The Joe Vig Top 40

Critic Joe Viglione reviews movies, books, DVDs, CDs, and has all sorts of opinions on a variety of things. The monthly Top 40 is a sort-of directory... commentaries and essays expand the thought process on the reviews on the Top 40 aren't final, they are just the starting point to more discussion. You can always contact Joe directly at visual_radio [@]

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


February Pop Explosion and Top 40

1)Jesse Ware   What You Won't Do For Love

2)Kay Dennis   Walk on By

3)John E. Funk and the Skunks   Debbie

4)Mystics Anonymous   Dreaming Interlude

5)Doobie Brothers  Tell Me What You Want and I'll Give You What You Need

6)Jon Butcher Axis   Are You Experienced

7)Al Jarreau  We Got By

8)Frank Dello Stritto Movies  THE FOUNDER
  Tales of Tomorrow

9)Van Morrison Instrumental/Tell Me What You Want

10)Fuller Brook Zoo    I'm A Believer

11)Fuller Brook Zoo  "This Will be Our Year"  Zombies cover   2-16-17 at Club Bohemia/Cantab

12)Chris Montez  Call Me

13)Robert Plant with The Soweto Gospel Choir

14)Chicken Slacks Soul Revue   Tragedy

15)The Rolling Stones  Sweet Black Angel

16)The Beach Boys doin Elton "Crocodile Rock"

17)Buzz Cason   "Passion"

18)Jackie Wilson  Your Love Keeps Lifting me "Higher and Higher"

19)Joe Jackson You Can't Get What You Want Till You Know

20)Fuller Brook Zoo   Velerie

21)Moes Def  Priority

22)Whammer Jammer

23)Shun Ng and the Shunettes    Get On With It

Shun Ng and the Shunettes   Walls

25)Sunny  VocaYou

26)Def Leppard You Can't Always Get What You Want

27)Sunny A Capella

28)Thunder and LIghtning Chi Coltrane

29)Little Richard Slippin and a Slidin

30)Madeline Peyroux  He's Got Me Going

31)Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway Wherre is the Love

32)Positive Negative Man  Newport Beach

Additional Sunny A Capella

VocaYou - Sunny (A Cappella Cover)

Published on Dec 16, 2015
Aufgenommen in der Schalotte im November 2015
Video: Willi Kampmann
Ton: Sebastian Mikolai (

Sunny Song Days

Bridgepop - Sunny


Cantab Thursday Chicken Slacks

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Top 40 for January 2017 Iggy Pop, Blue Manic, Beach Boys, Heart

Hello Readers,
Tons more reviews to post.  Please be patient.
Radio show is on Wednesdays  

On January 19th we were awarded the Best 2017 BFR Radio Show


1)Iggy Pop  Post Pop Depression  LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

3)Anthem Noise   White Whale

Artist: Anthem Noise
CD: White Whale
8 Tracks

Trained at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2004, singer John Russell and composer Jordan Montgomery weave a dreamy, trippy aural mix consisting of violin, keyboards and avant garde complementary drumming. The almost four minute “Social Anxiety” features those beats with a layer of grunge keys embracing the unreal quality of the vocal that embraces these movements. The instrumental “Anthem” continues the melodrama with a similar edgy intro, this a segue that would shake up a house mix or two. Shuffling percussion perfectly placed so that “Locked In,” track three, can build on the theme. Robotic trance pop with swirling textures make it radio friendly and a standout. “Help Myself” and “There is Nothing Wrong” come in at nine minutes together, twenty-two minutes and forty seconds up to this point on the CD, more than a single side of an lp. “Help Myself’s” drone and the cosmic effervescence of “There is Nothing Wrong” are like diving slowly in a pool of water somewhere above the earth. The next three songs are another eleven minutes and twenty two seconds, “Apnea” glides along a dreamscape while the title “Flounder” is the closest thing you are going to get to the album title of White Whale. It would work nicely for Captain Ahab sailing the dark seas. “Out of Darkness” (featuring Conor Ebbs) with Stephanie Skor’s violin locking in with Russel’s vocal is more like into the Celtic dark – a nice concoction of world and other-worldly sounds.

Band Members Jordan Montgomery - Songwriting John Russell - Vocals Stephanie Skor – Violin along with Drummer Josh Weinberg and electronic musician & sound designer Richard Devine.

4)Heart Live at Royal Albert Hall

5) V 32  e.p. by Blue Manic
5 songs

Stoned, You Got It Made, Too Late, Porcupine, Black Dress
Blue Manic dive right into the four minute and forty-eight second riveting blues/rocker, “Stoned,” to open up the 5 song E.P. V-32.  Guitars sparkling, resplendent in raw energy – a harder edge on the recording than a couple of performances that this writer experienced. The band appears more earthy from the stage, and though “Stoned” might appear edgier on disc, it doesn’t mean that these guys don’t crank it up onstage.  
The intro goes fifty-one seconds before the story unfolds with rhythm guitarist Max Grebe taking on the lead vocal chores and explaining it in no uncertain terms, Blue Manic exploring a variety of avenues as Corey Downs pounds away on the drums, aided and abetted by the bass of one Jared Greiff.   Mike Tate and Grebe are responsible for the dual guitar blasts with a toughness that is well balanced.  At the 3:25 mark “Stoned” becomes an almost different tune, guitars screaming in a frenzy as the group jams for a minute and twenty three seconds bringing this unique composition to its conclusion.  Impressive, and hard hitting it is followed by the sweet guitars in “You Got It Made,”  Downs’ drumming providing a good undertone to the other instruments.   “Too Late” is manic – perhaps an anthem emulating the group’s moniker.  “Porcupine” could be Black Sabbath gone alternative.  This ensemble reshapes alternative music into a blues/rock blend of swirling emotional sounds. And “Black Dress” puts an exclamation point on that.  They may have Smashing Pumpkins attitude but it merges into what Cream, the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith took from their mentors, combining the formula to bring it into the new century.    Not to be confused with guitarist George Conduris’ band Apollo Blue, though a pairing of these two blue bands would be a good thing as they play with the same vigor and intensity.
Get a taste of the V-32 disc on the group’s Facebook page


Artist: James Discovers
Title   numbers 
4 songs
Born Desire

The Boats
The musical entity called James Discovers is guitarist, vocalist, drummer, songwriter Mario Epstein along with bassist Andy Huges and from the ascending lines of the seven minute twenty-five second “Born Desire” you get a glimpse of The Twilinng meets the Mothers of Invention that makes up the fabric of this song.  “Flew into Boston / held my breath with Krazy Glue” while guitars from another dimension blare over the perpetuating strum. It appears to be insanity derived from lost love, a wish to be “born again to be with you,” frosted with semi-controlled madness, truly freeform and lots of fun. Recorded at New Alliance by Jonathan Taft and 
mastered at New Alliance East by Nick Zampiello, they must have had lots of fun trying to figure out the mood of the mania they helped put to media.  The 4:29 of “Theme” could be the signature tune of the James Discovers artistry, - searching, uncovering, seeking, finding…all part of “discovery,” get it?  The sounds bounce against the wall with a lovely guitar strum engaging the listener as the music goes from guitar strumming to sonic assault. “I discovered why numbers exist” incorporates the album title (small letters, please, courtesy of e.e. cummings) and the group name. Quantifying the madness we call it.  “Adderall” is almost five minutes (4:53) of Captain Beefheart playing Lou Reed playing Red Krayloa at the wrong speed.  The singer asks you to get stoned with him.  ON “Adderall?”  A description from noting:” Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. Includes side effects, interactions and indications.”   So that’s where they come up with these riffs – in the middle of the night.  The guitars go in circular motion as this descends into a love song for the sleep medication.  On a very good EP with many exciting moments, the closer is my fave, “The Boats” with the artist “Living in a plastic bubble”  This one’s at 7:24, one second shy of the opening track, and shades of The Doors Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine double lp “best of the underground songs by Jim and the boys” which featured song lengths of 11: 35 (The End,)    11:00 (“When The Music’s Over,” 7:49 (L.A. Woman,) and 7:14 (“Rider’s On the Storm,” 36:49 plus an additional 49 seconds for four tunes, James Discover’s EP clocks in at about 21:20 …with their own Abbey Road (the album) styled mesmerizing guitar riff on “The Boats,” which take the psychedelia right to the end.  Really beautiful…holding out and extending into empty space.    Find it on Bandcamp or pick up a hard copy at their gigs.. Worth supporting.  (Joe Viglione)

Geoff Bartley


Beach Boys

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

Kinks  20th Century Man

Title: Mixed Emotions of the 21st Century
Artist: Ted Solovicos
19 tracks

Back in the 1980sTed Solovicos rocked out in the band Smuggler. Jump forward to the new millennium and the artist formerly known as Grateful Ted performed in a duo called Britannica, nailing down British rock, the Moody Blues being a favorite, among many others.   Which brings us to this disc overflowing with original compositions – resplendent in a cover that looks like artist Hieronymus Bosch streamlining Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band succinct pop tunes “No Tomorrows” and “Together” – with its naughty backing vocals lifted from John Lennon’s “Girl,”  harken back to the days of Denny Laine’s Moody Blues, the U.K. Kaleidoscope with Eddy Pumer (not to be confused with the American Kaleidoscope) and so many more.  “Sorrow” is not the famous David Bowie cover of Rick Derringer’s The McCoys’ 45, it’s subdued anger at the world condition, the war in Iraq / Afghanistan and other atrocities.  Solovicos packs the compact disc with a plethora of ideas ranging from happiness to tragedy, an introspective diary of his own personal experiences along with perspectives on the present past and future.  “Love Dreams,” track seven, follows in the vein of the exquisite “No Tomorrows” and “Together,” light pop songs which show this artist at his best.  “I Got My Mind On You” adds some Spanish influence, the theme of love and fun going back – stylistically - to the Tokens / Jay and the Americans.   “Why” combines the heavy keyboards with Ted’s authoritative acoustic guitar and intriguing vocal work.    Nineteen songs released at one time with so much music in the jungle of the wild frontier of the internet is obviously a musical statement  that takes more than one sitting to absorb.  21st Century (with its three bonus tracks from the 20th Century, additional material a hallmark of Solovicos’ releases) is a diary put to tape – “Give Me Another Night” with its exploding electric guitars indicative of each element that comprises this collection of thoughts that are most personal.  Mastered by Butterscott bassist and former Smuggler pal Joel Simches, it is well-crafted stuff from a veteran of the New England music scene.  A cover of the Kinks “20th Century Man” would have been the frosting on the cake…maybe for the next disc.  (Joe Viglione)

Station Manager and host of local show Fresh Greenz Heather Mack with Joe Viglione 1/19/17

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


December Top 40 Rogue One, Sinatra, Brian Wilson, Kenny Selcer, April Martin, Marty Balin and more

Joe Viglione's Interview with star Felicity Jones

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Review by Joe Viglione

Forty-one year old director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, 2014; Monsters 2010,) inspired by the Star Wars franchise according to IMDB (he was born two years before the 1977 release of the very first George Lucas film in the series) sets an amazing tone with the opening shots which feature appealingly large Saturn rings, exotic cinematography and futuristic esoterica which delves into a dark, creepy, eerie – quite scary – feeling of imminent doom.   Star Wars, after all, is as much a horror movie as it is science fiction.  With Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing tied in to the series, Lucas indeed created a revved up old-time serial taking the 1936 13-part Flash Gordon story idea into a new dimension. Adding Cushing and Lee, the Karloff/Lugosi of the next generation, was pure “give the people what they want,” which is why Star Wars, like Star Trek, is so successful.   There is also a cleansing going on with this 2016 film, purging the awful experiences that were delivered in 1999’s Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith.  Those three “prequels” were as beautifully filmed as they were empty with some terribly forced acting and an arrogance that derailed the fun and excitement of 77’s Star Wars, 80’s The Empire Strikes Back and 83’s The Return of the Jedi.

To put it all into its proper context, thirty nine years after the initial blasts from the Death Star comes a film that is as good as the first three.  It is even better than The Force Awakens which by any standard was a mere reboot, not actually something that added to the franchise in any way other than it brought things back on track, got serious again, generating anticipation for the next phase of the blockbuster series/serial/anthology.

*  *  *   *   *

Rogue One is the critical space in between the saga, connecting Revenge of the Sith – the best of the three prequels – to Star Wars 1977, the “new hope.”   Director Edwards hits a grand slam, giving an even darker look at the perpetual war, the Emperor’s Hitler-like approach to domination of the universe (forget a few galaxies, they were going for the whole enchilada) and James Earl Jones indulging in a unique savagery as Darth Vader. It is a Deep Dark Vader here, more terrifying, more villainous, as out of control in his obsession as Ricardo Montalban in The Wrath of Khan.  Much, much better than The Force Awakens, the serious dominance of the empire, the plight of the rebels – and the dissension amongst them – something unseen up to this point in time, all brilliantly written and delivered with a vengeance.

This is an adult science fiction movie keeping a lid on the humor provided by Anthony Daniels’ CP30 – C-3PO – Co3P (it’s C-3PO) making just a cameo. The levity is brought to you by a new main character, a reconfigured Empire droid K-2SO (played by Zootopia’s Alan Tudyk )  It is one of two elements taken directly from the Terminator series. In 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - where Sarah Connor sends back a reprogrammed T-850, Model 101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger,) the rebels in that film turned their opponents' strength against them. Same here as the  K-2S0 mimics some of the same C-3PO one-liners, but does so in a tongue-of-cheek way (a clever tongue-in-cheek, if you will) which adds to the film’s charm.  That is to say, no Jar Jar Binks or Ewoks or Wookies.  

This is serious stuff, leave the children at home.   You won’t be troubled by a ten year old Jake Lloyd playing young Anakin Skywalker (as bad a performance as Hayden Christiansen who followed as the twenty-something Anakin, or – (back to the world of Schwarzenegger) the awful acting in 1993’s Last Action Hero by child actor Austin O’Brien. This is a story about the Force.   It gets down to business and is what Star Wars was (and still is) supposed to be about, domination, rebellion and blowing things up.

The other “borrow” from Terminator, this one the Christian Bale / Sam Worthington 2009 Terminator Salvation, was when the audience applauded to see the CGI Arnold come to life.  

  We are only going to see lots more of this in the future with digital resurrections of Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix – and, perhaps, a JFK president with hologram to go along with its infinite capacity computer brain.   Thus, a famous, late actor from the Hammer Film studios entertains us again - after the fact, and it is worth the price of admission.

Wikipedia sheds some enlightenment on the Terminator CG with these gems:

·         Arnold Schwarzenegger's facial likeness was utilized via CGI, with a mold of his face made in 1984 scanned to create the digital makeup.

Roland Kickinger as The Terminator / T-800 (Model 101): the first Terminator covered in living tissue. Bodybuilder and actor Kickinger, who previously portrayed Schwarzenegger in the 2005 biographical film See Arnold Run, was his physical double on set.

In Rogue One Disney recreates the late Peter Cushing in similar fashion. Grand Moff Tarkin returns in a demonic, yet artistically splendid, way -  as the powers that be at Disney nicely thank the Estate of Peter Cushing.

The settings – with palm trees juxtaposed to the crushing feet of the Imperial giant robots (think Sentinels in the X-Men series) along with a blind master of the mystic arts (Chirrut Îmwe played by Hong Kong film star Donnie Yen) who might as well be Dr. Strange inside a Star Wars film,* Rogue One touches on all the points that science fiction fans rabid for comic book heroes and the characters of George Lucas crave.   With Disney owning the rights to both franchises (Marvel Comics and Star Wars,) are you surprised to see the unique crossover appeal?

Two hours and thirteen minutes of spectacular Star Wars fun the way it should have been in the first place. Rogue One could be the template of what is to come.  It is – finally – a worthy edition of the sacred canon, a worthy addition as well.

*A blind Jedi is in a Star Wars fan film, though Donnie Yen's
Chirrut Îmwe is the not-a-Jedi Jedi) 

DVD: The Frank Sinatra Collection
Happy Holidays from Frank and Bing
Vintage Sinatra

Review by Joe Viglione

This beautiful package from Eagle Vision/Universal is unique in that new magic is injected into what are over-played holiday favorites when this time of the season rolls around.  “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” as performed here embracing unique nuances, as does Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Santa Claus is coming to Town.”  Be it the audio playing with its big band brass or the wonderful film texture pleasing to the eye (such a lost art in the digital age,)  the 1957 Christmas TV special is remarkable in its warmth and how it captures these talents without distractions. This critic was a mere three years old when the Sinatra/Crosby presentation aired so if it played on the family TV it didn’t register until viewing this DVD package.    Bing Crosby and Frank engaging in The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) has the two icons merging their deep voices into a timeless interpretation of the timeless classic, with a quiet segue into Bing’s all-time multi-million selling smash “White Christmas.” A solitary figure against the window, joined by Frank for a chorus, perfectly framed and looking like it is out of an expensive Hollywood movie. They just don’t make them like this anymore.  With music from Nelson Riddle and directed by Frank Sinatra himself, there are no quick cuts every ten seconds as you find today. Just a delightful collection of music that is perpetual every December put together with love and care. Performance, technical expertise and magic.  A wonder why this is not a perennial favorite on television and radio, but that’s the times we are in.  Pure class.

The DVD then flips to black and white with “Come Fly with Me,” a selection from the 1950’s TV show which is narrated by Frank Sinatra Jr., Nancy Sinatra and Tina Sinatra.  Elegant reminisces by the children and rare takes of melodies that this generation would know from use in modern films, these black and white performances give a glimpse into a past when significant performers were using this medium before it became cluttered on the “information superhighway” decades later.  “Night and Day” oozes out with exquisite majesty, smoothly and in an attractive fashion missing from the plethora of concerts taped and aired as if off an assembly line in the new millennium.  The textbook is here for that superhighway of information, the contributions from his offspring as enlightening as their dad’s work is entertaining …and equally historical.

A collection for the ages.


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