What I think after watching about 12 minutes of the Grammys…

I caught the Foo Fighters performance of “Walk” (I had to look up the title).

The Foos confound me.

I liked their first two albums just fine. The debut had killer singles (“This Is a Call,” “I’ll Stick Around”), fun tunes with funny videos (“Big Me”), and personal faves (“Floaty”). The second album was more of the same, only maybe a little hookier/better. I still find “Monkey Wrench” and “Everlong” to be killer tunes years after they were in heavy rotation.

But what they played last night didn’t catch my ear like those early songs. It just sounded like…a slightly cooler, perhaps rowdier, Wilco. (Yes, that’s a backhanded compliment.) Like some dudes who are technically proficient with their instruments flying on autopilot.

For everything that seems cool about Dave Grohl (like wearing Slayer shirts), I can’t get past the Nirvana factor.

Specifically that he was better at what he did in Nirvana (play drums, sing the higher-range backing vocals, throw his drums everywhere at the end of the set) than what he currently does with the Foos (yowl, play power chords, lead the crowd in clap-alongs).

Or that he’s not Kurt Cobain. Which is fine in the sense that he’s not addicted to heroin, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, or married to Courtney Love; but it also means he’s a dude whose songbook, decent as it might be, does not include “Lithium,” “Scentless Apprentice,” “Heart Shaped Box,” “In Bloom,” “Drain You,” “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle,” “Pennyroyal Tea,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Verse Chorus Verse,” “All Apologies”…

It’s hard for me to watch the drummer from a mainstream-jolting band like Nirvana stand on a stage at the Grammys and do some lame-o “clap-over-his-head” routine to get the crowd “pumped up.”

And come on, Mastodon should have won Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.

[Update: You should read sambob25’s comment on this post. A differing perspective, but one I won’t—or perhaps more accurately, can’t—invalidate.]

Other thoughts…

We have the answer to the question, “Was John Stamos the absolute low point for the Beach Boys?” The answer, now, is no.

The Band Perry and Blake Shelton performing Glen Campbell songs was kinda cool.

Glen Campbell performing was kinda cool, too. I’m glad he was having a good day; it made his post-performance “Where do I go? Do I go somewhere or shut up?” utterance a bit charming, when on a bad day it would have been rather sad.

I shut off the Beach Boys after about 30 seconds, fired up the DVR to watch the new episode of The Walking Dead, then turned the Grammys back on in time to catch the Campbell tribute.

In other words, I watched the walking dead, then watched The Walking Dead, and then watched the walking dead.

I’ve Finally Found the Love of a Lifetime…Until the Next Time

Seems like love is in the air around Music or Space Shuttle? these days.  Quite a few of our posts lately have been about love, crushes and the art of “hunkering down”.  Perhaps it is just anticipation leading up to the most important of all holidays, Valentine’s Day. Or maybe we are just a couple of pervs.  Regardless, I couldn’t help but be inspired by Chris’ recent declaration of love for one Alexis Kraus, the super hot and bad ass singer of Sleigh Bells. Congrats Chris and Alexis. I wish you two the very best. May your love affair last months. I was so inspired in fact that I am now ready to make an announcement of my own. While Chris was falling head over heels for Alexis in the “Comeback Kid” video, I was slowly becoming enchanted with impossibly cute brunette singer Rachel Browne from Field Mouse.(Yes I am already married. It’s ok, my wife has similar feelings for all 4 members of Kings of Leon)

A few weeks back Field Mouse released a video for their song “Glass”. The song itself is an epically dreamy shoegazing classic…well, it’s good. I’m just talking it up a bit for my girl Rachel.  The video is where she won me over though. It has a very simple concept.

Slo-mo camera on her very attractive face… Cue the wind machine…and cue the streamers…bubbles! we need more bubbles!…

Nothing too amazing there right? Well skip to the 3 minute mark. Her long stare into the camera breaks into an irresistible smile / laugh. Careful guys. If you can’t handle the temptation stop watching at 2:59. Checkout the video below.

I have pretend girlfriends, and they are hot

sleigh bellsI’d like to apologize for omitting “Comeback Kid” by Sleigh Bells from the February 2012 Music or Space Shuttle? mix tape (which is still fucking awesome; listen to the whole 10-song extravaganza at bit.ly/AqO7Ou).

Here’s the thing: it was a calculated move. I didn’t want the song to dwarf the other nine inclusions on the mix tape; I wanted to devote an entire post to singing its praises…or more specifically, praising the video.

Alexis Krauss staring at me with her big-saucer eyes! Those shorts! Those jeans! (Even if they were stolen from Joe Elliott’s 1988 wardrobe!) The right amount of leg visible under that bathrobe! Those cheerleading moves! That spiky jacket! Alternating between her cool sunglasses and those sexy eyes! That longing look as the song reaches its conclusion! Did I mention those shorts?! That lucky deck chair!

Madeline Follin[Madeline Follin of Cults enters the room]

Madeline: What the heck is going on here?

Chris: Oh, hi, Madeline Follin, my rock ‘n’ roll girlfriend.

Madeline: Why is Alexis Krauss on your computer screen?

Chris: Um, I was just mentioning to the adoring Music or Space Shuttle? readership that I think this video is kinda sorta cool. I mean, it’s no “Abducted,” but it’s not bad—

Madeline: What’s so great about this video?

Chris: Derek Miller’s In Utero shirt is pretty cool. That mustard toss was pretty epic. His John Bender-esque fist pump at the end is pretty awesome.

Madeline (frowning): You’re dumping me, aren’t you?

Chris: Um, well, yes.

Madeline: Go outside.

Chris: [sigh] Great tune.

Madeline: No, get the fuck out of here.

Chris: Oh.

And so another rock ‘n’ roll relationship ends. Madeline Follin, who last summer stood just a couple feet away from me as she performed before a rapturous crowd in St. Louis, finds herself kicked to the curb in favor of another raven-haired vixen. Madeline’s got company; I’ve loved me some rock women over the years. Some have been mega-popular; some are girl-next-door types. For example…

Donna A (Brett Anderson)Donna A of the Donnas

When was this?: early 2000s

Initial appeal?: liked the Ramones-style songs in the beginning; liked her look around Get Skintight

Real encounters?: Well, sorta. When they played Gabe’s in Iowa City in 2002 or something like that, my buddy Sam and I were hanging out in back during the opener, having a brew, when Donna R (Sam’s obsession) and Donna F came by and started playing Trivia Whiz. Sam kept yelling out the answers, which may or may not have annoyed the two Donnas. So Sam did the chivalrous thing and gave them $2 worth of quarters; that way he could keep yelling out answers/flirting with Donna R with a clean conscience. At some point in this display of cerebral excellence, Donna A and Donna C came by. I went to say “hi” to Donna A and managed to get out “Durrr-ahhhh-hey!” It was magical.

How did it end?: Once the Donnas became less like the Ramones and more like butt-rock, I was done with Donna.

Janet WeissJanet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

When was this?: mid- to late 1990s

Initial appeal?: She reminded me of Maura Tierney (what? I liked NewsRadio…)

Real encounters?: None…I never saw Sleater-Kinney live, nor did I see Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks during her tenure as timekeeper. I did have some college classes with a girl who looked a lot like Janet Weiss and played the drums. She was kinda cool. (And of course I was petrified to have anything to do with her other than bum smokes from her after class now and again.)

How did it end?: That girl from Portlandia seemed jealous.

D'Arcy WretzkyD’Arcy Wretzky of the Smashing Pumpkins

When was this?: early- to mid-1990s

Initial appeal?: A blonde, too-cool-for-school girl who was a member of one of my greatest musical obsessions…yeah, this was a no-brainer.

Real encounters?: Not really. Saw them twice in 1994; got close to the stage the first time. I remember one of my friends throwing a hotel-sized bar of soap at D’Arcy. His intent was that she would catch it/pick it up and use it as a pick, but realized the millisecond after it left his hand that she might take it as a statement of insult regarding her body odor. (No, I haven’t had a real encounter, but wanted to share the soap story.)

How did it end?: The Pumpkins started to suck after (during?) Mellon Collie, and perhaps I foresaw this image.

Gloria EstefanGloria Estefan

When was this?: mid- to late 1980s

Initial appeal?: What, you haven’t seen the video for “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”?

Real encounters?: I was, like, 12—that would have been awkward. And I didn’t really want to have to meet the Miami Sound Machine.

How did it end?: As it turned out, the rhythm did not get me. (And I started listening to heavy metal, and, aside from an obligatory liking for Lita Ford and the ladies of Vixen, became asexual for a while.)

Madonna in the early daysMadonna

When was this?: mid 1980s

Initial appeal?: the song “Burning Up”; the videos for “Borderline” and “Lucky Star”

Real encounters?: Back then I think I saw many a teenage girl trying to look like her (and failing miserably). I also lived vicariously through that boy in the “Open Your Heart” video—does that count?

How did it end?: Who says it did? She still looks great.

If you have any quirky rock ‘n’ roll loves, tell me all about them in the comments. (Ladies, feel free to chime in, too. Perhaps you can ask my better half about her Jimi Westbrook thing.)

MoSS? Monthly Mixtape: February

Todd’s February Picks                                                         Chris’ February Picks

Field Mouse “You Guys are Gonna Wake Up my Mom”                A Place to Bury Strangers “So Far Away”

Bear in Heaven “The Reflection of You”                                   Yuna “Live Your Life”

Beach Fossils “Shallow”                                                          OOoOO “No Way Back”

Frankie Rose “Night Swim”                                                     Princeton “A Remembrance of Things to Come”

Tennis “Origins”                                                                    Hospitality “Betty Wang”

Welcome to the Super Bowl Tiquan Underwood. Oh wait…

Imagine working your whole life for one goal, a Super Bowl Championship. You train everyday. Fight through injuries. Earn a scholarship to Rutgers. Get drafted into the NFL. Have the luck to be on a team on the verge of the Super Bowl. Then on the day before the big game you get cut.

That’s what happened to Tiquan Underwood, defensive lineman for the New England Patriots.  Bill Belichick cut him on the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Burn. He didn’t do anything wrong either(other than sport this horrible Kid n Play looking haircut). Belichick is just going with another lineman.  Who is that other lineman? Underwood’s former Rutgers teammate Alex Silvestro. Double burn.

Now if this had happened to me, I would spend the morning leading up to the Super Bowl preparing for an all out homicidal rampage. I wouldn’t stop until I had Belichick’s stupid fucking half sleeve hoodie inserted into his anus. Underwood handled things a little more gracefully. He sent several tweets out yesterday praising the Patriots organization and wishing everyone luck.

Apparently, it’s not the first time Underwood has been cut by the Pats. This would make it 3 times. This season! I know you have to make tough decisions as an NFL coach but this move seems extra douchey. Even for super douche Bill Belichick.  I had no real interest in who won the game but now I am hoping the Giants beat the Patriots so badly that Bill Belichick collapses into the fetal position and has to be carted off the field.  Go Giants!

Memories of… “Boom! Shake the Room”

Few things can trigger a long lost memory like music. It can happen anywhere.  For me it usually happens in the car. The other day, I was driving to work and flipping channels on the satellite radio. I stopped on the Old School Hip Hop channel. They were playing a horrible song from the 90’s, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Boom! Shake The Room”.

I was immediately taken back to December 17th, 1997.  I was living in Ames, Iowa and was taking my wife (then girlfriend) Jess to her first Prince concert. We were pumped up for days leading up to the show.  To make things more exciting we heard a rumor that Prince was hosting an after party at a local bar. Being huge Prince fans we were beside ourselves that we may have an opportunity to see The Purple One up close and personal. We decided to play it by ear and hope the rumors were true.

The concert was awesome. We had decent seats and he played mostly hits (there are a lot) and didn’t play too many songs from the new record at the time Emancipation. I even bought this  super cool hockey jersey featuring the logo of Prince’s band The New Power Generation. By the 2nd encore we had pretty much given up on any sort of post show party and were both ready to head home. That’s when I spotted a guy handing out flyers  advertising an after concert party for some charity I don’t remember.  Prince was actually going to be there!  Now I know you’re asking yourself , “Where in Ames, Iowa was Prince going to host a party?”  Well Ames’ premier cowboy bar, Hunky Dory’s, of course. That’s right, Hunky Dory’s.

We hurried over to Hunky’s as fast as possible. Most of the trip I had my head out the side window because the windshield was frosted over from the December cold. When we got there the line wasn’t too long so we got in early enough to grab some booze and score a table near the roped off VIP section. Then we waited. And waited. And waited…

We amused ourselves by watching the people on the dance floor.  This was a cowboy bar remember so the DJ had a very limited hip hop or dance music collection. The crowd reaction to these random outdated dance songs was entertaining to say the least.

Finally, Prince arrived looking almost exactly like he did in this picture. Security took him immediately over to the VIP section which was about 20 feet from us. I couldn’t believe it.  Jess and I had been so excited about getting to the party that we didn’t really discuss what we would do when Prince actually showed up.  This is the point in the story where my wife and I disagree about the evening’s finer details. She claims that I hid behind a nearby popcorn machine upon Prince’s arrival because I was scared. My claim is that I didn’t want to be a Prince Fan Boy and rush up to stare at him like all the girls. From the best of my recollection this was our exchange:

Jess: Well? Are we going over?

A Star Struck Me: Uhhhh…

Jess: Really? Fuck you, I’m going over there.

A Deflated Me: Wuh?

So she went by herself. I watched her walk over (looking extra cute in MY newly purchased super sweet NPG hockey jersey) and somehow made her way to the front of the pack of adoring women. She was less than a foot away from my music idol. Prince ignored the hoard of other girls, looked right down at her and smiled. I was so proud. Prince thinks my girlfriend is hot!  My pride quickly turned to panic as I remembered Prince’s taste in women was exactly like mine.

Prince’s appetite for hot brunettes is well documented.  Apollonia, Vanity, Mayte, Sheila E and Carmen Electra have all been linked to the Purple One. The only aberration I’ve ever heard about was blonde bombshell Kim Basinger. They met during the filming of Tim Burton’s first Batman movie for which Prince provided the soundtrack. He pulled the cool musician move where you bring the hot movie starlet into the studio and let her make an album with you.  They recorded The Scandalous Sex Suite EP  together and she promptly moved  into his Paisley Park mansion/studio.

If you believe the Prince folklore, she stayed there as girlfriend/prisoner for a few months until she could take the weirdness no longer. She left in the dead of night leaving behind her dignity and her BMW.

Well, I wasn’t going to stand for that shit. My future bride would not be joining that long list of discarded brunettes. To quote The Joker from the previously mentioned Batman movie “Never rub another man’s rhubarb!”  I stood up about to take action when DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s song “Boom! Shake the Room” came over the sound system. A look of disgust washed over Prince’s face. Honestly, he looked like he had just stepped in dog shit. He quickly had a lackey take a stack of CDs to the DJ and ordered him to play music from that stack only. With his attention pulled away from Jess, Prince moved on to more pressing business. Like ignoring everyone in the bar.

So thank you DJ Jazzy Jeff. Thank you Will Smith.  Prince’s distaste for your awful song saved my future marriage.