Monday, December 29, 2008

The Wrestler - Movie Review

Randy "The Ram" Robinson is a washed up wrestler who was a big hit 20 years ago. Now he's struggling to make ends meat and he ends up having a heart attack that sets him back from doing the one thing he knows best, Professional Wrestling. Mickey Rourke hasn't done much lately, but I have to say he is awesome in this movie. I think he plays the part just right, getting into the role and doing an amazing job. He almost looks like he might have already been pretty beat up from his own professional boxing career and whatever else he's been up to for the last 20 years.

I'll get a little more into the movie, but have to say that the soundtrack to the movie was an 80's hair band delight. Some Bang Your Head and Cinderella's Don't know What You Got fill the background along with other favorites like Round and Round from Ratt. Bruce Springsteen even has a new single that plays during the closing credits.

Evan Rachael Wood plays the estranged daughter who Randy wants to try to make amends to and Marisa Tomei gets naked once again for us as a stripper that Randy has a thing for. Not that it made the movie or anything, just had to point out that Marisa still has it going on these days.

Watching the start of this movie where they are all in a gym maybe 100 people watching them just beat on each other. It makes you remember back to the old wrestling, the true wrestling of The Crusher, Baron Von Raschke, Andre The Giant, Rick Flare, Adrian Adonis and even the original Hulk Hogan and all the greats of the time before the WWF rook over the world.

Rourke really does a great job of playing this guy who works in the grocery store during the week and on weekends wrestles because he it's his life. When he has a heart attack, he realizes that he needs to walk away from it all, but when things don't go right in life he turns to the one thing he knows best and it's all on the line for a 20 year reunion match between him and The Ayatollah.

The funny thing about Rourke is that he used to really get into the character mode. He's live the character like in Barfly. Now he really seems to be in character again and really hits it. Awesome job on this one. I don't know if this will be of the right nature to get him at least an Oscar nod, but from everything else I've seen this year, I do think he deserves it.

Well worth seeing for sure, when it comes out in wide release I would highly recommend seeing Rourke at his best and also Marisa Tomei, who really does a great job of playing a very guarded stripper, who likes Randy, but can't let it go past that. She too realizes that her days are numbered and wants something better. A very good performance for Tomei.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dave's Top 10 Cds of 2008

So here is my list of my top 10 cds that were released in 2008. This will include deluxe reissues and live music releases as well as studio recordings. You can think what you want, that's your deal. This is what I like, so let's beging:

1. The Heavy Circles - Self Titled This is Edie Brickell and Harper Simon collaberating efforts along with a pretty strong cast of characters like Money Mark, Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright and Yuka Honda. This CD came out early in 2008 and really didn't have a lot of press around it and no tour at all, but to me it's one of my favorite of the year. I might be a little biased being an Edie fan, but still I think that they did an amazing job of putting this one together. There is a really nice mix of music styles throughout the CD and with Edie on vocals it all comes together nicely. It shows that between Edie's ability to write songs and Harpers ability to add and mix the music they sure came up with a winner. Although you won't see this on many of the big media top 10's it really deserves to be there.

2. Jack Johnson - Sleep Through the Static In a little different fasion Jack Johnson added some electric guitar to the music and recorded this whole cd all on solar power. On his tour he even created a Green Village to promote the 3R's - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. There were also other things there like Vote the Environment and Just getting folks to register to vote in general. This CD again was an early 2008 release and has some great songs on it. Jack tells some funny stories on how some of the material was written, but the songs are fantastic. Jack has an amazing voice and can put together some cool lyrics togehter making up one of my favorite cds.

3. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cardinalology Ryan has been really adding a lot to his creativity this year. He spent a good amopunt of time out on the road playing and released this CD along with a new book called Infinity Blues. I wasn't sure after hearing Fix It that I would like the direction Ryan was going with this new CD, but after hearing the rest, he has an amazing new CD on his hands and I would certainly recommend going out and getting this one. You can't go wrong, there's a bit of the softer side of Ryan as well as some more Alt Country songs on this. Some of the highlights on this one are Born Into The Light, Cobwebs and Natural Ghost.

4. Zach Gill - StuffZach Gill released his first solo CD after working on the last couple Jack Johnson CDs as well as the two with his original band ALO. This to me was one of the best CDS of the year because it really has a good mix of styles that all compliment Zach's soulful voice. He hits some reggae as well as some blues and many more. Call it pop or call it what you like, but Zach is really talented and this was certainly a gem of 2008. Zach recently was out on a solo tour and will be finishing off the year on tour with ALO doing a bunch of West Coast shows together. In the summer he plays with Jack Johnson, so he is pretty much busy all year long.

5. Neil Young - Sugar MountainClassic old Neil Young playing solo acoustic to me is him at his best. this was recently released and has a bit of a hiss in the recording, but for a 40 year old show that took place right before his first solo album was released, it's a pretty cool show to hear. He does a lot of talking between songs telling funny stories. Great tunes, this one is a must for the Neil Young fans out there.

6. Kings of Leon - Only By The NightI wasn't a fan of Kings of Leon when I first saw them live opening for U2, but I think this new CD really grew on my. It really, to me, isn't a hard rock CD, but it certainly has a nice selections of different songs. For their 3rd release I think they have made it passed the sophomore slump and continue to produce some rally good music. I reall y have enjoyed listening to this one.

7. Coldplay - Viva La VidaColdplay has been a band that I have really liked over the years. You can certainly tell that this CD took a lot of thought, time and effort to produce. It wasn't a throw out 10 songs and let's make a few million. there's some heart put into these recordings. Now they are being sued over one song and so maybe it was stolen or maybe an idea came to Chris Martin based off another song. Either way it will get worked out. They are fantastic in live performance as well as in studio recordings. This is a great one to have from 2008.

8. Brian Wilson - That Lucky Old SunI wasn't really sure at all about Brian Wilson coming out with a new CD after the remake or finishing of Smile. But I have to say he really did a fantastic job of capturing that same old sound from 40 years ago and he still sounds pretty good as he mixes it all together. As a single voice, I don't think he's the best performer, but with the musically talent of puttiong the whole thing together, this was a real winner for me this year.

9. The Verve - FourthAfter a long hiatus from the music scene or at least the American music scene, The Verve exploded back with their fourth cd titled Fourth. Can't go wrong with that title. The songs are great and Richard Ashcroft really put it together with the band on this one. I don't know how well it has done, but it's one that is certainly worth a listen. They promoted it by releasing a few sessions and other things and then went out and played a bunch of festivals in Europe. I'm glad to hear them back making music.

10. The Racontuers - Consolers of the LonelyNot much in the way of advertising or promoting initially for this CD. It sort of just showed up and that was that. They did tour the US and Europe in support and eventually started to get some play time for this CD. I like the beat and I like all the stuff Jack White has done with these guys. This second release is as good as the first and I have to say that they show a wide range of talent as a band. I have yet to see them live, but have heard them live on NPR as well as other live downloads. Can't wait to see them live as they really have a great sound.

Honorable Mention: Vampire Weekend - Self titledThe debut cd for this college band really hit the charts and fits right into that Panic at The Disco style of music, not sure exactly what it's called. I have to say that on the downside, I have not heard many good things about their live performances. I have heard they play about a 45 minute show of just their CD tunes and really don't stray. So for me the question is how did they produce such a great first time CD? Will we see them for a second and will it be good or did they just happen to strike the right chord in 2008. Let's see what 2009 brings us.

Honorable Mention: David Byrne & Bryan Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen TodayI had to add this one because as hard as it was to choose a top 10 of 2008 because there were some really good things that came out, but David Byrne and Brian Eno put together this fantastic collection of songs. I haven't seen this one stick around on any charts, but it really is a classic and will be one people will be pulling out and having a listen to for many years to come. Both Byrne and Eno are so talented and together they are amazing.

There are many more I could have added including Lucinda Williams, The Roots, Ra Ra Riot, Nine Ince Nails, Conor Oberst, Old Crow Medicine Show, Old 97's, but I really picked the best as well as I could from my opinion. There's a lot of people that would say I missed the mark or whatever, but to me this was a good year of music and so many to choose from and only 10 plus spots to fill. I may change my mind over the next couple of weeks, but my top ones won't be going anywhere. Edie Brickell was fantastic in her new adventure, Ryan Adams is amazing as always and Jack Johnson is a just superb.

Please feel free to comment and add what you like, I'm always open to suggestions of new or different styles of music.

The Day The Earth Stood Still - Movie Review

The remake of the 1951 thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still came out in theaters on December 12, 2008. the movie stars Keanu Reeves as Klaatu and Jennifer Connelly as Dr. Helen Benson. Jaden Smith plays Helen's stepson Jacob. The movie mainly reveolved around the three of them, but also stars Kathy Bates as the US Secretary of Defense.

So the basis for the story if you haven't heard or read anything about it is that Klaatu comes to Earth to save the planet. The Alien took the form of Keanu Reeves, who it ran into in the Karakorum Mountains in India, while climbing a mountain. So now as it returns travelling 30,000 km/s it's going to crash into Earth or at least that's what they think.

They bring Dr. Helen Benson in as one of the experts to study what's going on and then study Klaatu in it's human for looking like Keanu Reeves. She develops a relationship with him and realizes what she needs to do to convince him that people can change and that in order to save the Earth, Klaatu doesn't need to exterminate the population.

These spheres show up all over the world collecting different species as to be like Noahs Ark. Then as everything gets collected the plan is to wipe out the universe and all man made structures with some sort of nanobots. The graphics of the film were pretty cool I must say.

In the end Helen convinces Klaatu that people can change and he stops detroying the humans and lets things return to the way they were.

I'm not sure why they always decide to remake old movies, but maybe it just has to do with the new technology and graphics they can display to make it seem cool vs. original.

The whole story about coming to destroy humans because they are killing the Earth and not doing their part to become "Green" and self sustainable is always a cool thing. I just wish people would take it upon themselves to do more to help save the planet and not go see this average film that they won't even get the message from.

I would wait for this one to come out on DVD. It has already grossed more than it's $80m price tag, but not really worth paying to see. I say Red Box Rental!

Rating: 2 out of 5

Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon - TV Movie Review

Set in the Grand Canyon back in the days of the gold rush, this movie tells the tale of an ancient Aztec civilization that is living behind one of the rock walls of the Grand Canyon. The Sci-Fi original movie stars Shannen Doherty of 90210 fame as well as Michael Shanks of Stargate SG-1. I love the fact that they show these things in HD now. So awesome to watch the cheese of all cheese in HD.

Not nearly as bad as last weeks thriller Sharks in Venice. This movie actually has a bit of a story to it. There's an ancient civilization that hides in the Grand Canyon and there is some alien monster that controls the people forcing them to make sacrifices as if it were a god.

Shannen Doherty plays Susan Jordon who is an archaeologist, who is working for the Smithsonian and is planning to meet up with her Father, but he doesn't show. So now they go looking for him and find that he has discovered the lost city and they need to save him.

Personally this was probably the biggest waste of 2 hours time, but it has the cheese factor and that's what made it worth watching.

Not sure when it will play again, but if you get a chance, catch it for sure.
I loved it when Michael Shanks self sacrificed himself, by pulling out his heart and then after coming back to life killed the alien god and became the new god.
Too funny!

Rating: 1/2 out of 5

The Punisher: War Zone - Movie Review

This Punisher movie is really not a sequel to the 2004 movie with Thomas Jane. It's more of a new version that was adapted from one of the spin-off comics called The Punisher WarZone that was written and published in the early to mid 1990's.

This version of the Punisher doesn't get heavy into the past and what made Frank Castle into what he is, but more of a jump into a story with Frank Castle, played by British actor Ray Stevenson, who was in the HBO series Rome. The Punisher is out to take down all the crime families in the city and in this particular story he turns Billy Russoti(Dominic West, from The Wire) into a warped criminal with a twisted messed up face called Jigsaw.

So the movie has some pretty graphic violence and some good action sequences. The Punisher certainly takes no prisoners, but in this movie he ends up taking down an undercover cop, who had infiltrated Jigsaws organization. Now he feels he owes a debt to the wife and daughter. He then finds out they are in danger and now need to protect them and take care of them until he can take down Jigsaw.

Well Jigsaw and his brother Looney Bin Jim get the family and draw The Punisher to the hotel that is heavily armed and he has to come up with a plan to save them. Part of this is to team up with the police and FBI to run some interference for him to get in the building and to the woman and her daughter.

The whole next part of the movie plays out as a wild and crazy gun battle action scene. Bullets are flying and people are dying, it's quite insane. Then as he approaches the room with Jigsaw old Looney Bin Jim goes one on one in a pretty cool fight with The Punisher. From there Jigsaw puts him in a place to chose between friend or kid and he does an awesome job of taking out the brothers with sacraficing his friend.

Overall I thought it was a pretty well done movie with a good story and a lot of action. I know most critics blasted it, but it was a lot better than what they said. If you are looking for a good action shoot'em up movie - check it out!

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dexter - Season 3 Review

Season 3 of Dexter has come to a close and the cool thing as of now is there are plans for a season 4 in the works.

Michael C. Hall stars once again in another awesome season of the show. We ended last season with Dokes getting framed for the murders Dexter committed and some craziness. So why not start the season with some craziness as well.

Dexter once again gets himself into a bind by going to kill a drug dealing killer named Freebo. He comes in to the house take him down and ends up killer the DA, Miguel Prado's brother Oscar. Jimmy Smitts plays Miguel Prado in this new season. He's powerful and has a lot of connections all around to get people to investigate the murder of his brother. Also Miguel's other brother, Ramon works in the Sheriffs department and he really wants to find this killer.

Along with having to deal with how he can keep the murder of Oscar Prado under wraps and get it blamed on Freebo, he finds out his girlfriend Rita is pregnant with his child. Dexter is going to be a dad - Holy Shit!

So the new players this season are the usual suspects with the addition of Jimmy Smitts and a new Detective on the team as well, but he's not worth talking much about because I really didn't feel that overall he played a big role in the show. She was connected to a bunch of events, but nothing to major.

So Freebo is on the loose and Dexter needs to find him before Miguel or the rest of the force can.

So now Miguel finds out Dexter is getting nosey and confronts him only to get a Dexter BS story to satisfy Miguel. From there the relationship develops and before you know it Dexter is killing Freebo at his girlfriends house and guess who shows up? Good old Miguel - now a bond has formed and Miguel is really interested in working with Dexter.

After Dexter runs off to take out another poor sap, Miguel figures it out and now wants to be a part of the vengence.

So while Freebo is dead, someone else continues on killing people the way Freebo did it. It's not Dexter and at this point who knows who it is or why.

Deb continues to investigate the death of a mysterious woman and it seems to be done in the same way as Freebo did it, so everyone still thinks this is freebo, but it's not because he's dead. Dexter helps Deb in a subtle way figure out that the dead girl is Freebo's girlfriend and now it's all back to one big case.

Now Dexter and Miguel are becoming good buddies and killing the bad guys who get off is their thing. Could this be good or could it be all wrong. Well Dexter soon finds out that Miguel has his own agenda and kills off a lawyer out to get him. This isn't part of Dexter's code and from their the relationship turns bad. Everything Dexter thought Miguel was turned out to be all lies.

So now he needs to deal with this. So Dexter is once again in a predicament. He is forced to make Miguel feel vulnerable and nneds to hold onto his own secret. So there's only one thing that can be done, kill him. In good old Dexter fasion he take s Miguel down and ends up dealing with his brother who thinks Dexter killed Miguel.

All of this is going on and Dexter is going to get married, keep his hidden identity and save the day. But there's one more twist, the skinner is out there and his next target is Dexter. Turns out the Skinner was working for Miguel. So now Dexter has to get out of this mess and get to his wedding. Of course he does and throws the Skinner in front of the moving Police car to make it look like a suicide. He breaks his hand, but plays it off like he fell, gets married and remains the worlds most loved serial killer in the end.

I might have left soem things out in my summary including some of the other peoples stories, but the big focus was on Dexter and Miguel. It was a good vs. evil match once again.

Awesome season, be sure to pick it up on DVD if you don't get Showtime. They are renewed for a fourth season so be looking for more next year.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sons of Anarchy Season One Review

So I started off by writing a review of the Pilot episode of this show and wasn't really favorable of that particular episode. Here's was my review with and update: Sons of Anarchy Pilot Review.

I originally felt it was just a little too much with the drugs, violence, death and wasn't sure if it would ever really develop a story line. Since that first episode it did pick up and developed some pretty good storeys dealing with relationships, character development and second thoughts.

There were a couple of key stories going on the main was Gemma, played by Katay Sagal, tries to control just about everyone on the show. She wants to control her son Jax's life and who he has a relationship with. She plays Jax's ex-wife off against his girlfriend and even tries to kill his ex-wife with a needle full of drugs. She gets what she wants and she's one tough bitch. Sagal really does an awesome job in this role as a cold hearted wife of the president of Sam Crow who really is pulling the strings of a lot of people.

Jax is played by Charlie Hunnam, who played the thug brother in the movie Green Street Hooligans, which is a great film and well worth seeing. It's funny seeing a Brit play a biker from the Sacramento area town of Charming, CA. Jax starts to question a lot of what's going on as his son is born to his drugged up wife. He lives and is in intensive care. The wife is sent off to rehab and Jax will be resonsible for raising his son. He goes to storage to get some stuff and finds a box of stuff that was his fathers. There was a book that his father wrote about how Sam Crow lost its way and he had a different vision of what he wanted it to be. Jax starts to question things and challenges Clay, the president of Sam Crow, who is also his step father. This continues to get at him through the series. Jax's dad is John Teller who along with Piney Joe started the motorcycle gang. Teller died when Jax was young and Clay Morrow stepped in to raise him.

Ron Perlman plays Clay, the president of the Club and is the mastermind behind all the gun running. He sells to the 9ers, a black gang out of Oakland and he's always at odds with the Mayans, a Mexican rival gang. He controls his arms from the IRA and even deals with the Chinese mafia. He's into a whole bunch of stuff as long as it happens outside the borders of Charming, it's fair game. He has the police chief and the sheriff department on his payroll.

All seems to be going well until the Mayans blow up the gun storage and revenge comes. From there the whole season is a balance of power and struggle to keep the violence out of Charming, CA. There's a local Police officer who is working against the Chief and trying to nail the Sons, but he always seems to come out on the wrong end. The Feds even get involved and in the end after they think they have a great case, it all goes away.

The show had a little violence, but it for the most part dealt with a wide variety of situations and struggles of individuals. Jax isn't sure what he feels is right and Opie wants back in, but doesn't want to got to jail again and in the end he comes back in and his wife ends up getting killed. Gemma plays Jax's ex-wife off the doctor who comes back to hide and be with Jax. She doesn't want the Doctor helping screw with Jax's mind.

These guys really know how to work the system and more connections than anyone I know. In the end they keep rolling, but it's time for some change.

If you missed it, pick it up on DVD when it's released. After my little rant on the first episode, I really think it came on strong and was well written. This one will be around for at least another season to see where Jax goes and if there's an uprising.

There's a lot more stories going on that I might have forgotten, but watch it and Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Neil Young - Sugar Mountain - Live at Caterbury House 1968 CD Review

40 years after the original performance Neil Young has released Sugar Mountain: Live at Caterbury House 1968. This comes as a CD/DVD combo package. The DVD in this package is actually an audio DVD, not a video like the Massey Hall show. The only video on the DVD is a preview of the Archives Vol. 1 Trailer. This is the 10 DVD/BlueRay box set that will be coming out. So just a pre-warning if you are buying only to see the DVD, you might want to buy it on iTunes and get the bonus song, which you can buy individually anyways.

This is a 40 year old recording done on the old reel tapes, so even with the clean up done, there is still a slight hiss in the recording. For me it just adds a little of that history kind of like listening to some of the old Grateful Dead Dick's Picks.

This performance was done just after the break up of Buffalo Springfield and just before the release of Neils first solo album. In typical Neil fashion, he plays songs and tells stories between the songs as well. There's one about him getting fired from a job in a bookstore and how he took some pills and was wired one day and down the next. It's pretty funny. There are other funny one liners as well.

Great song selection for this performance, a nice 3 minute version of a song that took 5 minutes to write, Mr. Soul. Nice versions of several songs such as Old Lady Laughing and Sugar Mountain as well as Broken Arrow.

It's a small venue with an intimate setting and it comes out in the play of the songs, a little rough, but fantastic.

This is a CD worth picking up either from iTunes with the bonus song or to have the CD/DVD version if you like. You can't go wrong either way.

Track List:

1. On The Way Home
2. Mr. Soul
3. Expecting To Fly
4. The Last Trip To Tulsa
5. The Loner
6. Birds
7. Winterlong (excerpt)
8. Out Of My Mind
9. If I Could Have Her Tonight
10. Sugar Mountain
11. I've Been Waiting For You
12. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
13. The Old Laughing Lady
14. Broken Arrow
15. I Am A Child (iTunes Bonus Track)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer - Book Review - NOT Movie

Just to start off so no one is confused on this one, I am reviewing the book not the movie. I have yet to see the movie, but will review that when I see it.

Twilight is the first of a four book series written by Stephenie Meyer. I was given a copy of the book to read and decided what the hell, why not, let's see what the big fluff is all about. I'm not a teenager or anything near it, actually I just turned forty so maybe I'm too old to understand, we will see. I'll start off by saying that I have always been a fan of Anne Rice and the wonderful Vampire Chronicals she wrote over the years. These books may not compare in anyway, but I wanted to give the first one a shot and see.

This is a story as many already know about a teenage girl named Bella Swan, who moves to Forks, WA to live with her father, Police Chief Charlie Swan. When she first arrives at school she is immediately attracted to a pale young man named Edward Cullen. From their the adventure begins and will continue throught a series of four books.

So far having only read the first of the four books and coming off reading two books about mountain climbing, I would have to say that this was a change of pace for me. I haven't read a work of fiction in a long time.

The pace of the story is good and it keeps the read going and wondering what will happen next. It's not necessarily original in it's style, but certainly has it's own twists and turns that make it it's own read. It's not like I could just write I read this the first time by Anne rice or something of that nature. I think it's kept clean and readable by young as well as old.

I'm going to continue to read the next story and eventually see the movie to see if it was translated well or not. As always, I'm not going to give away the story as I didn't know it when I read it, so all I will say is that you will pick this one up and it willbe hard to put down. I finished it over four evenings after putting two kids to bed and feeding and taking care of two dogs and a cat. So it certainly intrigued me enough to get through it quickly.

I would recommend reading at least the first of the story and see if you get sucked in as well.

The Shield - The Final Season(Season 7) Review

I can't believe the final season is done and gone - that was way too fast.

Season Seven as we all knew coming in would be the final season for us to be watching Vic Mackey be a badass! From the start of the season with Vic in trouble with the Armenians for taking over 2 million off them. Shane obvious is the one who put this all into play. So we have Vic and Ronnie pretty pissed off at Shane because they find out he killed Lem and now has them all in trouble. The final series from week to week just leaves you hanging out there wanting to know what's going to happen next.

How was this all going to end? That's what we all wanted to know!

So from Shane kidnapping Vic's ex-wife Corrine and daughter to save their lives getting things into more trouble. The Armenians and the Mexicans are squaring off and having little turf wars. Who's going to step in and take care of it all, Vic Mackey for sure.

The season kept us wondering how were they going to get out from under the debt of the Armenians and what would Vic do to Shane once he had the chance? Vic gets hhoked up with ICE and has an idea on how to get him and Ronnie out from all this mess. He still needs to figure out what is he going to do with Shane.

So Vic sets up a hit on the Armenians by the Mexicans and leaves Shane their to be taken out. But Shane is off around the corner and survives the hit making off with $100K out of the deal. Shanes problem is that his wife Mara is pregnant and they have another young son and no one to turn to for help. Mara sticks her nose in the business and now has others all riled up.

Vic is playing off everyone from trying to save his job by working with Councilman David Acevada who was once the Chief at The Barn. Then it's ICE to go and work for the feds to save his job. Then eventually he looks to get immunity for him and Ronnie through ICE by setting up one of the biggest busts around between the Mexican Cartel and the Black Gangs.

There's a bunch of underlying stories with Dutch in a relationship with a woman who he believes her son is a derranged potential serial killer. Claudette is dying and trying to keep it under raps, but has been having difficulty. Billings is suing the department when he got hit at work. So not going into all the details, just going to stick to the strike team for this review.

Basically what it all boils down to is that Mara tells Corrine all about what Vic is up to while her and Shane are on the run. Corrine goes into the Barn and wants Vic put in jail and tries to set up a sting. All the while Vic is working out an immunity deal with ICE.

There were several close calls that almost cost Shane his life and in one case just the opposite and he sets up Ronnie and Vic and it all goes wrong.

So now Vic realizes that he's about to go down for all the bad shit he's done over the years and gets ICE to strike a deal with him leaving Ronnie hanging. Vic's confession of all the things he's done ends up putting ronnie away for a long long time.

When it all comes down in the end, the Mexican Drug Cartel goes down, Corrine goes into witness protection and leaves town. Ronnie gets arrested for all the past crimes. Shane has no where else to go and the cops are closing in. He poisons his kid and pregnant wife and then starts to write a note and as the cops approach he takes his own life.

Acevada makes out the best with a sure win as mayor. Vic has pissed so many people off that he is now stuck behind a desk for the next 3 years working for ICE. Always having to watch his back and will never know when his time will be up.

Crazy stuff but a great finish to the series as a whole. I had originally missed seasons 1-3 and went and bought them on DVD. You can usually find the DVDs on sale, especially around Christmas for about $20 a season. Check it out for sure if you need to go back and see the whole thing it's well worth it as it's a continuing saga from the first episode to the very last.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bolt - Movie Review

My daughter had been waiting for weeks for Bolt to come out and we decided that it would be great to take her the day after Thanksgiving with her Grandparents. So off we went to the packed mall and movie theater to catch Bolt.

My daughter is still young enough that it's hard to get through a whole movie without here being afraid of something. As Bolt starts off it shows the dog in action on his film fighting the evil green eyed man. This was a little frightening at the start, but after that we were free and clear for the rest of the film.

This is a fun movie for people of all ages from the 2 1/2 year olds all the way up to the 60+ year olds. It's a fun little story about the dog realizing that he really isn't a super hero and that he still wants to get back to rescue Penny his owner.

It's fun for everyone and it's a good story. There are some pretty funny parts to the movie and it really doesn't get slow at all.

It's well worth seeing this one, take the kids or just go yourself. It's entertaining for sure. Miley Cyrus & John Travolta play the main characters Penny and Bolt. They even sing a duet at the end that is pretty good.

Go see this one.

Lincoln Hall - Dead Lucky: Life After Death on Mt. Everest - Book Review

Having just finished the story of Ed Viesturs, I was on a Mountain Climbing book kick. I decided to read Lincoln Hall's Dead Luck: Life After Death on Mt. Everest. This is the story of how Lincoln was pronounced dead on the mountain and somehow managed to come to life and make it down the mountain.

Lincoln hall was an accomplished climber over the years and has been on many trips, but was left with one void and that was climbing Mount Everest.

Lincoln had an opportunity to climb Mount Everest as part of a team in 2006. His task was to document the climb of a 15 year old Australian who was going to be the youngest to climb the mountain by 3 months.

Lincoln wasn't even sure if he would be going because of the cost and sponsorship money. With only 2 months until the expedition Lincoln was called up and told he was going to Everest. Now he had two months to get ready for a mountain that would take at least 6 months to prepare for.

So the adventure begins and off Lincoln goes to try to tackle his Mount Everest.

The coolest thing about this book is the descriptions along the way. From the hotels in town to the trek out to base camp. Even Lincoln's descriptions of the mountain and the steps along to climbing to the peak. I think that having been an accomplished writer helps make the readers feel like they are there every step of the way.

From the missed opportunity at the start thinking he was going to pack it up and go home through to his rescue going down the mountain, this is an amazing story of how Hall survived out in the open above 28,000ft over night and made his way back facing hallucinations and other things on his way back to base camp.

I'm not going to tell you the whole story and get into too many of the details only because it's all a part of reading the story and following through this epic journey.

There are certainly controversies in the story and I think even Lincoln has tried to work out the truth to some of those. All I will say is that it certainly had to be a struggle making his way back to life and dealing with the healing.

I don't believe that I will ever attempt to climb Mount Everest, but you never know and if some crazy opportunity came up I can't say I would turn it down.

This is a fantastic book and well worth the read. As much as I love hiking and going out on adventures, I like to read these stories to remind myself that we are still human and things can go wrong.

I also like the descriptions of what gear he uses at the different elevations. This is something that I'm always interested in reading about.

Ed Viesturs - No Shortcuts To The Top - Book Review

Ed Viesturs is one of the most accomplished mountain climbers from the United States. After many climbs he decided that he would try to climb all the worlds 8,000 meter peaks, that's 26,250 ft and there are fourteen of them. This is a task that not many have accomplished over all the years people have been climbing.

I've had this book on my shelf for quite a while, but have not had a chance to read it until now. Having kids sure does take a lot of your time, but worth every minute. So let's get into this one.

No Shortcuts to the Top starts telling Ed's story from leaving Rockford, IL heading out to Washington to go to school and working on getting his Vet degree. He discovers climbing and gets hooked. So from chosing the life of working as a vet to climbing mountains for peanuts, Ed chose climbing.

I really like how Ed tells his story and the story of many of his climbs and some of the loses as well as the accomplishments over the years.

I also like the way that through out the book he refers to some of his readers and those who comment as "armchair mountaineers". I don't consiser myself an "armchair mountaineer", but more of a hiker, climber. I have bigger ambitions than I have time or money. I have climbed some smaller peaks and love to spend time out camping in the wilderness. There's a lot more I would like to do like Mount Rainier and many of the Colorado 14ers. Those who have never set foot on a trail and know what it's like to feel the pain in your muscles from climbing are certainly "armchair mountaineers", those who have read all the books published and think they are experts on what happened on Everest in 1996.

I personally love to read the stories myself and enjoy to hear the different stories and the different sides of the stories. I don't really form too many opinions of how people make mistakes or jusdge anyone, because I haven't been to the big peaks. Maybe someday, but for now I will stick to mountains in the US.

So getting back to Ed and his story. I think that Ed has told a great story about his life and what he has accomplished including a little about his family to show the reality of what a toll it can take on a family. When you see how he explains the rescues and the near misses. You realize that the number one priority of climbing is safety and to come home alive.

Ed talks about his working out and all his time being a Mount Rainier guide. I can only imagine what it would take to get in shape for a big mountain climb. Ed seems to be sort of a machine the way he can climb these mountains without suplimental oxygen. The man certainly can acclimate well in the mountains. I personally have worked out pretty hard to go out on 10 mile hikes and climbs and I'm always exhausted when I get to the peak.

It's quite an accomplishment and also a struggle what Ed has been through all these years. Fighting to get sponsorships to go off and climb the 8,000m mountains and having to come back and work on building houses and other stuff to make some money to get by. I can only dream about getting a chance to climb an 8,000m peak. I would never be able to come up with the money especially with a mortgage and family to take care of. Maybe when I was younger, but still maybe some day I will get the chance. For now I will stick to the States.

I think the one thing I would like to have heard more about in the book is the products Ed used and the different equiptment. I know he helped Mountain Hardwear out using equiptment and helping design their stuff as well. I love Mountain Hardwear and have many different products of theirs from a simple Monkey Man Jacket to a Down Jacket, Hiking pants that are designed specifically for backpacking and even some shorts and other stuff. It's all great and I certainly would love to have heard a little more just to test out some product myself.

I wish I had a chance to go out and see Ed when he did some of his speaking engagements. He certainly has accomplished a lot and continues to do more as well as a lot of work for environmental causes. The 2008 Canadian Arctic Trak for Earth Health was the latest thing he's been up to.

Check out Ed's website to see what's going on with him. I don't know how often he updates it, but it's the best way to see what he's up to.

The book is excellent and one of better inside looks and climbing the big peaks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dido - Safe Trip Home - CD Review

Safe Trip Home is Dido's 3rd official release and first in about 5 years. The best thing about Dido is that she is a Gooner, an Arsenal Fan, as far as I know. I haven't heard that change and my guess is that she still is one. Actually she also has an amazing voice and that's more why I like her. So from her breakout using Thank You to back track the Eminem song Stan, to where she is today has been a long journey and for those fans a good one. I'm not a fan of Eminem, but I really loved the song Thank You and thought No Angel was one of the best cds of that time. I like many others had not heard of Dido until Stan came out, but after hearing her own music, I certainly was hooked.

I picked this one up just knowing I couldn't go wrong. I put it on and right off the bat, we had the same soft, warm sounds of her voice. Dido works with producer, Jon Brion on this new CD. They started off at Abbey Road Studio in London and eventually she was convinced to move to Los Angeles to continue her focus. Not sure why LA, but it seems to have done the trick.

Most of the songs are relatively soft, mellow, warm songs. There is a mix of some acoustic guitar, drums, piano, recorder and more. She even had Mick Fleetwood help her out on drums with Grafton streen and Citizen Cope helps out with Burnin Love. This cd has a lot of the feel of some of her past works. Even adding some strings and other beats throughout. Still Dido has such an amazing voice she can make anything sound amazing.

The iTunes Deluxe version comes with a 4 minute video for Don't Believe in Love. It's an iteresting little look into people being comfortable in their homes. It's a nice little bonus added to the download. I think it would have been cool to see her doing a making of session or something, but this video is still cool.

I haven't seen Did live, only have heard the audio cd that came with her live DVD. I think she would be fantastic to see live in a smaller type venue where the show could be more intimate. Sprekels Theater in San Diego, Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Uptown Theater in Kansas City are all places that would be awesome to see her at. I do hope that we are privilaged enough to get to see Dido here in Kansas City.

Track Listing:

1. Don't Believe In Love
2. Quiet Times
3. Never Want To Say It's Love
4. Grafton Street
5. It Comes And It Goes
6. Look No Further
7. Us 2 Little Gods
8. The Day Before The Day
9. Let's Do The Things We Normally Do
10. Burnin Love
11. Northern Skies
12. For One Day (iTunes extra)
13. Summer (iTunes extra)
14. Northern Skies (Remix) (iTunes extra)
15. Don't Believe In Love (Short Film Version) (iTunes extra)

Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy - CD Review

So after a long spell of something like 17 years since Use Your Illusion I & II came out we are hearing Axl Rose perform under the name Guns N' Roses with his finally official release of Chinese Democracy. This is being offered exclusively through Best Buy to start. Not sure if it will remain exclusive or will be release eslewhere after. It's still hard for me to accept this as a real Guns N' Roses cd since Axl is the only one around, how about Roses Only or something.

At first take it's not bad at all. Axl is sounding pretty good and he backs himself with a lot of good musicians to help him out. I'm not sure if he will be able to duplicate that for live sets since he went from people like Buckethead and Robin Finnick to others after. It looks like the credits of the songs are all over the board. Axl is the only one thing that is the same. Different musicians and different studios along the way, but I guess that's what happens when it takes you over 10 years to record a CD.

Some of the highlights of the new CD are the title song, Chinese Democracy, Better, Prostitude, IRS as well as Catcher In the Rye. I like the piano on Catcher and the ballad type sound to the song. IRS has some strong Axl vocals as well as some really good guitar riffs. Better starts off a little strange, but kicks in with Axl singing and really had a good sound.

I am really surprised that the CD as good as it is for someone still lost in the late 80's. I look forward to see how the CD does since it's going to be sold exclusively through Best Buy. Typically people today would like to be able to buy a iTunes download and be a little green, by not wasting all the extra plastic it takes to make a cd - that is unless he's doing a post consumer recycles paper case with it :-) Anyways, I think that it is risky to go with just Best Buy, but my guess is it will be available on iTunes at some point. Maybe even next week, I haven't heard anything on that yet.

It's got a good sound if you are a Guns N' Roses fan, I think you will like this one. I still don't think I would spend money to see Axl perform. The last time I saw him he came out at some MTV awards show and practically collapsed of exhaustion while trying to sing a montage of classic GnR stuff. He still has the attitude and still throws fits more than Ryan Adams, so I'll listen to the cd, but will be staying home if he shows up in KC.

The track listing:

01 Chinese Democracy
02 Shackler's Revenge
03 Better
04 Street Of Dreams (a.k.a The Blues)
05 If The World
06 There Was A Time
07 Catcher In The Rye
08 Scraped
09 Riad N' The Bedouins
10 Sorry
11 I.R.S.
12 Madagascar
13 This I Love
14 Prostitute

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Clash - Live at Shea Stadium 1982

I've always been a fan of The Clash, but never a die hard fan. I've had a lot of respect for the music they created and the stuff that Joe Strummer did afterwards as well. I don't know much about the history, but have recently started reading Redemption Song about Strummer.

To me listening to this live performance from 1982 is pretty cool. I understand they were opening for The Who and the crowd just wasn't the same as it would be if they were playing in Brixton or Hammersmith or somewhere in the UK. I would really love to hear one of those performances and compare as I think the energy level would be different. I had heard stories that Pete Townshend was the only one in The Who that gave them the time of day and that Roger was a prick to them.

Still, playing a big stadium would have to be a fun gig.

Maybe we will see some more live releases from other shows with some good energy and quality sound. I know I have a couple of cool Joe Strummer shows from St. Annes and the final show he did before passing on. I'd love to hear soundboards of any of those.

This show was originally I believe the full October 13th show. They played some great tunes there. London Calling, The Guns of Brixton, Train in Vain, I Fought the Law. They added a few of the pop tunes like Rock the Casbah and Should I Stay or Should I Go, which are tunes I like. The only one I would love to hear from the Combat Rock cd live would be a nice long melodic version of Straight to Hell like Joe often played with Mescaleros.

Still, I like this recording and look forward to seeing if they will put out any others like this, but with the UK crowd. I know seeing them back in 1982 or 1983, it was in a small place in Milwaukee, WI, maybe The Auditorium, it was fantastic. I don't remember much of the show as I was a about 14 at the time, it was still great to see them. I even saw B.A.D in about 1992 and they were fun, but never got to see Joe with Mescaleros even though they played a lot of shows in LA and I lived not far away. That I regret.

Fun show and brings back some good memories. I like it and would recommend it for sure.

Track List:

1. London Calling
2. Police On My Back
3. The Guns of Brixton
4. Tommy Gun
5. Magnificent 7
6. Armagideon Time
7. Magnificent 7 (Return)
8. Rock The Casbah
9. Train In Vain
10. Career Opportunities
11. Spanish Bombs
12. Clampdown
13. English Civil War
14. Should I Stay Or Should I Go
15. I Fought The Law

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Cure - 4:13 Dream - CD Review

The Cure formed back in 1976 in Crawley, West Sussex. Robert Smith is the only original member from the band of that time. They started to gain popularity in 1982 with their first hit Let's Go To Bed and have continued to gain a wide music audience for the past 25 plus years. Over that time they have released 12 studio CDs and now have their 13 one due out in October called 4:13 Dream.

The first feel that I get from this new CD is that it's sort of a mix of many past songs being revived to create this CD. I may be wrong, but hte jump of style from a song like Underneath The Stars, a song that reminds me of an epic ballad, then jumps into The Only One that becomes more pop like. Overall it really has a nice mix of songs and styles throughout.

I would have thought that they would have had this out earlier to fit in witht he tour of the US, but I'm guessing that they will end up touring again in support of the new music and getting the word out there. Regardless I think that they will get good reviews and a good amount of air play on this CD and it should sell well. It's not like it's a band who dropped off the face of the earth and just came back. They have been doing these tours and festivals for a good long time.

It's a fantastic CD with a really nice blend of songs. Some of my favorites on this one are Underneath The Stars, Perfect Boy, Freakshow and Sleep When I'm Dead. There are other really good songs, but these to me represent some of the classic Cure stuff that I've always liked and don't stray off to some crazy new stuff.

Certainly another CD I would recommend picking up.

Track list:

01 Underneath The Stars
02 The Only One
03 The Reason Why
04 Freakshow
05 Sirensong
06 The Real Snow White
07 The Hungary Ghost
08 Switch
09 The Perfect Boy
10 This Here and Now With You
11 Sleep When I'm Dead
12 The Scream
13 It's Over

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cardinalology - Review

I recently posted that Ryan Adams & The Cardinals would be releasing a new CD on October 28th, 2008 called Cardinalology. Now I have had a chance to hear the full CD in studio version and not only the live songs off I can write a little more about what you will expect to hear in next week when it is officially released. iTunes will be releasing a song called The Color of Pain as a bonus track. That is not reviewed in this blog.

Born Into A Light is the first track on the new CD. Typical alt-country track that lasts about 2 minutes. It has some nice guitar work and Ryan sounds great on it. Not totally mellow, but a little more of a ballad type song. Slide guitar sounds nice on it.

Go Easy picks the pace a little bit. The Cardinals sounds work this one together nicely. Good mix of Ryan singing with the electric guitar playing prominately with him through the track. It's a bit more up beat, slows it down a bit and tests Ryans ability to change the range of his vocals throughout. The backing vocals come in late and sound pretty good. Overall a nic etrack.

Fix It as I sort of reviewed in my early announcement of the CD coming out. It sort of reminds me of something from a Neil Young and Crazyforse CD. It is already released on iTunes and other places to hear it. ryan sounds good and it's a nice little tune.

Magick kicks it in a bit and starts off with some heavy guitars and keeps going. This is a more rocking song involving more vocals from the other members. I really like this one, certainly one of my favorites on the cd.

Cobwebs as I've heard the live and the studio version it's hard to tell the difference between the two. It sounds great both ways. More in the lines of a ballad type song and has a little U2 type feel to it. Good tune with a nice rolling drum through the song. another nice tune on the CD.

Let Us Down Easy feels like a lot of the Cardinals stuff that came out on Cold Roses and Jacksonville. Ryan sounds like he's struggling a little on the vocals at times, but that certainly is sort of his style at times. Good overall beat to the song and it's one that can grow on you.

Crossed Out Name is more on the mellow side of The Cardinals on this CD. More on the ballad style with a rolling acoustic guitar sound to it. Pretty cool and certainly will be one played more often in the future.

Natural Ghost is a nice country type ballad. I like this one, harder to describe or compare to something else, but it's a nice tune with a good acoustic feel with some added slide guitar in thee.

Sink Ships starts off with some good acoustic guitar work adding is some slide to it as well. Slower style song with a nic efeel to it and it picks up a bit throughout the song. Ryan sounds great and another nice song on the CD.

Evergreen again starts out with some nice guitar work, almost sounds like the start of Goodnight Rose and then changes up quick. Nice mix of slide guitar, piano and acoutic guitar. Certainly a slower one on the CD, but again a nice song.

Like Yesterday is more ballad like, has that nice country feel to it as it rolls along. Sounds like something off of Easy Tiger, but just can remember what. The guitar solo kicking in gives it the classic ballad feel of The Cards. I do like this one.

Stop kicks it off with piano and feels like a Neil Young style song again. I think this might have been used in a TV show. I had heard a song recently on a show, very mellow like this that I couldn't place and I think that this is it. Certainly the most mellow song on the CD. Just Ryan singing and playing the piano. They add some background by the end, but it certainly is a nice mellow song.

Overall I have to say I really like the new CD by Ryan Adams and The Cardinals. It mixes it up with different styles of songs and it gives you a good range of what Ryan can do. On the latest tour he certainly has been playing these tunes out live and it is refreshing to know that the studio versions sound pretty amazing as well. Some bands are hard to tell, but with Ryan, he just knows what to do to put together a fantastic CD.

I highly recommend picking this one up on October 28th. No matter the media, CD, iTunes or what, you will be happy with this one. Now if we can just get him to reschedule that Kansas City date and I end up with a ticket that would be awesome.

Track List:

Born Into A Light
Go Easy
Fix It
Let Us Down Easy
Crossed Out Name
Natural Ghost
Sink Ships
Like Yesterday
The Color Of Pain (iTunes Bonus - Not Reviewed)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ryan Adams - Infinity Blues - Pre-Order

So first we find out that Ryan Adams has a new CD coming out with The Cardinals called Cardinalology. NOW - We get Ryan's first book and if you order now you get it in December, it's a signed limited edition and you get a book of poetry that only comes with it.
Here's a link to pre-order: at some pont it wil come down and you can order the book that will come out in April, but this limited edition will be out in December and it's signed and numbered. Pretty cool - pick it up now!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Life on Mars - US Pilot 2008 - Review

The show Life On Mars was originally a BBC show that lasted for 2 seasons and had a Lietenant Gene Hunt spin off called Ashes to Ashes. The American version of the series produced by David E. Kelly but really follows the BBC series from episode to episode. I originally watch a pilot preview episode that certainly has been changed when producing the actual show. They moved the city from Los Angeles to New York and they changed Lietenant Gene Hunt from Colm Meaney to Harvey Keitel.

After seeing the initial pilot I would have suggested changing Jason O'Mara as Sam Tyler and asking John Simms to come over the pond and play the role again. Simms did a fantastic job in the role on the BBC and he also was great on Doctor Who for a 3 episode deal as well. The man has talent and would have been great. I think O'Mara lacks the personality to play the role and is trying to fill some big shoes.

Life on Mars is about a detective, in current time, is working a case and ends up getting hit by a car, and wakes up in 1973 with the skills and memory of 2008. So the big question, is he really in 1973 or a coma and just creating all these stories in his head. It's a great concept and it's funny when he starts talking about forencics and they haven't been created yet. So he throws some new ideas into the mix and needs to figure out how to adjust to being back in time.

I liked the original series a lot and really wish it would have taken off and continued on BBC. So my hope is that the characters grow on me and they make the American version a big hit. There's always the possibility that they will spin Lietenant Gene Hunt off to Ashes to Ashes, but I'd rather see them try to salvage the show and keep going with it. I also hope that they don't continue to use the exact same stories as the original show, but change it up and make create their own path.

It will be interesting to see how Harvey Keitel does as I did really like Colm Meaney as Lietenant Gene Hunt.

I'll probably add more when I see the new version of the pilot. I hope it's as good as the last one.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cardinalology October 28th Release

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals with be releasing their fourth CD together, even though the last one Easy Tiger was listed under Ryan only. Still all the musicians are the same. So Ryan has already started to sample many of the songs live and has pre-released the song Fix It on electronic media including at iTunes.

Fix It has a sort of Neil Young feel to me. I guess it's also a Ryan Adams feel as well. It's a nice tune and has a little rockin' feel to it. It certainly fits in with a lot of what Ryan and & The Cardinals have done so far.

Virually every song from the cd has either been played live or released on a TV show, so everyone should know what they are going to be getting when this CD comes out on October 28th. The question will be what sort of bonus material you will get depending on where you buy it.

I'm going to wait to do a full review when I hear the studio versions of the songs, but as they are now live, this sounds like it's going to be a sweet CD. Be ready to pick this one up and check out Ryan as he's on tour now.

If you want to hear some of the tracks live, go to and click through live music archives, browse by band and find Ryan and sort by date to get the latest shows on top. Enjoy!

Track List:

Born Into A Light
Go Easy
Fix It
Let Us Down Easy
Crossed Out Name
Natural Ghost
Sink Ships
Like Yesterday

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sanctuary - Sci-Fi Series Pilot - Review

Sactuary started out as a web based series that was created by some of the Stargate producers. The show stars Amanda Tapping as Dr. Helen Magnus, who is 157 years old and keeps a "Sanctuary" for supernatural creatures. Some are there for their own protection and others are there on their own.

The series had over 4 million viewers on the web and was actually a pay service so that they could recoup some of their costs. It went over well and was eventually copied and put out on the web for others to see. Still Sci-Fi picked it up and is running the 8 episode series to see how it does.

The first episode was two hours and gave us a background of the main characters and the purpose for the Sanctuary. This episode starts off with the strange murders of two police officers and an old man. There is a little boy who has some abnormality that has a life of it's own, but feeds off the boys fears. This appendage attacks by striking a persons brain, killing them instantly. The boy was born near Chernobyl during the fallout out from the nuclear meltdown.

Dr. Magnus is looking to find the boy and bring him into Sanctuary to help him. She looks to Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), a forensic psychiatrist, to help her work with these patients and get into the minds of them. Dr. Zimmerman's background is that he saw his mother killed by a monster and even though he's told it never happened, he finds out that it did and that Dr. Magnus was there to rescue him. He was once with the FBI, but moved on to local law enforcement because of his tactics. Now he is asked to help assist with Dr. Magnus.

There are several other characters intoduced including Helen's daughter Ashley, who tracks down these creatures and John Druitt, who himself is a creature and has a past with Helen.

The first episode was a bit slow at times and seemed to be more of an attempt to develop characters instead of thinking that people would rather see more action and monster types moments. I know that's a LCD attitude, but I think that's a bit of what you need to get the popular viewing you want.

I thought the show was a bit dark and watching it at about 10pm I was almost ready to crash. So I'm going to give it more time to see if it peaks my interest over the next couple weeks. Amanda Tapping attempted and English accent, but I didn't feel it was good at all. Just stick to what you know best.

The plot is good and it leaves it open to a lot of things for the future if the show ends up having one. I know the last several shows have dies in season one including, Dresdan Files, Pain Killer Jane and Flash Gordon. Let's hope it can break the chain and continue on into a new season.

I would give it a couple of weeks to judge it. There are plenty of shows that gained momentum after the first couple weeks. Now pairing with Stargate Atlantis you might find more viewers next week. tune in and we will see.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Grateful Dead - Road Trips Vol 1 No 4: From Egypt With Love

Not only did we get the release of the Egypt 1978 shows we also were given a nice little bonus of a new Road Trips CD Vol. 1, No. 4 October of 1978 From Egypt With Love. This falls right in place with the Egypt 1978 release. After the return from Egypt, The Grateful Dead did a five night series at Winterland in San Francisco to give the hometown folks a little taste of Egypt. They had a slide show. Hamza El Din (a Nubian musician living in the Bay Area) reprised the Egyptian song he’d sung at the Sound & Light Theater in Gizah—called “Ollin Arageed” for the Winterland Fans. So you get to hear something new and different in both of the new releases.

The CDs are made up of mainly two performances 10/21 & 10/22/1978, but if you get the bonus CD you also get a couple of songs from 10/17 as well. See the Track List below for all the songs that made this release.

The quality of the recordings are nice. The remastered 30 year old recordings turned out pretty darn good. I'm always happy to hear some of these classic recordings.

There's some really good highlights on these cds. The Got My Mojo Working > The Other One > Stella Blue jam is really nice, a must hear. If I Had The World To Give is only one of 3 times this was ever played. Sugaree, what can I say, awesome as always.

The Scarlet > Fire on the second CD is awesome. Honestly I can't tell you that there is anything on here that isn't amazing. I really dig whole show. I wish there was a DVD companion to one of these shows as well. That would be a classic to see.

Great show, good quality, well worth the $20 for the 2 plus bonus CD ordered directly from

Disk One - 10/21/78

Stagger Lee
I Need A Miracle
Got My Mojo Working (with Lee Oskar)>
The Other One>
Stella Blue>
Sugar Magnolia
US Blues

Disk Two - 10/22/78

Olin Aragreed>
Jack Straw
Scarlet Begonias>
Fire On The Mountain
NFA (with John Cipollina)>

Bonus Disc

Bertha (10/21/78)>
Good Lovin (10/21/78)>
Estimated (10/21/78)>
He's Gone (10/21/78)
If I Had The World To Give (10/17/78)>
Around and Around (10/17/78)

Grateful Dead - Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978 CD/DVD

The Grateful Dead played at the Sound and Light Theater just outside of Cairo in Egypt on September 14, 15 & 16, 1978. the orginal plan was to record the series of shows to release a live CD set as well as portentially making a concert movie out of it. When they returned to the United States they discovered that the first night and half of the second nights shows were flawed and not able to use for recordings. So the project was shelved and now 30 years later here we are and we get to hear what survived of those recordings as well as a DVD filled with some of the performance as well.

The packaging is quite unique as well with the fold out pyramid and the moon and stars. See picture in the blog related to this.The CD/DVD set package is pretty cool in itself. Still to me it's fun, but after they get loaded to the iPod I don't usually see that stuff unless I'm loading up the DVD.

It would have been great if they came back with all the recordings intact, but without the first night and part of the second,, we can be happy that we still have some pretty awesome footage to hear and see.

Some of the highlights of the recordings are the unique Ollin Arageed that shows on Road Trips Vol 1, No 4 as well. Overall, there's some great tunes on this. Jack Straw, Row Jimmy, LLR & Deal highlight the first CD.

The second CD brings us a always favorite Shakedown Street. Iko Iko is a good one as well. Fire in the Mountain is awesome as always. There really isn't anything bad with this whole CD. It's fun and worth owning.

The DVD adds a little different flavor to the song selection and you get a bonus extra called the Vacation Tapes which gives you an inside look to what was going on.

Overall, a nice piece of history to be had. Too bad they didn't capture the whole thing to give us another limited edition set of the who trip along with that cool DVD as well.

You can get this on line or you can pick it up at I believe if you order directly you get the Bonus CD that I forgot to list the songs below. I will pull those and add them later so you can see them. For me it was worth the extra money for shipping, etc. to get the bonus CD.

Pick this one up however you can, but it's well worth it and you get both audio and video of shows that took place over 30 years ago.

Track List:

Disc: 1
1. Jack Straw
2. Row Jimmy
3. New, New Minglewood Blues
4. Candyman
5. Looks Like Rain
6. Stagger Lee
7. I Need A Miracle
8. It's All Over Now
9. Deal

Disc: 2
1. Ollin Arageed
2. Fire On The Mountain
3. Iko Iko
4. Shakedown Street
5. Drums
6. Space
7. Truckin'
8. Stella Blue
9. Around And Around

1. Bertha
2. Good Lovin'
3. Row Jimmy
4. New, New Minglewood Blues
5. Candyman
6. Looks Like Rain
7. Deal
8. Ollin Arageed
9. Fire On The Mountain
10. Iko Iko
11. I Need A Miracle
12. It's All Over Now
13. Truckin'
14. The Vacation Tapes(DVD extra)

Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul - CD Review

Oasis has come out with their seventh studio CD in a career spanning the past 17 years. First starting out as a big hit in the UK in the mid 90's after a complete change of the original line-up, the Gallagher Brothers remain the only two original members of the band. Noel and Liam have been around and creating controversy since back when "Definately Maybe" & "What's the Story Morning Glory" came out in 1994 & 1995.

The band had it's top days and then went into a funk and split up for several years. They came back together in 2005 and hit the charts with "Don't Believe the Truth". Following a successful tour around the world, they were back and ready to go.

Now they have a new one coming out "Dig Out Your Soul" the first week of October. They just finished up a Canadian Tour and will be doing a US tour with Ryan Adams & The Cardinals supporting them.

The new CD is a lot like the past and keeps the traditional style of Oasis with some good rockin songs as well as a couple ballad types along the way. I first saw them play in about 1995 in a small venue in Milwaukee, WI called The Eagles Ballroom. By this time Liam was alread drinking up a storm and fighting with his brother and at times walking off the stage and not performing. This was the height of their popularity in the US, but also had dammaged their reputation and could have easily been dismissed as a has been one hit wonder band at that time. Something kept them going long enough to create several smash hits and had everyone wondering if they would be the next Beatles.

They never really achieved the status of The Beatles, but they certainly can still sell out large venues all over the world and have sold more than 50 million copies of their CDs.

The first couple of tunes on this CD are pretty much in line with a "Supersonic" and then there are a few in the "Live Forever" type status, but maybe not as good as the old stuff that really made the band what they are. I really like this new CD and the band sounds like they did 15 years ago. Certainly a CD worth picking up on October 7th.

Also if you get a chance to see them live, you really should and especially with Ryan Adams opening, you get two awesome bands in one night. Well worth seeing for sure. Xheck out their website at and check out the tour section to see if they are playing near you. They are currently touring the UK and will be back in the US in December. Too bad they are skipping over Kansas City, because it would be great to get a chance to see them play again.

Track List:

1. Bag It Up
2. The Turning
3. Waiting For The Rapture
4. The Shock Of The Lightning
5. I'm Outta Time
6. [Get Off Your] High Horse Lady
7. Falling Down
8. To Be Where There's Life
9. Ain't Got Nothin'
10. The Nature Of Reality
11. Soldier On

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jack Johnson - Sleep Through The Static Remixed

Just released on iTunes, Jack Johnson has put out a collection of 7 songs that have been remixed by other artists. He has also added 3 videos as part of the collection for $7.99. An if you're a fan you will need to click on the link and download Enemy remixed by Worst Friends Free Download to finish off the collection or go to Jack's website and get it yourself at

The first remix is Hope and it's remixed by Nightmares on Wax. Pretty interesting mix, that sort of slows the song up and gives it a little bit of a dub feel or something like that. It's about 5 minutes and keeps a good beat through it. I like the style they did it in. as I said it slows it down so it's not as upbeat, but adding it's a pretty neat mix.

Losing Keys is remixed by Katalyst. Katalyst takes a very mellow song and starts it up more upbeat with some horn work, kind of a funky little beat. Certainly a completely different style than Jack mixed it himself. I really like this version almost more than I like Jack's way of doing it.

Money Mark takes Monsoon and adds some keys and a little maybe Hammond to it. He slows it down but is adding more of a funky beat as well. Maybe this is Money Marks way of trying to get in to replace Zach on keys, just kidding. Actually, this is a nice little change to the song. I’ve got to say I still like the original on this one better, but this is a cool version.

Angel is remixed by Kid Koala. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting on this one. I for some reason was thinking that Kid Koala was going to but in some more hip hop type beats. Not sure why, just thought maybe his usual stuff was in that line as he’s worked with a lot of those types of artists. Starts off very church like with organs and continues that way in a rather dull monotone beat all the way through. Not bad but could put you to sleep.

They Do, They Don’t is remixed by DJ Tropikal. Good beat, sort of reggaeish is some ways, but adds some horns and other stuff. Jack almost sounds like he’s ready to rock but the tone isn’t going to follow then it all falls back into place. Nice version of the song.

Another Hope remix this time by Mario C. is a little more upbeat and has some good tones in it. It stays pretty close to the original adding some different beats instead of Jack’s guitar, mainly from the keyboard. Heard a little fancy drum beat in there as well. Good mix and keeps you grooving.

Culver City Dub Collective takes If I Had Eyes and turns it into almost a Cure remix. At least the first part made me feel like The Cure remixed it until they come up to the refrain. Then it kicks in with horns and some other stuff. More drums in the second part and that’s because the drummer for CCDC is Jack’s drummer Adam Topol. Pretty cool version of the song, I dig it.

Enemy is remixed by Worst Friends and cannot be found at iTunes but can be found directly from Jack’s official sit listed above. This is a pretty rad version of the tune. They really give it almost a disco tropical type beat. I loaded it up to my iPod and made sure it fell in place by changing the others to be from 8 not 7 in the info section. Never heard of Worst Friends, but this is an awesome version of the song to listen to. It’s not the simple song he started with and it doesn’t use all the lyrics but it’s pretty nice. Felt a little like some of the New Order remixes I’ve heard. The beat keeps it going and you need to pick this one up and add it to the collection without a doubt.

There are 3 videos that come as part of the package as well. Adrift. Enemy & Sleep Through The Static/I Love You and Buddha Too which all look to be sessions from the studio when Jack made the CD. If you go out to iTunes undr the podvast section there are 5 videios called Sleep Through the Static sessions that maybe partially duplicates or may be new. I'd have to go back and look at what songs he performed on those. Check it out by doing a search on iTunes those session videos are free.

The one thing I would really have liked to see is remixes of Sleep Through the Static and All At Once. I think there are some great parts in those songs that would allow for some cool translations by people. So maybe down the road we will see those done, but what we did get was pretty cool.

Pick it up for sure and show your support for all the great stuff Jack has done.

Audio Track List:

1. Hope (Mightmares on Wax Remix)
2. Losing Keys (Katalyst Remix)
3. Monsoon (Money Mark Casio Remix)
4. Angel (Kid Koala Remix)
5. They Do, They Don’t (DJ Topickal Remix)
6. Hope (Mario C. Remix)
7. If I Has Eyes (Culver City Dub Collective Remix)
8. Enemy (Worst Friends Remix)


1. Adrift (Live Studio Session)
2. Enemy (Live Studio Session)
3. Sleep Through the Static/I Love You and Buddha Too (Live Studio Sessions)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Metallica – Death Magnetic – CD Review

After a five year break in producing new music, Meltallica have come back together and joined forces with Rick Rubin to produce their new cd Death Magnetic, which is their 9th studio album.

In the first week alone Death Magnetic sold well over 500,000 copies despite having been leaked out on the internet early. Not as much as The Jonas Brothers, but pretty awesome. So hopefully as they can see that people are still willing to buy their stuff and they don’t need to focus so much on people stealing their music and worry more about a big tour and pleasing the fans.
This CD takes you back to the classic days of Metallica being what they want to be. It's certainly heavy and loaded with a lot of drums and great guitar work. They certainly put together a good recording with Rick Rubin after a 5 year break.

Overall I think people who are fans of the band will certainly be pleased to hear this new CD. Those young folks who don't know much of Metallica will be out picking up some of their earlier works or maybe stealing it off the internet, but now why would anyone ever do that, especially with Metallica watching.

Seriously, it's a great cd and Rubin really pulled what was needed out of the band to get what the people want to hear.

There is a limited edition set that comes in some sort of coffin and has a bonus cd that are demo versions of the project.

Track List:

1. That Was Just Your Life 7:08
2. The End Of The Line 7:52
3. Broken, Beat & Scarred 6:25
4. The Day That Never Comes 7:56
5. All Nightmare Long 7:57
6. Cyanide 6:39
7. The Unforgiven III 7:46
8. The Judas Kiss 8:00
9. Suicide & Redemption 9:57
10. My Apocalypse 5:01

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Plain White T's - Big Bad World - CD Review

This is one of those bands that has been playing for a good 10 years getting their start in the Chicago area and finally gettining a hit song that was re-released as a bonus on their 2006 "Every Second Counts" Enhanced CD that reached the top 10 in the US and all the way to 3 in the UK. The song "Hey There Delilah" was originally released on the 2005 CD "All That We Needed" put out by Fearless Records. Now after having a hit Cd, but still not really hitting the big time, these guys are releasing a new cd with high hopes.

The big question is, will they be a one hit wonder or will they get a hit off this next cd. "Big Bad World" was certainly put out to attract the young female type crowd or at least that's the feel I get. It's very pop like and not too different from their last one. I guess why change a formula that already works.

There are a couple of songs that could be potential hits. The song "1,2,3,4" might be the first big hit off this CD. It's made a lot in the way of "Hey There Delilah", good harmonies and a good acoustic beat. Certainly the one I would pick as the hit from this CD.

So first impressions are that they are trying to keep the formula going on this one and really looking for the follow up big hit. There are some good highlights on this one. "Sunlight" is Beach Boyish, but good. "I Really Want You" is another upbeat tune that could potentially be a follow up hit on this one.

I would certainly have a listen to this one at the store or on line before you decide to buy it. I think it has a couple of good songs and might be worth getting those as a download from iTunes. Sample them all there and see what you think before picking this one up. It may or may not be for you.

Track List:

1. Big Bad World
2. Natural Disaster
3. Serious Mistake
4. Rainy Day
5. 1, 2, 3, 4
6. That Girl
7. Sunlight
8. I Really Want You
9. Meet Me in California
10. Someday

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Cure - Hypnagogic States EP - CD Review

This EP is a taste of what is to come in October with the new full length CD 4:13 Dream. There are 4 tracks from the cd that are remixed for this EP. Not sure how the final cd will sound but these remixes are fantastic. I look forward to hearing the new Cure CD when it comes out.

The Only One has a nice mix to it, done by 30 Seconds to Mars. It really has a good beat and keeps it in typical Cure fashion. Freakshow makes me think I'm back in collage on the good old dance floor with the techno beat. This one is remixed by Jade Puget.

Sleep When I'm Dead is probably my favorite of the four. this one is remixed by Gerard Way and Julien K. Good beat nice song. robert Smith still sounds as good as he did 20 years ago. The Perfect Boy also has a familiar beat from the old days. This one is remixed by Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz. Another really good remix that I can't wait to hear the original.

The Last song is a mix of the different tracks that are on this CD. This one is called Exploding Head Syndrome and is remixed by 65 days of Static. It gets to a point that makes my head want to explode. After listening through this 21 minute remix it goes all over the place from different styles of techno beats and gets a little crazy at times. Pretty interesting, but I could have done without it and rather have heard a 5 minute remix of a different song.

Overall pretty interesting and gives you a little flavor of what's to come. I do look forward tot he new CD and will review it when I get to hear it.

Track List:

1. The Only One
2. Freakshow
3. Sleep When I'm Dead
4. The Perfect Boy
5. Exploding Head Syndrome

Joan Osborne - Little Wild One - CD Review

Joan Osborne has done a lot in her career including a stint with all the remaining guys from the Grateful Dead. My first time seeing her live or really paying any attention to her music was after seeing her play with The Dead. I can't say I really felt that she fit in as a new Donna Jean, but she had a wide vocal range and really belted out some awesome tunes.

So this new cd of Joan's starts off with a Bluegrass tune that kicks into a rockin song, but she hold great through out it. It's a good tune that picks up the pace right from the start. The following song sticks to that pop style.

Cathedral is a piano tune with a nice sound. She kicks it all around on the rest of the cd and shows a wide variety of vocals and styles. To the One I Love brings an old classic style to it. Daddy-O is a nice acoustic ballad.

Joan really goes all over the board on this one and makes it sound good. I do like this CD and think it's worth having a listen. Check out some of her stuff on MySpace and see what you think before buying it.

Too bad just like many other artists, Joan is skipping right by us in Kansas City when she tours this fall. I would still recommend seeing her live if you get a chance.

Track List:

1. Hallelujah In The City
2. Sweeter Than The Rest
3. Cathedrals
4. Little Wild One
5. Rodeo
6. To The One I Love
7. Daddy - O
8. Meet You In The Middle
9. Can't Say No
10. Light Of This World
11. Bury Me On The Battery

Kings of Leon - Only By The Night - CD Review

The first time I ever heard of Kings of Leon was when they opened for U2 at The Pond in Aneheim, CA. They were really loud and the acoustics of the venue didn't really help give me a good impression of the band. Still, I was interested in hearing more.

Now with their fourth release Only By The Night, they have continued to grow in popularity and in the content of their music. Not sure what they classify the different styles of music these days, but this is an interesting style. I guess you could just say it's rock.

There are some ballad type songs, some rock, but overall it's consistantly good. Caleb Followill had a good soulful voice with some good range in it.

The CD starts out with a melodic tone in Closer that kicks in with Caleb singing about someone taking his heart. The song has some electronic pieves, but really a good start to the CD.

Crawl at first makes me think of a NIN style or old Jesus and Mary Chain then the guitar kicks in and it gets better as it goes.

Sex on Fire at first makes me think we are going to have a little Metal Ska or something. Manhattan is a ballad type with good tones. Revelry is another ballad as well that kicks in.

17 kicks in right off the bat with some heavy drums, bells and other stuff. Good guitar work throughout. Notion, I Want You, Be Somebody and Cold Desert all fit right in with the rest, ballad like throughout.

Overall this one has a good beat, never gets too heavy and all the songs are preatty good. I'm not a huge fan of the band, but the cd is pretty good and will do well on the charts. If you like their previous works, you will be happy with this one.

Track List:

1. Closer
2. Crawl
3. Sex On Fire
4. Use Somebody
5. Manhattan
6. Revelry
7. 17
8. Notion
9. I Want You
10. Be Somebody
11. Cold Desert