Tag Archives: Dave Grohl

30 Bands

Today, I hit 30, and in honor of my birthday, I’ve been working on my favorite 30 bands list for almost a year. My blog is actually inspired by music I grew up listening to. I have shuffle countless times ranking of bands back and forth.  It was really tough to leave few bands out. My basis of ranking is upon influence and discography.

Here it goes…

1. Led Zeppelin
2. The Beatles
3. Nirvana
4. The Doors
5. Pink Floyd
6. Queen
7. Radiohead
8. The Rolling Stones
9. Black Sabbath
10. The White Stripes
11. Pixies
12. AC/DC
13. Soundgarden
14. Rush
15. Jane’s Addiction
16. Faith No More
17. Arcade Fire
18. The Smiths
19. Rage Against the Machine
20. Alice in Chains
21. R.E.M
22. Aerosmith
23. Guns N’ Roses
24. Queens of the Stone Age
25. Muse
26. Foo Fighters
27. The Black Keys
28. Red Hot chili Peppers
29. INXS
30. Green Day

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Nevermind

This album heralded a revolution. Sick of all the slick, cheesy hair bands that dominated the late ‘80s due to MTV, America’s youth embraced this album as a call to arms, and the music scene hasn’t been the same since. Shockingly coming from out of nowhere to knock Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from the #1 slot on the Billboard charts, Nevermind marked the exact moment when “alternative rock” music finally found mainstream acceptance. We can all debate whether that turned out to be such a good thing or not, especially in light of all the copycat bands that ended up making “grunge” a dirty word in most music circles. But for a while there radio and MTV were actually pretty exciting places, and all because of this album, which sounds almost as fresh today as the day it was released. And why is that? Primarily, it’s because Kurt Cobain was a superb songwriter, and the songs here are such a quantum leap beyond Bleach that it almost sounds like a different band. Also, the addition of Dave Grohl (one of the best rock drummers ever) takes the band’s musical chops and chemistry to another level, and the major label production is miles more advanced than on Bleach.

Of course, Cobain hated it, thinking it too slick and commercial for his purist sensibilities. He has a point, but the scuzzy sonics of Bleach could’ve taken the band but so far (commercially speaking), and this Butch Vig production does a good job of showcasing Cobain’s melodic gifts without sacrificing the vibrant energy of the music. As for the songs, the flagship single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (the one that “broke” the band) just might be the ultimate teen anthem ever, while “In Bloom” delivers a poppy sing along chorus to go along with crunchy power chords and Grohl’s pulverizing drum pop. “Come As You Are” is another all-time classic that’s led by an unforgettable bass riff, an incredibly understated intensity, a technically simplistic but ear pleasingly terrific guitar solo, and memorably prophetic lyrics (“and I don’t have a gun”). To me, it’s like the invitation from Nirvana to its fans. “Breed” is one of several songs (“Territorial Pissings” and “Stay Away” are the others) that rage along with a nonstop fury, while “Lithium” is an excellent example of what Grohl called “punk rock songs you could sing along to.” Elsewhere, “Drain You” and “On a Plain” are catchy rockers with just enough of an edge, “Polly” is a melodic ballad but with chilling lyrics, and “Something In the Way” is a shockingly understated (and successful) song that features sparse cello backing and Cobain’s barely audible voice, thereby foreshadowing their spectacular Unplugged showcase three years later. “Lounge Act” is the only song here that isn’t outstanding (and even that one is pretty good), and Nevermind was arguably the most important album of the ‘90s.

Many of these songs start slow but soon swell to explosive crescendos; this would become a slavishly imitated Nirvana trademark. There is a hidden track approximately seven minutes after the last listed song ends, spearheading one of the more annoying ‘90s trends.


Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

Foo Fighters reunited with The Colour And The Shape producer Gil Norton, but the resulting album unfortunately ranks among the lesser Foo Fighters efforts so far. I’ve been thinking about it, and I think that there are three main problems with the band.

One is that they’ve strayed too far from their grunge/alternative roots. For example, “Let It Die,” “Come Alive,” and “But Honestly” all start slowly and eventually pick up a head of steam (and again by and large the band are much better at rockers than ballads), but all take too long to get going and never take off quite like I’d hoped. As for problem number two, I understand Grohl wanting the Foo Fighters to be a real band, but they were certainly better when he handled the drum parts (except on The Pretender track). Hawkins is a solid drummer but he’s simply nowhere near the same dynamic force behind the drum kit that Grohl is, and as a result subsequent albums haven’t quite matched the explosive pop of their first two albums. Thirdly, somewhere along the way Grohl lost his sense of humor; this guy has it pretty good, but there’s too much bitter fingerpointing on this album. That said, the current incarnation of the Foo Fighters still have their virtues. “The Pretender” and “Long Road To Ruin” can be added to the band’s growing list of terrific singles, and there are other strong efforts as well, such as the rocking “Erase/Replace” and the intense acoustic ballad “Stranger Things Have Happened.” “Summer’s End” and especially “Statues” have airy ’70s So. Cal vibes that I also find appealing, but I could live without the filler instrumental “Ballad Of The Beaconsville Miners” and the dreary finale, “Home.” “Cheer Up, Boys” is a perfect example of what’s right and wrong with the band, as it’s a standard surging melodic rocker that’s reliably pleasant and hard-hitting without being especially exciting.

I’m still glad that they’re around, as the band continues to do their part in making modern rock radio a little bit more listenable,


Songs for the Deaf

Months before its release, Songs for the Deaf already became the most eagerly anticipated rock album of its year. R already meant a leap forward for the band, so everybody expected a confirmation of that, but also the fact that Dave Grohl took place behind the drum kit will have something to do with that. Anyway, Songs for the Deaf didn’t disappoint, as it’s their most pleasing and consistent album by far. Maybe it doesn’t have easily accessible and remarkable hit potential like “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret,” but the majority of the songs on this album combine punch and melody, brute rock force and pop accessibility. Saying that QOTSA is a metal band – something which many people and professional critics claim – seems a bit far-fetched as they’re not led heavy but loud, and not aggressive, but forceful as hell. The consistency of the album (some people complain all the songs sound the same) benefits from the dry and simple production, while each member of the new line-up – Homme, Oliveiri, Grohl and new permanent member Lanegan, aided by several former members and session musicians – simply excels. The album is presented as one long radio broadcast, and while some of these chit-chat moments are fun, they weren’t really necessary: if there’s been one album in 2002 that sound as an unbreakable and uniform collection, it must’ve been this one.

Once again, Oliveiri gets to ‘do’ the album’s trash-rockers, the album opener and “Six Shooter,” and while the latter is uninteresting and the only weak track on the album, the opening blast is one giant venomous shot of undiluted power, with repetitive guitar parts and the bass player screaming like an insane maniac. “No One Knows,” the album’s first single is something completely different: a mid-tempo hard rock song with a catchy bouncy and a chorus during which Grohl proves why he’s so respected among his fellow musicians: the guy cannot only write songs, he has mastered a tremendously forceful drumming technique. As infectious as this song are also “Go with the Flow” (which became the album’s second single) and “First It Giveth,” which is another highlight. It’s not easy to describe their style, as they’ve obviously a decent knowledge of musical history themselves, and there are elements of genres as various as hard rock, psychedelica, ‘70’s rock, garage and plain pop detectable in their music, which simply stands on its own. “The Sky Is Fallin’” starts quite unremarkable, with a drugged atmosphere and some chanting (the great Chris Goss is there too!), but then the song launches into this simple yet cool riff, and Homme once again comes up with a killer vocal line in the chorus. He may not be a very versatile vocalist, but the guy knows how to write memorable hooks, also adds suitable backing vocals and clearly worked on these songs for a long time. Also stuff like “Gonna Leave You” (I’m not sure who sings that one, can anyone tell me, because otherwise I’d have to guess it’s Oliveiri) and the bludgeoning title track have these cool vocal parts that are quite thin, and a departure from traditional hard rock or metal-growling, but that’s what makes ‘em so original.

The history of Lanegan and the Queens probably goes even back before the days that Homme toured with The Screaming Trees during their last tour, but this is the first album that Lanegan is given quite a prominent role. His whiskey ‘n cigarettes sandpaper voice makes “Hangin’ Tree” and the near-shuffle of “God Is in the Radio” so much better than they already are, while his tombstone-growl is used to great effect on the title track, which he co-wrote. The track that did it for me, however, and for many people I’ve met, is the massive desert-rock bulldozer of “A Song for the Dead,” with its lengthy and speedy intro, until the band crosses into the riff, and Lanegan provides the most spine-chilling vocals since, well since I don’t know who. The man hasn’t got a “nice” voice, but it blends in so well with the forceful music, of which Grohl’s drumming is an absolute highlight. But there are several more surprises in store: “Another Love Song,” for instance, which has more in common with the 13th Floor Elevators than Black Sabbath, and then there’s also the ‘hidden track’ “Mosquite Song,” a semi-acoustic that makes a trip of thirty years back in time, with some nice sonic details and instrumentation. The album closer is a surprising – but enjoyable – cover of The Kinks’ “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” and confirms garage-y ‘60’s rock was a touchstone for the band. Like on the previous albums, Homme and his crew have come up with a strong album with a unique sound that combines the best of now and then (and later?), with strong musicianship (the album is crammed with impressive solos, memorable riffs and energy) and the songs to match it. With Songs for the Deaf, the Queens of the Stone Age finally eclipsed the commercial ànd artistic success of Kyuss, in one fluent move also becoming one of (loud) rock’s most interesting bands. What’s next?


Dave Grohl is God

I love this MAN..and I’m not ashamed to say it.

Dave dedicated his award to Kurt Cobain and gave a shout to the Pixies! A living LEGEND!


Them Crooked Vultures

Oct 8th, 2009 at Filmore  in Detroit, MI

Them Crooked Vultures at Filmore Detriot

After missing the chance of seeing TCV debut performance at Metro Chicago, few tour dates in the U.S were released. I jumped the gun with my two music junkie pals Scott and Arvin. We left from Milwaukee around noon and were in Detriot around 7 PM . T 8-hour drive didn’t matter. Drenched in sweat and getting beat up in the mosh-pit didn’t matter. Actually, I kind of enjoyed it.

TCV headlines Filmore Detroit

Staying two feet off of Mr. John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin made my night, with Dave Grohl smashing drums and Josh Homme being a dirty whore as a lead vocal. This was my first time seeing all three of them live, therefore, it was really sweet. This was by far the best concert of life yet. I don’t think any other concert would close to that.  I had time of my life

My Ticket


Nirvana Flashback

This is the picture of Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Butch Vig taken on Oct. 27th, 2010.

Butch Vig, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl

In 1991, ‘Nevermind’ was released, Nirvana blew up the scene, and as they say: ‘Rest is history’

After 20 years later, rest of the gang are jamming. It’s been said Kris will have a guest appearance on few songs, and the next Foo Fighters’ album will be a tribute to “Nevermind’ – I’m pumped for 2011!