Friday Night Fights Features Junior Middleweights In Tomorrow’s Main Matchup

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights returns tomorrow night.  Tomorrow’s edition is anchored by a battle of Junior Middleweights.  To be more exact, it features undefeated Junior Middleweight George “Comanche Boy” Tahdooanippah (31-0-1, 23 KOs) facing off against former Junior Middleweight and Welterweight title challenger Delvin Rodriguez (26-6-3, 14 KOs) in the evening’s 10-round main event.  The show will broadcast live from Uncasville, Connecticut tomorrow night at 9pm EST on ESPN2 HD.  It will also be available on WatchESPN and on tablets and smart phones via ESPN’s WatchESPN app.  It will run tape delayed on ESPN Deportes at 10:30pm.

Friday’s main event will be preceded by a 10-round co-feature pitting Lightweights Chris “Hurricane” Howard (14-2-1) and “The Mongolian Mongoose” Bayan Jargal (17-3-3, 10 KOs) against one another.  Jargal comes into Friday’s match off of a first-round TKO win against former featherweight titlist Erik Aiken.  On the other side, Howard is looking for redemption after losing in a 10-round split decision to Marc Salser. 

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will call the matches live from ringside at the Mohegan Sun Arena.  Studio host Todd Grisham will be on hand with all of the latest boxing news.  He will also have an interview with Kendall Holt (28-5, 16 KOs).  Grisham will be discussing the upcoming match against Junior Welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) with Holt.  That match takes place next Friday, February22nd on the next edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.  Alex Pombo and Bernardo Osuna will also be on hand for ESPN Deportes.  They will be joined by Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in studio.  Osuna will also provide live interviews and reports for both ESPN and ESPN Deportes. 

ESPN offers many ways to keep up with all of the latest from Friday Night Fights.  Fans can follow it on Twitter at @ESPNFNF and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  Hispanic fans can follow Friday Night Fights on Twitter at @ESPNBoxeo.  Fans can even score the fight themselves round-by-round online via the Friday Night Fights Facebook voting app on the Friday Night Fights Facebook page. 

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.

Skyfall One Of 2013′s Top Home Releases

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

There’s an old adage that states something to the effect of the third time is the charm.  That adage has never been truer than in the case of Daniel Craig’s take on the revered Bond franchise.  When Casino Royale first debuted, it was met with mixed reviews.  That is because it came across more as a movie that was struggling to deal with the expectations placed on it by critics and the public.  In trying so hard, it lost its identity, and became more of a melodrama than a classic Bond flick.  Then came Quantum of Solace.  The second of Craig’s Bond films wasn’t bad.  It was just misunderstood.  Its problem was that it was more a sequel to Casino Royale than its own standalone movie.  Enter Skyfall.  This is the Bond flick that fans have wanted from the very beginning.  That’s even more the case now that this modern classic has been released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital.

Skyfall is the movie that long-time Bond fans have waited for since the release of Casino Royale.  This movie is a throwback to the glory days of James Bond in every sense of the word.  Right from the beginning of the movie, audiences are taken back in time with a classic Bond style opening credit sequence complete with musical number.  This time the opening musical number is provided courtesy of pop star Adele who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance of the movie’s theme song.  And go figure, she sings in the song’s chorus, “This is the end.”  For those who haven’t seen Skyfall yet, this single line is far more prophetic than anyone could realize until the story’s surprise ending.  In between the classic opening and the surprise ending, the rest of the movie is entirely classic style Bond, complete with a wild opening chase scene, and nonstop action throughout the story’s first two acts.  The story’s final act is the only downside to the entire presentation.  The buildup to the final confrontation between Bond and Silva drags on more than it really should have.  But the story’s surprise epilogue makes that slow boil forgivable.

The meat and potatoes of Skyfall is classic James Bond in every sense of the phrase. The action is much the same as old school Bond flicks.  And fans will thrill at the inclusion of a certain classic Bond car complete with ejector seat and guns in the headlights.  Yes, that car.  And then of course there is the classic Bond attitude on the part of Daniel Craig.  Rather than being the finely trained killer/agent with emotional baggage that audiences came to know from the franchise’s previous efforts, what audiences get here is a mix of Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery and his own attitude, too complete with the occasional semi-cheesy one-liners.  Combined with the story’s non-stop action and the constant references to the Golden Days of Bond, Skyfall quickly becomes the first true definitive Bond film for this generation.  All of these factors are discussed at length in the bonus features included in the movie’s brand new Blu-ray/DVD/Vudu combo pack.  Everything from the action scenes to the new Bond girl to the gadgets and more are discussed in the combo pack’s bonus features.  Those dicussions are made even more interesting with the inclusion of not one, but two separate audio commentaries that audiences can enjoy.  Both commentaries add their own extra insight into everything that went into making the movie.  For example, audiences will be surprised to discover that Craig himself took part in the movie’s initial train scene as it went through a tunnel.  That wasn’t a stunt double.  That was really Daniel Craig.  How many stars today are so willing to do their own stunts next to one Jackie Chan.  The commentaries offer so much more that audiences will enjoy as they watch this new home release themselves.  Keeping all of this in mind, it goes without saying that just as this was one of the best movies of 2012 in theaters, it is now one of the best movies of 2013 in its home release.  It is available in stores and online now and can be ordered online direct via the Fox online store at http://www.foxconnect.com/skyfall-14987.html.

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S.O.G. Crew Announces New Tour

Courtesy:  Fresh Tracks Marketing/EMG/Universal Music

Courtesy: Fresh Tracks Marketing/EMG/Universal Music

Anaheim, California’s own S.O.G. (Sons of God) Crew is hitting the road.  The EMG/Universal Music group will start touring beginning Friday, March 8th at the Freedom Worship Center in San Jose, California.  The band will be working its brand new currently unreleased single, ‘Let’s Change The World’ as it tours across the country.  The tour runs through Sunday, May 5th.  The group’s key performance will be April 26th in the nation’s capitol where it will headline a city-wide concert.  The performance will follow a march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Federal Reserve.  It is from here that Dr. Robert “Battle Ax” Ornelas will officially announce his candidacy for Lieutenant governor of California in 2014.  Dr. Ornelas is teaming up with Republican candidate Robert Newman, who will be running for the state’s governor. 

‘Let’s Change The World’ isn’t just the group’s latest single.  It is also a documentary focusing on the S.O.G. Crew’s rise.  It tells of the group’s rise from the inner city to the red carpet and speaking at high profile political gatherings. 

For a full listing of the group’s upcoming tour dates, audiences can follow the band online at http://sogcrew.net and http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-SOG-Crew/118949438118767.

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Green Day Announce New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  BB Gun press

Courtesy: BB Gun press

Pop punk band Green Day has announced two new concert dates to its current tour lineup.  The band—Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals/guitar), Tre Cool (drums) and Mike Dirnt (bass)—added performances on Tuesday, April 16th and Thursday April 18th.  The band will perform at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California on April 16th.  Tickets for this show will be available this Friday at noon local time.  Fan club members will get first access to pre-sale tickets, which go on sale today at 3pm EST/12pm PST.  For more information on this pre-sale and more, fans can go online to http://www.idiotclub.com.  The second of the new pair of performance dates will be at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California.  Tickets for this show will be available next Friday, February 22nd at 10am local time.       

The dates are just two more in an already very busy schedule for the trio.  The band will kick off its tour on Thursday, March 28th and will tour across the country through April 18th before heading overseas for the European leg of its tour.  The tour is in support of the band’s recently released trilogy, Uno!, Dos!, and Tre!  Also recently announced is the upcoming debut of the band’s documentary, Cuatro!, at the 20th annual SXSW Film Conference and Festival.  The documentary follows the band as it brings its trilogy from concept to store shelves.  It also includes some very special performances recorded along the way.  The 20th annual SXSW Film Conference and Festival runs from March 8th – 16th in Austin, TX.

Also debuting at the annual event is the Doug Hamilton directed, Broadway Idiot.  The film follows Billie Joe Armstrong as he ventures into the world of Broadway and turns the band’s album, American Idiot into the massive stage success that it is today. 

For more information on all of this and to get the latest news from the band, go online to http://www.greenday.com, http://www.facebook.com/GreenDay, http://twitter.com/greenday, and http://www.youtube.com/greenday.

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ESPN Radio Releases Schedule For NBA All-Star Game Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPN Radio

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio will nationally broadcast the 2013 Sprint NBA All-Star Game.  This marks the 17th straight year that ESPN Radio will have events through the All-Star game, which lead up to the broadcast of the annual game.  The game will be broadcast this Sunday, February 17th at 7:30pm EST.  The game will be called by Kevin Calabro.  He will be joined by analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Dr. Jack Ramsay. Marc Kestecher will join the team live from ESPN’s studios.  He will be joined by NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, ESPN NBA insider Marc Stein, and reporter Shelley Smith.

Coverage of this weekend’s All-Star Game starts Friday with a broadcast of First Take live from Houston at 10am.   ESPN Radio’s SVP and Rusillo will also broadcast live.  The pair will broadcast live at 1pm this Friday.  It will also simulcast on ESPNNEWS.  Both shows will broadcast from the House of Blues in Houston.  Along with the live broadcast, Ryen Rusillo will also participate in the 2013 All-Star Celebrity Game live from the George R. Brown Convention Center.  He and ESPN commentator Bruce Bowen will be among many other celebrities taking part in the game.  Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and James Harden (Houston Rockets) will serve as special coaches for the event.  Mark Jones will provide commentary for the game and will be joined by analyst Jon Barry and reporter Chris Broussard.  Audiences can catch the game via ESPN Mobile TV and online at WatchESPN.  Audiences with tablets and smart phones can catch the game with the WatchESPN app.

ESPN.com will have even more content through the weekend including live chats and grades for all events related to the NBA All-Star Game.  TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott will also present TrueHoop TV content all weekend.  A full schedule of events from ESPN Radio and ESPN International is available below.

ESPN Radio’s 2013 NBA All-Star schedule

 

Date Event Time (ET)
Fri., Feb. 15 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge 9 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 16 Meet the All-Stars 6 p.m.
  NBA All-Star Saturday Night:

The Sears Shooting Stars

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge

The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

8:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 17 2013 Sprint NBA All-Star Game 7:30 p.m.

 

ESPN International All-Star coverage

NBA All-Star Celebrity Game:  Live on Pac-Rim, Brazil, Atlantic, Caribbean and UK, Friday at 7pm EST

Rising Stars Challenge:  Live on Pac-Rim, Brazil, Atlantic, Caribbean and UK, Friday at 9pm EST

NBA All-Star Saturday Night:  Live on Pac-Rim, Brazil, Atlantic, Caribbean and UK, Saturday at 8:30pm                                                               EST.

NBA All-Star Game:  Live on Pac-Rim, Brazil, Atlantic, Caribbean and UK, Sunday at 8pm EST

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ESPN Announces Daytona Coverage Schedule

The weather is still cold around most of the country.  But America’s premier racing series is warming up its engines.  NASCAR will return to the track this weekend.  And ESPN will be there with two full weeks of coverage culminating in a broadcast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener on Saturday, February 23rd.  The network’s coverage will span its family of networks, as well as its digital and print outlets.  As an added bonus, the winner of this year’s Daytona 500 will appear on a variety of ESPN telecasts the day after the Sprint Cup Series’ season opener.

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s coverage of the Nationwide Series begins with live coverage of Nationwide practice on Thursday, February 21st at 3pm EST and qualifying Friday, February 22nd at 3:30pm EST.  Its broadcast of the season opening 300-mile race live from Daytona International Speedway begins at 12pm EST on February 23rd with the race itself beginning at 1:15pm EST.  The race will be called from the booth by Allen Bestwick.  He will be joined by ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree.  The pits will be covered by Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, and Vince Welch.  The countdown show will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe.  She will be joined by Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham, and Brad Daughetry.

 

This week and next week will be front loaded with all the coverage that any member of the NASCAR Nation could want.  A complete schedule of coverage across the ESPN family of networks is available below.

ESPN’S 2013 DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS SCHEDULE

(all times Eastern)

 

Date Time Program Network
Tuesday, Feb. 12 12:30 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Wednesday, Feb. 13 12:30 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Thursday, Feb. 14 2 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Thursday, Feb. 14 Noon NASCAR Now: Media Day Special ESPNEWS
Friday, Feb. 15 Midnight SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 15 1 a.m. 1998 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 15 1:30 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Friday, Feb. 15 3 a.m. 3 Nation: The Life & Legacy of Dale Earnhardt ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 15 4 a.m. SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 15 5 a.m. 3 Nation: The Life & Legacy of Dale Earnhardt ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 15 7 a.m. 1998 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 15 9 a.m. SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt ESPN Classic
Saturday, Feb. 16 6 a.m. RaceDay ESPN Radio
Sunday, Feb. 17 6 a.m. RaceDay ESPN Radio
Tuesday, Feb. 19 12:30 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Wednesday, Feb. 20 12:30 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Wednesday, Feb. 20 8:30 a.m. SportsCentury: Mario Andretti ESPN Classic
Wednesday, Feb. 20 9:30 a.m. SportsCentury: Tim Flock ESPN Clsssic
Wednesday, Feb. 20 10:30 a.m. SportsCentury: Jeff Gordon ESPN Classic
Wednesday, Feb. 20 11 a.m. 1993 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Wednesday, Feb. 20 1 p.m. 2007 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Wednesday, Feb. 20 3 p.m. 1997 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Wednesday, Feb. 20 5 p.m. 1999 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 2 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Thursday, Feb. 21 2:30 a.m. 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Preview ESPN2
Thursday, Feb. 21 8 a.m. Tim Richmond: To the Limit ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 9 a.m. 3 Nation: The Life & Legacy of Dale Earnhardt ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 10 a.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series practice ESPN2
Thursday, Feb. 21 10 a.m. SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt Jr. ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 11 a.m. SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 Noon 1976 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 1 p.m. 1981 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 3 p.m. 1983 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Thursday, Feb. 21 5 p.m. 1979 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 1:30 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Friday, Feb. 22 2 a.m. 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Preview ESPN2
Friday, Feb. 22 7:30 a.m. 1998 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 9:30 a.m. SportsCentury: Tony Stewart ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 11 a.m. SportsCentury: Richard Petty ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 Noon 1973 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 1 p.m. 1978 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 2 p.m. 1988 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 3:30 p.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying ESPN2
Friday, Feb. 22 4 p.m. 1993 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Friday, Feb. 22 6 p.m. 1998 Daytona 500 ESPN Classic
Saturday, Feb. 23 1:30 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Saturday, Feb. 23 6 a.m. RaceDay ESPN Radio
Saturday, Feb. 23 Noon NASCAR Countdown ESPN
Saturday, Feb. 23 1:15 p.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series race, telecast presented by Royal Purple ESPN
Sunday, Feb. 24 2:30 a.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series race (re-air) ESPN2
Sunday, Feb. 24 4 a.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series race ESPN Deportes
Sunday, Feb. 24 6 a.m. RaceDay ESPN Radio
Sunday, Feb. 24 9 a.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
Monday, Feb. 25 Midnight NASCAR Now ESPN2
Monday, Feb. 25 TBA Daytona 500 winner at ESPN Various outlets

  

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Bully Is A Painful Yet Powerful Documentary

Courtesy:  The Weinstein Company

Courtesy: The Weinstein Company

The Weinstein Company’s documentary, Bully, is one of the most powerful documentaries that have been released in recent years.  This is a documentary that will always be relevant.  It’s something that every single parent and every single child in this country and around the world should see.  Period.  It is a completely unbiased look at the reality of bully that plagues not just one community or county, but the entire country.  It shows children’s’ lives who have been ravaged because of bullying and the complacency both of adults and their fellow students alike.  They are young people who have been pushed to the brink and beyond as a result of these factors.  It is that unbiased point of view that makes this feature so powerful.

One critic wrote of the movie that it has a failing in that it only shows the “bad” schools and not the “good” ones.  The problem is that the “bad” schools outnumber the good schools by such a massive number that more people can relate to the “bad” schools than those that would be “good.”  The stories from those “bad” schools are shocking and at times painful and angering.  They show that it’s not just the parents who are guilty of allowing bullying to happen in our nation’s schools.  The peers of those students are just as liable for what happens to victims of bullying.  And it is up to both those same adults and youth alike to band together in order to bring an end to bullying.  Otherwise, nothing will change.  As the program notes in a single line at its end, “Everything starts with one.”  One person standing up will lead to another and another until thousands stand up and say no more.

One of the most intriguing factors highlighted here is that of bullying victims being punished for standing up to their bullies.  This is something to which so many parents and kids alike can relate today.  Kids seem almost expected in schools to take bullying while administrators would rather simply turn a blind eye and blame the victim, rather than take that stand.  That is especially exemplified when young Alex’s mother confronts the assistant principal at his school about her son being bullied.  The assistant principal in question claimed that the kids on his bus were so good.  Of course they were.  They had an administrator in front of them.  When the cat’s away, the mice come out to play.  And the way that she seemed to simply want to shoo his parents away was absolutely sickening.  It’s just one of so many moments that are equally powerful throughout the course of the documentary’s almost two hour run time.  There are so many moments other than just this that will leave audiences in shock and will hopefully make them want to be part of that movement to end bullying.  With any luck, those same parents and kids will spread the word to others who haven’t seen this documentary, and that fire inside will burn brighter with each viewer to make a difference.  And perhaps maybe, just maybe, one day when enough people have taken a stand, the world will finally no longer need documentaries such as BullyBully is available now in stores and online.

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The Morning After Starts Work On New Album

Courtesy:  The Morning After

Courtesy: The Morning After

The Morning After has officially announced that it has started working on the early stages of its new full length studio release.  The band has announced that Grammy winning former Carolina Chocolcate Drops member and current Mary Annettes member Justin Robinson will produce the band’s new album.  It was Robinson’s work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops that earned him a Grammy award in 2010.  He is currently touring with the Mary Annettes, which is his own band.  The band’s new album is expected to be available this Fall.  In the meantime, audiences can check out the new video for the band’s song, ‘Warm Like The Sun’ now just by clicking here http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/video/10874634?eid=A848646_16365532_48862398_lnk1000

Audiences can also check out the band live as it tours in support of its current album, Starless Nights.  The band will be performing live at the Pour House on Friday, March 15th.  It will also make a couple of stops on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast on March 21st and 29th in Beaufort and Wilmington respectively before heading back to the Pour House for a return engagement on Saturday, June 1st.  Audiences in Raleigh, North Carolina will also get the chance to see the band in a very special performance as it performs at the state’s capitol at the ‘Works-Downtown Raleigh’s 4th of July Celebration.’  These are just a handful of dates that the band has scheduled.  Fans can get all the latest tour dates and more when they check out the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/morningaftermusic

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The Not-Its! New LP Fun For Kids AND Parents

Courtesy: Little Loopy Records

Courtesy: Little Loopy Records

The members of Seattle, WA’s The Not-Its! are back once again.  This kid friendly quintet has produced in its fourth new release an album that is unlike any other children’s album out there right now.  Kidquake is a semi-pop punk record that will appeal both to parents and to kids with its rhythms and its lyrics.  From the very moment that the album is unwrapped, listeners automatically are presented with the album’s first positive.  That positive is that the album is presented in a gatefold package.  And printed in each fold are the full lyrics to each song on the album.  This allows parents and kids alike to follow along with each song and even talk about each one as the album proceeds thanks to this.  This is an excellent first impression whether one is new to the music of the Not-Its! or not.  From here, the positives keep coming in the form of the album’s set list.       

The album’s opener and title track instantly grabs listeners with its kid friendly pop punk vibe as vocalist Sarah Shannon sings, “I wonder if you ever get the feeling/From your head down to your toes/Wanna get up, keep your body moving/Kids have a power no one knows/Shake, shake, shake/Kidquake/Kidquake/We’ve got the power to move any mountain/No way to keep this power down.”  Shannon is singing here about the power in every child.  That’s made especially clear as she sings, “So when you’re feeling down like the world is moving too fast/You gotta tap into that molten kid core and make it last/There’s a seismic shift you’re gonna feel all over the world/There’s an energy we’ve got to set it free c’mon every boy and girl.”  If this mix of positive lyrics and up-tempo music doesn’t get any young listener moving, nothing will.  It’s a great first impression for this album.  And in an age when there’s so much emphasis on getting kids moving and keeping them fit, this song is a great way to get kids active right off the bat.

Parents will appreciate the album’s opener as it encourages kids to get moving.  They’ll also appreciate it for its catchy hooks and melodies.  Just as they’ll appreciate this song, parents will especially appreciate the song, ‘Busy.’  What parent hasn’t felt bogged down trying to get their child(ren) ready for school while they themselves are trying to get ready for work in the morning?  This song expertly exemplifies exactly what every parent feels in this all too common case.  The ska style music base gets the frantic energy across all by itself.  Shannon’s equally frantic vocals make the song even more believable as she sings, “The alarm clock, didn’t go off and now we’re late/Grab your backpack and your lunch box no time to waste/Where is your left shoe?  What are we gonna do?/The baby’s barking, the dog is screaming/The school bell’s ringing/(we gotta go) Where are the keys?/(we gotta go) Who’s gotta pee?/We gotta go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go………….”  Parents will laugh at the confusion between the baby and the dog.  Any parent will agree that that kind of confusion really does happen.  The comic element of the song makes this another highlight.  But it’s the song’s chorus that really makes the song hit home for parents.  Shannon and her band mates sing in the song’s chorus, “We need to just Slow down! Slow down! Slow down!/We’re just too busy”  That couldn’t be more true.  It seems that we’ve always got so much on our plate.  Sometimes parents just need to slow down and take a break.  The chorus comes across in a semi-comical manner.  But there’s a much more serious side to that chorus, too.  And any parent will agree with that, again, proving just how impressive an addition this song is to this album.

‘Busy’ and the album’s title track are both great additions to the brand new release from The Not-Its!  They’re just a part of what makes this album so enjoyable for parents and kids alike.  There are songs about the joy of skateboarding, playing pinball, Rock Paper Scissors, and even the tumult of a child’s temper tantrum just to name a few other topics included in this LP.  Whether for these songs or the song, ‘Operation Cooperation’, which teaches the importance of working together, kids and adults have more than enough to enjoy out of this album with every listen.  The band is currently touring in support of its new album.  So kids and their parents will get their chance to see the band live now.  The band will be performing this Saturday, February 16th in New York City and then in Philadelphia, PA on the 17th.  Those shows will be followed by a pair of dates in the nation’s capitol on the 18th and 19th.  Parents can get the full information on these upcoming shows and lots more when they visit the band’s website, http://www.wearethenot-its.com.     

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Pitch Perfect A Hit For Tweens And Teens

Courtesy:  Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Pitch Perfect is one more in an ongoing stream of TV shows and movies attempting to cash in on the success of the song based shows and movies currently being seen all over TV and theater screens across the country.  Needless to say that considering this it is anything but an original work.  It’s another of those works in which an unlikely group of protagonists comes together despite its members’ differences to come out on top and be the best of friends in the end.  Though to its defense one can at least say that lip synched or not, the musical numbers are catchy enough to make the rest of the tween and teen centric story bearable. 

Pitch Perfect is hardly perfect.  Audiences have already seen similar plotlines in the likes of Fox’s Glee.  Even NBC has its own singing contest in which groups compete by singing a capella for a major financial payout at the show’s finale each season.  And anyone who has seen Lindsay Lohan’s starring vehicle, Mean Girls, will see a hint of that movie here, too.  There’s even a touch of Romeo & Juliet with the two a capella groups feuding just as the Capulets and Monatgues, while young Becca (Anna Kendrick) and Jesse (Skylar Astin) play the roles of Romeo and Juliet.  Seeing all of this, one can’t help but wonder how in the world this story managed to stay afloat.  But somehow it did manage it amazingly enough. And thanks to that, it will appeal to its key tween and teen audiences.  Those same audiences will especially enjoy the movie’s musical numbers.  The covers of the familiar pop tunes will have said audiences dancing and singing along in their own living rooms now that the movie has been released to DVD, Blu-ray and digital. 

The movie’s key audiences will no doubt enjoy its musical numbers.  They will also appreciate the dynamic between the movie’s largely female cast as each member brings something different to the table.  Each girl comes from a different background, leading them to have to learn one another and learn how to coexist as a group.  It also leads the Bellas’ long running leader Aubrey (Anna Camp) to learn a rather valuable lesson herself, which eventually leads to the story’s happy, sappy and largely predictable ending.  Sure, its ending is sappy and predictable.  But that can be forgiven considering the lesson it teaches its viewers.  It teaches viewers that by accepting each other for who they are, a group can achieve anything.  It’s for that reason and for the standard romance story and songs that Pit Perfect will hit the right notes with its intended audiences.

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