Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (20th Anniversary Edition) (CD)

It’s hard to overplay the importance of 1989’s Paul’s Boutique to the success of the Beastie Boys. The follow up to the band’s sophomoric, party album Licensed to Ill, the Dust Brother produced Paul’s Boutique took the band from novelty white rappers to a legitimate musical talent, pushing the boundaries of a still new genre at the time. There is still plenty of humor, just much less chauvinistic posturing with this outing. Continue reading “Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (20th Anniversary Edition) (CD)”

Religulous (DVD)

It’s a little surprising that the religious right, usually front and center, picket signs and bull horns in hand at any movie even vaguely touching on Christianity, never bothered to turn out in force to picket Bill Maher’s wickedly funny, and powerful documentary on religion. Judging by the early rumblings against the soon-to-be-released sequel to the Da Vinci Code, it can’t be that they have finally learned that this is fantastic free publicity for the movies they revile. Continue reading “Religulous (DVD)”

Danny Rocco – The Future is Now (CD)

Long Island’s Danny Rocco aims pretty high with his debut The Future is Now, going beyond the staid and routine songs his peers have been churning out. Unfortunately he doesn’t always reach the intended heights. The acoustic strumming, singer songwriter (backed by the band End the Stars) starts the album of with the strongly original, addictive title track “The Future is Now,” but the rest of the album tries, and for the most part fails, to live up to that first song. Continue reading “Danny Rocco – The Future is Now (CD)”

Willie Nelson – Naked Willie (CD)

At 75 and with a legacy as a national musical treasure already firmly cemented, you’d think Willie Nelson would at least take a little time off to relax. On average, the prolific cowboy churns out at least two or three releases a year. This year looks to be no different. Continue reading “Willie Nelson – Naked Willie (CD)”

Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season (DVD)

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has somehow stumbled on that rare combination of a fantastically gripping story, the perfect cast and excellent writing. Not since The Sopranos have all of the elements for a truly great TV drama series come together so quickly. The series centers around Walter (played by Bryan Cranston), a brilliant scientist, now stuck teaching chemistry to apathetic high schoolers in Albuquerque and worrying about day-to-day bills. Continue reading “Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season (DVD)”

The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellin Cartel

Once you get past the fact that Roberto Escobar sees his brother more as a Columbian Robin Hood rather than one of the most barbaric, nefarious drug lords… well, ever, The Accountant’s Story is actually a pretty fascinating read that’s incredibly difficult to put down once you’ve started reading. Continue reading “The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellin Cartel”

Kaline – Makin’ Moves (CD)

It’s kind of hard to feel sorry for the music industry crying about low CDs sales, when a solid band like Kaline is churning out records on its own, while stale, paint-by-numbers groups simply ape the sound of mediocre bands that came before them and are rewarded with record label deals. Continue reading “Kaline – Makin’ Moves (CD)”

Summer Heights High (DVD)

Much like the first season of Arrested Development, HBO’s cult comedy Summer Heights High is wildly cherished by those few lucky enough to have somehow stumbled across it, meanwhile try and describe the premise to anyone unaware of the show and chances are the blank stare will remind of just how small that cult surrounding the show actually is right now. Continue reading “Summer Heights High (DVD)”

Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me

An anthology about relationships written by guys sounds about as appealing as…well talking about relationships with guys. But thanks to a stellar list of authors – heavy on comedians like Jon Stewart, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Colbert and Will Forte – and the comedy-prone topic of getting dumped, makes the task that much more compelling. The essays are offered as lessons of sorts, far from practical, but extremely funny nonetheless. Continue reading “Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me”

Death Cab for Cutie – Something About Airplanes; Limited Edition Re-Release (CD)

Listening to Death Cab for Cutie’s first proper release, 1998’s Something About Airplanes, there is little indication that the band would someday be headlining major festivals, churning our records for a major label and pretty much adding a touch of indie cred and respectability to mainstream radio stations. It’s not that the songs are not good, in fact for the most part they are just as beautiful as the latter work Death Cab is more known for; it’s just surprising that the band was able to get so much mainstream attention with little to no compromise of their original sound. Continue reading “Death Cab for Cutie – Something About Airplanes; Limited Edition Re-Release (CD)”