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N. P. Stathoulopoulos "nick9155" RSS Feed (Brooklyn, NY)

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Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Offered by You Name the Game
Price: $26.99
54 used & new from $0.31

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man With the Box-Hat..., March 16, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Wow, you can pick up this classic for less than a candy bar these days. This Atari 2600 adaptation of the movie really stretched the system as you had quite a few boards/screens (oooh), different pieces of music, including the famous theme plus the flute of the snake charmer that protected you from the squiggly line, and it took longer than most games of its day to complete.

It even required the operation of both joysticks--one to move Indy, who is defined by his box-hat, and the other to control his inventory of items like moneybags, a flute, a gun, the whip, etc. Because of this requirement, it was somewhat of a two-player adventure game. It's probably also one of the first games that provoked serious swearing at the TV screen back in the day. Just after you completed all of the steps that follow the film (buy this, avoid that guy, avoid that squiggly line, whip this, etc, etc) you could buy it at any moment from the raving lunatic in the market, or the falling boxes that Belog dropped on your head, or maybe you'd miss the parachute landing you need to make, when you have the shovel, to find the mound of dirt that hides the ark. And then you'd have to start all over and do it again, very carefully, with a quick hand to change from the moneybag to the gun. Yeah, this was an involved 2600 game.

Gotta give LucasArts credit for this one, it's memorable.

Wall Street: Also Includes Talk Radio - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Wall Street: Also Includes Talk Radio - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
12 used & new from $23.51

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware of content..., March 16, 2008
Be aware, as others have noted, if you're looking for certain music from Wall Street, you won't find it here.

The album is split between Copeland's score for Talk Radio and Wall Street, solid if very 80s scores amidst his quiet but effective work over the past few decades. Note that none of the songs from Wall Street are here, such as the Talking Heads' This Must Be The Place or Sinatra doing Fly Me To The Moon. Also note that two tracks from the film that sounded like an experimental score were actually from the Eno and Byrne album My Life In The Bush of Ghosts. America Is Waiting is used for the office montage during the first Blue Star buy, and Mea Culpa begins just as Bud accepts Gekko's offer to enter the big leagues of inside information, tracking Sir Larry on his motorcycle (the booming, loud percussion over the droning voice). Those are not on this album, either, though the Eno/Byrne work was remastered and re-released in 2006.

Still a solid disc for fans of the Police drummer and Stone fans who enjoyed both films. Now out of print and getting pricey from market sellers, it's a short disc and one should shop around.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2010 1:52 AM PDT

First & Last & Always
First & Last & Always
Price: $10.39
42 used & new from $5.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Whose hand holds...a solid re-issue with value, March 16, 2008
This review is from: First & Last & Always (Audio CD)
The most necessary of the 2006 Sisters re-issues, this release restores the vinyl sound of the original album that many fans were waiting for. The earlier CD version of FALAA had an enhanced sound, harder, more up-front and punchier, especially on Dr. Avalanche's beats and some of the basslines. The two clearly sound different, with this version initially sounding more subdued and flatter, not quite muddy but muted in spots compared to the later one.

The production makes some songs very different, specifically Black Planet, Rock And A Hard Place, and the title track. The Doktor is more laid back in the mix, and again, there's somehow less 'punch' than the CD remaster, particularly on the title track, which seemed to jump along on disc. Your preference might well depend on what was the first version of FALAA you heard--vinyl or CD. I still keep my previous disc and listen to it often enough, though this is clearly recommended to fans.

It's pretty the only 'official' material of the Sisters in eons, and at least it's somewhat of value though most fans will have the vinyl or bootlegs or be tired of no new albums. Includes the most bonus tracks of all the reissues, some very good b-sides but the only 'new' surprise is an officially released early version of Some Kind Of Stranger. Very little production on Eldritch's vocals, and a very cheesy Doktor, sounding like an old-school Casio. The guitar saves the track, and we're reminded how good the whole production on the album proper is, including the vocals, which sound completely tortured here.

Released with zero input from Eldritch or the current incarnation of the band, this is still a pretty nice job with flattering liner notes and a cool digipac design.

NHL 08 - Xbox 360
NHL 08 - Xbox 360
Offered by NEWPORT555
Price: $2.20
136 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Crunch and shoot..., March 16, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: NHL 08 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I've not owned a version of NHL in several years, but it didn't matter.

Instantly recognizable and playable for the NHL veteran and the newbie, this is an excellent job by EA of updating the game and making some serious improvements. As others have noted, the AI is pretty up to snuff, actually being competent, sharp and tough. The defense swarms, the computer-controlled D poking, bumping, and of course making bone-crunching, somersault-causing checks. They put up opposition, in short, as do the goalies who are generally very, very good.

The game looks fantastic, even without HDTV graphics. All of the faces, arenas, and almost too many uniform options (you can change the player's gloves, helment and stick to a different brand?) Absolutely addictive, all of the previous action is here but vastly improved. One-timers, slappers, beat-downs, insane saves, and even fights have returned. Oddly, though, they seem to have done away with five-minute majors (except for the rare fighting), and double minors, and some penalties altogether (goalie interference, and boarding). Also, it seems like faceoffs get dominated by one team over the other quite often. But these are minor gripes when you look at the whole game.

There's a dynasty mode that is clearly for obsessists, as you control the team, the minor league affiliate, the books, the salary cap, the morale, etc. In addition to the NHL and Olympic teams, there's the entire AHL, as well as the Finnish league and Swedish league. Plenty of small gem teams and players to find.

Highly recommended game for XBoxers. Completely addictive, and this time with a very competent computer that will have you swearing at the screen as Finland runs up the score.

Live at the Aquarius Theatre: The Second Performance
Live at the Aquarius Theatre: The Second Performance
17 used & new from $54.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Let's hear Money!", March 16, 2008
Another Bright Midnight Records release, the label responsible for (finally) putting out some of the Doors shows recorded for the Absolutely Live tour, and then some. This is the second Aquarius '69 show.

The sound quality is just as good as the other Bright Midnight releases, recorded with the same set-up, and then remastered years later by Doors engineer Bruce Botnick. So if you only get one Aquarius show, check out the setlist and order and see what you prefer--both nights are similar. Both shows feature a complete Celebration of the Lizard, as well as the excellent Mystery Train/Crossroads jam. This show has Touch Me and Gloria, while the first show has Who Do You Love. The completist will just buy both sets, others may want to ponder. Most importantly, aside from the excellent sound, is thast the shows are uncut and complete. They even separate the in-between chatter and crowd noise into separate tracks like 'The Crowd Humbly Requests'. I'm not aware of any overdubs on this album, either.

Recorded as part of the material that would be sewed into the Absolutely Live album, this is a complete source where as AB was a collection from many shows. Many tracks were, in fact, cut-ups of various takes of the same song from different shows. Guess the band is finally content to let people see them warts and all. AB and In Concert are excellent live albums, but purists wished for complete and uncut concerts tapes, and Bright Midnight is delivering all of the stops, starts, miscues, mistakes, drunken Jim, and chatter in between some amazing versions.

Highly recommended to Doors fans, and if you're really obsessed you'll want to pick up all of the Bright Midnight releases. They seem to be trickling them out, unlike The Grateful Dead or Pearl Jam who bombarded fans with 'official bootlegs' over the years. Thankfully, in addition to the band, Botnick is involved with all releases for continuity and completeness over the decades.

Hybrid CD #1
Hybrid CD #1

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent set of new Numan sound for new and old tracks, March 15, 2008
This review is from: Hybrid CD #1 (Audio CD)
Mutate is the Hybrid double-disc set plus a bonus disc of videos and remixes--it's the better set to get if you can still find it.

Numan's 'traditional' sound is perfectly suited for these new arrangements, which continue the dark, gothic-indusrial sound he took on during Sacrifice and has stuck with (for the better) more or less since. Remixed by Sulphur, Ade Fenton, and Numan himself, most of the tracks are strong as they 're-imagine' classics like M.E., This Wreckage, Cars, Down In The Park, Everyday I Die, and newer ones like Bleed, Torn, Dominion Day, and others. There are a couple of news tracks like the excellent Ancients, and Hybrid, which is basically a remix of sorts of Pure. Numan's voice is seamless on the static-y, distorted, and pounding production. Should not scare off fans of the older material---this is one of the best jobs of updating anyone's sound, and it's an ideal fit.

So what if he's not pioneering synth-pop all over again...the bands he borrows from here borrowed from him, and here we are. Highly recommended for fans, he performs many of these live today with a backing band.

Rant in E Minor
Rant in E Minor
Price: $13.99
47 used & new from $3.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Ray Cyrus cannot hide..., March 15, 2008
This review is from: Rant in E Minor (Audio CD)
Excellent collection for Hicks fans old and new, this is a complilation of brutal, angry, ranting clips (in E minor) from the brutal, angry, ranting, and insightful late comic. My favorite Hicks album, it has the funniest and angriest clips as he screams, raves, and opines on topics just as relevant today, if not more so.

Not a single show, but a collection of standup pieces laced with brief, musical interludes and sound cut-ups, similar to Arizona Bay, this is longer and even more irate. Topics include people-hating, COPS obsession (hilarious and angry), Billy Ray Cyrus, advertising and celebrity (ouch), Jay Leno (a brutally funny rip on his friend for selling out), Republicans, war, drugs (naturally), and more. Hicks is in true form, with his anger and confusion at the wilful blindless or plain ignorance of the copious BS fed and consumed in the USA (and all over).

Had he not died so young, Hicks would be that much angrier today. Nobody's really picked up his mantle, save Dennis Leary who ripped off the act and went on to do other things. Thankfully a good deal of material has been released over the last decade. Highly recommended comedy album, well worth it.

Miami Vice: Complete Collection
Miami Vice: Complete Collection
8 used & new from $145.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer Time, March 9, 2008
Gadzooks! The prices quoted for a copy of this indicate the obsession of Hammer and Vice fans. Ebay copies go for around the same amount for this complete collection of Jan Hammer's score to the first four reasons of Miami Vice. It's as 'complete' as a release is likely to get, unless they release a 15 disc box set with the actual music and versions of every piece of music, in episodic order for every show Hammer scored. That might be even more Jan Hammer than most could take, but in these days of niche-obsessions fueled by quality re-releases, who knows?

Features plenty of definitive Vice music, perfect for imagining you're escorting a witness through an airport and getting ambushed by Colombian drug dealers in bad shirts and armed with Uzis. Hammer created one of the more memorable scores in recent TV history, and he helped define the mood the show with his mostly electronic tracks. The dark synth cues, the steady sequencers, the solos are all there, evoking white-suited figures firing mega-loud guns at scummy villains with bad 80s hair.

If you're obsessed, you might really consider paying one of the sellers that much. Else you might suffer for years before they release the ultimate Hammer box set collection or something.

Complete John Peel Sessions
Complete John Peel Sessions
Price: $10.99
34 used & new from $6.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing more than...another great Peel disc, March 9, 2008
Yet another excellent John Peel disc, this one collects the previously released tracks from 1979, and adds Numan's BBC appearances from 20+ years later as he performs material from the Jagged album.

As usual, excellent sound, and complete live takes in studio quality. Highly recommended for Numan fans, the older tracks sound better than the previous BBC disc, so crisp and clean you hear the keys of the synths being pressed during Conversation.

The Gulf War Did Not Take Place
The Gulf War Did Not Take Place
by Jean Baudrillard
Edition: Paperback
25 used & new from $13.50

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The war happened, but didn't take place..., March 9, 2008
Provacativively titled book either impresses or deeply angers people, I read this years ago and retained only a few points of interest.

Yes, the war happened, as in bombs were dropped, people died, buildings were destroyed, many suffered, etc. But it differed markedly from previous wars in that it was mainly an event to be manipulated by different sides in the media. Therefore, it did not take place the way previous wars had, in that the suffering and even a uniform understanding did not penetrate the population at home who watched the events on CNN.

Unfortunately, all of this business about the 'realness' of the war, and the simulacra, and the hyper-reality we're now mired in, is written in a frustrating and unnecessarily bloated style that makes even this slim work a slight chore at times. Can certainly be expressed in a simpler way, therefore appearing less profound, but then it wouldn't be the work of French postmodern philosopher. Interesting 'take' on a modern war, with points that would only resonate more in the years since, it's hit-or-miss for most readers of current events (more for the philosophy crowd).

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