Foo Fighters May or May Not Be Breaking Up (Again)

Before playing the fourth song of their set in Central Park on Saturday night, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl sparked rumors that the band would be breaking up after casually saying that the guys had "no more shows after this." "This is it, man," he said to the crowd. "Honestly I don’t know when we’re gonna do it again…and this is the perfect place to do it." Then, today, Grohl shared a letter with fans (by way of a publicist’s email blast) explaining his comments. 

Here’s the letter, sent to copy-and-paste-happy music bloggers worldwide:

Hey everyone…

Dave here. Just wanted to write and thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for another incredible year. (Our 18th, to be exact!) We truly never could have done any of this without you…

Never in my wildest dreams did I think Foo Fighters would make it this far. I never thought we COULD make it this far, to be honest. There were times when I didn’t think the band would survive. There were times when I wanted to give up. But… I can’t give up this band. And I never will. Because it’s not just a band to me. It’s my life. It’s my family. It’s my world.

Yes… I was serious. I’m not sure when the Foo Fighters are going to play again. It feels strange to say that, but it’s a good thing for all of us to go away for a while. It’s one of the reasons we’re still here. Make sense? I never want to NOT be in this band. So, sometimes it’s good to just… put it back in the garage for a while…

But, no gold watches or vacations just yet… I’ll be focusing all of my energy on finishing up my Sound City documentary film and album for worldwide release in the very near future. A year in the making, it could be the biggest, most important project I’ve ever worked on. Get ready… it’s coming.

Me, Taylor, Nate, Pat, Chris, and Rami… I’m sure we’ll all see you out there… somewhere…

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

Dave

Well, whatever that means. Like many folks before him (I’m looking at you, Cher), Grohl has announced his sort-of retirement before, most recently at August’s Reading Festival, where he—let’s be honest, here—lied at it’d be the band’s last show. Let’s see how long before the Foo Fighters get back together for "one last show." At this rate, I’m expecting a reunion tour in three months or so?

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Grunge Comes Back With a Vengeance

It was 1992 when Kurt Cobain posed with infant daughter Frances Bean wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with three words: grunge is dead. Of course it was a goof; at the time, the major labels were in full thrall with grunge, lustily courting greasy-haired Seattleites.

Years later, after Cobain took his own life, the phrase became an accepted truth. Labels started dropping grunge acts en masse. Bands imploded or slid into irrelevancy—few survived the decade.

Cut to 2012. Grunge’s influence has peppered popular culture for years, but the comeback began in earnest last fall with the hoopla surrounding the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s game-changer Nevermind and Pearl Jam, who celebrated two decades of Ten with a Cameron Crowe documentary, a best-selling retrospective book, and a festival in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin.

Of the Big Four grunge bands, three are active concerns working on new albums: Pearl Jam never went away; Soundgarden reunited in 2010 after a 13-year break; Alice in Chains have fully integrated singer William DuVall, who replaced the late Layne Staley. A Nirvana reunion is out of the question—replacing Cobain would be a crime against music—but Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and producer Butch Vig collaborated on the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Life last year.

In April, Vig tweeted that he’d spent the day recording with Grohl, Novoselic, and an unnamed “special guest” (the session was likely to do with Grohl’s forthcoming documentary on Sound City, the studio where Nevermind was recorded). After a surprise reunion at the Williamsburg after-party for the grunge-era rock documentary Hit So Hard, which chronicles the travails of Hole drummer Patty Schemel, the band’s guitarist, Eric Erlandson, hinted at the possibility of a “White Album” featuring unreleased Cobain solo material he hopes will someday see the light of day.

But it’s not all ’90s nostalgia. GrungeReport.net estimates 40 percent of readers are under 20, some of whom weren’t even born when Kurt Cobain killed himself. Patty Schemel, for one, witnessed the younger generation’s grunge love firsthand as she traveled the country promoting Hit So Hard. “Maybe it’s a backlash to what’s going on with pop music today—everything is so packaged and slick. Something dirty needs to show up,” Schemel says. “It’s weird seeing a Nirvana T-shirt in H&M. For kids, Nirvana are what Jimi Hendrix was to me. Grunge has become classic rock.”

Dave Grohl To Direct Music Studio Documentary ‘Sound City’

Out of all the guys who ever played with Nirvana, we certainly never expected Dave Grohl to emerge the sole rock star. (Sorry, Pat Smear.)

And even if in the far reaches of our imagination we could have somehow fathomed Foo Fighters, the idea of Grohl as a serious filmmaker was nowhere on our radar.

But once again the long-haired former hardcore kid has surprised us all. No, he’s not having another fight with Courtney Love about whether or not he hit on her daughter, Frances Bean, whom he has known since she was a baby.

Today it was announced that Grohl, as rumor has recently held, will be directing and producing an upcoming documentary, titled Sound City, about the infamous recording studio of the same name in Van Nuys, Calif., where musicians including Fear, Rage Against The Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Fleetwood Mac and, wouldn’t you know it, Nirvana recorded.

In a letter released today, Grohl wrote, “In the spring of 1991, I packed all of my belongings into an Army surplus duffle bag, put my drums in some dusty road cases, rolled up my sleeping bag, and jumped into an old, beat-up Ford van headed to Los Angeles. I was a 22-year-old starving musician without a cent to my name or a place to call home. My destination: Sound City.”

Grohl, who is now a millionaire rock star and apparently bought the console from the recording studio, goes on to write that the film focuses on what he considers “America’s greatest unsung recording studio” and says, “it might not be pretty… but it’s fucking real.”

Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl Expands on Grammy Speech

At Sunday’s Grammys ceremony, Dave Grohl’s acceptance speech for one of the Foo Fighters’ wins talked about how his album was recorded in a garage, and how it’s important to remember the "human element" in music. Basically, the same ole "rock n’ roll is real and will never die" stuff that’s been repeated for decades. But apparently this was controversial to some people, as Grohl has released a press statement clarifying the intention behind his words: celebration, not a snide dismissal of the non-human elements that find their way into most of the music that’s nominated at the Grammys these days. (Paging one Skrillex.) You can read the full text of his clarification after the jump, in which Grohl affectionately refers to himself as "Davemau5."

   Oh, what a night we had last Sunday at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. The glitz! The Glamour! SEACREST! Where do I begin?? Chillin’ with Lil’ Wayne…meeting Cyndi Lauper’s adorable mother…the complimentary blinking Coldplay bracelet…..much too much to recap. It’s really is still a bit of a blur. But, if there’s one thing that I remember VERY clearly, it was accepting the Grammy for Best Rock Performance…and then saying this:
     
"To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what’s important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do… It’s not about being perfect, it’s not about sounding absolutely correct, it’s not about what goes on in a computer. It’s about what goes on in here [your heart] and what goes on in here [your head]."
 
       Not the Gettysburg Address, but hey……I’m a drummer, remember?
 
      Well, me and my big mouth. Never has a 33 second acceptance rant evoked such caps-lock postboard rage as my lil’ ode to analog recording has. OK….maybe Kanye has me on this one, but….Imma let you finish….just wanted to clarify something…
 
      I love music. I love ALL kinds of music. From Kyuss to Kraftwerk, Pinetop Perkins to Prodigy, Dead Kennedys to Deadmau5…..I love music. Electronic or acoustic, it doesn’t matter to me. The simple act of creating music is a beautiful gift that ALL human beings are blessed with. And the diversity of one musician’s personality to the next is what makes music so exciting and…..human.
 
      That’s exactly what I was referring to. The "human element". That thing that happens when a song speeds up slightly, or a vocal goes a little sharp. That thing that makes people sound like PEOPLE. Somewhere along the line those things became "bad" things, and with the great advances in digital recording technology over the years they became easily "fixed". The end result? I my humble opinion…..a lot of music that sounds perfect, but lacks personality. The one thing that makes music so exciting in the first place.
 
     And, unfortunately,  some of these great advances have taken the focus off of the actual craft of performance. Look, I am not Yngwie Malmsteen. I am not John Bonham. Hell…I’m not even Josh Groban, for that matter. But I try really fucking hard so that I don’t have to rely on anything but my hands and my heart to play a song. I do the best that I possibly can within my limitations, and accept that it sounds like me. Because that’s what I think is most important. It should be real, right? Everybody wants something real.
 
     I don’t know how to do what Skrillex does (though I fucking love it) but I do know that the reason he is so loved is because he sounds like Skrillex, and that’s badass. We have a different process and a different set of tools, but the "craft" is equally as important, I’m sure. I mean…..if it were that easy, anyone could do it, right? (See what I did there?)
 
    So, don’t give me two Crown Royals and then ask me to make a speech at your wedding, because I might just bust into the advantages of recording to 2 inch tape.
 
      Now, I think I have to go scream at some kids to get off my lawn.
 
      Stay frosty.    
 
       Davemau5

Fair enough. Watch part of his speech below and judge for yourself.

Courtney Love Is Super Mature; Totally Sane; Absolutely Didn’t Flip Out At Kurt Cobain Poster

If ‘crazy’ could be bottled up and sold Ms. Courtney Love would be the Evian source, spouting seemingly endless amounts of pure, undiluted insanity every hour of every day. When she’s not Tweeting sociopathic (yet utterly hilarious) rants at ex-lover Billy Corgan or soon-to-be-hugely-famous ex-daughter Frances Bean, Courtney can be found yelling at the very crowds that pay her bills. This time, she focused her vitriol at a young Brazilian fan who waved a Kurt Cobain poster at her gig, refusing to play and then storming off the stage. Because that’s what a sane person would do. 

While directing a rant at the poor poster-waving fan, she mentioned Nirvana bandmate Dave Grohl’s arena rock band Foo Fighters, before promptly leaving the stage. Minutes later, the crowd enticed her back with chants of … drum roll please … "Foo Fighters are gay". A smiling Courtney then bounded back onto the stage and proceeded to finish the show. 
 
What does this say about her? Cobain died under mysterious circumstances, with more heroin in his system than would allow him to finish dosing himself. Love’s never-ending supply of ‘crazy’ does draw a source from near constant accusations that she had something to do with his murder and subsequent coverup; the details of which are showcased spectacularly by Nick Broomfield’s documentary ‘Kurt & Courtney’. She might be one fracas away from a stint on Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab, but that is what we have come to expect from her. Check out the video of the event here, and tell us what you think. Crazy, or crazy like a fox?

When Singers Attack: Dave Grohl & the Best Onstage Freakouts

Congratulations to Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, who went viral today after tearing into an aggro fan in the middle of his band’s set at the iTunes Festival in London. After Grohl spotted someone fighting in the crowd (in England, they call them hooligans), he came to the victim’s rescue by booting the offender from the show in a profanity-laced tirade. The crowd, of course, loved it. But Grohl isn’t the first performer to snap at a misbehaving fan. After the jump, indulge in some the best onstage freakouts ever recorded—and by “best” we mean the only ones we could find on YouTube.

But first, here’s Dave Grohl finest hour:

Note to self: Next time you go to a Queens of the Stone Age concert, do not throw something at lead singer Josh Homme. Wow. The last time we saw this much venom was at our grandfather’s annual cobra spitting contest. The highlight here is when Homme, who was battling a fever, uttered the now-classic line, “You throw something at me, I’m not so sick that I can’t go down there and beat the fuckin shit out of you, you know what I’m saying?” Yes, Mr. Homme. Anything you say, Mr. Hommee.

David Draiman of the metal band Disturbed lashed out a fan for apparently playing video games during their set. He then gives security his blessing to “kick him the fuck out” if they see him playing one more time. Angry birds, angrier frontman.

Last year, the lead singer of the British hardcore band Architects flipped off, as they say in England, at a fan who called him a faggot for having holes in his jeans? That’s what we gather from this grainy video, anyway. Whatever happened, it’s still fun to watch as he gets the audience to collectively yell “Fuck off” to the perp. Music, unity, love. Bono Some guy named Bono got mad at some guy on some phone during some song we’ve never heard before.

Bo Burhnam, the genial, and by all accounts friendly YouTube sensation and Judd Apatow protege, told a “dumb fucking bitch” to “shut the fuck up” after she interrupted him for the twentieth time. People cheered, he felt satisfied, and she went home to see what sharp objects against her wrists felt like.

Kid Cudi‘s had his share of behavioral problems in the past, but never more so than when he rushed off stage after a fan—in the middle of “Pursuit of Happiness,” of all songs—who came onstage uninvited, probably just to say hi. Cudi then had to be restrained by just about everyone (good thing he travels with an entourage) before coming back on stage to finish the song.

Here Is Your 2011 Lollapalooza Lineup

The full Lollapalooza lineup was announced this morning, and despite our befuddlement as to why Muse keeps headlining festivals next to generation-defining acts like Eminem, Coldplay, and Foo Fighters, the rest of the bill looks exactly like every other major summer festival. Which is to say, awesome.

Below, a whole bunch of reasons to head to Chicago the weekend of August 5th:

My Morning Jacket A Perfect Circle Cee Lo Green Damian Marley & Nas Atmosphere Cold War Kids The Cars Ween Arctic Monkeys Lykke Li the Kills Bright Eyes Big Audio Dynamite Deftones Beirut Ratatat Explosions in the Sky Crystal Castles Sleigh Bells Death From Above 1979 the Pains of Being Pure at Heart the Drums Tinie Tempha Smith Westerns Foster the People Friendly Fires The Pretty Reckless An Horse Cults Noah & the Whale Ellie Goulding Ok Go Black Lips Best Coast Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses the Vaccines

And, of course, much more!

Afternoon Links: Foo Fighters Are Number One, Lindsay Loses ‘Gotti’ Role

● Catherine Zeta-Jones is joining the Rock of Ages movie as a villain, one that wasn’t included in the Broadway production. And no, I’m not cruel enough to insert a Bipolar joke here. [Hollywood Reporter] ● Now this is impressive: 15 years into a hall-of-fame career, the Foo Fighters finally have their first number-one album, with Wasting Light moving 235,000 units in its first week. [Billboard] ● Status update! Mark Zuckerberg wanted to fuck the Winklevoss twins. In the ear. [TMZ]

● Watch Nicki Minaj give a lapdance to NBA star Steve Nash. Never has one man seemed so white. [Deadspin] ● This is embarrassing: We reported on rumors that Lindsay Lohan would star in the upcoming Gotti: Three Generations. Now, not so much. [TMZ] ● Tyler Perry said some nasty things to Spike Lee at a recent press conference for his movie, which no one could really understand since his mouth was full of gold coins. [Box Office via Vulture]

April Music Reviews: Holy Ghost!, Panda Bear, Foo Fighters

Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost! (DFA) The self-titled debut from Holy Ghost! arrives dutifully crafted, four years after their breakout track, 2007’s “Hold On.” In that time, New York natives and childhood friends Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser have toured with Chromeo and LCD Soundsystem, and have released a buzzworthy foursong EP entitled Static on the Wire. The album’s lead single, “Do It Again,” jump-starts the 10-track full-length with thumping bass lines, warped disco beats, and the hum of ’80s synthesizers, while songs like “Say My Name” incorporate a darker layer of post-punk edge. Although we’ve tried to kill the word, the new Holy Ghost! album is heavenly and at times, yes, ethereal. —Nadeska Alexis

The Duke Spirit, Bruiser (Shangri-La) With a babe as delicious as lead vocalist Liela Moss—who once played muse to the late Alexander McQueen—it would be easy for a band like the Duke Spirit, a five-piece from London, to lie back and rest on their comely laurels. But every bit of Bruiser—from its disparate influences to its choral harmonies strung over heavy bass lines—pulls you in for an experience charged with sex, guitars, and cool English detachment. Languorously slow and sensitive in parts, growly and seductive at others, the Duke Spirit’s third studio album justifies all those comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. Bruiser is no misnomer. It’ll take you down. And it’ll win. —Anna Duckworth

Xylos, Xylos (1000x) Xylos is the rare Brooklyn band that traffics almost exclusively in feel-good rhythms and uplifting melodies, and this polished debut LP might just be a clever ploy to make scowling New Yorkers smile. “Darling Dearest” is a breezy blend of synth, guitar, and drums, with vocalist Monika Heidemann singing, “We’re just here to experience one another.” Amen, girl. “Not Enough,” meanwhile, seems bound for scores of beachhouse mixes, with its romantic pleas for something more than a one-night stand providing the perfect soundtrack to summer love. They may just be beautiful liars, but it’s a useful fiction. —Caroline Seghers

An Horse, Walls (Mom + Pop) An Horse seeks to rescue pop from the gumball machine, with stripped-down guitars, effervescent beats, and restive vocals. The brainchild of Australians Kate Cooper and Damon Cox, An Horse got a major boost from indie darlings Tegan and Sara, who employed them as an opening act in 2008 and signed them to their record label the following year. Walls, their second full-length album, is an inspired display of uncomplicated style. “Dressed Sharply” kicks off the album with a bang, setting a tone of pop-rock nostalgia, while “Trains and Tracks” has an infectious chorus and fast beat that take you back to the days of sneaking out in your parents’ car, consequences be damned. Though there’s an undercurrent of simmering anger, Walls brims with youthful optimism. —CS

Panda Bear, Tomboy (Paw Tracks) As expected, the latest offering from Animal Collective brainiac Noah Lennox sounds as if it were composed of instruments that haven’t yet been invented. Tomboy’s expansive landscape is littered with noises new to most human ears. (For aliens, this stuff is old hat.) The most familiar sound on the record is Lennox’s voice, or voices, since he revisits his eerie tendency to multiply harmonies on nearly every track. An exception is the haunting “Scheherazade,” a sequel of sorts to Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song,” in which Lennox wails from the abyss accompanied by what sounds like a whale having an orgasm. Like Animal Collective’s eighth studio album, 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, some songs verge on dance music. “Afterburner” pulsates with a drowned-out beat, and “Slow Motion” is what hiphop would sound like if it was made by, well, Panda Bear. —Ben Barna

Foo Fighters, Wasting Light (Roswell/RCA) Few musicians age as gracefully as Dave Grohl. Since emerging from the shadow of Nirvana more than 15 years ago, the multi-instrumentalist has built a rich and prolific second career as the frontman and creative soul of Foo Fighters, delivering satisfyingly aggressive albums and live shows that replace teenage angst with the easy confidence of rock veterans having a blast. On Wasting Light, the band’s seventh release, Foo Fighters keep it loud, with fuzzy guitars, heavy bass lines, and relentless drums. “Rope,” the album’s first single, is four minutes of blissfully beer-soaked noise, while “Arlandria” showcases Grohl’s mastery of restraint, alternating heartfelt poetry with defiant rage. “I Should Have Known,” featuring former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, contains echoes of the grunge pioneers’ emotional past, but ultimately trades yesterday’s pain for tonight’s party. If you listen to this while driving, watch your speed. —Victor Ozols

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Belong (Slumberland/Collective Sounds) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart rose to prominence in 2007 with an EP that earned comparisons to classic shoegaze acts like the Stone Roses and the Smashing Pumpkins. On their second album, Belong, the New York-based quartet comes into its own with a refined collection of songs that layer sanguine guitars and shamelessly poppy lyrics (“She was the heart in your heartbreak/ She was the miss in your mistake”) over metronomic indie beats. The title track is a lightning storm of reverb and sexy whispers, equally suited for sweaty house parties and clandestine makeout sessions. —AD