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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1kvYvBiNKg. 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 athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-AYAv0IoWI
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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_Queen 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.