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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Music Review: Crime & the City Solution, A History of Crime – Berlin 1987-1991: An Introduction to Crime & the City Solution

Published on January 9th, 2013 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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Being a longtime fan of Crime & the City Solution, I was already familiar with all of the tracks on A History of Crime. However, the albums in their discography aren’t easy to find, and are more than likely out of print, so if anyone ever had a fleeting interest in this band, but can’t get their hands on their albums, this release bridges that gap. A History of Crime is a grand collection of Crime & the City Solution’s works, and doesn’t disappoint. However, the one major flaw is that it only includes music created between 1987-1991. I mention this because the pre-1987 output contains some of my favorite songs.

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Music Review: Firewater, International Orange!

Published on November 8th, 2012 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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The new Firewater album came out on 9/11, so I have had some time to let it sink in. I don’t think it was a coincidence that it came out on that historic day, either; I truly think that Tod Ashley was thinking that it would be a good day to release the record, just in time for my first wedding anniversary (I’m kidding!).

I believe it’s been about four years since the last Firewater album, The Golden Hour, was released and International Orange! is the perfect sequel. In fact, I think I kinda like this one even more (and I really loved the last one). They are very similar musically, but lyrically there is a much more positive and playful vibe to International Orange!

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Concert Review: Firewater At The Grog Shop

Published on November 7th, 2012 in: Concert Reviews, Music, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

Cleveland, OH
October 6, 2012

Click on the thumbnails to see larger images.

It had been a while since I’d been to a show . . . almost a year. There really hasn’t been anything worth seeing that has come through Northeast Ohio (with the exception of Blowfly, but yours truly had a migraine that wouldn’t quit that day, so I had to skip it). I heard that Firewater was actually coming back to Clevehole; I figured that Tod Ashley would’ve just skipped this dump altogether since the last time they played here, the crowd was small and the venue sucked. Luckily, he brought himself and his newest batch of minstrels to The Grog Shop in Cleveland, one of the few venues I actually like. The show was also on a Saturday night so I figured it was going to be mobbed, but that sadly wasn’t the case.

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Music Review: Gemma Ray, Island Fire

Published on September 25th, 2012 in: Current Faves, Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, New Music Tuesday, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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I stumbled upon Gemma Ray a few years ago by taking a listen to her album, Lights Out Zoltar!. It was actually her second full-length album, but the first I ever heard of her. That album was rock-solid, and mighty impressive.

So, its only natural that I’ve followed her career somewhat. I am no expert on Ms. Ray, but I do know this: She writes and performs her own music. She isn’t some pretty face template with a producer and bankroll. Granted, Gemma does have a pretty face, but there is clearly more going on with her creatively, compared to the many other current female performers she has been compared to. Her skills are even impressing fellow musicians who actually have some taste and skills themselves.

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Harry Howard & the Near Death Experience, Near Death Experience

Published on June 19th, 2012 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

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If you have never heard of Harry Howard, here is a quick history lesson. Harry hails from Melbourne Australia; he’s the younger brother of the late, great Rowland S. Howard, and is a musician in his own right. He’s had tenure in several bands—most notably Crime & the City Solution and These Immortal Souls—was a brief member in the revolving door of miscreants known as The Birthday Party, and a touring member of Shotgun Wedding (one of the many Lydia Lunch-fronted entourages). All of the aforementioned acts were always along side his brother Rowland, and always as a bassist. Harry was also the lead guitarist of Melbourne-based Pink Stainless Tail for a number of years, and strangely enough, is linked to the electronic act Cut Copy.

Harry Howard is a prominent member of the music scene that has emerged from Melbourne since the 1970s, but hasn’t ever really had the spotlight. Although he may be linked to many musicians, putting out a record is easier said than done. Life happens, and in Harry’s case, Death, and Near Death Experiences happen, too!
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Top Ten: Jim Carrey’s Most Humorous Characters

Published on May 30th, 2012 in: Canadian Content, Comedy, Issues, Listicles, Movies, True Patriot Love, TV |

By Julie Finley

Jim Carrey: some people love him . . . some people hate him. I would fall into the “love” category, although I don’t love every single role he has played. But the ones I do adore, I REALLY love because no one could ever pull it off quite like him!

Sadly, there are people who actually claim that he’s “Not Funny!” or “Stupid!” I honestly do not know how anyone could NOT find at least one of his characters humorous, but some people are just assholes that lack a sense of humor. So, if you are one of those types, don’t even bother to read this! If you do have a healthy sense of humor, but have only paid attention to one or two characters he’s played, read on (or if you just appreciate the guy, this will be of interest)!

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite comedic roles he’s portrayed over the years. This list will not include his dramatic or more serious roles. He is a great dramatic actor, but comedy is truly his forte, and I really wish someone in Hollywood would write an incredible comedy film script that could bring his finest talents back into the spotlight. It’s been a while since he’s been in a rip-roaring hilarious feature, and I blame that on the absolute garbage that has come out of Hollywood in the past 10+ years. I think the last really great comedies I’ve seen were anything involving Sacha Baron Cohen, Bad Santa, The Forty Year Old Virgin, and Stepbrothers. Everything else has been totally lame, and I am sick of seeing the same five actors in the same roles over and over again!

With that said, here are my favorites, and I will note: these are original characters developed by Jim, not impersonations (which he is incredible at doing, but these are his own creations).
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Stuff That Actually Kicked Ass In 2011: Julie Finley

Published on December 28th, 2011 in: Best Of Lists, Movies, Music |

Coming up with a summary of what I liked that emerged in the current year is getting tougher to do, the older I’m getting. I’m harder to impress and surprisingly, I’m even more susceptible to boredom. I think I can chalk it up to the fact that the older we all get, the less time we have. So I don’t have the time to waste my personal life on bullshit. Its bad enough that I live in Clevehole!

So without further ado, here are some new records that I think are worthy of my precious time!

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Mick Harvey, Sketches From The Book Of The Dead

This was, by far, my favorite album of the year (actually, the past two years). But first some background: Mick Harvey is one of the few musicians out there who doesn’t have any embarrassing bullshit in his discography. He continuously produces quality work and is prolific with his output, but is always viewed as a “collaborator” even though he has several solo albums. Typically Mick works with a lot of people; he’s been surrounded by many talented ones in his career (who would probably be useless if they didn’t have someone as organized and hardworking as Mick around to make sure shit gets done), but hasn’t ever really gotten the credit he deserves. (If there were an “Employee of the Year” Award for musicians Mick should’ve won it many times over!)
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They Came From The ’70s: Five Faves I Still Enjoy

Published on December 5th, 2011 in: Dancing Ourselves Into The Tomb, Issues, Listicles, Movies, Music, Staff Picks, Top Five Lists |

By Julie Finley

Although for some of these artists, fame came before or after the 1970s, I am solely focusing on their 1970s stuff.
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Bryan Ferry: Too Classy For Clevehole

Published on December 5th, 2011 in: Concert Reviews, Dancing Ourselves Into The Tomb, Issues, Music |

Text and all photos by Julie Finley

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Playhouse Square, Cleveland OH
October 10, 2011

So, I am standing on the street in Clevehole, waiting for the bus after work. I look across the street, and see demolition and one condemned building still standing (because the owners won’t sell; they think their condemnation is a gold-mine . . . WRONG!). I look kitty-corner, I see two thugs arguing. I look at the other corner, I see constant construction that will probably run out of money before it’s complete. Three of the four sidewalks are closed. Some sketchy guy is eyeballing me. I am grinding my teeth. I see some rusty, piece-of-shit Chevy Cavalier with a booming system cut off three lanes of traffic, and one jaywalker playing virtual Frogger in the midst of traffic.

I think to myself, “This is what Bryan Ferry is gonna see when his tour bus pulls into downtown Cleveland!” I am filled with disgust! Bryan Ferry IS TOO GOOD FOR THIS BULLSHIT . . . and frankly, SO AM I!
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