Monday, July 27, 2009

On Dave Grohl.

During the move this past weekend, I unearthed my copy of the Godzilla movie soundtrack -- the Ferris Bueller one, not the Mothra/Mecha-Godzilla/Giant Octopus ones. I'm not sure why I own a copy of the Godzilla movie soundtrack, since (1) I never saw the movie, and (2) the headlining tracks on the soundtrack are Jakob Dylan's weak cover of Bowie's "Heroes" and Puff Diddly's bastardization of Zeppelin's "Kashmir," which I'm still not ready to talk about. (In fact, now that I think about it, I think Brother Q bought that soundtrack and it somehow got stuffed in my shit at some point. That makes more sense.)

ANYWAY, buried on the disc is some Foo Fighters filler, a mostly-forgettable song called "A320." The track meanders around for a bit, there's some singing about aeroplanes looking like people in the sky, and then there's a semi-decent instrumental for the last two-and-a-half minutes, which includes a crunchy guitar riff that I think would serve as pretty good at-bat music.

In fact, that last two-and-a-half minutes lifted that song from "really mailed this one in" territory, and I listened to it three more times for good measure. It's not a great song, by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not a completely worthless track, either. And that got me thinking: Is there a single Foo Fighters song that I can't stand -- that I would change as soon as it came on the iPod? And after paging through the 'pod, I think the answer is 'no.'

Now I'm struggling to articulate why, exactly, this is. I'm as far from an expert in music as you can get -- witness the fact that Nickelback still holds a spot in my iPod library -- but I'm pretty sure that, from a technical standpoint, Dave Grohl's best instrument is not the guitar. I don't know that I would call him a transcendent drummer, and it's kind of hard to gauge just how good he was with Nirvana because their music wasn't given to complicated drum beats or solos, but he does kick the shit out of the drums on Queens of the Stone Age's "No One Knows." His guitar work doesn't quite measure up to that standard.

OK: there really wasn't a point to this post, because -- obviously -- no one can tell me why I like a band. But maybe somebody (and it'll probably be somebody whose screen name ends in "VaJayJay") can tell me how good a musician Dave Grohl is. And everybody else can talk amongst themselves.


Sheets' Va Jay Jay said...

I think this is a great post. It will spark a lot of conversation... even if it is just between us.

First about Godzilla... I saw that movie. I remember because I worked at Taco Bell at the time and we had a lot of free giveaway crap. It was a pretty piss-poor movie and P-Diddy ruined that soundtrack and a great song. Although I'm sure I bobbed my head along to that song when it was out.

Now to Dave Grohl. I believe it was someone who is a relation to Reid that said something along these lines. "Imagine if Cobain hadn't killed himself. Would the world have been introduced to Dave Grohl?" Now that isn't exactly what was said, but it was along those lines I believe. Reid can clarify if he sees fit.

Dave Grohl should really be considered THE man as far as music goes from the mid-90's to today. Not only was he the drummer of arguably the most influential band of the 90's, but he then went on to form one of the most consistent bands (although I hate this term) of our generation.

What musician would you pick as being more influential than Dave Grohl? Michael Jackson? He really isn't of this generation, but his mark on music can't be ignored when you look at some artists of today like Justin Timberlake (who, while i don't enjoy his music, has gained a ton of points due to his work with The Lonely Island). I know someone will bring up Bono and U2 and to that I say, sit down and shut the hell up. Their music really isn't that good. Dave Matthews? Shut up hippies.

I know there are more we can bring up here, but I mainly wanted to point out bands/people I think suck but a lot of people like.

As far as picking Grohl's best instrument, that is a tough call. The guy can flat out drum. While you are correct in saying that Nirvana's music wasn't that complicated, it was a "newer" form of drumming. He was a beast behind the set. I think it also needs to be pointed out that he recorded most of, if not all of, the istruments on the original Foo Fighters album. From what I have heard he was bored, had some money from Nirvana, and went and laid down some stuff that turned out to be one of the albums I listened to the most in high school. I'm glad you brought up QOTSA. That is some intricate and complicated music and he owned the drums. We also can't forget he played drums for Tenacious D. That just scores him cool points.

The dude can play the guitar. Is he an absolute shredder like Slash or Steve Vai? No. And it's not like Slash is that great of a guitarist either, but that is a different argument for a different time.

Basically, Dave Grohl is one hell of a musician. His playing abilities can be debated but I don't think there is much debate about his contribution or influence on music. Or that he is one kick-ass dude.

I also hear he is a nice guy. That just makes it better.

Rubie Q said...

That ... was an epic comment.

I had another thought:

Mrs. Q -- who, quite possibly, is the biggest Dave Grohl fan of all time -- bought the live "Skin and Bones" Foo Fighters disc, which is simply outstanding. They do a version of "Marigold," which was a B-side that Dave Grohl wrote during the Nirvana days. It's a fascinating piece, because it's like he was trying to write a "Nirvana" song (if that makes sense), but there's little bits of pre-Foos deliciousness in there, too.

Finally: I am hideously embarrassed that I didn't mention that Taylor Hawkins is a fucking kick ass drummer in my original post. Because Taylor Hawkins is a fucking kick ass drummer.

Rubie Q said...

Dammit, forgot another:

I'm intrigued by this "What if Cobain hadn't killed himself?" stuff, because it raises a buttload of questions. Would Nirvana still be around today? Would Grohl have quit the band? Would Cobain have quit the band? If 'yes,' would Cobain have quit the band to do Yoko-Lennon-style collaborations with Courtney Love? Would Pearl Jam be recognized as the most influential band of the '90s?

Master Reid said...

I have the Godzilla Soundtrack too dude. I'm pretty sure I just bought it for the Rage Against the Machine track.

Rubie Q said...

Are you sure you didn't get it for the Fuel song?

Sheets' Va Jay Jay said...

I really think the whole Cobain thing needs to be looked at more. Maybe we can come up with some kind of post exploring all options. It could be fun to get different viewpoints on it.

You raise a good point.

Also, Hawkins is a great drummer. Great point.

FPMKE said...

I'm going to have to dig this soundtrack up. I know I have it packed away somewhere; probably next to my Color Me Bad album.

Rubie, we all know that you bought the Godzilla soundtrack for Jamiroquai.

As for Grohl, I only recently began playing Guitar Hero and I have to say, "Everlong" is a tough fucking song. And, I remember seeing the Foo with Rubie and Mrs. Q; awesome show!

The Cobain suicide thing could be argued a number of ways. It certainly marks a significant shift in what could've, should've, would've been rock history.

FPMKE said...

Found it, right by "Blues Brothers 2000" soundtrack (Why the fuck do I have that) and "Varisty Blues" (also featuring Foo Fighters... fuck face)