Issue # 429
Book Review
The Official Sidekick Handbook
Too Slim & Texas Bix BenderGibbs Smith

A hilarious mock self-help book, The Sidekick Solution shows readers the benefits of being second best: eating what you want, letting the ax fall on someone else, and avoiding the heavy lifting while getting co-billing. Chapters with comic book-style illustrations cover such topics as the art of the supportive guffaw; famous sidekicks, from the fairly obscure Jimmy the Hun to Ed McMahon; the delicate nuances of attaching yourself to a new hero when the old one is fired; and more.

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Book Review
A New Mountain to Climb
Neal McCoyTate Publishing

The song came first then the idea for a book. One of America's most loved and charismatic country music artists, Neal McCoy, offers a glimpse into the lives of some very brave men, women, and children. Each chapter illuminates the character of those Neal refers to as 'his heroes' who climb life's toughest mountains; through serious physical handicaps, relentless pain, the loss of someone dear, the end of a dream, or leadership under pressure. When Neal recorded A New Mountain to Climb, he thought of these people who inspired him and changed his life. Brimming with down-home humor and transparent insight, A New Mountain will compel others to find their own heroes, then make a difference. It is Neal McCoy's contagious optimism and unwavering belief that we, as a people, are at our finest when we have a New Mountain to Climb.

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DVD Review
Beyonce: Live at Roseland - Elements of 4
Beyonce Knowles, Ed Burke, Anthony GreenBeyonce KnowlesParkwood Entertainment

When Beyoncé took to the stage for four electrifying nights at the famed Roseland Ballroom, only 3,500 lucky fans per night, who bought those tickets in a record 22 seconds, were able to catch the intimate shows in the historic New York venue where she managed to turn a club into a coliseum.

4 Intimate Nights With Beyoncé at Roseland Ballroom, was a tour de force for the entertainer. It was the only time she would perform her new album, 4, almost completely and to a very limited audience. Backed by her all-female band, with an additional string section, the performances were punctuated with spirited stories detailing her journey before the album, 4, including her years before and with Destiny’s Child.

Live At Roseland: The Elements Of 4 deluxe package is a two-disc DVD, with the complete concert, bonus offstage footage, a 20-page booklet and a video anthology that includes seven videos from her latest album, 4. The concert documentary is filled with never-before seen footage that captures Beyoncé’s life from eager five-year-old music fan to a consummate entertainer who is in control of every inch of her life and career. Live At Roseland was directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke and Anthony Green and executive produced by Beyoncé for Parkwood Entertainment, in association with Columbia Records.

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DVD Review
Alberto Lattuada's The Overcoat
Alberto Lattuada

The classic Nicolas Gogal fable THE OVERCOAT is given a European flavor by Italian filmmaker Alberto Lattuada; some consider the film to be Lattuada's best psychological study. Comedian Renato Rascel plays a nebbishy nobody who spends his life-savings on a fancy overcoat. Suddenly, the nobody becomes a somebody, proving beyond doubt that clothes make the man. And then one day, the overcoat is stolen...Fleshing out the short-but-bittersweet Gogol original are several colorful new characters, including a publicity-hungry small-town mayor, played by Giulio Stival.

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DVD Review
U2: From the Sky Down
Davis GuggenheimTed SkillmanMercury

In 2011, U2 returned to Hansa Studios in Berlin to discuss the making of Achtung Baby. From The Sky Down, is a documentary film directed by Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim (It Might Get Loud, Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth). Screened in the UK as part of the BBC's Imagine Series, From The Sky Down was the first ever documentary film to open the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. From The Sky Down includes bonus footage of So Cruel, Love Is Blindness, and The Fly shot in May 2011 during the band's visit to Hansa Studios to mark the 20th anniversary of Achtung Baby; as well as a Q&A with Bono, The Edge and Davis Guggenheim filmed at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2011. Twenty years after the release of U2's Achtung Baby (1991), Davis Guggenheim charts the path toward this groundbreaking album. Guggenheim uses animation and unseen footage from Berlin and Dublin alongside conversation to reveal what is now a key chapter in U2's career.

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DVD Review
Dance Academy: Season 1 & 2
Flatiron Film Company

Dance Academy is a series about a group of ordinary teenagers who are pushing themselves to the limit as they fight to achieve extraordinary things. When you're sixteen, life is rarely simple. In fact, there's enough to keep you on your toes in normal circumstances. But what if you were also living away from home at the country's top dance academy? What if you had to grow up and chase your dream at the same time?

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Issue # 428
Book Review
Save the Last Dance for Satan
Nick ToschesKick Books

Nick Tosches was born in Newark, New Jersey and is the author of three novels, eleven books of non-fiction,and three volumes of poetry. His books include: Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story, Dino: High Living In The Dirty Business Of Dreams, Where Dead Voices Gather, In The Hand Of Dante, and Chaldea. He lives in New York City. Born in 1949, may be the youngster in the Kicks Books pantheon, but he has outlived us all with his dangerously candid storytelling, that walks a thin wire between the carefree and the blunt. Tosches can send our mind teetering on a ledge with some far-flung new historical fact (he triple-documents every bit of history told) and pulls us back in with a point-blank segue, edged with a promise that somehow this new tidbit it related. Tosches is, without a doubt, one of a greatest historical writers alive, and the only one who wrestles with the dark side on a regular basis.

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Book Review
From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia
Jeffery R. WebberHaymarket Books

Evo Morales rode to power on a wave of popular mobilizations against the neoliberal policies enforced by his predecessors. Yet many of his economic policies bare striking resemblance to the status quo he was meant to displace. Based in part on dozens of interviews with leading Bolivian activists, Jeffery R. Webber examines the contradictions of Morales' first term in office.

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Book Review
I Cried, You Didn't Listen: A Survivor's Expose of the California Youth Authority
Dwight E. AbbottAK Press

At age nine, a family tragedy forced Dwight Abbott into the California Youth Authority. This is the chilling chronicle of his life behind bars-a story of brutality and survival, a dark journey showing how the systematic abuse of incarcerated children creates a cycle of criminal behavior that usually ends with prison or death.

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Book Review
Take Back the Land: Land, Gentrification, & the Umoja Village Shantytown
Max RameauAK Press

In October 2006, a group of housing activists called Take Back the Land seized control of a plot of public land in Miami, Florida and built an encampment that would become known as the Umoja Village Shantytown, a living reminder of the lack of low-cost housing in the city, and a public protest against gentrification. Though the Umoja Village encampment lasted only a few short months, Take Back the Land's actions inspired activists and observers around the country, shifting the conversation, re-politicizing the act of squatting, and helping to catalyze a new movement against the foreclosure crisis that continues to grow stronger as the economy continues to falter. This is the story of the Umoja Village Shantytown, told by its principal architect, the Haitian-born Pan-African theorist, campaign strategist, organizer, and author Max Rameau. Addressing the issues of land, self-determination, and homelessness in the Black community, Rameau explains the birth and development of Umoja Village day by day, and outlines the larger strategy behind the Take Back the Land movement.

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DVD Review
The Magic School Bus: All About Earth
Scholastic

Grab a seat and hang on for three episodes of the Emmy Award-winning animated science-adventure series with Magic School Bus: All About Earth, which is based on the best-selling books.

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DVD Review
The Adventures of Bailey: A Night in Cowtown
entertainmentone

Bailey has settled into his new country home and has a crush on a dog from the other side of the fence. When her brother Felix is stolen, Bailey and his brother, Duke, set out to save him before he gets sold at the exchange in historic Cowtown. Will Bailey rescue Felix and win the love of his sweetheart? Find out in this delightful, fun-filled adventure the whole family will enjoy!

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DVD Review
Chicago World Tour 2011
Peter PardiniChicago Records II

Hailed as one of the "most important bands in music since the dawn of the rock and roll era" by former President Bill Clinton, Chicago is the first American band to chart Top 40 albums in five consecutive decades – a landmark achievement.

Considered one of the longest running and most successful pop/rock 'n' roll groups in history, they are the highest charting American band in Billboard Magazine's list of Top 100 artists of all time, coming in at #13.

Lifetime achievements include a Grammy Award, multiple American Music Awards, elected as Founding Artists to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Chicago street dedicated in their honor, and Keys to and Proclamations from an impressive list of US cities.

Formed in 1967 in Chicago, the “legendary rock band with horns" released their first album “Chicago Transit Authority” in 1969. Since then, they have had record sales top the 100,000,000 mark, and include 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One singles and 5 Gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 34 albums have been certified platinum, and the band has a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.

From the signature sound of the Chicago horns, their iconic Vocalists, and a few dozen of ever-Classic Songs, this band’s concerts are celebrations. The band is now in their 46th consecutive year of touring, without missing a single concert date!

Issue # 427
Book Review
Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera
Rex Brown with Mark EglintonDa Capo Press / Perseus Books

Few heavy metal acts survived the turmoil of the early 1990s music scene. Pantera was different. Instead of humoring the market, the band instead demanded that the audience come to them by releasing a series of fiercely uncompromising, platinum albums, including Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven—two #1 albums that, like Metallica’s And Justice for All, sold millions of copies despite minimal airplay. Rex Brown’s memoir is the definitive account of life inside one of rock’s biggest bands, which succeeded against all odds but ultimately ended in tragedy when iconic lead guitarist Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott was murdered mid-performance by a deranged fan. This is a lucid account of the previously untold story behind one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history, written by the man best qualified to tell the truth about those incredible and often difficult years of fame and excess.

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Book Review
Detroit Rock City: THe Uncensored History of Rock'n'Roll in America's Loudest City
Steve MillerDa Capo Press / Perseus Books

Detroit Rock City is an oral history of Detroit and its music told by the people who were on the stage, in the clubs, the practice rooms, studios, and in the audience, blasting the music out and soaking it up, in every scene from 1967 to today. From fabled axe men like Ted Nugent, Dick Wagner, and James Williamson jump to Jack White, to pop flashes Suzi Quatro and Andrew W.K., to proto punkers Brother Wayne Kramer and Iggy Pop, Detroit slices the rest of the land with way more than its share of the Rock Pie. Detroit Rock City is the story that has never before been sprung, a frenzied and schooled account of both past and present, calling in the halcyon days of the Grande Ballroom and the Eastown Theater, where national acts who came thru were made to stand and deliver in the face of the always hard hitting local support acts. It moves on to the Michigan Palace, Bookies Club 870, City Club, Gold Dollar, and Magic Stick – all magical venues in America’s top rock city. Detroit Rock City brings these worlds to life all from the guys and dolls who picked up a Strat and jammed it into our collective craniums. From those behind the scenes cats who promoted, cajoled, lost their shirts, and popped the platters to the punters who drove from everywhere, this is the book that gives life to Detroit’s legend of loud.

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Book Review
Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War
Ed. Roy Scranton and Matt GallagherDa Capo Press / Perseus Books

These stories aren't pretty and they aren't for the faint of heart. They are realistic, haunting and shocking. And they are all unforgettable. Television reports, movies, newspapers and blogs about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have offered images of the fighting there. But this collection offers voices--powerful voices, telling the kind of truth that only fiction can offer. What makes the collection so remarkable is that all of these stories are written by those who were there, or waited for them at home. The anthology, which features a Foreword by National Book Award winner Colum McCann, includes the best voices of the wars' generation: Brian Turner, whose poem "Hurt Locker" was the movie's inspiration; Colby Buzzell, whose book My War resonates with countless veterans; Siobhan Fallon, whose book You Know When the Men Are Gone echoes the joy and pain of the spouses left behind; Matt Gallagher, whose book Kaboom captures the hilarity and horror of the modern military experience; and nine others.

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Book Review
The Sea is My Brother: The Lost Novel
Jack KerouacDa Capo Press / Perseus Books

In the spring of 1943, twenty-one-year old Jack Kerouac set out to write his first novel. Working diligently day and night to complete it by hand, he titled it The Sea Is My Brother. Nearly seventy years later, its long-awaited publication provides fascinating details and insight into the early life and development of an American literary icon. A clear precursor to such landmark works as On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Visions of Cody, it is an important formative work that hints at the hallmarks of classic Kerouac: the search for spiritual meaning in a materialistic world, spontaneous travel as the true road to freedom, late nights in bars engaged in intense conversation, the desperate urge to escape from society, and the strange, terrible beauty of loneliness.

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DVD Review
The Doors Live at the Bowl '68
Eagle Rock Entertainment

On July 5th, 1968, The Doors took to the stage of the Hollywood Bowl for a concert that has since passed into legend. The Doors were performing on the back of their 3rd album release Waiting For The Sun and the US No.1 single Hello, I Love You. They had been honing their live performances over the previous 2 years and were on absolute peak form. Now for the first time the original film footage from the Hollywood Bowl has been digitally scanned and restored to present the show better and more complete than it's ever been seen before, with 2 previously unreleased tracks (Hello, I Love You & THE WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) (aka just Texas Radio And The Big Beat) returned to the running order and with sound newly remixed and mastered from the original multitrack tapes by The Doors engineer and co-producer Bruce Botnick. This is now the definitive edition of this famous performance. / Bonus Features: Over an hour of new bonus material including Echoes From The Bowl, The Doors route to the Hollywood Bowl, You Had To Be There, memories of The Doors performance at the Bowl, Reworking The Doors, an in-depth look at how the film was restored, and three bonus performances: Wild Child from The Smothers Brothers Show in 1968, Light My Fire from The Jonathan Winters Show in Dec 1967 and a version of Van Morrison's Gloria with specially created visuals. /Line-up: Jim Morrison (vocals), John Densmore (drums), Robby Krieger (guitars), Ray Manzarek (keyboards)

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DVD Review
Alanis Morissette - Live at Montreux 2012
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Alanis Morissette is one of the most successful female artists and songwriters of all time and has sold in excess of 60 million albums worldwide. Her voice is instantly recognizable and she is a consummate live performer. On July 2nd, 2012, Alanis Morissette returned to Montreux as part of her Guardian Angel Tour in support of her new album Havoc And Bright Lights. It was her third appearance at the festival. The set showcased a number of tracks from the new album (at that point still to be released) alongside classic tracks from across her career. This is Alanis Morissette live at her very best.

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DVD Review
Twisted Sister - A Twisted X-Mas - Live in Las Vegas
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Following the release of their A Twisted Christmas album in 2006, Twisted Sister performed a festive show in Las Vegas. Combining Christmas favorites with classic songs from the band's catalogue it is a uniquely Twisted Sister version of the holiday season! With Dee Snider as a very different kind of Santa Claus, the band are rocking as hard as ever on their particular take on all your best loved Christmas songs.

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DVD Review
Neil Cowley Trio - Live at Montreux 2012
Eagle Rock Entertainment

As a much in demand young pianist, Neil Cowley cut his teeth on albums by the likes of the Pasadenas, Brand New Heavies and Zero 7. More recently he played piano on both of Adele's bestselling albums "19" and "21". However, the project closest to his heart is the Neil Cowley Trio. In 2013 the Neil Cowley Trio was the winner of the UK Jazz Artist of the Year. The Trio are virtuoso musicians and Neil Cowley is a consummate live performer with a distinctively English wit and the ability to create a marvelous rapport with his audience, as ably demonstrated in the concert captured here.

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Issue # 426
Book Review
Purple Rain: Music on Film Series
John Kenneth MuirLimelight Editions

In the summer of 1984, a small, low-budget film came out of nowhere and unexpectedly debuted at the number one slot at the box office, unseating reigning champion Ghostbusters and making its star, Prince, a household name. By the end of the year, the film was a multiple-award winner, a trend setter in terms of fashion, and recognized on many prominent critical "top ten" lists. Purple Rain: Music on Film explores in detail the behind-the-scenes struggles and triumphs of the film's making, from the trouble casting a female lead to star opposite Prince, to concerns that the movie's urban vibe and sound wouldn't play in Peoria. Featuring extensive new interviews with the film's director, producer, and assistant editor, Purple Rain reveals a 1980s cult-classic as you've never seen, heard or experienced it before.

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Book Review
Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison
John KruthBackbeat Books

He was blessed with a set of pipes that Elvis Presley claimed were the best in the business. His eyes hidden behind his perpetual Ray-Bans, Roy Orbison stood perfectly still onstage, singing songs of devastating heartbreak. Bob Dylan compared him to a professional killer, claiming the intensity of Orbisons operatic tenor was enough to make him drive off a cliff. Neil Young stated, Its almost impossible to comprehend the depth of his soul. Theres something sad but proud about Roys music. And Bono later claimed he was not only enthralled by Orbisons angelic voice, but considered In Dreams to be probably the greatest pop song ever written. Orbisons singing has inspired everyone who has heard it, from Springsteen to k. d. lang, and laid the very foundation for goth. While fascinating from a pop culture standpoint, it is Orbisons lifes journey that makes a great story that has yet to be told to its fullest. Rhapsody in Black doesnt shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbisons singular personality and music. Roy Orbison wasnt merely a singer but a sonic alchemist who, in the end, transformed unfathomable human misery into transcendent melody and platinum records. Rhapsody In Black contains new interviews with over 20 people who worked closely with Orbison throughout his life.

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Book Review
Starting Your Career as a Musician
Neil TortorellaAllworth Press

Whether you dream about becoming a rock star or a sought-after talent playing local gigs, Starting Your Career as a Musician will guide you along the path to success. Author Neil Tortorella explores the myriad opportunities in music today and details proven strategies for seeking them out. He reveals the common pitfalls and traps that are often encountered and provides aspiring musicians with time-tested advice on how to avoid them.

Jam-packed with the practical know-how you need for success in the music business, Starting Your Career as a Musician is brought to life and made easy-to grasp through the wisdom and experiences shared by numerous working musicians. While it won’t show you how to be a better musician, this indispensable guide will teach you how to make a living with your music, promote yourself or your band, get booked, and maximize additional revenue streams.

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Book Review
Where Am I Going?
Michelle CromerParenteau Guidance

If we are lucky, there are moments in life when all of a sudden, we can take a step away from whatever it is that consumes our days--whether it's shuttling the kids to soccer, punching in at work, or picking up the dry cleaning--and we see a bigger picture. In these "ah-ha" moments, some of us have taken a hard look at our lives and wondered, This can't really be it, can it? We want our lives which feel ordinary, to be extraordinary. And once we wake up and ask this question, we begin to have an inkling that there is something more, something deeper, more spiritual - that our lives can have meaning.

Part travel guide, part memoir, Where Am I Going? Moving From Religious Tourist to Spiritual Explorer takes the reader on a journey to finding this meaning in the same way that Michelle Cromer did for herself, through seven stages that connect each of us to the deepest part of our souls. This inspiring story of Michelle's own quest for meaning in her life is a welcome departure from the typical preachy self-help book. Always spiritual, sometimes dangerous, often exotic, her search--as told by this hilarious, complicated woman from Texas who seems to barrel through life with her heart on her sleeve--is a powerful lesson for anyone who also finally asks the Big Questions and begins their own spiritual journey. it is a journey that can propel you to discover your life's most profound purpose.

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