Posts Tagged ‘Hanukkah Sessions’

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Dave Grohl and producer Greg Kurstin closed out their Hanukkah Sessions covers series on Thursday night with a cover of “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground, the iconic New York City art rock band fronted by nice Jewish boy Lou Reed.

Launched on the first night of the Festival of Lights last Thursday, the series features Grohl and Kurstin covering a different song by a different Jewish artist each night. Throughout the last eight days, the duo has paid tribute to Beastie BoysDrakeMountainPeachesBob DylanElastica, and The Knack.

This project, which initially began as a silly idea, grew to represent something much more important to me. It showed me that the simple gesture of spreading joy and happiness goes a long way, and as we look forward, we should all make an effort to do so, no matter how many candles are left to light on the menorah.

Toda Raba to Greg for being a musical genius and spending 2 1/2 days barnstorming through these songs together. You never fail to amaze me. Big round of applause for Markus Rutledge, the poor soul that had only 24 hours (8 days in a row) to churn out each of these videos for us! You deserve a medal for sleep deprivation! Huge hearts for the force of nature known as Peaches! You brought the real. And, of course to all of you for joining in on the fun. I hope that you enjoyed watching.

The relaxed take begins with a bit of levity, as Grohl counts off the song only to quickly drop on of his drumsticks. Unfazed, the camera keeps rolling and the two try again and nail the classic Loaded track—kudos to Dave for that fine, fine falsetto. As the duo leans into the song’s final “it was alright” refrain, we see a clip show of sorts from throughout the last eight days showing everything from the editing and recording process to Grohl posing with a menorah.

Along with the final video of the series, Grohl offered up some reflections and thanks laced with his impressive new arsenal of Hebrew phrases. Read the note from Dave Grohl reflecting on the Hanukkah Sessions. As 2020 comes to a close and another Hanukkah ends (my first!) I am reminded of the two things that have gotten me through this year: music and hope.

So, sing along one last time to “Rock and Roll” by The Velvet Underground, a song about music and hope, and let’s keep spreading the joy and happiness. It goes a long way…..

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For the third night of their “Hanukkah Sessions,” Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and producer Greg Kurstin blazed through a rendition of Mountain’s classic “Mississippi Queen.”

“Talk about making a mountain out of a mohel … named Leslie Weinstein at his bris, the singer of our next band built a wailing wall of guitar as Leslie West. Check out our take on a track from Leslie’s monolithic band, Mountain the pair said of their latest cover. “I’m fucking this cup up so bad right now,” Grohl says of the container he’s using in place of a cowbell during the recording. Several YouTube viewers picked up on the line, leaving comments that included: “Dave Grohl is my favorite cup player,” “Dave knew he would be doing a disservice to the Jewish community, and to the song, if he didn’t play the hell out of that cup,”

Mountain released “Mississippi Queen” in 1970, and it appeared on their debut album Climbing! The same year. It became their highest-charting single, reaching No.21, and it’s been covered a number of times over the past five decades, including Ozzy Osbourne’s 2005 version.

“The song’s got three chords,” West said of his composition in August 2020. “Any idiot can play it. I just happen to play it better than anybody!” He added: “[It] has just everything you need to make it a winner. You’ve got the cowbell, the riff is pretty damn good, and it sounds incredible. It feels like it wants to jump out of your car radio. To me, it sounds like a big, thick milkshake. It’s rich and chocolatey. Who doesn’t love that?”

Despite the cover serving as a celebration of West named as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists — Grohl and Kurstin don’t even attempt to replicate his six-string theatrics, with Kurstin instead playing the riffs and famed solo on a keyboard’s guitar setting. Grohl also banged away at a makeshift cowbell for the performance. 

So far for their “Hanukkah Sessions” — a celebration of the Festival of Lights featuring eight covers by eight Jewish artists stretched across eight nights,  Grohl and Kurstin have covered the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.” and Drake’s “Hotline Bling.”