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Tipping Point: Our picks and pans

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Music tip

Catnip Dynamite

Land of Pure Imagination


Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.

These superb recordings by the former Jellyfish founding member/singer/songwriter/keyboardist had long been out of print. Why? Well — who knows? I'm baffled. Is it possible something's TOO great? Judge for yourself because they've all been re-released, and earth is a better place. In a recent conversation on The Day's "Leave Work NOW!" podcast, the self-effacing Manning talked about being a student and ethusiast of the infinite melodic possibilities of pop music. Listening to this music (again or for the first time), it hits you: Manning might well be a "student," but he's also a freakin' genius. Indulge in the almost 40 pop-rock tunes on this trio of discs; there's not a bad one in the bunch, and many are simply wonderful. Manning explores sounds, harmonies, moods, choruses and anything else that will make your ears rip themselves off your head and charge with the giddy delight of puppies.

— Rick Koster

Stream tip

David Foster: Off the Record


Does legendary music producer David Foster try to portray himself as a nice person in this documentary or to ingratiate himself with the audience? Not in the least. Foster remains emotionally remote and defiantly arrogant in this 2019 film. It’s a fascinating character study, as his family (his adult daughters and his current wife, Katharine McPhee) and his singing discoveries (Michael Buble, Josh Groban) acknowledge Foster’s shortcomings but also express their admiration and love for him. Best of all is hearing details about his producing decades of blockbusters, most notably “The Bodyguard” soundtrack.

— Kristina Dorsey

Food tip

Mystic Market-style Cuban sandwich

Mystic Market Old Saybrook

The requisites of an authentic Cuban are fairly well known: roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, yellow mustard grilled in panini fashion. This is such a magnificent creation that, if you were in another time and place, you could be burned at the stake for heresy if you mess with this formula. Fortunately, we live in enlightened times — well, maybe not — but we are grateful for the Old Saybrook location of Mystic Market for their subtle but very cool twists to the Cuban. They ask, "What if we put everything on a po' boy-style loaf of French bread and use dijon mustard instead of yellow?" Not only is this NOT heresy, it's sort of epiphanic! And it's a giant production and very reasonable at $8.50.

— Rick Koster



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