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Buy the 'Smallville' soundtrack, which includes 'I Just Wanna Be Loved' by AM Radio.


AM Radio is stepping up in the world.

Turn Up the Radio

AM Radio hit all the right frequencies last Friday at the Edge

By Sarah Quelland

CHAMPIONED BY Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, AM Radio has been touring hard, opening for Weezer and gearing up for a tour with Ben Kweller. Last Friday (Feb. 21), the SoCal band played a noon show at Sproul Plaza in Berkeley before arriving in Palo Alto to headline the Edge. Later, that night, the band would head for Las Vegas, but the rigors of the road didn't manifest themselves onstage. Following performances by locals Riddled With Guilt and Life With Jonas, AM Radio played a fun, generous set that ended like a party.

AM Radio is led by Kevin Ridel--a versatile singer with lionish good looks and a big, beaming smile--and his voice is the star of the show. Sexy and soaring, he has beautiful range. Still, the band's bouncy, happy music is dynamic and well structured, and it complements Ridel's voice nicely. There's a little bit of Britpop and a little bit of doo-wop in AM Radio's catchy new songs. Highlights from Friday's set included "If This Is the End of the World," "Oh Oh Oh," "Hush" and "Stole the Show."

Invoking the freewheeling spirit of the AM Radio name, the band dallied with bits of songs from Bell Biv Devoe and U2, and during closing number "Take Time," it incorporated a medley that included Madonna's "Like a Virgin," Missy Elliott's "Work It" and Nelly's "Hot in Herre." The audience demanded an encore, so the band returned to play the clap-along song "You Saved My Life Last Night."

AM Radio returns to the Edge in March. The band anticipates that its new album should be out by June. In the meantime, a number of tunes are available online (www.amradioonline.com) and the band's song "I Just Wanna Be Loved" is featured on the Smallville soundtrack which hit stores just last Tuesday (Feb. 25).

SURVIVAL TACTICS: The Blank Club will not be opening on March 1 as previously announced. After working through the bureaucratic machine, Larry Trujillo says he expects the club should open its doors on March 8.

It's been a rough and rocky time for local music. Aside from the Edge, there aren't many places in the South Bay for people to catch live local rock bands in a cool club setting. But people are stepping up and using grassroots methods to keep the scene going. Monday nights Rockstars and Bitches, a weekly rock show formerly held at Kleidon's Lounge and Plant 51, is relocating to Waves Smokehouse and Saloon. Rockstars and Bitches makes its Waves debut Monday (March 3) with Remnant, Mind-Eye, Borderwars and SECURITY. Upcoming shows scheduled at Waves include Hippie Aggression, Baysik and Friction (March 10), a St. Patty's Day bash with the Golden Gods, the Substitutes, Alien Love Syndrome and Insolence DJ Jerry "Da Hermit" Dalalo (March 17) and Trip Device, Mercury Sound and Rubber Side Down (March 24).

The members of Trip Device are putting on free rock shows at Nightclub 155 (formerly the Jungle) in Sunnyvale every first and third Friday of the month. Trip Device opens every show and brings in a band to headline. The headliner for March 7 is still TBA, but upcoming headliners include Divided (March 21), Ones and Zeros (April 4) and Karate High School (April 18). spy is getting back into the local game with a "Battle of the Bay" scheduled for this Thursday (Feb. 27) that pits Harold Ray against the Invasion. Bands are also finding refuge at bars like Club Four, the Caravan, the Quarter Note and the 127.

CONCERT FOR KAITLYN: Miggs, Sweet Duration, Ama, Courtney C. Patty and Rachel Lauren unite for the "I Am" benefit concert Saturday (March 1), 1-5pm, at the Plaza Di Valencia on Santana Row. This community-driven effort is being held to raise money to benefit young Kaitlyn Langstaff, who suffers from toxic epidermal necrolysis. The concert takes its name from a poem written by Kaitlyn titled "I Am the Same Inside." A CD compilation featuring two songs written for the young girl, along with songs contributed by bands performing, will be available. All proceeds will be added to the Kaitlyn fund.

HOT TOPIC: Mix 106.5 is hosting an invite-only matinee show with Erasure on March 22 at the Edge in Palo Alto. Listen to win.

Send a letter to the editor about this story to letters@metronews.com.

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From the February 27-March 5, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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