Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Review”

Book Review: KISS Klassified

KISS Klassified: War Stories From A KISS Army General is an excellent book. A million books have been written about KISS in the 1970s. If you’re looking for one that does an excellent job of covering KISS from 1980 through present day, this book is the best around. Unlike other KISS books, this one isn’t a detailed history of the band during a particular period of time. Rather, it’s the author’s account of his experiences with the band during these years. Peppered throughout are 750 fantastic photos, as well as interviews with and commentary by members of KISS. My only complaint is there are some language usage issues, but that’s understandable because the author is from Sweden. That minor complaint aside, KISS Klassified is a top-notch book that was lovingly put together. The graphical layout of the book is phenomenal, the stories are entertaining, and the passion is palpable. KISS fans should absolutely check it out, as it’s one of the best books about the band I’ve ever read.

Review: Midnight Deluxe For Nintendo Switch

Midnight Deluxe is a golf-like game set in perpetual darkness, where you fling Midnight, the square-shapped-shaped protagonist, through a series of obstacles in the hopes of making it to the beacon of light at the end of each level. As with the game that preceded it, 36 Fragments of Midnight, this is a charming video game with beautiful music and bite-sized levels that are perfect for the grab-and-go nature of the Nintendo Switch.

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The Vault: Great Or Garbage?

What you’re about to read is the most honest review you will find for The Vault by Gene Simmons. A friend of mine who purchased The Vault let me listen to the CDs extensively, for the purpose of this review. Since I didn’t purchase a Gene Simmons Vault Experience for $2,000, $25,000 or $50,000, I have no obligation to rationalize the quality of this product as a way to convince others, or myself, that it’s worth buying.

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WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide, 2nd Edition

On March 6 DK releases its second edition of WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide. This hardback book retails for $16.99 and is 208 pages in length. Check out my video review below for my thoughts on this new release.

John Oates Brings Arkansas To Philly

John Oates, one half of the most successful music duo of all time, Hall & Oates, just released a new solo album entitled Arkansas. According to Oates, “It’s like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.” Just a couple days after the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl, this mustachioed master of music brought his new tunes to the City of Brotherly Love, delivering an impassioned performance that resulted in the majority of the crowd buying copies of Arkansas.

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Movie Review: Love, Simon

Tonight I attended the first local screening of a movie coming out March 16: Love, Simon. This wonderful film is based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Love, Simon far exceeded my expectations, as well as my wife’s. We both laughed, cried and left the movie immensely satisfied. The characters are well-developed, the acting is superb, and the smartly-written script kept us engaged and emotionally invested the whole way through. You might’ve noticed that the image above is for the soundtrack of the film. That was done on purpose, because the music in this movie is a character all its own. It’s so good that I rushed home to write this review and I’m playing a Spotify playlist of the music in the background because the official soundtrack isn’t available until March 16, which is when you should make it a point to see this amazing movie.

A Very Barry Christmas

Photo by Dana Holland.

For the first time ever, Barry Manilow took his Christmas show on the road. This special concert typically only takes place in Palm Springs, where Manilow resides. But this year he decided to bring it to a handful of locations, including New York. I made it a point to attend Manilow’s New York performance, and it exceeded my expectations.

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Neal Schon Releases Holiday EP

Neal Schon, lead guitarist and founder of Journey, just released his holiday EP, Ave Maria, featuring guitar by the man himself and orchestration by Gary Cirimelli. It’s available to buy and stream, and I highly recommend you do so, as the music contained within is beautifully done. In addition to the title track, which is a masterpiece, Schon included instrumental versions of two Journey classics – “Open Arms” and “Faithfully.” And he rounded out this holiday offering with a gorgeous version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” which was originally made famous by Elvis. I played this last track for my wife, as it was the song she walked down the aisle to at our wedding in September. Stephanie liked Neal’s version so much that she asked me to play it again, which is a testament to the quality of the music on Ave Maria.

Fall Video Game Highlights

There are a wealth of great games on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS. Here’s what I’m playing right now.

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Book Review: On Power by Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons is a busy man. When he’s not skulking across the stage at a KISS show, he’s performing with his solo band, appearing at comic conventions, talking about his forthcoming career-spanning box set, The Vault, or promoting his new book: On Power.

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