Category Archives: Beatles-freak

CD Review: In This One Cold Blink of Time by Such As Us

In This One Cold Blink of Time
In This One Cold Blink of Time by Such As Us

Just as a refresher on who Such As Us is:  I reviewed this band’s Priming The Pride EP  this past June.  They’re managed by Maureen Shames, who is also the publicist for Sid Bernstein – the man that brought the Beatles to America.

I really like this band and I would love to see them perform live!  I’m hoping they start doing summer music festivals.  This album inspires images of spreading out a blanket at a folk festival and just chilling to the music.  Filled with songs with real meaning, it gives you something to think about…or you can just tap your toes and bob your head.

The four songs that were on their EP seem to have been fined tuned and join eleven other songs with beautiful harmonies (“Tall Town”) and some wonderful violin and flute solos.

Two new members have been added to the line-up, both of them percussionist and one providing back-up vocals.  Michael and Joni seem to have provided more depth to Such As Us.

For more information on how to get this album and Such As Us’ upcoming shows, go to their Facebook page or find them on ReverbNation.

Such As Us will be having a CD Release Party this week and I truly wish I could be there to have the LIVE experience.  If you’re in the NJ/NY area, here’s the info on the party:

 Thursday, August 18, 2011
7:30 pm
Patsy’s Pizzeria
2287-91 First Ave. (near 118th St.)
New York, NY
 

I rate this album: 3.5 out of 4 Beetles

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Book Review: A Date With A Beatle by Judith Kristen

A Date with a Beatle

A Date With A Beatle by Judith Kristen

This was my second attempt at reading A Date With A Beatle.  I had bought the book at the Fest for Beatles Fans in NJ in 2010.  The first time through, I managed to get to page 61 of this 171 page book about a young girl’s attempt to meet George Harrison.  I’ll give my first impression report and in the end…I’ll give my overall impression after actually finishing this book.

I picked up this book after meetin Judith Kristen and her husband at The Fest.  Knowing that the first editions of Jude Southerland Kessler‘s self-published novel on John Lennon now sell for up to $1000, I figured I’d pick up a 1st edition copy of ‘A Date With A Beatle‘ as an investment.  After reading the first 19 very short chapters of this book, I just cringed.  Something just didn’t sit right with me about how a woman could remember such detail after 45 years.  It was then I saw in the front of the book, “This book is partially fictionalized”.  Then it made sense to me that I wasn’t quite sure how much was made up and I felt duped!  I put the book down for over a year.

Last week, I decided to pick this book up again and finally review it, knowing full well that this could turn out really bad for any future dealings with Ms. Kristen or her husband since we’ve been known to be seen in the came circles.

Once again…I struggled.  After only 1o chapters, I felt like this was work, but I championed on…determined to finish and review it.  I tried to anaylize why I was struggling with the way the story was being presented and then it hit me that Judith Kristen is also a children’s book author and I believe that in her own way…she dumbed down this book a bit much.  Or maybe it’s the attempt to write it in her voice as it was when she was 16.  Or maybe it was the over-the-top conversations between her and her friends and police officers.   Finally, I can say I finished it.

I can honestly say that by the her last attempt to meet George Harrison in the story in this book, she had me hooked.  The ending is whitty and will make you smile.  I am glad I read it…and the latest edition has a beautiful new cover from Beatles artist Eric Cash.  I’ve also read that Ms. Kristen has been invited to Beatles Week in Liverpool later this month and then will start a book tour of German where her book has now been published in German.  Best of luck to her!

You can buy her book on Amazon.

I can believe I’m about to say this….but…

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles

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Movie Review: Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy promo I had the opportunity to have a night out with the family and catch a showing of the new John Lennon biopic – “Nowhere Boy” at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville.

(A quick history of the Colonial Theatre – this theatre became famous in the 1958 cult classic “The Blob” when the patrons run screaming from the theatre after the blob takes over.)

I was really torn watching this movie.  It a very well made film and the acting is quite good.  It is a wonderful to relax to…if you’re not a die-hard Beatles fan.  I must have leaned over about five times and whispered in my husband’s ear, “That’s not how that happened.”  From John’s blue eyes (his were brown) to Paul McCartney being shorter than him (he wasn’t) to Uncle George dying in front of John (John was away when his uncle died), a hardcore Beatles fan will feel like there are nails scratching a blackboard while watching.  But, for the average, everyday music fan that just wants a little background into Lennon’s early years…yes, this film will please you.  And though a lot of it is a bit out of chronological order, it gets its point across of the turmoil and heartbreak that Lennon must have felt in his youth and adolescence.

I’m not sure how to rate this film.  I want to scream, “Did you think we wouldn’t notice your blatant disregard of the facts?” and at the same time, I want to say, “Great film…very well made!”  This is where I’m going to have to say to my readers, go see the film and try to separate yourself from the truth just enough to enjoy the film.  There really isn’t any one thing in this movie that changes the overall story of John Lennon’s real story and that can’t be attributed to ‘artist license’.  And for this reason…

I rate this film: 3 out of 4 Beetles

 

 

 

The movie will continue to be shown throughout this week (November 5-11, 2010) at the Colonial Theatre.  For more information and showtimes, please go to: www.TheColonialTheatre.com.

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Review: STAX Does the Beatles

STAX Does the Beatles

STAX Does the Beatles

Let’s start out by saying I’m not a jazz or R&B fan. I found this CD a year ago while I working at a local music store and thought I’d give it a spin.

This album is made up of 15 covers of what appears to be the most popular of the Beatles songs. Some of the songs include the vocal and some are just instrumental interpretations.  Some of the names covering these songs are: Otis Redding, Booker T., Carla Thomas, Issac Hayes and John Gary Williams.

Though not my type of ‘sound’, I feel that there can be a place for many of these songs, whether in a restaurant, elevator or at a live performance.  All in all, most of these won’t leave the listener either cringing or with their ears bleeding.  The only song I found truly offensive was Reggie Milner’s version of “And I Love Her”….the song was rendered unrecognizable!

All the albums and books that I review, I will try to list on my Beatles-Freak Amazon store (see links in right-hand column) page for my readers to investigate further.  This particular album you can buy used at Amazon for $1.45!
Rated – 2 out of 4 Beetles

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An Intro to Beatles-Freak’s reviews

Good Morning, Good Morning…

I know what you’re all asking yourselves.  “Why?  Why are you reviewing pseudo and faux Beatles?”.

That’s a very good question…and believe you me, I’m still asking myself the same question, “Why am I doing this?!”

The best explanation I can give is this:  The Beatles, whether solo or a group, whether presently or in the past, have been reviewed to death!  Those poor boys couldn’t take a shite without someone telling us all what it looked and smelled like.  I really don’t think anyone, including myself, wants another Beatles review blogger.  If you love the Beatles or are a collector, then you already listen to and buy everything they’ve made, recorded or created.  You don’t need me to tell you whether it’s good or not.

Now some Beatles fans are purists.  These are the folks that don’t want to hear remakes or tribute bands performing covers of the songs they love.  In fact, my father-in-law has this same attitude about U.S. national anthem.  It is to be performed exactly as it was written with no room for artistic license.  And god help the popstar that performs the anthem at a major sporting event should they try to get creative.  And I can respect the opinion of the Beatles purists, but it’s not going to stop people from performing their songs.  Why?  Well, from what I’ve heard from many musicians is that the Lennon/McCartney catalog is “fun”.  Just like we listeners are drawn to the Fab Four’s sound, musicians are drawn to playing their songs.

I’m also not a real fan of the people who have worked with, slept with and done business with the Beatles that have all decided that they need to cash in by writing books.  My dislike for this behavior is almost personal – it’s all TMI (too much information) for me.  It’s the music that turns me on, not every little detail of their lives.  And whether it’s the Beatles or sports, I get a bad taste in my mouth when I encounter so-called “experts” and they want to show off their absolute-no-one-knows-more-than-me knowledge of a topic.

This brings me back to the big question – “Why are you doing this?!”  Because if there must be authors and musicians who are going to try to cash in on The Beatles, then I want to try to help others separate the ‘real’ from the ‘hacks’.

“And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make.”

I hope you enjoy my reviews.

/J

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