Archive for July, 2007
A sprinkling of Velvet Underground creeps through The Parkas’ second release, “Put Your Head in the Lion’s Mouth.” Or maybe it’s the Replacements? You know the sound I’m talking about–fuzzy, haunting guitar licks and ’70s punkish vocals minus the snarl. But it’s definitely not throwback rock, once you’ve added the tough lyrics, such as the hook, “Every time that I surrender, you put the weapon in my hands,” from You and What Army, and the modern-rock style bursts of synthesizer. Producer Dale (“Great Lake Swimmers”) Morningstar deserves a special shout out as well–this is a crisp and clear album that easily have been made grungey or otherwise “improved” to the point of sounding mainstream and common. Dale lets the band break free to explore the complex rhythms and time changes of “Raggedy Ann” and the almost Van Morrison mysticism of “Let There Be Light.” The London foursome can also do alt-country (“Toronto Enough Tonight”) and Tom Petty/Rolling Stones classic romps (“A Change of Heart”). A casual listener might criticize the band as derivative, but such a person would only reveal his own limitations. As Bart Simpson would say, “If it feels good, do it!” This is loud rock and roll of the highest order and gets my highest recommendation. This is an excellent release that deserves ears and dollars. Buy it if you like rock, because I can’t think of a better rock and roll record that’s come out this year.
For fans of: Classic rock, Deadstring Brothers, Big Buildings, The Replacements.
Change of Heart.
I did a Foo A to Z about a year ago or so. Actually, it was a whole week of Foo. It didn’t go down too well. Guess my readers weren’t fans back then. I’m trying again because they are one of my top 5 favorite rock bands ever.
And I didn’t even like Nirvana that much.
A is for Arms Wide Open (Creed Cover)-Dave Grohl. Dave did another version of this during a soundcheck for some cable TV show. I’ve heard it, but I don’t have it. It was called “Legs wide open,” and it was about a strip joint. If anybody out there has it, I’d be in your debt if you’d send it. Been looking for it for years.
B is for Back in Black (ACDC cover)-Foo Fighters (live).
C is for The Colour and the Shape-Foo Fighters (live). The unreleased title track from their best album, a really keen live recording. It’s pretty rare that they do this tune.
D is for DOA (video). You can get it for free off their official webside.
E is for Eddie Money! Baby Hold On To Me (Eddie Money)-Foo Fighters
F is for the Fab Four! Blackbird (beatles cover)-Foo Fighters. An interesting hard rock version of this mellow classic tune. It’s a little disjointed (punk) at first, but let it settle in.
G is for I’m Gonna Puke (live version of Overdrive)-The Foo Fighters.
H is for Haden! Floaty-Petra Haden and Bill Frisell. This cover is from a truly great album by Petra and Bill. Petra actually played some acoustic gigs with the Foos after she recorded this. A highly recommended purchase.
I is for I’ll Stick Around (live version)-Foo Fighters
J is for Hey Johnny Park!-Foo Fighters (live acoustic version).
K is for Kiss the Bottle (Jawbreaker cover)-Foo Fighters.
L is for Lemmy! Shake Your Blood-The Foo Fighters with Lemmy from Motorhead (live version).
M is for My Hero-Paramore (Foo Fighters cover).
N is for No Action-Foo Fighters and Never Talking to You Again (Husker Du cover)-Foo Fighters (live)
O is for Lyla (live Oasis cover)-Foo Fighters
P is for Pokey the Puppy (demo)-Dave Grohl.
Q is for the question, “Why?” As in, why is anyone covering this lame novelty song, let alone two great guitar player/songwriters within a year of each other? Perhaps this should have been an “S” entry, for synergy.
8675309 Jenny (Tommy Tutone)-Foo Fighters
8675309 Jenny (live Tommy Tutone)-Patterson Hood (of the Drive By Truckers)
R is for Razor (live version)-The Foo Fighters.
S is for Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynrd cover)-Foo Fighters (live).
T is for Throwing Needles-Foo Fighters. This is from the famous “Pocketwatch Demo tape.” Most demos are pretty lame, but this one was pretty good. This is the best tune on it, but he also did a version of “Friend of a Friend,” which didn’t hit wax until years later.
U is for Underground. The tale of the Beaconsfield miners moved Dave so much that he wrote a personal letter and then this song, in tribute. It hasn’t been released as a studio version yet, and this is a pretty crappy version, but it’s so rare that he gets political or topical that it’s cool to hear it. Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners-Foos.
W is for Weenie Beenie (live version)-Foo Fighters.
X is for an X-mas song! Satan’s Away in a Manger-Dave Grohl (live)
Z is for Zip file.
Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis)-Ryan Adams & Elton John
(Actual balls pictured)
I have a new favorite website of funny statues from around the world. I’m putting a couple here for you, but you really should go to the site. Hilarious.
Ah, to be a young and foolish teen again . . . speaking of teens: This is a live version of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. If if every Nirvana song sounded like this, I would have loved the band. But their studio stuff never had this kind of energy, did it?
Where the fuck has Karen O been lately? And Courtney Love? I dunno. But in the meantime, Marta Jaciubek-McKeever of Girl Nobody is a damn fine replacement. And Marta doesn’t just bring slightly-hoarse “dirty girl” vocals to the party. Obviously produced for alt-rock sensibilities, her voice reaches back to the Breeders, uses vocal effects but not to an extreme, or can suddenly go from a Sinead-style peak to a sultry, almost loving Edie Brickell whisper. I’m thinking specifically of the mellow ska of Sniffin’ Glue. She’s got the kind of vibrant, versatile voice that just makes you want to bend her over and –. Excuse me. I don’t want to ignore the rest of the band, because the whole lot of them are quite good. Nice drumming, good riffs, and some pretty good navel-gazing keyboards. This is an all-around tight band, and you should look forward to the September release of their new album. They won’t let me post the best cut on the album, which is Icons Bleed, a song that showcases complex time changes and rhythms, but they do want you to hear this:
Balaclava Casino Heist (title track from the upcoming album).
Or go to You Tube to catch a video from their first record, for the tune “Cages.”