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2002:What Was Hot And What Was Not 

CL's music writers sound off on this year's musical offerings

TD's Random Collected Rants:

Most Disappointing Local Radio Station: 106.5 The End. I realize radio is all about money, but if anybody thinks 90 percent of these acts are "alternative" and not this century's version of hair bands, you might want to reconsider.

Worst Trend: Thug duets. In which said thugs (hello, Fat Joe) tell their women they won't provide oral sex while demanding the same and spout countless other knuckleheaded "odes" to their bitches. Thank God for Missy Elliott...

Best Trend: The apparent end of NuMetal... Now that I think of it, this here is the worst trend: spiky-haired pop "punk" bands, especially if said band's name has more than three words and they dress in too-little thrift store Phys-Ed shirts.

Quote of the Year: "I've never had a huge collection of records; I've never been a beat digga. I've never been one of these guys who drives cross-country and knows some one-legged sailor who has a boat parked off some pier with a thousand Russian funk records that he stole from the Red Army in 1972." -- MC/producer El-P, on pitchforkmedia.com

TD's Local Music Hurrahs:
Charlotte's music scene now boasts a better slate of local bands than has been seen in some time -- perhaps ever. Consider Pyramid, Elevator Action, Lou Ford, Avett Brothers, The Talk, Bruce Hazel and the Noise, Poprocket, Baleen, David Childers, The Flyweb, Babyshaker, Les Dirt Clods, The Houston Brothers, Star Motor Company, The Goldenrods, Semi-Pro, Black Lagoon and others, all making compelling, original music, and in a multitude of styles. Charlotte's musical diversity (and depth of good bands) likely tops even -- shhhhh -- Chapel Hill.

Best Local Artist to Get Signed to a Major Label: Unknown Hinson.

Best New Venue: The Steeple. Good sound, good booking, good non-uptown-meat market home for local DJs.

Unofficial Best New Venue: The Jackson Avenue Parties.

Best Local Trend: Bands putting aside style and booking interesting, eclectic bills with each other, and local clubs for allowing these bands to play on Friday and Saturday nights.

The "Keep It Up" Award: Tonic, home of some of the most intriguing and eclectic shows in town.

And finally, our most glaring need (that I could think of, on deadline): An uptown venue for local bands -- as for now, we'll wait and see who "The Venue" brings in. Thanks, everyone, and a toast to you all for a great year. Drinks are in me. Er, on me.

LF's Random Ramblings:
Hot: Going to see the Rolling Stones on their 40th anniversary tour (which rocked, believe it or not) and being among one of the young'uns in the crowd.

Not: Going to see Incubus (which also rocked) and feeling like a dinosaur among their audience.

Hot: Having a new Nirvana tune, "You Know You're Right," rock radio airwaves, MTV, etc.

Not: Radio stations, MTV, etc. playing the new Nirvana song again, and again, and again...

Hot: Rage Against the Machine members (minus singer Zack de la Rocha) teaming up with Chris Cornell (ex-Soundgarden) to form Audioslave -- a powerhouse union I thought could only exist in my dreams.

Not: Audioslave, the self-titled album which didn't quite live up to my expectations albeit said expectations were probably set a tad high...OK -- incredibly high, but they still didn't meet the mark!

And Locally:
Hot: Watching Charlotte's music scene begin to sprawl out into the surrounding suburbs as the Sylvia Theater in York, SC, and the George Washington Bookstore & Tavern in Concord opened their doors this year.

Not: Watching nearly 20,000 people (who probably spent a ridiculous amount of money on tickets, beer, etc.) standing with their fists in the air singing along as Kid Rock sampled an endless amount of cover tunes and riffs at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre while countless amounts of original local acts continue to struggle to draw more than 100 at area clubs for $5.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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