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MUSIC REVIEW

State of the Airwaves

Dispatch, Daisies, and Dad

By Dan Katz

Staff Writer

So they say that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb ... but who are ‘they’? And where do they get off choosing which animals we compare our months to? Nevertheless, here’s your concert schedule for Lion Week: Tonight, one of my favorite local bands that has yet to break, Dispatch, brings their (quoting their website) “tri-vocal funk-coustic instrument-swap groove” to the Middle East, a venue that also hosts Folk Implosion (remember “Natural One”?) on Sunday night. Saturday night at the Avalon, it’s a taste of the past and future of new wave as the Pretenders and Gay Dad join forces. Or, if you prefer the Airwaves Show of the Week (cue trumpet fanfare), get yourself to the Paradise Rock Club for psychobilly trio The Reverend Horton Heat, playing a bill with Dance Hall Crashers. Tuesday night, treat the indie maven in you to Elf Power at TT The Bears, and Thursday, feed your inner metalhead with Coal Chamber and Type O Negative at the Avalon.

So last week, I raved about the Bloodhound Gang’s new single, “The Bad Touch.” This week, a story broke that made me regret that approval. The music video for the single, which premiered several weeks ago on MTV’s 120 Minutes, apparently features the band gleefully beating up a pair of homosexual stereotypes (I can’t go into more detail without being offensive, nor do I have any desire to). A few days ago, GLAAD requested that MTV remove the clip from rotation, and apparently they have agreed to edit it before rebroadcasting it. What kind of message does that send, though? “Yeah, feel free to make really intolerant videos, and we’ll air them in their entirety until we get caught.” What does the network instead make their stand against? Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff,” for which MTV has repeatedly promised not to air a video because they feel the performance of the song at Woodstock was the cause of rioting. Apparently ridiculous claims based on circumstantial evidence are more cause for alarm than blatant gay-bashing. Label me disgusted, and much less of a Bloodhound Gang fan.

And as long as I’m panning bands I’ve previously praised (try saying that one five times fast), I might as well do the opposite. I’ve spent so many columns ranting about how much I dislike 311, mainly because their harmonic vocals don’t fit with their guitar lines and their allegedly funky rhythms are too stiff. Now they have to go and put out a single, “Flowing,” that suffers from neither of those ailments and is actually both very well-crafted musically and violently catchy at the same time? Bah. Next thing you know, Creed will release a song with an interesting guitar part, Smash Mouth will release a song that doesn’t invoke images of summertime, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will release something that doesn’t annoy the hell out of me.

Last week, I predicted that ON’s Shifting Skin would be among the best albums of the year. Continuing on that topic, I present for your consideration, Daisies Of The Galaxy, the upcoming disc from the Eels, who moved from a hit with the single “Novocaine For The Soul” to the powerful and affected Electro Shock Blues, a Beck-like excursion inspired by the death of most of lead singer E’s family. The first cut off Daisies, a peppy ballad called “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues,” seems to indicate that while the group hasn’t lost their songwriting skill, the angst has melted away, as characterized by the refrain of “God damn right, it’s a beautiful day.” If you want some more insight into the eccentricity of this band, the leadoff single is actually the hidden track on the album. Haven’t heard of that one before.

And to close, it’s finally happened. I’ve grown guilty about the abuse, and overwhelmed by the furor I’ve created. It’s time for me to fess up. Katie Jeffreys, my hated nemesis, is actually a pretty swell chick in real life, and although her diet remains deplorable, I’ve decided it’s time to stop ragging on her column. She’s a good writer and a good editor, and I’m tired of doling out abuse just to attract readership. (Plus, I’m running out of ideas.) So, I still think all you vegetarians out there should chow down on a nice juicy steak, but if you must continue to be deluded, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying Katie’s column once in a while. I’m told it’s high in vitamin K.

But that Do It With Emotion column -- now, there’s a waste of space. (Here we go again ... )

The e-mails are coming in slowly, and it’s good to know y’all are reading my jottings. I love to hear your feedback, and I’m always open to suggestions. Send your conjectures, complaints, considerations, and whatnot to <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu>, and your entreaties shall be answered dutifully, efficiently, and with a cherry on top. So as another verbose edition of Airwaves draws to a close, I cordially invite you to have a good week and keep expanding your horizons.