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Lost & Found V.1
Lost & Found V.1
Offered by langton_distribution
Price: CDN$ 43.07
2 used & new from CDN$ 38.91

4.0 out of 5 stars A CD or a wheel of cheese, take your pick, July 16 2004
This review is from: Lost & Found V.1 (Audio CD)
This is a collection of a bunch of really cheesy 80s songs by mostly obscure groups. The majority of these tunes are new wave dance music, with quirky-type lyrics. I got it just for the song 'Charlton Heston' ("Charlton Heston put his vest on...") which someone told me I needed to hear. It is just the weirdest, funniest thing, and in fact you could say that about most of what's on here. If you like your cheeses rare, why not try steak, or this album.

Friedrich Nietzsche: Germany (1844-1900)
Friedrich Nietzsche: Germany (1844-1900)
by Charlton Heston
Edition: Audio Cassette
9 used & new from CDN$ 19.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Ubersexy, July 16 2004
When Heston reads Nietzsche God is alive! Heston is the ultimate overman, my superman, my hero. The will to power has never sounded so... willing... and powerful.

Marrying Mozart A Novel
Marrying Mozart A Novel
by Stephanie Cowell
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Who wants to marry a musical genius?, July 10 2004
Stephanie Cowell's 'Marrying Mozart' is a novel about the young Mozart and his relationship with the Weber family, mainly their daughters, one of whom he went on to marry. The family is first introduced to Mozart on one of their musical Thursdays, when he shows up as a guest, and in a bit of retrospective humour the author has the mother dismiss him as someone whose society it isn't worth cultivating. Oh that Mozart, young men like him are a dime a dozen! As the story continues, the Weber family struggles with poverty, and the girls grow into young ladies, searching for love and independence, trying to find their place in life. In the end, of course, one of the daughters marries Mozart. I won't say which in case you don't know and don't want it ruined for you.
Each of the characters, while based on real people, is something of an archetype (I don't say stereotype, because this isn't a bad thing), almost like you'd find in fairy tales or even operas. Yes, the author gives them emotional dimensions, but at their essence they have a universal quality. There's Sophie, the virtuous innocent; Constanze, the quiet one who lives in her mind; Aloysia, the prima donna who really lives up to the name; Josefa, the mysterious one; and of course their evil mother, whose backstory helps to understand how she became what she is. We've met these people before in various fictional incarnations, which makes it easy for the reader to really get into the story and invest in the characters' fates.
Cowell's prose doesn't often draw attention to itself-- it's mostly the sort that breezes along in an easy flow of words-- but when it does it's justified in wanting the attention. Hers is a very pleasant, effortless style of writing. The story moves quickly, never dwelling for too long on one aspect to the point of tedium, just telling you what you need to know. This isn't the Neal Stephenson school of historical fiction, so no lengthy discourses on Mozart or aspects of 18th century life. If you like a good love story and/or historical fiction, this is an excellent read.

Largo
Largo
Price: CDN$ 16.56
28 used & new from CDN$ 4.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Largo embargo, July 3 2004
This review is from: Largo (Audio CD)
On the album 'Largo', Brad Mehldau collaborates with producer extraordinaire Jon Brion to take his jazz piano sounds in more experimental directions. This isn't 'The Art of the Trio' (though Mehldau's bandmates play on this album), it's the art of painting a picture with sound. Sometimes these experiments work wonderfully, and other times they're failures. One thing you can never accuse Mehldau of is lacking in vision, he always has brilliant ideas. If they work, they work; if they don't, then at least he tried. The great thing about him is that he's smart enough to know the difference and move on! The piano-playing is typical of Mehldau (and all great jazz pianists): working its way from the core to the outer-edges of the melody, exploring its various nuances, enticing the listener every now and again with its most ear-pleasing permutations. Only in a slightly different setting than usual.
Stand-out tracks are:
'When It Rains'-- Guaranteed to hook the listener in, this number opens the album beautifully. Ahhhh, that melody! And in addition to piano, bass and drums, we've got flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons!
'Dusty McNugget'-- love the way Mehldau rips this tune apart. Crazy!
'Paranoid Android'-- Can Mehldau ever go wrong with a Radiohead cover? This one starts out sounding like classical music (maybe Chopin?), then morphs into rock/jazz, then after a brief silence goes back to a quiet classical style of playing, only to finish with an abrupt switch back into the rock/jazz style. This track just captures all the emotion of the song. It's perfect!
'I Do'-- sensitive, delicate, intelligent. Makes me say "yes, so do I!"
Things that didn't work for me:
'Franklin Avenue'-- Maybe I've yet to discover the inner beauty of this one, but for now it's just dull.
'Sabbath'-- I assume this is some sort of tribute to Black Sabbath, yes? Well, I think that says it all.
Besides those two, there are really none that I tend to skip over on my CD.
Would it be overstatement to call Mehldau the best jazz pianist out there right now? I don't know, but he's certainly the one whose music provides me with the most demanding (but fun!) intellectual workout. He's just the kind of fellow, when he plays it's WOW after WOW... you know the feeling. If you're looking for something a bit different, 'Largo' might be worth a listen.

Stranger in the House
Stranger in the House

2.0 out of 5 stars This house is condemned!, July 2 2004
This review is from: Stranger in the House (VHS Tape)
'Stranger in the House' hasn't got a lot going for it: it's badly acted, has a terrible script, and its world is populated with unsympathetic, flat characters. The husband & wife lead are yuppie scum, the criminals are greasy sleazoids-- things which would actually be okay if any of them were at all interesting. The directing by Rodney Gibbons is decent Hitchcock tribute, and I've added on an extra star for that alone. He managed to make the suspense scenes suspenseful, despite the movie being as lousy as it is.

Coquetie [Import]
Coquetie [Import]
VHS

3.0 out of 5 stars I reckon this won't be everyone's cup of tea, July 2 2004
This review is from: Coquetie [Import] (VHS Tape)
Miss Mary Pickford stars in this early talkie, her very first, playing Norma, a young southern belle who falls for a man from the wrong side of the tracks... despite the fact she was in her mid-30s at the time! Her one truelove Michael, a personality-free space cadet, is here played by John Mack Daddy Brown. Norma's interest in him is baffling, unless it's that her character is quite stupid as well (although in a more aggressive way), and like attracts like-- or maybe it's that he's hot, total male model vibe going on there. Anyhow, the chemistry is one-sided, it's all Miss Pickford throwing herself at this fellow, and he's just sorta reciting his lines like a robot with a bad southern accent, but he seems like his mind is somewhere else. Mister Stanley (played by Matt "bring on the pathos" Moore), clearly the better man, is right there in front of her suffering the whole time, the poor guy. If only she were smart enough to see it, which she isn't.
Pickford's character is flirtatious, melodramatic, and prone to swooning and fits of sobbing that are about as pleasant as a colicy baby who won't shut up (the scene where she grips the bedposts and bawls her head off had me both laughing and annoyed at the same time). And she actually won the best actress Oscar for this! When she curls up in her "old mammy's" lap and tells her all about the greatest love the world has ever known, i.e., her's and Mack Daddy's, there's both an absurdity (given Pickford's real age) and a sapphic quality to it (check where their hands are.) Incidentally, the actress who played her "old mammy" was apparently forced to eat lots of food by the studio so she could play these types of roles. Seriously.
Every other sentence of dialogue in this great work of art begins or ends with "I reckon", adding to the sense of realism. You won't find any stereotypes of the south here, no sir! I also thought Norma's little brother was quite funny, he's the 1920s equivalent of a tool. Loved his dance moves. Do the Rabbit Ramble!

Tribute to Bill Evans, a
Tribute to Bill Evans, a
DVD ~ Gordon Beck
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 51.45
7 used & new from CDN$ 38.97

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of... starts with P and rhymes with blue, July 2 2004
This review is from: Tribute to Bill Evans, a (DVD)
This one varies from adequate to embarassing-- it's not so much the sound of a proper tribute as it is that of a (deservedly) obscure cover band. These musicians don't seem to work very well together and the playing is rather unexciting, with the exception of Kenny Wheeler on trumpet & flugelhorn. Tony Oxley, the fellow on drums, also has talent, although I don't think his particular brand of talent worked so well in this setting.

Stranger in the House
Stranger in the House

2.0 out of 5 stars This house is condemned!, July 1 2004
This review is from: Stranger in the House (VHS Tape)
'Stranger in the House' hasn't got a lot going for it: it's badly acted, has a terrible script, and its world is populated with unsympathetic, flat characters. The husband & wife lead are yuppie scum, the criminals are greasy sleazoids-- things which would actually be okay if any of them were at all interesting. The directing by Rodney Gibbons is decent Hitchcock tribute, and I've added on an extra star for that alone. He managed to make the suspense scenes suspenseful, despite the movie being as lousy as it is.

Laurel & Hardy
Laurel & Hardy
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 711.62
2 used & new from CDN$ 161.07

5.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles?, June 26 2004
This review is from: Laurel & Hardy (Audio CD)
Why on earth are Laurel & Hardy being connected with the Beatles on this website? Amazon is wacky, suggesting in the 'Better Together' recommendation that people should buy this with 'Concert For George', or that I might want to pick up 'Let It Be... Naked'. Thanks, but I think I'll pass.
Stan & Ollie are awesome, though, I know I'm gonna love having this soundtrack.

Bone Flute
Bone Flute
by Nicole A. Bourke
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious victimhood, June 26 2004
This review is from: Bone Flute (Paperback)
This book is just awful! I made it through about 70 pages and had to give up, it was that bad. The author is terrible with words-- she tries so hard to use poetic language but it all comes off as very forced and/or unintentionally funny (I mean, she writes stuff like "the rising contralto of the sports channel beaming from above the bar"... come on!) And she feels it's necessary to describe everything, even when there's no point, I guess so she can show off her overblown metaphors.
This is like reading a pretentious foreign film combined with all the abuse/victimhood cliches that so many woman writer's seem to use. To make matters worse, she begins each section with a quote from a Great Work of Literature (e.g. Ovid, Keats, T.S. Eliot), which is a presumptuous choice for any first-time novelist, and for one this bad, it's a downright crime. Don't waste your time, life is too short.

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