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JOHN PAUL JONES New Project

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Have not had the chance to see them yet - they haven't come down to FL to date. We were thinking about traveling up to the ATL to see them, but it was race weekend at Daytona and that is like Christmas to us! :)

I saw your pictures that you had posted earlier and your personal account of the evening. Truly envious of y'all. Good for you that you were up front with everyone rockin' hard behind you. Hope you didn't get pushed around much!!

B)

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Love, Listen, Despise 02.10.10: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Them Crooked Vultures

Posted by Chris Crowing on 02.10.2010

Chris Crowing returns to cast a disrespectful eye and decide which of Dave Grohl's bands he Loves, would Listen to and which he would despise.....

Hi folks,

I've returned to cause controversy and debate amongst the 411 Music readership. Here's how the format works...

Have you ever heard of a game called Snog, Marry, Avoid? or alternatively F#ck, Marry, Kill?. This column works a bit like that, and each week I'll have three bands to discuss and I have to decide which of the three I LOVE, which of the three I LISTEN to and which of the three I DESPISE.

Ideally, I'd like YOU, the readers to decide on the bands I write about, as this will be a lot more fun if I have some curveballs thrown at me, so please get suggesting some triads to me!

Anyways, lets' get started...

Week One: Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures suggested by Mitch Michaels

Our beneficent music editor has given thrown me to the wolves with the first selection, as these three bands are linked by a musical personality I love - Dave Grohl. How could I possibly DESPISE anything attached to the Nicest Man in Rock ©. Best take this band by band I guess...

Nirvana

Every fan of alternative, or even not-that-alternative-at-all music is aware of, familiar with and has an opinion on Nirvana. Whether you consider them to be the most important band in the last twenty years (sheesh, that's gonna have to be 25 years soon) or the band who kicked open the door for the debasement and commercialisation of heavy music, you have a position on Nirvana, and it is very rarely an apathetic one.

I remember listening to In Utero when I was still pretty young, about 13 years old and quite liking it, especially "Rape Me" (there is nothing will amuse a 13 year old as much as singing a 'bad' word) - but then again I was listening to some pretty varied stuff at the time, like Ultra-sonic, "The Girl From Ipanema", "Suicide is Painless", Blur and such so Nirvana were just one of many diverse things forming my soundtrack at the time.

I don't remember the news of Cobain's death - which shows just HOW into or aware of music I was when I was thirteen.

However, when I did start making inroads into alternative music, Nirvana swiftly became important - I remember nearly breaking my foot by smashing it off a table when jumping about to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and some of the first songs I learned on guitar were from the Nirvana songbook, indeed "Come As You Are", "About A Girl" and a few others remain part of my canon to this day.

So Nirvana were an important stopping point on my musical education, and I'll also happily endorse their importance in musical history. However...

I DO NOT endorse the 'Cult of Kurt' and the relentless, near-annual hyperbole and hysteria that marks his passing. For one thing, the man himself HATED the mainstream appeal, and would be horrified to see a generation of kids, who weren't BORN when he died crying on the anniversary of his death.

For another thing, Nirvana are more important in that they helped open the door to alternative music with their more accessible style than for their awesome musicianship or massive stylistic originality.

Nirvana's breakout success shone the spotlight on alternative music, which allowed grunge, groove metal, alt rock, nu-metal etc. to take root in the warming glow of mainstream money and the whole 'alternative music scene' we take for granted these days to exist. Whether that is for good or for ill is up to you, I guess...

Was Kurt a great musician - no. I'm a mediocre guitarist, and if I can play your whole back catalogue, then you're not exactly Mozart are you? Kurt's genius was in his turn of phrase, his affecting song-writing, and I like to think that if he had broken free of Courtney Love (who I loathe with a burning passion), gotten happy (or at least balanced) he would have turned into an interesting solo folk musician. However, while he helped to shine a spotlight on grunge, alternative and heavier music as a whole, more credit for the style needs to go to less celebrated acts like the Melvins, Sonic Youth, the Meat Puppets and others…

So, I'm a fan of the band, but not so much of the legend. I wonder where they will fall...

Foo Fighters

I was first introduced to the Foo Fighters by my cousins around the time of The Colour and the Shape, and it was some time before I made the connection of the short haired front-man to the long-haired drummer from Nirvana. This was entirely secondary anyway, as the first time I heard them on Radio 1's at-the-time awesome Evening Session I immediately fell in love with "Monkey Wrench" and "Everlong."

The Colour & the Shape remains one of my favourite albums of all time, and formed a nice counterpoint to the Pantera and Fear Factory which dominated my listening at the time incidentally forming a bridge between the indie which had been my previous musical neighbourhood and my more metallic tastes.

For me, it's a near perfect record with the joyous crunchy bounce of "Monkey Wrench", the polished, yet earnest emotion of "My Hero" or "Everlong" and the super-nice "Walking After You." Hey, as far as I'm concerned the album tracks like "My Poor Brain", "Wind Up", "February Stars" and "Up In Arms" are streets ahead of most bands very best efforts.

The self-titled debut record bulked out my collection with yet more awesomeness, and the third record There Is Nothing Left To Lose maintained a standard of excellence, while lacking some of the grungy heart of the first two records.

However, One by One had a few good songs and a bit of filler, and the bloated double album In Your Honour was mostly filler (aside from the excellent "Best of You" and passable "DOA") was it possible that the Foos had burned out, that Dave had lost some of his alternative soul in the face of some incredible success?

Their most recent record Echoes, Patience, Silence & Grace indicates otherwise, with a newfound political spin most implicit in lead single "the Pretender" but also a new drive to the songs with "Let it Die" and "Erase/Replace" some of the most powerful tunes they've ever laid down.

I would probably say that despite their mid-noughties slump, the Foos are one of my favourite rock bands, with a massive canon of quality (if not particularly edgy or original in aspect) songs and an ever-impressive live show, fuelled by the sheer enthusiasm of Dave Grohl.

Hmm, I'm clearly a bit smitten with this act but can I love them in the face of their more celebrated, and perhaps credible brethren?

Them Crooked Vultures

On paper, it's just fantastic. Look at it like a recipe.

First, take the universally respected bass player of one of the bands responsible for founding the genres we know as rock, metal, alternative (delete as you feel appropriate) in this case John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.

Add in one of the most successful rock musicians of the modern age, in this case bringing the drumming skills used most famously in Nirvana but also for Scream, Probot, Killing Joke, Queens of the Stone Age and sometime in the Foo Fighters amongst others of course this is the hero of our tale Dave Grohl.

To front the group, we select the man who has fronted the critically acclaimed Queens of the Stone Age as well as being the driving force behind desert rock legends Kyuss - Josh Homme.

Sounds good doesn't it? However, I've never really been sold on the ideas of super-groups, especially after Audioslave and Velvet Revolver fell short of the awesomeness expected of them.

These failures are firstly because a majority of the bands in question come from one legendary act (Rage Against the Machine and Guns N' Roses respectively) which tends to skew the music and invite excessive comparisons to that act. Secondly, these acts fail because the singer tends to be of a different mind to the rest of the band (being from a different perspective, and often being an egomaniac and/or junkie) and the music suffers before the singer inevitably goes off to rejoin the band they felt more comfortable being the focus of. Happily, this has resulted in the (somewhat) reformation of Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden.

How does this apply to the band in question? Well Grohl and Homme have worked together before in Queens of the Stone Age and both clearly venerate the Zeppelin veteran Jones, so there should be musical harmony there and given that the singer is also the guitarist and has worked with the drummer before there shouldn't be any egomania or friction to be found there.

Sadly, this is why Them Crooked Vultures leave me cold. While the album is good, with a pile of entertaining songs and just a little filler, it doesn't feel vital, new or particularly interesting. The whole project smacks of rich, complacent rock stars wanting to play with their idol and sadly, the sought-after musical alchemy just falls short of the mythical gold we had hoped for.

I can't really blame it on the musicianship on show (which is exemplary) but more a sense that this is a rose by another name. Put it this way, if Queens of the Stone Age had held onto Nick Oliveri and replaced Mark Lanegan with Jon Paul Jones after Songs for the Deaf and Grohl had signed up for another tour on drums, then I feel that would have been a more exciting, vital, ORGANIC album.

Perhaps it's just that having Homme on guitar and vocals makes it too close to QOTSA, and perhaps Them Crooked Vultures would have benefited from another singer. Perhaps Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge could have stepped in, seeing as he is at a loose end given his band-mates are otherwise engaged with Creed and after all, he was mooted to replace Robert Plant in a mooted Led Zeppelin tour this summer can you think of a more suitable choice?

So, despite being one of my top twenty records of 2009, Them Crooked Vultures haven't exactly set my world on fire, but surely I couldn't despise a band containing such a collection of legends?

The Reckoning

So now we come down to it, and I have to choose.

I LOVE the Foo Fighters, because of sincere emotional attachment and their consistent quality,

I LISTEN to Nirvana, because of the influence on my early education and an enduring canon of good songs,

and finally, I DESPISE, Them Crooked Vultures for being less than I had hoped, and coming across as more of a rock stars plaything than an earnest musical project, despite the evident quality of the music.

http://www.411mania....mns/129097/Love,-Listen,-Despise-02.10.10:-Nirvana,-Foo-Fighters,-Them-Crooked-Vultures.htm

Edited by SteveAJones

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I certainly don't "despise" them but I agree about the music of TCV. It really doesn't set my world on fire either. Despise is rather too curt.

the sought-after musical alchemy just falls short of the mythical gold we had hoped for.

"We"? I didn't expect "gold" but the overall music would be hard pressed to rate a bronze in my book.

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Have not had the chance to see them yet - they haven't come down to FL to date. We were thinking about traveling up to the ATL to see them, but it was race weekend at Daytona and that is like Christmas to us! :)

I saw your pictures that you had posted earlier and your personal account of the evening. Truly envious of y'all. Good for you that you were up front with everyone rockin' hard behind you. Hope you didn't get pushed around much!!

B)

Hi Walter!

They were amazing...and I admit that JPJ was the main attraction for me, but this band really has to be seen live to really appreciate how good they are. But then again when have JPJ involved it has to be magnificent :notworthy:

Grohl knows how to beat a set of drums and until TCV I never listened to Homme, but it really works with this band! And Alias reminds me of the quit one (like JPJ used to be) , but extremely talented.

They IMHO made going to a rock concert really fun again :D

Edit: Wished you could have made it.

Edited by Deborah J

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Them Crooked Vultures Flying High

by EJ Smith

The Windy Hill (Methacton Senior High School)

Norristown, PA

Thu, Feb 18, 2010

The new super-band Them Crooked Vultures may be considered a little washed out, but on Nov 17, they released their new album ‘Them Crooked Vultures’ and silenced all the naysayers.

It’s safe to say that TCV has a rich history of talented musicians, all

being members of numerous established bands beforehand.

First, lead guitarist and singer Josh Homme can be traced back to heavy rock bands, including Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, and the Eagles of Death Metal. With these bands, Homme has esteemed himself as a guitarist and vocalist.

Next, David Grohl, the drummer for TCV, has played various instruments for prestigious bands such as the Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Scream, and Probot.

Lastly, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones played bass for the world-wide phenomenon of the 70’s, Led Zeppelin, where he worked alongside guitar great Jimmy Page and drumming icon John Bonham.

TCV presents the vocal and guitar styling of Queens of the Stone Age, the bass lines and overall rhythm of Led Zeppelin, and the energy level of the Foo Fighters or Nirvana.

The album reaches even the highest of expectations by showing us just how good these musicians can get.

They cut right to the chase in their first song, ‘Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I,’ which, despite the title, starts off with Grohl providing a fast-paced drum beat followed by grimy guitar playing from Jones and Homme.

The song keeps up with Grohl’s attitude with overdriven guitars and lyrics that suggest some tough trials. ‘I've got tomorrow/ and life doesn't wait/ you can keep your soul/ I don't want a cell mate.’

Just two songs later, their leading single ‘New Fang’ starts similarly. Grohl’s drumming initiates the song, and seconds later Jones and Homme let their guitars do the talking.

This song contains clever stops in the music to make you focus on lyrical presence. Interruptions like these show how well the song was put together.

The song that can be credited mostly for sounding fun is ‘Scumbag Blues.’ Where lyrics may lack, musicianship more than fulfills.

Jones hops on keyboard for a few moments and shows his multi-dimensionality while Homme shows off his blues influence by adding life-like string-bends and double-stops.

Songs such as ‘Elephant’ show the dynamic ability of Grohl, who presents his knowledge and musical chemistry with his band mates. Grohl enters the song with cymbals screaming, but understood exactly when to quiet them down. Grohl’s control over the dynamics of his drumming makes the song clearer.

Blues influences in Homme’s playing are also present during ‘Reptiles’ and ‘Warsaw,’ and Jones’ piano and keyboard playing is showcased in Spinning in Daffodils where he gets his own piano intro.

All-in-all Them Crooked Vultures have paved the way for many other ‘super groups.’ Despite the ridicule that most groups such as these get, Them Crooked Vultures kept it original and made a great album in the process.

Edited by SteveAJones

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A Reader's Poll for 2009 is published in the latest VISIONS magazine (Germany), issue #204, March 2010:

Album of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures, "Them Crooked Vultures"

2. Pearl Jam, "Backspacer"

3. Mumford and Sons, "Sigh No More"

Band of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures

2. Pearl Jam

3. Biffy Clyro

Live Band of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures

2. Faith No More

3. Dredg

Newcomer of the Year:

1. Mumford and Sons

2. Them Crooked Vultures

3. The XX

Hype of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures

2. Michael Jackson

3. Gossip

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The line-ups for the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at the Royal Albert Hall are:

Them Crooked Vultures, Little Fish (March 22)

Comedy night: Jimmy Carr, Noel Fielding, Rhod Gilbert, Kevin Bridges, Jason Mansford, Tommy Tiernan, James Corden (23)

Suede, These New Puritans (24)

Noel Gallagher, The Courteeners (25)

Noel Gallagher, Plan B (26)

Arctic Monkeys, Mystery Jets (27)

JLS, Lemar, Diana Vickers (28)

The Specials, The King Blues (29)

The Who, Sweet Billy Pilgrim (30)

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A Reader's Poll for 2009 is published in the latest VISIONS magazine (Germany), issue #204, March 2010:

Album of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures, "Them Crooked Vultures"

2. Pearl Jam, "Backspacer"

3. Mumford and Sons, "Sigh No More"

Band of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures

2. Pearl Jam

3. Biffy Clyro

Live Band of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures

2. Faith No More

3. Dredg

Newcomer of the Year:

1. Mumford and Sons

2. Them Crooked Vultures

3. The XX

Hype of the Year:

1. Them Crooked Vultures

2. Michael Jackson

3. Gossip

That is awesome!JPJ still at the top of his musical genius :notworthy:

Edited by Deborah J

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^yeah! i have to say its very cool to read about and knowing that john paul jones and dave grohl are out there destroying stages all over the place. as a zeppelin fan and a fan of all of dave grohls work, its just cool to see this group get together.

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I was one of the underwhelmed fans upon hearing the album, but in hindsight i think that's down to me having unrealistic expectations..being such a fan of all three members an' all.. now that i've had a while to de-geek, the album's growing on me more, and i do think this is a live band..that's where the magic is...

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Some new studio footage from Them Crooked Vultures. Hopefully, signs of a DVD soon.

Great video, thanks for posting. They really seem to have a lot of fun together, great chemistry - and it comes across on stage IMHO.

Edited by Deborah J

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With this time change in place I also need a "FRESH POT"! :P

Too funny! :lol:

Edited by Walter

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The Datsuns-I Got No Words - Outta Sight Outta Mind which was produced by John Paul Jones

Edit: Sorry- should have posted this on JPJ solo thread

Edited by Deborah J

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