Saturday, March 18, 2006

Lies, My Latest Novel and Guns and Roses

OK. I lied. I couldn't help myself and I bought another couple of CDs. Here they are.

My Morning Jacket - Tennessee Fire - - 1999 - Wichita Recordings (£5)
Edwyn Collins & Orange Juice - A Casual Introduction - - 2002 - Setanta (£3)
David Axelrod - The Edge of Music - - 2006 - Stateside (£12)


Tuesday night, I caught My Latest Novel at the Glee Club in Birmingham (You have to love the Glee Club - so so intimate). The support was a band called the Semifinalists. This three-piece bewildered me at first with a shouty, amateurish burst before settling into something like a cross between Broadcast and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They were OK, but I had no desire to pursue them further.

My Latest Novel seemed nervous at first, just not quite comfortable. As they got into it, though, they began to relax and appeared to enjoy themselves. Their set matched their CD virtually song for song, which on the one hand was cool, because it is a great CD. On the other, it meant that there was not so much spontenaity. By the end, it was a really good gig - a lot of good energy. I enjoyed it - check 'em out...

Now, Guns and Roses. I am thoroughly made up that people have commented on these short pieces of nonsense. And I really hope people continue doing so, but I need to get this stuff off my chest...

Let us set the record straight on this band. For all the new, dirty energy that they poured into heavy rock (of the popular sort) - a grit that had been absent for best part of a decade if you include punk, since the Stones if you don't - they truly suck. I bought the LP in 1986 (ish) on import, before 'Welcome to the Jungle' had really cracked, and I have to admit that I loved it. I played the LP to death. Until, that is, the LP was officially released in this country and you could not walk into a rock club without hearing it. It was around that time that I really began to get tired. I always thought that 'Sweet Child o'Mine' and 'Paradise City' were among the least interesting, and yet these were the tunes that would be played three to four times a night. By the time my friends began to tire also, I was so grateful.

I was mostly out of that scene by the time 'Lies' was released and so I was not subjected to it, and by the time 'Use Your Illusion' was out, I was long gone. And besides, rock music had learnt its lesson and was long gone too - grit was back and some genuinely good rock bands had climbed into their place, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Metallica (none of which bands I was really into, by the way).

Now, I have a bad compulsion. You may have noticed, I really like to buy CDs. One of the reasons I like to buy CDs is because I can re-buy my old vinyl collection from the 80s. That is why I bought 'Appetite for Destruction' last week. I listened through it once. Once was all I could handle - perhaps more. Even the one half-way decent track - the title track -
was, as I say, only half-way decent. The two tunes I recalled liking from the LP at the time, 'It's So Easy' and 'Mr. Brownstone' are so immature, it is embarrassing ('And besides I ain't got nothing better to do, and I'm bored...' I ask you... I mean, really...?). And the two aforementioned big singles... Well, it is probably fair to say that despite the 20 years that have since passed, the wounds have still not healed.

Occasionally, things I have learned to hate have been re-habilitated. Nirvana's Nevermind is a case in point (A housemate played it continually for a month), as is Doves's first CD (which was heard under mis-fortunate conditions, e.g. with Coldplay). But 'Appetite..' was not one of them. I genuinely cannot recall hearing a CD that made me judder so often while listening to it.

I understand that nostalgia can play sneaky tricks on the mind, but guys, I recommend that you go and try to listen to that CD afresh. You'll see what I mean...

3 comments:

paul said...

I think the fact that I was 16 when i discovered G n R has tempered my view on them for all time and I'll never be able to be properly detached enough to comment - they are stupid, and I hardly ever listen to them, but I always grin when I do...

James said...

I totally get what you are saying. I think that there are several bands/artists who fall into that category. I think that GnR have had the same effect, but in reverse.

I was so surprised at how much I didn't like it. I think I imagined that the nostalgia would have tempered that response. I was very very wrong...

Ben said...

Appetite For Destruction was one of those albums that suffered from the post-Nevermind purge of my record collection. I've since bought a copy on CD and still love it. You're right, of course, that 'It's So Easy' and (to a lesser extent) 'Mr Brownstone' are puerile, but they fit in perfectly. As an album it's a near-masterpiece. I must confess to getting a bit sick of hearing 'Sweet Child O' Mine' in student clubs, though - usually in the midst of a three or four song rock medley before a return to the cheese...

On another note, cheers for the link. Have you checked out The Art Of Noise yet? http://the-art-of-noise.blogspot.com It might well be up your street. If you'd be interested in getting involved with the A-Z Of Music feature we've got running there (we're up to P in a fortnight's time), then drop me an email (silentwordsspeakloudestAThotmail.com) and I'll add you to the mailing list.