ESPN Friday Night Fights Announces March 29th Card

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights rolls on this week with two more tough matchups.  This week’s show is headlined by a fight between Middleweight contender Brian “The Warrior” Vera (22-6, 13 Kos) and “Donatas Bondas” Donatas Bondorovas (17-3-1, 6 KOs).  The 10-round bout will be broadcast live from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. at 9pm EST.  This week’s show will be a special broadcast on ESPN (instead of its usual broadcast home on ESPN2).  This week’s show will also be broadcast on ESPN Deportes and will be available on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app online and via various mobile platforms.

Vera—who hails from Austin, TX—was a participant on the third season of ESPN’s The Contender.  He comes into Friday night’s fight on a two win streak.  Those wins came against former Junior Middleweight titlists Sergio Mora and Sergiy Dzinzuruk.  When asked how he felt about this week’s show, Vera was confident in his response.  “I’ve seen a little bit of Bondorovas,” he said.  “I know he’s a tough kid.  I don’t put too much into him, but we’re getting ready for him just like we get ready for everybody.  I’ve got to make sure he doesn’t go in there and do what I did to some other people.”

Bondorovas is on a roll, too.  He comes into this week’s fight also on a two win streak.  Both wins were second round TKOs against David Thomas.

Before Vera and Bondorovas take to the squared circle, undefeated light heavyweight  Jackson “El Demolidor” Junior (14-0, 12 KOs) faces off against Humberto “El Don” Savinge (10-1, 7 KOs) in a 10-round fight.  Junior comes into Friday night’s match with a lot of momentum having defeated U.S. Olympian Dante Craig in his last fight.  Savigne has his own edge, as he comes in to this week’s fight off of a 10-round unanimous decision win over Dhafir Smith.

Teddy Atlas will be on hand at ringside as always this week.  He will be re-joined by his regular broadcast co-host, Joe Tessitore.  Tessitore was out last week.  Todd Grisham will be in studio, delivering all of the latest boxing news and highlights.  Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights for ESPN Deportes.  They will be joined by Leopoldo Gonzales and Pablo Viruega from in-studio.  Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for ESPN and ESPN Deportes.  This week’s fights are being promoted by Banner Promotions and presented by Corona Extra.

To get all the latest news and more from ESPN’s Friday Night Fights go online to the Friday Night Fights Facebook page and “Like” it at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf or the official Friday Night Fights website, http://www.espn.com/boxing.

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.

Oz Is Good, Not Great

Courtesy:  Walt Disney Studios

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Oz The Great and Powerful is one more example of why Hollywood has got to break away from its seemingly unending trend of churning out sequels, prequels, and remakes.  It is a good movie in its own right, thanks to the set design, special effects, and costume/makeup department.  But in terms of its story, it suffers to the point that it largely becomes memorable only for those factors.  The combination of special effects, set design, and costume design are more than worthy of applause in their attempts to bring older audiences back to the world of Oz after nearly seventy-four years since that world first appeared to the masses.  They are just as laudable for introducing younger audiences to the world of Oz for the first time.  For the positives, there are two noticeable negatives to the overall presentation.  Those negatives are the intertwining of lead actor James Franco’s acting and the overall story.  In weighing these factors together, Oz The Great and Powerful becomes more a movie that will be remembered less as one of Disney’s standout greats, and more as just another in the ongoing mass of prequels, sequels, and remakes constantly being churned out by Hollywood.

The combination of set design, costumes, and special effects goes a long way toward the success of Oz The Great and Powerful.  The set designers did an impressive job of balancing actual physical sets and CG backgrounds.  One can really tell that a lot of thought and work went into bringing back the world of Oz.  As hard as the set designers tried though, it lacks a certain something that the sets from the previous movie had.  Perhaps the problem with the sets in this movie was that those who crafted them tried too hard to pay tribute to the original work.  The result is that it didn’t feel as….pure.  They felt “spit-shined” for lack of better wording.  Though, the special effects make up for that.  That is especially the case late in the movie when it is revealed how the Wizard’s famous floating head originally came to be.  That effect alone is worth the wait.  It’s really the best special effects moment in the entire two-hour plus story.

The sets and special effects play their own role in the overall outcome of this story, as has been noted.  They are only part of the movie’s positive side.  Just as impressive as the sets and special effects are the costumes and makeup.  While Disney wasn’t behind The Wizard of Oz, those behind the creation of this work are to be commended for creating costumes that throw back to the original movie, right down to the guards’ uniforms.  And while some might have their own thoughts on the witch’s costume, one must take into account that this is a prequel.  Therefore, the costume had to fit the person and personality.  Of course, speaking of the witch, this is where things get bad for Oz The Great and Powerful.

So much went right for Oz The Great and Powerful in looking at the sets, costumes, and special effects.  What went wrong with the movie was the script and the acting of one James Franco.  The whole story of Oz The Great and Powerful is an origin story of sorts.  It tells not only of how the Wizard came to be the famed figure that he was, but also of how the Wicked Witch came to be wicked.  Not to give away too much, but the two stories play together as they are centered on a figure who is a completely immature young man and three sisters who throw themselves at him just like the women back in Kansas.  Oz plays all three of the sisters just as he played the women back in Kansas.  One of those sisters ends up becoming the now infamous Wicked Witch of the West.  Even as the movie nears its finale, it is difficult to believe Oz has any sincerity as he faces off with the Wicked Witch.  One wants to root for Oz, but it’s next to impossible as at every chance he has to grow, he instead maintains his cocky nature right up to the end.  Yes, he’s a young character, being that this is a prequel.  But it would have been nice to see some personal growth and humility as the Wizard at least showed in The Wizard of Oz.  But that doesn’t happen.  Because of that, there’s no real moral lesson learned here.  There is not even an actual romance story so to speak.  In the end, what everything boils down to with Oz The Great and Powerful is that this movie will be more memorable less for its story or acting than for its production values.  Keeping this in mind, it will largely be one of Disney’s less memorable movies in its decades long list of much better movies.  Because of that, it is a movie that is worth at least one watch, but really not much more.

Anthrax EP One Of 2013’s Best Rock Records

Anthrax has proven once again with its new EP, Anthems, why it is still one of rock’s elite bands.  This veteran rock act has crafted in its new release a work that is perfect in every way.  From the sequencing to the sound to the very packaging, everything that could have been done right was done right.  Sure, it probably is essentially a space filler between albums, but even if that is the case, it is one heck of a space filler.  It’s a musical history lesson for rockers of all ages.  Here, audiences get a band that by comparison to the bands it covers is relatively young.  Yet it shows that it knows the classics through some expert renditions of said classics.

Anthems opens with a cover of Rush’s ‘Anthem.’  This song originally appeared on Rush’s album, Fly By Night.  That Anthrax would cover Rush is a mind blower in and of itself.  Considering the style of music for which Anthrax is known, one would not instantly consider such a polar opposite sound to be any kind of influence on the band.  So that in itself is an eye opener.  That the band so expertly covered the song is even more of an eye opener.  The band paid homage to Rush and the song with its cover, but still added its own touch to the song, too.  Front man Joey Belladonna makes the song even more solid of an opener when he sings the line, “Welcome to the world.”  When Geddy Lee first sang those words, they obviously had their own meaning.  But having Belladonna sing those same words, they somehow take on a whole new meaning.  Since this is the EP’s opener, it could be argued that those words take on an introductory fashion for new listeners and a whole new introduction even for those more seasoned audiences.  Given, that probably wasn’t the intended function of that line.  But it does seem to have that impact.

The band’s new EP only gets better from the opening cover.  The EP’s second track is a cover of another legendary band’s song.  The band’s cover of AC/DC’s ‘TNT’ is without a doubt, one of this disc’s major high points.  One can’t help but focus yet again on front man Joey Belladonna. Maybe it is just this critic’s own take on the song, but Belladonna sounds eerily like the late great Bon Scott in every sense in this song.  Had one not known it was him, one might actually have thought it was the original song.  This is also thanks in part to guitarist Rob Caggiano, who earlier this year announced his departure from the band.  His take on Angus Young’s guitar work on this rock classic pays Young full honor.  And drummer Charlie Benante’s drumming is just as solid as that of Phil Rudd.  This is one that one could easily see the band performing live as it tours the country on the Metal Alliance Tour this Spring.

If Anthrax’s covers of ‘TNT’ and ‘Anthem’ aren’t enough for fans, then the cover of Boston’s ‘Smokin’’ will impress audiences.  This is yet another spot on cover that keeps the energy flowing from the EP’s first two tracks.  Older, more experienced rockers will love how the band handles this track.  And that such a young band by comparison could so expertly handle this classic will make older audiences smile, too.  Younger audiences will love it too simply because the band shines here even more.  It’s as if the band just keeps getting better and better on every track.  This is the case with the remaining trio of covers included here, too.  Those covers lead into the inclusion of two more bonuses in the form of ‘Crawl’ and its remix of sorts.

‘Crawl’ was taken from the band’s 2011 album, Worship Music.  Including both this track and its remix was actually quite smart.  Whereas so many bands in a case such as this would only include the redone track or live track, Anthrax and Megaforce Records have included both tracks, thus offering audiences the chance to compare and decide for themselves which version of the song they like better.  Regardless of which song becomes one fan’s favorite or another’s these last two tracks help the EP close just as solidly as it opened.  It goes without saying that if any one negative that could be said about Anthems, it is that the band chose to make this an EP, instead of a full length album.  Here’s to hoping one day, fans will see that happen.  Until then, fans can listen to his EP to their hearts’ content as the EP is available now both in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct from the official Anthrax website here:  http://anthrax.com/2013/03/19/anthems-is-here/Worship Music can be ordered directly via the band’s official website also at  http://shop.anthrax.com/shop.cfm/pk/category/ac/detail/cid/409267/prodid/412162.

Fans can get a chance to win a copy of Anthems for free right now and the chance to see the band live at its stop in Charlotte, North Carolina next month from the Phil’s Picks blog and Facebook page when they “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  Just “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and say you want to be entered for the chance to win an EP and to see the band live.

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bonamassa Still On A Roll With His Latest Live Release

Courtesy:  J&R Adventures

Courtesy: J&R Adventures

Joe Bonamassa has been on quite the roll as of late.  After having released what was one of 2012’s Top 10 Live Recordings last year, Bonamassa has picked up 2013 exactly where he left 2012; with one of this year’s top live recordings.  That recording is An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House.

An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House has been released both on Blu-ray and DVD as well as double CD set.  That audiences have been offered so many options alone makes this new recording one of 2013’s best.  The audio companion to the Blu-ray and DVD portion is nice to have.  Though, the Blu-ray and DVD offer audiences the best experience.  The video and audio are both top notch, especially on the Blu-ray.  That is especially the case for those with a home surround sound theater system.  Collected here in this performance are stripped down versions of songs from Bonamassa’s previously released albums.  Long time fans will recognize: ‘The Ballad of John Henry’, ‘Jelly Roll’, ‘Seagull’, ‘Dust Bowl’, ‘Sloe Gin’, and the title track from his most recent album, ‘Driving Toward The Daylight’ just to name a handful.  They are just part of the enjoyment that audiences get from this latest live release from one of the music industry’s current top guitarists.

The songs performed in this set are enjoyable in and of themselves.  But it’s not just the songs that are enjoyable.  The concert’s setting adds to the enjoyment factor.  It’s a basic, stripped down set with J.B. sitting calmly out front, singing and playing his instrument, and his band mates backing him.  There are no special effects, no pyrotechnics, and no special lighting rigs.  It’s just a group of musicians, their instruments, and the audience.  It’s music as it should be experienced.  Watching J.B. with nothing but his shades and his guitar, sweating as he played the blues echoed hints of legends the likes of Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt.  It is simply put a pure, raw experience.  And thanks to those behind the cameras, the experience is that much more incredible.

Thanks to producer Kevin Shirley, director Philippe Klose, and all others involved, the recorded performance has made for one of 2013’s Top 10 Live Recordings.  Both the video and audio presented in the Blu-ray disc are crystal clear.  The performance here is presented in widescreen, adding yet another touch to the overall product.  That the performance was recorded at the Vienna Opera House makes it even more special.  The juxtaposition of this modern artist performing a mix of modern and classic blues pieces in one of Vienna’s most famed structures puts the whole thing over the top.  Now, had the CD, DVD and Blu-ray been released in one large box as an option, it might have made its way to the very top of the year’s Top 10 Live Recordings list.  Regardless, considering all of what has been noted, it still remains one of this year’s top Live Recordings.  It is both an excellent introduction to Joe Bonamassa’s music for new audiences, and a must have for long time fans.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the official Joe Bonamassa website at http://jbstore.jbonamassa.com/blu-ray/an-acoustic-evening-at-the-vienna-opera-house-blu-ray/.

For those itching to see Joe live, he is currently touring in support of this new live release.  He is currently finishing up a string of U.K. dates and will be returning to the U.S. on April 12th at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington.  Fans in North Carolina will possibly get the chance to see him later this year as he is scheduled to perform at the Crown Theatre in Fayetteville, North Carolina on November 10th.  That performance will be followed up by a performance at the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 12th.  For a full listing of tour dates and all the latest news, go online to the official Joe Bonamassa website, http://www.jbonamassa.com or his official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/JoeBonamassa.

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Frozen Four Coverage Skates Back To ESPN This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The NCAA Men’s Division I College Basketball Championship is all over the airwaves during this time of year.  But it’s not the only college championship tournament going on.  Beginning this Friday, March 29th, the ESPN family of networks will air the annual NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Regional and Semi-Regional rounds live from four regional sites.  The networks—ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU—will also broadcast the Frozen Four and championship matches from Pittsburgh, PA.  The matches will also be carried on local syndication.  Those games carried on local syndication and on ESPN 3 will re-broadcast on ESPNU.

The brackets for the 2013 tournament were announced this past Sunday, March 24th on ESPNU.  Quinnipiac, Minnesota, UMass Lowell, and Notre Dame were each selected as number one seeds in their respective region.  ESPNU will air more than eight consecutive hours of non-stop college hockey during Regional matchups this weekend.  Friday and Sunday will each see a double header.  Viewers will get a triple header on Saturday.  Hockey analyst Dave Starman and Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos will be in studio to discuss and analyze the games. 

Coverage of this year’s NCAA Division I College Hockey Championship continues into April with coverage of the Frozen Four.  The Frozen Four matchups will air on ESPN2.  The championship will be aired on ESPN.  All coverage on television will also be available online and on mobile technology via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.  ESPN has been airing the NCAA Division I College Hockey Championship since 1980.  This year marks the ninth consecutive year that the ESPN family of networks will present all twelve games of the tournament.  The networks reached a deal last year that would keep the tournament on the ESPN family of networks through 2024.  A complete listing of this year’s tournament matchups is below.

2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Schedule:

Date Time Game Network
Fri, March 29 2 p.m. West Regional Semifinal Game 1: Yale vs. Minnesota (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Joe Davis & Sean Ritchlin
ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal Game 1: Wisconsin vs. UMass Lowell (Manchester, N.H.)
Clay Matvick & Jim Paradise
ESPN3/Syndicated*
  5:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal Game 2: Niagara vs. North Dakota (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Joe Davis & Sean Ritchlin
ESPNU
  8 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal Game 2: Denver vs. New Hampshire (Manchester, N.H.)
Clay Matvick and Jim Paradise
ESPNU
  10:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal Game 1** ESPNU
Sat, March 30 1:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal Game 1: St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame (Toledo, Ohio)
Ben Holden & Darren Eliot
ESPN3/Syndicated*
  4 p.m. West Regional Final (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Joe Davis & Sean Ritchlin
ESPNU
  5 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal Game 2: Minnesota State Mankato vs. Miami (Ohio) (Toledo, Ohio)
Ben Holden & Darren Eliot
ESPN3/Syndicated*
  5:30 p.m. East Regional Semifinal Game 1: Canisius vs. Quinnipiac (Providence, R.I.)
John Buccigross & Barry Melrose
ESPN3/Syndicated*
  6:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Final (Manchester, N.H.)
Clay Matvick & Jim Paradise
ESPNU
  9 p.m. East Regional Semifinal Game 2: Union vs. Boston College (Providence, R.I.)
John Buccigross & Barry Melrose
ESPNU
  11:30 p.m. East Regional Semifinal Game 1** ESPNU
Sun, March 31 Noon Midwest Regional Semifinal Game 1** ESPNU
  2 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal Game 2** ESPNU
  4 p.m. Midwest Regional Final (Toledo, Ohio)
Ben Holden & Darren Eliot
ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. East Regional Final (Providence, R.I.)
John Buccigross & Barry Melrose
ESPNU
Thu, April 11 4:30 p.m. Frozen Four: Semifinal 1 (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose & Clay Matvick
ESPN2
  8 p.m. Frozen Four: Semifinal 2 (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose & Clay Matvick
ESPN2
Sat, April 13 7 p.m. NCAA’s Men’s Division I Hockey Championship (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose & Clay Matvick
ESPN

 

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ESPN, AT&T Announce New Broadcast Deal

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and AT&T have made a very special announcement for AT&T U-verse subscribers.  AT&T U-verse subscribers can now access WatchESPN on any mobile device via the WatchESPN app. It is also available to Gold Members through ESPN on Xbox Live.  Any customer that receives ESPN’s linear networks as part of their AT&T U-Verse subscription will now be able to live stream programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU from their mobile devices, computers, laptops, and Xboxes.  Along with this, customers will also get to enjoy ESPN’s Goal Line and Buzzer Beater through the WatchESPN app when the channels in question are available.     

The announcement comes not long before the start of the most active time of year for sports.  Major League Baseball’s regular season starts in only days.  The Masters and the NBA Playoffs are right around the corner as well.  Customers that own a supported smart phone or tablet can download the WatchESPN app by visiting the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, or Amazon App Store for Android.  Customers will be required to enter their AT&T U-Verse subscriber information before being able to access ESPN’s live content. 

Customers using their computers and laptops to access content can go online to http://watchespn.com/activate/att and put in their U-Verse ID and password to get live programming.  Xbox Live GOLD members can get the app and verify their subscription direct through their Xbox. 

As even more good news for AT&T U-Verse subscribers, Disney Junior will be available for subscribers beginning this Friday, March 29th.  In addition, WATCH Disney Channel and WATCH Disney XD are expected to soon be available to AT&T U-Verse subscribers.

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.

Barry Larkin Re-Signs With ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Baseball Hall of Famer and Cincinnati Reds legend Barry Larkin will be staying on board with his colleagues at ESPN for the foreseeable future.  The famed hitter has re-signed with ESPN.  He has signed a new multiyear extension that will see him serving as analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.  The new deal also includes appearances on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball’s pre-game show.  The Sunday Night Baseball pre-game show airs every Sunday night at 7pm. 

Both sides were excited about the new deal.  Larkin expressed his pleasure at getting the deal done and about remaining at ESPN in a statement.  “Baseball Tonight provides me with the opportunity to teach fans and viewers about the game that I love,” he said.  “I’m excited to continue my television career at ESPN and be a part of a dedicated team of professionals who love the game of baseball.”

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The feeling was mutual on the side of ESPN.  Network VP of Production Mike McQuade shared his thoughts on getting Larkin re-signed.  “Having a Hall of Famer like Barry Larkin on your roster helps fulfill our goal to serve fans with experience, insight and expert analysis and he contributes to what is the deepest roster of MLB commentators anywhere.”

Larkin joined the ESPN Baseball Tonight staff in 2011.  In that time, he has served as studio analyst on Baseball Tonight and to ESPN’s Spring Training. His credits also include serving as an analyst for the College World Series.  Before retiring, Larkin was a twelve-time MLB All-Star.  He also helped lead the Cincinnati Red to the MLB Championship in 1990.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in 2012

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Hitchcock A Surprisingly Interesting Story

Courtesy: Fox Searchlight Pictures/20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: Fox Searchlight Pictures/20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock is quite the interesting story.  While it would be so easy for some to attempt to call this largely independent film a glorified biopic, it is anything but.  It is in fact one more movie adapted from the written word.  It has been adapted from the book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.  Author Stephen Rubello’s book is a nonfiction work.  It’s one thing to try to adapt a fiction work to the big screen.  It’s a whole other task to try to translate an author’s work from a nonfiction into a near two hour movie that will be accepted by both uninitiated audiences and those more “experienced” Hitchcock devotees.  That has already been evidenced in the likes of Public Enemies.  The original book on which it was based is an excellent read.  But the big screen take on that story hardly translated.  So the question remains, where does Hitchcock get things right where other historically based movies adapted from nonfiction books get it wrong?

Despite what apparently many critics and audiences had expected of this movie, it is not just another standard biopic.  Rather it is the story of how the famed director made his now legendary cinema classic.  It examines not just how he made the movie, but how the movie made him.  Audiences see in this story, the impact that making Psycho had on his marriage, too.  In simple terms, this adaptation of Rubello’s book is less a history lesson and more a romance.  It portrays a couple that is nearly torn apart as each becomes wrapped up in their own personal projects before each reach a revelatory point that brings them back together.  This, in turn, leads the husband and wife team to finish Hitchcock’s masterpiece that remains one of horror’s best ever.

Audiences are instantly pulled into this movie as Hopkins introduces the story exactly as the real life Hitchcock had done in his classic TV series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  This homage to Hitchcock history is enough to generate some laughs and applause from those who remember the classic program.  From there, the combination of the movie’s sets and costumes work together to keep audiences fully engaged in the story, as they strive to keep the story as historically accurate as possible.  Also worth noting here is the inclusion of facts about how studios and censors operated in the days of Psycho.  This was one of the hurdles which Hitchcock had to face in bringing his movie to the masses.  While the process of bringing Psycho to theaters may or may not have played out exactly as portrayed in this movie, it will still keep audiences engaged.  And seeing him overcome everything thrown out at him, audiences will cheer at his success.  That cheering will continue right to the story’s end.  The reason behind that will be left to those who have yet to see the movie.  But any viewer that knows anything of Hitchcock history will appreciate it, and will in turn be left agreeing that this turns out to be a movie worth having seen at least once.

Fates Warning Announces Plans For New Album, Tour

The members of Fates Warning have kept themselves quite busy in the past year or so.  Now, after taking some time apart doing their own projects, the band’s members—Ray Alder (Vocals), Frank Aresti (guitars), Jim Matheos (guitars), Joey Vera (bass), and Bobby Jarzombek (drums)—have collectively announced that it will hit the road this Fall and Winter in support of a new album, which the band plans to start work on this Spring.

The band has announced that it plans to get back in the studio to start working on its eleventh full length record.  It is planning on having the new record out this Fall just in time for its upcoming tour.  That tour is schedule to start November 15th at Mojoe’s in Joliet, IL.  Tickets will go on sale beginning this coming Wednesday, March 27th.  The twenty-two date tour is currently scheduled to run through December 14th.  To keep up with the latest tour and album updates, go online to the band’s official website, http://www.FatesWarning.com and its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning.

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Langhorne Slim Performing On Conan Monday Night

Langhorne Slim & The Law is getting to be quite the big deal.  The Portland, Oregon based band’s song, ‘The Way We Move’ has found itself onto televisions and computer screens the nation (and possibly the world) over as it’s being used in the latest ad campaign for the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system.    Now the band is taking the next step in its meteoric rise to fame.

The band will be on Conan this coming Monday night on TBS.  The band is scheduled to be on Conan to perform its hit song, which is also the title track from its latest release.  Conan airs weekly at 11pm EST/10 CT.  The Way We Move was released this past June on Ramseur Records.    Fans that don’t get the chance to check out the band this Monday night will still get the chance to hear the band’s music live as it tours in support of The Way We Move.  The band will be at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, TN tomorrow, Saturday March 23rd.  It’s just one stop on a very busy schedule for the band.  Fans in North Carolina will get their chance to see the band live when it makes a stop at the French Broad River Festival in Hot Springs, NC on Saturday, May 4th.

While fans wait on both the band’s live performance on Conan and any of its numerous upcoming live shows, they can check out the video for the album’s title track now on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KEv3rbNJuE.  Fans can also get a listing of the band’s tour schedule on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/langhorneslim and its official website, http://www.langhorneslim.com.

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.