Year: 2006

In Concert: Queensrÿche at the Nokia Theater

In Concert: Queensrÿche at the Nokia Theater

Music
It's been nearly 10 years since I've seen Queensrÿche in concert, and that was for the group's ill-fated jaunt in support of Hear in the Now Frontier. That tour was canceled after the band's record label, EMI, went into the crapper. A lot has changed for the group since then, not the least of which was the departure of co-founder and guitarist Chris DeGarmo. For 2006, Queensrÿche went back to the future and released a sequel to their 1988 magnum opus, Operation: Mindcrime, cleverly titled Operation: Mindcrime II. While not quite the classic the first one was, OM:II was good enough to rekindle my interest in the group. It was that rekindled interest that brought me to see them perform at a sold-out Nokia Theater last Friday night. The theater, I must say, is a very nice ven
Joe, you poor bastard

Joe, you poor bastard

People
I admit that in my day I wrote my share of sappy letters/emails to women. But sweet Lord, Joseph Dobbie's email makes my pinings look like ransom notes. I know a lot of people feel that it was wrong for the woman who received this to forward it on, thereby subjecting the lovelorn Joe to international humiliation. But for those who would follow in his footsteps, here are two cardinal rules of letter-writing that he broke. Please learn from his mistakes: Rule #1 -- Inner dialogue is meant to be just that: Inner. Joe's letter starts off innocently enough, but the red flag goes up right away when he writes, "OK. This is where my common sense is telling me to stop? keep it simple and positive Joe." Well, that should've been the first clue. Unless you're William Faulkner or Hunter S. Thomps...
David Hasselhoff – “Jump in My Car”

David Hasselhoff – “Jump in My Car”

Music
You remember those "You're the Star!" video booths they had at Disney, Six Flags and other amusement parks? For $5 you could put on some wacky props like oversized sunglasses and a wig, and then "star" in a video by lip synching. As an added bonus you received a cheap VHS copy of the video. Yeah, it seemed fun at the time, but when you watch the video years later, you just cringe and hope your significant other or children never see it. Well, David Hasselhoff seems intent on making a career out of that crap. And while the latest entry, "Jump in My Car," is no "Hooked on a Feeling," it has its strengths. And by "strengths" I mean that there were a few things that were only slightly less embarrassing than the rest of the video. KITT says: "Michael, this degrades us both."
Fare thee well, Everwood

Fare thee well, Everwood

TV & Radio
Just my luck - I start watching a show that's already been established, get completely involved in it and then it goes away. Such has happened with the superlative WB drama Everwood, which aired its final episode last night. I got sucked into the show last year thanks to my wife, and I am saddened to see it go. Everwood had that rare blend of quality acting, writing and storytelling. It was light when it needed to be, and the moments of drama were indeed powerful. I was going to go off on a rant about how unfair it is that Everwood didn't make it to the new "CW" network while crap like One Tree Hill will live on. But that would miss the point, which is to offer a brief testimonial to one of the best TV shows I've seen in years. I can't offer a comprehensive review of the series, mai
Pictures at an Exhibition – State Theatre in New Brunswick, 5/19/06

Pictures at an Exhibition – State Theatre in New Brunswick, 5/19/06

Music
I'm pretty much a dummy when it comes to classical music. I couldn't tell a Beethoven movement from a Mozart symphony if you held a gun to my head. To be perfectly honest, a lot of the classical music I've heard has a certain sameness to it. But there are a handful of pieces that I do enjoy, and one of them is Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." And that piece was what brought me to the State Theatre in New Brunswick, to watch a performance by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. First, a little background - like many prog rock devotees, I was introduced to "Pictures" through the fantastic 1972 adaptation by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It was as a result of that album that I have purchased approximately half a dozen different classic recordings of the piece. It has a dramatic...
1974 – It was a very good year (for music)

1974 – It was a very good year (for music)

Music
According a recent piece on cnn.com, 1974 was a really bad year for music. Like, really bad. As some examples, the author cites the following examples of musical craptasticity: Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun," Cher's "Dark Lady," Ray Stevens' "The Streak," Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods' "Billy, Don't Be a Hero," John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "Annie's Song," Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died," Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby," Olivia Newton-John's "I Honestly Love You" and Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting." Looking at that list, I would be inclined to agree with the author's assertion that 1974 was a dry, rocky place where the seeds of quality could find no purchase. But the problem with the article is this - there was PLENTY of great music being produced in 19...