Every month, Cosmik Debris brings you many CD and record reviews, but
the writers manage to find a little time for other pursuits, like reading,
going to movies and watching videos. That's where Everything
Else In Review comes in.
CONCERT: Jonatha Brooke
WOW Hall-Eugene, OR: 4/6/01
Reviewed by Tim & Ananda Owen
Gracing the stage with equally exuberant helpings of wit, grit and charm,
Jonatha Brooke and her band energized the small, but packed WOW Hall in
Celebrating, Steady Pull, her successful new record, a steady pull is
exactly the effect Jonatha had on her loyal fan base here in Eugene.
Released on her own independent label, (Bad Dog Records), Steady Pull
marks her 4th solo outing since the days of her former band, The Story,
and provides a new direction for her musically, putting a grittier, more
rock laden spring in her step.
Keeping things very charged and upbeat onstage, when Jonatha wasn't
rocking or mesmerizing her audience in song, she was engaging them in
personal stories or banter. Jonatha opened with 'Blood From A Stone",
from 97's, 10 Cent Wings, then smoothly moved into a new release "Red
Dress", which goes from subtle acoustic and builds to a screaming waltz.
This song alone, was exemplary of the broad range of exciting twists and
turns her audience would be swept along with throughout the evening
......(sorta like white water rafting!)
Following another Steady Pull number, "I'll Take It From Here", Jonatha
mixed it up with a couple more from 10 Cent Wings, "Crumbs", and "Genius
or a Fool". Others from Steady Pull were "How Deep is Your Love?", a
funky romp about new infatuation, love and romance and "Linger", a
bittersweet song about the end of a relationship and currently receiving
adult rock radio play, "Digging", part Appalachian Folk and part rocking
out, is a searching song about getting through a troubled time by digging
deep. Title track "Steady Pull", a deep grooving rocker with a melodic
guitar to contrast the funkiness, and the vocals settling into a large
rhythm pocket. With spectacular pitch, range and control, her melodies
unfold as compellingly as her lyrical stories. While her new material
contains a more raw, edgy feel, her trademark emotional honesty and
literate songwriting, remains very much intact, infused by an overall
Her tight and talented band, comprised of drummer Larry Aberman, bassist
Darren Embry, Goffrey Moore on electric lead guitar, with Jonatha on
acoustic and electric rhythm guitar, provided ample diversity for her
shining, sophisticated arrangements, from the subtle nuances to nudge an
emotional counterpart to her lyrics, to outright rollicking driving rock,
they were right there.
JB is a gifted musician with a talent for producing honest and insightful
lyrics that bring a broad range of emotion to the listener, easily
relating to everyday life. Her passionate sincerity and witty humor made
for a joyful, reflective experience, celebratory of the human condition.
(C) 2001 - Tim & Ananda Owen (Photos (C) Tim Owen)
BOOK SERIES: Where Are They Now?
Warner Book Publications
Reviewed by DJ Johnson
This series of sheet music and guitar tab notation books has been sitting here for far longer
than things ever sit in our office, and it's not because they aren't good books. The songs
are tabbed correctly, at least the twenty or so I tested at random, and the song selection is,
by and large, not too bad. But something really bugs me about this series.
First, the title. Where are they now? Each book begins with two pages or so with ultra-short
paragraphs about where the bands ended up. The entry for Archie Bell & The Drells, for example,
is three sentences long and really doesn't tell you that much about where he is now. My
other and far larger bitch is that somebody had their head way up an orifice it didn't belong
in when they were putting the series together. How in the name of God did The Beach Boys'
music end up in the 50s Era book? "California Girls" belongs in the 60s Era book. Ask anyone.
How did The Surfaris and The Isley Brothers end up in that 50s Era book, too? Surely there
was plenty of material to draw from in the 50s, right? It boggles the mind.
Well, that aside,
for the young guitarist just discovering that s/he's able to handle tougher chops, this is a
nice series of books. You have four to choose from: 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s Eras, each with
fairly predictable but therefore essential tables of contents. After the five minute read that
is the "where are they now" portion of the book, move on and learn spiff riffs like The Doobie
Brothers' "Listen To The Music" or pull out that 60s book, shake your head in amazement and
learn that song of the 70s, "If You Could Read My Mind," by Gordon Lightfoot."
Good tabs, cool covers, terrible organization. Available at Amazon.com and just about anywhere else.
(C) 2001 - DJ Johnson
Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie Ann Moss and Joe Pantoliano
Directed By Christopher Nolan. Summit Films.
Reviewed by Rusty Pipes
This movie will always be known as That Backwards Movie. It's certainly edgy enough to cause a wave of copy cat movies by others. I hope not. (It does make me wonder what my readers would think if I arranged the paragraphs of this review in reverse order though.) Some might say memento's overwhelmed by the backwards gimmick but because this particular story turns so heavily on memory Nolan brings it off. You gotta wonder what he can do with a more normal story of revenge though. Stay tuned, I'm sure he'll get his chance. In any case this movie is worth seeing more than once.
But by the end I was wondering if the plot was all that air tight. Perhaps that feeling was calculated. There's a lot of violence in here and though I sympathize some with Leonard's need for revenge, I have to wonder if he really knows what the hell he is doing. It makes you think, do we really know who we are and what we are doing?
Guy Pearce who you may remember from LA confidential, does a great job in a Brad Pitt kind of way playing Leonard and Carrie-Anne Moss is also well cast as the love interest that he can never remember the next day. Joe Pantoliano is delightfully motor-mouthed as the killer, or at least the man Leonard kills thinking he's the killer in the opening scene. The real star is Nolan who had the audacity to put together such an offbeat idea and make it work.
The plot surrounds a man, Leonard Shelby, who has no more short-term memory after being beaten in an attack that also left his wife raped and dead. At least he knows everything about himself up until the time of the attack. (Or does he?) He's no dummy, having been an investigator before all this happened. But he's forced to re-think everything he knows about every fifteen minutes, so he keeps pictures and notes, even tattooed messages on his body to remind himself about his mission and the facts he needs to find the killer. As the movie goes forward, or backward really, you're never quite certain of the facts. You walk out of the theater feeling terribly disoriented, which must be how Leonard feels all the time.
Director Christopher Nolan's memento is a fascinating film, no doubt destined to be a cult classic. It's unusual construction-short scenes shown in backwards order-is terribly intriguing and forces you to pay close attention to what could easily have been just another story of revenge.
(C) 2001 - Rusty Pipes
BOOK: HOW TO MAKE YOUR ELECTRIC GUITAR PLAY GREAT
By Dan Erlewine - Backbeat Books, soft cover, 137 pages.
Reviewed by DJ Johnson
I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're a guitarist, having
read the title above, and that you care about this book, so let's move on quickly.
If you're like me, you can play the hell out of your guitar but when it comes to technical
knowledge, you're toast.
When I buy a new axe, I know it's going to be great, but it's
from the factory and it feels like a hunk of lumber at first. So I pay someone to set it
up. According to Dan Erlewine, I'm blowing good money, and I'm willing to listen. His
book tells us more than just set-up techniques, however. Read this thing and you'll have
a better idea of how to choose an instrument in the first place. I'm talking about walking
into a store with a row of identical Strats and walking out with the one that was closest
to perfection. The book also helps you out with repairs, familiarizing you with the things
to watch for with different styles of guitars (i.e. bolt-on neck models, tune-o-matic bridge
models, etc) so you can actually catch disasters before they happen.
Wouldn't that be... a first?
And, of course, he does teach you his technique for setting up guitars, telling you
everything from optimum measurements to what you should have in your tool kit. And since he
knows you won't have a took kit to start off with, he provides a thick cardboard page of
punch-out tools for measuring gaps, fingerboard arc and string height (action).
Erlewine writes in a style you'd expect for such a book, meaning he's not talking down and using hand
puppets (which means I don't always get it), but he's not talking shop-geek, either. It makes
sense, and if you're a non-techie guitarist, it makes even more sense for you to pick it up.
(C) 2001 - DJ Johnson
DVD: AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL
Early Hot Jazz, Song & Dance From Rare Original Film Masters (1925-1933)
Running time: 60 minutes. (Shanachie)
Reviewed by DJ Johnson
This is a wonderful thing to own. Jazz from the mid-20s to the mid-30s, taken from the early
sound films. Within the sixteen tracks we are treated to priceless moment after priceless
moment. We see Bill "Bo Jangles" Robinson do his famous Step Dance (it involved a two-sided
set of stairs and some amazing footwork), a young Duke Ellington already at the top of his
game, the Dorsey Brothers squaring off on "Get Out and Get Under The Moon," a flawless performance
by the Boswell Sisters that shows us where the Andrews Sisters got their inspiration so they
could inspire the McGuire sisters (who apparently did NOT inspire the Lemon sisters), a fair
amount of greatness from Satchmo, and the only sound film showing Bix Beiderbecke, albeit
playing in an ensemble situation with Paul Whiteman's band. That last little tidbit was from
a rescued newsreel, circa 1928. If that doesn't strike you as a cool thing, you might not get
how cool all of this is, but I'm thinking there's only going to be a few of you scratching
your heads. With some things, the cool factor is obvious to all but the blind.
(C) 2001 - DJ Johnson