Kill Your Idols). They are rock nerds and a league of new music writers. They have a great knowledge of music history, yet a passion for new music. They have also been friends for years and fight a lot on air.

Now that we checked the CV, why we like this show is because it’s needed. They don’t play full songs – it’s talk. But it’s talk that covers the changing trends in music (the ground we hope to cover in our blog), playful reviews, studies of classic albums and genres, and exclusive live performances. Highlights from the show’s history for us are many:

– live sets from Wilco and Neko Case
– studies on Disco and the relationship between music and food (including a fascinating conversation with cooks about the music they listen to)
– classic album dissections, especially Johnny Cash‘s At Folsom Prison
– interview with a reformed Feelies!
– roundtable with America’s top indie retailers.
– desert island songs
– and more…

The show is powered by American Public Radio, and is a community supported radio network. No big corporate radio dollars here. You can download the podcasts anywhere in the world for free, and you can donate to support the show and the health of US radio.

Kot and DeRogatis are building quite a profile for themselves. They even appeared once on Conan. Of course, you cannot agree with everything they say, but at least they are throwing informed opinions out there, and there’s plenty of listener interactions to get a wide range of views. Yes, it’s occasionally indie and swarmy, but it’s the most informative and entertaining music podcast out there. In a sea of blogged judgements, it’s great to hear good music journalism on the iPod.

Sound Opinion website with all the links you need –