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Profile for John Tabacco > Reviews


John Tabacco's Profile

Customer Reviews: 31
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John Tabacco RSS Feed (Stony Brook, NY United States)

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Do Unto Others: 1000 Hilarious Ways to Screw with People's Heads
Do Unto Others: 1000 Hilarious Ways to Screw with People's Heads
by Justin Heimberg
Edition: Paperback
42 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest book I ever read., March 19, 2009
If you view the world from an absurdist point of view, if you have the same references in your life as in this book, if you love to laugh, then you will not be disappointed by this purchase. This is the funniest book I have ever read. Almost every page is a killer. Brilliant.

Bongo Fury
Bongo Fury
22 used & new from $5.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitchen collection, March 2, 2009
This review is from: Bongo Fury (Audio CD)
The songs are catchy and definitely rock. The lyrics are typically satirical, bizarre, funny and in a rare instance, nostalgic (Cucamonga). FZ's guitar solos are fiery and focused. Beefheart's singing, reciting and maniac harmonica playing are otherworldly. The rest of the Mothers' musicianship is nothing short of stellar. And Kerry McNabe does a bitchen' job of mixing the live cuts with the studio cuts.

Zappa and Beefheart. What a perfect musical combination. Once again indicating (to me at least) that the universe may not be as random or indifferent as some people might think.

Lucky 13
Lucky 13
Price: $8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can you go wrong?, August 22, 2008
This review is from: Lucky 13 (MP3 Music)
How can you go wrong with a CD containing this much musical talent? Cathy Kreger, Susan DeVita and Marci Geller are all veteran, topnotch singer-songwriters. Not surprisingly, there is no filler here. To single out the best track - futile. Each song is worth it's weight in gold. Though the styles vary from songwriter to songwriter i.e. Kreger (sophisticated folk), DeVita (urban, sensual pop) and Geller (introspective confessional) there is an odd continuity that appears under the surface making the CD play as a whole work instead of just a compilation. Perhaps it is a kind of connected wisdom that these women share and carry with them along with a true devotion to the craft of songwriting. Whatever it is, it all comes together on the title cut, Lucky 13, on which they all collaborated. It's a super catchy, fresh sounding pop/country tune that features all three different sounding vocalists trading verses and choruses. The concoction jells perfectly.

This is the kind of CD that won't leave your player any time soon. If you just happened to stumble on it then you are lucky indeed.

Susan Devita
Susan Devita
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great voice - great songs, August 22, 2008
This review is from: Susan Devita (MP3 Music)
Susan DeVita has a beautiful, sensual voice. On this collection she wraps it around brilliant self penned pop songs dressed in polished, unique sounding arrangements by producer Chris Pati. Her lyrics are witty and meticulously crafted and her melodies are memorable in a Lennon and McCartney way. She's a gifted songwriter and performer worth keeping an ear out for.

No Writing on the Signs
No Writing on the Signs
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic CD, pristinely mixed and well worth buying, August 22, 2008
Paul Michael Barkan has skillfully assembled a collection of tunes that incorporates many of the best qualities found in progressive pop music: expansive melodies, unexpected harmonies, unique orchestrations and poetic lyrics concerning self-realization and the intricate frustrations human relationships can sometimes create. The tasteful instrumental performances are precise without being overly ridged and most of the vocals are expertly suited for the landscape of each tune. Whether it be a new age setting as in "One Free Day" where shakuhachi flute, running water and airy vocals interact seamlessly with synth sounds or a super smooth jazzy vocal darting around major and minor seconds in the clever, bizarre work entitled "Seconds Away" or the thought-provoking time piece "Transparent Sea of Signs" or the Rite of Spring bassoon solo in the Joe Jacksonish "Isn't There, Anyway", Barkan is in complete command of every musical genre. This CD is pristinely mixed and well worth buying. With each listen you will discover a subtle myriad of 20th century musical references that might otherwise never see the light of day in this kind of "pop" music. You'll also be wondering who is Paul Michael Barkan and what circumstances could have created a composer of such depth and originality.

Roxy & Elsewhere
Roxy & Elsewhere
63 used & new from $4.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total musical fun, November 8, 2007
This review is from: Roxy & Elsewhere (Audio CD)
After listening to this album when I was fourteen, I realized I had no choice but to be involved in music 24 /7. Frank Zappa makes a solid case for why "music is the best" and pity the poor souls who do not get it or who never get involved. God, this album is so much fun. Yet another gift for your ears from FZ and his musical peers. "Oh yeah, oh yeah, ohhhhhh!" And I forgot to mention, Bruce Fowler is one of the greatest trombone players ever recorded. Love every second of it!

Meet Danny Wilson
Meet Danny Wilson
7 used & new from $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it, November 8, 2007
This review is from: Meet Danny Wilson (Audio CD)
Here is a collection of songs with great melodies, chords, lyrical depth and wonderful performances. A unique melding of Steely Dan, Neil Diamond and Burt Bacharach wrapped into one. So what happened? Their next CD
"Bebop Moptop" only had a few good songs on it and they sounded like they were made for this disc but just couldn't fit. I don't get it. How does musical talent like this last for just one great CD? What a shame. Oh well. Like I said, I don't get it but I suggest you buy it. Because nonetheless, it's a sincere, expertly crafted piece of pop art.

Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life
Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life
by Elliot Tiber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.95
60 used & new from $0.01

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's the Woodstock story that we HAVEN'T heard yet!, August 2, 2007
This book was recommended to me by a friend who had read about it in the Cindy Adams gossip column, of all places. Having just finished reading it, all I can say is that Woodstock wouldn't even have happened if Elliot Tiber hadn't found the courage (and the chutzpah) to contact the Woodstock organizers and help them get a permit to stage a show at Max Yasgur's farm (yes, THAT Yasgur's farm).

First of all, this book comes with double dust jacket covers - there's one cover (and an author photo of Tiber) that is very sedate, while the inside cover is full-tilt psychedelic madness accompanied with a photo of Tiber in all his hippie splendor.

This book is a very quick and easy read. The story moves along very smoothly, revealing the agony and the ecstasy of Tiber's life as he explores his homosexuality in New York City with the likes of Robert Mapplethorpe and Truman Capote (just to name two of the more famous paramours with whom Tiber shared a night or two). Equally interesting is how Elliot managed to live a closeted existence every weekend while helping his demanding "old world" Jewish parents try to make a go of their motel, the El Monaco. This motel makes the Waco compound look like Disneyland by comparison - it's a miracle that Tiber didn't lose his mind in addition to losing his money by staying there all those years.

Something I didn't expect to run across in this book is Elliot's participation in the 1969 Stonewall Riot that essentially gave birth to the Gay Liberation movement in America. It's very interesting to see how entwined the struggles for gay rights and the setting of a "peace and love" concert really were - and Tiber stands as the thread-line between the two.

More about finding one's self in America than just sex, drugs, and rock `n roll (don't worry, though - there's plenty of that to go around in this book!), TAKING WOODSTOCK is a story whose time has certainly come.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2009 2:14 AM PDT

Price: $16.99
68 used & new from $4.34

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great musical discovery for those who are looking to trace the psychedelic history of rock, June 26, 2007
This review is from: Definition (Audio CD)
I first heard this CD as a vinyl record. A friend of mine knowing that I liked Frank Zappa thought I might dig it. He was right. Turns out the main composer of these songs actually was a voice heard on Zappa's Lumpy Gravy work. While there are bits of arrangements that sound like FZ, the music really has a sound of it's own. The songs are strong and their harmonic and rhythmic sense are sophisticated. The lyrics are interesting, sometimes touching on points of view from an insect's perspective. Very inventive. Though the recording is so- so, the re-mastering is a dramatic improvement over the actual vinyl. It's too bad this work did not get the press it deserved back in 1968. It would have influenced a lot of musicians. As it stands I would not be surprised if Steely Dan had heard of this disc because there are some stylistic elements here that seem to appear on Becker and Fagen's Early Years compilation. But that is just speculation. The liner notes state that this was one of Zappa's favorite pop records. In fact, the beautiful song Cynthia Gerome has a chord progression that is very reminding of FZ's rare acoustic piece called Sleep Dirt. Was he influenced by it? Again it's speculation but both tunes can be played along side each other without much dissonance. Yes, Chrysalis is locked in a psychedelic time frame but there is something deviant about the whole affair. And that's a good thing. Great musical discovery for those who are looking to trace the psychedelic history of rock.

On a side note : the female singer reminds me of Nellie McKay. Nellie should cover the song April Grove.

Walk With Wonder
Walk With Wonder
Price: $22.46
17 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars For children and adults, June 26, 2007
This review is from: Walk With Wonder (Audio CD)
This is a well-recorded, consistently listenable CD with concepts easy for children to understand. The music is sung by an array of wonderful voices. The songs are top notch with hip arrangements so even the parents can share in the experience. You can also listen to the CD two ways; either hear the songs by themselves or listen to the story as a separate track. Great idea. Definitely one of the best CDs in this genre.

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