Shut Up, Dave Grohl

Categories: Commentary

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Jena Ardell for the Village Voice. More here.
Cool story, dad.
I write a lot about the women who have inspired me to make art -- but there are dudes in this mix, too. Steve Albini's stance on music as an industry, Kurt Cobain's feminism, Henry Rollins' staunch ethos on life as a musician, Mike Watt's positive attitude and workhorse musicianship and even most of Thurston Moore's career (before the dissolution of his relationship with one of the patron saints of modern art as music, Kim Gordon, changed the way I felt about him because I realized he was a lame, regular old guy like everyone else,) were all dudes who have navigated the industry in ways I admired and aspired to be like.

Once upon a time, Dave Grohl was one of these dudes I admired, too. But over the last few years, I have seen him become like every other bro in the archaic pantheon of popular music -- a guitar-wanking, get-off-my-lawn, "there's no good music anymore," mildly sexist rock guy. And it is something I'd like to see a lot less of 2015.

See also: Why I Wasn't Quite Ready for My Favorite Band to Make A Comeback

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Eight Ways Legal Weed Has Changed Colorado's Music Scene

Categories: Commentary

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Eric Gruneisen
Heaven is real.
It's now been almost an entire year since marijuana was legalized for recreational use here in Colorado. The experiment, by most accounts, has been a successful one, with other states following in our footsteps. It seems inevitable that we'll see the entire country follow in the next decade.

Although, because recreational marijuana has been legal for several years, things didn't change a whole lot here in terms of the availability of pot, the boom has made a substantial impact on all kinds of tangential industries: Music, for example. Here are a few of the ways recreational weed has changed Colorado's music scene.

See also: Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver

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Why I Wasn't Quite Ready for My Favorite Band to Make A Comeback

Categories: Commentary

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There's something about carrying a torch for art that no one else seems to give a fuck about -- when you love a band or a record or an artist so deeply but goes unnoticed by the general populace it starts to feel like it's your own special secret to keep. Not to say that the rest of the world didn't care about the Red Aunts' existence in the mid '90s, but I was, until recently, hard pressed to find anyone else who liked the band as much as I did, let alone knew who they were (present company of my fellow Westword contributor and Red Aunts fan Tom Murphy excluded.)

Earlier this month after a long time away, the Long Beach band released Come Up For A Closer Look, a greatest hits compilation of sorts. At first, when I saw that Noisey was streaming the album, I was excited. And then my covetous self appeared -- oh, so now people care about my favorite band that no one gave a shit about in 1995 or 2005 or even 2013? Of course, I loved that the Red Aunts were maybe back in action, but I was mad. I wanted them to stay mine.

See also: Seeing Red: The Red Aunts Have No Relation to Punk Cliches

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Four Things You Should Know About Opening for Famous Bands

Categories: Commentary

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Photo by Clever Cupcakes via Flickr
As close as a typical opening band might get to meeting KISS.
By Chris Lane

Your band has been playing shows for a while and seems to be getting popular. Perhaps you're still just rising stars on the hometown circuit or have hit the road a few times to try your luck at touring. Eventually, the day comes when you get a dream gig opening up for a big national act -- a band with a certain amount of fame and success that you've always looked up to, or at least respected.

Does this gig mean Death Hippie has finally made it and superstardom is around the corner? Can you and your bass player finally quit your jobs cleaning up "accidents" at the porno theater where you both work? Will you at least make industry connections and become friends with your rock & roll heroes after your band opens the show?

Probably not. But as with most things involving the music biz, you'll probably learn some lessons along the way. I certainly did.

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Why Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Album Isn't Rumours

Categories: Commentary

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Courtesy of Fleetwood Mac
The first two albums Fleetwood Mac (playing tonight, December 12, at the Pepsi Center) released after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Christine McVie, bassist John McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood provided the pop soundtrack of the late 1970s. The tender nature of singles like "Landslide," the mysticism of "Rhiannon," and the bold confessional nature of "Go Your Own Way" and "The Chain" struck a chord with anyone with a radio and a pair of working ears. Rumours would go on to be one of the top ten selling albums of all time. It continues to resonate today as much as it did when it was first released in 1977, influencing musicians for generations to come, providing the soundtrack for '90s presidential campaigns, and continuing to set itself upon the lofty perch of various "all-time best album" lists.

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"Twerking," "Dubstep" and Other Dumb Music Words Now in the Dictionary

Categories: Commentary

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Photo by Erik Hess
Thankfully, Miley Cyrus finally convinced the Oxford folks to define "twerking."
As 21st-century culture and technology continue to evolve, so too must our language. Whether you like it or not, all these hashtag buzzwords are part of the greater lexicon. Literally, "hashtag" was added to the dictionary.

But it's not just words like "selfie," "noob" or "friend zone." The musical terms making official Oxford and Merriam appearances are just as facepalm-worthy. (Add "facepalm" to the list too.) And while "EDM" isn't one of them, it can't be too far off.

See also: Six Reasons I Won't Dance At Your Wedding

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Courtney Love and Lana Del Rey Touring Together? Right On.

Categories: Commentary

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Lana Del Rey (left) by Marta Xochilt Perez. Courtney Love by Kevin Todora.
A match made in heaven.
First: If you're a Courtney Love-hating troll and you've just stopped by this post to take a verbal shit on her existence with your misogynist insistence that she's a fame whore who ruined Nirvana forever and killed Kurt, you can just stop reading right now. Seriously, go back to wanking off to listicles ranking the 147 best Foo Fighters' songs or whatever.

Now, let's look at the real topic of conversation: Lana Del Rey and Courtney Love are touring together. Though it may be brief -- just a handful of Rey's 2015 tour dates starting in May are slated to feature Love -- it is radical that this is happening at all.

See also: How Hole Shaped What I Know About Rock & Roll and Sexuality

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Why Dave Grohl's Sonic Highways Documentary Series Doesn't Suck, Somehow

Categories: Commentary

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Dave Grohl with his mustache.
By Rae Alexandra

As you may have already seen, there's been a fair amount of criticism leveled at Dave Grohl's new HBO documentary series, Sonic Highways, since it launched five weeks ago. And, in the week since the accompanying Foo Fighters album of the same name was released, even more angry voices have emerged.

Accusations have been thrown at Grohl and the band for seeking "respectability by proxy," and at the show for being "nothing more than promotion for the Foo Fighters and their new record," as well as a "bloated, rambling... gimmick." Is the show perfect? Good Lord, no.

See also: An Account of a Foo Fighters Show in Denver

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Screeching Weasel Singer Thinks You Don't Deserve to Be Mad at Him for Hitting Women

Categories: Commentary

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Marc Gaertner via Recess Records
Ben Weasel, not punching any women at the moment.
I've never had an interest in Screeching Weasel, as I don't listen to punk music that comes off like it was meant to be the soundtrack of a straight-to-video film about kids rollerblading in a shopping-mall parking garage. I listened to Boogadaboogadaboogada! a few times (primarily just so I could say I knew what the band sounded like) and I've gotten drunk with a pal of mine who has a tattoo of the group's iconic Fonzie-rat-looking character. (He's a good guy who also collects vintage board games -- cheesy tattoo be damned.)

See also: Why Metal Supergroup Old Man Gloom Decided to Screw With the Press


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The Ten Best Videos From the Gangsta Rap Era

Categories: Commentary
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Mark C. Austin for the Houston Press. Full slideshow here.
Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys still goes hard.
Gangsta rap, where have you gone?

About 20 years ago at this time, we were in the middle of an unprecedented run of gangsta rap greatness, with Death Row, Bad Boy, Ruthless, Rap-A-Lot and others all functioning at high levels. 

And while the songs and albums from this era continue to get shine, let's not forget the videos, which constitute some of the most visually arresting (and most hilarious) ever made.

Here are the ten greatest videos from the gangsta rap era.
See also: The 50 Best Rap Lyrics of All Time
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