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GarciaLive Volume Seven: November 8th 1976 Sophie's Palo Alto [2 CD]
GarciaLive Volume Seven: November 8th 1976 Sophie's Palo Alto [2 CD]
Price: $12.99
22 used & new from $11.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not essential, August 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is one of the more obscure versions of the Jerry Garcia Band. I think there have only been two or three prior releases of the five-piece band with Ron Tutt and Keith & Donna and they're all out of print now except this new one.

So in that sense, this is a very welcome release. The sound is excellent. The setlist is very good, including a few relatively-obscure covers and some JGB classics. Unfortunately, the performance is unexceptional.

In some ways, this was the most problematic version of the JGB, for exactly this reason. Whereas latter-day JGB was extremely consistent (from about 1978 on), and at the end of Jerry's life, the JGB shows were often a lot more satisfying than Grateful Dead performances, the shows from this particular combo were extremely variable. There are shows that will make you gasp at the fire and inspiration on display (mostly available only as audience recordings, unfortunately) and there are shows that will put you right to sleep.

This one falls somewhere in the middle. It's not boring, but it's never particularly exciting, either. The band plays, Jerry plays some pretty solos, and they wrap up the tune. There's very little in the way of tension and release, very little "fire" in Jerry's playing, and most solos lack any kind of noticeable climax. You could be listening to a rehearsal tape where the band is "saving it for the gig". This is most obvious on the 20-minute version of "Don't Let Go", which is pretty, tasty and about as exciting as a cubic yard of cotton candy.

So, to sum up: Sound quality is excellent, performance is nothing special and this release is not essential in any way. Search Youtube for some concerts from the spring tour of 1976 if you want to hear what this band was really capable of.


Proctor Silex 12-Cup Coffee Maker (43602)
Proctor Silex 12-Cup Coffee Maker (43602)
Price: $19.49
25 used & new from $16.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Makes flavorless, weak coffee., June 19, 2016
I am very disappointed in the flavor of the coffee brewed by this pot. I have been using cone filters for decades but I literally had no idea until after I brewed my first pot in this device that the shape of the filter (this maker uses the "basket" style) apparently makes a big difference in the strength and flavor of the resulting brew.

It's a shame because I like almost everything about the way this coffee maker is made. The filter section removes for easy cleaning and loading. All of the brewing parts can be immersed in water for cleaning. The reservoir is easily accessible.

But the coffee itself is weak and flavorless. I've tried a coarser grind. I've tried using more beans to increase the strength, but I can't get anything like the flavor I've become accustomed to from a number of different cone brewers. I can even see that the color of the coffee is much lighter. I suppose I could just keep adding additional beans until it had something like the color and flavor that I like, but I'd wind up using at least 50% more beans per pot that way. So I guess I'm going to have to get a cone brewer instead. Caveat emptor.


New Wave Hits of the 70's & 80's
New Wave Hits of the 70's & 80's
11 used & new from $12.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant compilation that goes beyond the obvious hits, October 1, 2015
Brilliant compilation that goes beyond the obvious hits. Includes a lot of great early new wave and power pop that helped lay the foundation for the more successful artists that followed.


Fables, Vol. 19: Snow White
Fables, Vol. 19: Snow White
by Bill Willingham
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.44
93 used & new from $6.78

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars is a powerful and exciting emotional rollercoaster that's as good as anything that's appeared in the series to date, July 31, 2014
Willingham & crew have still got it. This volume loses a star for the cutesy Bufkin story that appears in the front of the book, but the main story, "Snow White", is a powerful and exciting emotional rollercoaster that's as good as anything that's appeared in the series to date. It's no secret that Fables has had its ups and downs since "The Good Prince" (so long ago), but this volume delivers in spades. With Snow White and Bigby, Willingham has given us that rarity in comics, characters with emotional depth, whom we care about for more reasons than just wanting to see "what happens next". I've been ready to write this series off a few times in the past, but as long as it keeps delivering stories as compelling as this (or the previous volume), I'll stick around.


Children of the Sea, Vol. 5
Children of the Sea, Vol. 5
by Daisuke Igarashi
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.04
43 used & new from $5.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice wrap-up to this great comic., July 2, 2013
At long last, the final volume of Children of the Sea.

It doesn't answer all the lingering questions, but that was obviously never the intent. This fantasy story is not about hard science and specific answers to every mystery, but about mood, and emotion, and Igarashi's incredible artwork. There are pages after pages of beautiful undersea scenes in this volume, climaxing with an emotionally-satisfying conclusion.

Well done, Viz.


Spirit, The - Archives, Volume 12: January 6 - June 30, 1946 (Spirit Archives)
Spirit, The - Archives, Volume 12: January 6 - June 30, 1946 (Spirit Archives)
by Will Eisner
Edition: Hardcover
27 used & new from $60.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars These Archive Editions are actually pretty terrible, July 1, 2013
First off, to clarify: I am not reviewing the content of Eisner's classic comic strip. "The Spirit" (flaws notwithstanding) stands on its own merits as a virtuoso piece of graphic storytelling, and one of the most influential comics of the century.

This review concerns the actual DC Archives hardcovers, which are starting to attract big bucks as they slip out of print.

Bottom line: Eisner's masterpiece deserves a *much* better archival presentation than this.

If you ever get a chance to compare these volumes (or DC's cheaper paperback Spirit volumes) to the Warren black & white reprints from the 70s, you will immediately notice the following:

1) DC's reproductions are tiny. The page size is much smaller than the Warren magazines to begin with (I think the originals were even larger), and the fact that the DC volumes are narrow (like a modern-day comic book) means that the wide Spirit pages are crammed into the middle of the page with lots of blank space on the top and bottom of each page. That right there is less-than-ideal, but combine it with:

2) The quality of the reproduction is terrible. Whether that's solely due to the small size, or whether DC could not get clean copies to work with, I don't know, but comparing the same panel in the DC version vs. the Warren version inevitably reveals a significant amount of lost detail in the DC edition.

Finally,

3) The coloring in the DC versions is absolutely terrible. The Spirit is often described as a "noir" comic strip, and it was clearly influenced by the crime movies of its day. So why did DC decide to color it with garish primary colors throughout? Worse yet, the coloring in many panels is literally nonsensical, e.g. if a character is walking into a room, and his face is in shadow, then -- call me crazy -- maybe the interior of the room should be colored in dark color? Not bright red or yellow?

There are countless examples of this sort of careless, nonsensical coloring choices in any volume of the DC Spirit Archives Series, and taken together, they tend to destroy the careful composition of Eisner's pages. I find my attention wandering as I attempt to read these volumes, since I have to fight to figure out what's going on from panel to panel.

Seriously, as great as the Spirit strip is, it is extremely ill-served by these careless, sloppy editions.

The volume does get one extra star (two instead of one) for having a real sewn binding instead of DC's currently preferred method (gluing a paperback book inside a hardcover and selling it at the hardcover price).
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2014 1:53 PM PDT


Pedaltrain MINI With Soft Case
Pedaltrain MINI With Soft Case

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Board, May 24, 2013
I've been using one of these for two-and-a-half years now with zero complaints. It's small, sturdy and lightweight. I can fit up to six or seven pedals on here, depending on how I arrange them; if I need more than that, I have a Pedaltrain Jr.

The gig bag it comes with is well-made and well-padded and gives your pedals a little protection. It's not a roadcase, but if you're hauling your own gear and it's not going in the belly of a plane or the back of a big truck with giant cases that could fall on it, you'll be fine.

All in all, this pedalboard is pure win. I've owned three Pedaltrains and still own two and can't imagine buying anything else.


Fables The Deluxe Edition Book Four
Fables The Deluxe Edition Book Four
by Bill Willingham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.74
78 used & new from $12.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Compilation, May 24, 2013
As others have pointed out, this book consists of one paperback volume (Volume 5 in the old paperback series) combined with the "1001 Nights of Snowfall" graphic novel.

There's nothing strictly "wrong" with including 1001 Nights as part of this series, but it is not part of the ongoing storyline, it doesn't have anything specifically to do with the events in this volume, and it wasn't published at the same time as these issues.

Also, of course, as others have pointed out, a lot of the potential "Deluxe" buyers probably the original hardcover release of "1001 Nights" already, so while the artwork in this edition is larger, it's otherwise a double-dip.

It seems like a strange choice for this volume since the other stories in this volume flow directly into the "Homelands" story that appears in the next volume.

There doesn't seem to be any specific reason to include it in this volume, except to "stretch out" the "Deluxe" series as long as possible. I think most fans expected to get two paperback volumes per "Deluxe" hardcover in this series, but here, we're up to Volume 4 of the hardcover series, and we've only covered the first five volumes of the original paperback series. The next two volumes after this only cover another three volumes of the original paperback series, so it seems clear that DC/Vertigo is milking the fan-favorite early volumes of "Fables" for every dime, concerned more about potentially selling one additional volume rather than giving fans any kind of value for money.

Combine that with DC's typical cheapness on hardcover editions (using glued bindings instead of sewn bindings), and this "Deluxe" series seems like a questionable value for money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2015 9:29 PM PST


Dunlop M148 MXR Micro Chorus
Dunlop M148 MXR Micro Chorus
Price: $89.99
34 used & new from $59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hey Kids, remember the 80s?, January 3, 2013
From 1983 to 1986 I was in a band with a guitarist who had one of these on top of his amp, always on. Great pedal, classic sound. If that's what you're looking for, without all the bells and whistles, look no further.


Children of the Sea, Vol. 1
Children of the Sea, Vol. 1
by Daisuke Igarashi
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.48
70 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this! It's awesome!, May 30, 2012
I'm very pleased to be able to retract my previous review. This manga has been one of my favorite comics since it was first published in English. Magical, beautiful, dreamlike, this is a highly entertaining, original fantasy. Volume five is coming out soon, so grab Volume One and get started.

Children of the Sea, Vol. 5
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2013 9:26 AM PDT


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