Tag Archives: Foo Fighters

WHO MADE WHO: Rock radio, targeted males, and the tyranny of nostalgia

In January 2018, rock radio in Chicago met its eschatological fate when K-Love ran the flaming sword of the archangel Uriel through the prostrate body of WLUP. The Loop had first declared itself the city’s loudest radio mouth in the late 1970s, when Steve Dahl burned disco records in a big fuck you to anyone who challenged the white male’s perceived right to be an obnoxious, ignorant clown. The station’s AOR format downshifted into hard rock, and a steady thrum of AC/DC, Def Leppard, Skynyrd, Foghat, and “Get the Led Out” rock blocks blasted from suburban garages, unfinished basements, and cinder block high school weight rooms, eventually traveling through the cocaine and Aqua Net hair metal era and onward to grunge and “active rock,” i.e. lots of Foos and Nirvana. But by the mid-aughts, radio listenership had splintered, coalesced, and splintered again to form into specific micro-demos, and The Loop’s blunt instrument approach was wavering. Its battering ram dulled, the Christians came calling, and with their “positive and encouraging” CCM niche, they squashed the dude rock bug dead. All stop signs, all speed limits; highway to hell, indeed.

Enter Labor Day Weekend, 2020. With the suddenness typical of terrestrial radio moves like this, iHeartMedia flipped its “Big 95.5” modern country format to “Rock 95 Five” and cued up a core playlist of Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, Green Day, Def, Foo, and Motley Crue. Radio bigwigs described the move as returning ”a key soundtrack to a large lifestyle group,” and white guys aged 25 to 54 driving around Chicagoland in their grey 2003 Ford Mustangs with a vinyl bumper sticker featuring Calvin pissing on a Chevy logo suddenly felt seen again.

The visual branding for “Rock 95 Five” is all blacks, reds, and bold dips, sort of the typographic version of a football lineman who does up his eye black in tragicomic kabuki. A recent playlist scan featured Foreigner’s loutish “Hot Blooded,” “Beautiful People” from Marilyn Manson (a song which reveals its extreme debt to Alice Cooper schlock as it ages), the Foos doing “All My Life,” and Steven Tyler’s lewd scatting on Aerosmith’s “Rag Doll.” A nod toward relative tenderness (or at least an acoustic guitar) came in the form of the Black Crowes’ heroin paen “She Talks to Angels,” and 95 Five finished out the set with the turgid knuckle dragging of Creed’s “My Own Prison,” a song and band where emo is bruised, battered and recast as the singular right of the white male animal to have what are otherwise known as all of the feels. There are no women here. (Maybe Alanis. Maybe.) There are no people of color, aside from a few Hendrix nuggets. And the imaging positioners that drop in between songs exclusively feature a smarmy white male voice shouting stock phrases like “Do you even lift, bro?” and leering that “we’ll melt your face, and melt it good.” A certain kind of male is in control again. As he sees it.

Continue reading WHO MADE WHO: Rock radio, targeted males, and the tyranny of nostalgia

Glen Campbell – Times Like These

MP3: Glen Campbell – “Times Like These” (Foo Fighters cover) from Meet Glen Campbell, out now on Capitol.

Campbell played guitar on some of the best records of all time as a member of the Wrecking Crew, he toured and recorded with the Beach Boys, and he sang the definitive versions of two of my favorite songs from my childhood: “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.” His latest album has him covering the Replacements and the Velvet Underground, among others.

Five years ago today, he was arrested on drunken driving, hit and run, and assault charges. In jail, Campbell attempted to knee a police sergeant in the nards, but the cop turned and took it in his “upper right thigh.”

Glen Campbell: Web, Wiki, mugshot.

Continue reading Glen Campbell – Times Like These

Foo Fighters Concert Rider

Not sure who writes the Foo Fighters‘ concert rider, but the author is a funny motherfucker:

**ALSO-let’s try to think outside the box as we consider the CHICKEN BREAST. A bunch of lightly cooked chicken breasts with goo on them are not fun, not exciting and definitely not going to GET YOU A HUG FROM OUR BASS PLAYER, NATE. (He’s the real people person, not the guy from Nirvana).

From their videos, it’s obvious Dave Grohl and his crew have great senses of humor. And this is the funniest rider we’ve seen since Iggy and the Stooges Concert Rider in 2006. Come on, famous bands, get with it: bring the funny!

Dennis Wilson's "Pacific Ocean Blue" finally reissued

Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean BlueDennis Wilson‘s solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, out of print since a crappy 1991 CD version, is being reissued on June 17 as a two-disc legacy edition with 24 unreleased bonus tracks (plus “All Alone” which was included on the Endless Harmony soundtrack). This is exciting news for Beach Boys fans and MOJO readers, as Pacific Ocean Blue is widely considered a lost classic and “the best solo album ever released by a Beach Boy.”

One weird thing about the reissue is that it contains one song (“Holy Man”) with a newly recorded vocal track by Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters. Buddyhead talked to reissue producer Gregg Jakobson about how this came about:

Taylor was in town, a fan of Dennis’s. He’s also a family friend and interestingly enough has the same gravely, whisky, smokers voice as Den. They sound very much alike. We were in the studio mixing the Holy Man track, Taylor comes down to the studio, we hammer out a lyric, Taylor sings it. Perfect! It was meant to be. Destiny.

Buddyhead adds that Hawkins is also “a bearded surfing drummer just like Dennis.” So there you have it.

Official site: Pacific Ocean Blue. Pre-order from Amazon. Buddyhead has a couple mp3s and videos. Full press release after the jump…

Continue reading Dennis Wilson's "Pacific Ocean Blue" finally reissued

Foo Fighters – In Your Honor

Foo FightersIn Your Honor [Copy Protected “to protect the artist rights“] (RCA)

In Your Honor, the fifth release by the Foo Fighters, is a double-album recipe of the band’s familiar rock – a collection that Dave Grohl primed for the band’s tenth anniversary. The first disc is up-tempo and electric, and features both the first single (“Best of You”) and an unrelenting wall of distorted guitar. The second is a gentler, more acoustic ride of whispering, finger-picking, and Norah Jones; waifish piano pixies aside, these conflicting elements are what make the band’s best tunes so enchanting (and Grohl’s suavely self-deprecating media sound bytes so forgivable).

But In Your Honor contains no new showstoppers – each disc seems to only contain one very long song. The splitting-atoms approach is a novel one, but it’s hardly as ambitious as Foo crew wishes, because it obliterates their ability to write catchy hooks. Without the soft, Side One is a scream-happy parade of resentment and vaguely Buddhist generalities, sped along with smoking guitars that never simmer and choruses that are indistinguishable from the verses. Guitars don’t pause for those soaring, Zeppelin-worshipping melodic lines, and Grohl’s shredded screams lose their impact because they never recede. The instruments lose their duality as additional vocal presences and settle for being a barrage of 4-4 noise, not unlike a certain rambunctious side project of Grohl’s – but devoid of the self-deprecation. Call it “Breakfast at Tenacious D’s.”

Side Two is immediately a little more welcoming, as it experiments more with tempo and even gives drummer/bleach ad Taylor Hawkins a turn at the microphone (“Cold Day in the Sun”). Still, the collective seems content to blend together in one sweetess-and-tenderness supermedley, a long bout of brushed drums and singsong vocals that lack any engaging urgency. The Jones/Grohl duet “Virginia Moon” creeps along as an eerie “Girl From Ipanema” rip-off, one sadly reminiscent of the elevator-muzak “Big Me” parody the Foos used in their “Monkey Wrench” video. But again, they’re serious, and it’s 40-plus minutes of their Art. (It’s a big A now.) And as with its guns-blazing counterpart, the second disc relies on monotonously broad lyrics that never gain footing.

For such a long musical offering, In Your Honor still manages to say little – and as double punishment, this comes from a group with an amazing back catalogue of affecting hits (though “Times Like These,” if I never hear you again…). The self-aware simplicity proves that the Foo Fighters reign when their elements unified and the sour is allowed to provide sweet. Grohl would sound gorgeous singing the phone book, but boring instrumentation and vocals leave him as just another talking head. And that’s nothing worth fighting for.

Foo Fighters – One by One

Foo Fighters - One by OneFoo Fighters – One by One

Dave Grohl played kick ass drums in a really great rock and roll band from the 1990s. He used to sort of look like a jocky prep with his ponytail and turtlenecks (see the Unplugged in New York, especially). But boy, could he beat the shit out of those drums. He even recorded a very cool song of his own with that band, a b-side called “Marigold.” Those were the days.

Then he started his own band and made a bunch of funny videos. Man, those guys are funny. They like to dress up in silly costumes. Remember the one that was like the Mentos commercials? Ha ha ha ha ha. That was a good one!

He’s got a new album out now called One by One, and you might have heard the new song on the radio. Sound familiar? Yeah, it pretty much sounds like all the other songs they’ve recorded. But maybe a little slicker. And the rest of the album isn’t any better. Wait for the greatest hits collection, which has got to be right around the corner, doesn’t it?

Here’s a list of the people who think this album is really, really boring: me, Derek Phillips, Johnny Loftus, Richard Daley, Bob Hope, Betty Ford, Scott Adams, Joe Esposito, Shania Twain, Reggie Miller, Sandra Bullock, Hope Sandoval, Tom Daschle, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bill Frist, J.P. Morgan, Victor Newman, Jack Abbott, Ashley Carlton, Olivia Winters, Michael Baldwin, J.T. Hellstrom, Diego Guittierez, Katherine Chancellor, Brittany Hodges, Diane Jenkins, John Silva, Mackenzie Browning, Larry Warton, Lleyton Hewitt, Alicia Molik, Jiri Novak, Daja Bedanova, Kiefer Sutherland, Anthony Becht, Nile Kinnick, Bill Parcells, Michael Jordan, Mike Dillard, Dale Crover, Bob McFadden, Aaron Burckhard, Chad Channing, Dave Foster, Danny Peters, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear, and Dave Grohl.