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KaseyG (Toronto, ON)
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Only Sisters Can DO That by Pointer Sisters (1993-11-16)
Only Sisters Can DO That by Pointer Sisters (1993-11-16)

3.0 out of 5 stars Buy Only if You Can Find It Cheap, Oct. 23 2015
Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band fame produces this 1993 effort which was the last studio album the Pointer Sisters recorded. On DON’T WALK AWAY one can hear how Pete cultivates a more organic pop-rock sound blended with the early ‘90s dance grooves than was found on their previous album for Motown, or even their mid-to-late-‘80s efforts from BREAKOUT to SERIOUS SLAMMIN’ but the album as a whole lacks that certain ‘oomph’ and is an innocuous, middle-of-the-road listen that’s neither great nor bad, it’s just kind of there.

There’s some harder-rocking power-pop numbers like the opener IT AIN’T A MAN’S WORLD; the title track about sisterly camaraderie is probably the best and catchiest and oh-so appropriate to be included on their final album. Also of note is a classy Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis-style R&B mid-tempo ballad called TELL IT TO MY HEART (not the Taylor Dayne hit from 1988) and the funky VIBE TIME is probably the closest thing to their ‘80s dance heyday to be found here. LOSE MYSELF TO FIND MYSELF is an interesting fusion of gospel and rock with a mandolin solo; definitely the most musically interesting track here.

They gals coo in a higher, kewpie-doll style on the hip-hop flavored FEEL FOR THE PHYSICAL and sticky-sweet ballad EYES OF A CHILD which would both be more appropriate for a younger group like En Vogue at this point. SEX, LOVE OR MONEY is typical of the dance sound that was all over the radio in 1993 and the Pointers were above this kind of material.

Fans are divided on this one, some have called it “fantastic” and others say it was a lousy swan song, my opinion is that it falls somewhere down the middle and if you can find it cheap enough, buy it to complete your collection but it’s a THREE STAR album and not one of their best.

Right rhythm (1990) / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]
Right rhythm (1990) / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]
3 used & new from CDN$ 15.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Extraordinary Here, Oct. 21 2015
Let me begin this review by stating I am not a fan of the New Jack Swing and Hip-Hop influences that were dominating the R&B musical landscape in the early ‘90s.

That sound kicks off the Pointers’ first album of the decade and first (and only) for the legendary Motown label. Trying to keep up with newer acts such as En Vogue and Sweet Sensation the gals tackle a younger, more urban sound but the problem is the hyperactive, cluttered arrangements on BILLY SAID YES, RIGHT RHYTHM and FRIENDS ADVICE (DON’T TAKE IT) don’t make the most of their talents. REAL LIFE is probably the best of these numbers but it too just sounds like a female Johnny Gill record.

Thankfully, the rest of the album calms down a bit and gets more diverse. INSANITY is a more straight-ahead dance rocker; Ruth takes lead on a nice classy ballad called AFTER YOU; there’s a campy but still great Bon Jovi-esque rocker called YOU KNOCKED THE LOVE (RIGHT OUTTA MY HEART) that makes me giggle a little every time I hear it; the harmonies sparkle in the smooth and soulful WHAT A WOMAN WANTS and mid-tempo WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? reminds me of the Three Degrees in the ‘70s. There’s a fast-pumping Bonus Track (WE JUST WANNA) THANK YOU that isn’t much than a throwaway musical Valentine to the fans.

Definitely not one of their best, but for fans left wanting more in the ‘90s I suppose it’s better than nothing and there are a few good catchy songs on here. THREE STARS.

Right rhythm (1990) By Pointer Sisters (0001-01-01)
Right rhythm (1990) By Pointer Sisters (0001-01-01)

3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Extraordinary Here, Oct. 21 2015
Let me begin this review by stating I am not a fan of the New Jack Swing and Hip-Hop influences that were dominating the R&B musical landscape in the early ‘90s.

That sound kicks off the Pointers’ first album of the decade and first (and only) for the legendary Motown label. Trying to keep up with newer acts such as En Vogue and Sweet Sensation the gals tackle a younger, more urban sound but the problem is the hyperactive, cluttered arrangements on BILLY SAID YES, RIGHT RHYTHM and FRIENDS ADVICE (DON’T TAKE IT) don’t make the most of their talents. REAL LIFE is probably the best of these numbers but it too just sounds like a female Johnny Gill record.

Thankfully, the rest of the album calms down a bit and gets more diverse. INSANITY is a more straight-ahead dance rocker; Ruth takes lead on a nice classy ballad called AFTER YOU; there’s a campy but still great Bon Jovi-esque rocker called YOU KNOCKED THE LOVE (RIGHT OUTTA MY HEART) that makes me giggle a little every time I hear it; the harmonies sparkle in the smooth and soulful WHAT A WOMAN WANTS and mid-tempo WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? reminds me of the Three Degrees in the ‘70s. There’s a fast-pumping Bonus Track (WE JUST WANNA) THANK YOU that isn’t much than a throwaway musical Valentine to the fans.

Definitely not one of their best, but for fans left wanting more in the ‘90s I suppose it’s better than nothing and there are a few good catchy songs on here. THREE STARS.

Diana Ross & The Supremes Anthology by N/A (1995-01-01)
Diana Ross & The Supremes Anthology by N/A (1995-01-01)
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 202.23
2 used & new from CDN$ 192.94

5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Balance of Big Hits and Lesser Known Gems, Oct. 21 2015
This double-disc of The Supremes best has just the right balance of the earlier and later material without going overboard with too much filler. It spans their pre-hit years at Motown in the early ‘60s to the mid-‘70s when Scherrie Payne was on lead and Mary Wilson was struggling to hold the group together.

Of course, all the big hits are here and in their ORIGINAL versions (the big velvet-encased box set from 2000 replaced some of the biggest hits with unreleased alternate cuts that were great to have but not at the expense of the versions that fans remember and love).

Some of the pleasant surprises contained within this set are the glorious harmonies found on LONG GONE LOVER that features a Hammond organ and Mary’s distinct baritone front and center and Flo wailing at the end—such a shame these gorgeous three-parts were mixed farther and farther into the background as Diana’s star grew; the gloomy waltz REMOVE THIS DOUBT from late 1966 and the Supremes getting the Phil Spector treatment on the musical Public Service announcement THINGS ARE CHANGING that features yet more heavenly harmonies. KEEP AN EYE is a musical warning that foreshadows the Undisputed Truth’s SMILING FACES SOMETIMES and sounds ahead of its’ time.

I think the best aspect of this CD is that it gives a great sampling of the post-Diana years with some relatively unknown gems that show the uninitiated what the group was still capable of in the ‘70s with the slinky AUTOMATICALLY SUNSHINE, ultra-funky YOUR WONDERFUL SWEET SWEET LOVE and disco-flavored I’M GONNA LET MY HEART DO THE WALKIN’ which deserved to be as big as anything by The Emotions or Thelma Houston back in 1977.

There are other CD collections of The Supremes for sale that contain all the big hits but this one has all the best ‘lost’ treasures on it.

Diana Ross & The Supremes: Anthology 3LP VG++ Canada Motown M9-794A3
Diana Ross & The Supremes: Anthology 3LP VG++ Canada Motown M9-794A3
2 used & new from CDN$ 75.00

5.0 out of 5 stars My Introduction to The Supremes, Oct. 21 2015
In 1983 after watching the Motown 25 Special on TV, my interest was piqued and I went out and bought one of those compilation albums which I played over and over. It whet my appetite so that by the time my birthday rolled around in the fall I knew I wanted this triple album that was too expensive for me to buy on my own. Aside from hearing a half-dozen of their big hits on the radio on Oldies Hour, most of this material was new to me.

In no time, this became one of my favorite albums and I am surprised I didn't wear it out. It contains just enough of the pre-hit material beginning with the failed soulful doo-wop single LET ME GO THE RIGHT WAY (#90 on Billboard in 1962) on which Diana tears into with such gusto and sings in a lower register many fans thought it was Flo on lead. This is one of the rare compilations that contains the charming, lilty STANDING AT THE CROSSROADS OF LOVE and the non-single ASK ANY GIRL (the B-side to BABY LOVE). All the songs are presented in their original chronology except for the fifth side which contains a great sampling of their standards and show tunes without going overboard including a fantastic version of I'M THE GREATEST STAR and a rocking take on A HARD DAY'S NIGHT where Flo really wails.

Similar to the 1967 Greatest Hits double LP that contained a poster of three painted portraits of the girls, this gatefold cover opens up to reveal three silk-screened portraits of Diana, Mary and Cindy circa 1967 as well as silkscreen pic of the trio on stage from the waist-up at their mics. Some of the later compilations on CD contain too much superfluous material such as DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE BIKINI MACHINE but this collection has all the great hits with just the right amount of early material and standards to perfectly showcase The Supremes' diversity and that hit-making quality that went on and on.

Ultimate Petula Clark
Ultimate Petula Clark
Price: CDN$ 15.96
77 used & new from CDN$ 10.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Petula Clark CD Out There, Oct. 20 2015
This review is from: Ultimate Petula Clark (Audio CD)
If you're looking for the best, non-exhaustive Petula Clark that includes all the great hits with a little extra, this is the one you want, if for no other reason than the fact this one has the best sound quality and the price is still reasonable and the songs are presented in their original chronology.

All the big hits are here including DOWNTOWN, I KNOW A PLACE, I COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE, KISS ME GOODBYE as well as some lesser-known second-string hits like COLOR MY WORLD, THIS IS MY SONG and THE OTHER MAN'S GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER and covers such The Vogues' YOU'RE THE ONE and I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM/JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.

The remastering breathes new life into every track here. The big, grandiose '60s orchestrations come alive like never before. It's wonderful to be able to hear every layer of MY LOVE with the twangy guitar, gorgeous strings, blaring horns and jangly tambourines crystal-clear underneath Pet's declarations of undying loyalty. Likewise, the background vocals on A SIGN OF THE TIMES are more audible than ever before as are the subtle drums that drive the fantastic DON'T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY. And this is one of the few hits compilations that contains THE CAT IN THE WINDOW (THE BIRD IN THE SKY).

If you're looking for a Pet CD that covers all the important bases but don't need/want her early pre-DOWNTOWN recordings, this is it. FIVE STARS.

Don't Sleep in the Subway
Don't Sleep in the Subway
Price: CDN$ 14.17
19 used & new from CDN$ 5.22

3.0 out of 5 stars Get the BMG Music Heritage Release for Best Sound Quality, Oct. 20 2015
This CD by WMO (Wonderful Music Of) is composed largely of mono versions and I recommend you skip this one and go for the Ultimate Petula Clark CD by BMG Heritage. It features the cover photo of Petula sitting on a rock by the water barefoot. The sound quality on that collection is amazing—much better than what’s found here. It is only 2 dollars more and you get 21 tracks versus the 16 here. The only difference is that this one contains Pet’s version of THIS GIRL’S IN LOVE WITH YOU which does not appear on the BMG CD.

American Horror Story: Freakshow season 4
American Horror Story: Freakshow season 4
3 used & new from CDN$ 31.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Improvement Over Season Three's COVEN, Oct. 18 2015
With a premise tailor-made for AHS, Season Four's FREAK SHOW stills brings the thrills and chills but unfortunately an early demise of the season's creepy killer, an underwhelming finale and some sloppy writing and clichéd storylines hold back what could have been perfection.

Set in 1952 Jupiter, Florida in a travelling sideshow, Miss Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) acts as surrogate mother to her 'little monsters' who inhabit Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities, but she also has designs on a show-biz career like Marlene Dietrich and resents anyone stealing her spotlight. This allows for some anachronistic musical numbers to appear as well as songs on the soundtrack such as David Bowie's FAME. Hearing these as well as a performance of Nirvana by Evan Peters take the viewer out of the moment. The same thing happens when the writers carelessly slip in some crass hip-hop speak (who was saying 'I'm trying to get a nut' back in the '50s when referring to sex???).

The season is somewhat of a homage to Tod Browning's FREAKS with several plot points liberally borrowed from the 1932 horror classic and many real-life human oddities among the cast to give it authenticity. It would not have worked as well without them and all do an admirable job. Most of the repertory players are back with Angela Bassett a standout as the sassy hermaphrodite sporting an Ethel Mertz hairdo and her strongman husband (Michael Chiklis) has one of the more interesting arcs this season. Frances Conroy does what she can with her limited role as a rich widow with a deranged, spoiled son (Finn Wittrock) and has the best line of the season when she tries to calm one of his violent rages by offering 'We can play June Allyson paper dolls'. Kudos to the special effects department and Sarah Paulson as they have the difficult task of bringing the Siamese Twins Bette and Dot to screen with a premise much more difficult than the old Patty Duke 'doubles' trick.

The kills are some of the most wonderfully gruesome this show has seen, and juxtaposed with the bright, squeaky-clean image of the 1950s the images are doubly disturbing. There's some flashback footage to 1930s Berlin in which Miss Elsa is filmed performing acts of depravity which is truly unsettling as well as a flash-forward to 1962 that cleverly ties into ASYLUM featuring both a cameo from Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice and a chilling turn from Mare Winningham as evil personified.

A tighter finale would have served the season better but there's still plenty of creepy enjoyment to be had in AHS: FREAK SHOW. Four Stars.

Thundercrack [Blu-ray]
Thundercrack [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Curt McDowll
Price: CDN$ 53.98
14 used & new from CDN$ 29.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After Literally Years of Waiting, It's Finally Here!, Oct. 10 2015
This review is from: Thundercrack [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
If David Lynch and John Waters had teamed up to make a porn flick in the '70s, this is what the end result would probably look like. Filmed in glorious black-and-white and possessing a weird dreamlike atmosphere and long-winded soliloquies mixed with full-on graphic intercourse, "Thundercrack" is like nothing you've seen before. It takes the old horror film cliche of disparate travellers becoming stranded in a mysterious old house and not only turns it on its' ear--it knocks it on its' a** and penetrates with everything it's got!! Horny gorillas, pickled bodyparts, blow-up dolls, vomit-encrusted wigs, "Thundercrack" will blow your mind!!

For years, the copies being sold here were bootlegs and the quality is what you'd expect from 2nd or 3rd generation VHS dubs. Synapse Films has been working on a fully-restored, 180-minute director's cut for some time and it's taken forever since (as one of their reps stated) "this thing looks like it was shot on toilet paper".

Finally, just scraping under the wire to be released in time for its' 40th Anniversary, comes a restored BluRay release with the Bonus Features fans have been dreaming of for years including outtakes and audition footage. I ordered mine direct from their website it arrived early and I've posted screen grabs and comparisons here. There is a disclaimer in the liner stating how difficult this project was since only a handful of usable prints were at their disposal and that the resulting DVD and Bluray is about as good as it's going to get. There is a definite improvement but don't expect HD. Also, the dialogue was unintelligible through much of the film previously and this too has been improved although there are several instances where one must still strain to hear so the English subtitles are most welcome. The best part about this release is that scenes and dialogue that were cut have been reinstated (including Gert's final monologue which is much longer on the new version).

The Bluray comes with a Bonus Disc of exclusive extras, the most interesting being a 1976 public access TV show that features Curt McDowell and Marion Eaton being interviewed shortly after the film was released. Ms. Eaton comes across as extremely articulate in discussing her role and the character of Gert's motivations (she's also a dead ringer for Carole King in this clip); this in stark contrast to McDowell who seems incoherent and out of his element while fielding questions. There are also outtakes and silent audition footage, in which hopefuls slouch into the same easy chair for their screen test before disrobing and displaying their naked fronts and back sides.

If you love offbeat cinema and weird '70s Exploitation flicks, this one is a MUST-HAVE--get it!! And don't forget to peel a nice cucumber to enjoy however you wish while watching.

Dont Trust the B in Apt 23: Complete Series [Import]
Dont Trust the B in Apt 23: Complete Series [Import]
DVD ~ DONT TRUST THE B IN APT 23: COMPLETE SERIES
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 32.98
20 used & new from CDN$ 32.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heed The Warnings, Oct. 4 2015
I just wanted to comment that I bought my set new from a seller on the world’s largest Internet auction site and all four discs played perfectly so maybe those with glitches were all from a bad batch that Amazon received.

That being said, DON’T TRUST THE B is okay but doesn’t merit repeat viewings. It’s like a mean-spirited, 2010’s female version of THE ODD COUPLE but cruder with bathroom humor, sexual innuendo and fast-paced silliness that has nothing to do with reality and makes the show feel like a live-action cartoon with its fast pace and quit-cut editing.

The cast are fine with Dreama Walker playing the chipmunk-cheeked idealist June new to New York and sharing an apartment with the tall, angular selfish party girl Chloe (Krysten Ritter) and James Van der Beek playing a self-absorbed parody of himself.

THREE STARS.

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