Bohemian Rhapsody – Movie Review

I have been a Queen fan since I was a young teen back in the 80’s and when this movie came out, I wanted to go see it.  I was worried about the cheesiness of a biopic and if they could represent Queen and Freddie Mercury respectable enough or would it look like a LIfetime biopic?  Could the actors make it believable enough that I could imagine that this was really the guys from the band I know so well?  Could I get lost in the movie and enjoy it?

All valid questions and let me tell you, the answer is yes to all three questions. The movie was respectable, believable and I enjoyed it.  It opens with the band about to take the stage for their Live Aid show and then cuts to 1970 where it all began and Freddie would meet Brian and Roger while the latter two were playing with their band Smile.  And the rest you can say is history.

The movie takes you through the start of the band, the struggles with the label, the struggles with each other and the struggles of Freddie’s life.  And the movie ends with that Live Aid concert which was quite possibly the greatest 20 minute set of any band in history.  How they recreated the Live Aid scene was magical and the Blu-Ray comes with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look on how they did it. Probably worth the price of admission alone.

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Nita Strauss – ‘Controlled Chaos’ (2018) – Album Review

I am a little behind on reviews, so excuse the lateness of this one.  I almost passed it over due to the lateness, but I felt this one needed to be done.  Nita Strauss’ ‘Controlled Chaos’ is nothing short of spectacular so I had to talk about it.

Instrumental albums are hard for me to write-up as I am not a guitarist (although learning) or a musician.  I mean how many times and how many ways can I say the guitar work is sensational.  Well, I will say it at least a few times.  Nita’s guitar work is sensational…she is a beast…she is one of the most exciting guitarists out there today.  Plus, you know she is one of the best if Alice Cooper has her in his band.  I saw them tour last year and she was quite phenomenal!

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And another way I can tell you it is great is the fact I actually bought a physical CD.  I normally stream new music and buy used vinyl and special edition box sets.  New releases only get bought, if they are beyond exceptional and well, this is just that.  So, I showed my support by actually spending my hard in dollars on her album.  People should do way more of that.

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American Authors – ‘Seasons’ – Album Review

American Authors is one of those bands I had heard about due to their hit “Best Day of My Life” from 2013, but I had never wanted to take a deeper dive.  It is not because they weren’t any good band, it is just not my type of music.  It is too pop and generic and nothing really interested me.  Well, with the release of their third album, ‘Seasons’, that has now changed.

The reason for that change is simple, they have two songs on the album by a couple of my favorite singers right now, Billy Raffoul and Bear Rinehart (Needtobreathe).  You see, those two put out a song…I will listen and American Authors only reap the benefits…or do they…we will have to see.

I don’t know much about the band, so I will get straight into the music.  American Authors are really good at writing, happy type, uplifting songs and the opening track, “Stay Around”, is just that.  It is an uptempo and fun song that sounds exactly like an Imagine Dragon song with that drum beat and the lyrical phrasing.  Good song, but come on if you are going to copy any one why the hell would you copy Imagine Dragons?

The next song is one of the best on the album called “Say Amen”.  It features new singer Billy Raffoul and is probably why I am biased about loving this song.  It is a darker song for American Authors and I like this darker edge to the band.  Bill’s Jeff Buckley style vocals work well with singer Zac Barnett who I think changes his vocals to be a little more in Billy’s style which is great because Billy’s vocals have a lot of texture and character.

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Friday New Releases – October 19th

Welcome to a HUGE Friday!!!  There releases are massive and numerous. What more could you ask for.  This is the first time in a very long time where I have 3 releases that are on order for the same day.  I am going to love the mail man this week.  The albums I am interested in are highlighted in Blue and the first 3 are the ones on order.  Let me know what you looking forward to hearing and which ones I might have missed.  Enjoy and have a great musical weekend!  I know I will!!!

  • 81PZVtcGBVL._SX522_  Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Man – (Republic Records):  These young lads are constantly getting compared to Led Zeppelin and you know what?  Who cares.  Zeppelin isn’t putting out any new music so I am going to enjoy this.  At least the young generation is still making Rock & Roll.  This is their first Full Length studio album and I get wait to unwrap the vinyl.

  • 51EQXYr3IZL._AC_US436_QL65_  Whitesnake – Unzipped – (Rhino Records):  5 CDs and 1 DVD of Whitesnake Unplugged.  20 years worth of music including Starkers in Tokyo and Starkers in Warsaw, Paris, Germany and so much music.  I can’t wait for this one either.  It is going to be non-stop music.

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Turntables & Vinyl #11 – The Holiday Treasure Trove

Oh the Holidays!  The end of the year.  Christmas time.  The time John is not supposed to buy any albums since it is the holidays and it is my birthday time period so no record purchases as people need to have something to give me as a gift.  Well, that didn’t quite work this year.

I did set aside a list of albums people could buy for me for Christmas and/or my Birthday and I made sure that anything I picked up was not from that list.  December turned out to be a treasure trove of purchases, gifts and free stuff.  I definitely hit the jackpot with a crap load of albums to listen to and some day write about.

It all started mid-November when the Coke reward program was giving away $5 Amazon gift cards for every 10 bottle caps redeemed.  Well, I had been collecting them at work as I do drink one Coke product everyday and on really stressful, busy days, maybe two.  The $5 Amazon Gift cards were actually $10 because they allowed you to redeem it twice.  After setting up a several more accounts with different email addresses, I was able to redeem $40 worth of caps (I would have done more, but I ran out of caps).  What did I get with the $40 from Amazon?  Music of course.  I picked up the following:

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Friday New Releases – November 24th

It is Black Friday!!!  As a result, a lot of bands don’t release albums the day after Thanksgiving.  However we do have a few coming out…one studio release I might give a listen, one anniversary release, a couple live and a greatest hits (of ballads).  Hopefully there is something for you.  Have a great day and don’t shop too much!!!  My choices are highlighted in Blue.

  • 41C2rvfmQYL._AC_US218_  Queen – News of the World 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe:  The biggest release today is the 40th Anniversary Edition of News of the World.  This looks great and I would get it, but it is pretty pricey and might be out of my reach for awhile.  The album features the classics “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” so it is a must for anyone’s collection…if you can afford it.  The Super Deluxe is $128…ouch!!  If it is streamable, I will listen to it there first.

  • 51u0IyadquL._AC_US436_QL65_  Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon? – (Caroline):  Oh the Gallagher Brothers…First Liam has a new album and now Noel.  Since no more Oasis, I will take what I can get from each.  Liam’s album was surprisingly good…I hope this will be just as surprising (even with the girl playing scissors on stage) and just as good.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Queen

Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to this week’s memes.  We are tackling the band Queen this week and why not!  Queen is so worthy of getting this treatment.  So if you week has started off pretty crappy, maybe this will cheer you up a little.  Enjoy!!

Here is the Real Most Interesting Man in the World!!

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And a Phd in Astrophysics…pretty impressive:

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Turntables & Vinyl #10 – The Growing Obsession

It has been a few months since I have done a post in my Turntable & Vinyl series and a lot has gone on since the last one.  Mainly, the growing obsession with getting my favorite albums in vinyl.  Everywhere I go, I am looking for a record store or thinking of an excuse to go to a store and just “look” around. It has become a growing obsession that isn’t getting any better, in fact, it is getting worse.

And thanks to a fellow blogger, I now have my collection in Discogs.  I can’t remember who it was as it has been several months and I have a terrible memory…now what was I talking about…oh yeah…Discogs.  I spent quite some time cataloging my newly started collection.  The good news, now when I am out at a record store and I can’t remember if I have that album or not, I only need to pull it up on the phone and BOOM!!, I will know if it is in my collection or not.  No more buying duplicates (I told you my memory is bad).  I actually had to use it a few weeks back so I know it was well worth the time adding everything in. Plus, it tells me what my collection is worth (ain’t much which is sad!), but it is a great tool if the collection should get stolen or burned down, I have a record of my albums for insurance purposes.  Nice!

One thing I have been wanting to do for quite a while is upgrade my shitty little stereo system I have been  using.  It was an old system with some shitty little speakers.  Did I mention it was shitty?  Well, I finally replaced it and gave the older system to my oldest daughter for her room.  She loves it because that shitty system replaced her even shittier system.  One man’s junk is another man’s (or teenager girl’s) treasure.  I didn’t get anything real fancy, I did keep it very reasonable.  I only bought a Yamaha Receiver and a couple of Polk floor speakers plus a sub-woofer (I like that bass a little).  I could have gone with a surround sound system, but I really love this set up.  it was the way I listened to the albums back in the day, plus the vinyl isn’t mastered in Surround Sound!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #6 – “Re-Spin” Led Zeppelin & Van Halen

Ever since I started the whole resurgence in my vinyl collection which started from nothing just 10 months ago, I have been trying to put together “The List” of all the albums that are a must have for my collection.  The list is long and it is going to be expensive to put together.

For me, albums from the 70’s must be in vinyl as that was the medium of choice at the time.  That means that I need to have Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, early AC/DC, Queen and of course KISS, just to name a few.  I am off to a good start with KISS thanks to the box of records I mentioned back in the first Turntables & Vinyl post.

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The 80’s is the decade I grew up in and fell in love with music so there has to be a ton of vinyl from those years as well.  Def Leppard, Van Halen, more AC/DC, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ratt and any other rock band from that era.  The collection is growing, but the list doesn’t seem to get smaller.

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