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MUSIC REVIEW

State of the Airwaves

Cornell, Korn, and Concerts

By Dan Katz

Staff Writer

I highly regret being busy on Saturday night, because it’s a great night for concerts. In (deep echoey voice) the Airwaves Concert of the Week, Fountains of Wayne play one of the rare rock shows that turns up at Axis. Elsewhere that night, Chris Cornell is likely to fill up the Orpheum, and in the realm of local overachievers, Dispatch perform at the Middle East and the Nields play the Paradise. For those of you who’d like to be hip and on the edge of indie rock, Cat Power hits the Middle East on Tuesday; for those of you looking for the opposite, Letters to Cleo will be at the Paradise tonight. Big shows Thursday too: Live at the Orpheum, which is probably sold out, and Death in Vegas at the Paradise. And a warning in advance: I’m not sure of the current ticket situation, but Moxy Fruvous are at the Somerville Theater on Sunday the 21st, and they play the best live show in music today. Bar none.

Third Eye Blind tends to release singles that are either really good (“Semi-Charmed Life”) or absolutely horrible (I think I could live my life adequately without ever hearing “How’s It Going To Be?” again). “Anything” happily fits in the first category, suddenly transforming itself from a short acoustic intro into a nonstop punky song complete with Beach Boys style “oo-ee-oo” vocals in the background. This song could quite possibly dethrone the Offspring’s “All I Want” as the best two-minute single of all time, and you can get it free as a limited-length download at <http://www.mjuice.com>. The band’s upcoming album, Blue, if it’s more consistent than their self-titled album, may be one of the best discs to come out at the end of the year.

Speaking of bands that have released their singles online, Korn’s “Falling Away From You” is also available now in legal MP3 form. Having made its debut a few weeks ago on South Park of all places, the track is very bassy, crunchy, and in general much more like the band’s first two albums than the one that has recently made them successful. So for the legions of Korn fans who saw “Got The Life” rise up the MTV charts and suddenly feared that every new Korn song would be set to a disco beat, all is not lost.

A couple of bands are releasing new singles from previously released albums this week. Vertical Horizon’s “Everything You Want” is a haunting, touching piece of music that makes a nice companion piece to their first single, the hard-rocking “We Are.” Nine Inch Nails delivers “Into The Void,” another great track off one of the best albums of the year, The Fragile. And there’s apparently a new tune called “Live” by Lenny Kravitz. If Lenny Kravitz didn’t grate on my nerves like fingernails on a blackboard, this might interest me.

I stopped by the Rage Against The Machine signing at the Newbury St. Tower Records last week at 5 p.m., two hours before the band was set to arrive. There was a line that wrapped down Boylston and around the entire store. Not releasing an album in entirely too long clearly hasn’t affected Rage’s staggering popularity. (Hope you weren’t looking for any intelligent commentary in that paragraph. I could have easily just said, “People like Rage.”)

But you, as a loyal Tech reader, should demand intelligent commentary! On the subjects that are important to you! On the music you listen to, and the music you wish you didn’t! You should demand longer columns that take me more than a half hour to write! You should demand quality, damnit! E-mail <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu> right now and tell me what’s on your mind, why you love or hate my column, and how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. Until next we meet, eat meat and keep expanding your horizons. (Take that, Essential Vegetarian!)