Audiophiles And Entrepreneurs Alike Must See All Things Must Pass

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

All things must pass.  This is such a short, simple statement yet it speaks volumes.  That is why it was chosen as the title for MVD Visual’s new Tower Records documentary by the same name.  The documentary follows the meteoric rise and fall of the once powerhouse music distributor and what led to that rise and fall.  The story is, in itself a key element of the documentary’s overall presentation.  It will be discussed shortly.  The information that is presented is just as pivotal to the documentary’s presentation It will be discussed later.  The pictures, footage, and interviews that are used to tell the story are important in their own right to the documentary’s presentation, too.  All things considered, All Things Must Pass proves to be a documentary that any audiophile “Must” see at least once if not more.

All Things Must Pass is a music documentary that every audiophile “must” see at least once if not more.  That is due in large part to the story at the center of the documentary.  The story in question follows the meteoric rise and fall of Tower Records, a store that was once America’s (and the world’s) preeminent music store.  Audiences will be just as enthralled by the story of the company’s unexpected rise to prominence as they will be by its eventual downfall.  The story starts with founder Russ Solomon discussing how he bought his father’s drug store from him (his father) and turned it into a record store.  From there, it follows the expansion of that store into another and then another before eventually becoming a worldwide phenomenon.  It doesn’t end there, though.  As is revealed in the story’s ninety-six minute run time, the company’s peak was also the point at which everything began to collapse.  It is revealed that a combination of factors led to that collapse, beginning with the company’s outstanding debts and expenditures.  The advent of music’s digital era through Napster added to the company’s problems.  The interviewees stress here that this was just one of the elements that spelled the end for Tower Records.  It was not the sole factor in the company’s downfall.  That is something that is especially worth noting here.  One might think, going into the documentary that this would be a major point in the story.  But the surprise of the company’s other financial issues serves as a real surprise element in this story.  It really serves as a reminder to anyone wanting to start up a business—as much as growth can seem so great, that growth must be handled responsibly.  Solomon admits in one of his interview segments that in hindsight, he should have been more fiscally responsible.  He says in the segment in question that had he been more responsible maybe the company might not have met its end.  The loving recollections that he and the company’s former employees share of their time in the end put a touching accent on the story and might even leave some viewers slightly teary-eyed.  Between all that has been noted here and everything else revealed in the story, it is clear why the story by itself is so important to the presentation of All Things Must Pass.  The story at the center of this documentary is just one of its most important elements, too.  The information that is revealed throughout the course of the program is just as important to note as its story.

The story at the center of All Things Must Pass is by itself an undeniably important element in the documentary’s presentation.  That is because it is a powerful underdog story of sorts; a story of a man who dreamed big but sadly let those dreams get too big.  There is no doubt as to the importance of the documentary’s central story, considering this.  It is just one of the documentary’s most important elements, though.  The information that is revealed throughout the story is just as important to the documentary’s presentation as its central story.  Some of the information revealed in the story is funny.  Some is insightful and other information downright surprising.  One of the most interesting of the story’s funny revelations is the amount of drugs and alcohol openly consumed by the company’s employees in its infancy.  There is even a picture of a receipt displayed during this revelation showing the store’s expenditures at one point.  The receipt notes that the store spent more than $300 on cocaine (trucking fuel as it was called at the time) as an expenditure.  One of the more interesting of the story’s insightful revelations is that Foo Fighters front man and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl actually worked at Tower Records at one point and Elton John shopped for his music there, too.  Both men speak on these topics in their own interview segments.  Even Bruce Springsteen is interviewed for the documentary.  He discusses the positive reputation that Tower Records established early on in its life.  Among the most surprising pieces of information revealed in the course of the documentary is what went on in the listening booths at some Tower Records stores.  It is revealed by one interviewee that people made out in the listening booths and even alleges that people had sex in the listening booths, too.  How and why that would happen in such a public place is anyone’s guess.  But it is noted that allegedly both things happened.  Somehow one wouldn’t disagree that any of it happened.  The revelations noted here are just some of the most interesting tidbits of information revealed throughout the documentary.  They are hardly the only interesting revelations made throughout the program.  There are plenty of others that audiences will discover for themselves when they watch this program.  When all of that information is joined with the documentary’s central story, it becomes even clearer why audiophiles and entrepreneurs alike must see this presentation.

The story at the center of All Things Must Pass and the information presented therein are both key elements to the documentary’s overall presentation.  That is because they serve both by themselves and together to show why this is a “must” see music documentary.  They are not the only elements worth noting in examining the documentary’s presentation.  The pictures, footage, and interviews that are used to help tell the story are just as important to the documentary’s presentation as its story and the information shared through the story.  The pictures collectively serve as a visualization for audiences.  It takes viewers back to Tower Records’ infancy, showing just how little the store started with and how far it came. The footage and interviews work with the pictures to illustrate and progress that story even more.  The interviews especially serve to help tell the story because of how frank the interviewees are in their shared memories.  When one puts the footage, pictures and interviews together, they enrich the program’s presentation even more and ensure even more audiences’ maintained engagement.  Audiences’ maintained engagement is even more assured when these elements are joined with the documentary’s central story and the information shared throughout the story.  All things considered All Things Must Pass proves in the end to be a documentary that entrepreneurs and audiophiles alike must see at least once if not more.

All Things Must Pass is a documentary that entrepreneurs and audiophiles alike “must” see at least once if not more.  That is because on one level it is a stirring underdog story of sorts.  It tells the story of one man’s determination to make his dreams come true and provide a place for the community to come together.  On another level it serves as a stark warning for any up-and-coming entrepreneur about fiscal responsibility.  That is because ultimately it was fiscal irresponsibility that spelled the end for Tower Records.  Given, the advent of digital music availability played a part in the company’s downfall, too.  But as the story reveals, it was ultimately fiscal irresponsibility that led to the company’s downfall.  That two-pronged story couples with the information shared throughout the story to make the documentary even more engaging.  The footage, interviews and pictures that are used to help advance the story collectively serve as the final touch to the program.  All things considered, All Things Must Pass proves in the long run to be a presentation that audiophiles and entrepreneurs alike must see.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via MVD Entertainment’s online store at http://mvdshop.com/products/all-things-must-pass-dvd.  More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://mvdentertainmentertainment.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MVDEnertainmentGroup

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

 

 

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Audiences Actually Saw Some Real Worthwhile Music Re-Issues In 2015

In the world of the music business there are few releases that are more ardently frowned upon than the annual crop of album re-issues. From one genre to the next every genre sees its own share of re-issues released each year totalling some years close to a hundred if not more. That is counting re-issues from every genre of the mainstream and independent music industry. The reason that re-issues are so oft frowned upon is that nine times out of ten they are little more than contractually obligated space fillers that acts churn out between new albums in order to appease their bosses at their respective record labels. The result is that few re-issues (regardless of genre) ever really offer any real value to audiences. BUt then there are some that actually do bear at least some value. In fact some are surprisingly well worth the listen and even the purchase. This year, Judas Priest’s classic album Defenders of the Faith has proven to be one of those re-issues that actually stands out. Fates Warning’s classic album A Pleasant Shade of Gray is another one of those worthwhile re-issues at least for rock audiences. The same can be said of Anthrax’s re-issue of Spreading the Disease. The rock realm isn’t the only one that saw some worthwhile new re-issues this year. The R&B industry saw a worthwhile re-issue from British R&B star Rainy Milo in her album This Thing of Ours. Even the World Music realm saw at least one worthwhile re-issue in the form of Flavia Coelho’s Mundo Meu. These are just some of the rare worthwhile re-issues to be released this year. There are others, too. And they are all here on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Top New Re-issues. Once again, fifteen total albums have been noted with the top ten being the best and the bottom five still being enjoyable enough to deserve honorable mention. All things considered 2015 saw some rather interesting and enjoyable re-issues. And they are listed here. For your consideration, dear readers, are 2015’s Best New Music Re-Issues.

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 BEST NEW MUSIC RE-ISSUES

1. FATES WARNING — A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY

2. JUDAS PRIEST — DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH

3. ANTHRAX — SPREADING THE DISEASE

4. THE ROLLING STONES — STICKY FINGERS

5. KELAKOS — UNCORKED: RARE TRACKS FROM A 70S BAND

6. EUROPE — WAR OF KINGS

7. SAXON — HEAVY METAL THUNDER

8. SAXON — THE SAXON CHRONICLES

9. MEMPHIS MAY FIRE — UNCONDITIONAL

10. RAINY MILO — THIS THING OF OURS

11. FLAVIA COELO — MUNDO MEU

12. RED LINE CHEMISTRY — CHEMICAL HIGH AND A HAND GRENADE

13. FREEDOM CALL — 666 WEEKS BEYOND ETERNITY

14. NIRVANA — NIRVANA

15. CROWBAR — EQUILIBRIUM

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FLM’s Debut EP Is A Modern Rock Record Well Worth At Least One Listen

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Up-and-coming Boston-based rock trio Freaks Like Me is set to release its new EP Philosophies For The Modern Ant this week via independent rock label Pavement Entertainment. The six-track EP is quite the interesting listen. The main reason for this is that each one of the EP’s tracks are instantly radio ready works, speaking both in terms of their musical content. The band clearly proves this right from the EP’s opener ‘Better Off Blind.’ Musically speaking, it is a solid rock song that mixes old school guitar licks with a more modern rock sound for a whole that any rock purist will enjoy. Lyrically speaking it offers just as much worth discussion. The EP’s second track ‘All In A Lie’ is just as ready for the radio as ‘Better Off Blind’ with its straight-forward, almost Nirvana style sound. And the EP’s brooding closer ‘Poppies and Rain’ offers its own share of interest for audiences with the combination of its musical and lyrical sides. All three songs in themselves serve as good examples of what Freaks Like Me has to offer audiences with its debut EP. Of course the remaining trio of songs that make up Philosophies For The Modern Ant each serve their own part in the whole of FLM’s debut EP. All six songs taken into full consideration, Philosophies For The Modern Ant proves in the long run to be a record worth at least one listen when it is released next week.

FLM’s debut EP Philosophies For The Modern Ant is quite the interesting first effort from the multi-national band. Each of the six tracks that make up the body of the EP prove in their own way that FLM is a band that could easily hold its own against the bands that currently populate American mainstream radio. That argument is made solidly in the EP’s opener ‘Better Off Blind.’ Front man/guitarist Jon O’Connor’s guitar work in the song’s opening measures present a good mix of both modern hard rock and classic rock influences. As the song progresses, drummer Steve Kilroy’s time keeping keeps the song moving forward with bassist Dave Eve offering just enough low end to make the song really heavy in all the right ways. All three parts together create a sound that is just catchy enough to keep listeners engaged throughout the length of the song’s roughly four-minute run time. Lyrically speaking, O’Connor’s subject seems to be singing of someone that is tired of having to deal with someone that has caused him quite a bit of stress. His subject sings of this person, “Selfish dementia/Broken dissertion/Caught in the wheelspin/Running from the fact that you’ll never escape….” He goes on to sing of this person that other than seeing what said person is doing and has done, he would be better off blind. It’s quite the statement. And coupled with the song’s power it shows even more why the song in whole could hold its own against anything out there today on mainstream radio.

‘Better Off Blind’ serves in its own way proof of why FLM’s debut EP is worth at least one listen especially when compared to the fare currently being offered by American mainstream rock radio. It’s just one of the songs that makes the band’s debut EP worth at least one listen, too. ‘All In A Lie’ is just as much a candidate for a representative single for Philosophies For The Modern Ant as ‘Better Off Blind.’ What really makes this song such an interesting addition to PFTMA is the seeming similarity to both Puddle of Mudd and Nirvana musically and stylistically speaking. There is no denying the close similarity between the sound of O’Connor’s voice and that of Puddle of Mudd front man Wes Scantlin. Interestingly enough, the combination of that sound and O’Connor’s own vocal style coupled with the band’s overall musical style makes direct connection to Nirvana. That is at least the case to in the view of this critic. Is that such a bad thing? Honestly, no. Even if the similarity to the sound generated by Nirvana in its heyday it shows a direct influence from that band. Having such similarity to such a groundbreaking band is anything but bad. And that being the case, it makes for yet another reason that FLM’s new EP is worth at least one listen.

FLM offers audiences quite a bit to hear in its new EP Philsophies for the Modern Ant both in terms of its music and its lyrics. For all of the musical and lyrical intensity offered by the band throughout most of its debut EP, there is a different type of energy exuded in the EP’s closer ‘Poppies and Rain,’ The mood set by this song both musically and lyrically is rather brooding. O’Connor’s simple approach using just a guitar and his vocals really gives the song a certain emotional punch. It would have been easier for the band to go all out and have drummer Steve Kilroy add in a big drum part. Luckily the band didn’t take that route, opting instead for a pair of brushes and a shaker. That minimalist approach taken by the band in whole here makes it a fitting closer after all of the energy exuded by the band in the five songs that come before it. That more emotional side of the band set against the energy presented by the rest of the EP’s songs makes it in whole a work that any modern rock fan will agree is worth at least one listen.

Freaks Like Me’s debut EP Philosophies for the Modern Ant is a work that is a work that any modern rock fan will agree is worth at least one listen. Whether for the fire in the music and lyrics of ‘Better Off Dead,’ the equally intriguing and seemingly NIrvana-influenced ‘All In A Lie’ or for its brooding closer ‘Poppies and Rain,’ Philosophies for the Modern Ant proves to have plenty that modern rock fans will enjoy. That includes that trio of songs not noted here, too. All six songs taken into consideration together, Philosophies for the Modern Ant once more proves to be an EP worth hearing at least once whether by the casual listener, rock radio programmers, or both. Philosophies for the Modern Ant will be available tomorrow via Pavement Entertainment. More information on the band’s debut EP is available online now along with the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/freakslikememusic. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.