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 RockJournalistJoeVig.blogspot.com ...so 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 [@] yahoo.com
TOP 50 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 YEAR END WRAP-UP
1)Tony Iommi IRON MAN My Journey through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath
Read interview: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=165621
2)PLASTIC OCEAN by Captain Charles Moore
3)Ding Dong! The Witch Is Back!: The Fifth Estate, 1964-1969
4)Farren Butcher Inc: The Chemistry is Undeniable
May - 22 - 2011
“Hold Me Back” opens the debut cd from the pairing of Charlie Farren with Jon Butcher, a modern day Hall & Oates or Chad & Jeremy, if you will, with some gusto and double guitar power. Now it isn’t a stretch to say they totally mopped the production of the Tremeloes great rendition of Cat Steven’s “Here Comes My Baby” (1967 nugget that George Skaubitis likes as well!) …the party atmosphere also on the Beach Boys “Barbara Ann” or even Jay & The Americans’ rip of La Bamba that was “Come A Little Bit Closer”, meaning the boys are opening their disc with some fun.
The vivacious and effervescent spell is only a glimpse of what the pair have in store. “Rolling” is a jazzy kind of Pink Panther soundtrack out-take, sort of like Charlie’s own “The Livin’ Daylights” which SHOULD have been a James Bond theme. The re-working of “Deja Blue” is nice and very necessary, as are “East Coast/West Coast” (a Joe Perry Project staple, of course) and Butcher’s own “New Man”. The chemistry between these two is undeniable…and rockers with a history should consider teaming up in this fashion because when you hear “Love Story” and “Soul Mate” you’ll understand the magic that their following has enjoyed for years. “Heaven On A Railroad Train” would have been perfect with Jimi Hendrix sitting in.
5)Frank Dello Stritto's VAMPIRE OVER LONDON: Bela Lugosi in Britain
6 Rex Trailer and Mike Bavaro on Visual Radio #500
7)Donna Halper returns to Visual Radio - our first Thursday night Visual Radio Live 7-28-11
8)Tom Cooper on final Friday night Visual Radio Live
Boston band SUNDANCE 7-22-11
9)Susan Cattaneo Band
10 Jon Macey INTENTION
http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/153494465-jon-maceyWatch the first video
http://youtu.be/gcWGTnhnwNs 12) Movie Reviews / Sabotage Times
Review by Craig Fenton
Jon Macey “Intention”
Since the end of the 1970’s I haven’t changed my declaration and lack of excitability when it comes to musical artists from any genre unfastening their labor. There has been only a smattering of vinyl and CD releases that my ears and stomach can sanction. Jon Macey possesses the uncommonness to have satisfied an old rocker’s musical palate as part of a band and in a solitary setting.
Jon Macey is co-founder of one of the finest New England groups Fox Pass during the 1970’s. Their eclectic mix combined brilliant elements of the Beatles, underground, and Power Pop (before the term reached its embryonic stage). Fox Pass performs to this day and their last release in 2010 “Intemporel” illuminates well in any collection.
Jon’s “Intention” must have been to take the most formidable path before the CD reached fruition. Instead of seeking the comfort zone of previous successes he eyeballed another plateau on the rock and roll mountain. The fifteen tracks are outside the margins of the up-tempo 60’s and 70’s style tunes he has conceptualized during the decades of yesteryear. From the opening note to closing credits the sounds are defined by acoustic Jon or unplugged Macey.
An artist doesn’t gain endorsements for style points. A change in the compass’s direction normally spells implosion in neon. Paul Simon’s Graceland superseded greatness not because of the risk of leaving the dazzling folk-rock/singer songwriter kingdom he commanded but for the whole effect of the results.
John Macey (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, and production) with a little help from his friends, Bruce Demaree (percussion and all but the kitchen sink), Clara Kebabian (violin), Rich Lamphear (acoustic guitar), Mike Pyle (electric guitar), Tamaki Sakakibara (vocals), and Lynn Shipley (vocals and production) lead us to a comprehensive look at a mirror darkened, moldy, and cracked with memories of days hard to recapture, the agony others have caused, our own shortcomings, and reasons to persevere nevertheless.
Using influences from The Band, Bob Dylan, Joe Jackson, John Mellencamp, Willie Nile, and Graham Parker we are brought to the harshness of reality during the opening number “Trapped.” As Jon conveys the message many of us thirty and over relate to “I’m outdated”, the CD takes us on an excursion that will never be mistaken for the land of elegance.
“Pine Island” broadcasts with impeccable clarity “It's too late for a mid-life crisis, it's too soon to just close our eyes'.”
“Look Both Ways” is in the realm of the Rolling Stones “Waiting On A Friend” in structure only. Jon’s message isn’t about the impending arrival but fate, reality, and sculpturing your own story. “Criminal At Heart” may conjure sounds of Ritchie Valens performing “La Bamba” but Jon’s proclamation is “You’re a criminal at heart, playing with emotions.”
“Jefferson County, Early November” is eerie and harrowing, still with one eye open and the other exempt from the elements we go down to the bone yard. Is it the cemetery ravaged through the years or a slang term for finding old ships that have lost the will to sail?
After the initial listening you are left gulping, wanting to comprehend all facets of the journey. Is it an episode from the “Twilight Zone” or man’s continuing appalling treatment of all things living?
The production that encompasses “Intention” is stellar. You can feel the guitar pick hitting the E string. Few albums the past thirty-two years have made such an impact warranting endless return listens.
All the best,
Jefferson Airplane “Take Me To a Circus Tent”
Jefferson Starship “Have You Seen The Stars Tonite”
13)TEN WHEEL DRIVE BIOGRAPHY
Biography Ten Wheel Drive
was a highly influential rock/jazz group not afraid to push the envelope while exploring various musical styles. Though musicians came and went, including the original lead vocalist, by the time the fourth album was released, the records have stood the test of time, influencing the successful Bette Midler
breakthrough film The Rose, inspiring women with the drive and ambition to front their own group in a once male-dominated industry, getting sold on auction sites like Ebay to be discovered by new generations of music lovers. The original lead vocalist and founding member, Genya Ravan
, spoke with AMG concerning how she formed the band: "I went to see Billy Fields
, he was going to manage me. read more here:
14)Music Review: Cali P’s The Strong
November - 8 - 2011
Cali P’s The Strong opens with an eerie Science Fiction keyboard and call-to-attention drum roll with a new millennium nod to revolution reminding one of the soul behind Thunderclap Newman’s epic “Something In The Air” which was a call-to-arms for a different time. “I’m a fighter, so I keep on fighting…defending the defending the right thing”…hooks galore make this a poppy, catchy and
also haunting escapade with images and colorful sounds that permeate the production in a way that keeps the listener’s attention moving to different areas of this record. “This is Cali P” he sings toward the end …short and sweet at three minutes and ten seconds, the way I like my music.
Promo person extraordinaire Racquel A. Reynolds tells us that The Strong is from the Inspired Studio in Kingston Jamaica and is a track from the award-winning movie The Grand Bizarre (Best movie, 2011). The song is available on ITunes.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.
15)GALLAGHER on Visual Radio
Elliot Murphy Sings Elliot Murphy
By Joe Viglione
Elliot Murphy, like Garland Jeffreys, continues to put his stream-of-consciousness ideas out into the universe, cyberspace being an interesting avenue for these hard-working street poets. Five of the tracks on the eponymous Elliot Murphy disc (his 35th or something around that incredible mark) are his alone, Olivier Durand co-writing four of the compositions, Iggy Strange-Dahl co-writing two. With song names like “Gone Gone Gone”, “Rock'n Roll 'N Rock'n Roll” and “Rain Rain Rain” it is almost like a Talking Heads album rife with one-word titles in triplicate…a Ramones-moment for the folk crowd?
The closing track – six minutes and eighteen seconds of “Train Kept A Rolling” has nothing to do with Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page or Aerosmith…it’s more like Ian Hunter going deep into a soul-ful mood, not soul, more introspection, and very good. However the three and a half minute “Maybe You Were Laughing” would be a great cover song FOR Ian Hunter, ….”It’s just me and my monkey, and we’re all nearly the same” sings Murphy and Mott The Hoople could have a field day with it. 11 tracks cover about forty-five minutes and its an impressive effort from a rock & roll soldier that should light up NPR and college radio, and maybe get some traction on adult alternative (does such a format still, really, exist?) with “Maybe You Were Laughing.” Here’s to the next 35…
Preview: Mitch Ryder At Kowloon – June 9, 2011
June - 9 - 2011 http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/25821
They’re calling it Motor City Madness when Mitch Ryder and his Detroit Wheels meet James Montgomery Blues Band at 8 PM Thursday night, June 9 at 8 PM at the Kowloon – 948 Broadway (Route 1, North), Saugus, Massachusetts. This is being billed as the “Only New England appearance of the “Godfather of Blue-eyed Soul”…and I can go with that…the hits “Devil With a Blue Dress On”, “Good Golly Miss Molly”, “Sock It To Me Baby”, “Jenny Takes A Ride” and more will rock the venerable restaurant up on the hill of Route 1 North. read more here:
18)Steven Tyler Talks Rock on Dateline Tonight with Matt Lauer
May - 16 - 2011
Anyone who didn’t think Steve Tyler and American Idol were a good match …well, think again. As Guitar Hero®: Aerosmith®
was a way for the iconic Boston group to bring renewed attention to their catalog, so too is having Tyler’s star power on American Idol keeping the group front and center. Anyone who believes Tyler when he looks Matt Lauer in the eye and says “We’re fighting right now,” well…c’mon…so are Mick and Keith…and they continue to fight…right to the bank.
On May - 9 - 2011
James Bond creator Ian Fleming was born in May (28th) of 1906 and was 56 when he passed on in 1964, but his creation opened the door for big budget comic book hero movies. This is not one of them! The Almighty Thor is a curious concoction, broadcast on Sy Fy – a channel which is trying to redefine Sci-Fi and should have kept the spelling to how Forrest J. Ackerman originally coined it. The low-budget made-for-tv movie culled from Norse mythology (oh – don’t confuse this with Marvel Comics – the channel winks at you from the corner of its eye) is a boring two hours of bad acting, mediocre writing and a thorough waste of my time. Maybe the kids of today want as much Thor or any other comic book hero as they can get their hands on…if not, what was the point? Read the rest of this entry »
In a “Virtual Roundtable” with Industrial Light and Magic Visual Effects Supervisor, Bill George, I and other critics got to chat with Bill online for two hours on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at noon, Eastern time.
Unlike the in-person roundtable interviews with Jodie Foster and Michael Moore, I don’t know if I am (or was) #4, #5 or 007! …but here is some of the interview along with a review of the terrific DVD release of I AM NUMBER FOUR. http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/25145
X-MEN First Class is – arguably – the best of the five X-MEN films, thus far.
It is all that it promises, a big, expensive and glitzy summer box office smash that will delight and thrill. Superhero stories have gone beyond being adventures for comic book fans only, having plunged headfirst into the mainstream, especially the X-Men. This comic book franchise’s personalities evolved into major Marvel characters after initially finding themselves second fiddle to The Fantastic Four, somewhere between The Avengers and The Inhumans. The good news is that, despite some incidental flaws, X-Men First Class should have real staying power. Read the rest of this entry »
22)Movie Review: The Source Code
April - 1 - 2011 Duncan Jones did a wonderful job directing and
co-writing the 2009 cult-hit Moon. He returns in 2011 with a cerebral revisit to the land of agoraphobia with something that is more like the Matrix than a first glance would reveal. Using one set repeatedly takes great scriptwriting and direction, television used the idea to good effect with every comedy bit from The Honeymooners to The Golden Girls, but keeping a sci-fi audience’s attention takes real Harlan Ellison/Robert Bloch/Philip K. Dick skill and Ben Ripley does a fine job with that. The advance press notes that Jake Gyllenhaal sought out Duncan Jones and in an interview with Jones conducted in Boston on March 22nd the director had praise for – and examples of – Gyllenhaal’s expert abilities…the end result is a mind-blowing experience that will stand up to repeated spins on DVD.
Mel Gibson has made an entire career out of playing characters with borderline personality disorder. Impulsive actions, unstable moods and chaotic relationships go beyond the desperate Tom Mullen in 1996′s Ransom, the internal struggle as Justin McLeod in 1993′s The Man Without a Face, and maybe the strangest – Jerry Fletcher in 1997′s Conspiracy Theory where he’s obsessed with Erin Brockovich (ok, ok Julie Roberts) and says in a Taxi Cab “I, uh, I have some problems.” He’s really got some problems in The Beaver…and for anyone who has watched the Oz television series where the lovable psychotic Cyril O’Reily (played by Scott William Winters) wears a Beaver hand-puppet, well, director Jodie Foster takes it very much to the next level. Read the rest of this entry »http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/24610
24)The Sacred Triangle: David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop 1971-1973 David Bowie's 65th Birthday 1-8-12
April - 19 - 2011
To those fascinated by the work of Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and David Bowie in the “golden era” of 1971-1973, this DVD is an interesting sideways look at the time through the eyes of Angie Bowie, Warhol Factory’s Billy Name, authors Victor Bockris, Davie Thompson and others. That all three men are still alive and breathing – and giving interviews – makes the Sacred Triangle a different perspective rather than the last word on how these three pioneers blended their talents. It’s especially enlightening when one gets to see and hear Thompson and Bockris, two writers who have investigated this point in time at length…Bockris with his books on Warhol and Lou Reed (entitled Transformer), Thompson who has an entire book on this very DVD titled “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed”.
25)Vanilla Fudge Live at the Regent Theater
March - 28 - 2011
Saturday evening, March 26, 2011 Vanilla Fudge rocked the Regent Theater over on 7 Medford St., in Arlington Massachusetts, The venerable old hall which first opened in 1916 had Little Anthony & The Imperials perform there in the 1960s, but for most of the latter part of the 20th century, it was a wonderful old movie house. Now as a concert hall / movie theater there’s new energy and new life in the hall…and this exquisite show only proves the importance of saving these regional theaters wherever they may be in the world.
Bassist Pete Bremy joined original members Vince Martell (guitar & vocals), drummer Carmine Appice and lead singer/keyboard player Mark Stein. The theater was pretty much packed and…in a room that contains the volume, the Fudge used the dynamics of their sound to their advantage, blasting the roof off, when necessary, and bringing it down so that you could hear the proverbial pin drop. “Take Me For A Little While”, a masterpiece of pop music, was played to perfection with “Season Of The Witch”, “Eleanor Rigby” and other VF staples getting the treatment. As the group used to headline over Led Zeppellin in the early days, a killer “Dazed & Confused” with Appice sounding like he was playing on the original 1967-ish Jeff Beck Group albums (where Aynsley Dunbar did the honors…and I never understood why millions and millions of Zeppelin fans never grabbed copies of those two Beck classic which are so Yardbird-esque…but that’s a story for another day)…here was the VF/Cactus/Beck-Bogert-Appice drummer giving a clinic, not only on the John Bonham-heavy “Dazed & Confused” but with his show solo as well. The audience was all middle-aged…and people knew each other from the era (and the Boston area club scene) so the socializing was as key as the music being appreciated.
Director Kevin MacDonald’s follows director Domenic Sena’s Season Of The Witch by about a month, both films displaying sword fighting four years after Zack Snyder’s 300 brought the blood fests into vogue. While Season Of The Witch is an intriguing paean to the Hammer Films / American International Pictures of the 1960s (especially Roger Corman’s Edgar Allen Poe movies), The Eagle sports multiple intriguing plots that push veteran actors Donald Sutherland and Denis O’Hare way into the background, and a not-so-thinly veiled homosexual undercurrent between the master, Roman soldier Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) and his British slave, Esca (Jamie Bell). Telling the story set in 135 A.D. with these two enemies building a deep friendship and devotion is less blatant but (in a very quiet and subtle way) more intense than Brokeback Mountain. Perhaps because Jake Gyllenhall’s Jack Twist and Heath Ledger’s Ennis Del Mar didn’t come with Uncle Donald Sutherland purchasing one to attend to the other, Gyllenhall/Twist’s passive role couldn’t overcome Ledger/Del Mar’s self-hatred. As the hatred that Esca and Marcus have was inbred they have opportunities to overcome it. Starting with Marcus showing mercy to a slave that displayed absolutely no fear in a David vs. Goliath battle where Esca was a mere bull to be slaughtered for the pleasure of those in attendance.http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/21057
27)Borderline Eleven: Read Between The Lines
February - 14 - 2011
It’s not an earthquake in Hooksett, New Hampshire, it’s the release of a nine-song CD by the area’s favorite sons, Borderline Eleven. Outside of some acoustics, as on the final track “2 A.M.”, the group offers a non-stop onslaught of heavy guitar battling spitfire vocals of Dan Charpentier (who also plays rhythm). The riffs are inventive and the four band mates – backing vocalist/drummer Andy Mason, backing vocalist/bassist Joe Campbell and lead guitar/backing vocalist Luke Mason – do have a sound that shows the potential to blossom in a great way.
“The Fight” is brash while “747” has nuances that cry out for stronger production. The lyrics are pretty good on this one too, and with anticipated jamming on the club scene that distinctness should be pushing through the rumblings…especially as they spend more time in the studio. The press kit says they’ve been jamming since 2005 and with six of the nine tunes coming in under the four minute mark they have the pop sensibility needed to keep that general audience which appears to have a more limited attention span clued-in on their gospel.http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/21195
29)Movie Review: Paul Is A Disposable Movie (Trailer)
March - 20 - 2011
A Boston band called The Machines had a 45 RPM entitled “Disposable Music”, which was a premonition of things to come…not all the music in 2011 as collector-oriented as that from just a few decades before.
And along the lines of that tune, the film Paul is a disposable movie, mildly entertaining, something to do for a day or evening, but at times so cloying with its predictable jokes that it inevitably turns into a bit of a roller coaster ride at a theme park…something to do once in a great while but not enticing enough to draw you back too soon. Like the movie trailer where the Seth Rogan-voiced alien, “Paul” resurrects a bird only to kill it again…by eating it, the jokes are sometimes unfunny or funny for just one spin.
Labels: Elliot Murphy Gallagher