John Stossel is awesome. I’ve been a fan ever since I was in the seventh grade and watched him debunk pro wrestling and, in the process, take a couple slaps in the face from David Schutlz.”You think it’s fake?” Boom. A childhood fantasy destroyed. Sometime between that fateful smack and today Stossel shifted from consumer reporter to free market advocate. He’s a rare commodity in the media who unapologetically wears his biases on his sleeve. No, The Can’t lays out the libertarian position on a slew contemporary political issues. It’s not the most in-depth analysis but provides a good jumping off point for just about any policy debate with lots of footnotes and references to point you the right direction.
The English title of this one is Lust of the Vampire. Thankfully, these are just titles and there are no vampires in this 1956 Mario Bava co-directed film. It’s not completely devoid of fantasy, but for the most part this feels more like a proto-giallo that only hints at Bava’s visual style. There is one amazing transformation effect that is achieved with a combination of lighting and subtle makeup that almost matches the believability of modern CGI.
I enjoyed the first half of the book in which the Discworld is introduced to the first all-powerful sorcerer they have seen in thousands of years. However, maybe I have been reading too many of these novels back-to-back, because the last half of the book began to drag on for me and I found myself not really caring what would happen next. Time for a break from Discworld (at least for a little while).
It looks like these days Richard H. Kirk is only releasing his music via iTunes. Personally, I prefer the way Amazon handles digital downloads, but I held my nose and bought this anyway. This is another collection of electronia meets dub reggae. The songs feel a tad bit more electronical and less authentic dub than they did on Chant to Jah which, surprisingly, I think I don’t like as much. But that is just nitpicking. Overall, another great record.
Satan’s Pilgrims are one of the better surf bands to have emerged during the 90s surf revival. Despite the album title and the soulful organ on the opening track, this is more of the same Astronauts-like surf sound that one has come to expect from Satan’s Pilgrims. The CD ends with the excellent “Haunted House of Rock ’95″’featuring a great, slow-pulsing vibrato drenched rhythm guitar—and the peppy vocal number, “Let’s Go to the Beach.”
Kill List starts off as a relationship drama then soon morphs into a British gangster film following the antics of two hitmen as they cross names off of their “kill list.” It’s gritty, violent and well-acted. If that were all that there was to this film that would be plenty. However, there is more to the story which is best if I didn’t spoil it here. Let’s just say that this is an anti-hero version of this classic film (click/hover the link at your own major spoiler risk).
I am not sure why Richard H. Kirk released this as Sandoz because it doesn’t really sound anything like previous Sandoz records, and, as I said in an earlier review, the man can’t settle a band name to save his life. As the title suggests, this is Kirk’s electronic take on dub reggae. The end result is fantastic. There are throbbing bass lines, disembodied Rasta voices, reggae samples and lots of digital bleeps and bloops. I have found that this a great record to play in the car during a slow drive at night in the big city. Don’t ask me to qualify that statement beyond me just saying that I once played this CD while driving late at night in the big city and I liked it. It’s a great mix of old and new sounds.
Since the demise of Cabaret Voltaire, Richard H. Kirk has had about a zillion solo projects all with different names. It’s a bit of a discographer’s nightmare. I’m all for the one band line-up, one name approach that Wire used (when the drummer left the band, they renamed themselves Wir). But, seriously Richard, just because you used an arpeggiator doesn’t mean you need to call yourself Arpeggio 13 or whatever. Anyhow, Sandoz’s (was he manufacturing generic medications while recording?) Digital Lifeforms stays much closer to mid 90’s Cabaret Voltaire’s sound than other Kirk solo efforts. This is dancy electronica with a laid-back feel and not quite as many distorted transmissions and found sounds one might expect from Kirk.
So, I’m now four books into the Discworld series and I think I will keep going with it (only 33 more to go). Mort is another underdog-type story that I always enjoy and, on top of that, it has an imaginative take on what it must be like to be the grim reaper.