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Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments
Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments
DVD ~ Secretariat
3 used & new from $99.95

1.0 out of 5 stars a habitual user of cannabis! Borrow a copy from a friend or find it on You Tube if you have a burning desire to see this., May 6, 2015
Whoever listed this movie for $99 is obviously...

Eventually (180 Gram Vinyl)
Eventually (180 Gram Vinyl)
Price: $18.98
35 used & new from $12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars it's much better than I expected, December 31, 2014
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I avoided buying this album for a long time based on the negative reviews. I have to tell you, it's much better than I expected. To be sure, there are a couple of novelty songs thrown in there to add color to the album (think "You Know My Name, Look Up the Number" by the Beatles), which feature unusual changes, unusual arrangements, etc. But I also hear a subtle brilliance here, especially with "These Are the Days", "Love Untold", "Hide 'n' Seekin'" and "Angels Walk" (a good song written around a great guitar riff). Critics of this album will say that it's too mannered, and a bit over-wrought, which flies in the face of the sloppy, rebellious rock 'n' roll that they've come to expect from this artist. I can't argue with this. I have to concede that Paul excels at riff-based bar-room rock, which mirrors the Rolling Stones' and/or the Faces' better moments. However, it seems that he went out of his way to show us some other facets of what he can do, and I can appreciate that. There are some good sounds, interesting lyrics and real emotion here. I disagree that he was "writing songs to order" as some critics have stated. In my view, he simply took some hard-won artistic license and used it to try on different hats. Would people have preferred it if he donned a jumpsuit full of rhinestones and sang the Replacements old songs in Las Vegas every night? I don't think Paul Westerberg has ever produced a bad album, and this one is no exception. There are plenty of good moments here that bear repeated listening-check it out if you can.

Live at the Warfield - San Francisco, CA
Live at the Warfield - San Francisco, CA
Offered by treasurehunter55
Price: $10.92
53 used & new from $3.12

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little tighter and more interesting than a typical latter day dead show..., March 23, 2014
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Joan Osborne's voice is just a little better than Donna Jean's, so if you're a fan of the Keith and Donna Godchaux era (which I am) then this CD is a nice upgrade from that. To be fair, there were long stretches of time onstage when Donna couldn't really hear herself, and she wasn't called in for any overdubs when the Dead released Dick's Picks, etc. Whatever the case, Joan's voice is very soulful and generally on-key. She's actually singing a lot of Jerry's/Pigpen's parts, but there's just something interesting about having a female voice sandwiched between male voices-it creates just the right amount of tension. Also-no disrespect to Bob Weir, but you have TWO true guitar virtuoso's trading riffs here (as opposed to a feisty kid brother trying to keep up with Jerry), which makes the jams quite interesting. The fact that at least one of them is a bona fide jazz guitarist creates new dimensions in the music. Then add the saxophone on top of that and you have something a little jazzy, a little funky, a little soulful, and very fresh. It would have been nice to get a bit more video content, but when it's a "bonus disc" you typically only get a 1/2 hour to 45min. I'd rather have two well-compacted discs of music and another with video content, rather than a 3rd music disc comprised of filler (30 minutes of Drums/Space followed by 30 minutes of "Turn On Your Lovelight" anyone?). This disc fits in nicely with my collection of Dick's Picks, Road Trips, Pure Jerry, etc. I was skeptical when I bought it because there's a shortage of new song titles here. None-the-less, Phil did a good job of revisiting certain songs that were in need of a dusting (such as Mr. Charlie, and a much tighter version of the aforementioned "Turn On Your Lovelight"). I've heard that they DID in fact play some other cool songs during this show (including an interesting Beatles cover), but mainly titles published by ICE NINE made it onto this disc, probably for legal/financial reasons. Kudos to Phil for selecting a group of musicians with a jammy mindset.

Footnote: I wish they would have performed "Wharf Rat". FURTHUR did an outstanding version of this a couple of years back, and Sunshine Garcia's voice fit into the harmonies just right. Hearing Joan's take on it would have been interesting. Perhaps they could have slipped that in on disc two, and omitted the rather languid reading of "Morning Dew".

2nd Footnote: the Dead flirted with a similar, jazzier sound on the CD "Live Without a Net" when they recruited Branford Marsalis to play on "Eyes of the World" (one of the better renditions I've heard). Phil Lesh was the main guy selecting the tunes for that release, which makes me wonder of one of his life's ambitions has always been to subject the Dead's catalogue to a jazz treatment. The good news is that the music does, in fact, hold up well to such a treatment.

Grateful Dead: All the Years Combine: The DVD Collection (14-DVD Box Set)
Grateful Dead: All the Years Combine: The DVD Collection (14-DVD Box Set)
DVD ~ Grateful Dead
Price: $107.98
12 used & new from $107.92

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for someone who's late to the party..., July 15, 2012
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I've always had a healthy respect for Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, but I'm one of the people that was born in the 1960's and came to know them by way of their brief appearance in the Billboard Top 100 with "Touch of Grey" (and to a lesser extent "Hell In a Bucket") and the subsequent MTV video featuring the dancing skeleton puppets. Their brief rennaissance, which began in 1987 and fizzled by 1992 (after which time Jerry turned his attention to his acoustic side projects with David Grisman-a large percentage of which were released posthumously) left many of us wanting more but not really knowing where to look. I DID listen to the nationally syndicated radio show "The Grateful Dead Hour" at one point, but this stopped airing in Chicago some time ago and is only available as a webcast I believe.

My generation are much more familiar with Phish,which zoomed in to fill the void after Jerry Garcia's death in 1995, as well as other jam bands such as String Cheese Incident, Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, and a number of others who took the same improvisational music approach and moved it in different directions.

At any rate, it's taken me about 2-3 years to study/revisit their catalog, during which time I've picked up a variety of the "Dick's Picks" series, the three "Vault" releases, two of the "Road Trips" series, some "Pure Jerry" titles, all of the Garcia/Grisman releases, the Old & In the Way bluegrass titles, the Merl Saunders/Jerry Garcia Keystone recordings, a greatest hits compilation, some free mp3 downloads from the group's own website and various other live discs made available by Arista. I've also read "Dark Star", "Garcia: An American Life", "Garcia: A Signpost To New Space", "The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics" and "Dead Letters". I've also managed to attend a Furthur concert featuring Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Sunshine Garcia and John Kedlicek (previously reknowned for his participation in the Dark Star Orchestra-a GD cover band).

After all of this exploration, the only real gap in my collection was video. Once again, it looked like a daunting task because of the depth and breadth of their catalog. I wanted to focus my attention on the strongest era musically, which I believe to be the Keith & Donna Godchaux era from 1973(?) to 1979. Most deadheads have narrowed this down further, stating that the group was better BEFORE their self-imposed "break" in the mid-1970's than AFTER the break. I would argue that they played at a consistently high level throughout the 70's, and became better musically after the departure (God rest his soul) of Ron McKernan, who may've been a big part of the group's overall attitude/personality, but wasn't really an outstanding singer, musician or songwriter. I'll never quite understand people's fascination with Ron's 1/2 hour rendition of "Turn On Your Lovelight". It's a simple song.

Unfortunately, there just aren't many official video releases from the 1970's other than "The Grateful Dead Movie" and "The Closing of Winterland", which are both excellent. So...this collection is a little heavy on stuff from the 1980's, which is basically the Brent Mydland era. By this point the Grateful Dead were slowly descending into self-parody, much like Elvis Presley did in the 1970's. If you watch these titles in succession, you will notice Jerry getting more and more bloated, his voice getting weaker, his hair getting whiter and his solos getting less and less interesting. This process, from 1980-1986, reached it's apex when he went into a diabetic coma for several days. His hard-partying ways had finally caught up to him. He emerged from this low point with renewed vigor, which led to the last great period for the group: from 1987-1990. There's A LOT of footage from this era, as if the band instinctively knew that their window of opportunity was closing fast. And sure enough, Brent Mydland died in 1990 (also from drug use) and the group was never quite the same afterward. They managed to fill Brent's void temporarily with TWO keyboard players, namely Vince Welnick from the Tubes and Bruce Hornsby (who was riding a temporary wave of popularity via his big hit "The Way It Is"). But this era from 1990-1992 is probably most Deadheads' least favorite, and only one title in the collection documents this period (View From the Vault II).

In the final analysis, even though the group had their ups and downs (like any band), they never lost their improvisational approach and exploratory spirit. And even at their worst, they were better than most other bands on a good day. It's unfortunate that much of their 1970's work was not officially captured on video, and it's unfortunate that their history was marred by the ill effects of habitual drug use. However, this collection is the best available, and great for one-stop shoppers who don't see the need to quibble about the differences between DVD and Blue-Ray. To be sure, High Definition/Blue-Ray is a great format, but I fear that the cost of refurbishing these old VHS videos might increase the cost of this set two or three times for only an incremental improvement in quality. As of this writing, this entire set can be had for under $100.00, which is an incredible value.

A Different Kind of Truth
A Different Kind of Truth
Offered by imagine-this
Price: $23.99
53 used & new from $8.75

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncompromising riff-based hard rock with a smirk., February 25, 2012
Just like "Fair Warning", I dismissed this record the first time I heard it. I noticed the compression, the clumsy lyrics that don't always fit together very well, Dave's corny posturing, Eddie's occasional tendency to over-play, Alex's metronome style of drumming and heavy cymbals, the lack of any discernable melodies, etc. After the 3rd or 4th listen, I realized what I had in my hands, and I completely changed my mind.

Listening to Eddie Van Halen play the guitar is serious business. This guy is out for blood. He takes no prisoners. He is letting the world know that "Hey people, I'm back and I can still do this better than anyone else.". Like all brilliant technicians, however, Eddie needs someone to bridge the gap between himself and the audience. Enter Dave-he provides levity, energy, fearlessness, humor, showmanship, and ah...he's never at a loss for words! He's not perfect, but he knows that and doesn't really care! Dave IS the perfect foil for an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist like Eddie. The tension between these two equally strong personalities, and the way the drama unfolds, is what made this band so great in the first place-and the formula still works. For anyone who came of age in the 1980's, listening to this record is like having sex with an old girlfriend-you may not get along anymore, but there's one thing that you can still do together perfectly!!! These guys will be locked in a tug-of-war for the rest of their lives, whether they ever make another record or not. Great stuff.

O.K. Down to business. The "Fair Warning" comparison is valid because this record, just like that one, has no obvious pop-friendly hits upon first glance. It's dense, unrelenting hard rock that only occasionally mocks itself on tunes such as "Stay Frosty". Dave's much-derided vocal technique has actually improved over time. He no longer has that girlish, high-pitched squeal, but you can really hear him going for it in an operatic falsetto on tunes such as "You and Your Blues" which lyrically sounds an awful lot like him expressing his views on Ed's personal problems.

I've read some of the negative reviews of "HoneyBabySweetieDoll", and I have to say that I love this track. After the obvious choices "Tattoo" and "You and Your Blues", this one is a stand out for the simple fact that it includes some of Eddie's sonic experiments (his take on "Revolution Number 9" from the White Album perhaps, along with a pinch of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir") and if I'm not mistaken, this is the band's first really impressive foray into eastern music. It breaks new ground, and after I overcame the initial shock, I found myself coming back to this one over and over again.

If you were hoping to hear some new-found maturity from these guys, and some parting bits of wisdom before they move on to the next life, I can tell you that there is very little of that here. The message I got was "Hey, we're just as tough now as we were 30 years ago, and in some ways tougher. We're not ready to check out just yet.". If you were hoping for some light-weight pop rock along the lines of "Dance the Night Away", I can tell you that they skipped that almost entirely. "Stay Frosty" is a nice bit of levity that really rocks, but it's also wicked and satirical, so it doesn't quite fit the 80's radio confection format.

I could say more, but basically if you're a fan of these guys, then you have to hear this. It's astonishing and it does a nice job of harvesting from the past while at the same time breaking new ground. It's vital. It's virile. It's tough.

Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2012 8:26 PM PDT

If You Love These Blues, Play 'Em As You Please
If You Love These Blues, Play 'Em As You Please
Price: $9.79
46 used & new from $5.35

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Super" Session is horse poop compared to this..., October 28, 2011
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What's not to like? This guy displays his virtuosity on the guitar by playing every known blues style under the sun (acoustic and electric). And he plays it clean! There is very little in the way of electronic effects. It's pure, unadulterated Michael Bloomfield doing what he loved to do. You don't even have to be a fan to enjoy this.

When I first listened to this CD, I said to myself "This is so much better than Super Session. I can't believe that critics point people towards Super Session when something this good is available.". Super Session was good too, but it was rather hodge-podge (some of it sounds like cheesy, porno music), and only half of it is Bloomfield on guitar, the other half is Steven Stills. If you want to know what Bloomfield was all about, this is the CD to own. It is raw, personal, and 100% authentic.

After listening to this, I am proud to say that I'm from Chicago, and I think that it is truly a tragedy that this artist died so young. He clearly had more to give. And there is no question in my mind that he was in the same league with Eric Clapton, maybe even better in some ways.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2014 9:42 PM PST

Mylec Deluxe Hockey Goal Set
Mylec Deluxe Hockey Goal Set
Price: $39.99
19 used & new from $33.99

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have a "Quest For the Cup" right in your own driveway!!!, October 9, 2011
Do your kids have hockey fever? Great!

Do you have the room and financial resources to set up a hockey rink in your back yard?
Can you afford the cost of ice time at the local rink?
Can you afford hundreds of dollars worth of equipment?

If you answered "no" to any of these last 3 questions, consider buying this product. Contrary to what some people have said, this product can be assembled in about 15 minutes (if you have a technical aptitude) and will give you and the kids hours of fun in your own driveway. Take the pill to the house against your kids and go top shelf!!!

Recommendations: We substitute a tennis or whiffle ball for the street hockey ball because it hurts less (for whoever might be playing goalie). Bike helmets and pads can also be worn, and a baseball glove can easily be substituted for a goalie glove. If nobody wants to play the net, you can hang a pretend goalie from the crossbar, fashioned out of cardboard or anything else lying around the house (even an old scarecrow!).

Game on!!!

Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues
Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues
Price: $11.99
76 used & new from $3.62

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a New Orleans Jazz record as far as I can see..., October 2, 2011
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I don't want to belabour this, but the fact is that Eric Clapton is barely audible most of the time. He is sitting in the background playing rhythm guitar, which is fine except that any weekend guitarist familiar with these songs could easily do the same. Most of the guitar playing does not bare his distinctive stamp, because it is the songs themselves that are being showcased, followed by Marsalis' arrangements. This is a good record, but it leans more towards New Orleans Jazz (at times it even sounds like Dixieland)than blues. These songs are horned-up, jazz treatments of old blues songs.

It's an Eric Clapton project in-as-much as he played on the record and chose the songs...but really Marsalis and his band dominate the proceedings by 70%.

With all of this being said, the songs are good, the playing is good. The recording quality leans towards being an "official bootleg". There's very little separation, which makes me think that they used only a small number of microphones. Maybe they were trying to recreate the way it was done in the 1930's? I'm not sure. But when you use a small number of microphones, it makes mixing more difficult in some ways. As a Clapton fan, I would have been tempted to isolate his guitar playing in the mix and crank it up. But, this is probably exactly what Eric DIDN'T want to see happen. He is clearly taking a back seat to the songs and Wynton Marsalis.

My impressions of Marsalis? He's smart and talented. But...he strikes me as being a bit of an egomaniac, pretentious and perhaps a control freak. He also seems fixated on the race issue. Why bring it up? Don't you think the music speaks for itself? The liner notes seem to indicate that he has an axe to grind. Let it go brother. When people act like my equal, I am more inclined to treat them as such...When they start comlaining about how life has given them (or their people) a raw deal, this is when I see them as something lesser. You demean and marginalize YOURSELF when you start griping. Get off your soapbox and just F'n jam if you want people to respect you. And if they STILL don't respect you, then it's their loss-don't distinguish other people's small-mindedness by carrying it around with you.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2011 12:23 PM PST

Sony CFDS05 CD Radio Cassette Recorder Boombox Speaker System (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Sony CFDS05 CD Radio Cassette Recorder Boombox Speaker System (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by FrozenLemon
Price: $64.99
29 used & new from $43.00

158 of 163 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you could ask for at this price-point..., September 28, 2010
I purchased one of these for my 10x6 kitchenette. It's great for listening to the news, or popping in a cd/cassette, or even feeding in my mp3 player. Don't expect super high quality sound from speakers this size (in general). The speakers are brignt with lots of treble, which sounds better listening to classical or jazz music because the strings/horns are very clear. Plus older recordings from the 1950's/60's/70's (such as the classic jazz of the Miles Davis Quintet) were made with small transistor radios in mind. The Mega-Bass feature mainly helps you shore up the low end when you have headphones on, but can't overcome the small, low-wattage speaker system.

This unit is full of great features, with perfect dimensions for a kitchen counter-top, office desktop, workbench or dresser. The sound is appropriate for a small room-but sounds better with headphones on. The audio-in feature means that this unit can be used with any number of mp3 players, rather than just the Apple iPod. Many audio books at the library are still (and always will be) on cassette, so having the cassette option is nice. I'm buying a 2nd unit for my 8-year-old daughter who has a small bedroom, a limited budget and reasonable sound expectations.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 18, 2013 1:54 PM PST

New Miserable Experience (Rarities Edition)
New Miserable Experience (Rarities Edition)
Price: $8.59
39 used & new from $4.59

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Misery" loves company (in your CD cabinet, that is)..., March 5, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Gin Blossoms came to my town back in 2007 to perform a benefit concert for the relocation of the historic Blodget house-one of the stops on the "underground railroad" during civil war times. Everything about the show was great!

I've been a music fan all of my life, but in recent years I've grown disheartened by the decidedly caustic tone of some of the stuff coming over on the radio, not to mention the lack of musicianship. I had been wanting to take my daughter to her first concert, but I was having trouble deciding what show to take her to. There's always the well-sanitized Disney stable of artists, but my daughter seemed saturated with Disney already and I didn't want her brainwashed any further..

Then I saw the flier for the Gin Blossoms' show. The price was right. The location was perfect. The cause was admirable. And I knew the music would be solid, rootsy, melodic pop drawing heavily from the Beatles(or Rutles?), Beach Boys, Alex Chilton/Big Star, the Byrds, etc. As expected, they played great. There was a distinctly positive vibe in the air that night, and the crowd got into it. Then, to top it all off, Scott and Robin stood by the side of the stage after the show to meet the fans and sign autographs. I bought a copy of "Major Lodge Victory" which Scott & Robin both signed. My daughter (aged 5 at the time) got a poster and was thrilled. It was truly a night to remember.

After the show, I started wondering what happened to these guys. Did they just get buried under a pile of grunge and hip-hop in the 90's or what? I started shopping around for more material and discovered that there just wasn't very much to be had...I DID find the "Deluxe Edition" of New Miserable Experience on the web, but it was already out-of-print and selling for $50-$60!!! Fortunately, the group and/or the record company decided to release the 2nd rareties disc of the out-of-print "Deluxe Edition" as a stand-alone product. The price is affordable, and the songs are GREAT!!!

This disc is more than a collection of odds & ends. There are some truly great songs & performances on here. In some ways I actually like it better than NME because the production is less linear-many peaks and valleys. Highlights include: a rousing live rendition of "Movin' On Up" which even George & Weezie could dance to, Doug Hopkins' self-deprecating boogie "Blue Eyes Bleeding", "Angels Tonight" and "Christine Irene". It would have been nice to see "Girls Can't Wait" from the difficult-to-find "Dusted" EP on here as well, but that song was from an earlier era. If you like the band, add this to your collection.

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