The Strat Pack DVD is a guitar freak’s dream come true

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 24, 2005 By Steve Newton Last year, in celebration of the Fender Stratocaster's 50th anniversary, an impressive array of electric guitarists got together at London's Wembley Arena to see what kind of joyful noise they could all make with Leo Fender's masterpiece of metal, plastic, and wood. The result is … Continue reading The Strat Pack DVD is a guitar freak’s dream come true

Tragically Hip box set artfully melds sound and vision

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 8, 2005 By Steve Newton My wife Dawn and I are big Tragically Hip fans. Heck, back in '97 we went to see them at Thunderbird Stadium when she was eight-months pregnant, giving our first-born an in-utero sampling of Canada's top guitar rockers. No wonder the opening riffs of "Little … Continue reading Tragically Hip box set artfully melds sound and vision

Ozzy Osbourne box the perfect primer for his post-Sabbath period

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 8, 2005 By Steve Newton Ozzy Osbourne could easily have gotten away with compiling a bunch of album tracks, tossing in a live concert DVD, and calling it the Prince of Darkness box set. But the pioneering bat-biter evidently wanted to give his hordes of fans something special. His idea … Continue reading Ozzy Osbourne box the perfect primer for his post-Sabbath period

Cream live reunion DVD wasn’t worth hounding Clapton for

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 13, 2005 By Steve Newton In the interview portion of the new Cream DVD, Royal Albert Hall London 05, Eric Clapton explains how he's been dogged for the last 30 years by queries about whether the British power trio-which also included bassist-vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker-would ever re-form. … Continue reading Cream live reunion DVD wasn’t worth hounding Clapton for

Horror review: Wolf Creek

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 22, 2005 The intro to Wolf Creek claims that 30,000 people are reported missing every year in Australia and that 90 percent of them are found within a month. Of those who are never heard from again, there's little doubt that some are murdered; there's been a spate of backpacker … Continue reading Horror review: Wolf Creek

Horror review: The Dark Hours

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 10, 2005 What could be scarier than being diagnosed with a fast-growing, malignant brain tumour? Not much, I figure, and the makers of The Dark Hours would likely agree. That's why they made that most dreaded medical assessment a focus of their effective, unnerving little psychodrama. Kate Greenhouse took the … Continue reading Horror review: The Dark Hours

Horror review: Saw II

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 27, 2005 The original Saw had a pretty interesting premise, and one that kept the options wide open for gruesome, sadistic, squirm-in-your-seat horror. It was about a psychopathic genius named Jigsaw who trapped people and made them play horrific beat-the-clock games for a slim chance at avoiding a grisly death. … Continue reading Horror review: Saw II

Horror review: The Fog

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 20, 2005 In the past few years, Hollywood has been shamelessly pounding out remakes of famous horror flicks, with varying results. In the case of retreads like The Ring, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, and House of Wax, at least the filmmakers had worthy sources to draw from. … Continue reading Horror review: The Fog

Horror review: Cry_Wolf

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 22, 2005 Cellphones bug the hell out of me. It's bad enough that your life is continually threatened by distracted drivers jabbering away on them. Now you've got teen-oriented slasher flicks with plots revolving around today's wireless technology. "Can you kill me now?" Cry_Wolf kicks off in traditional horror fashion, … Continue reading Horror review: Cry_Wolf

Horror review: The Exorcism of Emily Rose

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 15, 2005 All those shocking images in the TV trailer for The Exorcism of Emily Rose had me thinking: "Cool! Maybe someone's finally made a worthy demonic-possession flick to rival The Exorcist." Then I ran into veteran Georgia Straight movie guy Ian Caddell, and he pooped all over my party. "It's … Continue reading Horror review: The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Horror review: The Cave

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 1, 2005 James Cameron's Aliens sure was one kick-ass action-horror flick. It had assured direction, amazing special effects, terrifying monsters-and, of course, Bill Paxton's immortal line as the cocky but cowardly grunt Hudson: "Game over, man. Game over!" But Aliens came out nearly two decades ago, so it's a little … Continue reading Horror review: The Cave

Horror review: The Skeleton Key

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 18, 2005 There hasn't been a decent Deep South occult flick since Alan Parker put Mickey Rourke's rumpled private dick through his satanic paces in 1987's noirish Angel Heart. Perhaps Hollywood hasn't tackled the voodoo angle that often because most folks just don't grasp all that gumbo mumbo jumbo. Voodoo … Continue reading Horror review: The Skeleton Key

Horror review: The Devil’s Rejects

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 21, 2005 With 2003's House of 1000 Corpses, former White Zombie main man Rob Zombie made a fitting transformation from over-the-top shock rocker to over-the-top shock filmmaker. The demented, evil-guy persona he nurtured on record and on-stage was child's play compared with the bloody horrors of his directorial debut, a … Continue reading Horror review: The Devil’s Rejects

Horror review: Dark Water

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 14, 2005 Dark Water is a remake of a Japanese horror film of the same name by Hideo Nakata, the same guy who directed Ringu, and there are similarities to that flick's Americanized version, The Ring. But instead of a cursed videotape that brings death to its viewers, Dark Water … Continue reading Horror review: Dark Water

Horror review: House of Wax

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 12, 2005 By Steve Newton I didn't have high hopes for House of Wax, an extremely loose adaptation of the 1953 Vincent Price horror classic. For starters, Paris Hilton is in it. Then there's the fact that it's a product of Dark Castle Entertainment, the company behind crappy "reimaginings" of … Continue reading Horror review: House of Wax

Horror review: The Amityville Horror

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 21, 2005 Several times recently, while watching the tube at home, I've had to scramble for the remote and quickly flip the channel whenever the trailer for The Amityville Horror came on. I didn't want the kids going to bed with scary images in their imaginative little minds; neither did … Continue reading Horror review: The Amityville Horror

Horror review: Cursed

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 10, 2005 The day after Cursed was released, high-profile movie critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the werewolf flick a "thumbs sideways" rating on their TV show. They couldn't give it a regular thumbs-up or thumbs-down because Dimension Films had refused to allow them an advance viewing of Scream … Continue reading Horror review: Cursed

Horror review: Constantine

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 24, 2005 The Vancouver-shot Catwoman may be up for a record-breaking seven Razzies at this weekend's 25th annual Golden Raspberry Awards-Hollywood's tribute to the very worst in movies-but there's already a buzz on about the major contenders for next year. One likely nominee is yet another locally lensed stinker, Alone … Continue reading Horror review: Constantine

Horror review: Boogeyman

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 10, 2005 The credits for Boogeyman screenwriter Eric Kripke, director Stephen Kay, and star Barry Watson aren't overly impressive. Kripke wrote for and helped develop the cheesecake TV series Tarzan, Kay directed a routine Sylvester Stallone vehicle, Get Carter--after penning the widely reviled remake of the The Mod Squad--while the main entry in Watson's bio … Continue reading Horror review: Boogeyman

Horror review: Alone in the Dark

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 3, 2005 Alone in the Dark is a terrific horror flick--at least the one from 1982 is. It stars stalwart acting vets Jack Palance and Martin Landau as psychopathic escapees from a mental hospital who go on a murderous rampage. The flick comes recommended for Palance and Landau's gleefully demented performances, … Continue reading Horror review: Alone in the Dark

O.A.R. Dips Its Paddle in the Big-League Ocean

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 24, 2005 By Steve Newton Most independent bands have a tough go of it, struggling just to make it to low-paying gigs, scraping money together to make records, and then having a rough time selling them. But there are exceptions. Before Washington, D.C.-based O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) became a major-label … Continue reading O.A.R. Dips Its Paddle in the Big-League Ocean

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are hooked on playing weddings

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 17, 2005 By Steve Newton Some rock bands think it's cool to sell out hockey rinks and football stadiums, but if you ask Spike-lead singer for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes-he'll claim that there's no live setting quite like a bar mitzvah. Of course, it helps if you're blasting … Continue reading Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are hooked on playing weddings

Slash on Velvet Revolver: “We’re doing pretty fucking well for ourselves.”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 31, 2005 By Steve Newton When the remnants of Guns N' Roses-guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum-went looking for a vocalist to front their new band, the first name that came to mind was the Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland. The problem at the time, though, was … Continue reading Slash on Velvet Revolver: “We’re doing pretty fucking well for ourselves.”

Scott Weiland is an incredible rock star with Velvet Revolver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 7, 2005 By Steve Newton On the way in to the Velvet Revolver gig, it was weird to see heaps of seized chewing-gum packages lying on tables next to the security crews that were frisking folks. I recall 20 years back, at the height of the heavy-metal craze, how those … Continue reading Scott Weiland is an incredible rock star with Velvet Revolver

Corrosion picker Pepper bashes his (ear)drums

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 7, 2005 By Steve Newton One of the stock questions I like to toss out when interviewing rockers is, "So, what have you been listening to lately?" When I call up Corrosion of Conformity guitarist-vocalist Pepper Keenan in the midst of his band's North American tour with Motorhead, that query … Continue reading Corrosion picker Pepper bashes his (ear)drums

Sound Tribe Sector Nine goes for the groove

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 21, 2005 By Steve Newton I don't normally condone drug use, but if you're the type of person who enjoys a wee puff before a concert, have I got a gig for you. California's Sound Tribe Sector Nine specializes in dreamy, multilayered, mind-tweaking deep-groove sounds in which samplers and computers … Continue reading Sound Tribe Sector Nine goes for the groove

Steve Vai goes weedley-eedley-eedley at the Commodore

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 28, 2005 When you go to a Steve Vai concert these days, you definitely get your money's worth, musicianwise. Not only is Vai one of the most gifted rock guitarists alive, his bandmates hold some serious credentials as well. Rhythm guitarist Dave Weiner is still in his 20s, but he's … Continue reading Steve Vai goes weedley-eedley-eedley at the Commodore