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MUSIC REVIEW

State Of The Airwaves

Dandys, Deejay, and Dar

By Dan Katz

Staff Writer

This week’s edition of State of the Airwaves is brought to you by laundry. Yes, laundry. A mountain of laundry so high that I’m currently resorting to wearing pants two sizes too small, a shirt from five years ago, and no socks. And so, with cold feet and no blood circulation, I take a time out from the joys of college life to bring you up to date on the world of music as I wait for the dryer to finish.

If you need something to briefly interrupt your tooling, concerts this week are numerous. John Scofield, whose newest album, Bump, features Soul Coughing’s Mark De Gli Antoni, shows up at Regattabar tomorrow and Thursday nights. Tomorrow at TT The Bear’s, the punk contingent of Rocket From The Crypt and the Gotohells makes an appearance. Thursday, the folk genre is represented by Dar Williams at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, the rock genre by A Perfect Circle and Snake River Conspiracy at Brandeis University, and the mindless pop genre by Alice Deejay at Axis. (The name of her album: “Who needs guitars, anyway?” My answer: You, Alice, if you ever want to make music of any consequence.)

Friday, the ska sounds of The Pressure Cooker fill Lilli’s, while closer to home, Canine plays the Middle East. Sunday night is “Rappers Who Get Modern Rock Airplay Night” in Boston, as the Insane Clown Posse and Marz do the Paradise Rock Club, while Outkast have a set at the higher profile Orpheum Theater.

Lots of promising rock albums hit stores today: California’s Alien Ant Farm, whose single, “Movies,” has been a big favorite for me this year, finally release their major-label debut, ANThology, today. Wes Borland, the guy in Limp Bizkit who stands next to Fred Durst and looks like less of an idiot, has a side project called Big Dumb Face. Their debut, Duke Lion Fights The Terror, also drops today. Other releases this week include Oleander’s sophomoric effort Unwind, Rocket From The Crypt’s Group Sounds, and Aerosmith’s anxiously awaited Just Push Play.

On an unrelated note, never research your music stories primarily on Napster. Last week I discussed New Found Glory’s “Hit Or Miss” and talked about its emotional sincerity and the touching sample at the beginning. Well, since writing this, I bought their album and discovered that the version of the song I reviewed was actually from the band’s indie album. In fact, the new album (and radio) version of “Hit Or Miss” has been rerecorded without the sample and homogenized to the point where a lot of that sincerity is gone. The song’s still a catchy number though, and the album’s worth looking at for other highlights like “Sincerely Me” and “Dressed To Kill.”

I caught Grand Theft Audio at Bill’s Bar this weekend. The band has a very good live sound, utilizing extensive sampling and exquisitely melting distortion for a big powerful sound -- but I had some issues with the lead singer. First of all, he belted all his vocals in a low growling voice, often an octave below the music on their album and subsequently less intense. In addition, he spent most of the show singing from amongst the audience (with the help of a ridiculously long microphone cord.) In some ways, this was a nice touch, but I felt the fact that he spent the entire concert away from the stage took focus off his very skillful bandmates, although I thought it was great when he actually went all the way to the entrance and came back to let us know it wasn’t snowing yet. In short, a band with good energy and good sound, but a little disorganized. The same could be said for the opening band, Pennywheel, who showed competence but no songs that particularly stood out.

A final observation: The Dandy Warhols have sent “Godless,” the slow, powerful opening track from 13 Tales Of Urban Bohemia to radio. This was originally the first video, and I panned it claiming it was a bad way to advertise the band. Now that “Bohemian Like You” has gotten major airplay, the band has made more of a name for themselves, and they can show off their range and ability to play deeper, more complex music. Nice trumpet too.

I’m going to take off now before my shirts are too wrinkled. As always, if you want to get in touch with me about me, my column, music, or antivegetarianism, you can do so via <airwaves@the-tech.mit.edu>. Until next week, enjoy your lives and keep expanding your horizons.