Dragonforce Announces Release Date, Specs For Upcoming Live Recording

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

It is finally official. Dragonforce’s new live recording will finally become reality this summer.

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced on Friday that Dragonforce’s new live recording In The Line Of Fire will be released on Friday, July 10th. That is the first official release day on the music world’s new “Global Release Day.” The recording will be released both on double-disc Blu-ray and double-disc DVD presentation. One disc of the DVD presentation will feature the band’s performance on DVD, The other will feature the performance on CD. Both presentations feature the band’s Ultimate Stage headlining performance from the 2014 Loud Park Festival at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Regardless of which platform fans choose, they can pre-order either or both right now online at http://www.metalblade.com/dragonforce. Audiences can check out the trailer for the recording online now along with one of the songs included in the show’s setlist–‘Three Hammers–via SoundCloud at http://www.metalblade.com/dragonforce. Fans can also see the band performing that same song via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIv3cmvZRTI.

Dragonforce is currently wrapping up a tour alongside Kamelot, which is also touring in support of its latest new release Haven. The bands will perform live today, May 23rd at Iron City in Birmingham, Alabama. Once that show is done, the band will take some much-needed time off before heading overseas for the European leg of its tour beginning with the famed Download Festival at Donington, U.K. It will begin the Asian leg of its tour in Bangkok, Thailand on August 29th. That tour runs through September 11th in Tokyo, Japan. As an added note, the band will return to the United States this fall on November 13th for the second leg of its tour with Kamelot. That tour includes a stop in North Carolina’s “Queen City” on November 17th at The Fillmore. Fans can keep up with the band’s latest tour updates and news online now, including news on its upcoming live recording, at:

Website: http://www.dragonforce.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dragonforce

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Announces Release Date, Specs For Upcoming Elliot Smith Documentary

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release its latest new music documemtary this summer.

Elliot Smith: Heaven Adores You will be released Friday, July 17th. The documentary examines the life and work of famed singer/songwriter Elliot Smith. It is the first documentary to do so. Smith first rose to fame in the 1990s and early 2000s before his untimely death at the age of 34 in 2003. The documentary mixes together bits and pieces of Smith’s previously unreleased and unfinished songs with a look back at his life and career to paint a picture of a man who was both a genuinely talented musician and yet a troubled soul. Along with the previously unreleased and unfinished songs, the program also features some of Smith’s greatest hits including: ‘Miss Misery,’ ‘Happiness,’ ‘Son of Sam,’ and ‘Waltz #2.’ There is also a bonus performance of ‘Heaven Adores You’ from Aaron Espinoza (vocalist/guitarist for indie rock band Earlimart) included in the program and roughly an hour of interviews with those that contributed to the documentary’s creation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the documentary online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOnImKYMpSs&feature=youtu.be.

Elliot Smith: Heaven Adores You will be available in stores and online Friday, July 17th. It will be available both on DVD and Blu-ray.  the DVD will retail for MSRP of $14.98 and the Blu-ray for $19.98. It can be pre-ordered online now at http://www.myplaydirect.com/elliott-smith. Fans that pre-order the documentary through this website can get it as part of a bundle that also includes a bonus T-Shirt.

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Names Host For 2015 ESPYS Broadcast

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Audiences now know who will host this year’s installment of ESPN’s annual ESPYS.

Joel McHale, host of E!’s The Soup, will emcee this year’s awards show, which will air live July 15th at 8pm ET on ABC. This year is not the first time that he has appeared on The ESPYS. he has also served as a presented on the annual awards program. Regarding that appearance and his love for the sports world and ESPN, ESPYS Executive Producer Maura Mandt said “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Joel on previous projects, including when he presented at The ESPYS, and he’s an enthusiastic fan whose talents will bring a new spin to the night’s celebration.”

Along with his previous appearance on The ESPYS, McHale also hosted the annual White House Correspoondent’s dinner last year. Conner Schell, Senior VP of ESPN Films and Original Content heads ESPN’s annual ESPYS broadcast. He explained the reason for choosing McHale noting his talent and love for sports. “Joel is an extremely talented performer, a unique voice and a huge sports fan,” he said. “His experience as a comedian and love of sports make Joel the perfect host for The ESPYS inaugural broadcast on ABC.”

McHale was originally a member of the University of Washington’s football team while in college before eventually being recruited for its rowing program. He kept the mood light in discussing the announcement of his appointment saying, “I’m thrilled to be hosting The ESPYS. Just ecstatic. After my stunning victory in the Iditarod this year by only using six Bichon Frises and a lamb, I think the sports world saw me as the logical host.”

ESPN will precede its annual ESPYS broadcast with a special broadcast of SportsCenter at The ESPYS from 6 – 7pm ET and The ESPYS Countdown Show Presented by Capital One from 7 – 8pm ET. Fans that want to attend this year’s ESPYS can purchase tickets online now at AXS.com. More information on this year’s ESPYS broadcast is available online now via Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPYS.

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Slayer Posts New Announcement Online

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

Slayer has just released a special message for its fans.

The message is presented via a rather cryptic video. The video flashes images of the band recording music in studio before flashing the word “Repentless” and 9/11 at its very end. The whole thing runs for a total of only thirty-four seconds. perhaps a hint at the title for the band’s new release and its release date? Audiences can check it out for themselves online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMR7qx3XjxI.

More hints at the message behind the message is available online along with all of the latest news from the band itself at:

Website: http://www.slayer.net

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

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Royal Blood To Make Its Howard Stern Show Debut Next Month

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee Hazel

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee Hazel

British rock duo Royal blood will make its debut on The Howard Stern Show next month.

The duo–Mike Kerr (bass/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums)–is scheduled to make its first-ever appearance on Stern’s exclusive Sirius XM channel Howard 100 on Tuesday, June 9th. The pair will be on hand for an interview and a performance of its latest single ‘Figure It Out.’ The invitation to appear comes following Royal Blood’s performance at the 2014 MTV EMA Awards, at which Stern first discovered the band. In hearing Royal Blood for the first time, Stern said of the two men, “Nobody does heavy music like this anymore.”

The Howard Stern Show airs daily on Sterns exclusively on his own Sirius XM Channel Howard 100 from 7am – 11am ET. Subscribers can also hear The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM On Demand is they are listening via the Sirius XM app for smartphones and other moblie internet platforms. Audiences that don’t yet have the Sirius XM app can download it online at siriusxm.com. Audiences can also get a free Sirius XM trial online at siriusxm.com/howardfreetrial.

Royal Blood’s appearance on The Howard Stern Show is only a small part of its current live schedule in support of its self-titled debut record out now on Warner Brothers Records. The band is also currently in the midst of the North American leg of its tour, which continues tomorrow, May 23rd at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia. The show is just one of a number of performances that are already sold out. the band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

UPCOMING LIVE DATES

May 23 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC# – SOLD OUT

May 25 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR# – SOLD OUT

May 27 – Murray Theater – Salt Lake City, UT#

May 28 – Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO# – SOLD OUT

May 30 – Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA#

May 31 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI# – SOLD OUT

June 1 – The Rave II – Milwaukee, WI

June 3 – Metro – Chicago, IL – SOLD OUT

June 4 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH

June 7 – Governors Ball – New York, NY

June 10 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC# – SOLD OUT

June 11 – Amos’ Southend – Charlotte, NC#

June 12 – Bonnaroo – Manchester, TN

June 13 – Center Stage – Atlanta, GA# – SOLD OUT

July 6 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ^

July 8 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON^

July 9 – Molson Canadian Amphitheater – Toronto, ON^

July 11 – Quebec Summerfest – Quebec City, QC

July 12 – Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT

July 13 – Susquehanna Center – Camden, NJ^

July 15 – Citi Field – New York, NY^

July 16 – Citi Field – New York, NY^

July 17 – Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY

July 19 – Fenway Park – Boston, MA^

August 9 – Squamish Festival – Squamish, BC

August 12 – Rexall Place – Edmonton, AB^

August 13 – Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB^

August 16 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO^

August 17 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO^

August 19 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – Maryland Heights, MO^

August 21 – Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO^

August 22 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN^

August 24 – DTE Energy Center – Detroit, MI^

August 25 – First Niagra Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA ^

September 25- 27 – Life Is Beautiful Festival – Las Vegas, NV

October 9 – 11 – ACL Music Festival – Austin, TX

^ Supporting Foo Fighters

# Supported by Mini Mansions

 

Fans can purchase tickets for many of the band’s shows and get all of the latest updates from the band online now at:

Website: http://royalbloodband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

National Geographic Films, Virgil Films Team Up For New Documentary Film

Courtesy:  National Geographic Films/Virgil Films

Courtesy: National Geographic Films/Virgil Films

Virgil Films and National Geographic Films will release Nat Geo’s latest documentary Pandas: The Journey Home next month.

Pandas: The Journey Home will be released Tuesday, June 16th on 2D and 3D Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Shot entirely in IMAX, the documentary follows a group of pandas from birth to transition back to the wild. In order to create the program, its filmmakers were given unprecedented access to the Wolong Panda Center in China. The thirty-six minute documentary presents the work put in to protect pandas and return them to the wild.

Actress Joely Richardson (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Nip/Tuck) serves as narrator for the film. The project is helmed by director Nicolas Brown (Human Planet, Expedition Alaska) and produced by Caroline Hawkins (Meerkats 3D, Fatal Attractions) of Oxford Scientific Films. Hawkins noted in a recent interview part of her reason for signing on for this film explaining that pandas “are more than just cute and cuddly animals to see in the zoo. They have a place in the wild and in the ecosystem.”

Pandas: The Journey Home will be available from Virgil Films and National Geographic Films Tuesday, June 16th. It will be available in a 2D/3D Blu-ray + DVD combo pack for MSRP of $29.99. It will also be available on demand and via digital platforms in both SD and HD versions. Audiences can check out a trailer for Pandas: The Journey Home online now along with more information on the film online at http://movies.nationalgeographic.com/movies/pandas/. Audiences can get more information on this and other movies from National Geographic Films online at http://movies.nationalgeographic.com/movies. More information on this and other titles from Virgil films is available online now at:

Website: http://www.virgilfilmsent.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/virgilfilms

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Latest Live Recording Is Another Great Addition To Any Fan’s Music Library

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Next month, Lynyrd Skynyrd will release its new archived concert recording Sweet Home Alabama. The double disc recording is the first of a handful of archived recordings to be released by the band this year. And it is also the best of said recordings. The main way in which it impresses so easily is the list of songs included on both discs. The set list featured in the main concert (Disc 1) features mostly music from the original LS lineup. The only more recent song included in the main set is the song ‘Down South Jukin,’ which is included on the band’s 1994 compilation record Endangered Species. Other than that one song, the rest of the concert’s set list is pure, classic Lynyrd Skynyrd. The recording’s second disc features its own share of classic Lynyrd Skynyrd tunes, too. For that matter, it includes what are perhaps two of the biggest of the band’s many hits. It does so twice over, too which leads to another of the recording’s positives. Not only do fans get a complete set from the then current Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup in this recording but they also get a few songs from the original Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup from its 1974 performance at the famed Rockpalast festival. Last but not least of all worth noting of this recording is its audio mix. The audio mix stands out in a subtle yet important way in this recording. This will be discussed later. Being taken into consideration with the recording’s set lists and its presentation of Skynyrd from two eras, the whole of Sweet Home Alabama proves to be another great addition to any Skynyrd fan’s music library. What’s more it proves yet again why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s upcoming archived Lynyrd Skynyrd performance Sweet Home Alabama is a great addition to any Lynyrd Skynyrd fan’s music library. The double disc CD set is a follow-up of sorts to the concert’s DVD presentation, which was originally released in 2008. It hasn’t been until now that the concert’s CD presentation will have seen the light of day. For those that have not had the pleasure of seeing the original DVD presentation of Sweet Home Alabama its 2-CD platform is just as welcome as the DVD. The main reason that it is such a welcome addition to any LS fan’s music library is its set lists. Presented here are two set lists from two completely different eras of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s life. By and large, both set lists are composed of classic LS songs. The only “newer” song featured in the whole of the presentation is ‘Down South Jukin.’ That song was taken from the band’s 1994 album Endangered Species. Other than that one song, the rest of the recording is made up of nothing but classic LS dating all theway back to the band’s debut 1973 record (Pronounced leh-nerd Skin-nerd). It includes some of the band’s biggest hits including ‘Saturday Night Special,’ ‘Workin’ For MCA,’ ‘Swamp Music’ and of course perhaps the biggest of the band’s many hits ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Free Bird.’ In regards to ‘Free Bird,’ audiences will be happy to know that both in the band’s 1996 performance and that from 1974, it is featured in its entirety. The only real surprise of the whole recording is that there’s no sign of ‘Tuesday’s Gone’ or ‘The Ballad of Curtis Loew.’ Beggars can’t be choosers, though. Even with the absence of either song, audiences still get quite the impressive collection of songs considering the makeup of these two shows. It’s just one way in which Sweet Home Alabama proves itself a welcome addition to any LS fan’s music library.

The songs that make up Sweet Home Alabama’s two set lists more than make for a great concert for fans. They are tied directly in to another way in which it proves itself a great addition to any LS fan’s music library–its presentation of LS in two different lineups and eras. Audiences get in the main concert LS in its then present lineup featuring former front man Ronnie Van Zant’s brother Johnny on vocals. He is joined by many of Ronnie’s old band mates and some new members including: Rickey Medlocke, Hughie Thomasson, Dale Krantz-Rossington, and Carol Chase. The bonus 1974 concert features a handful of performances by the original LS lineup of Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Ed King, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson, Owen Hale, and Bob Burns. Listening to both lineups, it is amazing to hear the strength and fire that still burned bright under the band in 1996, nearly two decades after one of the music world’s worst tragedies. Of course that could be chalked up to the fact that the surviving band members did in fact take some time away for themselves after that fateful plane crash in 1977. Considering the band’s strength and stage presence in its 1974 show, it makes that plane crash all the more tragic. That is because the ’74 show presented a band at the top of its game. One can only imagine what the original LS lineup would have sounded like if not for that horrible tragedy only three years later. Sadly the world will never know. Regardless, it is clear that LS was obviously back on top of its game in its ’96 show. Considering the band’s strength and stage performance in both shows, it paints a vivid picture of the band’s bond both in its old era and its then new era. That picture of strength in both lineups makes even more clear what makes Sweet Home Alabama a welcome addition to any LS fan’s music library.

The set lists that make up Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1996 and 1974 Rockpalast performances make for plenty of reason that any of the band’s fans will want to add this recording to their music libraries. The strength and solid stage presence presented by both lineups adds even more interest to the recording. That is because it puts on exhibit LS before the tragedy that would forever change it and the band years after that tragic crash. Both elements are important in their own way to the whole of Sweet Home Alabama. They are not all that makes it another impressive live recording from LS and Eagle Rock Entertainment. The concerts’ production values should be taken into consideration in examining the recording, too. Every part within the songs is expertly balanced. Even with recording technology having changed a lot since 1974 that recording sounds just as good as the band’s ’96 show. On another, more subtle level, those charged with handling the shows’ audio mixes both at the concerts and in post production are to be commended for their efforts. They are especially worthy of praise for balancing the audio levels both during the band’s performances of its songs and in the interludes in which the Van Zant brothers each interact with the audiences. This means that audiences don’t have to constantly turn up and down the volume on their radios from one song to the next. It’s an aspect of live recordings that far too few audio engineers take into account when preparing live shows for purchase. Thankfully those handling these concerts’ audio did. The end result of their efforts is two concerts that are just as enjoyable for their expert audio production as for the shows’ set lists and the band’s stage presence. It is one more way in which Sweet Home Alabama shows itself one more welcome addition to any LS fan’s music library and why once again Eagle Rock Entertainment has proven itself the leader in live recordings.

Staying on the element of the recording’s audio mix, the clarity of the concerts’ interludes reveals some language that older audiences might find objectionable for some younger listeners. This includes both the performances of the songs and the interludes. Being that this is not noted anywhere on the packaging for the dual-disc set, it should at least be noted here. It means that audiences should use their discretion in listening and letting younger listeners hear this recording. That aside, it is still a recording that at least older LS fans will enjoy. That’s not to say that younger audiences can’t enjoy these two concerts. But older audiences should use their discretion in letting younger listeners hear certain parts of the concerts.

Sweet Home Alabama is not the only live Lynyrd Skynyrd recording to be released this year. It is however the best live Lynyrd Skynyrd live recording to be released so far. When comparing it to the others planned for release this year, it proves in the end to be potentially the best of the band’s planned live releases. That is thanks first and foremost to the set lists that make up both concerts. The set lists are composed mainly of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classics save for just one song. Getting to hear Lynyrd Skynyrd both before and after its untimely tragedy paints a vivid picture of a band that has proven just as strong both before and after. Each element by itself shows why Sweet Home Alabama is another welcome addition to any LS fan’s library. All three elements together show it not only to be a great addition to any LS fan’s personal music collection but yet another reason that Eagle Rock Entertainment remains to this day the leader in live recordings. It will be available Tuesday, June 2nd in a double-disc presentation and will retail for MSRP of $17.98. A 2-LP is also scheduled for release later this year. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.