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"thetaildragger" RSS Feed (Raleigh, NC USA)

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Jug Fulla Sun
Jug Fulla Sun
2 used & new from $20.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Let your third eye glow!", October 19, 2000
This review is from: Jug Fulla Sun (Audio CD)
Simply put, Jug Fulla Sun is THE rock album of the year. These guys are so good it's scary. Wino's musical vision seems to be at its most intense alongside Sherman and Gary. Jug Fulla Sun has an aesthetic dimension to it that's increasingly appreciated with time. Wino's guitar tone has been described as having a "shiny" quality to it - and it "shines" through on every track. Cosmic Artifact and Lost Sun Dance will blow your mind. Not only does "God" apply his virtuoso instrumental prowess throughout, but also intelligently lends his soaring epic voice over the top. Wino's vocal tone seems to reside somewhere between John Kay and vintage Leslie West, although it's a hell of a lot more flexible than either and his style is more vintage Ozzy than Lemmy (unlike in The Obsessed perhaps). But even those direct comparisons are unfair and though Sabbath is an obvious influence (as it should be to any appreciating rock musician of Wino's generation), they are hardly a Sabbath clone as less discriminating people may suggest, because it's just totally f'ng Spirit Caravan, and they are WAY TOO CREATIVE to ever mistake them for their predecessors, no matter how great those bands were. Lump them into the stoner rock jumble at your own peril -- you'd be hard pressed to find more sincere or talented musicians - and in an age where cancerous commercialism has sought to turn rock into indie-pop or stupid rap-rock, Jug Fulla Sun is revitalizing. Only perhaps Gov't Mule's Dose can stand alongside Jug Fulla Sun as the THE "three-piece" album of our time!

Price: $4.99
229 used & new from $0.01

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Colossal sound and epic lyrics, April 25, 2000
This review is from: Badmotorfinger (Audio CD)
This is Soundgarden at their peak -- it's Superunknown minus the pop sheen. Cornell's range is twisted to superhuman heights. Thayil, as usual, comes up with some awesome colors and riffs. Ben and Matt lock-in and ride a groove like a freight train.
The album definitely has a particular "sound" to it that underscores every song: It is aggressive, heavy and raw, and yet it is also refined, complex and cerebral. Cornell's lyrics are never simply sung, but rather delivered like the gospel of hard rock.
Jesus Christ Pose is perhaps the best single performance of the decade by a four-piece rock band. Searching With My Good Eye Closed sounds like a muscled up renovation of Into the Void. Johnny Cash covered Rusty Cage which is about all that needs to be said about that song.
There are several other classics on the album. If you haven't heard this album, you can't fully appreciate Soundgarden's genius.

Price: $11.32
233 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars yes, i like this record!, February 3, 2000
This review is from: Superunknown (Audio CD)
I like this record, and I consider such an opinion relevant to band's undisputed masterpiece and the brilliance of their music at the time this album was produced. Suffice it to say that I believe this to be a great album from a great band.

Ran [VHS]
Ran [VHS]
Offered by skagit books
Price: $7.49
28 used & new from $1.77

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Retelling of Timeless Allegory, January 24, 2000
This review is from: Ran [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is an all-around masterpiece. The word "breathtaking" is often abused, but it can be applied almost literally to this expression of Kurasowa's artistry. If you are appreciative of great cinematography you must own a copy of this film. For me, only John Ford's "The Searchers" is as visually powerful. The battle scenes are justifiably legendary and possess that innate Japanese sense of poetry that permeates just about everything else Kurasowa has done.

I'll Take Care Of You
I'll Take Care Of You
Price: $12.99
32 used & new from $5.61

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Flicker at the End of the Tunnel, January 15, 2000
This review is from: I'll Take Care Of You (Audio CD)
Throughout his four albums, Mark Lanegan has proved to be the kind of singer that connects with certain people very deeply. And just about any album he turns out is recommendable to those that find his voice as enchanting as I. Aside from hearing his versions of these songs, there really is no reason to recommend this album to anyone that has problems with his first three solo records or feels he's betraying his earlier work with the Screaming Trees. But on the latter point, there is evidence to suggest that the Trees were maturing along Lanegan's current bluesy bent, though perhaps they might have painted the musical landscapes less sparely.
But in the end, Lanegan's vision was intensely personal and too deep to have to deal with the confining arrangement of a band. When the history of the Seattle scene is finally written and we can look back on it all more clearly, Mark Lanegan may be seen as its most remarkable individual talent. As he continues his relationship with the Sub Pop label, he'll no doubt begin to move in more creative directions, but this album is a challenging step for him to take. I was at times on the edge of my seat almost expecting him to screw up, but alas he has proven his greatness whether you like him or not.
As he applies his unique instrument to these sensitively chosen covers, he manages to redefine them in subtle ways here and there - but nothing too unexpected. Again, it is the choice of these songs themselves more than the thoughtful treatment he gives them that is most startling. "Consider Me," would be the last thing you'd expect him to attempt, but after hearing it you come away with a different impression. He is soulfully bluesy and at times makes one think of Sam Cooke's "Night Beat." "Little Sadie" is an old folksong that could have easily come off like an absurd anachronism in other hands, but Lanegan really eats it up with a totally convincing streaming narrative, recasting it as a timeless allegory.
Lanegan's voice may not get much smoother than this, but I can't help thinking of a latter Billie Holiday and the rawness that both wax eloquently with. I have come to consider Lanegan the best blues singer of his generation. Starting off his solo career I felt he was simply reacting against his earlier angier incarnation with mellower maturity, but obviously it was less a reaction to anything as it was existential identification on his part -- what he does now can't be traded in for anything, and history tells us that stubbornly honest artists like Lanegan have tragically littered worse highways than commercial dissaster.

Live in Europe
Live in Europe
Price: $14.99
46 used & new from $0.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Soul Had the Fire, January 15, 2000
This review is from: Live in Europe (Audio CD)
If you can listen to an undoubtedly great song like "Dock of the Bay" and still not comprehend the greatness of this man, then you cannot have experienced him live. This recording is probably the most representative one worth purchasing. He is in rollicking form all night, and draws on the reverent audience (obviously awestruck throughout) with Steve Cropper and Booker T. backing him up like nobody else could.
While Rod Stewart was trying to cut his chops on Sam Cooke inspired balladry, Paul Rogers was trying to overcome his "whiteness" through Otis Redding. But Redding didn't see musicians as black or white, and his famous cover of "Satisfaction" (in which he threatens to make the song his own) is complimented with a pile-driving "Day Tripper," that made the original seem deflated and flat. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" is delivered with such agonizing authority that his pain becomes menacing, and only Redding could follow up a performance like that with anything short of the national anthem -- it was probably this reading that inspired Tina Turner to cover it like she did for Blue Thumb. It is amazing that Redding's own "Respect" can sound like such a revelation as it emerges from Aretha Franklin's almost clichéd and formulaic shadow. This is less singing than a no holds barred cry for hard-hitting music with soulful enthusiasm.

Live in Italy
Live in Italy
Price: $16.63
100 used & new from $0.92

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coloratura fireworks from maturing artist, January 6, 2000
This review is from: Live in Italy (Audio CD)
Her voice is as strong as ever and, when applied to this new standard of difficulty, has never sounded better. I witnessed her performance of a similar program at the Musikverein in Vienna and even there she left people pinching themselves. She might have done ten encores that day.
She obviously possesses an extraordinarily flexible instrument, an incredibly rich tone and a fluidly high range for a mezzo. When she came onto the scene, critics chastised her for ruining her voice by oversinging, but after ten years of doing it her way, as she does in this concert, there are no signs of deterioration. Her fiery personality shines through on every coloratura passage, and there are loads of them here, particularly the Vivaldi piece, which is literally a superhuman effort, and only leaves me laughing when I hear it again.
Undoubtedly her prime must be waning though, and her voice will change over the next 5-10 years, the question will be whether or not she can develop her dramatic capacity to take on heavier and less "rosy" stage roles than she has enjoyed success in of late. If she does, I think there is a potential for her to go down as one of the all time greats -- which is a hellovalot more than I can say about most singers of her generation!

Symphonies 7 & 8
Symphonies 7 & 8
Price: $22.68
42 used & new from $3.45

4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars second opinion, January 6, 2000
This review is from: Symphonies 7 & 8 (Audio CD)
I want to respond to the editorialist, David Hurwitz's, opinion. I own a complete Claudio Abbado Beethoven cycle, and it is hardly ideal, but among his peers there is no equal and I'm sick of critics recommending Leonard Bernstein recordings of any kind for any reason! Bernstein missed his calling with the Boston Pops. Karajan did some good stuff, but I wouldn't ever recommend his Beethoven. Karajan was from a well established Salzburg family and thats exactly how he conducts Beethoven. As for Karl Boehm, I'd recommend the Pastoral which has been newly remastered by DG. As far as Abbado's Beethoven goes, it is closer to the powerful spirit of Furtwangler's vision than any other serious conductor today. There is an elitist notion that if you are Italian, you are disqualified from conducting Beethoven. If you are looking for a more recent "faithful" Beethoven, try Gardiner's Missa Solemnis.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2011 7:13 AM PST

Das Lied Von Der Erde
Das Lied Von Der Erde

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keilberth triumphs over Klemperer, January 6, 2000
This review is from: Das Lied Von Der Erde (Audio CD)
If you are a Mahlerian I urge you to purchase this recording. Otto Klemperer was a classicist and should have had no business recording this disturbing masterpiece alongside someone of Wunderlich's stature. If you are partial to Ludwig's sonorous mezzo, Fischer-Dieskau's rendering of the Abschied might have you frantically looking for a gun. Mahler would have been most proud of this reading from 1964.

Masters of the Delta Blues: The Friends of Charlie Patton
Masters of the Delta Blues: The Friends of Charlie Patton
Price: $13.99
36 used & new from $5.95

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Furious Bottleneck Growl, January 6, 2000
The Yazoo label does it again!
This CD is essential for rare inclusion of all six demonic Son House performances originally cut on acetate in 1930. It was these recordings that inspired Alan Lomax to look up House in the early 40's for the Library of Congress Archives.
It is worth mentioning that do to Paramount's inferior treatment of the source material, there is considerable auxilliary noise on those six sides. But Son's guitar and voice still threaten to impale you like a hot skewer.
Son House would have been a preacher, but for the fact that he shot a man dead and was banished from Clarksdale for the rest of his life.
This was the belle epoque of Delta Blues, a time when the legendary rivalry between House and Charlie Patton was at a peak, and when another legend, Robert Johnson, would pick up a couple licks from Son House himself. The way of life that existed in the Delta back then is gone forever, and for all of that progress and new found civility, we shall never be fortunate enough to hear anything like this ever again.
For anyone hoping to hear a mellow country rover picking away on his front porch, Son House will send you to intensive care. This is truly "where the soul of man never dies."

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