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MUSIC REVIEW

State of the Airwaves

Freebies, FrÜvous, and Freak II

By Dan Katz

Staff writer

Ah, those lazy days of summer. If you’re a responsible industrious college student, I’m sure you’re using your summer hours wisely by tanning, listening to music, and of course, tanning. Since I wouldn’t want to waste precious minutes of your ultraviolet image enhancement, this month’s edition of Airwaves will be presented in quick-read, Academy-Award-style format. This exciting new experimental method has been developed over the last few months in the Media Lab and may cause brain hemorrhaging. You have been warned.

Best Upcoming Concert: BT

BT likes to bring it up, bring it up. BT, the underrated house DJ who’s worked magic on tracks with Tori Amos and M. Doughty, comes to town on my birthday (July 26, send cash) for a set at Karma. It’s free if you have an FNX card, and it’s the Airwaves Show of the Month. In fact, it’s a big month for free concerts, with Limp Bizkit at the Palladium July 14 and 15, and 3 Doors Down at the Hatch Shell on the 20th. Other big and not-so-free concerts include the Warped Tour, which hits Suffolk Downs on July 20, led by Green Day, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and recent success story Papa Roach. Finally, July 29 and 30, some of the better bands of the neo-metal universe bring Ozzfest to the Tweeter Center, including Incubus, Godsmack, Static-X, and Methods of Mayhem.

Best Recent Concert: Moxy FrÜvous

Hope you all made it out to the Moxy FrÜvous show at the House of Blues. I was in a completely different state, but I’ve heard nothing but good reviews (and a friend of mine snagged me a copy of the band’s new C Album, which includes my favorite part of their live set, “Disco Video Bargainville.”) In my neck of the woods, I did the big radio festival routine a few weeks ago and saw some sharp performances by M.Doughty, Third Eye Blind, and Guster (more on that later), some surprisingly good sets from Stir and No Doubt, and an absolutely electric Stone Temple Pilots performance. Despite being off the road for four months, those guys can still bring the house down.

Best Current Single: SR-71’s “Right Now”

My regular readers (both of you) may recall that I dig punk-pop songs if they’re catchy, short, and have clever lyrics. SR-71’s ode to noncommittal sex “Right Now” clocks in at under two and a half minutes, has a ridiculously infectious chorus, and gets major brownie points for the line, “She taught me how to cuss / that bitch, it’s over.” Three for three earns two thumbs up.

Best Single You Haven’t Heard in This Country: Placebo’s “Taste in Men”

Placebo makes their triumphant return with a dark bassy track called “Taste in Men,” and it’s beginning to rise up the charts in England. Honorable mention goes to the Tragically Hip’s “My Music @ Work,” which, like every other Hip song, is fearlessly traditional guitar rock. It’s huge in Canada and will never be heard by most Americans. The Internet was made for songs like this (that and all the boundless resources of information and stuff).

Best Song You Haven’t Heard Anywhere: Marvelous 3’s “Sugarbuzz”

Finally, tracks have surfaced from my pick for the release of the summer, the Marvelous 3’s Readysexgo. Although it hasn’t been released to radio yet, the lead-off single “Sugarbuzz” is almost hooky enough to follow up “Freak of the Week,” the only radio success on the band’s last album. Even better is “Grant Park,” an old live favorite that’s been reworked from a bluesy song with country lyrics to a hard rock song with country lyrics. Personally, if I were running things, this would be the one going out to America next month.

Worst Trend in Music: Concert-related deaths

In case you haven’t heard, nine people were crushed by a festival crowd at a Pearl Jam show in Copenhagen, and one man fell from a stadium tier at the Baltimore stop of Metallica’s tour. When I saw Guster last month, a large group of idiots who didn’t care about the music started shoving people around and crowd-surfing, even during extremely slow songs like “Either Way.” It made it almost impossible to enjoy the music, and as recent events have proven, it often has grave consequences. Obviously moshing is a personal choice and a concert-goer’s right, but realize that some people just want to see their favorite band and give them some space, okay? <end preachy rant>

Best E-mail Solicitation: <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu>

I’m not on campus, but I’m on the Net. Drop me some mail and let me know that the next time you see me at a concert you’re going to shove me as hard as you can. Or, you can be supportive (perish the thought). Either way I’ll give your correspondence the full attention it deserves (which, by the way, is subjective).

Until the next time I grace these pages, wear sunscreen and keep expanding your horizons.