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Jamie Kanawaty "groovydude722" (Westerham,Kent)

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Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made it Big
Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made it Big
by Jensen Karp
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 Mile for the Suburbs, 16 Aug. 2016
Jensen Karp might be a name not recognised on these shores much but hopefully with the release of his first book that will change. I stumbled across his excellent podcast about 2 years ago (Get up on this ) and since then I've been a massive fan of this guys work.
His rap career is touched upon sporadically during these podcasts and it was always something that seemed like it should of been put down in writing or made into a movie.
This novel charts the rise and fall of a Jewish kid from the 'burbs who lived out his dream of becoming a rapper. In this revealing tale you get to hear it all..the record run as a freestyle battle rapper, the big money record deal, working with A list rappers and producers, shady execs and you'll find out why Kanye West does in fact owe him $300 !!!
Funny, eye opening, poignant and just a little bit tragic this book will take you a rollercoaster of emotions. I loved it !


Tales Don't Tell Themselves (UK CD)
Tales Don't Tell Themselves (UK CD)
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.29

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Their most "complete" album yet ?, 9 July 2007
In 2003 Funeral for a Friend released `Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation' their debut record and with its blend of soaring melodies, part screaming / part singing vocals and chugging power riffs launched this Welsh band into rock mainstream. 4 years have now passed and with there 3rd album `Tales Don't Tell Themselves' FFAF may just have released their finest work thus far.
Their last record `Hours' suggested that they where starting to evolve from the band that gave us `Juneau' and `The Art of American Football'. The hardcore breakdowns and jagged post- punk noise replaced with a more rounded, focused and overall more melodic sound; most noticeably the aggressive vocals making way to allow lead singer Matt Davies to stretch his singing range.

`TDTT' whilst being a concept album certainly does delivers the band's most mainstream material to date and therefore their most accessible album. As the record flows along, every song seems to fit perfectly next to each other and nearly all of them sound like they where written to be played in mammoth arenas with thousands of people raising their arms aloft whilst belting out the words. `On a Wire' is destined to become a new crowd favourite with its "Find a way to bring me home" refrain and there are plenty more songs on here for people to scream their lungs out too.
While this dramatic change in sound and song structure may annoy the hardcore fans it really shouldn't matter one bit as this is a great rock record which is certain to win them plenty of new fans.

Every song on this album is huge; and the grand theme for the entire record is set right from the get go. As `Into Oblivion (Reunion)' kicks in with an electro synth, dramatic string backing and haunting choral arrangement before making way to soaring guitar lick and uplifting chorus which hears Davies claim "I stared, into oblivion and found my own" you can't help getting swept along with it all...it's a breathtaking opener to the record.

Concept albums can be tricky business; to often the concept becoming bigger than the record itself. `TDTT' thankfully doesn't full into this category instead it's a rather grand tale about a sailor shipwrecked in the middle of the sea, the record chronicling his thoughts and fears; which are in part are based on Davies's own personal phobia of the ocean.

The 6 minute closer `The Sweetest Wave' could be the best thing the band has ever put down on record. A huge, grand cinematic epic of a song with a sweeping orchestral backing that builds into an explosive crescendo that's as invigorating as blast of sea spray to the face.

`Tales Don't Tell Themselves' is an exceptional record. While many bands are happy to stick too rigidly to what they know, this is the sound of a band progressing and having done so with fantastic results the future output of this band looks as if it could be very promising indeed.


Voices
Voices
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £4.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Change Baby!, 18 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Voices (Audio CD)
Firstly 'Voices' is a million miles away from 'Stories & Alibis', so if you wanted a carbon copy of that record then this album isn't for you.
Back when Matchbook Romance released 'Stories.. .’ the emo/screamo/post hardcore genre was still in it's infancy. However since then the genre has been scraping the bottom of the barrel with countless un-inspirational bands and records. A few bands have recognised this and have changed up their approach to the genre. Both Finch and Funeral for a Friend released impressive 2nd albums which broke the mould and in doing so put out two of the best records of '05.
MBR have also taken on this attitude and for this record have changed their sound quite dramatically. On first listen I thought I had picked up the wrong CD, it really does sound like a whole new band. Gone are the punchy,pacey songs for they have been replaced with huge sounding multi layered songs. Most of the tracks on 'Voices' take their time building up and up before soaring skywards; there are some slight similarities to Muse in this respect.
From the first track 'You Can Run, But We'll Find You' the tone for the album is immediately set. A dark, brooding almost nightmarish sounding song,this premise is continued throughout the record with dark themes intertwining themselves throughout. Make no mistake 'Voices' is an extremely grown up record, MBR have greatly matured their sound both musically and lyrically. ‘Monsters’ the first single to be lifted off the album is the most immediate and accessible track; a weird twisted little track with a driving guitar riff interspersed with crazy handclaps.
On first listen I can see the album disappointing some MBR fans, it really is a huge change from ‘Stories & Alibis’ but it is a hugely atmospheric record that rewards repeat listening. (especially through a set of decent headphones!)
Embrace the change !


The West Wing - Complete Season 6 [DVD] [2001]
The West Wing - Complete Season 6 [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £13.75

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Santos for President ?!, 25 Jan. 2006
The times they are a-changing.
So the Bartlett presidency is nearing the finishing line. You may have thought that this season would be all about tidying everything up and leaving a nice happy conclusion. Only you would be wrong, this season is all about Bartlet’s victory lap and perhaps the beginning of a new WW legacy.
I was one of the few who enjoyed Season 5 of the WW. I enjoyed the shake-up that John Wells brought to the show. However in this season he has really cranked things up a notch and in doing there are some major changes made to the show. Suddenly after all these years, no one is sure what their role is in the administration. Everyone is someplace different and personally I thought it made fascinating viewing watching them trying to adjust.
It’s difficult to divulge to much info about the events in this season as this has it been released straight to dvd before it airs on Channel 4’s new station ‘More Four’
At around the halfway mark of the season the show splits into two separate ongoing narratives. One focusing on Bartlets last term in office and all the usual issues and events that entails and the other focuses on the race to elect the Democratic nominee (the fantastic Jimmy Smitts) for the next presidential race. We do also get to follow a republican’s (Alan Alda; also fantastic) journey as he fights to become the nominee, although obviously this does get less screen time.
The acting performances from all the regulars are superb as usual; in my opinion this group of actors are the best ensemble cast of any television drama series. There is no weak link here. However special mention for this season must go out to John Spencer (R.I.P ) who is especially excellent in the role of Leo. Also Janel Maloney deserves a special mention as well. Donna is really given a chance to shine in this season and Janel definitely rises to the challenge. Season 6 also treats us to some old familiar faces. I won’t say who, but all of them are well loved characters.
The West Wing has also never looked better. Some episodes now look and feel like ‘mini movies’. The cinematography is fantastic, with lots of different innovative camera angles present. One episode (King Corn’) seems to have been shot using a hand held steadi cam ! This is definitely something that has remarkable improved under Well’s guidance.
So what next for The West Wing ? Amazingly at the end of the last episode gives you great hope that the show can go and retain its high standard without Martin Sheen being a part of it. If like me you found something to love in all the seasons of the WW, you’ve probably already have it on order. If however you disliked season 5 and where thinking of giving up on this show, I would definitely recommend you check out this season.
If you don’t get goose bumps after hearing Matthew Santos’s speech in the last episode of this series, I would question your appreciation of this great show.
I’ve said this at the end of all my West Wing reviews and this season is no different. It’s still the best show on television.


Say Hello To Sunshine
Say Hello To Sunshine
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.97

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Nightmare, 8 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Say Hello To Sunshine (Audio CD)
Finch guitarist Alex Linares recently said that when his band play 'Letters to You' the lead single from their debut record he "feels like a four year old kid!" Finch have grown up and on 'Say Hello to Sunshine' they welcome you to their nightmare.
3 Years in the making, this album is no rush job. Nowhere near as obvious and immediate as 'What it is to Burn' and all the better for it. This slow burning album reveals and rewards with each listen, the more involved you get the deeper you are immersed in it's dark world.
Album opener 'Insomniatic Meat' sets the tone nicely and from the off you can immediatly sense the change.A dark brooding track with Nate screaming " This is the worst thing you have ever done" over hushed vocals and a soaring chorus.
It has to be said that Barcalow's vocals sound fantastic. His screaming is more controlled and his "singing" has improved greatly. You can really see the Mike Patton influence throughout the record, check out his demented yelps of "This body is cold and contagious" on the stonking ' The Casket of Roderick Usher'
Fantastic multi layered album which puts Finch firmly at the top of their genre and indeed I think challenges other bands to raise their game up.


The West Wing: Complete Season 5 [2001] [DVD]
The West Wing: Complete Season 5 [2001] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £11.45

115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DON'T believe the haters !!!!!, 30 April 2005
"You're the president of the United States. I'm frightened. We're all frightened....I need you back "
Firstly let me get this out of the way. The Fifth season of the West Wing is not dreadful as a lot of people have made out. When Aaron Sorkin walked out, he left behind some big shoes to fill. He had created a television series like no other, so the amount of pressure on John Wells was huge. Most people as a rule don't like change, and this is why this season provoked so much negative response from so many WW fans. Personally I like it when shows mix things up a little as it makes watching it a much more exciting experience, and this is what I think Wells and his team tried and in my opinion successful achieved. Compared to seasons 3&4 it isn't either significantly better or worse. Obviously, compared to seasons 1&2, it is slightly behind, but there are few things on TV today that can compare to the genius that was the first two series.
There is a dark cloud looming over the white house and as a viewer you can really feel it from the get go. It's amazing to see the staffers being really angry and snippy with each other. In one early episode 'Constituency of One', the amount of angry confrontations between the staff is amazing. Maybe it's this different ethos that unsettled so many WW fans. For me however it seemed to a very realistic representation of what it must be like to work in such a high pressure environment.
The one thing that hasn't changed in the changeover is the quality of the acting from all the main players. They still put in the BEST acting on a television show at the present time.
During this season all the main characters get to shine and become more developed and rounded. This is also complimented with new characters coming into fray from time to time. Ryan, an intern who works with Josh and Donna fits in very nicely into the dynamic and Rena who comes in as Toby's assistant adds a nice spark of energy.
The show takes time to be less frantic and more focused on the characters motives and reasoning and probes deeper with their relationship with the other members of staff. The only main character that seems to suffer is Will, who doesn't get much screen time and is resigned to a bit player for most of the season. However his scenes with Toby are great. They're verbal sparing matches prove to be one the season's running highlights, particularly when they're paired up alone together in a room in one of the best episodes of the season 'No Exit'.
Do you notice Sorkin's absence? Yes, you do. The dialogue doesn't flow as quickly and freely as it has done and as a result the pace of an episode sometimes slows down. Sometimes you do get a sense that the writers have tried to make certain issues intellectual by being unnecessarily complicated. However these are minor quibbles that I just put this down to the writers and new staffers just trying to find their footing.
The season as a whole is not as funny as previous but this was never supposed to be a comedy show. There's a lot more visual humour; whether it be a look or something subtle off screen it's all part of the big change that the show has gone through. The snappy back and forth exchanges between Donna and Josh remain and the trademark Bartlet quips are still in there.
Another great thing about is the amount of different location shots that come into play. We aren't just taken into the Oval office or the communications bullpen, we get to see inside the Bartlet residence for the first time, and in one of the major plot lines go overseas to Gaza. It's these changes that keep the show so fresh and appealing for the viewer.
If you're a true fan I'm confident you'll love this season as much as the others. Yes, the show does have a bit of a lull in the middle of the season but the great opening and closing episodes more than make up for it. You can forgive the show for losing a little bit of steam after the fantastic quality it has displayed over 4 seasons. And let's face it, a below average WW episode is better than most television out there.
It's still the best show around !


24: Season One DVD Collection [DVD]
24: Season One DVD Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kiefer Sutherland
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £12.93

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The longest day of your life ?, 14 Feb. 2005
First off let me say that I'm a really big fan of American drama. I love The West Wing, The Sopranos and The Shield and was really hoping that 24 could add itself to my favourite American TV list.
Unfortunately it doesn't. When I purchased Series 4 of the West Wing I had watched all 23 episodes in two days and the same goes for The Shield as well. I couldn't wait to get to the next episode I was hooked. I only got this "hooked feeling" around about 4 or 5 times during the 1st season of 24. Most of the time I would watch 2 episodes and then come back to it after a while. This is why I was quite surprised to see a lot reviewers saying that they couldn't wait for the next episode and had to watch one after another.
As a lot of reviewers have said it does start well enough the first 10 episodes move along quite nicely and there's some genuinely good stuff going on. Then it does start to get a little bit more convoluted and drawn out as plot points get muddled and characters get captured, and then escape, then re-captured etc.. Sub plots which involve the Senator really get in the way. The storylines involving his son and daughter really does get in the way and slows things down. Also the continuing power struggle with him and his wife gets really tiresome.
Sutherland to his credit plays the part of Bauer very well and is really the only stand out character although Sarah Clarke playing Nina Myers does have some really good stand out moments.
This is by no means a bad series of television and to be able to pick it up for under 20 quid is really good value. It doesn't have much potential to be re-viewed countless times like the Sopranos does for example but it is definitely worth a few hours of your life.
24 is good but not in the same league as other American drama series.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2016 5:07 PM GMT


The West Wing - Complete Season 4 [DVD]
The West Wing - Complete Season 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £11.75

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best series yet?.....Oh yes !, 3 Oct. 2004
Okay, so many West Wing fans felt that the third series dropped off the pace a little compared to the other two that preceded it. Some fans were also worried about the exit of one of the shows key characters Sam (Rob Lowe) in this fourth season and while I did have my reservations about the change in true WW style it's done brilliantly. His replacement Will Bailey (Joshua Malina) is just as good as Sam and possibly could even prove to be better than his predecessor.
As the usual the script is first rate. The writers have the canny knack of being able to blend intelligent and engaging scripts but pepper it with some incredibly funny dialogue and situations. Martin Sheen as usual has all the best lines and witty comebacks. However the opening couple of episodes which focus on Josh, Toby and Donna trying to get back to the White House after missing the motorcade is hilarious and raises some of the best laughs of the series.
This is definitely my favourite series of the West Wing so far. Looking over all the 23 episodes I can't find a single one that I didn't enjoy everyone.
Exciting events that occur in this series include; Sam leaving to take up the running of the California's 47th district campaign, the president facing repercussions over the Shareef's assassination,Toby's ex wife becoming pregnant with Toby's twins, President Bartlett's hiring of a new secretary (the brilliant Lili Tomlin),Charlie bidding to win back Zoey's love and the absolutely awesome and climatic last episode. If the last episode of Series 3 left you disappointed, this one won't.
Once again the West Wing proves itself to be the best American drama series around at the moment. The UK has nothing on television which can touch any drama the yanks have made. If you have the other 3 series on DVD, please don't hesitate to buy this especially if you didn't enjoy the 3rd season as much as the others.
THIS IS THE BEST SERIES OF THE WEST WING SO FAR !


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