ESPN Deportes Broadcasting Jungle Fight 55

Courtesy:  ESPN Deportes

Courtesy: ESPN Deportes

ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish language sister network, will have live coverage of Jungle Fight 55 tomorrow night, Saturday, July 20th.  The event will be broadcast live from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil tomorrow night at 9pm ET.

Jungle Fight 55 will be headlined by a bout between Robson “New” (Tigre Gold Team) and Marcos Vinicius “Cabecinha” (Manguiera Team) for the interim belt (57 kg).

The night’s co-feature will see Caio “Caiao Alencar” (Kimura/Nova Uniao) facing off against Edson Conterraneo (Otavio of Almeida Team) in the GP semifinal.

Other fights scheduled for tomorrow night’s show are listed below.

Renato “Moicano” (Constrictor Team) x Nilson “Feijão” (Team Tavares/ Nobre Arte) – up to 61kg

Ary Santos (Champs Team) x Marcos Reyes (MÉXICO, team Bullfighters Nayarit Gym) – up to 70kg

Fabiano “Jacarezinho” (XGym) x Patrick Tavares (BPT/Cordero) – up to 66kg

Ederson Moreira (PRVT) x Fabian Quintanar (MÉXICO, team Chakal MX Gym) – up to 70kg

Junior “Abedi”(Relma Team) x Péricles Sampaio (Marajó Brothers) –  up to 57kg

 

Fans of ESPN Deportes can keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews on the ESPN Deportes Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNDeportes, the official ESPN Deportes website, http://espndeportes.espn.go.com and its Twitter page, http://twitter.com/ESPNDeportes.

 

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.

From Dust To Dreams A Concert Dream Come True

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Las Vegas is typically known by its nickname, “Sin City.”  The other “city that never sleeps” is dominated by gambling, girls, and much more.  Because of that reputation, few people would ever associate the famed city with a center for the performing arts.  But there is in fact a center for the performing and cultural arts in Las Vegas now in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.  Thanks to PBS, audiences that weren’t able to be in attendance at the celebration of the center’s opening can now re-live the concert event any time that they want.

from Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts chronicles the celebration held in honor of the center’s opening.  What can be said of this performance but it was an impressive show from a who’s who of the music and entertainment community.  Performers the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Mavis Staples, John Fogerty, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and more than can be named here took part in the two-hour long celebration of the arts coming to Las Vegas at long last.  Host of the Tonys and star of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother served as emcee of this presentation.  What’s interesting to note about his presence in this performance is how much different it was in comparison to what audiences have become accustomed to from the actor.  This isn’t a bad thing, either.  If anything, it only serves to heighten the enjoyment of the overall presentation.  Add in expertly mixed audio and video, and audiences get what is in retrospect one of the best live recordings of 2012.

The very first thing that can be noted of from Dust to Dreams is that it opens and closes in fine fashion.  The opening number performed by trumpet player Arturo Sandoval.  Sandoval’s performance was an outstanding opener for the two-hour event.  His control over his instrument shows the result of his years of training.  This is especially the case when he hits the final high note of his opening number.  Far too often, some overzealous performers hit high notes in songs, thinking they sound good.  But in reality the performers in question are blasting out the notes, resulting in a very harsh sound.  That wasn’t the case with Sandoval’s performance.  His performance got the energy flowing and set the bar for what was to come through the rest of the show’s performances.

The performances that follow that of Sandoval hold the bar quite well.  Whether the medley of songs from Man of La Mancha and West Side Story, the classic country of veteran artist Willie Nelson, or even the more rocking sounds of John Fogerty, this show spans the musical spectrum and will entertain audiences of all ages and musical tastes.  Adding to the enjoyment of the concert is the presence of emcee Neil Patrick Harris.  Yes, Harris was more subdued in his hosting duties here than as host of the Tonys.  But this was an entirely different event.  Even the performers had their time on stage limited as there were so many performers.  What’s more, Harris did offer his share of pretty funny jokes when he was on stage.  Audiences need to keep this in mind in considering his performance as emcee of this event.  In doing so, those same individuals will enjoy the laughs that Harris shares when he is on stage.

The performance of host Neil Patrick Harris and that of the show’s performers make from Dust to Dreams quite the enjoyable live recording.  One would be remiss though, to ignore the importance of the show’s audio and video mix.  Going back to the show’s opening number by Arturo Sandoval straight through to the show’s closing number, the audio and video have been expertly mixed.  There are some songs that absolutely soar throughout the course of this program.  And then there are other, more subtle pieces that were captured so well.  Whether one has a home surround sound theater or not, one can still experience so much.  Those that do have home theater systems will appreciate the performances even more.  That’s because the picture will look crystal clear on an HDTV and the sound will sound just as clear.  This is especially true for those with surround sound.  It is these aspects that make the overall presentation on this DVD so enjoyable.  In retrospect, it makes this collection of performances one of the best live recordings of 2012.  From Dust to Dreams is available now.  It can be ordered online direct from the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=13233132&cp=&sr=1&kw=from+dust+to+dreams&origkw=from+Dust+to+Dreams&parentPage=search&searchId=1374600.

Fans of PBS and its programming can keep up with all of the latest news, releases and more from the network online at http://ww.facebook.com/pbs and at http://www.pbs.org.

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.

ESPN Releases 2013 NFL Draft Coverage Details

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

It’s that time of year again.  Universities across the country are showing off their teams’ talents for the upcoming season of college football later in the year with Spring games.  Just as the new crop of college players are on display, the next crop of future NFL stars is preparing to make a splash at the annual NFL Draft.  The draft kicks off Thursday, April 25th and runs through Saturday, April 27th.  And ESPN will be on hand for all the coverage of this year’s draft.  The first two nights of the draft will air in primetime.  And for the second consecutive year, Round One’s first hour of coverage will air with limited commercial interruption.

Chris Berman will be on hand for the 2013 NFL Draft presented by Bud Light.  This year marks the thirty-third year of coverage for Berman.  He will host ESPN’s draft coverage live from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.  He will be joined by analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. and Monday Night Football analyst and Superbowl-winning coach Jon Gruden on set.  This year’s draft marks the thirtieth year of covering the draft for Mel Kiper, Jr.  Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen and NFL Insider Adam Schefter will be on hand at another set live at Radio City Music Hall.  And NFL32 host Suzy Kolber will be on hand providing interviews with draft prospects.

Trey Wingo takes over as main his on Day 2 & 3 of the NFL Draft.  He will be joined by Trent Dilfer, Mel Kiper, Jr., and ESPN Scouts, Inc. director of scouting Todd McShay.  Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen will also both be back.  They will be joined by Six-time NFL Executive of the Year Bill Polian.  Suzy Kolber will be back broadcasting live on Saturday from Bristol, Connecticut, hosting ten hours of coverage. She will be joined by analysts Tedy Bruschi, Herm Edwards, and Ron Jaworski.  It all begins Saturday, April 26th with SportsCenter Special: On The Clock at 10am/9am CT.

ESPN will have reporters and correspondents coming to audiences live from team sites and more throughout the weekend, including on the radio on ESPN Radio affiliates across the country.  Josina Anderson will report live from the St. Louis Rams’ team site.  Colleen Dominguez will have reports from the San Francisco 49ers team site.  Sal Paolantonio will be on hand in Philadelphia with reports from the Eagles.  And Ed Werder will be live from Kansas City with reports on the latest from the Chiefs.

Mike Hill and three-time Superbowl Champion Mark Schlereth—co-hosts of ESPN’s Hill and Schlereth—will host ESPN Radio’s NFL Draft 2013 presented by Bud Light on Thursday and Friday, April 25th and 26th.  ESPN.com Senior NFL writer John Clayton will join Hill and Schlereth for their broadcast.  ESPN Radio’s coverage begins Thursday, April 25th at 7pm and Friday, April 26th at 6pm. 

Leading up to this year’s NFL Draft, ESPN will air SportsCenter Special: On The Clock shows, hosted by a number of ESPN’s top studio analysts.  Among those analysts joining fans for this year’s SportsCenter Special: On The Clock will be: Cris Carter, Trent Dilfer, Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski, Keyshawn Johnson, Bill Polian, and Steve Young from Bristol.  Trey Wingo will host SportsCenter Special: On The Clock on Thursday, April 25th at 5pm.  Wendi Nix will host the special on Friday, April 26th.  And Suzy Kolber will have hosting duties on Saturday, April 27th.

A full schedule of this year’s NFL Draft coverage on ESPN and the ESPN family of networks is available below.

ESPN NFL Draft TV schedule (Apr. 25-27):

 

Date Time (ET) Show Network
Thurs., April 25 3-4 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN
  4-5 p.m. NFL Live Presented by HTC One ESPN
  5-7:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN
  7:30-8 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown Presented by iShares by Black Rock ESPN
  8-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft Presented by Bud Light (Round 1) ESPN
Fri., April 26 3-4 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN
  4-5 p.m. NFL Live Presented by HTC One ESPN
  5-5:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock  
  5:30-6:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown Presented by iShares by Black Rock ESPN
  6:30-10:30 p.m. NFL Draft Presented by Bud Light  (Rounds 2-3) ESPN/ESPN2
Sat., April 27 10-11:30 a.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN
  11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown Presented by iShares by Black Rock ESPN
  12-8 p.m. NFL Draft Presented by Bud Light (Rounds 4-7) ESPN
Sun., April 28 1-3 p.m. SportsCenter Special: NFL Draft Grades ESPN

 

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 Bronx’s New LP Another Solid Effort

Courtesy:  ATO Records

Courtesy: ATO Records

The new upcoming album from the Los Angeles, CA based punk rock band, The Bronx, is everything that the band’s long-time fans have come to expect from the band.  It boasts the same raw, blue-collar punk rock vibe that made the band’s previous releases over the years so popular among its fan base.  There are those who might try to criticize the band for that.  But as the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  While this album boasts much the same vibe as the band’s previous records, its sound isn’t so much the same.  This is a sometimes complicated topic to touch on as it’s so easy to get an album’s feel and its sound mixed up.  In talking about the album’s sound, the simplest explanation is that thankfully from one song to the next, none of the songs sound like the band was ripping itself off.  In the case of its feel/vibe, it does carry that same feel with tis energy.  And that combination together will impress any long-time fan.  What’s more it’s enough to bring on-board any new fan with this record, too.

Listeners will understand the similarities and dis-similarities between this album and the band’s previous releases right off the bat.  The album’s opener, ‘Unholy Land’, is an energy-filled rocker.  Vocalist Matt Caughthran sings in the song’s opening moments, “They got you working on the weekdays/They got you working on the weekends, too/I know you’re swallowing your paycheck/Like it’s always what you think you do…They got you riding in the spotlight/thinking everyone knows who you are/And now you’re talking like a prophet/selling money from a shooting star.  It comes across lyrically as a song about someone who’s being used like a puppet to obtain someone else’s ends.  That’s made a little clearer in the song’s chorus as Caughthran asks, “Are you the antichrist/or the holy ghost?”  He comes across as speaking in a metaphorical sense here trying to express the mixed emotions felt by such an individual who is being used.  That seeming message mixed with the song’s straight forward radio ready musical backing makes it the perfect fit for the album’s opener.   It really is the purest definition of punk music in every sense.

The band keeps things moving solidly from here from one song to the next.  Its combination of short songs and catchy guitar riffs (only four of the album’s eleven total tracks break the three-minute mark) listeners won’t even realize how much time has passed.  That very factor is the sign of a good record.  Listeners will find by the final moments of this record that they haven’t skipped through any of the album’s songs.  The ability to keep listeners’ attention so expertly means that the band has done something right.   And in an era that is dominated by digital downloading, that is an increasingly rare feat.  Keeping that in mind, whether one prefers downloading or the physical object (this critic personally prefers the physical object) any punk purist is offered a full album of fan favorites rather than a bunch of fillers and a few hits.  The album will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 5th via ATO Records.  The band will be touring in support of its new album beginning Feb. 1st at the Casbah in San Diego, CA.  From there, the band will have a small handful of U.S. dates before heading overseas to the U.K. to perform throughout the month of February.  More dates are possible.  So fans can keep up with all the latest tour dates and news from the band online in the meantime at http://www.facebook.com/thebronx and http://www.thebronxx.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

TSO Goes Back To Its Past On New EP

Courtesy:  Atlantic Records

Courtesy: Atlantic Records

Trans Siberian Orchestra is back at it again.  It’s been over fifteen years since this famed melodic power rock band first turned the world of Christmas music on its ear with its blend of classical, rock, and holiday sounds.  And it’s been eight years since the band’s last holiday themed release, The Lost Christmas Eve (2004).  Now, the band has returned to form after the release of its most recent album, Night Castle with the release of its new EP, Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night).

TSO’s new EP offers fans four new songs and one that revisits an old classic and updates it at the same time.  That track is the EP’s title track.  Long-time fans of TSO will instantly recognize the band’s song ‘Queen Of The Winter Night’ in this song.  The change here though is that it has been mixed in with the final movement of Vivaldi’s legendary ‘Four Seasons’ opus.  Obviously, going back in time for this song has and will continue to divide the band’s legions.  But adding in new material makes for an interesting musical reboot of sorts.   

The EP’s opener, ‘Winter Palace’ is the perfect first impression for this new release.  Its ominous piano based intro will instantly grab listeners and keep their attention throughout the course of the song’s near four minute run time.  It’s the song’s buildup from the first bars to the sudden harder edged rock sound that makes it such a powerful first song.  It will instantly conjure thoughts of the band’s breakthrough hit, ‘Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24’ with its overall tone.  And its transition into the EP’s title track adds even more power to the overall general effect of this new release.

The EP’s third track, ‘I Had a Memory’ is just as…well…memorable as song as anything that the band has released over the course of its “Christmas Trilogy.”  This one will instantly conjure thoughts of ‘Faith Noel’ also from the band’s previous Christmas album, The Lost Christmas Eve.  Fans will recall that after the song’s initial slower opening “A” section, the tempo picks up in its “B” section.  The overall sound here even goes to more of a rock based sound.  A side by side comparison of the two songs will surely show the similarity.  While the band obviously looked to its roots for this piece, it can’t be said that the band directly ripped itself off.  But the influence of its previous record is undoubtedly there in this song. 

The influence of the band’s previous works is evident even as it moves into the EP’s penultimate track, ‘Someday.’  Stylistically, its emotional, almost folksy sound is similar to that of certain material from the band’s debut 1996 album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories.  What’s different here though, is the song’s lyrical side.  Lyrically, it is a tribute on the part of TSO founder and singer Paul O’ Neill to his parents sung by vocalist Tim Hockenberry.  Hockenberry’s haunting vocal style won’t leave a single eye dry after hearing singing here, “So I wrote these words/And I hope they last/For the years have come/And the years have passed/Think of all they gave/Think of all the debt/But can’t find a way/To repay them yet/For the days still come/And the debt still mounts/And do words unsaid/Ever really count/But sometimes still/In the dead of night/I can see them there/In the pale moonlight/I am trying/And I don’t know how/And I don’t know when/But I’ll have to tell them/Someday.”  It’s not just Hockenberry’s vocals that will move listeners in this emotional piece, either.  The music makes for a fitting compliment to Hockenberry’s gritty and almost mournful vocals in this song.  Together, they make one more highlight to the EP.  It’s a song that will leave even the strongest person at least a little teary eyed.

TSO’s new EP closes out with the gentle and equally emotional vocals of singer Georgia Napolitano on ‘Time You Should Be Sleeping.’  Yet again, TSO has reached back into its bag of tricks here as its obvious this song was influenced at least some part by the band’s song, ‘Dream Child’ from its 1998 album, ‘The Christmas Attic.’  Napolitano’s vocals are so powerful in their gentility, proving once more the old adage that less is more is very true.  Listeners can almost see this loving mother figure holding her young child, smiling down on said child as she sings, “I can see you breathing/Know that I am near you/Feel the evening whisper/In gentle sighs/To close your eyes until tomorrow/Childhood dreams are always new/And when you are there I’ll follow/And believe that my whole life is…/You.”  If this final moment doesn’t send chills and draw tears once more from listeners, then it’s anyone’s guess what would.  ‘Time You Should Be Sleeping’ doesn’t necessarily show any real Christmas themes.  But that aside, its beautiful lullaby style sound and lyrics make it the perfect counterpart to the EP’s opener, gently landing listeners on another musical shore after the journey taken from the EP’s other songs, thus closing one more impressive release from one of rock’s greatest and most talented bands around today.

Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night) is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct online via TSO’s online store at http://transsiberianorchestra.shop.bravadousa.com/.  It can also be picked up at the band’s shows as it tours the country in support of the new release and its most recently full length Christmas album, The Lost Christmas Eve.  To get a full list of tour dates and all the latest news from the band, audiences can go online to http://www.facebook.com/TSO or http://www.trans-siberian.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.