Julie Finley: Best Of 2016

Published on January 6th, 2017 in: Best Of Lists, Culture Shock, Movies, Music, TV |

By Julie Finley

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Photo of Reykjavik, Iceland © Julie Finley

This year was unbearable in so many ways it is hard to even compute mentally. Too much LOSS! I am not going to go off on a tangent about what was bad; if you lived through this year, you know how bad it was!

Despite so many mishaps, there were actually some things I enjoyed this year. I decided to divide these up by cultural experiences, music releases, TV shows, and movies.
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Concert Review: Chris Isaak At The Kent Stage

Published on January 9th, 2015 in: Concert Reviews, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews |

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By Julie Finley

December 16, 2014
Kent, OH

I was quite pleased when I learned that Chris Isaak would be doing a live gig and not too far from my home. He has played the area before, but every time one of many life’s obstacles has gotten in the way (usually work, illness, bad weather, lack of money, or a combo of the bunch). I remember reading that he would be playing The Kent Stage around Christmas of last year, but I was immobile, recovering from back surgery, AND there was a massive snowstorm, so I wasn’t going anywhere! I was bummed, because the venue is just so close (and not in some hell hole.).

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Concert Review: Electric Six at Musica

Published on November 7th, 2014 in: Concert Reviews, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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October 4, 2014
Akron, OH

Northeast Ohio has been devoid of some good shows for a while now, and Akron rarely has any concerts whatsoever. The venue Musica (located in downtown Akron) is a small one, but has been slowly gaining some momentum, and some have have taken notice. Thankfully, Electric Six did, and performed there in early October.

This show really couldn’t have come at a better time (for me at least), as I was having a really awful week, and I truly needed to get out and do something that was fun. I have seen Electric 6 at least four times in Cleveland, so I pretty much knew what to expect, but that’s just it: I know I am going to be entertained, no matter how shitty the week has been! Electric Six are consistently amusing, and this show was no exception (in fact, I probably had even more fun at this show than previous ones!)

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Music Review: Foetus, Soak

Published on December 31st, 2013 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, New Music Tuesday, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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Let me start off by saying it has been very hard for me to enjoy anything lately. This year has sucked the life out of me due to being in constant pain. When you are in pain, it is hard to focus on anything but agony itself. That agony becomes mental anguish on top of the physical distress, thus making everything worse. In order to break through the grip of throbbing torment long enough to take notice of anything else, it has to be of either A) exceptional excellence, or B) something that sucks worse than your current state. In the case of Foetus’s Soak, it is of exceptional excellence!

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Best of 2013: Julie Finley

Published on December 20th, 2013 in: Best Of Lists, Movies, Music, TV |

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This year has been awful . . . for me at least. Between agonizing pain that led to back surgery, as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome, it made it very hard for me to enjoy anything (with the exception of a few out of town excursions).

I watched more movies than usual, due to my combined illnesses, but not too many were new films. I actually only went to a movie theater once this year. As far as television shows go, there were only a few current shows I bothered with; most were re-runs (but I hadn’t watched originally, so it was like watching a brand new show).

Concerts were VERY few: The Hives (who were great; my review), and going to see Bill Burr do stand-up. I was supposed to see Adam Ant, but that was when my back injury was out of control, and I couldn’t attend, so those tickets went unused.

So with that said, here’s a list of media I enjoyed in 2013. There are no books listed, because even though I am cooped-up, I find no joy in reading!

Most of the music I listened to was old, but there were a few releases that came out this year that I really liked.

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Hungry For Love, Part 5: 15 More Cringe-Inducing Videos

Published on October 10th, 2013 in: Music, Retrovirus, Video |

By Julie Finley

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This is the fifth installment of a series of visual and aural assaults found on the web. My partner, Jim R. Clark, wrote the first four but since I am currently crippled due to a massive herniated disc in my lumbar region (and I go in for surgery soon), I have a laptop, and a lot of free time on my hands. I have taken the over the reins on this chapter, but to be fair, both of us have found these various videos in this collection. There are no specific genres here; this is crap culled from every toilet bowl!

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Music Review: Dave Davies, I Will Be Me

Published on July 2nd, 2013 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, New Music Tuesday, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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As a “lifer” in regards to being a Kinks fan, I felt that I should definitely review my childhood idol’s newest release, that idol being Dave Davies. I won’t give a history lesson on The Kinks (as there are enough online sources out there that could clue you in), but I do need to note that Dave’s relationship to his brother Ray has been well-documented as being unrestrained, to say the least. It is no mystery that Ray prefers that Dave live in his shadow, and that the competitive dysfunction between the two of them is one of the things that has led to both having a prolific output of work throughout both of their lives (even outside of The Kinks).

Quite honestly, though, Dave’s career is still often overlooked despite the fact he has been even more fruitful in his endeavors regarding the creation of new material. Ray hasn’t had that much solo material since The Kinks stopped recording in the mid-’90s, but the solo work he has put out is mostly rehashing his old catalogue with a few albums of brand new content. Dave has actually put out more original material than Ray since the ’90s! Yes, some of that has been re-releasing long-lost music that was never released as The Kinks, but the bulk of his output has been original material.

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Music Review: Dream Affair, From Now On EP

Published on June 24th, 2013 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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Dream Affair are a trio of musicians from various locales that started out in Philly, but are currently based out of Brooklyn. They have undergone a few line-up changes since their inception, but the primary figure has been Hayden Payne (vocals, guitar, and various electronics). The other members are Abby Echiverri (synths, violin, and vocals), as well as Bryan Spotlore (bass). I am not sure if they classify themselves in a genre per se, but their music tends to be filed under “post-punk,” “new wave,” “cold wave,” “Goth rock,” etc.

From the sound of their latest release, From Now On, those various genre labels wouldn’t be too far off the mark. The problem with those specific genre labels is that any band falling under that umbrella is inevitably going to be compared to Joy Division or The Sisters of Mercy. Yes, there are many newer bands that clearly take their cues from their forefathers, but this is what I find different about Dream Affair.

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Concert Review: The Hives At House of Blues

Published on April 16th, 2013 in: Concert Reviews, Music, Reviews |

Text and photos by Julie Finley

Cleveland, OH
March 10, 2013

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The Hives recently tore through Cleveland and not a moment too soon, since there hasn’t been ANYTHING worth seeing live since . . . well . . . Firewater from last year. Otherwise, Cleveland is as bereft of culture and entertainment as ever (despite what various lame bloggers write about after visiting their loser friend that happens to live here over a weekend, that same loser friend that pretends like they live in a hip and up and coming place. No, it’s down and swirling!).

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Music Review: Gudrun Gut, Wildlife

Published on January 24th, 2013 in: Current Faves, Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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Wildlife is the new album by Gudrun Gut, released on Gudrun’s very own Monika Enterprise label. Her last musical outing prior to this was her collaborative project known as Greie/Gut Fraktion (a partnership with Antye Greie), but Wildlife is an actual solo outing (her second official solo album since I Put a Record On from 2007).

Wildlife is an exquisite collection of themes that are definitely in touch with nature. What I mean is that the focus is on nature in more than one context. No, this is not a tree-hugging manifesto; it has more to do with being aware of your surroundings, in a physical, as well as an emotional manner. It focuses on the vulnerability of humans, as well as all other living organisms.

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