The 46-year-old former Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist poses a famous enigma: his ubiquitous “face” is so deeply obscured and defined by its hair, glasses and hat that virtually anyone could be in there (provided he played lead guitar like a disaffected, nodding god.) At any given time, Slash has kept anonymity only a shave and a ponytail away—and so it remains. Even in the band that now bears his name while promoting new album Apocalyptic Love, Slash still shuns the spotlight, leaving the emoting and hair-flipping to vocalist Myles Kennedy (and in this video, a mysterious alien-morphing woman) so he can focus his full attention on shredding. He’ll be at the Roseland tonight.
The 72-year-old ex-Beatle looks excellent. Stylish, spry, and thanking heaven that beards are on-trend. He dredged up “Wings” (a tune he penned in 1977, not to be confused with Paul McCartney’s band of the same name), as the flagship single for his latest record, Ringo 2012. Note the reggae sub-rhythms, expressive guitar solos, and Starr’s unfaltering monotone vox. Also note that the erstwhile “Yellow Submarine” pilot’s lyrical premise seems to have shifted from absurd, fanciful imagery to overt cliché—or universal truisms, if you want to say it nicely: “wings of an eagle,” “strength of a lion,” and so on. Known for being slow and steady (and oft maligned for being boring) Starr demonstrates one rock strategy that seems to work: stick with it long enough, and your favorite flavor of rock arrangement should eventually resurface. He’ll play Edgefield on July 15.
The Beach Boys
Let’s hear it for the Boys; it’s their 50th anniversary. Almost unbelievably, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks have reunited, put out a new album called That’s Why God Made The Radio, and embarked on a six-month world tour. Sounds like the latest stuff is more of the same pitch-perfect A.M. gold—but lyrically, there’s a wistful hint that their beach-combin’ days are mere memories. They’ll be at the Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene on the 14th.