Sorry I've slacked on the music blog lately. It's not that there haven't been a ton of shows in town ... there have been too many. I reaped my reward last week, though, with Axl Rose and the hired Guns at the Warfield. I think I really have to start with that show.
As with any old school show, you're not gonna get many half-assers in the audience at Guns 'n' Roses. You're going to get rooms full of good timers - like the fun girl in the green, who turned 30 that night (I think her name was Amy) and was so happy to be at GnR that she even screamed when opener Sebastian Bach was on stage. And let me tell you, the drag queens at Aunt Charlie's take less pancake batter to the face then that dude these days. But hey, Sebastian told us all about that reality show he was on where he only "pretended" to get sober! Ha! Take that Ted Nugent!
So it was blah blah Sebastian Bach and then blah blah "18 and Life" and blah that one other song I know by Skid Row thanks to Headbangers Ball and then like three hours after they were supposed to take the stage, Guns 'n' Roses shot fire and some fireworks across the stage and the spectacle began.
The last time I saw GnR was in Tacoma couple years ago and it sucked ass. I don't need a dude with a bucket on his head noodling around on guitar and I definitely don't need Fat Axl panting heavily in a football jersey and those Cancun cornrows, unable to hit any of the high notes. That night I swore I'd never let Axl ruin GnR again. But I gave it a second chance. I'm so glad I did.
Axl was still with those cornrows, but this time he dressed like a rock star, and much more importantly, he sounded like one. He slam dunked the catalog for a solid two plus hours - "Sweet Child O' Mine," "It's So Easy," "Paradise City," "Patience," "Welcome to the Jungle," "Live and Let Die" (aka my karaoke song of choice, although it's usually the original Wings version), "November Rain," and a couple new songs from that "upcoming" album that you know in your heart is never, ever coming going to come out so just forget about it (and if it does happen to sneak out, you know how much it's gonna suck anyway).
I don't know who any of the dudes are who play in Axl's band now -- except that badass Tommy Stinson. That guy's stuck it out in GnR 3.0 almost long enough to be an old timer but then again, he probably went through a lot worse with the Replacements. At the GnR show Stinson fell over backwards towards the end of the set. Flat on his ass. But I still love him. He was the second best part of the show - all the other dudes had looong, wanky ass solos (aka Axl's costume change time). Seriously, they needed to save that shit for Guitar Center.
Axl gettin' hyphy
The best part about the show was that Axl didn't throw any tantrums. I guess the next night at the Warfield he stopped mid-song to throw out a heckler just to show everyone who could be "the biggest asshole." And then, um, a bunch of the September shows got moved to like end of the year. But hey, the Wednesday night I saw GnR it was good vibes all around. And did I mention fireworks?
And confetti. So much confetti!
Bravo, Axl and Tommy Stinson and other dudes!
GnR comes back to the Bay Area in December I believe but it's back to the arenas for them that round. Remember, Axl does not like to get heckled. Video from the Thursday night hissy fit here - WATCH Axl wins
But as they say, rock 'n' roll never forgets. Or at least that's what Bob Seger says. And so that's what Total BS - the Bay's premiere Bob Seger cover band - reminded us when they took to the Amoeba stage on the day Bob's new record whateverthefuckit'scalled came out.
Definitely one of the best in-stores I've seen (Coors can hi-fives all around). Total B.S. would be the perfect house party band - and what I'd call a local supergroup of sorts, corralling members of Drunk Horse, Saviours, Colossal Yes/Comets on Fire, and some other bands I'm forgetting into one big celebration of one of the finest classic rock songs ever written, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (also on the set list: "Hollywood Nights," "Her Strut," "Night Moves"). They were backed by the lovely ladies of the Husbands.
It wasn't all rock 'n' roll in a time warp, though. I also some fresh new shit. Like CSS (http://www.myspace.com/canseidesersexy), Diplo, and Bonde de Role (http://www.myspace.com/bondedorole). (It was a while ago but it was a good one and I forgot to write about that show last time.) CSS and BdR are from Brazil, which means their accents make everything they're saying sound that much better - especially Bonde because they rap in Portuguese. Both Brazilian groups hail from the party side of that country's music spectrum for sure. Bonde de Role rap over other people's beats (like AC/DC mashed up in "Wild Thing") and act like a couple college kids on the brink of sleeping together. They had plenty of slapstick potty humor, and only one broken arm.
They got the hands in the air
Sao Paulo's CSS were less Beastie-Boys-from-the-barrio and more neon bright punk funk electro. They'd do well in the rollerdiso between Blondie and Le Tigre (They're coming back with Ladytron Oct. 16 at the Fillmore.) At the end of the show the singer did a nice little stage dive
and Diplo took over the turntables, mixing TV on the Radio, Corey Heart, hip hop, international pop and god knows what else. Everybody danced.
People also danced when Glass Candy (http://www.myspace.com/glasscandy) came to the Hemlock.
Even though the band got into town late, the opening act packed up Glass Candy's guitar by mistake, and singer Ida No was barefoot around too much broken glass
. the Portland band still put the boys into comas. Ida coos her Debbie Harry come-ons like she's beaming in from a distant planet of indie boy screensavers, the beats percolating around her and the guitars razoring out the riffs. Ida's lost a bit of the ice queen veneer I remember from her shows years back (which is good) she was really friendly with the crowd, including one drunk chic who demanded to be the band's new manager.
Glass Candy's drummer is the frontman for Danava (http://www.myspace.com/danava). I keep plugging them, but seriously, check out "By the Mark." So good!
And then, of course, there was plenty of time for dancing the rest of the week DJ Assault brought booty love Detroit-style to Mighty. I was more impressed with the opening acts, though, then Assault's set of "buy my merch in the back ass ass titty titty buy my merch in the back." Loved the Double Duchess jump rope squad
Solid standbys Jefrodesiac and DJ Funk were less talk, more fill up the dance floor.
And on a different night, another crew moved in on Ming & Ping (http://www.myspace.com/mingping) - which means sashaying to airy new wave accented by a gaggle of dancers in Asian-themed costumes against a giant video screen (and one golden costumed thing I couldn't figure out).
And then some random thoughts from around the city.
Favorite new find: The Drones (http://www.thedrones.com.au) from Melbourne, Australia. Gorgeous, dramatic rock in the vein of Nick Cave and Dirty Three. It's the soundtrack for diving too fast and too furiously into passionate love affairs, having them come back and crush your heart, and howling at the moon and the bartender for a second chance. There's little middle ground with their songs. San Francisco folks can see them live at Bottom of the Hill in November. In the meantime, they have a bunch of live recordings and singles streaming on their website. Check it out.
Upcoming picks: Grizzly Bear (Independent, Sept. 29); Benefit for Pat from Rogue Wave (Independent, Sept. 30); Pink Mountaintops (Independent, Oct. 3); The Mall (Bottom of the Hill, Oct. 5); .Adult (Mezzanine, Oct. 5); Stallion (12 Galaxies, Oct. 6); The Spits (Thee Parkside, Oct. 6); Oxbow (Hemlock, Oct. 7); Jesse Sykes (Independent, Oct. 9); Subtle (Bottom of the Hill, Oct. 14); Demolition Derby at the Petaluma Speedway (Petaluma, Oct. 14); Priestess (Independent, Oct. 17); Boris (Slim's, Oct. 18); Mammatus (Bottom of the Hill, Oct. 19); Crime in Choir (12 Galaxies, Oct. 19); Stones Throw Anniv. Tour (Mezzanine, Oct. 19); Cut Chemist (Independent, Oct. 20); ESG (Mezzanine, Oct. 27)
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