RAVE'S FAVES (on the air since May 1)
Rooney, Yeah Yeah Yeahs ("Date"), Velvet Revolver, Good Charlotte ("Girls"), Fischerspooner ("15th"), Goldfrapp (various), Death In Vegas (various).
Rooney's "Blueside" song sounds a bit like something from the Beach Boys, and it's so infectious that it might become an alternative hit despite how sweet it sounds. MTV and MTV2 are all over it, and KROQ is playing it as well. Velvet Revolver are the G 'n R guys, fronted by Scott Weiland. Word from their L.A. show was that Axel was hardly missed. England's Goldfrap has a great CD. She's got a sound similar to Garbage, only more electronic. Death In Vegas, not to be confused with Dirty Vegas but also from the U.K., has a fine electonica album as well. New honorable mention rock songs come from NOFX, The Used, and the Dropkick Murphys.
By "Rave" standards, the last four months have been light in exciting new rock. I'm thrilled to see the recent domination of rock albums on the national charts. Unfortunately, many of the current leaders aren't in the vein of melodic, futuristic music that I like to rave about. As much as I respect Radiohead's integrity and their success, I just can't get into them as much as I'd like... You can add me to the list of people who really like the new White Stripes CD... Awhile back, I said that with continued hits, Coldplay should become "huge" with their next album. Guess what? With continued airplay and touring, they're huge NOW, having surpassed 2,000,000 in sales and having drawn 34,000 fans to their sold out Hollywood Bowl concerts... What I've heard of the new Dandy Warhols is a major letdown. With Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes producing, they've developed a softer, synthesized sound that just doesn't hit the mark. While I give them points for artistic independence, it's such a shame, as radio is now much closer to the sound of their last album. With less of a departure, this band could have exploded.
WE WILL ROCK YOU
I had the opportunity to catch the Queen musical "We Will Rock You" while I was in London. It was great fun, with somewhat of a plot and a truly super cast. The lead characters are known as Galileo Figuro and Scaramoosh. This show is very popular, and I hear that it will come to the U.S. next year and hit Broadway in 2005. While it won't go down as one of the great plays of all time, if you're a Queen fan with any appreciation of musicals, I recommend it.
Iron Maiden's new album will be released in early September. Following their year off, I can tell you that the record is as energetic as ever. Maiden are currently playing to over 700,000 people on their European tour, and they'll hit North America later this summer. Singer Bruce Dickenson says he "worked" during the band's vacation. He flew 737's and 757's for a commercial charter company! You may have heard that Eminem vetoed Weird Al's proposal for a parody video. I would have loved to have seen that clip. Will Slim Shady ever lighten up? Kraftwerk are back with a single that is a theme from this year's Tour de France.
Well, that does it until later this summer, when Raves #18 will be posted. Your e-mailed comments are always welcome. If you do write, please refer to this column in the subject line to ensure that your message isn't prematurely deleted as spam. Have a great summer, and as always...