TOP SPINS IN 2002
Eminem may have sold more than twice as many records as anyone else in 2002, but it wasn't because he was getting all the airplay. In fact, no Eminem tune made the top 10 most played list, according to data from the Nielsen Broadcast System released by Launch.com. The most played song was Nickelback's "How You Remind Me," which was played 421,770 times. Puddle of Mudd's "Blurry" was second, followed by Linkin Park's "In the End," Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle," The Calling with "Wherever You Go," Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles," Avril Lavingne's "Complicated" and Ashanti's "Foolish." Rapper Nelly had both the ninth and tenth most-played tracks, "Dilemma" and "Hot in Herre."
SAVE SOUTH RAMPART STREET
South Rampart Street in New Orleans is one of the most important thoroughfares in the history of American music. There is no street in the country with more structures significant to the history of American music than the 400 block of South Rampart Street. This is the street that gave birth to Ragtime and Jazz and featured the greatest blues players of the early 20th century. The New Orleans Music Hall of Fame is looking for help preserving and restoring the world famous Eagle Saloon, Iroquois Theatre and Karnofsky Store on South Rampart where Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Kid Ory, Bunk Johnson, John Robichaux and others performed and exercised their musical genius.
The Hall of Fame is offering to engrave your name on a brick on the oldest and most significant street in exchange for a donation. If you would like to become a part of the Rampart Street Jazz Renaissance Project, call the New Orleans Music Hall of Fame Inc., a not-for-profit organization, at (504) 866-1702.
CEPHAS AND WIGGINS ON NPR
Acoustic guitar and harmonica duo Cephas and Wiggins will appear and perform on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" Saturday. Host Scott Simon will interview both "Bowling Green" John Cephas and "Harmonica" Phil Wiggins and invite them to perform songs from their latest Alligator release, "Somebody Told the Truth." Cephas and Wiggins first hooked up in 1976. Recording for a variety of labels since 1980, the pair came to Alligator in 1996, releasing "Cool Down" that year and "Homemade" in 1999. Both albums helped further establish Cephas and Wiggins as key figures in the resurgence of interest in country blues.
LOW RIDERS RETURN
Thee Midniters, widely regarded as the pre-eminent Latino rock band during the 1960s, will release a hits package, "Greatest" (Thump/Universal Music) Jan. 28. Thee Midniters scored national hits with "Land Of A Thousand Dances" (1965); the cruising anthem "Whittier Blvd."; ballads "That's All" and "Dreaming Casually"; barrio favorites "Sad Girl," "The Town I Live In" and "It'll Never Be Over For Me"; and garage rock classics "Love Special Delivery" and "Jump, Jive And Harmonize." Thee Midniters shifted effortlessly between soul/R and B, garage rock, pop ballads, Latin jazz and psychedelia. They are widely hailed as pioneers of L.A.'s eclectic Mexican-American rock heritage -- a direct link to future East L.A. heroes Los Lobos.
A key ingredient to Thee Midniters' sound was the powerful vocal style of Little Willie G., who is still active. In 2000, Little Willie G.'s solo album on Hightone Records, "Make Up for the Lost Time," was produced by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.
GORDON GANO SOLO
Twenty years after the Violent Femmes helped define the sound of underground '80s and '90s rock, lead singer Gordon Gano strikes out on his own with "Hitting the Ground" (Knitche). The album is a collection of songs written for some of rock music's most influential figures, including PJ Harvey, Lou Reed, John Cale, Frank Black, They Might Be Giants and Mary Lou Lord.
As the mastermind behind infamous now-classics like "Blister in the Sun," "Kiss Off" and "Add it Up," Gano gave a quivering voice to geek-like vulnerability, sexually charged eager frustration, and combative youth. Written almost entirely for other vocalists, and originally conceived for a film, "Hitting the Ground" is a showcase for Gano's songwriting.