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Jean Bradbury "moon pix"
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Darklands
Darklands
Price: 8.27

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More "Sunday Morning" than "Sister Ray" - A 5 star review, 20 May 2004
This review is from: Darklands (Audio CD)
Even though anything and everything that the Reid brothers produce will be forever over shadowed by their 1986 debut album "Psycho Candy", I feel that they went one better with the 1987 follow up "Dark Lands".
Even though "Psycho Candy" was a great album, the song writing tended to get lost underneath the impenetratable sheets of feedback that were so central to the album's sound. There are no such problems on "Dark Lands", the dissonant, Sonic Youth-style guitar noise that was so prevelant on "Psycho Candy" is largely absent, allowing the Reid's love of the melodic and gift for melody to shine through. Their debt to the Velvet Underground is not as over bearing as it was on "Psycho Candy", and the Velvet Underground influences on "Dark Lands" hark back to songs like "Sunday Morning" and "There She Goes Again" rather than the primal, proto-punk noise of "White Light/White Heat". On this album, the Reid brothers draw from a wider range of influences and this is immediately apparent from the melodic opening of the lead, title track. The song "Dark Lands" is driven by a melodic bass line and acoustic guitar on the verses before exploding into a melodic, but noisy and distorted, guitar-driven chorus. It reveals a greater understanding of melody than most of "Psycho Candy" did, and the chorus hangs around dead pan delivery of "do, do, do, dooh", similar to Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side".
Far from all sounding the same, as "Psycho Candy" did, "Dark Lands" sounds distinctly different from track to track. "Deep One Perfect Morning" sounds very much like early period Velvet Underground, and "Nine Million Rainy Days" laces a poppy melody with freeze dried, gothic vocals and a dark, brooding backing track. It is this diversity of influences that makes "Dark Lands" more interesting than "Psycho Candy" or any of their other albums for that matter. However, it is still possible to trace this album back to "Psycho Candy", with "Fall" sounding like "Psycho Candy" would have done without all those extra layers of feedback.
Lyrically, most of the songs are about love but not in the traditional sense. It is a kind of love were the people involved know that it will all end in tears and know that they don't deserve one another. A very gothic take on a traditional song writers topic. Like the music, the vocal melodies on this album are not as indebted to the Velvet Underground as they were on "Psycho Candy", with the melody to "Fall" sounding very much like REM during their IRS years. The singles "April Skies" and "Happy When it Rains" are quintessential '80s indie songs, the former a downbeat, world weary pop song that comes across as what Tears For Fears would have sounded like if they had traded in their synthesizers for guitars, and the latter is a catchy upbeat pop song that lies somewhere between the melodic noise of the Pixies and the jangly guitar pop of the Smiths and the Wedding Present.
So there you go. I am someone who is pretty difficult to please and doesn't give out 5 star reviews that often any more. I used to, and so a lot of my older reviews mean little to nothing... but this is no such review. "Dark Lands" is the best record the Jesus & Mary Chain ever released, not as noisy as "Psycho Candy" and not as dance influenced as "Honey's Dead". Buy it if you want to hear a great collection of songs that are interesting but conventional, loud but melodic and clever but simple... you could do a lot worse!


Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer [DVD] [2003]
Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Aileen Wuornos
Price: 13.75

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broomfield at his best so far!, 12 May 2004
This is the third documentary of Nick Broomfield's that I have seen. The first one I saw was "Kurt & Courtney" which I enjoyed immensely and decided was worth the purchase. The other was "Biggie & Tupac" which I did'nt.
The biggest problem with the "Biggie & Tupac" film was that because everyone interviewed was so careful, as they could incriminate themselves or end up on the wrong side of the Crip or Blood gangs, nobody was willing to open up. With the "Kurt" film, Broomfield had to battle against adversity every step of the way through financing problems.
There are neither of these problems in the case of his second film about "America's first female serial killer" Aileen Wouronous. Everybody interviewed gives nothing less than their all and are completely willing to open up in interviews. The interviews with Aileen herself reveal her to be a surprisingly complex character, both angry and bitter but also charming and polite. It is this element that makes the film so watchable.
Without giving too much away, the film goes in depth into Aileen's childhood and reveals her lifelong battle against adversity, from when her mother abandoned her to her execution. Nick interviews many people including people who knew her as a youngster, the guy who represented (or should that be mis-represented!) her at the original trial and Aileen's mother.
Nick assumes a more unbiased stance in this film than he did in segments of his others. This comes across especially in his interviews with Aileen which take on a more conversational tone than the almost interogational and more judgemental approach that was used in his other films. This results in more openess allround and a better understanding of Aileen.
The film includes excerpts from Nick's currently unavailable film "The Making and Selling Of A Serial Killer" (his original film about Aileen fron 1992) as well as news footage of her from her original trial's to the day of her execution. It also includes an excerpt from the original police video of Aileen's confession as well as news footage of Jeb Bush commenting on his decision to sign her death warrant.
The interviews with Aileen herself are the most interesting part of this film. She is completely open about herself, her relationships and what she has (and has'nt!) done. She comes across not as a psychpathic killer but as a little girl lost, someone who could easily have achieved great things but was never given the chance by both her family and society at large.
It is a tragic story of someone who was tossed aside before her life had even begun, of someone who had to fight for everything she ever got (which was'nt much). Amazingly though, Aileen does not hang her head and drag her feet or cry into her glass, she laces many of the segments in which she is featured with good humour and does not let her dire situation drag her down, even on the days before her execution.
If you want the latest mindless trash from Hollywood go and see "Scooby Doo 2", if you want a great human interest story that draws from both a hateful and notorious but also funny, intelligent (some would mad, paranoid or both) and charming individual who was exploited from her earliest days to her final hours and beyond (someone will eventually write a book you can bet!) then you should give this a try.


A COMPLETE HISTORY
A COMPLETE HISTORY
Offered by sellerfellauk
Price: 24.99

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in the truest sense of the word!, 19 Mar 2004
This review is from: A COMPLETE HISTORY (Audio CD)
I found out about the Vaselines because of Nirvana. Their cover of "Son Of A Gun" is, for me at least, the finest cover version ever recorded and the highly catchy melody of it made me think of checking out some of the Vaselines stuff, and here it is.
The Vaselines are a very obscure, cult Scottish band that last for about 3 years from about 1986/87 to 1989. During this period they released 2 singles and an lp called "Dum Dum" on the independent "53 & 3rd" label. Because of Kurt Cobain's love of this band, Sub Pop saw fit to reissue all of their records on 1 disc. In this case, the disc is definitely more than 5" of plastic.
All of the Vaselines songs are either fantastic indie pop ditties, like the Smiths jamming in a shed, or fantastic noisy indie pop ditties, like the Jesus & Mary Chain jamming in a shed. All of the songs are extremely catchy, upbeat and fun in a way that a lot of indie isnt. Frances vocals contrast fantastically with Eugene's and the all of the melodies are very, very catchy (particuarly "Son Of A Gun") with simple lyrics making this a fantastic record to sing a long to.If you have a had a bad day or feeling a bit down, pick a song at random and get singing. They wont depress you or make you feel bad and they are great songs for young children.
All of this said, it does have its rocky moments. "Teenage Superstar" reminded me of Guns N Roses "It's So Easy" just because of the speed of it and "The Day I Was A Horse" is a great upbeat, fun loving indie poppy piece of punk thats a bit like an unhinged Undertones.
This album is immediately accessible, simple, fun and joyous. I think a couple of lines from "Son Of A Gun" sum it up perfectly - "The sun shines in my bedroom when you play, the raining always starts when you go away." Fantastic.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2009 11:15 PM BST


Poison Ivy [DVD] [1992]
Poison Ivy [DVD] [1992]
Dvd ~ Michael Goldner
Offered by Jasuli
Price: 9.95

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Dec 2003
This review is from: Poison Ivy [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
Okay, Ill admit that its hard for me to be unbiased about this film as it stars one of my heroines in Sara Gilbert. Ill do my best to look past this and give it a fair review based on actual opinion rather than bias.
The film is about a rich kid (Sylvia played by Sara Gilbert) who befriends a drifter (Ivy played by Drew Barrymore). The two are both outcasts and form a special bond based on actual friendship. Or so Sylvia believes. I dont want to give too much away because the film is paced perfectly, the story unravels a bit at a time making it a film that you really do have to watch all the way through.
Drew is brilliant as Ivy, catching the balance between loving friend and evil enemy just perfectly. Whats more, its all believeable, its not so over the top that you cant emphathise with the characters. Sara does a brilliant job also, playing a character thats different to her role as Darlene Connor in Roseanne. She plays the contradictions of her character, a rebel who wants to annoy her parents and also a caring daughter to perfection.
If you want your films to be more than just the moronic shoot em up Hollywood fare, then watch "Poison Ivy". You cant leave your brain at the door with this one.


Broken EP
Broken EP
Price: 8.12

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy, You Got It Buddy, 12 Dec 2003
This review is from: Broken EP (Audio CD)
The "Broken" Ep is one of those strange moments in musical history. In retrospect it seems like the most natural thing in the world, knowing what was to follow. However, at the time this must have come as quite a shock to Reznor's fanbase being as it is far removed from the synth heavy Gary Numan sound of "Pretty Hate Machine".
It is a natural step of evolution though for this to be the bridge between "Pretty" and "The Downward Spiral". When the "Pretty" album was performed live, due to the instruments used and the players themselves, the previously synthesizer friendly sound was replaced by a wall of loud, heavy and abrasive guitars and banging drums. After this taste of heavy rock and seeing the disappointment of rock fans who had seen his live show first and bought the record after expecting more of the same, Reznor decided that the only step that he could make would be to incorporate rock music into the Nine Inch Nails sound. It could be seen as Reznor trying to alienate the "Pretty Hate Machine" audience, and it probably did.
Right from the starting gun, Reznor's new direction hits you over the head like a sledgehammer. The track "Pinion" works less as a song and more of an intro to "Wish", kicking into the apocalyptic sound that will be only too familiar to fans of "Starf******, Inc" and "Heresy".
The other tracks work much the same way, fusing the heavy, mechanical rhytyms of industrial to the loud, heavy sound of metal. The tracks are also quite poppy, when you strip away all of the extremities, Reznor's skilll at song structure and the knack for writing a poppy, catchy melody shine through. "Help Me I Am In Hell" is the intro to the most well known track from "Broken", "Happiness In Slavery", infamous for its universally banned video.
There are two hidden tracks here, a cover of Adam Ant's "Physical" and a new version of "Suck", appearing as tracks 98 and 99.
What really sets NIN apart from the other industrimetal bands is that Reznor always instilled in his work a real accessibility. Where Ministry were heavy, repetitive and uncommercial, NIN always had the pop aspect to them. Far from just noise, scratch the surface dirt away and its like listening to The Beatles, only NIN does'nt suck.


Kill 'Em All
Kill 'Em All
Price: 6.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The First True Thrash Metal Album, 11 Dec 2003
This review is from: Kill 'Em All (Audio CD)
Before the big budget videos and the lawsuits Metallica were a young metal band from the San Francisco Bay with a unique sound. They combined the technical skill of metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard with the speed of hardcore punkrock like Bad Brains and the Misfits and created a completely new form of metal. This was thrash.
"Kill Em All" is a much more straightforward album than the bands later classics such as "Master Of Puppets". Whereaes those songs were epics, with complex song structures and changes in tempo, the songs on "Kill Em All" blaze past. A few of these tracks, such as "Seek & Destroy" and "Whiplash", have since become both live favourites and metal classics. The guitars are loud and fast, the drums are fast and heavy, and the lyrics are simple. This is not a Manowar record.
The album contains none of the complexities of there mid/late '80s work, nor does it contain the radio friendly pop hooks of their '90s work. It unique in the Metallica back catalogue, it is the most punkrock thing they ever did. In fact, the nearest thing they have done to this is their cover of "So What".
The only reason for the 4 star rating can be summed up in 2 words: bad production. It sounds like it was recorded in a shed, but then again it was their debut and so hadnt got enough money to record it properly. Actually, if they had re-recorded it with Bob Rock and given it the muscle of "Master" or "The Black Album", it would have been much better than the extremely dissappointing "Saint Anger" album.


Significant Other
Significant Other
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.58

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Limp Bizkit - As Crap As They Wanna Be!, 10 Dec 2003
This review is from: Significant Other (Audio CD)
This album is dreadful. Fred Durst, the man who helped to popularise rap metal, cannot rap to save his life... and his lyrics suck. He is no replacement for Chuck D.
The music is chilledout ambient dance punctuated by ill chosen samples and scratching. The riffs arent heavy enough and the songs dont hold together at all. The only thing approaching heavy, and conincedentily the only good song here, is "Break Stuff". As for rap, dont make me laugh.
Fred's sense of flow is nonexistent, so bad in fact that he cant even get a worthwhile sounding performance on "N2 gether Now". Even Method Man doesnt hit the creative peak on this track that he did on Wu Tang Clan's debut album.
So all in all, dont bother. This album is for maschocists only and shouldnt be listened to by anyone.
As far as Bizkit are concerned, by "Three Dollar Bill". Its not exactly "In Utero" and Fred Durst isnt exactly Kurt Cobain, but its better than this sh**.


MTV Unplugged in New York
MTV Unplugged in New York
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Contrast To The Rawness Of In Utero, 10 Dec 2003
Just prior to the release of "In Utero", Cobain was asked wether the new record would be hard and loud or quiet and acoustic. Cobain classically replied "Extremes of both". It was, but if "In Utero" learned more to the former, "Unplugged" definitely leans more to the latter.
Thankfully, the band chose the songs that would actually work acoustically as oppossed to their biggest hits that the casual MTV audience would recognize. Personally, I woul have loved to have heard an acoustic version of "Lithium", but they were right in not doing "Teen Spirit". As a record, it holds together very well, containing songs from their three main albums and an array of delightful and varied covers. Amazingly the covers sit perfectly side by side with the bands own compositions, "Come As You Are" being followed by an amazing cover of the Vaselines "Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam".
The other covers are just as great, David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World", three Meat Puppets songs and an amazing, emotional cover of Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night". The bands own songs lose nothing in transition, "On A Plain" being amazing as is "All Apologies" and "Polly". Also, you can listen to the original version afterwards and not feel anything less, the acoustics dont ruin the songs.
With Nirvana, there was always an acoustic element in their music and that is what really helps carry it across. If Slayer did this it wouldnt work, but Nirvana always had this in them. Whether you are a Nirvana fan or just a fan of acoustic music, this is truly essential.


Dead Kennedys [VHS]
Dead Kennedys [VHS]
VHS

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Crucial Document Of The American Hardcore Scene, 9 Dec 2003
This review is from: Dead Kennedys [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This video is strange in that it really gives you a sense of the community that existed in the '80s Hardcore scene.
The gig was part of a bill put together to close the DMPO club in San Francisco. The sound is dreadful and Biafra's mike doesnt even work most of the time, but it doesnt matter. You still get a sense of the energy and the crowd are brilliant, stagediving for the entire set. This sort of violence was effectively what ended the band, Ray was sick of it and wanted out. The set is hevy on "Plastic Surgery Disasters" with "Riot" being a highlight, Biafra acting out the lyrics on stage. It is Biafra's demented stage manner that makes this a must see.
Biafra also changes lyrics and interjects new satirical political swipes that were never recorded in the studio, particuarly on "Bigger Problem". All in all, this is an excellent must see film of one of the best punk bands of all time. I sure would have liked to have seen Biafra perform "Pull My Strings" though.


Dark Side of the Moon
Dark Side of the Moon
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 9.39

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Album That Really Does Deserve Its Reputation, 7 Dec 2003
This review is from: Dark Side of the Moon (Audio CD)
"Darkside" really deserves the reputation that its acquired in the last 30 years. One of the biggest selling albums of all time with about 25,000,000 sales worldwide and about 15 years on the American Billboard chart, the album is also one of the most critically revered albums of all time.
"Darkside" is probably the ultimate concept album. It has everything going for it, the lyrics and themes explored are extremely dark but the music is incredibly uplifting and jazzy. The concept of the album is exploring various things that imping upon an individual and where these things take people, wether it be greed, apathy or death.
All of the songs apart from "Great Gig" and "Money" blend into each other forming one long track untill the end of "Great Gig" and then starting another long track from the start of "Money". For this reason, "Darkside" should be listened to as a complete experience rather than individual tracks. Gilmour's guitar playing is amazing as is Wright's piano work, but even though the individual instruments are played amazingly they always form a more cohesive larger whole. This really is an album that is more than the sum of its parts.
Pink Floyd, "Darkside" in particular, have had a massive influence on many bands since. Ambient dance owes a great deal to Pink Floyd as does Radiohead and because of this Pink Floyd will be discovered by a whole new generation. Waters' lyrics are still as relevant today as they were in 1973.
As well as being an all time great album, it is one of the more interesting albums of all time. During the '80s CD boom, a rumour circulated that a pressing plant in Germany was dedicated to pressing only "Darkside". Another well known myth is that if you play "Darkside" and the film "Wizard Of Oz" simultaneously many similarities pop up. A lesser known myth is that if you turn the volume up really loud at the end of "Eclipse" you can hear an orchestral snatch of "Ticket To Ride".
All of this makes Pink Floyd's "Darkside Of The Moon" one of most lauded albums of all.


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