"The Spaghetti Incident?"

Set lists and a little bit of Rock

Thursday, 26 July 2007

I want it all and I want it now.

So like when I was a wee lil jimmy jangles my big cousin was a drummer and he was in love with Queen. No, you pervet, not in that sense, he was wanted to be a drummer. In fact I recall he once declared he was changing his name to Roger Taylor. Eventually the compromise I think was the cat was called Roger. Which is almost ironic if you believe Freddie Mecury was buried ass up so his mates could stop by for a cold one.

Anyways it is a fact that Queen's I want it all is one of the best songs ever. The solo just rocks the house. This has nothing to do with Mr May wanting his rock and roll genius cake and eat it too....

Guitarist and songwriter Brian May is completing his doctorate in astrophysics, more than 30 years after he dropped it to form the rock group Queen.

May said he planned to submit his thesis, Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, to supervisors at Imperial College London within the next two weeks.

He was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when he joined Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor to form Queen in 1970, but dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band became successful.

from reuters

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Of rock and not rock

Rock music used to play a large part of what I used to listen and my former partner-in-crime can and should take all the credit for maintaining my interest in rock music far longer than it otherwise would have lasted.

However, the last couple years have seen guitars give way to keytars as electronic music has come to almost completely dominate my itunes. There's some Motown on there as well as some other stuff I'd rather not mention.

So as a nod to my former appreciation of rock music, I thought I'd share some tracks by artists I'm quite enjoying in my 'life after rock'.

In no particular order, I give you...

Alter Ego : Rocker

The Chemical Brothers : Block Rockin' Beats

Daft Punk : Robot Rock

Does It Offend You, Yeah! : We Are Rockstars

Thursday, 12 July 2007

VR Libertad

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When a band sells 3 million copies of its first album, its members might expect to celebrate with a few drinks.

In the case of Velvet Revolver, which comprises three well-heeled veterans of rock 'n' roll bad boys Guns N' Roses, the contents of a medium-sized distillery should suffice.
But alas, most of the members of Velvet Revolver are now family men who no longer touch alcohol. The eerily lucid quintet has just released its second album, "Libertad," a follow-up to 2004's Grammy-winning "Contraband."

"I haven't had a drink in 11 months," says guitarist Slash, a star graduate of the Keith Richards school of bad behavior.

"Or anything else for that matter," he added in a recent interview with Reuters, puffing on an endless string of Gitanes. "Yeah, it's pretty much cigarettes at this point. Cigarettes and sex."

Sex with his wife, mind you. Groupies are old news. "I just ended up with one girl who was exciting enough to make me give all that up."

For bassist Duff McKagan, who played alongside Slash in Guns N' Roses, the idea of perfect happiness is playing Monopoly with his wife and their two preteen daughters. He gave up booze after his pancreas burst in 1994.


Singer Scott Weiland, who rose to fame at the helm of Stone Temple Pilots, proudly adheres to the kind of white-bread lifestyle portrayed in the 1950s TV show "Leave it to Beaver."

"We get our kids to bed at 8 o'clock, we tuck 'em in, we lay down with 'em at night," said Weiland, whose drug-related brushes with the law placed him on office death-pool lists. He has been straight for 3 1/2 years.

Journeyman guitarist Dave Kushner, who was unemployed before he joined Velvet Revolver, has been sober for 17 years. He got married in 2003, and kids are next on the list.

That leaves drummer Matt Sorum to fly the flag for rock 'n' roll excess. The Guns N' Roses veteran's penchant for groupies has upset Weiland in the past.

That's not to say that Velvet Revolver has gone completely Dullsville. Slash went into rehab during the making of the latest album. And Weiland made headlines when his wife, Mary, incinerated $50,000 worth of vintage suits he had collected over the years. He says all is fine on the home front, and that he and Mary are "just a little bit nuts."

Back at the office, McKagan said the band operates in a complex working environment. "There's big egos in this band. It could implode at any time."

McKagan is fairly relaxed by rock-star standards, but he was a tad saddened that his backing vocals and songwriting expertise were not required by Weiland, who prefers to handle all those things himself.

In Guns N' Roses, McKagan and guitarist Izzy Stradlin wrote the melodies and lyrics for such songs as "Paradise City" and "It's So Easy." He even sang lead on one song, "So Fine."

"It's a weird thing for me to really talk about because it's not like I'm bummed out about it, really," McKagan says of the new arrangement. "We had to make compromises."


All the songs are credited to all five members, but some were largely individual creations. McKagan originated "She Mine," the last song Velvet Revolver recorded. The band wanted it to be the first single but was overruled by its RCA Records label, which opted for "She Builds Quick Machines" instead.

That song is about a woman who gets out of prison, pays off all her debts, but has to run off to another state to find her personal freedom, Weiland said. While his lyrics on other songs are deeply autobiographical, he stretched out into a more narrative approach this time.

On past albums, "I was so self-consumed with my own narcotic misery that there wasn't much room for telling any stories," he said.

Slash says "Libertad" offers a better representation of the band's abilities than its first album.

"Contraband" was recorded while Weiland was dealing with another drugs bust, and amid massive skepticism that the group would amount to anything. The frequent "supergroup" references annoy Weiland, noting that such combos rarely fulfill their potential.

Both Slash and McKagan are looking forward to making a third album, and McKagan also has plenty of material for a solo release. But before that, there is the little matter of a tour. A two-month North American trek will begin August 5 at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore.

Stole this from Reuters/Nielsen

Here speaks my Hero

I forgot where I stole this from:

It has always been my dream to mix Steely Dan with No Means No," Dave Grohl told Billboard of the eclectic sound of the sixth Foo Fighters album.

"If anybody is going to do it," he added, "I'd love to be that guy."

The 12-song set - tentatively titled Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace and due September 25 via RCA - set may throw some fans for a loop. Tracks like Let It Die and Erase Replace make drastic stylistic shifts in a matter of seconds.

"There's four-piece rock band s--t, but then there are songs where the middle sections turn into this mass orchestrated swarm and ridiculous time signatures," Grohl said of the new material.

Among the rockers sure to sizzle in arenas this fall are opener The Pretender ("It's a stomping Foo Fighters uptempo song, with a little bit of Chuck Berry in it") and Cheer Up Boys, Your Makeup Is Running ("That will make festival grounds stomp really hard").

At the other end of the spectrum, The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners finds Grohl and guest guitarist Kaki King flexing their fingerpicking. "This song is almost banjo-picking style with hammer-ons and pull-offs," Grohl said. "I showed it to her once and she shredded it 10 times better than I've ever played it."

That song was inspired by two Tasmanian miners who were trapped underground for two weeks and, while awaiting rescue, requested an iPod with Foo Fighters music on it to help lift their spirits. Grohl was alerted of the situation by a staffer at the band's Australian record company and wrote a note to the two men.

"I was in tears, man," he recalled. "I said, 'Hey guys, it's Dave. You're in our thoughts and prayers. When you get out, there's two tickets and two cold beers waiting for you wherever you want to see the band.'"

The men were eventually brought to safety, and when one of them came to see the Foos play at the Sydney Opera House, "I thought I'd write something for him," Grohl said. "I came up with this little instrumental thing. After the show, we went and got f---in' wasted in the hotel bar and I was like, 'Dude, I promise I'm going to put this on the record.'"

After some one-off shows this summer, the Foos will play US gigs in September and October, followed by UK arenas in November and Australian arenas in December. Another US run is on tap for early spring.

"The last American tour we did was the one with Weezer (in 2005)," Grohl said. "We need to get back to Fargo and Tulsa -- places like that. We need to bring it all back."

Thursday, 5 July 2007

GNR Review Christchurch, NZ

Not too bad a review...

Nearly 20 years on from their hey day Axl has managed to shake the rest of the band and is now touring with a diverse group promoting the long-in-production album Chinese Democracy.

The Christchurch show saw the Westpac Arena packed to the gunnels with a mix of old fans and some who must have been in nappies when Appetite For Destruction was released.

Sebastian Bach from Skid Row warmed up the crowd finishing, ironically, with Youth Gone Wild, despite pushing 40 himself.

And then we waited. And waited. And then? Axl Rose.

Sure, he had ginger braids and a shirt that made him look like a Sumner furniture importer, but with the first strains of Welcome to the Jungle the crowd went crazy.

This was a big concert and it had all the bells and whistles: fireballs, impressive lights, screens, more fireworks.

The new band rattled through all the hits; the only time the old guys were missed was in the trademark Slash solo on November Rain, probably the best song of the night with Axl on piano and fire raining down.

November Rain worked so well because it suited where Axl's voice is at, and that has definitely changed over the years.

He simply couldn't hit the screeches on tracks like Mr Brownstone and Live and Let Die.

On Paradise City where he should have screamed "oh won't you please take me home" he bailed on the wail.

He did solve a long-standing curiosity of mine though - he really does whistle the start of Patience, and man, what a fantastic whistler he is.

The hit parade rumbled on interspersed with guitar solos while Axl changed his outfits.

The final solo was a piece of showmanship genius with the guitarist shredding out a version of God Defend New Zealand on his Flying V guitar and then covering Don't Cry by himself, sans Axl.

New songs from the Chinese Democracy album filled space and stopped the crowd in its tracks - not in a good way, more in a get-to-the-good-stuff kind of way.

Knockin' on Heaven's Door was great with the crowd singing the chorus back to Axl and the finale, Paradise City, captured the night perfectly: a beautiful trip down memory lane with an aging rocker, no longer at the height of his powers but, with that back catalogue, who cares?

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

GNR Friday Gig Review: More Subjective than a poke in the eye

Gun's N Roses concert Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
So GNR. What the fuck can I say but awesome show. Who gives a shit if Slash isn't in the band anymore? Not when you have Axl chomping out the verses and Robin Finck powering out the chords like a hillbilly on speed.

GNR's Set list was pretty standard for the tour, opening with Welcome to the Jungle. Well it was welcome to the Vector Arena with its shitty bass acoustics but whatever, Axl's growl and the rest of the band pretty much drowned out any real sound issues.

Appetite 4 Destruction songs followed which were pretty cool. Then it was onto Axl's Cover band covering a cover of 'Live and Let Die'. I always hate the reggae part in that song but thankfully they didn't go all Lee Scratch Perry on my ass so that was cool.

When Robin F strode out with a sunburst Les Paul I knew Sweet Child 'O Mine was coming and fuck it sounded pretty O for Oarsome. It would have knocked out David Tua for sure. The solo was note for note but live it doesn't quite kick out the jams (I suspect it would have with Slash's unique tone???)

But hey don't get me wrong it wasn't Robin Finck who missed a note in the first November Rain solo, it was that guy's name who know one knows...

Bumblefoot - interesting player - he like real 'technical' doing his eddie van halen finger tappin every where (right now). The Bee played a fretless guitar at one stage which I'd never heard of before. He was was quite the player actually.

Dizzy Reed played a solo piano effort. As he was playing it I knew it was naggingly familar but it wasn't until I saw the setlist and it was down as Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House that I knew.

At sum stage before or after Dizzy they knocked out You Could Be Mine which for me was the song of the show. The opening was fierce, it was fast and Axl was freaking on to it. Jezz Wayne I love that song. And Steinlager too. Actually tonight's post is bought to you by Steinlager beers (the impure kind) and the letter X marks the spot.

November Rain was pretty sweet with the usual Axl play around before hitting the notes proper. He appeared to look like he was enjoyng himself. The Coda is probably one of my fave GNR moments and it did not disappoint.

The New songs are really good. Despite what certain reviewers from the NZ Herald think, I was not indifferent, I knew them all thanks to limewire so when the odd start to Better began I was the dick yelling my head off. Madagascar is fairly well known and it's cool.

And I think this explains why Axl lets all the band do solos while he is off taking soeething for his voice or whatever. The guitarists play solos of varing quality. I suspect this is to show they are able muscians and are up to being in GNR. Wish I had scene Bumblefoot do Don't Cry on Sat for that very reason. If Robin Finck came up to me and said Jimmy Jangles, "I need your guitar" I would give it to him NQA because I know he would play it like a mutha fucking riot. It's what he's got. Trent should be pissed he let him go from NIN.

Axl's whistling on Patience was spot on. I couldn't help but wonder if that was trickery but he probably has done it 1000 times B4 so may be it's like a cake walk for him.

NEwAYS I could go on but I need to bitch about that Chris Shitz Review. Get in the RING MOTHER FUCKER. Where you even at the same gig?

He says Axls voice wasn't up to it? I say Chris' ears are deaf.

He said there were four new songs. I say there were five five. See deafness comment above.

Chrissy says "Yep, it was more of a celebration of the past rather than an attempt to craft any kind of future for Guns N' Roses." Um hell the fuck o did you not listen to the new songs. Jesus weeps that you get to give reviews like this.

He says the band had short comings. I say Chris has something that's short.

Rant over.

Monday, 2 July 2007

20 seconds of November Rain

I warn u its poor as Blanket Man

Auckland Vector Arena

Axl's Guns and Roses cover band doing a cover, Knocking on Heaven's Door

GNR Auckland Saturday Night

Date: Saturday • June 30, 2007

Venue: Vector Arena

Opening Act: Rose Tattoo, Sebastian Bach

“Welcome To The Jungle”
“It's So Easy”
“Mr. Brownstone”
“Live And Let Die”
Robin Finck Guitar Solo & Jam (with Dizzy Reed & Frank Ferrer)
“Sweet Child O’ Mine”
“Knockin' On Heaven's Door”
“You Could Be Mine”
Dizzy Reed Piano Solo (“Angie”)
“The Blues”
Band Introductions
Richard Fortus & Robin Finck Guitar Solo (“People Get Ready”)
“Out To Get Me”
Piano Moving Jam
“November Rain”
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal Guitar Solo (New Zealand national anthem, “Don't Cry”)
“My Michelle” (with Sebastian Bach)

“Nice Boys” (with Angry Anderson)
“Paradise City”

Guns N Roses Auckland Concert set list

Guns N Roses Auckland Concert set list

Friday • June 29, 2007

Venue: Vector Arena, Auckland

Opening Acts: Rose Tattoo, Sebastian Bach

GNR Set list:

“Welcome To The Jungle”
“It's So Easy”
“Mr. Brownstone”
“Live And Let Die”
Robin Finck Guitar Solo & Jam (with Dizzy Reed & Frank Ferrer)
“Sweet Child O’ Mine”
“Better” Chinese Democracy Song
“Knockin' On Heaven's Door”
“You Could Be Mine”
Dizzy Reed Piano Solo (“Don't Dream It's Over”)
“The Blues” Chinese Democracy Song

Band Introductions
Richard Fortus & Robin Finck Guitar Solo (“People Get Ready”)
“Out To Get Me”
Piano Moving Jam
November Rain
“I.R.S.” Chinese Democracy Song

“My Michelle” (with Sebastian Bach)


“Nice Boys” (with Angry Anderson, from Rose Tatoo)
“Madagascar” Chinese Democracy Song

“Chinese Democracy”
“Paradise City”


Sebastian Bach: BFF with Axl

So he's tall and skinny like Robert Plant and head bangs his blonde mane about like he's a youth gone wild. Oh and he can sing too.

Let's be honest, I only wanted to hear 18 and Life and I remember you. They were good, he's voice appears to be able to handle the high notes... microphone trickery maybe?

His guitarists are a lil weird. One appears to be a long haired but bald rocker who possibly stalks the young uns on Myspace. The other looked like an anally retented Nazi. Just cashing in Axl's cheques basically.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Another one...

Stuff review by Chris Shulz

It's been 16 years since Guns N' Roses released an album of new studio material, and 14 years since they visited New Zealand.

Axl Rose has certainly trained his fans in the art of patience.

And they had to wait just a little longer to see their hero at the first night of the band's three-date New Zealand tour.

Following an hour or so of old-school hair metal from former Skid Row front man Sebastian Bach, a beaming Axl arrived on stage at 11.30pm - just 30 minutes after the "official" start time.

How punctual of him.

Axl and his new band proceeded to tear into a crowd-pleasing run of classic Gunners hits, including Welcome to the Jungle, It's So Easy, Mr Brownstone, Live and Let Die and Sweet Child O' Mine.

If they played them like they had a point to prove, that's because they did.

Can Axl still rock a crowd? Can the new-look band compete with the original Gunners line-up? And did they have any new songs worth hearing?

Those questions were all answered by tonight's performance.

Yes, Axl is still a charismatic rock front man that can keep a crowd entertained. But his voice was unreliable and couldn't back up his energetic stage antics.

Less impressive was his use of three - yes, three - teleprompters. Dude, don't you know your own songs by now?

And he kept leaving the stage - between songs and during guitar solos - to obviously take something for his strained voice. Talk about a disappearing act.

Meanwhile, the new band was missing the pinpoint accuracy of Slash's guitar solos, even if replacement Robert Finck can match him in the big hair stakes.

But the band - criticised by some as a covers act - can rock out when they need to, providing particularly lively versions of Live and Let Die and You Could Be Mine. But a meandering and often wayward version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door didn't come close to touching the 1991 effort.

But the impressive stage setup - including synchronised lighting, pyrotechnics and fireworks - helped divert attention from any shortcomings in the band.

The set was heavy on tracks from Appetite For Destruction, but two of the four new tracks played tonight - Better and IRS - sounded bloody good. Shame about the bemused reception they received.

It was, of course, those classic singalong hits that got the biggest crowd reaction, and Axl didn't disappoint during two key moments.

The first was when he put on his dinner jacket, sat down at a grand piano and played a thrilling version of November Rain while fireworks rained from the ceiling. The word "epic" was invented for times like this.

The second was during the show's encore - a thunderous Paradise City performed just before 2am complete with more of those booming fireworks and cannons showering the crowd in red confetti.

Yep, it was more of a celebration of the past rather than an attempt to craft any kind of future for Guns N' Roses. And judging by some of the yawns being stifled in the audience, Axl's ageing fan base weren't used to being up this late.

But it was a reminder of just how good Guns N' Roses were - even if their classic songs weren't always performed to the best of their ability tonight.

Hey, we've always got the release of Chinese Democracy to look forward to.

GNR Herald Review

GNR Review from NZ Herald

It will never be the same. But no one here - not even the bogan chick spewing over the railing or the teens in their ironic bandanas or the politely seated older fans - expects this strange incarnation of Guns'n'Roses to fully transport them to the 80s. You have to use your illusion.

Axl Rose, now 45 and the only original member of GnR, is almost unrecognisable with his rotund frame, ridiculous corn-row braids and shades. Backed by seven rock ring-ins, (including long-term guitarist Robin Finck and keyboardist Dizzy Reed) and booming fire balls that erupt from behind the drum kit, he belts out the thrilling opener, Welcome to the Jungle. It's 11.45pm.

Rose does all the characteristic moves - spinning with his mic stand, bobbing from side to side and running, faux-recklessly, across the stage. But he moves in a more considered way. He calls himself the "kinder, gentler Axl", and at one point, stops the music to ensure no one is getting crushed in the mosh. When he holds the mic skywards and gives his first "cry-eee-eyee" on Live and Let Die, he almost looks like a gospel singer.

AdvertisementPity he doesn't quite sound like one. It's not until Sweet Child O' Mine that his squally rock howl really makes an impression. When he's not getting the crowd to sing the chorus, he gives a heartfelt performance of Knockin' on Heaven's Door.

Elsewhere though, that snakey vocal is a little swamped, and new songs from his promised but not-yet-delivered Chinese Democracy album wash over an indifferent crowd.

The ring-ins play the hits with the accuracy of a practiced house band: It's So Easy, Mr Brownstone and, when the grand piano is wheeled out, November Rain.

It's when they make the show about their own rock theatrics that things start to get messy. There are torturously long and flamboyant solos from Finck and Reed, and what's with the Bob Marley covers? Pink did Redemption Songs a few weeks ago; this time it's a naff duet by the two guitarists, as Rose disappears into the wings again.

By the time support act Sebastian Bach reappears for a guest turn the crowd are restless for a hit. They get it from Patience, Night Train, and, in the encore, Paradise City.

Does it feel as dangerous as it once was? Hell no. But it's still fun, if a little freaky, to go back in time.

As the tired Auckland crowd heads home just after 2am - a crowd Rose once thought of as one of the "rowdiest" he'd encountered - you have to wonder if his late stage appearance was rock'n'roll arrogance or a sensible decision from a former hellraiser who has well and truly grown up.

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