RAVE'S FAVES (on the air since Raves #27)
Muse ("Starlight"), The Killers (various), Snow Patrol ("Chasing"), My Chemical Romance, Kasabian ("Empire, Shoot"), Hellogoodbye, Butch Walker, Panic! At The Disco ("Lying").
I feel Muse will have a huge radio song with "Starlight." I'm still getting used to the new The Killers direction but this album is an upgrade song for song. They have a tune called "Read My Mind" that should become one of their biggest.Snow Patrol are a band who write perfect ballads no matter how hard they want to rock.Kasabian released an album with more edge along with more of a nod to their psychedelic leanings.Hellogoodbye from Orange County have a nice clean synth pop track making it's away through the underground.Butch Walker has a hooky glam rock song getting play on Indie 103.1.My Chemical Romance and Panic! are two talented mainstream bands who will eventually shake the emo tag. Thanks to the latest Panic! single, here's my favorite title of the year: "Lying Is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off."
The Gossip filled the Troubadour on a night when Wolfmother and the Scissor Sisters were in town. Singer Betty Ditto exuded as much soul as a white girl could have. Their drummer is fantastic, while the guitar player holds his own. Yeah Yeah Yeahs put on a fine show at the Palladium. Miss Karen O. continued to show that she is one of the best front people in rock, while guitar player Nick Zinner is a star in his own right. Opening act The Blood Brothers were bloody awful.Kasabian played at the Henry Fonda. Whether they are on stage or in the press, there's not a lot of fluff but they perform their songs really well.They were proceeded by Mew with a nice set of well-played music that could have been a bit more compelling.Iron Maiden continued to match their high standards before a sold-out (16,000) and wildly enthusiastic Verizon Wireless Amphitheater crowd. How many long-time bands can hold a crowd by beginning a show by playing their entire new album? Their upcoming European dates will be even bigger. My buddy Doctor Doug is a longtime friend. We've been to many shows together and he has long harangued me about a mention in this column. Doug insisted on taking me to the Roger Waters' show at the Hollywood Bowl even though I was ambivalent about going. It was "Dark Side of the Moon" under a full moon. Between the setting, the dazzling production values, and some of the most important music ever made, it was an amazing night.KLOS' Uncle Joe Benson told me that every bit of feedback was nothing short of spectacular.
MORE ON SHINY TOY GUNS
Here's an update on the Shiny Toy Guns story in Raves #27: The band explained to me that they had agreed to the Indie 103.1 show months before it happened. They were aware of KROQ's threat to drop their song, which was #1 requested at the time. There was no way the band would go back on their word, no matter the price. They took the bullet because it was all about integrity. How refreshing! The good news is that their "le disko" has finally cracked the national airplay charts. It's been harder for them without KROQ, but let's hope these good guys win in the end.
The Knack's Doug Fieger continues to improve and he's actually exceeding doctors' expectations. Doug's well enough for the band to play a New York show on November 21 at the Nokia Theatre. They'll also play New Year's Eve in Orange County, and I'm guessing there will be loads of emotion at both gigs. Thomas Dolby has announced tour dates with BT. BT is a fan of his and this will be a great pairing. Thomas will perform solo while BT plays with a couple of others. For encores, the two will jam together.Duran Duran announced that original guitar player Andy Taylor is no longer in the band due to an insurmountable gulf. For whatever reason, Andy was also the odd man out back in the Eighties. Also, see the Iron Maiden review above in the "Live" secion.
I had a great time co-hosting the Parklife Britrock show on WSUM last month with the talented Matt Hunziker, and I was back on the air solo Friday October 27th subbing for Randy B. who does a fine show... Can you believe the year's almost over? It feels like New Year's 2006 was two months ago! I'll be back in late December with my 2007 Top Five. Until then...