Foo Fighters bandmate Nate Mendel, quoted in USA Today: “How do you be a 45-year-old man in a rock band, do it well, keep your dignity and not become a parody of yourself?” Excellent question, if unnecessary; Dave Grohl, earlier in that interview, provided several examples of what not to do. Grohl, last seen taking the brave, uncommon stand of dissing Glee and supplicating before the viral gods, fired a few sad salvos:
“We walk on stage with five instruments and no computers,” Dave Grohl says. “It might not sound perfect, but we’ll rip your face off, and we don’t need someone to hit ‘go’ on the computer.” (Yeah! You sure showed all those people who use computers daily, not to mention all those untalented electronic musicians! By the way, I sure love that “go” button. Every keyboard and interface has one.)
“When the band collected its best-rock-video trophy for Walk at MTV’s recent Video Music Awards, Shiflett found himself “blissfully out of touch. I didn’t know who anybody was, and I was happy, actually.” (Yeah! I’m in the VMAs, but I’m not of the VMAs! Man. This is some Biblical shit.)
And then the clincher:
Grohl, who told the MTV audience “Never lose faith in real rock ‘n’ roll,” says music’s sales decline isn’t the fault of piracy or technology or industry fat cats.
“It’s the music,” he says. “People are blown away that Adele is selling so many records. I’m not. That record is great! She’s got a beautiful voice, and people are shocked when they hear actual talent. Music should be more than ad placement, more than synthesized looping of a voice that’s been Auto-Tuned and an image made to look like a superhero or supermodel.
OK, look, Dave:
A) Your parallelism is showing. It doesn’t even go far enough! What about images made to look like supermarkets, or supersonic jets, or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Can you even name one superhero allusion in pop music, or is this just a straw man?
B) Speaking of, every generation of pop music has its straw man. Right now it’s Auto-Tune. A while ago it was lip synching, until people found a timelier target. A while ago it was not writing one’s own songs, until people figured out the existence of production credits and jazz, musical theater and opera singers.
C) But Adele! Everybody loves Adele. Adele is the pop artist it’s safe to like. We like Adele too. But we’re not so short-sighted to think she’s the only person with talent working now or selling records.
You might notice how B) and C) sound suspiciously familiar; that’s because they’re the same damn rebuttals to the same damn argument that gets made about once a week by people who think they’re lone enlightened voices. Hey, I wonder if we could produce them by pressing “go” on the computer. We’ll get back to you on that.
TEAM AFFILIATION: We’re the pop music machine, man.
DRAMA RATING: Do we even have to stoop so low as to assign a rating to this? OK, fine. 1 out of 5.