Greetings from SJ, Vegas, and LA(it seems that it’s easier to write when one is one the road):
RAVE’S FAVES on the radio: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Propellerheads, Specials, Fastball, Ben Folds Five(“Dump”), Natalie Imbruglia, Wallflowers(great cover), Tori Amos, Harvey Danger(still!), Stabbing Westward, Pearl Jam(“Wish”).
If you’re memory’s in tune, you’ll recall that I did heavily “slam the Jam” a few months ago, but “Wish List” has grown on me quite a bit. Of the responses that I received after the last note, most of you agreed that you don’t like Pearl Jam, either. Maybe I’ve softened on Eddie cuz it turns out he’s a huge Cub fan and that he’ll sing “Take Me Out..” at Wrigley this year.
I visited Austin in late Feb. Several stations were playing a song by a local band, and I loved it. I thought I was making this huge discovery, but it turned out that most of the alternative stations around the country were adding “The Way” at about that time. Fastball is now #1 on the airplay charts. I saw them in Seattle recently. Surprisingly, the show was full of energy, versatility, and personality. The current CD, “The Way” notwithstanding, doesn’t come close to capturing their energy level. My suggestion for the follow-up is “Feelin’ Fuzzy.” It’s slower and dramatic. Immediately releasing another mid-tempo pop song would, in my opinion, be a mistake.
Speaking of local, Seattle’s Harvey Danger is now top #15 nationally on modern rock stations. I did get to see them play just before they began their US tour. The band were rough around the edges, at least that night, and they seem to need more seasoning. One can tell they’ve arrived because they guested on the radio version of “Loveline” the other night.:) I got to hear it on KOME, San Jose, the station formerly known as “The Kome Spot.” Tonight, “Flagpole…” is #3 most requested on KROQ.
Electronica is still huge in the UK, but it has definitely peaked over there.
Some surprisingly strong music from “senior citizens,” whom I don’t usually anticipate very highly: Bonnie Raitt, The Stones, Page & Plant.
During a recent Chicago biz trip, I got to shoot up to Madison for a quick evening. The marching band’s Spring Concert was amazing, as usual. Congrats to student station WSUM on finally getting approval for their new tower. As an alumnus of student radio in Madison, I can vouch for the effect that particular experience can have on one’s future! It should also be noted that Seattle’s Modest Mouse was #3 on their playlist last week. Also, speaking of Mad-town, I’m anxious to hear the new Garbage CD–the single’s cool.
Premature passings: Finally, I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to have been acquainted with Carl Wilson and Linda McCartney. I met Carl and the other Beach Boys a couple of times when I lived in Cleveland and they were on tour. He was such a down to earth guy–a real pleasure to hang with. I regret not having kept many pictures of my deep, dark past; but one that I did keep, is a shot of Carl and me passing a joint in the studios at WMMS. Must have been just another typical weekend night at “The Home of the Buzzard.” I was Capitol’s liaison for about ten concerts on the Wings Over America tour, so I spent lots of backstage time with Paul and Linda. Paul recently said that Linda was very private and that people only saw the tip of the iceberg with her. On tour, Paul was having a blast. Meanwhile, Linda was very serious, and I rarely saw her smile. I can tell you that, much as I would have enjoyed some one on one time with Paul, Linda and he were NEVER apart. Yes, it was evident that their relationship was quite special.
Time to go, but please get back to me with any thoughts you have on what is written here, or about any other music. This is being sent to various friends in and out of the biz, and I’ll write again later in the year. Have a great summer…