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MUSIC REVIEW

State of the Airwaves

Meat Puppets, Murphys, and moe

By Dan Katz

Staff Writer

Let me open up this week’s column by discussing the difference between Pearl Jam and Limp Bizkit. Most music fans have heard about the tragic deaths that occurred during Pearl Jam’s set at this summer’s Roskilde Festival in Denmark. This was by no means the band’s fault, but Eddie Vedder was extremely apologetic and took the situation very seriously. Last week, a similar crowd-related death occurred when Limp Bizkit played the Big Day Out in Australia. Responsibly, lead vocalist Fred Durst responded to this sad news with an announcement on his website that included the following: “We pulled out of the Big Day Out shows because a girl died at our show because of the shitty security. We told the BDO Security to make it better and they said to piss off.”

The rest of the article was devoted to other extremely important issues, such as whether the band gets along with Korn and Slipknot. It is disgusting (yet not all surprising) that Durst thinks that the death of a fan only warrants a casual mention in a general news update (and one that focuses on blaming others). It’s a well-known fact that Durst is horribly egotistical, but it’s lovely to learn that his band is more important to him than someone’s life.

With that rant out of the way, let’s talk about concerts (in smaller, safer venues). Welsh rockers Stereophonics have a special low-key acoustic show at the Paradise Thursday night; I think it’s sold out though. The Sno-Core Tour is split in two this year, and the rock half, featuring Kittie, Fear Factory, Union Underground, Slaves On Dope, and Boy Hits Car, passes through the Palladium in Worcester on Friday. Saturday, the Meat Puppets stop by Lilli’s, and on Sunday, punk invades the Avalon in the form of Face To Face, H2O, and Snapcase. Finally, on Monday night at the Avalon, there’s a show with Everlast and unlikely openers Dexter Freebish. If somebody figures out what demographic these two bands both cater to, please clue me in.

But with the onset of the term, you probably don’t have time to devote an entire night to a concert ... so spend a few minutes to run to the music store, and grab one of today’s new releases. Simply Mortified is the second effort from BS 2000, the side project of Ad Rock from the Beastie Boys. The Dropkicks Murphys release Sing Loud, Sing Proud today, and the cult-favorite jam band moe have a disc out called dither. Tricky, one of the pioneers of trip-hop, unveils an EP with the name Mission Accomplished, and finally, Propagandhi’s new one is called Today’s Empire, Tomorrow’s Ashes.

Travis Meeks of Days of the New, who’s almost as full of himself as Mr. Durst, probably thinks he cut off dead weight when he fired his entire band. An upcoming effort under the name Tantric shows that the truth may be just the opposite. The lead-off single, “Breakdown,” integrates the distinct arpeggios that Days of the New are known for with quite a bit more personality. It’s nothing catchy enough to pull off the mass mainstream appeal of, say, “Touch, Peel, and Stand,” but it’s far better than anything on Days of the New’s second album.

Finally, the long-awaited results of the 2000 Airwaves Reader Award ... well, they’re very indecisive. The problem with not specifying nominees and only having a limited number of people cast votes is that you aren’t likely to see a lot of choice overlap.

The album category had a clear winner though: the same album I chose as the best of the year, Radiohead’s Kid A. It was the only album that appeared on three voters’ Top 3 lists (and in the number one position on all of them). As for singles, there was no definitive winner, since nobody voted for the same songs. For what it’s worth, votes went to artists as diverse as Eminem, XTC, A Perfect Circle, and Cold. This is good because it means people are paying attention to my catch phrase.

Speaking of that catch phrase, it’s coming up again in a moment. But first I must, as always, implore you to let me know what you think of this column, recent music events, local shows, radio singles, and whatever moves you to pick up a ... um ... keyboard. Send your comments and/or complaints to <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu>. Until the next time our paths cross, try to survive your return to classes, and keep expanding your horizons.