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Old 03-18-2003, 07:44 PM   #1
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About U2 : Bands U2 Likes

By Melissa Flanzraich

U2 aren’t just first-rate musicians, they have fine taste in music. And while you may have always known that U2 are into a lot of different types of music, the new Zoo Radio on U2.com’s online radio station shows that the members of U2 are at the forefront of what’s cool in new music.

Welcome to the first monthly installment of this column, which will introduce you to many of the bands U2, are fans of, and even some bands that are fans of U2. This month, I am going to focus on three new rock bands that are tracks you can hear on Zoo Radio.

The first two are bands on Larry’s track listing: The Hives and Andrew WK. As if Larry wasn’t cool enough just riding Harley’s and listening to Elvis- he had to go and add to his coolness by having great taste when it comes to the new music. Although most people may not know it, the Hives have been around since 1993. The band members were only in their early teens then, but soon found a following in their home country of Sweden. In 1996, they released their debut album Oh Lord! When? How? on Burning Heart Records and only a year later, Barely Legal on Burning Heart and American Punk mega-label Epitaph. The band’s sound quickly began to develop from short, fast punk songs, to short fast punk songs with a hint of rock n’roll and rockabilly guitars. Vendi Vidi Vicious, originally released on Epitaph in 2000, and then re-released on major label Warner Brothers showcased this new sound - more polished and exciting than ever. The CD features The Hives’ first radio single, “Hate to Say I told You So,” a song that gained popularity amidst the Strokes/White Stripe radio hysteria; but make no mistake, the Hives are neither band, they are much more.

“Forget the Strokes, this is the raw, real deal,” said Edmonton Sun music reviewer Mike Ross, who more fittingly says the band is more like Iggy Pop, The Ramones and the Kinks. Lead singer Pelle Almqvist is already being called the next Mick Jagger. More information about the Hives can be found at www.hives.nu. Hives tracks picked by Larry on Zoo Radio include “Die Alright,” “Main Offender,” and “Outsmarted.”

Andrew WK is unlike any other musician out there, and if you haven’t seen him yet, I promise - you must. The 23-year-old singer has been making music since he was a four years old and taking classical piano lessons. At 18, Andrew moved to New York City, made a demo tape, and began doing live one man shows with just a CD player, a keyboard and a microphone. His unique take on music found an immediate fan following, and he soon released his debut EP Girls Own Juice, on Bulb Records. A year later, a second EP Party Till You Puke, was also well received and Andrew was asked to open for the Foo Fighters on a European tour. Eventually Andrew formed a band, to back his blissful lyrics about partying, drinking and having fun. At 22, he signed to U2’s alma mater Island Records where he released his major label debut I Get Wet, which included the singles “Party Hard” and “She is Beautiful.”

“It is said that the savior walks among us as we live and breathe. This is true. His name is Andrew WK,” said an NME reviewer. “He was put on this earth to teach us how to love, make music, drink beer and party.”

The high energy rock music backed by keyboards and fronted by a skinny, long-haired guy bouncing off the walls, isn’t the typical description of a popular rock band; but believe me, it works. Visit one Andrew WK show and you will be wondering why his music hasn’t been around to party with you for your whole life. More info on Andrew WK can be found at www.awkworld.com. Andrew WK tracks picked by Larry on Zoo Radio include “I love NYC,” and “She in Beautiful.”

Larry isn’t the only one who’s on the up and up when it comes to new music, however. Adams’s Zoo Radio tracks include “What ever Happened to my Rock n’ Roll,” by Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club. The San Francisco founded and London-based trio released its major label debut on Virgin Records in 2002. The band took their name from the 1950s Marlon Brando film “The Wild One,” which features the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, a hooligan motorcycle gang with leather jackets and greased back hair. BMRC, the band, is nothing like its namesake. The band’s music is an interesting mix of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, The Dandy Warhols and My Bloody Valentine. The music is luminous, compelling and worth checking out. More info on the BRMC can be found at www.blackrebelmotorcycleclub.com.
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