The acts have been announced for a rock-tastic Grammys finale.
Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham have all been announced to play at the finale of the upcoming 56th annual Grammy Awards, which will take place on Sunday.
Nine Inch Nails Have Been Confirmed To Play At The Grammys This Year.
Such a gathering of alt-rock icons will represent a Grammys first for QOTSA and Nine Inch Nails, true rock 'n' roll leviathans. "We're incredibly excited about this number," Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich said in a statement, via SPIN. "There's nothing better than when the Grammys can rock out, and to have these artists all together on one stage, doing a number that, when they presented it to us, knocked us out, is going to turn out to be one of those Grammy moments that people talk about for a long time. Long live Trent, Josh, Dave and Lindsey and these great bands!" Ehrlich added.
SXSW Festival announces appearance from Dave Grohl's Sound City Players
Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players will be taking their classic rock vibes to this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The assortment of rock’s superstars, including the Foo Fighters frontman himself, will be appearing at the influential music festival in support of Grohl’s documentary, Sound City, which follows the success and eventual demise of California’s Sound City recording studio.
The line-up of the Sound City Players at SXSW will be just as star-studded as the inlay booklet of their recent studio album Sound City: Real to Reel would suggest. Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), Rick Nielsen, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Chris Goss (Masters of Reality) and Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine). The band will be playing at the rock hall Stubbs and the opening band for the evening will be the Meat Puppets – Grohl’s grunge buddies from his days drumming with Nirvana, who are shortly releasing their 14th studio album, Rat Farm. Sound City Players have already played to a host of fans in Los Angeles, New York, the Sundance Festival and in London, where Grohl appeared to be relishing the chance of playing more intimate venues; not something he’s often able to do as the frontman of Foo Fighters.
Dave Grohl will also deliver the festival’s keynote address on the morning of the Sound City Players concert, according to Rolling Stone. The album, Sound City Players: Real to Reel will be released two days before the gig, on March 12.
Continue reading: Dave Grohl Takes His Sound City Players To Austin, Texas, For SXSW
Albums of Note... Dave Grohl managed to rally a group of rock’s big players together to record an album designed to accompany his Sound City documentary – about the legendary LA recording studio of the same name. Amongst the stars making an appearance on Sound City: Real to Reel are Sir Paul McCartney, Josh Homme and Stevie Nicks; the latter of whom provides one of the album’s highlights:
“[The] tracks that do command attention… are worth wading through the mire for. One can only assume, for instance, that Lindsay Buckingham and the rest of Fleetwood Mac will be kicking themselves upon hearing 'You Can't Fix This,' because this is simply the greatest Fleetwood Mac song that never was.”
As Dave Grohl touts his Sound City documentary about the legendary Los Angeles recording studio, his Sound City Players have also been performing songs from the movie's soundtrack, released here under the title Sound City: Real to Reel. Grohl features heavily on the tracks but also draws on the talent of a number of Sound City punters from over the years; most notably Fleetwood Mac's Steve Nicks, Paul McCartney, Josh Homme and his former Nirvana band mates, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear.
Hopes are never high for a project such as this. A range of musicians with relatively diverse musical palettes (though there's a lot of common ground in some instances), combining forces for a singular goal: to provide a rock soundtrack for a rock-related documentary. There's always a fear that the end game will obscure or dampen the creative process; that the players in question won't have the time or creative freedom to explore the possibilities that they may otherwise have done. These fears are allayed to a small extent; there are some stand-out tunes on Real to Reel and, as a soundtrack to rock history, they will make for an excellent accompaniment to Grohl's moving images.
As a stand-alone listening experience though, the ever-revolving cast of players limits any sense of identity that the album could have forged. What results is a long-player of rock standards, with few tunes poking their heads above the parapet of drive-time sludge. Those tracks that do command attention, however, are worth wading through the mire for. One can only assume, for instance, that Lindsay Buckingham and the rest of Fleetwood Mac will be kicking themselves upon hearing 'You Can't Fix This,' because this is simply the greatest Fleetwood Mac song that never was. The Sound City Players have managed to recreate that perfect 'Rumours' era sound. With hints of 'Gold Dust Woman,' Nicks opens the track with the lines "they don't talk much about it / it goes back so many years / all the times we almost didn't make it / we stand clear / dancing with the devil / call it respect, call it fear / but we never allowed the devil to come to the party."
Given the demons that we all know Nicks and co. have faced in their time (very public relationship breakdowns, rumours of drug abuse and inter-band bitterness), it's a bold move for sure and one that pays off. If only the same could be said for the rest of Real to Reel. 'Time Slowing Down', featuring one of modern rock's most prolific contributors, Chris Goss, is another highlight; a breezy, melodic number with serious weight behind it. Equally, 'The Man That Never Was' (basically Foo Fighters featuring Rick Springfield) winds up, perhaps unsurprisingly, sounding like Foo Fighters at their heavy best; at their least quirky, at their most bolshy.
Straight-up rock is the order of the day here and that's what's delivered. For the most part, though, the tracks fade into insignificance. Even the presence of Joshua Homme does not save 'Centipede' from being anything other than just another slow-burning radio friendly rock song. As an accompaniment to the Sound City documentary, Grohl should be high-fived for going to the efforts that he has to create something unique and, indeed, for touring the album's material, giving fans the chance to catch some of their rock idols on one stage that they would undoubtedly never catch the opportunity to otherwise. As a commercial release, Real to Reel is a collection of average compositions, propped up by a few exceptional tracks.
Albums of Note... Heaped with praise and riding high in the UK charts, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away is not only an artistic triumph but a commercial one, too. Cave’s songwriting style has mutated significantly since his early days as frontman and resident wildcard of The Birthday Party; he now resembles a particularly well-dressed bar fly and his songs are peppered with his quintessentially erudite turn of phrase.
For our reviewer, Push the Sky Away demonstrates Cave and his cohorts at their finest:“Knowing when to stop and what to leave out, when adding more will lessen the quality and having the strength of character to just cut away the surplus is most definitely driven by the ever uncompromising Cave and here it has clearly paid dividends… Push The Sky Away' has a delicacy and tenderness woven through it like a fine silken tapestry of beguiling beauty but it can still be unflinching and brutal.”
Dave Grohl marched on stage with a husky, animated 'Hey' on Tuesday night. He greeted his audience with open arms, comically noting that he couldn't believe he was back in the UK at such a small venue. But what The Forum lacked in size, it made up for with denim jacket wearing beer guzzlers who were ready for revelry, many of them sporting Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures merchandise. Grohl would go on to be presenter, narrator, guitarist, drummer and finally lead vocalist in a typically versatile Sound City Players set.
Though it was a given that Grohl would remain centre stage throughout, there was an air of excitement amongst the pre-show mutterings: Who else was going to walk out on stage? The Sound City Players, a collaboration of ex-Nirvana's Grohl and members of bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Queen of the Stone Age and many other artists who had once graced the Sound City studios in LA, had appeared with Stevie Nicks only days prior to this event. The first in a coterie of rockers that Grohl introduced was Alain Johannes, or just his friend 'Al'.
A frenetic opening sequence featured songs from the Sound City Soundtrack such as Trick with No Sleeve and songs from Al's own catalogue. Grohl's hair swayed from side to side like a metronome, his gathering of buddies playing away beside him. Johannes quipped in a rare breather, 'Yeah that was a good song and this one's a good one too'. As you would expect from an assembly of successful producers and musicians, there was no lack of confidence and conviction in the ever-changing line up on stage. Yet, it seemed you were watching a group of friends in a garage session; joking, hugging and all.
Chris Goss was next at the head of the stage and introduced by Grohl as the man responsible for forging the records that 'shook your life'. His performance reached the peak of its crescendo with a cover of Master of Reality's It's Shit, with Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins on drums finishing with a heart tumbling solo. All the stage faced Hawkins, the Sound City emblem on either side of the stage shining down as they then began the next track, Time Slowing Down. It appeared, however, that they had rolled back the years, especially when Fear's Lee Ving walked out as the next ingredient of Grohl's alchemy.
Hardcore punk rocker Lee Ving added the most verve to the bill. His nonsensical screams, count-offs at the start of songs and piercing harmonica riffs made for a good show. Then stepped up Rick Springfield. As a vocalist, his voice cut through the band noise better than anyone else on the night. Stripping off to a sleeveless black shirt and still looking as handsome as ever, his set ended on Jesse's Girl which perhaps drew the loudest ovation from the crowd, first note to last.
There was still time for Cheap Trick's Rick Nielson to near enough end the night after two and a half hours of music. He was joined by ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and Taylor Hawkins, who stepped down from drums and on to the microphone. Hawkins, surely the youngest on stage and only one eligible to take his top off, made his presence known and excelled with a cover of Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me.
The evening was special, not just because of the music, but also because of Grohl's short interludes about Sound City Studios which were a fine advert for his film. He concluded with a performance accompanied by plectrum confetti from the band which ended with calls for an encore. It was a thrilling night at The Forum, with a live collaboration of artists who accentuated the ideal that, some music is timeless - a heavenly occasion for an 80s/90s rock enthusiast.
Albums Of Note... Get Up! pairs modern blues idol and expert slide guitarist Ben Harper with harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. Aiming for blues authenticity, that’s exactly what Ben and Charlie achieve here. The pair of talented blues musicians fly in the face of modernity and instead strive to recreate the dusky glamour of a Chicago blues club.
“In general, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite have delivered a strong, yet candid and fun blues album. This album really does not care that it is 2013, and why should it? Each of the ten songs contains something of merit. Both musicians involved are fairly prolific but this collection will doubtlessly shoot to the high end of the fans favourites in no time at all.”
Continue reading: A Week In Music - Classic Blues From Ben Harper And Charlie Musselwhite, Raunchy Videos From The Weeknd, Jay Z And Justin Timberlake, Get Up Close And Personal With Rihanna In 'Stay'