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MUSIC REVIEW

State of the Airwaves

Live, Lansdowne, and Lateralus

By Dan Katz

staff writer

Since the beginning of the year, you’ve read week after week of cutesy theme introductions to frame the concert schedules and music news you’ve come to scope out. Well, it’s the end of the year, you’re tired, I’m tired, and let’s just get right into it, shall we?

It’s a slow concert week, although there’s a big show tomorrow. Every year, WFNX throws a bash on Lansdowne Street to celebrate their Best Music Poll, and they manage to assemble a nice arrangement of performers for a very decent price (20 bucks this year). This year’s bill includes headliners Run DMC and Buckcherry, rookie sensations Grand Theft Audio, Boy Hits Car, and Good Charlotte, and a full range of other acts including the Sheila Divine, Killing Heidi, and Oleander. Friday night, Rufus Wainwright brings his mellow songwriting to Avalon while Buffalo Tom play the Somerville Theater. Saturday, evan & jaron are accompanied by underappreciated pop star Angie Aparo, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club take the stage at TT The Bear’s.

Next week is much more interesting in terms of rock music. Breakout indie sensations Creeper Lagoon, now wielding a minor hit named “Wrecking Ball,” play the Middle East a week from tonight. Coldplay are at Avalon next Thursday, and Robert Plant has a solo gig at the Orpheum Theater on Friday the 25th. On Saturday the 26th, WBCN has their River Rave at Foxboro Stadium. The tickets are on the steep side ($45) but for that price you get Marilyn Manson, Fatboy Slim, Aerosmith, Live, Lifehouse, the Black Crowes, System Of A Down, Stabbing Westward, The Cult, Coldplay, Eve 6, Sevendust, Tantric, American Hi-Fi, and a slew of others. I, on the other hand, will be saving some cash and seeing an extremely promising Placebo/Idlewild concert at the Paradise Rock Club.

Lots of major album releases today, and the duel for #1 on the charts will be between four anxiously awaited discs from bands with massive cult followings: Depeche Mode’s Exciter, Tool’s Lateralus, REM’s Reveal, and the dark horse in the race, Weezer’s new untitled album. The last Depeche album hit #5 on Billboard in its first week, but the recent success of Maynard James Keenan’s side project, A Perfect Circle, shows that audiences are hungry for new Tool. Also on the shelves today is Distorted Lullabies from Ours and The World Needs A Hero by Megadeth. Canada sends over Econoline Crush’s hard rocking Brand New History (an excellent album) and Cowboy Junkies’ more mellow Open. Another theme for the week is “go,” as the Go-Gos rise from the dead to release God Bless The Go-Gos, and punk band H2O’s new effort is simply entitled Go. Finally, From Zero, currently responsible for the fast-paced single “Check Ya,” unveils One Nation Under.

This is the first post-Steer Roast column I’m writing, and I’m not completely sure, but I think The Mooney Suzuki were the best band ever. On a more serious note though, I didn’t dig their music as much as, say, the Marvelous 3. Though I’m constantly raving that the Marvies have a wildly energetic live show, the Mooney Suzuki managed to triple that energy. I’ll definitely try to catch them in a more traditional venue soon. On a somewhat related note, the Marvelous 3 have left their parent record company and are currently free agents, but the word is that their first goal upon getting resigned is to release a live album. This is a very good thing, and it’s an idea I’d like to see a few other bands (notably Stabbing Westward) latch onto in the near future.

As the year winds down, there’s a number of things I have to be thankful for. I’m thankful that I have a pair of fourteenth-row Depeche Mode tickets for their July 1 show at the Tweeter Center. I’m thankful that McDonald’s still sells tasty beef fries. But most of all, I’m thankful that my column gets read every week, and I get feedback via <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu>.

You can keep sending me that feedback throughout the summer, and I’ll be appearing in The Tech in its sporadic summer print schedule. If you won’t be around, I’ll catch you next year; I hope you spend the next few months listening to good music. Until we meet again, good luck on finals, and keep expanding your horizons.