PBS Investigates Effects Of Climate Change On Arctic Ecosystem In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS is giving audiences another reason to stay indoors and stay warm next month with the release of another episode of its hit wildlife series Nature on DVD.

PBS will release Nature: Invasion of the Killer Whales on Tuesday, January 20th. Nature: Invasion of the Killer Whales focuses on a major change in the ecosystem of the Arctic. It is a change that has resulted from global warming and the gradual disappearance of Arctic ice. As the once massive amounts of ice that one populated the Arctic disappear, so does the number of killer whales inordinately increase. The number of killer whales increases because they are being provided with more territory in which to hunt. By contrast, it also means that there is less territory in which polar bears—the once kings of the arctic—have to hunt.

Audiences are presented interviews with native Inuit who discuss the increasing number of killer whales in the Arctic and how it has actually helped them. At the same time, the other side of the proverbial coin is presented as scientists discuss how both humans and killer whales hunting the narwhal is not necessarily a good thing as it increases competition for resources. They go on to argue that this could greatly and negatively affect the lifestyle of the Inuit people. They go on to argue how the decrease in Arctic ice could lead to drastically negative effects on the polar bear population, too.

Nature: Invasion of the Killer Whales will retail for $19.99. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=51197006&cp=1378003.2831221&sr=1&origkw=nature&parentPage=family. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

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.

Full Band Lineup Announced For 2015 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival

Courtesy:  BSG PR

Courtesy: BSG PR

The organizers of the annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival have announced the complete lineup for the 2015 edition of the festival.

The festival’s organizers announced previously that Rancid, Refused, and Dropkick Murphys will share the bill as the headliners for this year festival.  It was also previously announced that The Muffs, Bad Manners, Swingin’ Utters, Discharge, and The Business had all been tapped to perform this year.  Now it has been announced that along with all of those bands, another group of bands has been added to this year’s festival.  Those bands are:  Sick Of It All, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream, Mahones, Sniper 66, PEARS, I.R.A., Success!, Get Dead, Avenue Rockers, Eliza Battle, Sounds of Threat, and Battle Born.  Festival founder Mark Stern was upbeat when discussing the official announcement.  He discussed not only his pleasure at having all of the bands for this year’s festival in place, but the importance of having them on board.  “We are very excited about the 2015 lineup” he said.  “We strive to keep things fresh and over 80% of these bands have never appeared at PRB. With bands from all over the States as well as Sweden, UK, Canada and even Columbia, it’s going to be another classic Punk Rock Bowing weekend!”

The 2015 edition of the three-day festival will take place over the course of May 23rd – 25thin Las Vegas, NV.  It will be held on 7th Street and Stewart Avenue near the city’s famed Fremont Street.  All of the latest updates on band lineup, ticket information, and more is available online at:




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Like Monroe Joining Mushroomhead On The Road To Open New Year

Courtesy:  eOne Entertainment

Courtesy: eOne Entertainment

Houston, Texas-based Like Monroe has announced that it will join Mushroomhead this winter.

Like Monroe will join Mushroomhead beginning Thursday, January 8th in Erie, PA. The band will serve as a co-support act for Mushroomhead alongside Thira. The upcoming tour dates are part of the band’s tour schedule in support of its latest full-length studio release Things We Think, But Never Speak, out now via eOne Entertainment. Like Monroe guitarist Wade Concienne spoke on behalf of the band expressing the band’s being tapped to join Mushroomhead. “We are excited to take on the road with these talented guys,” he said. “We encourage everyone to try and make it out to one of these tour dates because each and every show will be full of energy and bands that will put on an awesome show!” The band’s tour includes a pair of dates in North Carolina on January 15th and 16th in Winston-Salem and Jacksonville respectively. The band’s current schedule of dates is listed below.

Jan 08 Basement Transmissions Theatre w/ Thira Erie, PA
Jan 09 Montage Music Hall w/ Thira Rochester, NY
Jan 10 The Altar Bar w/ Thira Pittsburgh, PA
Jan 11 Empire w/ Thira Springfield, VA
Jan 13 Shakas Virginia Beach, VA
Jan 14 Capone’s w/ Thira Johnson City, TN
Jan 15 Ziggy’s By The Sea w/ Thira Winston Salem, NC
Jan 16 Hooligan’s w/ Thira Jacksonville, NC
Jan 17 Ground Zero w/ Thira Spartanburg, SC
Jan 18 Zydeco w/ Thira Birmingham, AL
Jan 19 Soul Kitchen w/ Thira Mobile, AL
Jan 20 Scout Bar w/ Thira Houston, TX
Jan 21 210 KAPONES LIVE San Antonio, TX
Jan 22 Trees w/ Thira Dallas, TX
Jan 23 Rock 3405 w/ Thira Joplin, MO
Jan 24 Clarksville w/ Thira Erode, India
Jan 25 The International w/ Thira Knoxville, TN

All of the latest updates on Like Monroe’s tour schedule and all of the latest updates from the band are available online at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/likemonroeband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/likemonroeband

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.

Saints, Bears Face Off Tonight In Important NFC Match To Close Out Week Fifteen

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Week fifteen of the NFL’s 2014-2015 season closes tonight with what will be one of the season’s most important match ups.

Tonight on ESPN, The New Orleans Saints (5 – 8 – 0) take on the Chicago Bears (5 – 8 – 0) in an NFC conference face-off. A win tonight for the Saints would have major playoff implications. That’s because after Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Panthers are now also at 5 – 8 – 1. A Saints win would push New Orleans to 6 – 8 – 0 so far on the season. A win would be especially big for the Saints as right now the NFC South in whole is the league’s worst division. For Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears, a win tonight would tie Chicago with Minnesota in the NFC North at 6 – 8 – 0.  It’s not much, considering that Chicago has essentially been marked out of the playoff picture.  But a win would mean not being the worst team in its division. The Saints are only 1- 4 in their last five games while Chicago has struggled just as much going 2 – 3 in its last five games. However Chicago is in the midst of a two-game skid. So the Bears will be looking to snap that streak. And being at home, Chicago will be especially hungry for a win tonight.

Coverage of tonight’s game on ESPN kicks off at 6pm ET on Monday Night Countdown. Host Suzy Kolber will be joined by NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Mike Ditka, Ray Lewis, and Steve Young. Chris Berman will be live in studio from ESPN’s headquarters for the broadcast. He will be joined by analysts Cris Carter, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson alongside ESPN NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Mike Tirico will have the call for tonight’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analyst Jon Gruden. Lisa Salters will have all of the latest reports throughout the game from the sidelines.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15pm ET. ESPN’s Spanish-speaking viewers can catch the game on television via ESPN Deportes. And fans on the go can watch the game online via WatchESPN as long as they have subscriptions from affiliated providers. More information on tonight’s game and all things NFL is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

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.

Dan Crow’s New Album Will “Fly” With Kids, Grown-Ups Alike

Courtesy:  Alls House Family Entertainment

Courtesy: Alls House Family Entertainment

The realm of children’s music is one of the most underrated within the music industry. Even now in the 21st century, there is still something of a stigma attached to children’s music. The reason for that is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s just because it’s music meant for children. But in comparison to the glut of cookie cutter acts across the genres in the world of grown-up music, albums released in recent years within the world of children’s music have proven to be far more creative and in turn entertaining for audiences of all ages. As the Crow Flies, the latest release from educator and children’s entertainer Dan Crow is proof positive of this. Crow’s new album boasts an interesting mix of music throughout the course of its twelve songs and roughly forty minute run time. It is anchored by a trio of songs that teach some important lessons and entertain at the same time. The first of that trio is the simply-titled anti-bullying song ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy.’ Crow teaches his young audiences about the folly of being a bully through this song. In ‘Too Much Stuff,’ Crow presents a simplistic start to what is in reality a much deeper topic in the issue of having a messy room. The topic in question is one of health safety. And if one wanted to, one could even say that it could lead to a discussion on hoarding, as hoarding can even begin in childhood. So as simple as this song seems, it really proves to be an important addition to Crow’s new album. Last of the album’s three strongest moments on As The Crow Flies is the pro-literacy song ‘Dig Deep Down.’ Any song that promotes literacy and even reading books in a digital age is well worth the listen and worthy of respect. All three of the songs noted are good examples of what makes As The Crow Flies enjoyable. They are only a portion of what Crow offers audiences, too. The album’s closer ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby’ is a wonderful piece based on the real-life story of a Skye Terrier that spent fourteen years at the grave of its master John Gray, who was allegedly a police officer for the Edinburgh City Police sometime in the late 19th century. The song incorporates an actual Celtic sound, making the song even more enjoyable especially for those that are fans of the Celtic sound (this critic included). Crow also offers audiences an updated take on the children’s standard ‘Apples and Bananas.’ And then there is the fun ‘Playground,’ whose energy and lyrical side together do a good job of illustrating both the energy felt by kids as they play and the need to get kids active. These songs also exemplify what Dan Crow has to offer in his new album. They and the other songs not noted here come together with the album’s trio of anchors to make As The Crow Flies another good example of why children’s music deserves just as much credit as any music crafted for grown-ups.

Dan Crow shows throughout the course of his new album As The Crow Flies that he has plenty to offer audiences of all ages. His album is one more that proves despite its reputation in some circles, music for children is just as viable a genre as that for grown-ups if not more so. One way in which it proves this is Through one of the album’s anchors, ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy.’ The song is a strong and solid anchor both in its simple title and its equally simplistic lyrical approach. Bullying is an important issue that needs to remain on the front burner whether it be across the United States or in other parts of the world. And Mr. Crow is to be applauded for doing his part in the ongoing battle against bullies in this song. He writes in this song about the folly of being a bully, hoping to get potential bullies to see how pointless their actions are. He writes, “Now if you are a hobbledehoy/Don’t become a bully boy/Misbehaving like a churl/That makes you a bully girl/To pick on others brings you joy/That makes you a bully boy/A banner of meanness you unfurl/That makes you a bully girl.” He goes on in this same vein through the song’s second verse, explaining how different actions make a person a bully. There’s a certain attitude in his delivery that indirectly points the finger at people who engage in such acts. But he doesn’t do so in an accusatory fashion, either. It’s sort of Crow saying, “you know who you are” without actually saying it. He refrains in the song’s chorus that “Bully boy and bully girl/We don’t need bullies in this world.” He’s right. We don’t need bullies in this world. We don’t need bullies whether they be children or adults. Crow’s approach in sending this message helps to make both the song and the message more enjoyable and memorable among the album’s other songs.

The message sent through Crow’s anti-bullying song ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy’ is an important piece of the whole that is As The Crow Flies. It comes at a time when every volley against bullying that can be used should. It is such a simplistic song. Yet it sends an important message without being preachy at the same time, making it a song that children and grown-ups alike will appreciate. It’s only one of the important additions to the album in whole, too. Just as important of an addition is the song ‘Too Much Stuff.’ As with ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy,’ Crow has taken a simplistic approach with this song. His approach is simplistic both musically and lyrically. He writes in this song about a young person that simply put, has too much stuff in his or her room. He writes, “The pile of toys is very steep/I think I’ll climb it before I sweep/Here’s the fins I use to swim/And a basketball, and here’s the rim.” That verse alone paints a rather vivid picture. The scary thing is that there are people that live like this. Children aren’t the only ones, either. He goes on to write, “Clothes are here and clothes are there/And books are scattered everywhere/Papers cover up the floor/Cleaning up is such a chore.” Again, the image is rather clear. And so is the message. And again, there are adults that live in such squalor, too. So adults could get as much from this as children. It probably wasn’t Mr. Crow’s intention to craft a song in ‘Too Much Stuff’ that presented itself as the door to a much bigger issue. But it most certainly could be the starting point in discussing at least with children the importance of a clean room (and clean house). A clean room helps keep out all kinds of things from mold and mildew to even the potential of other things (god forbid). A clean room is a very important issue in terms of health. A clean room is also a room in which it is safe to walk around without fear of hurting one’s self in one way or another. So yet again, here we have Crow tackling a very serious topic in a way that makes it accessible to young audiences. It also makes it accessible enough that parents and teachers alike could use it as a starting point in a discussion with those young audiences about the importance of cleanliness and even personal health. For that, he is to be applauded yet again. It makes clear once more why he is an award-winning musician. And it makes even clearer why As The Crow Flies works as well as it does.

Both ‘Too Much Stuff’ and ‘Bully Girl and Bully Boy’ are important and enjoyable additions to Dan Crow’s new album As The Crow Flies. They both tackle very serious topics in a manner that makes them accessible to both children and grown-ups. They are simplistic enough that they will entertain young audiences while serving as good starting points for discussions on their given topics. What’s more they serve as said starting points without being preachy, too. That is even more impressive. They aren’t the only songs on this album that are so impressive. Crow’s pro-literacy song ‘Dig Down Deep’ deserves attention, too. Crow writes in this song about the joys of reading, plain and simple. He writes, “Reading is a pleasure and it passes the time/In my imagination and I keep it in mind/Like humor and adventure/The things people tried/And when the book is finished I feel so satisfied.” Any bibliophile out there will agree to Crow’s sentiment. Though sometimes, it’s just as tough to want to finish a book when it’s a really good one. But anyway, he writes about going to the library to check out a book in the song’s lead verse, and of being excited to find a shady place to sit and read said book. Again, the image is so vivid. It’s an image that sadly so few of today’s youths can envision considering that everything seems to be going digital. Digital is fine as a companion. But in the view of this critic in particular, the digital will never replace the physical object. We as adults need to make sure that books stay around as physical objects. And we need to make sure that the next generation grows up with more love for books than video games. There is nothing wrong with the digital industry taking on a bigger role in the world’s economy and schools. But it should not overtake the importance of a child’s ability to read. As Crow sings, “We’ve got a lot of reading to do.” We sure do. And hopefully we always will have a lot of reading to do for generations to come. Yet again, it’s such a hefty topic approached in a manner that makes it enjoyable and accessible for audiences young and old alike. It’s one more piece that makes As The Crow Flies enjoyable and that makes it work as well as it does.

Dan Crow has plenty to offer audiences on his new album, as should be evident here. He offers some pretty hefty topics in an accessible fashion. They make for good starting points for longer discussions on the topics in question. For all of the seriousness that he handles on As The Crow Flies, Crow also offers some more easygoing pieces, too. One example of that comes in the form of the album’s closer ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby,’ which is based on the story of a real life Scottish Skye Terrier. The song outlines the dog’s devotion to its master, who was apparently a night watchman for the Edinburgh City Police sometime in the late 19th Century. The song’s Celtic sound and even Crow’s own attempt to sing with a little bit of a Celtic tongue adds to the song’s enjoyment. Crow also offers on his new album an updated take on the standard children’s song ‘Apples and Bananas.’ Instead of using apples and bananas in his updated take, he uses gravy and potatoes as the pneumonic devices to teach the vowels. And it’s all sung in much the same fashion as ‘Apples and Bananas’ just with a slight EDM twist about it. It’s definitely an interesting piece to hear. As if all of this isn’t enough, Crow also offers late in the album a piece simply titled ‘Playground.’ Crow and his fellow musicians do a good job of exhibiting the energy felt by a child who wants to go out and play as Crow sings about all the joys of childhood play on the playground. From playing hopscotch to climbing on a jungle gym to swinging on the swings (always a childhood favorite…..perhaps because of the freedom one feels when swinging) and so much more, all of those pleasures are there. And much like the album’s core trio of songs, it could really serve as a starting point for a discussion on the need for play and getting kids active. That is especially the case considering childhood obesity remains such a hot button topic today. It’s just one more example of why As The Crow Flies is so enjoyable and why it works as well as it does.

Crow has shown a certain understanding of child mentality and of music and its power throughout As The Crow Flies. Whether it be these additional pieces, the album’s core songs or the others not noted here, each piece on this album works in its own way to make As The Crow Flies an album that every parent, teacher, and child should hear at least once. Who knows? They might be jumping for joy just as Crow himself does on the album’s cover after giving it a chance. They might even be jumping for joy when they experience his music live. Crow is currently touring in support of As The Crow Flies. He is scheduled to perform live this Thursday and Friday, December 18th and 19th in Los Angeles. Audiences can get the full details on those upcoming shows and keep up with the latest updates from Crow online at: http://www.dancrow.com.

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.

PBS, PBS Kids Re-Issuing Compilations From Four Family Favorite Series

PBS Kids is starting off the new year with a bang.

On Tuesday, January 13th, PBS and PBS Kids will release four new DVDs—Caillou: Caillou’s Garden Adventures, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train: Eggstravaganza, and Super Why: Jack and the Beanstalk. Each of the DVDs listed has been previously released. However, in their upcoming re-issues, each one will come with a bonus puzzle for kids to assemble.

Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Caillou: Caillou’s Garden Adventure teaches young viewers about the importance of nature and ecological preservation. In this DVD, Caillou learns about the value of nature and the environment as he goes on a hike with his grandfather to Blueberry Point and helps his parents plant a tree in their garden. In features six episodes at a total run time of fifty minutes.

Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Welcome to the Neighborhood was the very first of the DVD releases from what is the first TV series inspired by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The DVD features three episodes—“Daniel’s Birthday,” “Daniel’s Picnic,” and “Neighbor Day.” It runs a total of fifty minutes.

Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Dinosaur Train: Eggstravaganza features eight episodes from the family favorite hit series about a family of dinosaurs and the family’s many adventures. Among the eight episodes included on this disc are “The Egg Stealer?” and “Hatching Party.” In the first of that pair, Buddy and Don have a mystery to solve when they happen on a group of unhatched eggs on their beach. In “Hatching Party,” Buddy, Tiny and Mrs. Pteranodon ride the Dinosaur Train to an egg hatching party. These two episodes along with the disc’s remaining six bring its total run time to 100 minutes.


Courtesy:  PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Kids

Super Why: Jack and the Beanstalk sees Wyatt and his friends jump into the worlds of Jack and the Beanstalk, The Princess and the Pea, The Three Little Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood. The total run time of the disc is 100 minutes.

More information on these and other titles from PBS Kids is available online at:

Website: http://pbskids.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSKIDS

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.

Devour The Day, Like A Storm Join Hellyeah For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Eleven Seven Music

Courtesy: Eleven Seven Music

Hellyeah is hitting the road again this winter.

The band announced a new slate of tour dates in support of its latest full-length studio release Blood for Blood.  The band’s fourth full-length studio effort, Blood for Blood was released June 10th, 2014.  The upcoming tour includes twenty-three total dates.  Among those dates is a pair of dates in North Carolina on the tail end of the tour.  The first of those two dates will bring Hellyeah and support bands Devour The Day and Like a Storm to Ziggy’s by the Sea on Friday, March 6th, 2015.  Ziggy’s by the Sea is in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The second of the bands’ North Carolina performances will bring them to Amos’ Southend in Charlotte on Saturday, March 7th.

Devour the Day is currently touring in support of its debut full-length album Time & Pressure, which was released May 7th, 2013.  The album made Devour the Day one of 203’s biggest Cinderella stories.  Its lead single ‘Good Man’ reached #10 n the “Active Rock” Chart and #15 on the “Mainstream Rock Tracks” Chart.  The band was also one of the Top 40 most played artists of 2013 at Active Rock stations across the country.  The album’s latest single ‘Respect’ made its way to the Top 20 on Mediabase’s “Active Rock” Chart this past September. The band’s upcoming tour with Hellyeah is not its first with a big name act.  It has also toured with: Butcher Babies, Three Days Grace, and Sevendust and has shared the stage with Rob Zombie and All That Remains.

Like a Storm will release its new album Awaken The Fire on Century Media’s sister label Another Century early in 2015.  The album will be the band’s first for Another Century and second overall full-length release.  The band has already released two singles–‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ and its latest single ‘Wish You Hell.’

The full schedule for the upcoming “Blood For Blood 2015” Tour is listed below.


Friday, February 6, 2015 LAS VEGAS NV BROOKLYN BOWL
Sunday, February 8, 2015 SACRAMENTO CA ACE OF SPADES
Saturday, February 14, 2015 DENVER CO SUMMIT MUSIC HALL
Sunday, February 15, 2015 WICHITA KS THE COTILION
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 LINCOLN NE THE BOURBON THEATRE
Friday, February 20, 2015 COLUMBIA MO BLUE NOTE
Saturday, February 21, 2015 SIOUX CITY IA HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 FLINT MI THE MACHINE SHOP
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 FORT WAYNE IN PIERE’S
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 BALTIMORE MD RAMS HEAD
Saturday, March 7, 2015 CHARLOTTE NC AMOS’ SOUTHEND
Sunday, March 8, 2015 ATLANTA GA CENTERSTAGE

 All of the latest updates from Hellyeah on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.hellyeahband.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hellyeahband

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hellyeahband

All of the latest updates from Devour the Day on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.devourtheday.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/devourtheday

Twitter: www.twitter.com/devourtheday

All of the latest updates from Like A Storm on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: http://www.likeastorm.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/likeastormofficial

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.