Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 13, 2009 By Steve Newton Any self-respecting rock-guitar freak has at least a couple of Joe Satriani CDs in his or her collection. The Bay Area musician has been steadily churning out adventurous, technically boggling instrumental albums since blasting onto the six-string scene in 1986 with Not of This Earth. … Continue reading Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani was into Humble Pie as a kid, missed out on Montrose

Past Masters reissue brings sweet Beatles nostalgia in stereo

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 2, 2009 By Steve Newton I’ll never forget the day I got my very first record. I was six or so, visiting my grandparents at their home in Point Grey, and my mom took me on a walk to a music store on 10th Avenue. I came back with a … Continue reading Past Masters reissue brings sweet Beatles nostalgia in stereo

Crest of a Wave shows off the best of shockingly underrated Rory Gallagher

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 2, 2009 By Steve Newton I’m a sucker for guitar heroes. Check out my CD stash and you’ll find the biggest sections are reserved for Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, and Joe Satriani. But in recent years my main guitar-god … Continue reading Crest of a Wave shows off the best of shockingly underrated Rory Gallagher

Drive-By Truckers captured at its raw and raucous best on Live from Austin TX

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 12, 2009 By Steve Newton Drive-By Truckers fans had cause for concern when long-time guitarist-vocalist Jason Isbell—one of the group’s main songwriters, along with cofounding singer-guitarists Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley—decided to leave the southern rock–influenced alt-country band in 2007. But the group simply responded by recruiting guitarist and pedal-steel … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers captured at its raw and raucous best on Live from Austin TX

Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day could be the funniest Canadian movie ever made

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 23, 2009 By Steve Newton The last film I saw that made me laugh out loud numerous times was 2006’s Trailer Park Boys: The Movie. It was freakin’ hilarious. But the new Countdown to Liquor Day left the old ribs achin’ even more. It could be the funniest Canadian movie ever made. … Continue reading Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day could be the funniest Canadian movie ever made

Woodstock 40-year anniversary box set goes overboard with six discs

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 2, 2009 By Steve Newton Music historians often make Woodstock out to be the greatest concert happening of all time, but after slogging through this six-disc set I’m not so sure. The sociopolitical ramifications of the three-day event were immense, no doubt, but there sure were some questionable performances at … Continue reading Woodstock 40-year anniversary box set goes overboard with six discs

Gary Moore’s Essential Montreux is a five-disc feast of fret-burning action

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 2, 2009 By Steve Newton Got someone on your Christmas list who’s a huge fan of wailing rock guitar? Then look no further than Eagle Rock's five-disc feast of fret-burning action by Irish guitar hero Gary Moore. So what if it contains no less than four live versions of Otis Rush’s … Continue reading Gary Moore’s Essential Montreux is a five-disc feast of fret-burning action

Horror review: The Box

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 6, 2009 By Steve Newton “Button, Button”, the 1970 Richard Matheson tale on which The Box is based, is only 10 pages long, but that didn’t stop Hollywood from turning it into a 115-minute sci-fi abomination complete with solid cubes of water that transport people around, hordes of automatons with bleeding noses, … Continue reading Horror review: The Box

Horror review: The Collector

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 28, 2009 Now here’s a twisted little gem just in time for Halloween nightmare-making. The Collector—no relation to the same-named ’60s thriller in which weirdo Terence Stamp kidnaped hottie Samantha Eggar—should make the backers of the Saw and Hostel franchises think twice, because it takes the rotting corpse of torture-porn out of the abandoned warehouse … Continue reading Horror review: The Collector

Horror review: Saw VI

Saw VI is the sixth Saw I’ve seen, and maybe the sickest. In the opening scene, a man and a woman are held captive with devices strapped to their heads that can screw bolts into their skulls. They’re told that only one of them will live, the survivor being the person who dumps the most … Continue reading Horror review: Saw VI

Horror review: The Stepfather

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 19, 2009 Before he became known for his starring turns in Vancouver-shot TV series like Millennium and Harsh Realm, Terry O’Quinn dazzled in The Stepfather as a serial killer bent on forming a family and keeping it happily together—no matter what. Working from a script by novelist Donald E. Westlake, O’Quinn brought quiet menace and … Continue reading Horror review: The Stepfather

Horror review: Pandorum

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 25, 2009 The two movies that I remember scaring me the most as a little kid were The Wizard of Oz—that Wicked Witch of the West really had my number—and It! The Terror From Beyond Space, a low-budget 1950s sci-fi flick, a precursor to Alien, about a monster that gets on board a … Continue reading Horror review: Pandorum

Horror review: Jennifer’s Body

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 17, 2009 There's a pivotal scene in Jennifer's Body where a rock band is playing at a bar. During its first song, a fire breaks out on-stage, and quickly engulfs the entire place, with many patrons burning to death. The scene is basically a small-scale reenactment of the tragedy that occurred in … Continue reading Horror review: Jennifer’s Body

Horror review: The House on Sorority Row

It’s no surprise that Hollywood has spawned remakes of classic slasher flicks like Friday the 13th and Halloween, but why would it bother with 1983’s barely remembered The House on Sorority Row? Maybe a forensic accountant toiling in some studio basement discovered that upon its theatrical release at the height of the slasher craze the film grossed more than … Continue reading Horror review: The House on Sorority Row

Horror review: The Final Destination

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 31, 2009 The world of 3-D gore has given horror fans some landmark moments. Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein comically kicked things off in ’73 when a victim got viciously speared in the back, the weapon bursting through his chest, a chunk of liver or spleen or something else meaty and raw dangling from … Continue reading Horror review: The Final Destination

Horror review: Halloween II

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 27, 2009 Does anyone remember which horror icon came out on top in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason? Me neither. But I do know that the Michael Myers you see slaughtering folks in Halloween II would make both Krueger and Voorhees his bitches in two seconds flat. The most impressive thing about HII—Rob Zombie’s follow-up … Continue reading Horror review: Halloween II

Rob Zombie goes for the jugular with Halloween II

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 26, 2009 By Steve Newton Rob Zombie likes to fuck with people’s heads. That’s why in his sadistic 2005 shocker The Devil's Rejects, during the scene where two captive men are being driven to a remote location to be butchered by a psycho, the song playing on the van’s radio … Continue reading Rob Zombie goes for the jugular with Halloween II

Horror review: A Perfect Getaway

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 5, 2009 Watching too many scary tourist-in-peril flicks can make you paranoid. The last time I was in Puerto Vallarta, I hopped in a cab before realizing that the car had neither a meter nor a two-way radio. And why was the driver heading away from the general direction of … Continue reading Horror review: A Perfect Getaway

Horror review: Orphan

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 24, 2009 By Steve Newton When you’re filming a killer-orphan flick, it makes sense to have the killer orphan taken in by a secure, happy family, so that the new addition’s sinister intent contrasts starkly with the underlying vibe of domestic well-being. Try telling that to the makers of Orphan. The … Continue reading Horror review: Orphan

Horror review: Pontypool

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 11, 2009 Toronto director Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, Highway 61) makes his first foray into horror with an adaptation of Tony Burgess’s 1998 novel Pontypool Changes Everything. George Romero won’t be looking over his shoulder. The movie starts out well enough, as fallen radio personality Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie, Canada’s craggy-faced … Continue reading Horror review: Pontypool

Horror review: Friday the 13th

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 13, 2009 Boy, am I a sucker for punishment. Back in 1980 I was so freaked out by the original Friday the 13th that ever since I’ve felt compelled to follow the gruesome exploits of Jason Voorhees, hoping to catch an equally terrifying buzz. But as anyone who’ll sheepishly admit to seeing … Continue reading Horror review: Friday the 13th

Horror review: The Uninvited

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 30, 2009 2009 isn’t shaping up as a banner year for Hollywood horrors. So far, Tinseltown has offered up a 3-D remake of a mediocre ’80s slasher flick (My Bloody Valentine) and a schlocky supernatural flop (The Unborn). Things don’t improve much with the Bowen Island-shot The Uninvited, an unwieldy, paint-by-numbers … Continue reading Horror review: The Uninvited

Horror review: My Bloody Valentine 3-D

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 19, 2009 When Jason Voorhees squeezed a victim’s head so hard in Friday the 13th Part III that one of the poor sap’s eyeballs came poppin’ out at ya, horror fans thought they’d witnessed the ultimate 3-D gross-out. But the makers of My Bloody Valentine 3-D are up for the challenge. Near the start … Continue reading Horror review: My Bloody Valentine 3-D

Horror review: The Unborn

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 9, 2009 As soon as The Unborn’s end credits started to roll, a guy seated two rows down from me at the promotional screening declared: “That sucked!” I couldn’t have said it better myself—unless I’d added “donkey dicks!” to the assessment. Cloverfield’s smokin’ hot Odette Yustman stars as Chicago college student … Continue reading Horror review: The Unborn

John Hiatt lights up the Commodore

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 19, 2008 During his show at the Commodore last night (November 18), legendary American singer-songwriter John Hiatt's wry sense of humour kicked in on "Old Days", a track off his latest CD, Same Old Man. That mid-tempo rocker invokes comical memories of him touring with the likes of bluesmen Sonny Terry … Continue reading John Hiatt lights up the Commodore

Sam Roberts tackles gun violence on Love at the End of the World

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 7, 2009 By Steve Newton When it’s time to make a new album, Sam Roberts likes to get outta town, as he did when he recorded his 2006 CD, Chemical City, in an old church in Byron Bay, Australia. For his latest disc, Love at the End of the World, the Montreal … Continue reading Sam Roberts tackles gun violence on Love at the End of the World

John Fogerty stays true to his rock roots in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 8, 2009 It was quite a surprise to step into GM Place last for John Fogerty last night (June 7) and find that it was set up in “Pontiac Theatre” mode, where only a portion of the capacity is used. You’d think that a rocker of Fogerty’s stature would draw … Continue reading John Fogerty stays true to his rock roots in Vancouver