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Paul Kath "Blah" (Canada)

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Down in It
Down in It
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 13.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 6.23

3.0 out of 5 stars And so it begins..., July 16 2004
This review is from: Down in It (Audio CD)
This being the first ever NIN single, it seems a bit legendary. The remixes themselves are pretty good, albeit long though. The Singe version is probably my favorite one, the added sounds and synth was a plus for me. The Skin version is basically the same as the album version and Shred is probably the most weak out of all the remixes even though Shred is the complete version without the song cutting off it's pretty neat. Worth getting for under 5 bucks.
Note, all of these appear on the Head like A hole single plus the demo version. This is only of avid collectors.

Boiling Point (Widescreen)
Boiling Point (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Takeshi Kitano
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 89.01
8 used & new from CDN$ 24.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Simple fun, but the ending ruins the whole film, July 11 2004
This review is from: Boiling Point (Widescreen) (DVD)
Takeshi Kitano before his epic Sonatine was a very mixed bag of tricks with his filmography. Violent Cop used most of his trademarks lightly, the only one focused on in Violent Cop was the violence and slience. Even though this is a weaker film, it is a step foward for Kitano with his trademark style of violence, humor, silence and subtlety.
But I have some major issues with this film. First off, it's extremely slow. I mean SLOW. It's the slowest film I've ever seen. The first 40 minutes has maybe one or two things that have to do with the plot, it's like Kitano left the film on the cutting floor and took it as it is. Another issue is how shallow the film is, everyone is a negative, unhappy person. Kitano is known for having many different characters in his films that potray all the emotions he should be. But here everyone is gloomy and sad, including the main character.
But those issues are the main problems with the film. One thing I found interesting more rather then entertaining was the use of no music. I mean no music at all, no Joe Hisaishi tunes or simple beats. Nothing, it makes the film feel way more real life and it's interesting to see. Another is the weird editing and camerawork. In one scene a guy in a baseball field runs back and forth trapped in between bases, the camera is on the second base in a first person type image. It's actually funny. I won't go too much into the story, try to read the story rundown elsewhere. But the last thing that interested me was the randomness. Humor and violence come out of nowhere in small doses, and have less to do with the film itself. Fights on the sidewalk, car and motorcycle crashes, shootings, beatings and rape seem to come and go, that also makes the film feel more real life.
But as a Kitano film, it's a huge letdown if you're expecting something like Hana Bi (Fireworks), Sonatine or Violent Cop. It's a simple story told in the Kitano narrative.
Hardly recommended for Kitano fans.

More Light
More Light
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 26.95
3 used & new from CDN$ 21.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A huge leap foward, July 10 2004
This review is from: More Light (Audio CD)
With Dinosaur Jr behind him, J Mascis continues to do the solo act along with the likes of Mike Watt and Kevin Shields. This band is like an indie collective almost, with Mike being in the Minutemen, Kevin in My Bloody Valentine and J being in Dinosaur Jr (all this needs is Thurston Moore and they're set).
I heard many good things about this album. First good thing I heard was that J didn't change his styles of distorted, loud and heavy guitaring but what he didn't change he fixed. I heard that keyboards run through most of the songs and the last I heard was that the lyrics and vocals have lightened up.
All of the above was true. From listening to Same Day and hearing J do his trademark solos and scratchy vocals, I knew I was in for a treat. Wastin really changed the flow with the chorus that includes some original keyboarding, then we go where the album really picks up at Where'd you Go, which for some reason, reminds me of the old Dinosaur Jr. I think Where'd you Go is J's message to us after three years absense. Grand me to you slows things down a bit, sounds like the Dinosaur Jr from the Without a Sound era almost.
But the next track changes the whole album. Ammaring. It starts with some easy guitar and a keyboard running along with it, the drumming and base are unusually louder then usual. About a minute in J runs through the first solo which sounds slightly distorted then the song just bangs into another LOUDER guitar but maintaining the same easy flow. Another solo which fits the song more. But as J starts singing louder everything picks up then he unleashes the loudest and most powerful solo I've ever heard him so. It's crazy and very distorted. The whole song is just amazing to listen too. It's the defining song of the album, and I'm shocked that this wasn't a number one hit.
Then we run into All the Girls. A slower song that is also reminisent of the Without a Sound/Hand it Over era of Dinosaur Jr. Wait for the distorted middle that runs with a keyboard, that's awseome. I'm not Fine, the next track, is just pure guitar power. Along with a pretty nutty ending. But then things mellow out as much as they slow down with Can I take this On. This song is the nicest song I've ever heard J do. Includes a keyboard, banjo and a barking dog, simply harmless rock. Does the Kiss fit is another great song with a keyboard that runs through it. I love that track personally like Ammaring.
But J tries something new with the closing title track More Light. He completely cranks everything up too 10+ and just lets loose with LOUD distorted guitaring that I just can't define by typing. It's amazing and I think J should try something like that again.
J Mascis would go on to follow this album up with Free so Free which is a HUGE fall back from the pure power and energy this album had.
I recommend this album to anyone new to J Mascis or Dinosaur Jr.

Kikujiro (Sous-titres français)
Kikujiro (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Takeshi Kitano
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 48.96
6 used & new from CDN$ 19.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Kitano does a family film..., July 3 2004
I'm a huge fan of the films from Takeshi Kitano. I've seen all of his films he's directed (including the newer Dolls and Zatoichi) and I can say that I enjoy almost *cough Boiling Point* all of them and I really like his style of filmaking.
This plot here is about a young boy named Masao who just got out from school for the summer. He doesn't have many friends nor does he have much to do. After getting what appears to be a package of photos from his mother who Masao has never met before. A friend of his grandmother decides to let her husband Kikujiro (Kitano himself) take Masao on the journey. Misadventures and comedy follow.
Kitano has always been known for his crime films and dramas but this is the first time he's made a tolerable comedy-drama with his trademark subtle humor, slow pace and un-cilched style. If you've seen his films then you know what I'm talking about. He takes those qualities and makes a unique film with them. The acting here is pretty good for the most part, especially from Takeshi who is known for being a more silent actor, here he's a sluggish, rude and mean loudmouth with an attitude against almost everyone. It shows in some scenes where he lashes out on everyone around him. It's funny but almost absurd.
Now one gripe I have with the film is an almost gratuitious scene where a pedophile comes onto Masao. Nothing sexual happens but Kitano does get the sick bastard back in a funny way. That scene really takes away from the film.
Still this is a funny film. It's great to watch on a warm summer afternoon with the volume up loud. The soundtrack is done by Joe Hisaishi who's done some excellent work with Kitano in the past. The music makes you feel real good inside and it flows awfully well with the pace of the movie.
I recommend this highly.

Pretty Hate Machine
Pretty Hate Machine
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 16.95
7 used & new from CDN$ 1.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start...., July 3 2004
This review is from: Pretty Hate Machine (Audio CD)
I'm a huge Nine inch nails fan and this was the album to prove that I would be a longtime fan. Head like a Hole is the first Nine inch Nails song I would ever hear and I really liked the song. It was so different from the hard rock songs I've ever heard and the chorus was really catchy. I bought this album after looking up Head Like a Hole on the internet and to my shock. The album is filled with songs that are on par, or even better then Head Like a Hole. Especially the tune Sin. Sin starts off like some techno-rave song, but the song turns really dark and intense as it goes on, the lyrics are very s&m oriented. But for sheer dark lyrics Down in It or Terrible Lie take the cake here. Down in It sounds pretty cool for something that was made with such a small production budget, the lyrics are dark and the sound is pretty dated but it still is one of the best songs on the album. Terrible Lie has a better (albeit more dated) sound to it, the theme of the song is very true though (about he contradictions of the bible). The only song I wasn't a fan of was The only Time, which is an okay song, but it never grew or adapted to me. The sound on the album is ALOT less heavy then what we'd hear on Broken or The Downward Spiral. And the production value is way less then what we'd hear from The Fragile. But lyrically, Trent is there. Something I can Never have is pretty surreal to hear, same with Ringfinger. Ringfinger is actually my favorite song on the album, the sound is so basic but so pure at the same time. An alternate version (called Twist) appears on a bootleg called Purest Feeling, and that bootleg is very different for anything Trent did. The Only Time is a great song that starts really well. Kinda I want to didn't appeal to me nor did Sancified but they still are listenable.
Recommended. Great album.

Mother Love Bone
Mother Love Bone
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 14.81
19 used & new from CDN$ 6.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I REALLY don't know what to make of this...., July 2 2004
This review is from: Mother Love Bone (Audio CD)
I never was a huge grunge mark, though I am a huge fan of Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and Soundgarden. But after hearing so much about this band I was led to think it was even better then Pearl Jam and this was the beginning of grunge music. My result was a bit dissapointing but this was an interesting listen. My first compliant is the vocals by Andrew Wood. I've never seen any interviews/music videos (Stardog Champion I saw a few years ago) so I don't know too much about his flamboyant style. His vocals were kinda high pitched at the first listen, but they do grow on you real fast. The music is really glamish and 80's sounding. Namely like Guns n Roses but with a harsher edge.
The sound isn't the harsh, hard and downright cynical grunge sound like Mudhoney or even Nirvana. Nor the clean but still cynical sounds like Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains. It's a cross between what Pearl Jam would sound like if it was crossed with the late 80's cockrock sound. The real standout song to me on the album would be Crown of Thorns. The piano start to the calm middle and the crashing end make it one of the best songs I've ever heard. The use of glam sounding drum work mixed with offbeat guitaring was really cool to hear - until Andy started singing that is.... But some of this album really shined to me, but the other stuff never grew on me, nor even appealed to me. But still if you Do in fact buy this album be on the listen for the tunes Stargazer, Bone China, Crown of Thorns, Stardog Champion, Gentle Groove and Heartshine. They really have a good sound to them and to me was worth listening to what others call music history.
Andy Wood would later die of a drug overdose, and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden would form a supergroup and release one of my favorite albums ever... But that's another review.
Recommended for grunge die-hards.
Mildly recommended for (metal/hard/glam) rock fans.

Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock
Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock
Price: CDN$ 14.73
20 used & new from CDN$ 5.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Loud and fun but underwhemling., June 30 2004
I wasn't really expecting much from this album because it was the last Sebadoh album for me to get and I didn't really hear anything from it. So I went with what people were saying here and listened to it. The opening track Crisis got me confused if this was the same band actually until the middle part. Crisis sounds more like metal then punk rock with Eric screaming his mind out. But then everything switches paces with Brand New Love which is a redux version only with the guitars plugged in, it's probably one of the standout tunes on the album and is really loud with the feedback near the end. The next song Notsur Dnuora Selcric is a confusing song with a weird title that makes it out to be another screamfest from Eric. But it's a solid song. Track four Vampire is pretty good, but I wasn't a huge fan of it. Good Things is a short but good song. Cecilia Chime in Melee is a loud instrumental that kinda drags on with the noise. I wasn't a huge fan of Everybody's been Burned. Junk Bonds is probably the most punk-sounding song on the album, I really like the lyrics and the sounds of it. Great song. Another standout song is Mean Distance which starts pretty mellow but goes totally nuts in the last minute with Eric literally screaming his heart out. Standout track #3 is Pink Moon which is really catchy and really done well. But the closing track made the album to me. The song Mind Meld which is a 7 minute noise-fest is just awesome. It saved the album from being so-so.
I don't know how to recommend this. The sound was alot like the Pixies actually only with Barlow on vocals.

Hand It Over
Hand It Over
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 27.95
6 used & new from CDN$ 10.82

4.0 out of 5 stars Last stand for Dinosaur Jr., June 27 2004
This review is from: Hand It Over (Audio CD)
This may be the most underated Dinosaur Jr album that J Mascis and co. would release. People had so-so thoughts about how this would turn out and it turned out to be another more exprimental album.
Even though the sound is almost completely oppisite to the Bug/Where you been sounds it can still be something. The guitaring is there and so is the lyrics/vocals but the only thing different is the sound. It's nothing to complain about and it's nice to hear what J would try before he disbanded the group and went solo. This is alot like what J Mascis does with the Fog but with a more authentic Mascis trademark. Meaning it's what Dinosaur Jr would probably sound like today.
There are a few filler songs on the album. Mick and I Don't think are examples. I don't Think isn't s very strong opening track to get someone into the album and Mick just kinda goes on and on. The last track Gotta Know and I'm Insane are my favorite tunes on the album. Gotta Know has a great sound to it and the it just ends the album very, very well. I'm Insane sounds more pop-rockish with the trumpet and harmless sound. While other songs like Can't We Movie this and I know Yer Insane is just POWER. Same with Loaded to a lesser extent.
Either way, it's a great way to end what was a great group.

The Best of
The Best of
Price: CDN$ 17.72
15 used & new from CDN$ 7.16

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay compilation, June 27 2004
This review is from: The Best of (Audio CD)
This could've been a better Best of CD if it were a two disc complete with live tracks and more tracks from the albums. But we do get the hard to find tracks Take a Run at the Sun, Just like Heaven and Whatever's cool With me. But most of the tracks from the eariler albums like Dinosaur, You're living all over Me and Bug are gone. From Dinosaur we only get Repulsion which is a pretty good song, but why not include Bulbs of Passion? J Mascis himself said it's one of the songs that really made them what they were even before they became Dinosaur jr. On YLAOM the tracks Lose, the Lung and Show me the Way are skipped over. Lose is probably Lou Barlow's best contribution to the band, the Lung is just great and Show me the Way is amazing for a cover song. We do get the awesome In a Jar and Little Fury things though. From Bug the tracks They Always Come, Pond Song and Let it Ride are missed out on.
Actually come to think of it only two tracks from each album are featured on this compilation. And they're usually the more popular songs like Feel the Pain (Without a Sound) and I'm Insane (Hand it over). Not to say they're bad songs, it's that the Dino jr veterans would like to see the less accessible tracks from the OOP albums on here.
With that being said pick this up if you're a newcomer to Dinosaur Jr or J Mascis's work. But if you've grown to Dinosaur Jr like I have then skip it and seek out the other albums.
I would also like to say that sometime later this year You're Living all Over me, Dinosaur and Bug are getting reissues. Keep that in mind.

City of Lost Souls
City of Lost Souls
DVD ~ Teah
Offered by niff78
Price: CDN$ 27.97
10 used & new from CDN$ 13.61

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun film, June 25 2004
This review is from: City of Lost Souls (DVD)
To me this would be the most overlooked Takashi Miike film. Or to say that's it's more overlooked of his region-1 DVD releases.
This film is nothing like i've ever seen done. It takes multiple languages/cultures and clashes them in a funny, violent and all around fun film. The characters are kinda cartoonish but they all have a dark edge to them. The lead man Mario (played by japanese-brazilian porno star Teah) barely speaks thoughout the film but he has some sorta superhuman edge to him. The story here is that Mario just got outta jail and his woman Kei is risking deportation so after crashing the deportation bus and killing a few people he gets Kei, not before they envelop a plan to rip off some coke from a yakuza/triad/russian mob connection. Yeah it's confusing but easy to follow. The soundtrack is awesome, with some punkish tunes to fit the mood and more mellow songs to fit that mood. It all works well. There is violence, and lots of it, a few quick but awesome shootouts and some bloodier goings on but not as brutal as other Miike films (DOA for one). The acting is good, but like I said it's a bit cartoonish and over-the-top at times. The ending is well.... A letdown in terms of quality. But this is still a great film, with lotsa style (a CG chicken cockfight for one term), humor (a midget, slapstick humor) and just plain fun.
Recommended.

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