Dio-era Rules of Hell box proves Sabbath thrived after Ozzy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton Just as there are many who feel that Van Halen turned to crap when David Lee Roth left the fold, there are scads of metalheads who believe that Black Sabbath wasn’t worth shite without Ozzy Osbourne at the mike. Screw them. There’s no denying that … Continue reading Dio-era Rules of Hell box proves Sabbath thrived after Ozzy

Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same remains awesome on vinyl

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton No sooner had I replaced the stylus on my ancient Yamaha turntable than into my mail slot slid a review copy of The Song Remains the Same, a four-disc vinyl re-release recorded during three sold-out Led Zeppelin gigs at Madison Square Garden in 1973. Thanks … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same remains awesome on vinyl

The mighty KISS marketing machine pulls off another fast one with IKONS

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton I’ve always argued that KISS’s best album was its self-titled 1974 debut, and that musically the band went downhill from there. For those who disagree, there’s IKONS. In an obvious effort to squeeze a few more bucks out of the American glam-rock quartet’s extensive catalogue, … Continue reading The mighty KISS marketing machine pulls off another fast one with IKONS

Horror review: Repo! The Genetic Opera

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 16, 2008 The lowbrow and highfalutin collide in an orgy of upscale disembowelment as director Darren Lynn Bousman gives uneasy birth to the gore opera. Bousman honed his genre chops in Saw II, III, and IV, and he now offers up a Rocky Horror Picture Show for the torture-porn set. This Toronto-shot cult item … Continue reading Horror review: Repo! The Genetic Opera

Horror review: Twilight

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 21, 2008 Stephenie Meyer’s series of four romantic vampire novels—of which 2005’s Twilight was the first—have proven incredibly popular among teens. But unless you’re a 14-year-old girl who gets all giddy at the thought of cute boys and first love, steer clear of Thirteen director Catherine Hardwicke’s anemic adaptation. Kristen … Continue reading Horror review: Twilight

Horror review: The Haunting of Molly Hartley

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 3, 2008It’s kinda hard to have a haunting without a ghost, but that tidbit of common knowledge never dawned on the makers of The Haunting of Molly Hartley. They used the title anyway for this contemptible cross between To The Devil a Daughter and a dark version of High School Musical (without the music).Haley Bennett … Continue reading Horror review: The Haunting of Molly Hartley

Horror review: Saw V

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 27, 2008 The fifth installment of the Saw franchise doesn’t waste any time getting to the torture-porn aspect the series is known for. The opening scene sees a muscular, bare-chested man—a vicious killer released from prison on a technicality—find justice via the old pit-and-the-pendulum routine. The added attraction here is that the … Continue reading Horror review: Saw V

Movie review: Quarantine

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 12, 2008 It’s been almost a decade since The Blair Witch Project, but the fallout from that film’s then-original found-footage conceit still radiates today. Earlier this year, you had the Godzilla-like destruction of Manhattan being documented by Cloverfield’s inexperienced videographer, whose herky-jerky camera work was off-putting to the extreme. Get ready for … Continue reading Movie review: Quarantine

Horror review: Mirrors

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 18, 2008 After he burst onto the horror scene in 2003 with the wrenchingly suspenseful serial-killer flick High Tension, then followed that up with his exhilarating 2006 remake of Wes Craven’s rampaging-mutants opus, The Hills Have Eyes, Alexandre Aja was seen by some as the gifted new saviour of big-screen fear. … Continue reading Horror review: Mirrors

Horror review: Jack Brooks–Monster Slayer

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 23, 2008 Watching Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer reminded me of renting vids in the ’80s. Thanks in part to the grisly shenanigans of Freddy Krueger, the horror genre was flying high, which also meant that a ton of suspect, direct-to-video fright fare was clogging the shelves. I recall seeing Ghoulies … Continue reading Horror review: Jack Brooks–Monster Slayer

Horror review: The Strangers

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 28, 2008 By Steve Newton Who among us hasn’t crept down the stairs in the middle of the night, clutching a Louisville Slugger, convinced that the noise outside the window is someone bent on getting in? Nothing gets the old heart pumping like the fear of home invasion, but you … Continue reading Horror review: The Strangers

Horror review: Prom Night

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 16, 2008 Prom Night is an in-name-only remake of the Canadian slasher flick from 1980, in which Jamie Lee Curtis built on the scream-queen title she’d begun to establish two years earlier in Halloween. The original Prom Night was best forgotten for its re-creation of a dance scene from Saturday … Continue reading Horror review: Prom Night

Horror review: The Ruins

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 9, 2008 The Ruins is a horror flick about deadly, creeping vines that attack tourists at a Mayan temple in Mexico. It is based on a novel by Scott B. Smith, who also wrote the screenplay and who previously garnered an Oscar nomination for adapting his first novel, A Simple … Continue reading Horror review: The Ruins

Horror review: Shutter

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 26, 2008 Hollywood’s habit of churning out crappy remakes of Asian horror flicks continues unabated with Shutter, which attempts to do for cameras what The Ring did for videocassettes, what Pulse did for computers, and what The Grudge did for grudges. Nicole Kidman knockoff Rachael Taylor and Dawson's Creek’s bland … Continue reading Horror review: Shutter

Horror review: Untraceable

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 30, 2008 It was only a matter of time before the lamentable movie subgenre known as torture-porn stopped being the sole property of the horror scene and grew into a marketable angle for the mainstream thriller. Untraceable boasts a respected director (Gregory Hoblit of Fracture and Primal Fear), and a … Continue reading Horror review: Untraceable

Horror review: Cloverfield

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 23, 2008 Imagine if somebody came up to you, grabbed your head, and jiggled it around for 80 minutes. Now imagine they did that while you were trying to watch a movie about a monster attacking New York City. Pretty irritating, eh? Cloverfield’s herky-jerky camerawork isn’t the only thing preventing … Continue reading Horror review: Cloverfield

Horror review: One Missed Call

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 9, 2008 While exiting the theatre after a screening of One Missed Call, I overheard a barrage of extremely negative viewer comments. The derisive chatter was enough to renew my faith in today’s mainstream horror crowd. The latest Americanization of a Japanese fright flick (renegade director Takashi Miike’s Chakushin ari), … Continue reading Horror review: One Missed Call

Grace Potter says jamming with Gov’t Mule is one of her fave pastimes

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 30, 2008 By Steve Newton Partway through Gov't Mule’s astonishing three-hour set at the Commodore last November, a stunning lady joined them for a killer version of “Honky Tonk Woman”. The spotlight-stealer on that occasion was Grace Potter, frontwoman for the night’s opening act, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Turns … Continue reading Grace Potter says jamming with Gov’t Mule is one of her fave pastimes

Former KISS man Ace Frehley still has a few tricks up his sleeve

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 12, 2008 By Steve Newton When Kiss played the Commodore Ballroom back in early 1975, the band had just released its second album, Hotter Than Hell, and was about to embark on a rocket ride to untold riches and fame. Thirty-three crazy years later and KISS guitarist Ace Frehley is … Continue reading Former KISS man Ace Frehley still has a few tricks up his sleeve

Age doing little to derail the B-52s’ dance party

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 26, 2008 By Steve Newton That Lux Interior sure knows a hit when he hears one. Back in the late ’70s, when the B-52s first journeyed from their native Athens, Georgia, to make the scene at underground Manhattan clubs like Max’s Kansas City and CBGB, the outrageous Cramps frontman heard … Continue reading Age doing little to derail the B-52s’ dance party

Rush defies age with vitality and verve (and rotisserie chickens) in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 30, 2008 By Steve Newton When you’ve been around as long as Rush has, you can pretty well do as you please. If you don’t feel like doing any interviews to support your tour—even though you have a relatively new studio album, 2007’s Snakes & Arrows, to talk about—you don’t … Continue reading Rush defies age with vitality and verve (and rotisserie chickens) in Vancouver

Iron Maiden’s metal gets the masses moshing

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 4, 2008 Last week, I wrote a fun little piece in the Straight about how the members of Iron Maiden are more on the ball than your average headbangers, but I didn’t realize they were absolute geniuses until I saw that they were selling T-shirts outside the Coliseum last night … Continue reading Iron Maiden’s metal gets the masses moshing

Stevie Wonder lays the love on thick

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 14, 2008 Stevie Wonder is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of our time. He’s been covered by everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Boney M., from Jeff Beck to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Grey-haired grannies groove to the advertising-jingle vibe of “I Just Called to … Continue reading Stevie Wonder lays the love on thick

Rob Halford says it’s incredible to be a metalhead in 2008

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 16, 2008 By Steve Newton On his 1974 album, Past, Present and Future, British folk-pop troubadour Al Stewart recorded “Nostradamus”, a nine-minute opus detailing the predictions of the 16th-century prophet. It told of the visions in which Nostradamus reputedly foresaw such world events as the rise of Hitler and Great Fire … Continue reading Rob Halford says it’s incredible to be a metalhead in 2008

Tinsley Ellis shed blood en route to blues mastery

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 16, 2008 By Steve Newton Like many of today’s top blues-rock guitarists, Tinsley Ellis was hugely influenced by the six-string action of the early Rolling Stones. He recalls being particularly entranced by the fretwork of Brian Jones on the Stones’ 1965 cover of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster”. “I heard … Continue reading Tinsley Ellis shed blood en route to blues mastery

Carlos Santana still stunning the masses

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 8, 2008 The last time Carlos Santana played here, a few years back at GM Place, one reader used my rave review of the show as an excuse to slag the guitarist for selling out with his multiplatinum album of 1999, Supernatural. This Payback Timer didn’t like the fact that … Continue reading Carlos Santana still stunning the masses

Alice Cooper slays Vancouver with old-school theatrical glam-rock

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 19, 2008 Shock-rock icon Alice Cooper put on a wicked show at the Centre in Vancouver last night (September 18). Focusing on material from his classic '70s albums Love It to Death, Killer, School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies, and Welcome to My Nightmare, the Coop delivered the guitar-rock gems "Under My … Continue reading Alice Cooper slays Vancouver with old-school theatrical glam-rock