Thursday, May 25, 2006

DVD Review: ALF, Season Three

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…. “Nice planet, when do we eat?” ALF is back!!! Even though it is ALF, and ALF has a cult following, this is by far the worst season put out, or so says the website dedicated to the show's legacy. My research discovered that this season boasts 6 out of the top ten shows by ratings for the entire run of the sitcom. "Turkey And The Straw", "Running Scared", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" and "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?" take up four of the top five all time rated spots for the show, and quite frankly, I enjoyed this Box Set quite a bit.

ALF, for those of you who never met Gordon Shumway, was a furry little creature found stranded on the sitcom family's garage. ALF stands for Alien Life Form and is the moniker given to him by his new family, who took him in and hid him from the rest of the world and from nosy neighbors, the Ochmoneks (Trevor and Raquel), who always seem to find something fishy going around in the Tanner household. The Tanners are the proud new family of ALF, having been graced by his crash landing; they are Willie (Max Wright), Kate (Anne Schedeen), Lynn (Andrea Elson), and Brian (Benji Gregory).

The show first aired in 1986 and ran for four great seasons until June 1990. The Third season set includes 27 episodes, including two memorable episodes where Alf hosts "The Tonight Show" with Ed McMahon! I remember growing up and the charged sarcasm of Alf emanating from the television, the humor was cutting edge dry and irreverent for the time, and the medium of a stuffed animal as a sitcom star was a natural breakaway from the period's fame of the Muppets.

The DVDs are 4:3 Full Screen Version, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround, and have Interactive Menus Hosted by ALF. The only technical thing I find to be a negative is that there are a lot of complaints on this and the first two seasons as well, being released in the cut syndicated versions. The website abounds with grumblings at Lion's Gate's choice not to release the full versions of each episode. Whether you hate cats (ALF's favorite snack), miss Melmac (ALF's home planet), or just have a thing for cosmic comedians, this set is sure to bring back memories to some, and guaranteed to bring laughs to all!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

CD Review: Teenage Graffiti, The Pink Spiders

Talk about a highly anticipated album! Teenage Graffiti by The Pink Spiders has fans all over the world pining for more. With a proposed final release date of June 27, these guys have teased fans for sometime now, and little wonder, this is righteous rock.

The new CD has garnered more than half a million plays on their site, from only two songs. "Little Razorblade" and "Modern Swingers" have been up lighting up the net as highly played songs, The bands MySpace boasts nearly 60,000 friends listed, which is more than "kinda good"!

This CD will be the band's first major label release, Suretone and Geffen Records have what looks to be quite a hit on their hands. Punk music with dance rhythm and pop words, what a dangerous mix this could be. Band members Matt Friction:Vocals/Guitar, Jon Decious:Bass, and Bob Ferrari: "World's Greatest Drummer" (according to the website!) have been named as one of Alternative Press' "100 Bands you need to know in 2006.”

After storming onto the Nashville scene, they quickly made on iconoclastic statement with their pink and jet-black apparel and dark shades. The punkish side to these guys embraces the anarchy of binge drinking, wild parties and loose women, and the pop side sings to all the teenage girls of the world with a dance beat. It is kind of like the Sex Pistols meet Iggy Pop and do Buddy Holly.

"Soft Smoke" is an anarchists anthem with words like "these New York City police are all fuckin' liars", where are the Ramones when you need them. Punching you in the face with the fist pounding sound of a band way beyond its years, this stuff could cause a revival in that crazy sound I embraced in the seventies, and it actually has a musical quality to it for a change!

"Saturday Night Riot" starts off with much of that Pop feel, even shades of David Bowie pulsate from this one, with harmonies that ring from bands of the late 60's, wow, such depth from guys who proclaim their own shallowness. Iggy himself would have had a toe tapping to "Hollywood Fix", even with its talk of chain smoking and binge drinking, you fall into the Pop and dance feel of the beat and shake your head in agreement as if to say "Hell yeah, let's get drunk!!" Come to think of it, this CD makes partying sound like the fun it was when i was a kid. (Oh shit, hide this from my son.)

All jokes aside, this is just plain good music with a great feel, maybe a little riot like on the message, but isn't that a part of growing up a rocker?

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

CD Review: Fireflies, Faith Hill

A much anticipated and so far, well received addition to her already stellar career Fireflies lives up to its demands. A few songs have been picked out in advance, along with the title track Fireflies, The Lucky Ones from the video and political statement We've Got Nothing But Love To Prove have all seen a warm reception across the board, but there is so much more to this CD indeed.

Mississippi Girl, in a traditional Faith Hill style is an anthem to her roots of growing up in rural America, and an inner look at her grassroots value system, never pretentious, and always in touch with her fan base of common people. As I listened to the songs I remembered the small Texas towns I grew up in as a preacher's kid, very simple times listening to very good music. While i will listen to everything from Classical to Punk, and like them all in their own ways, I have a special place for Country and Western, especially the ladies! I love a great voice.

The sad ballad I Ain't Gonna Take It Anymore has that magical piano and guitar percussion/melody upfront that underlines a familiar cry from a woman scorned and tired. Paul Franklin's steel guitar sets the mood and the soft mandolin from Aubrey Haynie sells the misery so well, and still sets up hope for times to come, and so a story is told. I like to look inside the CD for quotes, and this quote from Faith is an amazingly well seen view for any artist today,
"It all begins with a song. A lesson I learned 18 years ago upon arrival in Nashville. The songwriters on this album have given me the most amazing gift of all and I feel honored to bring their work to you."

The sinuous tones of Dan Dugmore's dobro, frame the bluegrass feel of If You Ask. The lyrics "I want to be your lover, I don't want to be your policeman" lend credit to her quote above, "It all begins with a song". I will admit that her call to arms We've Got Nothing But Love To Prove is hands down my favorite. It is pointed, yet not a whining political statement that so many artists fall into. The upbeat yet wide eyed lyrics call for a look into everything we are today, "Is everything A-OK in the USA?", and ending with the question "How about You?. So, How about you. Me? I'm just tappin' my foot along in time.

The sheer beauty of guitarist Dann Huuf's gut-string and Stuart Duncan's fiddle are only shadowed by the beautiful voice that has become Faith Hill's signature. The musicians used in cutting this CD are by and afar some of the best that Nashville has to offer, and it shows. I learned in Culinary school that a dish is only as good as the quality of ingredients used, any Master Chef would be jealous of this wonderful offering to your musical palate.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

CD/Music Video Review: Morning 40 Federation - Ticonderoga and Intro

No, no, no, no, no. To quote the "Barton administration": "this is wrong on so many levels."

To begin with, I watched Intro, the video first, and it was admittedly kinda cool and funky with a New Orleans feel. Make no mistake; these guys are good musicians to be sure. It all ends right there. I smiled and grooved to the video just a bit, so I went ahead and put in the CD Ticonderoga and wow! What a mistake that turned out to be.

I listened to the music and singer on the video, then the CD, and I am convinced that Alf must have invaded this guy's voice and gone into falsetto. What a load of crap. Adam Sandler himself, doing his best Tiny Tim, could not have begun to purposely emulate such sounds.

I am referring to Corkscrew and Washing Machine in particular; you really have to take this thing track by track. Aside from the fact that pretty much every song relies on alcohol abuse, hence the Morning 40 reference (A "40" is a good dose of malt liquor for those of a more gentile upbringing), there are some hints of good stuff here. Unfortunately these guys can't seem to decide what genre they embrace -- Blues, Rock, Indie, Punk, Tiny Tim, you decide. I gave up.

Toodle is actually a good example of New Orleans style blues, has a catchy tune and a good beat, so what the hell is it doing on this album, I ask? Oh well que sera, sera I suppose. Lancaster is another enigma with an early John Lennon-style sound.

On another note, I'm not at all impressed with their claims of being a "Ninth Ward" band. To quote a fellow writer, Todd A. Price:
That's kind of sleazy marketing. That 9th Ward that everyone has seen so much on TV is actually the Lower 9th Ward, which is where the levee break destroyed everything. It was an almost exclusively African-American neighborhood. This band hails from the Upper 9th Ward, which is on the other side of the levee. Not that there wasn't damage in that area as well, but it wasn't like a nuclear bomb went off. I guess the PR industry looks for any hook it can, but I'm pretty sure that few residents of the Lower 9th Ward have heard of the band.

This CD ends fittingly with a song called Conversation Whore which seems to describe life in the slow lane. While listening to the actual gut-wrenching recorded sounds of someone vomiting, I decided that I really must come off the fence and vote no on this one, surprise.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Network Neutrality; Moby And Others Stand With Rep. Markey

Grammy-nominated musician Moby joined Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and Free Press campaign Director Tim Carr for a press conference and rally on Thursday.

Just prior to that event, I was able to participate in and ask a few questions of these gentlemen on a teleconference phone call. Tim Carr opened the conference up with an outline of Free Press and Coalition. At issue are the lobbying efforts by AT&T, Verizon and other major telecom providers to sway lawmakers into virtually gutting Network Neutrality -- the Internet's First Amendment.

Mr. Carr referred to the groundswell of American internet users, bloggers, independent artists, and coalitions showing outrage at the impending legislation as a "National prairie fire raging out of control out there." has garnered support from over 600 organizations, collected nearly 700,000 American's signatures on its petition to congress, and is linked now to over 5000 blog sites.

Today's press conference is to show congress a unified alliance of major artists and musicians signing the "Artists and Musicians for Internet Freedom" petition, joining the Coalition along with net users, bloggers, and a diverse group of organizations including such strange bedfellows as the ACLU, AARP, Christian Coalition, along with the Gun Owners of America in a full spectrum of political support.

“If Congress guts Net Neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited, and the Internet will be become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T,” warned Moby. “We need to stand up for Internet freedom now. Congress must uphold Network Neutrality.”

Moby also made the statement to lawmakers today that "Your constituents are watching and you will be held accountable for your vote." He spoke of musicians including the Dixie Chicks, Wilco, Nine Inch Nails and R.E.M. signing the petition and getting involved. R.E.M blogged about this on their own website this week.

“This is yet another attempt by corporations and their congressional buddies to pull our society backward rather than moving us forward,” Michael Stipe of R.E.M said. “These corporations are trying to set up tollbooths on the information superhighway. We need to keep Net Neutrality so the Internet remains a free and level playing field.”

As it is in so many cases involving politics today, money is the motivating factor here; all three denied that a censorship of the net was at issue here, although monetary control of the web would certainly thin the herd simply by association. The bigger voices would be heard, and the lesser would remain, well, the lesser unfortunately

Moby did state that this action would probably have little impact on his or any other well established musician's career, but that it was rather simply something he felt he must do. Independents and smaller bloggers would likely suffer the most, but simple choices like telephony service, and search engines would be greatly compromised as well.

When Rep. Markey introduced HR 5273 in subcommittee, it was voted down 34-22 on a largely partisan vote with all Republicans and a few Democrats voting no. I asked Rep. Markey what he thought the "head count" would be like now, since it had received a better showing in the full committee. Unfortunately he was dropped from the teleconference unexpectedly right at that very moment, do you suppose AT&T did not want to hear that answer yet?

Markey did state in his opening that the pressure being delivered by these petitions and from thousands of Americans calling Washington had greatly impacted the original "no" voters and changed several minds. Tim Carr stated that the lobbyists were waging a campaign of misinformation, and that most lawmakers were duped into thinking that the issues were being tightened to constrain the Telco's business.

Actually what is at stake is a desire for no change at all in Net Neutrality, better off left alone so to speak. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), and Byron L. Dorgan (North Dakota), are expected to introduce legislation at the Senate level in support of Net Neutrality.

It is imperative that we act here folks, this is our fight. To sit back and let big money speak to lawmakers and go unanswered by us will only serve to silence us in a more permanent manner. When I asked if they thought we could actually turn Congress on this in light of the millions of dollars that the Telco's are providing, the answer was a qualified, yet emphatic yes. The qualifier is that we must all get involved in this one.

Visit the website, sign the petition, send letters to Washington, make phone calls, and then convince others to do so as well. There are no party lines here; this is a serious matter for everyone from the dancing queens in San Francisco to the gun-waving neocons in the NRA, from college students to Catholic Priests, from web masters to the very congressmen themselves. This is our Internet, what are you going to do to protect it?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Korner Stoned The Alexis Korner Anthology 1954-1983

Man I wanted to grab a dobro and start wailing away with this guy! Without the influence of Alexis Korner, nothing in regards to British blues, much less Rock and Roll itself, would be anything like it is today. Often called "The Godfather of British Blues", Alexis was a major factor in the musical styles and careers of artists such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Art Wood, Ronnie Wood, Paul Jones, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Chris Farlowe, Graham Bond, Duffy Power, and Robert Plant, the list goes on like a royal family tree of modern music.

This two disc set contains a wealth of musical diamonds seldom found in one place, from the first song Midnight Special to a duet with a twenty year old Robert Plant in Steal Away, the music is a fantastic ride through time and the making of a genre. Disc one's final song Mighty-Mighty Spade and Whitey is straight from the Equal Rights Movement, listening to this song conjures up thoughts from a time when hope was just burgeoning, led primarily by musicians. Wow, the memories poured over me as each and every song caressed the very earliest of my thoughts of growing up with all of the wonders that a modern era of music had to offer.

Disc two starts off with a collaboration of Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham, and Dixon by C.C.S., Korner's Big Band sound from this group belts out Whole Lotta Love like no others could. Tap Turns On The Water is the second track, another by C.C.S.- short for Collective Conscious Society, Korner's son reminisces,
"Dad loved big band music, he'd always wanted to have a big band of his own," remembers Damian Korner. "He'd paid his dues and at last he could do what he wanted. He could have his fill of sax sections, three guitars and double bass-drum kits. Dad had absolutely no trouble doing it."

Also included on this disc is an unforgettable rendition of Ooh Wee Baby from Live On Tour In Germany. The second disc focuses on the years 1970 through 1983, and while I love this stuff as well, I was most partial to disc one and the early years. This Anthology is a must add to any real collection of music that influenced Blues and Rock and Roll in general. Mostly it is just a must have to dip back into some really good times

Adrian Belew Side Three

Wow! This guy has it all. Side Three is the latest in a long succession of albums from one of Rock and Roll's foremost authorities, and it is blessed by all that came before. To coin a phrase, Adrian 'belew' me away! The funk and soul of the first two tracks alone had me literally dancing in my chair as I cruised through his "Official Website".

Those two tracks, Troubles and Incompetence Indifference, really set the stage for the rest of this CD. For those of you who might have slept through the past few decades in music, Adrian Belew has done it all, played with everyone, and designed the T-shirt! His bio reads like a walk through Cleveland's famed Hall. Names like Frank Zappa, David Bowie, The Talking Heads, King Crimson, Paul Simon, Mike Oldfield, The Bears, this man has touched an enormous chunk of the Rock in Rock and Roll. When you listen to the song Crunk, you can almost see the smile on Zappa's face when he first heard Adrian play.

The funk jumps out again in Whatever, a song that really shows the David Bowie side of this complex artist. With most "journeymen" artists, you can see and hear the influence of the bands they've played with in their style and sound. With Adrian Belew you can see and hear the influence he had on those fortunate to have played with him. The Song Cinemusic has almost a Beatles fell to the start, and then plunges right into the signature funkadelic sounds of Belew. Third in a series of three, the first two, Side One and Side Two were released in 2005. Side Three rounds out the trilogy with an energy and innovation seldom seen in today's Rock, I for one am hooked again.

Just a footnote by the way, the "Official Website" is an amazing wealth of Rock history, and info. Links to videos, downloads, pics and related sites as well make this a very cool way to sit and listen to some very funky sounds.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Book Review: The Last Cato

Enter the next book into an ever growing genre of Catholicism vs. Mysticism. The Last Cato, by Spanish author Matilde Asensi, is a wonderful read, inviting and flowing, it pulls the reader into a world that few will ever see, into the inner workings of the Vatican itself. Murder, mayhem, secret orders, the Vatican, an entire host of tricks and tools in which to snare the reader's attention. This book, originally written in Spanish, was translated by Pamela Carmell into English, and masterfully so I might add.

The story's hero, the brilliant paleographer Dr. Ottavia Salina, is in herself the first stone cast at the Vatican's precious image. Not only a woman, an educated woman at that, she is a nun whose order has stricken the wearing of habits from their code. A fiery start to a very stormy book! Ottavia is paired with an odd Swiss Guard officer in the early pages of the book, to decipher a series of codes that have been scarified onto the body of a strange and un-explained corpse the Vatican has produced. The mystery evolves into a series of revelations that bring up the seven deadly sins, Dante's inferno, and a secret society committing criminal acts against the church itself.

Asensi does an amazing job weaving this tale from a wealth of scholarly Christian knowledge and blending with a whirlwind of world travel and intrigue. The depictions of the inner works of the Catholic Church are in themselves captivating, and the ability to tie in an almost "Tomb Raider" like quality of espionage and adventure make this book a very apt contender with the likes of The Da Vinci Code. Although she has several international best sellers, this is her first book to be translated into English, and the first of many to come I can only hope!

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Eric Johnson Live From Austin Tx.

God surely blessed Austin Texas. From such roots as The Armadillo World Headquarters, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and lest we forget, guitar genius Eric Johnson. This CD is long overdue, recorded in 1988 on the show Austin City Limits, this is the quintessential Eric Johnson, to be sure. This as close a look as you will get that compares to what Prince saw on this same program in 1984 when he recommended Eric to Warner Bros. Records, whose subsidiary, Reprise Records, signed Eric into the big time. Johnson's career has spanned three decades and crossed paths with countless artists along the way.

This particular CD heralds from a very key time in Johnson's journey. The live performance is absolutely flawless, and the energy is strictly Eric. His brand of music stylized and influenced by the "3J's:" Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Reed, and Jeff Beck, is also traced with Stevie Ray nuances, and a bold Jazz infusion at times. The track Righteous gets things off to a high energy start in an instrumental with very classic Johnson sounds, with just a touch of SRV. The album is fairly well balanced with instrumentals and vocals as well. The Jeff Beck influence is one of my favorite traits of Johnson's music. Love Or Confusion, the CD's 2nd track shows a portrait view of his Austin, Texas roots. One of my favorites is a little ditty called Steve's Boogie, less than two minutes of just darn good guitar pickin'.

With thirteen tracks in all, this CD displays a complete spectrum of Eric's varied styles. Cliffs Of Dover, probably one of the most famous of his early works, actually won a Grammy according to this excerpt from his Bio,
"Johnson's breakthrough into the mainstream occurred with 1990's Capitol release 'Ah Via Musicom.' The buoyant, cascading instrumental "Cliffs of Dover" enjoyed mountains of radio airplay across multiple formats. The platinum-selling album was nominated for a Grammy and "Cliffs of Dover" itself earned Johnson a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental, topping fellow nominees the Allman Brothers Band, Danny Gatton, Rush and Yes."

The CD also includes another Grammy nominee, Zap, another signature instrumental showcasing Eric's un-believable talents with 10 fingers. The final track is in homage to one of his greatest influences Jimi Hendrix. The song Are You Experienced is an amazing rendition by Eric in tribute to the master, yet still breathes with Eric's own stylistic and creative influence. A memorable topper to an un-forgettable CD, I can still remember sitting in Dallas, and watching this amazing PBS showing, I do believe that God blessed Austin, Texas.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kansas CD/DVD Anthology Works In Progress

Unbelievable works of art never fade. Kansas brought so much more to the table than simply a new sound of Rock and Roll in the '70's. The band's innate ability to rock the music world, with never before heard sounds of a rocker's violin along with shades of progressive rock, led to one of the most successful American Progressive Rock bands ever.

This combination CD, DVD set is a true tribute to the band's history. It covers 10 years of sound, from 1992 to 2002, a third of the band's history, but a thorough representation of the band's growth and changes. The CD focuses on the studio and live albums, Freaks Of Nature, Live At The Whiskey, and Always Never The Same. The DVD adds a look at Device Voice Drum, a very cool robotic music machine opens hat part up, as well as some of the best live footage of Kansas ever recorded at the legendary Whiskey A Go-Go in L.A.
Also included are two all time favorites, Hold On and Dust In The Wind, both remixed to 5.1 Surround Sound.

I truly enjoyed reminiscing while listening to the CD, songs such as Song For America, Black Fathom and Portrait, took me back in time to the places I was when listening to this band in my twenties, good times at that. I must admit that the DVD is by far the mainstay of this Duo, the live performance at The Whiskey will blow you away! Such energy and passion from a band that was already 20 years in the making, it showed a revival of spirit not many bands get to face. While drummer Phil Ehart, and vocalist Steve Walsh rock on in their standard full bore form, replacement violinist/guitarist, David Ragsdale, is absolutely amazing with his lightening speed and stunning licks, you have to see this to remember it!

Set to release on May 23rd through Compendia Music Group, this set is sure to storm back onto the scene. Drummer Phil Ehart explains that several factors were taken into account when selecting the songs featured on Works In Progress

"technical aspects were a main consideration in choosing songs from Live At The Whisky. The band on Live At The Whiskey rocked hard. We wanted tracks that reflected that aggressiveness," Ehart says. "Regarding the classic material, we've got some hits and some good obscure gems in this collection, too."

Along with the release set for May, the band plans on backing that up with a full tour schedule in 2006 to promote Works In Progress. For the latest Kansas news, log onto for updated tour dates etc.
And as always, Carry On My Wayward Sons!!!

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That Girl Season One DVD

Upon her debut in 1966 as the first TV Land Gal on a mission, Marlo Thomas in That Girl rapidly scored points and set the bar for those to come. Topping off her first season with a well deserved Golden Globe Award, Thomas went on to secure no less than four successive Emmy nominations in each of the show's remaining four years on the air! And what a girl was That Girl!

I remember growing up when TV was a world of its own, characters were real, and series held true to an ongoing story. It was like checking in on the latest scoop on the neighborhood, and That Girl was front and center. Marlo Thomas' character, Ann Marie, was America's first single girl out and about, an aspiring actress growing up in front of us, and maturing into a confident woman of her own terms. Long before Rhoda, Mary Tyler Moore and literally decades before those fabulous sexy gals in Manhattan ever even knew what a Cosmopolitan was! It was an innocent age for most of us, yet it was the 60's and that innocence was soon to be tested.

Watching this hilarious review from my childhood, I was very impressed with both the quality and clarity of the shows, having watched the bulk of them in black and white as a child, I was quite taken with it. Shout! Factory once again does an excellent job in bringing the very best of pop culture back to the forefront.

That Girl starred Marlo Thomas, who was also was the producer, Ted Bessell as her boyfriend Donald Hollinger, and Lew Parker and Rosemary DeCamp as her doting parent's. The show was an icon for little girls of the time, each wanting to grow up and be just like Ann Marie. The show's popularity far outlasted the five seasons it was on, and set precedence for strong women characters to follow in the years to come. With trend setting designs to adorn her by Oscar de la Renta, Cardinalli, Halston, and Courreges, Thomas influenced millions of young girls around the world.

"The That Girl: Season One DVD is loaded with rare and never-before-seen extra features, including the “That Girl” pilot, a brand-new interview with Marlo Thomas on the making of the show, and That Girl in New York, a collection of raw footage shot on location in New York and narrated by Thomas and co-creator Bill Persky."

This glorious walk in the past is coming out on a five DVD set May 16, 2006, in stereo. At a SRP of $39.98, this is a must have for your collection, or for just reminiscing of simpler times.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cordovan Highway 10 Blues, Definately Does Not Have The Blues

Cordovan Highway 10 Blues, and it is far from Blues, it is way out there 'Left Wing Jazz'. I hate to roast these guys if it is just my taste, but I like everything from Country to Rock, should I decline to review and send this to someone else? I'm lost.

That being my first impression, I set about to try and understand this unique undertaking by Cordovan artists, Greg Reeves, Cindy Bradley, Charles Burns, James Hardaway, Victor Indrizzo, Michael Israel, Jim Peterson, Kurt Stevenson, and Eric Stock. The immediately stunning fact of this CD is that all of the artists recorded their own respective tracks independently, in cities across the nation and shared them via the Internet as MP3s, never sitting with the rest of the band! This kind of breakthrough Internet music publishing seems to have had both positive and negative effects on the end result.

The cohesion of the artists is definitely stunning, given that this album passed back and forth across the Net as MP3 files for quite some time, all the while being tweaked and adjusted. At the same time, I can't help but feel this also comes to play in the album having almost a robotic, or mechanical feel.

The title track, Highway 10 Blues, starts out with promises of a 1940's detective novel, but unfortunately slips quickly into an almost automatic play mode complete with echoes and ping like sound effects. There are even some of the classical Pink Floyd 'shifting left to right in the speakers type of machine sounds'. While I do not take away from the brilliance of mixing this track via the Internet, it just doesn't get there with the warmth and personal emotion I like in Jazz.

Charles Burn's sax on the second track Mesa, to me sounds lifeless at first, but it does come around midway through. That same repetitious mechanical feel still prevails though, and there is a bit of that old Gino Vanelli feel to the keyboards, and that was played out by him too much on his own albums.

Tracks three and five, Gwen and Jackpot, both start off with that magnificent 40's touch, yet quickly fall back to the machines again. The more I listened to this CD, the more I became convinced that, writer/ musician/ programmer Greg Reeves, must have intended to hit this sound of automation, with it's twists and turns of familiarity based in earlier times. While I thoroughly enjoyed certain passages like the sax on Trouble, the mixed in Acid Rock Effects just didn't do it for me, not on this CD.

Overall, as I said before, an impressive undertaking from a sound engineer's perspective, yet as I said in opening, the title belies what is in store for the listener.

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