Satriani Releases New Career-Spanning Box Set

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Joe Satriani released today a brand new box set.

Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings is a 15-disc box set containing each of Satriani’s records to date. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HZ2M5KE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00HZ2M5KE&linkCode=as2&tag=legacy_recordings-20. It is also available as a collectible limited edition USB drive that can be purchased via Satriani’s official website, http://www.satriani.com. The USB drive is available in a 24-bit/96kHz “High Resolution Audio.” The HRA USB drive audio is as close as fans will ever come to the early ½” analog masters and later high sample rate digital masters. That’s because the HRA has higher bandwidth, wider dynamic range, greater detail, and more depth than a conventional CD.

Satriani will be on The Arsenio Hall Show tonight as part of his promotional tour. He will sit in with Hall’s house band. And tomorrow, April 23rd, he will be the featured guest on Rockline with host Bob Coburn, promoting both his new box set and his new book, Strange Beautiful Music. Audiences can find when and on which station they can catch Satch’s interview at http://www.rocklineradio.com/affiliates.php. Fans can also check out his appearance on the season finale of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show. Fans can check out that episode online now at http://www.vh1.com/video/that-metal-show/full-episodes/joe-satriani/1725085/playlist.jhtml.

Along with his on-air presence, Joe is featured in the “Life” section of today’s edition of USA Today. Fans can check out the article online at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/04/21/joe-satriani-box-set-autobiography/7476617/. He is also featured on the cover of Guitar World magazine alongside fellow guitar god and Black Label Society front man Zakk Wylde. Fans can check that out at http://www.guitarworld.com/may-2014-guitar-world-zakk-wylde-joe-satriani-how-build-pedal-board-john-frusciante-death-angel-tabs-lessons-and-more.

The complete album listing for Satch’s new box set is noted below:

Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings includes:

1986  Not of This Earth

1987  Surfing with the Alien

1989  Flying in a Blue Dream

1992  The Extremist

1993  Time Machine

1995  Joe Satriani

1998  Crystal Planet

2000  Engines of Creation

2002  Strange Beautiful Music

2004  Is There Love in Space?

2006  Super Colossal

2008  Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock

2010  Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards

2013  Unstoppable Momentum

2014 Additional Creations and Bonus Tracks

More information on Satriani’s new box set, book, tour news and more is available online at http://www.satriani.com and http://www.facebook.com/joesatriani. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ABKCO Announces New Trio Of “Clearly Classic” Re-Issues

Courtesy:  ABKCO

Courtesy: ABKCO

ABKCO has announced that it will release three more classic Rolling Stones records to its “Clearly Classic” vinyl series this year.

ABKCO’s “Clearly Classic” started in 2013.It has added to that series of releases Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!: The Rolling Stones in Concert, 12X5, and Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2).The new re-issues join ABKCO’s previously released Rolling Stones “Clearly Classic” re-issues Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, and Hot Rocks:1964 1971.
 
Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!The Rolling Stones in Concert has the honor of being the first live album by any artist to have reached #1 on the UK charts.The concert on this re-issue was recorded at New York’s Madison Square Garden over the course of November 27thand 28th, 1969 and was the first to feature guitarist Mick Taylor.It is considered the best of the Rolling Stones’ live releases to date.The most notable performance on this recording is the band’s nine-plus minute rendition of ‘Midnight Rambler.’This record can be pre-ordered now online at http://smarturl.it/YaYasLP.
 
12X5 was the Stones’ second full length U.S. release.This album, released in October 1964, combines the band’s EP Five By Five and its singles ‘It’s All Over Now’ and ‘Time Is On My Side’ as well as their B-sides.The record also features three more tracks that would go on to be included in the Stones’second UK full length album The Rolling Stones No. 2.The upcoming “Clearly Classic” re-issue of this album is based on the original mono mix of the album.It can be pre-ordered now online at http://smarturl.it/12x5LP.
 
Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2) is the second of The Rolling Stones’ compilation albums.It was originally released in September 1969.The first of the Stones’compilations was titled Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass).Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2) reached #2 both in the U.S. and UK upon its original release.It includes a number of the Rolling Stones’greatest and most beloved songs including: ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’,Let’s Spend the Night Together’ and ‘Honky Tonk Woman.’Fans will appreciate that even in its re-issue, ABKCO has maintained the original album’s octagonal packaging.Inside the packaging, audiences will find a poem penned by Brian Jones who would pass away only two months before the original release of this album.Jones’ poem is below.This re-issue can be pre-ordered now online at http://smarturl.it/TTPDVinyl.
When this you see, remember me,
and bear me in your mind.
Let all the world say what they may,
speak of me as you find.
 
The track listing for each of the three upcoming “Clearly Classic” Rolling Stones re-issues is listed below.
 
Track Listings:
Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert
Side 1
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Carol
Stray Cat Blues
Love in Vain
Midnight Rambler
Side 2
Sympathy For the Devil
Live With Me
Little Queenie
Honky Tonk Women
Street Fighting Man
12 X 5
Side 1
Around and Around
Confessin’ the Blues
Empty Heart
Time Is on My Side
Good Times, Bad Times
It’s All Over Now
Side 2
2120 South Michigan Avenue
Under the Boardwalk
Congratulations
Grown Up Wrong
If You Need Me
Susie Q
Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2)
Side 1
Ruby Tuesday
She’s A Rainbow
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Mother’s Little Helper
Let’s Spend the Night Together
Side 2
Honky Tonk Women
Dandelion
2000 Light Years from Home
Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Street Fighting Man

More information on The Rolling Stones is available online at http://www.facebook.com/therollingstones,http://www.rollingstones.com and http://twitte.com/rollingstones.To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicksand “Like” it.Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NHRA Heads To Texas This Weekend

Courtesy:  NHRA

Courtesy: NHRA

The Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series heads to the Lone Star State this weekend.

The Mello Yellow NHRA Drag Racing Series heads from the famed four-wide lanes of Z-Max Dragway to the Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, Texas this weekend for the annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring National presented by Super Start Batteries. ESPN3 will carry qualifying live Friday, April 15th at 7:30pm and Final Eliminations Sunday, April 27th at Noon. ESPN2 will rebroadcast qualifying Saturday, April 26th at 6pm and Final Eliminations Sunday, April 27th at 7pm.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro-Stock), and Andrew Hines all look to extend their leads in their respective division. Dave Rieff will have the call from the booth for this weekend’s races. He will be joined by Make Dunn for more insight on each matchup.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NHRA is available online at espn.go.comracing. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Classic Cartoon’s First Proper Release Is A Joy For Audiences Of All Ages

Courtesy:  Mill Creek Entertainment

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

Dennis The Menace is one of the most beloved characters in the history of America’s various entertainment mediums. Any number of newspapers still proudly run the famed comic strip every day. At least two movies have been crafted based on Dennis The Menace. And even the original live action, black-and-white series has received a proper release over the course of four separate box sets courtesy of Shout! Factory. Certain TV stations even still run that series every day. One of those networks is one that goes by the name of Antenna TV. Yes, that’s a cheap pop for that network. For all of the love that Dennis The Menace has continued to receive today, there is one part of this classic character’s life that has never received proper treatment. That part of his life is the animated series, which ran from 1986 – 1988. Various companies have released bits and pieces of the animated series. But it hasn’t been until this year that it has received a proper release. That is thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment. Mill Creek Entertainment released on March 11th, Dennis The Menace: Volume One on DVD. This set is everything that the show’s now grown up fans have wanted for so many years. Of the series’ seventy-eight total episodes, this collection of episodes boasts thirty-three full length episodes. That’s nearly half of the series’ episodes. Making the set even more impressive is that not only does it boast almost half of the series’ episodes, a close look reveals that the order of episodes in the set was taken directly from the original series. This is a very important part of the success of the set. And last but definitely not least in the triple-disc set is the quality of the footage. The footage still looks as good as it did in its original broadcast nearly three decades ago. These three factors combine to make Dennis The Menace: Volume One among the year’s best new home releases for children and families.

Various companies have tried their hand at releasing bits and pieces of Dennis The Menace: The Animated Series ever since the show went off the air in 1988. Different episodes have seen the light of day on both VHS and DVD before the release of Dennis The Menace: Volume One. None of those releases were anywhere near the level of this collection of episodes. This is the most complete collection of episodes that the series has ever seen. There has been one release in particular that tried to pass off a small handful of episodes as more than it really was, essentially deceiving customers. Applause goes to Mill Creek for not doing the same thing. Mill Creek has in fact released thirty-three episodes from the original seventy-eight in their entirety. The company didn’t just toss in a bunch of shorts and try to call them episodes. They actually presented thirty-three complete episodes to comprise the triple-disc set.

The inclusion of thirty-three complete episodes in Dennis The Menace: Volume One is the tip of the proverbial iceberg for this set. Audiences will appreciate that those episodes included in the set are presented in precise chronological order from the original schedule of episodes. It would have been so easy for Mill Creek to just assemble episodes from the series’ two seasons at random. That’s precisely what far too many companies do with their releases today. Mill Creek didn’t go that route, though. Its people actually showed respect for the show’s fans by presenting the first thirty-three episodes as they originally aired. As rare as this is for some indie companies to do, it’s nice to see that Mill Creek has done just that in this case. It makes this set all the more enjoyable for fans.

That Mill Creek has presented the episodes in exactly the same chronological order in which they originally aired is a major bonus for Dennis The Menace: Volume One. That this set contains nearly half of the series episodes in their entirety is just as much of a bonus for viewers. There is one remaining factor to the set that audiences will appreciate. That final factor is the quality of the footage presented. Nearly four decades have passed since Dennis The Menace: The Animated Series originally aired. Technology has changed a lot since then. So it’s nice to see that the show’s original tapes have stood the test of time so well. Even nicer to see is the care that was taken in transferring the original tapes to DVD. The coloring in each episode is as bright today as it was nearly three decades ago. And the sound is just as high quality. Both the audio and video quality of the transfer is impressive. Their quality proves that those at Mill Creek took their jobs seriously in presenting the best possible product to fans of this modern classic. And together with the episodes included in the set, it makes the set complete. It makes this one of the best new releases of the year for children and families.  Here’s to hoping that when and if Mill Creek releases the series’ remaining episodes, they will be just as much of a joy.

Dennis The Menace: Volume One is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from Mill Creek Entertainment online at http://www.millcreekdirect.com/dennis-the-menace-volume-one-33-episodes.html.  More information on this and other releases from Mill Creek is available online at http://www.millcreekent.com and http://www.facebook.com/MillCreekEnt. 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 http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NNS Back Under The Lights This Weekend At RIR

Courtesy:  NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

Courtesy: NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series is back under the lights again this weekend.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will hit the track Friday night at Richmond International for the Toyotacare 250. JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliot currently leads teammate Regan Smith by thirteen points. He will look to extend that lead when he and the rest of the field take the green flag at 7:14pm ET on ESPNNEWS. NASCAR Countdown opens the night’s broadcast at 6:30pm ET on ESPNNEWS.  ESPN2 will carry live qualifying for Friday night’s race at 3:30pm ET.

Nicole Briscoe will anchor Saturday evening’s broadcast of NASCAR Countdown. Allen Bestwick will have lap-by-lap coverage of the race. He will be joined by analysts Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree for all of the action.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Royal Blood Ready To Break Out In America On Its New EP

British rock two-piece Royal Blood has on its hands what is now one of this critic’s favorite new EPs of 2014 and potentially the best new EP of the year. The four-track disc is the duo’s—Michael Kerr (bass/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums)—first ever EP and second overall release. Most American audiences likely haven’t heard this duo’s work yet. Although, it has broken out in a big way on MTV Europe thanks to its new EP. And it’s about to break out here stateside, too thanks to the record in question. The EP opens in grand fashion with its bombastic title track. From there, the duo ups the ante on ‘Little Monster.’ As if the EP’s first two tracks weren’t enough, Kerr and Thatcher amp things up even more on the EP’s third song, ‘Come on Over’ before pulling back a little bit at best on ‘Hole,’ the EP’s closer. Listeners that are new to Royal Blood will agree in hearing this new EP that Kerr and Thatcher have hit on something special. The duo has crafted in Out of the Black an EP that is one of the best new EPs of 2014 if not the best of the year. It leaves listeners wanting more in the best possible way. And with any lucky, Royal Blood will in fact release its next full length album this year after having released such an impressive work on this record. Regardless, it is one more of those records that any rock purist should hear at least once before 2014 winds down.

Royal Blood’s new EP Out of the Black is without a doubt one of the best new EPs of 2014 if not the single best new EP of the year. The duo makes its case for that title right from the EP’s outset. The EP’s opener/title track is a bombastic first impression from Kerr and Thatcher. The massive wall of sound generated by the pair instantly conjures thoughts of Clutch, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and others of that ilk. Kerr’s vocals are just as much a powerhouse as the music crafted by himself and Thatcher as he sings in the song’s chorus, “You made a fool out of me/You took the skin off my back running/So don’t breath when I talk/Cause you have been spoken to/I got a gun for a mouth/And a bullet with your name on it/But a trigger full of heartbeat/I’m pulling from an empty pocket.” The video for this song is actually available now online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_3mNCaJgNM. So audiences can check out the song’s pure immensity in the combination of its music and vocals.

The title track to Out of the Black makes quite the first impression for Royal Blood on this release. But Kerr and Thatcher don’t rest easily on their laurels. The pair steps things up even more as it transitions into the EP’s second song, ‘Little Monster.’ This song is another impressive addition to OOTB not just because of the song’s power and energy, but also because it has a certain swagger mixed into the song’s overall feel. That swagger works just as well with the song’s overall sludge rock feel as it does with the song’s lyrics. Audiences will be able to hear that as Kerr sings, “I got love on my fingers/Lust on my tongue/You say you got nothing/So come out and get some/Heartache to heartache/I’m your wolf/I’m your man/I say run little monster/Before you know who I am.” Even more interesting in this song is the New Jack Swing beat of sorts played by Thatcher against the harder edged sound of Kerr’s playing. Somehow, the two parts meld together although one wouldn’t generally think that they would. As with the EP’s opener, this song also has a companion video that can be viewed online now. So audiences can hear the song and hear that massive sound for themselves when they check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ere2Mstl8ww.

As if the seemingly untamed energy generated by ‘Out of the Black’ and ‘Little Monster’ wasn’t enough for audiences, Kerr and Thatcher keep things moving on the EP’s third song, ‘Come on Over.’ This song is another full on piece that is sure to impress listeners. Kerr sings on this song, “Let’s run away/Get out of here/I got no money/And I don’t care/This ain’t my house/This ain’t your home/Not when I’m feeling this alone.” This is an interesting chorus, lyrically speaking. It seems to reflect a certain negative energy felt by perhaps a broken home of sorts. One wonders even more about this as Kerr sings later in the song, “I’m on a train going nowhere/I ran away to make you care/This ain’t my house/This ain’t your home/Not when I’m feeling this alone.” If this is one of those standard songs of self-denial and doubt, the musical side of the song doesn’t reflect that vibe. Hearing lyrics like those noted here, one would expect a musical side from the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Staind or others. But instead , the song’s musical side presents more of a self-determined vibe. It makes for quite the contradiction. And that contradiction makes the song all the more interesting. Audiences can check out an in-studio performance of this song online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlSAjp-XaTo. So as with the previously noted songs, audiences can hear this song for themselves and heard that musical contradiction of moods that makes it yet another welcome addition to OOTB.

‘Hole’ the final piece on Royal Blood’s new EP bears much the same contradiction as ‘Come on Over.’ Yet what’s truly interesting about this piece is not so much the contradiction of the music and lyrics, but the musicianship of Kerr and Thatcher. Kerr’s ability to take a bass guitar and make it sound just like a standard guitar is incredible. Typically when one thinks of a bass player, one thinks of a figure slightly out of the limelight that essentially keeps time with the drummer. Kerr has broken that mold here. The things that he does with his instrument are simply incredible. Thatcher adds even more power to the song with his ability to mix some tough polyrhythmic patterns with straight forward time keeping all while balancing the two makes the song even better. Listeners can hear this musicianship for themselves when they check out an in-studio performance of this one online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkhQmzJ_qnk.

Whether it be for ‘Hole’, ‘Come On Over’ ‘Little Monster’ or Out of the Black’s title track, or even for all four of the songs, this EP is far more than deserving of being called one of the year’s best new EPs if not the best new EP of 2014. Audiences will agree with that sentiment when they order the duo’s new EP for themselves and after hearing the songs online. Out of the Black can be downloaded now via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/out-of-the-black-ep/id834515548?wmgref=http%3A%2F%2Fl.facebook.com%2Fl.php%3Fu%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fsmarturl.it%252FiRoyalBlood%26h%3D2AQHetLsO%26s%3D1&ign-mpt=uo%3D4. Fans in Bourges, France will be able to hear Royal Blood’s new music live when it performs at Printemps this Thursday, April 24th. From there, the duo will play a handful of dates before coming to the U.S. for three dates before heading back to Europe to finish off its Summer tour. Fans can keep up with Royal Blood’s most current tour dates and news online at http://www.facebook.com/RoyalBloodUK.

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 http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Phil’s Picks Honoring Moms & Dads With Special Giveaway

May and June are two of the most important months of the year every year.  That’s because mothers and fathers across the country are honored by their families over the course of those two months.  In celebration of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Phil’s Picks has a special way for YOU the reader to honor your parents.

Each week through May and June, YOU the reader can get a chance to win a prize of YOUR choice courtesy of Phil’s Picks.  Throughout May, you can win a prize of yourchoice simply mailing your favorite story of how yourmother has impacted your life in a positive way.  You can e-mail your stories to sayblack@yahoo.com for yourchance at a prize of your choice.  If your story is chosen at random, you’ll get to choose a prize of your own from the list below.  The same will apply for stories about fathers throughout June.  The list of prizes from which you can choose is below.

PHIL’S PICKS MOTHERS DAY/FATHERS DAY 2014 GIVEAWAY
DVDS/BLU-RAYS
1) Aerosmith: Rock for the Rising Sun (Blu-ray)

2) After Newtown: Guns in America

3) America’s National Parks: An Eagle’s View (Blu-ray)

4) America Revealed (DVD)

5) The Angry Beavers: Season 2 Part2 (DVD)

6) Amish Shunned, The (DVD)

7) Battle for Brooklyn (DVD)

8) Beautiful Planet: France & Italy (Blu-ray)

9) Beautiful Planet: Spain & Portugal (Blu-ray)

10) Bee Gees, The: One Night Only (Blu-ray)

11) Before & After (Blu-ray)

12) Bella Sara: Emma’s Wings (DVD)

13) Beverly Hills Teens: Volume 1 (DVD)

14) Black Limousine (DVD)

15) Blancanieves (DVD)

16) Born Yesterday (Blu-ray)

17) Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts—Live at Montreux 2013 (Blu-ray/CD Combo Pack)

18) Bully (DVD)

19) The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Favorites (DVD)

20) The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups (DVD)

21) Case of You, A (Blu-ray)

22) CeeLo Green: Loberace Live in Vegas (Blu-ray)

23) Chasing Madoff (Blu-ray)

24) Citizen Gangster (DVD)

25) Cold Warriors: Wolves & Buffalo (DVD)

26) Collaborator (Blu-ray)

27) Cook’s Country: Season 5 (DVD – 2 copies)

28) Cosmopolis (Blu-ray)

29) Craft in America: Crossroads (DVD)

30) Craft inAmerica: Holiday (DVD)

31) Danny Phantom: Season 2 Part 1 (DVD)

32) Danny Phantom: Season 2 Part 2 (DVD)

33) Dark Horse (Blu-ray)

34) Dealin’ With Idiots (DVD)

35) D.O.A. (Blu-ray)

36) Dragon (Blu-ray)

37) Drunkboat (DVD)

38) The Duellists (Blu-ray)

39) Duets (Blu-ray)

40) Earth From Above (Blu-ray)

41) Fabric of the Cosmos, The (DVD)

42) Frank Zappa: A Token of his Extreme (DVD)

43) Fred Won’t Move Out (DVD)

44)Frontline: Endgame—Aids in Black America (DVD)

45) Frontline: League of Denial—The NFL’s Concussion Crisis (DVD)

46) Gone Fishin’ (Blu-ray)

47) The Grand Duel/Kemoa dual movie set (Blu-ray)

48) Harland Williams: A Force of Nature (DVD)

49) Haunter (Blu-ray)

50) Hearts Afire: The Complete Series (DVD)

51) Heineken Kidnapping, The (Blu-ray)

52) Here’s Edie (DVD)

53) High School (DVD)

54) Holy Man (Blu-ray)

55) How to Survive a Plague (DVD)

56) In Fear (Blu-ray)

57) Iron Sky (Blu-ray)

58) Iron Sky: Director’s Cut (Blu-ray/DVD combo Pack)

59) Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (DVD)

60) Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors: Season 2 (DVD)

61) John Wayne: In Action (DVD)

62) John Wayne: In The Saddle (DVD)

63) Jon Lord: Concerto for Group & Orchestra(Blu-ray/CD combo pack)

64) Lay The Favorite (Blu-ray)

65) Last Fall, The (DVD)

66) Last Will. And Testament (DVD)

67) Liberal Arts (Blu-ray)

68) Little White Lies (Blu-ray)

69) Lord of the Dance (DVD)

70) Mama’s Family Season 1 (DVD)

71) Mama’s Family Season 2 (DVD)

72) Mama’s Family Season 3 (DVD)

73) Maximum Conviction (Blu-ray/DVD combo pack)

74) Mia and the Migoo (DVD)

75) Mike and the Mechanics & Paul Carrack: Live @ Shepherd’s Bush London (Blu-ray)

76) Mr. Wrong (Blu-ray)

77) Morning (DVD)

78) Morrisey: 25 Live (Blu-ray)

79) National Parks Exploration Series: Grand Canyon (Blu-ray)

80) National Parks Exploration Series: Yosemite (Blu-ray)

81) Nature: Magic of the Snowy Owl (DVD)

82) Nature: Siberian Tiger Quest (DVD)

83) Neil Sedaka: The Show Goes On Live @ The Royal Albert Hall (Blu-ray/CD)

84) Nova: Secrets of the Sun (DVD)

85) OMD Live: Architecture & Morality & More (Blu-ray)

86) Omnibus: Gene Kelly—Dancing, A Man’s Game (DVD)

87) On The Road (Blu-ray)

88) Other Son, The (Blu-ray)

89) Patti Smith: Live @ Montreux 2005 (Blu-ray)

90) Paul Rodriguez: Just for the Record (DVD)

91) Pawn (Blu-ray)

92) Perfect Understanding (Blu-ray)

93) Peter Frampton: Live in Detroit (Blu-ray)

94) Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live (Blu-ray)

95) Peter Gabriel: So—The Definitive Authorized Story of the Album (Blu-ray)

96) PGA: Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament

97) Pink Floyd: The Story of Wish You Were Here (Blu-ray)

98) Portlandia: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

99) Produced by George Martin (DVD)

100) Richard Thompson Band, The: Live @ Celtic Connections

101) Ray Romano: 95 Miles to Go (DVD)

102) Rock and Bullwinkle & Friends: Complete Season 1

103) Samaritan, The (Blu-ray)

104) Sapphire & Steel: The Complete Series (DVD)

105) Save the Date (DVD/CD Soundtrack)

106) Saving the Ocean With Carl Safina: Season 1 (DVD)

107) Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden (Blu-ray)

108) Secrets of Highclere Castle (DVD)

109) Shark Divers (Blu-ray)

110) Shelter Me (DVD)

111) Simply Red: Live @ Montreux 2003

112) Sleepwalk With Me (Blu-ray)

113) Special Forces (Blu-ray/DVD)

114) Staind: Live at the Mohegan Sun (Blu-ray/CD)

115) Storming Juno (DVD)

116) Stray Cats: Live @ Montreux 1981

117) Street Sharks: The Complete Series (DVD)

118) Styx: the Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight Live(Blu-ray/CD)

119) Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad Volume 1 (DVD)

120) Sweeney, The (DVD)

121) Syria: Behind The Lines

122) Terminal Velocity (Blu-ray)

123) Touchback (Blu-ray/DVD combo pack)

124) 3rd Rock From The Sun: Season 1 (DVD)

125) 3rd Rock From The Sun: Season 2 (DVD)

126) 3rd Rock From The Sun: Season 3 (DVD)

127) 3rd Rock From The Sun: Season 4 (DVD)

128) 3rd Rock From The Sun: Season 5 (DVD)

129) 3rd Rock From The Sun: Season 6 (DVD)

130) To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey (DVD)

131) Trouble in the Heights (DVD)

132) Trouble With Bliss, The (DVD)

133) Twisted Sister: A Twisted X-Mas: Live in Las Vegas

134) UB40 Live at Montreux 2002 (Blu-ray)

135) Universe, The: The Complete Season 6 (Blu-ray)

136) Veggietales: The Penniless Princess

137) Wacky World of Tex Avery, The: Volume 1 (DVD)

138) White Squall (Blu-ray)

139) Wiggles, The: Big Birthday (DVD)

140) Wild Kratts: Lost at Sea (DVD)

141) WordWorld: To The Rescue

142) Your Sister’s Sister (Blu-ray)

CDs
1) All Time Low—Dirty Work

2) Annihilator—Feast

3) Beatallica—Abbey Load

4) Bob Schneider—A Perfect Day

5) Breathe Carolina—Hell Is What You Make It

6) Bush–The Sea of Memories

7) Crowbar—Sever The Wicked Hand

8) Dangerous Summer, The—War Paint

9) Dave Matthews Band–Before These Crowded Streets

10) Dave Matthews Band–Stand Up

11) Dave Matthews Band–Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King

12) Dave Matthews Band–Away From The World

13) Darkest Hour—The Human Romance

14) Derek Sherinian—Black Utopia

15) Devin Townsend Project–Ghost

16) Devin Townsend Project–Deconstruction

17) Device–Device (Edited Edition)

18) Divided By Friday—Prove It

19) English Beat, The—Keep The Beat: The Very Best of the English Beat

20) Foreigner—Alive & Rockin’

21) Glasscloud—The Royal Thousand

22) High on Fire—Snakes for the Divine

23) James Durbin–Memories of a Beautiful Disaster

24) Janus—Nox Aeris

25) Joe Grushecky–Somewhere East of Eden

26) Kittie—I’ve Failed You

27) Laura Wilde—Sold My Soul

28) Marillion—Sounds That Can’t Be Made

29) Marillion—Sounds That Can’t Be Made (Deluxe Edition)

30) Matt Skiba & The Sekrets—Babylon

31) Ministry—Enjoy The Quiet: Live at Wacken 2012

32) Nils Lofgren–Old School

33) Peter Gabriel—Live Blood

34) Robert Lamm Songs—The JVE ReMixes

35) Ronnie Montrose–Bearings

36) Roy Orbison—In Dreams: Greatest Hits

37) Saga–Spin It Again! Live In Munich

38) Saving Abel—Bringing Down the Giants

39) Shadidah Omar—Freedom

40) Staind—Live From Mohegan Sun

41) Theory of a Deadman—The Truth Is

42) There For Tomorrow—The Verge

43) Throwdown—Deathless

44) The Winery Dogs–The WInery Dogs (Deluxe Edition)

45) Soundtrack—West of Memphis: Voices for Justice

46) Soundtrack—World’s End, The

Carey & Sample’s New Collaboration Is A Beautiful Collection Of Songs

Courtesy:  Groundloop Records

Courtesy: Groundloop Records

‘Til The Morning, the new album from singers Edie Carey and Sarah Sample, is a good collection of songs for any parents out there with young children. The fourteen-song album is a gentle ride that will easily put any young infant or toddler to sleep and carry them on…well…’til the morning. The album’s collection of covers and original songs will entertain parents just as much as they will younger listeners. As a matter of fact, each song is so well done that some older listeners might find themselves getting teary as the album progresses. They will find themselves getting teary not out of sadness but out of the tenderness in the duo’s delivery of each song. It all starts with the duo’s cover of The Dixie Chicks’ aptly titled song ‘Lullaby.’ Sarah Sample’s original ‘North Star’ is another wonderfully moving addition to the album. And those looking for a true tear jerker will love the album’s closer, ‘Now The Day is Over.’ These three songs represent only a small portion of what the Carey and Sample have to offer on their new collaboration. Every listener will find something to appreciate across the course of the album’s fourteen total songs. After hearing each of those songs, it will be agreed that this is an album that any parent will want to have for their child.

Edie Carey and Sarah Sample’s cover of The Dixie Chicks’ ‘Lullaby’ is a fitting opener for the duo’s new collaboration. That’s primarily because it mirrors so well the album’s subtitle, Lullabies And Songs of Comfort. The gentle strains of the guitar set alongside the equally soft vocals as one of the women sings, “They didn’t have you where I come from/Never knew the best was yet to come/And life began when I saw your face/And I hear your laugh/Like a serenade is a near musical mirror image of the Dixie Chicks’ original song. That makes the song all the more moving for any parent. It will have any parent remembering their own child’s younger days even when the child/children is/are still young. And any parent that isn’t brought to tears from that alone simply has no heart.

Carey and Sample could not have chosen a better way to open their new collaboration than with a cover of The Dixie Chicks’ ‘Lullaby.’ It was the perfect way to set the tone for the album. Another equally moving addition to the album is an original written by Sarah Sample called ‘North Star.’ This piece is a little more upbeat than the album’s opener. But that same gentility is there. The manner in which it is performed makes it so easy to see any mother singing this song to her child. Sample writes in the song’s opening verse, “Hush now/Be still/Lay down your sweet head/Soon you’ll be moving/Mountains instead/You shine so bright/In my arms this night/You are my north/My little north star.” Whether it is her or Carey singing is beside the point. It is again that feeling of pure love and devotion to one’s child that makes the song so moving. And it’s that same moving emotion created by the song that once again will leave any parent tearing up once again.

The third example that helps to best show why any parent would benefit from picking up ‘Til The Morning is the album’s closer, ‘Now The Day is Over.’ Sample and Carey sing this piece together. The two-part harmony on this piece adds a certain added emotion as the duo sings, “Now the day is over/Night is drawing nigh/Shadows of the evening/Steal across the sky. Those that are familiar with children’s nursery rhymes will recognize this piece. It’s just been put to music here. There’s almost a semi-Celtic feel about it in this presentation. It’s almost haunting the effect that their combined vocals has. It is the perfect closer to this album. Of course it isn’t the last good example of why parents will appreciate this record. There are eleven more tracks on the disc from which parents can choose as their own examples. Parents will be able to hear those other eleven songs when the album is made available Tuesday, June 10th on Groundloop Records. It will be available online at http://www.ediecarey.com, http://www.sarahsample.com, http://www.amazon.com, http://www.cdbaby.com, iTunes and other online outlets.  The duo will head out on the road after the album drops beginning June 18th in New York City. Audiences can go to both women’s websites to check out the duo’s most current tour schedule.

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 http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mr. Selfridge Is Even Better Than Before In Its Second Season

Courtesy: PBS/ITV Studios

Courtesy: PBS/ITV Studios

PBS’ British import Mr. Selfridge came as quite the surprise hit in its first season. There were those that expressed some uncertainty about the show, arguing that it was just PBS and it capitalizing on the success of Downton Abbey. The reality is that Mr. Selfridge is absolutely nothing like that program. As a matter of fact, Mr. Selfridge showed throughout its first season that it actually surpasses Downton Abbey. That’s thanks to a combination of solid writing and acting along with equally impressive production values in front of and behind the cameras. Season Two has already wrapped overseas and work on Season Three is underway. In the meantime, PBS will release Season Two of Mr. Selfridge on DVD and Blu-ray April 29th. It goes without saying that the second season of Mr. Selfridge continues that high standard established in the series’ first season. The show’s writers step things up in Season Two, incorporating more drama and even a certain amount of comedy that audiences are certain to appreciate. The acting on the part of the show’s cast is just as solid as ever, too. This includes the new additions to the cast this season. And the period attire and settings are right on par with the changed times, too. Each factor alone is important to the success of this season of Mr. Selfridge. Together though, they make the series’ second season even more impressive than the first.

The writing behind the second season of Mr. Selfridge is the most important factor in this season’s success. The series’ first season was centered primarily on establishing the series’ cast and their relationships. This season offers far more in terms of story lines. Selfridge’s and Mr. Selfridge himself have been caught up in World War I. The result is scandal that takes viewers right up to the season’s finale. The result of the scandal is a much more focused figure in Henry. Henry’s relationship with his wife Rose seems to be better. In fact, she even takes a more active role in the operations of Selfridge’s. That increased role leads to some wonderfully entertaining moments that are certain to have audiences laughing. Some of those moments are linked to the ongoing battle of the sexes. They are both still quite relevant to viewers today, just in a different way. Things in the store have changed a bit, too. One romance blooms while another takes a dramatic turn. Some employees leave while another returns. The store has a new weasel by the name of Mr. Thackery (Cal Macaninch). He looks and acts the part, too. His was an excellent addition as his almost childish behavior will lead to just as much laughter as anger. That’s because everyone knows someone or has known someone in their daily lives just like Mr. Thackery. Lord Loxley (Aidan McArdle) creates his own havoc for Harry along the way, too. And a surprise health diagnosis for Rose makes things even more interesting. These are just some of the many storylines that take place in Season Two. There are far more that viewers will enjoy when they purchase Season Two for themselves. With all of this going on, one would think it would be easy for the writing to get caught up in itself and get muddied. But somehow, the series’ writers managed to balance everything and even make each storyline play into the other to create one whole. That balance creates a whole that will keep audiences watching with as much fervor as any drama out there today British or American.

Those charged with crafting the scripts for each episode of Mr. Selfridge’s second season handled their duties quite well. Their ability to interweave this season’s various storylines with so much ease is the primary reason that this season is even better than the show’s first. Just as important as the series’ writing is the acting on the part of the cast. This is a direct link to the writing. The cast from the series’ first season is back. And only minimal additions have been made to the show’s cast lineup. Whether new or more experienced, the show’s entire cast does an outstanding job of interpreting each script. The cast together manages to pull in audiences and make them feel like they are actually part of the story unlike certain other dramas wherein audiences know they are watching a story unfold. And because Harry has to take a business trip at one point in the season, it allows the rest of the cast to shine. They do that and more. The cast doesn’t present that stereotypical image that so many people have of characters in British dramas. Rather, they actually present an image of being everyday people just trying to make it through another day. So kudos are in high order for the cast this season. Having examined the writing and acting undertaken for the second season of Mr. Selfridge, the only remaining logical point to examine in this season is the collective attire and settings.

The attire and settings are right on par with the times in Season Two. Season Two takes place at the start of World War I. The women’s attire especially shows the coordination with the times. There are some flappers starting to show up among some women. Even the British military uniform matches the times. And there is even a discussion between certain characters regarding the boots used by the British troops. Audiences see one of those boots, rather than hear about them. It’s nice to see the painstaking efforts of those behind the scenes to make even such minutia work in conjunction with the changing times in the story. It’s one more element that makes this season so enjoyable. On the side of the settings, audiences will appreciate how the writers incorporated Selfridge’s and the war into each other. Audiences see the British union jack throughout the store as Britain enters the war. And while audiences never really see any of it, the writers include the removal of all German goods from the store shelves. Indirectly speaking, this is part of the setting, too. It’s just an indirect part of the setting. But it still counts. And because of that, it makes this aspect of Season Two even richer.

Whether one admires mostly the settings and attire, the acting, the writing, or all three together, every bit of what went into the second season of Mr. Selfridge made this season work. It all came together to make this season even better than the first. Even more so, it all went a long way toward making Mr. Selfridge even better than Downtown Abbey. And that is saying something. Anyone that has seen the series’ first season but not yet this season will agree that this season is an important turning point for this series and a must see for anyone wanting to see how a drama is done right. It will be available in stores and online on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, April 29th. It can be ordered direct via the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=32224976&cp=3529703.20384186&ab=Aspot_Selfridge2&parentPage=family.

More information on Mr. Selfridge is available online at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mr-Selfridge/303888089680606. To keep up with the latest 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 http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Early Neutral Site Broadcast Schedule For 2014 College Football Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced this week, the broadcast schedule for five neutral site college football games that will open the 2014 season. The network’s neutral site schedule kicks off Thursday, August 28th with the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game featuring Boise State and Ole Miss on ESPN. It also includes games featuring five teams ranked in an early ESPN.com pre-season Top 25 poll for 2014. Those games will be broadcast Saturday, August 30th. ABC will carry two of those games in a double header featuring No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Alabama. ESPN will carry a matchup of No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 13 LSU. And ESPN2 will carry No. 24 Central Florida’s game in Dublin, Ireland.

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s College Football Top 25 Pre-season poll can be viewed online at http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10414082/alabama-crimson-tide-win-recruiting-war-moves-latest-way-too-early-top-25.

ESPN’s 2014 season kicks off Saturday, August 23rd on ESPN’s new FCS Kickoff at 3:30pm ET on ESPN. It will feature a matchup of Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington. The network’s schedule ends with the new College Football Playoff Championship game live from Arlington, Texas on Monday, January 12th on ESPN. The current list of ESPN and ABC’s neutral site games is listed below. More games will be announced in the coming months.

2014 Neutral Site Schedule (as of April 16)

 

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Aug 28 8 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Boise State vs. Ole Miss ESPN
Sat, Aug 30 8:30 a.m. 2014 Croke Park Classic: Penn State vs. No. 24 Central Florida * ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama ABC and ESPN2
  8 p.m. Cowboys Classic: No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State ABC
  9 p.m. AdvoCare Texas Kickoff: No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU ESPN

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the 2014 College Football Season in available online at http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN, http://espn.go.com/ncf/index and http://twitter.com/espncfb. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.   Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.