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Kings & Queens of the Underground
Kings & Queens of the Underground
Price: $10.00
37 used & new from $6.50

5.0 out of 5 stars More, More, More!, November 24, 2014
I never thought l’d say this but Billy Idol has effectively released one of my favorite and most listened to albums of the year 2014. From the modern yet strikingly uplifting “Bitter Pill” to the Rebel Yell-like attack of “Memory From The Past” and hauntingly beautiful “Ghosts In My Guitar” Kings & Queens of The Underground is a valiant and surprising effort from a veteran at this point in the game. l’ve enjoyed ldol over the years and still listen to his classic releases. However I can’t say l was much of a fan of his work after Charmed Life. And Devil’s Playground felt both like too much effort was put in to be relevant and competitive with what was the flavor of the day. Kings on the other hand, packs a punch and is exactly what Billy ldol should be doing in 2014; not trying too hard to fit the mold, be Billy ldol in 2014. Some of the songs have a more commercial or “made for radio” feel but they’re unmistakably Billy. They have his stamp on it and the matter of the fact is they just plain work. lt’s a solid modern rock album with nods to the artist’s musical past. It’s been almost ten years since the last Billy ldol album and we all know how much things can change in a decade. l was pleasantly surprised. I merely bought this album after my enjoyment of Dancing With Myself, ldol’s new autobiography and thought “why the heck not?” and l’m sure glad l did.
Right from the get-go you’re sucked in as “Bitter Pill” roars through. I cannot stress enough how addictive this song is. One of the best new ldol songs although he’s been playing it live for years now. The lyrics and accompanying background music is fantastic that it succeeds at getting the song stuck in your head ad you’d be a liar to say you don’t relate to the lyrics. “Can’t Break Me Down” sounds like modern punk with a pop feel to it with a very catchy and commercial single. It’s infective with its sing along chorus. “Save Me Now” seems very fit to be a radio single. Yet the lyrics are so strong an catchy and despite being one of the most quote for quote “modern” sounding tracks it also rocks and Billy delivers a solid and inspired vocal performances so that even Classic Rock junkies like l will enjoy it. “One Breath Away” slows the temp a bit, it’s a softer-paced tune that’s a nice change of pace with an almost exotic feel to it. Idol delivers one of his best vocal performances of the album on this song. Tell me “Memory From The Past” is a not a supercharged modern take on “Rebel Yell” with just as much if not more aggression, ldol’s trademark roaring vocals power the song through. And what about Steve Stevens who lets rip lose, just fantastic to hear. It’s amazing to hear ldol sound this fired up with attitude at 58. I truly think this is one of his best songs he’s ever done, and it’s most certainly a high point of the album. The title track has been getting mix reactions with some enjoying ldol so deliberately quoting his past work and putting his life into a song. It’s a softer, almost fitting for a musical farewell and traces Billy’s past to today. Unabashedly quoting song phrases and titles (“All we said was more, more, more…”, “I touched you with my eyes without a face…”) may seem corny or cheesy to some but l think musically it works and l can only imagine it would perform very well in a live setting as it’s a lyrically strong song that encompasses Billy’s journey. “Eyes Wide shut” is another favourite, more dramatic than energetic, nonetheless powerful . “Ghosts In My Guitar” is one that seems to be much appreciated by everyone who has listened to the album and no doubt it has merits. I’ll stop with my song-by-song summary, let’s just say the songs go on just as my appreciation of the album does.

I’m in love with it and it might be one of his best releases and this is coming from someone who owns every ldol album starting from the 1980 Don’t Stop EP. Is there any such thing as great modern Classic Rock (as silly as that sounds) ? Perhaps there is, perhaps there isn’t. In any case this comes very close. My only complaint as l have with just about any Idol album is more Steve Stevens! Billy himself sounds very good at 58 years old, his tone is pleasant and although he doesn’t scream like he used to but there are times where he gets there in register and we get a feel that he still capable. I can’t get over how well the songs are written and how relatable they are. The lyrics and accompanying music blend together so well. I’ve said it already but for me this is my album of the year. It’s modern, it still has the ldol touch and for me this is exactly the album Billy Idol needed to put out in 2014 and l find it almost endlessly enjoyable and it truly does get better the more you listen. Highly recommended.


Cujo
Cujo
by Stephen King
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
272 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, more than a bad canine to Cujo, September 15, 2014
This review is from: Cujo (Mass Market Paperback)
When it comes to Stephen King's work, it's just hard to overlook certain books. Out of all of them I can't say Cujo is one of those novels that really jumps out at me but it isn't pushed to the back either. I don't think any Stephen King fan would deny that it's a very good read and it's sentimental in it's own way, in fact it probably is one of his more accessible works. Cujo is one of King's shortest and most popular novels at the same time. Yes it's brief at just about 300 pages but when you're soaking up it's more intense moments it doesn't feel like it. I think one of biggest compliments to Stephen King's career is how the word Cujo has become a popular term of it's own making it's way into culture.

Judging by the book cover or what you may have vaguely heard about Cujo would lead you to believe that the story focuses on an evil canine. or perhaps that it's a "horror" book. Throw that notion away. In reality it's just one aspect, there are much more complex and there are deeper elements that makes it a strong and addictive read. The struggles between the characters and intermingling stories is what really brings it to life. How these characters with seemingly simple life are faced with struggles and issues seems banal, but after about 100 pages you care just as if those problems were your own and becomes a true page-turner that's hard to put down. It's said often but it's true, it's King's writing that really breathes life in the story. The story itself seems a little farfetched but the writing will have you intrigued, believing and in suspense throughout. It's a tragic read for a few reasons and it's one l find difficult to forget (maybe that's why King's books have a lasting effect on the reader) and the story will stick with you long after you're done reading it.

Cujo is memorable, classic King. A little short when compared to the rest of King's ever growing library of works, but a very compelling one nonetheless. I don't think there would be many out there ready to say this is the author's best work (and getting them to agree on which is the best could prove to be another hard task) but Cujo stands well in the King library. It's great read, fan or not, and one that l've enjoyed reading and ended up being surprised by (as l didn't expect much based on what l heard story-wise). I'm here to tell you otherwise, it's hard to stay indifferent and unmoved by the story. Wether you're a convert, a new fan or never read a Stephen King it's worth reading and not a bad place to start either. 4 stars.


White Women
White Women
Price: $10.00
40 used & new from $3.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Back and as enjoyable as ever, if not more (4 1/2 stars **), September 14, 2014
This review is from: White Women (Audio CD)
I'm not as trendy as some of the fans who have known Chromeo since their debut album or when "Needy Girl" was a hit. I discovered Chromeo some four year ago One night l got back home feeling a little tipsy after a night out with friends and not feeling tired, l turned the apartment TV on. The channel it happened to be on was MTV and they were showing the band's video (remember when MTV played videos? I got lucky then) for "Don't Turn The Lights On". I instantly liked it l remember thinking it had a cool retro 80's feel to it. Then l catched the video again and then l had to look up Chromeo online. I liked what l heard and that same evening went out to buy Business Casual. Then l go the Chromeo bug big time, with their 70's funk and 80's pop influences they happened to be both retro and modern at the same time. I turned a lot of my friends onto this band. This little story aside, it's only natural that l would keep up with a band l've enjoyed so much over the last four years. Their latest offering White Women has much to like about it as well.

What l liked so much about Dave 1 and P-Thugg's music and what made albums like Fancy Footwork enjoyable is here. There's more contributions from other artists on their tracks, but by far and large it's still very much entirely a Chromeo project. Business Casual was a more serious effort while White Women is a more relaxed and fun album that ultimately comes across as more upbeat and accessible, all the better for it.

The opening track, "(Jealous) I Ain't With It" is one of the best and most instantly catchy songs of the album with it's contagious high energy. It's hard to resist singing along and you'll more than likely identify this song with someone you know (maybe even yourself). "Over Your Shoulder" is more laid back and smooth and guitar driven. An ambient and good mood song. "Sexy Socialite" turns the heat up a little and is slightly more energetic and fun pop number. The playful exchanges between Dave 1 and the woman in the song are the highlight. "Play The Fool" has probably the most vintage and simultaneously catchiest beat to it. I would say that it's this album's "Night by Night" in that sense (minus the talk-box" which was my favourite track on the previous album. If this album has a what one might call a "dance floor" song this would ever be it. "Somethinggood" delivers precisely what the title suggests, it's a good soft upbeat number that's very enjoyable. "Fall back 2 U" will undoubtedly get stuck in the head of anyone who hears it. That thing they do with the voices, talk-box or whatever it may be is very cool but not in a way that Chromeo has done before. It makes the song stand out and it might just be my favourite. White Women doesn't much downfalls to it or bad moments for that matter. It's an enjoyable ride with maybe the exception of all too brief and out of place ballady "Elzra's interlude" which clocks in at just under 2 minutes (it doesn't sound like it belongs anywhere close to a Chromeo album no matter how open-minded you may be, it's filler at best).

I didn't go over every track, but those are the ones l enjoyed the most (not that the rest is not as delightful or enjoyable). There's a lot to like White Women, Chromeo fan or not, new to the duo or seasoned listener.

Unlike a lot of more modern artists, Chromeo's songs l can genuinely get into; they're catchy, melodic, the guitar and bass parts are surprisingly musical. They have a vintage vibe but with modern flair and there's a certain charm about Dave 1's simple delivery of the lines. People (myself included) often toss around the words "vintage" and "retro" or say that they have a "Hall & Oates" or "80's vibe" thing going but l don't believe that they would have succeeded if they weren't accessible to modern audiences. Sometimes their sounds comes across as "is it modern? Is it vintage?" I think they have a great blend going here with White Women. I've already enjoyed the album plenty and it will surely receives many more listens while l look forward to another Chromeo release. 4 1/2 stars.


NHL 15 - PlayStation 4
NHL 15 - PlayStation 4
Price: $35.00
69 used & new from $35.00

20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars EA Sports betrays us all, September 9, 2014
You'd think that this being the first of the NHL franchise titles on a new generation of consoles would make EA want to step up their game and take advantage of this opportunity. There was a lot to like about the previous title NHL 14, and the game brought players closer than ever to a realistic gaming experience. With clever marketing video game publisher EA Sports cashes in on gamers who are anticipating a great new hockey title for their new console. They fool us because (and this hard to say) it is not a complete game! Have you ever played a game that felt unfinished, poorly made and rushed? NHL 15 is the definition of that.

The sad part is EA allows themselves to be lazy and release unfinished games because they don't have any competition. They make fancy commercials praising it's product taunting fans with "new and improved additions" making the envy of gamers everywhere. The only thing NHL 15 has to it's credit is improved graphics (splendid on the PS4) and that's only due to the new consoles, that would be giving EA too much credit.

I, like many others just wanted a fun NHL game for my new console. As a big fan of hockey, l had september 9 marked on my calendar. Where's Living the Life mode? It showed potential in '14, but is not here. The menus are frustrating and bad just like the new referee system where the refs mostly get in your way. Where are create modes? 3 stars of the game? GM Mode feels rushed. There's so many things that aren't there, it's mind boggling. Online play? Essentially useless. That's basically it (other reviewers have done a great job at outlining all that is wrong/missing so l won't get too much into it). But hey we get new commentators right? Ugh.

Be patient for updates? How about release a game that's complete. If it isn't don't, delay it, making the customers angry is not smart. Waste of 60$.It doesn't make me happy to write this review. I rarely ever give one star rating but EA you should be ashamed and l feel ripped off. I'll surely be trading this in or getting my money back. Do not fall for the "hype". Be wiser. I'd give it negative ten if l could. Essentially useless and a cash grab. I'm not sure l'll ever buy an EA title again at this point. Keep your NHL 14s for the time being, you'll be happy you did.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2014 9:04 AM PDT


Mario Party: Island Tour
Mario Party: Island Tour
Offered by We The Little People
Price: $29.05
121 used & new from $24.93

2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre tour, probably best to avoid this party altogether, September 9, 2014
Mario Party has always been one of my favourite and beloved Nintendo franchise and Mario titles. As a child l'd spend hours playing the games alone or with friends. First on the Nintendo 64 and later on for the Gamecube (Mario Party 4 was the first game l purchased for the Gamecube) l even followed it loyally on the DS and the Wii. Those board-games used strategy, were pretty fun an featured the Mario characters we have all come to love, and it had one thing that set it apart: the mini-games. Alas it truly brings me no pleasure to write this review today. I am a Mario Party fan since inception and l don't make it a point of giving negative just for the fun of it. I really wanted, tried, to like Mario Party Island Tour for the 3DS but not to avail.

That's the sad part. Initially l had mild expectations for Mario Party lsland tour. I wasn't demanding much, simply a Mario Party game with boards, mini-games in that classic, familiar style that l could play on the go. Mario Party DS did an excellent job bringing the party to the portable consoles l thought. I assumed perhaps we'd get something similar. Not even close. It turns out all the negative reviews you read are in fact very much true. I so wanted to believe that they were wrong and that l'd be right. I was wrong, l should have listened to the fine Amazon reviewers and customers who gave this the thumbs down.

The main problem as has been addressed by many reviewers is with the boards. There are 7 boards total. Great right? Sounds like the usual more or less. Nope. The boards are not the traditional ones. You'll have very brief ones that can last ten minutes to twenty or a bit more. They'll put an approximate play length for every board but l find they exaggerate. The most l've gotten is probably a half hour, but it was more painful than decent. The boards are so small and there's hardly anything interesting or remotely fun about them. They feel like child games. Maybe that's what Nintendo was going for here, aiming this game at children. Sadly l don't think children would get much of a kick out of this game, they'd probably as bored as l was.

The goal now is for most boards to arrive first to the finish line. It's not about stars or money, it's basically only a race and a VERY brief one at that. You can gain power ups from winning mini-games and they add an extra dice, or multiply your dice roll, or make you move a specific number of spots. That's most of Island Tour right there.

You have to unlock boards as you go which is fine. Until you get to the last board. The seventh and final board can only be played multiplayer. That's right you need other people to be able to play it. If you ask me that's wrong. Now if it was a bonus extra, 8th map l'd be okay with that. But what Nintendo is doing is putting a plate of cookie in front of you that you can't eat. What's the point? Not that l care that much at this point since l haven't really enjoyed any aspect of the title.

Even Bowser's tower is repetitive and dreadful. It's not so bad to begin at least. All you do is climb a tower of 30 floors, on each floor you face Bowser's henchmen in a mini-game battle. All you have to do is win the game to get to the next floor. But then it turns out you get to the top of the tower basically for nothing and have to do it all over again. It's pointless because l feel no enjoyment, why do it again? You do unlock mini-games and other unlockables that don't serve any purpose (crystal balls with characters, events or map in them. Gee thanks l'm gonna stare at that a lot).

I feel obligated to mention the controls. It makes good use of the 3DS stylus and particularly it's joystick. The main flaw is the mini-games that require you to tilt the console for directions, aiming and such. It's painful to deal with and it does not function well at all. It's problem that they clearly didn't bother to deal with or maybe thought gamers wouldn't care.

Now the one good thing (yes it's not all bad folks) about Island Tour is the mini-games. They're not bad at all and most of them are really fun and can compete with any Mario Party title out there. It's just sad that the rest of the game makes it almost torture to play them. Some of the mini-games are actually very similar to previous MP games and some seem directly inspired or taken from them. It's a good mix of familiarity and freshness, l actually enjoyed quite a few of them. Yet mini-games aren't enough to redeem the rest of the game and sadly it doesn't take long to get all of them.

My advice is to skip this one altogether (unless you're like me and have to find out for yourself, if you do buy used) and pick up Mario Party for the regular DS. That's still the best portable Mario Party and it kept the spirit and fun of the N64 and Gamecube titles. It seems aimed more towards children and those who might not have played a MP game previously. Whatever the case may be, l feel Nintendo missed an opportunity here. Island Tour ends up being a very restricted and forgettable tour which is sad because both Mario Party and the 3DS deserved better. Certainly not worth full price. Avoid. 2 stars.


The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee
The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee
by Jimmy Korderas
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.74
44 used & new from $5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars From someone who's lived through it all, September 8, 2014
I remember fondly seeing Jimmy Korderas in a WWE/WWF setting up until not that long ago. You may think "well he's just a ref" and that would be ok if applied to a modern day referee but Jimmy Korderas was not just a ref. He's one of very few wrestling referees who will be remembered and made an impact. Jimmy stood out to me as that ref who was always there and seemed to constantly be in some of my favourite matches. He was with WWE for over twenty years, you think it'd count for something. When you're with the company for so long and ref in some of the most memorable matches (Wrestlemania or otherwise), take the bumps and entertain, it's no wonder you're in the hearts of fans. That's why Jimmy Korderas mattered and why it makes sense that he would be writing a book.

From his humble beginnings in Toronto to the big leagues in WWE, Korderas' book is the journey of a fan living his dream. It hasn't always been easy to pursue his dream either. At times he didn't have much work and struggled to be on the main roster, he even had to hold a second job at one point. What makes Korderas endearing is that he really was obsessed with wrestling and was lucky enough to make a living out of it. He's such a fan and his genuine passion comes across clearly in his book, he is "one of us". The difference is he got live out his fantasy and got to know some of the legends and be a part of wrestling history.

Jimmy tells plenty of funny road stories, ring incidents, meeting the biggest stars of wrestling. From attending local shows to watching every possible televised wrestling, all the way to becoming part of the road crew to getting his first shot as a referee and being involved in some t of the best matches in WWE history, it's a great ride. There are quite a few memorable tales in here. The ones involving Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Big Show, André the Giant among others were particularly funny and entertaining. Through the ups and downs, it never gets boring an at times it's very human and relatable. If you ever wondered what it was like being a referee or what a ref's role was and how much involvement he really had in a match, it's all here as well. The Three Count covers it all.

Some of the most interesting chapters have the be the ones that deal with heavy topics. Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit are all names that are hard to stay indifferent to. Their deaths were tragic and controversial (especially in the case of Chris Benoit) and each of them get a chapter. Jimmy had grown close to all three and even had a part in bringing Guerrero and Benoit over to WWE. We all loved them as fans, but Jimmy knew them and shares tales and memories about them and he had more insight than most people (he was even in the ring when Hart died).

In Canada fans are used to seeing Korderas on Aftermath after every Smackdown on Fridays. He is considered an expert and authority on the subject where he expresses his opinions on everything from the last Pay Per View, to that week's Monday Night Raw, pick of the week etc, and will often share stories about the business. He amassed to start his own wrestling referee classes as well. His credentials are impressive. Simply put if you love wrestling it's hard not to like the man.

The only gripe that l have with the book is that it feels like Korderas knows a lot more than he does but he's holding back some because he wants to be in good standing with the WWE. Usually that is the only thing people who've read the book had to say that was in any way negative. He evens tell some stories and gives hints as to who he's talking about without mentioning them. In the end, Jimmy ends up being too nice and soft in his words for this to even be considered a "tell-all" book if that's what you think it is, it's not.

Maybe a little biased because l find Jimmy so likeable but he really can tell a good story and for anyone who's ever been fascinated by wrestling, he's just as about seen it all. If you're a wrestling fan you should consider reading The Three Count. It features some great tales on some of the legends, funny stories, tragic tales and defining moments in wrestling, it also helps that Jimmy is very likeable as well. If not for him holding back on truly telling everything this could've been a five star essential reading on wrestling. As it stands, it's very entertaining and a good read. 4 stars.


Dirty Rocker Boys
Dirty Rocker Boys
by Bobbie Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.40
44 used & new from $5.94

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected, September 4, 2014
This review is from: Dirty Rocker Boys (Hardcover)
There's just one thing about Dirty Rocker boys; It's shamelessly good. If anyone would've told me years ago that the girl from Warrant's Cherry Pie video would have a book out at some point, l'm sure l would've laughed. That said these days it seems everyone has a book out, assuming they had fifteen minutes of fame (more like four in this case). Bobbie Brown, the former model who is best known for dancing and acting playful in Warrant's "Cherry Pie", dating rockers Tommy Lee and Jani Lane (oh and Matthew Gunnar from Nelson if you'd like to count him) came out with a book about her life that's shockingly good, well not bad. Better than expected at least. I'm still not sure why l bought it other than l saw an interview of her promoting it and that l though she was gorgeous in the 1990's.

Bobbie is self-aware. She knows she's pretty and that she was a bombshell. She admits her best days have passed by and that it all went by too quickly. She'll probably never be remembered as anything more than the Cherry Pie girl and she's fine with that. I don't know that she's all that interesting (although we certainly thought she was for a brief moment) but she's charming and manages to come off as fun and naive.

Bobbie has dated many rockers in her days, and the list is not nearly a long as you'd think it is but it makes for good stories. Gunnar Nelson of Nelson, Jani Lane of Warrant (with whom she had a child), her fantasy rocker Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, Janes Addiction's Dave Navarro (who comes off as seriously creepy) and Rob Pilatus of Mini Vanelli. Then she also had dates with Paul Stanley of KISS and actors Leonardo Dicaprio and Kevin Costner. In fact l think an alternate title could have been "How l used to be pretty and married rockstars and dated famous people". This is the main meat of her book. Her dating those people is what people remember and find interesting about her and she's aware of that telling us as much as she can without coming across too much as a celebrity tell-all book. After all the book focuses more on her.

The best part is probably whenever she talks about Jani Lane and the fact that Jani died has a lot to do with that. She was married to him and it seems they were a great fit in the beginning, then she tells us where it went wrong and the good and the bad about Jani. She has some things to share about Tommy Lee too, who was the poster above her bed growing up and she always told herself she'd end up with him. I thought her saga with the Nelson brothers Matthew and Gunnar was of most entertaining point of the book. Her high school life, pageants and modelling is only mildly interesting. She does have her own family problems and turmoil that add spice but it's clear that dating these rockers is the focus point here. The sex and drugs are also clearly present as you'd expect. You also get to find out the not so glamerous "after" portion of her life.

Should you buy this book? Well if you're like me and you happen to have had a crush on her or if you're into the Glam/Hair Metal scene it's not a terrible book. Perhaps a bit too self-obsessed but so are many books about musicians and the LA scene/era. Besides Bobbie is likeable and we do feel for her at times. She tells good stories about the rockstar she dated and her club experiences and dating experiences. 3 stars.


History of the Eagles [Blu-ray]
History of the Eagles [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Eagles
Offered by Expedited Warehouse
Price: $24.38
29 used & new from $14.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagles as told by The Eagles, September 4, 2014
Even though it's been out for a while I thought l'd take a shot at History of the Eagles even though most have seen it by now and it's not a hot topic anymore. I watched it about 3 or 4 times and really enjoyed it and l found myself thinking more than once that this is how documentaries should be made. Originally aired on showtime, there's a lot to love about HOTE to point where it will likely receive multiple viewings. In terms of of length, what is covered, interviewing all those responsible, getting the dirt and being unbiased and letting fans see for themselves it stands as one of the best and most detailed music documentaries l have ever seen (and l've seen a lot). It's interesting to sit back all these years later and watching the aging band tell us all about their lives as The Eagles and their take on specific events. It really puts things into perspective.

History of the Eagles gets it right for many reasons. One of which is it covers the whole story. We get two discs split in two parts: one devoted to the early years up until the breakup in 1980, the other covering the solo careers and projects during the 80's through the 1994 reunion up to a new album to now. In total, a little over three hours devoted completely to the band. A lasting treat for fans, die-hards or otherwise. All the disputes, arguments, and nasty band member breakups are all laid out here for us by the Eagles in their own word. I can says in all honesty that even non-Eagles fan could enjoy it (especially the first part which really captures some of the essence of the 1970's) for it is such an entertaining, fascinating look at musical icons and the dynamics that goes on within a band. In essence, what makes a band work.

From Don Henley and Glen Fry's beginnings in Texas and Detroit forming early bands backing Linda Ronstdat to forming the Eagles, recording, touring, becoming successful, band members leaving, new band members, breaking up, solo careers, getting back together and still being active... It's all there. All the tensions, stories, events leading up to the split, the split itself all the way down to personal animosity, finances, it's all there and very detailed and in your face.

Highlights? There are too many, and l don't want to spoil anything but when they talk about the fight that lead up to Don Felder leaving the band, it's a talking point. Everyone gets very emotional and it's hard to ignore that beneath all the music and the success some people in the band must've absolutely hated each other. One of my favourite moments happens after early on showing footage when The Eagles have just performed a successful (sold-out?) show and they're sitting in the back of a van being driven to their hotel. Henley doesn't look at the camera when he says in almost utter discouragement "band last longer than they used to you know? Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones. Maybe we can stick around for another couple more years". The pun being obviously that they're still around to this day and their longevity and how they managed to transcend generations is the stuff legends are made of.

The only problem l perceive with the documentary is that people watch it and then disagree and/or take sides with people in the band. And then they hate what they see or hear and decide "well this person is wrong"-and that's staying polite!- l've had discussion with other fans who've seen it and they seemed genuinely bothered by some of the content. Perhaps this can also be used to point out how effective it manages to be.

Oh and hey! The extra disc of a 1977 footage from the Hotel California tour doesn't hurt one bit but it's maddening that we didn't get a full concert. Other than that, two disc, three hours of content on one of world's finest bands and respected artists? Can't go wrong with History of the Eagles. It's all real and it's all there. 5/5 (there is content on alcohol, drugs, addictions and female nudity in the documentary in case you're wondering if this appropriate for all ages, the box doesn't say so!)


Super Duper Alice Cooper [Blu-ray]
Super Duper Alice Cooper [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Alice Cooper
Price: $13.39
21 used & new from $10.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but should have been more -3 1/2*, September 4, 2014
I've been following Banger Films for years now through their projects about Rock & Metal artist. Sam Dunn and his crew have done wonderful work paying tribute (and rightfully so!) to bands like Rush and Iron Maiden, as well as two other excellent films on Metal (Metal: A Headbanger's Journey is still a favourite, and Global Metal) and a TV series no less in the form of Metal Evolution. When they announced Super Duper Alice Cooper an Alice Cooper documentary l was excited, as l'm a massive fan of the man (and the band of course) and Banger Films have done tremendous work covering subjects l love.

I think l had hopes that it would cover Alice's entire career, but sadly it didn't. Some events are glossed over and the documentary would have you believe Alice Cooper never did anything after 1986 but touring. Now l get that with a man who had such a long and illustrated career it would have made for a perhaps overly long documentary project. For instance, his early 80's output, as out there and bizarre as it was is almost completely ignored here. Instead they focus on Alice's personal problems. It would have been nice to hear more about them and ask Alice (even though he doesn't remember them he can still share thoughts). Or why his Lace And Whisky album was such a brilliant album but a complete departure musically. It seems they mostly go for the surface without scratching underneath, therefore being a more appealing project to someone who isn't obsessed with Alice Cooper.

With that said, what they DO cover and what's in and the presentation is marvellous. I've already watched it five times. Some footage and interviews l had never seen and are a treat and insights of where Alice Cooper as a band was and who Vincent Furnier was (or becoming). One particular moment during an interview from about '81-'82 sees Furnier's descent in a downward spiral, both mentality and in appearance. Some of the footage paints very vivid and strong images of the band and Alice. The live footage is great, watching the band play, executions, Alice kissing girls.. There's a lot of stuff to captivate but maybe not as much for die-hard fans who may have seen (or know) it all already. The bonus interviews that didn't make the cut are certainly worth watching.

The storytelling is as good as it can possibly get, mostly done by Alice himself and the original band members as well as some guests and people who contributed (Bob Ezrin etc). Even though we may know the story it never gets old hearing it from those who lived it. The only downer is they have all the Alice Cooper band but Michael Bruce for some reason.

Most fans seem to absolutely love Super Duper Alice Cooper while a few seem to think it's lacking or doesn't tell them anything they don't already know. It think it falls short of being the definitive Cooper documentary but that it could have been close. One can assume that had Banger Films had more screen time (or a second disc) this could've been it. The documentary itself makes for great viewing and is very enjoyable. With all the animations (kinda reminded me of History of the Eagles and served to enhance the product) it really brought the story to life and were entertaining. I'm not going to go full marks here, it's worth watching but l can't deny that even though l enjoyed it, l anticipated more from Super Duper Alice Cooper. This time Banger Films went for a more traditional approach to filmmaking and used a lot of footage and voice over and ultimately it makes it less effective than their previous work, it doesn't have what made the other ones work so well. As much as l love Banger Films and Alice Cooper l'm giving this one a 3.5/5. Worth the admission but don't expect the world.

(On a side note, for those of you who may be curious l met Sam Dunn recently at an Alice Cooper show and had a chance to be interviewed and after l asked him what his next project was going to be and he said the next band planned is Soundgarden)


Face the Music: A Life Exposed
Face the Music: A Life Exposed
by Paul Stanley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.66
97 used & new from $11.45

4.0 out of 5 stars The Starchild exposed, September 3, 2014
I always suspected that if one day the four original KISS members each had a book out, Paul Stanley's would be my favourite and the best written of the bunch. It's now much later and Ace Frehley has a book, Peter Criss has a book, Gene had two (well, actually three) and now finally, KISS frontman and resident Starchild Paul Stanley has his own book as well. My initial suspicions turned out to be right. I was surprised at how literate and intimate the book was. Paul always seemed the most private member of KISS so l never assumed he would ever release a book. I don't know how much the ghostwriter who helped with book did but Paul comes across as very articulate and intelligent person in real life and interviews and that's just as much how he is in Face the Music.

I knew Paul had an ear condition but not to this extend. It was revealing how much suffering he endured and how much it troubled him and l think it played a big part in him creating the persona of the Starchild. Becoming who he wanted to be, fabricating this rockstar personna.

Honest. I think Paul comes across as honest about the people he has worked with and ultimately, himself. The managers and people who worked in the background to make KISS happen and gives credit to those who deserve it. He talks about therapy and how's been doing it since he was a teenager. He even mentions the songs he ripped off at times. He comes across as especially harsh towards Ace and Peter, especially Peter which was to be expected but he also throws stabs at Gene (and it's these that are the most interesting). It shouldn't be surprising as through the years since the farewell tour, he and Gene have been putting down Ace and Peter quite a lot. But it seems that even though he says there are good memories with them, he can't find space to share any of them. Even Eric Carr gets some of it. It's no secret that Paul did not like Gene at first but he doesn't seem to be that much more in love with him today. He rips on Gene for his views about marriage and calls him a hypocrite for later getting to Shannon Tweed. Stanley also doesn't think Gene is as good as business man as the world seems to think. Then there's the part of him that was appreciative of Gene when he helped him out and was supportive when he was going through a divorce.

Paul touches on a lot of topics that fans know about but have very limited knowledge on. I doubt fans know all about his divorce or the details of his time portraying the Phantom of the Opera. I didn't know how much he enjoyed being a father and having a family. Some l knew, some l didn't, but l certainly wasn't bored and enjoyed the ride. He gives great insight as to how it was when he took over the reigns of KISS in the 80's and how felt about Gene, his contributions, the band, the music itself and who was in the band.

Paul goes how when the other band members of KISS went home off tour to their families, relationships and side projects as things that kept themselves occuphed he was alone and by himself. That's why l find Paul more relatable than the other members of KISS when l read their bios. He talks a lot about the loneliness he felt and the irony that he fronted one of the biggest bands in the world. He felt he had a void to fill and its interesting because for him committed relationships and kids came later for him than the other members of KISS. His life looks pretty full now with his wife and kids, the band and his art but it seems especially in the 80's he was lonely and heartbroken only falling in love to get hurt. It's an interesting period of time when he looks back on it, especially considering how much of a "happy" band KISS was in that decade.

It will definitely be essential reading for the hardcore KISS fan, and worth reading for those who enjoy biographical books and rock books. Paul said something in the book about being all about ongoing self-discovery being more important than creating a myth that wasn't who he was and l think that's the best way to summarize his memoir. Yes he's the guy from KISS, wrote great songs, influenced musicians, but he's still his own person. Even though he seems comfortable on stage as the ringleader, it took him time to find inner peace. I would recommend Face the Music, it's certainly not as self-boasting as Gene's, or left with blanks like Ace's or as resentful as Peter's and that probably makes it the most accessible and honest bio we will ever get from a member of KISS. 4/5, insightful and enjoyable reading.


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