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Jim DeRogatis

Jim DeRogatis

Sound Opinions Host

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the year the Beatles arrived in America, Jim DeRogatis began voicing his opinions about rock ’n’ roll shortly thereafter. He is a full-time lecturer in the Professional Writing Program of the English Department at Columbia College Chicago and continues to write about popular music for WBEZ.

Together with Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune, he co-hosts Sound Opinions —“the world’s only rock ’n’ roll talk show”—originating at WBEZ and distributed nationally on public radio via PRX.

Jim spent 15 years as the rock critic at The Chicago Sun-Times and is the author of several books about music: Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America’s Greatest Rock Critic; The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side; Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma’s Fabulous Flaming Lips; Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock, and "Milk It! Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the ’90s.

Outside of the musical realm, he published Sheperd Paine: The Life and Work of a Master Modeler and Military Historian in 2008, and in 2010, he and Kot issued their first book together, The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ’n’ Roll Rivalry, written in the fun but combative style of the radio show.

Jim has played in punk-rock bands since age 13 but jokes that he is a drummer, not a musician. He lives on the North Side of Chicago with his wife Carmel (with whom he edited the 2004 anthology Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics), near their daughter Melody.

Recent Stories

Jim DeRogatis

P4K 2016: Commodify Your Dissent

What you need to know for this weekend’s Pitchfork Music Festival.

Jim DeRogatis

Chicago Gets A New Cultural Czar: Columbia College’s Mark Kelly

He'll replace Michelle Boone as commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Jim DeRogatis

Tacocat Delivers An Effervescent Delight With ‘Lost Time’

Need an effervescent garage-pop fix? The answer is out there: ‘LostTime’ by Seatte's Tacocat.

Jim DeRogatis

Jam Productions Signs Long-Term Ticketing Deal with Pandora-Ticketfly

The deal will cover all tickets sold at the three venues Jam owns in Chicago—the Vic and Riviera theaters and the Park West—as well as some of the other concerts the company promotes throughout the Midwest.

Jim DeRogatis

Wonderfully Dark, Hypnotic Shoegaze From New Age Healers On ‘Ghosts’

Do waves of droning, swirling psychedelic guitar ever really get old?

Jim DeRogatis

Reality Used To Be A Friend Of Mine: Prince Be Of P.M. Dawn Is Dead At 46

A year of relentless loss in the music world continues with the passing of one of the most unique visionaries hip-hop has produced: Prince Be, the psychedelic rapper who defiantly transcended to a better universe from the dismal ghetto of Jersey City, N.J., died of renal disease on Friday. He was 46 years old.

Jim DeRogatis

Worth The Trip To Rockford: Culture Shock Celebrates Its First Decade

Chicago isn’t the only proud bastion and happy beneficiary of one of the best of America’s remaining indie record stores: On Saturday, Culture Shock Clothing & Records celebrates its first 10 years as a key hub for the Rockford music community.

Jim DeRogatis

‘Nocturnal Koreans’ Finds Wire In A More Subdued, Apocalyptic Mood

Continuing an unlikely but strong third act, the indefatigable British art-punks Wire have given us a mini-album.

Jim DeRogatis

Hallelujah! Chance The Rapper Takes Us To Church

23-year-old Chancellor Bennett once again surveys the tragic sadness of the violence that grips Chicago.

Jim DeRogatis

How Will the L.A. Times Ever Continue Without Sasha Frere-Jones?

How will the LA Times ever continue without Sasha Frere-Jones? Check out his 3 greatest hits.

Jim DeRogatis

Moby’s ‘Porcelain’ Is A Musical Memoir That Ranks With The Very Best

The book pulls off the rare feat of rewarding not only Moby fans, but fascinating those who’ve never heard a note of his music.

Jim DeRogatis

Parquet Courts’ Casual Brilliance Continues on ‘Human Performance’

Jim DeRogatis can't stop playing Human Performance, the fifth album from New York-via-Texas art-rockers Parquet Courts.

Jim DeRogatis

Eno Once Again Sails The Ambient Seas, With One Killer Exception

Though no one in rock history has been more eloquent in talking about his methodology in music-making, legendary producer and musician Brian Eno rarely addresses the meaning of his own sounds.

Jim DeRogatis

Remembering Blues Woman Candye Kane

An unforgettable voice full of an unquenchable lust for life has been silenced: Kane lost a long and difficult battle with cancer Friday.

Jim DeRogatis

Some Final Thoughts On Season 1 Of ‘Vinyl’

The 'Sound Opinions' co-host says his initial plan, after taking a deep dive into the first three hours, had been to hate-watch the show and write about it every week.

Jim DeRogatis

How Many of These Prince Shows Did You See?

A list of the many shows by the artist in Our Town. How many were you at?

Jim DeRogatis

Prince: The Paisley Wonder is Gone. But the Influence Will Endure, and the Music is Immortal.

A diminutive figure in life, but a towering giant as a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist, a live performer, and a studio producer.

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