Archive for Foo Fighters

Things the Grammy Awards Taught Us

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by 30daysout

This is the future of music?

The last time I watched a Grammy Awards telecast all the way through was when John Denver was the host, and the Eurythmics were the hottest band on the planet (that would be 1982, punk). Until last night – I watched from beginning to end, and learned a great deal in the process.

If you were an alien who just dropped in from another planet and watched the Grammy Awards to see what music is all about, the first thing you would gather is that rock and roll is best performed by old guys. The old guys who bookended the show – Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney – peaked long ago as master songwriters but they’re still both dynamite live performers.

Dave Grohl is an old guy too.

Even though Springsteen’s new song “We Take Care Of Our Own” sounds like about 10 other Springsteen tunes, his rockin’ performance managed to stoke a little excitement for the rest of the telecast to come (and, Bruce hopes, his new album which conveniently comes out soon).

And you can’t go wrong with McCartney doing a Beatles classic; or classics, in the form of “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End” from the Beatles’ Abbey Road album. Sir Paul’s voice has lost a lot of its old bite and he is a clever performer who knows how to manage his limitations.

Which he did by playing the tune backed by his crack touring band (and the awesome drummer Abe Laboriel Jr.) and, next, by turning “The End” into a superstar guitar duel featuring McCartney, his band’s guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, as well as guests Springsteen, Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh. Everyone acquitted themselves well except for maybe Springsteen, who looked like he ran out of gas after his first solo. Maybe next time invite Glen Campbell to play.

Mike Love, left, hypnotizes you to believe he's standing next to Adam Levine.

Another thing I learned is that the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary reunion tour may be entertaining mainly for singer Mike Love’s crazy antics. Probably the most clueless man in rock, Love is the musical equivalent of actor Nicolas Cage – a true head case. The only thing older than that merch-table ball cap was Al Jardine’s comb-over … but the Beach Boys actually sounded all right. Probably that’s because Brian Wilson’s backing band is also a crack unit and all the Boys had to do was sing. (Perhaps the lesson here is if you’re an older rocker get yourself a smokin’ band – like Bruce, Paul and Brian.)

I also learned that rhythm and blues has changed a little. Where R&B used to mean Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Smokey Robinson, it now means Chris Brown. Don’t know if the guy can actually sing – he didn’t last night – but he does a mean backflip. And I hear he has a left hook that would do Ike Turner proud. Otis did win an award though, as the title of a rap song.

This pretty much sums up the entire night.

One more thing I learned is that true talent will always save the day. Thanks, Adele. You deserve every award you get, if only for exposing the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and especially Nicki Minaj as the frauds they are.

So the big lesson we can carry away from Grammy Awards 2012 is that you don’t “get” music by watching stupid TV shows. You need to listen – with your ears, with your brain and with your heart. And only then will you find the music. I think Dave Grohl said that.

As a bonus we’ve added the best moment from last night’s Grammy telecast: a TV commercial from Chipotle that features a neat little story and cool music (Willie Nelson singing Coldplay’s “The Scientist”). Like Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad with Clint Eastwood, this will prove to be the most memorable moment from an otherwise overhyped and bloated affair.

YouTube: “Back To The Start” Chipotle ad

Bonus No. 2: This guy from SPIN snuck into the Grammy Awards, sort of

Bonus No. 3: Houston Press fills us in on just who this “Paul McCartney” guy is

Record Store Day: The Aftermath

Posted in News with tags , , on April 16, 2011 by 30daysout

Don’t know about you, but we had a nice day in Houston for Record Store Day – temps in the 60s, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky. We lined up two hours early outside Cactus Music and by the time the doors opened a little before 10 a.m. there were about 150 die-hards in line to snap up copies of about 200 exclusive vinyl items. (There were more than 200 copies, there were many copies of about … never mind.)

We talked to the guy in front of us in line, his name was Sonny.  He

Record Store Day line outside Cactus Music in Houston - that Kenny Rogers shirt worn ironically, I hope.

brought a Bible to read while waiting, and after we bothered him from that activity he told us he was getting married tonight! Sonny was worried he wouldn’t make a planned lunch with his groomsmen and even though he didn’t get the My Morning Jacket items on his list (Cactus didn’t get ’em) Sonny did walk away happy with Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, Bruce Springsteen and some Regina Spektor for his fiancée. He told us he bought tickets for his entire bridal party to see the Avett Brothers in Houston – but that show was scratched due to Scott Avett’s wife possibly giving birth ahead of schedule. That’s life – it gives a little, and it causes your rock show to get rescheduled.

As for us, we came away with the Foo Fighters covers LP Medium Rare, highlights include “Band On The Run,” “Darling Nikki,” “Life Of Illusion” and a scorching live version of the Who warhorse “Young Man Blues.”  We also got some choice 7″ singles including the new Wild Flag song “Glass Tambourine” and the Rolling Stones doing some vintage stuff from Sticky Fingers and a live “Let It Rock.”

It was kinda pricey – the copy of Big Star’s Third, considered to be the band’s “lost” album, went for 40 bucks and the Foo Fighters item was about 20. The 7″ singles cost anywhere from seven to 10 bucks apiece, so you had purchase wisely. Cactus Music personnel helped that process by distributing a list of everything they had, along with the price, so you could make a plan before you got to the counter. Some of these vinyl items were limited edition, but I got pretty much everything on my list.

Yes, even though there was a bit of sticker shock and I wound up spending money I shouldn’t have, it felt good to support my favorite record store. Cactus has been there for me since the 1970s, and even though I don’t buy as much music as I used to I still regularly attend their in-stores. In recent months you’ve read about awesome Cactus performances from the likes of Everest, Anders Osborne, Los Lonely Boys, Girl In A Coma and Rodney Crowell; they have someone playing pretty much every weekend and on May 3 they welcome Steve Earle for his third in-store!

And you know what – right now, as I’m writing this, my 17-year-old son is in the next room playing vinyl records for the very first time in his life. As Ken Shane so aptly put it – that’s like a VISA commercial … Big Star: $40, sharing music with a kid: Priceless.

First time in 20 years I spent 100 bucks on vinyl records - and it felt good.

Record Store Day Buyer’s Guide

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Okay, this may seem really half-assed but today we’re going to piggyback on (steal?) a great article in Goldmine magazine where they rate the best and worst of the exclusive vinyl available on Record Store Day. That’s Saturday, at your friendly neighborhood record store.

You can read the Goldmine story here, but we just want to touch on a couple of their top picks … keep in mind, this is highly subjective. You really ought to check out the complete list of exclusive vinyl available on Record Store Day, and if something really appeals to you then plan to get up early on Saturday and line up outside your local record emporium so you have a better chance of getting your hands on what you want. There will be some music aficinados like you, but there will be a lot of jerks who just want to get hold of this rare stuff so they can put it up on eBay.

Goldmine is salivating most over a Jimi Hendrix 7″ single, “Fire”b/w”Touch You.”  The 45 has an alternate version of “Fire,” which appeared on the West Coast Seattle Boy box set. The real find is on the flip side: “Touch You,”  a previously unreleased 1967 studio recording made by the original Experience during sessions for what would become Electric Ladyland. Very cool, indeed.

The other cool stuff the magazine is anticipating seems mostly to come from vintage acts – a live LP from Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, unreleased Derek and the Dominos, live Roy Orbison, live Bob Dylan. It’s a record store nut’s dream come true.

A word here, too, about the “lost” single from the 13th Floor Elevators, which we in Houston can partially claim as our own (they cut many of their songs in Houston, at the famed Gold Star Studios). The record available on Saturday is a limited-edition green vinyl 7″ single – “Wait For My Love” b/w “May The Circle Remain Unbroken.” Roky Erickson and the group planned this as the band’s sixth single in 1968 but never released. The two tunes are remixed by ‘Sonic Boom’ (Pete Kember of Spacemen Three & producer of MGMT), and the single will come packaged in an International Artists Records label house bag.

Another choice cut is a complete LP by the Foo Fighters, performing 12 covers including “Band On The Run,” Baker Street,” “Darling Nikki” and others. There are many, many more releases, by the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, R.E.M., ZZ Top, Phish, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and more. The newer crop of artists will be represented by Peter, Bjorn and John, Regina Spektor, The Joy Formidable, Wild Flag and many more. Now keep in mind, these records are going into general release on Saturday and some of ’em may be available after Record Store Day but many are limited-edition releases and will likely get snapped up pretty quickly. Then, on Saturday afternoon, you can find ’em on eBay at double the retail price.

Goldmine singles out a handful of exclusive releases that disappointed them.  One of their offenders is the Bruce Springsteen offering, a 10″ LP featuring “Gotta Get That Feeling” b/w “Racing In The Street,” which will appear on his upcoming DVD Live From The Carousel. The magazine says “The ‘easy way out’ on Record Store Day: selling a sample from an upcoming release. This isn’t a special item for the fans. It’s nothing more than a promotional piece!!” Yeah, but we’ll probably buy this if we can get our hands on it.

Our suggestion to you for Record Store Day: Check out the list of exclusive releases, show up early (before opening time) and know what you want to buy when you get into the store. And please, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on an exclusive release: take it home, remove the wrapper, take out the record and play it. Call your kids into the room and play it for them. Dance if you want, or just listen to the music. Share it, talk about the memories conjured by this great old and new music and let somebody younger listen to it again and again. Don’t be one of those assholes who forces them to go find this stuff on eBay.

Record Store Day official website

Goldmine magazine “Top Ten Record Store Day” vinyl 2011 article

SXSW: Day One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 17, 2011 by 30daysout

It always takes a while to get your feet under you once the sneakers hit the ground in Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW).  Wednesday, the first official day of the mega music festival, we fooled around so much we almost managed to miss all the music. Thousands of musical performers are in town to show off their abilities and hopefully get some attention from the music bidness types and journalists – but this year they’re going to have fight off many, many big names.

And really, during the first day we seemed to be preoccupied with the already famous people in town. My daughter’s boyfriend Jave has the knack for putting himself in the right place at the right time, but we’ll talk about him shortly.

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters

Our activities revolved around the MTV-sponsored “Woodie Awards,” given to musical acts that appeal to the college crowd – the big event, telecast live on the network, attracted rappers and indie acts. Our correspondent who attended endured about four hours of standing in a cattle call, waiting to be admitted in to the venue, while we hung outside near the “red carpet” gawking at the big shots streaming in.

Well, we saw the Foo Fighters – they were there to perform their new single “Rope” – and we actually recognized Wiz Khalifa, who seems to now be with Kanye West’s old girlfriend (the bald headed one, Amber Rose). The rest of the time, as one act after another vamped on the red carpet for paparazzi, the question went up and down our line (the “losers” line) which went something like this: “Who’s that?” “I think it’s a rapper.” “No, I think he’s on the Disney Channel.”

We did manage to correctly identify Matt and Kim, there to receive an award as well as present one, and the Irish indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club, who also won an award. Wiz Khalifa got the night’s big award, so congrats.

Now while all this was going on my daughter’s boyfriend promptly lined up to see a short comedy set by Aziz Ansari, of TV’s “Parks and Recreation.” Informed that he was one person removed from the fire marshal’s limit, he stuck in there and managed to edge in anyway. Right next to movie star Michael Cera – Jave asked if he could take a photo but stuck his camera in video mode by accident. His camera’s light went on automatically, spotlighting the Scott Pilgrim star, and Cera leaned over to ask “Isn’t there a more subtle way you can do this?”

Not this kid – our hero snapped a quick one with Ansari and left triumphant. Living to

Our boy Jave Del Rosario with Aziz Ansari

fight another day, he vows to take our group over to Waterloo Records today for some in-stores and a visit from Jack White’s traveling record store, Third Man Records, in a yellow van. White showed up with the van yesterday and played an impromptu set; we hope he’ll do the same today as his label’s the Greenhorns are slated to show up at Waterloo.

So, tonight is the big free show by the Strokes to promote their not-bad new album Angles. Some of us may head over to the excellent South by San Jose lineup on South Congress to catch,  among others, rockabilly great Wanda Jackson. She may also have Jack White (he produced her latest album) in tow.

See you tomorrow, promise we’ll hear some more music today.  Follow us on Twitter for breaking updates.

Two Door Cinema Club

Sixth Street at night - it gets much crazier.

This is what we came for - I didn't catch their name but I gave them five bucks.


Bonus Video Du Jour: Foo Fighters w/Lemmy

Posted in News with tags , , on February 24, 2011 by 30daysout

For those who may have thought the previous video posted today (see below) is a little fruity, we give you “White Limo,” the new one from the Foo Fighters.  The song is from the Fighters’ forthcoming, as-yet-untitled album, out April 12.  And of course the star is Lemmy Kilmister, from Motörhead and the star of the current documentary LEMMY: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch.  This one rocks!

Foo Fighters official website

LEMMY movie official website

Happy Birthday, Paul!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by 30daysout

One of the greatest songwriters and singers in rock and roll, Paul McCartney turns 67 on Thursday (June 18).  With the Beatles and later as a solo performer and bandleader, McCartney created some of the best (and worst) music in rock and roll history.  He isn’t as cool today as he was in the 1960s, or in the early part of the 1970s, but even at the twilight of his career McCartney is still a formidable talent.  His album Electric Arguments, released as The Fireman late last year, was considered to be one of the year’s best and a return to form for McCartney.  A collaboration with fellow legend Bob Dylan may be in the works – if it happens, that would be another milestone in an incredible career.

In 1965 McCartney wrote “Yesterday,” which the Guinness Book of World Records says is the most covered song ever.  It has been covered more than 3,000 times and in the 20th century alone the song was performed more than 7 million times.  We thought about doing a marathon with different covers of one song (as we did a few weeks ago on Bob Dylan’s birthday) but thought it would be more fun to just dig up songs from throughout McCartney’s career.  So after the jump you have some of McCartney’s best music as performed by others, as well as a few versions of “Yesterday.”  McCartney may be rather unfairly judged by his output over recent years, but most of this shit rocks.  Happy birthday!

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