Posts Tagged ‘Pat Smear’

After an agonising long wait for new Foo Fighters music, we finally got a new single in the form of the surprisingly funky ‘Shame Shame’. There was a lot of teasing over the last week or so for what appears to be a new Foo Fighters album, yes, they have a new album coming called “Medicine At Midnight” and the first single off it is called ‘Shame Shame’, perhaps unlike any Foo Fighters single we’ve heard either as the band really go hard on the groove and funk with this new banger. Think of a poppy dance track but done with the Foo Fighters’ guitar-heavy aesthetic.

Since this was a new musical direction for the band, Chris Shiflett and Nate Mendel unpack what they were going for this time around. And as with most Foo Fighters songs, it all begins with Dave Grohl. During last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live, musical guest Foo Fighters took the opportunity to debut “Shame Shame” from their new album. The new record—also announced on Saturday—is titled Medicine at Midnight and is out on February 5th, 2021 via Roswell Records/RCA.

“[‘Shame Shame’] kind of stands out on the record, it’s definitely a little different than anything we’ve ever done before and it’s a little bit different than anything else on the record, although the record has a lot of songs that are, you know, groove-based like this one is,” says Chris. “Dave’s a drummer so he’s always coming up with rhythmic twists and riffs based on rhythms that he hears in his head.”

The lyrics reference feelings of shame and the music video, which will be released soon, is something we haven’t really seen from the Foos before. So were the band feeling shameful when writing ‘Shame Shame’? “That’s a great question to ask Dave!” laughs Chris. “He wrote the lyrics, I don’t really know what he’s referencing so I should ask him!”.

Ambiguous lyrics aside, the band went through a number of wildly different versions of ‘Shame Shame’ before settling on the final one we got. In fact, Nate says he originally wasn’t even supposed to play on the song. “For ‘Shame Shame’, it started of as just a bunch of clicks from Dave [clicks fingers], almost like flamenco, and it just grew out of that,” recalls Nate. “There wasn’t going to be any bass line originally, like, it just felt like it needed keyboards and I was fine with that.” The November 7th episode of SNL featured the venerable alt-rockers performing in support of host Dave Chappelle. In a fortuitous twist, Saturday was also the day that Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, likely resulting in an increased viewership which made this the ideal opportunity for Dave Grohl and co. to share their new music.

“Shame Shame” starts off sparing, with the song built around pulsating beats. For the first verse, Grohl is just focused on his vocals as the rhythm is controlled by his fellow guitarists Christopher Shiflett and Pat Smear. Along with the help of a pair of backup vocalists, the song takes a delicate and lyrical approach which displays an added layer of depth that is hopefully present throughout the band’s 10th studio endeavor. “I like the idea that you don’t need an electric bass on every single fucking song, and I ended up playing on it just to give it extra character on top of what was already there like a bit of extra added texture. So that was the plan, just to throw out the rule book.” There was a lot of talk about how Medicine At Midnight would contain a riff Dave has been working on for 25 years. So did we hear it on ‘Shame Shame’?,

Foo Fighters also performed “Times Like These” from their 2002 album One By One.

Stay tuned for more Foo Fighters coverage because we got a lot more from Chris and Nate about the Medicine At Midnight, dealing with COVID and lockdown, looking back on the Foo Fighters’ long career, and that 25-year-old riff coming very soon.

Image result for photos from NIRVANA - " MTV Unplugged

On This Day – In 1993, Nirvana recorded their MTV Unplugged special at Sony Studios, New York. Nirvana As opposed to traditional practice on the television series, the band played a setlist composed of mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Lead Belly,  and the Meat Puppets whose Cris and Curt Kirkwood joined Nirvana onstage.

The set was released nearly a year later “MTV Unplugged in New York” as a live album by the band. It features the acoustic performance on November 18, 1993, for the television series MTV Unplugged. The show was first aired on the cable television network MTV on December 16th, 1993.

MTV Unplugged in New York was the first Nirvana album released following the death of Kurt Cobain. The album has become the group’s most successful posthumous release, The performance was released on DVD in 2007.

Nirvana had been in negotiations with MTV to appear on its acoustic-based show for some time. It was while touring with the Meat Puppets that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain finally accepted. The band wanted to do something different from a typical MTV Unplugged episode for its performance. According to drummer Dave Grohl, “We’d seen the other Unpluggeds and didn’t like many of them, because most bands would treat them like rock shows and play their hits like it was Madison Square Garden or somewhere similair, except with acoustic guitars.” The group looked at Mark Lanegan’s 1990 album The Winding Sheet as a source of inspiration. Among the ideas the band members came up with included covering David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” and inviting members of the Meat Puppets to join them on stage. Still, the prospect of performing an entirely acoustic show made Cobain nervous.

The band dedicated two days to rehearsals. The rehearsal sessions were tense and difficult, with the band running into problems performing various songs. During the sessions, Cobain disagreed with MTV as to how the performance should be presented. Producer Alex Coletti recollected that the network was unhappy with the band’s choice of the Meat Puppets as guests (“They wanted to hear the ‘right’ names – Eddie Vedder or Tori Amos or God knows who,” Coletti recalled) and the dearth of hit Nirvana songs on the setlist. Upset, the day before filming was set to take place, Cobain refused to play. However, he appeared at the studio the following afternoon. Cobain was suffering from drug withdrawal and nervousness at the time; one observer said, “There was no joking, no smiles, no fun coming from him … Therefore, everyone was more than a little worried about his performance.”

Nirvana taped its performance for MTV Unplugged on November 18th, 1993, at Sony Studios in New York City. Cobain suggested that the stage be decorated with stargazer lilies, black candles, and a crystal chandelier. Cobain’s request prompted the show’s producer to ask him, “You mean like a funeral?”, to which the singer replied, “Exactly. Like a funeral.”  Nirvana was augmented by guitarist Pat Smear and cellist Lori Goldston, who had been touring with the band. Despite the show’s premise, Cobain insisted on running his acoustic guitar through his amplifier and effects pedals. Coletti built a fake box in front of the amplifier to disguise it as a monitor wedge. Coletti said, “It was Kurt’s security blanket. He was used to hearing this guitar through his Fender Amp. He wanted those effects. You can hear it on the song ‘The Man Who Sold the World.’ It’s an acoustic guitar, but he’s obviously going through an amp.”

Unlike many artists who appeared on the show, Nirvana filmed its entire performance in one single take.  The band’s fourteen-song setlist included a single song from its debut album, Bleach, four songs from the 1991 album Nevermind, three tracks from the then-recently released In Utero, and six cover songs. The group shied away from playing its better-known songs; the only contemporary hit the band performed was its 1992 single “Come as You Are”. Ten songs in, Cris and Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets joined the band onstage to perform three of their group’s songs with Nirvana. The set ended with a performance of the traditional song “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”, following the arrangement of blues musician Lead Belly, whom Cobain described right before the song as “his favorite performer ever”. This rendition has been regarded as one of the greatest live single song performances of all time.

Music critic Andrew Wallace Chamings described, “For the final line, ‘I would shiver the whole night through,’ Cobain vocal jumps up an octave, forcing him to strain so far he screams and cracks. He hits the word ‘shiver’ so hard that the band stops, as if a fight broke out at a sitcom wedding. Next he howls the word ‘whole’ and then does something very strange in the brief silence that follows, something that’s hard to describe: He opens his piercingly blue eyes so suddenly it feels like someone or something else is looking out under the bleached lank fringe, with a strange clarity. Then he finishes the song.” After the band finished, Cobain argued with the show’s producers, who wanted an encore. Cobain refused because he felt he could not top the performance of that song.

 

Related image

The MTV Unplugged In New York performance was released on DVD on November 20th, 2007. The DVD release featured the entire taping, including the two songs (“Something in the Way” and “Oh Me”) excluded from the broadcast version. Bonus features consisted of the original broadcast version of the performance, a 1999 MTV special titled Bare Witness: Nirvana Unplugged featuring the recollections of MTV producers and audience members, and five songs taped during the pre-show rehearsal: “Come as You Are”, “Polly”, “Plateau”, “Pennyroyal Tea”, and “The Man Who Sold the World”.

Nirvana 

  • Kurt Cobain – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Krist Novoselic – acoustic bass, accordion , acoustic rhythm guitar
  • Dave Grohl – drums, backing vocals,

Additional musicians

  • Pat Smear – acoustic guitar,
  • Lori Goldston – cello,
  • Cris and Curt Kirkwood – acoustic bass and backing vocals