RAVE'S FAVES (on the air since August)
The Strokes (various), Garbage, Gorillaz ("19-2000"), Rob Zombie, Coldplay ("Trouble"), Rufus Wainwright ("California"), Travis ("Side"), Dave Matthews, U2.
I'm liking a number of softer songs this time around. The new Gorillaz single is wonderfully up and carefree -- maybe too happy to be a big hit. Their "Clint Eastwood" peaked at #57, and this is highly disappointing, given the Top 10 performance of the song in most other countries.
Two of my most anticipated CD's have just come out. Garbage are one my favorite 90's bands, and they've delivered another winner. There are lots of good tunes and new influences this time around. The album is fairly consistent, but I don't feel it contains quite the magic of some of their earlier songs. Still, if you like Garbage, you'll like this CD. In the music business, The Strokes are probably the most eagerly anticipated new band in the last five years, so I'd like to weigh in. I really like the CD. Are they the best new thing over the last five years? Hello no. The production is thin, but the music is really fresh and I like virtually the entire album. This NY band borrows from the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Rarely is a retro-sounding new band so appealing, and I feel that's why so many industry folks are excited about them. Speaking of older bands that still sound very fresh, The Knack's new "Normal As the Next Guy" is getting lots of Rave play as well.
I've mentioned how much I like Sum 41. They list Iron Maiden as a major influence, and their first and last album tracks borrow heavily from Maiden. Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo of Missing Persons has a new business venture, apparently called Rock Cocks. This is the same concept as the old Plastercasters. Warren will be marketing life-sized replicas of male rockers' genitalia for fans who'd like extra decorations for their living rooms (or wherever). The first model: Warren himself. He recently posed nude (and erect) for a European magazine.
If you live in LA and miss hearing all of those great 60's oldies on the radio, try KOLA at 99.9. They're based in the Inland Empire so the signal is spotty, but it's your chance to hear many of the hits that the big stations no longer play.
As we all try to determine what is normal since September 11th, I feel the Entertainment Industry has discovered that people want it to entertain on a level close as prior standards as possible. While everything now goes through a newly filtered consciousness that we must all be sensitive to, the American people are showing they want the norm when it comes to music, film, and most other entertainment forms. I was against the second cancellation of the Emmys and I didn't feel that the special episode of West Wing worked. We're all waiting to see what effect recent events will have on music, both creatively and businesswise. One thing is for sure. Musicians are often more creative in times of personal or worldwide crises.
Meanwhile, please stay safe, and of course...