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Takis Tz. (InYourHead)

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Cure (Dlx Ltd Ed) (Dvd)
Cure (Dlx Ltd Ed) (Dvd)
Offered by Aux 33 Tours
Price: CDN$ 8.99
14 used & new from CDN$ 6.22

1.0 out of 5 stars Cure's successful flirt with irrelevancy.., July 1 2004
This review is from: Cure (Dlx Ltd Ed) (Dvd) (Audio CD)
I heard this album 3 or 4 times and after each time i found myself asking "what's the point"?? That it's in no way reminiscent of Cure's glorious past is obvious for anybody that knows the group unless you happen to be a hardcore die-hard fan.
If not, i hardly see how this LP will not be soon collecting dust on your shelf. Almost all the songs (with maybe 1 or 2 escaping) are mediocre at best, uninspired, tired, perhaps even hurried.
Smith's voice is hardly recognisable, and if he was trying out new things it seems that he should immediately drop the experiments and stick to singing the way he knows how. Unless that's not an option anymore.
Ultimately, the worrying signs were already there in "Bloodflowers" to be heard, even though that album was even better than the current release. That says it all.
If the group continue on this path they will put a stain on their legendary name. Others have done that before them. Pity...

Houses Of The Mole
Houses Of The Mole
2 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Can Ministry survive Barker's departure?, July 1 2004
This review is from: Houses Of The Mole (Audio CD)
The big question after it became known that guitarist Paul Barker has left Ministry was whether the music would maintain its sharpness and its characteristic drive.

The verdict? I think it's too early to say even though the new album is out and it's anything but bad. For one thing, throughout the first 6 songs it's obvious that the recipe has remained the same, in fact, it's hardly noticeable that Barker is absent.

The problem is that those first 6 songs are basically reminding us rather of the past, more specifically the "Psalm 69" album several years ago. Now that is called, in my book, "taking the safe route".
But then the very next songs are a welcome surprise, in the sense that there's a tendency for experimentation reminiscent of "Filthpig" and "Dark side of the spoon". That, i call promising.
For, what has given Ministry the title of "pioneers" is the fact that they've always pushed their music forward, defined and redefined their genre, and provided a cue for modern rock music as a whole. That's why songs 7-9 are important in my opinion.
As a whole, and keeping in mind that actually all 4 of Ministry's last albums have, in one way or the other, been political, this one is heavily political, almost like an election campaign album. No, none of Ministry's members are running for anything but they are intent to stop someone from retaining office if you get my hint.
On top of that, it seems that Jourgensen is spearheading a movement amongst musicians right now in that direction evident by the recent compilation Ministry appeared in.
Ministry wont lose any fans with this release and they might even win over some new ones. To me, their next album will be even more intriguing. It's then that we'll see if without Barker they have the stuff to remain the vanguard of contemporary rock or metal.
But, until then, "Houses of the mole" will more than do...

Baptism
Baptism
Price: CDN$ 14.69
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Phoning the songs in?, June 13 2004
This review is from: Baptism (Audio CD)
This is easily the case of an artist having reached the point where he's just using the same proven formula over and over again only with diminishing results each time. We've seen it with Sting, with Prince, many others too, and now with L. Kravitz.
Unless you're an ultra-die-hard fan, this album has very little to offer. Kravitz's best moments are clearly behind him because this is the second luckluster album in a row that he delivers. Tired songs based on recipes he's done way better before, pseudo-rock songs that are actually mediocre quality pop, pretentious lyrics, oh, and this time he goes from his former "rock n'roll is dead" to "minister of rock n roll". Go figure...
The whole thing sounds as if he's fulfilling contractual obligations and some songs have a hurried aura about them like they were phoned in.
I'm sure the fans will (like it happens in such cases) feel compelled to defend their icon but the fatc of the matter is that this is a mediocre and very forgettable album.
Like one other reviewer noted, the odds that he'll ever recapture his earlier spirit and creativity are rather low, but for the time being that's all we could hope for...

One Soul Now
One Soul Now
Price: CDN$ 19.74
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic as expected..., June 8 2004
This review is from: One Soul Now (Audio CD)
A cynic might've said: "you've heard one of their albums, ya heard'm all".. Well, i happen to be a heavy cynic, but there's no way i could bring myself to say that. With this, being their 10th album, what could one expect actually? For most bands this just means one more repeat effort cashing in for the upcoming pension days. For most bands yes, but the Junkies do belong to that elite few who gring out several albums over the years without losing their magic, and somehow, always finding a way to intrigue the listener anew.
With them, it's mostly the storytelling that comes across their cool lyrics.If you don't speak english and you just try and get a feel about what they're singing about you might think it's all lazy lil songs about the summer and sitting in the sun. But, and that's the cool trick really, it's mostly pretty bleak and dark confessions and narrations dressed with a rather sarcastic musical scape.
Speaking of their music, what i've always loved about their albums, is that they have a way to rationalise tragedy, sadness and misery through that majestically hypnotic music of theirs.
In "One soul now" this is once more the case: beautiful tracks that never tire you but rather soothe you and leave you with a notion like "whatever happens we'll live another day".
For those familiar with the group this new album is top-notch stuff, one of their best in years in fact. For those who haven't discovered the magic the pouring heavily through their music and lyrics "One soul now" is ideal to start from. The odds are you will (like many before you) want to check into their past as well. Brilliant stuff.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by C.G. Jung
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.40
54 used & new from CDN$ 2.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Controversial, insightful, self-contradicting..., June 8 2004
Admittedly, this is the most important book for those interested not only in the Jungian approach in psychology, but also in the life itself of Carl Gustav Jung. Indeed, this is an autobiography, imbedded in which is most of Jung's theories and quite an adequate outline of his cosmotheory as well.
Now, this being the book that "allows" us a glimpse into the soul of this psychologist, i was for one somewhat puzzled by the overall insight i got. While for the most part i appreciated Jung's bold approach in matters considered heavy taboos in his time (not to mention our time as well for certain particular issues), on the other side i found that Jung is self-contradicting at times, or murky, for lack of a more descriptive term.
Jung dares to look on the "other side" and consider it openly an integral part of "this" side. What others deem as "paranormal" or "supernatural" is to Jung just the other side of the same coin. He discusses the reality under the accepted reality but he is not straightforward about it. If i wanted to take it far enough I'd even say he's not honest about it. He does mince hiw words much too often and stops short of telling you what he really thinks. But this hardly undermines his openmindedness. Same goes for his treatment of religion.
In the beginning of the book he goes to great lengths in his denouncing of the western religion, and yet, all throughout the book he leaves countless hints that he's religious himself, without ever explaining in what sense. This was in my view perplexing.
The part of the book where he details his views on psychotherapy and explains how he approached his patients is definately the highlight of this book, and it should be of paramount importance for those interested in that subject area.
The last third of the book is mostly about Jung's travels. That part, might be disturbing for some, as one can sense that Jung felt some kind of well hidden superiority over the people he encountered. This superiority is often enough brought forward as his surprise over the insights these people offered him, but it still remains a mystery (at least to me) what he actually "took" from these people pertaining to their beliefs and approach in life. If anything, that is.
All criticism aside, this is still essential reading. Jung was a person torn between the desire to explore the off-limits and his fear of being ostracised by the scientific community. In the gray area within that struggle is where one discovers Jung's most thought-provoking theories because that is where he presents himself bare.

Gattaca (Full Screen & Widescreen) (Bilingual)
Gattaca (Full Screen & Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Ethan Hawke
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 7.80
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant out of the ordinary sci-fi..., June 4 2004
It wasn't exactly surprising that this masterful film escaped most radars. Without bombastic effects and without any mass promotion and media brouhaha it was released almost silently and has gained the reputation of a true classic ever since.
Twenty minutes into this film and all the tell-tale signs of a great and capturing story are already well in place and it almost never lets down after that.
With all the dystopia banners obvious to anyone who's lost his optimism, Gattaca is about the story of a future society where ID has become one's gene-pool. Those with an "acceptable" gene combination are given access to the better jobs and prospects, and most importantly a chance to leave this planet for outer space, where, by then, humans are exploring domains far beyond their own solar system. Those with an undesirable gene combination, that is, big probability for disease, or other health failures and low life expectancy, are deemed, and doomed, to become society's low-rank water-carriers. The first category is the "valids" and the second the "in-valids".
One such invalid driven by his passionate dream of outer-space travel, finds a way to beat the system, by using blood and hair samples of a former valid who's incapacitated by partial paralysis. He assumes his new ID with full co-operation by the former invalid, and both these peoples' lives become an excruciating every day routine of trying to keep beating the control-checks and achieving each their own goals. Things turn even edgier when a murder investigation inside the base for space-travel points worrying leads towards the (...) and the police are hot on his trail. From then on it becomes a race of time. If he makes it he's safe for good, safe in the confines of the surreal distance that will separate him and the earth as his destination is Titan, a planet several years of distance away.
Gattaca is without a doubt one of the most intelligent films in recent time. Packed with superb ideas about a dystopian future without resorting to pomposity is its utter brilliance, subtle and convincing performances cement the result and the directing is equally great, using color and unidentifiable space to set the atmosphere.
Ethan Hawke plays the system-beater according to the cue of the story, always below the surface, and always with a "looking-behind-the-shoulder" aura. But the show is actually stolen by Jude Law, his Identity Giver and an ex-wonder "gene holder", who has to daily swallow his bitterness while trying to make what he thinks as best out of the situation. Uma Thurman is rather confined to the backround in the story, making Gattaca primarily a two-actor film. But this never undermines the force of this movie, instead it helps emphasize the story even more.
Incredibly poetic, especially the ending, and melancholically romantic, Gattaca is a tremendous film the full impact of which catches up with you after it's finished. Great on all levels with the slight exception of the love affair between Hawke and Thurman which doesn't serve much really but that does little to undermine the overall picture.
Essential for the sci-fi oriented and fans of intelligent cinema alike.

From The Double Gone Chapel
From The Double Gone Chapel
Price: CDN$ 16.75
16 used & new from CDN$ 10.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Top league atmospherics with a rocking drive..., June 4 2004
Most of the really great albums i've heard this year have been from some rather "unlikely" candidates: Trans Am, Syntax, Ascii Disko, Saasfe, to name a mere few.
But this album from the Two Lone Swordsmen probably tops the lot simply because, musically speaking, it's heavily packed with cool ideas and great atmospheres.
To keep it short, this is a very inspired moment of genius. Particularly the mix of this album is intriguing: it reminds a lot of the alterbative rock scene of the 80s (especially the ultracool guitar and bass riffs) but the trick is actually at the beats which give the album a dark and ominous aura.
One telling track, "Sex beat", an irresistible cover version from the classic song from Gun in the 80s is characteristic in a way, but then again every single song on this LP doesn't fall below a certain level of quality. Quality? There is no filler material in "From the Double Gone Chapel", it's as simple as that.
The lyrics follow the lead as well, vying in bizzarity with the music.
This is not only a "safe buy" but an absolutely essential release for those interested in those undiscovered gems that every musical year keeps in store. One of the top albums of 2004.

This is Spinal Tap (Widescreen) [Import]
This is Spinal Tap (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Rob Reiner
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 8.58
36 used & new from CDN$ 3.26

0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated farsical gods..., June 3 2004
I'm not giving this film 3 stars as a comedy but actually as a serious film. What??? Well, here's the thing: I watched "This is Spinal Tap" in 2004. For whatever reasons i hadn't seen it up until this point, but i can't help it that it seemed dated to me.
More than probably, back in 1984 when it was released, this thing cut it. It cut it with the frequency of humor it had and with the story it presents. But today? Today, it simply seems dated and even from a historical point of view there could've been a much better result to have come out of it, especially if another (more interesting) band was featured. It's not like there weren't any choices out there, geeez, this is the rock world we're talking about. Motorhead, for one band, would've easily incorporated many of the "assets" of Spinal Tap as well as other added ones that would've made the overall product much more attractive and poignant.
But having said that, Spinal Tap does have its worth and this is where i come to my point: I personally laughed wholeheartedly with only a few scenes in this film, mainly because to me this was hardly a comedy. Now, this is indeed scary, but why would i laugh with something supposedly made to mock when even big bands (no need to mention names) have been 50 times funnier as Tap? Or when i constantly read to this very day daily quotes from the rock gods that make you first re-read the quote with amazement and then burst with laughter realising it's seriously said. Did i say "serious"? That's exactly it. This film attempts to make something look funny when it's already hilarious to begin with. It tries too much, and often during the film i thought that stretching it was totally un-needed and spoiled the effort.
I read the official review from Amazon and at the very end of it, it says that this is the best rocumentary ever made. I take up a serious issue with that assessment folks: Unless one has not seen "Almost famous" (came out 4 years ago) would that statement hold sadly true. But Almost Famous is leagues better than Spinal Tap, it's far more poignant, far more accurate, far funnier, far deeper (ok, that wouldn't be too difficult) and it far more captures the times it portrays than Spinal Tap could ever hope to.
I think that Spinal Tap is still watchable exactly because we know this is real (well, some of us do). Bands like that did exist in much worse form even, and -that's even scarier- they still do today (again, no need to mention names, those with even half a brain know the culprits). If someone wanted to find another Spinal Tap-like band to make a film about today he wouldn't have the slightest problem. Not back then, not now, not in 20 years from now, as pathetic as that sounds for the rock scene. Or for any musical scene for that matter.
As a movie, "Spinal Tap" does well picking on all the rock cliches and their inane shallowness, it does even better representing the average rock farsical god, but it does so without keeping you interested enough, especially if you're not a rock afficionado and you dont "see" the references.
The humor and the punchlines quickly become not so much repetitive but definately predictable, the horrible Tap songs are simply too horrifying to endure, you end up being thankful the 80s are gone and buried, and yet those with a deep knowledge of the scene are left thinking that this is only the tip of the iceberg and that the rest is left untouched in the film.
All in all, the Tap movie does have its place in musical history (exactly where that place is, I'm not so sure). However, when it comes to films about the surreality of the rock scene things are pretty bleak: there are simply not many films, with the exception of 3-4, that capture that in an adequate way. All i can suggest for the time being is to opt instead for "Almost Famous". Encyclopaedically speaking though, "This is Spinal Tap" does have its merits...

Morning of Magicians
Morning of Magicians
by Jacques Bergier
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 15.10

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best reference books ever written..., June 3 2004
This review is from: Morning of Magicians (Paperback)
The least i could say about this wondrous book is that it's the closest you'll come to a mind-altering experience without chemical substances. From that on, this is a jaw-dropping read, and it's kinda difficult to summarise what it professes except if i put it on terms such as: "it examines all those sides of 'reality' for which we have solid evidence of the existence thereof but because of a variety of reasons we refuse to acknowledge".
Now, I know this sounds vague, but when you come across a book that deals with such a spectrum of topics such as alchemy, politics, the paranormal, history, secret societies, origins of certain philosophies, magic, the roots of nazism, UFOs, conspiracies, etc, there is no simpler way to surmise it.
This is easily one of those books that leave you a different person once you're done reading them, not in the way certain "self-help" books claim they do, but in the sense that it works like a massive curtain being pulled infront of you and a whole new picture being revealed behind it.
There's no bibliography included at the end of it (allthough, through its pages, several books are mentioned as sources) but for those well-delved into the topics it discusses it's obvious that the scholarship involved here is impeccable.
And apropos "sources", this is exactly the biggest contribution of this book, the fact that it actually functions like a tremendous reference book, leading you eventually to other books of which you'd probably remain unaware had you not seen the sourcing here. It's more or less like a simply coded lexicon for those interested in diving well below the surface, for restless minds who suspect that "this can't be all there is", a multi-key to unopened doors inside and outside ourminds.
Being all that (and more), you'd expect a "heavy read", a book written in wooden academic language, but this is far from being the case: " The Morning of the Magicians" is laid out in down-to-earth language and you won't be disturbed during your reading by trying to comprehend the sentences but instead you'll be left with the bare essence. You'll need only comprehend the concepts.
Published originally in the 60s, and having accomplished a notorious reputation since then, it reads like what Charles Fort would sound as, if he were a scientist. And, even that description doesn't do it complete justice.
Absolutely essential for those who search...

Meccano Mind
Meccano Mind
Price: CDN$ 19.87
19 used & new from CDN$ 14.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Appeal through atmosphere..., May 31 2004
This review is from: Meccano Mind (Audio CD)
Syntax stand somewhere between groups like Hybrid and Fluke. They have the dark and big atmospheres of Fluke and the cool catchy vocals that Hybrid do. But what they aren't doing is copying anybody.
This album "borrows" from many sources and comes up with something fresh and original. There's everything from EBM elements in it, to very-up-to-date electronica, and 80s style effects all seamlessly woven together.
Contrary to a fellow reviewer here, i think that "Meccano Mind" is more of a summer album, or to be more precise, a late summer album because of the melancholy running through major chunks of it. It feels like something, or someone, is leaving and the feeling is overbearing.
Lastly, there's several seriously strong tracks on it. This is easily a safe buy: the filler-factor is extremely low.
One of the better electronic albums of 2004...

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