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Nick Herman RSS Feed (Claremont, CA)

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Kids Return
Kids Return
DVD ~ Ken Kaneko
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $9.35
10 used & new from $4.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, January 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kids Return (DVD)
One of the best Kitano Films, just watch it.


Vanatoo Transparent One Powered Speakers (Cherry, Set of 2)
Vanatoo Transparent One Powered Speakers (Cherry, Set of 2)
Offered by Vanatoo LLC
Price: $549.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Speakers, January 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great speakers, lots of power and subwoofing action for a reasonable price and surprisingly small size. Plug and play, perfect for a living room or studio, look and sound good.


Remo 16" Pretuned Hand Drum
Remo 16" Pretuned Hand Drum
Offered by West Music
Price: $26.05
2 used & new from $26.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, January 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Remo 16" Pretuned Hand Drum
Nice drum for the price!


Crystal
Crystal
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A deep and stirring album. More subtle than the ..., July 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Crystal (MP3 Music)
A deep and stirring album. More subtle than the Awakening, but more dense than some of his more recent work. Arabesque is a graceful and circular tune.


Blue Moon
Blue Moon
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, May 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blue Moon (MP3 Music)
Inspiring album, full of subtlety and dynamic range. 81 years old at time of recording! Incredible!


Medulla
Medulla
Offered by BuddhaFlipsJungle
Price: $6.99
138 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bjork does it again, January 3, 2005
This review is from: Medulla (Audio CD)
Having traversed the realms of punk, pop, rock, jazz and electronica in the name of furthering her eclectic, unique style, Bjork (pronounced "Bjerk" by the way-in an interview she once said, "it rhymes with `jerk'") has returned to the roots of her expression-her impressive voice. Medulla, her newest album, is a work consisting (almost) entirely of vocals.

Upon first hearing that Bjork's newest effort was going to consist of only vocals (to be fair, there are a few tiny passages of piano and other instruments, as well as heavy sampling occurring), I was a bit put-off. I thought to myself, "As much as I love Bjork, will this really work?" Although the centerpiece of many of Bjork's songs are her passionate cries and distinctive intonation, I am used to hearing a plethora of musical instruments accompany her, and increasingly more since Homogenic, electronic beats and synthesized effects. I was skeptical of this "a cappella" Bjork.

But it works. And Bjork has gone to great lengths to achieve the desired effect. Performing alongside her are a plethora of talented artists including a Tibetan-throat singer, beat-boxers, both the Icelandic and UK national choirs and the bizarre audio-wizard duo of Matmos. Clearly, Bjork knows what she's doing.

Bjork intended her previous album, Vespertine, to be intimate music, "very much about being alone in your house," (Bjork.com) she said. If that is the case, Medulla is a direct connection into Bjork's soul. It is an earthy, primal album that will enthrall the listener completely, or not at all. Many of the songs are sparse and delicate--consummating whispers and sounds which seep into one's consciousness. Others are brutal, earthy and downright primal. Indeed, "ancestors," consists largely of grunting and throat sounds, as where in the sweeping "Vokuro," Bjork sings a serious ballade in Icelandic alongside the silky ensemble of a huge choir.

While the album is a very cohesive body of work, my feelings towards it are more complex than her previous efforts. While some of the songs are simply too experimental for me to listen to more than sporadically, other pieces are among the best ever produced by the artist. Especially notable are the cacophonious "Triumph of the Heart," which mixes playful, impossible sounds from Japanese beat boxer, Dokaka, with the smooth undercurrent of Bjork's soothing, long voice, "Who is it," an introspective tour de force, and the sensual "Oceania," which was sung at the opening ceremony of the Athens Olympics.

Medulla, like all of Bjork's solo works, is a deeply heartfelt creation and a logical progression of her maturation as an artist. You will be hard pressed to find a collection of music that better expresses the sentiments of, well, humanity that Bjork unleashes in her newest effort, as she has been doing for years. Medulla is an acquired taste, but a damn good one. And, as a final footnote, it's worth mentioning that Bjork is one of the most complete musicians, artists, and singers that I've ever come across--amidst the constant innovation, it's sometimes easy to forget, that on a purely technical level, Bjork is capable of making her vocal chords do amazing things, traversing across an absolutely ENORMOUS vocal range, producing all sorts of sounds and brilliant dynamic tone shifts that I have never heard emulated by another human being. This album is the apex of such skill and sincerity.


Best Of Liszt (2 CD)
Best Of Liszt (2 CD)
Price: $17.67
32 used & new from $2.97

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liszt presented in all his magnificence, January 3, 2005
This review is from: Best Of Liszt (2 CD) (Audio CD)
There are a ton of great, well-known pieces on this 2-CD set, and it's a fantastic deal! Very beautiful in all respects except that, I agree with the reviewer below--the DB range of playing is not as wide or dynamic as it should be. It would be better if it was a bit HARDER and more powerful!--this is essential for the passion and intensity that Liszt created. Also, Mephisto Waltz seems to have been shortened. But all in all, good collection at a good price.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, December 16, 2004
This is an incredibly soulful, deep and mature set of mixes. Nick Warren is one of the best progressive artists on the scene, and this CD proves it. Essential for any electronica enthusiasts collection. It has the dual quality of being both absorbant in a cerebral way, while also entirely danceable. Highly recommended!


Suzhou River
Suzhou River
DVD ~ Xun Zhou
Price: $11.99
16 used & new from $7.99

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Cinematography, Predictable and Dissatisfying Story, June 29, 2004
This review is from: Suzhou River (DVD)
I had high expectations for this movie based on a recommendation I had obtained from a friend, long ago, and from the glowing reviews present here. I really liked this film, starting out. It had good cinemamotography, an interesting first person-perspective/narration, gritty, urban, dirty Shanghai, as it is in reality.
However, the movie has some glaring problems. First of all, it seems to suffer from a common syndrome I've seen among modern Asian films: simplistic and immature characters that trap themselves in sickly, strange fantasies, probably out of personal defects and a desire to escape their dull lives. I guess this isn't actually that far from reality, for a lot of people, I guess it just gets drab and depressing seeing these types of recurring situations. I'll re-visit this point in a second--first, let me say, that I thought the story was going to have some element of mystery, or be more intriguing than it was..but..nope. That's pretty much it. I don't want to spoil anything, but you'll know what I mean if you see it. So, I guess, this makes sense to an extent, because it is a story being told by a narrator with a shaky camera, giving the film a pseudo-documentary feel to it, but at the end it still feels rather unsatisfying.
But why is it so unsatisfying, as the story progresses? That brings me back to my first point. Apparently this is supposed to be some kind of love story? You are supposed to feel sympathy, for some reason? If this is the effect the director was going for, I can only remark that this is a testament to the gullibility and naivity of his audience. (Warning, spoilers ahead) The courier, Mardar, looks about 30, and semi-dates a girl who looks like she's about 16, is all over him, to a pathetic extent, and then he kidnaps her as part of a ransom plot, so understandably, she's a bit pissed off and jumps from a bridge. Ok, I feel a lot of sympathy for the girl. She got a raw deal.
Then, we cut back to the narrator dating this stripper-mermaid girl, MeiMei, who, from our perspective, mostly just videotapes her, watches her, and makes out with her, oh, and she also just leaves for days without telling him anything. Doesn't sound like the most stable relationship, right? So I guess the apex that we're supposed to marvel at is when Mardar sees MeiMei, thinking that she is really his girl, Moudan (so many names beginning with M..), who he has since vowed to find, feeling the guilt for kidnapping her and wanting to show that he really loves her, evidently. MeiMei doesn't believe him, but she gets infatuated with his story--but the worst part is, she NEVER actually believes his story or really cares about it! She just thinks the whole thing is a ruse because Mardar wants her so badly! Revealing her true character, she runs off with Mardar without telling the narrator, showing her degree of vanity and self-absorbance. Mardar, at least has his heart in the right place to some extent, as he later tells the narrator that MeiMei is not the girl he is looking for and continues his search. Later, he finds Moudan, who miraculously (yeah right), really did fall into a big river, drunk, as a ploy to lead a different life, hoping he would find her. Then, they both get drunk and somehow die. The police contact the narrator, he contacts MeiMei. And get this--she is not so sad about the fact that her other lover is dead, as much as the fact that he really WAS telling the truth, therefore, disproving her theory that he made up the whole story because he wanted her so badly. Boo hoo! How sick. Then she goes back to the narrator and suddenly disappears, telling her to find him if he loves her. And...he's supposed to actually want to find her? What? As if you'd want to find a self-absorbed girl who cheated on you because she thought someone else made up an elegant story to appeal to her vanity, who then challeges you to find her if you really love her? Sympathy, love? Huh? More like a dissatisfying ending and an egocentric [person].
Ideally, I would see this movie as well-done social commentary on the escapist and selfish tendencies of people, fueled by melodrama and an unhappiness with themselves, as well as dated and unreasonable gender expectations (which, understandably, are still quite prevalent in the world, much less in a 3rd world country). Somehow, I don't think that's what the director was going for. But a love story? Hardly.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2007 5:26 PM PST


Cositas Buenas
Cositas Buenas
Offered by MEGA Media
Price: $11.56
48 used & new from $2.20

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master Returns, June 23, 2004
This review is from: Cositas Buenas (Audio CD)
I had the great privilege of seeing Paco perform at UCLA a few months back, and it was definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life. Paco de Lucia is, indisputably, a visionary of flamenco, the guitar and music.
Cositas Buenas is a very good album. There are a few tracks that feel a little too "smooth" to me, but overall, they are what I've come to expect out of Paco--perfection. As he's gotten older, his music has gained maturity, so he's not as concerned with nonstop 128th notes as much as the overall structure of the music, and he has been going in this direction for the last decade or so.
It's a very melodic album, to be sure, and I think he utilizes vocals and compas-clapping more than in his previous albums. Listening to Paco play his guitar, it is so evident that he has long since gained a complete control over the technical aspects of it, and subsequently, can bend the will of his instrument in whatever way he sees fit to advance the music. Always a visionary, Paco's superhuman musical abilities allow him to create music that is simply impossible for most people to play (a nice aspiration for those of us who play flamenco to dream of). This kind of skillful and subtle technique is especially evident in such tracks as Antonia (a buleria por solea) and El Tesorillo (tientos) very beautiful, deep tracks that embody the essence of Paco's contribution to flamenco. I also really like Casa Bernardo (rumba), which showcases Paco's tightly-knit band working together in harmony very well. Dig that sax! It's inspiring to know that not only is the man himself amazing, but so is the rest of his group, and I can tell you, from seeing them live, that they have an almost telepathic-like connection, full of energy and spirit.
I don't think it is quite as good or solemn as his previous album, Luzia, which was dedicated to his mother, but that's pretty hard to top.


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