Monday, February 13, 2012


I wanted the Foo Fighters' Wasting Light (my second favorite LP of 2011) to win Album of the Year at the Grammys. I'm not mad that Adele won for 21, but wow, Wasting Light was great.

It reunited Dave Grohl with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Nevermind producer Butch Vig recorded it with them in Dave's garage, and it saw Pat Smear rejoin the band (and there's a great guest appearance by another punk legend, Bob Mould).

I saw some noise on Twitter that the Foo Fighters are the band that always get attention from TV shows.  It's like they are the token rock band for award shows.  And I've read interviews with Dave Grohl where he kind of says that.  I'd agree that some of their albums may get a bit of a "pass," because people buy into Dave so much. They love his story, and by all accounts, he's a really cool guy despite all the band's success.  They have cred, but they're not snobs. Dave can show up at a punk club one night, and then jam with Paul McCartney at the White House.  People love that.

But in 2011, no other band had a rock record with mainstream appeal that worked from start to finish. Great singles, cool videos, but start to finish the LP works.  It's not just my opinion: I think they played every song on the album at their concerts.  How many bands with that many hits, with that many albums, can play all their new songs in concert and have it go over.  And by the way, their concerts are all in arenas.

I remember seeing one of the Foo Fighters' first shows - opening for Mike Watt before the first LP was out. I don't think it was even common knowledge that it was Dave Grohl's band. They were great, but they were a club band. Years later, I saw them at Giants Stadium opening for The Rolling Stones. They seemed  a bit "fish out of water," but they played with a lot of heart and soul. A few years later, I saw them open/co-headline with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and it clicked. Grohl had opened for them years earlier with Nirvana. I think seeing the Chilis handle playing large venues helped it kick in for him. Today they are one of the mightiest arena bands in the land, and I mean that as a 100% compliment.

I was so glad to see them win a ton of Grammys last night, and of course their main performance rocked (the dance music thing felt a bit forced: I'd like to see them do something with Deadmau5 without the other artists that were included in that).  And seeing Dave jamming with Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh and Bruce Springsteen at the end of the night was amazing. But tonight, he could be at a Bad Brains show. That's what's so great about him.

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