RAVE'S FAVES (on the air)
Franz Ferdinand, Jet (various), Modest Mouse, Phantom Planet, Von Bondies, Strokes, Muse, Bad Religion, Velvet Revolver, The Killers, Morrissey, Steriogram, Jem, Air (various), Zero 7, Postal Service (various), N.E.R.D., Lenny Kravitz.
There continues to be more than the usual number of "fave" tunes on our nation's airwaves.Franz (from Scotland) are my favorite new band. "Take Me Out" should do well here, and there are additional contenders on their strong CD. Many great tunes on Jet's disc continue to get spins. Look for their "Look What You've Done" ballad to become a hit. I've never been the biggest Morrissey fan, but his new single is my favorite from him.Air's album took awhile to grow on me, but I'm liking it more and more.Steriogram are from New Zealand and The Killers are from Vegas. Both have fun, quirky airplay tunes. I either love or hateKravitz songs, and his new single sounds great to me. Honorable mention goes to The Living End, Snow Patrol, and The Walkmen.
Kudos to Aerosmith, whose energetic blues album is one of their best ever as it sounds like the band in its early days.Felix da Housecat and Miss Kitten, two disciples from the "electroclash movement," are both rocking harder this time around and have come up with some good stuff. They both disavow any association with that musical genre, but the electroclash hype of 2002 certainly didn't hurt them at the time. In the same general vein, the Scissor Sisters from New York have a refreshing electronic sound that's going over big the U.K.
Franz Ferdinand provided one of the best live shows that I've seen in awhile. LA's Troubadour was sold out. The band are very straight forward, but they're tight and fun. Their album doesn't quite catch their live energy. Hopefully the next one will.Rufus Wainright was in good voice and had a nice, albeit mellow, performance.Elton John was Rufus' surprise guest.The Vines and Jet were completely disappointing. We unfortunately arrived too late to see The Living End. Reports were that they were anywhere from fair to great, so one can expect that they were probably the best of the three Australian bands on the bill.Jet admit that the quality of their shows depends on the amount that they've had to drink. Including two TV appearances, I've now seen them three times and they have yet to blow me away. With such a strong CD, it's really a shame.
I was pleased to participate in a Knack documentary that is being developed by Passport Entertainment. I'll provide more details as they come available later this year. Condolences to Weird Al Yankovich, whose parents died so tragically at their home near San Diego. I never met Al's parents. At the time of his signing, he told me about his mom's phone reaction. "That's nice" she said, "So are you eating enough? Are you making your bed?"
My rant on Courtney Love got loads of reaction from people, but there wasn't one note of disagreement. With the 10th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, there has recently been a new round of theories implicating Courtney. While we will probably never know the answer to that mystery, it is safe to assume that she wasn't exactly a stable, comforting influence on the guy... I'm happy for Uncle Joe Benson now that he has become the veteran "afternoon anchor" at Arrow 93. This means that Joe is going to get to sleep like a normal person for the first time in many, many years. It also means that Joe's voice will no longer convey the first spoken words to greet me at 7:30 in the morning. His show had the highest common denominator approach of any morning rock show I've heard. Unfortunately, the station is handing those reigns over to yet another "morning maniac," which means that Rockin' Rave will now be waking up to classical.
For Madison readers, I'm looking forward to WSUM-Madison's annual Party in the Park this Saturday (4/24), which will be followed by my second "Return of Rave" radio show Sunday night (the 25th) at 11:00. As always, I welcome your input. Please make sure "raves" is in the subject line to avoid your message being deleted as suspected spam. Enjoy your spring, and I hope you take advantage of every opportunity to...