Neal Morse is a busy man. The former Spock’s Beard vocalist/keyboardist found much great success after embarking on a long and fruitful solo career 15 years ago. Morse also runs his own label, Radiant Records, and he somehow finds the time to front two other sonically adventurous progressive-leaning bands, Transatlantic and Flying Colors. Before venturing across the Pond for an upcoming European tour in March and April, Morse called me from his home studio in Nashville to discuss how the journey of how The Neal Morse Band's new double-disc release The Similitude of a Dream came together, where you can find the album’s special “yacht rock” moment, and why he just can’t get behind the concept of streaming.
The Seattle music scene was devastated. Andrew Wood, the promising and charismatic frontman of Mother Love Bone, was found dead of a heroin overdose in March 1990. His bandmates and close friends were in despair, and the one catharsis they found to deal with their pain in the ensuing year was in making new music together. As a result, out of the wake of Wood’s passing was born a 1991 Seattle supercollective dubbed Temple of the Dog, who became best known for their massive grunge-era alt-rock MTV hit, “Hunger Strike.”
Bigger-than-life John Wayne stars as Sean Thornton, a mild-mannered American returning to his native Ireland, seeking nothing more than a peaceful life in a charming village. But his homecoming is soon complicated by the sight of a tempestuous redhead (Maureen O’Hara) and by the aggressions of a blustery local bully... who just so happens to be her brother. Sean does his best to blend into the colorful community, occasionally led into an inadvertent clash of cultures, and ultimately forced to confront a dark secret from his past, all culminating in one of the most satisfying two-fisted finales in movie history. Much of the story might seem a bit quaint or even politically incorrect to modern audiences, but The Quiet Man endures as a sweetly irresistible bit of entertainment, quite possibly inspiring an urge to visit The Emerald Isle or at least throw back a pint.
The world of the battle-bred Orcs is dying. They must find a new domain to inhabit, which requires brutal conquest. Their chief sorcerer, Gul’dan, has devised a way to open a mystic portal into the human world of Azeroth and… oh, who cares? We’ve seen all this before. Warcraft follows the paint-by-numbers formula for wizards, warriors, and witchcraft, taken from the sacred scrolls of the Dungeons & Dragons playbook; shamelessly lifting countless elements from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings sagas, and vainly trying to replicate the dramatic scope and gravitas of Game of Thrones. And all while trying to carve its own niche in the genre.
AT A GLANCE Plus
50 context-sensitive programmable buttons on remote
IR, serial, and IP-based control
Amazon Alexa voice-control integration
Controller generates a lot of heat
Low-resolution screen on remote
Control4’s EA-1 bundle sets a new standard for affordability and opportunity when it comes to professionally installed A/V control and home automation.
One of the great inventions of the 20th century, the humble Lego brick, doesn’t inspire much admiration on its own. Take more than 32 million of them and throw in a little imagination, though, and you can create awe-inspiring 1:20scale replicas of famous American landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Capitol Building, and (of course) the Las Vegas Strip. Then set them up together. Call it Miniland USA. Build a theme park around it. Suddenly you’ve got Legoland California. If I were called upon to write a review of a single Lego, there’d be no bricking way I could come up with the concept of Legoland on my own if it didn’t already exist.
Q I love the idea of converting vinyl (especially my Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab LPs) to a hi-res digital audio format and Sony’s PS-HX500 USB Turntable seems like just the ticket. However, I already own a high-end turntable and don’t want to buy a second one. Are there any devices I can connect to my turntable to make hi-res transfers of my record collection? Thanks —Rob Lowe