Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Book Review: SNES Omnibus Volume 1

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is my all-time favorite video game console. I have fond memories of playing Ken Griffey Jr. baseball, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, a variety of WWF pro wrestling games, and more. I’d play these games solo, as well as at my cousins’ house during sleepovers or down the shore in the summer. It was a fantastic system, which is why I was eager to check out The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 by Brett Weiss. This beautifully produced hardback book is 416 pages and it’s the first in a two-part series that analyzes all of the games you love or, perhaps, hate from the SNES library. This tome alphabetically covers games A through M and its sequel will be comprised of the rest. At least a page is dedicated to each game, including box art, screenshots, a synopsis, a review excerpt, and insights. It can be read cover to cover or as a reference book where you jump from game to game however you like. I chose to jump around, looking up games I owned and reading about ones I always wanted to play or was curious about. It made for a highly enjoyable read and I plan on revisiting this book many times, as I’m sure you will too. The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 by Brett Weiss is an excellent tribute to an iconic system and video game library, and I can’t wait to read Volume 2.

A Conversation With Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley is more than just the former lead guitarist of KISS, he’s also an immensely successful solo artist whose sound – both vocals and guitar – is immediately identifiable. For decades Ace has blazed a path all his own and inspired millions of fans and musicians along the way. His new solo album, appropriately titled Spaceman, is out October 19. I’ve listened to Spaceman numerous times and it’s fantastic – easily one of his best. Ace was kind enough to speak with me about his new record and a variety of other topics. I hope you enjoy the interview.

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Dionne Warwick: Then Came You PBS Special

Dionne Warwick has had a long, diverse, and remarkable career. That one-of-a-kind career is celebrated in the new PBS special entitled Dionne Warwick: Then Came You, created by My Music Presents and produced by TJ Lubinsky. It begins airing on PBS on August 18 and you can check your local listings here.

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Review: Tetra’s Escape for Nintendo Switch

Tetra’s Escape is a platforming puzzle-game all about blocks. Blocks named Tetras and it is up to the players to do all that they can to save them and make the most out of their special ability.

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One Man’s Quest For Yoo-hoo

A few years ago I was camping with my family in Maine and several of them wanted to go on a hike in the morning. They asked me if I’d like to join them and I said, “No, I think I’ll stay here and read my book.” The book I was reading was one of Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar novels. If you’ve never read one of his books you should. While you’re at it, read all of them as he’s my favorite author and his novels are excellent. Anyway, while reading this book I came across a section in the story where Myron starts drinking a bottle of Yoo-hoo, his favorite drink. Like a cheeseburger in a TV commercial, I responded like a Pavlovian dog and was instantly in the mood for the chocolaty goodness of Yoo-hoo.

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The Legend Of Zelda Encyclopedia: Deluxe Edition

Dark Horse is back with another epic tome paying tribute to The Legend of Zelda, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises. The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia: Deluxe Edition honors the game that started it all by recreating the original gold cartridge as faithfully as possible. The book comes with a black polypropylene sleeve, lined with velvet flocking, and a scale instruction booklet with fun, theme-appropriate material inside.

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Christian Matthew Cullen Discusses Night Ranger

Composer, producer, and sound designer Christian Matthew Cullen has had an interesting and prolific career. He’s created audio for TV, radio, advertising, video games, and more. Along the way, he was chosen to be Night Ranger’s keyboard player, a position he held from 2007 to 2011. Christian was kind enough to speak with me about his time in the band. As you’ll see in the interview below, it was a remarkable time in his life and career.

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A Conversation With Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent. Those two words can elicit wildly different responses, depending on who you are. That’s not surprising since he’s known as the “Wild Man” of rock and roll. Nugent – or Nuge, to some – has a career that spans more than five decades, with more than 40 million albums sold and 6,400+ concerts along the way. When he’s not shredding his guitar for thousands of passionate fans, Nuge is writing books, hosting TV shows, or offering his vociferous thoughts on myriad political and cultural issues. He’s on the verge of releasing a new studio album entitled The Music Made Me Do It and Uncle Ted is on the road this summer, further solidifying his position as one of rock and roll’s preeminent guitar-slinging superstars. Amidst his busy schedule, Nuge was kind enough to do an interview with me where we discuss his impressive career, collaborations with other artists and more.

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Review: ThrillerFest XIII

ThrillerFest is the premier conference for thriller writers and readers. ThrillerFext XIII marks my fourth time at this event and it fittingly kicked off on Friday the 13th. Over two days, numerous panels took place on a wide range of topics – everything from how to best execute a fictional character to how to handle sex scenes in thrillers. These panels were comprised of new, best-selling, and seasoned authors, all offering a unique perspective on myriad issues and trends.

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Melissa Takes Manhattan

Melissa Manchester is not only one of my favorite musicians, she’s one of my favorite friends. Her talent, energy, kindness, and passion are undeniable and all were on full display tonight during her opening performance at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Melissa has additional performances on Saturday (7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and Sunday (7:00 p.m.), and I absolutely recommend you attend one or more of these fabulous concerts.

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