RAVE'S FAVES (on the air)
The Hives (various), Louis XIV, Spoon (various), Foo Fighters ("Ruin"), Calvin Harris, Killers, Bad Religion, 1990s (various).
This isn't a long list by any standards, but I do feel that 2007 was a pretty good year for music, especially in the first half of the year. The Hives album is one of the year's best, although airplay and sales haven't met expectations up to this point. With more exposure and touring, I think this album is good enough to break through in 2008. Their "Tick Tick Boom" single may not have been the best choice, in my humble opinion. The Louis XIV track grabbed me immediately and is gathering a bit of airplay steam. Mainstream alternative radio continues to move further and further away from indie artists, and one can only hope the pendulum swings back toward more variety. At least L.A.'s KROQ consistently plays anything new by Bad Religion, and that's a good thing.1990s have received strong college radio play and continue to be one of my favorite newer bands.
TOP AIRPLAY SONGS AND TOP CD'S OF THE YEAR
First the airplay tracks:
#1. Arcade Fire "Intervention"
#2. Amy Winehouse "Rehab"
#3. Mika "Grace Kelly"
#4. Fratellis "Chelsea Dagger"
#5. Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova "Falling Slowly" (from the movie "Once")
#6. Arctic Monkeys "Brianstorm"
#7. LCD Soundsystem "North American Scum"
#8. Louis XIV "Guilt By Association"
#9. Beck "Timebomb"
#10. Maximo Park "Girls Who Play Guitars"
It's interesting to note that songs 2, 3, and 4 all came from Island Records in the UK. It was easier ranking songs than CD's. I had five albums in my top tier this year, including three which tied for second:
#1. Arcade Fire
#2. Arctic Monkeys
#2. The Hives
#6. Of Montreal
Arcade Fire was the band of the year, both live and in the studio. The next three CD's were all very close, not to mention that they're all in similar genres. Of Montreal had two releases this year, and this is their "Hissing Fauna..." album of new tracks. In no particular order, honorable mention goes to Datarock, Spoon, 1990s, LCD Soundsystem, Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen.
Iron Maiden will be on a monster tour early in the new year. Advanced ticket sales are spectacular once again.Duran Duran's new album is pretty good, but it hasn't exactly set the world on fire. It seems like radio and the general public weren't too excited about the band's new Top 40 direction. Before the release, lead singer Simon LeBon said that the original plan was for the project to sound more like modern alternative groups such as Bloc Party. Much of the album is still in that vein, and many of the tracks do sound like the Duran Duran we've known for years.The Knack continue to roll and just played to over 4,000 people in Spain. Singer Doug Fieger and The Motels' singer Martha Davis appeared on the successful Countdown reunion tour, that hit a number of Australian markets.
Lots has been written and said about the current writer's strike. I've never been in a union, but it's always been a mystery to me why people can't just stay in a fricking room and work things out. The saddest part about strikes is the innocent parties who are affected. On the musical side, just think of all the artists whose crucial television appearances had to be canceled... I'm pleased to announce that I will be returning to WSUM for an 8-hour marathon on Tuesday, January 15th. You'll be able to hear it live on the Internet, and there will more details posted on my website as we approach the date... Thanks to Uncle Joe Benson for hosting these Raves on his own fine unclejoe.com site. As of this writing, I eagerly await his Uncle Joe's Rockin' Christmas syndicated show... I wish you the very best of holidays and a great 2008. Stay in touch, and feel free to write anytime. I look forward to hearing from you guys and I respond to all emails. Until next time...