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Clay Davis RSS Feed (Shreveport, Louisiana United States)

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Small Change
Small Change
Price: $9.98
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step right up. Buy this right now., April 22, 2003
This review is from: Small Change (Audio CD)
I started my Tom Waits collection late in life - I picked up "Alice" when it came out. Until then, I was only vaguely familiar with his work. Listening to "Alice" I became hooked and started picking up other CDs.
I bought "Small Change" for "Waltzing Matilda" - a song I'd always loved. I can't take it off the CD player now. The whole thing is perfect - and it's hard for me to call any collection of music perfect. It's Tom from back in his 'romantic vaudeville' days, when his songs were all about love and loss and everyday junk. Later, he turned to the more carnival macabre feel - which is every bit as fantastic, but if you want essential Waits, this is the CD to get. Get this and the soundtrack to "One From the Heart."
Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

Kiss: Hotter Than Hell (Stories Behind Every Song)
Kiss: Hotter Than Hell (Stories Behind Every Song)
by Paul Elliott
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $4.78

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars well....., March 20, 2003
The stories behind the songs? Not really. It's really a book about what a handful of musicians THOUGHT about Kiss songs. I have it. It is a must for Kiss fans. The interviews are pretty standard Kiss fare - nothing really new. But if you're like me - and you collect every 'slick' book published about the band, you sort of have to get it. Better options are available - "Kiss: the Early Years" and "The Complete Touring History"

Kiss Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History
Kiss Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History
by Curt Gooch
Edition: Paperback
25 used & new from $49.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great look at the band's history, March 20, 2003
Let me first say that I loved KISSTORY. I bought mine in New Orleans during one of the Farewell Tours and it's autographed by all four band members. But this book is outstanding. Anyone will tell you that 'official' biographies never tell the whole story and I believe that these guys have really done their research. The sources are credible and the stories are sometimes outrageous, sometimes insightful, sometimes revealing. This book gives you more than just a run-down of Kiss mythology. It shows how much effort and dedication it took to make Kiss a great rock and roll band - and it puts the breakdown in greater clarity. These guys were on the road constantly. Stories are told by people who were there. It's all firsthand knowledge and it will appeal greatly to not only Kiss fans, but anyone with an interest in life on the road. It's just a good read. I like the format, there are some great photos and - best of all - it was done just beyond the reach of anyone who could edit away the 'warts.' This book proves something I've always suspected - The Kiss story is far more interesting than Simmons' ego will allow to be revealed. Buy this book today.

Joe Jackson - 25th Anniversary Special
Joe Jackson - 25th Anniversary Special
DVD ~ Allison Cornell
Offered by newbury_comics
Price: $7.67
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To answer your question...., March 6, 2003
This DVD is actually a concert filmed, I believe, in the Northwest last year, during Joe's "Night and Day 2" tour. The eclectic backing band includes a cellist, violinist and traditional rock musicians, among others - Joe himself called them his best touring band ever. The concert was originally released as an audio CD, "Two Rainy Nights", and was available exclusively from Joe's website. It actually includes a few more songs. The arrangements are very good - most of the newer stuff remaining fairly faithful to recorded versions, while the older material gets a little new life breathed into them. If the audio CD is any indication, this DVD is a must-get for JJ fans. I don't have any info on the artist interview yet, but having read "A Cure For Gravity", I'm very interested in the extra features. I plan on getting it.
So while I don't even have it yet, I'm giving it four stars, just because I know how good the CD is and because I think the bonus features will be worth the price.

Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road
Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road
by Neil Peart
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.94
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introspection in a travalogue wrapper - good stuff, February 17, 2003
Admittedly, as a fan of Rush, I picked this book up simply because it was written by Peart, but as a literary snob myself, there was no way I could read it with the attitude that the author could do no wrong.
I was impressed. Though 'Ghost Rider' only can only marginally be called a travelogue or a self-help publication, as a source of inspiration - particularly for anyone who has dealt with grief on such a strenuous level - it's invaluable. The book was revealing, particularly in the universal ways of human frailty. Facing the loss of his family, nothing - not money, not drugs, not even friends or family - seemed to offer the comfort Peart needed to heal. What he had, however, was the means and the wherewithal to escape from all the places where memory hangs so low to the ground. As an author and lyricist, I find Peart to be brutally intellectual, a trait that, more often than not, reveals the struggling emotional child within. Here, in 'Ghost Rider,' that child comes to the surface as he goes through the phases of grief while pandering to that "little baby soul," running away to avoid memories and feeling anger for those who left him behind. Too often, when a spouse dies, the widow paints a picture of a saint and martyr. Not so here. Peart clearly addresses the fact that his relationship was strained from time to time - right up to his partners demise. We're left with an impression that this account is so indellibly REAL.
While one can easily look upon this publication as the selfish ranting of a man too narcissistic for his own good, I challenge anyone to give an example in their own lives of a time of crisis wherein they weren't self-absorbed. That's the beauty of this book. It takes these varied thoughts of pain and frustration and presents them honestly. All the while, Peart takes keen notice of the delicacy of life - not just his own, but of the world around him. His facsination with birdwatching, in particular, represents a detached longing to observe a life just out of his reach. His contempt for Americans stung a bit, but, admittedly, I understand his feeling. American tourists are often every bit as culturally deprived as Peart is snobbish.
The mechanical nature with which the book is fashioned - glimpses of letters to a friend in prison, pieces of journals mixed with weather reports and observations on flora and fauna - gave one the true sense of travel. The bike breaks down. Rain impedes the journey. The author meets people. And as this man struggling with loss sees clearly, life goes on - even without him.
I was surprised at the wonderful ending, a complete whiplash effect I hadn't forseen in any way, as abrupt as it was hopeful and sweet. I highly reccommend this book, especially for anyone dealing with a troubled time in life. I walked away from this book with the notion that as Peart found therapy in travel, so may each of us find that there is merit in these diversions we allow ourselves. Especially when they give us time to think.

To Be Continued
To Be Continued
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful showcase of incredible talent, January 31, 2003
This review is from: To Be Continued (Audio CD)
This is THE essential collection of Elton's work through the late eighties. I cannot say enough about it. I could write an essay on the material here. What an incredible and gifted human being. Buy this. Buy two.

KISS: The Early Years
KISS: The Early Years
by Gene Simmons
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from $24.71

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff - the best so far, January 24, 2003
This review is from: KISS: The Early Years (Paperback)
This is a great collection of photos - even better than Barry Levine's "The Kiss Years" book. That book merely showcased outtakes from famous Kiss sessions from the 70's. This book feels a little more like a peek into the band's history, crammed full of photos I'd never seen before.
Most of the photos are from the band's earliest years, before they broke into the mainstream. You get to see a lot of backstage and pre-concert stuff, like the band applying makeup and suiting up for a performance. These days, we see Kiss and it's just "seeing Kiss" again, but looking at the pictures from around 1974 of the band strolling around the streets of New York City, you are reminded of how shocking they were in full regalia back then. And that's what made them great. The early tour footage and the Cadillac High School footage are impressive as well.
The big treat for me were the pages of photos from the "Elder" era. This was, for me, one of the band's most visually interesting periods, though because the band treats the period with such disfavor, not many photos seem to exist. Here, finally, are a number of great photos of the band in their most streamlined look - including rare performance footage, a video shoot for "World Without Heroes," and some of the Studio 54 footage.
I give it four stars instead of five for two reasons. One, through no fault of the photographer - whose work is absolutely excellent - there are no samples of the band's "Dynasty" era, their MOST visually stunning. I'm still anxiously waiting for a full book with this kind of quality, but with some Dynasty photos. The other slight drawback is that the photo selections seem to favor - what a shock - Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. I would've liked to have seen a little more of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
That said, this is the best book of Kiss photos that's ever been published. Get it now.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2008 2:46 PM PDT

One From The Heart: Original Soundtrack
One From The Heart: Original Soundtrack
26 used & new from $0.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a beautiful CD!, December 30, 2002
I received this disc for Christmas, having dropped one too many hints for my wife to have escaped the deed. I'd heard the samples on and was impressed, being a recent Tom Waits fan. I was totally unprepared for how romantic and painfully elegant the music on the CD is. Whether or not you're a fan of Waits, this is a must-have CD. It's a great CD for setting a "real" romantic tone, complete with that gasoline edge of Tom's voice. While the accompaniment of a full orchestra makes the compositions quite lush in places, it's not the usual glossed-over Sinatra-tribute twiddle that seems so popular these days. It's just beautiful -- utterly and completely beautiful. Tom and Crystal Gayle are so tasty together, you'll be left wishing the two of them would somehow find their way back to wherever this whole event took place. I cannot recommend this disc enough. Tired of fads? Bored with tributes? Just want some really good music? This is it. Pour a yourself a whiskey, pull your lover close to you and press "play."

Price: $5.99
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Distinct Piece of Kiss History, October 2, 2002
This review is from: Destroyer (Audio CD)
A glossy collaboration with producer Bob Ezrin, Kiss came into the prime of their popularity with "Destroyer." A stylishly produced collection of 70's hard rock, the album is often praised by critics and fans alike. In truth, while the production value is one of the highest of the band's career, about half of the songs on the album are really of special distinction. The album opener, "Detroit Rock City", is one of the finest songs written by Paul Stanley featuring a fairly complex arrangement and a "cinematic" intro filled with the sounds of a driver taking the road. The song's climax includes the sound effects of a massive auto collision before segueing into the less interesting "King of The Nighttime World." Another Stanley composition, "God of Thunder" is performed by Gene Simmons and has actually become a Simmons staple in live shows. The studio track, with it's slow serpentine rythym and the filtered voices of children at play, evokes images of Disney's "Night on Bald Mountain." On "Great Expectations", Simmons' vocal doesn't really fit the blandness of the music and the inclusion of a boys choir just seems silly and odd. "Flaming Youth", on the other hand - a rare collaboration between Simmons, Stanley and guitarist Ace Frehley - is a great 70's rock song and deserved to be featured prominently in live performance but, to my knowledge, never has been. Simmons' "Sweet Pain", an homage to sadism, is pretty uninteresting. "Shout it out Loud", however, with it's call-and-response vocals and fist-in-the-air chorus, probably sounds a lot better than it has a right to. The mega-hit from "Destroyer", Peter Criss' tender "Beth" is just beautiful. The song is a classic ballad and there's just no getting around the potency of it's union of words and melody. Stanley's "Do You Love Me" probably best represents the overall tone of the album - It's very simple, probably over-produced, but there's enough there to keep you interested. No Kiss fan would be without "Destroyer" in his or her collection, as the album represents an important turning point in the band's direction. But based on the strength of the music alone, "Destroyer" gets a good, solid C-plus.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2008 7:39 PM PST

Price: $16.19
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Live Albums Ever, October 2, 2002
This review is from: Alive! (Audio CD)
Featuring selections from the band's first three albums, Kiss' "Alive" showcases the band in it's most appropriate environment - a live performance. Unlike many live albums, wherein the music simply sounds a bit sped up with canned audience reaction in the background, the appropriately titled "Alive" effectiviely recreates the atmosphere of a Kiss concert in the mid-1970's. The most distinctive attribute of this album is the fact that every single song is performed with so much more energy than could have been captured in the studio performances. THESE are the quentessential versions of Kiss' songs. THIS is the way the band needs to be heard. It is evident from the very first song, Gene Simmons' fiery "Deuce", that the crucial ingredient missing from their previous three albums was an audience. The band seems to require the energy of the mob to project this music appropirately. And on this album, that's just what they do. Several nuances, such as the tasteful segue from Paul Stanley's "Hotter Than Hell" to "Firehouse", breathe new life into these songs. Simmons' "Nothin' to Lose" becomes a rabid bulldog of a song with his opening vocal an enthusiastic screech and drummer Peter Criss' chorus hot-blooded and soulful. Ace Frehley's extended solo on the ritualistic "She", while an abbreviated version of his actual live solo, is a wonderful treat. The song also showcases the inventive drumming of Peter Criss. Another Simmons composition, "Watchin' You", becomes downright sinister when performed live. Stanley's unique "100,000 Years" probably serves as the greatest showcase of the actual musicianship of the band. Opening with the repeating signature bass-line, which always reminds me of an approaching shark, the song soon erupts into a frenzy with some very creative guitar work by Frehley and what may be the one of most imaginative drum solos on record. The live version Frehley's "Cold Gin" gets the added treatment of a warm-up rap by Stanley accentuated with percussion by Criss before exploding into a something far more aggresive than the version on the band's debut album. The band's trademark anthem, "Rock and Roll All Night", is presented in it's absolute best version and the album's closing pieces, "Let Me Go, Rock and Roll" is even better, with a rare extended jam by the band. With all their character, the studio versions of all these songs simply pale in comparison to their treatment on "Alive." This is the high-water mark of live albums and a must-get for anyone interested in live recordings of rock and roll.

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