RAVE'S FAVES #15 (on the air since June)
Elvis Presley vs. JXL, Puddle of Mudd ("Hates"), The Hives ("Told," "Offender"), The Strokes ("Someday"), The Vines ("Free," "Way"), Interpol, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Coldplay, Dirty Vegas, Underworld, Electrotrash/Nu-electro.
I loved the remake of Elvis Presley's "...Conversation." It was a huge hit around the world but predictably only reached #50 on the US charts. Not only is the new Foo Fighters tune hot, but Dave Grohl adds welcome punch to the new Queens of the Stone Age song. I keep wondering whether the Foos can remain fresh, and they never disappoint. The Coldplay CD immediately became one of the top-sellers in the world. New York's Interpol is a new "garage rock" entry, although they haven't received as much out of the box hype as the four leading bands. With as much press and publicity as garage rock has garnered, CD sales are not developing like one might expect. Only The Strokes have surpassed gold, and they aren't yet close to platinum. Still, this music continues to be the rock highlight of the last few years, and some of these bands are poised to have long-term careers if their song-writing comes through. Uncle Joe Benson told me of being with Robert Plant at the Greek Theatre when someone asked Robert what CD was in his player. Without hesitation, Plant named The Hives, saying "They are so wild, and we really need more of that."
I'm also enjoying Electroclash/Nu-electro, which also goes by several other names. You may well have read about it, as there has been lots of press. This dance music is retro with an early 80's feel and no sampling. Leading acts include Fischerspooner, Felix da Housecat, and Miss Kittin. As much as I like this music, it strikes me as potentially being faddish. So far, the artists have been non-descript.
Honorable mention songs have been by Jimmy Eat World, Hoobestank, Audiovent, and Weezer. LA's KROQ premiered the new Audioslave (Rage/Cornell) song with great fanfare. I continue to stick by my earlier review in Raves 14.1, where I find their slow, heavy, blusey style highly disappointing. I also continue to predict that the CD will be huge. Lots of rock fans love that style and there hasn't been much of it lately.
The federal government came up with a compromise solution that failed to please either side in this continuing dispute over royalties to be paid by Internet broadcasters. Both sides have sued, and the battle continues. It's not too late to contact your federal government reps if you feel strongly about this issue. See Raves 14.1 for more info.
If you're a Weird Al fan, I hope you caught his "Driven" episode on VH-1 with some commentary by yours truly. It has been rerun several times, so keep an eye on your local listings. Al has taken a long-year long sabbatical, which was only interrupted by a series of successful performances at this summer's Orange County Fair. Uncle Joe was doing some emcee work at the fair, and he reported that the Weird Al Exhibition had about 300,000 people pass through. Meanwhile, The Knack's national tour has progressed very well. On Sunday evening , October 6, TNN will feature them on their "Fifteen Minutes of Fame" series. I was also interviewed for this show. Check your local listings!
As an Adelphia Cable customer, I've noted their ethical problems with interest. The whole nation got to see Chairman John Rigas on the news in handcuffs after being accused to bilking billions. This is the one major cable provider that hasn't allowed adult entertainment as an option, because Rigas didn't feel it was consistent with his "moral" principles. How ironic that this alleged criminal would impose these "family" values, rather than allow his customers the option of making their own choices, which also would have provided company stockholders with the handsome profits that derive from this type of programming.
That's it for now. I hope you had a great summer and that the rest of year will treat you well. Until my next update,