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Mike RSS Feed (Pahrump, NV)
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Origins Vol. 1
Origins Vol. 1
Offered by MINI COD Shop
Price: $11.23
30 used & new from $9.97

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We're gonna turn the microphone over to Ace Frehley...", April 19, 2016
This review is from: Origins Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
All things considered, this is a pretty sweet package. Albums of this kind often fall well below expectations and...even worse...are boring. Not this one. These are perhaps the best and most confident vocals of Ace's career. And for the most part, the song selection is a good balance between standard FM radio mega-hits like "White Room" and deeper album tracks like Free's "Fire And Water" and Thin Lizzy's "Emerald." The guests add to, rather than detract from, the proceedings...but it's that Space Ace guitar that you've all come to know and love that really torches this one up. What you have to do is look at the track selection, and if you like these songs and think you'd be amused by Ace giving them a go, I can promise you that you will not be disappointed. Especially gratifying is the version of "Cold Gin"...for my money, he one-ups Simmons.


Just What The Doctor Ordered (Live)
Just What The Doctor Ordered (Live)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ted gets it right on this one, March 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Love him, hate him, your choice. I would not say that every album in Ted Nugent's catalog is "Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Worthy." I also don't think you can be a true lover of rock & roll without giving him props for "Stranglehold," "Cat Scratch Fever," and this song, and this specific performance. It's on the "Ted Nugent" album in a studio version, and if you get the edition with bonus tracks, a live version as well. But the "Double Live Gonzo" version of "Just What The Doctor Ordered" is something special. After a swirling, grinding, "rave up" intro, vocalist Derek St. Holmes is shot out of a cannon..."OOOOOOOOOOOOOH baby....OOOOOOOOOOOOOH baby...." And Nugent has a perfect riff, and he just steps on its neck. "I'm going crazy...and I like it." It's a song for every kid in America who sat in a room with a pair of headphones and embraced rock and roll as a way to blow out the aggression, to channel all of that testosterone into something, anything. It's a shame that there is such a large degree of meandering dreck in Nugent's overall catalog, but this track...and the others I mentioned...are why he still sells concert tickets.


Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Red Book of Selling:  12.5 Principles fo sales greatness:  How to make sales FOREVER (Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Book Series)
Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles fo sales greatness: How to make sales FOREVER (Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Book Series)
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for every professional salesperson, March 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
To say that Jeffrey Gitomer is prolific would be an understatement...he's worked his way into the upper echelon of sales gurus like Brian Tracy and the late, legendary Zig Ziglar. I've read the majority of his books and will say that this is the "If you're only going to buy one Jeffrey Gitomer book" book. While "The Sales Bible" may be seen by some as his "Greatest Hit," this is the book that pretty much lays out the foundation of his sales philosophy that you will find in every book that followed. If I were a sales manager, I'd make it required reading for every one of my salespeople. So what's in it, and why is it so good? First, he makes it clear that it's all about you and your attitude. You believe in yourself, your products, and your services, and you are driven to win...or you're not. If you're a "believer," then you can be of service to your customers. You have to know what is important to them, and then you make it all ABOUT them. You never cut your price to close a sale because you leave money on the table, and you diminish the value of what you have to offer in the eyes of your customer. There are books whose primary aim is to make you feel good about yourself in a warm and fuzzy way. This isn't one of them. Gitomer wants you to feel good about yourself by being honest, by being tough, by waking up and smelling the coffee and PERFORMING. If you read this book and USE it...put what's between the covers into practice...you WILL make sales. It's unavoidable. This is how it's done.


Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan
Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan
Price: $11.27
59 used & new from $7.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Needs a better recipe, and then it might produce a better result., March 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The jury's still out on this one until I find a better recipe than the one that came with the pan. No complaints about the pan itself...it's top quality. The issue is that cake donuts are traditionally deep-fried and have a distinctive flavor, and the first batch of donuts I made with this pan tasted like a biscuit or muffin. My initial thought was "needs vanilla...or something." The only issue I had with the performance of the pan itself was that I might have filled the cups a little too full, as I went past the time indicated in the recipe. Using the suggested time, the tops were not cooked and were almost moist. Leaving them in the oven long enough to cook the tops meant the bottoms were dry and not what you'd like in an evenly-cooked donut. The pan has possibilities, with some patience and experimentation, but if you think you're going to get a first batch of donuts that remind you of your favorite donut shop on the first pass, think again. Rolling dough, cutting donuts and deep-frying can be time consuming and a mess, but here in South Carolina...where I live...I've been told "Southerners don't like cake donuts." It's true. When you go to the major cities you'll find the occasional Dunkin Donuts, but other than that, it's a box of Entemann's at the local market. If you want REAL cake donuts in a place where you can't just breeze in and buy a dozen, it's this pan or deep frying.


Would You Rather
Would You Rather
DVD ~ Brittany Snow
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $5.71
30 used & new from $5.71

3.0 out of 5 stars Sadistic thriller telegraphs its punches, March 17, 2016
This review is from: Would You Rather (DVD)
From start to finish, the movie is laced with over-the-top sadism and cruelty. In some ways it's a throwback to the Vincent Price "Dr. Phibes" films, where the fates of the characters become a form of one-upsmanship...each more twisted as the film goes on. It's a pretty engaging thriller if that sort of film appeals to you, but it also telegraphs its punches...especially the ending...from a mile away. You'll either think "Wow!" or feel let down as the closing credits roll. good for a rental at best.


Nothing Has Changed
Nothing Has Changed
Price: $19.97
93 used & new from $13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fills In The Blanks, January 30, 2016
This review is from: Nothing Has Changed (Audio CD)
For me, the primary value here is on discs 1 & 2. I own most of his albums through 1983's "Let's Dance," so having a good 2-CD overview of the later work appeals to me. As with any performer of Bowie's stature, there are obviously some tracks that are missing like "Suffragette City," "Cracked Actor," "DJ" and a few others). I also prefer album tracks to single mixes, because if it's a song I care about (like "Heroes"), I pretty much have the original version memorized start-to-finish. But those are all minor quibbles. It's a good representation of his career, a good starting point for novices, or for fans like me, a great opportunity to fill in the blanks. Five stars.


Rage
Rage
DVD ~ Danny Glover
Offered by Treasures4All
Price: $7.45
52 used & new from $0.53

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh, Nic. No. Just no., January 29, 2016
This review is from: Rage (DVD)
If it hadn't been for the "plot twist," I might have given this one three stars. Even with the plot twist, the first 2/3 of the movie or so is a three star movie. Without resorting to spoilers, here's why I gave it one star.

1). Danny Glover pretty much plays Sgt. Murtaugh in this one, but his performance lacks any gusto. He doesn't actually say his trademark line "I'm getting too old for this ****," but the tone of his entire performance is "I'm getting too old for this ****." He shadows Cage's character for the entire film, playing out that worn and tired plot of warning Cage that if he doesn't stop what he's doing right now, the consequences are going to be dire. Do the math, people. This isn't a Disney film. Take a wild guess at how things turn out, with or without Glover's stern warnings.

2). The first two thirds of the movie set themselves up and play out like a "good" Steven Seagal flick. I say "good" because I am sure that some of you aren't Seagal fans, and yeah...he's made more than his share of direct-to-DVD stinkers. Once again I won't spoil the film by revealing too much of the story but suffice it to say that if you have ever seen a "good" Seagal film, you will think you are watching one, UNTIL...

3). The PLOT TWIST. Ham-fisted, amateurish, a real "face palm" moment. The film telegraphs its punches early...YOU KNOW there is going to BE a plot twist...but when it comes, you almost want to stop the movie. But because you've watched 2/3 of it, you won't.

4). The exciting, dramatic, "didn't see that coming" climax. Of course, I'm being sarcastic. The ending spirals out of the plot twist, and it's pure garbage. It's what a screenwriter comes up with after he thinks he's crafted a clever plot twist but has then run out of ideas.

ONE star, and I am being generous. If you want / need to see a Cage film that delivers, watch "Con Air," "The Rock," or for a double dose of fun, hammy overacting, catch the double threat of Cage and Travolta in "Face Off."

"I'M CASTOR TROY!"

But in THIS turkey, he's not. Caveat Emptor.


Django Unchained
Django Unchained
DVD ~ Jamie Foxx
Price: $7.50
63 used & new from $2.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Suspension of disbelief equals greater entertainment value, December 20, 2015
This review is from: Django Unchained (DVD)
A movie that examines the human condition through the bloody lens of over-the-top Tarantino bloodbaths like "Kill Bill," you might find yourself saying "that would never happen" more than once during this film. I make it my policy to not give up spoilers, so you'll just have to find those spots in the movie yourself.

I'd say that "most mesmerizing performance" honors are a toss-up between Christoph Waltz as "Dr. King Schultz" and Leonardo DiCaprio as Plantation / Slave owner "Calvin Candie." DiCaprio seems to have really absorbed the essence of Jack Nicholson's 2006 performance as "Frank Costello" in the 2006 Martin Scorsese film "The Departed," in which DiCaprio also starred. Like Costello, Candie's evil is a sport...he relishes it, he rolls around in it and cannot be separated from its fulfillment. It's probably not a stretch to call at least a few of DiCaprio's character's outbursts "Nicholsonian." And the casting genius of the role is that they didn't offer it to Nicholson, or any actor like him...they handed it to Leo and let him take it over the top.

It's a L-O-N-G movie...not sure if I agree with some of the "boring" assessments...and like pretty much every other Tarantino, it places equal weight on the moral ambiguities experienced by the good guys AND the bad guys. The "good" guys are never totally good, while the "bad" guys are never totally "bad." How can I say that? Well, Samuel L. Jackson plays something of a "Renfield" role to DiCaprio's bloodsucker. Jackson's a bad guy, no doubt about it, but his character is an African American who enjoys slipping into a big plush chair in DiCaprio's study and savoring a brandy while he tells his "master" that he's kidding himself. DiCaprio indulges Jackson because he knows Jackson is a sneak, a toad, an informant, the one guy on the entire plantation who knows that rewards come with watching his "master's" back. None of the relationships or character studies are simple or one-dimensional, neither are they completely believable, which is where "entertainment" comes in.

Worth a purchase? I'd start with a rental first, because if you are a fan of Tarantino's films, and anything I wrote here captured your interest or curiosity, you will probably like it...you just may not watch it over and over again.


THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS
THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS
Price: $20.19
28 used & new from $17.96

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well assembled look at two decades' worth of a great band, December 16, 2015
This review is from: THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS (Audio CD)
I'm going to write a very brief review because my feelings about this CD are echoed by the first two reviewers, and I think they did a very good job. That said...yes, true fans of Spock's Beard are going to be looking for more of a box set than a 2-CD collection to capture "all" of the best tracks. The selection is good, it's just not "complete" or "definitive." The main thing I see missing is that the post-Neal Morse edition of the band took a while to find their stride. I don't think any Spock's fan would place "Feel Euphoria" or "Octane" on the same level as "Day For Night," but man oh man, "X" and "Brief Nocturnes" are sublime. So if you view this as a calling card, a starting point, it will hopefully encourage newcomers to do a little additional exploring. Finally, on the subject of the new track...yes, it's excellent, as a fan you will want it, as a newcomer you will probably love it too, and it absolutely does transcend the "novelty / stunt casting" aspect of having it written by Neal and performed by every band member, past and present. Spock's Beard is part of a very small handful of prog bands that earned the right to carry the torch in the wake of the original first wave of big British prog bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, and ELP. Two decades in, they've carved their own turf and will most likely inspire other young bands to do the same. It is obvious that some care, thought, love and passion went into this. You should own a copy.


The Matrix Tapes [4 CD]
The Matrix Tapes [4 CD]
Offered by FIRELIGHT
Price: $71.36
25 used & new from $27.40

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again, Lou is full of surprises., November 30, 2015
This review is from: The Matrix Tapes [4 CD] (Audio CD)
I am going to write a VERY brief review that will hopefully answer the question on the minds of most people considering the purchase of this new VU box set..."Do I want it?"

And my answer to that is if you are the most casual of DU fans, the ones who own "the banana album" (The Velvet Underground And Nico), and you are most familiar with "I'm Waiting For The Man" and "Venus In Furs" and "Heroin" and that's pretty much all the VU you need and want, you probably won't want or need this.

On the other hand, if you own all the albums...especially the box sets that have been released of EVERY VU album recorded...yes, you want this.

Why?

Two reasons.

Reason #1: "1969 Live: The Velvet Underground with Lou Reed," has been released in a number of formats over the years, from "Volume 1" and "Volume 2" configurations on vinyl and CD to the complete version in both formats. However, if you are at all familiar with the sonic upgrades made to the Peter Green edition of Fleetwood Mac's "Live At The Boston tea Party"...now simply known as "Boston"...you'll know that the original release of "1969" was somewhat flat, muddy, and a recording only for the most hardcore of VU collectors. It wasn't the performances, it was the sound quality, and even with that it STILL was a critics' favorite. Guess what? It's been cleaned up, and on this set, sounds pretty good.

Reason #2: It presents the band in a somewhat "intimate" setting, so the art house weirdness of "VU and Nico" or the electric punk screech of "White Light / White Heat" is replaced with a precursor to the whole MTV "Unplugged" phenomenon (even though they are plugged in, of course). It's a stripped down, laid back approach to something Reed would do over the course of his entire career...re-invent, re-cast his best known songs in somewhat unexpected ways, like the 37 minute "Sister Ray," which starts off in a deceptively low-key way and then just ROARS.

It's like a magnificent "lost album" that true fans of the VU and Lou in particular will not want to be without.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2016 10:37 AM PDT


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