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aliled "aliled" RSS Feed (Austin, TX, United States)
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The Bats Volume 1 by The Bats [Music CD]
The Bats Volume 1 by The Bats [Music CD]

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Flying Nun pop, made easily available . . ., November 2, 2015
For those of you who haven't heard the Bats, this is the place to start. Made up of members of earlier bands (The Bilders, Toy Love, and most notably, the Clean . . . among others), the Bats played (and continue to play) deceptively simple pop songs, wistful melodic charmers that defy easy categorisation, for the basic reason that they sound so effortless and universal, yet exist with a strong personal vision - it's easy to identify one of their songs.

This compilation collects everything previously on three CDs - their debut, "Daddy's Highway," its follow-up "The Law Of Things," and a third collection of three earlier EPs, "Compiletely Bats." To that it adds:

1) A missing song ("My Way") which was on the first Bats EP, "By Night," but somehow eluded inclusion on "Compiletely Bats." It's certainly not because the song was weak . . . it fits beautifully with the other tracks and is most welcome.

2) Two demos of "Block Of Wood" and one of "Daddy's Highway." These are, regrettably, pretty awful, except in that they illuminate how hard-won the Bats' effortless-sounding final versions must have been. You will barely make through them once. They're just not good, the sound isn't good and they don't add any sort of dimension to the complete numbers.

3) Four songs from the, umm, "Four Songs" EP. The first of these is a remix of "North By North," the original version of which is on the "Daddy's Highway" album. It doesn't add much to the original version. Of the remaining three, "Straight Through My Heart" is a pleasant number, no great hook or memorable part, but it breezes by nicely. "Get Fat" is much the same . . . the Bats rarely falter, but the least of their songs just don't stick out. The backing vocal part is good, though! "Best Friends' Brains" is a bit more rollicking and memorable, with a nice melancholic melodic twist, but it sound much more like a demo than the other tracks.

4) Four "demos and outtakes" from "The Law Of Things." These are pleasant enough as well, but generally speaking, the bonus tracks are probably bonus tracks because they weren't quite as good as what the band chose to be on the actual albums.

A word about the packaging. This is a rather expensive release (around $32 new), but with three CDs and the original CD issues commanding fairly high prices, it's a good value. The packaging is simple, a fold-out cardboard package, with slots for each of the three CDs and a pocket for the liner notes. NZ legend Roy Colbert and journalist Richard Langston each contribute liner notes, which praise the band in a low-key and accurate way. The liners also include the a reproduction of the lyric sheet for "Daddy's Highway." Somehow, this all seems less-than-deserved. First of all, clearly no one at Captured Tracks (is there a more quality control-erratic label on Earth?) can read properly; the liner notes are riddle with absurd typos and misspellings, and this extends even to the song titles ("TraDgedy" . . . really folks?) There's no reason to dice up a lyrics sheet for 12 of the 53 tunes when you could have typeset the whole thing and included all of them. It looks and feels kind of . . . cheap. And one wishes the band would have received more careful consideration and some originality.

So FIVE STARS for the original recordings, FOUR STARS for the renewed availability of this music, THREE STARS for the bonus tracks and THREE STARS for the packaging. Four stars on average, give or take. If you don't have this band's back catalog, buy with assurance, but if you do, you may want to think twice about it, the bonus tracks don't add too much. Sound quality is fine, but not terribly different than the original masterings.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book to update your bridge game!, December 7, 2014
This is an easy way to improve your bridge game or learn the newer method of playing. Very informative and a quick read,


A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France
A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France
by Miranda Richmond Mouillot
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.14
94 used & new from $2.37

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book to read after you've read all the important WW II books!, November 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While it was an interesting story about a granddaughter's search for the reason behind her grandparent's estrangement, it reminded me of a classroom assignment. The author did a nice job of describing certain characters and locations, however, it could have been written in about half the number of pages. Having read many books about WW II, this one just didn't hold my interest as most of the others did.


DII Home Essentials 100% Polyester, Machine Washable, Shabby Chic, Vintage Tablecloth or Overlay 63" Round, Vintage Lace Cream
DII Home Essentials 100% Polyester, Machine Washable, Shabby Chic, Vintage Tablecloth or Overlay 63" Round, Vintage Lace Cream
Price: $9.99
2 used & new from $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars You won't be sorry, November 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This tablecloth is exactly as described and adds a touch of elegance to a special occasion. It washes well and turns out like new. It is lovely over a colored tablecloth with it's scalloped edge. My own favorite use for it is as a tree skirt under our flocked Christmas tree. Gives it just the right shabby chic look.


Classic Brands U-Shape Memory Foam Travel Pillow, Neck Pillow
Classic Brands U-Shape Memory Foam Travel Pillow, Neck Pillow
Price: $7.00
8 used & new from $6.79

5.0 out of 5 stars This is the most comfortable travel pillow I have tried, November 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the most comfortable travel pillow I have tried. It supports my neck and will be great for an upcoming long plane trip. The dark covering is wonderful for not showing dirt or wear and tear. I am hoping to try to use this as an extra pillow when I arrive at my destination. A must have for anyone hoping to sleep while traveling. It worked for a long car ride as well.


Seagate Backup Plus 4TB Desktop External Hard Drive for Mac with 200GB of Cloud Storage & Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0 (STDU4000100)
Seagate Backup Plus 4TB Desktop External Hard Drive for Mac with 200GB of Cloud Storage & Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0 (STDU4000100)
Price: Click here to see our price
23 used & new from $99.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent storage value for the price, and solidly reliable., October 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I find this hard drive a bargain - $149 is more than I used to pay for a 500MB drive not too long ago. I've been using this drive for about six months with nary a problem. At 4 massive TB, I can't imagine you'll fill it up anytime soon. It feels sturdy, works perfectly with my iMac, and has posed not a single problem. Go for it!


Waiting On You (Hqn)
Waiting On You (Hqn)
by Kristan Higgins
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
118 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Dcent summer read . . ., October 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's beach novel fluff, which means that it probably shouldn't be compared to Shakespeare or heck, even James Michener. But as a beach novel, this is pretty entertaining and page-turning stuff. I haven't read anything else by Kristan Higgins, though she has very devoted fans and a good reputation, and - if you're a fan of this sort of book - you can understand why.

The tale itself is about a romance that functionally ended, but not in the hearts of the relevant parties. Aspects of it are a little absurd, but hey . . . guilty pleasure, right? Higgins tells the tale from multiple perspectives and creates a unique little world just long enough for the mojitos to sink in.


ACDelco ARI1265 Li-ion 12V Impact Driver (1265 in-lbs), 2 battery included
ACDelco ARI1265 Li-ion 12V Impact Driver (1265 in-lbs), 2 battery included
Price: $232.00
2 used & new from $232.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Light, powerful and easy!, October 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't have a whole lot of experience with impact drivers, and I was a little concerned to find this ACDelco-branded one surprisingly lightweight, and the packaging a little on the flimsy (read cheap) side.

However, in actual use, this packs a pretty mighty punch - powerful and reliable. I've found that the battery has a decent (though not spectacular) life, but rather amazingly in these days of skimpy extras, TWO batteries are included, effectively doubling the driver's life on a specific job . . . well past the point where they'd both be expended.

This was a pleasant surprise, and well-worth the couple of bills it will set you back.

note: Other reviewers have noted the ACDelco brand as one best-known for automobile parts, and with a deservedly good reputation, but remark that this particular tool is not *actually* made by them. No worries, clearly it seems that ACDelco has maintained a certain quality control here. Recommended.


Arriba! Fire Roasted Southwestern Medium Garlic & Cilantro Salsa, 16 Ounce Jars (Pack of 4)
Arriba! Fire Roasted Southwestern Medium Garlic & Cilantro Salsa, 16 Ounce Jars (Pack of 4)
Price: $17.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved it . . ., August 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I loved it - it's very cilanto-heavy and tastes like salsa from a lot of my favorite Mexican places. The presence of garlic in noticeable but not too heavy (I'm not too keen on garlic.) That said, several of my guests *really* didn't like it - felt it was too "leafy" and strong. But these were folks used to the sort of salsa found in the Frito-Lay aisle, so keep that in mind. Foodies'll dig it. One caveat: one of my jars arrived broken, despite being packed fairly well and despite the jars feeling pretty solid. Good product at a good price.


Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle All Purpose Surface Cleaner Lemon 30 Fluid Ounce
Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle All Purpose Surface Cleaner Lemon 30 Fluid Ounce
Offered by Useful Universe
Price: $15.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Great. great cleaning product . . ., August 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Okay, I'm lazy. But I do keep things clean, and for many years used Windex or something similar to clean just about everything. This Mr Clean Liquid Muscle All Purpose Surface Cleaner does what Windex used to do, but a whole whole lot better. It's a great product, with a specially designed dispenser that minimizes waste, and the ability to use the product directly (on a sponge, as one would dish detergent) or to dilute it for floor or counter clean-up. I've used it both ways; it does the job and smells nice. The label says it doesn't contain a lot of the more harmful (or harsh) ingredients found in similar products (though I'm not sure what it does contain!) and very little of the cleaner is needed - much less than you'd think - making this an economical choice.


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