RAVE'S FAVES (new airplay in the last two months)
Beck, The Killers, Calvin Harris, Louis XIV, New Young Pony Club, Manic Street Preachers, Bat For Lashes, The Dollyrots.
Beck's "Timebomb" is my favorite current tune as he continues his unpredictability.The Killers' "Shadowplay" brings much needed life to mainstream alternative, while England's New Young Pony Club adds some dance flavor to college/indie.Calvin, also a Brit, has a great sense of humor and several strong tracks.Louis XIV have a great chance to shake the one-hit wonder label with one of the most unique sounding songs of the year.Manic Street Preachers have a melodic new song while the Bat and Dollyrots' ditties are harder tracks getting spins on LA's Indie 103.1 among others.
VHS or Beta played to a couple of sold-out crowds at Chicago's Subterranean. They're enjoying mainstream alternative play from Q101 but the crowd was mostly comprised of urban scenesters. They are a good live band and I enjoyed the show, although a lot of their music began to sound the same. New Pornographers played L.A.'s Henry Fonda Musicbox in September. I found their show less energetic then their Coachella set, with their latest album's lower-key approach is the obvious explanation. The Arctic Monkeys just keep getting better and better. They even sounded great at L.A.'s Palladium, which isn't easy in that barn. Good thing the place is undergoing renovations. The Arctic's aren't into show biz at all. They just get out and play. I liked them the first time I saw them and believe more than ever they're a long-term proposition. Queens Of The Stone Age headlined L.A.'s new 7,100 seat Nokia Theatre and I would say they drew about 6,000. The Nokia is a fine place to see a show. This is another consistently good live band, although I would have to say that earlier incarnations seemed to have been a bit more unique. Perhaps they miss their original bass player. It's interesting that they omitted several of their bigger songs including "No One Knows." If you like Polyphonic Spree's music even a little bit, they're worth seeing at least once. At 22-strong, they headlined a three-band gig at the Fonda, and almost every song came off like a grand finale. Rooney had so much potential when they released their debut, but they have morphed into a group that sounds too mainstream and run of the mill. It was my fifth time seeing The Redwalls, and I felt they were the best I've seen them. IAMX played L.A.'s El Rey. I've been touting this electro-glam U.K. band for awhile. Leader Chris Corner hails from The Sneaker Pimps and is a strong front man with a fine voice. The songs are good, they play great, and virtually everything is danceable. As of now, IAMX are on Major Records in England without a US release. My bet is that their album will see light of day domestically in the coming year...
I can't add much to the millions of words written about the Radiohead release. Sure there have been a few complaints, but one must give them props not only for doing what they did, but for putting quality music out there for everyone... Since I last raved, I've managed to invade the WSUM airwaves twice. My solo show on August 31 is posted on my Rave's Raves site, as is my October 28 Brit-rock sit-in with with Parklife host Matt Hunzkier.Thanks as always to station GM Dave Black and Program Director Adam Higgins for making this possible... I'll be back in late December with Rave's #31 as well as my top songs and CD's of 2007. Until then, enjoy yourself and...