The Foo Fighters European tour is going to be finished early after Dave Grohl broke his ankle recently. He was able to make it through his last concert with a broken ankle, but he won’t be able to finish the tour with it. The pain and the limping will be too unbearable for him to continue. As a result, the Foo Fighters had to cancel their recent European tour. Some people say they should have just gotten a replacement for the singer and continued the tour that way. But the fans probably wouldn’t have liked this because Dave Grohl is the frontman of the band. If he is not there then it would definitely be noticeable.
Dave Grohl broke his ankle because he fell onstage during a concert in Sweden. For a short period of time after the fall, he left the stage to get medical attention. But then he managed to find his way back on stage and finish the show with a bandaged leg. After the concert was over, an X-ray of the broken ankle was tweeted to the band’s followers on Twitter. Grohl did get surgery for the broken ankle, but his doctors were unable to predict a recovery time for it. The fact that Grohl had to cancel the rest of his tour had made him sad. He did release a statement thanking his fans for all their support and he apologized to them for the cancellation. These cancellations will mostly affect people who were going to see him in Belgium and the United Kingdom.
The Foo Fighters is a rock band that was form in Seattle, Washington back in 1994. Dave Grohl had been the drummer for Nirvana and formed the Foo Fighters as a one-man project after Kurt Cobain died. Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of his previous band “Nirvana.” So naturally, Grohl wanted to do something new and create his own band. The name “Foo Fighters” comes from the UFO sightings by Allied aircraft pilots during World War II. These UFOs were given the name Foo Fighters because no one knew what they were. The name stuck with the band quickly and became a household name for all music lovers around the country, and eventually around the world. The Foo Fighters will eventually go back on tour again after Dave Grohl’s ankle heals. Then fans of the band can look forward to the exciting return of the legendary frontman and his legendary band.
People have all kinds of opinions when it comes to music, singers and bands. Some music fans prefer bands with all girls and others prefer bands with all men. What if you were to mix the two genders and have both in one band? According to Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, every band should have men and women in it because it creates a romantic spell. Now it doesn’t necessarily have to be an even split between the number of men versus women, but if the majority of a band is made up of men then there should be at least one woman in it. The same goes for the opposite. If there is an all woman band then it needs to have at least one man in it.
There are plenty of reasons why a mixture of genders is great for a band. For one thing, it creates more excitement and draws a wider range of music fans to go see their concerts. Fans who love male musicians and fans who love female musicians can both attend the concert of a mixed band. But according to Stevie Nicks, it is the romantic spell that makes it attractive to people. This romantic spell doesn’t necessarily mean that any of the band members are romantically involved with each other in their personal lives. It just creates the essence of romance by having a man and woman on stage singing passionately and playing music together.
Fleetwood Mac recently went on a European Tour and started playing with female keyboardist Christine McVie. They immediately got rave reviews from both the critics and fans alike. Later on British songwriter and singer Adele met up with Nicks, who gave Adele an inspiring compliment. She said “You’re going to be me in 40 years and you’re going to still be onstage doing what you’re doing.” Stevie Nicks is a well respected singer who usually gives great advice and honest feedback. So if she says someone is great then they are great. If she says that a band needs to have a girl in it, then all novice singers and musicians should take note and diversify their band as much as possible. After all, Stevie Nicks has had such a fabulous career as a singer with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist as well. She has sold over 140 million albums and produced 40 songs that have made it to the Top 50 hits list.
“Future People” starts off with some funky guitar lines and a basic backbeat. Howard’s vocals start off very high, showcasing her falsetto. One reason I’m highlighting this song is because of some the chances the band takes musically – there’s some heavily distorted bass on it that really shakes things up in parts. The keyboards are also creating some nice atmosphere and taking the music to a different place. This is one of the more experimental tracks and the risk taking pays off. I really have no idea what the song is about because I’m always very focused on the music during this track and it always ends too abruptly for me – I want to hear more. But then the following track is “Gimme All Your Love” so moving on to the next song ends up being fine.
“Believe (Nobody Knows)” kicks off “The Waterfall”. It’s a very positive and uplifting song, which is something Jim James usually tries to embody in his music. This track will probably become a live favorite since it’s easy to see how this song could be taken up a few notches in concert. I think the studio version is a little too clean and pristine and would benefit if it had a little more dirt and grit in the mix.
“Compound Fracture” is the second track on the album and is an example of the band progressing to a point they weren’t at a few albums ago. The song features keyboards in its main riff, which is unusual for a MMJ song where the keyboards are usually used as more of an accent. As the song progresses, bass and guitars pick up more of the weight as the keyboards move to the background a bit. There is plenty of space in the mix, allowing you to easily pick out different instruments, backing vocals, etc. The latter part of the song moves off into more of a jam mode as the keyboard starts coming back in more prominently. Overall, the track is a nice mellow groove that packs a few punches in spots as well.
My Morning Jacket formed back in the late ’90s and released their first album in 1999. The band has seen a few line-up changes over the past 16 years, but has stayed intact with the same five guys since 2004. It was this then new current lineup that put out my favorite album from My Morning Jacket, “Z” in 2005. The band has enjoyed greater commercial success over the past few albums, but they’ve really made more of a name for themselves from their live performances. They have been called out as the best live American rock band by more than one publication over the years. I agree that My Morning Jacket is a much, much better band onstage than they are in the studio. In fact, the best album to check out if you’re not familiar with them is probably their live album “Okonokos” which was recorded at the Fillmore in S.F. I was lucky enough to see them play one of their 3 show run at the Fillmore for New Year’s Eve around the same time as Okonokos was recorded (’05-’06), and they were awesome on the stage. Lead singer/guitarist Jim James has a great voice and the entire band was locked in, playing with a lot of heart. For whatever reason, they haven’t been too successful at capturing their live sound in the studio. Every time they release a new album I’m hoping they have finally recorded something up to their potential but it never quite gets there.
Their sound is hard to describe, kind of alternative and rock, with some dashes of country and soul. It really depends on what album you listen to. Some of their early stuff is more mellow, “Z” is the most alternative and the most rock, “Evil Urges” brings a little soul in. Their latest album “Waterfall” was recorded in Stinson Beach bringing in a little Northern CA vibe to their sound (but more ‘70s era). It’s a fairly mellow album, harkening back to some of their earlier days, and has its soulful moments. Some of the album is pretty meandering and probably could have used some tighter editing. It has its moments, and the two songs I’m highlighting are two of their strongest cuts and evidence the most band growth compared to other songs on the album. I’m hoping this album is a transitional one and will help refocus the band’s efforts next time they hit the studio. Anyway, some of my favorite My Morning Jacket albums are bootlegs from Bonnaroo festival shows. You can’t beat the live performances.
Lana Del Rey is a singer you are probably familiar with. She recently released a new single called “High by the Beach.” It is the second song featured in her future album entitled “Honeymoon.” Prior to the release of her single, Del Rey teased her fans with details about songs from her forthcoming album that is due to be released in September. This information as well as the cover art for her single is featured on her Instagram account. There is also a rumor that she will be featured on a new album by Weeknd and possibly even the subject of a new book being written by actor James Franco. This book is entitled “Flip Side: Real and Imaginary Conversations with Lana Del Rey.” It will contain real life interviews with Del Rey and some made up ones as well. There are also numerous portraits of Del Rey which were taken by her photographer and sister named Caroline “Chuck” Grant.
Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant. People know her by her stage name “Lana Del Rey,” or sometimes as Lizzy Grant. She started writing songs when she was just 18 years old and then signed a recording contract in 2007 with the record company “5 Points Records.” Her first digital album was called “Lana Del Ray” and was released in January of 2010. In July of 2011, she signed a joint contract with Polydor, Stranger Records and Interscope. One year later she released her second studio album entitled “Born to Die,” which debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at number two. It was also the fifth best selling album during the entire year of 2012. Del Rey’s career took off nicely after this as she continues to have a growing fan base thanks to the internet.
Del Rey has come a long way in such a short period of time. She overcame a problem with alcoholism by the time she was 20-years-old. This dark part of her past inspired the lyrics to her song “Born to Die,” which is mainly about her wilderness years as a youth. Many great artists who write songs often reflect their own personal hardships in their lyrics. This is what makes audiences so attracted to songs like hers because they can relate to the pain she went through and the obstacles she overcame. Del Ray is only 30-years-old and she has already become a legend. The next 30 years are bound to be even better for her.
“Gimme All Your Love” slows things down musically. Howard’s vocals attack over a larger range during this track, really highlighting her abilities as a vocalist. The song highlights the more soulful part of the band, and has some similarities to some of the music the Afghan Whigs have done in the past. Howard does a tremendous job matching her voice with the intensity of the music. One of the great things on this track is how it takes off instrumentally during the last 90 seconds, really highlighting how the band has evolved with their sound. Once Brittany comes back in during the last 30 seconds after a great guitar solo, you realize the song has now risen up to a whole new level. This is the type of music I can get excited about hearing, unlike what you would have heard on their first album.
“Don’t Wanna Fight” is a very smart choice as the first single on the new album, since it is probably one of the best songs that will be released this year. This is not your typical radio fodder. The track is driven by an almost funky bass and drums, along with some nice guitar riffs. The music pushes the track forward but still has an open breeziness about it. Brittany’s vocals start in with a little squeal before she launches into the first verse. Her vocals provide a great contrast to the music during the verses. Then she launches into a falsetto during the chorus that takes the song up to the next level. The only line in the chorus is “I don’t wanna fight no more” but the way Brittany sings it, that’s all that needs to be said. I can’t see this track not appearing on my 2015 best of compilation.
Alabama Shakeshails from Alabama, and they have a blues-based rock sound with some Southern soul and a little country baked into the mix. The band has drawn comparisons to the Black Keys, Drive-By Truckers and even Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. They are led by Brittany Howard on vocals and guitar, and she has a unique and powerful voice. The rest of the band is Heath Fogg on guitar, Zac Cockrell on bass and Steve Johnson manning the drums. The band first started when Brittany and Zac were in high school together and they met after school to write songs. They grabbed Johnson on drums who was working at a local music store and they started recording some songs. Heath joined the band after hearing some of their demos. After they released their first EP, the band started getting a lot of attention, and they played at the CMJ Music Marathon industry showcase in New York and it all took off from there. More shows, a song was picked up for a TV ad, and then the band signed to Rough Trade Records in the UK and ATO Records in the U.S. Their debut album came out in 2012 and the band earned a lot of acclaim with it, peaking at #6 on the U.S. album charts and earning three Grammy Nominations, including Best New Artist.
Personally, I wasn’t impressed with “Boys & Girls” at all. Their main single “Hold On” was an ok track and hinted at the band’s potential, but I thought overall the album was a little boring and pedestrian. However, being a fairly open-minded person to music in general (although my daughter often pushes the envelope with her current never ending love of top 40 pop), I still checked out Alabama Shakes new sophomore album “Sound & Color”. I had read that it was a little less safe and took more chances than their debut album, so I was hoping these changes were for the best. I thought the band definitely could see some improvements by pushing the envelope some. Lo and behold, there are a number of very good tracks on the new album and the changes the band has made have all been for the best. The album slows down a bit in the latter half, but they have some very good material overall. I can now understand the excitement regarding the band’s potential. I’m highlighting 3 songs that all appear early on during the first 5 tracks on the album.