Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Here's my take on Velvet Revolver.

Genre: Rock
Band: Velvet Revolver
Title: Contraband
Label: RCA
Release date: June 2004
Rating: Two stars

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Axl Rose. Even with his Botoxed face, goofy hair extensions and inner demons, I’d take him back right now as the rightful singer of this Guns ‘n’ Roses spin-off. Sure, it’s true that Velvet Revolver isn’t just made up of old G’n’R members (specifically Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum), but the pre-release hype sold the band as “Guns ‘n’ Roses with the guy from Stone Temple Pilots on vocals,” so it’s understandable that comparisons will be made. Scott Weiland, “the guy from Stone Temple Pilots,” is a better singer than Rose, who always sounded like a cross between Ethel Merman and a cat fight, but his voice isn’t as distinctive and his lyrics aren’t as good. Slash, one of the best rock guitarists ever, manages to appropriate several Led Zeppelin riffs on this CD, making Velvet Revolver’s music sound derivative and unoriginal. The overall result is a lot less than a band this talented is capable of.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

I owe my friend Monty an apology. He kept insisting that absolutely nothing would be happening at the Office Friday night before 1:30 a.m. That's when breakbeat DJ Baby Anne from Orlando was scheduled to play her set. Certainly, I thought, that was a bit of an exageration. If I got there around 11 or so, something would be going on. That's how I ended up leaning on the bar, watching two kids in visors and baggy polo shirts half-heartedly moving on the dance floor.

Bored out of my skull, I dedided to take an anthropological look at what the kids were doing. As the floor gradually began to fill up, I saw a variety of moves, many of which looked like a strange mixture of the Moonwalk, Sufi whirling and Tai Chi. The boys danced alone, while the girls danced together in a circle. And I do mean boys and girls. I was easily old enough to be these kids' mother. As I was watching an impromptu breakdance battle, one whippersnapper looked over at me and said, "You don't come to things like this very often, do you?" I'm going to lie and tell myself he meant that I was too classy to be at an event like that.