Rave's Top Current Airplay Faves
The Living End, Guttermouth, Weezer, Daft Punk, Ours, Gentle Waves, Moby featuring Gwen, Depeche Mode, AC/DC ("NY City"), Aerosmith ("Play"), Black Crowes.
"Roll On" by The Living End brings back the Australian band who brought us the "Prisoner Of Society" hit a couple of years ago. They merge current and original punk influences so well, and I'm disappointed the song hasn't done better at radio. Maybe their sound is too retro. Guttermouth and Weezer bring some needed humor to the airwaves. The Ours song is another great entry in the Radiohead vein. Gentle Waves are a melodic, breezy Belle & Sebastian spin-off. Moby's "South Side" refuses to die and still sounds great. The new, unplugged Depeche tune is very cool and has been embraced by various radio/video formats. How nice to hear new stuff by AC/DC, Aerosmith, and the Black Crowes that manages to sound so fresh. I'm pleased to hear more melody returning to the alternative airwaves. The Lighthouse and American Hi-Fi songs don't quite attain "Fave" status, but they definitely warrant an honorable mention. And the Coldplay CD is supurb.
Europe: My annual late-winter business trips to Europe uncovered a few interesting tidbits. Daft Punk have developed a nice buzz and moderate success in the US, but the French act are huge on their native continent. I was in a German club one night, and when "One More Time" came on, the place exploded. Manic Street Preachers had a hit that was more melodic than anything I've heard from them, with strong Beach Boys influences. Let me not forget to mention good old "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus. Remember their cute ode to the young boy and girl who were going to see Iron Maiden? Well, the song went Top 5 in Germany, the UK, and other places this year.
Meanwhile, people have their varied opinions about whether violent lyrics in songs are creating a major problem in society. At the same time, rappers(not to mention athletes and politicians) are regularly getting off from felony charges. I'm opposed to violent lyrics. Whatever the threat of these lyrics, the worst message of all to kids, is that high-profile people continue to be above the law... Bob Seger and manager Punch Andrews have been beloved members of the Capitol Records family for decades. Detroit's Kid Rock has never been a favorite of mine musically, but he did something that tells me what kind of guy he is. Seeing how long Bob and Punch have worked together, Kid signed Punch for the same reason -- he wanted a manger he could work with indefinitely. How refreshing, in this era of short-attention spans and society's collective need for instant gratification. For those who you who don't read the LA Times, they occasionally poll label leaders and ask them which artists they'd most like to have on their rosters. The new top ten, in order, are Eminem, Dr. Dre, The Beatles, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Destiny's Child, Shania Twain, Limp Bizkit, Faith Hill, and Celine Dion. To me, that's a depressing list, but the good news is that these guys always turn out to be wrong with many of their choices.
Liner Notes: I'd like to thank Uncle Joe Benson for his suggestion that Rave's Raves join the unclejoe.com website. As you probably already know, he is quite the rock authority, and I've enjoyed following his career from the time he was a rock radio music director in Milwaukee. Joe's voice is the first live sound I normally hear when my clock radio goes off every morning at 7:29. I look forward to this new association, and to hearing from his fans.