February 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Dakota!

A very happy birthday to one of my favorite actresses, ever! She just turned Seventeen, and since I can't legally come within thirty feet of her due to the restraining order, here's a scan of a colored pencil drawing I did back in 2006. Enjoy.

Dakota, you may be Seventeen now... but you'll always be Twelveteen to me.

February 20, 2011

Guns N' Roses - Paradise City

Guns N' Roses - Paradise City (7" Black Vinyl, Artwork Sleeve, Single) [1988] US.

1. Paradise City [6:46] *
2. Move To The City [3:42] **

* Album Version. Taken from the LP "Appetite For Destruction".
** Album Version. Taken from the EP "Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide".

Hi. Welcome to another edition of 'Shit I Own', by me. :) I was thinking the other day, if you saw a wheat-thin guy with long strawberry-blonde hair running around like a madman, rockin' an oversized bright-pink fishnet t-shirt, stark-white super-short spandex tights and super-white high-top pump-up Nike sneakers, would you think to yourself: "Wow, this guy's really cool!"? Probably not. If he happened to be rollerblading down Hollywood Blvd, you'd probably pull out your 9mm gat and f'n super-soak the fucker. But... what if the dude broke out with some Raspy ass vocals and fuckin' killed it? Hmmm... I guess if anything, that's a good way to test the power of your music. Not that that's what Axl was doing, since he's obviously GONE INSANE since the UYI sessions. (You can see it evolving further after those recordings with their live shows when things got Ghetto Extravagant!) So sad. It's this type of insanity that makes a band leader forget about what's really important. [Note: A bit like Glenn Danzig, I feel bad for both of them since they both fuckin' tripped out and lost their main players.] I guess we all at one time or another lose the best thing we've got going in life huh? Yeah... they regret it. I can tell. Their subtle facial twitches may not be noticed by the laymen, but to me, they may as well be crying tears of blood. Don't you cry tonight, Axl.

It's a damn shame that those two ego-tripped their strongest supports out the door only to overproduce unremarkable and regrettably forgettable music later in their careers. Glenn at least slowly worked his way back in the right direction through 6, 7 and 8, perhaps ending up where 5 should have been with 9. But even through his rough times at least he kept putting out albums. It took Axl fifteen years to finally get his baby "perfected", and even then, it doesn't sound like anything near his former self. He took things too far, and while I have at times complained about songs being overly-simplistic, the stuff on Chinese Democracy doesn't even sound like music half of the time. There was no reason to go "above and beyond" the expansive materials utilized on the Use Your Illusion albums. And for an Axl solo album, he sure as fuck had a lot of different people playing on it. Glenn seems to have gotten back to core band direction and sound. As for Axl Rose, I don't see him ever working on another song that sounds anything like Paradise City. He's got his head in too much shit obviously and I can't imagine him sitting down with a band and creating real music anymore.

February 15, 2011

Guns N' Roses - Yesterdays

Guns N' Roses - Yesterdays (CD, Maxi-Slim, Single) [1992] Germany.

1. Yesterdays [3:16] *
2. November Rain [8:57] **
3. Yesterdays (Live) [4:11] ***
4. Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Live) [4:39] ****

* Album Version. Taken from the LP "Use Your Illusion II".
** Album Version. Taken from the LP "Use Your Illusion I".
*** Recorded Live in Las Vegas, Nevada. January 25th, 1992.
**** Recorded Live at the Marquee, London. June 28th, 1987.

[Watch teh MUSIC VIDEO] Get that outta the way. Yesterdays was never my favorite GNR song. They've got a plethora of songs that are so ridiculously badass, that, why would I at such a young age dig Yesterdays? Never at any point did I dislike the track, but when I would think of GNR or talk about 'em, it never really came up. The fact is, I like every single song on both Use Your Illusion albums. Everyone loves Appetite For Destruction, but people get weird when the UYI albums come up. 'Which one is better, which has the best songs', and so on... but to me, these albums aren't even split. Perhaps they tried to vibe it out by splitting 'em, but there's no denying that these two albums were intertwined from the get. [Just in case you wish to know, these are my absolute favorites in order or appearance: Dust N' Bones, Back Off Bitch, Coma, Breakdown & Locomotive.] Man, when I would bake it was either Coma or Loco, but I love every single track on both of these. Yesterdays, if it were sung by anyone other than Axl Rose, or played by anyone other than Guns N' Roses, I would probably say that it sucks. Not on the terms of songwriting, or material, but perhaps on the lack of evil disassociation regarding living life and thinking about the past. But ghosts got nothin' but time to fuck with your brain, so...

Axl's scratchy, raspy-ass voice really sells the song and the band is at their peak so there's no going wrong with the material. Even if it's not their usual Hard-Rock, it's Rock and it's not a Ballad. The song has grown on me since I've gotten older like the old fuck that I am. Back when I first heard it the only Yesterdays that I knew wuz suckin' on me mum's tittie. Now that I've felt the pain called "life", I know what it feels like to remember whatever the fuck it is that they were singing about. Hm. Regarding the Live version: Even though Axl is working with a live stage show, back-up gospel singers and his trustworthy band, he sounds like he's about to spit up a fuckin' lung. No wonder he didn't want to do Encores (and this Live song is one), or even start to sing more than three songs at gigs he felt weren't worthy! That's Axl though, and we wouldn't have him any other way... or something. Knockin' On Heaven's Door isn't going to be a good song no matter who sings it so fuckitor. :( I guess they liked that version of the song since they included it on a few Singles from around the world.

Cemetery Statues are always beautiful.

February 13, 2011

Guns N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle

Guns N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle (12" Black Vinyl, Fold Out Poster Sleeve, Single) [1987] England.

1. Welcome to the Jungle * [8-Bit Remix!]
2. Whole Lotta Rosie (Live) ** [CHECK IT, broooo...]
3. It's So Easy (Live) **
4. Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Live) ** 

* Album Version. Taken from the LP Appetite For Destruction.
** Recorded Live at the Marquee, London: June 28th, 1987.

This 12" Vinyl was available in a Standard release (GEF30T), Picture Disc (GEF30TP) and Poster Sleeve (GEF30TW). [Note: The Picture disc is the front cover (pictured left) with the blue border. There is also a version of this Single with a red cover and a Red Picture Disc border. Supposedly the red picdisc is "super scarce" according to this guy selling it for 100$, but I'm having trouble finding info on this release. Even my Catalog # isn't listed on most sites so who knows.] The one I own is obviously the one with the special Fold Out Poster Sleeve (I took some snapshots with my shitty digicam and posted 'em below). Got this Vinyl for 20$ way back in the day.
I really miss these old record shops that I used to visit when I was a teenager. Maybe there are places still out there that have cool shit like this for sale, but when I look around here all I see is trendy stores selling the latest pop culture fad bullcrap! I had to travel two hours the last time I came across a dingy, smokey, dark and dank record store with old Vinyl, bootleg Live CDs and Lucio Fulci Zombie posters for sale. When I was eighteen and back home I went downtown, walked into a hole in the wall Metal shop and bought a longsleeve Marduk shirt right there on the spot. Now I'm stuck in lameville and gotta drive long distances (and man I am sick of driving) to even attempt to find something sweet like that. But I can easily just take a trip down to the local mall and grab a lifesize standee of the newest dumbshit fad spokesmodel (don't feel like naming names, because that gives them power).
And I'm not trying to sound like a bearded old man here, but like many of you I miss the old days. At least when I got here there was a mom and pop VHS rental place with all sorts of fucked up horror films that I had been dying to see (Like Andy Warhol's Dracula, Shocking Asia 2 or 555). That place is now selling small garden figurines, wind chimes and fuckin' chocolate bars! Same owners, they're from Holland or some shit. I know there are still real places out there, I just gotta look em up instead of stumbling upon 'em. Even if some places are selling heavy metal records and rare shit on the net, unless it's a single guy in his mum's basement, there probably is a real store there too. And I don't mind buying things online, but I haven't recently and I'd rather walk down some stone steps into a real place that sells knives, pipes, CDs, Posters, Concert Tees, possibly things more illegal than bootlegs, and hopefully there's a chick at the counter with tattoos and piercings and she don't got the G-Wartz. Know what I'm sayin'?

Sorry about the camera glare, but I lost my photoshop... and even if I had it, I don't got the time to fix the lines, nor their make-up. ;) Ghey.

Guns N' Roses - You Could Be Mine

Guns N' Roses - You Could Be Mine (CD, Cardboard-Slip, Single) [1991] England.

1. You Could Be Mine [5:45] *
2. Civil War [7:39] *

* Album Version. Taken from the LP Use Your Illusion II.

Boy do I love me some Guns N' F'n Roses. What more of a badass pairing than the greatness of this song You Could Be Mine and T2's little punk ass John Connor speeding off on his moto. I found this at a record store that I'd only been to once or twice, and remember grabbing it and letting out an "Ah sweet!" I was probably fifteen at the time and yeah, finding this was pretty sweet. Now, not so much. I'll tell you what's great about this Single. Aside from the Title Track fuckin' rocking, and that the release is Rare: Nothin'. The release I got comes in one of those slim cardboard cases, and man do these things suck balls. Not only do they get scuffed up easily, but the CDs can scratch just by sliding it out. Sure, these problems tend to affect Digipaks and normal CD cases, but these cardboard slips take it to the next level of annoyance. As a novelty, this release is nice to own (and I do love collecting Singles), but take a look at that track list. There are no B-Sides, no Live Tracks, no Extended or Radio Versions, no Nothing. Just two Album Version tracks from Use Your Illusion II that everyone already owns, so what the fuck gives England? Who put you up to this!? This would have been the perfect chance to include the MUSIC VIDEO for the track that hasn't been released uh, Anywhere! (Feel free to correct me on that last part.) At least there would have been no Copyright issue as the movie still is used on the CD, or since it's not made in the US does that matter? I understand that Civil War makes a good choice for the second track since it's about War and that's what T2: Judgment Day is all about... but something else could have been done to avoid this reeking of cheapness. Still, the music is kickass, and the sleeve art is quality. This CD was also released in a Maxi-Slim case which I would have preferred to own. Or even better, this Single was also released as a 7" Vinyl and a 12" Clear Vinyl Picture Disc with Backing Insert. Now that's the real deal, baby. A 12" Picture Disc would look good in the collection. A lot better than this sad little CD Single.

February 12, 2011

NIN - We're In This Together

NIN - We're In This Together [Halo 15 - Disc 1] (CD, Maxi-Slim, Single) [1999] Holland.

1. We're In This Together [7:19] *
2. 10 Miles High [5:13] **
3. The New Flesh [3:41] **

* Album Version.
** These two tracks were exclusive to the Vinyl release of The Fragile, and this Single.

I've got a bit of a love/hate relationship with Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor's steady decline into elevator muzak has always left a bitter taste in the mouth. Now, I was never the biggest fan of NIN to begin with (to this day I only own somewhere around 18 of their CDs), and I'm not particularly fond of techno remixes, but something about even their lesser albums seem to draw me back after long periods of time. As if I feel the need to go back and revisit them, hoping maybe I just didn't give it the chance or *doubtfully* I was wrong. The Fragile album was my breaking point. Reznor's most accomplished, brilliant and damn near perfect album The Downward Spiral looks down upon The Fragile in disgust. And would spit upon it, if it weren't so damn helpless. The Fragile is like someone you really want to break up with, but you know the guilt would slowly just eat little holes in your soul... especially if that person killed themselves afterwards, and depending on if you feel things ...so you just go on ignoring it, and every once in a while pop it in for old time's sake. I guess that's what mood altering substances are for. Hmm.

We're In This Together (Watch the MUSIC VIDEO) was my favorite track on The Fragile album. This "Single" was actually three different Singles released at once, about a week after The Fragile came out. Reviewers have claimed that Disc 1 (above) is the best of the three and the most sought after since the track list doesn't suffer the flaws of the other two releases. I've seen this single release going for well over a hundred dollars online, and recently, as low as about fifty. As for the songs, 10 Miles High (LISTEN to the track) is definitely a creepy little number with shades echoing the HENRY: Portrait of a Serial Killer soundtrack. This song was later remixed by Keith Hillebrandt for the Things Falling Apart album (LISTEN to v2). This is a pretty solid and psycho-ish song, with minimal lyrics and both versions of it hold up extremely well. As for The New Flesh (LISTEN), I'd like to say long live it, but it is the weakest track here compared to the other two. However, that's not to say that it's bad. Sounding like an extremely lazy and hazy, mind-wandering portion from The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the track is actually quite enjoyable on its own. If you can find this USED at any shop, which is probably doubtful, buy it on sight. I don't recommend buying any CD for more than fifty bucks unless it's a Limited Boxset that's brand spakin' new. Maybe after all this talk I'll go back and listen to The Fragile again... it's been a few years now. Maybe.

February 9, 2011

ChickenScratch Face

Here's a piece of art that I did around the end of last year, guess I'll call 'im ChickenScratchFace (2010).

Looks like a variant of that Vampire Beavis that I did. Don't know what was in my brain. I had been looking through my book of business card sample paper which my father (RIP) gave me, and I found that I'd been using a lot of the transparent and light-white paper to work with (it's so beautiful). Drinking heavily (here it comes) one day, I thought to myself: "I always ignore this yellow paper. 'Cuz it suckz'. So ya know, fuck it, I'm gonna use it and do some shit!" I said it out loud and even responded to myself... but hey, mission accomplished huh? One down, and I hope I don't fuck up the rest of the paper that I've ignored. Because there were some beautiful slices of tree that I had to throw out since I'm such a thrashed artiste.

No matter. I had fun with this one, partly because I was buzzed as shit, but I just kept scratching away. I colored the eyes with a few different red pencils for fun. Goes to show, I guess, that you should respect your paper! Or just be awesome 35/8, because I have thrown out gorgeous paper with shit art too many times. I'm not modest. This one was saved from the trash bin, almost twice. Maybe someone will like it and that sweeet love is gonna save me. If  none of that made sense then don't worry... but somebody is going to like this, even if everyone else on earth hates it! That is the the Artist's way.

So those motherfuckers can go suck a fat left ball. ;)

February 5, 2011

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Collector Card Set

A Nightmare On Elm Street: Collector Card Set - Standard Edition.

Released in 1991 by a company called "Impel Marketing", this 132 collector's card set comes in a stylized rectangular shaped coffin box, and features images and notes from the first film through the sixth, Freddy's Dead. While a very nice set, there are some imperfections: First, it only comes with two hologram cards, even though there were more than two made (four or more, I believe). And two, some of the images on the cards themselves are more than likely taken from a video source. Some images are pretty crisp, but others are blurry, looking like a paused VHS screenshot.

There's a deluxe edition of this set, which I unfortunately do now own (and didn't know existed when I bought this over ten years ago - learned about it from the ad inside the one I had just bought!). The uber-box set includes of course this coffin box with the cards, extra cards (special and hologram), a t-shirt and of course, another box to hold it all. Pretty nice, wish I had seen that one before picking this set up. I chose three cards from each film to scan front and back and show you guys. I'm thinking it must have been a real task for whoever to write up a paragraph for each card... especially over a hundred of 'em.

My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.