Poag’s “For The Girls” Is An Album For The People

Courtesy:  Danal Music, LLC

Courtesy: Danal Music, LLC

Singer/songwriter Vincent Poag’s new album For The Girls is an album for the people. His second full length studio release, it is one of the year’s absolute best new albums. The album’s run time comes in at roughly thirty-six minutes. That hardly makes it the longest album ever crafted by an artist, band or group. But the sheer musical and lyrical depth of the album’s thirteen total songs one of the most extensive albums released so far this year. Poag doesn’t stick to just one style of song from one track to the next on this record. Every track is different from the one before. And this should come as no surprise considering Poag’s influences. Those influences range from names such as Bob Dylan and The Beatles to even George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Rogers and Hammerstein. Each of their influences is evident at one point or another throughout the course of the album’s barely half-hour plus collection of tunes. Audiences can clearly hear the Dylan influence right from the album’s outset in the song ’45 Mile An Hour Girl.’ The influence of Rogers and Hammerstein comes in the form of ‘Waiting For Me.’ And one could argue that Poag’s musical tribute to New Orleans would make even Cole Porter proud. Porter was known more for other styles of jazz. But Dixieland jazz is still within the jazz realm. So by that logic, Porter’s influence is still evident in the inclusion of this tune. The songs noted here are each wonderful additions to Poag’s new album in their own right. There are ten more songs on the album from which audiences will find their own favorites. Regardless of whether those favorites be among that group of songs or among the trio mentioned here, one thing is certain: All of the songs that comprise For The Girls collectively make this one of 2014’s best new albums.

Vincent Poag’s biography notes that one of the biggest influences in his musical life is Bob Dylan. That influence is evident right off the top of this album in the song ’45 Mile An Hour Girl.’ Poag sings fondly of an unnamed woman in this song. The song’s very first line is short. But it speaks volumes. He sings, “She’s a forty-five mile an hour girl/I’m a seventy-five mile an hour guy/She’s carefully balanced/Not to stumble or fall/I’ve tried to catch the world on the fly/She’s that delicate blend of lover and friend/With a class that’s as far as is wide/She a forty-five mile and hour girl/And together we’re off for a drive.” The use of the harmonica and guitar is the most obvious evidence of that influence from Dylan. Poag’s vocal style adds to that influence. He actually sounds slightly like Dylan as he sings. Even more interesting, one could also compare his vocal style to a mix of Elvis Costello and Randy Newman. On the song’s lyrical side, his use of metaphor is just as impressive. He is saying that the woman in question takes things slowly versus him. And it’s that slower speed that makes the man slow down, too. In turn, she makes him a better person as they embark on the drive that is a relationship. It’s definitely one of the more creative metaphors that has ever been used for a love song’s lyrical side. Just as creative is his use of words to say that his male subject doesn’t know what the girl sees in the guy. He sings, “She doesn’t gossip au contraire/Quite demure mi amour/What she sees in me is obscure.” That line is made even more impactful coupled with its equally gentle musical backing. It’s one more part of the whole that makes this song so touching and the perfect choice with which to open the album.

’45 Mile An Hour Girl’ was the perfect way to open For The Girls. It shows within the span of a little more than three minutes the depth of Poag’s musical and lyrical talent and the talent of his fellow musicians. It does just as impressive a job displaying the influence of the likes of Bob Dylan on Poag’s own music. Just as much depth is exhibited in the performance of ‘Waiting For Me.’ This song could so easily be seen as a tune included in any stage play. That’s thanks to the general delivery of the song and the emotion. They paint a picture of a man sitting on a park bench in New York’s Central Park, a single lamp lighting the figure and the bench. One can vividly see the man sitting there singing, “Strange how we give shelter to/The images we weave/Reality a question/Of the things that we believe/Boundaries readjusted/By the lines that are deceit/And I thought the world was waiting/For me.” The way that he holds that last phrase between “waiting” and “for me” is a tiny moment. But that one moment works worlds. It especially works in the transition into the song’s bridge in which a muted trumpet enters. That section conjures thoughts of the city’s lights off in the distance as the sole figure sits on that barely lit bench, singing woefully. The contrasting visual is so vivid and so powerful. That Poag and his fellow musicians can invoke such imagery is a statement to their talent. It’s just as much a statement to the caliber of the work that audiences can expect from this record. And it isn’t the last statement, either.

The opener to Vincent Poag’s new album and the slow, bluesy ‘Waiting For Me’ are both excellent examples of what makes this record such an outstanding work. They both speak volumes to the talent and creativity of Poag and his fellow musicians throughout the album. There is at least one more example of that talent on this record that stands out to this critic. That example lies in the album’s penultimate song, ‘New Orleans.’ While it is specifically Dixieland jazz, it is still jazz. It shows in its own right the influence of famed jazz composer Cole Porter. The very fact that Poag would include the song among the already varied sounds on this record shows that. Poag pays tribute to New Orleans’ rich history going all the way back to the Louisiana purchase and up to modern day in this piece. He sings of the city’s history, “1803/Louisiana Purchase/By Jefferson from Napoleon/Worldwide trading flourished/Tobacco/Sugar/The cotton gin…15 feet below the river/Mardi Gras…nothing stops the music from playing here/New Orleans.” The song as a whole is a musical love letter to one of the capitols of the music industry and of America’s culture. Any fan of Dixieland jazz will most definitely appreciate this piece. It’s unlike any of the other songs compiled for this album just as the others are unlike one another, too. That singularity displayed by each song also serves to display so much talent and depth from Poag and his fellow musicians. This includes the songs’ lyrical side as well as their musical side. Whether it be for this song or any other on the record, every listener will agree that after hearing this record, it more than proves to be one of the year’s true best new overall albums.

For The Girls is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from Vincent Poag’s website at http://www.vincentpoag.com and via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/for-the-girls/id859327192. More information on For The Girls, upcoming tour dates and more is available online at http://www.vincentpoag.com and http://www.facebook.com/VincentPoagMusic. 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.

EOne’s New Horror Comedy Is Full Of Frights And Fun

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

One part stoner flick, one part buddy comedy, and one part horror spoof, Entertainment One’s new horror comedy Knights of Badassdom (yes, that’s really its title) is an outrageously over-the-top  story that any of today’scollege frat boy audiences will enjoy watching at least once.  It’s obvious right from the story’s outset that it was not meant to be taken with a single grain of seriousness.  It centers on a group of twenty-something friends that have to face off against a succubus from Hell after their obsession with live action role playing (LARPing)—yes, that is a real thing, not just something cooked up for this movie—goes a little bit too far.  The completely outrageous script behind this story is central to its intended audiences being able to enjoy it.  Equally important to the story’s enjoyment is the acting on the part of the cast.  And of course, what home release is complete without its special features?  There are actually some interesting tidbits shared through the movie’s bonus features that make the movie more interesting.  Those tidbits, the cast’s acting and the outrageous, over-the-top story make this indie horror spoof a movie well worth watching at least once.

Co-writers Kevin Dreyfuss and Matt Wallhave crafted a story in Knights of Badassdom.  Dreyfuss and Wall have done so much with so little that it is difficult to know where exactly to begin in examining their script.  On the surface, Knights of Badassdom works because of its silly factor.  It is just a good, fun, and slightly gruesome turn-off-your-brain flick.  It’s one part stoner flick, one part buddy comedy, and one part horror spoof that has absolutely no intention of taking itself the least bit seriously.  On a deeper level, one could argue that there’s a story of a group of men forced to grow up if only a little because they got what they’d always wished for and then some during their make believe games.  That’s thanks to them having accidentally unleashMatted a succubus from Hell during one of their imaginary ceremonies.  At first the five friends think that they’re just taking part in a weekend of LARPing (Live Action Role Playing)—yes it is in fact real and not something conjured up for this story.  But when people start turning up dead, they start to realize that there is an evil force among them.  The friends—Hung (Peter Dinklage), Gwen (Summer Glau), Eric (Steve Zahn), Joe (Ryan Kwanten), and Ronnie Kwok (Jimmi Simpson)—end up having to face that evil force and stop it once and for all, essentially allowing them to finally live out their make believe fantasies for real.  Any viewer that can take this movie for the all-out nonsensical work that it is will appreciate all of the inanity (and insanity).  Those viewers will agree in watching the story that it is funny enough that it is worth at least one watch.

The story behind Knights of Badassdom has so many different facets about it that even as intentionally nonsensical as it was, it was still entertaining.  Helping the story’s entertainment was the acting on the part of the movie’s cast.  Led by actor Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), the cast’s interaction with one another throughout the story made for more than a few laughs.  And their portrayals of the stereotypical people in the role playing culture are just as entertaining.  One can’t help but laugh watching Steve Zahn as the wanna-be wizard, casting his “spells.” And Jimmi Simpson’s portrayal of the controlling, somewhat egotistical “game master” Ronnie Kwok is a complete laugh riot. Both Summer Glau and Peter Dinklage add their own charm, to the mix, too. The whole cast together will have viewers laughing nonstop right to the final scenes.

The movie’s cast and its interpretation of the movie’s script work together to make it a surprisingly entertaining work. It’s the cast’s interpretation of the script that makes all of the total absurdity believable and entertaining all at once. There is still one remaining factor in this new release from Entertainment One that makes it the surprisingly enjoyable work that it is. That last factor is the movie’s bonus material. The interview with director Joe Lynch is the best of the bonus features. Lynch discusses in his interview his love of the classic 1980s horror flicks and how that influenced his direction on this movie. Even more interesting is his mention of special effects company Spectral Motion making the monster and handling all of the special effects for this movie. He discusses how he wanted to have an actual monster and real special effects versus the far too overused CG effects employed by Hollywood’s biggest studios. That devotion to using the physical versus the digital made a big difference in the movie. Sure the monster looked cheesy. But as Lynch notes in his interview, it was supposed to look cheesy.   It was part of that homage to the 80s monster movies that Lynch grew up watching. Audiences will be amazed even more to learn that Spectral Motion is the company behind the creatures seen in Hellboy and Hellboy II. That such a well-known and equally respected company would offer its services for an indie horror flick—an indie horror spoof even—speaks volumes. And it paid off in a big way. Audiences will appreciate Lynch’s interview when they see it in its entirety. They will also appreciate the acting on the part of the movie’s cast and the script, penned by co-writers Kevin Dreyfuss and Matt Wall. Audiences will appreciate all of these factors and more that they will find for themselves when they order the movie on DVD and Blu-ray. It can be ordered online now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Knights-Badassdom-Blu-ray-Peter-Dinklage/dp/B00HOGRJQG/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1398801394&sr=1-2&keywords=knights+of+badassdom.

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.

Daniel Tiger’s New DVDs Are Fun Even For Adults

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids










PBS Kids released early this year the first two ever DVDs from the network’s new series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  The DVDs in question, Daniel’s Big Feelings and Life’s Little Lessons, are both wonderful compilations for any parent with young children.  Parents that have seen the series on PBS Kids will recall that each episode is cut into separate shorts that coincide with one another through their specific themes.  They tie directly into one another.  The episodes collected for these DVDs are presented in exactly the same fashion on both discs.  Those charged with assembling the episodes for the DVDs are to be applauded for that effort.  Just as worthy of applause is the fact that the episodes coincide with one another thematically speaking.  This is one of many aspects the creators of this series pulled over from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood  that pays direct tribute to that landmark program.  It’s one more reason that even parents will appreciate these new DVDs especially if they grew up with Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  And last but most certainly not least important about the two new compilation DVDs is the lessons taught through each short.  The lessons taught through each episode are done so in the same fashion as the lessons taught in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  And they’re just as easy for young viewers to grasp.  All things considered, these two new DVDs from PBS Kids are absolutely amazing and wonderful pieces to have for any family not able to catch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

The episodes culled for Daniel’s Big Feelings and Life’s Little Lessons are the foundation for the success and enjoyment of both DVDs.  Each episode is split into a pair of shorts that coincide with one another.  And each episode in turn coincides with others that follow one specific theme.  That same presentation format is used in both of the new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs.  They all run in the same format.  For instance the episodes collected for Daniel’s Big Feelings all tackle negative emotions that people feel.  Each short’s story connects to the short before it, thus making for almost two hours of kid friendly and family friendly entertainment that also includes important lessons on how to work through those negative emotions effectively.  It would have been easy to just throw together a bunch of episodes with a common theme and call it a day.  But the people charged with assembling the episodes for these DVDs didn’t do that.  They showed that they wanted the offer audiences the best possible product for parents and children alike.  That each of the shorts coincides with one another on both discs is a positive on the surface because it carries over the show just as its episodes run on television.  On a deeper level, the manner in which the episodes are presented is the same as the setup of the series that inspired this program.  That’s another positive to both of these DVDs.

Parents that were children themselves when Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was in its original run on television will recall that Mr. Rogers would take one central theme and use it throughout the course of his show each day.  During each program, he’d go to the land of make believe more than once as part of an ongoing story line.  And even the segments in his home tied in to those segments in the land of make believe.  The themes in question would actually run not just one or two episodes, but a handful of episodes.  To that extent, the creative forces behind Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood have done much the same thing with this program.  That’s evident throughout the series of shorts that make up each disc.  So both the people at PBS Kids and those behind the show have come together to pay true respect to the memory of Fred Rogers and his show in multiple ways here in such a small span of time.  That makes this more than just a bonus.  It makes it a wonderful tribute to the legacy and memory of Fred Rogers.

The manner in which the lessons on each disc are taught is itself a direct tribute to the memory and legacy of Mr. Rogers.  Just as much of a tribute is the lessons themselves.    Mr. Rogers always presented lessons to his young audiences that were both gentle and empowering in their own way. The lessons presented in both of these DVDs are presented in much the same fashion. When Daniel gets angry and jealous, his grown-up friends teach him gently how to handle those emotions. When he has to go to the doctor and is scared of going, a gentle, caring tone is used as it’s explained what the doctor does. These lessons and others taught through each of the shorts collected on the DVDs would make Mr. Rogers proud. The same can be said of everything else noted here. The lessons presented, the manner in which they are presented and the fact that the series directly pays homage to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood together make both of these DVDs a joy for audiences of all ages again and again. They can be pre-ordered now online via the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org.

More information on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available online at http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv and http://pbs.org/daniel. 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.

Snoop Dogg Featured In New COD: Ghosts Voice Pack

Courtesy:  Activision/Infinity Ward

Courtesy: Activision/Infinity Ward

Snoop Dog is back.

The rapper/reggae artist will be part of Activision’s new upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts Voice pack. He will be the announcer for the first of the new COD: Ghosts voice packs. He actually narrates the various scenes through which players make their way in the voice packs. He will even keep track of kill streaks and alert players to enemies as he narrates the game in the new voice pack.

The new Snoop Dogg voice pack and other customizations are all available now for Xbox Live. A release date for its availability on other platforms will be announced at a later date. Gamers can check out a video interview with Snoop Dogg right now online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT1ycFs618g&feature=youtu.be. Snoop discusses in his interview why he agreed to be part of the new COD Voice Pack. He notes that the franchise’s popularity is one of the reasons that he agreed to be part of the new voice pack. Fans can even check out a few samples of Snoop Dogg’s voice over work on the new Voice Pack as part of the interview.

All of the latest news on Call of Duty: Ghosts is available online at http://www.facebook.com/CallofDuty and http://twitter.com/callofduty. 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.

Jo Dee Messina To Sing National Anthem At Kentucky Derby

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Country artist Jo Dee Messina has been tapped to sing the national anthem before this year’s annual running of the Kentucky Derby.

Messina will be among elite company when she sings the national anthem at this year’s Kentucky Derby. She will be only the sixth person to have ever sung the national anthem in the 140-year history of what is one of horse racing’s biggest events. This year’s Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 3rd on NBC. Messina is scheduled to perform at 5pm ET on the nationally broadcast race.

Messina was upbeat in discussing her appointment to sing at this year’s derby. “I’m so excited to be a part of the 140th Kentucky Derby!” she said. “What an amazing opportunity to be able to perform The National Anthem, a song which I am so proud to sing.  I’m honored to be invited for this experience of a lifetime!”

Jo Dee Messina recently released her new full-length studio effort, Me. The album has already spawned two hit singles, the latest being the song ‘A Woman’s Rant.’ The song is currently Top 30 on the Music Row Chart and is getting ever closer to Billboard’s Top 40 indicator. More information on Jo Dee Messina’s new album, her tour schedule and more is available online at http://www.jodeemessina.com, http://www.facebook.com/jodeemessina, and http://twitter.com/jodeemessina. 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.

Carter’s New LP Is A Wonderful Tribute To Her Family’s Musical Legacy

Courtesy:  Rounder Records/Concord Music Group/Carter Music

Courtesy: Rounder Records/Concord Music Group/Carter Music

Veteran country musician Carlene Carter has crafted in her latest release Carter Girl an album that is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the top new country albums of 2014. The album, which was released early this month on Rounder Records, is one that in her own words, she had wanted to make for some time. She explained that “the songs on the album cover three generations of Carter Family music.” She pays homage to her family’s history, too in her take of ‘Lonesome Valley.’ Another of the album’s highest moments comes in the more up tempo take of the standard ‘Gold Watch and Chain.’ ‘Poor Old Heartsick Me’ will also impress listeners as its more upbeat sound is totally contrary to the song’s lyrics. These are just a few examples of why audiences will enjoy Carter’s new album. Audiences will each have their own reason for enjoying it. Regardless of which song or songs one chooses as one’s favorite, every listener will agree that this record is one of the best new country albums of 2014.

Carlene Carter noted in interviews that she had wanted to make Carter Girl for some time. That’s because, as she said, “the songs on the album cover three generations of Carter Family music.” The most obvious thought in terms of paying tribute to musicians is that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But Carter’s updated rendition of the Carter Family classic isn’t just imitation. She partnered with fellow veteran Vince Gill on this song to make a heartbreaking piece that pays tribute to both her own mother and stepfather. Gill’s vocals blend almost seamlessly with those of Carter in the song’s chorus to make it seem almost like he’s not even there. The vocals are that tight in those sections. Even when Carter is singing by herself, she holds her own, singing, “Well Junie never knew a stranger/She was friendly like that/So we stood with our relations/And a bunch of strangers dressed in black/Me and Rosey wore bright colors/Momma woulda liked it like that/We laid her near her momma/Sing ‘Circle Be’/She always said she wanted that.” She sings these lines not so much with pained recollection, but more with a certain bittersweet feeling. That vocal style evokes so much emotion and makes this song one of the album’s best moments.

Carter’s update on ‘Lonesome Valley’ is such a powerful moment because of the emotion that it evokes. That is thanks to the musicianship of both Carter and Gill. An equally powerful but less bittersweet moment that Carter shares with her listeners on this album is her cover of ‘Poor Old Heartsick Me.’ Considering the song’s sad, standard lyrics of love lost, the song’s more up-tempo musical side gives the song a whole new identity. It starts off sounding like it’ll be the most commonly known down-tempo, woeful song. But the increased energy in this rendition makes it difficult to be down. If anything it almost makes it uplifting as it lets listeners know they aren’t the only ones to have ever gone through heartache in their lives.

‘Lonesome Valley’ and ‘Poor Old Heartsick Me’ are both excellent examples of what makes Carlene Carter’s new tribute album of sorts such an impressive release. Listeners can take away from Carter Girl at least one more example of what makes this such an impressive release. That example is Carter’s cover of ‘Gold Watch and Chain.’ This is typically a much slower and more somber piece when performed by most artists and bands. In Carter’s case though, it is more up-tempo. And the addition of Carter’s cousin Lorrie Carter Bennett makes the song even more enjoyable in this rendition. The two-part harmonies crafted between the women are just as subtle as those in her duet with Vince Gill on ‘Lonesome Valley 2003.’ Those harmonies set alongside other subtleties such as the addition of a mandolin part and what sounds like an old organ in the background round out this wonderful addition to Carter’s album. It is one more wonderful addition to Carter’s new album. And it isn’t the only one, either. Audiences can find their own favorites now that Carter Girl is available in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from the Rounder Records website at http://www.rounder.com/2014/02/new-releases/carter-girl . It can also be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/carter-girl/id828726425 and Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carter-Girl-Carlene/dp/B00HYCINKQ/?tag=concordreco0c-20.

More information on Carlene Carter, her new album and future tour dates is available online at http://www.facebook.com/officialcarlenecarter and http://www.carlenecarterfanclub.com. 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.

Atmosphere Impresses Again With Upcoming Album’s Second New Single

Courtesy:  Rhymesayers Entertainment

Courtesy: Rhymesayers Entertainment

Indie hip-hop duo Atmosphere—Sean “Slug” Daley and Anthony “Ant” Davis—recently released the second single from the group’s upcoming album Southsiders. The single, ‘Kanye West’ is a solid follow-up to the album’s lead single ‘Bitter.’ Daley writes in the song’s opening verse, “She said she wanted somebody she could take care of/And right then is when we paired up/Pull a chair up and make a space for yourself/You should taste what I felt/It’s probable/That those on the bottom/Gonna hold you accountable/It’s lonely at the top/And it’s also hostile/Everybody got their own course full of obstacles/Don’t let your heart grow cold like a popsicle/She said she wanted someone to treat her as an equal/And right then we started speeding toward Reno/Burnin’ rubber in the burgundy Reagle/Fly like a dove/Then dive like an eagle/I’m a seventy-duce/That year was a classic/Buzz got loose/And we here tryin’ to catch it/She said she was unimpressed/That’s when I stood up and did the Kanye West.”   The very first thing that listeners will notice in this song is the length of the verse. The song’s other verse is just as long. That’s not a bad thing, either. As a matter of fact, it’s a good thing. That’s because it’s so unlike most mainstream rap and hip-hop songs stylistically speaking. Instead of just writing a radio friendly rap song, Daley and Davis have crafted a piece in this song that paints a vivid musical story.

Speaking of writing a musical story, the video for ‘Kanye West’ can be viewed online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JrDVPsVbVA. The companion video, which presents an older Asian man and a younger black woman, is quite the effective companion to the song. The meaning behind the visuals has been hotly debated. Some have gone so far as to say that the elderly man is supposed to represent Kanye West and his waning relevance. Others have made reference to North West, the daughter of West and his wife. Regardless of whether there’s any credence to these theories, the video for the song brings the song full circle. Just as the song will keep audiences listening, so will the companion video. The two together make ‘Kanye West” one more contender from Atmosphere to be one of the year’s best new singles.

Atmosphere’s new album Southsiders will be available Tuesday, May 6th via Rhymesayers Entertainment. It can be pre-ordered now online at http://fifthelementonline.com/collections/atmosphere-southsiders-pre-order and https://itunes.apple.com/album/southsiders-deluxe-version/id828734533. More information on that album, the duo’s new single, its tour dates and general information is available online at http://www.facebook.com/Atmosphere and http://twitter.com/Atmosphere. 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.

Level 33 Entertainment To Release New Rom-Com This Spring

Courtesy:  Level 33 Entertainment

Courtesy: Level 33 Entertainment

Level 33 Entertainment will bring audiences a new wild romantic comedy next month.

Just in time for the annual wedding season, Level 33 Productions will release the new independent rom-com, The Wedding Video May 9th. The movie will make its American debut at The Crest Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The comedy was written by Tim Firth (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Calendar Girls) and directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls). Cole will hold a special Q&A session before the movie runs. It stars Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher, Dinner for Schmucks, Into The Woods), Robert Webb (Peep Show), Rufus Hound (Celebrity Juice), Angus Barnett (Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy), and Miriam Margolyes (The Guilt Trip, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Romeo + Juliet).

The Wedding Video is a farce about every couple’s big day. Raif (Rufus Hound) is asked by his brother Tim (Robert Webb) to document the days leading up to Tim’s wedding. Raif agrees and decides to make a true documentary, leaving out nothing. He is going to give the video to Tim and his bride-to-be (Lucy Punch) as a gift. But things don’t exactly go as planned as the big day nears. Miriam Margolyes co-stars as Patricia. She is joined by fellow co-stars Harriet Walter (A Royal Affair, Young Victoria) as Alex and Angus Barnett as Reverend Dobbs.

Andreas Olavarria, president of Level 33 Entertainment, discussed his pleasure at having the movie finally make its U.S. premiere in a recent interview. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to finally bring THE WEDDING VIDEO across the pond, so that audiences all over the United States can enjoy this truly hilarious and entertaining film,” he said. Since its debut in the UK, The Wedding Video grossed the equivalent of $1.7 million USD.

More information on this and other releases from Level 33 Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/Level33entertainment and http://www.level33entertainment.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http;//philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lucky Diaz And The Family Jam Band To Release New Album Next Month

Courtesy:  Rainy Day Dimes Music

Courtesy: Rainy Day Dimes Music

Family entertainers Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band will release their new album next month.

Aqui Alla will be released nationally on Tuesday, May 5th via Rainy Day Dimes Music. The band’s new album was recorded by 13-time Grammy award-winning producer Gilbert Velasquez in Los Angeles. It was produced by Al Sgro (Meiko, Fitz and the Tantrums, Sara Bareilles). Diaz and company feature welcome well-known Tejano names Flaco Jiminez, Grammy-nominated Ruben Ramos (Los Super Seven) and Grammy award winner David Lee Garza.

Aqui Alla celebrates the Latino culture as part of the whole American culture. Diaz explained in a recent interview. “This is my family’s story of the American dream. My parents were immigrant farm workers who marched alongside César Chavez in the 1970s. Believing in the farm workers’ motto of “Si Se Puede,” (“Yes, one can” or, roughly, “Yes, it can be done”), my family yearned for freedom, equality and the hope of a better tomorrow. Today, I’m living that dream. I’m really from here and there, and I have found this feeling shared by many other second generation Mexican Americans.”

More information on Aqui Alla and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is available online at http://www.luckydiazmusic and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucky-Diaz-and-the-Family-Jam-Band/182600891967. 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.

Indie Pop/R&B Artist Chay Releases New Single

Courtesy:  Fresh Tracks Marketing

Courtesy: Fresh Tracks Marketing

Indie pop/R&B artist Chay recently released his new single, ‘Eternity’ to the masses.

‘Eternity’ comes from Chay’s upcoming sophomore album El Abrazo, which is due out this Fall. Audiences can check out the song online now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QeRp2Qf9Bo.  Chay wrote and co-wrote the lyrics for no fewer than twelve of the songs on his new album. He also sang both lead and background vocals and wrote the vocal arrangements for each of the album’s songs.

Audiences will be able to hear in Chay’s new album influences from major-name artists such as Patti LaBelle, Donnie Hathaway, Enrique Iglesias, Az, Tiwsta, Arcangel, and even Lil Kim. The album was produced by Rio Summers and others.

While audiences wait for the release of El Abrazo, they can download ‘Eternity’ now online via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/gw/album/eternity-single/id828061785. From there, audiences can get more information on Chay online at http://www.facebook.com/chay.is.life. 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.