Which rock docs you diggin’?


I liked & would recommend these rock docs, which other ones should I check out?

Rock Docs!

  • Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch – This has to be THE rock doc.  It ought to be the standard to which all others are held.
  • Mad Tiger – I love Peelander-Z.  This is a story about art, music, choosing your path, and ultimately about the bond of friendship beyond being band mates.
  • Anvil! The Story of Anvil – This is wild.  You feel for these guys so much.  At least I do.
  • Sound City – What a cross-section of rock n’ roll history.  Dave Grohl is cool for putting this together.
  • Searching for Sugar Man – This is a crazy story about how music can transcend time and borders, and save the artists like it saves the listener.
  • It Might Get Loud – I wouldn’t list any of these guys in my favorites as far as guitarists go… but this was a damn good movie.  I mean, Jimmy Page is Jimmy Page.  How can you not respect his body of work?
  • Beware of Mr. Baker – Fabulous just because Ginger is a wild man.  Maybe even a wild animal in a man’s body.
  • Flogging Molly: Whiskey on a Sunday – Mostly about Dave if I remember right.  I’m a fan of the music, so it was nice to have a peek inside that world.
  • The Punk Syndrome – Finland has some cool-ass social programs, one that gave us Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät.  Follow a punk rock band formed by cats with Autism and Down Syndrome and realize that their struggles are a whole lot like yours.
  • FilmageALL gets such a bad rap.  Ha ha.  I really enjoyed this story.
  • Mission to Lars – Less about being in the band, more about fandom & brotherly love.

What other ones do you like?  I am sure I have missed a few.  I liked that one Rush doc, I need to catch all of it.  I caught the end on VH1 way back.  Bonus points if these docs are “free” on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Movies


I like movies, and I like rock ‘n’ roll.  You probably already knew (or assumed) that.  These are some of my favorite music-related films.  What are yours?

AirheadsAirheads – Such a great goofy film.  I feel that this one is underrated… maybe it has a “cult” sort of following.  The plot is ridiculous and it’s filled with all kinds of great actors.  It’s got some of the best quotes ever, and is why I will someday demand a football helmet filled with cottage cheese and naked pictures of Bea Arthur if ever given the chance to make crazy demands.  I could probably watch this movie over & over as much as I could watch the Star Wars films over & over.

The cover for Shark Sandwich, one of the band'...This is Spinal Tap – This is a no-brainer.  It goes to 11.  It’s the standard to which all other rock ‘n’ roll films are measured.  It has sustain.  Just let the DVD or Blu-ray or VHS tape or Laser Disc sit on the shelf and listen to it.

Music from the Motion Picture Josie and the Pu...Josie and the Pussycats – Laugh all you want, but this movie is super fun.  If you can’t enjoy this one, you have no soul.  I had no attachment to the cartoon in case there are purists out there that didn’t like it because fans of original things rarely like those things rehashed.  Orange is the new pink.  “3 Small Words” is a great pop song.

Empire RecordsEmpire Records – It’s not really about  band or musicians… but the chaos all over the store is all about rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s filled with great tracks from GWAR, AC/DC, Sponge, not quite Body Count’s “Hey Joe“, Coyote Shivers, and Rex Manning.  Ha ha.

Lemmy (film)Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch – If you haven’t seen this & you’re even a casual fan of metal, punk, rock docs in general, or even just heard “Ace of Spades” once, you need to see this.  That was a really long grammatically terrible sentence.  Lemmy would kick my ass for pointing that out.  Maybe not.  He seems like a really likeable dude to hang out with if you can get past the stink of cigarettes.

It Might Get LoudIt Might Get Loud – Not a huge fan of any of these dudes… except Jimmy Page is… well, Jimmy Page.  Led Zeppelin is amazing, I’m just not one of those dudes that has all the albums or knows all the riffs.  U2 actually kind or irks me, but the Edge seems like a cool dude & an effect wiz.  Jack White surprised me, but he’s kind of creepy.  Beyond all that, I still enjoyed this movie.  Guys talking about their love of music, the guitar, & playing… it’s incredible.

Walk the Line (soundtrack)Walk the Line – Probably one of the best biopics ever, if not the best.  Johnny Cash was a great man, and an asshole.  It’s all out there.  It’s a compelling story spanning many decades, and really a love story with Jone & Johnny.  The man in black went through a lot in life.

Ray (film)Ray – Ray & Johnny Cash had eerie similar back stories.  Jamie Foxx is a genius in this film.  It’s one hell of a great story.  Ray did it all, from R&B to pop to country.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (soundtrack)Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – This is hilarious. Watch Walk the Line & Ray first though.  Then laugh hard. (♫ Haaaaard! ♫)

Wayne's World (soundtrack)Wayne’s World – You’re hearing Queen in your head right now, aren’t you?  Well, either that or the theme song.  Excellent!

Detroit Rock City (film)Detroit Rock City – I’m not the biggest KISS fan, but this road-trip gone awry is all kinds of fun.  I have had many less interesting adventures on the way to gigs… just attending or playing.  And, KISS does have some catchy songs… and a great stage show.

Role ModelsRole Models – OK, not a rock movie… but the KISS theme throughout is just hilarious.

CrossroadsCrossroads – The Karate Kid does a guitar duel with Steve Vai.  It’s sort of like  “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” as a movie from the 80s.  Instead of Arnold from Happy Days, you have a Blues player, and instead of Karate you have the blues.

8 Mile8 Mile – The concept is weird… a biopic that isn’t quite.  It’s a great move though.  The struggle to make it as a musician/rapper is very compelling, and Eminem’s a pretty damn good actor… playing himself…  sort of.

Anvil! The Story of AnvilAnvil: The Story of Anvil – This movie makes me want to laugh & cry.  I feel the pain that these cats are going through.  It makes you want to punch Metallica for Some Kind of Monster.  After it all it’s all about friendship & the love of music.  Who can’t get behind that?

OnceOnce – Not really a rock movie, but a cool story intertwined with music, performing, songwriting, and even a love/friendship thing.

The Pick of DestinyThe Pick of Destiny – You can maybe skip this one.  Get the Complete Masterworks instead.  It’s slightly funnier.  These dudes are awesome rock ‘n’ rollers who capture the essence of the spirit of rock!  And they battle demons…

Purple Rain (album)Purple Rain – Musicians, watch this and learn how to own the stage from Morris Day.  Oh yeah, Prince is pretty badass too.  This is a weird 80s film, but it’s one you need to see.

Honeysuckle RoseHoneysuckle Rose – Willie Nelson is awesome.  This movie is about a traveling band that looks a lot like Willie’s… with the lead singer who looks a lot like Willie Nelson robbing his ex guitar player’s cradle to the chagrin of his wife. This soundtrack is excellent if you’re a Willie Nelson fan… highlight being a cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song For You”.

Bill & Ted's Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure & Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey – Well, the first one was cool.  I can’t wait for #3 if it ever happens!  Be excellent to each other.

Other cool movies where the music is integral… Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Rocker, The Last Dragon, SLC Punk, Some Kind of Monster, Bubba Ho-Tep, High Fidelity, Blues Brothers, Rock Star, The Runaways, and many more I’m sure.

Movies I’d like to see at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont


So, I like movies.  I’ve blogged about some childhood favorites.  I’ve blogged recently about the Hollywood Theater and In Person Productions.  Here I’d like to express my thoughts on what movies I’d like to see on the big screen in a little room over at the Hollywood.  All of these could only be enhanced by In Person bringing in a related actor, writer, director, producer, etc.  I don’t know if they take requests, but that’s not gonna stop me from blogging about it.

Kick him in the nards!

Wolfman's got nards!

Monster Squad Duh. This movie is perfect for the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.  It’s got a cult following.  I hear other theaters are doing it.  Wolfman’s got nards.  (I’ve never seen Dekker‘s other movie, Night of the Creeps… maybe that would be cool too?)  At any rate, this movie is fantastic.  The monsters come alive, they’re so evil and scary.

Boodie twaps!

Boodie twaps!

Goonies    Who wouldn’t wanna see this?  I want to say this was the movie for my generation.  It had a pirate’s treasure, kids as heroes, Sloth, and asthma.  I’m sure I wore out the local video store’s VHS when I was younger.  I’d love to see this on the big screen, in all of it’s sweeping epic glory.

C64

C64

Explorers  ⚡  I don’t think that I ever saw this film on a big screen.  I just saw it on VHS.  I’d love to see it in full-size.  I’d also like to know how many others dig/remember this film.  I mean, it had a Commodore 64 in it… and the kids made their own spaceship.  They made. their. own. spaceship!

Would you like to play a game?

Would you like to play a game?

War Games I still want to try that payhone trick.  How cool was that?  Talking computers?  So futuristic! Reminded me of SAM.  Global thermonuclear war was kind of scary, but I was too busy trying to figure out that modem.

The Crow

Can't rain all the time…

The Crow    This movie is incredible.  I saw in on VHS for the first time.  I’d love to see it in the theater.  It’s a story of revenge, it’s a story of love, it’s a story of some things being stronger than mere mortality.  The images & ideas from James O’Barr’s graphic novel were transferred quite well to the screen here, the violence was actually played down.  Making Eric a guitar player instead of a dancer is probably the only time I’ll ever say “yeah, good move” to a movie changing a comic book or graphic novel story.  T-Bird said “There ain’t no coming back. This is the really real world, there ain’t no coming back.”  But, we all know T-bird was wrong.  So, let’s bring this one back to the big screen.

Slimer!

Slimer!

Ghostbusters double feature    OK, just the first one.  They came, they saw, they kicked some ass… and should have stuck with the cartoon instead of Ghostbusters II.  Maybe we shouldn’t cross the streams.  I think I did see this in the theater, but I don’t remember it.  I wanna see a life sized Stay Puft marshmallow man, please.  (Yes, I actually had a plush one when I was a kid.)

Flux Capacitor

Great Scott!

Back to the Future marathon    A perfect trilogy.  Goofy adventure, faulty science, crazy hair, the old west, 50’s cars, cowboys & Indians, hover-boards, poop jokes, futuristic home-faxing, temporal paradoxes, a Star Wars reference, a Chuck Berry song, ZZ Top in the old west, & Huey Lewis.  What’s not to love?  Oh yeah…  the AMC DeLorean is the coolest time machine ever, and there was a sweet guitar.

We named the DOG Indiana...

We named the DOG Indiana...

Indiana Jones marathon.    Or maybe Indiana Jones month.  Four weekends, four films.  Or, only 3.  It’s OK if there’s only 3.  Unless they hand out Crystal Skull Head Vodka at the event.  These stories are too epic for your TV, they need to be shown on a grand scale.  I can hear the music in my head as I’m typing.  Now you can too, can’t you?  I’m not sorry.  Maybe I can just bring the Wii over & play Lego Indiana Jones while no one’s using the theater?  Please?

Eborsisk

Siskel & Ebert... or Eborsisk the dragon.

Willow    I think I did see this on the big screen, but I’d like to see it again.  I feel like it’s an underrated movie.  It had great effects, a great fairy-tail type story with a literal little guy taking on the evil establishment, and a world in which you could easily get lost.  Also, the villain, General Kael was incredibly scary & awesome, even if he shopped at the same store as Skeletor.

STAR freakin’ WARS marathon    I mean, come on.  Do I even really need to even state a case here?  We have the movies proper, the animated feature film, the Ewok specials.  Play ’em all!  Please, play the Star Wars Holiday Special.  It may have to be some secret underground invitation-only thing so George Lucas doesn’t hunt us all down & destroy us, but it’d be totally worth it.

Those WERE the droids I was looking for...

|-o-|

Never tell them the odds...

Never tell them the odds...

Fanboys  ⚡  See above.  It’s a fun movie.  I’d like to see it on a big screen, it never got a proper release.  I bet you could get more than a few of the actors to come down to the Hollywood.  Let’s do this.  There’s a kid named WindowsWindows, I tell you.  This is a great film for geeks & nerds of all kinds.

Shaun's Plan

Want to go to the Winchester?

Shaun of the Dead    Zombies, zombies, and more zombies… in a romantic comedy?  Yes.  Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, & Nick Frost are geniuses.  This movie is just absolutely incredible.  I bet people would be all about seeing this on the big screen.  We could watch the regular movie… or the one with pop-up trivia.  How fun would it be to see this with a room full of like-minded humorous zombie film fans?

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Hot Fuzz    Yes.  And, whatever the 3rd movie is gonna be.  OK, the movie is a little slow in the beginning, but it’s absolutely necessary for the ridiculous pacing later in the film.  This is the buddy cop film of all buddy cop films, that unleashes ridiculous action like no other.  It’s great to see a movie that celebrates & pokes fun at an entire genre.

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

Gremlins double-feature    I think I saw these in the theater too, but I wanna see them again.  A mogwai would be the coolest pet ever, as long as you don’t feed it after midnight, or let it near your office supplies.

Batman night!    Any/all of them, please.  Why not play some of the serials or Batman: Dead End too?  Batman is the coolest comic book character ever.  He’s smarter and more cunning than all of them combined.  Sure, he’s just Zorro with ears & more toys… but it’s such a great story & way easier to relate to than something like Superman or the X-Men, unless you’re an alien or some sort of mutant.  I mean, there’s a plethora of cartoon movies too.  It could be Batman movie day every day.

Batman Evolution

Batman Evolution

The LONE Rangers?  There's 3 of you...

The LONE Rangers? There's 3 of you...

Airheads    Some day, I’m going to write a letter to Santa, and my wish list will be as follows:  Radio Airplay, a football helmet full of cottage cheese, naked pictures of Bea Arthur, A Zon walnut bass, a PRS guitar with dragon inlays, 67 copies of Moby Dick, and a six-foot baby bottle.  You dig?  Who has ever picked up a guitar, bass, or drum sticks & didn’t love this movie?  If you just thought “me”, you might as well just quit reading now.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

This is Spinal Tap    This movie goes to 11, and has incredible sustain.  Why wouldn’t we all want to watch & laugh together?  In 1984, everyone in a band thought this was poking fun directly at them.  And, while it was… that’s why it’s hilarious.

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud    Great movie.  I’m not a U2 fan, and I thought that Jack White was slightly annoying before this… but it was just a cool tale of the evolution of the guitar and the individual players.  It gave me insight into the three guitarists and their influences. And really, who wouldn’t want to be in a room with the opportunity to jam with Jimmy Page?

Berserker

Actually any rock docs or even concert movies being regular would be quite cool.  I just missed Purple Rain, damn it.  Anvil! The Story of Anvil and Lemmy would be great movies to see in the theater.  Why not a whole series of Kevin Smith films?  I love the adventures of Jay & Silent Bob.  Even stand-up comedy films might be cool as long as they don’t involve any of the Blue Collar guys.  Maybe even The Princess Bride, The Last Dragon, Flight of the Navigator, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure & Bogus Journey, & any of the Star Trek movies.

Bruce Leroy | The Last Dragon

He ain't no cornball! He's my brother. And he's the master.

A bad movie night with Leonard Part 6, The ‘Burbs, or Howard the Duck would be excellent.  Maybe even Pluto Nash?  (I’ve never worked up the courage to see that one.)

She's Out of My League

She's Out of My League

What about Pittsburgh set or filmed movies, like She’s Out of My League, Adventureland, & so many more?

Would you like to see any of these at the Hollywood or a theater near you?  What have I missed?  What do you wanna see on the little big screen?

\m/ Roger Tullgren \m/


Roger Tullgren

Roger Tullgren, Metal Lord

So, have you heard about the dude from Sweden who gets a disability check for addiction to heavy metal?

This dude is awesome.

I’m not sure if he really feels that he’s helplessly addicted to metal, or if he’s yanking the Swedish government’s proverbial crank, or what…  but dude is almost as metal as Lemmy for this insanity.

Is it a way to cheat the government?  A publicity ploy for his bands?  Does he really feel that his compulsion to attend shows, dress like a metal-head, and listen to loud music is more than just his preferred lifestyle?

I call shenanigans in that there are plenty of places to work where you can dress like a metal-head & listen to loud music.  If there was such a thing as a record store any more, I’d suggest there…  but what about a guitar store?  Stoner coffee shop?  A concert venue?  A bar?  On a road crew?  The dish-washing thing reminds me of that Poison video

That being said, if the government is dumb enough to dole out the money… Roger & his employer would be even dumber in not taking it.  The question of their accommodation/compensation being akin to paying an Oxycontin addict for working in a pharmacy still remains, but oh well.  At least we know for sure that Black Sabbath is a powerful & dangerous gateway drug into the heavy metal lifestyle.

\mm/

Too much metal for one hand?

I’d watch a reality show or documentary about this cat.  Even better, I’d like to see it turned into a movie… somewhere between Anvil! The Story of Anvil and Airheads.  Imagine the hilarity that would ensue in 10-years worth of trying to get an addiction to metal recognized as a serious medical condition?  Not to mention, a killer soundtrack!  Are you paying attention Hollywood?  We need this story before we need a Crow or Last Dragon remake.  Sho’ nuff!  If you need a writer, I’m all about it.  I vote for Robert Downey Jr. or Johnny Depp in the lead role.

Also… can I get my money, Uncle Sam?  I’ve been going to concerts for years, buying merchandise, buying merch from small bands on tour, losing money by playing in local bands, ferociously collecting bootlegs, B-sides, & rarities for my favorite bands to satiate that completest appetite.  (Thanks RoadRunner for that US/Japan/UK bonus track crap where I buy the same album 3 times – and thanks Metallica for putting out 30 singles for each song with 17 demo/live b-sides.)  I wear t-shirts with skulls on them, and used to have blue hair.  I not only suffer form heavy metal addiction, but also a general punk rock addiction, spanning everything from horror punk to pop punk to street punk.  There’s also my hard rock addiction, which I seem to be getting over.  The bands with which I seem to have the biggest problem are…

…and all of their related bands; Guns ‘n’ Wankers, Billy No Mates, Hollywood Rose, Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver, Loaded, Danzig, Graves, Gotham Road, The Undead, …and I deserve some kind of metal for buying a Kryst The Conqueror album, Chinese Democracy, & St. Anger just to have “complete” collections.

Cover of "Airheads"

Cover of Airheads

I’d love to see Roger’s playlist, CD/Record/Cassette Tape/VHS/8-Track/DVD/MiniDisc/BluRay/LaserDisc/Whatever collection… or his ticket-stub book if he’s got one.  Who are his favorites?  I need to know!  I unfortunately am unable to check out that video linked-to from the Blabbermouth article.  I think it may have crashed their site, or it’s a bad link?

So, what do you think?  Is this guy super-awesome or super-lame?  Is he a genius, or a loser?  Is he some combo of all of the above?

Don’t tell me it’s too late… Slash solo album review.


Slash“Don’t tell me it’s too late” is a line from my favorite song on the album, I’m reviewing this well after it came out, and it seems like a running theme lyrically through more than a few songs on the album… so I felt that it was appropriate to work into the title of this post.

If you know my musical tastes at all, you know that Guns N’ Roses is near the top of my list in all-time favorites.  So, with some warning, this may be a little biased.  The basic idea for this record was for Slash to pull in session musicians and do the record he wanted to do that wouldn’t necessarily fit into any other mold.  He’s done session & guest work with everyone from ICP to Rihanna, it’s about time to turn it around.  (I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Velvet Revolver is on “hiatus” and Slash’s Snakepit seems dissolve after each album.)

Since it’s such a diverse record (with and endless number of releases), I’m going to try to throw out my opinions track-by-track, and then wrap it all up.

  1. “Ghost” – Featuring the vocal talents of Ian Astbury and the only other guitarist to appear anywhere on the album, the venerated and underrated Izzy Stradlin.  The song starts the album with a really nice melodic riff and Izzy’s guitar fills in just like it did back in the Appetite days.  Their work back & forth is unmistakable… and I’d love to hear more of it in the future.  While I like the guitar play in Velvet Revolver with Dave Kushner, Izzy and Slash are like a left hand & a right hand when playing guitar… they’re aware of what the other is doing without thinking about it.  Ian Astbury sounds awesome, and really fit well with this song.  I laugh every time I hear him though, as I once spent the better part of a day convincing a former co-worker that Ian Astbury & Glenn Danzig weren’t the same person.  I’ll never forget when The Cult’s “Fire Woman” was on the radio… he was all “You can’t tell me that this isn’t the guy who sings ‘Mother’.  It’s the same guy!”  At any rate… I hope this is picked up as a single, I’d love to see some live performances of this with Ian, or even a video.  It’s a nice unapologetic 80’s-ish rocker of a tune that doesn’t sound ridiculously dated.  Already you can tell that Eric Valentine‘s production on this album blows any Velvet Revolver stuff out of the water, because you can actually hear the guitar.
  2. “Crucify the Dead” – With Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, and somewhat inexplicably Taylor Hawkins on background vocals., this one starts out somewhat somber and ends up rocking.  It could have easily been on any Ozzy album from No More Tears on.  It’s somewhat odd to hear Slash doing the palm-muted power-chord chugging… and just the way that the guitars are layered.  I think that’s the point of this album though, to hear Slash doing stuff that you wouldn’t hear anywhere else.  It sets that right away with this song.  It would have been cool to have Zakk Wylde on this track too.  The one thing that makes it stand out as an Ozzy song is the lack of Zakk’s style of pinch n’ squeal harmonics.  I really love the melodic guitar lines here though.  I can imagine that Taylor was in the studio hanging out with Chris Chaney who plays bass on most tracks of the album (whom with he currently plays in Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders & they both played with Alanis Morissette once upon a time) and/or Dave Grohl and they just needed someone to do Ozzy backing vocals because he was too tired or didn’t know where he was.  This is the first of many incestuous rock n’ roll band relationships that are all over this album.
  3. “Beautiful Dangerous” – This is the song with Fergie.  Yeah, that Fergie.  Slash has done a bunch of live gigs with her, and she slays on some GN’R songs. In the first few seconds, I get an “oh no” because it starts off like a Rob Zombie song… but that’s quickly eaten by the guitars, bass, & drums.  It’s hard to hear a woman sing a rock song and not compare her to a small list of other rock singers…  This song has a Heart vibe.  I can imagine Fergie wouldn’t mind being compared vocally to Ann Wilson.  She’s got a strong beautiful clear voice… and I can totally hear an Axl influence.  You knew the A-word was coming eventually.  It’s not in the sound of her voice, but in the cadence and delivery of some of the lines… I challenge any GN’R fan to not hear it.  There’s a certain way they Axl holds on to & twists notes… Fergie does this also here… not sure if it was prompted or just came naturally with the style of riffs if she’s a GN’R fan at all.  This song is full of some nice solid riffs, and is one of my favorites off of the album.  My wife likes this one too, and she’s not the world’s biggest guitar-rock fan.
  4. “Back From Cali” Myles Kennedy takes up vocal duties on this song.  The feel of this song reminds me of It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere, and is definitely a Slash composition out and out.  It’s a pretty straight-up blues rocker, and Axl is again channeled at a mere 30 seconds into the song.  Myles will take vocal duties in Slash’s touring band, he’s probably as notable for being the guy rumored to sing for the Led Zeppelin reunion tour as much as his last band, Alter Bridge.  This guy has the pipes & range to hold it down well, no doubt.
  5. “Promise” – This one starts out a little strange, although this riff could have been on either  of the Illusions albums in a different context.  It really reminds me of Audioslave… maybe that’s why Slash called in Chris Cornell in the first place.  This is the first mellow one… and while it’s not a bad song, I think I have to be in the mood to listen to it.  It’s quite a haunting melody & riff, perhaps it’ll grow on me as time goes on.
  6. “By the Sword” – This is the album’s first US single, I think the video has been shot it’s just waiting for production, and they’ve been doing the lateshow circuit with performances.  Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother takes the vocal helm on this blues rocker.  This could have also easily been another Snakepit song… but I feel Stockdale does it real justice with his oddly whiny vocals.  Slash’s solo here (starting at 2:45 into the song) reminds me of George Harrison on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for some reason.  At first, I wondered why on Earth this was the first single as it wasn’t a straight-up rocker, but the more I hear it, the more I really like the song.
  7. “Gotten” – Having Adam Levine of Maroon 5 on the album is probably as shocking as having Fergie, if not more so.  I have to say, I really dig this track too.  The guitar is surprisingly nice & clean for the most part, a very gentle riff… this could be on top 40 radio if there is such a thing left.  It builds in a “Don’t Cry”-like crescendo, although the strings mayJudgement Day.) be a little much.  (Sorry, Again, you most likely have to be in a mellow mood for this one, but it stands as a good track.)
  8. “Doctor Alibi” – Old school metal fans are going to love this one… or at least I do.  Lemmy takes vocal and “distorted bass” (according to the liner notes) duties on this un-apologetically obnoxious rocking beast.  The opening riff jingles with bad-ass and descends into chaos with Lemmy’s story telling of visiting various doctors until he gets the answer that he wants to hear.  I vote for Lemmy as the next frontman to Velvet Revolver, ha ha ha.  This song is full of rock clichés and that’s OK with me.  This solo rips through you, reminiscent of the rambling in “Nightrain”.  It even breaks down to just vocals and drums before the rest of the bands comes back in.  This one is a keeper.
  9. “Watch This Dave” – I have to admit that I couldn’t wait.  I had to jump to this one the first time I popped the album into the CD player.  (Yeah, I bought the CD that came with the T-shirt from Best Buy on the day that it came out.) Why did I jump here?  Because it features Dave Grohl on drums and Duff McKagan on bass.  On some track listings, it’s simply titled “Watch This”… but my CD adds the “Dave”, so I added that here.  This is a timeless instrumental groove that just smacks you in the eardrums.  I miss Duff’s bass playing on the rest of the album.  No offense to Chris Chaney, but Duff has a definite signature that just fits with Slash’s guitar work like hot fudge on vanilla ice cream or ketchup on fries.  You don’t need it, but it’s always a perfect combo.  Dave pounds the drums like a madman, and they seamlessly string together patches of riffs & guitar wanking that swell an undulate into a heart-pounding mess of a ride that ends by just slamming you into a wall.  Parts of it remind me of the feel of Metallica’s “Call of Ktulu” or “Orion”.  Slash does some shredding work here, something you don’t usually think of when you hear his name.  I for one would love to hear a whole album of stuff like this.
  10. “I Hold On” – This track has Kid Rock on vocals.  It could have just as easily been Myles Kennedy… and may have been better if it was.  It plays out like a mellow country/gospel inspired Kid Rock ballad.  I don’t know, I guess I just don’t feel it.  It’s by no means a bad, song, it just doesn’t make me say “wow” or anything.  Slash’s solo is great, but could have gone over anything with these same chord changes.  I would imagine that this would clean up on country radio.
  11. “Nothing to Say”M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold was a surprise guest to me… but I was also really anxious to hear this track.  I must say that i wasn’t disappointed!  I’m an A7X fan, and I remember thinking that they went form a Metallica influence on Sounding the Seventh TrumpetWaking the Fallen to a Guns N’ Roses influence on City of Evil and Avenged Sevenfold.  At first, I didn’t like it, but as time went on, it made sense.  I love both of those bands, why wouldn’t they?  Only AC/DC fans like the same album over & over again.  This was an excellent paring, as the riff is just more evil and menacing than anything  else I’ve ever heard Slash play… and I can’t imagine anyone vocally pulling this off any better. (For reference,  see “Chains and Shackles”.)  I really would have a hard time telling that this wasn’t a straight-up A7X song, and I can typically pick out Slash’s guitar work in just a few notes.  There’s more shredding here, within the blues context that Slash likes to stay in, and within the confines of the song… but again, I would love a whole album of songs like this form Slash.  It’s odd to hear him playing Metallica-styled palm-muted chugging even though I know he’s a big fan of theirs.  Speaking of Metallica… why wasn’t Lars or James on this thing?
  12. “Starlight” Myles Kennedy is the only one to feature twice vocally on the proper US album release.  This is another bluesy/gospel sort of ballad that could have easily went on either Snakepit
  13. “Saint is a Sinner Too” – Yeah.  I’m wholly unfamiliar with Rocco DeLucca who sings for this one… and really, I think I’m glad.  I mean, the guitar work is beautiful and quiet here… and shows great range… but I really can’t regard the vocals as anything more than annoying.  I’m sorry if it offends you, but I hate this kind of crap, and the crap  thatit reminds me of… like Dave Matthews and Coldplay.
  14. “Were All Gonna Die” – Slash dusts off Iggy Pop for this one which acts as the closer to the regular US release.  Iggy sounds bored, and the song is a little slow.  I’d actually love to hear Duff sing this one… and for the tempo to be upped a little bit.  Duff has a great punk sensibility, and like I said Iggy just sounds bored.  You’d think a song that stars out with the line “Gee I really like your tits” would be a little more raucous.  Maybe I just expected more from this pairing?  “Home” off of Iggy’s Brick by Brick album features Slash & Duff, and it hits a little harder than this one.  Still, it’s not a ad tune, and gets better with every listen.

Well, that’s all the normal tracks.  I’ve managed to hear all of the bonus tracks form the various albums, and I’ll give my run-down here…

  • “Sahara” – This one’s from the Japanese release and the iTunes release.  It features Japanese rocker Koshi Inaba of the Japaneze rock band/duo B’z.  This sounds like a Winger or Poison song.  It’s the closest Slash has ever sounded to that… and I love some Poison… but this is super-cheese.  This was the first single overall, released only in Japan.  I bet they loved this one… it’s #4 on the Japan charts according to Wikipedia.  This one can be found with both English and Japanese lyrics.
  • “Chains and Shackles” – I mentioned this before during the “Nothing to Say” review… basically it’s the the same base, with some slightly different ingredients… provided by Nick Oliveri,  of Kyuss/Mondo Generator/Queens of the Stone Age.  Had I not heard the other first, I may dig this one a little more.  This is a heavy hard-hitting song with some killer structures & vocals… but I just liked what Slash & M. Shadows did with it in “I Hold On” more.  Slash also talked about giving this one to Dave Mustane… I’d love to hear that.  This is on the Australian iTunes edition.
  • “Paradise City” – This is an odd collection:  Cypress Hill, Fergie, and Slash covering Guns N’ Roses.  This was a B0side to the “Sahara” single as well as being on the Australian iTunes, Best Buy Exclusive, Napster, and Brazilian versions.  (This is according to Wikipedia… I bought mine at Best Buy, and this isn’t on it.)  This wasn’t really a surprise, as I’ve seen  Slash, Duff, Dave Kushner & Matt Sorum do this with Cypress Hill before.  Fergie rounds out the vocals nicely imitating Axl.  This is Campy and fun, and really shouldn’t be taken beyond that.  I enjoy it.
  • “Mother Maria” – On this song, Slash teamed up with Beth Hart to help Linkin Park’s Music for Relief charity.  I have no idea who Beth Hart is, but she sure can sing.  This is a country-tinged blues song with a real nice groove.  It rides the mellow/rocking line… and feels like it could spill over in either direction any minute.  This track is available on the iTunes version of the album.
  • “Baby Can’t Drive” – This is apparently what happens when Slash, Alice Cooper, Nicole Scherzinger (of the Pussycat Dolls), Steven Adler (classic GN’R drummer & VH1 reality show train-wreck), and Flea all get together.  I know Alice has always been theatrical… but this seems like a Meatloaf song with all the love & sex taken out.  I can see why this wasn’t included on the album.  Flea is known for being a wild/crazy bass player… and there’s no way you can even tell it’s him here.  It’s good to see that Adler can still play drums.  You can get this on the Best Buy Exclusive, Napster, Brazillian, and “Classic Rock Slashpack” editions.

Well, that’s it track-by-track.  Hope it made you more interested in the album if you’re a Slash fan, and certainly I hope I didn’t deter anyone from listening to a track or two.  I didn’t get to mention that Josh Freese is on drums for most of this album… I think he’s the only guy that does more session work than Slash or maybe Dave Grohl.  If you have a band, check and see if Josh Freese is a member.  I bet you he is, and you just don’t know it yet.  Josh holds it down nice & solid.  Oddly enough, he was also in Guns N’ Roses for a while, and played the title track on Chinese DemocracyTeddy Andreadis was on it playing the clavient & wurlitzer too.  So that makes 6 past members of GN’R on one album, 4 of them from the classic lineup?  Can we please, someday get our shit together, guys?  Before someone dies?

Conspicuously absent were Slash’s VR band mates Matt Sorum & Dave Kushner, but maybe that’s calculated and why it’s a “solo” project… although you know Duff  had to make it in.  Also, didn’t Sebastian Bach tweet about being in the studio & on this album?  I wonder if he ever recorded a track, or if he went all “Savage Animal” in the studio?  Also… what ever happened to Gilby Clarke?  I would have thought that Nikki Sixx or Tommy Lee would have popped up here too.  I’d also like to have seen some more guitarists.. but this is Slash’s solo record, not mine.

Here’s the album trailer from Slash’s website

I’m anxious to hear if anyone agrees or disagrees with me on the song analysis… please, let me know what you think!

Nick Oliveri