Sound Opinions from WBEZ Chicago

Distributed by PRX

Sound Opinions is where people who love music can come together. Make discoveries, debate, learn about pop culture, engage, have fun and find new ways to further enrich your lives through music.

Whether you’re an expert, or just a casual fan, Sound Opinions is your one-stop-shop for smart and engaging music criticism and conversation. Each week nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis interview artists, talk about pop culture and music industry news, review new record releases and give trends a historical context. And, because on Sound Opinions, “everyone’s a critic,” listeners are invited to join in the debate.

Sound Opinions is produced by WBEZ Chicago and
distributed nationally by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange. Learn more.

Latest Episodes for Subscribed Stations

 Click here for the latest show (Added every Thursday) 

Sound Opinions is available by carriage fee (outside of the PRX point system). Programs will be available to download to subscribed stations only. Non-subscribers can air these episodes to try out the show.

Sample Programs

We realize many stations would like to try airing Sound Opinions before committing to taking it weekly. For you, we have set up episodes that are available to all stations with current memberships on PRX:

Click here for Sound Opinions programs available to all stations

Here are podcasts of some select episodes, too — take a listen!

Sound Opinions with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

Sound Opinions with K'Naan

Sound Opinions dissects The Clash's London Calling

Sound Opinions talks movies & music with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott

New Sound Opinions Logos

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All New Sound Opinions Logos

Get the Shirt

Sound Opinions has captured its new logo on a spankin' new T-shirt for you to offer your members. It's hip, but understated, on soft organic cotton made from post-consumer waste. What a (comfortable) badge of honor for fans!

Available at $13 per shirt. Sizes S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL

To order contact Jason Stone at Logodance: (312) 787-3800 or

About the Show

Arcade Fire performs in the studios

Sound Opinions is where people who love music can come together. Make discoveries, debate, learn about pop culture, engage, have fun and find new ways to further enrich your lives through music.

Each week, hosts and nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis engage in passionate debate about the latest music news and reviews and showcase conversations and live performances from artists across the musical spectrum.

For over a decade, Greg and Jim were competitors at Chicago’s top daily newspapers. Today Greg Kot is the rock critic at the Chicago Tribune, and Jim contributes to WBEZ Chicago and teaches at Columbia College. The two share a passion for music, and nothing gets them — or the listener — more fired-up than arguing (and occasionally agreeing) about a range of music genres.

Sound Opinions is a trusted source on what’s going on in popular music, whether you are an expert or just a casual fan. Jim and Greg break down music news and give their reviews of recently released albums from the top of the charts, as well as the indie underground. And artists like the Velvet Underground’s John Cale, Arcade Fire and Alabama Shakes visit the studio to perform and chat. offers listeners free podcasts, live MP3 streams, and bonus content including footnotes, live songs and video.

Sound Opinions is produced by WBEZ Chicago, home to This American Life and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, and is distributed nationally by PRX. Sound Opinions can be heard on stations across the country and online at

About the Hosts

Jim DeRogatis

Photo by Marty Perez

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, concentrating on Reviewing the Arts and Writing About Arts and Media, and he continues to write about popular music for WBEZ Chicago. Together with Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune, he co-hosts Sound Opinions.

DeRogatis spent fifteen 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. 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.

DeRogatis has played in punk-rock bands since age thirteen 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.

Greg Kot

Greg Kot has been the music critic at the Chicago Tribune since 1990 and is the cohost of the nationally syndicated Sound Opinions. He has written several books, including Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music and Wilco: Learning How to Die. In 2014, Scribner publishes his biography I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March up Freedom’s Highway.

He also coauthored The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry with his Sound Opinions colleague Jim DeRogatis. Kot's Tribune-hosted blog, Turn it Up, debuted in 2007 and covers all aspects of music. A longtime basketball junkie, he coauthored the best-seller Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball. Kot also has made major contributions to books on Johnny Cash, George Harrison, and the Beatles. He has written extensively for Encyclopaedia Britannica, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly, as well as Details, Men's Journal, Guitar World, Vibe, Request and other publications.

Greg lives on Chicago's Northwest Side with his wife and two daughters. Contact him through his Web site,

How to Get the Show

Sound Opinions is exclusively available on PRX. Want to air Sound Opinions, but aren't signed up yet? Contact John Barth at john (at) prx (dot) org.