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.

Natchez Burning Is One Of The Year’s Best New Novels

Courtesy:  HarperCollins/William Morrow

Courtesy: HarperCollins/William Morrow

Good books are easy to find.  Truly good books are far more difficult to find.  That’s especially the case considering the number of DIY books, political mudslingers and otherwise forgettable literary works that populate book stores today.  Next Tuesday, one of those rare truly good books will see the light of day when author Greg Iles’ new book Natchez Burning will be released.  Iles’ latest book and his first in five years, Natchez Burning is not the shortest of books.  It comes in at an astonishing 788 pages.  That’s not counting the book’s postscript.  That’s just the story itself.  It is a long story.  But it is a story that audiences will enjoy regardless of their familiarity with Iles’ body of work.  The story contained within the pages of this book is the crux of the book.  It centers on former prosecutor turned mayor of Natchez, Mississippi Penn Cage.  Readers that are familiar with Iles’ books will recognize Cage’s name as he has been the subject of previous books penned by Iles.  Iles’ writing is another reason that readers will enjoy reading this book.  This encompasses the story’s pacing, transitions and other related aspects.  Both elements work hand-in-hand to make Iles’ first book in five years quite the welcome return.  It is Iles at the top of his game.

Natchez Burning is the first book from Greg Iles in five years.  The main reason for that is that he had been involved in a terrible auto accident so long ago.  His fans had no idea if he would ever write another book as his injuries were so extensive.  Fans will agree in reading his book that as lengthy as it is, Iles did not lose a single step.  If anything maybe it was a blessing in disguise.  That’s because this book presents Iles at the top of his game.  The first way that it shows this is through the story itself.  Iles’ story is one that has been done before countless times by countless other storytellers.  There’s no getting around that.  The whole plot centers around the story of a man forced to face a dark family secret when his father is accused of a brutal decades old crime.  It forces the man, Penn Cage (who is also the subject of previous books by Iles) to decide between family loyalty and the truth.  What sets Iles’ story apart from that told by those that have told similar stories before him is the execution of his story.  His story is more believable than so many others because it is grounded in reality without being unnecessarily gritty and dark. That’s because he uses real events.  He highlights in the story’s opening sequence, the horrendous acts that were committed against the black community in the civil rights era.  And the concept of group of hard liners breaking off from an extremist group to make its own even more hardcore extremist group is just as believable.  These aren’t the only believable elements of the story.  They are but a small sample of how much Iles gets right throughout the course of his new story. Fans of Dick Wolf’s beloved Law & Order franchises or fellow author John Grisham’s books will most definitely appreciate the book especially for this reason.

Iles gets plenty right throughout the course of his story. Within the context of the story, the pacing and transitions are used expertly. This may seem to some like a minor matter. But there are authors out there who struggle to get both of these story elements in balance with one another even today. That greatly detracts from the suspension of disbelief. The end result is the ever increasing urge to simply close said authors’ books. Iles on the other hand uses his pacing to make his story the proverbial edge-of-your-seat story even from what turns out to be the story’s flashback opening sequence. As the story progresses, Iles gives readers clear, concise transition points from one scene to the next, making it easier to follow the story. This helps to heighten the story’s tension and in turn keep readers fully engaged from beginning to end, regardless of how long it might take one reader or another to finish the book. It’s all done so well that readers can see each scene play out in their minds just as vividly as if it were on the big screen. Who knows, with any luck, it may find itself begin adapted for the big screen.

The overall writing style that Iles used throughout the course of Natchez Burning is just as important to the overall enjoyment of the book as the story itself. Every part of the writing that went into making Natchez Burning work did its part to make the story as a whole more than deserving of its applause. Together with Iles’ execution of the story, the two factors together make up for the book’s extensive length. As a matter of fact, both factors together make Natchez Burning a book that readers won’t want to put down. Iles has succeeded that strongly in his return. Simply put, Greg Iles’ new book proves to be one of the first must read pieces of the year.

Iles will hit the road on a book tour promoting Natchez Burning beginning April 29th at Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, Mississippi. His most current book signing schedule and more is available online now at http://www.facebook.com/GregIlesAuthor and http://gregiles.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.

Steve Aoki Releases Details Of New Album, Single, Tour

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

Famed producer and DJ Steve Aoki announced this week that he will release a new album this Summer.

Aoki will release Neon Future I on Tuesday, August 12th via Dim Mak/Ultra Music. The double-disc album is the first in a pair of albums that will culminate in early 2015 with the release of Neon Future II. Aoki leads off Neon Future I with the lead single ‘Rage The Night Away,’ which features rapper Wocka Flocka Flame. Audiences can hear the single now online at http://www.soundcloud.com/steveaoki. Aoki explained the concept behind his upcoming album in a recent interview, noting that he views the future of society as being utopian through proper use of technology, music and color. He went on to explain that it was that view that served as the basis for the album’s sound. “When I think of the dance world, I think of how it’s a colorful world. That, along with my fascination with futurism defined the concept of my new album, Neon Future,” he said. “I see the future in a more of a utopian sense, built through technology, music and color. These concepts became the driving force for the creation of my first double album.”

Aoki’s collaboration with rapper Wocka Flocka Flame on the album’s lead single ‘Rage The Night Away,’ which is available now, is not the only collaboration on the album. He also worked with: Fall Out Boy, Empire of the Sun, will.i.am, Flux Pavilion, Bonnie Mckee, and Machine Gun Kelly.

The release of Neon Future I will be celebrated with a headlining performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Saturday, August 16th. From there, Aoki will hit the road for a select handful of dates across the country. His performance at Madison Square Garden will feature a number of special guests and much more. Audiences can check out a trailer now for the performance online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b4WZtfkFZQ&feature=youtu.be. Tickets for the concert go on sale at 12pm ET on May 9th. They can be purchased online via Steve Aoki’s website, http://www.steveaoki.com.

Along with the announcement of his upcoming album and headlining show, Steve Aoki also has announced this week that he and Bud Light Platinum have come to terms on a one-year partnership. The company’s first thirty second TV spot featuring Aoki will air next week. He will be featured in the company’s “Turn up your night” campaign, which is aimed primarily at fans of electronica and dance music in general. In discussing the new partnership, Rob McCarthy, VP of Bud Light brands at Anheuser-Busch told reporters, “The brand looks forward to expanding its range of content through its partnership with Aoki and continuing to build its credibility as the drink of choice for EDM and nightlife lovers.” Aoki shared McCarthy’s sentiment, releasing a statement saying, “I’m always looking for new ways to take things to the next level…so when Bud Light Platinum came to me with the Turn up the Night campaign, it seemed like the perfect fit.”

More information on Neon Future I, Neon Future II, Steve Aoki’s upcoming live performance at Madison Square Garden, future tour dates and more is available online at http://www.steveaoki.com, http://ww.facebook.com/Steve.Aoki, http://twitter.com/steveaoki, and http://dimmakrecs.com. More information on Bud Light Platinum is available online at http://www.BudLightPlatinum.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.

ESPN Releases Full Season Monday Night Football Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has released its broadcast schedule for the 2014 NFL season.

ESPN opened the 2013 season with a double header and will do so again for the 2014 season. ESPN will open its Monday Night Football regular season broadcast schedule with a double header on September 8th. The first game on the night will see the New York Giants on the road against the Detroit Lions. The game will be the first MNF game to be broadcast from Detroit since September 1971. Mike Tirico will anchor the broadcast and will have play-by-play duties. He will be joined by analyst Jon Gruden in the booth and Lisa Salters on the sidelines. The trio will also handle all MNF games, which will begin at 8:15pm ET. Kickoff for all of ESPN’s MNF games is scheduled for 8:30pm ET.

The second game on ESPN’s double header slate for Monday, September 8th will see the Arizona Cardinals hosting the San Diego Chargers at 10:15pm ET. It will come live from the University of Phoenix Stadium, which will also play host to the 2015 Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIX. The 2015 Pro Bowl will be broadcast on ESPN.

Now in its 45th season, Monday Night Football’s 2014 season will feature all twelve teams from the 2013 NFL Playoffs. This includes the 2013 NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks and AFC Champion Denver Broncos. The Seahawks will take on the Washington Redskins on ESPN’s MNF broadcast October 6th while the Broncos will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati on December 22nd.

Eight NFL organizations will each have two games broadcast nationally on ESPN’s MNF. Those teams are the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Washington Redskins. Speaking of the Redskins, Washington will renew its long held rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys once again in the 2014 NFL regular season. Washington and Dallas will meet on October 27th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The meeting will be the 16th between the two teams; second only to the rivalry between the Raiders and Broncos, who have met seventeen times.

All of ESPN’s MNF games can be seen both on television on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and online via WatchESPN. Additional MNF “game around the game” content will be available daily across ESPN’s various platforms including Monday Night Countdown and SportsCenter before and after each game. ESPN’s complete Monday Night Football broadcast schedule is listed below.

ESPN’s 2014 Monday Night Football Schedule

Preseason
Date Time (ET) Teams
Aug. 14 8 p.m. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears
Aug. 18 8 p.m. Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Redskins
Regular Season
Sept. 8 7 p.m. New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions
10:15 p.m. San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Sept. 15 8:15 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sept. 22 8:15 p.m. Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets
Sept. 29 8:15 p.m. New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Oct. 6 8:15 p.m. Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins
Oct. 13 8:15 p.m. San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams
Oct. 20 8:15 p.m. Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Oct. 27 8:15 p.m. Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
Nov. 3 8:15 p.m. Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants
Nov. 10 8:15 p.m. Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Nov. 17 8:15 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans
Nov. 24 8:15 p.m. Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints
Dec. 1 8:15 p.m. Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Dec. 8 8:15 p.m. Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers
Dec. 15 8:15 p.m. New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears
Dec. 22 8:15 p.m. Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals
TBD TBD NFL Wild Card Game
Jan. 25, 2015 8 p.m. NFL Pro Bowl (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the 2014 NFL season is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN. 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.

Little Feat’s New Live Record One Big Feat

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases.  The London based company has proven time and again in its near two decades in operation why it is more than deserving of that title.  Most recently, live recordings from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Dream Theater, and Sir Paul McCartney have shown just why Eagle Rock is the leader in live recordings.  Now with the release of Little Feat Live in Holland 1976, it continues to maintain that mantle.  This latest release, which hit stores and online outlets this week, is another success from Eagle Rock for a number of reasons.  One of those reasons is the performance itself.  It serves a number of ends in itself.  In direct relation, that Eagle Rock has provided the concert in an economic and ergonomic double-disc CD/DVD bundle makes this an even better release for audiences.  The quality of the sound and video in the presentation rounds out the whole package.  Considering that nearly four decades have passed since this performance was originally recorded, it sounds just as it did in the band’s performance back in 1976.  The efforts of those charged with transferring the recording from its original masters to CD and DVD along with the packaging and the show itself together make this record a definite candidate to be one of the first releases of 2014 to make this critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings.

Nearly four decades have passed since Little Feat’s 1976 performance at the famed Pink Pop Festival in Holland.  That festival is still going strong today almost forty-five years after it started.  Countless bands and acts have performed at Pink Pop over the course of that time.  However, it would seem that very few performances from the festival’s storied history have ever been released in their entirety. That being the case, it makes this release all the more important for lovers of music with substance.   It becomes a piece of music history, so to speak. It will take older listeners back to their younger days and the joys of going to a concert truly worth one’s time and money. And for those that have become all too comfortable with today’s constant barrage of flash-in-the-pan artists, bands, and groups, it serves as an example of what was once right with not just rock music, but music in general. It shows that real music could (and still can) be made without down-tuned guitars and indecipherable vocals or any amount of foul language and references to drugs and sex. All it needs is heart as is evident throughout every song on this outstanding concert.

It’s been noted that one of the key impacts of this recording is that it will take more experienced audiences happily back to a day when concerts were nowhere near as expensive as they are today, and were far more worth the time, too. On the other side of the coin, it shows younger audiences what once made music and concerts great and still does today especially in a live setting. Eagle Rock has presented the performance in an affordable and ergonomic package including both the audio and video portion of the band’s performance that anyone can afford. On average, the double-disc set retails for about $20. Such a price for a concert that can be enjoyed time and again instead of just once is quite the bonus. That the concert can be enjoyed both on CD and DVD is even better. And that both are presented in a space saving case makes this so much more worth one’s time and money. This is especially the case being that this concert likely isn’t currently available on vinyl. Maybe the good people at Eagle Rock should look into putting it to vinyl for those that really want the full old school concert experience. Yes, that is a hint for anyone at Eagle Rock that might read this. Getting back on topic, audiences should see quite clearly by now what makes Little Feat Live in Holland yet another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases.

Those that have yet to still see what makes Little Feat Live in Holland another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases, will be convinced after hearing and seeing the quality of the recording’s audio and video. Nearly four decades have passed since this concert was originally recorded. Both the audio and video from this recording have stood the test of time quite well. And those charged with transferring both from their original masters onto CD and DVD have obviously taken quite painstaking efforts to present the concert as it should be presented. For that, those individuals are to be highly commended. It’s thanks to their efforts that the ever-growing generation gap in this country will be closed a little more after audiences take the time to take in this latest live release from Eagle Rock Entertainment. The efforts of those charged with bringing this classic concert back to life sits alongside the recording’s packaging and its collective historical and cultural value to make it effectively one of the year’s definitive best new live recordings.

Little Feat Live in Holland 1976 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Live-Holland-1976-Little-Feat/dp/B00IPL2BCQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1398299812&sr=1-1&keywords=little+feat. More information on Little Feat and its new release is available online at http://www.facebook.com/LittleFeat, http://www.littlefeat.net and http://www.featbase.net. 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.