Sunday, August 28, 2022

Review: 'Stephen King: A Complete Exploration of His Work, Life, and Influences'

Stephen King is that very rare author who is just as famous as his books, and the format of Bev Vincent's new book Stephen King: A Complete Exploration of His Work, Life, and Influences is the kind usually reserved for rock bands or really popular movies. It's a full-color, illustrated hardcover that takes a close but wholly non-academic look at his output. Each one of King's books gets between a paragraph and several pages of attention as Vincent provides a good deal of background information, a bit of a synopsis, and a few words about the reception and legacy that greeted each publication. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Review: CD Issue of R.E.M.'s 'Chronic Town'

R.E.M. did a lot of things really well, but probably none of their releases captured what they did best better than their first EP. Following their first single by a year, and preceding their first album by nine months, Chronic Town introduced R.E.M. as masters of mega-exciting jangle-pop. Although there are none of the mysterious ballads like "Perfect Circle" or novelties like "We Walk" that would make Murmur a more eclectic platter, R.E.M.'s celebrated debut LP was not as consistently thrilling as Chronic Town. This is the sound of a young band with a serious fire in their collective belly, and tracks like "Wolves, Lower" and "Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars)" are as exciting as they'd ever get ("Gardening at Night" is pretty fierce too, though I do prefer the less mumbly alternate mix that would later appear on the Eponymous compilation). 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Review: 'The Ultimate Book of Movie Monsters'

One of the great draws of scary movies--which often aren't really that scary at all--is the chance to see some rad monster designs. That's the main draw of Christopher Carton's new book, The Ultimate Book of Movie Monsters, too. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

Review: 'Outro Records Rock 'n Roll Halloween Party!'

While getting up the Halloween decorations (which I seem to do a little earlier every year... as my wife likes to point out), it is key to set the right mood. I've got my Zacherle and Vic Mizzy and Vince Gauraldi LPs, and Black Sabbath and The Misfits for when I get fed up and ready to rock, but I'm guessing none of those are gonna hit the spot this year like Outro Records' new comp Outro Records Rock 'n Roll Halloween Party! 

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