More than Words
In this life, everything is simpler yet deeper in black and white. Half of the band abandons the others before the song because they know life's most poignant moments occur between a duo. These are the cleanest-looking rockers, ever. Sitting on stools and singing to an (almost) empty room is cathartic and confessional. Not every rock song, or man, is defined by a guitar solo. Everyone’s friends should be so thankful as to hold up lighters when intimately serenaded. When you don’t know what to do with your hands, flip your hair. If you’ve already flipped your hair, smile like crying. Why don't more music videos incorporate Portuguese flags prominently in the background. Panning the camera captures everyone’s most flattering angles. These men are angels. What they don’t tell you is that the real concert begins when the fans go home, and the words flow, more, and more, and more...
Guns N’ Roses
You Could Be Mine
Cyborg Assembly works best to the steady beat of drumming, the making of a heavy metal man built to kill. Initiate sequence: Terminate Sarah Connor. No, protect her, ya’ big lug! Arnold looks up at the marquee to see who’s headlining and crashes the concert. Shotgun blasts provide the ultimate in massacre and pyrotechnics. The look in Arnold’s shades says he’d be back, and every sequel is an opportunity to include leftover material not good enough for the original. He scans the venue to locate Axl swinging the mic stand round and round as if heroine makes one stronger than steroids. Axl screams to the top of his carcinogen-infested lungs, wearing biker shorts and Doc Martens that says both edgy and my denim wasn’t dirty enough. And his air kick splits is more punk rock than anyone's air guitar. Who’s the star here, anyway, the lead singer or the leading man, Hasta la vista, baby or Sweet Child of Mine? Is there anything more anticlimactic than a whiny white man fading away into a blackness reserved for front man Heaven.
Shiny Happy People
A minimalistic, hand-painted background of a city is often more vibrant than a world of real-life citizens. Who knew that happiness was powered by an octogenarian hobo riding a stationary bike? Who knew the White People Dance isn’t really a thing, but it really is! Elderly abuse makes this world go round, and the prerequisite for rhythm is more melanin. Show me a man wearing a backwards cap and sports coat and I’ll show you identity crisis or alternative rocker in the midst of an identity crisis. Nasally back-up bandmates offer little more than a disturbing echo, but still receive the same royalties. When the old hobo tires from pedaling, bring him a glass of lemonade, baby girl. Even the black people dance like white people on this stage full of enthusiasm and flailing. The man walking on stilts through the spirited crowd is able to see everyone from a different angle, the only one who truly knows not everyone is as luminous or happy as they’d have you believe.