March 18, 2010

Constantine (2005, Francis Lawrence) - Rating: 3/5

Constantine [Blu-ray]Adaption of DC/Vertigo comic "Hellblazer." Keanu Reeves plays demon hunter John Constantine. The film is filled with angels and demons mythology drawn predominantly from Catholic understanding the mystical creatures of good v evil. 

March 9, 2010

Copyright Criminals (Franzen/McLeod, 2009)

Copyright CriminalsWhile rap is the principle music style that draws upon samples and turntable use, numerous musical genres have drawn upon these tools. When, however, does a sample or a beat step into the realm of being covered by copyright? If I distort the sample, slow it down, play it in reverse, run it through delays and effects does it still qualify as the sound it originally was? This short film, which aired on Independent Lens, jumps into the fray and presents multiple sides of the argument. Many big names including George Clinton, DJ Spooky, Clyde Stubblefield, Chuck D and Steve Albini present their cases for and against. You get to decide who is and who is not a copyright criminal.

March 1, 2010

The Cure "4:13 Dream" (Geffen, 2008)

The Cure age fairly well. In fact I rather liked this release. They draw from much of the same palette of sounds as we’ve heard before: chimes, layered, heavily chorused guitars. The drums are heavier and the mix more modern (more low end on drums and bass, crisper on Robert’s vocal). “Underneath the Stars” is moody and warm. It is The Cure set in a contemporary sound. “The Only One” has a very classic “Love Cats”-like sound. “The Reason Why” is a bit dark, bit over the top. “The Real Snow White” is certainly one of the stronger tracks. “I know the dress was tight but it was all I had to wear.” The other track that stands out is “This. Here And Now. With You.” Like the distorted bass and over-effected guitar lines.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

Branford Marsalis “Contemporary Jazz” (Columbia, 2001)

Branford Marsalis – Saxophones
Joey Caladerazzo – Piano
Jeff “Tain” Watts – Drums
Eric Revis – Bass
Recorded 12/1-4/1999 Bearsville, NY

In the Crease – Great opening track. This is what I wanted ot hear when I picked up this CD. Classy, elegant, great playing across the board.

Requiem – Things  slow down a bit with this elegant ballad.

Elysium – My 7 year old thought this onde sounded like music from a Tom & Jerry cartoon. More free flowing. Sax scurrying. Piano chasing. Drums effecting. And then they all catch the groove.

Cheek to Cheek – Just watched Fred & Ginger in “Top Hat” the other night. Was nice to catch this rendition.

Tain Mutiny – Lots of drums in this one from Jeff “Tain” Watts.

Countronious Rex – Brings you into a jazz house for a bit of southern style jazz fun.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

The Cure “Greatest Hits” (Elektra, 2001)

Looking for a Cure fix? The hits are all hear. Spanning 1979 to 2002 (pre-release) this collection does pull together some of their greatest. I kept tabs on The Cure for roughly the first half of the songs, from “Boys Don’t Cry” (off the album by the same name) to “Love Song” (off Disintigration).

Rating: **** (out of 5)