RAVE'S FAVES (on the air)
Shiny Toy Guns, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party ("Mercury"), Black Kids, Ting Tings (various), Does It Offend You, Yeah? ("Dawn"), Fujiya and Miyagi, Airborne Toxic Event, Coldplay, Weezer ("Troublemaker"), The Faint.
Shiny Toy Guns displayed potential last time, and their "Ricochet" single rocks harder than anything they've recorded to date. It has been top five requested at L.A.'s KROQ.Bloc Party's latest song continues their adoption of a greater dance vibe to their indie rock. Their latest album is now available through their website, and will be in stores a few weeks down the road.Black Kids are the most heavily blogged group since Vampire Weekend. They're good and are great fun, but I don't know if this album is all that memorable. The Ting Tings' album is so consistent that we'll probably be enjoying them for the rest of the year. Both of these bands deep deeply into the 80's, yet sound very modern. DIOYY's "Dawn of the Dead also has a strong 80's feel. The first single from Fujiya and Miyagi's second album sounds promising for their follow-up prospects. L.A.'s Airborne Toxic Event have a hot single in "Sometime Around Midnight" and also a hot live show. The Faint's latest is restrained compared to their earlier efforts, but I like the "Geeks" single, and some of the other tracks are growing on me.
"GO DEEP" WINNERS
Some bands getting strong reaction on my Go Deep webcasts, who aren't getting as much other airplay as deserved, include Elbow, Skybombers, and The Fratellis. I also got a strong reaction to Liam Finn's "I'll be Lightening." Liam and I were seatmates on the flight to SXSW 2007 and I found him to be a very friendly, down to earth guy.
The Virgins are a recently released buzz band who reportedly were signed virtually sight-unseen by Atlantic, based on their demo. They played at Spaceland here in L.A. While their music is interesting, the live show still needs work. Two nights later, The Subways filled The Troubadour with one of my favorite shows of the year. They're rocking even harder this time around both live and on disc. Their follow-up is now available digitally with a full release coming in September. An 80's package hit the Gibson Amphitheatre recently.Belinda Carlisle had 'em up and dancing with a solid show.The Human League followed with power and with very modern production values. Singer Phil Oakey is far more mobile onstage than he used to be. Many of their songs aren't as danceable, but it was a good idea having Belinda on before them. The following night saw Steve Miller come very close to selling-out the Nokia Theatre. His show was exactly what you'd expect, with a great band and lots of familiar tunes. Steve has recorded something like 41 blues covers, and some might see light of day in the near future. Fans of The Faint filled the Henry Fonda for two nights. They got people really excited, but I felt more lukewarm about them. While the band have some great songs and play well, I feel other bands in the genre are more compelling live.The Knack played an outdoor show in Woodland Hills. They continue to excel and sound about half their actual ages.
Speaking of The Knack, guitar player Berton Averre has always been one of the most underrated axemen in rock. He's one the cleanest players I know, and it of course was Berton who came up with that "My Sharona" riff, not to mention many other creative gems on The Knack's albums. He has scored a promising new musical called "Vrooom." It's a "speedway musical" set in the 60's, and the uber-creative Berton has outdone himself. Good luck to him as well as his creative partners."Kerrang" released an Iron Maiden tribute CD with their July 16 issue.Metallica contributed a cover of Maiden's "Remember Tomorrow" from the latter's debut album; and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told "Kerrang" that Iron Maiden are "the blueprint for everything we have ever wanted to do."
If you happen to have Sirius Satellite Radio in your car and are driving late at night, the music mix on their indie rock Left of Center channel 26 seems to fit perfectly with that hour. If you are a fan of Pandora, you may have heard that their survival is in question. This is due to a congressional ruling that allows webcasters to be charged anywhere from 70%-300% of their revenues to play recorded music. Lost in this decision is the fact that the Internet is such an essential vehicle for the exposure of new music and emerging artists. The sad part is that labels mostly care about shorter-term revenues while legislators are going to pay attention to the few big name recording artists who are lobbying them in favor of broadcast royalties... What are you listening to these days? I answer everybody and your feedback is always welcome. I'll be back to you in late October, just in time for Halloween. Have a great couple of months and remember to...