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Another Spin
A blog by Scott E. Shepherd · A continuing look at popular music, past, present and future.
Monday, May 8, 2006

Comments on Trends and Recent Events
Collecting thoughts on the news and the noteworthy

Filed under: News, Opinion, Recent Releases

Keith Richards has brain surgery:

Not to belittle the seriousness of Richards' condition, but what was he thinking? Reports say that the 62-year-old "fell out of a tree" while the Stones were touring New Zealand. Ah yes, the "rock and roll" lifestyle. You know, climbing up a tree may be okay when you're twenty, risky when you're 40, but it's downright stupid when you're over 60. What the heck was Richards doing?

Now Richards is recovering from brain surgery do to an aneurism he suffered from the fall. The Rolling Stones are not invincible, but do have some incredible dumb luck.

Videos on iTunes:

I think I wrote about this somewhere else, but iTunes now carries music videos, which can be downloaded to your computer for the low, low price of $1.99 each. Most of the videos are from modern bands, but there are a few classics from the '80's and '90's, mostly from bands that are still going (U2, Madonna, etc.).

I downloaded a couple, but what bugs me is the quality (or lack of) of the videos. I guess they're ideal for watching on those iddy-biddy iPod screens, but when I play them at normal size on my Mac, they're fuzzy and almost out of focus. I realize that this is probably the same quality of the TV show episodes iTunes now offers (also for $1.99), and the price is cheap for a video. It doesn't have to be DVD quality, but it would be nice to see it rendered well for the screen size iTunes allows.

The Raconteurs:

The newest side project of Jack White of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs promise to have one of the best discs in years. White creating his own supergroup, pairing up with fellow Detroit rocker Brendan Benson and two members of the Greenhornes (Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler), White manages to put his ego slightly in check to actually be part of the band.

So far, only "Steady, As She Goes" has been released as a single (and iTunes is even offering an acoustic version as their free download of the week), but the whole album, Broken Boy Soldiers, is due out May 16, 2006. From the single and the few sound clips I've heard of the other tracks, the Raconteurs is a throwback to the late 60's pop-rock/mod/progressive bands. It's a lot of what's been missing in rock music for nearly 40 years. Unfortunately it also sounds like a one album project for all involved.

2:20 pm ET  ·   Permalink  ·   Comments (0)  ·   Email  ·   Print

Friday, May 5, 2006

“Cold Day” Warms Me to Foo Fighters
The irony of the band’s latest song

Filed under: Opinion, Recent Releases

Okay, I admit I was never that big of a Foo Fighters fan to begin with. Sure, songs like "Learn to Fly" and "Best of You," have their appeal, but on the whole I could take or leave the majority of the band's catalog.

So it was with a bit of surprise that I found myself enjoying "Cold Day in the Sun" on the radio, when the announcer revealed it was the Foo Fighters. My first thought was, "that's not Dave Grohl singing," and indeed it wasn't, it was the Fighters' drummer Taylor Hawkins taking vocal lead, and I thought how ironic.

Dave Grohl was of course, the drummer for Nirvana. Now leader and lead singer of his own band, it's interesting that he let his drummer take the lead in a song. But the real irony is that Hawkins sounds just a bit like... Kurt Cobain.

"Cold Day" is part of the Foo Fighters latest album In Your Honor, which is a two-disc set - one hard rock, the other more acoustic - though it wouldn't be out of place on Nirvana's Unplugged CD. It is a catchy tune with just enough bitterness and sadness that makes both acoustic Nirvana and Foo Fighters a treat to listen to. The rest of the vocal duties of In Your Honor are of course handled by Grohl, with a few guest vocalists popping in here and there.

I don't know if Grohl will relinquish more singing to Hawkins, and I doubt Hawkins will spin off and form his own band, but for me Hawkins' voice is more appealing than Grohl's. I would like to see what Hawkins would do with one of the Fighter's more edgy songs. Perhaps Grohl and company worried too much that Hawkins would remind fans too much of Cobain and Nirvana, but I'd hope we hear more by Hawkins. Until then, I'll continue to enjoy "Cold Day in the Sun" and see what happens next.

10:42 am ET  ·   Permalink  ·   Comments (2)  ·   Email  ·   Print

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Another Spin is a reworking of an older music column of the Partial Observer, written by my alter-ego, "Dr. Spin."

In Dr. Spin's column I often addressed reader's musical questions, whereas Another Spin will be entirely my thoughts and observations on Rock music and popular music in general, occasionally reviewing albums that I think are worth noting and artists who I feel have been overlooked in the past. Of course, as with any other blog, people can still leave comments. I love to know if you agree or disagree with me."

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