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Rich (Winchester)

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Sandman TP Vol 09 The Kindly Ones New Ed (Sandman New Editions)
Sandman TP Vol 09 The Kindly Ones New Ed (Sandman New Editions)
by Marc Hempel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.18

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't do it, 24 Sept. 2015
I can't get through it! The artwork is so wilfully ugly and garish. It's an exercise in distancing the reader from the narrative. The writing is top notch of course, what I've read of it, but it genuinely seems like an act of sabotage on the part of the artist. Very disappointing. I'd love it if one day NG handed over the original script to someone else for a remake.


Mercy: Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy
Mercy: Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully wrought songs of anger and despair, 26 Oct. 2009
I agree wholeheartedly with the above review. Haunting, operatic vocals, indelible melodies... in places a little like U2 or Interpol, but in the main out there in a (very dark) class of their own. Similar to Radiohead (the Rock years) Martin Grech, Aquila and Muse, if you see what I mean; an emotional, inventive spin on the rock & roll carousel. Highly recommended.


Now I'm Nailed Toyour Bedroom Wall I've Only...
Now I'm Nailed Toyour Bedroom Wall I've Only...

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachel Stamp Rocks, 12 April 2009
Just saw them in Islington and cannot wait for this album... and mayhap a comeback tour? The new tracks sounded amazing. They seem hounded by Placebo comparisons, though I think this is more due to their eyeliner-friendly stage presence than the tunes. The RS vocalist has a much stronger and more expressive voice than Brian Molko and the music is a little like T-Rex on steroids with healthy helpings of Led Zep and a hint of Pumpkins.
See 'em live, too! Well worth it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2009 11:20 AM BST


A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley
A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley
by Jeff Apter
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Buckley Biography- Best?, 4 April 2009
First and foremost, this is a very well written book. You can have all the information in the world at your fingertips, but if you can't write, it's all for naught. Apter is a terrific writer. Obviously there is a fairly high ratio of cross-over details with David Browne's 'Dream Brother', but that's to be expected I suppose; Browne was there first, even met Buckley briefly, and his- also brilliant- book must be a starting point for any new authors thinking of adding to the canon of Buckley-lit.
And this tome is a worthy addition. One of the shortcomings of 'Dream Brother', in my opinion, was that pivotal events or issues were often mentioned without any extra exposition. Apter tends to go into each new occurence thoroughly, using reams of interviews to build a marvellous picture of Buckley's slow ascent from 'trailer-trash kid' to musical icon. In 'Pure Drop', the reader is also allowed a much clearer idea of what kind of person Buckley was, how people reacted to him, and why he made the decisions he did in his career and personal life.
My only criticism, and this is just me being picky, is that the title (taken from a slightly trite quote from Bono) does not do the book or its subject justice. That said, this is definitely worth owning if you are a Buckley fan, along with 'Dream Brother' and 'Wished For Song'.
In fact, it's difficult to see what the forthcoming 'Mystery White Boy Blues' is going to add...


The Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen (33 1/3)
The Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen (33 1/3)
by Bob Gendron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentlemen, 27 Mar. 2009
A great book about a great album. My only complaint is that this book is so short... I powered through it in one train journey and wanted more, more more.

I recently became a massive fan of Greg Dulli in all his incarnations- Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins, solo stuff- so to discover that the length and breadth of all literature written about the man is contained between the covers of this small- albeit brilliantly written- book... well, it was a bit of a blow.

The author goes into great detail telling the stories of the songwriting, studio recording, back-history of the band, and the responses and successes that made AW the formidable group they were. Basically, it's fan-heaven. Later chapters go all the way to the eventual break-up of the Whigs in 99.

I'm gonna write to Bob Gendron and beg him to do a full biography.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2009 6:14 PM GMT


So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley
So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £4.64

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars INCLUDING HALLELUJAH!!!, 27 Mar. 2009
Hmm. Does the re-jigged cover 'including Hallelujah' in huge letters have anything to do with The X Factor? bit cynical, methinks. Leonard Cohen must've been pleased, though- 3 different versions of his song assailing the charts!

Thoughts on the 'So Real' compilation CD...

(As another reviewer has said, I'm not sure who this is aimed at. So I will assume there is someone out there who is desperate to purchase SOMETHING Buckley-related, who may or may not own other stuff by him...)

If you're new to Jeff Buckley, it's probably better to buy Grace instead, to be honest. That's got Hallelujah too.

If you've got the studio albums, buy Live at Olympia instead. It's fantastic. Then buy the Live in Chicago DVD. Oh, and the Live at Sin-e Legacy Edition. I'm not being facetious. This stuff is essential listening.

Once you've done all that, you now have loads of great music, but you won't have 'Forget Her', which is featured on 'So Real'. This song is absolutely stunning, but you will just have to download it seperately.

In short- dive in to Jeff Buckley's output! Don't just dip a toe in with this CD...

(PS the 3 star rating is in no way related to the quality of the music on the CD. There's just better ways of acquiring it!)


Grace
Grace
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Loss & Devotion, 27 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Grace (Audio CD)
His voice has an otherworldly, affecting quality... we don't have a word for it in the west. Kurt Cobain had it. Billie Holliday had it. A handful, at best. Something simultaneously articulate and heartbreaking. The swoops, bends, and breaks in his melodies seem effortlessly perfect, as though every note was placed there with the precision of a master craftsman... which, of course, it was.

There is a trend for vocalists to have a lot of training for a recording only to give up and be awful in live performance. JB was not like that. There is a trend for vocalists to be awful but to try, somehow, to disguise/ distract from/ counterbalance this by over-producing their music with lots of layers, samples, noises. JB was not like that either. As a singer, guitarist and songwriter, he is- was- out on his own.

The songwriting is not 'conventional' I suppose, but it should be cherished for that. It can be excruciating to hear a new song come onto the radio and realise- instantly- the similarities to 4 or 5 others, to the point of being able to sing along with different words. This is music by someone who was determined to distance himself from his peers... in effect, to have no peers. Disparate influences abound, from Robert Johnson, Nina Simone and Pakistani music, as well as the obvious Page/Plant and Leonard Cohen. Every idea, every eccentricity, almost everything that this person liked about music (and this is someone who liked a LOT of different music) is boiled down into this short set of songs and arrangements.

That said, this is not as demanding or difficult as some of the other reviews here seem to think. Much of this album is shimmering, celestial songs of love, loss and devotion. There are extreme crescendoes, with violent crashing of drums, guitars being throttled (apparently) and white-hot mercury screams... but as Buckley once said, "music should be like making love- sometimes you want it soft and gentle, sometimes hard and aggressive".


Saturnalia
Saturnalia
Price: £11.35

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mark + Greg = ?, 22 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Saturnalia (Audio CD)
Pains me to say this, because I normally slobber in an undignified and unbiased fashion over everything Greg Dulli does, but- this album really didn't reach me. Perhaps it's just because Lanegan takes the vocals on half the tracks- yes he's impressively gravelly, but not moving...

that said, below par for these guys is still one HELL of a lot better than most stuff out there... so, four stars.

But for the vacillating customer, I should buy Twilight Singers's Powder Burns or Blackberry Belle before this one...


The Twilight Singers Play Blackberry Belle
The Twilight Singers Play Blackberry Belle
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Dulli's Inferno, 21 Mar. 2009
This is a beauteous record. Has a bit of everything- up and at 'em rockers- teenage wristband is particularly heart-racing- don't put this on if you want an early night, ever! there'll be finger-marks in the ceiling. Dark balladry as well, like Number 9, always gets my vote. Occasional odd points in the mixing- Dulli's vocals are almost inaudible on St Gregory- I assume this is on purpose as it happens on TS b-sides too, like Son Of The Morning Star. Strange for a vocalist... if you're shilly-shallying, buy this anyway- there'll be plenty here to enjoy.


Let Me Go EP
Let Me Go EP

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Please!, 15 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Let Me Go EP (MP3 Download)
Another big, slightly gothic and dark offering from AQUILA, but this time with much more stadium-bestriding mountain-moving anthemic melancholy than on their debut album. If you're new to them then this is probably a good place to start, especially the hooky title track. The acoustic tune, Ghosts, breaks my heart every time I listen to it. Which is a lot, at the moment!

Unique- diverse- beautiful- exciting. Everyone should own this stuff and all bands should be as good as this!


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