(on the air since January 1)
Raveonettes, Hot Hot Heat, White Stripes ("7"), Foo Fighters ("Times"), Transplants ("DJ"), Fischerspooner, Interpol, Supergrass.
The Danish Raveonettes have my #2 single of this young year, and I can only hope that the album turns out to be half as good (promise, I'm not biased by their name). My new fave is by Hot Hot Heat, who are from Victoria, Canada with a quirky, retro-feeling, super song getting lots of KROQ requests. The chorus of "Bandages" grabbed me immediately, and the vocals remind me a bit of The Cure's Robert Smith. White Stripes have added a bass guitar in their new song, and the sound is very AC/DC. I'm hearing they're tough to work with, and that may impede radio play. The Foos were awesome on SNL, and I'll try to catch their April show in LA with Transplants. Fischerspooner's "Emerge" is well-edited. This is part of the first major label (Capitol) electroclash release, and it will be interesting to monitor the CD's progress. I mentioned Interpol last year in Rave's 15.0, and "PDA" is getting some national traction. I've also raved about Supergrass over the years. I'm delighted that they finally got a US release for their most recent album. While I love their current single "Grace" and other songs from the disc, I continue to fear they're too pop for the current rock radio climate.
There are some harder pop bands getting airplay with honorable mention songs, and they include AFI, American Hi-Fi, All American Rejects, The Ataris, and Good Charlotte. Also, The Donnas have broken from the underground to the mainstream. Their female blend of effective punk and metal is like nothing else currently on the air, so their timing is impeccable.
It is worth noting that new, angry rap rock bands aren't breaking through anymore. This is good news, and it's probably due to the post 9/11 climate. The harder pop of many newer airplay bands is preferable if not distinctive, and it may not be inspiring enough to drive people to record stores in large numbers... I enjoyed the Grammy telecast for the most part. The Clash tribute was a real highlight, and it was nice seeing Simon & Garfunkel back together, even if their performance wasn't top notch. Norah Jones is really good, but it's hard to believe that she swept all of the high-profile general categories... I just saw Queens of the Stone Age live, and they more than back up what they do on record.
In case you haven't heard, larger stations are still negotiating the rates they'll have to pay for airplay. Smaller operations have come to an agreement. My favorite Internet music sources continue to be http://www.woxy.com and for people outside of LA, http://www.kcrw.org.
After about 20 years, the Rubber City Rebels are back with a fine new album, which is even more energetic this time around. They're currently touring Europe. Meanwhile, Ken Scott has been busy working on George Harrison catalogue material as well as the remastering of some of the Bowie music that he produced.
OK folks, I'll see you in April. Be safe, and of course...