#HireBrianna

My name is Brianna, and I want to do social media for the Foo Fighters.

“Go to the fucking yard sale, buy a fucking guitar, start a band with your fucking friends, get in the garage and fucking suck and work on it until you fucking make great music, and become the biggest band in the world.”

-Dave Grohl

If the Foo Fighters have taught me anything, it’s that if you want something, you have to get off your butt and do something about it. So this is me doing just that.

I got out my computer, wrote a cover song, asked some friends to help me record it, and shot and edited this video.

As one of the biggest rock bands in the world, it’s very possible Foo Fighters already has a social media team in place, but the opportunity to be a part of it would be the best thing ever. I could contribute a whole lot of experience, and am fully aware of the amazing chance to learn from the pros.

For anyone reading this, all of your time, consideration, shares, likes, and retweets are very much appreciated. I know that #HireBrianna can only be successful if a bunch of people join in on the fun, so thanks for helping me make this a thing!

You guys rock.

B

PS…

If you decide to tweet out the video, you could just copy and paste the below tweet:

Hey, @foofighters… It’s time to hire @lil_conqueror! #HireBrianna http://bit.ly/1OMJw7x

ORRRR feel free to write your own, including:

-@foofighters

-#HireBrianna

-the video link (http://bit.ly/1OMJw7x)

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Where Hip Hop Meets Punk Rock: Get Social with Stose

There’s something special about socially conscious rapper Stose. Beyond the tattoos, studs, and leather, lies a man who is thoughtful, kind, smart as hell, and all about bringing social injustices to light through his music. He’s also pretty damn funny.

PHOTO - Stose -Cowboys- by Jahn Hall

Stose just dropped a collection of songs that is so eclectic, compelling, and edgy, that regardless of whether or not you agree with his charged political messages, you’re definitely going to want more.

You can hear old school, new school, and every school of hip hop in between on Stose’s debut EP “Civil Disobedience”. And with a healthy helping of power chords, courtesy of his veteran status in the punk world, there’s something for you rock fans as well.

“Civil Disobedience” is definitely the first step in a long, successful journey for Stose. He’s already gotten props from MTV and Paper Magazine (no big deal), and “Civil Disobedience” will for sure push things to the next level.

Here’s your chance to get to know Stose. Civil Disobedience - Album Cover

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You’re fresh off a show at NYC’s famous club Westway. How did it feel to perform the new songs live?

It felt great! That was the first club I performed at after moving back to NYC in 2012, so that place will always have a special place in my heart. Frankie Sharp has always been very gracious to let me perform at his party “Westgay”, whenever I had a new release of some sort. It’s a shame that the gentrification of this city is responsible for this club being torn down in a few months, all so they can build more condos. But with that said, I am very glad I got to play there one more time before it closes its doors. It felt great to play the new songs live for the first time, especially in front of that crowd.

You’ve said you’re fully aware that the political content of “Civil Disobedience” might alienate you from people. What compelled you to take that risk?

I think the current state of mainstream music is mostly disheartening. Music is getting more and more whitewashed, ignorant and dumbed down. It’s losing its sense of creative awareness and turning into an easily-digestible package that can be served to consumers on a silver platter. The issue there is when you have producers and label executives telling you what to say, how to dress and what your image has to be, you lose authenticity. The things I say may alienate me, but to not say them would be to sacrifice my authenticity and that is something I never plan on doing.

Do you ever feel there’s a burden that goes along with being a socially conscious rapper?

I sometimes feel like there may be, but I try not to focus on it. From my perspective the burden lies more so within being a human and trying to do your part to make the world a better place. But personally, I experience more of an internal burden that comes with being an artist, always feeling the need to create something better than before.

You recently moved to the Bronx. Has living in what is debated to be the birthplace of hip hop had any effect on your music or the EP?

Well the EP was basically done by the time I moved to the Bronx, but I am sure it will have influence on whatever I do next. Since moving up here I have constantly been working on new songs and writing more frequently, there is definitely something magical and inspiring about this borough. PHOTO - Stose -2-Tone- by Jahn Hall Your influences include Dr. Dre and Black Flag, what do you think is the common ground between hip hop and punk rock?

It can actually be traced all the way back to the birth of the hip hop movement in the Bronx. In the late 70s early 80s, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash would perform at clubs in the Lower East Side and East Village, which were frequented by punk and new wave kids. The two disenfranchised cultures of Punk and Hip Hop were formed out of a need for music of substance, so naturally they bonded on that. From then on the two cultures clearly influenced each other yielding music such as Blondie’s “Rapture”, Afrika Bambaataa and Johnny Rotten’s group called Time Zone, and the Beastie Boys. The interesting part of my personal story is that growing up I gravitated towards both of these genres of music, before even knowing the history. I was drawn to the attitude and ideology of the two groups, and obviously I wasn’t the only one.

Fun fact… You play saxophone on the record… If you could jam with Bill Clinton, Lisa Simpson, or Kenny G, who would you pick and why?

Hahaha yeah, I did! Although Lisa Simpson is pretty socially conscious, I think I am going to have to go with Bill Clinton. He seems like a pretty real dude and I bet he’s got some crazy stories. I think I now have a new life goal, so thank you for that. Stose_Logo_Black_1000x355 Download “Civil Disobedience” here, and for more on Stose, hit up his Website, Twitter, or Insta.

Photo Credit: Jahn Hall

Sound City Players concert review

Last night brought me one step closer to renaming this website “Little Sound City Conqueror.” I was lucky enough to be in the fourth row at Hammerstein Ballroom for the Sound City Players concert, and part of me is still there standing googly-brained at what I just saw. As Rick Springfield, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, and more performed live right in front of my eyeballs, the power of good rock and roll was made clearer than ever.

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The show was a fusion between film and music, using clips from Dave’s Sound City doc to introduce each guest musician. Things started on a melodic note with Alain Johannes from Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. At one point, Alain joked that he could play all night, prompting Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins to answer, “Well you are.” And he did… Switching seamlessly between guitar and bass and that weird cigar box instrument thing that I misread as an indication that Paul McCartney would be a surprise guest. And just so we’re clear, Paul McCartney is the only thing that could have made this night better… Other than Dave deciding to give me his trademark Trini guitar.

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The banter between Alain and Taylor was just one candid moment of many that made this show super special. At all points the seams were very visible. Everyone stayed on stage while the movie clips were being shown and playing songs other than their own gave the Foos a chance to let loose a little bit and be more present in their performance. So many glances were shared between band mates that ran the gamut from unbridled joy to sheer terror at the complexity of playing some of the more involved songs. I heard in an interview that in order to prepare for this concert Dave and Co. learned  40 some songs in a week, and while they delivered at an insane level, it was cool to see that even the most accomplished musicians face challenges. Not just us newbies. The most sweat was shed throughout the Foos set with Lee Ving, a man who claims to fit an equal amount of notes into a minute long song as a four minute one.  A couple different times Taylor and Dave exchanged a quick “fast enough for you?” and Taylor deserves a thousand Gatorades for holding down that crazy drum beat so well.

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The music nerdiness wasn’t reserved to the audience and was equally matched by everyone playing on stage. Dave was thrilled to play with Rick Springfield, Taylor lost his cool over Rick Nielsen, and Chris Shiflett, who plays in a country-ish band on the side, took a break from his usual stoicism and grinned like a little boy while playing with John Fogerty. And speaking of John Fogerty, he might be my new Tom Petty. I need to get my Fogerty on in a big way, as he was probably my favorite part of the show. And that says a lot considering Rick “Fucking” Springfield and the Foo Fighters joined forces for “Jesse’s Girl.” I mean never thought that when I was actually “Little” Conqueror and rocking out to the Kidsongs version of Centerfield, I’d be seeing the it performed by the man who wrote it 3 feet away from me over 20 years later on a guitar made out of a baseball bat.

Other performers that caught me off guard included Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine. Who knew there was someone out there who hit harder than Dave? I couldn’t take my eyes off of Mister Wilk and wanted to curl up in a ball inside his giant drummer biceps. And while we’re talking about fantasies, if Rick Springfield makes another album, I’m definitely going to that concert. Finally, Rick Nielsen put on the show of the night. His performance was a little bit Catskills/a little bit Vegas and campy in all the right ways. You could tell he was having a ton of fun as he showered the crowd with guitar pics and played the Cheap Trick standards with utmost enthusiasm.

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Oh. And Stevie Nicks was there. She’s kind of magical. Stevie might have been the only lady in the lineup, but it was far more than that that set her apart. After bopping, bouncing, and head banging all night, swaying to the Fleetwood standards was a lovely break. And seeing Foo Fighters slow down to gently backup Stevie for Dreams was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Imagine Boyz II Men singing an Insane Clown Posse song and you can start to get what I’m talking about.

The show ended in the only way it could. Dave and Stevie playing an acoustic version of Landslide, followed by every performer joining forces for a sonically assaulting version of Gold Dust Woman. Excuse my language, but that was some goooooooood shit. Nothing could come after that… Except Paul McCartney. I left Hammerstein in a daze that I’m still coming down from. Dreams came true in that room for everyone onstage and off, and the only thing that’s bringing me back to reality is all the music homework that I now have to do. Any and all album donations are welcome.

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New Review of an Old Album

The album up for review this week is another one celebrating its 25th year being listened to by  the world and its 3rd month being listened to by me. It’s the album that Billie Joe Armstrong claimed to be the “best debut album in the history of rock and roll” in his speech at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony. It’s sold over 18 million copies. It makes even the squarest of squares wanna do a keg stand on a balance beam over a pit of snakes. It’s Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses.

As a first time listener of Appetite for Destruction, it’d be really easy to think that it is totally cheeseball. With the epic guitar solos, Axl’s insane singing, all the girls/booze/party talk, and songs like “Night Train,” I can’t help but conjure up images of a modern day Spinal Tap. Thing is, Appetite came first. It only seems like a joke because I’ve been listening to 25 years worth of people trying to copy what they did.  Appetite for Destruction is a genius collection of groundbreaking rock and roll, and without this album, a lot of bands simply wouldn’t exist.

In their celebration of the album, Stereogum discussed how they can’t imagine a world without the song “Paradise City” (track six on AFD), and I’m total proof of that. Dookie was my first cassette, and I listened to all subsequent rock that came out after it, however I never took the time to dive into the classics. Despite this, I still know and have known every word and every riff to this famous song. And now, after my buddy Josh was nice enough to burn me a copy of Appetite, I can sing you through a good chunk of the album.

On my first couple spins of this CD I couldn’t pick out which songs were my favorites, as each one built so well upon the masterpiece that preceded. All members of the band are at the top of their game and Slash steers the ship  from stage left as the holy grail of guitar players. I turn into a giggly school girl during “Welcome to the Jungle,” I die for the catchiness of “Mr. Brownstone,” and just straight up melt for everything that “Sweet Child O’ Mine” has got going on. That for me is the song that makes this album.

It starts out with one of the most classic guitar riffs of all time and launches into a  soulful conglomeration of tender lyrics, loud instrumentation, and a damn near perfect sense of pacing. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” takes breaks when it needs to, giving each part of the song the weight and breathing room that it deserves. Slash’s sections aren’t just six-string solos. His guitar sings just as much as Axl, driving you much further than if the song depended on words alone. It’s 4 minutes and 33 seconds where no matter what, you’re gonna get lost in the world. Just try and resist it. Don’t believe me? Think back to any karaoke experience where “Sweet Child…” came on. I rest my case.

I think the karaoke test would stand true over most of the songs on Appetite for Destruction, and that’s part of the reason I give this album an A++. It’d be really easy to just get caught up in the nostalgia and hoopla that has surrounded this album since it’s 1987 release, but it all exists for a reason. Axl may have strayed off path, but AFD remains on point, even after all these years.

If you liked this, check out my review of the Replacements’ “Pleased to Meet Me.”