Friday, September 28, 2007

2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

Okay, it’s time again to see which camels fit through the needle’s eye. The nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction are:

The Ventures
Donna Summer
Afrika Bambaataa
Beastie Boys
The Dave Clark Five
Leonard Cohen
John Mellencamp

But the voters only get to pick five. I like the Afrika Bambaataa, Leonard Cohen, Donna Summer, the Ventures and John Mellencamp. I think it is too easy to pick Madonna and the Beastie Boys, plus shouldn’t Donna Summer and Afrika Bambaataa make in it first?

Ultimately, the whole thing seems so, well, un-rock and roll. At the end of the day, it seems so dumb because fans don’t get a vote and, while rock stars are all about self-aggrandizement, it seems a bit stodgy for current and relevant artists like Madonna and Beastie Boys. Wait until they retire.

In the end, I just have to say, "Who cares?"

Here are the last 10 songs my iPod nominated this morning:

1. “The Land of the Clear Blue Radio” by the Soviettes
2. “Tristessa” by Smashing Pumpkins
3. “Love Comes Tumbling” by U2
4. “Green Fields” by the Good, the Bad & the Queen
5. “Company Calls” by Death Cab For Cutie
6. “Hold On” by Pearl Jam
7. “Village Idiot” by Soul Asylum
8. “A Minute Before the Evil Street” by Guided by Voices
9. “Reason 36” by the Alarm
10. “We Destroy the Family” by Fear

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Up and At 'Em

A couple of good notes, the two upcoming Robert Pollard releases are streaming at the Merge Records site. Click on the links below to enjoy either Coast to Coast Carpet of Love or Standard Gargoyle Decisions. Both sound really good from what I’ve been able to hear. I don’t spend too much time listening to music on my computer so I’ve only listened to the first five minutes or so of each release.

Also, Captain’s Dead has the Guided By Voices Power of Suck demos available. Get ‘em while they are available.

Now onto business, I listened to the new Foo Fighter’s this morning on my drive into work. Initial reaction is that they have crafted a very nice, non-obtrusive album. It has its moments and nothing is wrong with the album. It’s just kind of mediocre. Of course, the band has been on a steady decline since the high water mark of The Colour & the Shape. But Echos, Silence, Patience and Grace is a better album than In Your Honor simply because it is more concise and less bloaty. That being said, standout cuts include “Long Road to Ruin,” “Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up Is Running)” and “But, Honestly.” The first single, “The Pretender” is a serviceable Foo Fighter’s song but nothing exemplary. And “Statues” begs the question, what if Dave Grohl sang for Lynyrd Skynyrd? Overall, it is a good album for those needing a Foo fix but not an essential album for the casual fan.

I also picked up the new Steve Earle release Washington Square Serenade, and I have to say Mr. Earle has produced another wonderful album continuing his post-prison streak of winners. Standout cuts include “Tennessee Blues,” “Satellite Radio,” and “Oxycontin Blues.” Earle’s cover of Tom Wait’s “Way Down In The Hole” is a pleasant conclusion to a strong release.

So, after listening to the new Foo Fighters, Steve Earle and the Power of Suck demos, these were the 10 last songs played on my iPod:

1. “A Beginning” by the Beatles
2. “I Don’t Need Two Reasons” by Sarah Silverman
3. “You’re Welcome” by the Beach Boys (Smile sessions)
4. “Beautiful Girl” by George Harrison (Beware of ABKCO version)
5. “Two Sevens Clash” by Culture
6. “Freedom of Choice” by Devo
7. “The Drawback” by Warsaw (Joy Division)
8. “No Backbone” by Lemonheads
9. “The Prisoner” by Iron Maiden
10. “The Way We Get By” by Spoon

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Foo For Thought

I don't know what I am doing with this blog, but I figured I should say something since I posted a comment on the OC Register's site about Desert Jeff's contention that Dave Grohl "has become arguably as big a cultural icon as his former band mate Kurt Cobain."

This was my response.

While I am a big fan of Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl going back to the days when he scrawled Chaka on his drums, it is a bit silly to claim he "has become arguably as big a cultural icon as his former band mate Kurt Cobain." He might be as big of a star and might even become a bigger star, but "cultural icons" have to be a bit harder to come by or such a designation would lose all meaning. Nobody is going to look back upon the release of any Foo Fighters' album as a revolutionary or revelatory breakthrough similar to the release of "Nevermind." You can argue that Nirvana was simply in the right place at the right time, but their second album upset a whole industry destroying careers and forging a cultural path that Dave Grohl is simply enjoying. Once again, I love Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl so I'm not trying to diminish his contributions to popular culture, but Foo Fighters is just one of many bands that have walked through the door Nirvana kicked down.

Anyway, since I crawled out from under a rock to say something somewhere else I figured I might as well post a post.

And here are the last ten songs from my iPod:

1. "Via Chicago" by Wilco
2. "Vastopol" by fIREHOSE
3. "Yesterday's News" by Whiskeytown
4. "Cherries" by Brendan Benson
5. "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" by the Monkees
6. "Girl U Want" by Soundgarden
7. "Old Devil Moon" by Frank Sinatra
8. "How Low Can A Punk Get" by Bad Brains
9. "The Loved Ones" by Elvis Costello
10. "I'm Always In Love" by Jeff Tweedy (solo at "Letters for Santa Benefit"

Talk to you soon.