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Radio Rave 

The Ride lauded for independence

Local radio station WXRC 95.7 (The Ride) is featured in Rolling Stone magazine this month (the one with thug/rapper 50 Cent on the cover). The station is listed, along with three other stations, in a story titled "The Last Great Independent Radio." Along with The Ride, RS also spotlights Philly's WBEB, San Diego's KBZT and Cincinnati's WKRP -- er, make that WOXY. Incidentally, Charlotte is also featured in the newest issue of Blender. As part of a story on the band Good Charlotte, the magazine listed various "Charlottes" in a sidebar, and then voted whether they were good or bad. The Queen City got "thumbs down," and the magazine (apparently rather confused) went on to note that our city was mainly comprised of furniture factories. Stay tuned for CL's list of best and worst blenders in a future issue.

Weekend Excursion has announced that it will be traveling to the Middle East for what their management says is a 32-country tour during the months of June, July and August. The band will perform for military troops stationed there. More details concerning this overseas tour will come in weeks ahead, as will details on some "going away shows" the band may plan for early June. For more information, check out www.weekendexcursion.com.

The Charlotte-based group Rawdawgs has announced the replacement of bassist Chris Konecny with new bassist Preston Stone from Jacksonville, FL. The newly realigned band is currently working on a new CD. For more information, log onto www.mp3.com/rawdawgs and www.mp3.com/violetsofdawn.

Joe Estes, formerly of the band Cup a Joe, has formed a new band, Star Climber. The group features Estes on vocals and guitar, John Vargosko (formerly of Cup a Joe and Neglected Sheep) on lead guitar, Tony Lee (formerly of Treadmill Trackstar) on drums, and Rick Pope (Cookie) on bass. The band's song "Tell Me" recently hit #1 on MP3.com's Power Pop Charts, and the song has also been licensed for a BMX bike video. Star Climber's first show is Friday, March 28, at The Venue. For more information, log on to http://artists.mp3s. com/artists/529/star_climber.html or www.starclimber.com.

More good news for Charlotte acts getting radio play: WPEG-FM's (Power 98) Future Flavas show takes place every Saturday night from 1:30-2:30am. Hosted by Medici the Street Captain, the show features up to 14 local songs in a row. Past Future Flava shows have led to 12 artists making light rotation at the station (up to 20 spins a week). Additionally, two songs have made medium rotation (20+ spins a week), and one song has made major rotation (40+ spins a week). For more information, e-mail Medici at med383@yahoo.com.

Popular area "Irongrass" band Cast Iron Filter has announced that the band's 1999 debut record, Paradise in Palestine, is now available for pre-sale at the band's website, www.castironfilter.com.

The Ravelers have recently released some tracks from their upcoming CD for a number of compilation discs. The instrumental "Ravel On" was released on the VS Planet website's Compilation IV CD. "Some Say" is included on the Sticky Gum Sampler Communists Are Just Part Time Workers. Finally, "Before We Lose Everything" was chosen for release on a Charlotte Humane Society benefit CD, but at press time, the project was not complete. The band will play what they say may be their first and only gig of the year March 29 at Smoky Joe's Cafe.

Mt. Holly hellcat and all-around good guy David Childers has announced the departure of bassist Penn Dameron. Dameron was recently appointed to serve as a North Carolina Superior Court judge in his home county of Avery County. Childers, who besides being a singer/songwriter is also a practicing attorney, intones in lawyerly style, "Anyone who knows Penn knows that there has never been a finer gentleman on this earth. We wish him our best, and ask all of you to pray that he be given strength, courage, insight and fairness in what he does. It is a tough job but he is definitely the man to fill the spot." Mark Lynch, formerly of Lou Ford and also of the Goldenrods and Les Dirt Clods, will replace Dameron.

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