ESPN Announces Coverage Details For 2014 MLB All-Star Game, Gillette Home Run Derby

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Good news for baseball fans. Fans that won’t be able to catch next week’s MLB All-Star Game on television will still be able to catch the game on the radio thanks to ESPN.

ESPN Radio will carry this year’s MLB All-Star Game live next Tuesday, July 15th. This year’s broadcast marks the network’s seventeenth consecutive year of broadcasting Major League Baseball’s “Mid-Summer Classic.” ESPN Radio’s coverage of this year’s All-Star game begins Tuesday evening at 7pm ET. ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball duo of Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will have the call. They will be joined by on-site studio host Marc Kestecher and reporters Peter Pascarelli and Tim Kurkjian.

Along with its broadcast on ESPN Radio, the MLB All-Star Game will also be broadcast live on ESPN Deportes Radio. Jose Francisco Rivera, Renato Bermudez, Armando Talavera, Marly Rivera, and Eduardo Ortega will be on hand for ESPN Deportes Radio’s coverage of the game.

ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio will simulcast the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby Monday, July 14th at 8pm ET. The Home Run Derby will be broadcast live from Target Field in Minneapolis. ESPN’s Chris Berman will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined by ESPN MLB analyst Jon Kruk, and reporters Buster Olney and Pedro Gomez. This year marks the twenty-second consecutive year that ESPN will have carried the MLB Home Run Derby.

ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio’s coverage of this year’s All-Star game festivities is just part of the networks’ coverage this year. ESPN recently announced that along with its networks’ coverage of the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby and the 2014 All-Star Game, the Worldwide Leader in Sports will also televise the 2014 Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on Monday, July 14th immediately after the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby. Commentary for the game will be provided by SportsCenter’s John Anderson, analyst Aaron Boone, and reporter Tim Kurkjian. The full roster for both the Legends and Celebrities is available online now at http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2014/sunday_legends.jsp.

Mike & Mike in the Morning will carry bonus coverage of this year’s MLB All-Star festivities both Monday and Tuesday, July 14th and 15th live from Kieran’s in Minneapolis. “Greeny” and Golic will also call all of the action over the Target PA system for those in attendance Monday at the Gillette Home Run Derby.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ of this year’s All-Star Game and Home Run Derby is available online at http://espn.go.com/mlb. 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.

Scream Factory To Release Hemlock Grove Season One This Fall

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Scream Factory/Netflix

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Scream Factory/Netflix

Officials with Scream Factory made a big announcement Tuesday about a new upcoming release.

The announcement was made Tuesday that Scream Factory will release the first season of Netflix’s hit original series Hemlock Grove. The first season of the Emmy© nominated series will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, October 7th. All thirteen episodes from the series’ first season will be spread across three discs. Both box sets will also include exclusive bonus features not available through Netflix, including six new vignettes. More information on the set’s bonus material will be announced as the set’s release date nears. The complete list of the set’s bonus material is listed below.

Hemlock Grove: The Complete First Season Bonus Features

Vignettes:

“Dysfunctional In Every Way,”

“Anatomy of a Kill,

“Fairytales for Adults”

“The Rust Beneath the Surface”

“The Monster Within”

“It Hurts So Good”

Hemlock Grove is based on author Brian McGreevy’s novel. It is executive produced by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever) and was co-created by McGreevy and Lee Shipman. The series stars Famke Jenssen (X-Men , X-2: X-Men United, X-3: The Last Stand), Bill Skarsgard (Anna Karenina, The Crown Jewels, Simon & The Oaks), Landon Liboiron (Altitude, Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Howling: Reborn), Penelope Mitchell (The Vampire Diaries, The Joe Manifesto, 6 Plots), and Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible II, Hitman, Ever After: A Cinderella Story). The series is produced by Gaumont International Television for Netflix.

Hemlock Grove: The Complete First Season can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/hemlock-grove-season-one-0. More information including pricing on the DVD and Blu-ray box sets on this and other releases from Scream Factory is available online at http://www.screamfactorydvd, http://www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD, and http://twitter.com/@Scream_Factory. 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.

Scream Factory, Anchor Bay Release New Teaser Pic For Halloween Box Set

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Scream! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Scream! Factory

Scream Factory and Anchor Bay Entertainment released a special teaser image Monday to build excitement over the upcoming release of the Halloween Complete Collection on Blu-ray.

On Monday, the companies released a picture of original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis sitting with Halloween H2O director Steve Miner and moderator Sean Clark during a tracking session for a new audio commentary and interview that will be included in the upcoming fifteen-disc Deluxe Edition. Miner is on the right and Clark is in the center rear.

Courtesy:  Scream Factory/AnchorBay Entertainment

Courtesy: Scream Factory/AnchorBay Entertainment

The Halloween Complete Collection will be available on Blu-ray Tuesday, September 23rd. The box set will be released in a special 15-disc deluxe Blu-ray box set and a standard 10-disc set. More details will come soon on this upcoming release. Audiences can keep up with the latest updates on the Halloween Complete Collection through Scream Factory’s Facebook and website respectively at http://www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD and http://www.shoutfactory.com/screamfactory. More information is also available online via Anchor Bay’s Facebook page, Twitter account and website at http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay, http://twitter.com/Anchor_Bay, and http://www.anchorbayent.com.

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Scream! Factory/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Scream Factory/Anchor Bay Entertainment

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.

PBS Set To Release Three New D-Day Documentaries July 8th

PBS will release three new programs next Tuesday centered on one of the most pivotal moments of World War II next Tuesday.

Day of Days

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will release next Tuesday,  Day of Days: June 6, 1944: American Soldiers Remember D-Day, D-Day 360, and Nova: D-Days Sunken Secrets. The first of the documentaries brings together a group of WWII veterans that took part in D-Day. The men recollect the events of what is one of the largest collective operations in military history. Throughout their discussions, the men also discuss their uneasiness over being called “heroes,” their transformation from boys to men, and the loss of their friends in the assault on Normandy among other topics. The stories bring up very powerful and equally painful memories for the veterans. This program will be available on DVD and via digital download. It will be available for SRP of $24.99. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=35620366.

 

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

D-Day 36O, the second of PBS’ upcoming WWII-centered documentaries, re-creates the events of D-Day. It does so through the use of new data-driven and statistical tools to display the sheer immensity of the operation. It was on June 6th, 1944 that 3,000 planes dropped 23,000 airborne troops behind German lines, 7,000 ships delivered some 20,000 military vehicles and 130,000 allied soldiers to take on some 40,000 German soldiers, roughly two million mines buried in the sand, and 46,000 beach obstacles. Among those obstacles were hundreds of miles of barbed wire, shells, and bullets. The program focuses primarily on the exit at Vierville-sur-Mer, the most important stretch of Omaha Beach that day. It documents the events that unfolded over the course of five hours of fighting on the five-mile stretch of French coastline. The program will be available on DVD next Tuesday. It will retail for SRP of $24.99 and can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=35446756.

 

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

In the third and final of PBS’ upcoming D-Day centered programs, audiences are taken beneath the waves of Normandy to see the remnants of what is today one of the world’s largest underwater archaeological sites in Nova: D-Days Sunken Secrets. Audiences will see in this five-part program, a combined group of military historians, archaeologists, and other specialist divers as they explore the waters just off of Normandy’s beaches. They use submersibles, underwater robots, and the latest 3-D mapping technology to identify the tanks, ships, planes, landing craft and more that sunk just off of Normandy’s beaches that day. Along with that, audiences are also taken into the planning of the D-Day invasion, and how the work of scientists, mathematicians, inventors, and even meteorologists helped in said planning. The expedition which led to this presentation lasted six weeks and was led by Sylvain Pascaud. D-Days Sunken Secrets will retail for SRP of $24.99. It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=34895296.

More information on each of these programs and others from PBS is available online at http://www.pbs.org and http://www.facebook.com/pbs. 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.

The Raskins Could Be Another Of The Next Big Names In Mainstream Rock

Courtesy: Miral Records

Courtesy: Miral Records

The new self-titled album from rock duo The Raskins is a near perfect debut from brothers Logan and Roger Raskin. The sound delivered by the duo—and the studio musicians who were employed to help record the album—is a largely straight forward rock sound tinged lightly with a little punk at the same time. It hints at other bands the likes of The Exies and others of that ilk. The mix of Roger Raskin’s driving guitar riffs and his brother Logan’s equally thoughtful lyrics makes this record quite the interesting experience. That’s obvious right off the top with the album’s opener ‘We Had It All.’ The seemingly socially conscious ‘Need Another Hero’ is just as solid without being too preachy in its lyrical content. And the almost poppy, celebratory ‘On The Radio’ comes across as echoing the feeling that the brothers might have felt in first hearing themselves….well….on the radio. These songs are only a few examples of what makes The Raskins’ new self-titled album one that anyone looking for good pure rock and roll will appreciate.

Logan and Roger Raskin have crafted an impressive record in their new self-titled album. There are plenty of catchy hooks and choruses throughout the record and equally interesting lyrics from song to song. The combination of the album’s musical and lyrical together makes this a record that is just as enjoyable as any release from any major name rock band out there today. That is evident right off the top in the album’s opener ‘We Had It All.’ This song comes across as being thematically about determination and overcoming life’s difficult situations. This includes bad relationships. That interpretation comes as Logan Raskin sings, “We had it all/Struck me down/You crossed the line/Can’t wipe the tears I’ve cried/Same old song/For years I’ve tried/Don’t hold me back.” It becomes even clearer as he sings, “Chase down a dream/My hopes not ending/I’ve never seen that place before/This fairy tale has left me turning/Can’t crucify me/Wanting more.” That is Logan essentially saying, no matter what, he (or the subject of the song) will not give up. Said figure wants more out of life. It’s truly a positive message. Add in Roger Raskins’ forward driving guitar line and the song is made even more solid. Roger’s driving guitar line expertly matches that lyrical theme with a sound that is positive yet still slightly emotional. Listeners will hear that as his guitar line is more in a minor key. The up-tempo vibe of the song overall drives that interpretation home even more. Listeners will agree in listening to his song that Logan’s hopeful lyrics and Roger’s guitar work together make it especially clear why this song was chosen as the duo’s first impression for listeners. It was most definitely the right choice.

‘We Had It All’ was the correct choice to open The Raskins’ new self-titled record. And the dup doesn’t let up from there. The album’s second song is just as thought provoking. The song lyrically comes across as a somewhat socially conscious piece. Logan sings in this song, “The city streets not safe at night/Close the doors and lock them tight/Buried safe inside/Till help arrives.” He and his brother go on from here to sing in the song’s chorus, “We all need another hero/One who fights for right and wrong/Who can see the light of reason/And may own a crystal ball.” Roger yet again displays expert talent as his guitar line echoes the almost desperate commentary crafted by his brother. The urgency in his guitar line drives home Logan’s message as Logan sings, “Too scared to walk outside alone/How we cry for thee unknown/Who might save us all/With nowhere left to turn.” On the serious side of things, this seeming commentary on the current state of America does quite the job of sending out the SOS in question. On another level, with all the superhero movies and TV series out there, this would make a perfect theme song for any of them, including those that are still in production. This makes this song that much more valuable to The Raskins’ new album. That’s because it helps the album in whole that much more enjoyable.

Those that might still not be convinced by the pair of songs already noted here need look no further than the poppy and celebratory ‘On The Radio.’ It should come as no coincidence that this song comes at the halfway point in The Raskins’ new record. Looking at the song from a lyrical vantage point, Logan and Roger have crafted here a song that seems to echo the feeling that one feels (or that perhaps they felt) at hearing their music on the radio for the first time. Bands, artists, and groups are always asked in interviews how they reacted the first time that they heard themselves on the radio. The general response is one explaining a sense of excitement. But how often have any artists, bands, or groups actually crafted a song about that initial feeling? The Raskins seem to have done that here. Logan sings in this song, “Working long days/For a dream that you can’t see/So I keep it inside of me/Living so hard/I wanna leave those days behind/Playing downtown with my band/All that I face/Another raw deal/And another damn heartbreak/Feelin’ knocked out/I’m gonna lose my mind/They say I’m on the radio tonight.” As the song breaks into its chorus, the real sense of elation that musicians must feel is truly expressed as Logan and Roger sing together, “Wha Oh Wha Oh I’m on the radio/Screaming out loud with my head out the window/Wha Oh I’m on the radio tonight/I’m on the radio.” There is a sort of explosive, positive energy that explodes from both Logan and Roger. And it translates expertly even on record. It would be no surprise if this piece translates just as well in a live setting. Regardless of live or on record, listeners will all agree that this is one of the absolute highest of high points on this record. It isn’t the only of those highest of points, either. Every song on this record is worthy of its own praise. Whether it be one noted here or not, every song has its own positives. All together, the songs that comprise The Raskins’ self-titled record make the album one that anyone looking for good, pure rock and roll will appreciate.

The Raskins’ new self-titled record is available now in stores and online. It can also be purchased at the band’s live shows. The band is currently getting ready to hit the road with Saving Abel. The band will perform with Saving Abel on three dates beginning next Friday, June 27th at the famed Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. Beginning Wednesday, July 2nd, The Raskins will hit the road with Motley Crue and Alice Cooper on Motley Crue’s farewell tour. That tour makes it way to the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 19th. The Raskins’ complete tour listing is available online now at http://www.facebook.com/TheRaskins and http://www.theraskins.com. Audiences can go to either site to keep up with the duo’s latest news, too. 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.

WHV Finally Gets It Right On Its Latest Peanuts DVD Release

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Home Video

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Home Video

Warner Home Video has struggled quite a bit in the past year or so with its home releases. The 2013 releases of Tiny Toon Adventures Volume 4, Taz-Mania: Season 2 Part 1, and Hats Off To Dr. Seuss were all troubled with their own problems. 2014 hasn’t exactly been off to much of a better start thanks to the release of The Flintstone Kids: Rockin’ in Bedrock. That release presented only the main Flintstone Kids shorts minus the companion Captain Caveman and Son and Dino shorts. That alone took off major points from that set. But now WHV has finally started to pick up the ball and get things back on the right track thanks to the brand new release of This is America, Charlie Brown. This brand new double-disc has officially made its own spot on this critic’s list of the year’s best new DVDs and Blu-rays for families and children. The primary reason for that the features included in this set are both entertaining and educational. Another reason for the set’s enjoyment is the use of both hand drawn animation and historical photos to help illustrate each “lesson.” The last factor to examine in what makes This is America, Charlie Brown a success is its packaging. Each of the noted factors by themselves, play important roles in the success of the set. Together, they make this brand new release one of the year’s best new box sets for families and children.

The first and most important factor in the success of This is America, Charlie Brown is the combination of both entertainment and education. The eight features spread across the set’s two discs educate viewers in such fashion that it doesn’t even feel like viewers are being taught. Thanks to the legacy of the Peanuts gang, it feels more like viewers are going on a fun field trip through America’s history than just learning about history from another documentary. There are even some fun little pop culture references that parents will appreciate along the way. One of those references is to the command module of the Apollo 10 being named Charlie Brown. Lucy comments on this saying that she doesn’t know where such a name could have come from. The kids also see their own comic strip hanging in the Smithsonian Museum of Art. The little reference there is just as funny. On a more subtle level, audiences that know anything about animation history will appreciate Frank Welker (The Real Ghostbusters, Curious George, Garfield & Friends) as the voice of a number of characters here including Wilbur Wright in “The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk.” Gregg Berger (Garfield & Friends, Aahhh!!! Real Monsters, G.I. Joe) joins Welker as the voice of Wilbur’s brother Orville. This isn’t the only feature to which Berger and Welker offer their talents, either. Lou Rawls joins them in “The Music and Heroes of America” and makes the journey all the more enjoyable even as being an educational journey. It serves as one more example of how the combination of education and entertainment is such an important factor in the success of this set. It isn’t the only important factor to the set, either.

The combination of entertainment and education in the features that make up This Is America, Charlie Brown is a solid foundation for the mini-series in whole. Just as important to the set’s success is the use of both hand drawn animation and historical photos to help illustrate and advance each story. Kids will be entertained by the hand drawn animation. And parents that grew up in the days of true animation will appreciate the original animation style of this Peanuts presentation. Those behind the mini-series balanced the animated segments with just enough historical photos to help drive home the stories in each feature. They even included some vintage video to help advance each “lesson,” too. And that video is just as balanced. The resultant effect is a presentation in each feature that will keep viewers of any age fully engaged from start to finish. It’s one more aspect of the whole mini-series that maintains the set’s value.

The visual presentation of the mini-series’ features and the ability of the features to entertain and educate without being too outright about their educational purpose are key to the success of This Is America, Charlie Brown. There is still one more factor to examine in the set in considering what makes it worth the purchase and the watch. That factor is the set’s overall packaging. Both of the discs in the set are placed on their own spindle inside the case. On one level, this protects the discs from scratching one another, thus increasing their life span. On another level, it minimizes the size of the box used to contain the discs. The bigger picture of this is that it conserves space on any viewer’s DVD rack. So not only is the mini-series in whole educational and entertaining, its case is ergonomic. Sure, there’s little else to the set whether extrinsic or even intrinsic. It’s a bare bones presentation. But these factors together make This Is America, Charlie Brown a much needed win for Warner Home Video and for fans that have waited so many years for this mini-series to get a proper release.

This Is America, Charlie Brown is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct online from the WB Shop at http://www.wbshop.com/product/this+is+america%2C+charlie+brown-+the+complete+series+dvd+1000411223.do. 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.

Andy Grammer Announces New Album Details, Debuts New Video

Courtesy:  S-Curve Records

Courtesy: S-Curve Records

Andy Grammer released more information on his upcoming sophomore full length studio release Tuesday.

Grammer announced that his upcoming sophomore release will be titled Magazines or Novels. It was also announced that the album is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, August 5th on S-Curve Records. Grammer spoke on the inspiration behind the album’s title, explaining that it came from seeing the changing headlines of all of the covers and headlines on the newsstands out there. “While I was writing this album I kept seeing magazine and newspaper stands with their constantly changing covers and headlines and thinking how they come and go so fast,” he said. He expanded on his explanation noting that in writing so much for so the album’s final number of songs, he wanted to make sure he presented audiences with an album that would have staying power. As he put it, “I had to write about 100 songs to get 13 I felt had something grounded and timeless about it. I don’t know if I achieved my goal but I hope I was able to create songs that were timeless and not something that would come and go off the newsstands. I hope this collection of songs can have the staying power in someone’s life like a favorite novel or book.”

Along with the announced details for his new album, the video for the album’s lead single ‘Back Home’ also debuted yesterday. The video mixes footage of Grammer and his friends on his tour bus set alongside footage of him performing live. The video can be viewed online now at http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop-shop/6114144/andy-grammer-back-home-video-premiere-magazines-novels/.

While Magazines or Novels doesn’t hit stores and online outlets until August, Grammer has already kicked off a summer tour to build anticipation and excitement for the album. The tour kicked off yesterday, June 10th in Phoenix, Arizona. He has a trio of performances scheduled in Texas tomorrow, Friday and Sunday. There is also a performance scheduled for Monday, June 23rd at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina. Grammer’s current tour schedule is listed below.

Summer Headlining Tour Dates (w/ support from Kate Voegele and Brendan James):
Tue      6/10                 Phoenix, AZ                            The Crescent Ballroom
Thu      6/12                 Houston, TX                            Fitzgerald’s
Fri        6/13                 Austin, TX                               The Parish
Sun      6/15                 Dallas, TX                               House of Blues
104.3fm Presents My Big Night Out w/ Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato, Colbie Caillat
Mon     6/16                 Los Angeles, CA                     Hollywood Bowl
Summer Headlining Tour Date (w/ support from Andrew Ripp and Brendan James):
Tue      6/17                 Nashville, TN                          3rd & Lindsley
Wed     6/18                 Atlanta, GA                             The Loft
Thu      6/19                 Jacksonville, FL                      Freebird Live
Fri        6/20                 Clearwater, FL                        Capitol Theatre
Sat       6/21                 Orlando, FL                             Beacham Theatre
Mon     6/23                 Charlotte, NC                          Visulite Theatre
Tue      6/24                 York, PA                                 The Pullo Center
Wed     6/25                 Boston, MA                             House of Blues
Thu      6/26                 New York, NY                         Irving Plaza
Fri        6/27                 Ridgefield, CT                         Ridgefield Playhouse
Sun      6/29                 Philadelphia, PA                      World Café Live
Mon     6/30                 Alexandria, VA                        The Birchmere
Tue      7/1                   Millvale, PA                             Mr. Small’s Theatre
Wed     7/2                   Chicago, IL                              House of Blues
Sat       7/5                   Covington, KY                         Madison Theater
Sun      7/6                   Pontiac, MI                              The Crofoot
Tue      7/8                   Minneapolis, MN                     Varsity Theater
Fri        7/11                 Denver, CO                            Summit Music Hall
Sat       7/12                 Salt Lake City, UT                  The Complex
Mon     7/14                 Seattle, WA                             Neumos
Tue      7/15                 Portland, OR                           Hawthorne Theatre
Thu      7/17                 San Francisco, CA                 Great American Music Hall
Sat       7/19                 San Diego, CA                        House of Blues

More updates and news on Grammer’s tour, album and more are available online at http://www.andygrammer.com, http://www.facebook.com/andygrammer, and http://twitter.com/andygrammer. 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.

Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson Talk NBA Finals & More

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson talked to the media yesterday about today’s start of the NBA Finals. The duo discussed not only this year’s finals matchup between the Spurs and Heat, but also the impact of another championship on either team and the role of the Eastern Conference on the Heat’s place in the NBA Finals this year among much more. The following is the complete transcript from the conversation that the pair had with members of the media in anticipation of tonight’s opening game of the 2014 NBA Finals.  Game one tips off tonight at 9pm ET on ABC.  The game will be preceded by NBA Countdown at 8:30pm ET.

Q. Could you have thought that the Heat could have gotten back here without contributions from their two new guys Michael Beasley and Greg Oden? As you know they’ve gotten very little from either during this run. 

 

JACKSON:  I would say to that answer, yes, they certainly anticipated both of those guys playing some sort of role.  But at the end of the day, they brought back the nucleus, and when you bring back the big three in James and Wade and Bosh, and you bring back the same mentality, and obviously some of the guys off the bench that have proven, that are champions.  Erik Spoelstra has done an outstanding job.  I would say, yes, because at the end of the day they’re built defensively, and they’re built with some special talent that puts them in position to, in spite of who they rotate as far as role players, be in the mix year in and year out.

 

VAN GUNDY:  I concur with Mark.  I think there are a couple factors.  I think we have to change the big three moniker to the big four because I think Spoelstra definitely belongs in there.  They have four guys who could be going to the Hall of Fame as players, Ray Allen and Bosh and Wade and James.  But Spoelstra is absolutely vital and instrumental to their success and he’s going to be there as well.  You add to that the weakened state of the Eastern Conference. They really weren’t tested.  Throw out the playoffs and so they’re here once again.

 

You know, Beasley in particular I thought might find his way onto the court, but Rashard Lewis has given good minutes.  At times Battier has given them good minutes, but he hasn’t been able to find his way consistently on the floor.

 

Q. I was wondering if either of you have any interest in the Lakers head coaching position, and if they’ve reached out to you about it? 

 

VAN GUNDY:  I found that it’s in everybody’s best interest never to comment on jobs.  I don’t think it does the team any good or the individual coach.  If teams ever want to state what their plans are before they’ve named a coach, that’s up to them, but I think it’s best that I don’t get involved with that.

 

JACKSON:  I totally agree.  Obviously, it’s an incredible job, and I’m sure they’ll pick an outstanding coach to lead them forward.

 

Q. Could you look into your crystal balls and speculate on what might happen if the Spurs either win or don’t win this or the same question with the Heat.  How does the outcome impact how these things might be made up next year? 

 

JACKSON:  I’m tired of looking in the crystal ball when it comes to the Spurs.  Not just me, but we’ve all been wrong for quite a while now.  We had them dead a couple years ago.  We had them dead after The Finals last year.  Truth be told, they’re going to be relevant and be around for the foreseeable future because they’re playing the right way, led by an incredible coach, an all-time great coach – not just in basketball but in sports in general – a bunch of Hall of Famers, and they just find ways to win ballgames.  So they’ll be around.

 

I think when you talk about the Heat, I think it depends on those guys and the decision they’re going to make after the season.  When you talk about Pat Riley and that organization, when you talk about Erik Spoelstra, I’m sure they’re going to, whatever the decisions are by the players, find a way to regroup, come back, and be just as strong, if not stronger.

 

VAN GUNDY:  Yeah, I can’t envision going to four straight Finals and any of the better three players deciding that they’re better served someplace else.  The Eastern Conference is definitely the place to be right now if you’re a great player because the road is just a lot easier to navigate.  So I can’t see them willingly changing their path.  And San Antonio, I think the Kawhi Leonard-George Hill trade got them back to where they are now.  They’re a little small at that position.  Now not only did they have the courage to make that trade, then they picked the right guy, and he has performed fantastically over his short career, and along with the depth they’ve added, and the great, great coaching, they’ve been able to surround their three best players with terrific players, and it’s going to be fun to watch.

 

Q. I know the word legacy gets thrown around a lot.  But how do you view a third championship for LeBron James on an historical plane if the Heat end up winning the series?

 

VAN GUNDY:  I think it would be a terrific accomplishment.  Winning a championship is hard, being in The Finals is hard, but a lot about how much you win is who you play with and who you play against at any particular time in your career.  So I don’t look at his career in Miami as being any more successful than his time in Cleveland.  He’s just surrounded with better players, weaker conference.  I think this guy is an all-time great.  I think one of his greatest accomplishments is taking a very average to below-average Cleveland Cavaliers team to The Finals, I think, it was in 2007.  I think he won 66 games with a starting lineup in Cleveland that I’m not sure would have won 36 games without him.

 

So to me, both places have been ultra-successful. I don’t think a guy’s greatness is directly tied to his number of championships won because a lot of it comes down to circumstance.

 

JACKSON:  I totally agree.  I look at LeBron James, and he’s an all-time great basketball player.  I said it, and it’s documented that my opinion is he’s one of the best forwards that ever played the game.  I really am not a guy to look and see championships to find your greatness.  Because I, like Jeff, agree the fact is who you play with and who you play against. At the end of the day, the guy has played at an incredible level for a long time, and it does not seem the end is near anytime soon.

 

Q. Mark, can you comprehend what Jason Kidd and maybe Derek Fisher is pondering going straight from a playing career to a coach?  Would you have been able to do that a few years ago after you retired?  And are you sure – are you convinced you want to coach again, or are you good where you’re at?  What is your state right now, now that you’ve signed with ESPN? 

 

JACKSON:  Well, I do look forward to coaching one day if it presents itself again.  Right now I’m having a blast being back with my crew.  I’m fortunate and thrilled to death to be back.  If the opportunity presents itself, I look forward to coaching again.  If I end my career the way it ended and I continue to call games, I’m fine with that, just to clear that up also.  I’m having the time of my life calling these games and being back with this incredible group.

 

To answer the first part of the question, I believe I would have been able to do it. Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity.  But as far as players today, obviously Jason Kidd had success and continued to get better.  I think his future is extremely bright.  So I believe that the point is picking the right person. So I believe you can do it and you can be successful.  It’s important to make sure that you pick the right person.  I don’t think just anybody can do it, but the right person can be successful.

 

Q. Jeff, you’ve alluded to the weakened state of the Eastern Conference a couple times now.  I’m curious if either of you think that might affect the Heat’s standing when you look at that team and what they’ve accomplished among some of the all-time greats?  You know the Bulls dynasty very well.  Where does the Heat as a team and what they’ve accomplished kind of rank with some of the all-time great teams? 

 

VAN GUNDY:  I hate to compare because ultimately people will read into it that you’re diminishing one at the expense of the other.  I would just say the Bulls teams back in their heyday had to go through some monster teams to win it all, some really incredible teams.  I think it’s hard to compare teams from different eras.  But to me, Jordan’s Bulls could compete against any of the great teams that were ever put up.  I think they were that good, and they had to go through some great other teams to win those championships.

 

JACKSON:  For me watching Jordan’s Bulls, and obviously the Celtics with Bird and McHale and Parish, and those guys, D.J., watching Ainge and the great Showtime Lakers, those were incredible teams.  I look at this Heat team, and I, like Jeff, don’t diminish what they’ve been able to do.  Obviously, the competition is not the same as far as the teams that they’ve faced but you go through who you have to go through.  They’ve done it; they’ve done it with class, and at an incredible level, so I don’t think it diminishes their accomplishments at all.

 

Q. I saw a story on the website that refers to the 1994 NBA Finals 20 years ago as being sort of a forgotten Finals.  I presume part of that is because of the O.J. Chase, and part of it may be because of other factors.  Do you agree with that thinking that the Rockets Knicks series has been lost to history for circumstances that have nothing to do with basketball? 

 

VAN GUNDY:  Well, for me, it’s not lost on me.  I think about that, maybe not every day, but most days.  I’ve talked about this to Mark a lot because, to me, you’ll never convince me that those Knicks teams from when Pat Riley came to when he left to go to Miami – even though they didn’t accomplish winning a championship – that the players there weren’t champions, because they gave championship energy and effort and enthusiasm every day.  Unfortunately, they came up a few plays short.

 

But when you’re talking about Olajuwon in his prime, he’s as great to me as anybody that’s ever played.  Ewing didn’t match up a lot with Olajuwon in that series because we played him single coverage, and they doubled Ewing on every catch.  But it was still having two great, great competitors, players, humble people going at each other in that series.

 

I don’t remember anybody talking about O.J. in our locker room and those circumstances.  I think the nation was captivated by that.  I think the teams were locked in very much to that series.  It was hard fought.  Houston got home court.  They beat us both times in the regular season, and that gave them the advantage to have home court, and they made a couple more plays than we did, and I’m not bitter.

 

Q. Do you have any regrets about your stint with the Warriors?  Jeff, how does it feel having Mark back in the booth with you guys?  Obviously, it cuts into your time.

 

JACKSON:  Well, listen, there are no regrets.  I think about the three years there.  I think about the opportunity that was presented to me by the ownership, by management.  I think about the relationship with incredible players and what they were able to accomplish in three years and where that organization was and where it is today – you got a lot to be proud of.  Ownership, management, players, fans – it’s in a great place.  There are absolutely no regrets.

 

VAN GUNDY:  Before I get to what you were asking me, I would say the unfortunate thing when change comes about whether it’s players or coaches in the NBA, is more focus is given to how things ended than what was accomplished during their time together.  I think it speaks volumes that everybody wants to talk about how it ended between Mark and Golden State instead of taking a look at and examining Mark’s impact there in that he came into a team that, minus minor blips of success had been historically bad for two decades.  And he came in there and remade them.  Who would have thought Golden State would become an elite defensive team?

 

Defense in this league is about coaching and the ability to protect the basket, and I was utterly amazed how quickly Mark transformed them from a porous defense into an elite defense, and taking them to 47, 51 wins.  They hadn’t won 45-plus games in back-to-back years in forever.

 

So my focus when I look at that is what was accomplished versus how it ended.  Now, to get to your question about less air time, basketball fans in America are applauding the three-man booth so they don’t have to listen to my inane rants.  And believe me, no one is upset, myself included, that I do less talking.

 

Q. I know both of you have said that you don’t want to discuss any team’s interest in you or your interest in any job openings, and I definitely respect that.  But I did want to ask you, there’s been a groundswell from a vocal segment of Knicks fans that Phil Jackson reach out to you guys for the Knicks coaching vacancy, I just wanted to know if you had gotten wind of that at all, and how you react to that?

 

VAN GUNDY:  When you spend 13 years with an organization like I did, which gave you your first chance of being in the NBA, your first chance of being with a championship-caliber team, and your first chance to be a head coach, you’ll always be a Knick.

 

So there are a few box scores I check every morning right when I get up.  It’s obviously wherever my brother is coaching, Chicago, Charlotte, Golden State, the Rockets and the Knicks.  Those are my guys and those are my teams.  I’m always going to have great, great feelings for the Knicks, hoping that they have great success and really appreciate whenever I am back in New York, how positive the fans were to me when I was just getting started.  So I’ll always be so appreciative of how they treated me.

 

JACKSON:  Obviously, you hear the talk, even if it’s the New York Post reporting my inner circle made a statement, and I have no clue because my wife and kids have not spoken to the Post, so just to counter that.  It’s an incredible job.  It’s an incredible opportunity.  And I’m sure that Phil Jackson will do an outstanding job of finding the right coach to get that organization and that team headed back in the right situation.

 

Q. You guys mentioned some of those old Bulls teams.  It’s been 30 years since that ’84 draft that Michael Jordan came in.  Just wanted your thoughts and memories on facing him, and particularly at this time of year how good he could be.

 

JACKSON:  He’s the best I’ve ever faced, and he’s the best I’ve ever seen.  Flat out, there were times when Jeff can recall he single handedly beat us with the Knicks when other guys were not ready at that particular time.  He propelled them to be great and propelled them to championship level.  Absolutely incredible, fierce competitor.  Invited a winning spirit, and did everything on the floor to attempt to tear the heart out and put daggers into his opposition, and you can see the impact that he’s had not just in that time, but even in watching players after him, how they attempted to duplicate or put some of the things in their game that he had mastered.  But those were great Bulls teams.  Like I said, there are times when he single handedly put them in position to win it all.

 

VAN GUNDY:  Yeah, we used to kiddingly refer to as the triangle with the 23 in the triangle because that’s what made it run.  I just went back and looked at his numbers.  I think sometimes with great players you forget the longer they’re out how great they were.  I mean, this guy played huge minutes with the Washington Wizards when he was 39, and averaged over 20 points a game.  Played all 82 games, I think, when he was 38, averaged 22.6.  Then the run he had with the Bulls, I mean, this is legendary stuff.

 

But if you don’t take a peak back every once in a while, you can start to forget just how great he was.  To me, his post-up game and the triangle, how he got into the post, out of the triangle, to me was the hardest part to guard.  We didn’t have big two guards at that time in New York, but we did have big point guards.  We had Mark, we had Doc Rivers, and we had Derek Harper.  Starts with a great competitor, add the two, but we had no answer for him in the post.  Defensively it wasn’t an every play mentality, but he had the ability, along with Pippen and Grant and Rodman to turn it up such that it was    they could make it very difficult for you to find good shots.

 

So Jordan to me, it’s like Mark said, I don’t like to compare eras because I didn’t see some of the guys play live.  But with my own two eyes I loved going into Chicago Stadium, the old Chicago Stadium, because you came out of that tunnel three and a half or whatever it was, and you knew it was on.  In a great atmosphere against the greatest to ever play during my time in the NBA.  You know, it was an honor to be on the same floor.

 

Q. It’s been mentioned the East is much weaker than the West this year.  Do you think either team has an advantage?  The Heat have had a fairly easy pass through the playoffs so far versus the Spurs who have been much more tested in the regular season and the playoffs.  Do you think it gives either team an advantage?

 

JACKSON:  I think that’s a great question.  I think the Spurs being battle tested this year certainly puts them in position.  But I don’t look at it as just this year.  I think both teams are prepared for this moment because of their history, not just the history of 82 games and a playoff round, but the history – playoffs, battle-tested, championship.  So I don’t think it plays a role in who gets the advantage.  Both teams are prepared, both teams are ready, both teams are extremely well coached, and I think it sets up for an outstanding NBA Finals.

 

VAN GUNDY:  I would agree.  I think so much of it depends on Parker’s health.  If he’s healthy, obviously, the Spurs have a great opportunity.  If he’s hobbled, I think Miami has a better opportunity.  I think both teams are missing some people who had a major impact on last year’s series.  Gary Neal had some great moments for San Antonio.  Mike Miller, obviously, had some great moments, had a great run for Miami.

 

I think both teams are ready, like Mark said.  I don’t think either team has an advantage in that way.  I just think it’s going to be close, hard-fought, a tip of the ball here, a missed free throw there or an injury that crops up or doesn’t heal right could be the difference in who wins it.

 

Q. Do you think the Heat will have a problem with the Spurs bench with the way Diaw and Ginobili have been playing in the playoffs this year? 

 

JACKSON:  I believe that the Spurs bench creates match-up problems every single night the way that they’ve played all season long, the way that you cannot identify one guy that comes in and impacts a basketball game.  They do a great job of understanding their roles, being prepared and playing within a system.  I think the difference this year is Ginobili’s fresh body, the way he’s playing.  Diaw is certainly playing at a high level.  I think Patty Mills gives them a guy that can continue to play pick and roll off the bench, Belinelli’s ability to shoot the basketball.

 

But I think the Heat also have guys that are playing at a high level coming in off the bench.  It was amazing to watch Ray Allen this late in his career still playing with fresh, young legs and a live body.  So I think it’s going to be a chess match as far as both benches in the level that they play.  They very well could, when you talk about the benches, decide who wins this series.

 

VAN GUNDY:  I love how both teams are constructed.  They surround their best players with shooting and passing so that their best players have enough room to operate.  You look at San Antonio, the floor is spread and they may have weaknesses in some areas, but their guys can shoot and pass.  Same with Miami coming off the bench.  I love Norris Cole, his competitive streak.  I love how Battier comes off and can hit timely threes.  Ray Allen, Mark spoke about, one of the great shooters that’s ever played.

 

You need to have a team that fits together well, and both teams played beautiful offense because they have Hall of Fame, first-option players surrounded by skilled, smart shooting at the other positions.  I think that’s why this Finals is going to be absolutely beautiful basketball viewing for the fans.

 

Q. I wondered if you guys thought LeBron James was a better player this season than he was last season? 

 

VAN GUNDY:  I think you would actually have to coach him and watch every possession to really know that.  I think he’s been great from probably his second year on in this league, and he’s had incremental, steady improvement.  But at this date, I think it would be miniscule improvements and Erik Spoelstra would have to be the one to decide if he’s taken a dip in certain areas or he’s upgraded other areas.  That would be hard for me to be perceptive enough to see.

 

JACKSON:  I totally agree with Jeff.  He’s in rare air, and if you look at how great he’s been throughout the course of his career, to me it’s tough to say if he’s better this year than last year.  I just know he’s still great and he’s still playing at a level that we’ve only seen a couple of people play at in the history of this game.

 

Q. People always make a big deal with the idea of coaching in New York, and it takes a certain type of guy.  You guys worked at other places too.  And Steve Kerr came close to getting the job, a guy that got close to getting the job, a guy with no connection to New York other than Phil Jackson, and same thing with Derek Fisher.  Do we make too much of it?  Is it a little different in New York with all the demands, whether it’s from within the organization, with the media? 

 

VAN GUNDY:  I don’t know if too much is made about it, but I do believe that New York, their fan base, the media coverage helps a coach coach his team well.  I think there is a misnomer that New York demands someone famous.  I mean, I just don’t believe that.  I think they embrace – New York embraces, to me, everybody that works hard, competes, shows confidence in what they do and fights for their team, whether it’s player, coach, management person, owner, whatever it is.

 

So I think this idea to be a star before you come in there to either play or coach is wrong.  I think New York fans have a patience to allow someone to develop and get better.  I’ve always thought that the thinking of them having to win right away, and they wouldn’t undertake a rebuilding plan, New York fans – I’ve always disagreed with that as well.  I think they’re bright and they understand where a team is at at any particular time.  But they do want to see progress, and they want to see effort, and they want to see a combative spirit on the floor.  If you do that, I think you’ll be appreciated.

 

JACKSON:  Obviously, Jeff can answer the question better from a head coaching aspect in New York City, but as a kid that grew up in New York City and with the Knicks, everybody’s not made for New York City, whether you’re in management, whether you’re playing, whether you’re coaching.  I can remember as a kid watching very good to great players play other places, be traded to the Knicks and not be the same player, whereas some propelled when they got the opportunity to put on a Knicks uniform.  It’s something about the fans.  It’s something about the pressure.  It’s something about the media.

 

So to be quite honest, everybody is not built for it.  It’s a different animal.  It’s a different monster.  It takes special personality and a person understanding the things that come into play to a tee.  I thought, obviously I’m biased, but I thought Jeff did an incredible job juggling all of them during his time as head coach of the Knicks, but everybody’s not capable or qualified to do just that.

 

Q. You had a nice debate going about the Greg Oden, Kevin Durant draft class, do you think we’ll see more of that during The Finals?  And do you think you’ll fill in for Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless on First Take

 

VAN GUNDY:  I can say that they broke the mold with those two guys, so there is no replacing those two.  But I would say this.  Mark and I agree on everything, basically, except what we don’t agree with which is about everything too.  I think we even agreed on that, but got bogged down in semantics.  I just, the idea that because everybody would have taken Oden first wouldn’t have made it the right selection.

 

Durant from his physical, to his great career, hey, you make mistakes in the Draft, and Oklahoma City was the beneficiary of a mistake by Portland.  You know, he’s proven out to be – I think he’s going to be one of the all-time, all-time greats.  I’m not sure what we were arguing about, but I remember Mark was wrong.

 

JACKSON:  Well, I will say that Stephen A. and Skip do an outstanding job, and they’re enjoyable to watch, but they do have substitutes so I think it would be a great opportunity.

 

What you see with Jeff and I, the thing I love about it is we don’t create the moment.  Sitting there talking with a mic, you get the same thing if you sat with us at a restaurant.  We’re going to grab different topics, we’re going to have different opinions, we’re going to honestly and respectfully agree or disagree, and it’s going to be entertaining.

 

So the thing I love about it is I was raised in a household that way, and Jeff is like family to me, so it’s something I truly enjoy doing.  I’m sure you’ll see – who knows what the topic will be, but you’ll certainly see plenty of that starting Game One.

 

Q. How useful a motivation is it to the Spurs to look back 12 months ago to what happened in The Finals?  As a coach, how would you channel that correctly to benefit the team? 

 

VAN GUNDY:  I think too much is made about last year and the motivation it provides for this year.  You don’t get to this point if you need some outside force to motivate you.  I also think Duncan’s quote about they’re going to,  I forget the exact words, but they’re going to do better and win this year, like that’s going to motivate LeBron James and Dwyane Wade like they were sitting there in the need of some motivation from the outside, external motivation.  I don’t think you need to channel anything.  I think both teams are ready.  Both teams are great, great teams.  I think the games and the script has yet to be written, but I think it’s going to be an interesting one.

 

JACKSON:  I believe your question was geared towards the Spurs, so that’s the way I’ll answer it.  But I believe that you don’t get caught up in what happened yesterday, meaning last year in The Finals, if you’re the Spurs.  They’ve already put together an incredible season post last year’s Finals experience.  So, my mindset would be don’t get caught up in yesterday and lose sight of the now.

 

The bottom line is they have an opportunity, and they are back in position to win a championship.  That’s old news and let’s move forward.  They’ve done an incredible job, and I think that’s been their mindset the entire season, and that’s why they’re in this position again.

 

Q. What do you both feel are the main differences between last year’s Heat and Spurs teams and this year’s and what do you think will be different in the series? 

 

VAN GUNDY:  I think Ginobili and Wade’s health are better, Parker’s health is not as good.  Both are missing shooting that had an impact on the series.  Neal for San Antonio, Miller for the Heat.  And I think to me the Kawhi Leonard-LeBron James match-up becomes even more fascinating the second time around because we know where James is at.  We don’t know where Leonard is going to reach.  But when you look at his demeanor, his improving skillset, this guy has a chance to be very, very, very good.  I love watching him compete against James.  So that’s still to me the best part of this series.

 

JACKSON:  I agree with Jeff.  I think the health of Wade and Ginobili will play a huge factor.  They’re at a different place right now.  I think the difference is the role players of San Antonio.  They’ve enhanced, like I said earlier, difference is having a guy like Patty Mills who really was a third point guard last year, played a huge part and had a great year for them in his ability to play out of pick and rolls.  Going and getting Belinelli, another guy that can stretch the floor and play out the pick and roll.  Last year pretty much Ginobili was the impact player off the bench creating offense.  This year it’s other guys, and they’ve got live weapons all around the floor.

 

With the Heat, it’s just Wade is playing at a high-level right now, and it takes the pressure off of LeBron to pretty much carry them.  I think that’s a huge difference.

Audiences that might not be able to catch tonight’s game on ABC aren’t out of luck.  The game will also be available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the 2014 NBA Finals is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN and http://espn.com/nba. 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.

Anthrax Announces Details For Upcoming Live DVD, Blu-ray

Courtesy:  Herfitz PR

Courtesy: Herfitz PR

Anthrax is set to heat things up this fall.

The band has announced that it will release its new live DVD and Blu-ray Chile on Hell Tuesday, September 16th. The performance contained on the upcoming release was recorded at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile on May 10, 2013. The performance includes classic Anthrax hits such as ‘I Am The Law,’ ‘Indians,’ ‘Madhouse,’ ‘Caught in a Mosh,’ ‘The Devil You Know,’ and ‘I’m Alive.’ Drummer Charlie Benante discussed the reason that the band chose this performance as the one that the band decided to use for its new live DVD. “Santiago was the perfect place to film the show for this,” he said. “When we’d played there in the past, we’d finish our set, play our encore and go back to the dressing room. But every time, the fans would continue to scream and cheer and clap. I mean, they went on and on, they wouldn’t stop. One time Scott and I walked out to the side of the stage just to watch what was going on in the audience, it was intense. Why wouldn’t we want to film a DVD in front of an audience like that?”

Benante added that so much was happening in the band’s life at the time that the show was recorded. Everything going on saw the band at a high point in its life. “The band was in the home stretch of a three-plus-year campaign to record and support Worship Music and the Anthems EP, a period of time that was loaded with high points: the return of “classic era” vocalist Joey Belladonna, Worship Music making the band’s highest chart debut in two decades, the series of Big Four shows – Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer and Metallica, the four bands that wrote the speed and thrash metal road map – that culminated in the September 2011 Big Four spectacular at Yankee Stadium in the band’s home town of New York, “Anthrax Day” declared in the Bronx, becoming the first metal band to have its music (“Got The Time”) played on Mars, two Grammy nominations, and sold out shows in every corner of the globe. “We wanted to finish on a high note,” Benante continued, “we didn’t want to look back and regret that we didn’t record the live show.”

Chile on Hell will be available in stores and online Tuesday, September 16th. It will retail for SRP of $16.98. More information on this release and all the latest news from the band is available online at http://anthrax.com, http://www.facebook.com/anthrax, and http://twitter.com/anthrax. 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.

Neomythics Debut Video For New Single

Courtesy:  Ex-Fed Records

Courtesy: Ex-Fed Records

Berkely, California-based indie rock band Neomythics debuted the video for the band’s new single this week.

The band premiered the video for its new single ‘Preppers’ Thursday. The song and video both poke fun at the “Doomsday Preppers” out there. It features the band’s members dressed in hazmat suits and doing everything that the “preppers” do, even singing about what they do, tongue planted firmly in cheek. The video can be viewed online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzkOdNJDaes.

As playful as the video is, it follows the band’s established trend of social commentary through music. The new single comes from the band’s latest album More Protection. More information on Neomythics is available online at http://www.neomythics.com and http://www.facebook.com/neomythics. 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.