The genesis of this new Best of the Rest column can most definitely be blamed on my stupid bike.
Yes, my bike.
Undoubtedly the vast majority of you are like me and have uneasily ventured into new territory as far as Covid-related time killing activity is concerned. One can only complete so many fucking puzzles before sanity fails (and the remaining puzzle pieces that really SHOULD fit, are ceremoniously lit on fire).
Trial and error personified! In my own process, the errors piled up quickly. The time that needed filling seemingly offered nothing more than one giant middle-finger to my efforts.
In the strangest of fate twists though, I stumbled on cycling. It’s pretty fun actually and offers endless entertaining opportunities to interact with the worst drivers on the planet.
Apparently they all live in San Francisco, by the way.
While I can now often be seen huffing myself up city hills, I’ve also found the activity to be the perfect conduit for meditating on albums.
Hence, this column! (Fear not naysayers, I only wear the one ear-bud in my outside ear and keep the volume safely organized.)
This mornings’ soundtrack went from “The Real Thing” by Faith No More to “Letter to You” by the Boss, and finished with “Brothers In Arms” by Dire Straits. Curiously those 3 records back to back to back somehow work together seamlessly. Who knew?
My ride this morning also enabled me some time to reflect on the Foo Fighters, my choice for Volume 3 of Best of the Rest.
Admittedly, the Foo are NOT my favorite band. In fact, they don’t appear anywhere on any type of favorite list I’ve ever written or thought about for that matter. Never. Ever. Not close.
That said, I do have plenty of affection for these guys. Dave Grohl is great. He’s somehow become everyone’s favorite crazy uncle, which is hilarious. Not only am I fine with it, I’m glad he’s out there being such a good dude.
Great guy, great bandleader, KILLER drummer.
One lost narrative of the Foos’ run as rock A-listers though is that the OTHER GUYS in the band have street cred of equal or greater value than Uncle Dave.
I mean, front to back the band is made up of great players who ALL have aggressively impressive resumes that long pre-date their time in the band. For example, we all know Pat Smear was the second guitarist in Nirvana, but that dude was in THE GERMS, for Christ’s sake. Chris Shiflett was in SoCal’s legendary No Use For a Name. Rami Jafi was in The Wallflowers. It just keeps going…
I’m fearlessly repping for the other guys in the Foo Fighters. Rad dudes. Officers and gentlemen all.
As far as making a Best of the Rest list, the Foo Fighters are pretty much the perfect study. Their hits are ginormous–inescapable really. But as a band, they’ve made some really strong albums, filled with equally good tracks. Whittling this list down to just 10 songs was again a challenge. You’ll also notice that there are several albums that have more than one song making the list of 10. I certainly have no qualms copping to favoriting a couple of their records over the rest. Some of their records are terrible, what can I say?
Check out my Spotify playlist here, see if you agree.
*A couple tunes I really want to highlight, starting with “Dear Rosemary” from Wasting Light. I mean, it’s a duet with Bob Mould, people. It rules!
Also “I Am A River” from Sonic Highways – is likely my favorite Foo Fighters song of all time. It still gives me chills every time! I dare you to listen to that song and not get exceedingly fired-up/emotional. It’s truly incredible!
Dear Rosemary: Wasting Light (2011)
Wheels: Greatest Hits (2009)
What Did I Do?/God As My Witness: Sonic Highways (2014)
Next Year: There is Nothing Left to Lose (1999)
I Am A RIver: Sonic Highways (2014)
Alone + Easy Target: Foo Fighters (1995)
The Line: Concrete and Gold (2017)
The Deepest Blue and Black: In Your Honor (2005)
I Should Have Known: Wasting Light (2011)
Ain’t It the Life: There is Nothing Left to Lose (1999)