RAVE'S FAVES (on the air)
White Stripes("Friends"), Audioslave ("Stone"), Good Charlotte, No Doubt ("Life"), Puddle of Mud ("Hates"), Strokes ("Someday"), Red Hot Chili Peppers ("Zepher"), Badly Drawn Boy, Beck, Norah Jones, Queens of the Stone Age, Urban Voodoo, Royksopp.
NOTE: For readers who've recently started following these Raves, I should mention that Rave's Faves are current airplay tunes and don't necessarily mean that I endorse the entire CD. When no song is listed, it is because there is only one track getting significant national exposure at the time. Airplay can come from video programming or club spins as well as from any radio format.
Audioslave's "Like A Stone" is getting top requests at KROQ, and the tune should get major national attention in 2003. No Doubt's "Platinum Blonde Life" is very Garbage-like. Badly Drawn Boy finally gets a "Fave" for his latest single, and the Beck song has grown on me. Urban Voodoo and Royksopp have cool electronica songs.
RAVE'S TOP FIVE AIRPLAY FAVES OF 2002
1- Queens of the Stone Age -- "No One Knows"
2- The Strokes -- "Last Night"
3- Express 2, featuring David Byrne -- "Lazy"
4- Elvis vs. Junkie XL -- "A Little Less Conversation"
5- Super Furry Animals -- "Rings Around the World"
Last time, I called the Queens' song a "masterpiece." I love the energy and originality that came from this band. I've never tired of The Strokes' song, and "Last Night" opened the "garage door." Too bad "Lazy' didn't get mainstream US exposure after becoming a UK hit. Of course, the delightfully cheesy Elvis song was a worldwide hit, excluding the US, and it was great to have him back for awhile. I never expected commercial success from the SF Animals track, but it was a perfect pop tune nonetheless. I'd like to give an honorable mention to Clinic's "Walking With Thee." It never reached "Fave" status during any one period, but the emerging UK group did receive a smattering of exposure around the country and I really enjoyed the song. There were some good CD's in 2002, but I'm still waiting for something to top the Dandy Warhols "Thirteen Tales..." from 2000.
The untimely passing of Joe Strummer reminded me of the first time I saw The Clash. A few years into my record industry career, I was in London--probably in '77. EMI wanted a group of us to see The Sex Pistols, who were fairly new and had just been banned throughout most of England. They were playing at a club in their home town of Manchester, so EMI put a group of us into some Rolls Royce limos and we made the long trek to this club. Our hosts had the wisdom to order the limos to drop us off a few blocks from the gig, but we still attracted some animosity once we got inside, because it was impossible to blend in with that crowd. The Clash were the opening act. The show itself was what you'd expect. Both bands were loud and fast, with lots of profanity and spit being tossed between bands and fans. I must confess that I wasn't an immediate punk fan, but I was very impressed with The Clash's energy! I'll always remember that night because the scene had yet to reach the USA with any kind of force.
The passion and power of Coldplay's recent live shows has positioned the band to become huge if they write hits for their next album. Their live chops, combined with Chris Martin's starpower and their airplay exposure, can elevate them to elite status... I question the huge deal that EMI gave Robbie Williams. Sure, the guy has a good voice and good songs, but I just don't see his image as having traction over here... Speaking of images, have you noticed the increasing numbers of young male singers who are blatantly working those young girls from the stage? This isn't just teen pop kids anymore. I noticed John Mayer doing it shamelessly the other week. It's just not real to me, and I think it takes away from a rocker's credibility... I'm not usually in L.A. for the holidays, but a highlight of being here was that I got to hear Uncle Joe's Rockin' Christmas Show, which was played four times on Arrow 93. He annually blends songs you expect to hear, with great unexposed holiday material from classic rock artists. While I'm at it, let me thank him again for providing this home for my Raves. This bi-monthly exercise can be alot of work, but it continues to be fun for me.
Okay folks, I hope you have a safe, happy, prosperous, and peaceful 2003. I'll be back in February with Raves #16.1. Until then,