In case you missed my twitter freak out this week, pretty much the biggest news in the music world (for me anyway) is not that Chinese Democracy finally came out, but that Blake Schwarzenbach and Aaron Cometbus are in a new band together. Seriously, this is earth shaking news for me. Both Jawbreaker and Crimpshrine were massively influential to me growing up, and those two working in harmony is enough to make my head pop. Oh yeah, they are called Thorns of Life.
I’m going on record right now and saying that next time they play (apparently they are only doing house shows in Brooklyn?), assuming I’m not on the other side of the world, I’m hopping on a plane and flying to NY for it.
That said, speaking of Chinese Democracy, it actually did come out. Trust me, I’m as shocked as anyone. Before I heard it, and I’m actually listening to it right this second as I type this, I read Chuck Klosterman’s extremely in depth review of it and I think that put me in the right mindset to hear it. Klosterman writes:
“Because McKagan worked in numerous Seattle-based bands before joining Guns N’ Roses, he became the de facto arranger for many of those pre-Appetite tracks, and his philosophy was always to take the path of least resistance. He pushed the songs in whatever direction felt most organic. But Rose is the complete opposite. He takes the path of most resistance. Sometimes it seems like Axl believes every single Guns N’ Roses song needs to employ every single thing that Guns N’ Roses has the capacity to do—there needs to be a soft part, a hard part, a falsetto stretch, some piano plinking, some R&B bullshit, a little Judas Priest, subhuman sound effects, a few Robert Plant yowls, dolphin squeaks, wind, overt sentimentality, and a caustic modernization of the blues… His ambition is noble, yet wildly unrealistic. It’s like if Jeff Lynne tried to make Out Of The Blue sound more like Fun House, except with jazz drumming and a girl singer from Motown.
Throughout Chinese Democracy, the most compelling question is never, “What was Axl doing here?” but “What did Axl think he was doing here?” “
I’m still listening to it, but I can definitely say it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It’s no Appetite, but it’s lightyears better than the Illusions. Man, Obama getting elected sure did bring about change eh?
On the drive home tonight I heard a song by a band I’d never heard of called The Knux, it’s instantly catchy as hell and I was singing along about a minute or so into it. Which I thought was weird since I’d never heard it before, but then I realized the part I’d just sung wasn’t written by them, but by Busta Rhymes in a cameo he did for Tribe on “Scenario.” It’s a great line and I laughed at the reference and wonder who else might pick up on it. The DJ followed that up with the Beastie’s “She’s Crafty” which I also knew by heart. This got me thinking, which albums, not songs but full albums have I listened to so many times that I know every word to every song by heart? I’m sure there’s plenty where I know half the songs or most of the songs, but how many do I actually know every single song inside and out? I made a quick list off the top of my head…
– Beastie Boys – License to Ill
– Gorilla Biscuits – Start Today
– Jawbreaker – Unfun
– Operation Ivy – s/t
– Minor Threat – Out Of Step
– Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss
– Wu Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers
I’m sure there’s others, positive in fact but those were the ones that all rushed into my head the moment I asked myself that question. What about you?