Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nine Inch Nails - "Sound & Vision" 2xDVD

Well-done collector's set (with caveat)

As another unauthorized repackaging job from Pride Productions (aka Chrome Dreams), this double-DVD documentary set is recommended only for those who are aware of it's contents. I figure, since this is a review, I should be responsible and forewarn serious fans.

The first disc is actually "Metal Machine Music - Nine Inch Nails And The Industrial Uprising", reviewed by me already here:

So, I needn't go into details on that one. 

The second disc is a collection of seemingly random TV interviews with Trent Reznor -- ranging from early 90s Canadian TV stuff to mid-2000s "With Teeth" and soundtrack-era clips. Despite the shady premise here, there are many great insights to be had (at least for NIN fans like myself). In short, this is a superb collection.

Again, nowhere on the package does it state exactly what 2 DVDs are included, so those who already own "Metal Machine Music" may feel ripped off. At least the second interview disc (which I couldn't find under any other name) holds some good info and entertainment value. 

It pays to be a skeptic on releases like this one, but thankfully there remains enough quality content to make this one worthwhile to fans.

Beer: Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale


Harpoon Brewery was founded in Boston way back in 1986 -- well ahead of the craft beer boom. Having been responsible for the excellent UFO Hefeweizen, and the huge "Leviathan" collection of imperial beers, they are an American craft brew legend. 

With an eye on charity (some of the proceeds from this brew go to the local food bank), Harpoon added some local cranberries to this limited seasonal batch, created in time for the holidays.

Pours a deep ruby amber, with a fair head and only slight (but attractive lace).

Nose is tart and subtle, but discernibly cranberry in character. Fair.

Taste is malty and sweet up front, with a hint of tart cranberry. But whereas many fruit-infused ales are over-sweet and overbearing, this one settles back and avoids that particular affliction. The cranberries are tart and sour, not sugary. 

The aftertaste/finish is where this one loses me -- it's sour and leaves a somewhat unpleasant lingering flavor. So, although this seems to capture the essence of natural (unsweetened) cranberries, it's not completely there yet.

Thanx to Liz@Harpoon for the opportunity to sample this unique ale!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Josh Klinghoffer - "Bob And The Monster original score" CD

Superb celebration of Bob Forrest's music

Released in conjunction with the superb and moving  documentary on Thelonious Monster front-man (and present-day drug counselor) Bob Forrest, this collection intersperses new Klinghoffer cuts with songs by solo Bob Forrest, Thelonious Monster, and Forrest and Klinghoffer's collaborative project, The Bicycle Thief.

Opening with the plaintive and minimal Klinghoffer guitar ode, "Phone Call", this fine album is a celebration of Forrest and his heartfelt, literate indie rock. Thelonious Monster's "Try" is wavering, poetic, and soulful 90s indie-style, while Forrest's solo classic "Sammy Hagar Weekend" is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the hedonistic rock & roll lifestyle which Forrest himself once subscribed heavily to. 

Klinghoffer's cuts are predominantly minute-long guitar textures linking the more serious "songs" here, but the whole album is a rollicking good time. Forrest's songs are passionate and catchy indie rock of the first order, and close friend Klinghoffer (who is also currently guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) proves a perfect accompaniment for this showcase of Forrest's great music.

I dug this one all the way through.