Living

Guns N' Roses album finally coming, and Dr Pepper's excited

Think of that line in Spider-Man ... "with great power, comes great responsibility." Now apply that to Guns N' Roses and the decade-plus wait for Chinese Democracy they've put us through.

GN'R fans have been held hostage now for more than a decade with some random dreadlocked Axl Rose appearance (fighting with Tommy Hilfiger) and a tease of good things to come -- only it never does. They've squandered their musical capital.

I think Spin magazine's Chuck Klosterman said it best in that the only thing that could redeem this is if Chinese Democracy were the best album ever. And in his review, he added, it indeed was not.

But at least it appears all of the hype will finally be over with a deal in place to sell it exclusively at Best Buy stores Nov. 23. A funny thing that happened on the way to this announcement was Dr Pepper's plea for the album to come out. Take a gander at this excerpt from a news release the company sent out:

"Tired of a world in which Americans idolize wannabe singers and musicals about high schoolers pass as rock 'n' roll music, Dr Pepper is encouraging (OK, begging) Axl Rose to finally release his 17-year-in-the-making belabored masterpiece, Chinese Democracy, in 2008. In an unprecedented show of solidarity with Axl, everyone in America, except estranged GN’R guitarists Slash and Buckethead, will receive a free can of Dr Pepper if the album ships some time (anytime!) in 2008."

Somehow I think the prospect of Slash and Buckethead not having to work with the tortured genius of Axl Rose will make up for their not getting a free can of DP.

Hard times

The financial meltdown doesn't just slow down the economy. It slows down pop music too. A recent story in The New York Times quotes Terry Pettijohn, a professor of psychology, saying that "In uncertain times people prefer songs that are longer and slower, with more meaningful words -- such as Bridge Over Troubled Water and That's What Friends Are For. In better times," he says, "it's more likely to be faster, upbeat songs like At the Hop or My Sharona."

If that's the case, it looks like Britney Spears picked the wrong time for a comeback.

Candidate spin

Did you see that presidential playlist piece in the Oct. 21 Herald? When it comes to McCain, it couldn't be more revealing. Two ABBA songs: Take a Chance On Me and Dancing Queen. They asked for five songs and out of the millions of choices, you pick two from the same band? Talk about being out of touch. Maybe his daughter should think about giving him an iPod for Christmas. But Obama's list, excluding the Fugees, played it safe as usual with the Boss, Nina Simone, the Stones and Stevie Wonder.

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