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allismile0 "allismile0" (Washington, DC)

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Love Actually (Full Screen) [Import]
Love Actually (Full Screen) [Import]
DVD ~ Hugh Grant
Offered by importcds__
Prix : CDN$ 7.43
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 étoiles sur 5 Infactuation, Actually, May 20 2004
Umm, this isn't love; this is lust and infactuation. None of these people know eachother well enough to have a true love between them. True love takes getting to know who a person really is not falling in love with some fantasy of what we think the person might be or what we want them to be. Get real!
The thing about this kinda "love" is it always falls apart, actually.

ESPN Major League Baseball - Xbox
ESPN Major League Baseball - Xbox
4 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good News/ Bad News, May 4 2004
New ESPN packaging including the voice of superb announcer Jon Miller is no improvement on last year's model. Though there are some improvements (there better be!!) but it seems like it is at the cost of past improvements.....
I do enjoy being capable of playing regular season games (in GM mode) at any stadium I please including The Polo Grounds (now that's cool!).....
How could they get rid of being able to edit the players (adding a bit of power to your favorite player if you want for instance)?...
The GM mode does put a fun twist when you have to decide to follow orders of the boss or not....
I like that the Phillies and Padres new stadiums were added (why not add some more old stadiums though ex/Ebbets Field)....
It doesn't seem like they added any new vintage uniforms to the choice list from last years version (especially when you know there are so many cool uniforms to choose from in the history of baseball its a real disappointment what there is ex/70's White Sox)....
The graphics don't seem to be as quality as last years....
The statistics are more involved (that's a good thing)...
The games still has a poor minor league system....
Ichiro has a last name, use it!(last year I could add it on)...
Rex Hudler is still annoying....
After listening to Jon Miller say "...and the throw to first and he's out!!!" well after the play has been made and the fielders are running towards the dugout....
The system of saving the games is much more confusing than it has to be....
Game Play Sliders is improved over last years with more options...
BOTTOM LINE: game play is as fun as usual- playing in the stadiums that your favorite teams and ball players play in is awesome. I like the new TV style viewing/playing- and the new gm mode makes it worth the lowered price. If you already have last years game you could go either way on whither you would think this is an improvement worth your paycheck.

Jasper Johns:Ideas in Paint
Jasper Johns:Ideas in Paint
DVD ~ John Cage
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Prix : CDN$ 157.12
3 used & new from CDN$ 68.20

2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing Expose On A 20th Century American Artist, April 21 2004
This review is from: Jasper Johns:Ideas in Paint (DVD)
"Jasper Johns, Ideas In Paint" is a poorly executed documentary. It's not entirely clear what the premise is about even though the title would lead you to believe it's about his art process and all that goes with that. Johns was one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century; along with artist like Robert Rauschenberg, Johns made art that was irreverent to the abstract expressionist and iconoclastic to the two dimensional painting/three dimensional sculpture way of thinking.
What this documentary tends to focus on too much of is his relationships with other "famous artists" and contemplating the prices of his art (one piece sold for $17 million at auction). It seems like the makers of this documentary weren't too sure themselves if Johns is a great artist or if his art is simply a phenomena of commerce.
Throughout the interviews the debate on his skills and popularity always seems to come up; when those questions aren't coming up it becomes clear that the people that do admire his work in this video seem to be living in their own bubble of pretensions and are not really tapped into reality. Johns himself doesn't seem to be all that comfortable in front of the camera and the things he say are quite cold and uninspired. They do use footage from an excellent documentary called "Painter's Painting" (which I very highly recommend) where Johns is much more relaxed and seems to be more clear on what he has to say; but that doesn't save this video from being two steps away from completely dismissible.
This documentary does three things that I think are inexcusable; it does a poor job at focusing on his career and shifts he made as an artist; it focus's on the commerce of his art (which explains/justifies nothing about the artist); and it only taps the surface of what the documentary is supposedly about- Ideas in Paint!!
It's unfortunate that a better video could not have been made about this artist. He has made some very fascinating works that deserve consideration and not debate. There are moments of interesting insight but not worth paying $24.00, I recommend a pass on this one. This video could have been called "Jasper Johns: $17 Million Says A Lot!"

Its All Around You
Its All Around You
Prix : CDN$ 16.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 9.59

3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Slow Descent Into Blandness, April 20 2004
This review is from: Its All Around You (Audio CD)
Did any fan of this band ever have to debate whether "Millions Living Will Never Die" or "Tortoise" were good albums? Most likely not. It's possible a fan might argue which of these albums they preferred, but the originality and musicianship were unmistakable. I think that "TNT" is right up there with those two albums and to a lesser extent "Standards" holds some strong character to it.
This albums is unquestionably the low point in the Tortoise catalogue. "Crest" is so derivative of Frank Zappa circa '79 that one could think it's a cover song. "The Lithium Stiffs" proves once and for all that The Manhattan Transfer is not a band worth emulating. While the rest of the songs just sound like Tortoise doing the same old thing (a retread of albums TNT and Standards) which is to say they don't sound very exciting about the music they're making. If they're going to repeat themselves why not make a "Millions Living Will Never Die II" instead of a "Standards V".

Grown Backwards
Grown Backwards
Prix : CDN$ 18.21
32 used & new from CDN$ 9.00

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Happy Byrne (4.5 star), March 20 2004
This review is from: Grown Backwards (Audio CD)
The positive reviews I've read so far on this album say everything I would want to say myself. I'll just reiterate that this is an excellent collection of Byrne originals and fascinating covers. In my view his most mature and natural work he's ever done without ever getting away from the excitement and innovations he been known for. An artist in a satisfied point in his/her life is always a joy to behold; Grown Backwards are joyous noises.

Up
Up
Prix : CDN$ 16.98
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 étoiles sur 5 up's a downer, March 12 2004
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
The first time I listened to this album I was excited that Peter Gabriel had finally put out something new and I had no pre-conceived notions about what this album should sound like. Although I found "Ovo" to be disappointing, I kept in mind that it was not a follow-up to "Us" nor was it by any means intended as a true personal statement or musical progression as an artist or as a human being. It was, for all intensive rationale, show tunes written by Peter Gabriel.
Upon first listening to "Up" I thought that it was an interesting direction he had taken. The music was less focused on the melodic and more on piecing sounds into a collage (which he had done to lesser degrees on "Us"). More inline with what he had done with his third and fourth ("security") albums.
Where "So" was an unmistakable move towards pop with songs like "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes". "Us" was a very personal and mature statement that used a wide variety of world sounds and beautiful melodies expressing wisdom and a desire for growth.
Now ten years passed, "Up" surfaces. Dense and dark, unmelodic and relatively flat, "Up" is a failed revisiting of such strong albums as "III" and "IV". Both "III" and "IV" had strong rhythms and fascinating melodies vying for the listener's attention. Although the subject matter of both these albums had much to do with the troubles of humanity and the search for identity there was a "love" that invited the listener in to share. I don't think it can be denied that when listening to songs like "Wallflower" or "Family Snapshot" there is a true sympathy and hope for bettering humanity, which is one thing I always loved about Gabriel's music.
Now forward to "Up". There were signs of lack of hope and sympathy surfacing in his music like "Digging In The Dirt". But "Up" comes off to me as entirely self-indulgent and self-absorbed, and just plain depressing. The music has so little heart to it and when it does sound melodic it seems like he took the melody right out of his "Us" period. There are some interesting moments in the music- but he did have ten years to make it. What seems the saddest of all about "Up" is that it seems as though Peter Gabriel is trying to compete with the self-absorptions of today's "pop-alienation" in music and no longer expresses a true individual artistic vision. In conclusion, the essence of both the music and themes that comprise "Up" are nowhere as capturing as on "III", "Us", or just about any other PG solo album.

Tales from the Topographic Oceans
Tales from the Topographic Oceans
Prix : CDN$ 24.40
31 used & new from CDN$ 10.24

3.0 étoiles sur 5 decent but not great yes, March 10 2004
Certainly this album here is a listening experience. "Tales From Topographic Oceans" is Yes's most ambitious and long winded album they ever made. A great deal of it is not too much of a challenge to listen to (although the length is the only difficulty I have). It's just very different; complex but not complicated.
It's their least pop oriented album (that says a lot) and it's not just because of the length of the album. Oddly enough there is an intimacy about it, more of a personal statement by Jon Anderson with the rest of the band filling in with their idea. This is "Tales from Topographic Oceans" strength as well as its weakness. The music feels like five solo artists making a collage of what they wanted Yes to sound like. There are too many fragmented musical ideas floating around Jon Anderson's conceptual lyricism. Although the music is intriguing, the songs don't seem to steam from a central melody or idea but seems more like a guitar solo here, a synth wash there, and an acoustic folk song turning into a faux african rhythm which is to say I don't entirely understand what the music is about.
Not to say that this album lacks any cohesion, it's just well spread out. I would compare it to trying to summarize the world we live in within the parameters of a five hundred word essay, interesting challenge but silly think it could be done.
This was the most interesting of the Yes re-issues for me because of how dense the sound was on TFTO. The re-mastering really brings out some nice hues that I could not identify so easily on the '92 re-mastering giving more breathing room for the different instrumentation. The bonus tracks are interesting but not necessary.

Drama (Expanded)
Drama (Expanded)
Prix : CDN$ 9.12
20 used & new from CDN$ 3.93

3.0 étoiles sur 5 yes finding a way through the new wave, March 8 2004
This review is from: Drama (Expanded) (Audio CD)
Outside of all the interesting facts that make "Drama" stand by itself in the Yes catalog (including the subraction of Jon Anderson/Rick Wakeman and the addition of Buggles Geoffrey Downes/Trovor Horn)Yes was in need of an overhaul, and "Drama" proved to be an energized change. "Going For The One" and "Tormato" had some monumental moments mixed in with things that would have been outtakes on earlier albums. They were a progressive rock band but they were not progressing as much as they had in the past and the staleness show.
Although from listening to some of the fascinating bonus tracks included here from the "Paris sessions" it sounded like Yes (including Anderson/Wakeman) were looking to change their sound a bit, but the melodies were still a bit tired and world weary. The sessions were scraped.
"Drama" was still very much a Yes album but with one decided difference- it had a raw energy that had not appeared on a Yes album since "Relayer" (interestingly, that album had an outsider come in and shake things up as well). I'm not saying that the song writing was more inspired than on "Going For The One" or "Tormato", but on "Drama" everyone sounds like they are excited to be playing the music and you feel it. Steve Howe especially sounds rejuvenated by the changes and plays about as intensely as he did on "Relayer".
For the most part there really aren't any duds on this album (although the first thirty seconds of "White Car" sound like the intro to a seminar on self improvement). "Machine Messiah", "Does It Really Happen?" and "Tempus Fugit" are the standouts for me. While "Into The Lens" seems to have an interesting mix of progressive rock and new wave.
The sound of the re-mastering is immaculate, and bonus tracks prove interesting. There are plenty of worthy Yes albums that I would recommend way before this one. But if you are curious but nervous about later Yes albums due to their reputation I would go for this one because of its exciting energy and consistency.

A Gift From Euphoria
A Gift From Euphoria
Prix : CDN$ 20.75
20 used & new from CDN$ 8.92

3.0 étoiles sur 5 One album by Two dudes that recorded in Three cities, Feb. 20 2004
This review is from: A Gift From Euphoria (Audio CD)
Pretty cool but somewhat typical pychedelic rock album out of 1960's LA scene. Has a bit Rolling Stones, Byrds, Love, and Beatles mixed in together (and they claim they were heavily influenced by the Bee Gees too). If I had to think of an album that is similar to "...Euphoria" it would be "The Notorious Byrd Brothers"('69) because of it's eclectic nature and over-emphasis of studio effects.
What this album signifies to me most is not that it's a lost/ignored masterpiece but what could have been if these guys kept at it and had more support. There are some fairly strong songs here, the most obvious being Did You Get The Letter, but just about all of them have some good points to them. The liner notes seem to have a bloated sense of importance- which is typical of many artists/reviewers that haven't moved on from their heyday.
All critism aside, this is an interesting time piece. It's got bluegrass, country, baroque pop, and pyschedelic rock. They knew how to make a decent groove, and the harmonies were pretty cool- decent song writing too.

Relayer (Expanded)
Relayer (Expanded)
Prix : CDN$ 14.87
40 used & new from CDN$ 5.21

5.0 étoiles sur 5 the most intense Yes album, Sept. 16 2003
This review is from: Relayer (Expanded) (Audio CD)
This is the album that followed the highly ambitious and flawed Tales from Topographic Oceans. T.F.T.O was too wide spred and had so many ideas condensed into an already very lenghty album, it tried to take all the ideas from the highly sucessfull Close to the Edge and expand all the ideas and insert new one. There were many successes and a few faliures.
But then came Relayer- to me the monster of all Yes albums. Filled with intelligent angst, thoughtful search for the Truth, and some of the most dynamic playing comparatively to any of the other Yes albums before. Relayer experiments more than any other album, rocks harder, and each song relates superbly to the next.
We start with Gates of Delirium, 22 minutes of thoughfulness, chaotic instrumental breaks and observant lyrics all artfully expressing the madness that must be indured in the world to get to a more spiritual place- the manic use of percussion and strange keyboards twisting each note (I wish Moraz would have done more with the group) express chaos quite nicely. This all leads to the final six minutes of Soon, Howe's phased guitar notes trinkling down as Moraz's keyboard washes give such a sense of peace after all the termoil of the first part of the song.
Then we have:
Sound chaser, high intensity of avante garde jazz starts and stops gets the song going before we go through a mad'ning circular chord sequence the song is a brilliant display of Yes's superior use of time change and intrumental sychronicity. This song is more intense than Gates and the softer parts of the song only lends more to the ferocity of the bands interplay.
and finally:
there's To Be Over a perfect song to end on. The beginning of the song with guitar layered apon guitar apon keyboards apon more guitar and sitar just is one of the most glorious moment on any of Yes's albums. The beauty of Howe's steel guitar gliding through the melody with Anderson's drifting melody just invokes a lot of peace and the almost country tinge/Asian delicacy of the song makes it a true original.
I think that all that Yes's did in the 70's was masterful including the often attacked Tormato, and they rarely repeated themselves which is quite a feat for any artist. I think that Relayer is a peak they reached among many, but this is my personal favorite because it just rocks so hard and it makes those blissful moments just that greater (something i wished Topographic Oceans had done); there is never a dull moment to say the least. I recommend this album to anyone trying to find that instensity of Heart of the Sunrise (Drama is a pretty intense album as well, but not nearly as much as Relayer and Fragile).
As for the newly remastered sound- dyno-mite! Bonus tracks are fascinating extensions but not nessesary. Definitely worth an investment.

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