String Cheese Incident Release Tour, New Album Details

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

The String Cheese Incident has hit the road for its Summer tour.  The Boulder, CO based band wraps up a three night stint tonight at the Electric Forest (Double JJ Ranch) before heading off to The Backyard at Austin Texas for another three-night stand there.  The remainder of the band’s Summer tour sees it travelling the country and performing in Kentucky, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia and Florida.  Along with the extensive tour, the band has also announced that it will release a new album in 2014.  The album will be the band’s first in nine years.  It will be produced by Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads).

The band’s upcoming three night stand at Austin, Texas’ The Backyard will be streamed online thanks to a partnership between LiveCheese.com, TourGigs, and The String Cheese Incident.  The band’s stay in Austin (July 4t – 6th) marks the first time in over six years that its members—Bill Nershi (guitars, vocals), Michael Kang (mandolin, violin, guitar, vocals), Keith Moseley (bass), Michael Travis (drums, percussion), Kyle Hollingsworth (keyboards, accordion), and Jason Hann (percussion)—have collectively performed in the famed city.    Fans can watch each streaming performance online at

July 4:  http://www.livecheese.com/live-music/0,9534/The-String-Cheese-Incident-mp3- flac-download-7-4-2013-The-Backyard-Austin-TX.html  
July 5: http://www.livecheese.com/live-music/0,9533/The-String-Cheese-Incident mp3-flac-download-7-5-2013-The-Backyard-Austin-TX.html
July 6: http://www.livecheese.com/live-music/0,9535/The-String-Cheese-Incident-mp3-flac-download-7-6-2013-The-Backyard-Austin-TX.html

 

Three-Day Webcast passes for these performances can be purchased at a cost of $25.99.  Three-Day webcast passes plus MP3 bundles can be purchased for $46.99.  Both packages can be purchased online at http://www.livecheese.com/packages/2,314/The-String-Cheese-Incident-Webcast-Austin-2013.html.

Another big performance for the band on its current tour is its three-night stand at Live Oak, FL.  This is where the band will hold its first annual Hulaween Festival.  The festival will close out the band’s tour.  It is slated to run from October 31st to November 2nd.  Currently confirmed for the Hulaween Festival are STS9 and Big Gigantic.  Tickets for the festival are on sale now.   More acts will be announced at a later date.  To keep up with this news and more from the String Cheese Incident, fans can go online http://www.stringcheeseincident.com, http://www.facebook.com/StringCheeseIncident, http://twitter.com/SCI_Official, and http://www.youtube.com/sciofficial.

DATE CITY VENUE
Fri 6/28 Rothbury, MI Electric Forest (Double JJ Ranch)
Sat 6/29 Rothbury, MI Electric Forest (Double JJ Ranch)
Sun 6/30 Rothbury, MI Electric Forest (Double JJ Ranch)
Thu 7/4 Austin, TX The Backyard
Fri 7/5 Austin, TX The Backyard
Sat 7/6 Austin, TX The Backyard
Fri 7/12 Louisville, KY The Forecastle Festival
Sat 7/13 Louisville, KY Palace Theater
Sun 7/14 Louisville, KY The Forecastle Festival (SCI and friends)
Fri 7/26 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Sat 7/27 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Fri 8/2 North Plains, OR Horning’s Hideout
Sat 8/3 North Plains, OR Horning’s Hideout
Sun 8/4 North Plains, OR Horning’s Hideout
Thu 9/5 Arrington, VA Interlocken Festival (Oak Ridge Farm)
Fri 9/6 Arrington, VA Interlocken Festival (Oak Ridge Farm)
Thu 10/31 Live Oaks, FL Hulaween Festival
Fri 11/1 Live Oaks, FL Hulaween Festival
Sat 11/2 Live Oaks, FL Hulaween Festival

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Details Announced For Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare

Courtesy: Ahston-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ahston-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Shock rocker Rob Zombie will close out this year’s “Great American Nightmare” festival.  The month long horror and music festival will be held at the Fearplex in Pomona, just outside Los Angeles.  It will be held every Thursday through Sunday during the month of October.  This year’s festival will include music performances, screenings of classic horror films, a haunted house, and lots of food and a variety of beverages.  The haunted house is run by Steve Kopelman, one of the nation’s preeminent haunted house producers.  Kopelman’s haunted house will have three attractions, all of which will be based on Zombie’s own films.

The music side of the “Great American Nightmare” will be just as entertaining as the haunted house and movies.  Each Thursday during the month of October will feature alternative bands.  Fridays will see electronica/dance acts.  And most Saturdays will feature hard rock and metal, while Sundays will feature music from Latin acts.  Among some of the music festival’s most notable acts are:  3OH!3, 45 Grave, Beware Of Darkness, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Butcher Babies, Duane Peters, Eagles Of Death Metal, Ghost Town, Mod Sun, Motionless In White, Powerman 5000, TSOL, The Dickies, The Vandals, and Wallpaper.

Tickets to the “Great American Nightmare” are available now starting at thirty dollars.  They can be purchased online at http://GreatAmericanNightmare.com.  VIP packages are also available at the Great American Nightmare website.  Tickets include:  Access to all haunted house attractions, concerts and Bloody Boulevard activities.  Tickets can also be bought on-site at the Los Angeles County Fair at Pomona Fairplex from August 30th to September 29th.  The full lineup for the “Great American Nightmare” Music Festival is listed below.

Thursday, October 10: 3OH!3, Wallpaper

 

Friday, October 11: Blood On The Dance Floor, HeavyGrinder

 

Saturday, October 12: Kottonmouth Kings, Twiztid, Blaze Ya Dead Homie

 

Sunday, October 13: Ozomatli, with special guest

 

Thursday, October 17: The Used, William Control

 

Friday, October 18: DJ Bl3nd, DirtyLoud, One More Time (Daft Punk Tribute)

 

Saturday, October 19: The Vandals, TSOL, The Dickies, Duane Peters

 

Sunday, October 20: pro-wrestling sensations Lucha Libre USA, Metalachi

 

Thursday, October 24: Emilie Autumn with special guest

 

Friday, October 25: Doctor P, Zomboy, Terravita, Evol Intent

 

Saturday, October 26: Motionless In White, Butcher Babies, Ghost Town

 

Sunday, October 27: Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger, with special guest

 

Thursday, October 31: Andrew W.K., Mod Sun, Beware Of Darkness

 

Friday, November 1: MAJOR EDM HEADLINER to be announced on September 25, Dirtyphonics, Fei-Fei

 

Saturday, November 2: Rob Zombie, Eagles Of Death Metal, Powerman 5000, 45 Grave

 

The “Great American Nightmare” from 6:30pm – 11pm each Thursday, and Sundays, and from 6:30pm – 1am each Saturday.  It is sponsored by Monster Energy Drink and Ernie Ball.

More information on the “Great American Nightmare” is available online at http://www.GreatAmericanNightmare.com, https://www.facebook.com/RobZombiesGreatAmericanNightmare, and http://twitter.com/RobZombiesGAN.

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Disney Oz Adaptation’s Bonus Features Give Movie New Life On Home Release

Courtesy:  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  Who doesn’t know that old adage?  Not to spoil the movie too much for that have yet to see it, but it is this adage that serves as the basis for Disney’s new live action/CGI based Oz The Great and Powerful.  This latest big screen adaptation of author L. Frank Baum’s Oz books was met largely with mixed reviews when it premiered in early 2013.  The fact that it was released to DVD and Blu-ray only a couple months after didn’t bode well for this movie.  Luckily for the movie, the bonus features included in its home release have managed to save it and make it worthy of a second watch.

The hybrid live action/CGI origin story of the wizard and the witch does an impressive job in its attempts to pay homage to The Wizard of Oz.  The sets used for the Emerald City are just as impressive as those used in the earlier story.  That the film makers would try to stay as true as possible to Baum’s fantasy world is worthy of at least some praise.  Making their efforts even more worthy of praise is what is revealed in the behind-the-scenes feature, “Before Your Very Eyes: From Kansas To Oz.”  Viewers learn in this feature that CGI was only one method of movie magic used in this movie.  It is revealed that actual puppets were used in conjunction with CGI elements in order to bring both the China Girl and Finley to life.  It isn’t very often in this era of largely computer driven special effects blockbusters see such a style of special effects used.  So even in this aspect, it is nice to see that those behind the cameras would go so far in paying tribute to classic film making.

The use of puppets was quite an impressive revelation about this story’s creation.  In connection, the use of CGI to put the faces of Joey King and Zach Braff onto the China Girl and Finley was just as worthy of praise.  It would have been easy to just use CGI based creations and had the pair voice them.  But instead, their faces were put onto the pair. There is something special about this.  Even Sweeter was that both king and Braff voiced their characters.  It shows again the drive to make the story as believable as possible.  It was very nice to see the charged with making this happen took their jobs so seriously.  It proves yet again the importance of bonus features in the home release of any movie.

Viewers that check out the feature focusing on the special effects and general production values of Oz The Great and Powerful will hopefully gain new respect for the film.  If it doesn’t achieve its intended goal, then perhaps the companion feature, “Walt Disney and the Road To Oz” will help in that effort.  It is a much shorter feature in comparison to the previously mentioned bonus feature.  But it goes quite well in companion to the behind-the-scenes feature.  Viewers learn in this companion piece that Walt Disney had actually wanted for years before his death, to bring to life his own take on Baum’s works in a movie titled, The Rainbow Road to Oz.  Yet for a variety of reasons, he never did see those efforts bear any fruit before his passing in 1966.  It wouldn’t be until 1985 that the company bearing his name would see the release of an Oz-centric story in Return to Oz.  This movie was nowhere near as family friendly as the hit 1939 blockbuster that was The Wizard of Oz.  Keeping all of this in mind in watching Oz The Great and Powerful, one can’t help but have at least some extra respect for everything that went into bringing this latest adaptation to life.  And with any luck, viewers will understand in watching these (and the movie’s other bonus features) that this latest film adapted from Baum’s books is worthy of at least one watch.  For those that saw it in theaters, they will hopefully see that it is worth a second watch.

Oz The Great and Powerful is available now on a variety of platforms.  It is available both in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the Disney Store and Disney DVD store at http://www.disneystore.com and http://disney.go.com/thewizard/.

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Great Zebra Exodus One Of Nature’s Best Episodes Of 2013

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

The latest installment of PBS’ Nature series is one of its most interesting pieces to date.  What audiences get in Great Zebra Exodus is an episode of the series that is largely unlike any other in recent memory.  The roughly hour-long program focuses on the migration of zebra herds across the African plains.  The migration itself is interesting to follow.  Viewers will take interest in the social norms of the zebra herds.  And the additional notes of the meerkat family will entertain viewers just as much.  They add the cute factor to the program.  There is even a very touching side story about one zebra family that exhibits something very extraordinary.  It is so touching that it may even leave some viewers slightly teary-eyed.  It is a very touching story.  It should be noted that as touching as this side-story is, there is some material throughout the program that is not entirely suitable for younger viewers.  The note of parental advisory aside, there is one more factor that plays into the success of this edition of Nature.  That factor is the feature’s cinematography.  The story itself of the zebra migration is impressive.  But the camera work in this feature is the real star.  Whether one has a direct interest in cinematography or not, the varying shots of the African plains are eye-popping and may even leave some viewers watching this piece again if only for that one reason.  If a person watches only one episode of Nature this year, all of these factors together make this the one episode to watch.

The concept of watching a zebra migration might not seem all that interesting to most people.   It’s just a bunch of animals making its way from one place to another.  So the question remains, what would make watching zebra migrate stand out?  The answer is quite surprising.  As one will see in watching Great Zebra Exodus, the migration of these animals is anything but ordinary.  Viewers see in this episode of Naturethat there is actually quite a bit that zebras go through in their yearly migration across the Makgadikgadi salt pans of Botswana.  The mares face the dangers of predators such a lions.  They also face the lack of water and food during the dry season.  There is also the ever present threat for mares of their own foals being potentially killed by stallions that did not sire the young zebras.  It’s incredible to see the motherly instinct of the mares in protecting their young from rival adult stallions.  Viewers see just how dangerous this situation is for mares.  It is one of the situations that will likely be unsettling for younger viewers.  Adults might also find the scenes involving stallions mating with mares improper for younger viewers, too on a related note.  These are not brief moments, either.  So as interesting as this whole feature is, these moments are enough to require a note of parental discretion.

What parents won’t have to worry about in Great Zebra Exodus is the bonus side story about a feeble young foal and its parents.  The young zebra was born with a problem that made walking very difficult.  Its legs were simply not able to support it for long.  That alone will pull at viewers’ heart strings.  As the story of this young zebra and its parents evolves, parents will be moved to find out about the loyalty of its parents to the young foal even despite having to leave it temporarily in order to find water.  That moment at which it leaves will definitely make viewers feel so sorry for the little zebra, as it is left on its own.  But to find out that the next morning, they return and the foal is safe and sound makes for a wonderfully applause worthy moment.  And it would be no surprise if it leaves some viewers at least slightly teary-eyed.

The side-story of the young zebra foal is a wonderful moment for viewers in the overall feature that is Great Zebra Exodus.  On an even happier note, viewers will love the extra information about a meerkat family that follows the zebras for a short while.  The additional notes of the meerkat social structure are just as interesting as those of the zebra social stratification.  What’s really interesting about them meerkats is the behavior of actually leaving their young with another member of a meerkat society if only for a short time in order to bring back food.  Humans like to believe that they are the most intelligent of creatures on the planet.  But as these small creatures (and the zebras) show, humans obviously aren’t the only intelligent beings.  As this episode of Nature shows, the behaviors of animals are just as intelligent as those of humans.  It is sure to get viewers talking and thinking.

The behaviors exhibited by the meerkats and zebras throughout Great Zebra Exodus are eye-opening, especially for those that perhaps had little to no prior knowledge of the animals and how they interacted within their given communities.  Viewers will definitely enjoy learning these facts.  Just as enjoyable to see in this episode is its cinematography.  The camera work of this episode is so impressive that it could be argued to be the real star of the episode in question.  The final scenes presents a rainbow over a previously rain-soaked sky as the zebra herd make their way back along their migratory route.  After everything that these creatures have endured to get to where they do each year, this presents a fitting final moment.  In its own way, it’s almost biblical in nature.  The wide scenes showing the oncoming rains in the rainy season on the salt pans are just as incredible.  Seeing the dust kicked up by the zebras during the dry season makes for quite the contrast, too.  These are just some of the incredible shots obtained by the people behind the cameras of this episode.  Audiences will find that there are so many more shots that they themselves will call favorites.  And along with the episode’s primary and secondary stories, it all comes together to make what is one of the better episodes of Nature in recent memory.  The DVD and Blu-ray are available now and can be ordered online direct from the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=19729766&cp=&sr=1&kw=great+zebra+exodus&origkw=Great+Zebra+Exodus&parentPage=search.

To keep up with the latest news on new episodes of Nature, audiences can go online to http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature and “Like” it.  Fans can also keep up with the latest on Nature on its official website at http://www.pbs.org/nature and its official Twitter page, http://twitter.com/PBSNature.

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.

2013 NBA Draft Ties For Highest Rated Broadcast Since 2003 Draft Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2013 NBA Draft created quite a stir among teams, talking heads, and fans alike.  This year marked the first time that a Canadian player was drafted number one.  Just as surprising, was that other players were not drafted.  Not surprisingly though is that all of the surprises from this year’s draft led it to tie with the 2007 NBA draft for the highest rated broadcast of the NBA draft ever.  That was the highest rated draft since the big show’s 2003 broadcast.  It delivered a 2.6 overnight rating according to Nielsen.  That is up thirteen percent from the 2012 NBA draft.

Listed below is the ratings rundown of the top 10 markets for this year’s draft broadcast.  The Raleigh-Durham, NC market had the sixth highest overnight rating at a 4.2

2013 NBA Draft on ESPN

Top markets Rating
1.Louisville 6.9
2.Memphis 5.6
3.Cleveland 5.0
4.Indianapolis 4.7
5.Oklahoma City 4.3
6.Raleigh-Durham 4.2
7.Detroit 3.9
8.Charlotte 3.7
9.Washington, D.C. 3.6
10.Kansas City 3.5

 

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Todd Grisham Debuts At Ringside Tonight On FNF

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Todd Grisham will join ringside host Teddy Atlas tonight on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.  Grisham will be temporarily filling in for Joe Tessitore, who is off this week.  Grisham got his first big break with the WWE as a backstage reporter, interviewing many of today’s big name WWE Superstars.  He also was a play-by-play commentator and in-ring announcer at times.  He started working on FNF this past January.  Matt Sandulli, FNF’s Senior Coordinating Producer, explained the choice to finally bring Grisham to ringside in a recent interview.  “Todd has established good chemistry with Teddy from the studio, so it made sense to provide him the opportunity to sit next to Teddy and call the fights,” he said.  “Also, Todd’s experience includes calling WWE action, which is probably one of broadcasting’s most challenging jobs, so we think boxing will be a little easier compared to that bedlam, and I say that with the utmost respect for the WWE production.”

While he has been working on Friday Night Fights since January, Grisham seemed excited but nervous about his ringside debut tonight in Jacksonville, Florida.  “I called professional wrestling for eight years, but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do when guys are punching each other in the face for real,” he said.  “In preparation, I spoke to the fighters yesterday, watched video of their fights, and our research department does a great job compiling information that I’ve been combing. I feel like I’m studying for an exam, but instead of one person grading it, a million people will be watching around the world.”

Grisham may be nervous about his ringside debut.  But that sentiment isn’t shared by the man who will share blow-by-blow commentary tonight.  Teddy Atlas, Tessitore’s co-host, was more excited about the first-time pairing. “I have been trying to get Todd within jabbing range all year,” he said.  “Seriously, I can hardly contain my joy that he will be leaving the studio for one night to join me ringside.”  Grisham’s respect for Atlas was much the same.  “Teddy is such a unique boxing phenomenon,” he said.  Not only does he know boxing history, he is a big part of boxing history.”

To keep up with all of the latest on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights fans can go online to the official FNF Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf and “Like” it.  While there, fans can get the ESPN Live Friday Night Fights voting app and actually score the fights themselves round-by-round.  Fans can also follow all the latest from Friday Night Fights via Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF.

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.

Anchor Bay’s Touchback Earns Special Honor

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay

Courtesy: Anchor Bay

Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Touchback has earned a special honor.  The movie that is one part It’s a Wonderful Life and one part football flick has won the Saturn Award for “Best DVD/BD Release” by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films.  Director Don Hanfield accepted the award from presenter Barry Bostwick.  In accepting the award, Hanfield said of the movie, “Touchback was a very special project for all involved.  This recognition from the Academy is greatly appreciated and humbly accepted.” 

Anchor Bay President and CEO Bill Clark spoke on the win.  “All of us at Anchor Bay Films congratulate Don and the entire Touchback team on tonight’s win,” he said.  “We thank the Academy for recognizing this heartwarming underdog of a film with a Saturn Award for Best DVD Release.”  Touchback stars Brian Presely as a former high school football star whose life is changed when on the scoring drive of his final high school game, he breaks his leg.  After trying to take his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning, Scott Murphy (played by Presley), is given a second chance, and shown that despite what he thinks, people really do care about him and his family.   

Touchback beat out some big names at the awards ceremony.  It had to face off against Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike, The Possession, A Thousand Cuts, Chained, and David Kronenberg’s new masterwork, Cosmopolis

More information on Touchback is available online at http://www.touchback-themovie.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.