Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Review”

Book Review: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Jonathan Cain

Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, the long-awaited autobiography by Journey’s piano man, Jonathan Cain, is tied with Paul Stanley’s Face The Music: A Life Exposed as my favorite music autobiography. And if you have to choose one way to read this book, listen to the audiobook because it’s narrated by the man himself, making for a more intimate reading experience. Jon’s narration of his autobiography is so raw and authentic that at some points he becomes overcome with emotion, which only makes the stories he tells that much more impactful. And the generous amount of beautiful music weaved throughout the audiobook makes for an engaging and enjoyable audiobook that I’d gladly listen to again. It’s also worth noting that the audiobook features bonus chapters not found in the print version of the book.

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Paul Anka Does It His Way

My wife and I had the honor and pleasure of seeing Paul Anka perform last night at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and meeting him after the show. It was our first time seeing Paul Anka, who I recently interviewed, and his concert exceeded our expectations.  Read more…

WWE RAW: The First 25 Years

WWE RAW: The First 25 Years, coming out May 15, is a new hardcover book by DK Publishing. As the title suggests, it celebrates 25 years of the longest running weekly-episodic television program: WWE Raw. Is this new tome worth the price of admission? Watch my video review below to find out.

Night Ranger Rocks Philly

Night Ranger is one of my favorite rock bands, ever since I first saw them on KISS Kruise III. I also firmly believe that they are one of the most underappreciated bands, as they have written, released, and performed countless songs that feature killer riffs, harmonies, and hooks that rival nearly anything their peers have put out. This is why I always make it a point to buy the band’s newest albums and see them live when they’re in my area, which they were last Friday night. Read more…

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Anna is one of Lisa Scottoline’s best books, and it’s my favorite of hers since 2015’s Corrupted. Similar to CorruptedAfter Anna jumps back and forth through time. However, in this new thriller Lisa applies a unique approach. There are two main storylines: one moves forward in time, while the other moves backward. As I read this intricately-woven tale, I was amazed that Lisa was able to keep everything straight. Most authors would slip up at some point. I can only imagine how harrowing the revision process must have been for this novel. Aside from the technical virtuosity on display, this book sings from an emotional standpoint. The characters are intriguing, fully-realized, and unpredictably believable. And the plot’s biggest twist is one I didn’t predict, even though I was able to foretell some of the smaller subsequent details. After Anna is a five-star classic that all thriller and mystery enthusiasts should read. You won’t be disappointed.

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Janis Ian Sells Out Sellersville

Two-time Grammy award-winning folk music legend Janis Ian recently performed for a sold-out crowd at Sellersville Theater. A few years ago, Janis Ian made the choice to dramatically reduce her concert appearances to around four or five a year as a way to spend more time with friends and family. With this in mind, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to attend her Sellersville show, which was fantastic.

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Devious Dungeon for Nintendo Switch

Devious Dungeon is a medieval action platform title now available for Nintendo Switch. It features five worlds, 68 levels, level randomization, and much more. If you enjoy slaying monsters, collecting loot, leveling up, and upgrading your armor, look no further. For less than $10, this game has a lot of content to offer, and it’s easy to pick up and play, while still offering a decent challenge. If you’re in the market for a fun indie game with a cool retro aesthetic, check out Devious Dungeon.

Book Review: The Crash Bandicoot Files

Crash Bandicoot is one of my favorite video game characters of all time. The original trilogy of Crash Bandicoot games, which I played for hours on end on my Playstation back when they were originally released, is coming to Nintendo Switch this summer in the N. Sane Trilogy – a remastered compilation I can’t wait to dive into. If you need even more Bandicoot goodness to satiate your marsupial mania, you may want to pick up The Crash Bandicoot Files, a new publication from Dark Horse Books.

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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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