Recently by Scott Blitstein

Louder Than Love - The Grande Ballroom Story DVD Review: It Was Quite a Place to Be

A key player in the birth of rock and roll as we know it, you just didn't know about it until now.
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When most people think of live music in the late '60s, they probably think of Haight-Ashbury, The Fillmore East and West, "Summer of Love"-type things. The new documentary Louder Than Love tells the story of The Grande Ballroom in Detroit and the musical revolution that happened in its hallowed halls. In the midst of economic and racial struggles that led to riots, fires, and other unrest, there was a haven of peace downtown where local bands were blossoming and the top British acts were making their debuts. The venue may have been peaceful but the music was anything but. The

Album Review: Bad Company: Live in Concert 1977 & 1979

Classic rockers Bad Company finally release a live album and it's well worth the wait.
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In 1979, an 11-year-old me took a major step in my musical appreciation evolution. It was the year I embraced the vinyl album and moved from radio listening to purchasing records. Some were older, Revolver, Hot Rocks and some were new - Breakfast in America and Bad Company's Desolation Angels. Bad Company is one of those bands that I've always liked and while that was my first purchase of their music, over the next few years I assembled the full collection. Fast forward more than 30 years, and while I still like and appreciate them, I rarely if ever dig

Rainbow: Monsters of Rock - Live at Donington 1980 Review

Oft bootlegged festival footage finally gets an official release.
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Rainbow Monsters of Rock is a DVD / CD combo that will be accepted differently based on your expectations. The DVD is standard stadium / festival-rock fare. Lots of sparks and flashing lights, stage theatrics and post set fireworks. The setting is Donington Park Race Track in England at the first Monsters of Rock Festival in August of 1980. It's quite a bill and Rainbow is the headlining act. The video is a time capsule, a bridge between '70s jammers and '80s hair bands and also the time when Rainbow was moving towards a more radio-friendly sound. The star here

Turn It Up! Movie Review: A Celebration of the Electric Guitar

A history of the electric guitar and the people who love them.
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I was sixteen years old, standing in a pawn / jewelry shop owned by family friends. I looked up at the wall and there it was, a beautiful mahogany wood grained Gibson SG Electric Guitar. I had always loved the look of that particular guitar, the double-cut design, the deep brown color, the Gibson logo on the headstock. Besides, a Gibson SG was what Pete Townshend played at Woodstock. Frank Zappa, Angus Young, Tony Iommi, and Frank Marino had all played similar guitars. I had to have it so $300 later it was mine. This wasn't when I started to

The Who: Live in Hyde Park DVD Review: The 50-Year Anniversary Show

A really great bookend to an amazing career by an amazing band.
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What else can be written about The Who that hasn't already been written over the course of their 50-year career? I mean, they are the quintessential Rock 'n' Roll band. They are a singles band, they are an album band, but most of all, they have always been the best live band in the business. From Live at Leeds, The Isle of Wight, Woodstock, and more, The Who have always been a force to be reckoned with on the stage. On June 26, 2015 the band celebrated their lengthy career with a 50th Anniversary show in London and documented the

Best of Enemies DVD Review: The Whole World Was Watching

How the 1968 Debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal shaped our current news reporting.
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In 1968, ABC News ran a series of debates featuring William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal to air during the presidential conventions. At the time, ABC was running third in the news ratings and hoped the debates would help spark interest in their coverage. Buckley, the conservative and publisher of The National Review, and Gore, a noted author and liberal would verbally spar during their segments. Best of Enemies documents these debates. Because of the political nature of the film and subject matter, and the polarization that still exists today, I think people will view this documentary differently given their

Dope Blu-ray Combo Review: Geeks, Drugs, and Bitcoins

An entertaining movie with serious themes that doesn't take itself too seriously.
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Malcolm and his friends Jib and Diggy are self-proclaimed geeks who live in a suburb of Los Angeles. Bullied at school for his shoes and chased by drug dealers for his bike, Malcolm gets good grades, has near perfect SAT scores, and hopes to be accepted to Harvard. He and his friends like '90s hip-hop but play uplifting songs in their punk band Oreo. They tease each other, they talk about sex, and they swear a lot. Then one day Malcolm gets called over to chat with a local drug dealer, meets the girl of his dreams, and before he

Why We Watch: Looking at our TV Choices

Genre? Cast? Plot? Storytelling? What factors entice you to tune in to a show, or take a pass?
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Even with DVR and on-Demand viewing to allow maximum scheduling opportunities, the amount of tv content available to us far exceeds that amount that we can actually consume. To that end, we must make conscious choices about what we choose to view, and when. I got to thinking about this the other day when I went to add Elementary to my Netflix queue only to find it isn't available. I wondered why I didn't start watching it from the beginning even though I remember finding the premise interesting. That got me to thinking about that choice we make - do

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