Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Melissa Manchester: The Fellas

Melissa Manchester is one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Her velvety, soulful voice is unmistakable, and I always look forward to new music from this immensely talented songstress. More than 25 years after Melissa Manchester released Tribute, her 1989 album that honored the great female singers who influenced her, she turns the tables with The Fellas, a radiant encomium to the men, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin, and the iconic songs they made famous. The Fellas is available everywhere on September 8.

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A Conversation With Tony Brock

Photo: Song Seven Photography

Rod Stewart is the first concert I ever attended and I’m a big fan of The Babys, so it was a pleasure to speak with Tony Brock. He is a founding member of The Babys and the band’s drummer, and he spent 12 years drumming for Rod Stewart, starting with the 1981 album Tonight I’m Yours.

The Babys have a new album coming out, Timeless: Anthology II, and you can be a part of it. Check out the band’s Pledge campaign for all of the great reward and benefits you can get by support this effort. It’s going to be a fantastic record, and I highly recommend that all music fans check it out.

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Book Review: The Art Of Splatoon

Eleven days prior to the release of Splatoon 2 on Nintendo Switch, Dark Horse published The Art of Splatoon –  a 320-page book about the popular video game franchise, including character illustrations, concept art and more. This book is currently available in print and digital formats, and it’s a terrific addition to any video game fan’s reading library.

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Book Review: The Boss Always Sits In The Back

Like many people, I’ve seen The GodfatherThe Sopranos, Goodfellas, and other movie and TV adaptations of the mafia. But I’ve never read a book about this subject matter, until now. The other day I finished reading The Boss Always Sits In The Back by Jon D’Amore and it was excellent! It tells the story of his limited involvement with the NJ mafia in the 1970s – specifically how they were scamming casinos in Vegas. I found it fascinating to read about and the pages flew by. Everyone from Frank Sinatra to John Gotti make appearances in this compelling book. What makes The Boss Always Sits In The Back such an engaging read is that it’s funny, riveting and touching, all at once. While Jon D’Amore may not be a name you know going into this book, it’s one you won’t forget after reading it. I highly recommend The Boss Always Sits In The Back. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.

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Review: League of Evil for Nintendo Switch

On August 31, a fun, new Nindie comes to Nintendo Switch: League of Evil, an action game where you, as a bionic super agent, take on the mission to defeat the League of Evil. In this game, which retails for $7.99, you use your acrobatic skills to punch your way through 140 levels, spread across four chapters, filled with deadly traps and enemies.

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Review: I And Me for Nintendo Switch

There are now more than 100 games available for Nintendo Switch, so it can be hard figuring out what to spend your money on. If you have $10 to spare and are looking for a game that is both relaxing and challenging, buy I And Me.

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RoboCop’s 30th Anniversary

On July 17 RoboCop celebrated its 30th anniversary. While some think of RoboCop as just another 80s action film, they are wrong. It’s more than that. RoboCop is a commentary on society, a forerunner of cultural and technological changes; and it’s a superbly-written, well-acted movie about what it means to be human. It also features one of the greatest orchestral theme songs in cinematic history, as well as a fabulous score. Rather than trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator, the film’s screenwriters, director and producer chose to make a piece of art that’s still as relevant and poignant today as it was in 1987.

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What Do We Know? – ADAPT’s Free Our People March

Photo by Harvey Finkle.

Almost every day last year I walked by this photo. It hung in the window of the old location of Liberty Resources on Market Street, here in Philadelphia. Liberty Resources, Inc. is a not-for-profit, consumer-controlled organization that advocates and promotes independent living for all persons with disabilities. As a Center for Independent Living, it advocates with disabled people, individually and collectively to ensure their civil rights and equal access to all aspects of life in the community. This photo always caught my attention when I’d walk by it, probably because of the joy on the man’s face in the wheelchair and his infectious smile. I’d stop and stare at it numerous times when I’d walk by, wondering what the story was behind the photo. Last week I decided to find out.

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Celebrating Five Years!

Five years ago I started this blog because of a desire to write a novel, and I wanted to make sure more people bought it than just my parents. So, I figured this blog would be a great way to increase brand awareness – with the brand being me! So far, it’s been more than I ever could have expected. Not only have I written about books, authors and literature, I’ve interviewed nearly 50 celebrities, including numerous #1 New York Times best-sellers, as well as Tony, Grammy and/or Emmy award-winning musicians and actors. This blog has enabled me to meet Bruce Springsteen, James Patterson, Neal Schon, Dionne Warwick, John Oates, and countless other legends in the arts and entertainment world. Along the way, I’ve reached more than 700,000 people and had my content published in Reader’s Digest, Classic Rock Magazine, ABC News, and on the cover of The Aquarian Weekly, among other media outlets. Connecting with so many of my idols, as well as my readers, has been a thrilling experience that I look forward to continuing for many years to come. And I haven’t given up on that novel. Perhaps, that’s what I’ll be celebrating five years from now.

Puppy Hit By Car: Please Donate To Save Her Life

I love animals so when I heard that a puppy, Buttercup, was found on the side of a road by a Balanced Buddies ResQ volunteer after suffering a head injury from a car, I knew I had to help. This adorable dog has been fighting for her life over the past 24 hours, and she’s making great progress. However, medical care for these kinds of injuries doesn’t come cheap, which is why I and 23 other people, so far, have donated money to help Buttercup recover from this terrible tragedy. If you’ve ever had a pet or simply love animals like I do, please read about Buttercup’s situation here and consider donating whatever you can afford to help her. Thank you.

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