RAVE'S FAVES (on the air ) since late August
The Distillers, B.R.M.C. (various), Foo Fighters ("Nikki"), Kings of Leon, The Strokes, Offspring, OutKast.
The Distillers look like they'll do very well. The Kings' tune has some nice 70's riffs. Some people are tired of Offspring, but I still like them and it's the instrumental arrangement in their new song that works for me. While I'm obviously not a fan of hip-hop, I do like OutKast. Their video is stellar, and they were hot on Letterman. The new Crystal Method song sounds great on a first listen.
I've lamented the Dandy Warhols' change of direction, but I really like this new album, which means that they've made two faves in a row with lots of great tracks. The same can be said for B.R.M.C., who also have two consecutive winners. Jet have backed-up their hit with some major depth. It seems they love those Stones LPs from the 70's. After a couple of listens, The Strokes' new one strikes me as a letdown. I can only hope it grows on me the way their new single has. There are a few CDs that I've heard bits of, and I want to hear more from the following: The Darkness bring hooky, AC/DC-type riffs from the U.K. and they are the current buzz band over there. The Rapture blend rock and dance. The new Rufus Wainwright album seems superior to his disappointing second effort. The Shins have some promising melodic rock.
I've caught some good live music over the last couple of months. Fischerspooner put on a thoroughly entertaining, tight extravaganza at a sold out House of Blues in LA. There wasn't a dull moment, and it was one of my top shows of the last few years. The Dandy Warhols aimed to please with a three hour show a few nights later. They're a tight band who come off very loose and rarely engage the crowd. Most of the guitars were stripped from their most recent album, but their new stuff sounds much harder live than it does on disc. I had Hot Hot Heat tickets but arrived at the venue just as they were getting off, due to a miscommunication on the time of their set. Word is that their SoCal shows were hot hot hot. This may surprise you, but I also saw Steely Dan and it was a fine show. Of course, the older material stood out the most.
If you ever are in Vegas on a Sunday night, try to catch KROQ legend Dusty Street from 7 to midnight on Star 102.7. She has a free-form 80's show that goes far deeper into artists careers than what you'll hear nowadays. Many of the tunes will probably put a smile on you face because you probably haven't heard them in at least ten years. I'm hoping that the show will be nationally syndicated. Speaking of "legends," I got to do a two hour return show in Madison, Wisconsin on WSUM, thanks to GM Dave Black and PD Aaron Honore. I had a blast, mostly playing current faves, blending them in with some of my old bands and related stories. There's talk about making this an annual or semiannual event. Hell, I'd almost fly to Madison just to do the show! It was my college radio work at the University of Wisconsin that led to my music business career.
Iron Maiden's rousing new CD got off to a rousing start, becoming #1 throughout Europe and debuting at #18 in the U.S. We can now add Dandy Warhols drummer Brent DeBoer to the list of accomplished players wearing a Maiden t-shirt in band video. The VH-1 series that I wrote about in August has been renamed "True Spin" and has been airing for several weeks. I mentioned that I was interviewed for segments on Duran Duran's "Rio" and The Knack's "My Sharona." The "Rio" segment will premier Sunday, November 9 at 1:00 in the afternoon (noon central time) and it will be rerun fairly often, so keep an eye on your local listings. I have yet to be informed of airdates for "Sharona." The "True Spin" section on the VH-1 site will give scheduling info.
Finally, if you write to me, please make sure you mention "Rave's Raves" in the subject line so that the notes aren't deleted as spam. Speaking of that, I've started receiving spam in Spanish! Upon investigation, I've discovered it has all come through my Raves link, which is only publicized on this site. Well, that's it until the end of the year, when I'll provide my annual Top 5 list along with any other updates. Have a great November and December, and until the next time...