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theone&only (Nottingham, Notts United Kingdom)

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The Jazz Bass Book: Technique and Tradition (Bass Player Musician's Library)
The Jazz Bass Book: Technique and Tradition (Bass Player Musician's Library)
by John Goldsby
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.60

5.0 out of 5 stars A new format for the learning book - outstanding!, 19 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This has to be the most detailed jazz bass book I have ever come across! It changes the format slightly - rather than have page after page of exercises with a jam along CD the book starts with the history of jazz, names the players and their techniques and some of their hottest licks before going to an analysis of the playing style and the licks and tricks.
It meant I could sit down and have a read when I wanted to put my bass down!
Another bonus is that you aren't spoonfed every single exercise - John Goldsby gives you the tools then you're off on your own to come up with lines. Again - this was great because I could take out a pencil and paper and write out my own lines, rather than mindlessly copy exercises. If I got stuck I went back to the page for reference.

I think John Goldsby has possible redefined the exercise book here - you have to think it out for yourself, which is what jazz is all about. One disadvantage of this, as other reviewers have pointed out, is that this book is not for the beginner and if you enjoy listening to jazz - even better equipped you will be.

The end section of the book then goes into some philosophy and challenges you to think about who you are as a player and your aspirations - again, very influential. I was not a jazz fan at all until I read this book - now I want to dive in and play every day and get better so thank you John Goldsby - outstanding!

Fluid Audio F5 Bi-amplified Advanced Studio Monitors
Fluid Audio F5 Bi-amplified Advanced Studio Monitors
Price: 199.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money!, 6 July 2014
This is the first set of monitors I have ever owned but I have been a musician for a long time so I know what music should sound like. I bought these after browsing a shop and deciding they sounded the best for the money and once I got them home I was blown away by the results! I use a pretty basic set-up - a PC running cubase with a Line 6 Toneport - hey, it works for me! and required some monitors after being frustrated with my mixes sounding completely different on various stereo systems because I wasn't getting a true overall 'vision' of my mixes. Well, these bad boys have crushed that problem once and for all!
The sound is crisp and dense but without any muddiness with the bonus that they take up hardly any room in my small studio. One minor gripe I would be wary of is the volume controls on the front. They are cheap fader style knobs and not accurate so tiny, minimal adjustments will not register then all of a sudden the sound will come blasting out! This is a minor niggle though as opposed to a problem - I will be spreading the word of Fluid monitors - for the price these are excellent!

Kill The Power
Kill The Power
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Killed power, 1 Jun 2014
This review is from: Kill The Power (Audio CD)
After the genius 'Union Black' I was very much awaiting this album. I had heard 'Kill The Power' and 'Ninja' so my expectations were high for this.
The album opens with 'Kill The Power' - a wise move considering what comes after and it's the perfect opener - big beats, big riff and a passionate rant about 'zombie takeovers' from Ringleader Benji. Then something horrible happens. Track 2 'Ruling Force' is the worst song Skindred have ever produced. It's dubstep but not the way they have previously melded the influence into their sound - this is proper white-boy-tracksuit-Radio-1-dubstep .... and it's horrifying to the point where I can't even listen to it. That's when I put the brakes on for this album and realised I wasn't getting what I wanted. Skindred reckoned they were trying to capture their live essence on this album - well this is about as far away as their live sound as you can get!

'Playing with the devil' and 'World's On Fire' fare much better and sound like classic Skindred songs, despite the red flag of 'Ruling Force' that has let us know that the pop shine and auto-tuned perfection is here to stay on this record. 'The Kids Are Right Now' and 'We Live' throw another confusing message - they fall between great Skindred and again - that annoying Radio 1 pop sheen that by now has blighted this record.
When I found out they had hired Russ Ballard (songwriter for Kiss, Rainbow, Santana and plenty of other MOR acts) things made sense. Skindred are TRYING to make a record for the masses. Aha! Now it all makes sense! Right, now we know that it makes this album much easier to get along with. 'Open Eyed' is the next track on the album and I for one, think it's one of the best songs on here - the one time where Skindred make fantastic use of the shiny production tricks and catchy melodies.
Unfortunately 'Dollars and Dimes' has a great chorus but the rest of it is just naff and 'Saturday' is a good song if you can get over the fact that it is trying to force it's chorus down your throat.
The final 2 songs go back on an upward trajectory - 'Proceed With Caution' is old style aggression which is what we want, but it's tucked away at the back of the record and 'More Fire' is a brilliant Jamaican groove with some excellent guitar playing from Mikey Demus. It's good to know he still able to pull this out of the bag considering the heavily processed soulless riffs of the other songs that have been wrung dry of their punch by that production job.

So all in all - I have no idea how to rate this record - it is totally compromised. I find it sometimes uplifting and nice to have some catchy choruses to belt out whilst driving but I also miss the pure aggression and heavy that I need to put on before going out on a Saturday night. I will be kind and give it the benefit of the doubt with a 4 but they won't be so lucky next time! Skindred really need to stop trying to please other people - yes, it must be frustrating for them to not get the recognition they rightly deserve but in my opinion this band needs to ditch the fancy production and hit-making songwriters and get back in a room and rock out which is where their strengths lay.

The Detachment (John Rain)
The Detachment (John Rain)
Price: 3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read, 20 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Found this book being offered for a decent price so thought I'd download it to my swanky new kindle as something to read when I'm out and about. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case as this book is so good I've found it hard to put down, and certainly not good for trying to read whilst sitting on a busy tram or in a coffee shop!
This sort of spy novel is appealing because not only is it written by a man who used to do this kind of stuff for a living (like Grisham), but the characters are easy to like, the plot is intriguing and goes all over the world and the style of writing (1st person for the main man and one of his sidekicks - 3rd person for the rest of it) is done well.
I am a big fan of Lee Child and his Reacher series and the Rain books, while it is hard for me to tell at the moment if this is a good rival - being my first Rain novel - I can guarantee I will be buying more so time will tell. Good read, I would recommend this to fellow Lee Child/James Bond aficionados.

+++ (Crosses)
+++ (Crosses)
Price: 9.78

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly awesome!, 23 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: +++ (Crosses) (Audio CD)
This record has been getting 5 stars from everybody who hears it so when I heard 'Bitches Brew' I thought 'hmmmm, this will be OK'. I have never been into Deftones, I just thought I'd give this record a go based on that one song. I am so glad I did!
Chino's voice (which always irritated me in the Deftones) here sounds lush and vibrant and really breathes life into the songs. Whether it's the reverb-laden catchy pop hooks to the choruses of 'Bermuda Locket' and 'HholyGhost' or the spell binding lift into the chorus of 'Frontiers' I simply could not get enough. I have been listening to this album on repeat since I got it and still it is doing what all the best records do - getting better with each listen. I suppose if I had to classify what it sounded like my response would be Depeche Mode crossed with 30 Seconds To Mars, but then again, as I am still discovering new things with each listen, this will probably change in a week! 'Black Stallion' is currently my favourite tune, tucked away at the far end of an album that doesn't lose quality control throughout. In fact, 'Prurient' - track 15 of 16 is another gem that would make a great single. So thank you Crosses - this album has made me a believer in music again. When I heard it I didn't just want to listen to it again, I wanted to start a band of my own that sounded like this! It's THAT good. Get this record! It came out in early 2014 but I have a sneaking suspicion it will still manage to end up as album of the year in many polls in 12 months time.

Nerd Do Well by Pegg, Simon ( AUTHOR ) Oct-14-2010 Hardback
Nerd Do Well by Pegg, Simon ( AUTHOR ) Oct-14-2010 Hardback
by Simon Pegg
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Ramble on!, 16 Feb 2014
Simon Pegg - the everyman nerd it's OK to be a fan of and vicariously be able to geek out over the same things he does without fear! Rejoice then - for now he has a book out we can relate to aswell! ....Or do we...? Fun as it is reading about his brushes with mega-stardom and his expert opinions on Star Wars, through to his shrewd World views and insight into popular culture and his place within it, there is certainly a lot of random rambling going on! We get full explicit detail of every joke he made at primary School along with the emotion that accompanied it which to be honest... really isn't that fascinating. It's rather like Rimmer in Red Dwarf when he regales his stories of how he beat his colleague at Risk, detailing every single dice throw he made in order to win! And although Mr Pegg's persona comes across in his book just as he does through his characters on the screen (which is admirable and hard to do with honesty) there are bits that are so random and off the hook I had to put this down and come back to it later. Between each chapter there is even a made up fantasy story that to be honest, I don't know what it's about because it was so random I read the first one then couldn't be bothered with the rest.
Being a self admitted nerd himself really should have made him answer the questions we REALLY wanted to know as fans - what is Thandie Newton really like? Whose idea was it to put all the crafty movie references in to Paul? Would you take a part in Star Wars 7 if you had the opportunity? An enjoyable read and certainly more entertaining than a lot of autobiographies out there that are just basically a long list of everything that happened to the writer to how they got to where they are, (mentioning no names of course!) but all in all this book's trip down memory lane to amuse the author really should have been put to better use.

The Paradigm Shift (Bonus One DVD)
The Paradigm Shift (Bonus One DVD)
Price: 13.62

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up there with their best work, 1 Jan 2014
Another new Korn album??! These guys certainly don't waste any time! This is studio album 11 from Korn and is a direct link onwards from previous album 'Path of Totality'. The first thing that hits you is the wall of sound production. Certainly not in the Phil Spector sense of the word but Korn have grown up musically and delivered their 'epic' album. It's about time!
The first tune 'Prey For Me' is simple, catchy and sounds desperate to escape from the speakers. Next up is the single 'Love & Meth' which I have to say, is the best Korn single since 'Coming Undone' (and I like a lot of the others since). So why the high praise for a band that have pumped out another album? Well the return of guitarist 'Head' Welch has obviously done something to them. Even though the interplay between him and fellow axe-slinger 'Munky' Shaffer has vanished, the songwriting sounds fresh and energised. Where Korn would have previously had the two guitarists filling in all the gaps with as many gimmicky hip-hop noises as they could; this time the riff is king. No disappointments in that department - 'Spike In My Veins' & 'Paranoid & Aroused' are great to mosh to.
Tracks like 'Never Never' and 'Mass Hysteria' are heavy and multi layered, Jonathan Davis' love of all things electronca is still just about evident, used just enough to keep the songs sounding current.
On this album we even get the first Korn 'ballad' (if you will) in 'Lullaby For A Sadist', beginning with cleanly picked guitars and soothing vocals, held down by a simple beat from new-ish drummer Ray Luzier.
The furious stomp and clicky bass led rhythms may have been thrown away for more simple rocking songs but the new Korn is better than ever and happily sounds like it's here to stay.

The Path Of Totality
The Path Of Totality
Price: 7.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unlike other rock bands Korn take a risk...and it worked!, 19 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Path Of Totality (Audio CD)
I was worried about this experiment - Korn do what they do so well they perhaps had more riding on this than other big bands who change their sound to 'mixed' results, ie Metallica with Load, Paradise Lost with Host and so on. Those experiments however, are tame compared with what Korn have done to themselves. Dubstep is a form of music that is beloved of the hipsters but derided by a lot of the rock community as another fad. Credit is due then, to Korn who have taken this form of trendy dance music and used it to update their sound. You can't do this unless you are 100% certain what you are doing is from the heart and its good to know that in Korn's case, this is true. (See the J-Devil, frontman Jonathan Davis' side -project).
Kick off 'Chaos Lives In Everything' isn't too much of a departure to be honest. Its still Korn in essence - percussive bass - check. Simple yet super heavy riffing - check. Screaming about the horrible things that live in your mind - check! Really, its the drums and production that make this album what it is - not the songwriting. Ok so they might have trucked in the trendiest names of the moment to work over their songs but Korn know what they are doing - don't worry! There's a few moments that don't work quite so well but the likes of 'Let's Go', 'Kill Mercy Within' and my favourite ,'Fules The comedy' from the bonus disk are excellent tunes.
Yes there will always be people ready to complain that Korn have 'sold out' or 'gone trendy' but ignore the cynics. This is brave, bold and a step towards something new, not just in metal but in music - in 10 years THIS will have been the blueprint for a whole new genre! Good on them!

The 2nd Law [Digipack]
The 2nd Law [Digipack]
Price: 6.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over the limit, 13 Sep 2013
This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
So a year after it's release the tour is done and the dust has well and truly settled on this album. Since then Matt Bellamy has revealed his disappointment with the sonics of the album and it hasn't sold as well as previous record 'Resistance'. Coincidence?

Well, the album certainly starts on a high note - the staccato crunch on 'Supremacy' giving way to a full on metal riff backed by a Bond-esque orchestral theme that brings to mind Kashmir by Led Zep. Bellamy's usual vocal histronics and harmonised guitar solo make this an unmissable Muse track. Next up is hit single 'Madness' that Coldplay's Chris Martin deemed to be their 'best single so far'. He's probably not wrong either. It's a fuzzed up dubstep rock ballad...if you can imagine such a thing and works brilliantly.

It's here that things go off on one for the rest of the album... 'Panic Station' is everything that was bad about the 80's - a horrible funk bass riff and cheesy horn section that is only saved by Bellamy's super-catchy chorus. The overall effect sounds like a joke b-side but Muse obviously thought more of it than that and released it as a single.
And this isn't the only time you will be baffled from listening to this album. 'Survival' and its OTT Queen harmonies is embarassing to the point where I can barely listen to it and 'Follow Me's dubstep programming only just about gets away with sounding convincing.

Muse's decision to do something new has backfired in my opinion. They have always been known for their limitless ability to push any direction they want to go in to the point where they now believe they are able to get away with ANYTHING. This album proves they can't quite do that. One song even rips off Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' for the verse melody! Brave, but do we really want to hear that? The dubstep elements are done well but it's nothing Enter Shikari can't do with more conviction and aplomb.

Conclusion? Muse have pushed the limits even further and for the first time have stumbled. Taking any musical idea and making it their own is brave but has come at the cost of making a solid piece of work. Note the way the bass player even has 2 songwriting & singing credits on here which really he should have put out as a side project. A step too far I'm afraid.

To Live is to Die: The Life and Death of "Metallica"'s Cliff Burton
To Live is to Die: The Life and Death of "Metallica"'s Cliff Burton
by Joel McIver
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Too much Metallica not enough Cliff!, 12 Aug 2013
Cliff Burton finally gets a book and I can think of no-one more deserving. In fact as the author himself says, it's surprising no-one has thus far. It can only be a matter of time before Cliff: The Movie gets made! Joel McIver is a journalist and musician himself (not to mention huge Metalli-fan!) so is well qualified to the task of writing this book.

There is loads of great stuff about the man who became a legend and I especially enjoyed hearing from those who knew him best like his girlfriend as well as the people he grew up with including Jim Martin (formerly of Faith No More). This makes the book infinitely more likeable, seeing Cliff as a regular guy who loved playing music and didn't want to be a fancy rock star. The flip side of the coin is of course, the Metallica story. EVERYBODY who is a fan of the band knows the rags to riches of Metallica folklore and we are subjected to it yet again here with hardly any new information which is frustrating.
Cliff was a man of few words so most of the Metallica story is backed up with quotes from everyone but the man himself with a bit of speculation thrown in for good measure from the author which is annoying. I found myself thinking a fair few times 'Well how can you say that??' Who knows what Cliff would have thought/done?

Another issue is the bass information. I guess this book is for fans of the band more than it is for bass players but still... information is lacking in this department, his equipment use is nothing any bass player couldn't figure out just by looking at a picture of Cliff on stage. The musical notes stuff has no depth to it but what it does talk about still won't mean much to non-muso's so it pleases neither side.

Overall though, Joel McIver's passion for his subject is pure enough that the the associates of Cliff he did speak to were well chosen and bring out the humanity very well, which makes the chapter on his death much more potent and poignant.

Fans of Metallica should get this to learn more about the guy who made the band what they are today but don't expect anything new from the story itself.

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