Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “YouTube”

Review – High Road Best Buy Deluxe Edition

NIGHT RANGER_HardRoad_Regularjpg

Today I picked up a copy of the Best Buy Deluxe Edition of the new Night Ranger album I recently reviewedHigh Road. This Deluxe Edition features a bonus track you can’t get anywhere else and a DVD with two music videos and a 19-minute documentary. Is it worth the price of admission? Watch my video review below to find out:

KISS – 40th Anniversary

20140218-070712.jpg40 years ago today – February 18, 1974 – KISS released its first studio album. 40 years later, hundreds of albums have been sold, thousands of concerts have been played and the band is about to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Happy 40th anniversary, KISS!

 

 

When I Met Melissa Manchester

Photo with Melissa ManchesterYesterday was a great day. I went to New York City with my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day weekend and we saw an excellent movie – American Hustle, went to a great restaurant – The Writing Room – and capped off the day with a Melissa Manchester concert.

In December 2013 I interviewed Melissa for my blog and she was as nice as could be and full of great stories. For those that haven’t read it yet, you can check it out here. One of the topics covered in the interview was yesterday’s concert in NYC. Melissa said, “you never know what I might sing” and boy was she right. The set list included a variety of her biggest hits, including “Midnight Blue,” “Come in From the Rain” and my favorite, “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” She also sang “Something Wonderful” from The King and I and new material from her upcoming album, You Gotta Love the Life. There were countless other songs during the hour-and-a-half concert, including a blistering performance of “I Know Who I Am,” a song that was featured in a trailer for the Tyler Perry movie For Colored Girls. And after the concert came to a close with Cole Porter’s “I Happen to Like New York,” Melissa and her talented musicians were met with a well-deserved standing ovation.

As you can see from the photo above, I had the chance to meet Melissa in person after the show and she was as lovely in person as she was on the phone. She took the time to meet and take photos with fans, as well as autograph items. The line to meet her went to the back of the room but she stuck around until every fan was satisfied. I was very impressed.

If you ever have the opportunity to see Melissa Manchester, go for it. In addition to having a spectacular voice, she’s got great stage presence and an appreciative personality. It was a terrific evening of music and I wouldn’t hesitate to see her again.

Below is a live performance of the aforementioned song, “I Know Who I Am,” from a 2010 concert. Enjoy!

Review: New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

kindle-paperwhite-frontBelow is my video review of the new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. If you’re interested in buying this device, you can do so here: http://tinyurl.com/pa4fnep. Enjoy!

The Best Tablet Money Can Buy: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″

Kindle_Fire_HDX_The_Mayday_ButtonThe Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is not only the best tablet ever produced by Amazon, it’s the best tablet money can buy. Below is my review of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, as well as seven additional videos highlighting the device’s various features. If you’d like to buy the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, you can do so right here: http://tinyurl.com/lpc7znq.

Review

Mayday Button

Video Games 

Fire HDX 8.9″ vs. Fire HD 7″ (2012 Model) Speed Test

Origami Case

Origami Case

High-Resolution Display

Music

Reading

Book Review: Super Smutty Sign Language by Kristin Henson

Super Smutty Sign LanguageKristin Henson, famous for her Dirty Words with Kristin blog and YouTube channel, is coming out with her first book Tuesday, October 8: Super Smutty Sign LanguageBelow is my video review of the book and a couple of Kristin’s most popular Dirty Signs videos. Enjoy!

 

Music Review – 15 Minutes by Barry Manilow

15 MinutesBarry Manilow’s 15 Minutes came out in 2011, and, at the time, it was his first album of original material in 10 years. It’s an excellent collection of music filled with dynamic vocals and infectious melodies. If you’re a Barry Manilow fan that enjoyed Here At The Mayflower, you’ll love it. It’s a concept album that follows the story of young man’s rise to fame and fall from grace.

15 Minutes kicks off with a 1-2-3 punch; the title track is a guitar-laden, country inspired, mid-tempo rocker that sets the tone for the album. The second track, “Work the Room,” is a funky song where Barry expertly raps the lyrics. If you’ve ever had to look for a job and go to a networking event, you’ll appreciate this song. “Bring On Tomorrow” rounds out the first three tracks, and it’s a classic Barry power ballad. Filled with beautiful lyrics, a gorgeous arrangement and soaring vocals, this track is one of the best on the album. Needless to say, I love it!

The fourth track, “Now It’s For Real,” is another guitar heavy track that finds the album’s main character realizing that he’s achieved the success he was after. Barry sounds like he had a lot of fun recording this song and it comes through in his impassioned vocal.

“Wine Song” gives the listener an inside view into how the young star’s life has changed. Now he’s surrounded by people who constantly tell him they love him and that he’s beautiful. This, along with the drinking and drugs, foreshadows what’s to come.

The next song is an interesting one because it’s a reworked track from Barry’s Trying To Get The Feeling album from the 1970s. This time around it’s called “He’s A Star,” and it’s a fun upbeat pop/rock song that fits this album perfectly.

The following two songs deal with relationships. “Written in Stone” focuses on the deteriorating romantic relationship that seemed so strong in “Bring on Tomorrow.” It shows that the young star has done a poor job in handling his new-found fame; and, in doing so, he has destroyed a relationship he held so dear. “Letter from a Fan/So Heavy, So High” starts off with a haunting vocal by Nataly Dawn as an obsessive fan, and she does an excellent job. This juxtaposed with Barry’s vocal about becoming tired of dealing with these kinds of fans, effectively shows two different points of view.

The brief track “Everybody’s Leavin,” segues into the following tracks. As everyone starts to desert the star, he literally says “Who Needs You” to those that once supported him and wonders if fame is worth the price in “Winner Go Down.”

“Slept through the End of The World” is a beautiful acoustic song that conjures up visions of a star that’s at the end of his rope. It’s where he comes to terms with the fact that he is no longer the star he once was because he didn’t handle fame the way he should have.

“Reflection” is a beautiful piano interlude that leads into “Trainwreck.” During this song, the performer realizes what went wrong and is ready to start over. He recognizes that what happened in the past is behind him, and he must move forward. This recognition culminates in the reprise of “15 Minutes” where he is determined to do things right this time around.

The album closes with the disco-infused “Everything’s Gonna Be All Right.” It’s a fun track that is reminiscent of “They Dance!” from “Here At The Mayflower.” It’s an infectious pop song that is bound to get stuck in your head.

Overall, 15 Minutes is a solid album. The majority of the songs are excellent, and the narrative is engaging. Barry’s voice is in good form, and the arrangements are top notch. If you’re a fan of Barry Manilow, or just good music, I highly recommend this album. You won’t be disappointed.

Below are live performances of a few of my favorite tracks from the album. Enjoy!

 

Jack Reacher Returns In Never Go Back

Lee Child and I at ThrillerFest VIII.

Lee Child and I at ThrillerFest VIII.

Lee Child’s 18th Jack Reacher novel, Never Go Back, is coming out next week in the U.S. For those interested in learning more about the book, below is the trailer and background on the novel from the man himself, Lee Child.

 

50 Years Of James Bond: The Movie

James Bond 50th AnniversaryI recently discovered a great James Bond video on YouTube that I had to share with you. Below is the official description and the video. Enjoy!

Approximately five minutes from each of the 22 Eon produced James Bond films have been cut together, in order and in sequence, beginning with the first five minutes of DR. NO (1962) followed by minutes 5-10 of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), minutes 10-15 of Goldfinger (1964), minutes 15-20 of Thunderball (1965), continuing on through each of the remaining 18 Bond features (accounting for variables in each title’s running time) culminating with the final five minutes of 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

This fresh look at the “James Bond Formula” provides a new exploration of the evolution of the series into a filmmaking genre uniquely its own. With few exceptions, each title’s transition into the picture that follows it is nearly seamless, creating a viewing experience that at first might serve to remind us “if you’ve seen one Bond film, you’ve seen them all,” but looking more closely it is in fact an endearing homage to a character who single-handedly shaped modern cinema’s action/adventure formula and who continues to leave an indelible mark on generations worldwide.

Audible.com: Behind-The-Scenes

AudibleAudible.com, an Amazon company, is the leading provider of audiobooks – a business that’s booming. Being an avid audiobook listener and originally from New Jersey, I found the following video tour of Audible’s headquarters interesting.

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