Rave's Faves(on the air): Supergrass(PICK!), Travis, Bloodhound Gang, Santana("Maria"), Stone Temple Pilots, No Doubt("Girlfriend"), Rage("Sleep"), Moby("Porcelain").
The Supergrass pick is wonderful, hard pop. MTV and the label are behind it, but the question is whether radio will play a rock song that is this positive-sounding. The Bloodhound tune was #1 requested at KROQ for weeks. The No Doubt song grew on me, finally. Given my disdain for snarling, raprock, my mention of Rage will shock you. The fact is that the backing track on "Sleep" is so amazingly hot that I can actually ignore Zack's vocal.
Of my two picks last December, Apollo 440 managed to go Top 20 in alternative radio and club play, amazingly enough. They're hot live as well, but I'm sorry to say the rest of the CD was nothing remotely like the single. Radio never got behind The Muse, who record for Maverick(Madonna's label). Several have questioned the label's ability to bring rock bands home.
A few interesting items from my Euro travels this year: Word out of the UK is that most promising bands have no desire to spend much time promoting themselves in the States. That won't change until domestic rock radio becomes hospitable once again. Tom Jones had huge hits in both the UK and Germany. Also, radio and video TV in Germany had no problems playing the Bloodhound Gang song "...Chasey Lane," despite lyrics such as "will you fuck me for blow." Most Germans understand English just fine, but there is more rope because it's the second language.
LA radio is still pretty bleak. AAA station KACD(103.1) will stick around until July. There's only a slim chance the old owners will put the format on one of their other frequencies. There are hopes and rumors that some kind of rock format may replace the r&b oldies on Mega 100, and also that someone new may try to compete with KROQ. Meanhwile, Chris Carter, the world's top new-music specialty jock, is back--in two internet locations. Tuesdays, 7-8 p.m. West Coast time, check out www.woxy.com for an hour of his imports. Saturdays from 2-6 p.m. Pacific time, try www.spikeradio.com for his mixture of imports, new domestics, and oldies. If you have trouble getting this one, try www.spikeradio.com/hint/qtlive.mov. If you want to hear the cool new stuff that current radio is missing out on, you must check Chris out. He's been behind bands like Supergrass and Travis since Day One.
Blinded by Beatnik: Thomas Dolby will be taking his Beatnik.com public. I haven't spoken with him for years, but I'd guess he's very happy to be in the business world. Even at the time we released "She Blinded Me With Science," Thomas wasn't much for the industry schmooze routine. Among my other former cohorts, Iron Maiden are enjoying new life, selling out large venues in Europe. They'll have a major tour in the US later in the year. The new album comes out in a few weeks, and optimism in the Maiden camp is extremely high due to a more modern and more mainstream approach. On The Knack front, Doug Fieger has done a masterful production job with the unsigned Spanish Kitchen(hope they change their name); while guitarist Berton Averre has written a musical that is enjoying some initial success.
May shows that I'm looking forward to: Violent Femmes, Tina Turner, and Supergrass.
I'm an investor and on the advisory board of a new company, www.eclipsonline.com. We're selling obscure, quality, indie films; and the company will soon have an online film school with veteran instructors. We're also looking into the streaming of music videos by unsigned bands. When you have a minute, check out the site and let you know what you think!
Well, I could go on and on; and who couldn't? Please write back with your feedback, as so many of you do; and I'll be back to you with #9 in August. I love the tag at the end of the Warehouse Music spots:
- "Life is what happens while you're listening to music."