RAVE'S FAVES (on the air since September)
The Transplants, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers ("Zephyr"), Coldplay ("Clocks"), Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Supergrass, Tracy Chapman, Avril Lavigne ("Boi"), OK Go.
The Transplants are a Rancid/Blink 182 side project, and "Diamonds and Guns" combines British punk with rap and piano. It is currently top-requested at KROQ. The Nirvana song is a pleasant surprise, and Cobain's vocals were in top form. The new Sum 41 song is solid and their new video is funny. Supergrass have another great song that has little chance for mainstream exposure. Tracy Chapman has her best airplay song in a long time. Avril's song sounds like an alternative tune out of the 80's. OK Go are interesting pop-flavored rockers. My favorite current song is by Queens of the Stone Age, which I listed last time. It's a masterpiece!
Dave Grohl is everywhere. I understand that the Foo Fighters dressed up as The Hives on Halloween, then opened their set with "Hate to Say..." Word is that he's a great guy to work with -- and very funny on a consistent basis.
Speaking of The Hives, by playing only a handful of dates in the US, they've blown a huge chance to break their CD wide open. This is a great live band that would have gotten huge mileage out of an extensive tour. European bands must commit to being on the road in America if they want to have success in this market.
The current darlings of the underground are The Donnas, although I question their choice of a single. Another interesting underground band is the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, who are very raw and extremely unique. I understand they were hot at the recent CMJ extravaganza in New York. The Used are an emerging, melodic band that has also caught my ears, and I like Spoon as well. I don't often check out unsigned bands, but Fred Wilson are a highly promising outfit in LA. I happened to sit next to noted producer Toby Wright on a flight to Orlando. He was going to check out a band called Downstem, and he played me their self-produced demo. The song "Unopened Door" already sounds just like the radio, and my guess is that you'll be hearing the tune in 2003. For the record, the band was just signed by Epic Records.
As you may have heard, a compromise was reached which would have reduced airplay royalties by one-half. Unfortunately, the bill was held up in the U.S. Senate. It will be voted on next year, so there is still time to contact your Senators and Representative. Many stations have already ceased webcasting, including WSUM at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, my alma mater. Even at this reduced rate, many budgets simply can't handle the added expense; which means that emerging artists will get less exposure.
Okay folks, let me wish you a happy T-Giv. Look for Rave's Raves #16 in late December, which will include my Top 5 airplay songs of 2002. Until then,