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
Welcome to February!
EXPLORE POP CULTURE WITH AWARD-WINNING ACCESS TV PRODUCER 1)The Eagle of the Ninth -
JOE VIGLIONETHE BOOKS, DVDS, CDS LISTED HERE DISCUSSED LIVE FRIDAY NIGHTS, 8-9 PM beginning 2-25-11!
CALL IN AND TALK ABOUT MEDIA!
film with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell
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 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 Read more here: http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/21057
#2 Birdsong At Morning ANNALS OF MY GLASS HOUSE
“Those Beautiful Words” opens up this four CD collection of remasters housed in a boxed set, an exquisite presentation of dreamy songs, elegant production work all performed and presented with a huge touch of class. “Prodigal Soul” which follows the first track is just as exhilarating with James Blunt-styled soft rock that is both mesmerizing and quite satisfying. Where Adam Ezra Group has a harder edge along these same lines, Birdsong At Morning is ultra-smooth, simply perfect Triple A music that is radio friendly and holds up well with your player on repeat.
To get a handle on what this boxed set is about one has to look at the releases and how they were issued. Six songs on Bound were released on January 1, 2009 containing 28 minutes and 17 seconds of music. October 6, 2009 saw Heavens issued, six songs covering 30 minutes Vigil (6 songs) was released on March 23, 2010 clocking in at 29 and a half minutes with the 7 song Lumens, a 29 minute album, released October 19, 2010. All releases are on the Blue Gentian Records imprint. Read more here: http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/20783
3) JEFF BECK: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PARTY HONORING LES PAUL
HERE'S THE PRESS RELEASE! Vigione Joe review to follow!
~On DVD and Blu-ray February 22, 2011~
New York, NY (January 18, 2011)–Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the simultaneous release of Jeff Beck: Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul on DVD and Blu-ray on February 22, 2011. Filmed in high definition at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City this past spring, this musical celebration of the great Les Paul features selections of his songs and other great rock 'n' roll tracks. [Pre-book order date January 28, MSRP $14.98 for DVD, $19.98 for Blu-ray]. Additionally, ATCO will be offering a CD of this exclusive show, featuring 20 live tracks from the evening, on the same day.
On June 9, 2010, which would have been Les Paul’s 95th birthday, Jeff Beck and a host of special guests paid homage to the musical icon at the very club where he performed every Monday night. Rockabilly songstress Imelda May and her band, led by Darrel Higham, as well as Gary US Bonds, Brian Setzer and Trombone Shorty, join Beck on many of the tracks. This collection of talent, performing in the clubs intimate setting, truly captures the spirit of Les Paul’s weekly gigs, and the DVD puts the viewer right there in the audience for a showcase of stunning musicianship and truly great songs. Spotted in the audience at this spectacular event is an amalgam of stars, such as David Bowie, Meat Loaf, Steven Van Zandt, Paul Shaffer, Kirk Hammett, and Nils Lofgren.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul includes the classics “Bye Bye Blues,” “Sitting On Top Of The World,” “Mockin' Bird Hill,” “Peter Gunn,” “How High The Moon,” “New Orleans,” “Walking In The Sand,” and many more! In addition to the music, the DVD contains a host of bonus features: An interview with Jeff Beck; Behind The Scenes; “At home with Jeff Beck & his guitars”; “Jeff Beck & Les Paul – Rock ‘n’ Roll Tonite” and “Les Paul & his little black box.”
A five-time Grammy-Award winner, with five more nominations under his belt for 2011, Jeff Beck will take this party on the road with Imelda May and her band for a spring tour. Dates are below.
Following the hugely successful release of Jeff Beck’s Performing This Week…Live at Ronnie Scotts DVD/Blu-ray in 2009, this DVD is not to be missed by fans of either of these true guitar icons.
Eagle Rock Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company operating across audiovisual entertainment programming. Eagle Rock Entertainment works directly alongside talent to produce the highest quality programming output covering film, general entertainment and musical performance. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices based in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hamburg, & Paris.
#4 THE ATLANTICS LONELYHEARTS/TIRED GIRL
Review on TMRZoo.com http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/20953
The four-minute and 23 second classic included on the Rhino’/Atlantic D.I.Y. sampler was a barn-burner on Boston radio and a solid argument that had it been issued on a major label history would be different for the band that toured with Roxy Music and was a staple on the New England scene throughout the 70s and early 80s. A transition to Ball & Pivot and other spinoffs achieved certain levels of success, but if it all has to be focused into a single moment, this terrific release does it.
At 3:15 “Lonelyhearts” is eminently repeatable, you can just listen to the same tune in succession to itself and find satisfaction. Guitarist Fred Pineau has always been obsessed with Kinks riffs, inverting them, reinventing them and this nod to The Cars benefits from the understated paean to Ray Davies…but it is Pineau’s terrific solo which isolates the frenzy, splashes of rock & roll spirit that drive right back into the superb and catchy chorus. The guitar glides up under Bobby Marron’s intense notification that he can, indeed, hear your heartbeat. Engineered at the Hit Factory NYC in 1979 Great to have in this new package.
B/w Tired Girl is pretty ingenious as this is a more cat-like slinky spy novel come to life about some girl who has “been around the world” and is making a soft landing (or maybe not) with her tired boy. The late Bruce Wilkinson and Paul Caruso would both be proud, and should rest happily with this release of their important efforts. Tired Girl clocks in at 3:23…it’s on SOMETHING’S HOT and …it is
#5 THE GREAT WHITE BEAR (Book Review)
Author: Kieran Mulvaney http://www.kieranmulvaney.com/
Published by Houghton/Mifflin/Harcourt
Review by guest author Craig Fenton!
The Great White Bear
A Natural & Unnatural History Of The Polar Bear
As noteworthy as it may be to profile another human, can you imagine the complicatedness of deducing the mindset of a two thousand pound marine mammal?
Author Kieran Mulvaney’s expertise far supersedes the aptitude of penning some common and obscure facts. He sees the world through the eyes of the polar bear.
While anyone could compose from afar, Kieran sculptured his thoughts from the trenches. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada is only for the heartiest of creatures (human or other). With a myriad of days where temperatures are too far below zero to comprehend the full-time residents don’t break the one-thousand mark. Kieran took the journey and not only survived but thrived in his digesting of the life and plight of the polar bear.
Kieran’s prodigious mixture of facts and the daily existence of the polar bear fulfill the reader’s expectations. Often those that write about the ecology, the planet, and or specific creatures are pompous and condescending. Kieran makes each page discernible for the eyes. Every paragraph shows the passion and craftsmanship of an author that writes for the love and the cause and keeps the ego in the garage.
Possessing the right amount of chapters and some spellbinding photos Kieran delivers the polar bear to us without having to brave the elements.
As each tick of the clock brings the polar bear closer to extinction Kieran Mulvaney teaches us about survival and how none of us are guaranteed a spot on the planet no matter size, strength, or geographical location.
All the best,
Author: Jefferson Airplane Take Me To A Circus Tent
Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite
#6 LOU REED'S ROCK 'n' ROLL ANIMAL LIVES!
In a phone call with Marty Balin last night he told me he was very impressed with what Wolfsgang’s Vault did with his Jefferson Airplane material. They mailed him the “boxed set” with liner notes, photos and the music on a flash drive! Let’s hope for a similar event with Lou Reed’s music.
As Reed gets ready to play Sundance on Sunday, January 23, 2011, I’m revisiting his concerts, comparing three different shows on his 1973 tour…Falkonteatret (Copenhagen, Denmark) Sep 19, 1973 along with Birmingham Odeon (Birmingham, England) Oct 3, 1973 and the concert at the Apollo Theatre Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland) Sep 24, 1973
The nine minutes and six seconds which close out the October 3rd show – a terrific version of one of his many signature tunes, “Rock & Roll” (not the Led Zeppelin song), is perfection. The entire concert is very good, though London and Lenox Massachusetts (the first stop on the tour) are still the key tapes, the A+ performances that the world has yet to hear. Bob Ezrin should be impressed when those shows finally emerge.http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/20078
#7 STEPPENWOLF SEVEN
A couple of quotes from George Biondo of STEPPENWOLF received
February 6, 2011I just wanted to let you know that I happened to find one of your really well written reviews of "Steppenwolf 7" on Music Direct while I was skimming through web sites for information....
Joe Vig review:
only recorded seven discs for Dunhill Records in the short span between 1968 and 1971, six of them studio albums, and one allegedly "live" -- though there was early Sparrow
material recorded in May of 1967 not released by the label until 1972. Throw in a greatest-hits package along with Columbia's reissue of yet more Sparrow
recordings, and how they came up with Steppenwolf 7
for the title of this, their fifth studio recording for Dunhill, is a question for hardcore fans of the band to debate (don't even bring the movie soundtracks into this equation). Richard Podolor
has taken the production reins from Gabriel Mekler
, as he did with Three Dog Night
, but where the producer was able to take Hoyt Axton
's "Joy to the World" to number one in a notable six weeks in 1971 with the vocal trio and labelmates of this group, the author of "The Pusher," Axton
, is represented here by his "Snowblind Friend," a topic not likely to get Steppenwolf
chart action. And that's the dilemma with Steppenwolf 7
. This is a very worthwhile Steppenwolf
recording... read more here: http://www.allmusic.com/album/steppenwolf-7-r18996/review
For Ladies Only FROM GEORGE BIONDO
By the way Thank You so very kindly for the positive comments on "Morning Blue". That one and "In Hopes of a Garden" from "For Ladies Only, which I wrote and sang are two of my mom's favorites
Produced by Richard Podolor
Read more on AllMusic.com: http://www.allmusic.com/album/for-ladies-only-r19006/review
A very democratic brew, which is interesting but for the most part doesn't have the punch of the title track or the nugget from the Mars Bonfire
solo disc, "Ride With Me." The original Sparrow
guitarist's presence casts a good shadow and remains as essential to this crew as the lead singer and keyboard player. Why they didn't keep Bonfire
on from day one of their journey is the mystery. This 1971 Dunhill release produced by Richard Podolor
for Steppenwolf Productions, Inc. makes that point loud and clear, though the Kent Henry
instrumental "Black Pit" does tend to sound like Blues Image
, and proves the point made earlier. If John Kay
wasn't in the mood to sing, the material works better with no voice at all. His absence from three of the ten tracks is perhaps an indication that he had his sights set on a solo career. Kent Henry
and George Biondo
moved on with the singer for his 1972 outing Forgotten Songs & Unsung Heroes
#9 NO STRINGS ATTACHED
Movie Review: No Strings Attached – A Depraved Sexual Fantasyland
January - 21 - 2011
When I was back there in Catholic school – in the years before the X rating existed – the nuns would cut out the movie listing of “censored” films from a newspaper called The Pilot (which still exists today). Many of these motion pictures that back in 1966 were considered “filth” are now cherished works of art aired on broadcast television. “No Strings Attached”
is not a work of art, but it somehow got an R rating when its racy audio is the most X rated soundtrack this critic has heard in his entire life. Heck, even my porno collection (a critic must be well-rounded you know) doesn’t have the vile, vulgar, disgusting use of sexual terms and flying F words that proliferate across and over the celluloid. And if the reaction of the packed house is any indication, this raunchy “chick flick” is going to appeal to the prurient interests of the teens and twenty-somethings who will indulge in this the way that the Porky’s and American Pie sagas satisfied their respective decades.
Do not allow your young daughters to see this film! (Beth G, Lou Reed's former assistant, wondered why I didn't say don't let your young sons and daughters see this film. OK, I stand corrected, Beth! Rate this one X) Read more here: http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/20004
#10 MALDEN ENTERTAINMENT HOTLINE with Matt McKay, Johnny A
Who is Matt McKay?
Matt McKay lived in Malden and used to play showcases at the Channel many years ago. He founded the band Adrenalin which morphed into Extreme, played for Rick Berlin’s band in the late 80s, etc., and is still performing his solo acoustic shows, recording and will be working on an arts documentary that he will keep us posted on.
Former Boston guy who went to Los Angeles and is now back home, Jon Butcher (performer on the soundtrack music for Showtime’s Hendrix film; cable TV shows Deadwood and Star Trek: Next Generation), teamed up last year with his new musical partner, Charlie Farren. Butcher and Farren played to pretty much the same audiences in the 70s so the union is logical and highly anticipated. Their combination has resulted in a new group — Farren/Butcher Inc.
Read more here:http://www.wickedlocal.com/malden/newsnow/x639360708/Malden-Entertainment-Hotline-What-s-new-on-the-music-scene
#11 Johnny A DVD
And speaking of geniuses uniting — from piano maestros to guitar legends, on Friday, Feb. 4 Malden’s own Johnny A joined the Legends of Rock ‘n’ Blues Show featuring Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Brad Whitford and James Montgomery at the Lynn Auditorium in Lynn. Johnny’s One November Night DVD/CD combo was recorded at Sculler’s Jazz club and is getting rave reviews on Blogcritics.org and other sites. Check out his Facebook page for upcoming shows this year.
Read more here:http://www.wickedlocal.com/malden/newsnow/x639360708/Malden-Entertainment-Hotline-What-s-new-on-the-music-scene
#12 THE CAPE (New TV show)
Rugged Australian actor David Lyons is pretty much unknown in these parts, his appearance as Dr. Simon Brenner on ER’s last two seasons giving TV fans a glimpse of his talents. In The Cape he plays as cliche a superhero as you can get, as close to Batman as NBC can bring the character without a copyright infringement suit. His “cape” is made out of spider’s web, given to him by Max Malini (actor Keith David), who is – for all intents and purposes – Morpheus from The Matrix working with Neo, Lyons’ Vince Farraday/The Cape character. If you thought The Matrix took every element it could from movies and tv that came before, series “creator” Tom Wheeler thought so too. You’ll find pieces of The Terminator TV series, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Spiderman 1, 2, 3…and The Matrix, of course, all wrapped up in this serious version of the Batman TV series from the 1960s, sans Robin, of course. But there is Orwell, played by Summer Lyn Glau from, gee whiz, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles where she was a terminatrix called Cameron. You can’t get away from how the producers cleverly are picking up on the fan base built by the Terminator TV series which aired for two short seasons in 2008 and 2009, and for those who enjoyed that program, many of the atmospheric touches transfer over to this.
The Cape: Television Premiere Episode Review
Read more here: http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/19425
#13 In Memory of Hal Hebb
On August 3, 2010 we lost Bobby Hebb, co- author of a song that won a Grammy for vocalist Lou Rawls entitled “A Natural Man”, and singer/performer of a song on the Grammy winning album Night Train To Nashville, the modern pop classic “Sunny”.
Some say “Sunny” was written by Bobby Hebb for God, other reviews of the song claim it was for one particular woman, while still others reference the loss of Bobby’s older brother, Hal Hebb, on November 23, 1963, as a catalyst for one of the greatest songs in the history of popular music. On August 26, 1995, Bobby appeared on my television program, Visual Radio, and gave a clear description of how he wrote his masterpiece:
Read more here:http://www.tmrzoo.com/2010/17151
#14 Law & Order SVU: Episode #261
In its new time spot on Wednesday nights at 10 PM, Law & Order SVU brought veteran (and Oscar-winning) actor Jeremy Irons onboard for “Mask”, episode #261, the thirteenth of this twelfth season. For the general audience which tunes in for the latest sordid tale it is the usual well-crafted sixty minutes of whodunit, a Perry Mason drama (from the detectives’ perspective, not the lawyer’s) which graphically delves into all aspects of human sexual behavior, this episode touching upon topics such as lesbianism, incest, rape, mugging, sex addiction and ethics. Have we missed anything?
For the obsessive SVU fans who post comments on the All Things Law And Order blog, well, they are looking for more bang for their buck, however, the program is still a good watch despite its mileage.
Where Irons was a terrorist, Simon Peter Gruber, in the third Die Hard film, here he is a recovered sex-addict who is now a sex therapist, Captain “Cap” Jackson. The thing that drives this critic bonkers about SVU is all the coincidences, some first lover from the past of Ann Jackson, the daughter of Irons’ character, oh just happens to be an essential part of the plot.
Read more here: http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/19578
15 THE TWIST
Review by Joe Viglione
Your Twist Party is an interesting and fun album from Chubby Checker, starting off with his classic rendition of Hank Ballard's "The Twist," and continuing with "twist"-style arrangements of popular tunes of the era. Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" gets the same treatment as Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" — sung "Twist around the clock" here. Picture the Ramones giving their trademark power-chord treatment to cover songs their fans could identify with, and you get the spirit at play on Your Twist Party. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" gets a "twist" mutation, while Chubby adds some Big Bopper/Jerry Lee Lewis ad libs to Kal Mann's "Mister Twister." Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" receives a nice modulation — and an adaption as well — "You ain't nothing but a hound dog/twistin' all the time/little sister you're a twister and you ain't no friend of mine." Mann & Appell create the "Mexican Hat Twist" out of the "Mexican Hat Dance," just as Kal Mann may have inspired the Beach Boys with his "Twistin' U.S.A." (years before the Fat Boys brought a common denominator to both camps by charting on separate occasions with Chubby and the Beach Boys ).
Read more on Flickr.com
#16 SOULIVE / BOWLIVE Live at the Brooklyn Bowl
Soulive "Bowlive" Coming to DVD - March 22
Live performance from 2010, featuring guests like
Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Rahzel, Questlove and more.
Bowlive 2 announced: March 1-5 and 8-12
In March of 2010, the members of Soulive hauled their instruments through the doors of a newly-opened warehouse-turned-music venue in Brooklyn that they would call home for the next two weeks. Eric Krasno, Alan Evans and Neal Evans called on a multitude of their closest friends and musical conspirators to join them over the next fortnight - creating an incredibly broad guest lineup that included some of the pre-eminent guitar virtuosos of our generation (Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes), some of the biggest names in hip-hop (Questlove, Rahzel), and some of the most inventive improvisational players in modern rock n' roll (Robert Randolph, Marco Benevento, Oteil & Kofi Burbridge).
The Brooklyn Bowl quickly became the mecca for these very distinct yet like-minded musicians, where they returned night after night, donning the dress code for good times (bowling shoes) and sharing famous Blue Ribbon fried chicken. The common thread that tied together all these disparate ingredients quickly became palpable -- from the transcendental heartfelt improvisations onstage to the homey & playful atmosphere provided by the bowling alley, the Soulive residency was like nothing that had come before it because all of those diverse elements fused to ultimately bring the Soul to Brooklyn Bowl.Trailer
Soulive is heading back to Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue - Brooklyn) for Bowlive 2. The veteran soul groove outfit's acclaimed residency is set for another ten funk-infused evenings -- March 1-5 and 8-12 -- glittered with special guests every night. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 9pm, and admission is $15 (21+). The "Bowlive" DVD will be available (for early purchase) to all who attend.
Brooklyn Bowl is a LEED certified, 16-lane, 600-capacity bowling, concert and dining destination. It occupies a former ironworks factory built in 1882 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and seamlessly blends exciting new technologies (including a custom-designed JBL Vertec sound system, stage lighting, and a nine-screen, high-definition digital video projection system) into the beautifully restored old structure. The venue features a full restaurant and menu by Blue Ribbon, the acclaimed NYC-based restaurant group.
17) KATHY BATES in HARRY'S LAW
- my favorite new show!
Kathy Bates and Brittany Snow Debut Last Night In Harry’s Law
Between 1963 and 1965 there was a woman’s sexy voice declaring on television “It’s Burke’s law–h”. Burke’s Law featured Gene Barry (from the 1953 War Of The Worlds) as Amos Burke, an imaginative but not very realistic rich police captain solving crime in a Rolls Royce. Enter the highly compelling Kathy Bates forty-eight years later in David E. Kelley’s return to The Practice/Boston Legal place he’s so familiar with and a show that bears a similar title: Harry’s Law.
Kathy Bates as lawyer Harriet Korn – participating in a comedy/drama a la Boston Legal – is a brilliant casting move. Now Kelley is free to push the boundaries again because superstar Bates can overshadow the excesses. This mixing of humor and drama is risky business and, as seen with the recent Green Hornet film (debuting appropriately enough on the weekend before Harry’s Law’s first voyage), it doesn’t necessarily work. It is, as stated above, the acting of Bates which saves the day and the serious courtroom moments rise above the forced humor. Read more here: http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/19785
18) GILLEN & TURK BACKS TO THE WALL
Review by Joe Viglione
In the tradition of Batdorf & Rodney, England Dan & John Ford Coley and Seals & Crofts these two fine songwriter/singers, Matt Turk and Fred Gillen Jr. bring their blend of Americana, folk rock and solid instrumentation to this CD episode they call Backs To The Wall. "Fall Down" has the jangling R.E.M. style that makes it highly commercial, a total contrast to the almost off-key "Takes Me Away", almost five minutes of Velvet Underground-third album melancholy. "It Really Matters" is culled from The Grateful Dead catalog and makes the duo a perfect fit to perform in the Boston area with one of Ken Selcer's many bands. "Black Hills" and "Come Away With Me" have mesmerizing sounds and riveting themes..."Black Hills" right out of the C.S.N.Y. repertoire when they were stomping with "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Ohio". Real protest music. The musicianship is strong, just as you'd expect from journeyman Turk. The addition of Fred (Gillen Jr) gives Matt an opportunity to stretch out from his own solo pop to a harder-edged sometimes anst-filled style ("Come Away With Me" comes to mind in that regard). "These Nameless Streets" would be fine for a Jack Kerouac flick...or if some filmmaker wants to take the Route 66 TV series from the 1960s to the big screen. "Three" is innovative and has mandolin-like sounds with charging guitar...political issues...think George Harrison's "Within Without You" going for a wider audience. "Killing Machine" also has the R.E.M. jangle combined with protest lyrics while "This Town Is Our Song" feels like a low-key response to Simon & Garfunkel's "My Little Town", though not as maudlin yet still very melancholy (did I use that word already). A strong effort from some spirited musicians worth your listening time.
19)IGGY POP LIVE
It is tough to compete with The Stooges
and Fun House
when it comes to menacing rock & roll/ punk with as much ambiance as attitude. With a bootleg type feel, Live San Fran 1981 is still able to rise above the predictable with a few choice cuts to satisfy those devoted to Iggy's music. Opening with a decent "Some Weird Sin" from 1977's Lust for Life
, this set is not comprehensive, and that it is so haphazard is actually a plus here. The obligatory "TV Eye" and "1969" are included, but outside of the title track to "Lust for Life," everything else will be obscure to people not acquainted with the Stooges' brand of mayhem. Read more here:
20) CONNIE ST PIERRE MOUNTAIN SPIRITShttp://www.smasheasy.com/musiccsp.html
21) Matt Turk AMERICAN PRESERVATION
This is an interesting left turn for Matt Turk, a countrified modern-ish Americana album of cover tunes that cover a wide spectrum and diverse musical field. Turk's voice lends itself well to these journeys, some obscure, some very popular at one point in time. Opening up with John Denver's "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" gives the song authenticity that this writer felt the over-exposed John Denver lost along the way..."Lovin' In My Baby's Eyes" works better for me than that...and run-throughs of "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" or the sublime Rolling Stones country moment, "Sweet Virginia". As a jamboree flash of the moment they would work fine but it is hard to improve on greatness in this setting and Turk fares much better with his stunningly beautiful reinterpretation of "I'll Follow The Sun". Not to say that anyone can improve a Beatles episode, they are all so indelibly imprinted on our minds, but his soulful stirrings are tremendous and say more about the artist and his ability to take that melody down a notch to a different place. "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" is another hard song to compete with, Matt holds his own but is more effective when he goes for it "On The Turning Away" with its masterful a capella flourishes. "America The Beautiful" gets a respectful reading while "City Of New Orleans" is also so much larger than life that it would fit into a live show more efficiently than a live-in-the-studio cd. But "Wabash Cannonball" and "Mama Don't Allow" also have big moments...the lesser known compositions the more appealing excursions - to these ears - than the popular numbers, for the most part. Still, a nice effort...commendable, really, and something Spanky McFarlane and Mark Newman would like to be on a bill with, no doubt.
22)RETURN TO THE WORLD OF OZ David Kubinec
23)Scott Kempner's Tenement Angels
REVIEW TO PRINT SOON! Here's the P.R. from GB MusicGB Music is proud to announce the release of Scott Kempner's Tenement Angels on CD & LP. Scott is a co-founder of two of the most legendary bands to emerge from New York City, The Dictators and The Del-Lords. The Vinyl is limited to 500 copies and each album comes with a free digital download and a hand signed poster. The CD & Vinyl are available on amazon.com and fine music stores everywhere.http://www.gbmusic.com/news.php
29) Ken Elkinson
30) AMY GREEN UP FROM THE MIDDLE
Phil Poirer IN THE MORNING Smasheasy Recors / Tourmaline Music
32) Matt Richtel / Devil's Plaything
33) Mark Farner For the People
If you take the guitar riff from Santana
's "Smooth" and shake it up in a blender with Edwyn Collins
sublime "A Girl Like You," the result will be one of Mark Farner
's best tracks since "Bad Time," a catchy pop tune he calls "Nadean" on what could be the Grand Funk
lead singer's most important solo effort in the close to 30 years that he's been making music full-time without Mel Schacher
and Don Brewer
. The 11 songs on For the People
contain more hits than misses, though, from the beautifully Hendrixian
"Cry Baby" to the elegant and post-'80s-and-into-the-new-millennium "Girl." Sure the titles have been utilized by Garnet Mimms
and the Beatles
, respectively, but these are originals exuding the R&B that Farner
is so enamored of, along with those pop sensibilities that he's totally capable of but has kept from his audience for much too long. Read more here:http://allmusic.com/album/for-the-people-r1031336/review
"Anywhere USA" coming to DVD on March 22
Part satire, part tragedy, part masterpiece theatre gone awry, ANYWHERE USA is a comedy of manners that defies gravity.
Starring Perla Haney-Jardine (Kill Bill)
In a trailer deposited in an unkempt pastoral glade, a woman who used to be an alternate on her high school tennis team beats her boyfriend senseless once a week. She beats him, cause, well he deserves it. It's his act of redneck contrition...
Meanwhile, an eight-year-old girl finds accidental elucidation; the sort of awakening that makes her wonder if that guy next door driving the '89 Subaru is, in fact, the guy she thinks it is....
On the other side of the tracks, over there where posh beards, Kobe beef steaks and manicured gardens go hand in hand, a man of privilege has an epiphany at the dinner table that ultimately leads to a contusion and a revelation.
Told in three subtly related segments (Penance, Loss, and Ignorance), ANYWHERE USA is a du jour portrait of one man's America inspired by and drawn from the director's own experiences as both foreigner and citizen of these United States.
Featuring a cast of mostly non-professionals and exploring passive racism, geo-political vagaries, good intentions, faith and disappointment, this deeply personal film manages to tread the lines between vulgar and humane, between absurd and tender, and finds its heart in the story segment featuring the director's own daughter and a man living in a van.
Quentin Tarantino states:
"Anywhere U.S.A. reduces every audience that sees it into a delighted, giggling mob. The talented cast of non-professionals reminds one of what the word, 'amateur' really means: to love. As silly, provocative, risky and downright loose-screwed as Mr. Haney-Jardine and his cast are, the sense that they did this movie out of love - love for the weird, love for the unsayable idea, love for the privilege of movie making - proved to be one of the most moving experiences at the Sundance Film Festival. It reminds one of the joy of sitting in an audience of strangers while everyone laughs hysterically."
Other press quotes:
"...there might just be some genius there. God help us." - Moriarty, Ain't It Cool News
"Haney-Jardine's film mixes striking still photos, text overlaid the images on the screen, a wry sense of the absurd in the everyday, the capacity to see the banal in the extraordinary, and the capacity to find the extraordinary in the everyday." - James Rocchi, Cinematical
"High Art crashes into THE DUKES OF HAZZARD...the most unusual of the dramatic competition films at this year's SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL." - Steve Ramos, indieWIRE
"The performances, cinematography, trippy score and just the flat out strange stories are worth taking the ride. " - Jason Guerrasio, eFilmmaker Magazin
WINNER: Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival.
WINNER: Best Feature: Boston Underground Film Festival
WINNER: Best First Feature: Cancun Riviera Maya Film Festival
WINNER: Best USA Feature FIlm, Jacksonville Film Festival
Opening Night Film: Chicago Underground Film Festival
#35 ANDY PRATT ONE BODY
while One Body
sounds like the aforementioned detour, a step to a place outside of the groove that makes this artist so fantastic, so important. So here judgment is passed -- superb sound, touching vocal work, but a message not effectively translated. When Billy Preston
shouts "That's the Way God Planned It" at The Concert for Bangladesh
, it brings chills. When Doris Troy
joins her gospel and rock worlds together for The Rainbow Testament
, it is sheer magic. When Eric Clapton
sweeps you into the "Presence of the Lord," it is thrilling and compelling. "Forgive You Everything" on One Body
just does not have that effect. It feels like an artist groping in the dark, searching. But then the violin of "Kadosh" comes in, and it is an amazing turn around. A slow chant with something very special: piano, violin, bass, and vocals that stir the spirit. Pratt
's voice is on in this performance, an impressive dip into the soul that makes this body of work all the more puzzling. That Pratt
did such a turn around from "Avenging Annie" to "Jesus the Lamb of God" is equal to Lou Reed
composing a masterpiece like Berlin
and then unleashing the practical joke that was Metal Machine Music
is not joking here; he is very, very serious, but the result is the same. The audience that adored his work just walks away confused.
Read more here: http://www.allmusic.com/album/one-body-r614202/review
#36) BORDERLINE ELEVEN
Borderline Eleven performed at WinCAM on Monday, January 3, 2010. Joe Viglione interviewed the band after the taping.
CD Between The Lines
Review by Joe Viglione, 3:53 PM 2-12-11
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. Gospel…a word which brings up one of this critic’s pet peeves…which is, wearing Christianity on the sleeve while performing. The entire “Christian Rock” movement seems to segregate musical skills into a genre that wants to view things as “secular” and “religious”. When artists like Andy Pratt and Robin Lane (to a lesser extent) starting moving from what made them popular to a quasi-prayer fest it not only alienated their audience quickly and efficiently, My review of Andy Pratt’s One Body album on AllMusic.com says it all succinctly. When religion fuses with Rock & Roll it is more fun when it is understood but not thrown in your face. The Rolling Stones “Shine A Light” (said by producer Jimmy Miller to have been written by the late Billy Preston), even George Harrison’s extravagant-in-sound “Awaiting On You All” as opposed to being so overt with “My Sweet Lord.” I’d be more impressed if this group covered “Awaiting On You All” and toned down the religious rhetoric on the webpage…just an older critic giving a word of advice. And he said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and to God the things which be God's.” It’s ok to rock for Caesar, it all belongs to God anyway…
A song like “Before You Go” will have more impact when keeping church and state separate…just one opinion, for all its worth. But what do I know? Borderline Eleven is a band with much promise and a superb effort to launch things from.
#37 LEO ALBATROSS at the #9 ALE HOUSE
Back in November 2007 the Observer wrote about Jamie Bondar, the leader of the band Subliminal Criminal (subliminalcriminal.net) and host of an “Open Jam,” which happened every Thursday at the then-revitalized venue, No. 9 Ale House. Jeff Munro’s famous Open Mic’s were happening on Wednesdays at the same club until that established series (now in its 11th year) moved to Hugh O’Neill’s on Pleasant Street.
There’s always a passing of the baton in this industry and the bookings are now handled by Leo F. Mooney, a.k.a. Leo Albatross.
TheObserver sat down with Leo to discuss his music and what he is doing at the No. 9 Ale House, which is located at 118 Ferry St., in Malden, and can be reached at 781-321-0265.
Malden Observer: How long have you lived in Malden, Leo?
Leo: I grew up in the metro Boston area, all over. I graduated in 2006, and have lived in Malden for approximately 2 years.
MO: When did you first get interested in music?
Leo: My love for music developed with my love for writing and expression. Since my early teenage years I was exposed to rap music, with a particular inclination toward underground and experimental hip hop, including Organized Konfusion, Kool Keith, and others.
READ MORE HERE:http://www.wickedlocal.com/malden/topstories/x1254721191/Leo-Albatross-rocks-at-The-No-9-Ale-House
#38 FELIX CAVALIERE DESTINY
#38 DESTINY FELIX CAVALIERE
This second solo disc from the Rascals' Felix Cavaliere, 1975's Destiny, has that familiar voice wrapped up in jazz-tinged disco. It's a top-notch effort which is more musical than it was commercial and is a natural extension of Island of Real, the last Rascals album, featuring some of the players who performed on that 1972 finale. The title track has Cavaliere sounding a bit like Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane, and the song is first rate, despite its disco leanings. "Flip Flop" has superb guitars from Steve Kahn and Howard "Buzz" Feiten, while Feiten's horn arrangement is executed with style by Michael Brecker on tenor sax and David Sanborn on alto sax. The surprise appearance by Rascals drummer Dino Danelli is just frosting on the cake for this theme, which comes by way of Lou Christie's "The Gypsy Cried." "Never Felt Love Before" brings Cavaliere into Motown territory, and the instrumentation resembles the Isley Brothers "This Old Heart of Mine," while "You Came and Set Me Free" has flavors from Tavares' Top Ten 1975 hit "It Only Takes a Minute Girl." If Cavaliere was taking the Rascals into jazz territory on their final discs, he veers off deeper into soul and R&B-pop here. The Bobby Hebb line "Like a natural man" Cavaliere sings at the end of "You Came and Set Me Free" before going into "Love Came" -- and all these references to soul records throughout Destiny -- are hardly coincidence. Hebb released Love Games a few years before Read more on AOL: http://music.aol.com/album/destiny/26395
#39 THE DILEMMA
Keep in mind that Kevin James played Larry Valentine in the horrendous I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. In The Dilemma, Vince Vaughn plays Ronnie Valentine to Kevin James character of Nick Brannen and what could have been a smart film about trust, honesty and human relations devolves into some kind of misguided mix of comedy and emotion. Much like Seth Rogen taking The Green Hornet to a territory where it does not belong, the two slobs that are Brannen and Valentine just can’t be taken seriously in this dark and sometimes absurd indulgence. The usually reliable Ron Howard gave us The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Frost/Nixon and even Mel Gibson’s Ransom. All those stories had production values that made them believable. But the cringe factor rises up too many times in this movie which could have hit it out of the park with a better script and a more believable approach.
The caring Vince Vaughn in 1997’s The Locusts was needed here, but that actor took a wrong turn in 1998’s failed attempt to remake the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. Remember Vaughn’s awful job of mimicking Anthony Perkins at the conclusion of director Gus Van Sant’s folly disguised as another look at author Robert Bloch’s masterpiece, Psycho?
Read more here: http://www.tmrzoo.com/2011/19623
#40 The Illusionist
I found this one disturbing. Review from TMRZoo.com to follow
PREVIEW OF MARCH!
"The Quiet Arrangement" coming to DVD on March 22
A dark thriller featuring guest appearance by Chuck D of Public Enemy
HWIC Filmworks announces the company's first feature-length motion picture, The Quiet Arrangement. Written and directed by award winning short filmmaker and music video director David C. Snyder, The Quiet Arrangement features a cast of up and coming talent including singer/actor Kyle Jason (City Teacher, Dirty Shield), Rob Stone (End Game), Kevin M. Hayes, Christina Simkovich, Julian Hicks, and Joseph D. Lane. The film also features a guest appearance by legendary Hip Hop icon Chuck D of Public Enemy.
The Quiet Arrangement was filmed entirely in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas (including Youngstown, Cleveland, and Canton, Ohio).
Chuck D comments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewuwfz3NEX8
Prominent lawyer Walter Briggs comes home to a ringing telephone. He is told by a distorted voice on the other end of the line that his wife has been kidnapped. The only way that he can get her back is to pay a ransom of money that no one else is supposed to know about.
Mr. Parks is a professional criminal who is all about the business. He is thorough and loyal and wants to keep everything as simple as possible. However, he also has some issues in his private life that threaten to derail everything that he is working on.
Detective Jack Simons has been undercover for a long time. He needs just one more bust before he can resurface and take back his life. But, just as he and his partner set everything up for a sting operation, everything goes wrong. The two cops find themselves on the short end of an escalating situation that they have no comprehension of. And then things get interesting...
Rick Fields does odd jobs for questionable people. He is defined by a terrible incident in his past that weighs on him and everything that he does. His latest gig finds him watching over the kidnapped wife of a prominent lawyer. It was supposed to be one last job so that he could get away and start his life over, but things never go according to plan.
A dark independent thriller that follows the exploits of criminals of varying stripes who are involved in a growing web of deceit and double-crosses, The Quiet Arrangement's dominant visual tone, a kind of grey wash, is not only physically ominous, but symbolically so, mirroring the foggy morality of its characters' world. Ethical ambiguity runs rampant throughout the piece, and viewers are left to their own devices when sorting-out the "bad" guys from the "good".
ABOUT HWIC Filmworks:
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, HWIC Filmworks was created by cousins John Delserone and David C. Snyder to produce independent genre films. Their relevant, edgy filmmaking style compliments their reputation for high return on investment. HWIC Filmworks looks to bring attention to talent based in the regions between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, providing creative opportunities in the motion picture industry.
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.