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G. Dietz "gza" (Durham, UK)
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Bible
Bible
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 14 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bible (App)
Very handy for quick reference


We Shall Overcome The Seeger Sessions [DualDisc]
We Shall Overcome The Seeger Sessions [DualDisc]
Offered by silver-disc-uk
Price: £16.81

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, exhilarating folk music - definitely Springsteen yet very different at the same time, 7 April 2007
This is a fantastic album of old folk standards given a faithful rendition from Springsteen the devotee but with that distinctive Springsteen treatment as well, and it works a treat on every single track.

If you don't like folk music - it's all fiddles and banjos (a friend described it as "a bit lumberjack-y"!) - you won't enjoy it, but there is a zest and joy to these songs that is exhilarating.

It comes from the spirit of the old songs themselves, Springsteen's infectious enthusiasm and passion, and from the genuinely improvised vibe of the performances: you hear the man himself instruct the musicians on whose solo he'd like next, and you can watch him do so on the accompanying DVD. (For a non-musician music fan like myself, eeing how the songs were arranged on the DVD was instructive, and fascinating.)

But for me the real thrills come from the brass section that adds a fabulous extra layer and flavour. According to reviews I've read, Springsteen was astute and knowledgeable enough to notice that when Pete Seeger was living and playing his folk music in New York in the 1920s and 1930s that big-band jazz would have been playing in venues nearby, and so he added trumpet and trombones to the fiddles, banjos, mandolin and honky-tonk piano. The blend is magical. When they blow hard for the first time on, for example, "Jacob's Ladder" - heralded with big cymbal crashes - the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, every time. The result is a fabulous hybrid big band/folk knees-up.

There isn't a duff track on the CD, and the extra DVD of the recording sessions is great.

But, have a look first at the 'American Land' edition before buying, as you get 5 extra tracks and some live concert footage that isn't on the original release (why, I don't know - was Springsteen himself in on this rip-off? I hope not.)

Tremendous stuff. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Trust Springsteen to breathe new life into old songs.


We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions / American Land Edition [CD+DVD]
We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions / American Land Edition [CD+DVD]
Price: £11.99

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, exhilarating - still definitely Springsteen and yet very different, 7 April 2007
This is a fantastic album of old folk standards given a faithful rendition from Springsteen the devotee but with that distinctive Springsteen treatment as well, and it works a treat on every single track.

If you don't like folk music - it's all fiddles and banjos (a friend described it as "a bit lumberjack-y"!) - you won't enjoy it, but there is a zest and joy to these songs that is exhilarating.

It comes from the spirit of the old songs themselves, Springsteen's infectious enthusiasm and passion, and from the genuinely improvised vibe of the performances: you hear the man himself instruct the musicians on whose solo he'd like next, and you can watch him do so on the accompanying DVD. (For a non-musician music fan like myself, eeing how the songs were arranged on the DVD was instructive, and fascinating.)

But for me the real thrills come from the brass section that adds a fabulous extra layer and flavour. According to reviews I've read, Springsteen was astute and knowledgeable enough to notice that when Pete Seeger was living and playing his folk music in New York in the 1920s and 1930s that big-band jazz would have been playing in venues nearby, and so he added trumpet and trombones to the fiddles, banjos, mandolin and honky-tonk piano. The blend is magical. When they blow hard for the first time on, for example, "Jacob's Ladder" - heralded with big cymbal crashes - the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, every time. The result is a fabulous hybrid big band/folk knees-up.

There isn't a duff track on the CD, and the extra DVD of the recording sessions is great. Plus, buy this version, as you get 5 extra tracks and some live concert footage that isn't on the original release (why, I don't know - was Springsteen himself in on this rip-off? I hope not.) One of these extra tracks is an old Vietnam protest song updated for the Iraq war called "Bring 'em home" (i.e. 'our' boys and girls in the armed forces). Unfortunately, neither of Springsteen's two specially written new verses explain how this policy will help the poor, innocent Iraqis caught up in the politicians "testing their grand theories"...

Tremendous stuff. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Trust Springsteen to breathe new life into old songs.


SAVANE
SAVANE
Price: £13.79

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and worth buying but not "Album of the decade", 29 Mar. 2007
This review is from: SAVANE (Audio CD)
'Savane' is the last album Ali Farka Toure recorded, and perhaps in the wake of his passing, the hyperbole surrounding this release reached a peak of superlatives-overload, with the estimable fRoots hailing it "the album of the decade". On that recommendation, and having loved an earlier AFT album ("Niafunke"), I ordered it.

It is fabulously atmospheric, genuinely otherworldly - listening to it takes you out into the Malian desert with Toure's bluesy riffs underpinning each of the tunes, and some harmonica and what sounds like a scratchy violin wailing like a desert wind over the top, a rattling kora drifting in and out and the man himself mumbling his hypnotic and heartfelt lyrics. You can almost feel the dust in your throat and the huge space around you (even in a bedroom in Durham).

But I had expected, from those ecstatic reviews, to be choking back tears of joy and awe and they just didn't come for me. I could be an ignorant oik, of course, but all the tracks have a similar pace and vibe, which may have been deliberate, but there just aren't any gobsmacking moments, apart from the wall of sound created during the tremendous opening track.

So, it's great and a fitting epitaph to the great man, but you know what music journalists are like... They've just got to get their quote on the sticker on the front, haven't they?


Some Call It Godcore
Some Call It Godcore
Price: £14.50

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Half-inspired, half-insipid..., 11 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Some Call It Godcore (Audio CD)
I say half-inspired, half-insipid because only about half the tracks on this album are of proper, genius HMHB quality: top tunes, with drink-bursting-out-your-nostrils funny lyrics (Their description of tactics for competing in a Battle of the Bands is a case in point: "With two pacy numbers we'll kick off the show/ Then slow it all down with that one about that bird...!") And I'd love to tell you the punchline for "Even men with steel hearts...", but it'd only spoil it for you.
A few of the other tracks are a bit hit-and-miss, though (or maybe I just haven't got the jokes?) For my money, the better albums are "Cammell Laird Social Club" and "Trouble over Bridgewater". But any HMHB album is worth getting, as every single one has plenty of p*ss-your-pants moments.


Team Ping Pong
Team Ping Pong
Offered by Global_Deals
Price: £8.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers, 10 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Team Ping Pong (Audio CD)
Bearsuit are ace. Their music is a kind of cleverly structured shambles, if you know what I mean. Most of the tunes start off dementedly, then stop suddenly to go off on a tangent, before coming back to how it began, then meandering into chaos again. Sometimes an entirely different melody shows up halfway, sometimes after a few seconds! And sometimes the girl seems to be singing a completely different song to the bloke! Most songs end abruptly too, just to round things off! As such it is exhilarating, inventive and frequently hilarious. Noisy and manic guitars, but then strangely tender, then lunatic again. Peel loved 'em: what further recommendation do you need?


Love All the People (New Edition)
Love All the People (New Edition)
by Bill Hicks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive, and just not as funny as on video, 8 Mar. 2006
The 'reader from Liverpool' has a point in her/his review. I too had been seduced into buying this by the mythology of the man, the compelling endorsements on the book and it being a pretty cheap buy. And there are some fantastic, laugh-out-loud bits and some arresting arguments in here. But for some reason the editors decided to include verbatim his stand-up routines, often from only a few months apart (so we could follow how they developed). Well, we all know comedians have stock sections and established one-liners, and Hicks' reputation for being unpredictable and going off on inspired ad-libbed rants is not confirmed by the collected routines here. Reading the same joke for the umpteenth time is irritating, and not how Hicks should be remembered. Get the DVDs/ videos instead...


Quality Control
Quality Control
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.31

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars smooth, anti-gangsta, rapping and ace beats, 25 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Quality Control (Audio CD)
This is a great hip hop album, without any of the dismal macho posturing that passes for MTV-friendly hip hop these days. Five blokes rapping wittily and smoothly in sync, flowing really well, etc. But the absolute highlight is the last tune, a *mad* cut-and-paste 6 minute mix of old Swing/ Big Band-style 78s. Thumping beats and horns going off all over the place, and clever little samples. It is funky as anything. It is seriously worth buying this album just for this one track.


Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
by David Winner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top footy players, top country, 16 July 2002
This is an excellent book. In the same way that Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch" is about so much more than just 'being a football fan', this is as much about the Dutch people and their fantastic little country (my wife and I love it so much we've moved here) as it is about their footballers.

Winner does really well to find credible links between Dutch 'total' football, and the way the Dutch organise themselves, in particular how they make use of what little space they have. Since the Netherlands is the 2nd most densely populated country in the world, space is at a premium here, just as it is on the football pitch. So one fine passage notes how Dennis Bergkamp's *genius* for defence-splitting through balls relates to how the Dutch use their land: efficiently, perceptively, decisively, brilliantly. (Before the pass the pitch is crowded and narrow; after the pass it is wide open.)

Winner also deals very well with the 'Lost Final of 1974, and the complex Dutch attitudes toward their neighbours, the Germans, and their curious ambivalence toward actually *winning* tournaments rather than being universally lauded as the best team (1974, 1978, 1998, 2000).

And looming large over it all is the marvellous Johann Cruyff (which is pronounced, correctly, to rhyme with 'Slough' I've discovered!), a man of fabulously contradictory insights, my personal favourite being:
"If I wanted you to understand, I would have explained it better."

Definitely worth a read. And the country is definitely worth a visit (and get out of Amsterdam too).


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