While we're waiting for Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music to iron out their differences so that the Beatles' catalog finally can appear on the iTunes Store, music fans can seek out music by old favorite local bands.
Last year I noted on this blog the availability of several albums by Crack the Sky, a band not originally from Baltimore but one that became very popular in the region.
The iTunes Genius feature pointed me to another home-grown favorite available on iTunes: KIX, a glam metal band that hailed from Hagerstown. After several years as a club favorite in Baltimore, particularly at Hammerjack's, KIX went on to national renown with such AOR staples as "Don't Close Your Eyes," "The Itch," "Cold Shower," and "Blow My Fuse."
Oddly, though most of KIX's albums are present, not all have every song that appeared on the original. Luckily you can find just about all of the band's best stuff scattered around in the compilations, but fans will have to hunt for their favorites.
I was more surprised to find several albums by the Ravyns on iTunes. The Baltimore-based Ravyns played Beatle-esque dance rock in area clubs for most of the 1980s.
The Ravyns' released one self-titled album with MCA Records and had a minor hit with "Raised on the Radio," which was included on the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" soundtrack.
In addition to the MCA album, iTunes offers "Remnants," the songs planned for the Ravyns' second album; and "Live at Maxwells 1983," a must-have for the regular fans who showed up many a night at that long-defunct Parkville hotspot.
As with the KIX material, not all is perfect. Several of the previews of the songs on the live album are mislabeled. Clicking on "Little Misstique," for example, plays the "Like Her So" instead.
Just for the heck of it I searched for a few other bands I recalled from my misspent youth. Most were absent, but I did find a few albums by Philadelphia's Hooters, including the excellent "Nervous Night."
As the iTunes Store has matured it's great to see Apple digging into the troves of accomplished local bands from the 1970s and 1980s that didn't quite make it over the hump to major stardom.
11/26 UPDATE: I just discovered that two of Ravyn Rob Fahey's solo albums, "Breaking and Entering" and last year's "Trust Me, I Do This All the Time" also are available on iTunes. And fellow Ravyn Kyf Brewer shows up on iTunes as a narrator of several audiobooks -- mostly Danielle Steel works. Brewer's solo stuff is not on iTunes but Company of Wolves, the hard rock band he formed after the Ravyns split up, is.