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Helpful Votes: 50

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Undefinition RSS Feed (Glen Ellyn, Illinois United States)

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Way to Normal
Way to Normal
Price: $7.99
98 used & new from $0.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it's been done, March 8, 2010
This review is from: Way to Normal (Audio CD)
Angry break-up songs - check
Sad break-up songs - check
Witty wordplay - check
Superfluous swearing - check

Ben, I'm worried about you. You've been doing break-up songs for 15 years, complaining about your ex-wives for 10 years. I'm starting to feel bad for the women you praise in one song, then curse about in another. That kind of stuff is OK when you're a teenager, or in your 20's. But at 30 or 40, maybe the problem isn't the girls. What's that they say about the definition of insanity? "Continually doing what you've always done and expecting a different result...?"

Joe's Garage Acts 1-2-3
Joe's Garage Acts 1-2-3
48 used & new from $3.08

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's got that certain something..., April 17, 2009
This review is from: Joe's Garage Acts 1-2-3 (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Frank Zappa ever since my dad turned me on to his irreverent stuff when I was a kid. As I got older and studied music, I was able to appreciate the complexity of his arrangements and the virtuosity of the musicians in his group.

I was late to really get around to listen to this album, but when I finally did, I found it to be one of the most truly enjoyable Zappa albums to listen to; but why? I think the first thing that struck me while listening to the album the first few times was that the Frank and the band seemed to really be having fun while producing it (FZ's pauses to laugh off-mic occasionally while being the Central Scrutinizer are very touching, human moments--not really something he shared with the public very often). Second, the production value of this album is some of the best I've heard in his catalog; all instruments and voices are clearly distinguishable in the mix, and the overall sound the band puts out is pleasing. Third, there are just a lot of really good songs on here.

My biggest disappointment in this album came when I found out that much of the material was songs previously written by FZ. Once I realized that, it was clear that the sad, bizarre story of Joe was nothing more than a way to string together unrelated songs. "Catholic Girls" and "Crew Slut" were pretty weak to begin with--realizing that the plot was written around those songs only makes them weaker. Once I realized that "Dong Work for Yuda" was about FZ's bodyguard, I had a hard time thinking of it as anything else (I know, the Scrutinizer says he's a "record executive," but all the vocal quips in there are clearly things relating to a band on tour)

Still, most of the songs do hold up. The title track is infinitely pleasing, and even somewhat bittersweet. "Wet T-Shirt Nite" is an excellent composition, as is "Keep is Greasy" and "Packard Goose." Songs like "Token of My Extreme" and "Dong Work for Yuda" have a lot of that "fun-factor" I mentioned earlier; plus, the drumming on them is brilliant. I know some people don't like "Stick it out," but come on, what's not to like about a big vocal harmony of "F@ck me, you ugly son of a b@tch"? Same thing with "Sy Borg." Yes, it's gross, but the song sounds like they recorded it with a smile. And that comes across to the listener, as I press "play" again, and can't quite explain why....

Mr. Heater MH18B, Portable Propane Heater
Mr. Heater MH18B, Portable Propane Heater
Offered by Next Day MRO
Price: $137.66
37 used & new from $134.53

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's a money pit, December 5, 2008
My wife bought this for me so I could stay warm while working in the garage during the winter months. I also experienced the quick shut-down of running on 1 lb canisters... and it plain just doesn't last long on them. As a person with some sort of environmental conscience, I couldn't keep that up. Yes, I could go for the 20 lb. BBQ tank, but then there's the fuel filter and the special hoses required to hook it up. Did I mention that the AC adapter to run the fan is not included, and will cost $20 at Radio Shack? However, the fan itself is a total joke--a little 80 mm computer case fan moves more air that that! So you'll probably want to run some sort of box fan next to the unit to blow the heat around the room. I feel really bad because I know my wife tried hard to find me something really nice; but this requires too much extra time and money to get it working properly. Sure, I like to "tinker," but not with something as basic as heat. Besides, I want my "tinkering" time to be taken up with my hobbies, not fudging around with the heater just to get the garage warm.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2012 1:31 PM PST

2 used & new from $39.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nihilistic, hedonistic masterpiece, April 13, 2008
This review is from: Broke (Audio Cassette)
I remember when the first (hed) pe album came out. Boy was it a different sound! Although it was kind of a silly album and lacked focus overall, there was no denying that this group had a really crazy, slick sound that had real potential. "Broke" was that potential realized. Where the songs on the self-titled CD seemed to wander aimlessly at times, and lacked real structure or arrangement, all the songs on "Broke" have very precise arrangements, and come in "just right"... not too much, yet not lacking anything. Musically, this album is very tastefully done, and every member of the band seemed to have a sense of when to go all-out, when to hold back, or when to cut out altogether. Sections of songs turn on a dime, yet it all makes sense, and flows very naturally.

Lyrically, I believe this CD may be one of the most cynical and debauched CDs I have ever owned. As some reviews have said, there's enough cursing and depraved activity on here to make a sailor blush. In addition, the songs are just oozing with a nihilistic attitude--and the band is well-aware of it, and completely unapologetic. As a stark contrast to the sort of "woe is me/I'm so depressed/give me something to break" moodiness you heard on most flash-in-the-pan rap-rock and nu-metal, you have lyrics like this: "There is nothing wrong with me/ I'm not trying to see things your way/ I'm not lost, I'm not drowning, I'm not lost/ I'm just waiting, waiting to die."

And it's that lyrical bravado combined with the very tasteful musicality that has made this CD really stand the test of time in my collection. As much as I am almost ashamed of the unabashed filthiness (hed) pe brags about on this album, I can still pull it out almost any time, and it always brings a smile to my face, and I can't help but want to want to move to the beat.

Antec LifeStyle Sonata II ATX Quiet Super Mini-Tower with 450-Watt Power Supply (Piano Black)
Antec LifeStyle Sonata II ATX Quiet Super Mini-Tower with 450-Watt Power Supply (Piano Black)

2.0 out of 5 stars Basically, it's junk, April 13, 2008
On my quest to quiet my PC, I had replaced the power supply (noticable noise reduction), CPU fan (BIG noise reduction), and video card fan (noticeable noise reduction). The only thing I hadn't really switched over was a "soundproofing" case. I bought the Sonata II hoping it would really be the capper, and my PC would be quiet once and for all. Truth is: it was no better at suppressing what remaining noise was left than my old, generic BYO case. But I figured I'd keep it, thinking that Antec was a "quality" name in cases.

Well, within a few weeks, the door that swings to cover the drive bays had snapped off. I wasn't too happy about this, but just kept using it nonetheless. But within about 8 months of owning the case, the power supply died--just as other reviewers have mentioned in other reviews. So I replaced the power supply with a "quiet" model from another brand and everything runs fine.

But what does this say about Antec "quality"? I mean, sure the sides are pretty and glossy black, but what's left of the case if it doesn't quiet things down like it claims it will, and the power supply breaks? It's just some aluminum sides and a few drive rails; and I can get that out of an office dumpster!

Honestly, I've been doing BYOPCs for about 10 years now--and repairing PCs almost twice that long, and what I have found to be undeniably true is that the cases available to the BYO market are like papier mache compared to the cases of retail-brand PCs like IBM, Dell, and HP. At this point, I think the best way to get a high-quality, low noise PC case is to buy a used retail brand computer, strip all the parts out, and put your own custom parts in it. Sure, the outside of the machine might have some corporate logo on it, but I guarantee it's much higher quality than a case you could buy from a BYO store.

Saturday Night Wrist
Saturday Night Wrist
Price: $8.37
93 used & new from $0.05

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They've aged VERY nicely, February 9, 2007
This review is from: Saturday Night Wrist (Audio CD)
I consider myself a fairly well-rounded musician: I'm equally happy studying an Antonio Carlos Jobim chart as a Stravinsky ballet or a Dillinger Escape Plan song. And over the last 10 years, Deftones have somehow kept me hooked. I was drawn in by the raw emotion of "Adrenaline," then the too-slick-for-its-own-good sound of "Around the Fur." Then "White Pony" caught me blindsided with an album filled to the brim with mysterious, beautiful and catchy songs. But then there was the self-titled album, which just felt sort of aimless, and never really gripped me. To be honest, I thought I was too old to rock, and didn't even know if I would purchase "Saturday Night Wrist."

But what a great purchase it was! This album shows a Deftones that has matured both as people and as musicians. The thing that made them so unique--dark, heavy riffs and intricate, stylish drumming underneath hauntingly beautiful melodies--is really brought to light on the album. Clear examples of this unique style are: "Hole in the Earth," "Beware," "Cherry Waves," "Xerces," and "Riviere."

But even the heavy songs like "Combat" and "Kimdracula" hit their marks well, not to mention the brilliant "Rats, Rats, Rats." The surprise of the album is definitely "Pink Cellphone," which, at certain points, sounds like it fell off a Peter Gabriel album. (And the ending IS funny, but like all jokes, the humor wears off after you hear it a few times. Eventually, you skip that part of the tune, and wish they'd just cut it out to begin with). In my opinion, the only real uninspired track is "Mein," which--to me--just sounds like one of those songs that 'isn't quite there' so you throw as many tricks at it as you can, and in the end, still just isn't all that good of a song.

Every Deftones album takes a few listens all the way through to really be appreciated. This one is no exception. After a while, you start noticing Abe Cunningham's flashy ghost notes tossed in all over the place, where before all you heard was heavy banging. You start noticing that Stephen Carpenter is playing far less power chords, and more counter-melody. You start noticing that Frank Delgado is a great addition, and some of those keyboard and ambient parts really bring the songs together. And finally, you notice that you're singing along with Chino, and you think, "Man, these are some strange melodies." I don't know if he knows he's doing it, but Chino has a real gift for coming up with melodies with all sorts of awkward intervals, and unpredictable chord tones (major 7ths and 9ths abound, among others).

My only complaint about the album is the same complaint I have for all new rock albums: it's mixed too loud, and some parts distort (that aren't intended to). It's a shame they dropped Terry Date for this album, but if it got them out of the slump of the self-titled album, it was completely worth it! Bless those Deftones. There really is nothing else like them!

Fahrenheit Fair Enough
Fahrenheit Fair Enough
14 used & new from $26.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super-genius chill out music, August 21, 2006
This review is from: Fahrenheit Fair Enough (Audio CD)
There's something magical about this CD. The electric piano, guitar, and bass are really mellow and pretty--they have a warm, lullaby effect. It's probably not good music to listen to while operating heavy machinery. The ingenuity of the music comes from the spastic, twitchy drum and percussion sequences. It's like a dot matrix printer got drunk and tried to play along with a lounge group. Seriously, you have to try this. Go to TTA's website, and listen to "Farenheit Fair Enough" and feel yourself get all mellow and tingly.

I'm not sure how to say this, but this is music you LISTEN to. This is audiophile music--you know, people who can justify buying speakers for $2000 apiece, and don't use them to watch movies. In fact, this album kind of only works on good stereos. If you try to play it in a boombox, or with pc speakers, or in most cars, you'll just hear the dot matrix printer/jar full of marbles sounds, and you'll miss the whole song underneath. These are complex arrangements, and they deserve to be reproduced on equipment that really lets each sound breathe and be appreciated. Okay, so that sounds lofty. But try it on a great sound system, and you'll know what I mean when I say this music is genius.

Nokia 6015i Phone (Verizon Wireless)
Nokia 6015i Phone (Verizon Wireless)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars decent phone, but for nokia... a bit of a disappointment, August 13, 2005
I have owned several nokia phones, and though they don't get much attention in this country, I have found them to be by far the most reliable phones you can buy. Seriously, if you drop that motorola or LG, you're probably going to have a small heart attack; and with Nokias, it's like they were meant to be dropped (don't go trying it at home). All I'm saying is that they're super-solid, and they take a beating, and don't say a whimper, and they can have some super-long battery life as well.

Well, this phone does hold up to the Nokia standard for durability and strong reception. However, I am disappointed in the buttons, the size, and the battery life.

The buttons are just fine, and they're easy to hit... however I've had an ongoing problem that sometimes when I press a button (any button), they tend to double-click on me for no reason. this can be frustrating when typing in series of numbers for paying bills over the phone and whatnot--and also it's annoying when someone calls me, and I hit answer, and it simultaneously answers, and puts them on call waiting. This doesn't happen ALL the time, and I do get used to pressing the buttons JUST RIGHT so that it pretty much doesn't happen at all. Granted, it is a "budget" phone, but none of my previous Nokias had this issue.

Second, the size. Why is it so thick? There is like 1/4" or more of empty space inside the phone, so a lot of dust tends to accumulate under the window. How did it get there? I don't know, but if there was less dust getting in, there probably would be less mis-firing buttons.

My last complaint is the battery life; definitely a disappointment for Nokia. My first one was an ugly old 3650 (with ATT Wireless, yuck), but MAN could it hold a charge. I didn't have to recharge it but once a week, and even if I talked constantly, it'd still go for 3 or 4 days. WOW. After that I had a 3100, which was perfectly tiny and indestructible, but it needed to be charged in about 2/3 the time of the 3650. And the 6015 saddens me because I NEED to charge it every night, or I run the risk of not knowing if it will make it through the next evening. If I don't talk at all, it will go about 4 days on a charge. But what is a phone if you don't talk at all?

I know they don't sell this phone anymore, I just had to get my $.02 out there. I am currently a bit frustrated because Verizon currently offers NO Nokia phones, so I can't trade or move up if I wanted to. Because there is a real value to using Nokia over the others (if you can put up with the candy bar shape): they are the Timex watches of cell phones.

Picnic of Love
Picnic of Love

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it takes a special someone..., November 27, 2003
This review is from: Picnic of Love (Audio CD) make an album this brilliant. I'd been a long-time AC fan, but when my friend told me about this album, I was impressed. Not nearly impressed, however, as I was when I actually HEARD the CD!!!! I didn't realize they actually knew how to play Bon Jovi-style acoustic guitar for starters, and Seth (somehow) sings the whole damn album without bursting into laughter. The listener, of course, can do nothing but burst into laughter. If you want to make this album even more fun, listen to it in-between other AC albums. Totally amazing, and miles above the call of duty.

No Title Available

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars most approachable, November 15, 2003
I thought I knew a thing or two about drum & bass until I was introduced to the tune "Beep Street." That song was my first taste of Tom Jenkinson, and I haven't been the same since. While I own almost all the Squarepusher albums, I'd have to say that this one is the easiest to digest. Where on some albums, Jenkinson can go off the deep end with music concrete that could make John Cage say, "I've had enough," this album shows him using his talents to give props to the jazz and fusion community. The results are wickedly ingenuitive, intelligent songs that can be understood in jazzy musical contexts (and actually groovy and catchy). Fans of--or creators of--music like Weather Report, Yellowjackets, even Chick Corea should definitely do themselves a favor and hear fusion for the digital age.
I don't know what to say about the dance aspect of this music. In Chicago, I will never see people dancing to stuff like this; if, however, in other places in the world people have a more open mind as to what has a groove, then more power to them. (Actually, in Chicago, I have never met a person who owns this album. Remind me to go to all the jazzers I went to college with and shove this album down their throats.)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2012 1:50 PM PDT

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