Little Steven's Underground Garage column, produced exclusively for Billboard. The charts are a combination of airplay from the Underground Garage format and coolness.SORRY! Got carried away with the wild and wonderful Beatles show in Las Vegas last week so now we can catch up on things—like last week's coolest song in the world from Dirty Pretty Things and this week's from the Living Things.
The Libertines were all the rage in England for 15 minutes, but in 2004 co-leaders Pete Doherty and Carl Barat went their separate ways mostly due to Doherty's open, unapologetic and consistent drug use. Not to mention being jailed for burglarizing Barat's flat.
Doherty went on to form Babyshambles, and Barat put together Dirty Pretty Things with Libertines drummer Gary Powell and second guitarist Anthony Rossamando and former Cooper Temple Clause bassist Didz Hammond. Their debut album is "Waterloo to Anywhere," and our coolest song is "Bang Bang You're Dead."
The band will do a handful of showcase dates in August, but we're going to try and get them back for more shows in the fall.
And there are more cool things this week with our coolest song, "New Year," from the Living Things' debut album "Ahead of the Lions."
It is a band of brothers—Lillian, Eve and Bosh Berlin, with Corey Becker—from St. Louis. Produced by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies), the fact that the Berlins are battling brothers bodes well (à la the Everly Brothers, the Kinks, Oasis).
In other news, Live Nation just bought House of Blues, and the Hard Rock Cafes are for sale in case you need a burger.
Rhino's got a new rockabilly box called "Rockin' Bones"; their boxed sets are always the best.
EMI and Warner Bros. are still engaged in premarital feuding. Don't they know you're supposed to merge first, then go to war like Sony and BMG?
See you next week.
COOLEST GARAGE SONGS
1. "New Year," Living Things
2. "Bang Bang You're Dead," Dirty Pretty Things
3. "If It Takes a Lifetime," Cheap Trick
4. "Country Girl," Primal Scream
5. "Everyone Knows," Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
6. "Life Wasted," Pearl Jam
7. "Hands," the Raconteurs
8. "King of the Freaks," the Maggots
9. "La La Land," Go-Go's
10. "I'd Rather Be With You," Kaiser George & the High-Risers
COOLEST GARAGE ALBUMS
1. "Rockford," Cheap Trick
2. "Sinner," Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
3. "Broken Boy Soldiers," the Raconteurs
4. "Flat-Pack Philosophy," Buzzcocks
5. "Riot City Blues," Primal Scream
6. "Living With War," Neil Young
7. "Pearl Jam," Pearl Jam
8. "Waterloo to Anywhere," Dirty Pretty Things
9. "God Bless the Go-Go's," Go-Go's
10. "Ahead of the Lions," Living Things