Though the sudden embrace of the trappings of goth culture via Anne Rice was a bit odd, given Napolitano's long-standing fascination with both Catholic and Mexican imagery (and the elements of sex and death prevalent in both) it wasn't too strange. Her songwriting and singing focus remains much more roots-oriented, as the opening strut/stroll of "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)" makes clear. Not that she and the band can't kick out the jams as well – immediately following that is "The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden," a punk-speed thrash with deliciously decadent imagery to boot. The most well known song was "Joey," which actually got some top 40 airplay; while it has a certain catchiness to it, ultimately it comes off as a less successful Heart song from the same era, which is saying something.
The present installment of Arturo Sacchetti’s encyclopedic Organ History survey for Arts Music drops anchor in late-19th/early-20th-century France. It can be argued that the five instrumental sections from Satie’s Mass for the Poor that open this recital lose poignancy when shorn of their surrounding vocal movements, although the organ is a perfect instrument for the composer’s quirky, instantly identifiable harmonic language. By contrast, D’Indy’s Les Vêpres du Commun des Saints, Roussel’s Prélude et Fughetta, and Honegger’s Deux Pièces pour Orgue make an arid, academic impression. After Wayne Marshall’s pulverizing speed through the Pastorale by Roger-Ducasse (Virgin Classics), Sacchetti’s relatively conservative virtuosity proves less engaging. However, his incisive hand/foot coordination enliven Tournemire’s Improvisation on “Te Deum” and Langlais’ Hymne d’Actions de grâces “Te Deum”, although the latter yields to Andrew Herrick’s more vivid and better engineered traversal on Hyperion. Organists looking for an effective, unhackneyed encore should consider Ibert’s Musette or Milhaud’s Pastorale.
Director Terry Gilliam adroitly applies his Monty Python sensibilities upon the "career" of famed German prevaricator Baron von Munchausen. Played herein by John Neville, the baron is seen quelling a war that he himself started, flying into the stratosphere on the back of a cannonball, ballooning to the moon, exploring the innards of a volcano, being swallowed by a whale….In short, all of Munchausen's fabulous lies are here presented as "truth," played out in full view of nonplussed witnesses Eric Idle, Charles McKeown, Jack Purvis, and Sarah Polley. Fringe benefits include several loving medium shots of jaybird-naked Uma Thurman as Boticelli's Venus and an extended unbilled cameo by Robin Williams – that is, by the head of Robin Williams – as the King of the Moon.