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MUSIC REVIEW

State of the Airwaves

Anger Management, At the Drive In, and Ankle Pain

By Dan Katz

staff writer

Ouch. As I write this week’s column I’m laid up in my room with a sprained ankle; fortunately I just got in a bunch of imports from Canada to ease the pain. I can understand why the Tea Party and the Tragically Hip don’t get airplay in the U.S., as their styles are pretty unique, but America’s failure to embrace the Matthew Good Band always fascinates me. They’d fit on any modern rock playlist like a glove (if their album was actually available here). Hey, I think since I’m taking time out of my busy day of physical pain to entertain you, the reader, I’m entitled to a bit of a rant. Now on with the relevant info....

Hope you’re more mobile than I am, since there are roughly three tons of concerts of interest going down this week. Let’s break it down day by day:

Wednesday, hot-DJ-of-the-moment BT teams up with the always melodic Hooverphonic for a gig at Avalon. The Middle East counters with Coldcut, and in addition they’re sponsoring two other shows in the area the same night: former Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando plays the Brattle Theater, while Jimmy Eats World headlines a long bill at the Somerville Theater that also includes the Damn Personals, veterans of last year’s Steer Roast.

Thursday night’s Moby/Hybrid show at Avalon has been sold out for weeks, but an intriguing alternative is Tony Levin, the former bassist for King Crimson. Peter Gabriel played an excellent show this June, and he returns there this week.

Friday, if you’re blessed with an FNX Card (you can get one at <http://fnxradio.com>; it won’t be in time for this show, but there are concerts for cardholders almost monthly), you’ve got a free ticket to Sunny Day Real Estate at the Middle East. If you don’t have one, but you’re of legal drinking age, they’ll let you into Lilli’s in Somerville to see one of Boston’s best local bands, Hybrasil. Underage and cardless? You’ll have to wait until Saturday, when you can catch cult indie rockers At The Drive In at Axis, Nada Surf and U.S. Crush at T.T. The Bear’s, or heavy metal’s heaviest and strangest performer, GWAR, at the Palladium in Worcester.

Sunday, the critical favorites come out, as Robyn Hitchcock and Grant Lee Phillips bust it out at the Middle East, while the always entertaining former lead vocalist for Soul Coughing brings his solo acoustic tour to Lilli’s.

Finally, are they cutting edge liberals? Are they menaces to society? Are they over/underrated? Make your own judgments about musical bad boys Limp Bizkit, Eminem, and Papa Roach at the Anger Management Tour, pulling into the Worcester Centrum Monday night.

Limp Bizkit, who headlined a free tour this summer, will probably have enough money to put on a few more of them after today’s big money release, Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water, which will easily hit #1. The other high-profile debut of the week is Everlast, who unveils Eat At Whitey’s today, featuring the religious-right-friendly single “Black Jesus.” Superdrag, whom you may recall from the songs “Sucked Out” or “Do The Vampire,” hit the shelves again with In The Valley of Dying Stars, while the large swing-music collective of Squirrel Nut Zippers have a disc out called Bedlam Ballroom. Rounding out the day’s releases are Add N To X (Add Insult To Injury), and trippy instrumental band Ozric Tentacles (The Hidden Step).

In case you don’t read The New York Times, you may have missed one of their recent front-page headlines: “Phish Breaks Up.” This is a bit of an inflation of the truth, since the band has actually taken “a hiatus of indeterminate length,” which doesn’t insinuate they won’t be together again. However, the major point is that after over five years of constant touring, the band is taking time off. As much as I love performing, after that much time on the road, I’d want a break as well. I have a feeling this break really is only temporary, and the Sons of the Grateful Dead will be sticking around for a long time to come.

I find Marilyn Manson’s new song “Disposable Teens” guilty not of being bad per se, but rather of being boring and nondescript. It has a nice beat to it (Á la “Rock Is Dead”) but the guitars are so generically Manson and the lyrics are so scattered and focusless that the first time I listened to it, I managed to forget the song was on by the time it ended. Of course, that could just be my short attention span talking. What was this paragraph about?

Send me approval. Send me complaints. Send me an icepack. Send them to <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu>. And as I send myself to find some ibuprofen, have a terrific week, and keep expanding your horizons.