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Profile for Rusty Camino > Reviews


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Rusty Camino "zeppelin27" RSS Feed (Tucson, AZ)

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Stone Butch Blues: A Novel
Stone Butch Blues: A Novel
by Leslie Feinberg
Edition: Paperback
41 used & new from $34.84

12 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, December 4, 2008
An important historical chronicle, however, the quality of the writing is consistently, unbelievably poor. Clichés permeate the page, the characters are 2-dimensional and belong in after school specials, emotional impact is conveyed through insultingly obvious explanations, the narrator is supposed to be stoic yet she cries every five pages. Strong emotion is not just tears. And while the message is important-- it's completely spelled out for the reader every page-- the fact that this is 6th grade level writing makes everything feel incredibly exploitative and thoroughly unconvincing.

Return to Cookie Mountain
Return to Cookie Mountain
49 used & new from $0.32

5.0 out of 5 stars The future of music, April 8, 2007
This is one of those destined-to-be-classics. If you let go, allow yourself to soak in the occasional discomfort of their tones, and give it more than one try, you'll find yourself biting into one thick sonic cookie. This is a succession of that cliched "one good song after another," but some tenacity is required to become part of the warmth and driving force that RETURN TO COOKIE MOUNTAIN emanates. This is a step up from 2004's DESPERATE YOUTH, BLOODTHIRSTY BABES, which was absolutely grizzled, primal, smart and sexy; it was, however, a little meandering. RTCM is dynamic, rollicking and does not let up until its last track, "Wash the Day," ends in melting streaks of noise.

The band's vision has materialized already. Tinges of doo-wop, avant-pop, techno, hip-hop and straight-up rock 'n' roll shine throughout. There is no other musical experience like TV on the Radio, because, yes, they are off-kilter and have wildly syncopated, sometimes scary beats, but it all fits into the familiar rock 'n' roll format we all flock to. Essential listening.

Make Believe [Enhanced CD] (Jewel)
Make Believe [Enhanced CD] (Jewel)
Offered by Customer Direct
Price: $5.57
153 used & new from $0.01

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False Emotions, July 19, 2006
If you haven't read or heard the classic parable "The Emperor's New Clothes," look it up and learn about it. It is an integral cliché to apply to situations exactly like the warm critical reception of Weezer's latest album "Make Believe." Rolling Stone, an almost entirely solid source of valid and reliable opinion, gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, registering the album as "excellent", a step below a bona fide classic. In fact, the only ones that I know of who got it right were Pitchfork, an otherwise despairingly, endlessly pretentious group of snot-nosed indiest-of-the-indie worshippers who only praise the most bloated, self-conscious computer blips they consider good music. They gave it less than 1 out of 10, I think. Or a little bit over 1. The point is: they got it right for once.

Fans all over seem to share the anti-Pitchfork mindset, and have sided with Rolling Stone's obsequious, lazy acceptance of Weezer's newly developed art form. Some say it's their best. What I do know is that critics and fans are playing emperor's new clothes. Why they are, I really can't say for sure. I did, when I first got the album, because I wanted so badly to not be disappointed by my favorite band's new effort; to perhaps counter the philosophy that Weezer were slowly spiraling down the sinkhole since their second album. I shrouded myself in denial, and for the first month or so, told myself I enjoyed the album with only a small beacon of cognizance meekly questioning why I was accepting this dreck that is "Make Believe."

Every vapid songwriting platitude is stretched to its breaking point on this album. Cuomo yearns to be a "hero" but wistfully admits he is, gasp, a "zero!" He wants to be "rollin' like a celebrity/living in Beverley Hills," but not really, because he's being sarcastic! Wow! Not since "Candide" have I seen such unabashed ironical wit. Every time Rivers lays down a lyric, you hope, pray, burst blood vessels begging the gods of art to not allow the couplet you're about to witness end with the most obvious rhyming counterpart you've ever heard. Then you forget to think there must be no gods of art, because you're too busy cringing at "sometimes I let you go/sometimes I hurt you so."

And don't get me started on the musical merits or the supposed soul drain that this album is supposed to be. To the first one, the album is so musically nondescript that it borders on offensive. There are no more slow-churning buildups and soul crushing crescendos a la "Only in Dreams," or dynamic bursts of aggression like in "Why Bother?" It is more processed and blah than a blink-182 B-side. And as for Rivers' heart-to-heart with his listeners and his loved ones through the lyrics... if you truly listened you would see it's more contrived than a twist ending in a "Saw" movie. He's just trying to emulate the success of Pinkerton, which was truly introspective. This is shallower than Oasis, and mounds less catchy.

Perhaps, now with Weezer's merciful disbandment, fans together can be freed from the shackles limiting our views and turning us into unquestioning zombies--that is, now that we have nothing to expect from Weezer, we don't need to keep forcing ourselves to make believe they haven't lost it (get it?), and hadn't lost it long ago. The Emperor's not wearing clothes, fellas. Open your eyes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2007 7:43 AM PDT

Come On Feel the Illinoise
Come On Feel the Illinoise
Price: $11.99
96 used & new from $4.04

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds the hype, July 18, 2006
There are plenty of fans well-versed in the buzz of breakthrough musical acts who may feel repelled by Sufjan Steven's seemingly folksy hubris. The long song titles, soft-hearted folk balladeer reputation and overly-ambitious goal of releasing 50 albums that represent each US state seem to create an image of simple hype for a wimpy prodigy praised for his youth and prolificacy.

The solution, as with any bad impression you get of a praised figure in the pop echelon, is to listen to it, of course. The sincerity immediately shines through the appearance of snootiness, as fully developed and realized songwriting; a lush, imaginative palate of instruments; and a choirlike swirl of backup singing serve as a backdrop for Stevens' gentle, unobtrusive voice to deliver the listener epicly personal lyrics. The elements build together to feel anthemic, urgent and angelic.

Illinois is, without a doubt, worth a listen. Despite the personal feel and melancholy tone there are spots of elation along with the humor of the longwinded titles to keep the world knowing that Sufjan Stevens isn't out to shower you with remorse or emotional turmoil, but instead to offer a glimmering look at the joys of life and the knowledge of self-worth.

OK Computer
OK Computer
Price: $7.99
290 used & new from $0.01

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multi-Layered, Always-Fresh Masterpiece of the 20th Century, December 15, 2004
This review is from: OK Computer (Audio CD)
The Radiohead magic is an indefinable thing. One might be enticed by their gloomy, multi-layered 4-minute masterpieces, or equally repeled by their sullen, anarchic, cynical odes to mainstream consumerism and American capitalism. Either way, everyone can agree that somehow these unconvential opuses manage to be bizarre but at the same time manage to be listenable and even pleasant. How they manage to do this is a mystery to me, but whatever technique they use to make their music like this nonetheless helps them create masterful works of musical art that have the power to stay in your brain and your heart for days after listening. And you probably won't go days without listening to it, the magnetic force of their music manages to pull you back for another listen every moment you are able. When OK Computer came out it garnered instant praise and now maintains a humble spot among some of the greatest albums ever made. If I had to pin down one particular reason, it's hard, but if I had to, the reason OK Computer is so timeless (and that's a strong word to use on a seven-year-old album) is the intensely abundant layering of complex instrumentation, literate lyrics packed with underlying themes, and a tightly-wound musical intensity cleverly packed into every corner. These qualities combine to form a complex listening experience. One that should confuse almost anyone on their first listen, but upon subsequent listens anyone should be excited to notice little intricacies in the music. And these realizations are what makes OK Computer such a masterpiece. All of Radiohead's albums are amazing and it's near-impossible to choose my favorite record of theirs. But if you were holding a gun to my head, forcing me to choose, I would have to say OK Computer. The sole reason for this is that I find something new every time I give the disc a spin, whether it be noticing a delightful little subtle burst of keyboard or the majorly profound implication behind a lyric. OK Computer and Radiohead is definitely not for everyone, its complexity might turn some impatient listeners away or weird some unsuspecting music enthusiast out. But to this particular listener, the ever-unwrapping OK Computer manages to stay fresh, and always makes for a compelling, intriguing and exciting experience similar to the first time listening to your favorite CD.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
by Robert C. O'Brien
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.00
392 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good memories and excellent writing, October 19, 2003
I read this book in 3rd grade. It is just so beautifully written and the story is so lighthearted but dark at the same time. I could talk about it for hours. The memories associated with it are wonderful for me, and the book itself is just so excellent. Anyone at any age should read it, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is an underrated classic.

Memento (Widescreen Two-Disc Limited Edition)
Memento (Widescreen Two-Disc Limited Edition)
DVD ~ Guy Pearce
84 used & new from $2.22

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much all the elements of an excellent movie, September 24, 2003
I've seen this film 8 times. The first time I saw it, the movie ended, and I sat there with my eyes wide open and said "...Woah." I then bought this special edition and watched it 7 more times, including the time I watched it in chronological order. Unfortunately, I had my theory about the movie DOWN after 7 viewings, but then the 8th viewing left me thinking too hard, and I lost my theory. I'm so confused. And that's because it's an intricate, complex, mind-numbing film. This movie is utterly amazing. Just AMAZING. We have a guy named Leonard who wants to avenge his wife's rape and death. Sure, that's pretty good, basic but good. But now we throw in something else. Leonard has "short term memory loss" because of a head injury he received during his wife's assault. This causes our man Leonard to forget everything that happened after the injury after about 15 minutes. If he meets a person and has an hour long conversation with them, the next day he will have completely forgotten that person. Genius. Now, add this final twist: make the film backwards. So, the scene you're watching came after the scene that you're watching next, etc. Masterpiece. This is my favorite movie, and it takes multiple viewings and maybe some cheating (watching it in chronolgical order) to straighten it all up in your mind. The features on the DVD are wonderful. It has the short story which the movie was based on, the movie in chronological order, photographs of props used, film posters, documentaries. The single problem is that the special edition DVD itself is insane. The first disc which contains the movie lists a bunch of words and you have to choose through each one to find the single word that starts the movie. The second disc has you searching through loads of images and questions that would belong in a psychological exam to find the special features. If it weren't for this masterpiece movie, the DVD would have dragged it down to 4 stars. But what can I say? It's just way too good.

The Hours
The Hours
DVD ~ Meryl Streep
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $10.60
240 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Really good, but not as good as most people say, September 22, 2003
This review is from: The Hours (DVD)
I guess part of the dissapointment that came after seeing "The Hours" was that I was expecting a groundbreaking, opinion-changing movie with a subtle message. It may sound like a lot to expect but so many people were saying this, including a man my mother heard say that he "came out of the movie theater changed". When I saw it I was confused, and couldn't find a deep message. I later found out the whole thing was about the difficulties of being [different], especially back in the past. This is a sad subject to touch on, the style of putting three layers of time periods in the movie is a wonderful concept, the cast is great. My expectations forced me to expect something utterly amazing, but it's just a really good movie. (On a superficial level, Nicole Kidman manages to look pretty even with that prosthetic nose on... ...

Price: $5.99
127 used & new from $0.02

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Money-Milking Collection of Mainstream Monster Songs, September 22, 2003
This review is from: Nirvana (Audio CD)
Nirvana is... beyond words. They are just so excellent. This was the first Nirvana CD I got as a present and, yes, it was a great introduction to Nirvana. Why? It's their super-hit songs that only intrigue one who is just getting started on Nirvana. When you move on to the better, underground songs on Nevermind, all of In Utero, great songs on Bleach, and Unplugged, you can see what I mean. Obviously Courtney Love wants some dough and "Nirvana" was assembled. This CD poorly displays summary of the legend we call Nirvana with, oh geez, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Do we need to hear that again? All I'm saying is that this album in no way captures the talent and rockingness of Nirvana (except You Know You're Right, which is pretty good).

Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $9.29
389 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!, September 8, 2003
This review is from: Odelay (Audio CD)
The best word to describe "Odelay" is diverse, or eclectic. On this album along with all his others, he either sings soulfully, delivers a beautiful ballad, raps, you name it. To add to that, you have Beck's wide love for music spread all over the album. Not one song is the same. One minute you're hearing alternative rock, the other hip-hop, the other country, blues, funk, folk... the list goes on. Spice it up with some heavily experimental blasts of noise and, of course, Beck-humor, and you've got a work of art that most definitely keeps you listening the whole time. Not to mention enjoy every insane, classic second. Plus, the album sleeve is so awesome. Get it.

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