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MUSIC REVIEW

State of the Airwaves

Poe, Placebo, and Post-Pop

By Dan Katz

Staff Writer

Three-hour rehearsals every night. Impending work deadlines in all five of my classes. Personal angst and traumas at every turn. And yet, I still take time out of my week to keep you abreast of developments on the rock music landscape. Am I a class act or what? In fact, just so you don’t think I’m too professional, I’ll take this moment to unleash a shameless plug. A few of the tracks from my widely acclaimed solo album are now available at <http://www.mp3.com/dankatz/> for your downloading pleasure. In the near future, the album will be available to purchase through the site, but if you’re impatient and you want one of the few remaining first-run copies, drop me a line and I’ll hook you up. Now, on to talk of more talented musicians ....

Here’s your concert outlook for the upcoming week: it’d be more appropriate to see them on Halloween, but the day after is close enough for Type O Negative, who’ll have Korn-wannabes Simon Says in tow tomorrow night at the Avalon. Thursday night, cult favorites Buffalo Tom hit the recently reopened Paradise Rock Club, while at Bill’s Bar, there’s a show with the excellent local band Canine.

If you were intrigued by my promotion of Mercury Prize Winner Badly Drawn Boy last week, you’ll be more intrigued by the fact that he’s playing the Paradise on Friday. Poe, whose new album, Haunted, hits the shelves today, will be doing a gig at Borders Books and Music on Saturday night. And Sunday, 311 continue their rich tradition of having superior bands as openers; this time around Zebrahead outshines them at the Avalon.

Believe it or not, U2 haven’t released an album of original material since the much-maligned but quite creative Pop. That ends today, with the debut of All You Can’t Leave Behind. Another high profile release comes from Massachusetts’s own contribution to modern metal, Godsmack (Awake). As mentioned above, the new Poe disc is now available, and the first single, “Walk The Walk,” is frankly worth the price of the album. Other releases today include two (yes, two) CDs by the Insane Clown Posse, enigmatically titled Bizaar and Bizzar; an EP from the Chemical Brothers with the A-side “Music: Response,” and a new Southern Culture On The Skids record called Liquored Up And Lacquered Up.

I know this won’t be a popular opinion, but I’m not too upset about vocalist Zach De La Rocha’s departure from Rage Against The Machine. Tom Morello is an incredible and innovative guitarist, and I often wonder if the band’s music would be even better if it were supplemented by melodies instead of screaming. Perhaps I’ll get the chance to find out soon enough.

One of the great things about buying singles (in fact, the only thing that makes them worth buying) is the B-sides and remixes. Unfortunately, you rarely know what you’re going to get when the first track ends. Here’s a handful of remixes worth checking out, whether on the singles rack or the Internet. BT’s “Never Gonna Come Back Down” is currently reigning as my favorite song of all time, and Paul DiCarti’s intense interpretation might actually be an improvement. Waiting impatiently for the U.S. release of Placebo’s new album? Sate your hunger with the imported New Wave Mix of the second single, “Slave To The Wage.” Finally, delving into the archives a bit, if you like UNKLE’s album, Psyence Fiction, I recommend hunting down “The Knock On Effect,” a guitar-heavy alternate version of “Drums Of Death II” assembled by Oasis’s Noel Gallagher.

That’s all the time I can afford to take out of my brutal schedule. If you’d like to distract me with further questions, comments, or propositions, I can be reached as always at <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu>. Until next week, check out the web site, come see Children of Eden, eat meat, hug a tree, drink Pepsi, and oh, yeah ... keep expanding your horizons.