Posts Tagged ‘Queens of the Stone Age’

There’s no question that with the increasing number of platforms for social media, it is very easy to be heard. Anyone can express exactly what they are thinking, with only a few key strokes. Here’s a look at a few musicians’ opinions on what has been ailing them lately.

Trent Reznor and Josh Homme vs. The Grammys

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age were kindly asked by the Grammys to close out the broadcast this year. They were hesitant at first, as neither really is a big fan of the awards show. However, they put their heads together and decided it was a good way to showcase their solid rock sound to a broader audience.

The performance also included Foo Fighters’ lead man Dave Grohl, and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. For their fans, it was a treat to get to see them play such a mainstream event, except the Grammys cut them off midway through, because they had run over the scheduled time. As a result, at-home viewers barely caught a mere glimpse of the rock extravaganza.

Immediately after, Reznor expressed his disdain via Twitter. If you are going to anger anyone in the music industry, try not to do it to such heavy hitting rock ‘n rollers, because this is what you get. Since then Reznor has been very vocal about never returning to the Grammys, and both him and Homme have shot profanities at the music organization, and rightfully so. To make matters worse, the Grammys “apologized” by simply saying they did the best they could. Wow, is that how a music organization supports, um, music? I would be irate too.

 

Lorde vs. Her Fans

Lorde, oh Lorde. Here’s a teen sensation from New Zealand who blew up North American charts with her hit single “Royals.” It’s cool, it’s different, it’s a unique sound. Which is why it got picked up by so many radio stations, and put on heavy rotation. The people responded to it, fans grew to love it. Lorde even picked up a few awards for it.

It’s no secret the pop diva in the making has had her share of outspoken moments, never shying away from speaking her mind about the current state of music. She’s even denied the title of “teen hottie.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. Except when you start voicing opinions against  those who made you. That was the case in a recent interview, where she got all bent out of shape about the success of her hit single: she wants it to stop playing on radio stations, “because it’s kind of crazy at the moment.” She claims she can do better than “Royals” and wants to give fans some “breathing room” before releasing new material.

So let me get this straight: Lorde, a young singer-songwriter, is annoyed that her music is mainstream. She’s basically over herself. So much so, she wants her own fans to stop listening to her. But only briefly, until her majesty says so. Come on. If she did not want to be popular, she should have stuck to making music in her basement and singing in the shower. As my fellow music aficionado, Sammy T, pointed out: why sign with a record label if she did not want to gain recognition? She opted to put her talents out there, and is now offended that most people enjoy it? Really? Get a grip already.

 

Drake vs. Macklemore, Rolling Stone, and Himself 

You know, just when I was starting to turn the corner, and join Team Drake. Let’s start with his beef with Macklemore. After the Grammys, Macklemore, recipient of Best Rap Album, sent a text to fellow nominee Kendrick Lamar, saying he should have won that award. Then Macklemore did the good ol’ humblebrag (my new favourite word) and took a photo of the text and posted it on Instagram. Not the brightest idea. In response, Lamar only had nice things to say though. However, Macklemore was harshly criticized for his gesture by many, including Drake. He called Macklemore’s move was “Wack as f–k,” and even said he owed all the nominees- including himself – an apology text. Bitter much, Drake?

Next, Drake was supposed to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. Unfortunately, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away at the same time, thereby booting Drake from the coveted cover. Drake advertised his “disgust” over Twitter. When his tweet was not taken in kind by the general media, Drake deleted it, and followed it up with another tweet, basically claiming what he said was taken out of context.

Most of all though, Drake was upset at himself. After mulling things over, he took to his website, and ablogogized (my other favourite word.) He blamed the way his comments came out on his own frustrations, and said he was acting out of character. Oh Drake.

 

We often hear about celebrities being triple threats. Usually that entails having a music, acting and some sort of entrepreneurial career, ie perfume line, clothing line, etc. Sure these celebrities are somewhat successful in all their paths, but for the most part: actors can’t make music, musicians can’t act and neither are actually all that involved with their businesses (except to use their face to sell them.) So I’d like to turn your attention to those celebrities that truly are dangerous: musicians who lend their talent to several bands, all of which get them recognition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Dave Grohl. He first appeared as the mad-tastic drummer for Nirvana. A 90s grunge band that defined a generation. After lead singer Kurt Cobain’s suicide, Grohl wasn’t ready to leave music just yet so he decided to make his own band: Foo Fighters. But this time, he was on guitar and song writing. In their illustrious 19-year career, they have won a whopping 11 Grammys, and have released seven studio albums.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            During his stint with Foo Fighters, Grohl took a mini-break and joined Queens of the Stone Age (QotSA) in 2002 as their drummer. He recorded their third and most successful album, Songs for the Deaf, and toured with them in support of it. In 2009, Grohl took another vacation from the Foos and joined QotSA frontman Josh Homme and ex-Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones to form Them Crooked Vultures, with Grohl back on drums. They’ve released one album to date and are currently working on their next one. So that’s four bands, playing two different instruments and even songwriting. He may not have a shoe named after him, but that’s one talented dude.

Emily Haines. Haines hails from Toronto and is best known as lead singer, guitar player and keyboardist for the uber popular indie band Metric who put out their first album in 2003. And she plays a mean tambourine. Prior to forming Metric, Haines was part of the Toronto music collaborative Broken Social Scene: a concept formed by two indie musicians who bring together the best of indie music in Toronto. The band has had as little as three members to as many as eleven. The musicians are typically part of other bands, and just lend their vocal or other music talents when they can.

After releasing two albums with Metric, Haines formed Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton, a much more mellow version compared to Metric, and where she more often uses her piano skills. She released one album in 2006 which included the single “Our Hell” which is sure to give you goosebumps. In 2007, Haines got back in the studio with Metric and between then and 2012, have released three more albums, including 2009’s Fantasies, easily one of the best albums released that year. One band, a solo project, and guest starring vocals in an extensive indie music project, mostly consisting of Canadian artists. Plus the ability to play multiple instruments. Can she be any cooler?

Chris Cornell. First known as lead singer/guitarist for prominent grunge band Soundgarden. They’ve been around since the late 80s and have released six albums and won two Grammys. While Soundgarden was rising to fame in 1990, Cornell combined forces with most of the members of yet-to-be-famous Pearl Jam, to form Temple of the Dog, as a tribute to his roommate Andrew Wood, who had passed away earlier that year. They released only one self-titled album which spawned the classic track “Hunger Strike.”

In 1997, Soundgarden hit a rough patch and they broke up, so Cornell went solo. His 1999 debut release wasn’t incredibly well received, but the single “Can’t Change Me” was nominated for a Grammy. Next, he joined Rage Against the Machine’s band (minus lead singer Zack de la Rocha) and formed Audioslave. Another hard rock band who put out three albums and were nominated for three Grammys. Due to creative differences, they disbanded in 2007, and Cornell went back to his solo career, made two more albums, the more recent Scream produced by Timbaland. Again, not critically acclaimed but it was Cornell’s highest charting solo album.

Finally, in 2010, Soundgarden reunited, put out an album and are touring. Cornell writes all his lyrics, his vocal range is out of control and he has also lent his voice to several soundtracks, including my personal favourite “Sunshowers” from Great Expectations. So three bands, a solo career, writing credits and having his music in movies. Bonus: if you ever see him live, it’s like seeing four bands at once.

Anyone who wants to become a celebrity will find some way to do it. With all the mediocrity we see out there, all the reality-show-fabricated talent, all the YouTube sensations, it becomes increasingly difficult to recognize true celebrity: being famous/recognized for being amazing at what you do best. Not being average at several avenues leading to celebrity. These three musicians are a breath of fresh air, a sight for sore eyes because they are so talented and live for music so much so that they will find any way to be able to create it. And for us who long for what’s real, without all the glitz and glam, it’s a reminder that it still exists. And that’s a beautiful thing.