TV Review: AMERICAN IDOL – SEASON 10 – Hollywood Week – Round 3

A contestant on AMERICAN IDOL - Season 10 - Hollywood Week - Round 3 | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

Cast: Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez Network: Fox, airs Wednesdays and Thursdays Original Telecast: February 17, 2011 I really wish that they would have started this year’s AMERICAN IDOL in Hollywood. It would have not only saved me some time in my life, but it would have given us an even greater insight into the whole process of deciding who gets to perform for America and who does not. Don’t get me wrong, I have been more than happy we have gotten as much as we have as we have not had this type of access or […]Read On »

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CD Review: Occult Detective Club – CRIMES

Occult Detective Club - CRIMES

While it might seem easy, crafting a solid power punk album requires a couple of important ingredients that are often forgotten – namely attitude, angst, crunching guitars and short songs. This formula is strictly adhered to by Occult Detective Club on CRIMES, which delivers a tight 12 song disc that clocks a little under 30 minutes. Guitars jangle forcefully on the lead-off track “In Another Life” and segue into one cool track after another with “Our Bitter End” being the strongest, while “Calling the Detectives” provides playful wordplay and toe-tapping fun – “she’s calling the detectives/you’re gonna need an alibi.” […]Read On »

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CD Review: BRUC soundtrack

Bruc Soundtrack | ©2010 Movie Score Media

You can likely put the number of Napoleon-ea action scores on a short list, a unique quality that makes the genre open musical territory for Spanish-born (and American-trained) composer Xavier Capellas, who’s handled the scoring chores on such Spanish-funded horror pictures as BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR and FAUST. BRUC carries as similarly unhinged quality as a Catalonian goes Rambo on the Emperor’s assassins who pursue him through the mountainous wilds of Monteressat, giving Capellas the opportunity to unleash heroic hell in one of the more weirdly off-kilter period scores since Joe Lo Duca’s BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF. Here more symphonically traditional adventure […]Read On »

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CD Review: Bruce Springsteen – THE PROMISE

THE PROMISE - Bruce Springsteen | ©2010 Sony

Whenever an artist starts scrounging around their archives for unreleased tracks, it’s usually for a box set of rarities, or even worse, a way to dredge up past glories when the current musical muse has long-since dried up.

That’s not the case with Bruce Springsteen. In the ‘90s he released an incredibly ambitious box set of B-sides and rarities called TRACKS that proved even his toss-offs were A-sides.

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CD Review: Sword and Sorcery scores (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, RED SONJA, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS)

Conan Soundtrack | © 2010 Tadlow Records

For baby boomer fantasy fans, there were never better days than the early 80’s when it came to seeing sweaty, near-naked barbarians hacking their way through the Hyborean Age with sex and gore to spare. But in a period that’s fondly remembered for the cheesy likes of ATOR THE INVINCIBLE, YOR, HAWK THE SLAYER and THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, one film truly took the genre seriously, with all the production polish to spare. And 28 years later, John Milius’ adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN still remains the king of this genre, whose blood and thunder score by Basil Poledouris remains the one fantasy soundtrack to rule them all.

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TV Review: GLEE – Season 2 – “A Very Glee Christmas”

Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith in GLEE - Season 2 - "A Very Glee Christmas" | ©2010 Fox/Justin Lubin

Not surprising, GLEE’s “A Very Glee Christmas” looks and feels like every other Christmas special out there (hitting all the major beats above), but also manages to put its own twists on the formula as well. We get a major break-up between Finn (Cory Monteith) and Rachel (Lea Michele) – with no happy resolution by episode’s end. And the very important line by Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) at the end of the episode to Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) is the very un-Christmas-like “I hate you.”

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CD Review: KUNG FU / MAN IN THE WILDERNESS

© 2010 Film Score Monthly Records | Kung Fu Soundtrack

It’s finally time to snatch a pebble out of Film Score Monthly’s hand with this soundtrack two-fer, which combines music from two poetically different scores for men seeking their way in the American outback. The first traveler just happens to be everyone’s favorite Shaolin fugitive monk Cain, whose mystical tête-à-têtes with his teachers are front and center through much of KUNG FU. Though designed as a concept album in 1973 by composer Jim Helms, some score purists might take umbrage to so much dialogue on an FSM release. Yet it’s almost hard to imagine Helms’ harmonies without the Confucianisms, the […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: GLEE star Cory Monteith talks about singing, dancing and covering Queen

Cory Monteith in GLEE - Season 2 | ©2010 Fox

 While many of the characters of GLEE get to wear their emotions on their sleeve, jock and show choir member Finn has proven to be the most introspective. As played by Cory Monteith, Finn internalizes so much, it’s hard to really pinpoint where he’s coming from at times. Yet, for all his internal strife, he’s also the one character who has grown leaps and bounds with last week’s episode finally having embraced Kurt (Chris Colfer) as his step-brother with open arms. ASSIGNMENT X caught up with Monteith to talk about Season Two, exploring his voice and covering Queen as […]Read On »

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TV Review: GLEE – SEASON 2 – “Substitute”

© 2010 Fox | Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow in GLEE - Season Two - "Substitute"

One good thing could be said for the latest, lackluster episode of GLEE. The title “Substitute” didn’t result in a show choir version of The Who’s “Substitute.” Now that would be too obvious for a show, that occasionally lacks in subtlety. What is obvious?  “Substitute” features movie star Gwyneth Paltrow in yet another one of GLEE’s throwaway episodes designed to showcase a particular concept (“The Rocky Horror Glee Show”/Britney Spears songs) or to give a guest star the full court treatment to suck away valuable screen time from the very able recurring cast. “Substitute” isn’t as bad as many episodes […]Read On »

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TV Review – GLEE – Season 2 – “Never Been Kissed”

Dot-Marie Jones in GLEE - Season 2 - "Never Been Kissed" - | © 2010 Fox

Something very right happened on the latest GLEE episode “Never Been Kissed.”It was an important episode about fitting in, feeling bad about yourself, forging new friendships and singing songs that actually fit perfectly in with the theme of the episode (and without feeling force-fed).

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