Chinese Democracy has been out for a day-plus now, and the reactions have been rolling in from all around the globe! Here’s a sampling of what some non-music critics out there think about Axl Rose’s magnum opus:
The Communist Party Of China: The Party-published tabloid Global Times printed a piece today entitled “American Band Releases Album Viciously Attacking China” that accused Axl Rose of being a pawn of the U.S. government who was helping Washington use the idea of democracy as “one of their game pieces to control the world.” The WSJ is quick to note, however, that this piece technically doesn’t constitute any sort of official smackdown of Axl: “The tabloid format newspaper is published by the Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, but isn’t thought to always represent official views, like its parent operation and certain other major media.” And there’s even a site geared toward Chinese audiences that is streaming the whole thing for free, although I’m pretty sure it’s unsanctioned by any Axl or any government entity. [WSJ China Journal]
Reactions from other notables and semi-notables, including Duff McKagan, after the jump!
“It’s weird to me that the glorification of ignorance is finally (maybe) about to fail in U.S. politics, but it’s still a good look in blue-state coastal elitist music journalism,” Marc Hogan writes, referring to Ann Powers’ article about what she calls “flyover rock,” and what others have called “red-state rock.” Powers argues that the genre–which includes bands like Nickelback, Hinder, and Daughtry–is unfairly dismissed by what is variously called “the coasts,” “the media,” and “elitists.” Her musical analysis highlights the sound’s eclecticism and tries to relate their lyrical focus to a particular way of life–hedonism as a release, multi-generational entertainment, and “openly emotional,” which probably sounds more convincing when the example at hand isn’t Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel.” Powers wasn’t trying to be condescending, but Hogan’s case is helped by her assertion that Sarah Palin gave her baby the middle name Van as a Van Halen tribute–something even a Van Halen fansite recognizes as a joke. So is it ultimately more condescending to dismiss Nickelback because they don’t sound like the music you like, or to try to appreciate them because that’s what “real people” listen to?
Today’s Wall Street Journal story on how the entertainment industry is treating Election Day as “another retail holiday, when adults are sprung from work and kids are out of school–and presumably in stores” is full of cringeworthy moments–for starters, we have Brad Paisley calling his current tour The Paisley Party, which I thought was a weird Prince reference but is actually some “funny” political “joke” that I guess will mobilize all the graphic design-challenged types out there. But perhaps the best evidence that Fall Out Boy’s decision to move the release of Folie A Deux from Nov. 4 to mid-December was a smart one comes from the excruciating Oklahoman butt-rockers Hinder.
Congratulations, world! You somehow made it all the way to Oct. 1, 2008, which means one thing: It’s time for Rocktober to start. How will you celebrate? Some people are linking to YouTubes of Who songs. Others are hoping that you’ll have a hankering to hear the Divinyls and Foreigner within the same span of time. One guy who got the coveted domain name “rocktober.com” is even saying that we should bring back Metallica Monday, although I know of a few people who might disagree with that idea. Which is why I have five Rocktober-celebration suggestions of my own, all of which are located after the jump.
In addition to dropping rhymes over watered-down Timbaland beats, the former Soundgarden frontman also co-wrote “Light On,” which you will probably come to know as the first single off American Idol winner David Cook’s solo album if you decide to step in a Walgreen’s anytime over the coming months. And Cornell wrote it with the dude who has co-writing credits on Hinder’s “Lips Of An Angel.” Now you get to choose which fate is better! Sadly “Light On” hasn’t leaked yet (it’s due to premiere somewhere tomorrow), but I’ve posted its lyrics after the jump. Yes, for some reason it was decided that couplets like “Try to leave a light on when I’m gone / Even in the daylight, shine on” would be the best way to whet peoples’ appetite. This is why I don’t work in marketing, you know.
Scarves. Scantily clad ladies. Flashy cars. A strategically placed woman on a pool table. Andrew “Dice” Clay as a leering bouncer. Yes, Hinder’s video for “Use Me” brings back all the good-time video tropes of 20 years ago–but if that description entices you, you’ll have to click through to see it, since it’s sprung from the bowels of Universal Music Group, which apparently needs every last bit of banner-ad revenue it can wring out from the sidebars of YouTube’s pages. In an effort to provide a contextual embed, after the jump please find a clip of Skid Row performing “Big Guns” at the Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989. Seriously, “Use Me” is little more than a slightly updated, less hooky rewrite of the opening track from that band’s debut album, and I’m kind of surprised Sebastian Bach hasn’t taken to the blogs to complain about this fact yet.
The Internet-equipped jukebox company ecast has released yet another edition of its BarPulse chart, which tracks the most-played new music on the jukeboxes it’s installed in bars around the States. (Caveat: I’m not sure what criteria are used to judge whether a song is “new” or not, given that Sugarland’s “All I Want To Do” was on last month’s chart, too.) Topping the list is David Banner’s Chris Brown-assisted “Get Like Me,” while there are two tracks from the album-chart-topping Mamma Mia! soundtrack. (Do you think that a lot of inebriated people get inspired to be “funny” and play the real versions back-to-back with the ones warbled by Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep? Just wondering.) Full list after the jump.