NYPD Blue’s Fifth Season Proves Why Series Still Stands As One Of TV’s Best Dramas

Courtesy:  ABC/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: ABC/Shout! Factory

NYPD Blue was one of the biggest and most talked about crime dramas on television over the course of its twelve years on ABC.  The reason for that is that in comparison to the likes of Dick Wolf’s Law & Order franchises and CBS’ CSI series, it was far grittier than any of those programs.  One could easily argue that the success of NYPD Blue is to thank for FX’s The Shield rising to fame.  Of course, that series was itself based on a British series from the 1970s known as The Sweeney.  So it goes without saying that NYPD Blue was a groundbreaking series for its time.  And now thanks to Shout! Factory, the fifth season of the hit crime drama is now available in its entirety on DVD box set.  NYPD Blue Season Five is one of the favorites of fans everywhere.  That’s because it really exhibited the talent of the show’s writers at their peak.  The writing is just the starting point for the success of Season 5.  While it’s somewhat minor, audiences will agree that Season Five maintains the show’s image totally separate from the other crime dramas on television.  That will be explained later.  Just as much worth noting is the show’s music.  The music goes right along with the show’s image.  It wasn’t that perfect spit-shined sound that all of the other crime dramas used (and still use today).  These factors and so many more make NYPD Blue Season Five a fantastic trip down memory lane for any true fan of what was and still is one of ABC’s most revered series.

The fifth season of NYPD Blue stands out as one of the series’ best to date.  It is such an exceptional season first and foremost because of its writers.  The writers proved yet again with Season Five their ability to tell multiple stories without letting them get bogged down in each other.  This is something that still remains problematic for so many crime dramas today.  It was especially the case for the CSI franchise for many years.  The show’s writers relied more on sex appeal to try and cover up the fact that their stories were relatively shallow and had a tendency to get caught in themselves.  Just as much to the credit of NYPD Blue’s writers, their stories had substance.  Sure, there was some sex appeal.  But it largely took a back seat to the storylines that leave audiences on the edge of their seats right up to the end without audiences even realizing it.  A prime example of this was the season opener, “This Bud’s For You.”  This episode finishes off the cliffhanger that was started in Season Four’s finale.  The Joey Salvo homicide is finally figured out. And in the process, audiences see some personal character development among the cast. There’s more than enough drama to go around.  But none of it overpowers any other part of the episode.  That is a true sign of a well-written show.  And audiences will see that, again, throughout Season Five.  It’s just the starting point of this season’s success, too.

The writing behind NYPD Blue in its fifth season is the primary reason for the show’s success thus far into its run.  Another reason for the show’s success five seasons in is the show’s image. When put alongside its competition, NYPD Blue didn’t have the spit shined and streamlined look of perhaps a CSI or even any of the Law & Order series across the NBC family of networks at the time.  Those that are familiar with Dick Wolf’s varied series will agree with that argument.  The series in question attempted for years to have a certain grit and realism about them.  But they could never escape the more standard look established by Wolf’s company. Even today, Law & Order: SVU still suffers from that issue.  For lack of better wording, it’s almost as if Wolf’s series always held back.  NYPD Blue on the other hand took the road less travelled even five seasons in.  It wasn’t afraid to show a meaner, tougher side of police work.  Both then and now, few if any shows try their hand at such realism.  It continues to stand today as a tribute to the show’s ability to stand out in the crowd, even today.  Audiences will agree when they check out Season Five for themselves.

The writing and the look of NYPD Blue in its fifth season are both important elements in the show’s success.  There is still one more aspect of the series that while minor stands out among crime dramas of its time.  And it is related directly to the show’s image. That aspect is the show’s soundtrack.  Again, one has to note NYPD Blue’s competition at the time to understand why it is in fact so important.  The CSI’s, Without A Traces, and so many others had a specific soundtrack to go along with their relatively spit shined looks. NYPD Blue on the other hand, had a more generic soundtrack.  The show’s writers and creative forces used a soundtrack of music that one might hear on an inner city street, instead of paying royalty fees for a set of catchy tunes or just having a general marketable sound.  It helped even five seasons into its run, to prove how pretentious those other crime drams really were.  On the same branch, it showed once more how hard the show’s writers and creative heads tried to make NYPD Blue stand out.  It did just that.  And set alongside the show’s look and feel, and its writing, it is one more piece proving why even years after its initial run, NYPD Blue’s fifth season remains one of the show’s best. It is available now on DVD and can be ordered online direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/nypd-blue-season-five. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial.  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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anchor Bay To Release New Psychological Thriller

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment will release the new indie-horror flick In Fear this Spring.  The movie, starring Iain de Caestecker (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures), and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey), it is the feature film debut for writer/director Jeremy Lovering.  In Fear has already made waves at international film festivals in nine countries including: Toronto After Dark (Canada), the Rosebud Entertainment Fantasy Festival (Germany), Fancine – Festival de Cine Fantastico (Spain), and the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (South Korea).

In Fear follow’s the plight of a young couple being tracked in their car by an unseen predator.  The couple is trapped in its car as it travels a number of country roads in an attempt to escape its seemingly invisible assailant.  The couple’s car is its only protection.  The story combines the fear of the dark and of the unknown.  It will be available March 11th on Blu-ray, DVD and Video on Demand.  The Blu-ray presentation will be available for SRP of $29.99.  The DVD will be available for SRP of $24.98.

More information on In Fear and other films from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at http://www.anchorbayent.com and http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay.  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.

Cards, Cubs To Face Off May 4th On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced this week, the latest addition to its upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary season of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  Network officials announced earlier this week that it has added a matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs on May 4th to its schedule.  The Cubs will host the defending National League Champion Cardinals in the game.  First pitch is scheduled for 8pm ET.  The matchup is the fourth for the Cards during the 2014 season and the first for the Cubs.

Dan Shulman will anchor the night’s broadcast.  He will be joined by Dan Shulman, returning analyst Jon Kruk, new analyst Curt Schilling and reporter Buster Olney for commentary.  Along with its broadcast on ESPN, fans can also catch the game on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and WatchESPN.  It will be preceded by ESPN’s weekly pre-game show, Baseball Tonight at 7pm.

The current schedule of Sunday Night Baseball games is listed below.

Early-seasonSunday Night Baseball schedule

Date Game
March 30 Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts
April 6 San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers telecast presented by Taco Bell (ESPN2)
April 13 Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
April 20 Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox telecast presented by Taco Bell (7 p.m.)
April 27 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 4 St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 11 St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 18 Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 25 St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 13 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 20 Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals telecast presented by Taco Bell

Sunday Night Baseball game selections for June through September are generally made two weeks in advance.

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online at http://espn.go.com/mlb.  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.

Celtic Woman Announces New Album, Live DVD, Tour

Courtesy:  Manhattan Records/Blue Note Records

Courtesy: Manhattan Records/Blue Note Records

Music phenomenon Celtic Woman returns this Winter in a big way.  The four-piece will release a new album and DVD titled Emerald: Musical Gems Tuesday February 25th.  The new album and DVD will be released via Manhattan Records.  The dual release is a greatest hits package from the quartet includes hits such as ‘Mo Ghile Mear’, ‘Dulaman’, ‘She Moves Through The Fair’, ‘Caladonia’ and its own take on the timeless classic ‘Danny Boy’ among many more.  Fans can also look forward to the group’s new takes on ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’ on the new dual release.  The combo release can be pre-ordered now online via Amazon and Target at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HF95OMI?tag=smarturl-20 and http://www.target.com/p/celtic-woman-emerald-musical-gems-only-at-target/-/A-15141298 respectively.  The track listing for both the CD and DVD are available below.

ALBUM TRACKLISTING:

1.     Mo Ghile Mear

2.     Dúlaman

3.     Caladonia

4.     Amazing Grace

5.     The New Ground

6.     She Moved Through The Fair

7.     Bridge Over Troubled Water

8.     Níl Sé’n Lá

9.     Danny Boy

10.   The Voice

11.   The Parting Glass

12.   You Raise Me Up

DVD TRACKLISTING:

1.     AWAKENING

2.     DULAMAN

3.     NOCTURNE

4.     TEIR ABHAILE RIU

5.     COAST OF GALICIA

6.     DANNY BOY

7.     MO GHILE MEAR

8.     AMAZING GRACE

9.     SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR

10.   NIL SE’N LA

11.   SHENANDOAH-DANCER

12.   THE VOICE

13.   YOU RAISE ME UP

14.   PARTING GLASS

15.   CELTIC WOMAN PLAYOFF

BONUS

1.     CALEDONIA

2.     BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED

3.     AVE MARIA

 

Emerald: Musical Gems is not all that fans of Celtic Woman have to anticipate this year.  The group will follow up its upcoming dual release with a new PBS special, too.  The trailer for that special can be viewed online via YouTube now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIzXDygc1Qk.

Celtic Woman’s upcoming live DVD, EMERALD: Musical Gems Live in Concert was recorded in 2013 in South Bend, IL, the home of the University of Notre Dame.  The production was recorded under the direction of Emmy® Award-winning music producer David Downes.  Downes previously served as music director for the famed Irish dance phenomenon Riverdance.

Downes discussed the new release in a recent interview.  He explained what the opportunity meant for him and what it will mean for Celtic Woman’s fans.  “Creating the new show allowed me the opportunity to revisit and re-imagine some of our most popular Irish songs, as well as writing some exciting new material for the show” said Downes.  “With all-new performances of these great songs—Emerald has created a whole new experience for both our longstanding fans, and for those who have just discovered our music. This is a Celtic Woman experience that will soothe the soul and have you dancing in the aisles!”

In coordination with the new releases and PBS special, Celtic Woman also has announced details for a seventy-five date North American tour that will run from February 14th – June 3rd.  The tour includes a trio of dates in North Carolina.  The first of those dates sees Celtic Woman perform at Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday, March 6th.  From there, Celtic Woman will move on to perform at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville, North Carolina on Friday, March 7th and the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) on Saturday, March 8th.

The complete tour schedule is listed below.

CELTIC WOMAN   —   2014 THE EMERALD TOUR

14-Feb

Nashville, TN

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

15-Feb

Nashville, TN

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

16-Feb

Huntsville, AL

Von Braun Center

18-Feb

Montgomery, AL

Montgomery Performing Arts Centre

20-Feb

Macon, GA

Macon City Auditorium

21-Feb

Pensacola, FL

Saenger Theatre

22-Feb

Clearwater, FL

Ruth Eckerd Hall

23-Feb

Melbourne, FL

Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts

25-Feb

Lakeland, FL

Lakeland Center

27-Feb

Daytona, FL

Peabody Auditorium

28-Feb

Jacksonville, FL

Times-Union Center For The Performing Arts

1-Mar

Gainesville, FL

Curtis M. Phillips Center

2-Mar

Columbia, SC

Township Auditorium

4-Mar

N. Charleston, SC

North Charleston Performing Arts Center

6-Mar

Charlotte, NC

Ovens Auditorium

7-Mar

Asheville, NC

Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

8-Mar

Durham, NC

Durham Performing Arts Center

9-Mar

Roanoke, VA

Roanoke Civic Center

11-Mar

Richmond, KY

EKU Center For The Arts

13-Mar

Elizabeth, IN

The Showroom At Horseshoe Southern Indiana

14-Mar

St. Louis MO

Fox Theatre

15-Mar

Green Bay, WI

Weidner Center for the Performing Arts

17-Mar

St. Paul, MN

Xcel Energy Center

19-Mar

Saskatoon, SK

TCU Place – Sid Buckwold Theatre

21-Mar

Edmonton, ON

Edmonton Expo Centre

22-Mar

Calgary, AB

Jack Singer Concert Hall

23-Mar

Abbotsford, BC

Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre

25-Mar

Everett, WA

Comcast Arena at Everett

26-Mar

Eugene, OR

Hult Center for the Performing Arts

28-Mar

Sacramento, CA

Sacramento Memorial Auditorium

29-Mar

Oakland, CA

Paramount Theatre

30-Mar

Ontario, CA

Citizens Business Bank Arena

31-Mar

San Diego, CA

San Diego Symphony Hall

1-Apr

Costa Mesa, CA

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

7-Apr

Tucson, AZ

Tucson Music Hall

8-Apr

Tempe, AZ

ASU Gammage Auditorium

9-Apr

Albuquerque, NM

Popejoy Hall

10-Apr

El Paso, TX

Plaza Theatre

13-Apr

Houston, TX

Hobby Center

14-Apr

Corpus Christi, TX

American Bank Center – Selena Auditorium

15-Apr

San Antonio, TX

Majestic Theatre

17-Apr

Tulsa, OK

Mabee Center

19-Apr

Denver, CO

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts

22-Apr

Greeley CO

Union Colony Civic Center – Monfort Concert Hall

23-Apr

Cheyenne, WY

Cheyenne Civic Center Performing Arts Theatre

24-Apr

Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak Center

26-Apr

Lawrence, KS

Lied Center of Kansas

27-Apr

Sioux City, IA

Orpheum Theatre

29-Apr

Duluth, MN

Symphony Hall

1-May

Rockford, IL

Coronado Performing Arts Center

2-May

Peoria, IL

Peoria Civic Center

3-May

Milwaukee, WI

Riverside Theater

6-May

Evansville, IN

The Centre

8-May

Detroit, MI

Fox Theatre

9-May

Ann Arbor, MI

Michigan Theater

10-May

Saginaw, MI

The Dow Event Center – The Heritage Theater

11-May

Columbus, OH

Palace Theatre

13-May

Cincinnati, OH

Aronoff Center for the Arts

14-May

Akron, OH

Akron Civic Theatre

17-May

Pittsburgh, PA

The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts

18-May

Dayton, OH

Schuster Performing Arts Center

20-May

Williamsport, PA

Community Arts Center

21-May

New York, NY

Radio City Music Hall

22-May

Washington, DC

Warner Theatre

27-May

Baltimore, MD

The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center

29-May

Burlington, VT

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

30-May

Bangor, ME

Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion

3-Jun

Albany, NY

Palace Theatre

5-Jun

Red Bank, NJ

Count Basie Theater

6-Jun

Red Bank, NJ

Count Basie Theater

7-Jun

Lancaster, PA

American Music Theater

 

More information on Celtic Woman’s upcoming CD/DVD, PBS special, tour and more is available online at http://celticwoman.com, http://www.facebook.comcelticwoman and http://twitter.com/Celtic_Woman.  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 Broadcasting Expanded Edition of Sunday NFL Countdown This Sunday

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will broadcast a special edition of Sunday NFL Countdown this week.  This week’s edition of Sunday NFL Countdown come live from Herald Square in New York City.  The special extended four-hour broadcast will begin at 10am ET this Sunday, February 2nd.  Chris Berman will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by Suzy Kolber and Monday Night Countdown’s Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young at MetLife Stadium.  Sal Paolantonio will have all the latest news from the Broncos while Ed Werder will have all of the latest updates from the Seahawks.

Analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Jonhson will join host Chris Berman.  This year marks the thirty-second Super Bowl that Berman has covered.  ESPN will offer extensive coverage for football fans throughout its extended Sunday NFL Countdown broadcast including a 30 for 30 “mockumentary” courtesy of comedian Frank Caliendo focusing on Seahawks star Richard Sherman.  Stars of the upcoming NFL Draft-themed movie Draft Day, Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary, will also make an appearance.  If this isn’t enough, ESPN Senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen will sit down for a one-on-one interview with Broncos QB Peyton Manning.  The veteran quarterback will discuss his future in the league as well as how parenthood has affected him.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will sit down with Chris Berman at 11am ET to discuss his most memorable plays so far in his career.  Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will follow at 12:30pm ET.  He will share his friendship with one special fan and how it has grown over the years that the pair have known one another.

ESPN will offer much more coverage for fans.  More information on what fans can expect from Sunday’s special edition of Sunday NFL Countdown is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.com/espn.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Chimaira Releases New Video, Hits The Road Again

Chimaira Tour Poster

Cleveland’s own Chimaira kicks off its “Celebrate the Chaos” tour this weekend.  In coordination with this announcement, the band has also released the video for its latest single.  ‘Wrapped in Violence’ is the third single from Crown of Phantoms, the band’s seventh full length studio release.  The video was filmed in black and white and features footage of the band performing its new single.  It can be viewed online via YouTube now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNelTL6QpvI&feature=youtu.be.

The band’s new tour kicks off Thursday, January 30th at The Palladium in Worcester, MA.  Fans in North Carolina will get to see the band perform live, too.  The band is scheduled to perform three dates in North Carolina.  The first of those dates is Friday, February 7th in Hooligans in Jacksonville, NC. It will be followed by a live show Saturday, February 8th at the Drunk Horse Pub in Fayetteville, NC.  The third of the band’s North Carolina shows will be at The Casbah @ The Fremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC.  The full tour listing for Chimaira’s “Celebrate The Chaos” tour is below.

1/30/14 — Worcester, MA The Palladium (Upstairs)

1/31/14 — Wilmington, DE Mojo 13

02/01/14 — Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance (16+)

02/04/14 — Amityville, NY Revolution (16+)

02/05/14 — Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar

02/06/14 — Reading, PA Reverb

02/07/14 — Jacksonville, NC Hooligan’s

02/08/14 — Fayetteville, NC Drunk Horse Pub

02/09/14 — Charlotte, NC The Casbah @ Tremont Music Hall

02/11/14 — Knoxville, TV NV Nightclub (18+)

02/12/14 — Atlanta, GA The Masquerade

02/14/14 — St. Petersburg, FL The State Theater

02/15/14 — Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall

02/17/14 — Broussard, LA The Station (18+)

02/18/14 — Shreveport, LA Riverside Warehouse (21+)

02/21/14 — Kokomo, IN Center Stage

02/22/14 — Louisville, KY Diamond Pub & Billiards (18+)

02/23/14 — Newport, KY Thompson House (18+)

More information on Chimaira’s new single, album, tour and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/chimaira, http://twitter.com/ChimairaBand and http://www.chimaira.com.

Black Label Society Tapped To Headline Revolver Golden Gods Tour

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Veteran hard rock band Black Label Society has been tapped to headline this year’s annual Revolver Golden Gods Tour presented by Epiphone.  The announcement comes only weeks after the announcement that the band—fronted by legendary guitarist/vocalist Zakk Wylde—will release its latest album Catacombs of the Black Vatican April 8th.

This year’s Revolver Golden Gods tour presented by Epiphone spans thirty-two cities.  It kicks off Wednesday, April 16th in Seattle, Washington and winds down Saturday, June 7th at the home of Black Label Society, Los Angeles California.  The complete Revolver Golden Gods Tour presented by Epiphone schedule is listed below.

Wed/Apr-16  Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
Thu/Apr-17  Portland, OR @ Roseland
Fri/Apr-18  Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Sat/Apr-19  Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theater
Mon/Apr-21  Billings, MT @ Shrine Auditorium
Fri/Apr-25  Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
Sat/Apr-26  Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
Tue/Apr-29  Ybor City, FL (Tampa) @ The Ritz
Wed/Apr-30  Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
Fri/May-02  Birmingham, AL @ Iron City
Sun/May-04  Silver Spring, MD @ Fillmore
Mon/May-05  Clifton Park, NY (Albany) @ Northern Lights
Wed/May-07  Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
Thu/May-08  Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
Fri/May-09  Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Sat/May-10  New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
Mon/May-12  Norfolk, VA @ Norva
Tue/May-13  Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
Thu/May-15  Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Sat/May-17  Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
Mon/May-19  Sioux Falls, SD @ The District
Tue/May-20   Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
Wed/May-21  St. Paul, MN (Minneapolis) @ Myth
Fri/May-23  Grand Prairie, TX (Dallas) @ Verizon Theater
Tue/May-27  New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
Wed/May-28  Houston, TX @ House of Blues
Sun/Jun-01  Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater
Mon/Jun-02  Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex – Rockwell
Wed/Jun-04  Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater
Thu/Jun-05  Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
Fri/Jun-06  San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
Sat/Jun-07  Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theater

Along with its upcoming headlining spot on the Revolver Golden Golds Tour presented by Epiphone, Black Label Society will also present its own thirteen-city Canadian tour.  That tour will feature the band performing some somewhat stripped down versions of its hits as well as songs from Wylde’s solo album, Book of Shadows.

‘My Dying Time’, the lead single from BLS’ upcoming album, can be downloaded now via iTunes.  It can be downloaded at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/my-dying-time-single/id798941029.  The album in its entirety can be pre-ordered via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/catacombs-black-vatican-deluxe/id799689367?ls=1.  The album’s track listing is available below.

01. Fields Of Unforgiveness
02. My Dying Time
03. Believe
04. Angel Of Mercy
05. Heart Of Darkness
06. Beyond The Down
07. Scars
08. Damn The Flood
09. I’ve Gone Away
10. Empty Promises
11. Shades Of Gray
12. Dark Side Of The Sun (bonus track)
13. The Nomad (bonus track)

More information on Black Label Society’s upcoming album and tours is available online at http://www.zakkwylde.com, http://twitter.com/zakkwyldebls, http://www.facebook.com/zakkwylde and http://www.facebook.com/blacklabelsociety.  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.

Caparello, Muriqi Headline ESPN2/ESPN Deportes’ “Superbrawl”

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This weekend is going to be a big weekend for sports fans.  Unless one has been living under a rock, one knows that the Superbowl will come live from MetLife Stadium this weekend.  Before this Sunday’s big game, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will broadcast Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates live from the Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange, New Jersey.  This is only twenty miles from the sight of this year’s Super Bowl.

Undefeated Light Heavyweight contender Blake “Il Capo” Caparello (18 – 0 – 1, 6 KOs) will take on Elvir “The Kosovo Kid” Muriqi (40 – 5, 24 KOs) in the main event of this Friday’s edition of Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and Noche de Combates presented by Corona Extra.  The pair will face off in a ten-round fight live at 9pm ET on ESPN2 as well as online ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN.  ESPN Deportes will rebroadcast Friday’s fight Sunday afternoon at 2am ET.  This week’s fight is presented by Dibella Entertainment.

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will have the ringside call for ESPN2 and WatchESPN.  Todd Grisham will have all of the latest boxing news and highlights live in studio.  Delvin Rodriguez and Pablo Viruega will call the night’s match for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+.  They will be joined in studio by Leopoldo Gonzales and Claudia Trejos.  Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews for both English and Spanish language networks.

This week’s main event is the U.S. debut for the Australian Caparello.  Caparello defeated Allan Green in twelve rounds in his most recent fight thanks to a unanimous decision from the fight judges.  Muriqi is also looking to stay in the win column this week.  The New Yorker comes into tonight’s fight on the heels of an eight-round majority decision win over Paul Vasquez in his most recent fight.  Muriqi was confident about this week’s fight when asked about facing Caparello.  “When you fight a lefty, you can never look great but as long as I win, that’s what matters,” Muriqi said. “I’m pretty good with lefties and think I’m going to surprise a lot of people.”  Caparello on the other hand was more grounded in his thoughts about facing Muriqi.  “I’m a boxer-mover. I like to use angles, long punches and quick hands,” Caparello said. “Elvir (Muriqi) is a strong, solid fighter. We’ve had a good look at him. He’s the type, if we want to make an impression, we have to beat him good. That’s our plan.”

Friday’s main event between Muriqi and Caparello will be preceded by a pair of co-features.  The first of the night’s co-features will pit undefeated Welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (19 – 0, 11 KOs) against Tim Witherspoon, Jr. (10 – 3 – 1, 2 KOs).  Witherspoon is the son of former Heavyweight Champion Tim Witherspoon, Sr.

The second of the evening’s co-features is an eight-round fight between undefeated Featherweight Luis “KO King” Rosa (15 – 0, 7 KOs) and Jorge Diaz (17 – 2, 10 KOs).  Rosa looks to keep his win streak going this week.  He comes into this week’s fight on the heels of a third-round TKO over Andre Wilson.  Diaz is on the other side of the fence.  He is looking to get back in the win column after losing to Yenifel Vicente in a fourth-round TKO in his most recent bout.  The upcoming schedule for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presented by Corona Extra is listed below.

Upcoming Schedule:

 

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Fri, Feb. 7 9 p.m. Norberto González (20-2, 13 KOs) vs. Roberto García (33-3, 22 KOs)—10-rounds, Middleweights UIC Pavilion , Chicago ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Feb. 14 9 p.m. Chris Algieri (18-0, 8 KOs) vs. Emmanuel Taylor (17-1, 12 KOs) —10-rounds, Junior Welterweights Paramount Theater, Huntington, N.Y. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN

*Schedule subject to change

 

More information on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Comabtes is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf, http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://twitter.com/espnboxeo.  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 Announces Details For Annual Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has officially announced that it will broadcast the 2014 edition of the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

The annual celebrity basketball game is scheduled to be broadcast February 14th at 7pm ET.  It will be broadcast live from the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.  This year’s broadcast marks the tenth anniversary of ESPN’s broadcast of the game. Fans can also catch the game online via WatchESPN. Veteran play-by-play man Mark Jones will have the call.  He will be joined by analyst Jon Barry and reporters Stuart Scott and Chris Broussard.

This year’s broadcast marks the first time that ESPN NBA Countdown analysts Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons will serve as coaches for the celebrity game.  Mike & Mike hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg will play in the celebrity matchup for the first time ever, too.  And before the game, Mike and Mike will host their show live on-site from the Hyatt Regency hotel in New Orleans.  Fellow ESPN personalities including SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett and three-time NBA Champion and ESPN NBA analyst Bruce Bowen will also be part of the game.

This year’s Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is part of the NBA All-Star Jam Session.  It will feature stars from across the sports and entertainment world.  Two-time MVP Kevin Hart and America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon will take part in this year’s game.  They will be joined by a number of other celebrities including: Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Columbus Short (Scandal), Michael B. Jordan (That Awkward Moment), Erin Heatherton (Victoria’s Secret model, philanthropist, actress), U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, E! News anchor Terrence Jenkins, Kristin Ledlow (Co-host of NBA TV’s NBA Inside Stuff), and WNBA stars Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock) and Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky).  More information on this year’s Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is available online at http://www.nba.com/news/as.celebrity.game/2014-celebrity-game-event-page/index.html.  More information on all of ESPN’s NBA coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN and http://espn.com/nba.  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.

Details Released For Annual Carolina Rebellion Festival

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The weather is cold across much of the country.  But don’t tell organizers of the annual Summer concert festival series.  Details for the annual Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival have been made official.  This year’s Carolina Rebellion Festival—the third of four events that comprise “The 2014 World’s Loudest Month–will be held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th.  Avenged Sevenfold and Kid Rock will share headlining duties at this year’s festival.  They will be joined by Rob Zombie, Five Rob ZomFinger Death Punch, 311, Motorhead, Staind, Seether, Volbeat and more.  Avenged Sevenfold (also known by its fans as AX7) also performed at last year’s inaugural Carolina Rebellion Festival, which sold out.  The current performance schedule for this year’s festival is listed below.

Saturday, May 3

Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Motörhead, Seether, Volbeat, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage, Black Stone Cherry, Fozzy, Adelitas Way, Thousand Foot Krutch, KYNG, Nothing More, Devour The Day and Truckfighters

Sunday, May 4

Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, 311, Staind, A Day To Remember, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Fuel, Hellyeah, Of Mice & Men, Trivium, Redlight King, Twelve Foot Ninja and Gemini Syndrome

Bands announced for the festival will perform on one of three separate stages throughout the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Those stages are the: Carolina Stage, Rebellion Stage, and Jagermeister Stage.

Tickets for the 2014 edition of the Carolina Rebellion Festival go on sale this Friday, January 31st at 10am ET.  This includes Camping, Hotel, VIP Packages, and Weekend 4-packs and upgrades.  All camping and hotel packages include access to the Friday Night Campground Party. Active military members can purchase tickets once again at a discount.  More information for all ticketing, including military discounts, is available online at http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com.

The Carolina Rebellion Festival was created in partnership by AEG Live and Danny Wimmer Presents.  It is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jagermeister, Ernie Ball, Jack Daniels, Bud Light, F.Y.E. and Pabst Blue Ribbon.  More information on the Carolina Rebellion Festival is available online at http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com and http://www.facebook.com/carolinarebellion.  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.