Came across a real Creep on Netflix last night

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 9, 2015 By Steve Newton I had a hankering for a scary movie late last night so took a look at the Horror Movies section on Netflix to see what was available. The first five offerings were Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Prometheus, The Conjuring, Orphan, and World War Z, all of … Continue reading Came across a real Creep on Netflix last night

The Year in Fear: 21 horror-flick rankings with zero pandering

Just because the last horror movie I saw (The Babadook, above) was 2014's best doesn't mean it was a great year for horror. All told, I reviewed 21 fright flicks this year—if you count comedy trash like A Haunted House 2, actioners like RoboCop, and sci-fi/monster epics like Godzilla—and recommended just three of 'em. Yep, I'm a tough critic. So here's … Continue reading The Year in Fear: 21 horror-flick rankings with zero pandering

Steve Hackett leaves Vancouver aglow with a major Genesis buzz

all crappy iPhone photos by the newt By Steve Newton At the Vogue Theatre last night former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and his killer band performed the best-loved songs from his old group's '70s heyday. Those included "The Fountain of Salmacis" from 1971's Nursery Cryme, the seven-part "Supper's Ready" from 1972's Foxtrot, "Firth of Fifth" from my … Continue reading Steve Hackett leaves Vancouver aglow with a major Genesis buzz

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett plays any solo he wants on “The Knife”

By Steve Newton Vancouver's hardcore Genesis fans are no doubt chomping at the bit for the upcoming performance by Steve Hackett, the legendary band’s former guitarist. On his current tour, Genesis Extended--which plays the Vogue Theatre tomorrow (December 11)--the 64-year-old picker and his five-piece band re-create the best-loved tracks from the group’s ’70s heyday, when … Continue reading Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett plays any solo he wants on “The Knife”

Sax great Bobby Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones

Bobby Keys passed away this morning at the age of 70 after battling cirrhosis. He was best known as the saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, having blasted out that unforgettable solo on "Brown Sugar". He also blew like crazy on such Stones gems as "Happy" (from Exile on Main Street) and "Live With Me" (from Let It … Continue reading Sax great Bobby Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones

The smalls get fast and furious again

By Steve Newton The last time I talked to Corb Lund about the smalls, back in 2000, he was known as Corby and had just returned from a tour of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Edmonton-based guitar rockers. Nearly a decade and a half later you can still call him Corby (“Either one, take your pick”), and … Continue reading The smalls get fast and furious again

If you thought Stephen King’s Pennywise was creepy, get a loada this Clown!

Some people are really creeped out by clowns. The one that Tim Curry portrayed in the Stephen King mini-series IT freaked a few folks out, no doubt. Now here to give Pennywise a run for his kid-menacing money is the bozo in Clown, a new horror flick produced by Eli Roth, the frightmeister behind such gruesome efforts as Hostel and Cabin Fever. Here's … Continue reading If you thought Stephen King’s Pennywise was creepy, get a loada this Clown!

Ouija is by-the-numbers horror leading nowhere

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 23, 2014 I remember Ouija. When I was a kid in the late '60s my older sister would use our "weegee board" to try to conduct séances and communicate with the dead. I was never into it. "Leave the dead alone," was my motto. Plus, I didn't have much faith … Continue reading Ouija is by-the-numbers horror leading nowhere

AC/DC’s new album will ROCK! It says so right in the song titles!

Yesterday AC/DC released the song titles for its highly anticipated new album, and by all accounts the Aussie blues-metal legends will continue to rock. It's right there in the titles: "Rock the House", "Rock the Blues Away", "Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder", and the title track, "Rock or Bust". It appears that the nasty … Continue reading AC/DC’s new album will ROCK! It says so right in the song titles!

Guitar legend Jeff Beck to release new concert Blu-ray next month

By Steve Newton Hey guitar freaks: get ready for the best news you've heard all week. Eagle Rock Entertainment announced today that it will release a new Jeff Beck live Blu-ray (or DVD for you neanderthals) on November 24. Live in Tokyo will features the world's greatest living rock guitarist with his new backing band of guitarist Nicolas Meier, … Continue reading Guitar legend Jeff Beck to release new concert Blu-ray next month

Will the new AC/DC album rock, or will it be a bust without Malcolm Young?

Blues-metal legends AC/DC announced today that they will release a new album, titled Rock or Bust, on December 2. The 11-track disc was recorded right here in Vancouver last spring, with Brendan O’Brien producing and Langley's Mike Fraser mixing. As reported here in July, the new AC/DC disc will be the first one in the band's illustrious career to … Continue reading Will the new AC/DC album rock, or will it be a bust without Malcolm Young?

George Harrison box set stirs ’70s memories and gets Conan on the case

By Steve Newton An eight-disc George Harrison box set titled The Apple Years 1968-75 was released today, for all you post-Beatles Harrison freaks out there. I probably won't run out and buy it, since I don't have a spare hundred bucks kickin' around right now, but hearing about it made me recall the Year of Our Lord, 1973. That was … Continue reading George Harrison box set stirs ’70s memories and gets Conan on the case

Rush to issue box set with previously unreleased live footage (of John Rutsey!)

By Steve Newton If you're the type of diehard Rush freak who thinks who've seen everything the band's ever put to video, get ready for this. The Canuck prog-rock legends announced today that, on November 11, they'll be releasing R40, a 10-DVD/6-Blu-ray collector's boxed set which also includes all eight songs from a show in … Continue reading Rush to issue box set with previously unreleased live footage (of John Rutsey!)

Elton John not impressed by the Newt’s review of his Vancouver show

An outraged EJ scribbles "You don't know shit, Newt" on my treasured copy of Yellow Brick Road You'd think that pop legend Elton John would be beyond caring what the critics think by now, right? Well, apparently he still reads the reviews. Even before they get in the paper. I wrote a pretty damn glowing online … Continue reading Elton John not impressed by the Newt’s review of his Vancouver show

Elton John and his giant jellyfish conquer Vancouver

photos by the newt By Steve Newton Elton John doesn't need no stinkin' band. Heck, I remember seeing him at GM Place back in '99 when it was just him and his piano, and he killed it. There was no elaborate staging or lights--not even a costume change--yet the magical combination of his music put … Continue reading Elton John and his giant jellyfish conquer Vancouver

As Above/So Below is a descent into shaky-cam hell

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 1, 2014 I've seen plenty of shaky-cam fright flicks since The Blair Witch Project jittered its way to horror fame back in '99, but the ultra-jittery As Above/So Below really pushes the limits of what any reasonable found-footage fan can take. It's a real shame, too, because director John Erick Dowdle--whose credits include 2008's … Continue reading As Above/So Below is a descent into shaky-cam hell

Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan box-set announcements make the Newt holler “fuckin-AAA!”

photo by Bob Geldof. Yes, that Bob Geldof By Steve Newton It's been a wonderful week for fans of blues-rockin' Strat masters Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan. First off came the announcement on Tuesday that on October 20 Sony Music/Legacy Recordings will release the 40th-anniversary expanded deluxe-edition of Gallagher's Irish Tour '74 album. That … Continue reading Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan box-set announcements make the Newt holler “fuckin-AAA!”

All the Oscar-winners in the world can’t make The Calling memorable

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 29, 2014 With its pitch-black humour, quirky characters, and desolate small-town vibe—not to mention those furry-earmuff cop hats—The Calling seems like it might be trying to be a horror flick for the Fargo set. Unfortunately, even with a cast that includes Oscar winners Susan Sarandon and Ellen Burstyn and the scene-stealing Donald Sutherland, The … Continue reading All the Oscar-winners in the world can’t make The Calling memorable

The Bright Light Social Hour made the Austin Music Awards its bitch

If you're a rock-music fan in Austin, Texas, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard of a band called the Bright Light Social Hour. A year after releasing its self-titled 2010 debut, the quartet made the 29th annual Austin Music Awards its bitch, taking an unprecedented six categories, including band of the year, album of … Continue reading The Bright Light Social Hour made the Austin Music Awards its bitch

Gary Moore freaks rejoice: the Irish guitar hero’s fiery talent will burn on live CD

The rock-guitar world lost one of its most amazing artists in February of 2011 when Gary Moore passed away while on holiday in Spain, but now comes word that a concert recording of Moore from 2007 will be released this fall. Eagle Rock Entertainment--the company that's given us such primo Moore discs as the Blues for … Continue reading Gary Moore freaks rejoice: the Irish guitar hero’s fiery talent will burn on live CD

Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

photos by Jet Sutherland By Steve Newton In a perfect rock 'n' roll world, Rod Stewart would quit releasing those snoozy Great American Songbook golden-oldie albums, hook back up with Ronnie Wood and whatever other old Faces members are still kickin', start drinking again, and go out in a blaze of glory on a Faces club tour … Continue reading Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

New Zep reissues will do until the Physical Graffiti box comes around

By Steve Newton Four months ago I did a blog about Led Zeppelin releasing deluxe reissues of its first three albums, under the headline "Led Zeppelin super-deluxe boxed sets destroy all other boxed sets." Well, I take it back. Today the legendary hard-rockers announced that they are releasing two more deluxe editions, and these are the ones that really destroy … Continue reading New Zep reissues will do until the Physical Graffiti box comes around

New John Mellencamp box set crams 19 discs into one tidy package

  By Steve Newton If you're a hardcore John Mellencamp fan and you just lost your entire Mellencamp CD collection because your house burned down, and now you've gotta go live in a small apartment without a lot of space for discs, have I got the thing for you. This Tuesday (July 22), Universal Music Canada is … Continue reading New John Mellencamp box set crams 19 discs into one tidy package

Steve Lukather’s smoking guitar rules at Ringo’s All-Starr hitfest in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Not all of the folks attending last night's Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band show at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver might have known who Steve Lukather was. I suspect a lot of them just went to see the ex-Beatle, hoping to hear him revive Fab Four memories with tunes like "Yellow … Continue reading Steve Lukather’s smoking guitar rules at Ringo’s All-Starr hitfest in Vancouver

Sinister director goes from horrifying to horrible with Deliver Us From Evil

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 3, 2014 Director Scott Derrickson's Sinister was one of the better Hollywood fright flicks of 2012. It was a grim descent into domestic horror, with Ethan Hawke convincingly portraying a true-crime writer uncovering genuinely creepy supernatural goings-on at his new home. Derrickson's latest, Deliver Us From Evil, is pretty much the opposite. … Continue reading Sinister director goes from horrifying to horrible with Deliver Us From Evil

The Life of Riley shows B.B. King’s talent flowing from a huge heart

There's a ton of incredible musicians who make appearances in B.B. King: The Life of Riley, a documentary about the Mississippi blues legend released on DVD and Blu-ray today (July 1). The lineup includes such amazing guitarists as Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Wayne … Continue reading The Life of Riley shows B.B. King’s talent flowing from a huge heart

Queen guitarist Brian May blows the Newt away in Vancouver

photos by "Jet" Sutherland ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 26, 2014 By Steve Newton Freddie Mercury is a hard act to follow, there's no doubt about that. The Queen frontman possessed one of the greatest voices in rock, and anyone who's seen him live at his peak in the seventies can testify that he was … Continue reading Queen guitarist Brian May blows the Newt away in Vancouver