Saturday, November 29, 2008


Guns N Roses released a new studio album this month. If you needed another sign of the impending apocalypse, that’s a pretty good one.

I finally sat down and listened to “Chinese Democracy”, all the way through. It’s hard to know how to feel about it, exactly. As Chuck Klosterman so wisely put it-it doesn’t live up to the hype, but that’s only because nothing could. It’s brilliant in places, bombastic and overblown in others. It’s also hard to react to because I’m not the same person I was in 1987.

“Appetite for Destruction” was Guns N Roses first full length album, and it is still, by far, their best. Which is kind of like saying the Civil War is the most important war-it’s true, sort of, but all the others aren’t less important by comparison. “Appetite” was an hour long scream, full of passion-perfect for the grieving 15 year old I was at the time. Axl Rose, the band’s tempestuous front man, has never produced work as raw and passionate as that since.

Now, after more than 20 years, the band, which is really just Rose with a bunch of other guys, since everyone who performed on that first, transcendent record is gone, is back with a long rumored, long awaited studio album. I like it, I guess I can say, but I don’t love it-I don’t HAVE to listen to it-the way I did with “Appetite”, all those years ago.

I also saw Walt Disney’s “Bolt” today, which has been aptly called their best non- Pixar animated film in a long, long time. According to what I’ve read, it is the first Walt Disney Animation film since Pixar genius John Lassiter took over, and it is very Pixar-y. Lots of vibrant, rich color, a Las Vegas scene that pops off of the screen, some inside baseball-type movie jokes, and a creative plot make it a fine way to spend 90 minutes.


  1. I'm not a GNR fan, especially since Axl got that rubber face a few years ago.

    But I hear that the mainland Chinese dictatorship is in a tizzy about this album. Good for GNR.

  2. Indeed.

    There are a few pointed lyrics, but it's not like this is a major challenge to the regime. It's a record, for criminy's sake.

    I forget where I read it, but someone pointed out the irony of China, one of the world leaders in pirate CDs and DVDs, banning the sale of a CD.

    According to the 13 Year Old Relating To His/Her Parents Principle, if the Chinese government is against something, I'm pretty much for it no matter what it is.


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