David Bowie’s A Reality Tour could have used some Aladdin Sane

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 5, 2010 By Steve Newton The first time I saw David Bowie in concert was at the Pacific Coliseum in early ’76 on the Station to Station tour. While it was an entrancing show—all blinding white light and Earl Slick’s biting, feedback-laden guitar—the Thin White Duke’s performance was clinical and … Continue reading David Bowie’s A Reality Tour could have used some Aladdin Sane

Tommy Bolin’s spirit revived with rerelease of Come Taste the Band

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 16, 2010 By Steve Newton Seventies-rock fans who remember guitar great Tommy Bolin will be pleased to know that the only album he recorded with Deep Purple before his drug-overdose death in 1976 will be rereleased in North America on November 2. 1975's Come Taste the Band, which was conceived, written, … Continue reading Tommy Bolin’s spirit revived with rerelease of Come Taste the Band

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers get the Classic Albums treatment on Blu-ray

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 10, 2010 By Steve Newton When Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played Vancouver in June they only played one song off their breakthrough Damn the Torpedoes album, which was quite a surprise (and disappointment). After viewing the new Eagle Vision Blu-ray, Classic Albums: Damn the Torpedoes, and hearing Petty and his cohorts enthusiastically analyze each … Continue reading Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers get the Classic Albums treatment on Blu-ray

Horror review: Skyline

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 15, 2010 Two alien-invasion flicks were released in Metro Vancouver last Friday, but Monsters only opened at one theatre while Skyline made it into at least a dozen. Judging by how much the latter film sucks, it should have been the other way around. As Skyline begins, good guy Jarrod (Joe Perry look-alike Eric Balfour) and … Continue reading Horror review: Skyline

Horror review: Saw 3D

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 1, 2010 Saw 3D is the seventh Saw I’ve seen, and maybe the sickest—which is exactly what I said about Saw VI. They’ve also been calling Saw 3D “the final Saw” in the trailers, but I’m sure that’ll depend on box-office profits. Jason Voorhees’s fourth outing was titled Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, but that didn’t … Continue reading Horror review: Saw 3D

Horror review: My Soul to Take

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 12, 2010 For his latest horror outing, writer-director Wes Craven tried to inject elements from his two best slasher flicks, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, but something went terribly wrong along the way. What he wound up with was a witless stab-the-teen time-waster that could be his worst film ever. And … Continue reading Horror review: My Soul to Take

Horror review: Buried

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 6, 2010 A few years ago, I was sleeping in the bunk of an old camper and I woke up feeling claustrophobic for the first time in my life. I had to clamber over my startled wife in the dark and exit that cramped space, pronto. It was a very … Continue reading Horror review: Buried

Horror review: Devil

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 20, 2010In the recent supernatural thriller, The Last Exorcism, a character states, “If you believe in god, you have to believe in the devil.” In the new supernatural thriller, Devil, a character states, “If you believe in the devil, you have to believe in god.”Either way, somebody’s going to hell.After a … Continue reading Horror review: Devil

Horror review: The Last Exorcism

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 25, 2010 Thirty-seven years after The Exorcist, the makers of The Last Exorcism decided to meld William Friedkin’s classic shocker with the low-budget 1999 blockbuster The Blair Witch Project. The result is a fairly absorbing pseudo-documentary demonic-possession flick with all the bodily contortions and jittery camerawork you’d expect. Patrick Fabian stars as Cotton Marcus, … Continue reading Horror review: The Last Exorcism

Horror review: Piranha 3D

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 21, 2010 Sometimes when I’ve had nothing better to do I’ve pondered the worst way to die. Getting hacked to death is right up there—glad I don’t live in Somalia—but being eaten alive by wild animals usually wins out. It helps when you remember hearing, as a kid in school, … Continue reading Horror review: Piranha 3D

Horror review: Predators

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 9, 2010 The only role I ever enjoyed Arnold Schwarzenegger in was the one he was born to play: the cyborg assassin in The Terminator. I never bought into any of his other one-note characterizations, including the Rambo-like hero of Die Hard director John McTiernan’s 1987 sci-fi action-horror, Predator. Although that movie introduced a … Continue reading Horror review: Predators

Horror review: Splice

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 2, 2010 On paper, Splice looks promising. First off, it’s directed and cowritten by Vincenzo Natali, who helmed 1997’s compelling Cube, a Saw-inspiring horror thriller about seven strangers stuck in a booby-trapped maze. Splice stars Academy Award winner Adrien Brody of The Pianist fame, as well as Oscar nominee Sarah Polley. Then there’s the fact that Guillermo del … Continue reading Horror review: Splice

Horror review: A Nightmare on Elm Street

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 30, 2010 I remember seeing the original A Nightmare on Elm Street when it was released in 1984 and thinking it was pretty decent as far as slasher flicks go. Its FX–heavy death scenes were a lot more inventive than the stalk ’n’ stab routine that defined most ’80s body-count films, and … Continue reading Horror review: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Horror review: The Eclipse

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 14, 2010 With its leisurely pace, melancholy score, and low-key lead actor, The Eclipse is a curious supernatural drama that quietly lulls you into complacency. But just try holding onto your popcorn when its horrors are unleashed. The magnetic Ciarán Hinds of There Will Be Blood stars as Michael, a soft-spoken carpentry teacher in … Continue reading Horror review: The Eclipse

Horror review: Frozen

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 3, 2010 After suffering through his witless 2007 gore fest, Hatchet, I didn’t have high hopes for writer-director Adam Green’s Frozen. I knew it was a skiing-related horror flick, so I pictured an axe-wielding maniac lunging from behind trees and turning the slopes bright red with blood. Man, was I off the … Continue reading Horror review: Frozen

Horror review: The Crazies

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 24, 2010 If you’ve never been particularly concerned about the safety of your drinking water, The Crazies might make you think again. It’s a rip-roaring, topnotch terror fest that’s sure to boost sales of Brita filters. Smalltown Iowa sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) is cheerfully mingling with citizens at the local ballpark … Continue reading Horror review: The Crazies

Radha Mitchell tapped inner angst for The Crazies

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 24, 2010 By Steve Newton Radha Mitchell is no Hollywood scream queen, but the 36-year-old Aussie—noted for her leading role in Woody Allen’s 2004 comedy-drama Melinda and Melinda—has taken on her fair share of fierce monsters and supernatural forces. She had her first genre role in 2000’s Pitch Black, playing a downed … Continue reading Radha Mitchell tapped inner angst for The Crazies

Horror review: Legion

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 22, 2010 In a recent review of Daybreakers, I mentioned that the promising but flawed vampire flick featured “the most entertaining exploding-body scene ever”. Well, it looks like 2010 is gearing up to be a banner year for exploding-body scenes, because Legion—no relation to The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty’s 1983 novel—sports a … Continue reading Horror review: Legion

Horror review: Daybreakers

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 6, 2010 When it comes to vampire flicks, I prefer the down ’n’ dirty kind. Screw the refined elegance of Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Interview With the Vampire; give me the gritty backwoods bloodsucking of Near Dark any day. I want to hear undead biker Bill Paxton bellow, “I hate it when they ain’t been … Continue reading Horror review: Daybreakers

Alice Cooper finally gets nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 28, 2010 By Steve Newton Alice Cooper released a string of amazing albums in the early '70s—including Love It to the Death, School's Out, Killer, and Billion Dollar Babies—but the brainiacs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame waited until today to nominate the shock-rock king for inclusion in their fancy pants institution. … Continue reading Alice Cooper finally gets nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Xavier Rudd finds new sunshine

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 2, 2010 By Steve Newton In the booklet that accompanies Xavier Rudd’s new CD, Koonyum Sun, there’s a picture of the Aussie roots artist in concert at an outdoor venue in Banff. He’s laying down some lap-slide guitar while his young sons Joaquin and Finojet bust moves across the stage floor. … Continue reading Xavier Rudd finds new sunshine

“I know it’s not Aerosmith,” says Joe Perry of his Project, “but it’s still rock ’n’ roll.”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 20, 2010 By Steve Newton When Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler took a tumble off a catwalk during a concert in South Dakota last August, injuring his head, neck, and shoulder, the status of the iconic ’70s hard rock act suffered too. In the last few years various health issues have … Continue reading “I know it’s not Aerosmith,” says Joe Perry of his Project, “but it’s still rock ’n’ roll.”

Jonny Lang says he’s stolen countless things from Buddy Guy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 14, 2010 By Steve Newton Two weeks before he called the Straight to chat about his smokin' new album and his upcoming Vancouver gig with Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang was on the stage of Atlanta's historic Fox Theatre as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour. His set involved trading licks with Aerosmith's … Continue reading Jonny Lang says he’s stolen countless things from Buddy Guy

Rob Zombie on horror movies, Alice Cooper, and the Gruesome Twosome Tour

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 28, 2010 By Steve Newton Alice Cooper is a born-again Christian and a staunch Republican. Rob Zombie most certainly is not. But that hasn’t stopped them from combining their passions for heavy music and the macabre in a shock-rock extravaganza called the Gruesome Twosome Tour. “We’ve known each other for … Continue reading Rob Zombie on horror movies, Alice Cooper, and the Gruesome Twosome Tour

Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper offer tale of two merch tables in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 2, 2010 You can learn a lot about rock stars by what they’re willing to offer up for cold hard cash. Scanning a merch table at Saturday’s (May 1) Gruesome Twosome show I noticed Alice Cooper was flogging T-shirts that read “Love It to Death Tour 1971”. Now, even for … Continue reading Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper offer tale of two merch tables in Vancouver

The Eagles leave Vancouver fans with an uneasy feeling

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 10, 2010 In my favourite movie of all time, The Big Lebowski, the main character—brilliantly played by Jeff Bridges—is a scruffy SoCal slacker named “the Dude” who loves Creedence Clearwater Revival but has no time at all for the Eagles. In fact, he gets yanked from a cab and left … Continue reading The Eagles leave Vancouver fans with an uneasy feeling

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 16, 2010 Heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, passed away today at the age of 67. He had been battling stomach cancer. His wife Wendy posted the following message on his web site. "Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed … Continue reading Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67