Archive for the ‘John Paul Jones’ Category

wrenchiesSOUNDTRACK: FOO FIGHTERS-In Your Honor Disc Two (2005).

Foo_fighters_in_your_honorSo disc two is an all acoustic collection (and is actually a little longer than the rocking side, bring the total time to about 85 minutes).  Because of the guests, I tend to think of this as a less than exciting collection of songs.  But it is actually quite solid.  And even though I have always preferred Foo Fighters’ louder songs, Grohl’s voice is well suited to acoustic songs and his songwriting withstands stripping away the noise.

“Still” is a mellow acoustic opener.  Grohl’s voice is gentle.  It’s the kind of opening that on later records would lead to a big loud chorus, but this album is all mellow.  I like the way the song unexpectedly shifts chords about half way through.  The song also has keyboards done by Rami Jaffee (I believe a first for a Foo Fighters record).  It’s 5 minutes long and perhaps a little samey.

But the album perks up with “What If I Do?” a brighter song with a catchy chorus.  It is also 5 minutes but doesn’t feel long. It’s followed by “Miracle” a lovely ballad with a great chorus (and John Paul Jones on piano).  I really like the entire composition of “Another Round,” the clear guitars and the bright chorus.  And John Paul Jones plays mandolin on this one!

“Friend of a Friend” is done on just a quiet acoustic guitar. It’s a lovely, dark song.  Although it is always tempting to assume Grohl’s songs are about Kurt Cobain, this one apparently was.  According to Wikipedia, this was the first acoustic song Dave Grohl had ever written.  “The song was written by Grohl in 1990 (and recorded in secret the same year), and it was about his first impressions of new bandmates Kurt Cobain, and Krist Novoselic.”  The way it is so sparsely recorded was a really good choice.

“Over and Out” has a cool and interesting riff and a nice big chorus.  “On the Mend” has some lovely acoustic guitar pairings.

Then comes “Virginia Moon.”  It has a slow jazzy feel, a shuffling drum sound and really delicate vocals.  The biggest surprise of course is that Norah Jones (no relation to John Paul Jones) sings a duet with him.  It’s a pretty song and, while I wouldn’t want a bunch more songs like this, it works well as a one off.  The next song “Cold Day in the Sun” was written by drummer Taylor Hawkins.  Evidently they tried to make a rocking version but it never really came off so they made it acoustic.  Hawkins sings lead vocals (and has a raspy Peter Criss type of voice–is that a drummer thing?) and Grohl plays the drums.  It’s got a super catchy chorus.

“Razor” ends this disc with a neat hammering guitar line.  Josh Homme plays rhythm guitar on this song.   It’s a very pretty song, although I feel like Homme is underutilized.

For an 85 minute album, this is mostly really quite excellent.  I tend to forget about it in the Foo’s discography but there are a number of stand out tracks here.

The band did some acoustic shows following this album, and made a CD and DVD from them.

[READ: January 20, 2015] The Wrenchies

Most of the First Second books I had been reading were either for kids or young adults. This one is squarely in the adult category–and I feel you can tell that by the rather ugly style of drawing on the cover.  (First Second does an admirable job of getting books that are pretty as well as ones that are ugly).

Dalrymple has a broad spectrum of styles in this book.  He has excellent realistic characters (warts and all) but he also has really nice pretty sections as well–where the characters are quite beautiful.  The fact that he chooses to pick the uglier style more is likely a matter of the location–a post apocalyptic hell–than anything else.

This story is (obviously) quite dark.  In fact I can see a lot of readers being turned off right from the get go with how dark and violent it is.  It’s also a little confusing because the post apocalyptic world that we are introduced to is not really explained.  There are also riffs on T.S. Eliot-with lines like “In the room the children a come and go.”

The story begins with Sherwood and Orson entering a cave. It all seems rather idyllic until we see just what kind of creepy thing lives in the cave–and what it does to Sherwood. (more…)

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chunkySOUNDTRACK: FOO FIGHTERS-In Your Honor Disc One (2005).

Foo_fighters_in_your_honorIt took another couple of years before Foo Fighters’ next album came out.  Grohl was unsure what to do with the songs he had been writing.  He originally thought perhaps a film score.  But when he realized he had a whole bunch of acoustic songs, he decided to do a double album–one heavy and loud and one acoustic and mellow.

The rocking side opens with some fast guitar and Grohl’s voice kind of deep in the mix.  He is screaming as the song continues unabated.  And then about two minutes in, the song doesn’t change but the drums kick in and the song grows quite dynamic.  The song pauses near the end so that Grohl can take a breath and give a big scream to end the song.  “No Way Back” is the first great song on the album.  It’s got a fantastic opening riff and a big chorus.  It’s followed by “Best of You” a wonderful single that’s a big song with a super-sized chorus.

“D.O.A.” has a unique guitar sound for the Foos.  Not heavy metal but more punk.  Then there’s the big chorus that kind of quotes Jim Morrison “No ones getting out of here alive.”  I had this chorus in my head for a couple of days last week.  “Hell” is only two minutes long but it feels like a much more complete song–big choruses and really fast verses elevate this from what could have been filler.

“The Last Song” has a very punk feel (especially the pounding snare drums in the opening and verse).  It’s followed by “Free Me” one of my favorite Foo Fighters deep cuts.  The riff is awesome and Grohl totally unleashes as the song progresses.  There is something about the way the song seems to get busier and louder as it ends that is really cool.

“Resolve” is a nice come down from the intensity of “Free Me.”  It’s not quite as mellow as the stuff on disc two, but it definitely slows things down.  And is still very catchy.

The final two songs don’t run out their welcome (it could be that this disc is only 40 minutes, not 55 like their more recent ones)–these songs don’t drag.  “The Deepest Blues Are Black” has a cool transition from loud bashing into really grooving chorus.  It’s quite a heavy song but it’s really melodic too.  And “End Over End” is another song that gets stuck in my head over and over again.  It’s not terribly original, but it rock and is catchy as well.  I find it to be a far more successful album ender (with it’s repeating outro) than “Come Back.”

I tend to forget about this disc because the news (and guests) of disc two tended to overshadow the solid songwriting of disc one.  But this is a great Foo Fighters disc, no question.

Tomorrow’s post: Disc Two

[READ: August 29, 2012] Goodbye, Chunky Rice

I’ve read a few books by Craig Thompson and enjoyed them quite a lot.  And this one, with the strange title and cute looking characters on the cover seemed like a sure fire hit.

As the story opens, we see a deer mouse riding her bike to visit her friend, a turtle.  The turtle hops on the back of the bike and off they go.  They have a great time at the beach (we even see a heart form over the turtle’s head as he watches her in the water).

And then we learn that the turtle is Chunky Rice and he is leaving.  He asks the mouse to come with him, but she says she cannot, and that they are to have no more tears while they are together.

The scene cuts to a human guy telling the Eurydice story to a bird (we hear “doot doot”).  The man has found the bird, who was injured, and has brought him back to his place.  He has named it Merle. (more…)

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