Showing posts with label GHJ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GHJ. Show all posts

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Them Crooked Vultures awarded Grammy with 'New Fang'

By Brian Gardiner

Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, drummer Dave Grohl and guitarist/singer Josh Homme have won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. The award, for the song "New Fang" by their group Them Crooked Vultures, was announced during non-broadcast portion of the awards.

In other non-broadcast Grammy awards, Robert Plant and the Band of Joy were shut out on their bid for a Grammy. The Band of Joy was nominated for two Grammys: Best Americana Album, which was won by Mavis Staples for You Are not Alone, and Best Solo Rock Performance, which was won by Helter Skelter from Good Evening New York City.

In other awards:

  • Jimmy Page's fellow former Yardbirds guitarist, Jeff Beck, won three Grammys for Best Pop Collaboration, Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
  • Patty Griffin, a current bandmate of Robert Plant's, won a Grammy for Best Tradition Gospel Album for Downtown Church.
  • T Bone Burnett, who produced Plant's Grammy-winning album with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, also won for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, with "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Them Crooked Vultures star reveals he died on the operating table

Photo by Bill Ebbesen
Literally. Dying on the operating table?

Josh Homme revealed in an interview for England's NME that he died and came back to life on an operating table last year.

He'd been in surgery last autumn to correct longstanding problems with his knee. That's when, he puts it bluntly, "I had an operation and died, and survived on the table."

Details, please?

"I had surgery on my leg and there were complications and I died on the table."


"I was in bed for three months, and I've never done that before so I had time to reflect. I got cleared in the middle of December to walk round again and get out [of] bed, so after three months of just living in my mind, I was finally able to walk round again."

Three months without walking?

"So I just sprang into the new year, basically."

So did Robert Plant on New Year's Day 1976 after four months in a wheelchair and on crutches. That was from the auto accident that could have killed him -- and the hospital stay in Greece that could have stopped his life at age 26.

Two singers in bands with John Paul Jones in a similar situation just after tours!

Is Homme serious about this new revelation? NME's Dan Martin, who interviewed him, thinks so. Martin writes: "Josh is prone to exaggeration, but the serenity with which the Queens of the Stone Age leader talks about his flatline leaves us in no doubt that this is not one of his tall stories."

Josh Homme is still with us.

NME issues are available digitally.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Year-long Them Crooked Vultures stint to conclude this weekend

Them Crooked Vultures Twitter entry
Shortly after the arrival of Them Crooked Vultures in Japan, the band sent a picture to its fan base around the world. It was a photo of a truck in downtown Tokyo promoting the group's Wednesday night show there.

Their gig at the Shibuya-AX concert hall is the first of two shows the group will have played in Japan, with the second to take place Friday. That engagement is for the opening night of the three-day Fuji Rock Festival, with a scheduled 70-minute Them Crooked Vultures set immediately preceding the night's top act, Muse.

After that show, band members John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme will be going their separate ways for the foreseeable future. With Grohl set to work again with the Foo Fighters on a new album, and with Homme already gearing up for some tour dates with his mainstay band Queens of the Stone Age, the supergroup ends what amounted to a full year of club dates, festival crowds, TV appearances and arena shows.

John Paul Jones plays his No. 1
bass guitar built by Hugh Manson.
All of those live gigs took place only after the secret of the band's existence was made known en masse one year ago next week. Considerable efforts ensured that all rehearsal and recording sessions, with the fresh pots that accompanied them, all took place in private away from the public's watchful and critical eye. The major players saw fit not to reveal their collaboration in advance so as to evade prejudices. Sure, not all reviews of the band's eponymous album released last November were positive, nor were their concerts universally lauded. However, a staple of most opinions of the band was the outpouring of support for Jones, portrayed more than ever before as a gifted multi-instrumentalist as well as a major rocking force and riffmeister.

Mansons Guitar Shop in England offers
the John Paul Jones Signature Bass Guitar.
But no matter how many flashy instruments the former Led Zeppelin co-conspirator wields onstage, Jones may perhaps always be known the best as a bassist. This is why last week's announcement of the John Paul Jones Signature Bass Guitar is fitting. Mansons Guitar Shop says Jones's "number one four-string bass has been made available as a low production unit made in Europe with careful quality inspection and final set-up at the Manson Guitars workshop in the UK. Specification is identical to John's actual bass made by Hugh Manson with all upgrades carried out to date, thus reflecting the 2010 version JPJ has toured with Them Crooked Vultures." Full details, specifications and ordering information can be found at the Mansons Guitar Shop website.

At this time, what plans Jones may harbor for the months that lie ahead have not yet been revealed. A wise bet holds that Them Crooked Vultures will return for another round someday. The week of the first album release, it was unanimous among the three group members that a second album would be on the way -- someday.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Two Led Zeppelin members gigging in London on same night?

There was one week last December in which Jimmy Page appeared at the London theatrical premiere of the movie It Might Get Loud; Robert Plant's son Logan played with his band Sons of Albion in London one night later; and John Paul Jones spent the following two nights playing in London with Them Crooked Vultures.

There may be another close call of the Zeppelin kind in London in two weeks if rumors turn out to be true. One show featuring John Paul Jones is confirmed, but two shows -- including one on the same night -- are rumored that would be headlined by Robert Plant.

Tickets went on sale this morning for a special appearance by Them Crooked Vultures at the O2 Academy Brixton. The show on July 5 is a benefit for Brian O'Connor, a friend of Vultures singer Homme and bassist for the Eagles of Death Metal. Reports say O'Connor has been diagnosed with cancer and has no medical insurance coverage.

In the meantime, Tixdaq has published speculation that Robert Plant would announce two shows at London's HMV Forum. According to the reporting, the first show would take place the same night as the Vultures concert elsewhere in town. The second show would be July 6.

So far, no official word on the dates has been released. (Update, June 19: TBL/Web reports, "We have it on good authority that this will not be the case." Further, TBL/Web linked to an exclusive deal on pre-sale U.K. concert tickets for Plant album pre-sales placed on by July 5.)

Tickets went on sale between March and May for 12 Plant shows booked in the Southern United States with the Band of Joy lineup that is to accompany him on his Sept. 13/14 album release. These are the only officially announced concert dates so far for Plant, although his U.S. label, Rounder Records, has said other dates would be announced.

On a related note, tickets go on sale tomorrow for a Them Crooked Vultures show to take place July 28 in Shibuya, Japan. For the moment, it is one of only six concerts remaining for the band before a scheduled hiatus so that members Homme and Dave Grohl can focus other projects with Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters, respectively. Jones has not commented on what plans he may have in store beyond after their tour comes to a close following a July 30 festival appearance in Japan.

Jimmy Page made headlines last week when repeating his intention to release new music this year and to be playing concerts as well.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Led Zeppelin still bigger than the Beatles

What a weekend for Led Zeppelin! The band topped a BBC poll for "I'm in a Rock N Roll Band!" over the also short-listed Beatles and Queen. And John Bonham earned the nod for best drummer as well, during the week he would have turned 62 years old.

Here in the United States, I didn't know much about this until I received the following from Simon, a reader in England who was one of the first guys to fill me in on Led Zeppelin's reunion gig in December 2007. Simon says (he always does that):
The BBC has been running a series of programmes on TV & Radio these past 6 weeks to find the best Guitarist, best Drummer, best Singer, best Bassist and best Band. You might be interested in the results from the national poll:

  • Best Band - Led Zeppelin (runners up - The Beatles & Queen)
  • Best Guitarist - Jimi Hendrix (runners up - Jimmy Page & Slash)
  • Best Singer - Freddie Mercury (runners up - Robert Plant & Kurt Cobain)
  • Best Drummer - John "Bonzo" Bonham (runners up - Keith Moon and Dave Grohl)
  • Best Bassist - Flea (runners up - no details, but John Paul Jones was in the top 10!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Them Crooked Vultures, returning to Europe, so far find it 'delicious'

hi europe ! we're baack & so far it's delicious !!
The above is understood only along with the context of the picture shown at right.

This is how Them Crooked Vultures first communicated with fans on Twitter to announce the full band's presence in Europe on the day of the group's first gig on the mainland continent since December.

The current string of shows in Europe features only two nights off in the next nine days, followed by more than two weeks of scheduled rest before taking in two Scandinavian festival appearances on June 30 and July 1. The full European itinerary ahead:
  • Thu, 06/03/2010 - Vienna, Austria - Open Air Arena
  • Fri, 06/04/2010 - Nurnberg, Germany - Rock Im Park Festival
  • Sun, 06/06/2010 - Nurburgring, Germany - Rock Am Ring Festival
  • Mon, 06/07/2010 - Luxembourg - Rockhal
  • Tue, 06/08/2010 - Paris, France - Le Zenith
  • Thu, 06/10/2010 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Heineken Music Hall
  • Fri, 06/11/2010 - Donington Park, United Kingdom - Download Festival
  • Wed, 06/30/2010 - Arendal, Norway - Hove Festival
  • Thu, 07/01/2010 - Borlange, Sweden - Peace & Love Festival

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finished in America with mixed reviews, Them Crooked Vultures prep summer finale

Photo from Monday night's Them Crooked Vultures concert in Indianapolis courtesy of Pam Groves

For the band Them Crooked Vultures, this summer is going to be full of festivals.

The way the new band with John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme started playing out live last year was with a gig in Chicago and then some sporadic appearances throughout Europe. That's precisely the path the band is taking at the moment, having just visited Chicago a second time and now leaving North America for some time off. When they start up again, it will be June 3 is Vienna, Austria.

Since April, the band has played six dates in the United States and five in Canada. Toward the beginning of the tour, show reviews veered toward the highly positive. However, some unsympathetic writers took potshots at the group in recent days. Jones is almost universally accepted as infallible, but Homme evidently makes for a good punching bag.
  • In a preview of the band's stop in Chicago, Brent DiCrescenzo writes for the online Time Out Chicago that Homme is "the weak link here, ketchup on steak."
  • Indianapolis Star reporter David Lindquist writes that Homme had to struggle in concert to keep up with the "towering talents" of his bandmates yet was still unable to "offer something catchy with every tune" in terms of lyrics and melody.
Fan Jeremy Nettles, in a comment on the Lemon Squeezings page on Facebook, defends Homme's performance in Indianapolis. He writes:
"I was at the show, and I honestly thought Homme did a fantastic job all night. I've held similar things against him from his previous projects, and even video of TCV I'd seen before, but last night he was top notch."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Charity auction of Them Crooked Vultures autographed shades ends Monday

A pair of Ray Ban aviator sunglasses signed by the members of Them Crooked Vultures is being auctioned online to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The right lens bears the silver-toned autograph of the group's only member who goes by three names, John Paul Jones. The etchings on the left lens comes from Josh Homme and Dave Grohl.

The auction ends Monday night in England, which is still the afternoon for the continental United States. As of the time of writing, 14 bids have been placed, with the glasses set to sell for at least £122. Update: After a 31st bid was placed, the auction closed Monday with a winning bid of £300.

Them Crooked Vultures played one night of the 10th annual Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in March. The Who played another night as frontman Roger Daltrey is a Teenage Cancer Trust patron.

In other Them Crooked Vultures news, Josh Homme has given a telling interview looking back on his past 15 months with the band. Published May 7 on the Jam! Showbiz Web site to promote the current Canadian tour, the interview sees Homme answer questions about being in a band with someone who spent the 1970s with Led Zeppelin.

Has Homme stopped looking to his right during Vultures shows and realizing he's onstage with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin? Homme answers:
"No. And I hope I never do. I always look over and say, 'What a badass, man.' This is something that has yet to stop exciting me."
And how about some of the stories Jones tells? Says Homme:
"The funny thing is, as we were recording, we'd each be sharing stories and talking. And it would dawn on me: These are Zeppelin stories. But really, they're stories about his friends who just happen to be Zeppelin. And the humanizing of those characters has really been kind of tender and cool for me. But yeah, the stories are crazy."
Also, Jones spoke with the Montreal Gazette last week. Among his comments:
"We were in those other bands, so it's possible that the contributions we made to those bands may not be totally unlike to contributions we make to this band. But they're all totally different bands."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Las Vegas Weekly: 'Them Crooked rock stars'

Positive press continues on the short West Coast jaunt by Them Crooked Vultures, now with the Las Vegas Weekly featuring some overwhelmingly supportive commentary about John Paul Jones.
"... the Vultures' two-hour Joint performance likely could have been called The John Paul Jones Show and drawn the same crowd. If we'd had one of those hokey noise-o-meters the mere mention of John Paul Jones' name would have cracked the red zone, and not without reason. Jones easily was the star of the Joint's one-year anniversary show, taking turns on at least half a dozen instruments, including keyboard, keytar, something fiddle-ish and more varieties of bass than I previously knew existed. The man's got chops to spare and an instrument closet befitting his decades in the music business."

Feldberg's observations about frontman Joshua Homme's behavior and comments during the show are not entirely positive, but she describes the band's music as "a solid rock stew that ricocheted between blues, psychedelic and hard rock without ever sounding unnatural." She adds, "The Vultures don't genre hop so much as they slip into each style like they're putting on a well-made coat. Somehow, they all fit."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Publicity sweep as Coachella hosts Them Crooked Vultures

Friday night's showing by Them Crooked Vultures at the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif., has inspired some rave reviews.

Says the New York Times blog ArtsBeat, "They slammed, unrelentingly, through every one of their cheerfully self-conscious Big Rock songs -- and they share the skill set that made the music breathe and swing even if they never stopped walloping every riff."

The rhythm section of John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl was the subject of some of the focus. Todd Martens, writing for L.A. Times Music Blog Pop & Hiss, reports, "Grohl and Jones were caught in a rhythmic give-and-take, taunting and letting their instruments bite each other, with late-night-attic clanks and just hints of a beat emerging out of the murkiness." The Pop & Hiss article is accompanied by a single Times staff photo, and it's of Jones.

Writer Bruce Feiser leaves the hyperbole out of his Desert Sun coverage of the Vultures set at Coachella, only mentioning the band members by name and saying they "played a wide range of powerful, straightahead rock, including their first single, 'New Fang,' and the Cream-inspired 'Scumbag Blues.'" His focus was on the crowd's admiration for hometown kid Joshua Homme, but Feiser misnamed another Vultures song, referring to "Dead End Kids" instead of "Dead End Friends."

Pop music critic George Varga, writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune's Web site, didn't have much to say about the set from Them Crooked Vultures but made prominent mention of the band early in his recap of Coachella's first night. Varga did see fit to quote Homme as telling the crowd, "What a beautiful night it is. We're here to get the party started on Friday night."

At the same time these Coachella reports were appearing online, Antiquiet finally weighed in on this past Wednesday's Los Angeles show, detailing how that gig at the Nokia Theater differed from past gigs in the area. "Wednesday's show presented a more evolved Vultures; in full command of the material after having road tested it for half a year, the band displayed a confidence and affinity for razor-sharp off-the-cuff jamming that borders on telepathy," writes Johnny Firecloud. "They even debuted a new song ahead of their Coachella performance this weekend," he adds, referring of course to the non-album track "You Can't Possibly Begin to Imagine."

Firecloud concludes Antiquet's review with a great summary of a year's worth of activity by Them Crooked Vultures:
With both Grohl and Homme returning to their other bands with big plans to finish the year, Them Crooked Vultures are finishing this run with an open door, and it's clear they're out to leave a lasting impression with this final string of tour dates. It's been an incomparably awesome ride since news of the Vultures' existence first broke last year, and to witness the band push themselves to deeper, more dynamic heights, challenging each other to further evolve their already ironclad mastery of the craft as they did Wednesday night was nothing short of an honor.
The Denver Post's blog Reverb features an interview with Jones in advance of the group's performance this Monday night at the city's Fillmore Auditorium. In the interview, Jones discusses the roots of Them Crooked Vultures as "the blues from a different angle." He credits Homme for providing much of their approach, saying:
"Josh likes to call it 'perverted blues.' Obviously there are the psychedelic influences, which come around from the '60s and '70s, as well. It's a really nice mix of influences, but he's also influenced by a lot of other things. It's not like we all grew up listening to what was around us. There's lot of soul in what we do.
 Jones also speaks in the Reverb interview about the way the band improvises on stage, each member playing off the others:
"There's a lot of cross-talk in this band, which is nice and exciting, and it gives you a lot of ammunition to fire off in whatever direction you like."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Score! Them Crooked Vultures 10" picture disc

Thanks to BackSpin Records in Austin, Texas, for holding it for Steve "The Lemon" Sauer!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

John Paul Jones plays fiddle on new addition to Vultures live set

John Paul Jones played fiddle onstage last night, for quite possibly the first time in his career, while his band debuted a new song in concert at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

The song, titled "You Can't Possibly Begin to Imagine" (shortened to "Can't Possibly" on the printed set list), is one of a handful copyrighted by Them Crooked Vultures last year and not included on their debut album.

As the song kicks off, frontman Josh Homme at center stage plays some blues guitar licks, and he is soon joined by Alain Johannes on slide guitar. Eventually, Jones joins out front on fiddle and Homme's lyrics kick in. Soon, Dave Grohl enters on drums, although at a very laid back pace for him. For the middle and second half of the song, Jones switches instruments and plays some rollicking piano.

This new entry into the live set comes as the band last night kicked off a final set of tour dates in the United States before going on hiatus this summer. Both Grohl and Homme have other bands to return to, while Jones hasn't announced exactly what his plans would be during his time off from Them Crooked Vultures.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vultures to release rare single next month

In support of next month's Independent Record Store Day, Them Crooked Vultures will release a 10-inch picture disc single on vinyl, consisting of "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and "Highway One" backed with an audio interview.

It is just one of many special releases scheduled to become available in the United States when Independent Record Store day takes place April 17.

In this video, Joshua Homme of Them Crooked Vultures explains what Independent Record Store Day is and how customers can participate.

In the meantime, the band has also contributed a live version of "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" to support Twestival, a community-oriented education fundraising event to be held in multiple locations this Thursday, March 25.

This minute, Absolute Radio is currently broadcasting some live tracks from Monday night's performance at the Royal Albert Hall; now playing is "New Fang." DJ Ben Jones has just pronounced the gig officially the loudest ever held at the famed London venue.

Them Crooked Vultures winding down temporarily

Just before Them Crooked Vultures took the stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London last night, Ben Jones of Absolute Radio conducted a revealing interview with the band in which John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl had nothing to hide.

There were no secrets as the three of them answered questions about what plans are still ahead for the band. Their current touring takes them through the beginning of August, after which point the two younger members of the group are to tackle other projects. Ben Jones didn't ask John Paul Jones what was in his own future, and there was no suggestion of a Led Zeppelin reunion either.

A concert review for NME reports on the event, the first night of a week of shows benefiting the Teenage Cancer Trust, whose patron is Roger Daltrey. TBL/Web provides a rundown of last night's proceedings from the perspective of superfan Dave Lewis, who contrasts the Royal Albert Hall then and now, weaving in the fact that the venue was home to one of Led Zeppelin's most famous gigs 40 years ago.

A second Them Crooked Vultures album has not been recorded by this point and no one should expect a second album this year, the interview for Absolute Radio makes apparent. Reuniting their band eventually to go about another set of tour dates in support of a new album is still in the cards, as they've long said. Homme employed an interesting turn of phrase, saying it was like playing a game of calendar roulette to see when all three would be available again.

At least 15 shows remain before the band's current bout of activity winds down, and announcements of added shows within the pre-August time frame have been popping up in the past week. Fans in the Los Angeles area can now expect to see the group at Club Nokia on April 14. A third Canadian date, May 16 in Windsor, Ontario, was announced to complement the previously announced pair of dates in Quebec City (May 11) and Montreal (May 12). Further shows in the United States and Canada in April and May might be announced as well.

This band's planned hiatus comes at just about the right time for Rodrigo Davies, who covered last night's gig in an article appearing this morning on the Web site of BBC Radio 6 Music. That writer suggests that Them Crooked Vultures is on the verge of wearing out its welcome riding on the coattails of the music from its one brilliant album:
Now we're seven months and an album on from the initial impact of such an imagination-capturing musical experiment, one can't help wondering whether stages like this would be a fitting moment to wrap up this round of solos, however impressive they are. ... [I]f the talent of its members is proven by anything, it's the way in which their musical projects have evolved so impressively over time. More Grohl, Homme, [supporting onstage musician Alain] Johannes and Jones please, just maybe not more of the same.
For anyone who was looking to the "Fresh Pots" video released online last week for clues as to whether the band had been recording a second album -- and some news sites reported the video proves they were -- Grohl confirmed that not only was all that footage from the 2009 recording sessions but the bit about seeing a doctor related to his coffee intake was true.

The video states:
Two weeks after this video was shot, Dave was rushed to doctor due to the onset of unwanted physical effects caused by too much caffeine.

For reals. He was kind of a mess.

Since then, he has reduced his intake of the super delicious hot beverage to a healthier level.
Interviewer Ben Jones asked whether that actually happened. Grohl wasted no time in saying, "Yes." He followed up with:
"'Fresh Pots' -- that was a year ago. The 'Fresh Pots' thing was about a year old, and we were in the studio making our record, and I was drinking a lot of coffee. At one point, I was doing Vultures stuff at night, Foo Fighters stuff during the day, and I had a newborn at home. And so, I was sleeping maybe, like, two or three hours a night on an air mattress in a guest bedroom --"
Homme interjected, "The air mattress was actually filled with coffee."

Grohl laughed and continued:
"Yeah, I had too much coffee, and I started having chest pains, so I went to the hospital, and they told me to stop drinking so much coffee."
For future reference, I suppose we should start taking the phrase "for reals" seriously.

Friday, March 19, 2010

One day only: Sale price for Them Crooked Vultures album download, free single

Haven't gotten your copy of the debut album from Them Crooked Vultures yet? Then download it Sunday for only $2.99!

Just head over to Amazon MP3, where you can download "Scumbag Blues" for free and then get the rest of the album for under three bucks. That's 13 studio tracks from Them Crooked Vultures for just $2.99!

This special price is good only on Sunday, March 21, 2010. The normal MP3 album price is only $7.99, which isn't bad either. The physical disc is $9.99.

You'll want to be heading over to the band's Amazon artist page that day anyway to see the "new 'in the studio' footage" that's been promised all week long.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

May shows scheduled for Them Crooked Vultures in Canada

May was looking like it would be a month away from the road for Them Crooked Vultures, perhaps giving the group some studio time to put finishing touches on what would be their second album.

But now, May will include a trip to Canada for at least two shows. The band announced yesterday two shows in the province Quebec on May 11 and 12. Tickets to both shows go on sale tomorrow.
Further Canadian dates in May appear very likely to follow, as the official announcement yesterday said, "These dates mark the start of the groups Canadian tour ..."

This leaves a large gap of dates between a brief string of U.S. shows and the Canadian tour. So far, only three U.S. shows have been announced:
  • April 16 at the Coachella music festival in California
  • April 17 at the Joint in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • April 19 at the Fillmore in Denver, Colo.
It would only be natural to fill up the itinerary in late April and early May with more U.S. shows.

The band is also set to perform a handful of European festival dates in June and July before continuing on to Japan for an appearance at Naeba Ski Resort, which could be Them Crooked Vultures' farewell for a while.
Before all of that, however, there's still tons of time for fans of John Paul Jones and Them Crooked Vultures to find out about other band activity.
  • We await to hear if any more April or May tour dates might be in the works for the United States and Canada.
  • Of course, there's whatever "new 'in the studio' footage" will debut this Sunday on the Amazon artist page for Them Crooked Vultures. Will this signal some promise for a new album?
  • Even if it's not a second album they're angling to dish details on, there may be some other kind of new release in the near future. The band has been toying with the idea of releasing an EP with some of the songs they recorded that did not make it onto the album. The titles of six songs already copyrighted late last year are "Bombs Away," "Break Glass," "Dead Wrong," "I Should Have Let Them Go," "Orca" and "You Can’t Possibly Begin to Imagine." Plus, there's "Highway One," which the band has been playing live regularly ever since a show in Boston last October. That's plenty of material for an EP!
The remaining months before Them Crooked Vultures goes on a supposed hiatus look to be full of activity.

In the meantime, the band's latest YouTube video, "Fresh Pots," now has been viewed more than 263,100 times. Some of the footage is almost definitely taken from the same sources that went into their in-the-studio compilation for "Elephants" that debuted in August 2009.

In addition to Grohl's "mug shot" as seen in yesterday's post, has now spotted another clip that has been used in both videos. It is the shot when Grohl, seated at a drum set, twirls a stick in his right hand and then crashes down on some cymbals.

So, if "Fresh Pots" itself includes new "in the studio" footage, not all of it is.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Them cryptic virals update: Dave Grohl coffee vid catches on

Monday's YouTube upload by Them Crooked Vultures has caught on, having attracted over 180,500 187,700 views in only two days. Group insider Lee Martin reports via Twitter that "Fresh Pots," starring Dave Grohl, has become the No. 12 video on YouTube, confirmed in the following screen shot.

The reason probably has most to do with the comedic factor of this sketch. In fact, watching a caffeine-fueled drummer in this video is funnier than "Saturday Night Live"'s pre-taped Tooter commercial segment that included Them Crooked Vultures but never made it to air when the band was the musical guest.

Some of the mainstream attraction could have to do with a probably unintended pop culture reference. As Gustavo Turner pointed out on an L.A. Weekly blog, Josh Homme looks at certain times in the video like he could pass for one of the cat people in "Avatar."

For hardcore fans of Them Crooked Vultures, "Fresh Pots" holds some additional appeal because it might actually contain some footage from recording sessions for the band's second album.

While the band has not confirmed reports that the recording of a sophomore disc could be completed by this summer, subtle hints suggest this could be the case.

For one thing, there's that official newsletter from the band issued two days ago that says "new 'in the studio' footage" would become available on the Amazon artist page for Them Crooked Vultures beginning Sunday, March 21.

Another clue may be the length of Dave Grohl's hair as worn in the video. Fony Fontana, in a post Monday on the Led Zeppelin discussion group For Badgeholders Only, points out, "In some shots Dave's hair looks shorter then [sic] before so looks like this is new footage and they are in the studio again."

To suggest that the group may have been in a recording studio during their recent off time is not completely unfounded.

Of course, the footage in the "Fresh Pots" video might also be only of Them Crooked Vultures during rehearsal sessions rather than recording sessions. For one thing, some of the new video's footage was already seen in the "Elephants" clip released Aug. 26, 2009.

This still from the studio footage released by Them Crooked Vultures in August 2009, showing Dave Grohl raising one eyebrow and with a mug in hand, hints toward the video that was yet to come half a year later.

Furthermore, the "new 'in the studio' footage" set to be shown on Sunday could be from the same recording sessions from last year, from more recent rehearsal sessions that don't amount to recording sessions.

Lee Martin, the group insider who is responsible for the band's Crooked Times e-mail distribution, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he's been "working on the most important Crooked Times yet." To sign up for the newsletter, visit the band's official Web site.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Them cryptic virals: Dave Grohl's 'Fresh pots' addiction

At first, it was anybody's guess as to any intended meaning behind an image appearing online today, which rock band Them Crooked Vultures accompanied with only the words "Coming Soon."

The cryptic image, shown at right, depicts a vulture, standing upright and dressed in a shirt and tie, pouring a pot of coffee straight into its mouth. After the Twitter account of Them Crooked Vultures linked to the image today, the image went viral, accruing nearly 4,000 views in five hours.

As to what exactly was "coming soon," a few theories abounded initially, although fans' guesses typically had little to do with the image of the coffee-slugging fiend.

Since Them Crooked Vultures is about to play some sporadic concert dates over the next few weeks, some fans predicted it would be another announcement of further shows that was "coming soon."

Another popular theory held this had to do with the second Them Crooked Vultures album promised in press interviews. Even though drummer Dave Grohl has expressed plans to end the hiatus of his other band, the Foo Fighters, and rejoin them for album recording sessions in September, a follow-up to last year's self-titled debut from Them Crooked Vultures is still said to be in the works.

The above guesses notwithstanding, the answer came within five hours, after fans had been given some time to stew over the coffee pot. It was a comical new webisode about Grohl's java intake. Barking his orders for the supply of joe to be replenished by an aide named Justin, the drummer repeatedly shouts, "Fresh pots!" The video, made public this afternoon on YouTube, is paced similarly to a segment of a typical reality show.

Depending when the scenes were shot, this video may indirectly signal the recording of a new Them Crooked Vultures album has been already proceeding. However, these could be scenes culled from footage of the rehearsals and studio sessions that led to their first album.

Members of the band, during an interview of the syndicated radio show Rockline last year, indicated a "documentary thing" had been shot about their rehearsals that took place before the band's existence was ever revealed publicly. Also, some in-the-studio moments were also featured on previous uploads on Them Crooked Vultures' YouTube page last year, while portions of new songs were being debuted online before the release of their album.

At any rate, an official newsletter from the band issued only this hour says "new 'in the studio' footage" would become available on the group's Amazon artist page on Sunday, March 21.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Summer festival schedule no secret for Them Crooked Vultures this year

John Paul Jones is taking his group, Them Crooked Vultures, through Europe in coming months.

In addition to previously announced concert appearances -- including a Teenage Cancer Trust benefit in London next month and a trio of U.S. shows in April -- the band's touring schedule now includes five European festivals set to take place in June and July.

Last August, the newly formed Them Crooked Vultures was in stealth mode, popping up by surprise at five festivals in Belgium, the Netherlands, England and France. This year, we know the same amount of scheduled festival appearances well in advance -- and that's not even counting the one U.S. festival date coming up, Coachella in April.

The band is scheduled to perform during the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals in Germany, held June 3-6. The poster for both events has a certain Shepard Fairey/Mothership feel to it.

The following weekend, June 11-13, sees the group at the Download Festival, held at Donington Park in England. While the highly anticipated festival lineup was already set to include AC/DC and Them Crooked Vultures, the big news of the past week is the announcement that Aerosmith has been booked, its lineup including singer Steven Tyler supposedly intact.

Keen observers noting the location of the Download Festival may recall it was there that Jimmy Page joined Aerosmith onstage in 1990 (while we're still talking about Page's encores from that busy summer). It was the Monsters of Rock Festival in August 1990, and Aerosmith's set included a guest appearance from Page, properly closing the festivities at Castle Donington with a jam on "Train Kept A-Rollin'."

While there isn't video footage of that (but the audio is available), their rehearsal footage shot at the Marquee Club in advance of another performance that week has made its way to YouTube.

I digress; back to Them Crooked Vultures. They're set to appear at the Hove Festival in Arendal, Norway, on June 30; at the Peace and Love Festival in Borlänge, Sweden, on July 1; and the Roskilde Festival near Roskilde, Denmark, on July 2.

Finally, the episode of the series Austin City Limits featuring a performance from Them Crooked Vultures has aired on most PBS stations, and it is now available for online viewing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Them Crooked Vultures concerts have habit of yielding nice posters

Have you noticed the fine line of concert posters from Them Crooked Vultures?

If not, you may be interested in checking out three of the latest, on sale right now at the band's official online store. Two are from shows held earlier this week.

This one is from last night's concert at the Fillmore in Charlotte, N.C., and it looks like a poster for an old horror flick:

Here's another in remotely the same vein, this one of the "King Kong" subset, promoting Monday's gig at the Roseland Ballroom in New York:

The last one online for sale now is from Nov. 22, 2009, at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Ore.:

That last one is also available for sale as a signed lithograph by artist Kii Arens. The same goes for the poster from the band's record release concert, held Nov. 17, 2009, at the Wiltern in Los Angeles:

The band's appearance at the Roseland Ballroom in New York on Oct. 15, 2009, also yielded another nice poster, this one by Emek. This particular run of limited collectable posters was very highly sought after:

This week's pair of Them Crooked Vultures concerts followed the band's U.S. television network debut on "Saturday Night Live" last weekend. The group performed "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and "New Fang."

A word that is usually bleeped out on U.S. television aired on NBC as Josh Homme sang it as the last word of "Mind Eraser, New Chaser." It was barely discernible, however, and as it was after midnight when the song aired, the censors clearly did not give a s---.

"Mind Eraser, No Chaser" from "Saturday Night Live"

"New Fang" from "Saturday Night Live"

Them Crooked Vultures will appear on the next episode of "Austin City Limits" aired on PBS. The show's Web site is previewing a clip of "New Fang" as performed during a visit to the television studios on Sept. 30. An hour's worth of the band's performance from that night is set to air on the show beginning Saturday; check your local listings for time and channel.

The band plays tonight at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga., and that is all that's known of their plans in the United States for the time being.

A single Them Crooked Vultures show is scheduled for London next month as the band offers a concert in the series at the Royal Albert Hall benefiting the Teenage Cancer Trust. Depeche Mode starts the concert series on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Acts including the Who, the Arctic Monkeys and Noel Gallagher are set to perform their own nights in March. The show featuring Them Crooked Vultures is set to take place March 22. The charity said on Feb. 5 that tickets to this concert series were the fastest to sell in its 10-year history.

A return to the United States is planned for April as Them Crooked Vultures is scheduled to play more than just the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 16. The group is also scheduled to appear at the Joint in Las Vegas on April 17 and the Fillmore in Denver on April 19. Tickets to those two shows are to go on sale to the public Saturday morning, although details on a presale beginning this morning were included in yesterday's official Them Crooked Vultures newsletter.

Finally, another festival appearance is also in the band's future. That's the Download Festival, to be held June 11-13 in England's Donnington Park. AC/DC is the headliner.