Billboarding: March 3, 2008, Foo Squared

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With the Hot 100 once again behind us, it's time to circle back around to the rock charts -- in this case, the Modern Rock Top 10 for the week of March 3, 2008. Two decades ago, when the format made its debut, playlists were heavy with acts like XTC, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and, um, Jon Astley; these days, you'd be hard-pressed to hear much of a difference between most of the top "modern rock" bands and their "mainstream" counterparts. But hey, at least everyone's guitars still work, right? Let's rock!

1. Foo Fighters, “Long Road to Ruin” (RCA/Roswell)
Lest you think the Foos lost their sense of humor after seeing the stark aggro clip for “The Pretender” (more on that in a minute), here comes another vintage slice of video tomfoolery from Dave Grohl and the boys. Now with 100% more Rashida Jones! (As for the song? Hey, it’s nothing we haven’t heard them do before…but who asked for anything truly new from the Foo Fighters anyway?)

2. Seether, “Fake It” (Wind-Up)
Yes, there are jiggly babes in the video. Yes, it’s got a solid hook. But still, honestly, we’re having a hard time figuring out why “Fake It” refuses to drop out of the Top 10 all these weeks after its release. It’s like the “Bubbly” of modern/mainstream rock playlists. In other words, we’re tired of it, America. Why aren’t you?

3. Linkin Park, “Shadow of the Day” (Warner Bros.)
This is easily the least shitty Linkin Park song we’ve ever had to listen to, but still – don’t you find it a little depressing that this is one of the last bands in the major-label system that is still selling enough albums to command the Michael Jackson-type budget necessary to recreate “Children of Men” with Chester Bennington?

4. Paramore, “crushcrushcrush” (Fueled by Ramen)
Hey, when did the Killers get a chick singer?

5. Foo Fighters, “The Pretender” (RCA/Roswell)
You see how hungry people are for actual old-fashioned rock & roll? We’ve got not one, but two tracks from a fair-to-middling Foo Fighters record on the Top 10 – and this one has been around since last fall. There’s an entire generation of record-buying rock fans just waiting for AOR to shake off its post-grunge hangover – just ask Hinder’s accountants.

6. Puddle of Mudd, “Psycho” (Geffen/Flawless)
It took us years to do it, but we’ve finally run out of ways to describe all the reasons Puddle of Mudd sucks. Clearly, there’s an audience for music that sounds like the unholy union of Candlebox and Nickelback. We don’t understand it, but we’ve come to accept it. We only hope that this song is no longer on the Top 10 the next time Billboarding circles around to the rock playlists.

7. Avenged Sevenfold, “Almost Easy” (Warner Bros./Hopeless)
The singer sounds like he’s being crushed to death, but the band has a better grasp of how to write a kickass chorus than almost any other act on the Top 10 this week, so we’re inclined to forgive the hokey flames all over the video and epileptic drumming. It’s still a bunch of whiny bullshit, but at least it rocks.

8. Rise Against, “The Good Left Undone” (Geffen)
Somewhere in America, right this minute, there’s a teenager buying a Ramones t-shirt at a Hot Topic, and this song is playing on the PA. The irony is lost on all parties involved.

9. Radiohead, “Body Snatchers” (ATO)
What’s this? An actual modern rock band on the Modern Rock Top 10? How did this happen? Somebody better nip this shit in the bud quick, before college radio PDs start thinking it’s okay to play Yo La Tengo and Morrissey again.

10. The Bravery, “Believe” (Island)
Sure, it sounds and looks like it comes from the soundtrack to a focus-grouped drama about the exploits of a sexy group of 20somethings hanging out at CBGB’s in 1979 – but it also exudes effortless, disaffected cool, the way rock & roll is supposed to. Hats off to the Bravery, we guess.

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