A note from Pop & Hiss writer August Brown: My assignment to review KROQ's Weenie Roast 2013 coincided with a visit to L.A. from my mom, Helen Balz Brown, who previously wrote a counterpoint to my review of Power 106-FM's Powerhouse in 2009. She's but a final thesis project away from a master's in journalism from the University of South Carolina. (It was due in 1974). Her review of Weenie Roast, commissioned by music editor Lorraine Ali, is the second in a recurring series.
Jared Leto’s English teacher should be proud. At KROQ’s Weenie Roast on Saturday, the Thirty Seconds to Mars singer managed to use one particular profanity as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction, interjection and a few more that defy sentence diagramming.
Jared, Jared. Country Joe McDonald did it first at Woodstock in 1969. It was truly shocking back then. I wasn’t actually there (I was 16) but I did buy the vinyl and dreamed I was the hippie chick on the cover. No small feat at the University of South Carolina in 1970. Word to 30 Seconds to Mars -- don’t try so hard. Really.
This is my second “Mom-entary” for the Los Angeles Times. Back in 2009, August convinced his editor that despite my missing-in-action thesis for an M.A. in journalism, I could create a new genre of pop music criticism and squired me to Power 106-FM’s Powerhouse in 2009. Jay-Z used bad words at that event, too, but somehow when they are used in context, instead of ho-hum naughtiness, they really pack a punch. So when the KROQ Weenie Roast 2013 coincided with my accumulation of enough frequent flyer points to hit the left coast, I jumped at the chance.
Now, skipping to Of Monsters and Men. This is a group you could take home for Thanksgiving dinner. Singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is an amazing talent, yet I can totally hear her saying: "Please Mum, could ‘ya pass the hangikjöt?"
I recognized “Little Talks” immediately. Whenever I’m feeling particularly subversive, I ditch my Pandora indie channel and check out what’s current on Flagler College Radio (St. Augustine, Fla.), and it is with that memory I shudder to confess telling August in 1994 that Green Day’s “Dookie” was the Devil incarnate.
A few thoughts on Vampire Weekend: To VW’s guitarist, you looked just like August’s college roommate, in Southern pink pants and a sweat-soaked, blue oxford button-down shirt. When you get to be part of Vampire Weekend, I hope you get free dry cleaning.
Stone Temple Pilots -- surprise! -- were pilotless for this show, but the Linkin Park singer-guy had some nice tats, red shoes and a pair of circular blue earrings that Princess Diana would have adored. It reminded me of the Stones’ Ron Wood, who I saw live in 1975 on a hot Florida day when I should have been writing that thesis.
Black Keys, I’m so sorry. I do like your music, I saw you pick up your Grammys, have been to Akron and sure wish you’d played earlier in the day. Had to make a decision: finish the Black Keys’ set or beat traffic. I chose less traffic, as did many other fans, so I’m guessing by the time the Black Keys' finished their set, they had an easy path out of the fest themselves. My sincere apologies -- if you're upset about that, I’m sure Jared Leto could give you some choice phrases to express your frustration.
ALSO:Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun