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Reviews (Album, Movie, TV)
Show Review: Charlie Daniels @ Tennessee Valley Fair PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ken Lay   
Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:52

Charlie Daniels can still pack a concert venue. He proved that on Sept. 10 at the Tennessee Valley Fair as he played before a near-capacity crowd.

Daniels is a legend, but sadly his latest performance in Knoxville proved that he’s a mere shadow of the rebellious country and western and southern rock performer that rocked houses during the 1970s and 1980s.

He’s still one of the genre’s top musicians. He can still saw on the fiddle, and the Charlie Daniels Band is still tight. But sadly, something’s missing with the icon that brought us hits like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and “Long-haired Country Boy.”

On this night, the anger was still there, the patriotism was still there, but the country rebel was absent.

During his early days, Daniels was profane and his irreverence gave him a certain charm.

Now in his 70s, Daniels has found Christianity and that’s great. He’s also become an adamant supporter of the US Armed Forces and that’s fine, too. But he’s not the performer that he used to be.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:54
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Movie Review: Fruitvale Station PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jack Evans   
Monday, 09 September 2013 16:15

A simple yet emotional portrayal of Oscar Grant murder


 

There are a lot of “based on a true story” movies out there and a lot of biopics. There are even more films about social injustice and racism.

These genres are as saturated as, but better intentioned than, sappy rom-coms and immature manchild comedies a la Adam Sandler. Consequently, the truly great films in these genres often slip through the cracks.

So it’s refreshing to see a movie like “Fruitvale Station” that aims high at shedding light on some of America’s most shameful qualities via a day-in-the-life approach, and succeeding on a national level, from Sundance acclaim to Weinstein Company distribution to even Academy Award buzz.

It’s also pleasing to see a young team that works as well together as writer-director Ryan Coogler, in his debut, and star Michael B. Jordan, who portrays Oscar Grant, a black 22-year-old Oakland man who was shot point-blank and killed by a BART officer in the wee hours of New Year’s Day 2009.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 16:20
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Rising band Filligar's 'Hexagon' PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Alec Cunningham   
Monday, 09 September 2013 16:09

You know a rising band when you hear one, and Chicago-based Filligar is one of these. They've compiled a total of 12 tracks for this release, "Hexagon," and though they might not make it as a regular on any mainstream radio stations, they'll be climbing the indie charts soon.

Their new album, which was released July 23, marks their first release since 2010. And boy, have they come back and left listeners with something to remember. As one of their best songs on this new album, "New Local" is the perfect track to open the release. The song is introduced with the lines, "Slow down; there's something up ahead. I feel like an animal staring at a barbed wire fence." Their tracks are peppered with introspective lyrics that form interesting lines such as this one.

A number of their other tracks, such as "Knock Yourself Out" and "Money on the Dark Horse," make use of repetitive lyrics. Although certain lines seem to be heavily repeated throughout some sections of each song, especially within the choruses, it's not to the point of over exhaustion.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 16:14
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David Lynch, 'The Big Dream' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Johnny Sughrue   
Monday, 09 September 2013 15:57

All right everyone, lock your doors and pull the blinds down, there’s a new David Lynch album on the loose. Yes, we’re talking about that David Lynch, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Lost Highway director and now it seems he’s channeled his talent for creating dark creepy atmospheres into music as well. The Big Dream is his second solo and the director’s own interpretation of blues music taking you into that twisted David Lynchian world of next door normal characters that are just bubbling with evil under the surface.

The music is simple enough: Basic drum beats, quiet organs, murky guitars ripping on slow blues riffs, but over all comes Lynch’s odd voice. It’s not much different from his normal speaking voice which is a bit nasal and mid-western nerdy, but coming through washes of echo and other effects can take on a rather eerie quality. “Star Dream Child” could be an innocent industrial blues tune but for the darkness of his off-kilter narration. “Last Call” sounds like the creepy meanderings of one of his freakier characters sitting next to you at the bar. Bob Dylan’s “The Ballad of Hollis Brown” sounds especially dark and desperate in Lynch’s hands. Even the pretty tunes sounding very Julee Cruise-ish like “Cold Wind Blowin” and the lovely closer “Are You Sure” sound ominous from Lynch’s buttoned-up glassy world. And for some extra creepiness, try “Sun Can’t be Seen No More” with its driving dirty cool guitar work and the chilling pitch shifted vocals.

David Lynch has enjoyed a long career of making us feel uneasy and now that he’s also a songwriter and a blues musician, the uneasiness seems to come naturally.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 16:08
 
Annabelle's Curse - 'Hollow Creature' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alec Cunningham   
Monday, 09 September 2013 15:45

Hollow Creature is the follow-up to the first release of Bristol TN/VA band Annabelle's Curse, called Monsters, which debuted in 2011. This new album centers on the idea of love and the various topics that surround the experience ranging from first loves to heartbreaks and everything in between.

The group's web page boasts "Bristol Born & Bound For Glory," and though they might be tooting their own horns, they're not far off from the truth. This band has both their instrumental talents and their lyrical prowess working for them, which is what makes the album so memorable. And they make that apparent from song one, which is a track called "Before The Fall." That tune introduces the album with soft instrumentals. And those gorgeous instrumentals do well to complement the equally striking lyrics. Frontman Tim Kilbourne sings, "Your body is a choir and it's singing to me, and the thunderin' in my chest is a tympani. So strike up the band, man, let's let that orchestra play."

Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 15:50
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