Dapper Dan Man…

August 5, 2009

Music Review: Carlton Melton – Live in Point Arena 7/8/08

Filed under: Review,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 10:18 AM
Tags: , ,

Published on StonerRock.com

August 1, 2009 – Link to review

Carlton Melton is a band made to be a cult favorite among those that love improvisational and instrumental music. They sound too trippy and weird to ever be big, but they do know how to make something engaging out of what sounds like nothing more than impromptu jamming. The deal here is slow, long pieces of space rock with a hint of drone added in – the first two songs, “Happy Song” and “Against the Wall,” have a constant rattling buzz throughout – that are pleasantly soothing and atmospheric.

There are similarities with latter-day Earth but where theirs is a dry, dusty character, Carlton Melton literally rise above and offer up spacey and ethereal soundscapes. Live in Point Arena has the atmosphere of a record just born out of a will to improvise rather than plan any song structures. It sounds like the band just plugged in and went wherever inspiration took them at that moment in time. The fact that all song titles here are working titles further cements the view of a loose environment. “Root Ball” consists of not much else except for a long, slow guitar solo, whereas the back bone of “Inter Mission” is based on the strum of a broken up old acoustic guitar and another drawn out solo, albeit with more of a blues feel to it this time.

For those that appreciate music that breathes and takes its time, that is made for concentrated listening Carlton Melton are a new acquaintance to embrace. They may remain unknown but will be liked by those that still love rock with an experimental edge.

http://www.myspace.com/carltonmelton

February 16, 2009

Book Review: 50/50 – Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance by Dean Karnazes (with Matt Fitzgerald)

Filed under: books,Review,Writing — gazzabazza @ 12:46 PM
Tags: , ,

Men’s Fitness has already, in previous articles, proclaimed the author to be the fittest man alive. You might start thinking in the same vein even before you’ve read the whole title of his book, 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance. Indeed, it is enough to hear about his exploits as a regular participant in ultra marathons in every single climate on several continents to realise that Dean Karnazes is a man whose interest in running goes far beyond just regular fitness. He deals in human stamina at its most extreme form.

Most of us who have an interest in running as a form of exercise and way of improving our health will know how hobbled and worn out one can feel after a very long run. Karnazes, on the other hand, decides to challenge himself by attempting to run, as expressed, 50 consecutive marathons, in 50 cities, in 50 different states. In this book he chronicles his entire project, from birth of the idea to its completion.

The company that sponsors him decides to make the project much larger in scope which turns Karnazes’s idea into a national interest but with this comes responsibility and, lest we forget, problems. It goes without saying that completing 50 official marathon runs requires a great deal of logistical planning.

50/50 and its clear prose style takes us through the entire eventful journey, marathon by marathon, and it makes for a very compelling read. Interest by the public to meet the man undertaking this project is larger than expected and after some initial problems with the post-marathon events being far too chaotic, things start to run a bit smoother.

One gets to like Dean Karnazes more and more for each chapter of his book. He doesn’t complain about the problems he encounters throughout, but merely chronicles them and it’s hard to find faults with a guy who has his own non-profit organisation that encourages kids to become physically active and takes time out after a gruelling run to interact with fans.

With 50/50 he tries to show the average runner how to be a better athlete and recover more quickly but he also wants to encourage other people to start running. This is where the book’s appeal lies – you don’t have to be a runner to like it. He isn’t trying to turn most people into super-endurance athletes, but fitness is important to Karnazes and he just hopes that people will try to become more active after reading 50/50.

In fact, you are more likely to get something out of the reading experience if you want to get started but not sure where to begin and are looking for some inspiration. The book is chock full of practical advice and training regimens for the beginner and tips on how to try and motivate your self.

50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance is a compelling enough read to succeed in maybe inspiring some people. I won’t give away too much of the ending but the aftermath of Dean’s voyage has him doing something on a whim that shows that he isn’t like most athletes.

A book review published on Blogcritics. A good, interesting read about a different kind of athlete. I believe this book will inspire people to get more active- maybe not to the same extent as the subject of the book- and to be healthier.
Read it on Blogcritics here.  Dean Karnazes’s personal site is here.

Get reading.

The Devil Rides Out – Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 review

Filed under: Music,Review,StonerRock.com,Writing — gazzabazza @ 12:37 PM
Tags: ,

Being named after an occult novel and a 60’s horror film one would expect this lot to produce some raucous sounds, and that is what the Perth, Australia collective offers.

What they have done here is released three EP installments, with six songs on each, and listening to them in chronological order, you start to view it as a chronicle of a band’s development. Not so much in terms of different music peering through on the recordings, but of subtle nuances like song writing, pacing, and production values that improve from the first to the last album. The music is soulful and blues-colored rock ’n’ roll that would fit quite nicely as a soundtrack to a biker movie with hairy reprobates swigging bourbon and riding choppers in between sessions of vandalism.

The Devil Rides Out is heavily 70’s influenced, as is expected, but the group owes more to the driving riffage and blues rhythms of yore than anything sludgy, slow, and doomy. Imagine a band that is the sum of ZZ Top, AC/DC, Led Zep, Miller High Life, sunshine, sideburns, and convertibles and you will come pretty close to physically defining The Devil Rides Out. A modern contemporary band like Clutch minus the jazz noodling can also be heard here, particularly in the vocal performance which on a few occasions brings to mind Neill Fallon’s more throaty wails. Vocalist Joey K’s singing is quite impressive throughout, as his voice is deep, rich and expressive.

Of the three recordings, Volume II is the most blues-rich EP, where the simple and choppy riffs and slower songs are at the forefront. With the third and final installment, you hear the band at its most comfortable. The slow blues is still there, but the focus lies more on the faster, high-octane tunes. It also benefits from a far better production sound than on the previous two mini-albums.

As is probably clear by now, the expectation should not be aimed at hearing originality here, but if you, like me, have a fondness for this kind of music then all three sessions by The Devil Rides Out will provide satisfaction.

I’m back after a short hiatus due to a busy work schedule- This review was published on StonerRock.com

Click here to read it on the site and here for the band’s Myspace page.

January 19, 2009

Back with new reviews

Filed under: StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 10:29 AM
Tags: ,

Howdy,

Not that anybody reads this sodding thing, but I’m back with some new reviews published. The first two are just short, 200-word pieces on some e.p.’s. They’re over at Scenepointblank.

Check them out if you so desire:

Bloodbath – Unblessing the purity.

Impiety – Dominator

I recently started writing for another site, Stonerrock.com, and it’s one I’ve been a huge fan of for a long time so it feels good to be able to contribute there. My first piece was published yesterday and more will be coming up soon. This one is for Winters in Osaka, an electronic band. Not usually my style but it was strangely compelling. Check it out:

Winters in Osaka – Molded to crawl

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.