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mister joe "mister joe" (Herts)

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The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts
The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts
by Billy Bob Thornton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.14

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ONE FOR THE POUND SHOP, 27 May 2012
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Hmmmm....nowadays EVERYONE can write an autobiography,you see stacks at Tescos with those bland covers and horrid fonts.You appeared in an episode of Casualty?Heres a book are 18 and scored a top 5 hit....tell us your story.Your a foetus?Fill us in.These books are beyond lightreading,you can toss them in the air and they float back down like a feather.Vapid,pr hogwash.So when i saw Billy Bob Thorton had written his i thought well fair enough,hes been round the block,quite an idiosyncratic film star,loved The Man Who Wasn't There so why not?
Well to be honest i could've learnt as much about him as skimping over his Wikipedia entry.Essentially its incredibly short chapters offering no real insight,no real overview....real diet stuff.
Each chapter begins with some of Billy's lyrics,which are not much cop and are frankly embarrassing.Rhyming train with rain with pain.There are a few contributors but this is ego massaging territory.Reading between the lines Billy Bob has a healthy ego,cannot take criticism....
The last majority of the book is how we are all pretty stupid,watch stupid movies,bemoaning the internet.Theres a really revealing passage where he talks about how us "normal people" think we are the system.How outrageous it is that some overweight guy sat at his computer in middle america dares to trash a movie or more pertinetly criticise Billy Bob.Proffessional movie critics should be the ones to comment on movies.
All i can assume is that this reasoning is based on if Billy Bob makes a boring movie about the Alamo no one sees it this is because we are obviously all morons.God forbid its not just the simple fact that the movies not much cop.
We hear various nuggets of how various acting coaches took our Billy Bob to one side and said "you got something kid...i have never seen anything like that ever".Billy Bobs one of those cliched "i don't read my own press" guys when you know for a fact he probably employs some poor soul to scan the papers,internet anytime his name is mentioned.As soon as that "i don't read my press" statement is made you know the opposite is true.Just like when he says he will never win a grammy but of course he "doesn't want one or care".OK....
The only segment i enjoyed was the tale of when Billy Bob took a jar full of mushrooms.I still like Billy Bob Thornton but i expected a LOT more,a biography written from someone other then himself would've been far better.Thornton is a rarity in many ways,a Hollywood actor that isn't the stereotypical hunk or bland crowd pleaser yet this book paints a rather prima donna like portrait.
During the book he bemoans the quality of modern movies,art yet whilst holding the book in my hands i could not help but think hang on a minute,i have spent ten quid of my hard earned money to read you moaning,giving nothing away.He actually starts doing the whole being a movie star is so hard rountine,in a time when there is economic collaspe,people losing jobs,struggling to put food on the table it just DON'T wash.
I would have thought from his southern background Thornton would not have fell into the out of touch spoilt movie star persona.
You would have to be a MAJOR fan of Billys to really enjoy this book,its so light i read it in one forgettable night.I have the distinct feeling i will see this book adorning the shelves at one of the many pound shops that litter the country.
I think i shall forget this book and watch A Simple Plan instead.Disappointing.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2012 8:59 AM BST

Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984
Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984
by Simon Reynolds
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SIX FORM, 25 May 2012
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There is absolutely no doubting the brillance and genius of this period of music,some genius bands.But in contrast to most of the reviews i found Rip It Up ultimately to be a bit of a flat read,which considering the innovative nature of the bands featured is quite odd.
Its all very dorky,male Mojo magazine reading stuff that fails to capture the sheer visceral entertainment of the bands.Reynolds metaphorical descriptions of songs are awful and by golly does he suffer from some of the same pretensions of some of the artists featured.
There are numerous bands covered called things like Dog Leg who think banging a radiator and throwing bags of poo at an audience is "art".No guv.You just cannot play or write a decent tune.The manifestos of certain bands are almost laughable in their sixth form naivety....."breaking the boundaries of sound and perception".....hmmm.....well if the band does break down all these barriers where does it leave them?Surely if everyone makes a racket,takes the same stance it dilutes your holier then thou statements???It just becomes repetitive and redundant if everyone does exactly what they want.Before you know it working within an infrastructure would become radical.
I firmly believe in barriers in art,self imposed or otherwise.Artists tend to become tragically self indulgent.
Bands such as P.I.L,Joy Division,New Order,Gang Of Four,Devo and many others of this stature are above these criticisms obviously.These groups like the best simply transcend genre tick boxes.
There are chapters when the book suddenly comes alive and colourful,when dealing with the new pop stuff,Throbbing Gristle are very interesting i could read a whole book about them,even though i do not take them as profoundly seriously as they do themselves.
Its an ok book don't get me wrong but i don't think i will be reading further "works" from Reynolds,not my type of guy.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2012 7:32 PM BST

Love On Your Side: The Best Of The Thompson Twins
Love On Your Side: The Best Of The Thompson Twins
Price: £4.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BAND TIME FORGOT...., 23 May 2012
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By golly do i love late 70s,early to mid eighties music.This seems to be a time when us Brits ruled,selling crateloads of albums at home and in the big US of A.Gary Numan,Heaven 17,P.I.L,Adam Ant,Visage,Tears For Fears,Japan,The Associates,Echo And The Bunnymen....jeez so many good tunes,amazing bands from the credible to the naff.But get this even the "naff" bands were incredible....Flock Of Seagulls,Nik Kershaw,Sigue Sigue Sputnik and this bunch the Thompson Twins.
I think back in the day music journalists weilded far more power then they do nowadays,a lot of bands were savaged critically but really this supposed "new pop" ultimately delivered tunes that have proved resilient,indestructable.Yeah the Twins looked terrible but man Hold Me Now,Love On Your Side,Doctor!These are monster tunes that bash their way into your brain.A fizzy pop soundtrack to a world where Thursdays meant Top Of The Pops,Back To The Future played at the cinema,no internet,no mobiles...if you had a remote control boy you we're living in luxury!
I have determined to look at the much derided 80s as my emotional home.Sod the ugly facebooked present.From my view the 80s produced a true golden age of pop,pop singles,pop albums when music actually sold and was not yet reduced to a button pushing,downloading commodity.
Fun,pretentious,catchy...the performers seemed to be bursting with ideas.Yeah some were awful but i give credit to anyone proposing an idea then recurgitating formula.Kids dressing like Boy George{anyone seen Grange Hill where Michelle Fowler is done up George style?ESSENTIAL viewing} or Thompson Twins....beautiful stuff.Phone ins with Mike I Wear Chinos Read on Swap Shop....true pop.
Unbelievably Thompson Twins according to sleeve notes sold a whopping 50 million records,played arenas....but they seemed to have been wiped from musical memory.I suppose its considered forgettable,disposable pop.....just the stuff i love.
This is a great value cd,36 tunes,cheesy synths,with the obligatory late career decline its awesome.LOVE DOCTOR!DOCTOR!Right i am off to hairspray the mullet,roll my blazer sleeves up and do some robotic dance moves to this cd.
By myself.
In the living room,dog looking at me very strangely indeed.......i saw you there,just standing there....

Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders [DVD]
Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roger Sargent

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TWO BOB DIV, 19 May 2012
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The Libertines,man i still remember buying the first single What A Waster....within those three minutes of pure visceral joy i was a fully paid up fan.Libertines were a great synthesis of English bands Jam,Clash,Pistols,Smiths.They looked amazing,stonking tunes,dangerous,unpredictable just what the british music scene needed to rescue us from the bland soul destroying elevator music of Travis and Stereophonics.
As well as the british influence i always detected a whiff of New York Dolls,the calamity,the gutter romance.
For people of my age ten years ago The Libertines were our Beatles,our Pistols...our band,our songs.Fans sincerely felt emotionally invested in this band.Every other group on the scene became instantly redundant.Truly a band of the people.I saw them live three times,as cliched as it sounds now this band were a lifestyle.One of the most profound qualities of the band was their accessibility,i mean i met Pete three times.One thing is for certain the guy has pure star charisma emitting from every pore.
There Are No Bystanders tells the story of The Libertines in the run up to the Reading reformation shows,there is footage from the gigs as well as rehearsals.Fans know this story backwards,sideways....the band were already steeped in mythology within a year of their career which followed a trajectory that other bands cover in 20 years you know..the arguments,the split,the drugs,the side projects,the models,the comeback.
Hearing the tunes again i still felt a frisson of excitement,just sterling tunes Horrorshow,I Get Along,Skint And Minted,Tell It To The King.
This music will always define a time in my early twenties,dumb with youth,drinking,stumbling round Camden.
Am i so blindly devoted to Doherty now?No would be the answer,all that was promised kind of imploded on itself and i am not sure that becoming a slave to addiction really encapsulates the Arcadian dream of supposed frredom.I do wish Doherty would have a wash as well,THOSE FINGERNAILS!But i will save those opinions for a rainy day.For now There Are No Bystanders is a must for fans or those who were there,shouting along at the top of their voices.
Thats what The Libertines were about for me.Being young,being stupid,trying to be as cool as they were.With Up The Bracket blaring.....

People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan's Shadows
People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan's Shadows
by Richard Lloyd Parry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIZU SHOBAI, 18 May 2012
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People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry is a sterling effort detailing the infamous Lucie Blackman case.There is a real strong sense of journalism here as Parry details the events that transpired whilst also becoming a kind of tourguide through the streets of Tokyo.
Parry not only investigates the tragedy but explores the attitudes,customs of Japan.At times i could almost feel the streets.
The whole culture of hostess's is explored.
Extremely commendable is how the book creates a portrait of a victim,Lucie Blackman giving her life,an emotional landscape.The case of Lucie Blackman is a multifaceted story of darkness,grief,insecurities,police procedures, really contains a lot this book.
I would hesitate in saying i "enjoyed" a book of this nature but it is both very readable and thought provoking.I actually learnt a lot whilst reading.I have to say the whole character of Tim Blackman does leave a funny aftertaste,the acceptance of money from the accussed particularly illiciting negative judgement.
All in all though Parry takes a case and paints a complete picture full of the contradictions and complexities of human nature.At the end of the picture there is a photograph of Lucie Blackman,its very poignant,as a reader you feel a real sense of sadness and loss.Highly recommended.

Airwolf: Season One [DVD]
Airwolf: Season One [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jan-Michael Vincent
Price: £7.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SMELL THE WIND, 11 May 2012
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This review is from: Airwolf: Season One [DVD] (DVD)
Did Airwolf fly onto our screens in 1984?1984 RULED....Ghostbusters,Gremlins,Purple Rain,Duran Duran.If it did not air then,forgive me but 1984 still rules.People were nice back then,there was no problems in the world,i was was great.
Airwolf Season One contains 11 episodes,including as the box describes it the "thrilling" two hour pilot.Whats great about Airwolf?Everyone falls into laughter at the end credits.The beautiful use of stock footage.The dodgy accents.Ahhh....the credits... enough to make the hardest thirty something get moist from his tearducts.
Favourite episode?Echoes From The Past,The Jan wakes up from a coma a year after an accident,Or has he?
Jan Micheal Vincent is a legend.This is pure 80s tv acting,the art was perfectly described by Joey from Friends that in momments of tension imagine you have smelt a fart.Vincent does this devastatingly so.I adore the way Hawke the character badly mimes playing a cello,this is to convey the emotional conflict of Hawke.Reclusive,butch,sensitive,a man who has experienced loss.Its all in the eyes.And nostrils.
Ernest Borgnine just laughs,his pudgy face contorted as he guffaws in the face of death,being chased or rolling on the floor.Airwolf.
Get it,watch it,get the next season.I mean what else is there on to watch?Homelands.No thanks.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2014 2:13 AM BST

Dead Son Rising
Dead Son Rising
Price: £9.99

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FOUR INCH NAILS, 4 May 2012
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This review is from: Dead Son Rising (Audio CD)
First off i love Gary Numan for those spectacular early albums,for the sheer persitence of him when his career hit unimaginable lows.1992 Gary Numan was almost distressing to see,he looked beyond awful,you could virtually feel his soul die as he got interviewd on some weird show presented by the likes of Linda Lucardi.The faith and loyalty of his audience is something i respect and no one was happier when Numan emerged as key influences to young trendy artists then me.
But you know i have to take Dead Son Rising as strictly an album on its own merits,free of bias.Whilst textually its interesting there is an undeniable boredom i begin to experience whilst listening.The songs i am sure are meant to be monolithic,dark noise but it all begins to merge into a dirgey,sound almost comically "dark".Previous albums such as Exile and Pure were VAST improvements on Numans lamentable mid period career but the complete preoccupation with GOD became frankly tedious,i think Numan must have referenced god around a thousand times in his last few albums.
Kind of howling at the moon,personally for me atheists and religious people share far more in common then they would care to admit in their rigid doctrines.
I could not help think of Spinal Tap,that scene where we see there new album sleeve is all black,blacker then black.My absolute wish would be for someone like Trent Reznor to take production duties.Numan left to his own devices can be his own worst enemy.
Returning to the religion theme,i find it weird that someone who questions so many facets of god is constantly questioning and validating this figure.
Numan needs metaphor or some abstractions lyrically.To be fair Dead Son Rising doesn't feature so much about this theme.I couldn't help thinking why doesn't Numan concentrate more on soundtrack music?Ambient stuff?
I believe Gary's wife saved him from an abyss,instilling in Gary confidence and direction,far better then the woeful advice of family members,record companies etc.It is clear as day Gary and his missus kneel at the altar of Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode,who wouldn't?But Numan is,or sadly was,an artist of good stature in his own right.He doesn't need to do a parody of a parody.He seems to be painting himself into another box.
I want to see Numan experimenting like he did brillantly with Battles,performing savage versions of Metal with Nails not painting his fingernails black,mumbling about god on stage in a cliched cloud of smoke.
Pure served this purpose of being an industrial goth.One of the great things about Numan was how like Bowie he shifted looks,styles.Hes been doing this dark guff too long.Dead Son Rising is more a curiosity piece,i don't think i will be listening to it a lot.
BUT please know i love Gary Numan and mean no disrespect to the Numanoids out there,i just feel Numan could be doing so much more.

Plastic Box
Plastic Box
Price: £16.99

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEVER MIND THE ADVERTS, 1 May 2012
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This review is from: Plastic Box (Audio CD)
A few thoughts on this brillantly priced Public Image Ltd boxset...
1.Johnny Rotten,John Lydon....with time even the most obnoxious rebels seem to cuddle up to the bosom of mainstream acceptance.
Over the years i do kind of feel embarrassed for Lydon as he is wheeled out in interviews as a rent a gob,at times it borders on the drunk uncle dancing at a wedding scenario.
I don't begrudge his blooming status as a national treasure of sorts,lordy knows he has earnt it i just don't know about the butter adverts,the interviews where Lydon addresses the state of a country he no longer lives in and hasn't for a long time.
Believe it or not Lydon,however he presents it lives in relative affluence,is married to a millionaire heiress and has an extensive property portfolio.
2.The first cd of this box set is simply awesome.I think it covers tracks off the first albums and a few live cuts.The absolute epitome of post punk music as i believe to know it.Public Image,Religion,Theme,Death Disco...immense,brilliant music that cuts,grooves,screams....iconoclastic,visceral stuff.
3.When i read Lydon's autobiography i remember coming away thinking there is so much more to the guy then the belching,boozed up persona.It in fact became very clear Lydon hides behind this persona.He is rather sensitive and insecure to be honest.
Its a shame i think this over shadows his work and the innovation of it.
4.You have another three discs containing further tracks off such albums as Flowers Of Romance,Album,Happy?Its a stonking set though i know albums aren't in full so i may have to purchase actual albums individually.Never the less its a good introductory set at great price.
5.I am now very much looking forward to the new album out later this month.
6.Bless John Lydon,sod all the faults the guys a king amongst men.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2014 11:37 PM BST

Scream 4 [DVD]
Scream 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Neve Campbell
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.60

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I NEED FANS NOT FRIENDS...., 29 April 2012
This review is from: Scream 4 [DVD] (DVD)
I rented Scream 4 as the press and general response to the fourth installment of the Scream franchise got such a critical mauling,it actually took me a little while to see a movie i swore i would be first in the queue to see.
First things first Scream 4 is in no way as bad as people are proporting,i enjoyed it as an enjoyably silly,goofy horror comedy that admittingly thinks its a lot more clever then it is.
Its sort of ironic that for a movie so steeped in self awareness of the horror movie genre that it does suffer from the pitfalls of all the franchises it satirises.How important is Scream to the new,younger generation is questionable.
I know a few "younguns" mobile phones clamped to their heads,retinas glued to facebook and have a distinct feeling Scary Movie offers them more in terms of brand recognition.
I know a lot of the dialogue in Scream 4 simply went over the head of my other half as i smirked in the assurance that i am fully versed in all the reference points.God how i would i have loved to be at a school where the deconstruction of film was a popular pursuit!
I have a soft spot for this movie and Wes Craven,i won't go into a big pseudo film lecture about the career of Craven as i respect the fact you guys think you are just as clever as i think i am.
Kevin Williamsons script whilst not as subversive as the first seminal movie still has a delightful playfulness and there are lines and dialogue i loved.Particularly the speech about wanting to be famous for nothing and i loved the line "i want fans,not friends".
I am not 100 percent sure Scream 4 sticks to the "laws" of the reboot and unusually actually disagreed with a few points.
Plus maybe the character of Neve Campbell has been pushed as far as it goes,if they do a fifth they should place Campbell in a mental home who has to be visited by a new generation of teen victims.
Courtney Cox's face looks shall we say botoxed but you know watching this movie was like putting on a nice pair of slippers.
I don't think the movie did well so the likelihood of a fifth seems remote however Scream 4 is an enjoyable movie,if it does disappoint what did you expect?
Its PART 4 for jimmys sake....
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2014 2:15 AM BST

Interview with a Cannibal: The Secret Life of the Monster of Rotenburg
Interview with a Cannibal: The Secret Life of the Monster of Rotenburg
by Pat Brown
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SHOW ME YOUR TEETH, 27 April 2012
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DAVE:Alright Joe how are you mate?
JOE:I'M doing ok Dave....busy doing nothing
DAVE:You know Joe,you are a great bloke as well as being really good looking,having a rippling sixpack you are intelligent,gracious....i LOVE your amazon reviews...
JOE:Its hard Dave,sometimes its just seems i give,give, alright Dave?You've been a bit reclusive lately,very introverted..
DAVE:Thing is Joe i was wondering whether you could take me back to your house,chop my arm off,let me slowly bleed to death...then hang me upside down draining me of blood,chop me into bits then eat me.
Its been on my mind an awful lot... you mention it Dave,i have always thought about chomping on someones legs and i do have a fully equipped slaughter room.If thats what you want Dave,of course.
Now what i should have said in my rather pathetic role play is....
The whole notion of Armin Miewes victim Bernd Brandes responding to Miewes infamous internet ad had caused me to maybe take a slighty skewed look at this case.Brandes consent kind of absolving Miewes.I was wrong.
After reading Interview With A Cannibal i view Armin Miewes as an extremely dangerous pyschopath with all the hallmarks that come with anti social disorders.Lying,manipulative,egocentric,lacking any remorse...all the boxes get ticked.
Miewes was a serial killer in the making.
Apparently worldwide there are a million people who want to be butchered and eaten.Bizarre.That these people need help is beyond doubt,what they certainly do not need is Miewes providing a service.Its exploiting someone ultimately for your own selfish need.Miewes presents an argument concerning how this murder was a product of loneliness,wanting to assimilate someone,by eating Brandes they would become part of each other.Hogwash.This was purely a pyschosexual act of sadism and control.Or Miewes then starts whining about how he was abandoned,how he wanted a brother.Even though he had one.
The strange thing is for most of his adult life he never bothered with his brother.Miewes is a composite of both Norman Bates and Jeffrey Dahmer.To be frank,i hate to resort to this but he was a total weirdo isolating himself in a perverted fantasy world very much encouraged by the internet.
The internet can validate the weirdest of behaviours by allowing like minded indiviuals to converse,feel part of a group for the most depraved impulses.I was fascinated by the story of Bernd Brandes the 40 something computer programmer who for a majority of his life his ultimate dream was to be castrated.
Interview With A Cannibal is a tragic,disgusting,dark read.I felt queasy at times.Author Gunter Stampf is under equipped to deal with this subject matter and in many ways the book suffers for this.You need an impartial writer with experience in pyschology.Saying that i oddly admired the way Stampf did not hide his absolute disgust with Miewes,that certainly is refreshing as sometimes authors of these types of books treat these monsters as rare birds.
This is a dark book.Put it this way i did not leave this on the coffee table but if you are interested in one of the most baffling crimes ever its essential.Definetly after a light read next...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2012 6:21 PM BST

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