Face the Nation

We find out what rocked across the country in 2007.

"There haven't been any conversations, but at the same time it's something very close to my heart," he says. "It seems there's such a space right now for great live bands. If the Eagles can get together and do another tour, I don't see why we can't."

In the meantime, making more artistically minded porno films might be in the cards. In fact, he got an email during our interview notifying him that Broken, the flick he co-wrote and directed for Tera Patrick's production company Teravision, had just earned five Adult Video Network Awards nominations, including best director.

Spread TV, the talk show he launched this past Spring on Mania TV (the same web station where Tom Green calls home) is definitely his main focus. Airing every Thursday at 5 p.m. Pacific, the show features everyone from actors to local freaks to people with problems (he often brings on a psychotherapists to help). Think Dr. Phil, Jimmy Kimmel and Jon Stewart with a rock & roll twist.

"The overall feel of the show is fun and lighthearted, but at the same time we want to get into serious issues as well," says Navarro, who did his time on "real" TV, co-hosting both editions of the CBS singing competition Rockstar and starring in a reality show with ex-wife Carmen Electra. "My show is anything and everything me and my partner Todd Newman find captivating."

That includes up and coming bands, which often play live on the show. A few have become favorite artists for Navarro to listen to off air as well. Here, Dave's current musical addictions:

Gravenhurst, The Western Lands (label). I discovered them watching The Unit, the TV show about an undercover military group. During the end credits on one of the episodes, I heard this song called "Black Holes in the Sand." It just struck me. I'm never one to search something online that I happened to hear on a television program, but it just really hit me hard. They're pretty mind-blowing — my favorite band right now. Instant melancholy. I have to be careful what time of day I put them on because I could easily find myself in a suicidal state, which is actually saying quite a lot if a band can evoke that much emotion out of you.

kHz, Reality on a Finer Scale (label). I played on a track from their next album. They're a metal band from New York with an amazing lead singer named Raiana. She's got this beautiful operatic voice that goes on top of this real hardcore metal. Just a really nice juxtaposition. A lot of females in the metal world try to emulate the singing chops of men. She remains feminine and the combination is really sexy.

The Start, Ciao, Baby (Metropolis). A great band. Love Aimee Echo's vocal abilities. They're close friends.

Mickey Avalon. Don't believe he's put anything out this year, but I think he's just an incredible genius. His personality really comes through in his vocals. The music is very simplistic and there's something to be said for that. It's all about highlighting the personality and he does that really well.

The Procussions and Mr. J. Kind of a hip-hop thing. Real emotional. Stripped down and positive lyrical content. These guys came on my show with a microphone and a drum set and pretty much blew everybody away.

Datarock, Datarock (label). Fun. Kind of reminds me of Love and Rockets with the sax and the hokey guitar stuff.

Daniel Johnston. He's a bipolar schizophrenic who's a really brilliant songwriter. Heavily influenced bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth. I would highly recommend looking into this guy, and the documentary about him.

— Lina Lecaro

Come peer into the ears of Minneapolis mainstays Dan Wilson and Al Franken

The Dixie Chicks' Grammy-winning-song collaborator Dan Wilson released his first solo album this year, the Rick Rubin-produced Free Life. The Semisonic songwriter and former Trip Shakespearean still lives in Minneapolis, still shops at the Electric Fetus and plans on holing up and writing songs for the next few months. He recently finished producing Mike Doughty's Golden Delicious, due in February 2008.

Replacements, "Skyway." I got so excited about Walsh's book [Replacements oral history All Over But the Shouting] that I got digital versions of songs I already had on vinyl. I tried to listen to others, but I just got stuck on "Skyway." It's so short and so perfect, it makes you want to listen to it again and again. I wonder if people who don't have skyways even understand what it's about.

Sufjan Stevens, "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois." One of the guys from Absent Star came up to me with his iPod and commanded that I listen to it. It's important to musicians — they'll be like, "You have to listen to this," and I'll obey. I have the whole album [Illinois], but I just listen to this. It's a really mysterious song.

Mitsuko Uchida, "Mozart Sonata in C, KV 545." I first heard this as a child, at a piano recital. This very brilliant boy played it, and I was transfixed. Jacob from Semisonic gave it to me when I was recovering from surgery, and I listened to it for a month. It was a source of peace and comfort—the Percocet was also very helpful.

« Previous Page
Next Page »