CMG’s ‘The Old Dark House’ Re-Issue Is Sure To “Scare Up” Plenty Of Fans

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Halloween night is almost upon us, and in celebration of the big night, Turner Classic Movies has a full slate of movies throughout the day and night sure to give people plenty of good scares.  From White Zombie to the original 1960 take of 13 Ghosts to the original 1963 take of The Haunting and more, the greatest classic movies network has plenty on its schedule to help audiences celebrate Halloween in the safety of their own homes.  As notable as most of the movies on the network’s schedule are, it does have some lesser-known yet just as spine-tingling movies on its list including The Old Dark House.  Originally released in 1932 by Universal Pictures, starring Boris Karloff and directed by James Whaley (who also directed Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Man in the Iron Mask, etc.), it was recently re-issued on Blu-ray Oct. 24 via Cohen Media Group.  This movie is one of the hidden gems of Karloff’s career and a work that every horror purist will want to own now that it has finally been re-issued.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story, which will be discussed shortly.  The approach taken in the story’s presentation is just as important to note in examining the movie as the story itself.  It will be discussed later.  The bonus material included with the movie’s new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of The Old Dark House a re-issue that will shine in any horror movie purist’s collection.

Cohen Media Group’s brand new re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1932 classic horror/thriller The Old Dark House is a release that is certain to shine in any horror movie purist’s collection.  That is due in no small part to its story, which is relatively simple to follow.  A group of people trying to get out of a bad storm end up together in a creepy old house with some equally creepy figures.  When one of those really creepy figures (played by Boris Karloff) gets hold of some alcohol, the danger to the group of strangers becomes very real.  This is a storyline that has been used any number of times since this movie’s debut.  In some cases, it has worked.  In just as many cases, it has failed in grand fashion.  Considering this, The Old Dark House is among the best of the story’s instances.

Adding even more importance to the story is that the 72-minute tale takes place over the course of a single night in the creepy old house, thus keeping the story from getting too bogged down in itself.  Even with the characters’ interweaving storylines added to that central story, the focus remains clearly on the group’s attempts to survive into the morning.  The overall simplicity in the story’s time frame and plot setup are collectively so simple that collectively, they alone give audiences plenty to enjoy here.  They are also collectively just one of the most important of the movie’s elements.  The overall approach to the story is just as important to note in examining the movie as the story itself.

The approach to The Old Dark House’s story is so important because it heightens the story’s tension, and in turn, makes the movie that much more engaging.  The subtle use of lighting throughout the movie is just one important part of the approach that creates that tension.  There are also certain shots throughout the movie that utilize a certain “fuzzing” effect that is just as subtle as the lighting effects.  That subtle aesthetic effect adds even more impact to the movie’s approach, and in turn makes the movie that much more engaging for audiences.  On yet another level, audiences will take note of the juxtaposition of Morgan’s (played by Boris Karloff) diabolical side to his surprisingly humane side as another important part of the movie’s approach.  That element of the movie’s approach is certain to generate its own interest and discussion among audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear just why the approach taken to The Old Dark House is so important to its overall presentation.  It is not the last of the movie’s most important elements, either.  The bonus material included with the movie is just as important to note as the approach to the movie and its story.

The bonus material included in The Old Dark House’s brand new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Audiences get lots of bonuses in this re-issue, too. The sit-down interview with Boris Karloff’s daughter Sara in which she discusses her father’s distaste for gory horror movies, the three most important elements of his own acting profile, and her own surprising admission about how long it took her to watch some of her father’s works (among other topics) is one of the most important of the movie’s bonuses.  The feature-length audio commentary with Gloria Stuart adds even more depth to the movie’s overall presentation.  Audiences learn through her commentary early on about her cast mates complaining about the shooting schedule as well as the fear factor of certain scenes as well as so much more.  That’s only within the movie’s first half hour or so.  Audiences will also appreciate the discussion on the movie’s restoration and the interview included in the movie’s companion booklet.  When this is all joined with the feature-length commentary from James Curtis, the whole of these bonuses adds so much depth to the movie that their importance simply cannot be argued or ignored.  Keeping this in mind, the bonus material included in this re-issue puts the final touch to the movie’s overall presentation.  When this is considered along with the importance of the movie’s story and the approach to the story, the end result is a movie that every horror purist will appreciate whether on Halloween or another time of year.

Cohen Media Group’s brand new re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1932 horror thriller classic The Old Dark House is a release that every horror purist will appreciate not just on Halloween but at any time of the year.  That is due in no small part to its story, which is so enjoyable thanks to its simplicity.  The overall approach to the story’s presentation – both in terms of its aesthetic elements and other content – strengthens the movie’s presentation even more.  The rich breadth of bonus material included in the movie’s new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s whole. All things considered, the noted elements make The Old Dark House a title that is certain to “scare up” plenty of horror movie purists.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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‘Sunset Motel’ Is A Shining New Reckless Kelly Album

Courtesy: thirty-One Tigers/No Big Deal Records

Alt-country outfit Reckless Kelly marked a very special anniversary last week.  The Austin, TX-based band marked the 20th anniversary of the release of its debut album Millican Oct. 20.  The album was re-issued in a very limited number of copies – only 1,000 copies to be exact – making it a very special release for the band and fans alike. For those who might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on a copy of the album, there is some consolation that they can still get their hands on the band’s most recent album, 2016’s Sunset Motel.  Though a little more than a year has passed since the 13-song album was originally released, it is still just as enjoyable today as it was in that release.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as important to note as its musical content.  Last but not least of mention is the record’s packaging.  It seems surprising, true, but is definitely worth noting.  Each element is important in its own right to the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Sunset Motel proves to be a record that any Reckless Kelly fan will enjoy.

Reckless Kelly’s ninth full-length studio recording Sunset Motel is yet another solid effort from the Austin, TX-based alt-country outfit.  Released a little more than three years after its 2013 album Long Night Moon, the album boasts plenty of positives, not the least of which is its collective musical arrangements.  The arrangements presented throughout the course of the record’s 51-minute run time are everything that audiences have come to expect from the band throughout the band’s life.  From the southern rock arrangements present in ‘Radio,’ ‘Moment in the Sun,’ and ‘Give It Up’ to the more direct country music leanings of ‘Under Lucky Stars,’ ‘Who’s Gonna Be Your Baby Now’ and the album’s title track to the middle ground in ‘One More Last Time,’ — which boasts quite a clear comparison to so many works from the late, great Tom Petty —  ‘Volcano’ and ‘How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him)’, the arrangements presented throughout this record prove familiar ground for the band without being redundant from its previous works.  That ability of the band to present plenty of familiar sounds without being too familiar impresses plenty in itself.  It is just one of the elements that makes the album so enjoyable.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as important to discuss in examining it as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical themes presented throughout the course of Sunset Motel are just as certain to keep listeners engaged throughout the album’s 51-minute run time as its musical arrangements.  That is because they range from the serious to the standard and even in-between from start to finish.  The album’s opener sees its subject scratching his head as he asks a woman (probably the object of his affection) why she has fallen for another man in whom she seemingly doesn’t even like.  What man hasn’t been such a position at one point or another in life?  It is just one of the songs included in this record that takes on the standard subject of relationships.  ‘The Champ,’ ‘Who’s Gonna Be Your BabyNow’ and ‘Sad Songs About You’ also take on the topic.  It isn’t the only topic that the band tackles in this record.  The album’s title track presents a much more serious subject in the matter of addiction.  The song doesn’t make clear if that addiction is to drugs, alcohol or both.  Regardless, it takes on the issue in moving fashion.  ‘Volcano’ also presents its own serious turn as Braun and company take on so many issues that continue to divide the U.S. today.  Those issues include climate change, the debate over evolution and conservation.  The sense of cynical sarcasm in the song seems to paint a picture of frustration over how those issues have become so divisive.  It really is a strong statement from Braun and company here.  On a slightly lighter note, the band also takes on the music industry itself in playful fashion in ‘ Radio.’  The song jokes in sarcastic fashion about all the things that acts have to do to get on the radio and make names for themselves.  It’s a topic that is not rarely tackled, but also is not addressed too commonly, either.  To that end (and the way in which it is addressed here), it is another interesting addition to the album.  When it is considered along with the already noted themes and those not noted here, the whole of those themes makes clear why Sunset Motel’s lyrical themes are collectively just as important to note here as the album’s musical arrangements.  Its lyrical themes are not the last of its most important elements.  The album’s packaging round out its most important elements.

Sunset Motel’s packaging is an important piece of the album’s whole not because of its gatefold presentation, but because of its fun 3-D visuals.  The “motel room key” included in the album is not just a room key, but a viewer to find the hidden pictures and messages placed throughout the album’s packaging.  There are plenty of those messages and pictures across the album’s “booklet,” which turns out to be a map of sorts. Some of the images and messages spread across the “map” include headshots of the band members hidden on Mt. Rushmore, a giant rattlesnake spread across the country, and even a mirage of sorts used to better illustrate the message presented in Sunset Motel’s title track among much more.  It may not seem like much on the surface, but the fun presented in discovering the hidden pictures and messages placed throughout the album makes for its own share of enjoyment for listeners.  When that enjoyment is considered along with the enjoyment brought in the album’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes, the whole of those elements makes the album in whole a presentation that every one of Reckless Kelly’s fans will appreciate.

Reckless Kelly’s most recent album Sunset Motel is a presentation that is certain to have no sunset in itself among the band’s fans.  It presents plenty to appreciate from start to finish.  As already noted, that is due in no small part to some familiar (but not too familiar) sounds in its musical arrangements.  The album’s lyrical themes collectively play their own part in the album’s presentation as does the album’s packaging.  Each element is important in its own right, as has been noted.  All things considered, Sunset Motel proves to be another enjoyable effort for all of Reckless Kelly’s fans.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Sunset Motel is available online now along with all of Reckless Kelly’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.recklesskelly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/recklesskelly96

Twitter: http://twitter.com/recklesskelly

 

 

 

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‘Live At The Hollywood Bowl’ Is A Special Landmark Event

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Jeff Beck is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most important figures in mainstream music’s modern history.  He has spent half a century making music that has made fans of millions worldwide thanks to his solo work and his work as a member of the Yardbirds.  Last summer, Beck celebrated that mark by entertaining audiences with a very special star-studded concert at Los Angeles’ famed Hollywood Bowl.  That concert was itself recorded for beck’s fans worldwide and released earlier this month via Eagle Rock Entertainment on a variety of platforms.  It goes without saying that this landmark concert event is one that Beck’s fans everywhere will appreciate.  That is due in part to the concert itself.  In the same vein, the show’s set list is just as important to discus as the concert itself, and will be discussed later.  The liner notes included in the recording’s companion booklet round out its most important elements.  One need not even mention the recording’s production values since they are of the utmost level, which is nothing new for Eagle Rock’s live recordings.  Keeping all of this in mind, Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl proves to be a once in a lifetime concert that will appeal to every one of Beck’s fans around the world.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent release of Jeff Back’s Live at the Hollywood Bowl is a very special recording that every one of Beck’s fans around the world will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the concert’s very setup.  While the recording’s title puts Beck’s name on the marquee, Beck is hardly the only major name on the bill.  Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler joined ZZ Top front man Billy Gibbons, blues legend Buddy Guy, Jan Hammer and Jimmy Hall for a star-studded show that should have been sub-titled “Jeff Beck & Friends.”  Beck’s fellow famed performers join him throughout the concert to perform some of his biggest hits as well as a handful of Yardbirds hits and some of their own well-known numbers.  This ties directly into the concert’s set list, which will be discussed shortly.  Staying on the topic of the concert’s presentation, having so many well-known names on one stage together makes the concert more akin to a festival show than just a single headliner’s show.  That is a wholly positive element as it shows clearly the foundational importance of the show’s setup to the recording’s overall presentation.  It is only one part of what makes the recording such a joy to experience.  The concert’s set list is just as important to discuss in examining this recording as its very setup.

As already noted, the songs performed throughout the course of this 97-minute concert run a wide gamut.  From Beck’s earliest solo material to his most recent to even some of the songs he recorded during his time with The Yardbirds and beyond, the concert’s set list features a wide range of music for audiences of all ages to enjoy.  Included among Beck’s own compositions are ‘Shapes of Love,’ ‘Let Me Love You,’ ‘Beck’s Bolero’ and ‘Morning Dew’ from his 1968 solo debut album Truth as well as ‘Freeway Jam’ from his 1975 album Blow By Blow.  Beck’s most recent record, 2016’s Loud Hailer even gets a trio of nods in the form of ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised,’ ‘Live in the Dark’ and the deeply emotional socially conscious work ‘Scared for the Children.’  As if those songs are not enough, the concert also includes a take on the Yardbirds’ classic hits ‘For Your Love,’ and ‘Over Under Sideways Down.’ ZZ Top and The Beatles even get their own tributes during the show’s run in the form of ‘Rough Boy’ and ‘A Day in the Life.’  The cover of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ closes out the concert and is easily the concert’s most powerful moment.  Considering the wide range of music performed and acts represented throughout the set list, it should be perfectly clear by now just how important the concert’s set list is to its presentation.  Just as the show’s set up does, the set list serves more as a celebration of music itself than Beck’s own music showing once more why this concert, which was marketed as a Jeff Beck concert, is such a special experience that is so much more than its title suggests. When the two noted elements are joined, they make the overall experience that much more special and enjoyable.  Even with this in mind, the show’s set up and set list are only two of its most important elements.  The liner notes included in the concert’s companion booklet are collectively important in their own right, too.

The liner notes included in Live at the Hollywood Bowl’s companion booklet, which were crafted by Alan Light, give audiences a concise preview of the concert before audiences take in even the first song either on DVD, Blu-ray or CD.  Light even offers some personal insight from Beck about his minimalist approach to guitar solos, creating not only more respect for Beck, but also certainly generating plenty of discussion on that very topic among guitarists everywhere.  Between that insight, the concert’s clear, concise summary and everything else included in the notes, it becomes clear in reading them why they are so important to the whole of the recording’s presentation.  When this importance is considered alongside the importance of the recording’s set list and setup, all three collectively show why Live at the Hollywood Bowl is such an enjoyable and important glimpse into a landmark moment in Jeff Beck’s career.  They make this recording one that is a wonderful celebration not just of Jeff Beck but of modern music.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recently released Jeff Beck live recording Live at the Hollywood Bowl is an important landmark performance from one of modern music’s greatest guitarists and some of his equally well-known musical friends.  It is a recording that, like Beck’s own music, reaches across the musical universe and will appeal to countless numbers of audiences.  That is due in no small part to that inclusion of Beck’s friends who are featured throughout the concert.  The set list featured in the recording is just as important as the show’s guest list.  That’s because it is just as diverse.  The liner notes included in the recording’s companion booklet round out its most important elements.  Each element is critical in its own way to the recording’s whole.  All things considered, they make this recording a truly memorable concert experience that is certain to appeal to audiences everywhere.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Live at the Hollywood Bowl is available online now along with all of Jeff Beck’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.jeff-beck.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeffbeck

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeffbeckmusic

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

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Through Fire Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Through Fire is headed back out on the road.

The band recently announced it will embark on a new headlining tour beginning Tuesday, Nov. 28 in Ringle, WI.  The nearly three-week long tour, dubbed the “2017 Breakout Tour,” will see the band make its way through the Midwest and southwest through Dec. 16 in Omaha, NE. Dangerkids, Righteous Vendetta and American Sin will serve as support acts throughout the course of the tour.

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Through Fire, which recently signed with Artist Group International management company, is touring on the strength of its two latest singles, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Where You Lie,’ both of which are included in the April 7, 2017 re-issue of the band’s 2016 album Breathe.  The schedule for the band’s upcoming tour, which is in support of that recent re-issue, is noted below.

2017 Breakout Tour Dates

Nov 28, Q and Z Expo Center – Ringle, WI

Nov-29 Route 20 Outhouse – Racine, WI

Nov-30, The Basement – Columbus, OH

Dec 01, The Limelight – Peoria, IL

Dec 02, The Outland – Springfield, MO

Dec 03, The Warehouse – Clarksville, TN

Dec 04, Capone’s – Johnson City, TN

Dec 05, Madison Live – Convington, KY

Dec 08, Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX

Dec 09, House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX

Dec 10, Gas Monkey Bar & Grill – Dallas, TX

Dec 12, Blueberry Hill – St. Louis, MO

Dec 13, The Forge – Joliet, IL

Dec 14, The Annex – Madison, WI

Dec 16, The Waiting Room – Omaha, NE

More information on Through Fire’s upcoming live dates, its Breathe re-issue, latest news and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.ThroughFireMusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/throughthefiremusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tfiremusic

 

 

 

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.

‘Infinite’ Proves Deep Purple’s Legacy Will Live On Forever

Courtesy: earMusic

More than 40 years ago Deep Purple first formed in Hertfordshire, England. Throughout the band’s life, it would see — like so many bands – its own share of highs and lows. Through it all, the band has managed to release some 20 albums, remaining one of the rock community’s most influential names along the way thanks to that body of work.  The latest of those 20 albums, Infinite, saw its release worldwide early this past April via earMusic.  It is yet more proof of why Deep Purple remains so influential almost half a century (if the band doesn’t disband, 2018 would mark its 50th year) into its life.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the record’s 10 song, nearly 46-minute record.  Those arrangements will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes presented throughout the record are just as important to note as the album’s musical arrangements and will be discussed later.  The bonus 90-minute “making of” featurette included in the album’s extended edition is also key in showing why Deep Purple is still such an influential band.  Each element is critical in its own right to Infinite’s overall presentation.  Each element serves in its own way why this album is more proof of Deep Purple’s influence.  All things considered, this record shows without a doubt why Deep Purple remains an important part of the rock community and why it in itself is one of this year’s top new rock records.

Deep Purple’s latest full-length studio recording Infinite is a work that shows over its 10-song, 45-minute-plus run time why the band remains one of rock’s most influential acts almost 50 years after its formation.  It also shows itself to be one of this year’s top new rock albums.  That is due in no small part to the varied musical arrangements presented across that body. From beginning to end, the band keeps things fresh for its audiences.  Case in point is the contrast of the sounds in the album’s first two songs, ‘Time For Bedlam’ and ‘Hip Boots.’  The prior crosses Deep Purple’s progressive and hard rock roots together into one arrangement for a work that grows on listeners more with each listen.  The latter is more of a straight forward, radio-ready rock arrangement that, much like ‘Johnny’s Band’ takes listeners back to Deep Purple’s earliest days.  The album’s latest single, ‘The Surprising,’ is another example of why the album’s musical variety is so important to its whole.  Its arrangement is full on progressive rock.  ‘On Top of the World,’ by comparison, is a solid, infectious blues-based arrangement that is just as entertaining as its counterparts.  Between the variations in the arrangements noted here and those of the album’s other featured arrangements, those variations keep Infinite fully engaging and entertaining on their own.  Of course as much as the arrangements do to ensure listeners’ continued engagement in this record, they are only one of the album’s elements that ensures that engagement.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as varied as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout Infinite are just as varied as the record’s musical arrangements.  The band even pointed that out through a series of videos explaining the songs ahead of the album’s release.  Those videos are available now online via YouTube. The album starts off with a seeming socio-political commentary of sorts in ‘Time For Bedlam.’  That is inferred as front man Ian Gillan sings here “Right from the ashes of life I learned to behave/What to believe/What not to say from cradle to grave/Ah…like a good little slave/Sucking my milk from the venomous tit of the state/Clearly designed to suppress every thought of escape/Ah…I surrender to fate.” He continues in similar fashion in the song’s third verse and the song’s chorus, serving even more to create a picture seemingly of the noted statement. On a completely different wing, the album also presents at least one song centered on the familiar topic of broken relationships in ‘All I Got Is You.’  The album also features a polar opposite to that song late in the album’s run in ‘On Top of the World,’ which Gillan noted himself in one of the noted YouTube videos, was about a wild night in a hotel.  ‘Hip Boots,’ the album’s second song, presents its own notable lyrical theme that seems rather happily defiant about something.  It goes without saying that considering the variety of themes presented in the noted songs and the songs not noted here, this record presents just as much lyrical diversity as it does musical diversity.  Keeping this in mind, that lyrical diversity is still not the last of the record’s most important elements.  Its bonus content rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus DVD that comes with Infinite’s extended edition shows in its own right what makes the album so enjoyable (and the band still so influential) because it isn’t just another run-of-the-mill guerilla style “making of” featurette.  It is a full 90-minute program, narrated by Yes’ own Rick Wakeman, that feels like a news report than just some off-the-cuff poorly recorded piece that so many of its counterparts prove to be.  Audiences are taken into the band’s recording session with Producer Bob Ezrin to see firsthand how the album came together.  Audiences will be wowed to see the civility and respect between Ezrin and the band members throughout the album’s creative process. Watching Ezrin at work with the band is like watching a maestro at work with a group of ace musicians, offering constructive criticism versus the criticism that he could have otherwise offered.  It is such a breath of fresh air for a “making of” documentary to present such a distinguished experience.  That experience in turn gives even more respect, going full circle here, for the music presented throughout this album.  It also creates new respect for the band in whole because of that clear respect that its members have for one another, for Ezrin and that he has for them.  Keeping that in mind, while the bonus material included with this album may not seem like much on the surface, it is in fact a very valuable addition to the album, showing even more why Deep Purple remains almost 50 years after its founding one of the rock community’s most respected and revered acts today.  When this is considered along with the impact brought by the variety in the album’s musical and lyrical content, it becomes that much clearer why the band remains so respected and why this album is one of the year’s most respected rock records.

Deep Purple’s latest full-length studio recording Infinite is one of this year’s most valuable rock records.  Regardless of whether or not it is the band’s last studio album, it can be said easily that it is even more proof of why Deep Purple is one of the rock community’s most respected acts today even almost 50 years after its founding.  That is proven through the musical and lyrical variety presented throughout the album and the in-depth bonus material included in the record’s companion DVD.  Each element is important in its own way in supporting those statements.  All things considered, they prove without doubt that this is a record that every Deep Purple fan should own, the band’s last album or not.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Infinite is available online now along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www,deep-purple.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

 

 

 

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Jazz Aficionados Across The Board Will Enjoy Panton’s Latest LP Across The Seasons

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Diana Panton is one of the best kept secrets of the jazz community.  Over the course of her now twelve-year career, she has crafted songs (and albums) that have entertained children and adults alike around the nation and the world.  Now early next month, she will continue that success when she releases her latest album Solstice/Equinox.  Scheduled to be released Friday, Nov. 3, Panton’s latest full-length studio recording, which sets the themes of life and love against the changing seasons (this the title), is one of this year’s top new jazz albums and potentially one more of the year’s top new albums overall.  That is evident right from the album’s outset in ‘They Say It’s Spring.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘September in Rain,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of what makes Solstice/Equinox such a stunning jazz album and will be discussed later.  The album’s gentle closer ‘By The Fireside’ is one more example of what makes this eighth offering from Panton such an impressive new effort.  Between that song, the others noted and those not noted, the whole of this album proves both musically and lyrically to be an album that audiences will enjoy the whole year through.

Diana Panton’s eighth full-length studio recording Solstice/Equinox is one of this year’s top new jazz albums and potentially one of the year’s top new albums overall.  It is a record that jazz aficionados will enjoy the whole year through.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in ‘They Say It’s Spring.’  Musically speaking, this song is a wonderful first statement from Panton this time out.  Its light, bouncy approach complete with soprano sax and guitar couples with Panton’s gentle vocal delivery to conjure thoughts of Diana Krall, Esperanza Spalding, and to a slightly lesser extent, Yellowjackets.  That light, easygoing arrangement couples perfectly with the song’s equally upbeat lyrical content to make the song even more of a solid start for the album.

Panton sings happily here “They say it’s spring/This feeling light as a feather/They say this thing/This magic we share together/Came with the weather, too/They say it’s May/That may be daft as a daisy/It’s May they say/That gave the whole world this crazy/Heaveny, hazy hue/On a lark/On a wing/On the spark of a firefly’s fling/yet to me/This must be more than a seasonal thing/Could it be spring/Those bells that I can hear ringing/It may be spring/But when the robin starts singing/You’re what I’m clinging to/Though they say it’s spring/It’s you.”  These are the words of someone happy and warm not just from the weather but from positive thoughts of life.  It is truly an uplifting statement that when coupled, again, with the song’s equally light arrangement, is certain to make any listener feel just as happy as Panton.  Keeping this in mind, it is just one of the songs that exemplifies what makes Solstice/Equinox another hugely successful effort from Panton.  ‘September in Rain’ is another example of what makes Solstice/Equinox so enjoyable.

‘September in Rain’ is another impressive addition to Panton’s new album thanks in part to its own musical arrangement.  The gentle piano runs, drums and vibraphone that collectively form the arrangement’s foundation instantly conjure thoughts of the greatest works from Lionel Hampton and his band crafted so many years ago.  Yet again, the addition of Panton’s vocal delivery to that arrangement gives jazz aficionados the best of jazz’s past and present in one neat package.  In listening to the song’s arrangement, one must agree how expertly it mirrors the still light feeling felt in early September as summer gently gives way to fall.  Once again, that light energy is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face as it creates thoughts of someone walking along in the rain as the sunlight tries to peer through the clouds on the back-end of a light shower.  Again, it is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own touch to the whole.

Panton sings here, alongside that upbeat musical arrangement, “The leaves of brown came tumbling down/Remember/In September/In the rain/the sun went out just like a dying ember/That September/In the rain/To every word of love I heard you whisper/the raindrops seem to play our sweet refrain/Though spring is here, to me it’s September/That September in the rain.”  This is only the song’s lead verse, but it leaves no doubt why the song’s subject (and arrangement) are so upbeat.  This is someone having that happy memory of when love first set in, making the rains of September something more positive than negative.  In all honesty, the visual that the combination of this verse and its musical companion creates in the theater of the mind plays out like something from a Hallmark movie.  That is not bad.  But it shows how easily with its simplicity that the whole of those elements creates such a positive and vivid picture.  Panton goes on to sing in the song’s second verse in French, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that even without an English interpretation, the happiness in the verse.  Keeping that in mind, the positive energy in the song’s lyrical is just as prevalent here as in the song’s lead verse.  When the song’s lyrical content is coupled with the song’s equally light and airy musical arrangement, the whole of the elements show completely why this song is another key addition to Panton’s new album.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable additions.  The album’s finale, ‘By The Fireside’ is one more example of what makes Solstice/Equinox deserving of applause.

‘By The Fireside’ is just as solid a finale for Panton’s new album as ‘They Say It’s Spring’ is an opener.  It stands out starkly (in the best way possible) from its counterparts because of its own gentle arrangement.  The very title creates thoughts of a couple sitting together…well…by the fireside on a cold winter’s day (or maybe even evening).  As with ‘September in Rain,’ the use of the vibraphone and the piano once again conjures thoughts of so many great works from Lionel Hampton and company.  They collectively do plenty on their own to create the vivid image of two people together on a cold winter’s night in front of a blazing fireplace.  The song’s lyrical content enriches that image even more as Panton sings, “In the glow/By the fireside/With you/I’ll be content/In the glow/By the fireside/Every hour will be well-spent/We’ll see our hopes and dreams, dear/Like pictures in the fire/Finding…our heart’s desire.”  She goes on just as gently alongside her fellow musicians throughout the rest of the song.  Needless to say, the dreamy situation created by her own words and by the song’s musical arrangement is the stuff – again – of Hallmark movies, ensuring its enjoyment by Panton’s key audiences.  Even with that in mind, it does not detract from the song by any means.  It only makes it stand out that much more along with the album in whole.  When the romantic mood set by this song is joined with the varying moods exhibited musically and lyrically throughout the rest of the album, the whole of those moods makes the record in whole a sure hit for jazz aficionados across the board throughout the seasons.

From start to finish, Diana Panton’s latest full-length studio recording Solstice/equinox proves to be a record that will appeal to jazz aficionados across the board throughout each season.  That has already been pointed out in the songs noted above.  Those songs are only a snapshot of what makes this album so enjoyable.  The musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout the album change throughout.  From the somewhat melancholy of ‘Cloudy Morning,’ to the bittersweet vibe of ‘La Fin Des Vacances’ (the end of the vacation in English) to the smooth sense of ‘’Tis Autumn,’ and beyond, Solstice/Equinox takes listeners on a journey that is enjoyable in every moment.  By the time the album ends, listeners will agree that there is so much to appreciate about this record.  In turn they will agree (hopefully) that Solstice/Equinox is one of this year’s top new jazz albums and potentially one more of the year’s top new albums overall.  It will be released Friday, Nov. 3 in stores and online.  More information on Solstice/equinox is available online now along with all of Diana Panton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DianaPantonFanPage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

 

 

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.

No. 19 Michigan, No. 2 Penn State To Headline ESPN Networks’ College Football Week 8 Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

The start of Week 8 in college football’s 2017 – ’18 season is almost here.

Week 8 starts with a Thursday night double-header schedule.  Arkansas State plays host to Louisiana live at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU to open the night.  That game will be followed at 8 p.m. on ESPN with Houston playing host to No. 25 Memphis.

The weekend’s action continues Friday night with another double-header schedule beginning at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 as Marshall plays on the road against Middle Tennesse.  Colorado State and New Mexico follow at 10:15 on ESPN2.

Saturday offers a jam packed, near daylong schedule that will be headlined by a matchup of No. 19 Michigan at No. 2 Penn State live on ABC’s Saturday Night Football presented by Wells Fargo.  Coverage of the game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s game carries big implications for the Nittany Lions.  The team upset then-No. 2 Ohio State in what has come to be its “White Out” game live on Saturday Night Football.  That win would be the precursor to the Nittany Lions’ Big 10 Championship and Rose Bowl appearance.  The win also would be Penn State’s ninth consecutive win on the season.

Michigan is the last Big 10 team to defeat Penn State, going back to Sept. 2016.  The team also has the edge on Penn State, winning the teams’ last three matchups.

While the Wolverines and Nittany Lions are the headliners for the ESPN networks’ college football week 8 schedule, they are not the only teams that will play live across the networks this weekend.  No. 10 Oklahoma State and Texas open Saturday’s schedule at noon on ABC.  No. 18 Michigan State will play host to Indiana at 3:30 p.m. on ABC while No. 24 LSU will be on the road against Ole Miss at 7:15 p.m. on ESPN.

The full schedule for the ESPN networks’ coverage of Week 8 in college football’s 2017 – ’18 season is noted below.

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Thu, Oct 19

7:30 p.m.

Louisiana at Arkansas State

Mark Neely, Ray Bentley

ESPNU

8 p.m.

No. 25 Memphis at Houston

Dave Flemming, Andre Ware, Laura Rutledge

ESPN

Fri, Oct 20

7 p.m.

Marshall at Middle Tennessee

Dave Lamont, Mack Brown, Julie Stewart-Binks

ESPN2

10:15 p.m.

Colorado State at New Mexico

Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath

ESPN2

Sat, Oct 21

Noon

No. 10 Oklahoma State at Texas

Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay

ABC

Louisville at Florida State

TV: Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich
Radio: 
Bill Rowsinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons

ESPN & ESPN Radio

Iowa at Northwestern

Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Kris Budden

ESPN2

Tulsa at Connecticut

Mike Couzens, John Congemi

ESPNU

Idaho at Missouri

Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport

SEC Network

Akron at Toledo

ESPN3

St. Francis (PA) at Duquesne

ESPN3

William Penn at Peru State

ESPN3

San Diego at Jacksonville

ESPN3

12:20 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Duke

ACC Network Extra

12:30 p.m.

Boston College at Virginia

ACC Network Extra

1 p.m.

Grand Valley State at Ferris State

ESPN3

Liberty at Monmouth

ESPN3

Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina A&T

ESPN3

Morgan State at Howard

ESPN3

1:30 p.m.

Mercer at Furman

ESPN3

Western Carolina at VMI

ESPN3

Samford at Wofford

ESPN3

2 p.m.

Northern Illinois at Bowling Green

Michael Reghi, Jerod Cherry

ESPN3

Kent State at Ohio

Dave Weekley, John Gregory

ESPN3

Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan

Dan Gutowsky, Marcus Ray

ESPN3

Troy at Georgia State

Matt Stewart, Wayne Gandy

ESPN3

West Alabama at Florida Tech

ESPN3

Youngstown State at Northern Iowa

ESPN3

The Citadel at Chattanooga

ESPN3

Albany State at Clark Atlanta

ESPN3

2:30 p.m.

Buffalo at Miami (Ohio)

Doug Sherman, Tyoka Jackson

ESPN3

3 p.m.

Central Michigan at Ball State

Jim Barbar, Hutson Mason

ESPN3

Jacksonville State at Eastern Illinois

ESPN3

South Dakota at Illinois State

ESPN3

South Dakota State at Missouri State

ESPN3

3:30 p.m.

Indiana at No. 18 Michigan State

Dave Flemming, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill

ABC

Syracuse at No. 8 Miami

Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, Allison Williams

ESPN

North Carolina at No. 14 Virginia Tech

Mike Patrick, Tommy Tuberville, Paul Carcaterra

ESPN2

Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State

ESPN3

Western Illinois at North Dakota State

ESPN3

4 p.m.

SMU at Cincinnati

Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia

ESPNU

Kentucky at Mississippi State

Taylor Zarzour, Andre Ware, Olivia Harlan

SEC Network

Southern Illinois at Indiana State

ESPN3

Houston Baptist at Stephen F. Austin

ESPN3

Lamar at Sam Houston State

ESPN3

Bloomsburg at East Stroudsburg

ESPN3

5 p.m.

North Texas at Florida Atlantic

ESPN3

Louisiana-Monroe at South Alabama

Brock Bowling, Watson Brown

ESPN3

7 p.m.

Gardner-Webb at Kennesaw State

ESPN3

No. 16 South Florida at Tulane

Clay Matvick, Kirk Morrison

ESPN2

7:15 p.m.

No. 24 LSU at Ole Miss

Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe

ESPN

7:30 p.m.

No. 19 Michigan at No. 2 Penn State

Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Rinaldi, Maria Taylor

ABC

Wake Forest at Georgia Tech

Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks, Roddy Jones

ESPNU

No. 21 Auburn at Arkansas

Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic

SEC Network

8 p.m.

Tarleton State at Texas A&M-Kingsville

ESPN3

10:15 p.m.

Wyoming at Boise State

Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey

ESPN2

10:45 p.m.

Colorado at No. 15 Washington State

Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman

ESPN


Please note:  Note all ESPN3 and ACC Network Games are Exclusive

More information this weekend’s schedule is available online along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

 

 

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.