Music post 002 – Times like These 9/2/17

You ever have something serendipitous happen, like when you are into a band, movie, comic book series, TV show, podcast, and then there is a tour and it comes to your town just at the right time because you’re so into what is happening with it you gotta buy a ticket? This has been happening to me for the last 6 years or so. I  listened obsessively to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast for a year. On his 2012 tour he stopped by Philly, so I got tickets and went to see him. With that obsession satiated, I’ve since moved on to other podcasts.

This “listened obsessively to” happened with the Foo Fighters back in 2015.  I have enjoyed the Foo Fighters’ music since “This is a Call” hit the air waves back in the 90’s. “Finger nails are pretty/Finger nails are good” hooked me in. It was silly. It didn’t make sense, but if you really wanted to you could plug the lyrics into your own “make sense machine” to decipher meaning. “Big Me” was another good one, especially with the video’s mockery of the Mentos commercials.
I didn’t own the first album and I still don’t. Not for any specific reason. It’s a great album. My first Foo Fighters’ album was The Colour and the Shape. My favorite song off that album was Everlong. It was the first Foo song I learned to play and sing. I tried my hand at learning Walking After You. I was able to play a rough version. It was the first time I tried to play the guitar by picking the strings. It was difficult and I got frustrated. I should go back and try it again.

For many years, I had no favorite band. The Foo Fighters have been in and out of my life. Until In Your Honor came out, the only albums I had of their’s were The Colour and the Shape and Nothing Left the Loose. I skipped over One by One for some reason. I think it came out when I was in Grad School. I had other priorities. I had stopped watching TV at that time.  Between school and my internship there wasn’t enough time. When Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace came out, I made the purchase. But for some reason, it didn’t draw me in. The Pretender totally rocked and Long Road to Ruin was catchy. Ha! Catchy. But I didn’t appreciate the album as a whole.

Flash forward many years, Wasting Light dropped in 2011. I had heard songs from it infrequently over the next few years. Nothing really stuck. I was busy in my career, raising kids, and just listening to what the radio played. I was into audiobooks and podcasts at the time and listened to them mostly on the short 15 minute drive to and from work. It was the only time I had to myself. Then one day in 2015, at least it seemed like it happened one day, the song Walk got stuck in my head. I don’t know why or how, but there it was and I was singing it to myself. So, I wanted to check out the album, but I didn’t want to commit to buying it. Not just yet. Thank goodness for the inter-library loan system, I was able to get it from the local library. From the start of track one “Bridge Burning” I was hooked all the way to the last track “Walk”. I became obsessed. It was the only album I could/would listen to. I had never loved a whole album in forever. I couldn’t even tell you then or now the last album I had loved completely. In my obsession the radio bored me. Nothing on the radio rocked as much as the songs on Wasting Light. I started listening to my other Foo Fighter albums to get more Foo. I came to love more if not all the songs on Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace. I watched music videos and interviews on YouTube. I rented the documentary Back and Forth. HBO came out with Sonic Highways.

In the middle of my Foo obsession, they came to the Philly area for a second round, two night event. When I heard tickets were still available, I called my wife, she said buy and I was able to secure tickets. This was the tour where Dave Grohl sat upon his throne of rock, due to having broken his foot a month or so earlier that summer. That concert satiated my Foo obsession and I’ve since moved on.

Though, there are many Foo songs that I’ve attempted to learn, it was “Times Like These” that I chose. When it came time to start this trip on learning a song per week, this was the Foo Fighters’ song that was playing in my head. I remember finding it difficult to learn years ago. I wasn’t used to pulling my finger off and on during a song. And I found the coordination even more difficult when I would try to sing at the same time. I’ve had some practice since and I felt more confident I could pull it off this time.

I used a printout of tablature that I’ve had for years from Ultimate Guitar. I decided to play it in the clean amp effect on Garage Band to give it more of an acoustic feel. I recorded my voice several times singing in a low, soft tone, but I kept sounding too whispery. The final version is me singing in as less a whispery voice as I could get it.



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