Strip Club King (DVD)

Before watching Strip Club King, I had not ever heard of Joe Redner. This film, the latest release from Passion River, looks to explain exactly whom ey is and why ey is important. Essentially, Redner is the owner of The Mons Venus, a strip-club that stands at the head of the accomplishments that ey has created over the course of eir life. The story told by Strip Club King is something that seems as hard to believe as the plot of Forrest Gump. This means that viewers will learn about Redner’s countless arrests, eir struggle with education (picking up eir GED at 40 years old), and even about the different public offices that ey has ran for over the course of eir life.
The different locales, interviews, and stories that are present here all join together to make a hell of a story, one that is as hard to believe as it is interesting. Despite all the humor and interest generated by the narrative in Strip Club Kin, I feel that there is a little harder of reporting going on here. This means that Shelby McIntrye’s direction seems to touch upon issues of obscenity, profanity, and the first amendment in the United States. Continue reading “Strip Club King (DVD)”

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John Ortved (Book)

John Ortved’s carefully researched and entertaining behind the scenes look at one of the most beloved TV series works primarily because the author is such a big fan of The Simpsons. How do you know he has a deep appreciation for The Simpsons? He is willing to admit that the show is not nearly as good as it once was. Simply put, he knows it is cable of being better. Continue reading “The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John Ortved (Book)”

Mower – Make it a Double (CD)

Oh, hyper aggressive hybrid of metal/punk band, do you ever tire of writing the same song over and over again? If you’re Mower, I guess so. Four albums into it, and the Mohawk sportin’ (two members at least), tattooed members of the San Diego hard rock band are releasing their grip on that template a bit. Sure, the themes of partying and violence are still front and center, but Make it a Double also mixes in a bit of their lounge lizard alter egos (aptly named Slower). Continue reading “Mower – Make it a Double (CD)”

Otis Redding – The Best: See + Hear (CD/DVD)

Any Otis Redding fan – big or small – already has most if not all of the songs collected on this best of album. Regardless, it’s a decent glimpse into Redding’s brief but brilliant career, highlighting songs like “Respect,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember,” along with a great cover of the Stones’ “Satisfaction”. Continue reading “Otis Redding – The Best: See + Hear (CD/DVD)”

When Summer’s Gone – December (CD)

“Ocean Boulevard” needs nothing more than a guitar to fully set the mood of the rest of the track. When Summer’s Gone immediately lurches forth with a blend of styles that uses bits of hard rock, emo, metal, and even hardcore to create something hard-edged while still possessing of a heart. Where the overall track is one that could easily make it onto rock rotation radio, I feel that some sides of the band shine even brighter. Of particular note here would have to be the guitars and drums, which mesh complexity with an easily-approachable sound that all can appreciate. “Welcome Home” churns in the deep end while approaching a brighter, almost progressive-type of sound at the high end; listeners will have to give this track a number of spins to understand what all When Summer’s Gone is attempting to do here. Continue reading “When Summer’s Gone – December (CD)”

Eleventh Hour – The Complete Series (DVD)

When CBS first rolled out Eleventh Hour, their latest Jerry Bruckheimer-produced TV series last year, critics were quick to compare it to X Files. You had the mysterious, often freakish occurrences, the attractive, yet uptight female FBI agent pared with an equally attractive male partner plus plenty of ominous music. Though an easy comparison, it was a little off base. Continue reading “Eleventh Hour – The Complete Series (DVD)”

Tornado Outbreak (Nintendo Wii)

Tornado Outbreak has players tapped to create through destruction; in that sense, the title seems to take a little from Katamari Damacy more than anything. The story line present in the title has players step into the shoes of Zephyr, an understudy to the wind god Nimbus, who gains abilities and finds items through creating mass destruction. In order to take down the massive objects and skyscrapers that dot the landscape, players are required to take up smaller, less offensive things. However, the process from small to big is one that will keep players motivated while not creating too much in the way of stress. Continue reading “Tornado Outbreak (Nintendo Wii)”

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – Kai-Lan Carnival (DVD)

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is, for those who have not watched the show, a Nickelodeon effort that It finally seems as if some children’s companies are getting the fact that parents do not want to go out and spend $20 for the equivalent of two episodes. This DVD contains four episodes – the titular one, Lulu Day, Roller Rintoo, and Wait, Hoho, Wait. To top that, there are a few bonus features that will keep kids and their parents busy, including the Balloon Race Carnival Game. However, what may be the best presence in this title are the different emotions and skills that Kai-Lan presents all that may be viewing. Continue reading “Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – Kai-Lan Carnival (DVD)”

St. James Winery – 2008 Chambourcin (Wine)

The St. James represents our first foray into Chambourcin, and we could not have gotten a more solid introduction to the varietal. From when we first brought it out of its shipping crate, the presentation of the ’08 Chambourcin is classy, with labeling that calls forth the seventies and early eighties while maintaining a current sort of flair. This red wine can be enjoyed on a number of levels, be it as a perfect companion to a home-cooked meal or through careful dissection by even the most veteran of wine tastes. Continue reading “St. James Winery – 2008 Chambourcin (Wine)”

Sherwood – Qu (CD)

It’s a bit surprising Different Light, the 2007 sophomore release from Sherwood didn’t help make the California band a household name. With their Pet Sounds-era harmonies and a sound the evoked everyone from the Beatles to ELO, the album was pretty damn close pop rock perfection. Their latest, Qu is almost as good. It’s a bit cliché to talk about a maturing sound in record reviews, but it’s true with this outing. The band is certainly feeling more comfortable with their writing and has never sounded tighter. Tracks like “Not Gonna Love” sound better than anything the band has recorded in the past. Here’s hoping QU helps the band reach the larger audience they so clearly deserve.

Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Top track: “Not Gonna Love,” “Around You” and “Maybe This Time”

Sherwood – Qu /CDs/12 tracks/2009/MySpace Records/