Sounds Good: Foo Fighters@Sprint, Kauffman Center Open House, Okkervil River@Granada

Friday, September 15th

Foo Fighters at the Sprint Center in KC

After Kurt Cobain killed himself, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl wasted little time launching himself into an ambitious new project where he had complete artistic control.  Indeed, on the Foo’s debut album Grohl played every instrument and sang every song.  And for the most part, the album received acclaim for its raw sound and hard hitting heavy alternative vibe.   

Next came 1997’s The Colour and the Shape, which showed some growth in Grohl’s songwriting and arrangement skills.  For that album he loosened up a bit and let his band mates get their two cents in. Though in the end, he did scrap a lot of what they recorded, including all the drum tracks, and re-record a good bit of it himself.

The band toured heavily on the album, and I recall seeing them open at Sandstone for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Too bad for the Peppers, though, because Grohl and his band blew the headliners out of the water with their energy and sweat. 

In my opinion, that time period marked the end of the Foo Fighters’ days as a real "alternative" band, whatever that even means.  From there on out, the Foo have continued pounding out modern rock singles at a staggering clip, but it’s just not the same, gritty, dirty rock that it used to be.   

But that’s just fine with Grohl and his wallet.  "I love being in a rock band, but I don’t know if I necessarily wanna be in an alternative rock band from the 1990s for the rest of my life," said Grohl.  "It might be nice to broaden our range, open up the dynamic, so we can go out and just make music."

Sunday, September 17th

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Open House in KCkansascity_exterior01_jpg

So, the Kauffman Center looks pretty bad ass.  And it is finally ready to go, so the people in charge are hosting a FREE open house that starts at noon on Sunday and features "a diverse lineup of Kansas City performing artists."  Seriously, though, follow the link below, there are a ton of artists playing, dancers dancing, and other artsy stuff going on.

Monday, September 19th

Okkervil River at the Granada in Lawrence

You know you’re doing something right when Lou Reed becomes a fan of your band, and then requests that you open up for him at a show in NYC.  That’s something to slap on your resume, somewhere near the top.  But it also begs the question, at least for me: Lou Reed listens to Americana and folk?  I know, total mind blow, right? 

Okkervil River has been doing their thing, somewhat under the radar, for about a decade now.  They’re from Austin, so you know they know what they’re doing.  Well, they’re not actually from there, but they moved there and started a band, so…

They just released their sixth album, I Am Very Far, a few months ago.  Most critics saw it as a departure from their earlier sound which was more literate and folksy, but the album received consistently good reviews.  Of the new sound, songwriter Will Sheff told Spin Magazine, "I found myself wanting to not be accessible and not be crowd pleasing and basically be self-pleasing and follow what I thought was really interesting."
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8 Responses to Sounds Good: Foo Fighters@Sprint, Kauffman Center Open House, Okkervil River@Granada

  1. PB says:

    No Mention
    Of perhaps the best show of the weekend…Jason Isbell & 400 Unit @ Knuckleheads? Outside of Jesus leading a Beatles reunion, I’ll take a club show over arena madness anyday, but I’m old and only white in skin color, not mojo.

    No disrespect to the Foos, they’ll rock the house in typical fashion, but after starting out as a more diverse act, they seemed to have settled in to a comfortable role of rock band w/ punk attitude for the J.Crew set. Nothing wrong with that but I’ve always thought some of their more pop-oriented early material was their best stuff. Oh well, in these days of decidely non-rock stuff like Katy Perry, Adele and Drake dominating the airwaves, the mainstream desperately needs its guitar heroes and FFs perfectly fit that bill. Should be good, but I can’t pass on Goddamn Lonely Love.

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    Well said PB
    George Burns once told my cousin Sally Rand he could put on a body stocking and do her act on stage at the Chicago Worlds Fair because no one outside of the first couple of rows would know the difference. Stage monitors pretty much put an end to that.

    Worked in a small club (capacity 265) where I got to see Led Zeppelin jam with The Pretty Things and Springsteen debut the Born to Run album before it was finished. For years I wondered why I couldn’t find Wings on Wheels on vinyl.

    Arena shows are at the bottom of my list too.

  3. Merle Tagladucci says:

    re: Orphan of the Road 01:48:49 PM – Fri. Sep 16. 2011

    Worked in a small club (capacity 265) where I got to see Led Zeppelin jam with The Pretty Things and Springsteen debut the Born to Run album before it was finished.


    Wow, you don’t hear too many people these days who can cite The Pretty Things. Feel free to share some stories from that club job. Until then, here’s a dodgy recording of one of my fav tunes from those cats –>

  4. Orphan of the Road says:

    It was The Main Point were all of this went down (OK, The Tower Theater and some colleges too).

    Dr Hook played there before they could fill a bigger venue. When they made the cover of The Rolling Stone they were playing the club. It was quite a party.

    My ex encouraged this young lady to go ahead and approach George Frayne. She did and they soon married. Saw George when he was at Knuckleheads a few years back. Told him where I worked and he said that is where he met his wife. I told him about his wife and my ex.

    Jackson Browne did a week of concerts to help the club stay open. Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Maria Muldaur all came out and did a set during the shows.

    On Labor Day we had a picnic at our place. The house was a log cabin built in 1705 and later expanded to a three-story. The top of the front door frame was about 5’5″. David Lindley smacked his head good coming in the door. Said, that’s never happened before. He and Jackson helped me bang out a tune that day.

    The photo used on The Darkness at the Edge of Town album was taken by Phil Cecola (RIP my friend) in the basement of the club.

    Lots of memories and friends were made in that little Bryn Mawr club.

  5. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Good stuff. Different world, different times man.

  6. RickM says:

    Foos a sellout?
    You lifted a quote from Grohl (source, please?) and cynically twisted its meaning to make it appear as if he’s justifying some big aesthetic sell-out. Not buying it.

    This is from someone who attended an Okkerville River show a few years ago at the Bottleneck on the (considerable) strength of their album The Stage Names Were you there?

  7. smartman says:

    Toad’s Place
    New Haven, CT. In close proximity to Yale. EVERYBODY, Springsteen, Bad Company, Stones, U2, Hall & Oates, Queen, Zepplin, Kinks, etc. All used to do impromptu shows there before kicking off their US Tours. Friend of mine in the music biz used to get tipped off to these dates.when we lived in NYC.

    It’s still there. It would remind you a lot of the Parody Hall River Quay location.

    To be able to stand right in front of the stage, 10′ away from Brian May’s, Little Steven’s, Keith Richard’s or David “The Edge” Evans guitar amps and get your eardrums shredded was a slice of heaven. Doesn’t matter how much you amplify it, light it, pyro it or auto tune it NOTHING is better than seeing those kind of acts in a small club setting.

  8. Orphan of the Road says:

    Kim Simmons/Savoy Brown
    The guy can’t remember shit but ask him about his 40th birthday. Played our club and rocked the place. After party was typical 70s excess. I plan to check in with him at Knuckleheads.

    Smartman, before I started at the club Springsteen, Jackson Brown, Don McClean, Jim Croce, The Pointer Sisters, Bette Midler, Billy Joel all got their start at the place. There were lots of outlets in those days for a small artist to build a crowd.

    The Coen Brothers are doing a film about Dave Van Ronk and the folk scene in the Village in the 60s&70s. Used to drive for him annd his wife when he was in Philadelphia. Beautiful people.

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