Friday, December 30, 2005

Billy Joel and What Could Have Been

As long as I'm picking on aging Rockers (see last blog on Rod Stewart)...

Billy Joel's 1978 "The Stranger" album showed so much promise. It's pop feel and gritty, dark edges deftly maneuvered the boundaries between rock, pop and easy listening.

"Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" was a Springsteenian epic about a marital breakup, complete with a Clarence Clemmons like sax solo. "The Stranger", "Moving Out" and "Only The Good Die Young" were appealing, upbeat rockers while "She's Always A Woman" and "Just the Way You Are" demonstrated that Billy knew his way around a heartfelt ballad.

Unfortunately, Billy was never able to live up to the potential of that breakthrough album. He followed up with a series of lightweight pop songs such as "My Life", "You May Be Right", "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me" and was never taken as seriously again.

As his career continued, occasional glimpses of brilliance on songs like like "Allentown" and "Pressure" were consistently mixed with embarrassing tripe like "Uptown Girl", "The Longest Time" and "Tell Her About It". One step forward, two steps back.

Make no mistake, Billy's music has been a huge commercial success. But it always bothered me that he could have been so much more.

Witnessing a potential Rock Superstar morph into lightweight, banal commercialism is disturbing and shakes the faith we have in all our Rock Heroes.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Rod Stewart- Crooner!

As grand an oxymoron as "little shrimp" or "deafening silence", "Rod Stewart" and "crooner" have no business being in the same sentence together.

Stewart's raspy, drain cleaner gargling voice was originally made popular only by the virtue of Rock and Roll's #1 motto: "Anyone can do it."

As an art form that often embraces attitude and desire above all other qualities, Rock put Stewart on the map. The fact that it didn't SOUND like Rod should be singing made him all the more endearing. Ignoring his own limitations, he tried so hard you had to like him.

So Rock's version of Tiny Tim was allowed to rip off Sam Cooke and other soul singers, wear spandex and have hit after Top 40 hit. Often written by someone else, of course. Using material from The Isley Brothers, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, The Temptations and others, Rod's career ratio of "original to cover song" hits may be the lowest ever.

But hey, let Rod have his fun.

Until now, that is.

We've Created A Monster!

Rod has now decided to go after The Great American Songbook. He was probably as surprised as anyone when his versions of classic vocal standards actually started to sell.

In fact, while America slept he has already recorded FOUR standards albums! The wild popularity of which just goes to prove what I have always maintained- "You cannot underestimate the taste of the general public!"

The people buying scads of Stewart's "American Songbook" CDs probably have no idea idea who Chet Baker or Louis Prima are, or what real Swing music is. And probably never will.

The point is, Stewart is/was a ROCK singer. He belongs in a bar or a stadium belting out his sandpaper vocals to raucous, rowdy and laviscious guitar driven "rawk". And nowhere else. Certainly not in a tux with a freaking swing orchestra, attempting to croon. It's like watching an albatross pretend it's a swan.

What's next, Ozzie Osbourne's version of "Sentimental Journey"? Or "The Rolling Stones Sing Sinatra" album? Ouch.

I believe the young Rod Stewart would have kicked the old Rod Stewart's ass for even attempting such a thing. Of course, when it comes to music, Mr. Stewart's motto has always been, "When you run out of original things to say, repeat what others have already said."

And since the copyright on many of these old songs may have expired, there are no song writing royalties to pay.

Brilliant marketing from all angles, Rod!

But I remember when you used to relish the opportunity you were given to Rock and Roll!

- DJ Craig

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Day The Music Died

"When The Music Died"- Time Magazine
December 22, 1980

25 years ago Time Magazine borrowed this famous line from Don McClean's "American Pie". McClean originally wrote it to describe the shock he felt when Rock pioneer Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. Time now used it for a front cover eulogy to John Lennon.

The epitaph was accurately cruel in it's description of the loss felt after Rock's most articulate and revered icon was shot to death outside his New York hotel. Lennon's ability to connect to the masses while writing and singing about deeply personal and spiritual subjects was unrivaled. Following his death, tributes to Lennon in the form of candlelight vigils sprang up worldwide.

The Beatles took Rock music from it's raw and primitive, teeny bop infancy and shaped it into a cerebral and sublime art form. They evolved beyond singing about stereotypical Rock And Roll subjects such as youthful angst, love and heartbreak. Like no one before, Lennon used Pop Music to express political views, expose hypocrisy and injustice, challenge the status quo and encourage enlightenment.

Lennon and McCartney's concise and beautifully simple lyrics revealed universal, complex truths that anyone could relate to. Listening to a Beatles song made you feel like you knew Lennon. And he knew you.

Lennon became more than a Beatle, a Rock Star or a celebrity. He was a spokesperson for humanity. When he was suddenly taken from us, we lost ourselves.

But John will always be with us as the legacy of his music lives on.

U2 paid tribute to John Lennon last night (December 7) during their concert at The Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut. They performed one of his most loved songs, 'Norwegian Wood'. The group also played Lennon solo track 'Instant Karma!' in the encore, though this has been a regular in their set since they performed it with Patti Smith at New York 's Madison Square Garden on November 21.

- DJ Craig

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Music- When More Is Less

The powers that be in the recording industry have found a new way to make money while exercising minimum effort. They are releasing CD's containing various remixes of a single song and calling it an album.

R. Kelly's recent song, "Trapped In The Closet", is repeated in countless versions on no less than FOUR entire CD's! But at least it's a new song.

"Looking For A New Love" by Jody Watley is one of a long line of disposable, long forgotten, late 80's dance tracks. It came and went as most hits do. Or so we thought.

Only those who see value in beating a dead horse will appreciate this new release, featuring eleven remixes of this decrepit, nearly twenty year old, pop dance track. It's called "pop" music for a reason.

One of these "songs" is a total of 31 seconds. Another is 36 seconds. One is simply a short vocal track with echo added to it.

This regurgitation is a crass attempt to generate new profits from an old product, nothing more. Bring in some "DJs", pay them a couple of bucks to do "remixes" and release an album!

Watley herself may never see a dime from this. Unfortunately, the record companies may discover this is a great profit generating idea and it will only encourage them.

Let's hope this disturbing trend doesn't continue. Otherwise we may soon have to put up with Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achy Breaky Heart- The Remix Album" or Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" Versions 1-13 Remixed".

The original "Looking For A New Love" was fun while it lasted. Jody had her 15 minutes of fame. But time's up.

I can't blame the record companies for trying to make a buck. But shame on us if we fall for this. And shame on the recording industry for not offering something better.

- DJ Craig

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Stones Roll- OC Gets Banged!

The Rolling Stones brought their 'A Bigger Bang' world tour to Edison Field in Anaheim last night. Jagger, Richards, Wood and Watts rocked the house with the aid of a stunning stage show. While the Stones rifled through their 40 year catalogue of hits, outrageous lighting, fireworks and a huge video screen emphasized every anthem.

The multi-tiered stage featured several stories of scaffolding behind it. Inside this towering structure were innumerable stage lights, an area where fans could view the band from just feet away and on top, two huge flame throwers that erupted like dual volcanoes.

An energetic Jagger was in constant motion, at one point running end to end across the 60 yard wide stage like a teenager. Mick, who seemingly has more costume changes than Madonna, demonstrated a powerful and ageless voice throughout the show. Keith Richards seemed in good spirits, churning out tortured guitar licks and assuming lead vocals on a couple of tunes. The backing band included a four piece horn section, two keyboard players and a trio of back up singers.

The Stones played a few newer songs but the audience reserved it's highest praise for classics such as "Sympathy For The Devil", "Brown Sugar", "Paint It Black" and "Satisfaction". Between Stones originals, Mick dedicated the soulful, "Night Time Is the Right Time", to the man who made it great, the late Ray Charles.

During the middle of the show a large section of the stage, drum kit and all, rolled across the entire field as The Stones continued jamming atop it. For a few songs some of the worst seats in the stadium became the best, a treat for those who purchased seemingly geographically undesirable tickets.

The concert finale included the four original Stones taking a bow followed by the kind of celebratory fireworks show usually reserved for Independence Day. Not bad for a band whose demise was prematurely announced by many, more than two decades ago.

The Stones could easily rest on their laurels and still sell out every venue they care to play in. But their performance and elaborate production is proof that they still care about giving fans their money's worth.

- DJ Craig

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Your 15 Minutes Are Up!

Clever cultural promoters have always been able to seize the moment to make a buck. They spot a fad and jump on it before it fades like a vapor trail. Then they exploit it, make as much cash as they can and look for the next one. Hoola Hoops, Pet Rocks, Cabage Patch Kids came and went so quickly they can each be identified with a specific time period.

Pop Idols can be created much the same way. In the 50's it was Pat Boone, The 60's had The Monkees, The 70's- The Osmonds, Partridge Family & Leif Garrett. In the 80's it was New Kids On The Block, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears were 90's versions of this same formula. These were more calculated marketing devices than artistic, creative collaborations.

It seems as technology advances, the speed and number of media offerings increases and further accelerates this cycle of pseudo-celebrity creation. Andy Warhol was right about fame becoming commonplace. And in this ever quickening spiral, Ashlee Simpson now gets her 15 minutes.

Let's face it, without the clout of having a superstar sister, Ashlee Simpson wouldn't make it through the first round of American Idol, let alone land a recording deal and her own TV show. Don't get me wrong, I aint here to hate, just tell it like it is.

There are thousands of better singers out there who may never get the big break. But as America grows ever more fascinated by celebrity without substance, it's more about who you are related to or what scandal you've perpetrated. Tonya Harding was able to turn felony assault into a career of lucrative interviews, book sales and personal appearances. But at least there was a compelling story there.

I have to admit to being fascinated by something I don't understand- why anyone outside of her family would care what Ashlee Simpson does. But admittedly there are quite a few who do. It's those people and why they are interested that is the real attraction here. And how much Ashlee may actually buy into the hype that she is any more talented than your average karaoke performer.

In the end, Ashlee's pop career will be but a small blip on the radar screen of music history. However, the mindset of those who choose to make marginally talented people into cultural idols will forever be a source of amazement.

Fast buck promoters can only offer the product/performer. Someone has to actually buy it to make it a success. And right now, they're buying Ashlee Simpson. The increasing propulsion of the minimally talented into the cultural spotlight is a true phenomenon of our times.

- DJ Craig

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

All The Rage

New Music You Need...

Some Great Covers-

(Don't Fear) The Reaper- Caesars
Axel F- Crazy Frog
You Keep Me Hanging On- Madness
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?- Chris Botti featuring Sting
What Difference Does It Make?- Sense Field
Tainted Love- doubleverything
Rebel Yell- Mr. Badwrench
The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes- Two Tons of Steel
Smells Like Teen Spirit- Paul Anka
(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden- Martina McBride


City of Blinding Lights- U2
All Because of You- U2
Hysteria- Muse
I'll Go Down Swinging- The Knitters
Soul Meets Body- Death Cab For Cutie
Be My World- Milky
Everything Is Alright- Motion City Soundtrack
Bend & Break- Keane
Song Seven- Interpol
Falling Apart- The Lovemakers
Of a Life- Echo And The Bunnymen

Up And Coming Artist Sarah Bettens-

Not Insane
One Second

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hearing Is Believing

Many "How To Hire A Disc Jockey" articles overlook one of the most important criteria for choosing entertainment. Your ears.

Forget checking for a business license (anyone can get one), or endorsement by some far removed, "official" DJ association. Send them their required fee and they will endorse you too.

Whether your entertainer is "certified" on paper or not, how his or her system sounds is critical. Most DJs are not experts in the technical realm of sound specifications. They may not even know what signal to noise ratio, total harmonic distortion or frequency response is. The truth is, DJs often put together a sound system that is limited by how much they can afford to spend. The resulting sound may turn out to be shrill (too many highs), unclear or "muddy" and even distorted.

This is where your ears and eyes come in. Ask for a live audition so you can gage for yourself how the DJ's equipment sounds and looks. We always offer a live listening experience to potential clients. This is the only way for them to know if they will like it. If your DJ is not willing to "audition" for you, it may be because he is embarrassed by the look or audio quality of his rig. This is a red flag.

Have your prospective DJ play a song you know. Think of one that that incorporates bass, drums, keyboards and vocals so you get a full range of sounds. Dance songs are usually good. Ask the DJ to turn it up for a moment. Now close your eyes and listen.

You don't have to be an acoustic expert to know if you like it. Is it full and warm or hollow and "tinny". Does it sound like an AM radio or more like what you might hear in a movie theatre? Is the base "punchy" but not overwhelming, allowing room for the mids and highs? Are the highs too brassy, making dogs howl and babys cry? Are the mid-range (vocals) present enough? Is the overall sound flat or is there "depth"?

Remember, this is what you and your guests will be hearing all night long.

While the sound can be enhanced by the use of equalizers and sonic enhancers, the right speakers are key. Whether it's JBL, Yamaha, Mackie or others, speakers have their own sound characteristics. And off-brand, budget speakers are often lacking in sound quality.

Ask the DJ why he chose the speakers he has. Often great sounding, name brand speakers are not much more expensive than low-end, budget cabinets. If the DJ is scrimping here to save a couple of bucks, what else is is he cutting corners on?

I personally dislike "hissing" brass or cymbal sounds (highs) or too much bottom end (bass). For me, the midrange is where the melody is and I like to hear it. Warm and full vocals, keyboards and guitar with the highs and lows serving as complimentary bookends. For example, I'd rather hear emphasis on Sinatra's voice over his bass player.

Now go find the sound YOU like. You're already an expert as you've been listening all your life. Do a little earwork and you will feel confident as your event approaches, knowing your guests will experience complete sonic satisfaction!

-DJ Craig

Saturday, August 27, 2005

U2- How To Stay Vital

Quick, name a rock band that has remained intact over the span of a quarter of a century.

From that short list, name one who's EVERY new musical release during their entire career was as creative and ear-catching as their last. Try to think of one that consistently generated the kind of excitement usually reserved for new, breakthrough bands...

Take your time...

OK, we'll come back to this...

Why is it some artists are one hit wonders, grasping our imagination then quickly fading from sight into the vast pop culture horizon? Others have a just a couple of stellar years before they split up or become quickly irrelevant, their fans left to wonder where the magic went. 90 to 95 percent of all pop/rock music acts fall into these categories. A very few others can keep the initial excitement going for as long as a decade. These we call icons.

Then there's U2. Jurassic by today's measure, they seemingly keep getting better. Their last album, "Hot To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb", is one of their best and their popularity has never been higher. Bono's song writing and singing are still fresh. And The Edge's ringing, melodic guitar is as appealing as ever.

After 25 years, this is not supposed to happen. By comparison, after 20 years even The Rolling Stones ran out of new things to say. The Eagles are purely a nostalgia act (have been for years)and bands like Chicago and The Beach Boys have become such carcasses of their former selves they should be put in a museum somewhere. What about Springsteen, you say? Hate to disparage "The Boss" but did YOU buy his last album... or the one before that?

Even most of U2's eighties contemporaries have fallen by the wayside. Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers like The Police, The Clash and The Talking Heads couldn't make it much past '85. There was even a time when ridiculously popular, New Wave lightweights The Thompson Twins might have considered U2 as an opening act. Now the mention of them in the same breath seems ridiculous.

Because U2 still seems so contemporary, putting in perspective how long they've been around it isn't easy. Many things have come and gone during the length of their tenure including: "Cheers", The Delorean, cassette singles, "Hill Street Blues", Guns N Roses, VCRs, "LA Law", Ross Perot's political carrer, The Sony Walkman, "Seinfeld" and the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush II part 1 administrations.

When U2 started The Berlin Wall was still in place, Jerry Brown was Governor of California and The Ford Thunderbird had yet to been discontinued for the first time. The T-Bird has since been revamped and recently put out to pasture for a second time.

No one had ever heard of SUVs, mp3 players, second hand smoke, "The Simpsons", Nike, Oprah, cell phones, rap music, Tom Hanks, AIDS, the internet, MTV, Tom Cruise, Ebay, Compact Discs, aerobics, Michael Jordan, Starbucks or Madonna. Microsoft was years away from releasing the first Windows operating system (Windows 1.01). Michael Jackson was just another struggling, young, pop singer and Walter Cronkite was still anchoring The CBS Evening News!

How has U2 kept in touch with it's muse after all this time? Why do even their new releases continue to generate a buzz and widespread airplay? How do they attract millions of new fans when most bands of their same age are releasing music no one cares about or rehashing ancient hits on reunion tours or oldies circuits?

It has something to do with passion and love of their craft. And talent. But lots of bands have this.

Perhaps it is the purity of their core that comes through in the music. Part of U2's mantra has always been personal integrity. Somehow THEY haven't been corrupted by the system, money, drugs, sloth, ego or fame. As their integrity remains intact so does their vitality. This cannot be faked or phoned in. You either have it or you don't and your audience can tell like a shark can smell blood.

And then there's the fact that they still just sound so good.

To answer the question initially posed, there have been a few other bands that stayed together for 25 years or more. Not many did it without substantial breaks, temporary break-ups, major line up changes or long lapses in releasing new material. And not many could claim ALL their releases were consistently, creatively dynamic, exciting and commercially popular.

Certainly none have done it better than the boys from Dublin. Any doubts about this can be laid to rest by listening to "A Man And A Woman", "Yahweh" or "Vertigo" from their latest CD (The music video for "Vertigo" was recently nominated as an MTV "Breakthrough Video Of The Year"). Compare these to their earlier songs and you will hear a band that remains at it's creative peak.

-DJ Craig

Sunday, August 14, 2005

David Bowie, Alice Cooper and the Rise Of Science Fiction Rock

The 60's were over. A tumultuous decade who's music reflected the times. A mix of Folk inspired protest rock, Motown and psychedelic acid metal had scorched a path though the American psyche. Along with nightly reports of racial violence, civil disobedience, riots and political corruption. And many great 60's artists didn't make it past the early 70's. The Beatles, Hendryx, The Doors, Janis Joplin and many others were either already finished or about to be.

For those who survived, the aftermath of the big cultural party of the 60's was the inevitable hangover. 1972 was bloated, lethargic and stuck in a musical holding pattern. The radio cranked out soothing, easily digestible schmaltz by the likes of The Carpenters, Bread and The Partridge Family as if trying to heal from consuming too much the night before. But while waiting for the pain and the headache to go away, something happened.

Pop music was invaded by visitors from other planets. The "reality" of the previous decade's music was being replaced by fantasy. Enough about protests, Viet Nam, political assassinations and unrest. Now it was time for some fun. Otherworldly themes of spacemen, killer queens, lazer beams and fleshly delights began getting airplay.

Formerly little known acts David Bowie, Alice Cooper and Elton John dawned mascara and eyeliner to usher in an era of dress up, androgyny and camp. Dubbed "Glitter" or "Glam", this was the first time science fiction inspired a popular musical movement. Queen, The New York Dolls, KISS and Roxy Music were willing accomplices.

Part of the irreverent fun was the blurring of established conventions. Was that platform shoe, dress wearing, freakish singer a man or a woman? Have aliens really landed? Are they taking over?

"You got your mother in a whirl
She's not sure if you're a boy or a girl..."

-Rebel Rebel by David Bowie (1974)

So inspiring was this movement that for a period even The Stones, Todd Rundgren and Bob Dylan began wearing heavy makeup on stage. If Woodstock represented the youth rock movement of the 60's, The Rocky Horror Picture Show represented the Glitter movement of the 70's. For a malaise filled time desperately in need of escape from the real world, this was the perfect solution.

Though it didn't last long, the 70's Glitter era directly inspired the New Wave 80's. Duran Duran, Human League, The Cure and Siouxsie and The Banshees all learned their makeup AND music tips from those daring young lads from the 70's. And the tradition continues.

-DJ Craig

Monday, August 01, 2005

MJ, Stones, MTV, Payola

Stones Get Banged!

The Rolling Stones will release "A Bigger Bang", their first studio album in eight years, on September 5.

MJ Gets Danged!

Michael Jackson's latest greatest hits album, "The Essential Michael Jackson", has sold just 8,000 copies in the US in its first week of release, reaching number 128 in the chart. That's only 428,000 behind the first place album, "Now 19".

Perhaps Mike should try releasing some new material instead of repeatedly repackaging greatest hits collections.

MTV Awards Arranged!

Nominees for The 2005 MTV Video Music Awards are: Green Day leading the pack with eight nominations, closely followed by Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliot with six nominations each. New artist nominees include The Mars Volta and The Killers.

Competitors for Video of the Year are Coldplay – ‘Speed of Sound', Green Day - ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams', Gwen Stefani – ‘Hollaback Girl', Kanye West – ‘Jesus Walks' and Snoop Dogg feat. Pharell – ‘Drop It Like It's Hot'.

Airing from Miami on August 28, the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards will be hosted by P. Diddy.

Sony Hanged!

Sony BMG Music agreed to pay a $10 million settlement in an industry-wide payola investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Apparently Sony has not been content to rely simply on their artists' talent to garner airplay.

The corporation will cease paying for play. Also, according to Spitzer, Sony will hire a compliance officer to keep tabs on its behavior. No word on whether Spitzer had any ideas on improving the quality of Sony's releases.

- DJ Craig

Sunday, July 17, 2005

X, The Plimsouls and The Pacific Amphiteater's "Wall Of Mud"

The Plimsouls and X take the stage in Costa Mesa

You may remember The Plimsouls as the band in the 80's, coming of age flick, "Valley Girl". "A Million Miles Away" is the song they are best known for. Here's something you may not have known: The Plimsouls were the first band ever to play at the Pacific Amphitheater back in 1983.

Judging from last Friday's concert, the sound system at The Pac Amp hasn't changed much. It reduced what should have been the shimmering pop/ rock of the Plimsouls to a muddy cacophony. Think of listening to a bell with earmuffs on. So much for a triumphant return for our New Wave Heroes.

History has shown that this is not an isolated incident. Other Pac Amp concerts, including last years' Roxy Music show, suffered the same fate. Apparently the sound system is inherently unclear and distorted and no matter what the act.

With Friday's headling band, punk icons X, it didn't seem to matter quite as much. Their lyrics are often difficult to decipher even under the best of conditions. And the fanatical crowd didn't seem to mind. Still it would be nice to have SOME aural clarity.

It's nice that The OC Fair can pull in some big name acts. But until something is done to improve the sound quality at The Pac Amp, make the drive to somewhere else to see your favorite bands.

-DJ Craig

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Live 8

Bob Geldof's consciousness raising, one day mega-concert produced some memorable performances. There was much to choose from as Saturday's Live 8 was broadcast live from hosting venues in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Philadelphia, Barrie, Tokyo, Moscow and Johannesburg.

Twenty years after taking the stage for the original Live Aid, Madonna provided one of the musical highlights with an electric performance of "Like a Prayer."

The show in London's Hyde Park opened with a historic collaboration between U2 and Sir Paul McCartney, who kicked off the show by teaming up for a live performance of "Sgt. Pepper's."

A seemingly impossible reunion took place when Pink Floyd founder/lyricist Roger Waters joined his bandmates onstage for the first time in more than 20 years. The group never sounded better as their renditions of "Breathe", "Money, "Wish You Were Here" were spot on. They encored with their classic "Comfortably Numb," from The Wall.

Geldof's promised "greatest concert ever" may have lived up to it's hype. Millions watched the globe-spanning concerts in person and an estimated billion or more tuned in to the broadcast for what will likely be the most-watched music event in history.

For more check and

-DJ Craig

Saturday, June 25, 2005

U2, Madonna and Dick Cavett Rock!

Classic performances by The ROLLING STONES, STEVIE WONDER, DAVID BOWIE, PAUL SIMON, JANIS JOPLIN and GEORGE HARRISON will be featured on the archival DVD, "The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons", due August 16th . . .

MADONNA will release her tenth studio album in late November, with plans to hit the road next summer. For a female pop artist, The Material Girl's longevity at the top remains unmatched. And she may be still around when people are asking, Britney who?

Thousands of U2 fans from around the world gathered to witness the Irish band perform a homecoming concert at Croke Park in Dublin. Friday's performance was the first of three sell-out gigs at the venue, expected to be witnessed by a total of 250,000 fans.

-DJ Craig

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Who's Yo Daddy?

Who's Your Daddy?

The Father of Rock and Roll celebrated his 90th birthday last week. No, I'm not talking about Elvis, Jerry Lee, Little Richard or Chuck Berry. Les Paul is the inventor of the electric guitar. The very instrument that makes it possible for mere mortals to attain the title of Rock God!

Oh and the multi-track recorder that made sound-on-sound, overdubbing, reverb and other now indispensable studio effects possible. Les is a member of both the Rock and Roll AND National Inventors Hall of Fame. Without him, Elvis may have been known as the King of ukulele.

Christina Agri-vation

Christina Aguilera's music is finding a new audience and a new appreciation. The pop diva's dirges are apparently being used to break down an alleged Al Queda suspect in Guantanamo Bay. According to reports, interrogators have been using the records as part of a campaign aimed at bringing a confession out of a man suspected of involvement in the September the 11th attacks.

Geneva Conventions not withstanding, we're with Greenpeace on this one. It's clearly inhumane, cruel treatment. Thank God those of us living in freedom have the power to hit the OFF button!

Best Movie

Congrats to the Producers of "Napoleon Dynamite", winners at MTV's recent 14th annual Movie Awards show.

Happy Listening,

DJ Craig

Sunday, May 29, 2005

2 Questions

Recently a Bride asked about an appropriate song for a Mother/Son-Father/Daughter dance. This Bride did not want an overly emotional song, just something to honor the parents.

Here is my answer:

What you need is a devotional song that's not too personal or sappy.

Songs like THESE fit the bill here. They are lighthearted, upbeat and refrain from grandiose emotion:

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)- James Taylor

You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You- Dean Martin

What A Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong

The Long and Winding Road- The Beatles

Have I Told You Lately- Rod Stewart or Van Morrison

Beautiful in My Eyes- Joshua Kadison

There are many others. You can type the title of any song into Google, along with the word "lyrics", if you want to check the words. Google results will list several websites that offer the lyrics free of charge.

Another Bride inquired about the "Money Dance". She was concerned about it being tacky but still wanted the opportunity to dance with her guests.

My suggestion:

Call it a "Honeymoon Dance" and let your guests know this is their chance to wish you luck on your new life, while they share a dance with you. The idea is to "romanticize" it.

Make sure to mention where the Honeymoon is and not mention "dollars" or "money". They will get the drift. Some (most) will give you cash anyway. ALL will enjoy dancing with you one on one.

Play songs that tie in with where your Honeymoon is if possible. Hawaiian, Caribbean, etc.

Happy Listening,

DJ Craig

Monday, May 16, 2005

DJ Craig- Music News

    AARP Concert Circuit?

The Rolling Stones announce another world tour starting in Boston on August 21, 2005. Yes, these are the same Stones that graced "Spin" magazines' cover back in 1983. The breakup predicting headline then read, "The Stones Run Out Of Reasons For Staying Together".

Here we are 22 years later.

Is Spin magazine still around?

    Lopez Rejects DA's Plea

Jenny from the Block recently retained D.A. Pennebaker to lens a documentary about the creation of her Rebirth album.

Lopez was apparently unaware that the film would actually reveal how it was made. Lopez objected to the way her singing was showcased and didn't appreciate being depicted as a diva. She threw a tantrum that ensured the epic would never be unspooled in its entirety. If only she would've had the same instincts about Monster-In-Law . . .

    Crue Seeks Clue

Motley Crue are teaming up with "America's Most Wanted" to try to find a missing fan, who hasn't been seen since she left her home to attend the band's March 6 concert in Washington, D.C. The band is offering a $10,000 reward to try to find the missing Baltimore woman.

- DJ Craig

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Outstanding New Songs...

And The Albums They Come From:

Going Through the Motions- Aimee Mann

The Forgotten Arm

The Statue, Here Comes a City- The Go-Betweens

Oceans Apart

Behind- Monofader


The Hand That Feeds- Nine Inch Nails

With Teeth

Goodbye Horses- Psyche


Ode to L.A., My Boyfriend's Back- The Raveonettes

Pretty In Black

I Want You to Want Me (Live)- Cheap Trick


Crash Into Me- Debbie Comer

An Acoustic Tribute to Dave Matthews

Happy Listening,

DJ Craig

Friday, April 29, 2005

Why A Garter Toss?

Recently a client asked about the origins of the garter toss.

I did some research and found some interesting myths. There are many legends surrounding the birth and meaning of this ancient wedding formality.

One story has it that in the 14th century, it was customary for the Bride to toss her garter to the men. But sometimes the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to take the garter off her ahead of time. Eventually the Groom got into the act and saved his bride from the unruly mob by removing and throwing the garter himself.

Nowadays, all Single Men are invited to gather around while our Groom removes the garter from the Bride's leg. The Groom then tosses the garter to the motley crew, er... Single Gentlemen. If all goes well, one lucky guy catches the garter and no fist fights ensue.

I do have my own explanation of the true relevence of this ancient ritual;

This is the final test to see if our Groom has what it takes to be a good husband. Part of this test is his ability to use his manly powers of seduction to mesmerize his mate long enough to remove an intimate piece of clothing. If all goes well this could be considered the unofficial start of the Honeymoon!

This is also an opportunity for the Single Men to display their cunning, strength and physical agility in attempting to catch the garter. Single ladies should take notice. The catcher of the Garter is clearly mentally and physically superior to his competitors and is a most desirable mate. He can claim bragging rights over all other single men here and tradition has it that he will be the next to get married.

-DJ Craig

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hot Stuff!

New Releases...

- Albums-

Chet Baker- Jazz Moods - Cool (live)

Chet removes his trademark melancholy for a version of "Tangerine" that really cooks. "My Funny Valentine" is Baker at his best. His expression of sadness and wanting is as addicting as any drug.

Berlin's new album, Voyeur, is a disappointment save for the standout dance track, "Drug".

Coolio's latest, My Soul features the funky, "Ooh la la".

The Retrowave Era continues with The Slats album, Pick It Up featuring "Automobile", "Another Physical Reaction" and "The Fabric of My Brass Knuxxx".


Coldplay- "Speed of Sound". OK but not great.

On "Raewyn", Russell Crowe proves that great acting and bad singing CAN coexist.

Morrissey's new single is a live remake. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" is a cover of a classic Smith's track. His voice mellowed and matured, Morrissey still captures the pathos that captivates.

-DJ Craig

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Day The Music Died: Did The Beatles ruin Rock and Roll?

They took music to places it had never gone before. But it has long been contended by some that in doing so, The Fab Four changed Rock music into something it was never meant to be.

In the late 1960s, The Beatles driving obsession was to come up with a concept record that would rival Beach Boy Brian Wilson's masterpiece album, "Pet Sounds". John Lennon and company desperately wanted to trump what many considered to be the best rock album ever.

Fueled by this desire, "herbal jazz cigarettes" and whatever other mind altering substances they may have been experimenting with at the time, The four lads took to the studio in 1967. Their recent retirement from live performing meant they could devote all their free time to recording. With legendary producer George Martin at the helm, The lads finally emerged from the studio with the ambitious, divinely inspired, "Seargent Pepper" album.

There were sounds on this record that had never been attempted before and probably cannot be duplicated. A cornucopia of diverse instruments, overdubs, backwards loops, reverb, various filters and treatments, something that sounds like a Star Wars "Wookie" and even alarm clocks and roosters. Of course, the core of the album was the amazing songs written by the team of Lennon and Mc Cartney. Old hats at this songwriting business by now, both were at their creative peaks.

The finale of this opus was "A Day In The Life". This song's ending crescendo features a full orchestra hurtling wildly out of control, ending in a single massive E major piano chord being held for a full 42 seconds. In an era when most pop songs clocked in at 3 minutes or less, The Beatles had the audio-dacity to use much of this precious time for one single note. Of course, the album quickly rose to #1. A sonic marvel when it was first released, Sgt. Pepper is still revered as the standard by which other rock records are measured.

But was this truly "Rock" music? The point has been made that if one cannot reproduce these songs live on stage and without aid of studio trickery, it's really just audio masturbation. The Beatles had increasingly introduced so many diverse elements into their music, it had evolved far beyond the blues driven, rebellious, primordial stomp of predecessors Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.

While The Beatles inspired many of the greats who followed, they also made it possible for studio overproduced schmaltz to gain a foothold in Rock. This criticism was not lost on The Fab Four who, in their subsequent albums, strived for a more organic, rootsy sound. The White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be seemingly deconstructed the complicated sound they had achieved with Sgt. Pepper. Let It Be culminated in their final, live, rooftop performance in 1969.

Arguments over Sgt. Pepper will rage on but The Beatles' other grand accomplishments stand on their own. Perhaps most important among them was their unmatched ability to write catchy, simple yet profound, universally relatable lyrics. And knowing when to quit, leaving their legacy untarnished.

Keep it simple. Do your best. Get out before you burn out.

Here the Boys from Liverpool remain undisputed champions.

-DJ Craig

Friday, April 15, 2005

Irony In Radioland: Killers Caught at KROQ!

Tonight's Menu: Crow with New Wave sauce.

The Killers' guest appearance on Loveline last night got me thinking...

Several years ago KROQ FM 106.7 in Los Angeles made the shortsighted decision to jettison most of their playlist. They replaced Elvis Costello with Korn and dropped Duran Duran in favor of Limp Bizkit. KROQ stopped playing most of the early 80's bands that originally made the station "World Famous".

The only nod "The Rock" now begrudgingly gives to it's progenitors is 1 hour per day and a few hours during the weekend. Even then, these Flashback Shows play only the tamest of the 80's.

KROQ's tight focus on "flavor of the moment", testosterone fueled, thrash groups and Blink 182 sound alike bands, leaves little room for acknowledging the great artists of station's past. Everyone's got to clean house at some point but do you throw out those treasured pics of Mom and Dad along with your old can of hair mousse?

KROQ did. And by doing so it also disposed with it's sense of humor, musical adventurousness and much of it's soul.

95.5 KLOS FM once tried a similar approach, "updating" their format. It was a disaster. They soon repented and changed their playlist back to feature more of the the legendary artists that put them and much of contemporary Rock Music, on the map.

KROQ's programming decision may now finally be biting them in the ass as well. Witness the prolific rise of new groups that are heavily influenced by 80's New Wave. Modest Mouse, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and and others' meteoric popularity cannot be ignored. Not even by KROQ.

So now KROQ has no choice but to play virtually the very same music they turned their back on not so long ago.

Hey KROQ, would you like some salt with your crow or are you gonna eat it plain?

The true spirit of musical adventure now resides at Indie 103.1 FM. They are not afraid to play the best of the late 70's, early 80's (you know, the stuff KROQ used to play) and the latest cutting edge alternative rock.

Yes, I'm a Pimp for Indie. But only because they have made radio fun to listen to again.

- DJ Craig

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Have You Heard The Latest?

This week's new releases of interest:

New Singles

George Strait- You'll Be There

Toni Braxton- Please

Backstreet Boys- Incomplete

New Albums

Aimee Mann- iTunes Originals features "One", "Voices Carry (iTunes Originals Version)" and "That's Just What You Are (iTunes Originals Version)".

Brandy- The Best of Brandy

The 26 year old Diva's greatest hits.

Faith Evans- The First Lady

Just good funk!

Fischerspooner- Odyssey

May make you nostalgic for Kraftwerk.

Hot Hot Heat- Elevator

The Retrowavers latest.

Lisa Marie Presley- Now What

Finally an album release from a Presley who hasn't been deceased for 30 years!

Music from The O.C.: Mix 4 (Soundtrack from the TV Show) features:

"Decent Days and Nights"- The Futureheads,
"Goodnight and Go"- Imogen Heap
"The View"- Modest Mouse and
"Champagne Supernova" (Oasis cover)- Matt Pond PA

Reel Big Fish- We're Not Happy 'til You're Not Happy

Listen to "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful"

Supersuckers- Devil's Food

Check out the Suckers' hilarious countryfied thrash version of Outkast's "Hey Ya!"

Smashing Pumpkins Rarities and B-Sides

features the Blondie cover, "Dreaming"

Verve Remixed 3 (iTunes Version)

Disappointing third release in this series has only one standout track, "Speak Low (Bent Remix)"- Bent & Billie Holiday

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Boss, Idol, Morrisey Back In Action!

New Singles

Bruce Springsteen- Devils & Dust

Hot Hot Heat- Island of the Honest Man

Nine Inch Nails- The Line Begins to Blur

Queens Of The Stone Age- Little Sister

The Wallflowers- Beautiful Side of Somewhere

Weezer- Beverly Hills

New Albums

New Order- Waiting for the Sirens' Call

Billy Idol- Sessions@AOL - EP

Beck- Guero

The Bravery- The Bravery

Concrete Blonde- The Essential Concrete Blonde

Johnny Cougar- A Biography (Remastered)

Morrissey- Live from Earls Court

The Motels- Essential Collection

Happy Listening!

- DJ Craig

Thursday, March 24, 2005

New Stuff!

A quick check of new releases this week may have you checking your calendar.

New music from Nine Inch Nails, Billy Idol, Cher, Dishwalla and Stevie Wonder takes top billing.

And then there's new stuff that just sounds like it's in a time warp. The Retrowave bandwagon rolls on with New Wavish albums from Epoxies, Louis XIV, Jeffie Genetic and His Clones and The Ends.

Wait... isn't this 2005?

New Singles

Stevie Wonder- "So What the Fuss"

Funky and cool. Stevie never sounded better.

Nine Inch Nails- "The Hand That Feeds"

Dark and abrasive yet quite listenable. Just what you'd expect from Rock's patron saint of inner angst.

New Albums

Cher- Living Proof

featuring "Song for the Lonely". More happy House music from the ageless Diva.

Dishwalla- Dishwalla

The lead track, "40 Stories" picks up right where Dishwalla last left off. Catchy guitars, whirling keyboards and trippy lyrics.

Ben Folds Five- Whatever and Ever Amen (Remastered Edition)

Check out the outstanding cover of the Buggle's New Wave classic, "Video Killed the Radio Star".

Louis XIV- The Best Little Secrets Are Kept

boasting the Indie 103 favorite, "Finding Out True Love Is Blind".

Jeffie Genetic and His Clones- Need a Wave

features "Records Go Round".

The Ends- Concrete Disappointment

includes "Pucker Up".

Epoxies- Epoxies

The Epoxies channel The Go-Go's and sound great doing it. Listen to "Please Please" and "Need More Time".

Moby- Hotel

Unlikely that this album will be as popular as Moby's prior releases. "Beautiful" is the strongest track and quite catchy. From there things sink into faceless, "electro-lounge" oblivion.

Billy Idol- Devil's Playground

Billy's first release of new music in a decade or so is perhaps the biggest music surprise of this year so far. It's a welcome return to his Rock roots as he reunites with guitarist, Stevie Stevens.

The surprise is that this team still sounds so good. And that Idol's musical range and variety now reaches far beyond that of his former Punk incarnation.

"Super Overdrive" and "World Comin' Down" are a hard edged nod to Idol's original band, Generation X.

The Countryfied Rock of "Lady Do or Die" wouldn't sound out of place on a Johnny Cash album. And the uppity guitar jangle of "Cherie" might have you reminiscing about your old Neil Diamond albums.

"Rat Race", "Sherri", "Romeo's Waiting" and "Body Snatcher" are trademark, hard rockin' Idol anthems.

Idol's voice has matured slightly, sounding strong and deliberate. Steven's incendiary guitar playing is the perfect accomplice.

Billy's best album since Rebel Yell.

Rock On,

- DJ Craig

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Class Of '85

Rock groups U2 and The Pretenders took their rightful place at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony last week. These bands were honored for their unique musical styles and amazing longevity. Both started in the 80's and are still going strong touring and producing new music.

A twenty year plus career in popular music is a accomplishment very few achieve. By comparison, The Beatles only lasted seven years. Led Zeppelin- about ten.

For many, the 80's brings painful flashbacks of leg warmers, tons of eyeliner and lipstick and too much hairspray. And those were just the men!

But seriously, the 80's doesn't get the credit it deserves. The 80's is easy to ridicule because the memories of standing in front of the mirror until we got our mullets looking perfect will not go away. Sure, it was the decade that gave us Big Hair, Members Only jackets and some very pretentious, New Wave music.

But it was also an age of musical experimentation and excitement fueled by the Punk explosion of the late 70's. The Pogo, moshing, New Wave, Mod, Ska, New Romantic, Goth and Rockabilly all virtually came to life simultaneously as if someone had flipped a switch. The rapid rise of new bands and new sounds was pandemic. In the 80's you were either in a band or you knew someone that was.

When you think about it, the early 80's was actually the last great era of Rock And Roll. The B52's, REM, The Go Go's, Duran Duran, Erasure, Elvis Costello, Billy Idol, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Blondie, New Order, The Psychedelic Furs, The Pretenders, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soft Cell, Sting, Tears For Fears, U2 and Social Distortion are just a few 80's artists that made their initial impact back then. All of them, along with many other original New Wave groups, are still together and currently performing.

In contrast, it's difficult to think of five great 90's Rock bands that are still around.

- DJ Craig

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Latest Music

Here's the latest and greatest:


Spaced Out - The Best of Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner

Meltdown- Ash

Human After All- Daft Punk

Long-View- Mercury


What's Going On- Los Lobos Los Lobos: Live At the Fillmore

Cry Baby / Piece of My Heart- Melissa Etheridge & Joss Stone

Freddie's Dead (Blaze Roots DJ Mix) Curtis Mayfield Mayfield: Remixed

Move On Up (Eric Kupper Vocal Mix) Curtis Mayfield Mayfield: Remixed

One Word- Kelly Osbourne

Black and White Town- Doves

Krafty- New Order

Why Do You Love Me- Garbage

Going Through the Motions- Aimee Mann

-DJ Craig

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Guilty Pleasures

Everybody's got em'. Some try to hide them. Others revel in them without shame.

I'm talking about "Guilty Pleasures". Music you shouldn't like but you do!

It's much like riding a moped. Lots of fun but you don't want anyone to see you doing it.

You have been a victim if you:

1. Find yourself humming along to Barry Manilow

2. Request "Jessie's Girl" from the harpist at weddings

3. Refuse to get rid of your cherished Milli Vanilli CDs

4. Cry while listening to The Carpenters

5. Still have a New Kids On The Block CD in your player.

6. Preordered the multi CD Box Set from Poison

7. Keep a copy of Wham's Greatest Hits hidden in the closet

8. Yell out, "It's Hammer Time!" as part of foreplay

9. Dance shamelessly to "Ice Ice Baby" at family reunions

10. Keep a David Hasselhoff picture stashed under your pillow

So what if you can recite all the words to "The Macarena". That doesn't mean you have a critical character flaw.

But like what you did at Band Camp that one Summer, some things are better kept a secret!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Notable New Releases

Moody Blues "Gold Remastered"

Mississippi Queen - Single Ozzy Osbourne

It Hasn't Happened Yet (Live) - Single William Shatner

The Delivery Man - Elvis Costello

In Between Dreams - Jack Johnson

Roots & Wings - EP Jars of Clay

Angel of Retribution - Judas Priest

Frances the Mute - The Mars Volta

- DJ Craig

Monday, February 28, 2005

The Backstreet Boys Are Back!

Just when you began to get nostalgic for cheesy 90's boy bands, The Backstreet Boys return. The Boys new single is to be released in March, followed by an album due in June.

Their last album, 2000's "Black And Blue", sold 5.4 million copies. But the original prepubescent fans that grew up listening to them in the 90's have moved on. Most are no longer teenagers. They have started college, careers and families.

The Backstreet Boys challenge to create enough interest among old fans and/or recruit new ones, is an uphill one to say the least. It's doubtful that many self respecting, twenty-something coeds are going to be rushing out to buy the new album. Especially when even admitting to being a former fan carries with it such guilty pleasure.

Unless someone can convince a new generation of teenagers that Boy Band music is still cool, Backstreet may be out of luck. Your average 14 year old has scarce memories of them and would be reluctant to hang up a poster of a pop group who's members are mostly over 30.

Very few Bubblegum Pop Stars survive once their fan base matures. Notable exceptions are Michael Jackson and George Michael. Britney Spears seems able to hold on to her fame, though it may be due more to "car wreck" interest than anything else. You know a crash is eminent so you can't stop watching.

The Pop Highway is littered with the remains of teen music idols. They come and go so quickly it's difficult to remember their names. Like many others, Boyz 2 Men, New Kids On The Block and Tiffany were once the hottest acts around. Their notoriety now comes only as answers to music trivia questions.

We'll find out soon if The Backstreet Boys prove to be the exception to the rule.

- DJ Craig

Friday, February 25, 2005

Dance This Mess Around

You may remember a song from The B-52's first album called, "Dance This Mess Around". In the song, Fred Schneider encourages the listener to, "do all 16 Dances!".

The funny thing is, there are only 8 Dances actually mentioned. They are:

the Shu-ga-loo
the Shy Tuna
the Camel Walk
the Hip-o-crit

the Coo-ca-choo
the Aqua-velva
the Dirty Dog
the Escalator

But how do you do them?

Of these, only the "Camel Walk" can be readily found by searching the internet.

Place one foot in front of the other, bend at the waist and lock hands behind back to represent your camel hump. Walk slowly, raising the head and chest with each step.

I did find references to the "Twist, Jerk, Monkey, Pony, Swim, Mashed Potato, Skate, Hitchhiker, Egyptian, Shimmy, Temptation Walk and Locomotion".

But no "Shy Tuna" or "Aqua Velva" dances. And what about the other 8 dances?

Something to think about next time you're doing "The Time Warp" or "Shag."

- DJ Craig

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

New Releases

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day:

Live from Dublin- The Chieftans

Great remix from the Vegas Retrowavers:

Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix- Single)- The Killers

Anachronistic Punkers Finale:

What Became of the Likely Lads EP- The Libertines

Sum 41 add their edge to this remix:

Get Back (Sum 41 Rock Remix- Single)- Ludacris

The Electrolounge Masters are back:

The Cosmic Game- Thievery Corporation

Goo Goo Dolls Lite but still tastes good!:

Always Leave the Ground- This Day & Age

"Loungey" House beats:

Lotus- Nomad

Recommended Downloads:

Jerk It Out- Caesars -

An Honest Mistake- The Bravery

Beautiful- Moby

Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix)- The Killers

Walking With a Ghost- Tegan and Sara

-DJ Craig

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Preoccupied With 1985?

It may be time to dust off your old Members Only jacket and crank up the music!

Witness the explosive rise of "Retrowave" bands. These are new bands that sound like they're from the 80's, but they're not. The Killers, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse and others are having massive success with their synth driven, post punk influenced rock.

Covers Tributes

Recent 80's Covers include Jessica Simpson's update of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away", Katrina Carlson's Cars cover, "Drive", "The Boys Of Summer" by The Ataris, "Blue Monday" by Orgy, No Doubt's "It's My Life" and Johnny Cash's Depeche Mode tribute, "Personal Jesus".

Don't You Forget About Me!

Original 80's artists are enjoying a revival as well. The Cure, U2, Erasure, Duran Duran, Blondie, Social Distortion, Morrisey, The Bangles, R.E.M., Elvis Costello, Sting and Red Hot Chili Peppers have all released new material in the past year.

Upcoming releases from Billy Idol, The B52-s and X should make for an interesting 2005.

For more info on the 80's Revival go to:

DJ Craig- The 80's

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Radio, Radio

In case you missed it, the guys from Hot Hot Heat were on "Loveline" (106.7 KROQ) last night promoting their new single, "Goodnight Goodnight".

Of course, the real star of Loveline has been and always will be none other than Adam Corolla. His extemporaneous rants about all things wrong with modern society never fail to entertain. As always, Dr. Drew plays the perfect straight man to Adam's inspired ravings. All while helping callers with their relationship problems. Loveline is on weekdays, 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

On the AM side of the dial, XTRA 690 and KMPC 570 have traded programming. 570 will now be the home of So Cal's sports talk leader as well as talk radio mad scientist Phil Hendrie, formerly of KFI. 690 will now play swing and vocal standard faves.

I almost thought the new Indie 103.1 FM music programmers had lost their minds last week. Indie's fresh attitude and non-commercial alternative rock programming was interrupted by,,, were my ears deceiving me?,,, is that Frank Sinatra?

Yes, it was and with no apologies. Just to show that they can play whatever they want, Indie plays, "The Furious Frank at Five". Every weekday at 5 p.m., in between songs from the likes of Green Day and The Killers, Indie proudly spins a Sinatra tune. Indie's musical sense of adventure and willingness to take a risk is unmatched.

Indie 103.1's resident crazy uncle, former Sex Pistol guitarist Steve Jones, takes over their airwaves daily with an eclectic mix of music you are not likely to hear anywhere else. And Jones' between song banter is as funny as anything you'll hear on radio. Keep up the good work, Mate!

DJ Craig

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

New Music Releases!

John Lennon's transcendent song, "Across The Universe" took center-stage at the 47th annual Grammy awards Sunday night.

An all-star ensemble including Bono, Stevie Wonder, Alison Krauss, Steven Tyler, Alicia Keys and Brian Wilson performed the song, which is now available to purchase exclusively on iTunes. Proceeds will benefit UNICEF's tsunami relief efforts.

80's teen idol Deborah (aka Debbie) Gibson is back with her new single, "Naked". Quite an appropriate title as the 34-year-old has just shed her clothes for Playboy's March issue.

Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 has released a new single entitled, "Lonely No More".

90's Alt rockers Better Than Ezra are back with their new single, "A Lifetime".

Retrowavers The Bravery have released an outstanding new song, "An Honest Mistake".

Seven live album releases are available from The Stray Cats 2004 European tour.

Other new releases of interest:

"Goodnight Goodnight"- Hot Hot Heat

"The Melting Moon"- VHS or Beta

"Open Arms" (Urban Remix)- Tina Turner

Trivia Note: That song used in the new iPod commercial is none other than "Jerk It Out" by Caesars. It's an addictively catchy tune!

Rock On,

DJ Craig

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Grammy's

Our Top Story-

At last night's Grammy awards, Maroon 5 wins Best New Artist!

But don't rush out and buy stock in Maroon 5's record company just yet. Let's remember some of the past Best New Artist Grammy winners. They include:

Paula Cole beating out Puff Daddy 1998

Milli Vanilli 1990 (revoked)

Christopher Cross won in 1981. Also nominated that year- The Pretenders.

Debbie Boone 1978

Starland Vocal Band 1977 (Remember their big hit, "Afternoon Delight"?

And of course in what could be the most embarrassing moment in Grammy history...

A Taste Of Honey won over Elvis Costello in 1979!

To be fair, The Grammy's did also give this award to:

Bobby Darin 1959

The Beatles 1965

Crosby, Stills & Nash 1970

Sade 1986

Sheryl Crow 1995

Nora Jones 2003

Still, their record of consistently choosing truly significant New Artists is spotty to say the least. That's at least partially because The Grammy's sets themselves up for failure.

By regularly nominating artists like Hanson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Corey Hart and Glass Tiger for this award, they increase the possibility of making what turns out to be a bad decision.

In the meantime, artists that never even got nominated include U2, REM, Sting, The Goo Goo Dolls, Madonna, Moby, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eminem, Outkast, Usher and the list goes on.

So, will Maroon 5 go on to gain legendary rock stardom or quickly fade from view to become another forgotten piece of music history trivia?

If the past is any indication, don't bet on the former.

All The Best,

DJ Craig

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Radio Rant

Today's trivia question:

Besides being major players in Southern California music radio, what do these stations have in common?

KBIG (104.3FM)
KHHT "Hot 92.3" (92.3FM)
KIIS (102.7FM)
KOST (103.5FM)
KYSR "Star" (98.7FM)
KCBS "Arrow 93" (93.1FM)
KROQ (106.7FM)
KRTH (101.1FM)

The Answer:

They are ALL owned by just two companies!

That's right, with a few exceptions, Clear Channel Communications and Infinity Broadcasting have a virtual monopoly over rock/pop music on our airwaves here in So Cal.

While these huge entities have every right to make a buck, they do so at the expense of diversity, inventiveness and the very spirit of adventure that is responsible for creating great music in the first place.
The playlists of their stations are unchallenging, formulaic and predictable.

They do pull in ratings and obviously there is a market for what they have to offer. Just like there is for Big Macs. But for those who like their music a little more progressive, eclectic and cutting edge, Southern California music radio is all but unlistenable.

Now before you decide to shove knitting needles in your ears or spend all your money on satellite radio, there is hope on the horizon. Two recent additions to the So Cal radio scene are Indie 103.1 FM and FM949 at 94.9 FM. These stations refuse to focus on "flavor of the month" Blink 182 or Limp Bizkit sound-a-like bands.

Their more diverse playlist mix includes established artists like Elvis Costello, X, The Police and others along with newer, cutting edge bands. You might hear Green Day, The Killers and then Devo. Or Sonic Youth, The Strokes and then Gary Numan.

Their sound is more like free form, alternative rock radio. Kind of liike the way KROQ used to be back in the 80's. In fact, many of the bands that originally put KROQ on the map before KROQ dropped them from their playlist, can now be heard on Indie 103 and FM949.

The trick is, neither station has a super strong signal. They may be difficult to hear in some areas. On the upside, both Indie and 949 offer their programming via the internet. If you are near a computer, you can listen whenever you like. Here are the live streaming website links:

Indie 103


Give it a shot next time you are sick of "Big Mac" radio!

Happy Listening,

DJ Craig

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Valentine's Dance

Just finished a Valentine's event in RSM. Great party with lots of dancing!

Ended the night with Sam Cooke's classic, "Cupid".

Latest downloads:

Walking With Ghosts- David Wright
Love Again (Radio Edit)- Vivid
Vibrate- Petey Pablo & Rasheeda
Surrender- Lasgo
Get Right (Featuring Fabolous)- Jennifer Lopez
Soldier- Destiny's Child & Lil Wayne
She Will Be Loved- Maroon 5
Since U Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson

I'm addicted to "Walking With Ghosts". It's an ethereal, hypnotic, piano based piece that's good for chilling out to.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Have been working hard revamping my website at
DJ Craig.Net
Updated everything including new page layout, content, links and added new pages. Fresh info. on Party Music, Reception Planning and Customer Comments. There is even a whole section on 80's music including what your favorite 80's artists are currently up to!


DJ Craig

Latest music downloads added to DJ Craig's library:

Bring Em Out- T.I.
Get Back - Ludacris
My Funny Valentine- Chet Baker
What Happens Tomorrow- Duran Duran
A Man and a Woman- U2
Yahweh- U2
Old Habits Die Hard- Dave Stewart & Mick Jagger
Rich Girl- Gwen Stefani & Eve
All This Time Still Falling Out of Love- Erasure
Scream- Billy Idol
Cruel to Be Kind- Nick Lowe
Candy Shop- (Clean Version) 50 Cent
Caught Up- Usher
My Prerogative- (X-Press 2 Radio Edi) Britney Spears
Only U- Ashanti


PS Happy Valentine's Day weekend!