Thursday, January 31, 2008
Jimmy Eat World and Paramore have just confirmed a U.S. co-headline tour scheduled to kick off in March. Full schedule, on-sale dates and support acts will be announced shortly. Said Jimmy Eat World singer Jim Adkins, "We're very excited for the upcoming tour with Paramore. We got to know them last December while playing festivals together. They put on a great show and we think it's going to be an awesome bill." Adds Hayley Williams (Paramore), "If it all ends tomorrow, we will be happy knowing that we got a tour with the band that gave us a reason to play music."
For more information visit http://www.jimmyeatworld.com/ and http://www.paramore.net/
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sadly it was not meant to be. Jani quit only finding that his Cherry Pie image would follow him wherever he went. Alas, after trying to secure a solo deal unsuccessfully, he returned to the band and since then, it’s been a revolving door of players. Ironically, he left the band yet again a few years back. After he left, the core group, aside from Jani, reformed and added singer Jami St. James and released the unlistenable Born Again. I’m all for acts forging their way into the future, but this album was horrid, there’s no other way to discuss it. The sad thing is that the band was going somewhere with Dog Eat Dog and alas, I don’t ever see them reclaiming that fire.
Then today the William Morris Agency sent out an email with a picture of Warrant for 2008 and front and center is Jani Lane. Start saving your pennies for the reunion tour. Someone’s kids must be looking at colleges and when they looked at their bank account, they saw red, alas, the band will play in their original formation for the first time in fifteen-years. One has to wonder how they’ll package themselves and what size venues they will play. I wish them luck…I just hope they don’t ignore Dog Eat Dog.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
First up is Queen and I have to tell you...Brian, Roger and John look a little uptight and none too happy about being smaller than Freddie. Freddie looks straight out of "The Great Pretender" video. All in all, pretty bizarre.
Next up is Bon Jovi...and my main question is what did Richie Sambora do to piss off the maker is this doll set? Did they have an encounter with him back in '89? Or are they a Heather Locklear fan gone mad? Regardless, how the hell Sambora got delegated to the smallest nesting doll while drummer Tico Torres is second to JBJ is beyond me. And poor High McDonald, the guy can't even get respect from Russian doll makers.
To see the other musical and political dolls from Russia, go to Demonbaby now.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
-Lonn Friend, from “Life on Planet Rock”
Appetite For Destruction is nowhere near as ambitious as their follow-ups, Use Your Illusion I and II but it is a once in a generation album that is dark, dreary, grandiose, maddening, rumbling, ethereal and jolting. There’s no blueprint for an album of this stature, it could only come about through a deviant birth. The hot-blooded youthfulness aligned with the feeling of fire and desperation in your veins is embodied within these twelve compositions. What made Guns N’ Roses so intriguing is you felt this was a passionately precocious band that was ready to erupt at any second. We were mesmerized by their penchant for obliteration. Their lack of inhibition worked to their advantage, only Nirvana cared less. They walked a fine line where women lusted after them and guys wanted to embody them right down to the top-hat and headband. I am not sure if there has ever been a more unforeseen commercial juggernaut than Appetite For Destruction which became the foundation for every hard rock and metal album released in the last two decades. But none of these albums which followed Appetite had the aura of danger or mystery that encircled it. We’ve all seen the “Behind the Music” episodes where an A&R executive pats himself on the back and they say something along the lines of “From the moment I saw them I knew they would be the biggest band in the world”. What they don’t show you is the list of artists they felt the same way about but drifted into obscurity quicker than you can say “Nightrain”. Tom Zutant said such a thing on the Guns N’ Roses “Behind The Music” a few years back and while I am sure he felt that way deep down inside, I somehow doubt he really envisioned this album selling sixteen-million albums ( and that’s just in the US). No one could have foreseen these five misfits erupting and leaving ramifications from their destruction which can still be felt two-decades later.
Appetite was not on most people’s radars until mid-1988 when “Sweet Child O’ Mine” soared across the radio and MTV breaking barriers and exhibiting to the world that a rock ballad could have balls. Here is what makes the success of Guns so staggering; they broke every rule in the book and is specifically why this album still feels authentic, genuine and truthful two decades later. Appetite is much like the first person you fall in love with; you may have prettier, smarter and more loving ones later in life…but you never forget your first love and in some ways we measure every relationship we have for all eternity to this first love. Much the same could be said about Appetite For Destruction as rock fans have heralded new genre’s of metal and artists over the years, but do you listen to any of them as much as Guns N’ Roses? Probably not. The twelve songs that encompass Appetite surge from one to another like hemi-powered drones on a Jersey highway and rumble like an apocalyptic earthquake. The chaotic narrative is broken into two distinctive sides and it’s essential that these songs penetrate your senses in running order to fully clench the brilliance that is Appetite For Destruction.
The opening line of this masterpiece is an ambitious artistic statement but even more prevailing than the lyrics is the coupling of Slash’s revelatory teasing guitar riff and the Axl’s opening bleating screeching howl that initiates a thunderous wall of primal sound unlike any other in the rock pantheon. “Welcome To The Jungle” would be the song that launched a metal revolution that stands unmatched in the two-decades since its release. From the sleazy “Jungle” we’re taken on an epic journey to the raw gusto of “It’s So Easy” led by the most simplistic but essential bass intro ever laid down on record. Rumors were abound that Slash sang the vocals because no one could believe the monotone delivery was really Axl’s. The pulverizing “Nightrain” accentuated by Adler’s cowbell opening raged with metallic fury before moving onto the belting “Out ta Get Me” before the rhythmic addictive minimalist swagger of “Mr. Brownstone” which makes your veins ache for a fix before climaxing with the relenting surreal and dreamlike anthem “Paradise City” which serves as a remedy for the torture and obliteration of the preceding five songs.
The rudimentary supremacy of side one detonates your senses in a way few albums can match, but it’s the flip side I find transfixing with its infuriating look at love which finds the Guns romantic, jealous and yes…briefly optimistic. Side two opens with an endearing medley of rebellious proclamations of love initiating with the achingly, brutal and belting “My Michelle” which has a saccharine chorus and viciously penetrating verses that swaps between the sweet and sour. Obsessive fervor takes us over on “Think About You”. At its core, there is a romantic sincerity to this song and while it may not seem as vital as the other eleven tracks, it’s a power pop anthem that prompts you to think of Joey Ramones voice; “Think About You” is the greatest song the Ramones never recorded.
The languid and gorgeous “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” may be the most unlikely number-one single ever recorded. Where’s the piano, the big epic chorus accentuated by a string section and a phrase like “Baby I Need You”? All are absent in this achingly emotive love letter. When Axl gently belts “She’s got a smile that seems to me, reminds me of childhood memories” we know EXACTLY what he’s singing about, we can feel it and we immediately begin to think a specific time, place or person. There is innocence to the song that truly puts us in a place and time where the world stands still. This is why Appetite For Destruction has sold sixteen-million copies. How often can you find a song that encompasses the emotional complexities of love? Virtually never. The luminosity of “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” is that after Slash’s blistering solo they chant “where do we go now”. Unlike other bands of the time that provided us the happy ending, GN’R wasn’t going to tie anything up in a nice bow, but are asking a tough question of love. What happens when you get the girl and you realize that it’s not what you thought it would be? Love is a feeling that can not be defined and is much more convoluted than anyone could ever imagine and one whose journey lasts far longer than a six-minute song.
The unanswered questions of “Sweet Child” segue into thorny emotional fervor on the final three songs on Appetite which deal with a covetous and scorned lover who retreats from their inner emotive self and heads down a path of annihilation on “You’re Crazy”. Moments earlier Axl was singing from his heart and here he’s launching into an assault on someone who has wronged him. Love has turned into raging fury. Moments earlier, GN’R were drowning in their own romantic sincerity and sentimentality but there is a immediate jolting transition which can be heard on the titanic fuzz of “You’re Crazy”, a anthem in which they are vilifying a former lover. Instead of emotional fervor, they’re unleashing introverted emotions like an eruption. The final suite of Appetite For Destruction is about deconstruction and destruction. After an initial feeling of being saved by the potential of love earlier on side-two, the Guns are now determined to be scorned and ready to destroy the world and everything in their path.
On the album’s penultimate track, “Anything Goes” you can hear the acrimony and vivid chaos continue where a hunger is unleashed; the narrator is no longer proclaiming love but is walking to the swaggering beat of their own drummer. They dueling guitar solo on this song is just stupendous. Slash and Izzy, twin sons from different mothers, find a way to channel the anger, frustration and feeling of revenge into a mind-boggling solo where they trade licks as if they trade off twins during a date.
The concluding song, “Rocket Queen” is a proclamation of independence. The ills life offers are led by a bare-knuckle drum beat that is demonic. The ideals of love have been slashed and no sugar is left on the lens for the listener as Axl displays his velveteen rasp, howl and swagger.
The lyrics speak of their naivety while simultaneously proclaiming their independence and ultimately their appetite for destruction. Just when you think apocalypse is fleeting moments away, they pull a 180 and “Rocket Queen” switches gears from a disorderly and disparaging tale into a melodic decree of love. Side two embodies the sweet and sour life has to offer. It’s grueling and taxing, but beneath all of the anger, aggression and rebellion is romanticism which can be summed up on the last lines of “Rocket Queen”.
Say you'll always be there
All I ever wanted
Was for you
To know that I care
How could an album so deeply rooted in chaos and destruction end on a positive note? Call it eternal hope. In 1982 Bruce Springsteen released an acoustic home demo as an album, Nebraska. What Springsteen did with the characters he threw in the car on “Thunder Road” and “Born To Run” and found out where they were seven-years later and he did not paint a pretty picture, in fact some would say it is a bone chilling cold album full of desolate tales. However, the album’s final track is entitled “Reason To Believe”. Despite the disappointments and desperation of life…he found a glimmering ray of hope, it was a small one but sometimes all it takes is a spark to start a fire. This is exactly what the end of “Rocket Queen” is all about. Beneath the acrimony and drama there is a hopeful romantic in all of us. Many people may focus on the big radio hits, but the brilliance of Appetite For Destruction is encompassed in these final lines.
Whether its aggravation, angst, jealousy, love or hope we find ourselves in these songs and hopefully let Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff and Steven bang the anger and aggression out for us so we can take that next step in life…into the jungle where we’ll hopefully not just survive but find internal peace of mind in our own “Paradise City”.
Anthony Kuzminski is a writer for the antiMusic Network, Unrated Magazine, is a contributor to Talking Metal and can be found at The Screen Door
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I am fully confident that we will see new music from Guns N' Roses this coming year. I'm re-posting my original review of the moment I was won over with the new GN'R in November of 2006. Overtime I noticed a few mistakes in the article so I've fixed them and I've added a slew of YouTube video links from 2006 in superb quality that will hopefully win you over. I hope you all enjoy and to those of you who weren't regular readers of the blog, here's one of my "better" pieces.
November 27th, 2006
In the fifty-years since Elvis laid down his first vocal at Sun Studios in Memphis, TN rock n’ roll has become more than escapism and so-called “devil’s music”, but also a driving life force. We have been blessed with some truly magical artists who have elevated our hearts, minds and bodies: Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Ramones, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, AC/DC, Kiss, U2, REM, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Metallica and thousands upon thousand others. All of these acts mastered their craft and in their own way and changed the face of music. However, I’m not sure if there has ever been a group of artists in the annals of rock n’ roll who were more mischievous, moody, maniacal, magical and miraculous than Guns N’ Roses. With all that being said, they may also take the title as the most maddening group as well.
While I’m saddened by group dissolution and preventable deaths, I firmly believe that Moon, Hendrix, Joplin, Bonham, Morrison, Presley and Cobain all chose a path where there was no looking back. Whereas every member who has ever performed with Guns N' Roses is still alive (and for the most part well). When they unleashed their brand of rock upon the world it was met with universal acceptance and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a band be admired, loved and reach such a wide and diverse group of people since the Beatles. Males, females, metal heads, rockers, punks all heralded and cherished Guns N' Roses’ brand of vicious rock and still do nearly two-decades later. Sadly, the group has largely existed in name only for the last thirteen years, but 2006 has proven to be a year in which the name Guns ‘n Roses becomes more than a mere nostalgia trip.
Despite a brief interrupted tour in 2002, this is Axl Rose’s first full year of touring since 1993. While I’ve heard reports of blazing nights and some solid bootlegs, I did not feel the need to see this incarnation. Here’s my reason why; There was a time in the mid 1980’s where Keith Richards and Mick Jagger did not see eye to eye. As a result, Jagger went solo on a tour to Australia and Japan, territories the Stones had never been to. Not only did this infuriate Richards as these were territories the Stones had never visited where large amounts of money could be made, but more importantly, his partner went there without him. These two men had built so much together and yet one was standing on the sidelines watching his partner claim all the glory. Richards fill-in was virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani, who is top flight, but he doesn’t have the same history with Mick. Great musicians don’t make great bands. Since then Jagger and Richards reconciled and have only played the classic Stones songs with each other enhancing their legacy and legend. My generations version of the Stones, Guns N' Roses, has spent the better part of the last thirteen-years out of the consciousness of the public, but never far from our hearts and minds.
The opening trio of songs were all from Appetite For Destruction (“Welcome To The Jungle”, “It’s So Easy”, “Mr. Brownstone”) and the in succession performances put the crowd in a maddening trance. It became very apparent it would be far too easy to label these musicians as a glorious cover band. This is far more than Axl and a bunch of arbitrary musicians. Each member was handpicked by Axl for not only being a masterful musician but also a spellbinding performer as well. A lot of discussion has been had on each of the band members and how they’ll never compare to the original line up. I was one of those who had my doubts but can tell you that after seeing this eight-piece band shred through a two-hour plus show, these guys are no slouches. What you have here is not even an All Star team of musicians, but better, a group of guys who have chemistry and who are pulling off the impossible every night by winning each crowd over. Bassist Tommy Stinson roamed the stage like a veteran; while guitarists Robin Finck and Richard Fortus let their six-strings soar doing a damn good job on making most of the audience, including myself (even if it was briefly), forget about a charismatic and talented top hatted guitarist.
Axl Rose is an artist whom I have followed since the band’s inception and in truth, I’m not sure if I could ever put the artist’s actions into context, but I do know this, he will not go on stage until he is ready to give 110% of himself to that crowd. He plays by his rules and no others, not because of ego, but because he’s a perfectionist. I assisted journalist Lonn Friend with his recent memoir, “Life on Planet Rock” which allowed me into the inner workings and mind of Axl Rose. Aside from long time confidant Del James and former GNR manager Doug Goldstein, I’m not sure if anyone else really understood Axl as much. However, I must admit to proofing and assisting with the book and being mystified by the stories and thought process of the legendary front man, yet after seeing the drive and determination with which he put forth during these opening numbers, I can now say that I get it. Axl is a true rock n’ roll renegade that will do things on his own time and his own way. How else could he pull off two national tours without a new record in stores? From a business perspective, it makes no sense to tour without a new album and this is the third time Guns N' Roses has done this (’91, ’02 and ’06) in their career.
The long awaited Chinese Democracy is still not on any release schedule, but it did not stop him from performing five songs from the album. “Chinese Democracy” and “IRS” are reminiscent of how one could imagine GN'R in the 21st Century. “The Blues” and “Madagascar” were moody ballads, the latter of which bore images of political uprisings from the 60’s on the screen behind Axl when performed. However, there is one new song that stood apart from the rest; “Better”. A bootleg of this track leaked earlier this year and I will say that it is on par with anything Axl Rose has ever created. This triumphant composition is a cinematic poem filled with fuming guitars and perfectly textured harmonies. When one hears a song like “Better”, you realize the potential that Chinese Democracy holds. But until it is released, we’ll have to be content with the concert experience.
As Robin ended his solo and launched into “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, the crowd responded with a response so magnetic, one had to see it to believe it. I’m not sure if there is an album from the last twenty-five years that still continues to grow, develop and resonate more than Appetite For Destruction. Not only do people know every word to the singles, but they know every word to all twelve compositions. Most shockingly, the new band performed these songs to perfection as if they have been performing them for decades. The seductive power with which they were delivered to the audience was hypnotic. Something I didn’t expect to see, nor did I want to see, was a band who made this material their own and this current incarnation did just that. What the current band lacks in history they more than make up for in their resolve and willpower.
As the evening continued, there were intermittent solos between suites of songs by assorted members of the band. Keyboardist Dizzy Reed, the only member to continually stand shoulder to shoulder with Axl over the last fifteen years, had the evening’s most sublime moment with a piano led solo of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. Reed’s playing was so dead on and inspirational that photographer Rob Grabowski commented to me that it was the highlight of the show for him. Something people tend to forget and overlook is that Dizzy Reed joined the band during the recording of the Use Your Illusion albums. He is the only member left from that era who is still in the band and after seeing his solo, I’m glad he stood by Axl’s side as he brings not only musical aptitude but history with him as well. Guitarist Richard Fortis performed “A Winter Shade of Pale” during his solo and the unbelievably gifted guitarist Bumblefoot performed the complete elegiac “Don’t Cry” instrumental to roars of approval. Many have criticized these solos as being unnecessary and long, however, I see them as giving these unknown musicians a chance to shine. Besides, these are more than just instrumentals; they are extended jams that are virtually songs within themselves and are anything but meandering and without purpose. The eighteen-song set had a total of eight songs performed off Appetite (including a vicious “My Michelle” with a guest appearance with Sebastian Bach), one from GN'R Lies (a reliable “Patience), four from the Use Your Illusion albums (including a soaring “November Rain”) and five from the still unreleased Chinese Democracy (with the aforementioned future classic “Better”).
Friday, January 25, 2008
The first Guns N’ Roses album in fifteen-years is a story in itself and this alone should be enough to sell copies out of the box, however, Universal apparently is holding the album hostage until some kind of agreement can be made. One of the things I keep hearing is that the label has “reportedly” spent $14 million in expenses for this album. Now, granted, I believe the ‘Greatest Hits ’87-‘94’ was released specifically to recoup some of these costs and that particular album has been a consistent and constant seller ever since (selling over 3 million copies) but let’s say hypothetically Universal wants to find the easiest way to recoup this $14 million, while simultaneously getting this album into the marketplace. Here are three simple, effective and profitable ways to recoup your investment, while allowing Axl Rose to release ‘Chinese Democracy’
Option #1-The Digital Release
My advice would be to go the Radiohead route and release the album digitally first. This is the easiest way to avoid having the album leak early from the pressing plant. Whether it happens two days before the album’s release or two months, the key is to unleash it before it can be found everywhere for nothing. Now while Radiohead’s model was admirable, it appears that many chose to not pay anything for the album. For the Guns record, why not institute a $3 charge for the album. But here is the kicker. Charge $3 for a mid level MP3 rip (192 or better) and do not release it until you have secured two million downloads. Some people are so fanatical about wanting to hear this album; they would potentially order multiple digital copies just so they could get their hands on the album sooner. For those of you in the music industry reading this, I am well aware of the irony of my idea since Universal Music appears to be doing everything in their power to not embrace the digital revolution. In some ways, I may as well be talking to a lifelong vegan about the nutritional value of a Superdawg Hot Dog and Al’s Italian Beef (it’s a Chicago thing). However, I believe this is the quickest road to profit.
My editor even thinks I’ve gone off my rocker and suggested a $5 price. However, as Trent Reznor recently found out with the Saul Williams produced record, $5 may be a bit too much. We have an entire generation of people who feel music should be free and even if they are wrong, you must play into what the market will allow and based on my observations, $3 is the magic number. My theory is that you want to get your customers in the habit of paying for music and pricing downloads too high, will frustrate them. Make it affordable so that you build trust and an ongoing relationship. I sincerely believe Universal could acquire 2 million downloads at $3 a pop in a very short period of time. Since they’ve cut out the middleman, processing packaging, etc this would largely be pure profit. Most importantly, there would be rampant anticipation since the album had not leaked.
Total Revenue: $6 million
Option #2 –The Box Set
There will always be those who crave and will want the physical product. This is inevitable. The key is to provide them with the ultimate product. Think of being a car salesman and having a wide range of lines and vehicles. While I believe music in the future should be affordable, cheap and available in bulk, the key will be to market to the select die-hard fans. Radiohead did this with an $80 box set that included not just a physical CD, but a second CD of outtakes, a vinyl copy of the album and extensive packaging. For Guns N’ Roses, the contents of this package could be exhaustive and maddening at the same time. Considering that it’s taken years to bring ‘Chinese Democracy’ to fruition, I doubt Axl Rose would be willing to put alternate versions of songs out there. However, why not include a full concert DVD from the last tour? How about a short book written by Del James about the “Making of ‘Chinese Democracy’”? Why not throw in a vintage Guns N’ Roses concert on DVD to lure the fans to buying the more expensive set (although I believe this is highly unlikely).
The options are limitless; Include a concert ticket with every box purchase, offer an exclusive code that gives you access to a Pay Per View screening where Axl would give his first sit down interview, follow the interview with a live performance of the entire album. A Pay Per View could pull in a separate stream of income and it would allow Axl and the rest of the band to present the album they want. They wouldn’t have to abide by the rules of MTV, NBC, of E!; they could write the book themselves. Promote it as a once in a lifetime event where Axl is interviewed by someone he knows, respects and is comfortable with. Allow him to dictate the proceedings as he needs because he’s the artist and the gestation of this album has been immense and he deserves a platform to showcase his art the way he wants. Not to mention, but the windfall from 100,000 potential buying customers would add to the coffers.
The moral of my story is that if they deliver a stellar and unique package, aside from a potential Pay Per View, the fanatics will buy it. The revenue from a special box could reign in more money than a stand alone CD release. Include the CD, a DVD, a book, a reproduction of the original ‘Appetite’ album cover and a few other bonus items and a set like this could retail for approximately $65. Limit worldwide distribution of these boxes to 125,000. The total gross for this package would be $8,125,000.00 and if the $14 million budget for ‘Chinese Democracy’ is true, it immediately puts Universal in the black and this would potentially be before a Pay Per View or physical CD release or even a tour.
Total Revenue Combined from Options #1 and #2: $14,125,000.00
#3-The Physical CD
Once you get the download out of the way, send the album to stores. Include a live DVD of the entire album from the Pay Per View show, exclusive web content and assorted contests of vintage Guns N’ Roses items and access to potential future live shows. This will make even those who bought the pricey box set want to buy it again. Once again, don’t inflate the cost, make it affordable. When the ‘Greatest Hits ’87-‘94’ was released in 2004, most retailers were selling it at $7.99 and I believe this was one of the prime reasons it has continued to sell well over time.
These three options combined should easily put Universal back in black, give Axl Rose the drive to bring these songs to the world, get back on the road and will eventually open up the chances for more music in the not too distant future (Sebastian Bach alludes to the potential of two more albums in under three-years).
‘Chinese Democracy’ has been a decade plus in the making and despite what the cynics say, there are millions who want…no scratch that…NEED to hear this album and the key to its success is to deliver it to the masses in an favorable manner which will appeal to not just the longing and patient fans, but to the casual listener as well. Promotion should be a no brainer as any news magazine on television or in print would kill for an exclusive interview. However, I believe the album will sell itself, Universal just needs to think out of the box and unleash it on a world that is beyond ready for it. The reason that ‘Appetite For Destruction’ sold sixteen-million records is because of its unabashed honesty. It cemented the band into an entire generation’s consciousness. There are millions of lost souls out there looking for that next record that will open new worlds to them and help them seek refuge from a world that is at times far too real for our own liking. But albums like ‘Appetite For Destruction’, ‘Use Your Illusion’ and hopefully ‘Chinese Democracy’ help you deal with your grief, provide a ray of light and reminds us that the fight that life can be is worth fighting.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The temperature outside was 8 degrees, but inside, the place was smoking. Buddy tore through a 80 minute set, going through the crowd, playing his ass off and 25 minutes in, Robert Randolph showed up and the two of them basically dueled and jammed for the remainder of the evening.
When I see shows like this, it often makes me wonder as to why I even bother seeking out bigger shows, because tonight was as good as it gets with pure unadulterated love for the music and a set of musicians who boil over with heart and emotion when playing. Add in Robert Randolph to the mix and you have a unforgettable evening. More tomorrow when I get some sleep and come down from this high.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Ever since that day, I don’t take anyone who walks into my life for granted. Adam is no different…he’s a great mate and I’d do anything for him. It appears he may come to the States for Bruce’s Harley Davidson show this coming August. Until then, we have email!
To Bon Jovi fans out there, I HIGHLY suggest you head over to his blog now and read his review of the first Sydney Bon Jovi show in over a dozen years.
Bon Jovi - Acer Arena Monday January 21st 2008
(Blood On Blood)
OK, I hear all of the emails coming to me about prep time to market the album and all that jazz, but by the time it arrives on store shelves, it will be over five-years since ‘St. Anger’ and forty-four months since the band completed their last US tour. Call me a whiner, call me selfish, but in my opinion to be a relevant and driving force in the music industry you need to continue to create and make albums on a regular basis and not once every five-years. To put things in perspective, Bruce Springsteen has released three albums and launched three separate tours in the same time frame. Metallica basically took all of 2005 off aside from a pair of Bay Area gigs where they opened for the Rolling Stones. 2006 found them writing and touring Europe and then 2007 for them writing, touring and recording again. It makes me wonder if the band had chosen to not do one of those European tours, or at least cut one short if they would have completed this album earlier.
I guess good things come to those who wait and I truly hope that their next album is a killer and when it is unleashed, that they focus on touring America…indoors.
Full story is below courtesy of BWBK and Stereo Warning.
Music blog Stereo Warning reports:
"The release of METALLICA's new album has been delayed again, sources from the band's record label told Stereo Warning. The album is now expected to hit the stores in September. Originally Lars Ulrich said it would be out in February, then the release was delayed till April.
With the band still in the studio, it was clear that April was not gonna happen. Fans can take comfort in the fact that the last time the band spent this much time in the studio the year was 1991 and the result was the Black Album. One can only hope for similar results this time!
In the meantime, the boys have lined up a few dates for their upcoming European tour this summer. I guess that means they hope to be done recording by June..." Stay tuned for further updates.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
More thoughts on the nominees later tonight...
Complete list of 80th annual Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday:
1. Best Picture: "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."
2. Actor: George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"; Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"; Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises."
3. Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; Julie Christie, "Away From Her"; Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"; Laura Linney, "The Savages"; Ellen Page, "Juno."
4. Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"; Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"; Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton."
5. Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"; Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"; Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"; Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"; Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton."
6. Director: Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Jason Reitman, "Juno"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."
7. Foreign Film: "Beaufort," Israel; "The Counterfeiters," Austria; "Katyn," Poland; "Mongol," Kazakhstan; "12," Russia.
8. Adapted Screenplay: Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"; Sarah Polley, "Away from Her"; Ronald Harwood, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."
9. Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, "Juno"; Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava and Jim Capobianco, "Ratatouille"; Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages."
10. Animated Feature Film: "Persepolis"; "Ratatouille"; "Surf's Up."
11. Art Direction: "American Gangster," "Atonement," "The Golden Compass," "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "There Will Be Blood."
12. Cinematography: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Atonement," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."
13. Sound Mixing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "3:10 to Yuma," "Transformers."
14. Sound Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "There Will Be Blood," "Transformers."
15. Original Score: "Atonement," Dario Marianelli; "The Kite Runner," Alberto Iglesias; "Michael Clayton," James Newton Howard; "Ratatouille," Michael Giacchino; "3:10 to Yuma," Marco Beltrami.
16. Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova; "Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "Raise It Up" from "August Rush," Nominees to be determined; "So Close" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "That's How You Know" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.
17. Costume: "Across the Universe," "Atonement," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "La Vie en Rose," "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street."
18. Documentary Feature: "No End in Sight," "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience," "Sicko," "Taxi to the Dark Side," "War/Dance."
19. Documentary (short subject): "Freeheld," "La Corona (The Crown)," "Salim Baba," "Sari's Mother."
20. Film Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Into the Wild," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."
21. Makeup: "La Vie en Rose," "Norbit," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."
22. Animated Short Film: "I Met the Walrus," "Madame Tutli-Putli," "Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)," "My Love (Moya Lyubov)," "Peter & the Wolf."
23. Live Action Short Film: "At Night," "Il Supplente (The Substitute)," "Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)," "Tanghi Argentini," "The Tonto Woman."
24. Visual Effects: "The Golden Compass," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Transformers."
IT WAS a serious way to say Have A Nice Day when visiting US rocker Jon Bon Jovi left a young Sydney waiter the biggest tip of his hospitality career. Proving his generosity is as sizeable as his spiky '80s mullet once was, the veteran guitar god left staff at Woolloomooloo noshery Manta singing his praises when he casually served up a $600 tip for waiter Tristan Tomlinson.
After jetting into Sydney on Sunday and checking into the Blue Hotel at the Finger Wharf, the Bon Jovi quartet and 10 crew cruised down to the restaurant strip for a bite.
Clearly peckish, the lads cleaned the celebrity-favoured haunt out of lobster and mud crab.
They then left a tip to match the size of their appetites.
"It's the biggest single tip I've ever received in the four years I have worked here," a chuffed Tomlinson, 28, told Confidential yesterday.
Blog: Who are Rock's most excessive stars?
"To get $100 is a bonus so this was pretty substantial - it was a really nice surprise."
Far from making any rock-star demands, Bon Jovi was relaxed, casual and "just wanted to be treated like anyone else," Tomlinson said.
Fellow diners were fairly oblivious to the rock royalty in their midst on Sunday night.
But a small crowd of eager Sydney fans gathered on the wharf while the band ate ravenously, patiently waiting to ask for autographs.
Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson may have hoped to do just that after attending promoter Paul Dainty's private box to watch Bon Jovi rock the Acer Arena last night.
No slouch in the area of politics himself, Bon Jovi is celebrity besties with US presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
If this wasn't enough, it appears the band's first proper Australian tour in over a dozen years is proving to be one for the ages. Below is the setlist from Sydney night #1, which if you add in the mini cover versions and medleys, the show is 30+ songs long. Not bad at all...
Sydney, Australia #1 - Acer Arena - 1/21/08
GLAD ALL OVER - Dave Clark Five cover tune
RAISE YOUR HANDS
RADIO SAVED MY LIFE
BLOOD ON BLOOD
IN THESE ARMS
BLAZE OF GLORY - w/ Knockin On Heavens Door
WHOLE LOT OF LEAVIN'
BORN TO BE MY BABY
WE GOT IT GOIN' ON
IT'S MY LIFE
BAD MEDICINE W/ SHOUT
THESE DAYS - RICHIE VOX
(YOU WANT TO) MAKE A MEMORY
I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU
BED OF ROSES
HAVE A NICE DAY
SLEEP w/ Jumpin' Jack Flash & Dancin' In The Streets
WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME
DIE FOR YOU
I LOVE THIS TOWN
Also performing that weekend are ZZ Top, the Black Crowes, Buddy Guy, Foghat, and more. The Springsteen show will be an additional concert held outside the Summerfest Grounds at the Roadhouse at the Lakefront, requiring a separate $40 ticket in addition to the $60 105th Anniversary ticket (available now). According to The Business Journal, 60,000 general admission tickets will be sold for the Springsteen show. Only 105th Anniversary Ticket Holders can purchase Springsteen tickets, which go on sale April 5 at 8 a.m. Central.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Photo Credit: Amy Sancetta
PARK CITY, Utah - After a legendary career playing to sold-out stadiums, Bono and the Edge this weekend doing what their fans have done for years — standing in line to see a U2 concert.
That concert was "U2 3D," a film of the band's 2005-06 Vertigo tour, shot at several shows in South America with new 3D technology.
"I was really hoping we weren't crap after all these years. Luckily we weren't," the Edge told the Associated Press before the band donned plastic glasses to watch the movie's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night.
The band's frontmen, joined by drummer Larry Mullein and bassets Adam Clayton, joked about the absurdity of seeing their own concert after playing together for over 30 years.
"It's kind of horrific," to watch himself on stage in 3D, said Bono. "Its bad enough on a small screen. Now you get so see the lard arse 40-foot tall."
The Edge said the cutting-edge 3D technology allowed "the songs to shine through," though he was surprised to see the chemistry of the band in the details on screen, and how separate his band mates were on stage.
"Are you saying you felt lonely up there?" said Bono, smiling.
"No, I felt lonely for Larry," the band's drummer, the Edge replied.
"He likes being on his own," said Bono. "Didn't you bring him back a bottle of water?"
Bono said he loved playing to the enthusiastic audiences of Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro.
"Irish people are essentially Latin people who don't know how to dance," he said. "When people are screaming and roaring and shouting, the humbling thing is to realize it's not really for the band or artist on the stage. It's for their connection with the songs. A song just can own you ... . I think that's why concerts are so powerful. If that song is such a part of your life, and you hear it, it's too much almost."
Bono also expressed hope that the film would allow more people to experience their music, especially teenagers and college students who might not be able to afford the pricey tickets to their sold-out shows.
The band is currently working with longtime producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno on a new album that will merge Lanois' respect for traditional music and Eno's futuristic sound.
"Music like the band had formed on Venus, and somewhere between that is our next album," Bono said. "Where they join, where something feels always existing but you never heard it before, that seems to be what the two of them bring out in us."
The sneak preview review is here.
U23D Trailer (in 2D)
BWBK recently did an excellent four part interview with band front man Tom Araya. I will include links to all four parts below.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I haven't bought the AC/DC set just yet, but plan to in the coming weeks of for no other reason than they delivered the goods on this release.
My thoughts? When it comes to chemistry in life, lightning strikes once and only once. If you're blessed enough to have the Gods look upon you and blesses you to allow lightning to strike twice, then count yourself profoundly lucky. No wait, consider it a miracle. AC/DC, Van Halen and even Anthrax were fortunate enough to have this occur to them. However, I must admit reluctance to inform you that I doubt lightning will strike a third time. Hey, I love Anthrax and I believe in them as they're among the few genuine bands to ever exist and I believe they believe in everything they do with vigor and passion. I won't make any judgements on Nelson or Anthrax until I hear any new music or see them live. Until then...I wish them the best.
ANTHRAX has announced their new singer, Dan Nelson.
Nelson is a virtual unknown, having fronted several local bands in the Long Island/New York area in the past. Says drummer Charlie Benante, “Rob [Caggiano] called me and said, ‘I have a singer, you should check him out.’ We gave him a shot, and he floored us.”
After a reunion tour with former singer Joey Belladonna in 2006, there were rumours of recording a new album with that line-up. However, talks fell through and the band was left, once again, without a singer. Enter Dan Nelson.
“I was actually looking for a band,” commented Nelson. “Long Island, NY is a pretty dead scene. I was in Unbroken, and through that I met Rob a couple years ago. I had gone through some stuff on a personal side where I took time off from the music. When I got back to the scene, I couldn’t find a band, so I contacted Rob through MySpace and offered my services. We sent music back and forth, got together, and jammed for 10 hours straight. After 10 hours, he said, ‘I think you’d be right for Anthrax.”
“There’s no place else I’d rather be right now,” Nelson said. “It’s a great vibe. I feel great, and I’m ready to go. It’s lit that much more of a fire under me. I’m getting to live the dream, and it feels amazing. I can’t wait for all these people who think Anthrax is done to be proven wrong. The naysayers are gonna be shut down, and the true blue fans are gonna be pleased.”
Guitarist Scott Ian commented on the new singer saying, “It feels great working with Dan. The first time we jammed, we ran through a bunch of old songs, songs from the John Bush/Joey Belladonna eras. Right from the first second Dan started “Room For One More” we knew. We said, ‘Now that we’ve got that, let’s work his ass off.”
Anthrax, featuring Nelson on vocals, guitarists Ian and Rob Caggiano, bassist Frankie Bello, and drummer Benante, is currently working on all-new material. “We wrote these songs and they fucking kicked ass,” says Benante. “It was cathartic. We also want to take our time. This record will be under the microscope, more so than the others. We want to make sure it’s 100% perfect.”
Also, two classic Anthrax records - Sound Of White Noise and Stomp 442 - are going to be available on iTunes on December 18. They will be expanded editions with bonus tracks, and it’s the first time the records will be released digitally. The online versions of the albums will also include commentary tracks from the band members themselves!
Anthrax has not yet announced a release date for an upcoming album, but the band is in the middle of the writing process
Originally released in 1978, the Nick Lowe-produced effort will include 11 B-sides and alternate takes of the set's songs; highlights include live versions of "Neat Neat Neat," demo versions of three songs and an unreleased studio version of "This Year's Girl."
The bonus disc contains Costello and the Attractions' Feb. 28, 1978, concert at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C., a 17-song set that includes songs from his 1977 debut, "My Aim Is True," as well as from "This Year's Model."
"This Year's Model" was previously reissued with different tracks by Rykodisc in 1993.
Here is the track list for "This Year's Model":
"This Year's Girl"
"Pump It Up"
"You Belong to Me"
"Hand In Hand"
"(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea"
"Living In Paradise"
"Crawling to the USA"
"Running Out Of Angels" (demo version)
"Greenshirt" (demo version)
"Big Boys" (demo version)
"Neat Neat Neat" (live)
"Roadette Song" (live)
"This Year's Girl" (alternate Eden Studios version)
"(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" (alternate
Basing Street Studios version)
"Pump It Up"
"Waiting For the End of the World"
"Less Than Zero"
"(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes"
"(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"
"Hand In Hand"
"You Belong to Me"
"Watching the Detectives"
"Blame It on Cain"
BY GEORGE RUSH
DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST
Monday, September 3rd 2007, 4:00 AM
A little Hamptons dinner party turned into a summit of the rock gods Saturday night.
Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea, were celebrating nothing more than the end of summer when they invited some friends over to their East Hampton spread. But then their friends do include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffett and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters.
The surf-and-turf dinner would have been enough for a crowd that included Renee Zellwegger, Naomi Watts, Howard Stern, "Today" anchor Matt Lauer, designer Donna Karan, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels.
But, about 11 p.m., Bon Jovi jumped onstage to join the party band. Pretty soon, people were dancing.
Before long, McCartney joined Bon Jovi at the mike - along with Joel, Buffett and Waters.
"Billy was wailing on the keyboards," said one guest. "They performed for a good hour of rock classics. Nobody could believe it. Howard Stern was really rocking out."
Though New Jersey boy Springsteen had left before the jam, Corzine seemed pleased when Bon Jovi belted out "Who Says You Can't Go Home," the theme song of the New Jersey Tourist Board
"The governor led people on to the dance floor," said the guest.
"The whole thing was spontaneous. It was the first Hamptons party in years that was actually fun."
Friday, January 18, 2008
NEW EP FOLLOW THE LIGHTS IN STORES NOW
Continuing an apparently endless run of some of the best-reviewed performances of his career, Ryan Adams and his Cardinals have confirmed their first dates of January '08.
The west coast tour extends what has already been an immensely productive year. In addition to the unanimously acclaimed new album Easy Tiger (lauded by Time as "a career breakthrough") Ryan & The Cards recently released an EP entitled Follow The Lights, comprised of "reflective and sober renditions of a handful of Mr. Adams' near-classics" (The New York Times). The two new songs on Follow The Lights (the title track and "My Love For You Is Real") will be featured prominently in the ABC primetime drama "October Road", which premiered Thanksgiving night. Finally, the band's live shows continue to thrill audience and critics alike; The Washington Post recently noted that "[Ryan's] perfectionism was apparent from the stunning arrangements and interplay with The Cardinals... the group sounded rehearsed and precise without sounding at all formulaic."
The itinerary for the January tour is below. All shows go on sale the weekend of Nov 30, except San Diego, which is on sale now.
1/16 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
1/18 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater
1/19 - San Diego, CA - Spreckels Theatre
1/21 - Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theater
1/22 - Claremont, CA - Bridges Auditorium
1/23 - San Rafael, CA - Marin Center
1/25 - Salem, OR - Elsinore Theater
1/26 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater
1/28 - Berkeley, CA - Zellerbach Hall
1/30 - Los Angeles, CA - UCLA Royce Hall