Bio: Jeremy Neugebauer is a freelance rock music journalist and historian, primarily focusing on classic rock and alternative rock. He has a BA in English from Columbia College and is the program manager of Alternative Nation Radio and manages three other online rock radio stations at www.rockshowradio.net.
Fun Facts: Jeremy has been a member of the Pearl Jam Ten Club since 1999. He is a fan of all professional sports teams out of St. Louis plus throw in the Kansas City Chiefs. His favorite bands include Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and The Who.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
According to a Missoula Montana newspaper Pearl Jam’s lone bachelor has finally tied the knot in what seemed to be a very secret ceremony. The Missoulian mentions two people by the same name as Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and his long time girlfriend Pandora Andre-Beatty getting married on February 16th, 2016 in the “Marriages” section of their website. Unless there is another couple who reside in Missoula with the same name as the Pearl Jam bassist and his girlfriend, this report seems to be legit. This in the only known reporting of the marriage.
Pearl Jam also released a slew of North American tour dates this past January.
April 8: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (BB&T Arena)
April 9: Miami, Fla. (American Airlines Arena)
April 11: Tampa, Fla. (Amalie Arena)
April 13: Jacksonville, Fla. (Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena)
April 16: Greenville, S.C. (Bon Secours Wellness Arena)
April 18: Hampton, Va. (Hampton Coliseum)
April 20: Raleigh, N.C. (PNC Arena)
April 21: Columbia, S.C. (Colonia Life Arena)
April 23: New Orleans, LA (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest)
April 26: Lexington, KY (Rupp Arena)
April 28: Philadelphia, Penn. (Wells Fargo Center)
April 29: Philadelphia, Penn. (Wells Fargo Center)
May 1: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden)
May 2: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden)
May 5: Quebec City, Quebec (Centre Videotron)
May 8: Ottawa, Ontario (Canadian Tire Centre)
May 10: Toronto, Ontario (Air Canada Centre)
June 9-12: Manchester, Tenn. (Bonnaroo)
Jul. 9: Telluride, Colorado (Ride Festival)
Aug. 5: Boston, Mass. (Fenway Park)
Aug. 7: Boston, Mass. (Fenway Park)
Aug. 20: Chicago, Ill. (Wrigley Field)
Aug. 22: Chicago, Ill. (Wrigley Field)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be releasing a much anticipated new album in 2016. However, with their current repertoire they have become one of the most successful and consistent bands in modern rock, so ranking their albums took quite bit of brainstorming. Focusing on the album as a whole and not the quality of the singles of each album was the main approach to this piece. RHCP’s first three albums are similar; a very young band trying to find its way. However, when Mother’s Milk was released in 1989 the band finally tapped into their potential and the majority of the next six albums made the band one of the biggest, if not the biggest, band in modern rock music.
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers (self-titled) (1983)
The first album from RHCP was very raw and lacked cohesiveness, which would be expected considering the band wasn’t considered a serious project by guitarist Hillel Slovak who backed out of recording the album. Anthony Kiedis and Flea have mentioned over the years that they prefer the demo versions of most of these songs which were recorded with the original lineup featuring Slovak. Reaching just below the Billboard top 200, RHCP’s debut included very few highlights, however “Green Heaven” is a fan favorite and “Out In LA” is the first song that RHCP wrote together.
9. Freaky Styley (1985)
Produced by funk mastermind George Clinton, Freaky Styley had some high points, particularly the comical “Catholic School Girls Rule” but still failed to garner much commercial success.
Bassist Flea had this to say about the album for the 2003 reissue:
“I know the music on this record was just way too obscure to ever be popular in a mainstream kind of way, but to me it really holds its own as a definitive and substantial musical statement. More than any other record we ever made it falls into the category of “too funky for white radio, too punk rockin’ for black.” Of course, the songs were very far away from any pop format; I realize it is/was not just the racial segregation at radio that precluded it from being a popular record.”
8. The Uplift MoFo Party Plan (1987) The Uplift MoFo Party Plan was the last album to feature all four founding members of the band. Guitarist Hillel Slovak would later die of a heroin overdose after the tour in support of the album, and drummer Jack Irons would quit the band being unable to cope with the loss of his friend. As the RHCP sound continued to sprout, this album was their most successful one up to this point and was actually their first album to enter the Billboard top 200. Some noteworthy tracks include “Fight Like A Brave”, “Me and my Friends”, and “Behind the Sun”.
7. I’m With You (2011)
The first album since One Hot Minute sans John Frusciante seems to be a band in rebuilding mode with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who seemingly does not quite fill the shoes his predecessor left behind. Many RHCP albums, specifically the ones released after the 1980’s, were very guitar heavy, but the guitar parts took more of a backing role with I’m With You. However, it seems that the talent of Josh Klinghoffer wasn’t the issue; the issue was in the production phase of the album as the recorded guitar parts were greatly turned down. A fan re-engineered the album and posted the new version on youtube which brings the guitar parts out into the forefront. Many fans believe this change greatly enhanced the quality of the album and truth be told if that version was the one originally released it would have been ranked just below Blood Sugar Sex Magic on this list. However, based on the recording that was released, besides one of the most exceptional ballads the band has ever recorded in “Breaden’s Death Song”, the tracks don’t measure up to any of the singles that RHCP released since before Mother’s Milk. Tracks like “Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”, “Look Around”, and “Monarchy of Roses” which all could be placed in the same category as “Suck My Kiss”, “Higher Ground”, and “Around the World” would all rank at the bottom of that category. I’m With You was an album with great potential, but the decision to hide Klinghoffer’s talent greatly degraded the finished product.
6. Mothers Milk (1989) Mothers Milk was the album that RHCP finally polished their unique sound to form something that was widely accepted on MTV and rock radio. The Stevie Wonder cover “Higher Ground” and the second single “Knock Me Down” both received significant air play and became the sound the band would feed off of for years to come. Other great highlights from this album include the Jimmy Hendrix cover “Fire” and the scorcher “Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky”.
5. Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) Blood Sugar Sex Magik made the Red Hot Chili Peppers a worldwide phenomenon. Hard hitting and funky tracks like “Suck My Kiss” and “Give it Away” are the yin to the yang of two of the best ballads in the RHCP catalog in “Breaking the Girl” and “Under the Bridge”. This album contained some of the band’s best singles, but as a complete piece wasn’t their best cohesive work.
4. One Hot Minute (1995)
The one off album featuring guitarist Dave Navarro in place of John Frusciante is a bit of an enigma. Flea once eluded that Navarro wasn’t a good fit for RHCP, and the band very rarely play a song from this album live. However, as a whole it is just about as great as the rest of their classics. It contains some of the bands more standard alternative rock tracks like “Coffee Shop” and “Warped” and along with the ballad “My Friends” and the fun oddity “Aeroplane” One Hot Minute is surprisingly RHCP’s most well rounded album.
3. By The Way (2002) By The Way was critically acclaimed but a bit of a change of pace from the band’s previous releases. However, as solid as it was, the album wasn’t as consistent as Californication or Stadium Arcadium, even though “Can’t Stop” and “By The Way” were great singles. Other highlights include tracks like “Dosed”, “Universally Speaking” and “The Zephyr Song” in which the band strayed away from their norm and the tracks became a favorite among many fans. Additionally, the track “Throw Away Your Television” may be the best track to come out of the By The Way sessions and has since become a spectacularly performed live staple.
2. Californication (1999)
After the release of One Hot Minute, five long years passed and the buzz surrounding RHCP had chilled a bit. There were some drug problems in the band during this hiatus plus the departure of Dave Navarro, however, that departure allowed for the return of John Frusciante, and the fire was restarted after the release of Californication. This album contains everything that makes the Red Hot Chili Peppers great songwriters. Tracks like “Otherside”, “Californication”, and “Scar Tissue” have the same essence that made “Under the Bridge” such a landmark track, and the funky “Around the World” was a throwback to the RHCP standard which helped get the critics back on their side.
1. Stadium Arcadium (2006)
I can see it in the comments section already… This guy put which album #1!!!???
John Frusciante’s swan song.. or.. swan album (hardy har har) is, as a complete work, the Red Hot Chili Peppers BEST album. Stadium Arcadium contains over two hours of great single worthy tracks and it’s difficult to single out a specific track that stands out amongst others because of the album’s consistency, and in all honesty, the singles may be the weakest tracks on the album. Stadium Arcadium doesn’t have a track that is as epic as “Scar Tissue”, “Give It Away”, or “Under the Bridge” however, from start to finish, it is RHCPs most solid album and may actually be one of the best double albums of all time.
Guitarist Chad Taylor of Live has recently revealed on his Facebook page the band were snowed in their studio during Winter Storm Jonus in York, Pennsylvania, which gave them an opportunity to write and record new music. However, currently there have been no plans revealed for a new release.
Live’s last album was 2014’s very underrated eighth studio album The Turn, which many fans considered their best effort since 1997’s Secret Samhadi. The Turn is also the band’s first album featuring Chris Shinn on vocals, replacing founding member Ed Kowalczyk who left the band in November 2009 in a seemingly bitter departure. Shinn was previously the lead vocalist of Unified Theory which also featured former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen and Blind Melon members Christopher Thorn and Brad Smith.
On New Year’s Day Alternative Nation posted an article Make Listening to These Ten Up and Coming Bands Your New Year’s Resolution, and now that we have given you some time to fall in love with those ten bands, here are fifteen more. So before you start raving out (do the kids still do that?) to that new Skrillex record, try listening to these ten bands that may just save rock and roll and make people realize that EDM is pretty much just disco.
Lisa Murphwell – Vocals/Guitar
Adam Learner – Bass/Backing Vocals
Alan Murphwell – Drums
A three piece band from Melbourne, Australia which features a talented front woman with a stellar and bold voice accompanied by one of the best rhythm sections in modern rock, Dear Stalker have the pieces in place to break at any moment.
Members: Bryan, Matt, Derek, RJ and Matt
Echo Collider is a five piece progressive hard rock band hailing from Kansas City, MO. Dynamically mixing heavy guitars along with moments where the listener can get whisked up in the exploratory song progression, Echo Collider have the music to take you on a trip.
Raytheon Dunn: Vocals/Guitar
Chris Wilkins: Bass/ Vocals
Severin Di Croce: Drums
With multiple vocalists that are as smooth and flawless as they come and a sound that rivals some of the best singer/songwriter acts of today, Dear Adamas is just getting started with their latest single “Somber Face”.
Ben Verellen: Guitar/Vocals
Dana James: Bass/Vocals
Hozoji Margullis: Drums/Vocals
A three piece band out of Seattle, WA, Helms Alee are masters of progressive melodies and vocal harmonies; its modern rock that builds and explodes. If you like Tool they are a must listen, though Helms Alee are by no means imitators and often branch out finding unexplored musical territory. And on a side note, their album artwork is breathtaking.
Frankie Mattero: Vocals
Brandon DeAtley: Drums
Albert Deel: Bass/Vocals
Christian Deel: Guitar
Brandon Deel: Guitar
Home Address is a five piece band from Fredericksburg, Virginia that radiates nothing but feel good alternative rock. It’s one of those rare perfect musical marriages where all the components mesh together to form a unique and refreshing sound all its own, as evident in the track “Supposedly“.
Dustin Schumacher: Guitar/Vocals
Keeyan Zimmerman: Drums
Dan Dent: Bass
A three piece band from Bloomsburg, PA, Inner Temple quench the thirst for fans of early 90s alternative rock that crave that type of new music from a modern band. Inner Temple are carrying the torch passed on by Nirvana and The Screaming Trees but with a modern twist.
A two piece band from Detriot, MI, Messenger Birds are a bit grungy and a bit solo Jack White, but their use of space allows them to stand apart from their peers.
Outta The Furnace
Minnesota John: Guitar/vocals
Stevie Steve: Bass Guitar
Matt Albright: Drums
Outta The Furnace are a three piece bluesy modern rock band from Virginia Beach, VA. White Stripes meets Buddy Guy; Outta The Furnace has formed a sound all their own.
Will Love: Vocals/Guitar
Sabrosa Purr is an experimental alternative rock band from Los Angeles, CA. They have taken a wide range of influences while superbly taking advantage of time in their songwriting and created something truly extraordinary.
Alternative Nation’s very own multi-talented reporter Tim Branom is a rock music veteran from Los Angeles, California. Branom has worked with the likes of Layne Staley and Days of the New. A guru in the studio and a great songwriter, Branom’s music is tailored to perfection. Throw in some great hooks, perfect transitions, and voice that can rattle the soul, Branom’s music is a must listen. Branom just released a raucous new single entitled “Blind” last month, download it on iTunes.
Ultra Major (Formally Concreatures)
From Brooklyn, NY, Ultra Major create nothing but great and heavy melodic tracks. Their sound is a throw back to the 90’s with smooth vocals and loud guitars.; a hint of Screaming Trees mixed with their own brand of alternative rock.
Brett Hornall: Lead Vocals/Bass
Kirk Musfelt: Guitar / Backup Vocals
Nolan Nielsen: Drums / Backup Vocals
The Vidos are a three piece punk band from Vancouver, BC, Canada and fun is the only way to describe them. Their music isn’t overplayed pop/punk nonsense, but is actually reminiscent of the early punk days by perfecting the habitual short punk track with excellent musicianship.
Keith Freund: Vocals/Guitar/Bass
Chris Oquist: Drums
Ribs are a duo from Boston, MA. With heavy guitars layered with a vocalist that has the aura of The Cure’s Robert Smith, Ribs have conjured up a sound like no other. They have opened for the likes of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and in 2016 a much anticipated new album is set to be released.
If you have completely given up on rock or just came back from that much anticipated trip to mars, or any other random place completely void of all things regarding rock music in pop culture, and haven’t heard these two bands that have recently garnered significant fan bases, you should check them out!
As far back as October Alternative Nation has been reporting the following tour dates, however a headlining stint at the Bonnaroo Festival has been rumored to be replacing the Nashville date and Canadian radio station 101.5 The Wolf announced a contest to win tickets to a performance in Toronto on Tuesday, May 10th, so the rumored dates below may vary a bit. With the Bonnaroo announcement coming January 18th on Conan, Pearl Jam’s announcement may coincide with the Bonnaroo announcement (antsy Pearl Jam fans are hoping anyway).
Rumored Pearl Jam 2016 Tour Dates from October:
4/8 Ft Lauderdale
4/18 Columbia SC
5/6 Albany or Hartford
Do you think all the best rock music was made before the year 2000? Have you jumped ship with rock and hopped on the EDM bandwagon? Do you not have a New Year’s resolution? Well, before you pick up that latest Dead Mou-Five (Did I spell that right?) record, how about I give you a new years resolution.. and that is find a new up and coming band that you can’t get enough of!
It’s actually a little easier than you think, and I’ll make it even easier for you by giving you a list of ten of the best up and coming bands to check out if you haven’t already (and if you have, good job doing your homework!):
Mark Engles: Guitar
Chris Robyn: Drums
Ben Flanagan: Vocals/Bass
Black Map is a three-piece alternative hard rock band hailing from San Fransisco, CA. Loud and boisterous, Black Map are a hard rock force with a heavy, clean sound. In 2014 Alternative Nation reviewed their album And We Explode… giving it a 9/10.
“This album practically holds every characteristic necessary for an alternative rock musical masterpiece, which should come as to no surprise.”
Black Map have supported Chevelle on tour and have also played various shows with the likes of ††† (Crosses), Tombs, Pelican, and Kill Devil Hill. Essential Tracks: “Code”, “Chinaski”, “I’m Just the Driver”
Evan Staats – Vocals
Scott Staats – Bass
Patrick McKnight – Guitar
Mark Leone – Drums
Dinosaur Eyelids are a four piece band based out of New Brunswick, NJ. With a bit of a grungy and progressive sound, Dinosaur Eyelids are excellent songwriters with many tracks that can take you on a journey. “The LIDS” have opened for Parlor Mob and shared the stage with Dean Ween of Ween and have earned a reputation for their aggressive live performances.
Essential Tracks: “Further Down the River”, “21 Graham Salute”, “Answer In The Sky”
The Everyday Losers are a four piece band out of Washington, Indiana. They describe themselves as a band full of heavy riffs, powerful choruses, and frenetic live performances. They recently wrapped up a touring stint with Saliva in November and have also shared the stage with Jackyl, Smile Empty Soul, and Black Stone Cherry. The Everyday Losers boast tracks that are both heavy and melodic, such as the standout “Here We Are Now”.
Essential Tracks: “Outta My Head”, “Hate You”, “Here We Are Now”
Steve Weston – Guitar/Pedals/Vocals
Lee ‘meatarm’ Yates – Bass
Dave Pankhurst – Drums
High/Low are a four piece band out of Essex, UK. The band’s entire catalog is bursting with catchy, heavy, alternative rock tracks. All the elements seem to perfectly blend together to form a unique brand of rock music that works more on a high level, not a low one (ba dum tiss). High/Low have a much anticipated new album being released on January 29th, 2016. Get an exclusive free download from the new album entitled “MONO” here and you can hear their new single entitled “Mould” below.
Joe Weinstock – Guitars
Glyn Rolmanis – Drums
Michael Martin – Vocals
Minus Cube is a three piece band with a unique setup in that Michael is based in the USA, and Joe and Glyn are based in the UK, but that distance hasn’t stopped the band from creating one of the most unique sounds in rock today. A listener can hear the influences from bands like Tool, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, particularly in tracks like “Everything” and Trance Decay”. Minus Cube have a new album planned for 2016 entitled The Butterfly Effect, watch the teaser here.
New Oceans David Downs –Vocals/Guitar
Rob Miller – Bass
John Kehoe –Drums
New Oceans is a three piece band out of Chicago, IL. Starting out as an industrial, electro-rock band, New Oceans have changed their style, releasing a unique high energy punk/grunge album entitled Fuzzbuzz. Having the feel of early Seattle grunge while throwing in some of the most unique song progressions in modern rock, New Oceans have grown to be an innovative and exciting newcomer to the american rock scene.
Essential Tracks: “ADHD”, “She Lives in a Shack”, “Sun Drunk”
Nick Gray – Vocals/Guitar
Greg Nicholas – Drums/Vocals
Joe Gray – Bass/Vocals
Noiseheads are a three piece band from Pensacola, FL, but are soon transitioning to Greensboro, NC. Alternative Nation hailed Noiseheads as “One of America’s most promising young rock bands,” and with catchy radio friendly hard rock tunes, Noiseheads may be one of those bands that will ensure the world that rock is still alive and well. The band is influenced by many of the greats such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but sound like no other. Dave Grohl once said the intensity that Kurt Cobain had in his voice sounded like he was grinding nails in his throat when he performed, and this comparison is also the only way to describe Nick Gray’s vocals, throw in a stellar rhythm section from Greg and Joe and yes it is true, Noiseheads is one of America’s most promising young rock bands, and they may just be a band that brings rock music back from the underground. Noiseheads may be taking a bit of a break with the move, but have been busy recently, including releasing a video for their track “Fellow Man” in November.
Essential Tracks: “Fellow Man”, “Expectations”, “Pretty Hate Song Pt. 2”, “Annie”
Soul Inclination is a four piece band from New Delhi, India. Though they have recently gone through some lineup changes, the two tracks they released in 2015 were fantastic. So great in fact that their second single “Not a Loser” was the most requested song on Alternative Nation Radio in 2015. Influenced by bands like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, Soul Inclination has the makings of a modern rock force.
The Burning of Rome
Adam Traub – Vocals/Keys/Guitar
Joe Aguilar – Guitar/Vocals
Aimee Jacobs – Keys/Glockenspiel/Vocals
Keveen Baudouin – Bass/Vocals
Danny King – Drums
The Burning of Rome are a five piece band from the Los Angeles and San Diego, CA area. Describing themselves as death-pop, they have the elements of a band who will eventually garner a very large cult following. Their use of both male and female vocal leads gives them a diversity that not many modern rock bands possess. They released their second album Year of the Ox in 2014 which included three tracks that were among the most requested on Alternative Nation Radio in 2015.
Essential Tracks: “Better Than He”, “Cowboy’s and Cut Cigars”, “Year of the Ox”
Dean – Guitar/Vocals
Marc – Bass
Nils – Drums
Tidalwave is a three piece band from Berlin, Germany. Their first release, a four song self-titled EP released in Feburary 2015, was pure melodic alternative rock bliss. Influenced by bands like Foo Fighters, Deftones, and Muse, Tidalwave have the ability to create a smart and cohesive sound unlike no other. With a new EP entitled “1992” being released in early 2016 (watch the teaser), Tidalwave is sure to turn even more heads in the coming months.
As we kick off 2016, the year should be an eventful one in the year of alternative rock. Check out 10 of the most anticipated albums for the year below!
Wolfmother are set to release their new album Victorious in February. The band has already released two raucous tracks from the album, “Victorious” and “City Lights“.
PJ Harvey will release her first album since 2011’s Let England Shake this spring. The album documents a “unique artistic journey which took her to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C,” according to a press release. She has already performed new tracks live, including “Chain of Keys” and “The Ministry of Social Affairs.”
In October, Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood said that the band has recorded “lots” of material for a new album and are currently sifting through the material to find the best tracks. It will be the band’s first release since 2011.
Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains were already beginning work on their new album this past summer, so a 2016 release has to be expected.
Bassist Mike Inez told Rock 103 (as transcribed by Alternative Nation) in August:
“We’ve been throwing around riffs for a new record, we’re taking it nice and slow, and we just wanted to get out of the house this summer, and just play. It’s funny, we’re still like brothers to this day.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers have completed the majority of their new album and in December were only waiting for Anthony Keidis to track vocals. Flea has called the new material “emotional” and the first single is set to be released in early February.
In November Chino Moreno announced in an interview with BBC Radio 1 that the Deftones have finished recording their new album and were in the mixing process with an early 2016 release. Moreno also mentioned that the album has 16 tracks and will feature an appearance from Jerry Cantrell.
In August Chris Cornell told Rolling Stone that Soundgarden is working on a new album. Kim Thayil said earlier in the year that the band is aiming for a 2016 release. No additional details have been confirmed.
Billy Corgan has been hyping up the followup to 2014’s Monuments to an Elegy since before that album came out, originally titling the followup Day for Night and saying it’d be released in 2015. Corgan then dropped the titled and reworked the album over the summer, but there has been no update from Corgan since. Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin recently revealed that he will be getting together with Corgan early this year, so there may be news coming soon.
Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor made a big announcement on Twitter on December 18th: “New NIN coming in 2016. Other stuff, too.”
Reznor told Rolling Stone in July that he was in the early stages of working on new Nine Inch Nails music.
“Yeah, I’ve been messing around with some things. And I went through a period of “tour, tour, tour.” Things right after another, with scores and what I’ve been doing whilst working on Apple music here is what I call “laboratory time,” more experiments without any definite agenda. It’s not for a thing, it’s not a record I’m trying to finish in a month. It’s more just feeling around in the dark and seeing what sounds interesting. It’s nice to do that every few years to try and reinvent and discover and try to learn about yourself and what feels exciting to you as an artist.”
He also discussed rock bands no longer selling albums, “As an artist, there’s the difficult transition from realizing that where you used to sell an item that you got X amount for – those days are over. And the toothpaste is not going to go back in the tube. And people aren’t going to suddenly want to buy CDs again and feel good about overpaying for them. That’s a fact. Most of my peers have swallowed the bitter pill that I have swallowed, which is that you don’t make a lot of money selling music these days. It’s just the way it is. I don’t think that’s the way it should be, but that is the way it is. So I’m excited to accept that.”
The elusive Tool have been somewhat quietly working on a new album over the past year. They debuted a snippet of a new song entitled “Descending” at a Halloween show in Tempe, Arizona which Adam Jones later told Rolling Stone was a preview of a new track. So we are all holding out hope that 2016 is the year that we finally get a new Tool album since 2006’s 10,000 Days.
The passing of Scott Weiland has sent ripples throughout the rock music industry. Many artists have paid tribute of his passing with their own covers of their favorite tracks featuring Weiland, with Chris Cornell also dedicating the Temple Of The Dog classic “Say Hello 2 Heaven” to Weiland.
With Scott Weiland’s last in-depth interview being with Alternative Nation owner Brett Buchanan, and with the simple fact that his music has had a profound impact on the reporters here at Alternative Nation, we decided to do a look back on the influence Weiland’s music had over his 25-year career on each reporter, all the way back from the 1989/1990 Mighty Joe Young demos to 2015’s Blaster.
Purple is overall my favorite STP album. It’s just one of those timeless albums you can play front to back on repeat. When it comes to my favorite songs from Scott, there are so many from throughout his career. The 1990 “Only Dying” demo from STP’s Mighty Joe Young days is a really underrated gem, and the lyrics feel even more tragic now with what has happened 25 years later.
I have a real affinity for the final songs on STP albums. “Maver” off of their last record was a beautiful track, it showed the evolution of his songwriting over the years. “Atlanta” and “Kitchenware and Candybars” are epic. From his solo career, the standouts to me are “Barbarella,” “The Man I Didn’t Know,” and “Amethyst.” From Velvet Revolver, you can’t go wrong with the hits “Fall to Pieces” and “Slither.”
Scott changed his style not just from album to album, but from song to song. He could have easily rested on his laurels and written Core lite music after 1992, but all the way up until Blaster he kept pushing himself artistically. Regardless of what else he was going through in his life, Scott Weiland always had a great melody in him. Like Fred Durst said, he was the melody man. Rest in peace Scott.
I would say a 2-way tie between Purple and Tiny Music From The Vatican Gift Shop STP reminded me of the great ’70s rock bands (Aerosmith, Kiss, Queen, etc.), as they seemed to get better and better with each album, and each album spawned several classics. Top fav song is “Interstate Love Song,” which is one of the best ’90s rockers – which is no small feat considering how many classics came out between ’91-’94. I also fancy “Pretty Penny,” “Vasoline,” “Big Bang Baby” (my fav STP video!!), “Sour Girl,” and “Days of the Week.” Thank you Mr. Weiland for all the great music.
Songs: “Interstate Love Song” is so melodic and catchy, it’s the first song I ever played live with a band. “Wonderful” is also an underrated beautiful ballad and “Tripping On A Hole In A Paper Heart” is just such a cool & unique song, along with “Last Fight” from Velvet Revolver.
Album: Purple, it’s ridiculous how many good songs are on that record. I can listen to that all the way thru, front to back, back to front.
You know, I could go with what everyone else has been saying, how Core, Purple…etc have been the most impactful albums that I’ve ever heard from Scott, how they have the greatest songs in the history of his career…etc. And while there is some truth to that, let me tell a little quickie about how I coped after Scott’s death.
I was privileged enough to see his last ever show in the United States. As everyone is aware, that show was in promotion of Blaster, Scott’s now final album. I know people have said they don’t want to listen to Scott’s music, or they reach for the old standbys like Tiny Music or Core, but for me? I have listened to Blaster twice a day, every day. I mention this the “album of the year” write up, if Blaster makes the top ten but for me, the album serves a pivotal footnote in the musical history of Scott Weiland. It showed that he really still had it, but you could also hear the pain. The pain in his voice for a lot of these tracks, mostly polished up by studio magic – listen to the Rolling Stone live version of “Way She Moves”, you’ll see what I mean. It is a pure tragedy, Scott Weiland’s death had to happen the way he did. Our addictions, our vices are one of the hardest things to over come. That much is true, when I ran into him with fellow AN reporter, Doug McCausland, you could see that Scott was really out of it. Yet, he managed to give the best show that I’ve seen from him since 2010.
In a way, Blaster now has a more special meaning than the albums I grew up with. I think we will always look at it as more underrated than it really is.
Core made me a fan. I’m a fan of a lot of the more underrated STP works like Atlanta, Dare If You Dare, Art School Girl, Kitchenware and Candybars, Where The River Goes, Pretty Penny, Bi-Polar Bear, Maver, Naked Sunday, Where The River Goes…etc. But I can say with confidence that Scott Weiland/Stone Temple Pilots are one of a handful of acts that I can listen to over and over again without skipping a single song. Without my rediscovery of STP in 2009 and the self titled album that came out shortly after, I would probably be still on my country music kick and writing for some Garth Brooks fansite.
What a shame that would be.
Scott without a doubt made me the rock fan I am today, he will remain as one of my favorite acts of all time but it just pains me that the lasting memory I have of him, was his final states show where there was a guy shouting next to us “WAY TO GO SCOTTY! WE LOVE YOU SCOTTY” and he didn’t even give it a single thought.
We do love you though Scotty. We always will. Rest in peace.
I was born in July of 1993, precisely at the time “Plush” was making its waves topping the Billboard rock charts. I didn’t give a shit about the rock music trends of the Generation X era; I was too busy trying to collect all 120 stars in Super Mario 64.
My only knowledge of Stone Temple Pilots was a conversation I overheard my father having with my mother, spinning a copy of The Doors’ Waiting for the Sun, something or another about Stone Temple Pilots performing with The Doors and somehow taking up Jim Morrison’s mantle. It wasn’t until years later I realized he was referring to Scott’s performance with the surviving members of The Doors on VH1 Storytellers, delivering an awesome cover of “Five to One”.
In fact, it wasn’t until 2006 that I had really delved into rock music; Chris Cornell’s powerful vocals in the Casino Royale theme piqued my interest in soulful rock music, Guns N’ Roses’ Greatest Hits (specifically, “Live And Let Die”) exposed me to the dark yet majestic stride of hard rock. My interest in the latter would lead to an introduction to Velvet Revolver’s and its’ engimatic frontman, Scott Richard Weiland, around the release of Libertad.
“Who is this guy?” My boggled middle school mind asked itself, comparing the Weiland slithering around on stage dressed like a leather fetish Nazi to images images liner notes of Libertad (dressed like Clint Eastwood or Roland Deschain) and images on Google search. “He’s like a million different people.” My intrigue with the chameleon Weiland led me to bum my dad’s copy of STP’s Thank You, and, as it has it, while others my age obsessed over Soulja Boy and Good Charlotte, Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop was on constant repeat.
Other than Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder, Scott Weiland was the last great voice in recent memory from the Grunge era to continue making music. At first, critics called him an Eddie Vedder clone, and then later, his Jim Morrison persona took over and never left. But It sometimes had a dash of Johhny Rotten and sometimes a bit of 60’s Psychedelia looking over your shoulder. He finally won over critics with his unusual lyrics and videos, creating his own sound from California, very different than his adoptive Seattle Grunge brothers, but yet the comparison remained.
And when Weiland joined Velvet Revolver, it was a true super group which our generation had not seen since the debut of a new singer with Van Halen. When we lost Weiland on Dec 3, 2015, we lost musical creativity in an age where bands of today must not only record old songs to get attention; they sometimes have to actually sample the song as well just to get a hit. Maybe his legacy will be studied so that future rock stars can learn from a master. Below are my top picks for a fine Scott Weiland listening experience. Enjoy.
(1992) Stone Temple Pilots: Core
Recommended: “Creep”, “Plush” , “Sex Type Thing”, “Wicked Garden”
(1994) Stone Temple Pilots: Purple
Recommended: “Big Empty”, “Interstate Love Song”, “Vasoline”
(1995) Various Artists: Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
Recommended: “Dancing Days” – Stone Temple Pilots
(1996) Stone Temple Pilots: Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop
Recommended: “Big Bang Baby”, “Lady Picture Show”, “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart”
(1998) Scott Weiland: 12 Bar Blues
Recommended: “Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down”
(1999) Stone Temple Pilots: No. 4
Recommended: “Sour Girl”
(2000) Various Artists: Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors
Recommended: “Break On Through” – Stone Temple Pilots
(2004) Velvet Revolver: Contraband
Recommended: “Fall to Pieces”, “Slither”
I’ve been an active reader of AlternativeNation.net for about 4 years now and a writer/reporter here for nearly half that time. I’ve noticed the site’s strong connection to Weiland – and even if we published articles about him not showing him at his best, I know many of the writers here were rooting for him. They deeply cared and were worried about him. I haven’t explored Scott Weiland’s discography as heavily as others, but there are several key highlights for me.
Earlier in life, let’s say I was just going through a hard time and ended up in a 72 hour psychiatric hold. In the ambulance, one of the EMTs offered to put on Pandora Radio and I said sure, “alternative rock, please.” The three songs that played to my memory were “Disarm” by the Smashing Pumpkins, “Come As You Are” by Nirvana and “Creep” by Stone Temple Pilots. I’ve always loved “Creep” (more than Radiohead song of the same title) and have found myself listening to the Unplugged version many a lonely nights.
The first two Stone Temple Pilots albums made a bigger impression on me. One summer, my friends and I carried around a large dufflebag full of sixty-some cassettes and one of the most frequently played cassettes was Stone Temple Pilots’ 1994 Purple. I hazily recall a conversation between my friend Cade and I fondly discussing the record shortly after I became a writer here at AlternativeNation. I never dug into the Velvet Revolver stuff too much, but recently I found their cover of Nirvana’s “Negative Creep” and discovered I may enjoy it more than the original.
But I think what speaks to me most about Weiland was his cover of the Smiths’ “Reel Around the Fountain.” It is one of my most cherished works by the Smiths and deals with very sensitive, delicate and introspective matters concerning sexuality. I think it would take anyone a bit guts to speak about those sorts of things.I understand Scott dealt with a great deal of suffering in the realms of love, sex and addictions of that kind, separate but not unrelated to vices like alcohol or other intoxicants. It’s sad to see Scott go – I really was enjoying Blaster and I was planning on going to his LA show later this month. I almost met him when Brett interviewed him – but I had just bought tickets to Texas by the time Brett invited me. Some things aren’t meant to be…Wherever he lies, I hope he has found peace and serenity at last.
I’ve always admired your sense of artistry and integrity. Thanks for the memories and rest easy, Scott.
“I’m half the man I used to be. This I feel as the dawn, it fades to gray.”
I guess I’d go with Purple being my favorite album Scott Weiland did. It evolved from the Grunge sound of the debut and added more variety to the song writing which in turn showed us even more of Scott’s vocal range.
I’d say the two albums that I play the most (still), are Core & Purple. It’s quite hard to pick a favorite song, but the one that always comes to the forefront of my mind is “Vasoline”.
The song is fun, and I’ve always loved the video they put out for it, especially the insect in the vasoline in the very opening of it. I never get tired of listening to it. I’ve always loved “Slither” from Velvet Revolver as well.
I have loved Stone Temple Pilots Core ever since I first heard it. There isn’t one bad song on that album. I love the heavy and powerful music, but most of all its Scott Weiland’s voice. His deep, booming, forceful voice fills up the room even without his megaphone. It’s unique and matched by very few other singers. For me, STP is all about Scott Weiland and they are just not interesting without him.
Another album I often listen to is Velvet Revolver’s Libertad. I don’t feel as strongly about it as Core, but it’s a really good rock album. And you just can’t go wrong with Scott Weiland’s voice and Slash’s guitar.
It’s very sad that the world has lost such a unique voice way too soon, but Scott Weiland will always remain one of my favorite singers.
It’s always crazy to me that people rediscover great music after an artist passes on and all the while their music was just there waiting for someone to give it a listen again and it takes their life ending for people to listen to it, which I am now guilty of. The past couple days I’ve been rediscovering Purple.
After a Scott Weiland tribute on AN Radio and listening to much of it, I have come to the conclusion that Purple is quite possibly a top 5 album of the 90’s. I now recall that in my teen years I once said ‘Interstate Love Song” was my favorite song and along with “Big Empty”, “Vasoline”, “Unglued”, and “Pretty Penny” it made some of the best singles from a single rock album during the period, but its the deeper cuts that set this album apart, which is the same with most great albums. “Meatplow”, “Lounge Fly”, “Still Remains”, “Silvergun Superman”, “Army Ants” are all just as strong as the singles. I just rediscovered this wonderful album again and it is the definition of a classic. Scott Weiland, like with many of the other rock greats, was a troubled genius, passing on way too young.
Hear all the best from Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver and Scott Weiland at www.rockshowradio.net and www.alternativenation.net/radio
Wolfmother have released details from their fourth studio album, the Brenden O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers) produced Victorious. You can listen to the boisterous first single and title track below. Recorded at Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood California, Victorious has a release date of February 19th and can also be preordered on iTunes.
1. That Love That You Give
4. Pretty Peggy
5. City Lights
6. The Simple Life
7. Best of a Bad Situation
8. Gypsy Caravan
9. Happy Face
10. Eye of the Beholder
Victorious is the first album from Wolfmother since 2014 when the band surprised it’s fans with a previously unannounced new album entitled New Crown.
Additionally, Wolfmother have announced dates for a North American tour for early 2016.
Feb. 24: Minneapolis, Minn. – First Ave
Feb. 25: Chicago, Ill. – Metro
Feb. 26: Detroit, Mich. – St. Andrews Hall
Feb. 27: Toronto, Ontario – Dansforth Music Hall
Feb. 29: Boston, Mass. – Paradise Rock Club
March 2: Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club
March 3: New York, N.Y. – Webster Hall
March 4: Philadelphia, Penn. – Trocadero Theatre
March 5: Raleigh, N.C. – The Ritz
March 7: Atlanta, Ga. – Center Stage
March 8: Nashville, Tenn. – Marathon Music Works
March 9: Memphis, Tenn. – Minglewood Hall
March 11: Lawrence, Kan. – Granada Theater
March 12: Oklahoma City, Okla. – Diamond Ballroom
March 14: Dallas, Tex. – Granada Theater
March 15: Houston, Tex. – House of Blues
March 21: El Paso, Tex. – Tricky Falls
March 22: Tempe, Ariz. – The Marquee
March 23: San Diego, Cali. – House of Blues
March 25: Santa Ana, Cali. – The Observatory
March 26: Los Angeles, Cali. – The Fonda Theatre
March 28: San Francisco, Cali. – The Fillmore
March 30: Portland, Ore. – Wonder Ballroom
March 31: Seattle, Wash. – The Showbox
Apri 1: Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore Ballroom
Foo Fighters, U2, and Deftones have been forced to cancel dates in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform Monday, November 16th in Paris and have additionally cancelled the remainder of their European tour, Deftones were scheduled to perform November 14th, 15th, and 16th, and U2 were scheduled to perform November 14th and 15th.
Foo Fighters released the following statement on their Facebook page:
“It is with profound sadness and heartfelt concern for everyone in Paris that we have been forced to announce the cancellation of the rest of our tour. In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders, and international mourning, we can’t continue right now. There is no other way to say it. This is crazy and it sucks. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was hurt or who lost a loved one.”
“Thank for all your inquiries on our well being. Band/Crew all safe and accounted for at this time. Prayers for those affected in these tragic events.”
U2 also canceled a pair of dates that was scheduled to be broadcast on HBO and released the following statement:
“We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight. We are devastated at the loss of life at the Eagles of Death Metal concert and our thoughts and prayers are with the band and their fans. And we hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe.”
127 were confirmed (though the number has varied) executed by ISIS terrorists at attacks on an Eagles Of Death Metal concert at The Bataclan Concert Hall and other locations in Paris, France. French President Francois Hollande said “faced with war the country must take appropriate action” and has declared three days of mourning in the country.
Tom Morello is one of the most unique guitar players in the history of music. With Morello being the lead guitarist in two of the best-selling bands of the past two decades and plenty of solo albums and side projects to boot, it’s time to rank up the top ten albums featuring Tom Morello on guitar.
10. Nightwatchman Worldwide Rebel Songs
As many Morello fans know, The Nightwatchman tracks are not exactly for fans of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. Morello’s Nightwatchman is in singer/songwriter style and includes mostly acoustic tracks. However, there are hints of classic Morello such as the track “It Begins Tonight” and “Union Town”, where he actually plugs in in an Audioslave/RATM esque track. The music is very politically and lyrically driven, and it’s best to be a fan of Neil Young or Bob Dylan when you give The Nightwatchman a try. However, of all Nightwatchman releases, Worldwide Rebel Songs is the Morello’s best album as The Nightwatchman.
9. Audioslave Revelations
With Revelations, Audioslave took what was done with Out Of Exile and made it more mainstream and made it more radio friendly (yes, it was possible to do so), unfortunately radio and other promotion outlets were over the supergroup by this point. Revelations was overproduced and seemingly lacking passion and sounding like a band at their end, which is exactly where Audioslave was. The best track on the album is “Shape Of Things To Come” which Morello and company should have put at the end of a greatest hits album and ended Audioslave there.
8. Street Sweeper Social Club (Self Titled)
After releasing two albums under his acoustic Nightwatchman nom de guerre, Morello goes back to his roots in 2009 with Street Sweeper Social Club, though they’re debut album features classic style Morello guitar lines and effects, he plays as more of a rhythm guitarist for the majority of the album. This album seems to be more of a rap album, with vocals from Boots Riley being the main focus of the band. Morello rarely takes you on a journey like with Rage Against the Machine or early Audioslave. However, those who are in dire need of classic Morello there are some that fit the profile, tracks such as “Fight! Smash! Win!”, “100 Little Curses”, “The Squeeze”, “Somewhere In The World”, and “Megablast” are high points.
7. Lock Up Something Bitchin’ This Way Comes
Lock Up features a guitar legend in training as the first major label release featuring Morello. Lock Up is reminiscent of early Red Hot Chili Peppers or Janes Addiction simply for the fact Morello’s style was similar to Hillel Slovak and at times even Dave Navarro. However, there are hints here of Morello coming into his own, such as with the tracks “Nothing New”, “24 Hour Man”, “Maniac” and “Peacekeeper”. All things considered, this album is a bit underrated, and though the elements may not work well together as a whole, the elements themselves are actually very good, Morello in particular.
6. Audioslave Out of Exile
With Out of Exile, Morello expands what was done with Audioslave’s debut album; however it suffers from what many bands go through with a sophomore album, with the idea of doing something different but ending up not being as spectacular. There are some high-points however, the opening track “Your Time Has Come” is essential Morello, the quasi-ballad “Be Yourself” is one of the best examples of latter Morello, and “Drown Me Slowly” is probably one of the most underrated Morello/Audioslave tracks which features the best guitar work from Morello on either of the last two Audioslave albums.
5. Rage Against the Machine Evil Empire Evil Empire, Morello’s second album with RATM is mostly known for the tracks “People Of The Sun”, “Bulls On Parade”, and “Down Rodeo” however it’s the tracks where he experimented with his already unique sound that gives this album some validation. The album as a whole is more unique and a bit less radio friendly than RATM previous debut self-titled release, however, with Morello experimenting with space and tempo changes on tracks such as “Revolver” and “Year Of The Boomerang” it demonstrates how Morello and the band didn’t want to do the same thing twice, and rightfully so, it didn’t hit on quite as high of level.
4. Rage Against the Machine Renegades
A collection of covers that ended up becoming the last full length album from Rage Against the Machine. The album is solid from start to finish, with Morello giving his signature twist to tracks from legendary artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Minor Threat, The Rolling Stones, Devo, and many others. A covers album from one of the most unique sounding bands in rock history was a must, and Morello and RATM hit a home run with Renegades.
3. Audioslave (Self-Titled)
This album, including Chris Cornell and excluding Zach De La Rocha on vocals, is the first from Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk as Audioslave. The new lead singer seemingly gave Morello the opportunity to create something he has never had a chance to do, a ballad. Tracks like “Like A Stone” and “I Am The Highway” gave Morello another dynamic in his already great resume. Additionally, “Show Me How To Live”, “Cochise”, and “What You Are” give the listener what they have always liked from Morello; great, heavy, and unique riffs.
2. Rage Against The Machine Battle of Los Angeles Battle Of Los Angeles is RATM final album of originals, and along with Evil Empire, Battle Of Los Angeles showcased some of Morello’s most unique guitar work, however, the experimentation with space and tempo changes seem to come to fruition on Battle Of Los Angeles, tracks like “Calm Like A Bomb”, “Ashes In The Fall”, and “War Within A Breath” are high on the list of standouts in the Morello catalog. RATM combined the dynamics of Evil Empire with the consistency of their self-titled album and the end result was Battle Of Los Angeles. RATM left on a high note with their final album of originals.
1. Rage Against The Machine (Self-Titled)
Where the signature Morello guitar style came to prominence. From start to finish, Rage Against The Machine (Self-Titled) is 53 minutes of heavy hitting riffs. Tracks like “Bullet In The Head” and “Fistful of Steel” showcase Morello’s unique style and ability for the first time. This album is nothing short of a classic.
Hear all the best from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave at www.rockshowradio.net and www.alternativenation.net/radio. How would you rank your favorite Tom Morello albums? Feel free to comment below.
A petition at www.ipetitions.com is gaining quite a bit of momentum for Dave Grohl to host Saturday Night Live (SNL). Grohl, the eccentric frontman for the Foo Fighters, is known for his humor during concerts and has also had many hilarious acting credits and cameos in movies and television, which also includes a stint hosting Chelsea Lately. And there are also all those hilarious Foo Fighters videos.
Grohl and the Foo Fighters have also released YouTube videos that should add to his resume to host the show. Below, see the Top 10 Reasons Dave Grohl Should Host Saturday Night Live.
1. Foo Fighters’ “Big Me” music video
2. He guest hosted Chelsea Lately
3. When Foo Fighters toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it was hyped by an outrageous MTV News special featuring Grohl.
4. The Fresh Pots video
5. Foo Fighters’ 2011 Kansas City Counter Protest
6. Foo Fighters’ 2015 Westboro Baptist Church Counter Protest
7. Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” music video
8. He just knows how to make people laugh.
9. Foo Fighters’ “Learn To Fly” music video
10. Foo Fighters’ “Long Road To Ruin” music video
Many musical guests have hosted the show in the past, including Christina Aguilera, Desi Arnaz, Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Hammer, Deborah Harry, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Ludacris, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Britney Spears, Sting, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Lily Tomlin, Stevie Wonder, and Frank Zappa. So an SNL with Dave Grohl as host would not be as far-fetched as some might think.
One way great artists stand out compared to the ones that are forced to play gigs at the county fair when their popularity dwindles is from the quality of their underrated tracks. “Underrated tracks” as in no video was made, no single was distributed, and these tracks didn’t crack anywhere near the top 40, however, they are fantastic tracks that could be more widely known if they received significant promotion. The Foo Fighters are one of the few bands in recent memory who have the underrated tracks that could possibly stand on their own if they were distributed and promoted.
The following are 20 of the Foo Fighters best underrated tracks, plus an honorable mention:
Track: “Baker Street” Album: Medium Rare and My Hero single
The best cover the Foo Fighters recorded. It became a bit of a radio hit in the late 90’s when it was released as the b-side to the “My Hero” single, however to many this track is a virtual unknown. Featuring fantastic guitar tone, The Foos quite possibly nail the transitions better than the original. Dave Grohl’s voice fits in with the aura of the track very nicely. With “Baker Street”, the Foo Fighters recorded one of the best cover songs of the modern rock era.
Track: “Band On The Run” Album: Medium Rare
The Foos next best cover and doing Sir Paul proud in the process. Again, when covering this classic the Foos hit the transitions perfectly and add some heavy guitar during the chorus and bridge making it their own.
Track: “Come Alive” Album: Echo’s Silence Patience & Grace
One of the most beautiful progressive rock tracks in the Foo Fighters catalog. “Come Alive” begins with a great acoustic guitar line and builds to a loud and heavy rocker. Grohl said this about the track in an interview with Kerrang! “On the last album we split the acoustic side and the electric side into two albums. Here, we’ve split it into one song. This is about reawakening after becoming a father. Anyone who’s a father understands how the world becomes a different place when your child is born. I just feel and see everything differently now.”
Track: “Enough Space” Album: The Colour and the Shape
“Enough Space” is a track about one of Grohl’s favorite movies Arizona Dream. With a very unique beginning and with the most profound bass line in the Foo Fighters catalog, “Enough Space” is loud and is an example of the fundamental hard rock the Foo Fighters are known for.
Track: “Erase/Replace” Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Quintessential Foo Fighters style rock with a great chorus that gets stuck in your head. Grohl said this about the track in an interview with Kerrang! “I still listen to (Metallica’s album) Kill ‘Em All once a week and there’s a part of me that will never lose the love of riffs. That’s where a song like this comes in. As a drummer and a guitar player, the rhythmic quality of a decent riff is like a cannon to me. I can write riffs all day long because I look at the guitar like a drum set. So, just as I’ll sit at a drum kit and play beats, I sit with a guitar and try the same thing. That’s what I was doing here. This one rocks.”
Track: “Exhausted” Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
A classic progressive rocker from the early years, with the tone and distortion that gives the listener a different feeling when it kicks into the chorus. Additionally, it has one of the most unique bridges in the history of modern rock music, with some semi-controlled guitar feedback adding to the allure of the track.
Track: “Floaty” Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
A much underrated early Foo Fighters masterpiece. Grohl hits melodic and hard rock points with this track while the music builds to heavy progressive perfection.
Track: “Free Me” Album: In Your Honor
Possibly the most underrated original Foo Fighters track in their entire catalog. It is heavy, hard hitting, hard rock… perfection. Grohl screaming “Free Me!” during the chorus is like a jolt of pure adrenaline. Grohl had this to say about “Free Me” in an interview with Metal Hammer, “The tricky thing is that most of the demos are instrumental. I may have an idea of the vocal but I don’t have any lyrics, so even if I come up with a killer instrumental arrangement but the vocals are like diarrhea, then it winds up in the trash. Like after I put vocals on ‘Free Me’ I just knew it was good. At the end of the day, if there’s a song that I whole heartedly just don’t like then it’s not going on the record, even if the other guys are all, ‘Yeah!’ about it.”
Track: “Good Grief” Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
Another heavy rocker with great guitar work, building and succeeding, and again Grohl’s voice fits the tone of the song perfectly.
Track: “Hell” Album: In Your Honor
Heavy with excellent guitar work surrounding the core guitar track, and again, Grohl’s voice fits the nature of the track flawlessly.
Track: “Hey, Johnny Park!” Album: The Colour And The Shape
One of the first non-single tracks to be considered a fan favorite among Foo Fighters fans and yet another track that probably should have been a single. Another slight late 90’s radio hit, “Hey, Johnny Park!” features melodic verses with a guitar infused chorus that hit like no other Foo Fighters song.
Track: “I Am A River” Album: Sonic Highways
One of the Foo Fighters best ballads. With a perfect chorus and beautiful lyrics, “I Am A River” is a staple of the Sonic Highways album. Written as part of the Foo Fighters Sonic Highways documentary, Grohl describes his process in writing the song on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:
“This song is filled with references, (the lyric) I find the secret behind the Soho door is referring to Majic Shop Studio and how it’s just this one tiny door in the street and you would never know it’s a studio. I find a reason that’s a Lou Reed reference, (the lyric) beneath the subway floor that’s talking about Minetta Creek which is a river that run’s under New York City. So this song is mostly about that, this river that runs underground through the city that’s known as Minetta Creek. I thought there was something beautiful in a river running through something as monolithic and futuristic as New York City and maybe we are all connected by something like that.”
Track: “In Your Honor” Album: In Your Honor
Another progressive masterpiece that is single worthy. The title track to the Foo Fighters experimental fifth album features perfect transitions and the pause and scream at the end of the track makes this one of the better tracks on the album. In an interview with Kerrang! Grohl said this about what influenced him in the writing of the track, “The song itself was just inspired by going out on the campaign trail and experiencing such a strong sense of devotion and belief. People were getting together to make a difference, for the sake of something honorable. It’s that overwhelming feeling of connection with something. It could be love, it could be football, it could be music, it could be anything. I’m trying to keep it general so people don’t focus on one specific thing. It’s not a political record at all.”
Track: “My Poor Brain” Album: The Colour And The Shape
A dynamic punk track that has a unique intro. The bridge and its guitar work takes “My Poor Brain” to another level.
Track: “New Way Home” Album: The Colour And The Shape
This track rivals “Free Me” as the most underrated track in the entire Foo Fighters catalog. Very melodic and perfectly written as the closer to The Colour And The Shape. The slow repeat of the first verse building to a heavier repeat of the chorus is what sets this track apart from the other underrated tracks in the Foo Fighters catalog. Grohl had this to say about the track in an interview with Vox magazine, “That’s about winding your way through all of these songs, emotions and pitfalls and ups and downs, but at the end of the day, you realize that you’re not scared anymore and you’re gonna make it.”
Track: “Tired Of You” Album: One By One
Great lyrics, amazing transitions, and probably the best ballad they have ever written. The track features overdubbed guitar parts from Queen’s Brian May.
Track: “Up In Arms” Album: The Colour And The Shape
A simple, catchy, melodic love song that kicks into a surprising punk ending.
Track: “Watershed” Album: Foo Fighters (Self Titled)
One of the Foo Fighters heaviest tracks; with a hard, catchy punk guitar line and flawless vocals. It may just have the best hook in the Foo Fighters catalog.
Track: “What If I Do” Album: In Your Honor
Another underrated ballad from Grohl & Co. Part of the acoustic disc of In Your Honor, the track is a slow beautiful tear jerker.
Track: “Wind Up” Album: The Colour And The Shape
Dave Grohl’s middle finger to the press. It’s heavy with another extraordinary bridge leading to the final shattering verse.
Track: “X-Static” Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
With a mean guitar fused intro “X-Static” is a Foo Fighters progressive staple.
After hearing that Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) was going to protest the Foo Fighters Friday, August 21st concert at the Kansas City Sprint Center, Dave Grohl and company ‘Rick Rolled’ WBC who were protesting in front of the venue. The flamboyant counter protest included the band in the back of a truck which was also blasting the Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” while drummer Taylor Hawkins waved a sign that read ‘You Got Rick Roll’d, Again’ and his drum tech sporting nothing but thong underwear below the waist.
During the Foo Fighters set, Dave Grohl dedicated My Hero to those who “fight for what they believe in” in reference to U.S. soldiers who WBC often protest against.
The WBC Vs Foo Fighters protest/counter protest started in 2011 when WBC declared the Foo Fighters teachers of “fornication, adultery, and idolatry” and also referenced their pro stance on gay rights. WBC went on to say “people in this nation have sinned away their day of grace and have so enraged their God that you are seeing new outpourings of his wrath continually. We will be there to remind you that the day of your destruction is upon you, even as you vainly seek comfort in the frivolities of this life.”
Here is the footage from the 2011 protest/counter protest.
The Foo Fighters are currently on a massive world tour in support of their latest effort Sonic Highways. A portion of European dates had to be postponed or cancelled due to Dave Grohl falling off the stage and fracturing his leg in Sweeden in June.
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say Pearl Jam wanted to make a career spanning live album, and give the fans the option to nominate, vote, and pick all the tracks to go on this one disc, 18 track, live album. This album will be similar to the Pearl Jam live releases “Live On Two Legs” and “Live On Ten Legs” however, it will be a career expansive track list, hence… “Live On All Legs” (so original!)
With the majority of every show in Pearl Jam’s history recorded, either by an audience recording, by the band professionally, or a radio recording (and there is no telling what other treasures lie in Pearl Jam’s infamous “vault”), Pearl Jam is probably one of the only bands that could be able to pull this off. After brainstorming this idea, and after much research and some very difficult decisions, I have narrowed down my 18 favorite live tracks that I would nominate to go on this album, taking into account many different aspects including band performance, crowd enthusiasm, and quality of the recordings. You can stream most of these tracks, however all tracks are available to download with the links provided.
Live On All Legs Tracklist:
1. “Of The Girl” Riverport Amphitheater St. Louis MO October 11th, 2000
“Of The Girl”, often used as an opener during the 2000 tour is a great way to begin the evening. This version in particular stands out with some great guitar effects and fantastic transitions.
2. “In My Tree” Madison Square Garden New York, NY July 8th, 2003
This revamped version of this progressive No Code classic is truly a live standout. Switching it up by opening with the main guitar line instead of the rhythmic drumming approach gives “In My Tree” a much different and fresh feel. Adding a keyboard solo by Boom Gasper during the bridge brings out another surprising element.
3. “Even Flow” Madison Square Garden New York, New York July 8th, 2003
One thing about the track “Even Flow” is if you go to a Pearl Jam show, this is one of the only songs you will almost be assured to hear. For many of the Pearl Jam fans who have seen multiple shows, this is one many would say they could do without. But there is one aspect of “Even Flow” everyone wants to hear and that of course is the Mike McCready guitar solo, Why? It’s always different, always amazing, and it gives McCready the chance to do what he does best… melt your face. Of all the live performances of “Even Flow,” this one in particular, McCready not only gives you one amazing guitar solo, he gives you two, smoothly changing the solo in equally incredible fashion. He even surprises his fellow band mate Stone Gossard who almost loses his concentration because McCready was in such a zone (as evident on the DVD release Pearl Jam, Live at the Garden).
4. “In Hiding” Riverport Amphitheatre St. Louis MO July 2nd 1998
I don’t know what it is about this particular evening, but three tracks from my list came from this show. I believe it’s one of Pearl Jam’s most underrated shows in their 24 year history. Mike McCready was on fire this evening, providing amazing solos on almost every track he could fit one in and Eddie Vedder’s voice was nothing short of stellar. Their longtime producer, Brenden O’Brein was on hand for this show so it could have given the band a little motivation to show him a good time. The band sounded amazing that night, and this version of “In Hiding” is their best ever, Vedder absolutely nailing the chorus is the highlight of this one. Download
5. “Nothing As It Seems” Wembley Arena London, England May 30, 2000
This live version of “Nothing As It Seems”, the first single off the album Binaural is again layered with amazing guitar lines and solo’s from guitarist Mike McCready. McCready does something different in the beginning of this track by adding a thick slice of distortion to the intro giving this cut quite a bit more flavor. Some of the video versions of “Nothing as It Seems” are better to watch, but when comparing sound alone, this one is tops.
6. “W.M.A.” Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Manchester, Tennessee June 14, 2008
This is a extremely chilling version of this V.S. classic. Bonnaroo 2008 was one of the bands most superlative festival appearances. Lead guitarist Mike McCready adds on a layer of psychedelic guitar lines to accompany Eddie, Stone, Jeff, and Matt’s flawless performance. The band doesn’t play this one much, but this night it became a Pearl Jam live career highlight.
7. “Improv/Habit” Riverport Amphitheatre St. Louis, MO July 2nd, 1998
You can definitely sense the crowd reaction to the surprise elements of this track. The Improv gives a great feel of anticipation, and when the band kicks into the heavy guitar driven track “Habit” it’s absolutely phenomenal. This is Pearl Jam at their best.
8. “Garden” Fox Theater Atlanta GA, April 3rd, 1994
A very impressive take on “Garden” from the classic album “Ten”. The band are in tune with each-other and Eddie’s voice is stellar. The sound of the Fox Theater is also fantastic. Guitarist Mike McCready playing a great bluesy solo and guitarist Stone Gossard being a steady rhythmic compliment is really what sets this version apart.
9. “Betterman/Save it for Later” Riverport Amphitheatre St. Louis, MO July 2nd, 1998
For this version of “Betterman” and the fairly typical tag of “Save it for Later” by English Beat, Vedder and the rest of the band feed off each other perfectly bringing this version to new heights. Vedder’s voice is flawless with the “Save it for Later” tag which is the definite highlight of this Vitalogy classic.
10. “Porch” Drop in the Park Warren G. Magnuson Park Seattle, WA September 20, 1992
Early live Pearl Jam in all its glory, with this version of “Porch” being one of their most adrenaline fueled ever. The hard hitting drums of former drummer Dave Abbruzzese are a force to be reckoned with and Eddie Vedder singing the lyrics to Rollins Band “Tearing” while the band is raging behind him brings this version to new levels. Full of surprising tempo changes and heavy collaborative jamming, this version of “Porch” shows the world how well each band member can anticipate the other member’s every move. “Porch” is great add to any Pearl Jam setlist, but this one is a definite standout.
11. “Mind Your Manners” FedEx Forum Memphis, TN October 14th, 2014
The first heavy hitting single from Pearl Jam’s latest effort Lightning Bolt hits even harder with this live version; Vedder sounds better than ever and the band is completely on point.
12. “Black” GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater Virginia Beach, Virginia September 7, 1998
“Black” is and probably always will be a crowd favorite. Off the Pearl Jam classic album Ten, it’s a track that is played often live and unlike “Even Flow”, it seems to be something everyone is excited to hear. In this version, the band strums through as the track builds into a progressive climax. Again, a highlight is lead guitarist Mike McCready, he is keyed in with the other members of the band and pushes the guitar solo to unfamiliar reaches.
13. “Crazy Mary” Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA June 1, 2003
Pearl Jam is known for their amazing performances, but one aspect of the live performance that is sometimes overlooked is their touring B3 organist and session keyboardist, Boom Gasper. Boom’s talent shines through on Pearl Jam’s best take of the Victoria Williams track “Crazy Mary.” The highlight of this version is when McCready and Gasper jump into a guitar/keyboard duel towards the end of the track, making this a must listen.
14. “Daughter / The Wrong Child / Romance” Phillips Arena Atlanta, Georgia August 7th, 2000
This is a pretty typical live cut of Daughter, but Eddie Vedder being Eddie Vedder finds a way to make it more special as the track builds into another stellar tag. At some point, maybe during soundcheck, Eddie discovered that Phillips Arena had a very distinct echo in which he could use to his advantage in the performance. Vedder utilizes his profound voice and the sound features of the arena to make his voice uniquely echo and reverberate throughout the entire arena, and it is also distinctly evident in the recording. You might want to grab a jacket before you listen, because Vedder’s vocal performance may give you chills.
15. “Red Mosquito” Austin City Limits Music Festival Zilker Park Austin, Texas October 4th, 2009
When in attendance of a Pearl Jam show you never really know what is going to happen, such as with the Austin City Limits Festival in 2009. Ben Harper came out as a special guest to play a little slide guitar and along with McCready playing his style of bluesy guitar solo on the other side, this tandem was really a spectacle to behold.
16. Parting Ways Riverport Amphitheatre St. Louis, Missouri October 11th, 2000
“Parting Ways” is a live rarity and this is their best version. McCready’s use of guitar effects in this performance is fantastic. “Parting Ways” is a great way to close out a set or an encore, and this particular evening in St. Louis was right on point, with McCready seemingly channeling other worldly elements.
17. “Fuckin’ Up” Boston, Massachusetts Orpheum Theater April 12, 1994
The band ending a set or encore with this classic Neil Young cover is always a treat. With this one, PJ brings down the house with an incredible jam session closing out an epic night in Boston. Vedder was in good spirits and motivated the crowd to ‘stand up!’ Again, this is Pearl Jam at their best.
18. “Yellow Ledbetter/Star Spangled Banner” United Center Chicago, Illinois May 24, 2009
The typical show closer of “Yellow Ledbetter” is always given a boost when the “Star Spangled Banner” is played Hendrix style by axe master Mike McCready. This night in particular, with the house lights on, it was a perfect cap to a perfect evening in Chi-town.
This list is very subjective and ones opinion (how can a persons opinion be wrong!). There are many other great live recordings of these tracks and other tracks not on this list which you can download any track mentioned here and the majority of others before 2008 at www.gremmie.net for free; everything 2008 to present can be purchased at www.pearljam.com.
What would your Live On All Legs look like? Feel free to post in the comments below.
October 2015 marks the ten year anniversary of the release of Wolfmother’s self-titled debut album, which is also the focus of an upcoming reissue. This album includes the two tracks that would make Wolfmother a pillar of modern rock, “Woman” and “Joker and the Thief”. However, over the past decade, Wolfmother has built quite a repertoire of amazing, heavy hitting, and psychedelic rock and roll. So as with all other anniversaries of great rock bands, a time of reflection is in order. Here is my essential Wolfmother playlist. This list also includes the “third” Wolfmother album turned Andrew Stockdale solo effort Keep Moving.
Track: “Back Round” Album: Cosmic Egg
The first single from Wolfmother’s second album showcases Stockdale’s amazing vocal ability. It was the first material released since original band members Chris Ross and Myles Heskett left the band in August 2008. With monster guitar work and some great feedback during the bridge, this track is essential Wolfmother.
Track: “California Queen” Album: Cosmic Egg
“California Queen” features great lyrics and has an incredible natural progression leading into the first tempo change. This track also includes remarkable drum work by then drummer Dave Atkins.
Track: “Cosmic Egg” Album: Cosmic Egg
The title track to Wolfmother’s sophomore effort is a heavy rocker that hits highs and lows in perfect accord and features amazing vocal and guitar work from Stockdale. Stockdale described it in a tweet as, “a rollicking viking song!” and explained to NME that the album title refers to a yoga position. He explained: “I did a yoga class and one of the poses we were doing was called ‘cosmic egg’, and I thought yeah, that’s it. It’s like the fetal pose.”
Track: “Joker and the Thief” Album: Wolfmother
The musical elements in ‘Joker and the Thief’ is what would set the tone for Wolfmother’s career; great lyrics, great vocals, and excellent guitar and keyboard work. In an interview with ultimate-guitar.com, Stockdale said: “I’ve totally ripped it off from Dylan. I was in a shop one morning walking into where we jam. I saw this AC/DC ‘Thunderstruck’ and I was like, ‘I want to write a stadium rock song.’ I went into the studio and said, ‘Doo-duh-lee, doo-duh-lee. What’s the best thing to do after that? Just do something cleaner – Doo, doo, doo.’ Because, you know, you’ve got to have a big intro and then you have to have a balls-to-the-wall riff to knock it on the head in the next stage.”
Track: “Meridian” Album: Keep Moving (Andrew Stockdale)
The fact that Stockdale’s first solo effort wasn’t a Wolfmother album seemingly caused many of the great tracks on the record to fall under the radar, such as this gem.
Track: “White Unicorn” Album: Wolfmother
One of the many Wolfmother tracks utilizing keyboards that seems to be channeling Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Stockdale was inspired by a fashion model he had seen on television that was wearing a “White unicorn shirt with the unicorn spread across her shoulders.”
Track: “Woman” Album: Wolfmother
“Woman” is the first single from Wolfmother’s debut which catapulted them to worldwide acclaim. At the time of its release, many called it the best rock track in over a decade.
Track: “Year of the Dragon” Album: Keep Moving (Andrew Stockdale)
It’s very catchy, heavy, and includes one of the best guitar riffs from Stockdale. Stockdale told Artist Direct: “People look at the Chinese calendar and think, ‘This year, I’m going to be creative, have a great love life, make lots of money, and be healthy!’ It’s the whole idea that we change every year. We’re looking for experiences and hoping things will work out. Sometimes, you’re oppressed, down, and nothing works. We’re looking to these things in order to predict how we’re going to behave, so I figured I’d write a song about it. You look at yourself, how things are going, and try to work it out.”