That time Carlos Santana told me that he was open to anything and everything

By Steve Newton Carlos Santana has been known as a brilliant guitarist since the 1960s, but he didn't hit his commercial peak until the release of the Supernatural album in 1999. That disc featured collaborations with artists such as Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, and Dave Matthews, and sold a staggering 30-million copies worldwide. … Continue reading That time Carlos Santana told me that he was open to anything and everything

Album review: Santana, Shaman (2002)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 2002 By Steve Newton Two songs into the new Carlos Santana CD, Shaman, I couldn’t decide whether I loved the album or despised it. Things start off just fine with the old-school, tribal-Latin workout, “Adouma”, cowritten by Angelique Kidjo, which is lit white-hot by the guitar god’s … Continue reading Album review: Santana, Shaman (2002)

That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Jeck Beck back in January of 2001, just before the release of his You Had It Coming album, I asked the world's greatest living rock guitarist if the 2000 Grammy nomination for a track from his previous album, Who Else!, meant anything to him. In typically modest Beck style he … Continue reading That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 2, 2000 Carlos Santana has been blowing folks away with his fiery, straight-from-the-soul fret work for more than 30 years now, but at GM Place on October 26, he never let his status as a guitar god override his main goal for the night. Santana … Continue reading Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

Horror review: Devil’s Due

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 17, 2004 For horror fans, 2014 kicked off with Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which proved that Hollywood was still keen to flog the found-footage format to make a buck. The second fright flick out of Tinseltown this year, Devil's Due, is another supernatural entry that's even heavier on Blair Witch-style hand-held … Continue reading Horror review: Devil’s Due

Horror review: Insidious–Chapter 2

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 12, 2013 I thought 2011’s Insidious was actually pretty decent—the first hour, anyway. It did a commendable job of building suspense in its tale about married couple Renai and Josh Lambert (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) trying to rescue their comatose son from supernatural forces. It didn’t start to falter until the … Continue reading Horror review: Insidious–Chapter 2

Horror review: The Conjuring

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 18, 2013 Aiming to impress horror freaks, the poster for The Conjuring boasts “from the director of Saw and Insidious”, which was a much wiser choice than “from the writers of The Reaping”. But the fact remains that the team of director James Wan and scripters Chad and Carey Hayes comes up short with this demonic-possession … Continue reading Horror review: The Conjuring

Horror review: Paranormal Activity 4

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 19, 2012 It was inevitable, I suppose. After three extremely scary and engrossing films about regular folks being menaced by demonic forces in their comfy homes, the Paranormal Activity franchise is running out of ways to keep the terror level at 10. The fourth entry in the hugely successful film series just … Continue reading Horror review: Paranormal Activity 4

Horror review: Sinister

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 10, 2012 Director Scott Derrickson did not win over horror fans with his previous fright flick, 2005’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which pretty much sucked the biggie. He does a lot better with Sinister, which overcomes an iffy script to reel you in with one seriously creepy vibe. Ethan Hawke … Continue reading Horror review: Sinister

Horror review: The Apparition

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 25, 2012 I had my doubts about The Apparition as soon as I found out it was from Dark Castle Entertainment, the same production company behind such godawful horror flicks as Gothika, Ghost Ship, The Reaping, and Orphan. Not an impressive track record by anyone's standards. And it turns out my trepidation was well based, … Continue reading Horror review: The Apparition

Horror review: Paranormal Activity 3

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 21, 2011 By Steve Newton It’s not often that Hollywood spawns a demonic-horror film franchise that produces nothing but winners. It didn’t happen with The Omen; it didn’t happen with The Exorcist; and it sure as hell didn’t happen with The Blair Witch Project. But it has happened with Paranormal Activity. All three of … Continue reading Horror review: Paranormal Activity 3

Horror review: Dream House

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 3, 2011 By Steve Newton Before reviewing Dream House, I tried to ignore the trailers constantly airing between my fave shows on Comedy Central, but I still got the impression that it was a Shining-like supernatural horror flick about a family menaced by evil spirits. Turns out it’s something a little more … Continue reading Horror review: Dream House

Horror review: Cell 213

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 8, 2011 By Steve Newton There's a scene near the beginning of Cell 213 where one of the inmates at the dilapidated South River State Penitentiary is performing his duties as an embalmer—yes, the murderers here moonlight as undertakers—and making small talk with a guard. While draining the blood from a corpse, … Continue reading Horror review: Cell 213

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: 1408

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 20, 2007 Unforgettable haunted-house flicks are extremely hard to come by; the only two I can think of are 1963's The Haunting and The Shining. The subgenre of haunted-hotel-room flicks is promising in that the number of hotel patrons passing through maximizes the potential for untimely death and subsequent souls … Continue reading Horror review: 1408

Horror review: The Invisible

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 2, 2007 Director David S. Goyer turned the familiar sights of our fair city into a seething battleground for vampires in 2004's Blade: Trinity, but his latest Vancouver-shot supernatural flick, The Invisible, doesn't have nearly as much bite. It's a remake of the 2002 Swedish thriller Den Osynlige, but it … Continue reading Horror review: The Invisible

Horror review: The Reaping

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 11, 2007 What's with the recent spate of Oscar-winning actors starring in shockingly bad supernatural horror flicks? Two weeks ago you had Forest Whitaker embarrassing himself in The Marsh, and now you've got two-time Academy Award champ Hilary Swank committing career hara-kiri in The Reaping. Have their Hollywood agents signed … Continue reading Horror review: The Reaping

Horror review: The Messengers

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 7, 2007 Kristen Stewart is only 16, yet she’s already getting typecast as the sullen teen who moves with her big-city parents to spooky, dilapidated old homes in the country. She did it in 2003’s clunky Cold Creek Manor, and she’s doin’ it again as The Messengers’ Jess, a Chicagoan … Continue reading Horror review: The Messengers

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