The musical musings turn personal this week, March Madness visits the Sports section, and Sci/Tech is by turns speculative and pensive. In between, you’ll find the usual broad range of topics covered in the way that only Blogcritics can cover them. Whether you’re a bookworm, a film buff, or an American Idol fan (or all three!), you’ll find it all here.
Let me take a moment to remind those of you who are chosen that you are invited to submit your own pick for next week (due to space considerations, please limit it to one). Please feel free to email me your picks (including the URL) by next Tuesday.
From Music Editor Connie Phillips:
DVD Review: Robin Trower – Living Out Of Time (Live) by Paul Roy
Paul shares some personal experiences with music in general before launching into this comprehensive review of the DVD. The personal insight blends nicely with the subject at hand, making it an enjoyable read.
Confessions of a Fanboy 001: Tom Petty – Wildflowers by DJRadiohead
Aside from everything DJRadiohead puts into the podcast, he found the time this week to give us his thoughts (and he certainly had a lot of them) on Tom Petty and Wildflowers. Full of as many facts as details, this was an educational as well as an entertaining article.
Another of Those Infernal Music Lists – But This One Is Special by Joan Hunt
No, this is not just another list. Joan examines if shuffle really means shuffle and the ability of her computer’s MP3 program to actually read her moods. Oh yeah, and she also includes a varied list of music that gives us insight into her tastes.
From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:
Book Review: Engaging India by Strobe Talbott by Amrita Rajan
The book, by a former US Secretary of State, is described as a readable and intelligent look “at diplomacy, democracy and the bomb”. The same adjectives might be applied to this review, which honestly presents the book, while the author also expounds on their view on the controversial subjects that it covers.
Book Review: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell by Don Baiocchi
The book of the blog, and how it got to that point. Don offers an entertaining account not just of this particular progression, but an exploration of the phenomenon.
From TV Editor Joan Hunt:
TV Review: American Idol Final 10 by Chancelucky
I have to admit something to everyone before I go any further: I hate American Idol. With a passion. I’ve watched all of four minutes of it (all seasons combined) and find nothing entertaining about it. Well, not until I read this review. I mean, if I can be on my 20th hour of editing and still be laughing as I’m working, that says something, right? Congrats to Chancelucky for making AI appealing for a change.
From Film Editor Erin McMaster:
Movie Review: 2001: A Space Odyssey by Brandon Valentine is a beautifully written revisit to an amazing Kubrick film. It makes me wonder why on earth I have not purchased the DVD yet.
Eric Berlin takes a look at Great Second Seasons In Television History and makes it somewhat okay to be a TV junkie. How would we know about great second seasons if we weren’t?
From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:
Travel Essay: Prague – A Little City With A Big Heart by Sujatha Bagal
An outstanding photographic essay replete with a wonderfully descriptive tour for the Prague visitor.
From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:
America: Stop Comparing Everything to the Nazis by Michael J. West
It had to be said, and here it is said very well.
From Asst. Politics Editor Mark Schannon:
Islamic Injustice: the Abdul Rahman Case by Dave Nalle
An important story about how Islam’s dark side continues to hold sway.
On Holocaust: Anti-Semite or Anti-Human? by Temporal
Powerful, painful look at the worst of the 20th century.
War on Terror, War of Culture by Christopher Falvey
Excellent analysis of why we’re failing in Iraq and how an emphasis on cultural change rather than allowing the argument to be defined as a religious war might make a difference.
From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:
Everything – And I Mean Everything – On The 2006 Milwaukee Brewers Position Players by AJ Vaynerchuk
He wasn’t kidding with that title. AJ delves deep into a young team showing promise in an intriguing division. Player by player. Position by position. There’s even analysis on Hernan Iribarren. Don’t know who Hernan Iribarren is? Well you never will unless you check out this comprehensive analysis.
March Madness: Sweet 16 Games Lost in The Shuffle by Adam Hoff
Teams get one day off between the regional semifinal and regional final games. Typically, Adam asserts, those regional semi games slip through the cracks in the mayhem of the next round. In this piece, he shows that while the George Mason upset of UConn was huge, that upset should have been over Washington.
Lawrence North (Indiana) H.S. Wins Third Straight State Basketball Title by M.D. Sandwasher
While most of us sit back and cling to predictions they made like putting Bradley in the Sweet 16, M.D.’s out there battling the harsh weather by crossing state borders to watch high school basketball. Not just any varsity hoops, but a championship game featuring two blue chip recruits who will next year lace up for his beloved OSU Buckeyes.
From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:
Xbox 360 Review: Ghost Recon – Advanced Warfighter by Matt Paprocki
GRAW is by far the best looking game on the Xbox 360 so far. It has the game play — both online and off — to match.
PS2 Review: Psychonauts by Tyler Willis
Psychonauts was sorely overlooked upon release in June of 2005. Luckily this means it will be cheap to pick up right now.
From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:
Tan the Man talks about the future of high-definition video storage in Sony Banks Entire Company on Blu-Ray. Tan explains why betting the farm on the format war may cost Sony a lot in the long run.
In the midst of a reflection about motivation and mortality entitled Eat, Blog, and Be Merry, Elvira Black explains why blogging can be hazardous to your health (and then tells you why perhaps you shouldn’t care).
Picked by last week’s chosen authors:
From John Owen:
Book Review: Julie and Julia by Julie Powell by Don Baiocchi
Don Baiocchi reviewed Julie and Julia, a book I liked and that I feel Dan really got to the heart of. Moreover, his review was as enjoyable as the book, and far shorter and less dishy (Sex and the City is a curse on this land).[ADBLOCKHERE]