By Brandon Wetherbee
Brandon Wetherbee hosts the talk show/podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody the first two Friday’s of the month at the Wonderland Ballroom and in Brooklyn and Chicago once a month. Subscribe to it online at youmethemeverybody.com. He’ll be at the Wonderland Ballroom on December 2 with guests Denman Anderson, stand up comedian Atif Myers and a set from Birdlips.
Last week I wrote a column about why I wanted to see the Foo Fighters and because of that column I was able to see the Foo Fighters. I had a blast for the not right reasons. Here’s my take on the show.
“A Much Shorter Foo Fighters Review” (by Brandon Wetherbee)
The Foo Fighters used to make music for insecure teens. Now they make music for suburban dads whose teens will be confident and own iPads.
Dave Grohl used to be a great drummer and worried front man. Now he’s a great drummer and bought into the Tenacious D thinking of what a front man should be (lots of running around, posing and head banging).
The band used to make rock and roll full of subtleties about the pressures of love, success and fear. Now they make arena rock full of anthemic choruses that mean nothing.
Foo Fighters used to play in small clubs to adoring fans. Now they play in arenas to people that just want to have a good time.
Their songs are 3-4 minutes on record. In 2011, those songs are 8-12 minutes when played live.
The band was a tight club act. The band is now a tight arena act. Never the twain shall meet.
Kurt Cobain would hate the 2011 Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl loves the 2011 Foo Fighters. Pat Smear is on the fence.
So, to sum up my arena rock experience, the Foo Fighters are no longer trying to make interesting music but they’re not harming anyone either. Fine, right? How could they possibly be making any enemies?
Earlier this week Hole played a show in Brazil. Someone held up a poster of Kurt Cobain. Ms. Love did not like this. She said a few things about Mr. Dave Grohl before walking off stage. What got her back on stage was having one of her crew or band mates or something have the crowd chant, “The Foo Fighters are gay. (Yes, not an exclamation mark. The dude sounded so god damn lazy.)”
This is the worst thing Courtney Love has ever done.
Possibly murdering the most important front man of the 90s? Herion would’ve done it if she hadn’t. Destroying her body and mind with drugs? Whatever. Screwing up a kid? Most parents screw up their kids. Changing her once normal body to become some sort of sci-fi plastic villain? It could be an art experiment. Hating Dave Grohl for things like Dave Grohl making money from Nirvana? Crazy but harmless. Using gay to mean something negative? Selling out all of the kids that thought music could change the world.
Love them or hate them or like them casually like most people, the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl specifically, does not say homophobic things in any of his bands. The band that we know him from, the band that gave most of America Courtney, hated people that said homophobic things. When Nirvana played Brazil in 1993 the band wore dresses. Why? Because they could. Because the country isn’t known for their progressive stance on women’s rights or gay rights or rights for anyone that isn’t crazy rich. So, in front of over 100,000 people, some skinny dudes from not the big city did something that hopefully showed some kids that cross dressing can be fun.
Was Nirvana an advocate of gay rights? Women’s rights? Anything? Sort of. They organized and performed in a show for Bosnian rape victims in April 1993 (Don’t click on the first link when you Google “nirvana bosnian rape victim benefit” because it’ll take you to a site that advertises Adult Friend Finder and a naked lady shimmying on the bottom right hand of the screen irony is not lost occupy everything ever.).
The Foo Fighters are somewhat involved in the anti-dumb shit like chanting something is gay to equate bad or wrong or stupid movement. Earlier this year they played a surprise flat bed concert to a group of Westboro Baptist Church protestors.
It wasn’t revolutionary or anything super important but it was fun and needs to be done. Rock and roll bands, the kind that are big enough to headline large festivals, have a responsibility to inspire 11-15 year old’s to not be future bigots. In fact, that’s rule #1 for any good rock and roll act. If you’re racist, homophobic or sexist, you can not make good (KEY WORD), popular music. You can make fantastic hate anthems, but then you can’t play in any urban centers and everyone knows that cities are better than anywhere else.
Courtney Love used to make really awesome music (really) that inspired a generation of women to play guitar and scream into a mic. She was the 90s Debbie Harry with more snarl and less make up. Her band dismissed beauty for guts and progress. Her drummer was gay and it was never an issue. 15 years later, the band is just hired guns, ‘beautiful’ faces on people younger than me and a rant against the drummer for Nirvana, with no sense of bullshit for equating gay with bad.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IPNIeLm28c
Sorry kids, no more idols for you.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful night.