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Roger Kennedy "International Military Music Society/US" RSS Feed (USA)
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Turn: Washington's Spies Season 2
Turn: Washington's Spies Season 2
DVD ~ Daniel Henshall
Price: $26.99
29 used & new from $17.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Rev War Fantasy Continues, June 14, 2016
TURN's exaggerated take on the Rev War continues with a second season of making up the History as it goes along. In some respects this one is more extreme and distorted than the first season. Claiming Charles Lee to be part of a conspiracy to betray Washy is taking things a bit too far. Lee certainly was a vainglorious fool, and he did shoot his mouth off with his British captors, but to claim that he deliberately wanted to walk the Continental army into an ambush is taking things too far!

Lee wanted command for sure, and he thought Washy's Monmouth battle plan faulty (which it was). His efforts to overtake Clinton's rearguard were confused and half-hearted, but not treasonous. He disobeyed orders and had no respect for his commander (Washy).

The series finally concludes with something resembling a battle, although the Monmouth we get is uninspired at best. Why not at least show the retreat that Lee's Avant Garde made and include Washy's great stage moment when he rallied it, dismissed Lee (which is shown) and the steadied the line behind the usual fence ontop of a Hill which was sufficient to slow Clinton's riposte. Cute little Major Andre while on the staff did not come up with any battle winning strategy of course. The plan to attack Lee's bumbling effort was simply made on the spot by Clinton and largely implemented by Cornwallis. If Washy had fought these two formidable adversaries in the open ground, rather than in a defensive position, the Continental army likely would have been in great peril. Also, where was the great Baron Stueben and his legendary retraining of the army before the campaign!?

I like the production value of this series, and the acting and plot are inspired, but surely this could have been just as good a series w/o having to invent history by distorting the roles of historical characters. John Graves Simcoe was not some crazy psychopath, and Robert Rogers was long retired and not some over-weight Scots maniac. TURN falls very much short of being the best portrayal of the Rev War, but it does try hard. I shudder to think how the History will be tortured further in what appears will be yet a third season!


Turn: Washington's Spies Ssn 1
Turn: Washington's Spies Ssn 1
DVD ~ Barry Josephson
Offered by twilightmedia
Price: $12.86
37 used & new from $8.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A Loose Look At The Rev War, June 9, 2016
This series implies that Washy's so called spy net-work in New York was a lot more effective than it actually was. Based on the book by Alexander Rose which was a terrible slow and tedious read! The series implies a lot more action . Many characters and situations are distorted. John Graves Simcoe for one was not a pyscho but a respected commander of Tory units who later become governor General of Upper Canada. He was a hard fighting officer and his unit was tough, and rightly so as they were fighting against other equally ruthless Rebels. Robert Rogers was not some renegade Scots character either. He played no important role in the Revolution. His day was the French & Indian War. There are other historical inaccuracies as well. Still, the series is well produced and engrossing, and the acting is very good.

The story provides a good backdrop to the British occupation of New York and the No Mans Land that existed between the two sides. The series is certainly better than other films out there on the Rev War, but the many exaggerations and inaccuracies detract somewhat from it being a definitive look on the period. Certainly one should view with a degree of caution and understand that the so-called Culper Ring in New York did not win the war single handed.

The book on which this series is based was tedious and not nearly as exciting as the series implies. Popular media loves to make a big deal out of spies. As if their efforts won all the wars they were involved in. Unfortunately this takes away from the brave Continental soldiers who had to learn linear tactics from scratch in order to stand up to British regulars in the field. That to me is more impressive than all the Culper Rings that might have been out there!

Good TV series with some reservations.


Advance
Advance
5 used & new from $1.59

5.0 out of 5 stars The Cameron Highlanders of Canada Will ADVANCE!, May 30, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Advance (Audio CD)
This is a fine CD of Canadian-Scottish regimental piping. The Cams of Canada retain their historic name which sadly the parent unit in the UK know at 4SCOTS or The Highlanders (Seaforths, Camerons & Gordons) have long lost. The selection of tunes is pretty standard, but eh exicution is fine. The balance between drums and pipes is good, and while this is not a Grade 1 Civvy band with a fully polished sound there is a warmth here which is fine. In Canada they have been smart to retain the historic titles of their regiments by placing them into cadre reserve status. Too bad this has not been done in the UK where entire regiments and their long histories or sub-summed into endless amalgamations. The linear notes convery a nice history of the unit with a few period photos. Notes on the music and its signifiance to the regiment are unfortunately not provided. Those looking for a nice collection of popular and regimental piping will enjoy this CD.


Battlefields of Honor: American Civil War Reenactors
Battlefields of Honor: American Civil War Reenactors
by Jeannine Stein
Edition: Hardcover
42 used & new from $3.90

5.0 out of 5 stars The Many Shaes of Civil War Renacting, May 30, 2016
This coffee table sized book on reactors and the Civil War is more than just that. The authors show the variety of the hobby and its appeal both at home and abroad. Using authentic period photography the images of today's reactors of the 21st century are brought to life. This reviewer partook of the hobby some years ago before the turn of the Century in the 1990s. Toady a whole new generation has been brought into the hobby. The appeal remains the same as its always been. Perhaps even more so with the complexities of life in the 21st Century the escape from that reality for a weekend is stronger than ever. This is a book of vibrant images of the hobby. The text supports those images and provides an engrossing look at a hobby little understood outside of its own environment.


The Great War and Modern Memory
The Great War and Modern Memory
by Paul Fussell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.19
155 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Homoerotic View of Great war, May 30, 2016
According to Paul Fussell the Great War was one gigantic homoerotic experience for Britains. While this may excite gay revisionist historians it distorts our perception of this epic changing event in the English speaking world. The author confuses the male bonding that was forged in the unique circumstances of the trenches with latent homosexuality. This is unfortunate as it does not give us the complete picture. He looks at the works of the iconic English soldier-writers of the era Owens, Sassoon, Blunden and others and confuses the love and regard these officers had for their men as homoerotic tendencies. While certainly there may have been some element of this forged by the unique closeness and horrors of daily life in the trenches, to imply that it was as pervasive as Mr. Fussell claims does a dis-service to all who served in the Great War.

This is not an easy read at times. The narrative digresses greatly as the author struggles to define what the great war expereince was for these men and how their legacy is seen today. Written almost a generation ago this book certainly would be well received today by politically correct gay revisionists. The extended discussion of the works quoted makes for slow reading at times. The reader would benefit from a familiarity with the works discussed here before reading this book. Otherwise it can seem very tedious at times.

While the authors prose is elegant with some well thought out sections by and large the book fails on many levels. What is conveyed was the purity of many of the participants before entering this horrific event. If the author means to imply that the Great War destroyed the purity of England's youth by wasting them in the trenches of Loos and the Somme, then perhaps homosexuality was merely part of their soul wrenching destruction of character that resulted. This point should have been emphasized more.

Those wanting a book explaing how this event is viewed today might be somewhat disappointed with the author's conclusions


A Tribute
A Tribute
Price: $20.82
26 used & new from $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Welsh Guards Onward at 100!, April 28, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Tribute (Audio CD)
This is a superb collection of vintage British military music. Some of the selections are from near the time of the bands first concert in 1915. There are many marches and novelty selections that are not heard by bands anymore. PHANTOM BRIGADE is one such piece. Very evocative of the time and was popular all through the 1930s. The Welsh Guards band was drawn from many English line regimental bands in order to make up its numbers. The first Director of Music was an Englishman which fortunately was not held against him! The quality of the band shines through after all these years. The reproduction quality is superb despite the age of these recordings. Some may sound less perfect than others, especially the 1915 selections; but the listener is able to get an idea what the music played at that first historic concert actually was! The linear notes while not extensive are descriptive enough and the CD package is attractive. This is a fine example of vintage reproduced music. Don't let the title above of Welsh Guards Dance Orchestra fool you. That is incorrect labeling. The regimental band is featured here on both discs with a few vocal selections and the dance orchestra coming up toward the end. A fine tribute to the Welsh Guards on their 100th+ anniversary. This is the beginnings of what promises to be a major series release on the British Military Music Archieve Label of the classic British bands of their day. Get onboard now with this first CD set.


Director's Choice
Director's Choice
Price: $29.18
13 used & new from $2.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Director's Choice for the march music fan, February 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Director's Choice (Audio CD)
A fine selection of relatively well known marches. Many have associations with the British Guards Bands and the Blues & Royals in particular. While I can't say there were many new to my ear here I will vouch for their superb quality. The marches are all performed exactly as they should be without any clipped or cut parts. These are the full versions of all the 20 odd selections heard here. This means you might hear more repeats of the main subjects of these marches than usual as the tendency today is to cut and clip this music for various reasons. The recording quality is as we might expect from SRC. The band has a fine wall of sound with symphonic quality to the recording. The liner notes are fine. This is an all around superb product dedicated to the true lover of great marches. Surprisingly there is NO Sousa here, but for American listeners there are several by lesser known US march composers. A great product and well worth the investment. Hopefully SRC will continue this series if possible.


Cavalcade of Martial Songs - The Band of the Welsh Guards
Cavalcade of Martial Songs - The Band of the Welsh Guards
Price: $17.77
28 used & new from $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The First 100 with the Welsh Guards Band, February 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This CD is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the band and regiment upon its formation in 1915. The sound reproduction of these 1930s. 40s recordings is superb. This is not your typical military music CD. All the tracks contain the band and vocals either from the regiments choir or noted soloist of the day. The music is vintage material with some beautif;ul versions of MEN OF HARLECH, LAND OF MY FATHERS and many other timeless Welsh songs. This is the first of what promises to be a fascinating series of vintage British martial music of the interwar years recorded by the bands of the Brigade of Guards. Today we know them as the famous Grenadier, Coldstream Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards. Those wanting to hear the golden years of British martial music by the premier periods of the day which remain so today can't go wrong here. This series deserves encouragement and support. Buy yours today! Hurrah for the Welsh Guards and their first 100 years service to the Crown and Nation.


The Man In The High Castle - Season 1
The Man In The High Castle - Season 1
DVD

5.0 out of 5 stars A Brave New Horrible World!, February 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First rate production. Is it real or just a bad dream? I have not read the novel but i have to give Amazon a lot of credit for the creation of this series. It is superbly made, acted and leaves you second guessing. It also sends chills down your spine some of the images and scenes it shows. You will always remember this!


Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
DVD
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Big Promo For Whitecastle!, February 9, 2016
Which i don't mind as I happen to like the WC Crave every once in a while. These two are an example of what can happen to you if you eat too many of these heavy little burgers!

While i liked the White Castle Crave some aspects of this film were silly and gross. No need to go into these aspects but those who've seen the film know what I am talking about. Why does humor today need to bend towards the infantile so quickly.

I liked some of the wacky characters and there was deffinitely some aspects of social commentary here in between the fart jokes. The film was over all entertaining and something of a road movie. I hope it did something for WC business! I liked it more than I expected.


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