The Zone Insider

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Each month, we'll bring you an inside look at the music you hear on The Zone @ 107.1 and the artists that make it.

by Leroy Grey

INSIDER: BEST OF 2003

Insider here, as the guys and I are trying to get the Boner out of this bar. Ever since he heard that Evanescence wasn't coming "to see him" this December, he just keeps nursing his beer and singing along with Kid Rock's "Picture" over by the jukebox. Sad...

CD collector alert: Do any of you St Louis transplants have a Big Blue Monkey CD? A few years back, they were hustling their first album in the Lou, when lawyers showed up to tell them that a blues outfit had called dibs on the "Big Blue Monkey" name first. All the "Monkey" CDs got pulled, and the band renamed themselves after the first song on the album: Story of the Year. Since then, they moved out to LA, signed with Madonna's label, and went nationwide. So check the bargain bins, folks, they may be gold out there! (BTW, their video for "Until the Day I Die" was filmed at the Creepy Crawl! I've been there! Dude!)

Crazy Predictions of 2004: clip and save!

Musical hotbeds tend to be boring, dreary places that have plenty of repressed kids with nothing to do. Since Liverpool, Seattle, Detroit, and Canada have had their turns, the next musical trend will come from Omaha, Nebraska.

A Zone artist will release a single/album on-line this year, and go platinum.

Fiona Apple will make spooky chicks chic again.

Loretta Lynn is going to make a comeback. And you're going to like it.

There's gonna be another 'new' Beatles album out next year. Elvis, too.

It's an election year. So, if anyone's on a mission from God, Zack will be back.

Frances Bean Cobain will start her first band.

ZONE INSIDER'S EXTREMELY CONTROVERSIAL TOP TEN OF 2003

(in no particular order)

"Seven Nation Army," The White Stripes: Of all the bands that were supposed to redefine rock in the 21st century, the White Stripes have been the only ones so far to pull off a second verse. Maybe they're the Eurythmics of our time. Maybe they will get around to plugging in a bass. Maybe they're just getting started.

"All the Things She Said" TATU: Will we ever hear these Queens of Russian jailbait techno on the Zone again? It's a catchy tune for what it is, but I just keep thinking about this performance they did on some awards show, where an army of girls in parochial school outfits charge into the theater, shake their moneymakers, and... well, take that Britney-Madonna kiss and multiply it by 300. I couldn't SEE for ten minutes after that!

"United States of Whatever," Liam Lynch: Anytime this gets in my speakers, I'm banging my head like Wayne and Garth. Liam Lynch is a comedic genius in the same vein as Jack Black and David Cross. I first heard the song about five years ago, on a sock-puppet show called "Sifl and Olly." Hearing that song finally reaching the masses lets me know that I am perfectly suited to tell you what you should be listening to.

"Boys of Summer," The Ataris: The thick of winter is enough distance to be able to admit that that was one of those covers that was better than the original. But are we really old enough to start getting nostalgic? As a kid, I enjoyed four hours of every Saturday morning of the 80's; the rest of the week, I was expecting the world to end.

"Hey Ya," Outkast: Half of Outkast's latest album presents the Outkast that is the top of the hip-hop game, from lyrics to beats. "Hey Ya" is from the other half, where Andre's rewriting the rules for the rest of the music world. Sure, this track's on its way to becoming a wedding party staple, but it's still a world away from the rest of the top 40.

"Going Under," Evanescence: I don't want to count "Bring Me to Life," because that song came out around Thanksgiving 2002, and then refused to die. Besides, "Going Under" showed they weren't a one-trick pony, it showed off Amy Lee's costuming skills, and while it may not be the better song, it was a better video. Goth has finally hit the mainstream.

"(I Hate) Everything About You," Three Days Grace: These guys were the opening act at the Nickelback show, and they brought their A game that night. They're a good choice to represent the transition in current trends, away from the nu-metal sound, barreling through the straight-ahead rockers, and nodding toward the exposed wounds of screamo-hardcore. There are plenty of songs that fit under that umbrella, but few had the persistence of "Everything About You." I only felt it appropriate to recognize the song as a touchstone of 2003, and to leave it behind, come 2004.

"Like a Stone," Audioslave: They're keeping it old school, yo. A couple of veteran acts still remained forces to be reckoned with (Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction,) a few had some decent work (Radiohead, Linkin Park), a few painful moments (Metallica, Limp Bizkit) but Audioslave provided the definition for supergroup. This is the band everybody else opens for.

"The Anthem," Good Charlotte: That was the first Good Charlotte song that I liked in 2003, but GC were all over the charts this year. Were they the face of Hot Topic punk? Yes. Do they respect their elders, such as Green Day and the Offspring? Yes. Do I like them? Not since "Little Things". But it's not like they're Simple Plan.

"Hands Down," Dashboard Confessional: The song starts like the mind coaching itself through a first date, whispering the things it can't say. The drums rumble like a motorcycle, the guitars jangle like they're supposed to. Then you get to the bridge, and it slows down, and you're enjoying this break as the words exult while you wait for the chorus to return, but instead the song keeps roaring and building; it's not slowing down, it's raising up, it's tearing down walls, it's exploding like fireworks all over the place, it's shifting tectonic plates, someone's turned on the lights all over the universe, shooting stars become as plentiful as bumblebees, herds of humpback whales are soaring out of the water in majestic arcs overhead, Jesus is giving you a hive-five, the Bills have won the Super Bowl, the Bills have won the Super Bowl - all because you are here and she wants you to be here.

...I'm sorry, folks. I haven't had a song get to me like this since Coldplay released "Yellow."

Send me your picks, I'll get together a list for next month. Send it to:

Zone Insider

901 S. Kingshighway

Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

Put your phone number and address on it; one lucky winner gets a half-dozen Garbage Pail Kids packs. See, I have all the cool prizes!

Before I end this column, I wanna send a shout out to Sammy, Mick, Dr P, Church P, TDP, J-Ferg, Timby, Sarah B, Too-tall Charlie, Makayla, J W McCrary, Natalie 1, Natalie 2, DeeDee, Debbie, Snapper Mike, Gomer, George, Penny, Casey, and everybody in the BLP Army. Much love and respect to the Zone crew: Boner, Bondsy, Kev, Case, Jeremy the Brit, the Lizard King, Cronkite, Bruce Bruce and Bruce, and, of course, the goddess that is Tabatha. Rock horns for the scribes and scribblers of this fine, fine magazine. To everybody else, if I missed ya, I didn't mean ta.

To all the rest, see you next year, and open your ears...

Quote of the Month:

"I'm drumming for air drummers. I'm not drumming for thousands of other drummers who go to PIT (Percussion Institute of Technology). I'm drumming for those kids who don't play the drums but pretend like they do when they listen to my music. That, to me, is the greatest... achievement - to make people feel like they can play the drums, too..."

Dave Grohl, who likes to play the drums, too.

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