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Wayne Klein "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.-Albert Einstein" RSS Feed (My Little Blue Window, USA)
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Rough & Ready - 2015 - Iconoclassic Remaster
Rough & Ready - 2015 - Iconoclassic Remaster
Price: $11.99
8 used & new from $7.48

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong remaster of Jeff Beck's third album, new band, shift in the sound compared to the first two Jeff Beck albums., May 29, 2015
The Vic Anesini remaster for Jeff Beck's third album features the best version of this album available on CD. While the third album isn't as strong as the first two albums made with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, it does feature some terrific performances from a band that showed potential. Unfortunately this version of the Jeff Beck group only survived for one more album. Keyboardist Max Middleton helps shift the sound to a more jazz tinged feel which culminates with "Blow By Blow".

As mentioned Anesini does a terrific job of remastering the album. This is the best the album ha sounded on CD beating hands down every other edition I've owned (and especially the compressed 2006 Japanese remaster).

I wasn't s big fan of Bobby Tench's singing style initially but have grown to like him--he matches the material fairly well.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 8:08 PM PDT


Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome [Blu-ray]
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Mel Gibson
Price: $7.99
19 used & new from $6.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He's not mad anymore just peeved in watered down more kid friendly sequel to "Mad Max: The Road Warrior"-still entertaining, May 25, 2015
The third film in the Mad Max series is the weakest of the original trilogy despite an impressive openng sequence. The film is an odd hybrid of what we saw before married to a mixture of Lord of The Flies and Peter Pan and not a very successful one at that.

Spoilers:

George Miller creates a raggedy sequel to "Mad Max: The Road Warrior".

When I first saw the film in theaters I thought Tina Turner was an awful actress and that impression has softened a bit but she's still not very good as Auntie who runs the shanty town that Max comes to in search of his vehicle. Max is forced to go up against Master Blaster two people who act as one--a little person and intimidating giant of a man who wears a metal helmet. Max makes a deal to fight Blaster in thunderdome with Auntie in hopes of recovering his vehicle and belongings. She, in turn, will gain absolute control of the town eliminating her main rival. Things don't quite turn out the way either one of them hoped for once Max faces off against Blaster in the ring.

End of Spoilers.

The Blu-Ray transfer for "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" looks very nice with exceptional good detail. The audio likewise sounds quite good with a good presentation. Sadly the film arrives on Blu-Ray without any special features beyond the original trailer for the film (which looks quite worn and is presented in standard definition).

I've always thought that Miller's loss of his producing partner along with studio interference resulted in a watered down product.

The Blu-Ray looks terrific it this could have used a commentary track, retrospective featurette on the making of the film, etc. to make this a more complete package.


Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind
Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind
by Josh Karp
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.14
54 used & new from $13.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good if flawed look at the making & "unmaking" of Welles' last film, May 19, 2015
The tangled web that captured Orson Welles' last major project "The Other Side of the Wind" trapped the film preventing it from being finished. Part of that entanglement was financial, part of it Welles restless creativity and issues with Hollywood. The film certainly was ambitious--Welles based the protagonist on Ernest Hemmingway, John Huston and Welles himself as he told the tale of a director who dies in a crash crash before completing his final project.

Author Josh Karp puts his book together in three "acts"; the first uses the framing device of the film "Sunset Blvd." with Karp telling the story in Welles' voice. The second focuses on Welles' life giving us a brief overview on his history with Hollywood, his issues as a film director/actor and his years of exile. The third section drops us into the byzantine financing situation which caused the intermittant shooting of the project over the years and prevented the completion of the film.

Welles chose to create a metamovie (or sorts) decades before the term event existed. Using a variety of formats (35mm, 16mm and 8mm)and points-of-view (a documentary that is being shot while the film is shooting is "incorporated" into the film)and approaches to telling the story proved that, once again, Welles restless creativity put him decades ahead of his contemporaries.

While Karp's book isn't entirely successful in its ambitious structure, it does provide us with a solid background on Welles (in case someone is coming to the book with no background on the director)but is, not surprisingly, most successful at conveying all of the obstacles (including those from Welles himself)that prevented this ambitious project from being completed in Welles' lifetime and released.

I'm hoping that all of the issues that contributed to this film not being presented to the public are resolved sooner than later. Even if the film is flawed (and with the approach Welles' took to the project as well as the long period of inactivity, it's highly likely that it will be). It would be nice to see a final Welles film as ambitious as this and anything added to Welles' small filmography is welcome.

Recommended.


Playmates
Playmates
Price: $6.90

3.0 out of 5 stars These playmates create a solid album although it isn't quite as essential as Small Faces classic works, May 18, 2015
This review is from: Playmates (MP3 Music)
Thomas Wolfe's comment about not being able to go home again could be slighly revised for rock bands. You CAN go home again but it might need some sprucing up, new paint,etc. to make the place look like when you left. Having said that, no amount of restoration is going to do justice to the original look when elements are missing and can't be replaced.

"Playmates" does feature some sprucing up mainly because Ronnie Lane, who had initially agreed to be a part of the reformation of the band, bowed out to be replaced by veteran musician Rick Wills (Foreigner, David Gilmour's solo backing band). Unfortunately the sprucing up does change the color of the band--Lane is sorely missed as his contribution as songwriter was key to the band's success and, while Steve Marriott and Ian McLagan do a credible job covering for him as a songwriter, it just doesn't gel the way the other Small Faces albums did.

This is a fine album and, when the material isn't quite up to snuff, Marriott contributes some stinging guitar playing and terrific singing.

The CD issue of the album was, initially, on Wounded Bird in the U.S. and it sounds like what is normally termed a flat transfer. There isn't any tweaking. The album could have benefited from some subtle moves during the mastering process to make the album truly shine on CD but it isn't overcompressed with some of the odd EQ choices that have dominated many reissue CDs.

The mp3 sounds very similar to the CD version issued on Wounded Bird.

Although this isn't The Small Faces at their best, it is a fine follow up to the band's classic albums but Ronnie Lane IS missed. As good a bassist as Wills is, he isn't as creative a force as Lane was and that essential ingredient is missing. This is a good, solid album but it could have been more.


78 in the Shade
78 in the Shade
8 used & new from $42.42

3.0 out of 5 stars Reformed Small Faces missing key ingredients - stronger songs and Ronnie Lane., May 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 78 in the Shade (Audio CD)
Reforming The Small Faces after the collapse of Humple Pie seemed like a good movie at the time particularly with the original line up in place initially. Ronnie Lane opted out early on replaced by music veteran Rick Wills (Foreigner) and while the chemistry was solid on "Playmates" the material wasn't up to what Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane wrote together during their heyday.

The humorously titled "78 In The Shade" (it was produced in 1978) finds much of the material even thinner than the previous album. The addition of the late Jimmy McCulloch on guitar adds a bit of Fire to the proceedings as he and Marriott play well off of each other. As good as the players are, Marriott isn't in the best voice here either.

"78 In The Shade" has its moments but is disappointing coming after the brilliant albums that Marriott made with The Small Faces and the Stewart fronted Faces albums.

The Wounded a Bird" reissue sounds like a flat transfer of a very good tape source although it could have used a bit of help from a great mastering engineer to make the material shine.

This reissue will be essential for fans of Marriott and The Small Faces and, although it doesn't co pare to their best albums, this is a solid coda for the band.


Bourjois Smoky Stories Quad Eyeshadow Palette - 07 In Mauve Again
Bourjois Smoky Stories Quad Eyeshadow Palette - 07 In Mauve Again
Offered by The Blush Beauty Box
Price: $12.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but a bit darker than expected, May 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The color was a bit different than expected although my wife thought it looked nice. Easy to apply and only needs to be applied once a day. It didnt irritate her eye or skin.


Voices - Paper Sleeve - CD Deluxe Vinyl Replica
Voices - Paper Sleeve - CD Deluxe Vinyl Replica
Price: $18.96
23 used & new from $10.34

2.0 out of 5 stars Five star album brought down by lousy mastering from Culture Factory, May 14, 2015
Culture Factory had promise. Quality packaging, the use of original master tapes where possible but, as often happens things fell down in the mastering department. These are loud, compressed, bright and shrill sounding which is too bad because Murray Head is a talented artist that never truly got his due. Add in midrange sucked out of the recording and you have a terrific album that just doesn't sound very good. Remastering from a 24 bit source and dithering down to 16 bits doesn't help when your highes are painful to listen to on a recording.

If you can seek out the 2003 CD issues. They at least sound good. Five stars for the album, one star for the mastering. Evidently the mastering engineer or this set suffers from hearing loss.


MCIII
MCIII
Price: $17.99
29 used & new from $14.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Five star material, two star mastering for Mikal Cronin's latest album, May 9, 2015
This review is from: MCIII (Vinyl)
More elaborate than his previous album Mikal Cronin's latest allows the artist to move further into melodic territory with more hooks than 5 albums by any other artist.

MCIII features Mikal playing most of the instruments and providing most of the vocals. The material is truly incredible particularly the song cycle "Circle" that concludes the album where Cronin puts togethre a coming-of-age story. It's a bit less slickly produced than the first four songs but every bit as hooky and involving. Cronin IS a major talent worth watching and, while he's a bit of a cult artist at the moment (although Ty Segal fans will be familiair with Cronin's playin from their collaborations).

The packaging is digipak for those interested with a booklet. It's a rather spare presentation but, again, it isn't about the design so much as the music.

Having said that, I am disappointed in the mastering by J.J. Golden. It's compressed but not impossible (IMHO) to listen to. It does distract and detract from the music. If you're going to listen to this with just headbuds, you might not notice but for those listening on a decent stereo system either in the car or at home, it will be noticeable.

I'm hoping that Mikal will reconsider HOW he has his music mastered next time (since it probably was his choice)around and, perhaps, will revisit the mastering on this terrific album later.

Cronin continues to be a fascinating and very talented musician and "MCIII" despite the flawed mastering (I haven't heard the vinyl with the MP3 download for comparison). It's well worth pickin up along with the latest from Father John Misty promising truly exciting music from a younger generation of songwriters.

Recommended.


Knife
Knife
Price: $21.38
34 used & new from $8.07

4.0 out of 5 stars "Knife" doesn't cut quite as deep as the debut but solid songs and good mastering, plus bonus tracks makes worthwhile., May 5, 2015
This review is from: Knife (Audio CD)
The cliche is that many musicians spent their lives before being discovered writing their first album. They lived the songs, took them apart, examined the, rejected them, hated them, loved them and, like a child, send themout to the world. The second child is often the problem one. All of those expectations are created by how well that first child sounded, acted and performed. Being a second child is no picnic and they face a tougher tme. Such was the case with Aztec Camera's second album "Knife"--the public gave it a tougher time knowing what had cme before but hindsight reveals what's unique, fascinating and often powerful about Roddy Frame's second album of songs.

Frame benefits from producer Mark Knopfler's tasteful use of keyboards on this R&B inflected collection of songs. There are at least a handful of songs here that compare favorably (and take a step away from the pop sheen of their debut) and the remainder are quite good having their own unique charm.

The elephant in the room is the title track which meanders like a lost dog looking for home but never quite finding it. It's here that Knopfler (no stranger to ambitious, long songs) could have come in handy suggesting ideas to make it work as a shorter piece and filling out the rest of the album with either two covers or an interesting collaboration with Knopfler's.

The remaster has plenty of bonus tracks (they could have thrown their acoustic version of Van Halen's "Jump" on the album and it did become a minor hit making Up for the misstep of the title track of the album). The mastering is pretty good here as well.


The Rock & Roll All Stars by John Fogerty [Music CD]
The Rock & Roll All Stars by John Fogerty [Music CD]
Offered by Hazyrock
Price: $19.95
2 used & new from $19.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great performance, sound quality varies sloppy editing sounds like it was sourced from a cassette, April 25, 2015
When John Fogerty emerged after years in isolation with "Centerfield" it was a surprise for many who had given up on him to ever produce another album again. Fogerty was emotionally bruised and battered from all his conflicts with Saul Zaentz of Fantasy Records, his former band mates and despondent, bitter over the loss of the rights to his song. It would have made a perfect country music song.

Fogerty came back big with a hit album and a number of shows including those captured here for Farm Aid and the Vietman vets. Backed by a crack band and sizzling with energy these performances are terrific. What's not so terrific is the sound quality of this bootleg; the shows are pulled from on air TV and FM broadcasts and even include the call signs for the latter (and a brief comment from an onair personality in the case of the former).

These sound as if they were sourced from a couple of cassette tapes. Now that could be a good thing or bad thing depending on the quality of the recordings and how much work was put into this release. Of course the ideal solution would be if Fogerty released these himself from a superior tape source. The sound quality is thin with plenty of the artifacts from a 1985 radio or TV broadcast and while the mix might have sounded fine there, for broadcast they leave a little bit to be desired. If you add in the fact that the editing sounds like it was done by a five year old (literally as if someone just pushed pause to skip the commercials on their tape deck), this is a poor excuse for a release and it does violated copyright law in the case of at least one track ("My Toot Toot") which Fogerty released as s bonus track on the anniversary edition of "Cemterfield" proving that there is a better source tape available for some of these tracks somewhere.

There is a drop out on "Born on the Bayou" that any engineer worth his salt would have been able to fix.

The value in having this is the fact that Fogerty performed seven tracks that had never been committed to tape in the studio before, "Mary Don't You Weep", "My Pretty Baby", "Let's Go", "Mercy Mercy Baby", "I'm A Man", "No Loving You" and "Knock On Wood" (none of which he wrote) and features a handful of CCR songs which he had vowed not to perform again (at the time) at the Vietnam Vet's show which he tears into with relish.

The packaging here is certainly professional enough and this is on a CD not a CD-R (at least at present) but there's the rub--even though the packaging states that donations from sales will be made two the two charitable foundations represented here, this sounds pretty crummy (heck, I have shows I transferred to CD for personal use where I did a better job with minimal effort)and there was little work done to clean up the recording or present it professionally.

I can only hope that this will prompt Fogerty to seek out better sources for his own release of this as this one isn't very good sounding IMHO beyond the performances themselves.

If you're just looking for a crummy bootleg of this show, by all means pick this up but there have to be better sources out there on YouTube, etc. that you can probably find.


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