Saturday, June 17, 2006

Izzy Back???

Well awesome news for all the GNR fans out there... after all the excitement following Izzy's reunion with GNR at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC, now we have word that Izzy will continue to tour with GNR for several tour dates, having also played at the Download music festival in Great Britain.
Obviously this isn't a fully re-united Guns N' Roses, but it is a step closer. And I think that even if Slash denies talking to Axl, it means they at least talk in some form. After all, Izzy is still good friends with Slash, Duff, and Matt, and has performed with Velvet Revolver on several occaisions. So if he starts talking to Slash about the tour... all i'm saying is its more likely than before. Izzy's reappearance also lends weight to the idea that Axl is finally calming down a bit, maybe taking his bipolar meds for once.

Apparently the show was great, only interrupted by technical difficulties. But they started almost a half hour early (is this really Axl Rose we're talking about) and finished all the songs. Axl's voice is reportedly in full form, and i guess he's in better shape than in 2002 as well, not looking overweight. (The hair is still heatedly debated, but at least its shorter.)

Just a thought... I like Brian Mantia, doesn't it seem like Steven Adler could easily come back and play for GNR? His band, Adler's Appetite, mostly does GNR cover stuff, and he hasn't had much individual success that's not based on his GNR fame. I think he'd love to regain some of the lost glamour and prestige. I don't have any sources, but it just seems like an obvious match. And besides, Brian Mantia has been mostly replaced by a drum machine anyway.

Axl, Adler, and Izzy... that would be 3/5 of the original GNR band. Maybe then they'd have some real success, and Slash and Duff would come back. I still think Matt Sorum is an amazing drummer, but Adler was the genius on the AFD tracks and on "Civil War" which I love.

long live GNR

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Stadium Arcadium
So a quick review of the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, Stadium Arcadium. First off, I'm a big RHCP fan, so I might be a little biased because I like almost anything they do.
The new album has 28 tracks, so $12 was actually a great deal. I went out and got it the day of release at Best Buy. While not all the tracks are amazing, there aren't any that make me reach for the next button. Dani California, the hit single, is obviously a solid way to start off the first disk, JUPITER. (I'm not quite sure why it's all caps on the CD : ) And then from there I have grown to love Snow ((Hey OH)). It's a great song, relaxing but at the same time not boring, and it has a great melody. It's one of those songs that doesn't get stuck in your head right away, but you find yourself humming it hours later in the day. Then Charlie keeps up the pace, with a different style but equally catchy. The refrain of "So much more than Charlie's waking me/To my call and Charlie's shaking me/Tell my story Charlie's making me/An Charlie's making me smile" really stands out and reminds me of past RHCP albums. Some other personal favorites off of JUPITER: Slow Cheetah (it builds into a song that's way better than you first expect), Especially in Michigan (which I initially disliked but have now come to fully appreciate, it might be my favorite overall at the moment), and C'mon Girl, (overall an awesome song. The tempo rises and falls at exactly the right moments, and Anthony Kiedis and Flea really shine here.)

The second CD, Mars, also has many quality songs, but I think I grew to like JUPITER a little better over time. You can listen to 21st Century over and over again, it just never gets old. She Looks to Me is also a similarly clutch track. And while Storm in A Teacup was my immediate favorite after listening to the CD for the first time, Made You Feel Better might actually be up there with Michigan for best overall. The whole song takes on this great flow, and the guitars cut in and out at just the right moments. Kiedis' vocals tie it all together, and Chad Smith's drumming keeps it nice and loose.

Overall a really cool album, a great addition to any collection, especially at the price. ($12 at Best Buy.)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Top Ten Reasons why McCullough is an awesome teacher.

Actually I don't think I can limit them to ten or rank them, so here are the first ten I could think of, I'll add more later.

  • The 3 minute 27 second stories-- they are always really interesting, and usually relevant, providing background material in a fascinating way. And if they might stray a little off topic, all the better, those are usually the most exciting ones
  • The literary analysis-- He can always clear up something that stumped everyone in the class, or some weird event in the book.
  • The dissection of the first sentences of a book-- wow who knew they had all that stuff packed in.
  • Whenever someone misbehaves, telling their neighbor to "hit that kid"--need I say more?
  • "ya damn kid"--you have to be there.
  • Any personal story--I can't think of one that was boring.
  • The way the class is arranged--Circle style.
  • Whenever he moves someone--and puts a quiet kid in their place.
  • The little squint he does when he catches you misbehaving- you can't help but laugh.
  • And all the quotes on the wall.
  • Reading the quiz scores out loud.

ok I'll keep adding more.

haha the to be verbs, and that.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Appetite for Destruction

Well im sitting here bored so i thought i would share some thoughts. Appetite for Destruction just came up on iTunes, and i think its one of the most solid albums of all time.

If you look at it, there really aren't any filler tracks whatsoever. Beginning with Welcome to the Jungle, it rips through track after track of great hard rock. Easily overlooked is the hidden gem "Think About You" which really shows off the unique aspects of Axl's voice. Also interesting is "Anything Goes," especially when compared with "My Way Your Way" from Hollywood Rose, which shows the band's development.

The album tears off the covers with Welcome to the Jungle well deserving of it's legendary status and also the opening song for all GNR performances. Nobody can resist the combination of the killer intro by Slash and the almost primal cry of , "sha na na na na na na knees." Axl's amazing and distrinctive voice makes its mark on one of the great stadium anthems of all time, and the music video portrays all of it's enthusiasm. It's so Easy (written by Duff McKagan, the bassist, and West Arkeen, his friend) continues with a blistering criticism of the hypocrisy of life. One moment you can be nothing, the next you are a rock star, with women bending over backwards ; ) to touch you. Night train, a fantastic song, is an ode to a cheap wine popular among people with little money and nowhere to go. (Duff onece said that the band was living in an apartment in L.A. and the liquer store next door sold Night Train for $1 a bottle, inspiring the greatful band members to pen a hugely underrated song. If it doesn't pump you up, check your pulse. "Look out that I'm a west coast struttin' one fat mother got a ratlle snake suitcase under my arm." Out Ta Get Me continues the pace, a forerunner of the controversial Get in the Ring from Use Your Illusion II. Mr. Brownstone, a tribute to the band's struggles with heroin, (Mr. Brownstone is a nickname for heroin) demonstates the pounding rythems kept by Steven Adler and Duff McKagan. (Ironically, Adler would be forced to leave the band after recording only one track (Civil War) on the Use Your Illusion albums, due to his drug addictions.) Paradise City, thought also to be about heroin, unleashes one of the most dynamic and awe inspiring sogns ever. I would claim that it was about the disillusioning nature of arriving in the big city and finding it full of crime and corrution, and wishing for a better place. The music video is my favorite, check it out at The black and white footage of the band doing soundcheck, combined with concerts and backstage video, really capture the energy and spiritual burst of the song. When it picks up at the end, you always wind up feeling a huge surge of energy. GNR end every concert (except those ending early due to Axl's temper) with Paradise City. My Michele, supposedly about Michelle Young, describes a life thrown away to drugs and fast living. The almost cutting sarcasr with which Axl spits out the lyrics, woven with the grinding background of Izzy and Slash churning ferocious guitar riffs, drive the song into another dimension.
Sweet Child O' Mine deserves it's own paragraph, but since it has several blogs already devoted to it and is famous around the world, I will only say one thing: Slash's solo might be the best of all time. And the music video was groundbreaking, although the idea of filming the making of a video is now ridiculously overused. See it at
Anything Goes, as I previously mentioned, was originally from Hollywood Rose, although with largely different lyrics. It's opening segments are as memorable as any, and, like any track of AFD, get the blood flowing. Rocket Queen might be the most underrated song on the album.. With it's great opening riff, it grabs you and never lets go. Go to for some interesting facts on the song. The change at the end of the song, when Axl becomes sympathetic and compassionate, make for a complex and compelling rock track, everyone who like GNR has to include this among their favorites. And finally, Think About You is an awesome dedication to love, written by Izzy Stradlin, but whose sentiments were no doubt shared by Axl for his girlfriend at the time.

From start to finish, an amazing album, perhaps the best 53:45 you can listen to.