Friday, 28 November 2008

Everything that's on my mind about Guns 'N' Roses at the moment

A friend of mine did a series of pictures recently entitled "Striptease Camera"

These are the images:


A caption at the bottom reads:

A camera takes photos of its own innards
until a vital piece is removed and it no longer works.

(he's a fab artist by the way, his blog is http://figcrumbs.blogspot.com/) I suppose this in part reminds me of Guns 'N' Roses because I saw both things recently so I'm seeing links. But the connection in my mind lies with the fact that after 17 years, GNR have released another album of new material - but only one member of the band is still there.

The lineup used to be Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy, Dizzy and Matt. So in part, I'm wondering how in the world one person managed to kick all 5 other guys out of the band! How much of the camera to you have to gut before it's no longer a camera, and how many members of a collective do you have to dispense with before it's not that collective any more? I guess I wouldn't spend too long pondering this, but it's very strange to me quite how Axl did that. Why didn't the other 5 guys just kick him out instead? Schmuks.

Speaking of Axl, compare this early 90s pic with a more recent one:



my first guess is there there is some kind of Michael Jackson thing going on here. But when asked if he's had a botox injection or work done on his face, he says no. So my second guess is that either he just aged in a really weird way, or his face just naturally produces botox.

Kinda sad, either way. He was a good looking chap. Here's some good news - I've been listening to the new album, "Chinese Democracy" over and over. It's very strange to me, I feel like I'm 15 again because I haven't listened to rock albums since my teens. On the first couple of listens, I thought it sounded a little stiff and hackneyed, and I probably still do but some of those hooks are great. I'm also obsessed with the fact it took 17 years and cost $13 million to make. God, the fun I could have had putting that much time and resources into about 70 mins of music. The microtones, the contemporary classical influence, the indonesian influences. Collaborations with world-class musicians. Shifting time signatures and clarinets, turntables, african drums, chinese harps, tuvan throat chanting, ukeleles. Combining the primitive with the contemporary. Ahhhh....

Instead we get a Rock album. But, a fairly good one. In fact, two of the songs are as perfect a rock anthem as you could hope for ("Street of Dreams" and "Catcher in the Rye") - the weird thing is, either of them could have been on Use Your Illusion (their previous album). What's scary about that is that 17 years before Use Your Illusion pre-dates Punk music, A Night At the Opera (by Queen) and we're into Led Zeppelin territory. So the fact that those songs don't sound completely incongruous seems like a sign that the rate at which rock music is changing has significantly slowed down.

OK. I think I've got everything on my mind about Chinese Democracy off my chest!

1 comment:

Sergio said...

Paul, we never talk about music...

Yes, the new album is good. It sent me back to "Use Your Illusion" I & II - the two albums that I'm listening right now. I don't feel as if I'm 17, but I haven't heard this in a while.

Soul music will have to wait for a bit.

(Axl was always the soul of Gn'R. But I do miss Slash's guitar...)