Axl Rose, Guns N Roses, and Chinese Democracy – Part I

I’ve been listening a lot to Chinese Democracy, the product of Axl Rose’s 17-year stint as a psychopathic hermit in Malibu. I’ve been a huge GNR fan since the 5th grade of elementary school (1986 I think?), so I’ve been looking forward to this forever. In 1999 or 2000, my then-girlfriend sent me a copy of an article in Rolling Stone where Axl talked about how the “new” album was just about ready for release. It seems that the world wasn’t yet ready for Chinese democracy.

Chinese Creativity
Axl’s creative life itself seems to be a good metaphor for Chinese democracy. Pretend to be open to other ideas, while being so paranoid that you either imprison those around you or drive them away. Back in the GNR heyday, he reportedly refused to go onstage before a concert until the entire band signed over the rights to the Guns N Roses name. Which is why he can still call himself Guns N Roses while Slash has to form a toolish band called Velvet Revolver. WTF?!

Executions On-the-Go
China allegedly still operates “mobile execution units,” vans that drive around and euthanize so-called criminals. This makes it harder for citizens to track the events, and perhaps reduces the psychological impact of executing thousands of people per year. The fact that the Chinese government banned the album Chinese Democracy shows the ridiculous truth, that their government is pathetically paranoid. Next time I’m in Shanghai, I’ll be wondering whether the van driving past is a euthanasia-mobile, or if the Falon Gong is somewhere being tortured.

Continue reading “Axl Rose, Guns N Roses, and Chinese Democracy – Part I”

Review Your Own Music!

The doctors in our music snob laboratory tell me that we need to mix things up a bit here and try to steer ourselves further off the cliff. So we’ve decided to try something new here at TheMusicSnob.


The Music Snob Challenge
We want musicians to write reviews of their own music. But not boring reviews. And no reviews of famous music. Just unknowns, the guys/girls stranded in Lodi America, maintaining awful MySpace profiles and checking Craigslist.

Here’s the deal.

Write a review of one of your own songs

Make sure it’s either funny, terrible, or inspiring

Include as much ridiculousness and absurdity as possible

Send it to us.

If we think it’s snobbish, terrible, or humorous enough we will post it here…

Get crackin and submit your songs!


CHANES from Brooklyn on the Microphones! All 5,000 of them!


This dude is so busy studying his lyric sheets that he hasn’t stopped to notice the thousands of microphones raining down on him. Crazy. After getting an email asking me to check out his tunes, I went to his MySpace page, but was unable to get the songs to play because each time I clicked on the player, it sent me to an external spam-looking MySpace Layout ad website. Garbage! It appears that the sheet of raining microphones acts as a layer of spam, raining down upon his profile, waiting to be clicked. As if MySpace didn’t have enough garbage floating around

I’d thought about instituting a no-MySpace-profile links policy on this blog, but had to reneg after breaking it out of laziness almost immediately. My dear CHANES, I want to hear your music but have now wasted a whole lot of time writing a post about not listening to your music and admiring your microphones instead.

Your profile is so pimped-out that I’m afraid of turning into a TV dinner just by looking at it. Please render it usable so I can come back and check out your music! I’m sure it’s great…

The Heaves

I wish this band had called themselves The John Belushi Deathtrain is Coming and We Will Be Boarding Soon.

Nothing against The Heaves, though. From this live-basement sounding recording you can tell that they are living the American dream, rocking out, drinking beers and having fun. I would hire them to play a party, if I wanted to trash the place and cause mass chaos everywhere. And if I had a dwelling in which to hold a party. Right now I’m stationed in the public library bathroom, tapping into the free Wi-Fi on a laptop I stole from a guy at a bus station. Who knew?!

ARRGHGHGHG. Rock n roll.

Connect the dots…

Band name is “The Heaves”

Dude’s pic is:

He’s got a cigarette and beer in the pic, named his band after a particular style of vomiting, and has a song called “Giant Need”.

Music style = Punk rock.

Cool. This song is a typical punk rock song, and the group makes good on the genre’s well-cemented conventions. 

At first their Myspace player was tripping out, with this weird syncopated skipping sound, and I was like whoa, this is a pretty trippy introduction. But it was just a computer glitch.

Ian Bouras

Tonight first review is of a track by Ian Bouras, titled “Between Love and Loneliness“. Just from the title, you get the feeling that you might be dealing with an early 20’s version of yourself. Remember those times when you got high in college and jammed out on headphones all night on the keyboard in your dorm room, knowing you had a final exam the next morning? 


Anyway. I don’t listen to much instrumental electronic music, particularly of the “new age” genre, and so when I started listening to this track I was way too conscious of the synthetic instruments and saturated reverb. But the more I listened the more I forgot about the particularities of the genre and came to accept the song’s motion on its own terms. There’s a really nice breakdown that begins around 3:10 (with a fake horn section I think) and builds to around 3:37, which I really dug. Perhaps because it involves one of my favorite chord progressions, a simple descending three chord line perfectly suited for melancholy.  

This song swims in sincerity, so if that turns you off, oh well. There are a lot of nice layers of simple melodies that intersect in epic, tragic waves. 

Douchebags and hipsters may scoff, but I dig the heart and homegrown production. I bet David Lynch could use this stuff for a Twin Peaks reunion episode…

The White Noise Supremacists

I was initially a bit horrified to see an email in my inbox from The White Noise Supremacists, thinking that perhaps David Duke’s campaign manager was spamming me. If he’s not in jail, or something.


She’s Soft Inside

Anyway, The White Noise Supremacists seem to rage sound jihad on a wide range of sounds. I first checked out their video “She’s Soft Inside,” a live performance video. It was grainy and engaging, despite the singer’s seeming catatonia. The sound was rough but the melodies held and carried, some really nice inflections in the just-right spots to squeeze out some drops of blood from this cold heart of mine. A rough crude lovemaking, perhaps something I would listen to if I were fleeing from a crime scene in 1977 with my buddy Derek driving an El Camino. But I mean that in a positive way, because I enjoyed this song a lot.

I couldn’t tell what any of the lyrics are, but the song title suggests that maybe they are about a pelvic exam or something.

Continue reading “The White Noise Supremacists”

The Best Song Ever Written

When I first heard this song, I was riding my bike in my driveway. I had my old transistor radio plugged into the kitchen socket and connected through the window with an extension cord. My older cousin was mowing the lawn, and my mom had gone to buy food for the fish in our aquarium.

The first chords pummeled through the radio and burst into my ears. I thought we were under attack. I fell off my bike and hit my head on the curb. I tried to scream but the sound of the world’s best song just filled every single molecule in the air, leaving me no way to get my message across. I was like a dying monkey, shaking on the pavement.

The lead singer’s voice was like a golden unicorn, soaring through the air with white feathers. Each word rang true, as if his lyrics were divinely inspired.

To this day I don’t know what that song was, because I soon lost consciousness. When I awoke, I had aged three years and was no longer welcome in the neighborhood.


This song obviously does not exist. And this review is probably the worst review of a non-existent song ever written. But this is all part of our big celebration, announcing that is welcoming the fearless and many to submit their songs for bizarre, irreverent, and inspired reviews.

Got a song for us? Send us an email