Jim DeRogatis takes on R. Kelly while Vortis takes on greasy tacos (Episode 220)

This week, I go for tacos with Chicago punk band Vortis (Louie Calvano, Jim DeRogatis, Tony Tavano).

Jim’s more famously known as co-host of the nationally syndicated “Sound Opinions” show, a celebrated music critic and author of several exemplary music-related books. Jim and I go waaaay back. We first met and worked together at the start of my radio career, and I adore him.

Over the past several years, Jim’s been at the center of the R. Kelly case. He broke the story in 2000, and his commitment to reporting on the story through the years has been the equivalent of a master class on journalism.

Discussed on this week’s show:

  • Jim and I won’t be going to Lollapalooza together, mainly because he was banned 10 years ago.
  • My history with Jim, dating back to when I produced “Sound Opinions” on Q101.
  • Vortis’s history.
  • The value of living with the “lust for life of a teenager.”
  • The new Vortis album, “This Machine Kills Fascists.”
  • Free speech and its relevance to Trump and Chicago.
  • Journalism and “fake news.”
  • The loss of all-ages shows in Chicago and its impact.
  • What Chicago needs to do to better embrace the music community and strengthen its connections to it.
  • Louie is much better at asking my questions than I am.
  • Social media and its value (or lack thereof) as a communications tool.
  • The “sheer perversity” of being in R. Kelly’s corner.
  • WHY DID JIM SAY “VITUPERATIVE?” NOW I HAVE TO LOOK IT UP.
  • Jim’s upcoming R. Kelly book (Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly): “I didn’t want to write this book.”
  • The hate mail Jim used to get for his best reviews.
  • The R. Kelly “tape,” and how it scarred Jim.
  • “Soulless” will be a book about “systems failing.”
  • One of the core issues from the R. Kelly case: “No victim matters if she is a young black girl.”
  • The music industry is extinct.
  • What will happen to R. Kelly?
  • Sound Opinions memories with Blur, Courtney Love and Flaming Lips.
  • The problems with bands that play the same setlist every night.


Car Con Carne is presented by The Autobarn Mazda of Evanston.

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