Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guns N' Roses: More Than Blanks

(Originally published July 31, 1998)

by Tom Sinclair

Singer Axl Rose, the sole remaining original gunner, has at last put together a semi-stable lineup for the long-dormant group, which now includes former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, Vandals drummer Josh Freese, and ex-Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck.

A source close to Rose says the new material the quartet is working up is indeed "techno influenced"-hard as that may be to believe with die-hard punkers Stinson and Freese on board-but still "sounds like Guns N' Roses."

No word yet on when we can actually expect a new GN'R album, but, says the source, Axl and the boys (who are currently rehearsing in Woodland Hills, Calif.) will be entering the studio to begin laying down tracks "imminently."

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Axl Rose = Eminem

Re-Use Your Illusion

By Chuck Klosterman
(Originally published June 25, 2003)

Why is Axl Rose eating Eminem's soul?

Here's the thing about modern teenagers: They like rap. It speaks to them. Rap music (sometimes referred to as "hip-hop" by sociologists) offers today's youth a sense of urgency and desperation not seen since the "heyday" of late-'70s punk-rock artists like the Clash and Boston. This phenomenon is best illustrated through the work of a popular Caucasian known as Eminem, a man who spent much of 2002 as the unsmiling cover boy for youth-oriented magazines such as Spin, The Face, and The New York Times Magazine. It would seem that Eminem is a new kind of cultural Minotaur: the irrepressible cad who flouts society's conventions by candidly critiquing pop culture and sporadically threatening to murder people. It all seems quite innovative.

Yet this is not as you may suspect, true believers. This has been done before. In fact, this has completely been done before, because Eminem is Axl Rose. And I don't mean Eminem is like Axl Rose in a metaphorical sense or in a philosophical sense or in an allegorical sense; Eminem is literally reliving Rose's career in bizarre, hyper-specific ways. My proof:

Both hail from the Midwest and express violent anger toward their mothers (Rose on Guns N' Roses' "Bad Obsession," Eminem on pretty much every track he's ever recorded).

Both reappropriated their given names for reasons that were simultaneously personal and aesthetic (Rose renamed himself after discovering the identity of his "real" father; Eminem titled his most visceral album after his legal name to make it more "real" to listeners).

Both have been critically reviled as homophobic, yet both seem vaguely obsessed and/or connected with gay culture (Rose once sent flowers to the Pet Shop Boys, who later sang the song "The Night I Fell in Love," about a Shady-like character).

Both artists were also defended by Elton John, who performed with each at high-profile awards shows.

Both are fixated on burying women in the backyard (Rose in the GN'R song "Used to Love Her," Eminem in the video for "Cleanin' Out My Closet").

Both attacked seemingly innocuous enemies (Axl went after the likes of Vince Neil and Spin founder Bob Guccione Jr.; Em went after Moby and Chris Kirkpatrick).

Both sing about abusing "bitches" they were romantically involved with (Rose on "It's So Easy," Slim Shady on "Kim").

Both are diminutive white males who, after discovering weight training, suddenly wanted to appear shirtless in public.

So what do these "coincidences" tell us, beyond suggesting that Eminem soon will disappear into the Sedona desert for ten years before emerging with a band featuring some dude wearing a KFC bucket?

Perhaps they tell us this: What always survives the evolution of culture, and what tends to be replicated most closely by subsequent generations, is inexplicable--a manifestation of fucked-up alienation. Logic would dictate that commercial success comes from creating a product that people can relate to. But cultural success--the ability to exist as an idea, years after your tangible work has lost its relevance--derives from embodying a persona that almost nobody can relate to. Somehow, the marriage of weirdness and bad judgment is its own kind of eternal reality.

Case in point: Justin Timberlake.

When J.T. performed in that stupid detective's hat at last year's MTV Video Music Awards, everyone's reaction was the same: "Oh, how cute--he wants to be Michael Jackson." I can't believe that more people weren't aghast that someone actively wants to be Michael Jackson. At this point, Jackson is no different from Howard Hughes: His life's work has been completely dwarfed by his desire to lie in hyperbaric oxygen chambers and collect the bones of the Elephant Man (not to mention his being accused of child molestation and calling Sony racist for allowing him to sell only 58 million albums). No rational person views Jackson as anything except a freakish example of why profound celebrity is the worst thing that can happen to anyone. Yet people like Timberlake (and like Eminem) still aspire to that kind of public self-destruction, because that kind of losing is actually how you win. And that's because profound celebrity is always less disposable than art.

Source: SPIN

Jersey Rulez

Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi are competing for the title of this year's most successful US touring artist.

According to Pollstar magazine, both acts are expected to finish the year with ticket sales of around $70 million. Country star Kenny Chesney is also thought to be a strong contender to finish high on the earnings list.

The total is relatively small compared with previous years. The Police lead the way in 2007 with $132 million, while the Rolling Stones were the most lucrative touring artists of 2006 with $138.5 million.

Pollstar's Gary Bongiovanni blamed the credit crunch for dwindling ticket sales, stating: "The economy's got to be affecting everything."

Though the overall industry is down, there are a few bright spots, as sales of both digital albums and singles jumped up, and despite the sagging economy, the big-money touring industry hasn’t taken a hit.

Springsteen and his E Street Band kicked off the second leg of their US tour on Sunday and have already pulled in $40.8 million in ticket sales.


Sunday, July 27, 2008


"We improvise the whole time we're playing. A lot of times we won't know that song we're gonna do and I'll suggest one and we'll debate it right there on stage. Sometimes I'll start improvising and they'll know not to mess around until I'm finished and I give them a nod. We do go off on our individual things but it somehow all stays together. We do the whole show like that. We screw up every so often but not that much."

"When this band got together, everybody felt 'This is the right place.' You know how this goes. You're in a band and there's always a loose link in the end. Always. Every band I'd ever been in before, there'd always be one person, or two, that wasn't cutting it. This band, it was finally like 'Okay, this is it.' You could feel it at the first rehearsal. It just felt right."

"I sing in about five or six different voices-that are all part of me, it's not contrived. I'm like a second baritone or something. I used to take choir classes and stuff and I'd always- sit there and since I could read music, I'd try to sing other people's parts and see if I could get away with it. We had this teacher who was pitch perfect, or whatever you call it. He had ears' like a bat, man, like radar. So, in order to get away with singing someone else's part, you'd really have to get it down. Or else, he'd know exactly what corner of the room this person is who's not singing right. So, I guess, I really started working on it then by trying to mess with this guy's head. Like how come he's hearing a soprano in the bass section."

"I hate to take showers! Guitarists don't like showers 'cause we like the grease to build up on our fingers, makes playing more fluid."

"I never took a drum lesson in my life. I learned from watching and listening very closely to other drummers plus wanting it real bad and believing in myself."

Source: Teen

Saturday, July 26, 2008

NIN Tour Preview

Tour Preview: Nine Inch Nails Power Up the “Lights”

The Forum used to be the home arena of the Los Angeles Lakers, but last Saturday, it hosted a very different type of drama: 500 invited guests in a largely empty building got to see the dress rehearsal for Nine Inch Nails’ “Lights in the Sky” tour debuting tonight at the Pemberton Festival in British Columbia, and having its full opening show tomorrow in Seattle at the Key Arena. (Rock Daily will be live at both shows, so stay tuned for coverage).

Before the show, Trent Reznor came out in a gray hooded sweatshirt and addressed the crowd, explaining that they were trying out various material, so some parts of the show might not ultimately make it on tour, and that there might be some technical glitches: “Lots of things are going to happen that aren’t, let’s say, intentional.” He concluded, “I’m going to go backstage and throw up, and then I’ll see you guys.”

The two-hour show was astonishing, covering a wide range of Nine Inch Nails’ material, from “Head Like a Hole” through new songs from The Slip and instrumental pieces from Ghosts, which Reznor had never planned to play live. About a third of the way through the concert, Reznor deployed some video screens, but not to enlarge his face for the cheap seats: sometimes the band played in front of a desert backdrop, sometimes the screens responded to the music with colored bubbles (like Guitar Hero in reverse), sometimes the musicians vanished behind a wall of static.

“On stage, it’s very easy to tell when you lose people’s attention,” Reznor told RS later. “Generally at a rock show, the sound is not that great, and the guy next to me is an asshole and I have to pee and okay, that’s what these guys look like and that’s what’s going to happen for the next couple of hours. The world has gotten pretty lazy. It’s easy to go out and do a safe show that is all about guys just rocking. I say, ‘Fuck all that.’”

Check out the set list from the July 19 rehearsal below, which will probably change. As Reznor put it, “I think too much about this shit.”

Nine Inch Nails rehearsal setlist:
“Letting You”
“March of the Pigs”
“Head Down”
“The Frail/The Wretched”
“Gave Up”
“The Warning”
“The Great Destroyer”
“Ghosts 1″
“Ghosts 25″
“Ghosts 19″
“Terrible Lie”
“The Big Come Down”
“Ghosts 31″
“The Hand That Feeds”
“Head Like A Hole”

“The Beginning Of The End”
“The Good Soldier”

-Rolling Stone

F the FCC

The FCC has officially jumped the shark.

Yesterday the government appointed agency formally approved the merger of Sirius and XM, the nation's only two satellite radio operators, ending a months-long drama closely watched by Washington and Wall Street.

The companies agreed to pay a combined $19.7 million in fines to settle FCC rule violations and to secure the tiebreaking vote.

Mack Arillo says that this deal is BAD, UNHEALTHY, ILLEGAL, UNJU$T, and CORRUPT.




Friday, July 25, 2008

Dr. Dre "Shooting for November or December"

Dr. Dre’s long-awaited Detox album could be out as soon as this November or December, the rapper/producer told USA Today.

Dre’s pal Snoop Dogg recently said the album was completed, and now Dre is confirming the report. “I’m just now — over the last couple of months — starting to feel that it’s going to be right and it’s something I can be proud of, and everybody is going to love it. In a perfect world, I’m shooting for a November or December release.”

It’s been 9 years since Dre’s second proper solo album 2001.

The album will reportedly feature a new crew of musicians, as well as beats via live drums. “We have an entirely new thing going with the drums that’s incredible, and we’re still developing that,” said Dre.

Lil’ Wayne, Jay-Z and Nas are all expected to make guest appearances. Detox may be Dre’s final album, however, as the producer said “I’m going to put this record out, promote it, tour and then become a hermit - I’m going to stay in the studio and produce.”

Source: Rolling Stone

Yes, I Get Letters

Hey Mack whats up?

Not 2 much here, just a bunch of sexually frustrated convicts all packed into one tiny brick building.


I was only eligible for 2 days of good time so I quickly threw that out the window and launched into the beginning stages of my [?] plans. Openly speaking out in the groups on my 3rd day I made aware my strong distaste for police officers and the like and pretend democracy. I am trying (and still) to unite the inmates (minus snitches and rapists) and make people see we are something like brothers and our common enemy is watching us destroy each other in the jail. A few people caught on (crackheads and home invaders alike) and actually gave me some props for attempting intellectuality instead of building up some retarded super hard persona.

(name withheld)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jack Black = Elvis

Roger Daltrey of The Who has compared Jack Black to Elvis Presley.

Daltrey noted that the onstage enthusiasm Black displays with his satirical band Tenacious D reminded him of the rock 'n' roll legend.

The veteran frontman believes actor Black made the wrong career move and "should've been a rock star".

He told the Associated Press: "When you look at Jack Black, whatever he's doing... it just always reminds me of that first initial feeling I had when I heard Elvis Presley singing 'Heartbreak Hotel'."

Daltrey also stated that he was a fan of The Fratellis, Razorlight and Amy Winehouse, though he was "bored" of listening to her album Back To Black.

You can watch Tenacious D perform "Squeezebox" at the VH1 Rock Honors here.

Source: Digital Spy

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Guns N' Roses at the Felt Forum

Axl to Grind by Greg Milner
(December 10th, 2002)

Judging from those Cowardly Lion braids, Axl Rose knows he's no longer king of the jungle.

At the Garden on Thursday, Guns 'N Roses sounded big and bold, but they played it safe: Their first dozen songs were all Appetite for Destruction standards, except for two from the Use Your Illusion albums and similarly ancient covers of Wings' "Live and Let Die" and Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

Rose thanked us for "selling out this motherfucking thing—it really helps a lot," a bad omen for the first North American G'NR tour in nine years. (As of now, at least eight dates have been canceled, including a Bay Area New Year's Eve show.)

Rose's kind words preceded Appetite's "Out ta Get Me," which made for a particularly revealing transition.

When G'NR recorded that song, Rose's crucifixion was still a fiction, but now the "they can't catch me" lyrics sound less like a boast and more like the nostalgic complaint of someone who can't get himself arrested anymore. Rose later launched a grinning diatribe against the Times' "Jonny Pareles": "If you're gonna lie, then you're a pussy." This served as a lead-in to "Patience," thus transforming a sensitive song about not having sex into a paranoid one about getting fucked.

If Rose is indeed knockin' on has-been's door, at least he's keeping everyone guessing. The three new songs mostly just mystified the audience, especially the video footage of MLK and Tiananmen Square during "Chinese Democracy."

My friend wondered if guitarist Buckethead wears a KFC bin on his head as comment on recent capitalist reforms in China. Sure, why not? And maybe Axl Rose handing out Krispy Kremes to the front row was the last gasp of a cultural revolution.

Source: Village Voice

Happy Birthday Slash

Slash, born Saul Hudson on this date in 1965, celebrates a birthday today.

What can I say about Slash besides that he is a living legend, and the most distinctive guitar player of his generation.

His guitar playing on Appetite for Destruction is the ultimate fusion of Sleazy Blues and Punk Rock, and has never been replicated since, even by Slash himself.

Appetite is one of the best selling albums of all time, and Slash's guest spot on Daughtry's 2006 debut has kept that album in the top 10 for 2 years running.

Slash's guitar solo in the Guns N' Roses song "November Rain" is a cultural touchstone for members of Generation X. This guitar solo signalled the end of an era and heralded the beginning of the 1990's.

Currently, Slash is a member of Velvet Revolver along with fellow GN'R alums, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum.

2007-8 was a banner year for Slash. He published his first autobiography, released the second Velvet Revolver album, had his own signature Gibson Epiphone guitar released, and was honored by the Guitar Hero videogame - Legends of Rock.

Slash is currently working on his first real "solo" album which will feature numerous guest vocalists.

You can watch Slash do what Slash does best below on the 1987 classic, "Nightrain."


Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Someone sent me an email today, urging me to check out 8-year-old guitar phenom Yuto Miyazawa.

I've watched his videos on YouTube, and I think that he's pretty cool.

In the video below, he sings and plays guitar on "Crazy Train" and "Crossroads."

He's in the Guinness Book of World Records for Youngest Professional Guitar Player, and he's flying in from Tokyo this weekend to make his U.S. debut.

Yuto's playing a gig in New York at Rebel NYC on 7/30, and will be on Conan's show the night before, on July 29.

You can get (free?) tickets for the show here.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Must Every Band Reunite?

Your favorite '90s band broke up? Fear not, they'll be back.

'70s and '80s bands, too. And if not this year, maybe next.

This summer's concert calendar boasts tours by reunited rockers and relics — Stone Temple Pilots (split in 2003) and New Kids on the Block (split in 1994) — and recently re-energized bands such as the B-52s, the Black Crowes, Motley Crue and Yes. A round of reunion shows filled last summer's slate as well, with the Police, Led Zeppelin, Genesis and Van Halen playing their time-tested hits for fans.

It seems that no matter how storied the split, almost every band is bound to get back together — and that could make the magic of an anticipated reunion a little less magical.

"If you can say it's a reunion of some sort, it does make it feel special and unique," said Michael Endelman, senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine. "But some you hear and it's exciting and some you hear and say, 'Didn't they just tour last summer?'"

The reunion-tour trend is inspired by money and the alluring power of nostalgia — for both fans and artists — so don't expect any slowdown, Endelman said.

"To go back on stage in front of an adoring crowd and relive some of these great moments and play all these old songs of theirs, psychologically it must be very seductive and very powerful for them," he said. "Because it's become so profitable for so many bands, it's become very attractive and it's bringing out a lot of bands to try that. ... There's a lot of money to be made in cashing in on people's nostalgia for things they were excited about when they were teenagers."

Not all reunion tours are created equal. They must be examined on a band-by-band basis, said Erik Pedersen, music coordinator and news editor at The Hollywood Reporter. Some are really for the fans, some are really for the bands and some are really for the money.

Stone Temple Pilots could hit all three. With songs still on radio playlists, the band has younger fans who know the tunes but have never seen them played live, Pedersen said. Their breakup was "spectacular" and like "a rock 'n' roll soap opera," Endelman added, so fan interest remained. And the quartet "ran out of money," singer Scott Weiland quipped at a press conference announcing their summer tour, which began Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.New music is a must for reunited and revitalized bands. It shows they're not just touring for dollars and helps older bands avoid the risk of "becoming a tribute act to themselves," Endelman said. Plus record sales aren't what they used to be.

"If you're going to reunite, you have to tour because that's the only way it's going to be worth it financially," he said. "If they want to be taken seriously, that they're getting back together for artistic and creative reasons, they have to make an album, too."

Weiland said Stone Temple Pilots would record a new album after their tour. The B-52s and the Black Crowes have new albums out, and thus new material to play at their shows. Motley Crue's new album is due June 17.

But Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee said it's fans' familiarity with classic tracks that make reunion tours hot tickets.

"It's a completely different experience going to see a new band where you only know one of their songs versus a band you grew up with and know five or six or seven albums worth of their material. I think that's what people dig," he said. "That's gotta be why a lot of the bands are getting back together. It's like, `Dude, get your (act) together. People love you.'"

Another trend in rock reunions is the packaged tour. Motley Crue is hitting the road with Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx:A.M. and Trapt for a multi-band show dubbed Crue Fest. The nationwide Regeneration Tour is a hodgepodge of '80s acts including Human League, Belinda Carlisle, ABC and Dead or Alive. Seventies bands Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick are also touring together this summer.

The package deal is good for bands that couldn't sell out arenas on their own, Pedersen said, and it's good for fans who want to maximize the nostalgic bang for their buck.

"If people are going to spend $75 for a crummy ticket, they're going to want to see big bands playing their big hits," he said, "and ideally more than one of them on the bill."

Source: Metal Sludge

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Steven Adler Video Available

Stevn Adler, the drummer who was famously booted from Guns N'Roses for doing too many drugs, is out on bail and back in Dr. Drew Pinsky's Celebrity Rehab in Pasadena, CA.

Adler was set to star in VH1's "Sober Living," with other alumni from "Celebrity Rehab"

He was picked up this week for an outstanding warrant, and released on $45,000 bail.

TMZ has a video here.

You gotta respect Steven for one thing, at least he's consistent.

The Dark Knight Sets Box Office Record

Stoked by fan fever over the manic performance of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker, "The Dark Knight" set a one-day box office record with $66.4 million on opening day.

The movie's Friday haul surpassed the previous record of $59.8 million set last year by "Spider-Man 3." "The Dark Knight" might break the opening-weekend record of $151.1 million, also held by "Spider-Man 3."

"The Dark Knight" began with a record $18.5 million from midnight screenings, topping the previous high of $16.9 million for "Star Wars: Episode III -- The Revenge of the Sith."

The opening day grosses for "The Dark Knight" far exceeded the full weekend haul of its predecessor, "Batman Begins," which took in $48.7 million in its first three days in 2005.

Reviews were excellent for director Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins," but they were stellar for his "Dark Knight."

"We've really never seen anything like this," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "The death of a fine actor taken in his prime, a legendary performance, and a movie that lives up to all the hype. That all combined to create these record-breaking numbers."

Buzz had been high for the Batman sequel well before Mr. Ledger died of an accidental prescription-drug overdose in January. Trailers last fall revealing Mr. Ledger's demented Joker, with crooked clown makeup, turned up the heat even more. The critical acclaim over his performance that built from advance screenings left fans in a frenzy.

"It's a combination of things. Certainly, that's a great part of it, but I think this movie's gross was partly because of the reviews it received and the incredible buzz and word of mouth that preceded it with our early screenings," Mr. Fellman said. "And the success and quality of the last one, 'Batman Begins,' delivered by Chris Nolan just set the tone for the opening of this movie."

"The Dark Knight" reunites Christian Bale as Batman, the vigilante crime-fighter tormented by personal tragedy, and co-stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman. Maggie Gyllenhaal also stars.

The film spins an epic crime duel as Mr. Ledger's Joker orchestrates a reign of terror on the city of Gotham aimed to spread chaos and break down the restraint that keeps Batman on the right side of the law.

While critics are taking the film seriously enough to suggest Mr. Ledger could be in line for an Academy Award nomination, the action-packed movie also delivers as pure summer movie escapism.

"If you're worried about mortgage payments and gas prices, when you're sitting in 'The Dark Knight" for two and a half hours, you're not thinking about any of that stuff," Mr. Dergarabedian said.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Steven Adler Loves Getting High

Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler was arrested for drug possession around 4AM yesterday after police received a call about a man refusing to leave a home and creating a disturbance.

The 43-year-old Adler, who was reportedly set to star in a spin-off of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” called “Sober Living,” after finishing his stint on the just-wrapped second season of “Rehab,” was arrested on suspicion of possessing narcotics and being under the influence, and for an outstanding warrant, according to Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Richard French.

According to, the warrant was from a 2005 case in which Adler was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance and driving on a suspended license; it was issued because he allegedly didn’t show up for an April 2006 court date on the case.

The Los Angeles Times reported that he was released on $45,000 bail.

Adler, a childhood friend of Slash, was an original member of GN’R and appeared on the band’s first three releases — including their breakthrough, Appetite for Destruction. He was booted from the group in 1990 due to his ongoing struggle with drug addiction. He suffered a stroke in 1996 after ingesting drugs and a second one a short time later, leaving him with impaired speech.

Rock the Bayou

The Bullet Boys with Steven Adler, Gilby Clarke, Ratt, Skid Row, Twisted Sister, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Bret Michaels, Queensryche and many, many more artists will be playing the first ever "Rock the Bayou" festival this Summer.

Held at the former Astroworld site in Hoston, Texas from August 29th through September 1st (Labor Day Weekend), "Rock the Bayou" boasts:
"4 days of Rock, Over 40 Bands"
Alice Cooper's festival appearances are few and far between, so if you can get down to Houston, this is a must-see.

Sammy Hagar will be playing with Michael Anthony on bass, and Ratt's going to be the band to watch in 2009 (just kidding). But I do love Ratt, and they're going to be pumped, fresh off their headlining spot at Rocklahoma.

You can visit the official site for more information.

Lukewarm headliners aside, this festival sounds like a lot of fun. Make sure to bring several coolers full of ice because it's going to be HOT.

-Mack Arillo

Simultaneous Release

Watch this video.

Journalistic integrity is thrown under the bus as a reporter asks questions "off the record," keeps the tape rolling and then UPLOADS IT TO YOUTUBE.

After the 3:30 mark, the patsy reveals that GN'R will simultaneously release 4 albums in September to coincide with Rock Band 2 and the MTV Video Music Awards.

Izzy Stradlin - Concrete

Calling all Izzy Stardlin fans,

The new Izzy Stradlin album is out on iTunes, today!

Duff also plays on the album, though we don't know at this point if it's in all the songs or bass duties are shared with JT Longoria. As of right now, there isn't that much info about the new album. I'll keep you guys posted about any info!



1. Ball
2. Circle
3. Easy
4. Concrete
5. Drove
6. Ship
7. G.B.
8. Knuckleheads
9. I Know
10. Raggadubbacrete


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Izzy Stradlin - Ride On

Izzy Stradlin, Ride On (1999)

Ride On marks the beginning of Izzy's ride on into obscurity.

Available only in Japan, until recently when iTunes began offering them, this LP marks the beginning of the 10-songs-low-production-value era that Iz continues to this day.

Featuring the usual solid lineup of Izzy, Taz Bentley, Rick Richards and Duff McKagan, this really is a guitar album.

The songs are pretty light-hearted, with subjects ranging from love, pretty girls, and California, to motorcyles and the Mexican border.

"Here Comes the Rain" is the real classic track - it has a quiet interlude in the middle and at the end reminiscent of 1971 Rolling Stones.

"Spazed" is an easy highlight. "Needles" has the great melody that we rely on from Iz - and it's not a drug song.

"Trance Mission" is a short instrumental that I would describe as a cross between "Hotel California" and Dick Dale.

"Here Comes the Rain," "California," and the title track all have that Stonesy/"Can't You Hear Me Knockin'"/Sticky Fingers guitar interlude that really makes the album.

It's these quiet moments that demonstrate how these songs were all made to be performed live (which is probably why Izzy toured in support of this album). Izzy did a very short tour of Japan in the Spring of 2000 (with Duff on bass), and has not toured as a solo artist since. He played nearly every song from this record, as well as selections from his first 2 LPs.

At the Osaka show, Duff sings "Attitude" (from The Spaghetti Incident).

Izzy's only taken the stage rarely since those dates. He's played as a guest with Adler's Appetite, Velvet Revolver, and with Axl's new Guns N' Roses in 2006.

You can watch a fan-made video for "Here Comes the Rain (live from Japan)" below.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Slash (of GN'R) Plays "Nightrain"

For the first time since July 17, 1993 (15 Years!) Slash performed "Nightrain" live.

On Friday, June 27, 2008 at the Whiskey in LA, Slash joined the stage with the band McQueen and played his third most famous guitar solo (FIRST).

He does a pretty good job, and the guitarist from McQueen did a great job with Izzy's solo as well.

Back in January, Slash played a little bit of "Welcome to the Jungle" at the Guitar Hero event with Bill Gates.

It seems to me that the ice is melting and Slash, Duff, Matt and Steven all want a Guns N' Roses reunion.

I'm not holding my breath, but I really would love to hear Slash play "November Rain" again.

Judge for yourself:


GN'R to Get Revenge on Rock Band 2

Get ready for "Shackler's Revenge." The track from the upcoming Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy will appear on the video game Rock Band 2, slated for release for the Xbox 360 platform in September.

The news was announced Monday morning by Harmonix president and CEO Alex Rigopulos at Microsoft’s press conference at E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition to "Shackler’s Revenge," Rock Band 2 will feature songs by Bob Dylan, Metallica, Pearl Jam and the Grateful Dead among the 80-plus songs on the playlist.
The news was announced Monday morning by Harmonix president and CEO Alex Rigopulos at Microsoft’s press conference at E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition to "Shackler’s Revenge," Rock Band 2 will feature songs by Bob Dylan, Metallica, Pearl Jam and the Grateful Dead among the 80-plus songs on the playlist.

Guns N'Roses

Monday, July 14, 2008

GN'R to Release New Song This Fall

A decade and a half after releasing its previous album, Guns N’ Roses plans to put out a new song in September — on the video game Rock Band 2. MTV expects to announce on Monday that the sequel to its popular Rock Band game will include “Shackler’s Revenge,” a track from the Guns N’ Roses album that has been in the works for more than a decade, said people familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because the arrangement has yet to be announced.

inclusion of the song on a game suggests that the Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy will come out this fall, after years of delays. Axl Rose, who has selected replacements for the other original members, has said that the album is finished, but a release date has not been announced.

MTV and Universal Music Group, Guns N’ Roses’ label, declined to comment on the deal.

Guns N’ Roses’ plan to reintroduce its music to the public in a video game underscores how important to the music business games have become — especially Rock Band and Activision’s Guitar Hero series, which allow gamers to play along with songs on instrument-shaped plastic controllers. Rock Band 2 will also include songs from marquee acts like AC/DC and Rush; the game may also feature music by Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan, according to a track listing leaked online. Activision recently released a version of Guitar Hero dedicated to Aerosmith, and a game based on Metallica is due next year.

Both Rock Band and Guitar Hero have helped the ailing music industry by licensing songs and using online networks to sell additional tracks for gamers to play along with. Those tracks, which usually sell for around $2 each, are more profitable for record companies and musicians than iTunes sales.

MTV, which has focused more than Activision on selling additional songs online, recently announced that it had sold 15 million tracks, and sales are especially impressive for hard-rock bands. During the week in June when Mötley Crüe released “Saints of Los Angeles,” the first single from its new album, the song sold 14,000 copies on iTunes and 48,000 on Rock Band through Microsoft’s Xbox Live network, said Allen Kovac, founder of the group’s management company and record label.

Perhaps more important, Rock Band is introducing young listeners to older bands they might not know. Mr. Kovac said that Mötley Crüe’s exposure in the game helped it sell more albums because gamers spend significant time with the band’s music. “I credit Rock Band for bringing in the younger audience,” Mr. Kovac said. “The people who downloaded that song aren’t just listening to it, they’re interacting with it.”

Guitar Hero and Rock Band have become sensations in the video-game business, creating a product category that a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests could be worth $1 billion this year in the United States alone. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has sold more than eight million copies since its fall release, according to the NPD Group, a sales-tracking company, while Rock Band has sold about 2.5 million in about the same period. Rock Band 2, to be released for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in September and other consoles later in the fall, will face off against Guitar Hero World Tour this holiday season.

Rock Band has been an especially important promotional vehicle for bands that no longer get the radio play they once did. “On the last tour we started seeing young people who had heard of the band from Guitar Hero and Rock Band,” said Andy Curran, an executive at Anthem Records, the record company for the band Rush. So Rush gave Rock Band an alternate version of its song “Working Man,” which proved so popular that the group is now thinking of making it available through Apple’s iTunes store. It is also talking with MTV about selling a full album through Rock Band, Mr. Curran said, as well as some other projects.

MTV also sells digital songs through its stake in the Rhapsody online music service, and it could eventually cross-promote new tracks for Rock Band. Activision — now Activision Blizzard after its merger with Vivendi Games — may be thinking along similar lines, since its chief executive, Robert Kotick, recently said that the company was considering starting its own digital music store.

Online stores could further raise demand for older rock at a time when physical stores are closing. “These games absolutely have an impact because the opportunity to hear these songs on radio is dwindling,” said Mike Davis, executive vice president and general manager of Universal Music Enterprises. “This is becoming an important piece of the marketing puzzle.”

Source: The New York Times

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This is Just a Tribute

Tenacious D Pay Tribute to the Who!

Tenacious D will perform as part of the Vh1 Rock Honors The Who on July 12th at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. A few tickets remain available here.

The show will air on Vh1 on Thursday, July 17th at 9/8c.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shackler's Revenge

There has been lots and lots of speculation this week regarding a new GN'R track that is supposedly going to be part of the downloadable content for the Rock Band 2 videogame.

A rumored tracklist popped up here on Kotaku (Gossip, News, and Leaks for Obsessive Gamers).

There are 84 songs on the list, and there it is down at number 28:
25 Go-Go's, The We Got the Beat
26 Grateful Dead, The Alabama Getaway
27 Guess Who, The American Woman
28 Guns N' Roses Shackler's Revenge
29 Interpol PDA
30 Jane's Addiction Mountain Song
31 Jethro Tull Aqualung
So, it's just a rumor, but a little quick research turned up this text from Bucket's official site:
28) What soundtracks/scores has Buckethead played on?
Last Action Hero (soundtrack and score)
Shackler’s Revenge (score to lost film)
John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (soundtrack and score)
Flesh for the Beast (soundtrack)
Hmmm... both items are #28 on their respective lists (cue X-Files music).

So here's what we know.

There is a new Guns N' Roses song, "Shackler's Revenge," that is "confirmed" to be on Chinese Democracy.

According to Saul (Buckethead's webmaster), "The basic song structure was written by Bucket and Brain. Big B did a score for a film of the same name (never released) From what I can gather Axl liked the plot/ideas of the story and crafted lyrics behind the music. It's supposed to be a pretty guitar driven rocker of a song with an amazing hook/bridge."

According to Mysteron (a semi-credible, supposed "insider"), "I know nothing of Rock Band 2, but I am 100 per cent sure that Shackler's Revenge is a new GN'R song...Whoever started this rumo(u)r managed to pull the title of a new GN'R song out of the air from somewhere...It will be on CD."

There is a Buckethead song called "Shackler" that is on one of the Dragon Ball Z soundtracks, The History of Trunks.

If you want to hear "Shackler" (Bucket's original song) You can listen to it here (you'll have to hold down the "escape" button as the page is loading).

As far as "Shackler's Revenge" being part of Rock Band 2?

Well, the game is set to debut at E3 2008 (gaming convention) this weekend.

I guess we may hear more details next week, but the game's not due out until September, so we may not know 'til then.

I'm just going to have to take a "wait-and-see" approach, but it sounds to me like we WON'T be hearing this song anytime soon.


Lost Hendrix - Stills Record Discovered

A lost Jimi Hendrix album recorded with Stephen Stills has been uncovered.

The record, which Stills forgot about soon after recording it 30 years ago, is being prepared for release by his bandmate Graham Nash.

Speaking about Stills' musical prolificacy, Nash said "He has an enormous history of recording. In the '70s, he was a recording fool. He just found a bloody album he made with Hendrix."

Stills apparently said "Oh yeah, I forgot that."

"We've got to listen to that," says Nash. "I want to listen to every track he ever recorded in case he recorded with Al Jolson."

Source: Vegas Sun

Foreigner Singer Completes His 1st Christian Rock Album

Former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm has finished recording his first Christian Rock album, which he hopes to release this fall.

Gramm, who has been a Born Again Christian since the early '90s, tells that the as-yet-untitled album "rocks from one end to the next - that kind of attitude but with a different subject matter." He recorded it in his hometown of Rochester, NY.

Reaction to this direction from fans of Foreigner and his previous solo work has been "mixed," Gramm acknowledges. "I'm not sure what people think - that by doing a Christian Rock album you suddenly become a completely different person or your creative self changes? It really just means that a lot of the subject matter changes. A lot more thought goes into the lyrics and not a ton of songs about popping that girl after the show."


Karl Rove: A Giant Douche

Giant douchebag Karl Rove, has defied a subpoena to testify before the US Congress.

Rove's accused of using his position to influence prosecution at the US Dept. of Justice and was due to appear on Thursday before the House Judiciary Subcommittee.

The White House cited executive privilege as a reason that Rove and others should not testify.

It's been argued that internal White Hose communications are confidential and that congress cannot make officials testify.

But that excuse has been rejected by the Democrats, saying that his claim of immunity is invalid.

Following his refusal to appear, the Dem.s ruled that Rove was breaking the law by refusing to cooperate - a possible first step toward holding him in contempt of congress.

Rove was subpoenaed in May in an effort to force him to talk about whether he played a role in prosecutors' decisions to pursue cases against Democrats or in firing federal prosecutors considered disloyal to the Bush administration.

Meanwhile, at this year's G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, mental midget, GW Bush exited the room by pumping his fist and announcing, "Goodbye, from the World's Greatest Polluter!"

Hang tight folks, this guy's only got 6 months left.


I Still Prefer Slash

As the release of Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy album crawls ever closer, Axl's attention has apparently switched to the vast amounts of unreleased and previously rejected material he's amassed in the 15 years since he last bothered to release something.

According to an unreliable inside source, in a valiant attempt to appease his increasingly irritable fanase, Old Orange Hair is planning to release a special 24-disc snakeskin-bound box set that will include an aborted attempt to re-record Appetite For Destruction using only chimpanzees.


Put us down for two copies each, Axl.

Source: Metal Hammer

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Never-Ending Saga has an insightful piece on Chinese Democracy that you may enjoy reading.

An excerpt follows. You can read the entire article here.
Two weeks ago, we got the closest thing to an actual release of Chinese Democracy. Nine songs, three of them previously unheard, all mastered, surfaced onto the internet. While Kevin Skwerl and his blog Antiquiet, the source of the leak, gave no details as to the place of their origin, he did claim the songs were in fact the real McCoy - nine tracks from the Guns N' Roses project now nearly 15 years in the making.

Skeptics of the leak were silenced within the first thirty seconds as the still remarkable vocals of Axl Rose made their first appearance on Better, a song purported to be the album's first single. Each of the following eight songs are equally GNR-friendly, full of epic guitar solos, rocking melodies, and the band's notorious frontman presented front and center. There's no doubt about it. This is indeed Guns N' Roses we hear, performing songs most likely from Chinese Democracy. And to say these tracks were worth the wait would be an understatement.

Guns n' Roses' sixth studio is now in its fifteenth year in the making. As of March 2005, it has cost a reported $13 million to make. Thesis papers have been written about it, websites are dedicated to it. The saga of Chinese Democracy has evolved into one of the most interesting stories in the world of rock 'n roll.

But even considering all of this, will we actually ever see an official release of the band's sixth studio album?

Only time will tell.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tenacious D 'One-And-A-Half Songs' Into Next Album

Kyle Gass of Tenacious D told Billboard that he and Jack Black have begun work on their follow-up to the 2006 film project The Pick of Destiny. "It's very challenging," Gass says, revealing that "we probably only have one to one and a half songs right now, and we probably need 12 to 15. It might take the rest of our lives, but I think it'll be worth waiting for."

But Gass does say, in his own way, that he and Black are indeed serious about their goals for the album. "We'd like to do one final masterpiece, I think," he acknowledges. "I think we both know we're approaching death, as it were, and we'd like to have a lasting legacy. (The Pick of Destiny) was kind of a soundtrack to the movie so we had to fulfill obligations that way. And now it's kind of opened up."

Gass says he's also like to finish an album that his side project, Trainwreck, has been working on for five years. "I think that I need to really work harder at completing some of these projects," he notes. I think that I've been living on my laurels. I've been lazy, but now I think it's time to kick ass." Or Gass? "There ya go..."

Source: Billboard

PHiSH .75

As numerous fans had hoped, Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman, all of whom were slated to perform at this past weekend's Rothbury festival, did indeed share some time together on stage. In addition, Anastasio hinted yet again at what may be in the future for Phish.

The guitarist opened his solo set (his first such public performance in 15 months) with "Back on the Train" and then delivered a set of music that focused on Phish songs including "Brian and Robert," "Farmhouse," "Sample in a Jar" and "Wading in the Velvet Sea."

Anastasio's performance closed out with a guest appearance by Phish bassist Mike Gordon. Gordon took the stage for two new original compositions by Anastasio and longtime collaborator Tom Marshall: "Backwards Down the Number Line" and "Alaska."

Before offering up the new tunes, Anastasio joked, “If only we could find a drummer and keyboard player," then added, “but it’s got to start with the songs, so you can be our test audience.” Gordon remained on stage for a set-closing "Chalkdust Torture."

As for the aforementioned drummer, shortly afterwards he stepped up for a guest slot along with Anastasio during the performance from Gordon's new band. At the conclusion of a set with the bassist's quintet, he announced, “I love my new band and I love my old band too” whereupon Anastasio joined the group for Max Creek's "Cruel World" and then a version of “Meat” that also featured Fishman at its close. The seven musicians then remained on stage for a cover of the Beatles’ “She Said She Said.”

Source: Jambands

Rocklahoma and So. Texas - This Weekend

Adler's Appetite is back to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction having recently been joined at The Key Club show by Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin. They're set to tour all over the world this year and are playing Saturday night at the South Texas Rock Fest.

The ever-growing lineup for So. Texas includes:

Skid Row
Adler's Appetite
Stephen Pearcy of Ratt
Faster Pussycat
Bang Tango
L.A. Guns
Drivin' Rain
Snake Skin Prison

South Texas Rock Fest is being held at the Javelina Harley Davidson grounds in West Boerne, Texas on July 11-13.

Black 'N Blue has launched a reunion in featuring 4 original members. Jaime St. James (vocals), Jef "Woop" Warner (guitar), Pete Holmes (drums), and Patrick Young (Bass).

They are are joined by second guitarist, Shawn Sonnenschein, who has been in the fold since 2003 when the band had played a few dates. Sonnenschein is the replacement for original guitarist, Thommy Thayer, who is currently in Kiss.

The band was reactivated earlier this year after St. James departure from Warrant. "My 4 years in Warrant were awesome. I made some lifetime friends and will always cherish that time in my life. That being said, it feels so good to sing the great Black 'N Blue tunes again," St. James says.

The band is scheduled to play this year's Rocklahoma Festival on Saturday, July 12. In addition, the band has also been added to the main stage at the Rock the Bayou Festival in Houston on Labor Day Weekend where they are scheduled to perform on Sunday, August 31.

Rocklahoma is being held in Wagoner, Oklahoma from July 9-13.

An abbreviated lineup follows:

Bret Michaels
Sebastian Bach
LA Guns
Enuf Znuff
Night Ranger
Living Colour
Kingdom Come
Armored Saint
Lita Ford
Lynch Mob
Black N Blue
Tora Tora
Ace Frehley

Have fun, Kids!

South Texas Rock Fest

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Kid Rock: "Steal Everything"

Kid Rock doesn't mind if you illegally download his music, he thinks the whole debate has gone too far.

"I'm Fuckin' Rich." -Kid Rock

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday USA

Happy 4th of July.

(begin rant)

This Counrty (The USA) has lost it's way.

George W. Bush is the worst president we've ever had. This war on Iraq is a sham. Our economy is in the toilet. Our healthcare system is a joke. Poor people are still sending their boys off to war to die. Our leaders cannot lead.

We need a new direction.

We don't need no more war.

(end rant)

That being said, have fun today. I do enjoy the fireworks and the Summer weather. I'm going to have some beers and celebrate with my family. Rock on.

Want more? Then I suggest you read Bob Lefsetz's July 4th message here.

-Mack "il comunista" Arillo

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New VR Coming Soon

Head on over to for a little tease of what I assume is an imminent announcement regarding the band's new lead singer.

While you're at it, you can visit and, both of whom have been promising a new site for some time now ...


Izzy Stradlin - River

Izzy Stradlin's 4th LP, River features the same classic lineup from his previous efforts - Rick Richards on guitar, Duff McKagan on bass and Taz Bentley on drums - with the addition of Ian McLagan on keyboards.

My favorite track here is "Head On Out;" closely followed by "River."

(If you'd like to play along at home, you can listen to the album here).

The title track is laden with Izzy's signature hooks and could be on side 2 of GN'R Lies if if it was played a little slower and dirtier. This is the happiest, catchiest song on the disc, and the lyrics read like a page from a daily serenity guide.
Money flowed like a river
And it all went to the sea
And the tide came rolling back
I saw what I had in a dream
And the wind started howling
And the sand came through the trees
And as fast as it had started
It had come back to a breeze
You can run like a river
Till you end up in the sea
And you run till night is black
And keep on going in your dream
And you know all the long while
It's the journey that you seek
It's the miles of moving forward
With the wind beneath your wings
Listening to the lyrics on this disc, you can tell that Izzy was in a good place mentally. He's wise, reflective, positive and content as you can tell from the words above.

But the second half of River isn't as great. With the exception of "Feelin' Alright" (not the Traffic tune), tracks 6-10 are pretty forgettable. Not unpleasant to listen to - this is a great collection to put on at work, or while you're tossing back a few beers - they're just more filler than killer .

I'm a big reggae fan, and I love Izzy's version of "Pressure Drop," but the reggae tunes on this LP, "Run-In" and "Shall Walk", are mostly dispensable throw-away cuts.

Then there's "Underground," which is a punk-rock version of "Shall Walk," which really hammers home the fact that these last few cuts are probably leftovers from Ride On, or maybe even older.

Another strike against River is that the CD is only 36 minutes long. Pretty short considering a standard disc can hold up to 74-80 minutes.

All things considerd, I have to put River in the "bottom 2" of all Izzy's official releases. That being said I still enjoy it more than VR's Libertad or anything Gilby Clarke ever put out.

-La Macchina

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ace Frehley and Pearl Jam

Fan-footage of Ace Frehley joining Pearl Jam on stage for "Black Diamond" is now up at YouTube. The video is embedded below.

The track was mostly sung by drummer Matt Cameron, with guitarist Mike McCready, an admitted Frehley obsessive, handling the first verse.

You can read Anthony Kuzminski's review of the set at The Screen Door.


Raconteurs to perform on The Culture Show

If you're in the UK - you can watch The Raconteurs perform “Many Shades of Black” and “Carolina Drama” on The Culture Show tonight (July 1st), at 10 pm on BBC2.

They will also air the show again at 11:35 pm on Friday, July 4th.