Film Movement is bringing the Israeli drama God of the Piano to American audiences.
Originally released in 2019, the movie is scheduled for domestic release Feb. 16 through Film Movement on DVD. The family drama centers on the relationship between a mother and her deaf son, and how her relationship with her own father played into her relationship with her son.
Anat (Naama Preis — The Grave, Tel Aviv, Azimuth) is a woman whose life is music. It is all that she has. She has tried to live up to her father’s own musical legacy, but has never reached his level. As a result, when Anat has her own child, she pushes the boy to become a musical prodigy, essentially trying to force him to be what she wants him to be. This leads her to confront her own dysfunctional relationship with her own musician parent.
The trailer for God of the Piano is streaming here.
As an added bonus, the movie features the short film The Audition as extra content. Directed by Guy Lichtenstein, the story centers on a young woman named Sarah. Sarah has an unexpected run-in with someone from her past while performing at a wedding. the short runs approximately 22 minutes.
God of the Piano was nominated for the Big Screen Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and for the “Best Israeli Feature” at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Preis received the award for “Best Actress” for her role in the film at the festival.
More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available at:
NBC’s classic psychedelic sketch comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In is getting a re-issue.
More than three years after its initial release, the six-season series will receive the re-issue treatment. It will spread across 37-discs and is scheduled for release Feb. 2 through Time Life at an expected MSRP of $169.95. It marks the first time that the series has ever released in one collection. Time Life has previously released the series in a collection of standalone DVD sets.
The forthcoming collection will feature not only the series in whole, but also a variety of bonuses. Among the featured bonuses are interviews with the likes of Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, and Lily Tomlin, all of whom appeared in the series over the course of its six season run on NBC. Additionally, audiences are treated to pilot episode of Laugh–In as a bonus, along with a gag reel and tribute to George Schlatter.
More information on this and other titles from Time Life is available online now at:
The Nixons will hold a new livestream performance next month.
The band has announced it has scheduled the performance to take place 8 p.m. ET Feb. 19 through Veeps! The livestream performance, aptly titled “The Nixons Live” is part of the band’s ongoing promotion for its most recently release studio recording, Sonic Boom (2020). The EP was the band’s first new music in more than 20 years when it was released last year.
Independent veteran singer-songwriter Steve Tilston is scheduled to release his latest album Such Times Friday through Riverboat Records. Its release will come on the 50th anniversary of the release of his debut album An Acoustic Confusion (1971). The 15-song record is an interesting presentation whose mix of folk and blues arrangements and lyrical themes will appeal to a wide range of audiences. The album’s title track, which comes almost halfway through the album’s 64-minute run time, is just one example of what makes the album so interesting. It will be discussed shortly. The album’s bluesy/rockabilly penultimate composition, ‘My Mystery Train’ is another way in which the album’s collective content comes together to make the album worth hearing. ‘Daylight Rising,’ which opens the album, is yet another example of how the album’s collective content comes together to make for an interesting listen. When it is considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, noted and not, the whole makes the record an intriguing work in that folk and blues fans alike will find entertaining and engaging.
Steve Tilston’s forthcoming album Such Times – his 18th album — is a presentation that many audiences will find a welcome return and equally positive introduction to Tilston’s body of work. That is proven collectively through the album’s musical and lyrical content. That is proven to some point in the album’s title track. The nearly four-and-a-half minute composition is just one of the songs featured in this record that serves to support the noted statements. The song’s musical arrangement is a simple composition. That should be noted right off the bat. It features just Tilston singing and picking his guitar as he sings. At some points, his performance conjures thoughts of Eric Clapton and others of The Moody Blues front man Justin Hayward. That pairing of sounds, together with the Renaissance type vibe that the flute brings to the mix, makes for even more engagement and entertainment. That musical whole makes for plenty of entertainment and engagement in its own right. Together with the song’s lyrical content, the whole there makes for even more appeal.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Such Times’ comes across as a commentary about the state of the world. Given it is hardly the first time any artist has taken that familiar lyrical path. It is a unique take on that familiar theme, though. Tilston opens the song, singing, “What comes down/From hallowed halls/The day is night/Now the day is night…wrong is right/Now wrong is right/Silver tongues sing their siren chill…shivered words…The hungry child/Whispers…oh to live in such times as these.” Some of the lyrics in this verse are difficult to decipher sans a lyrics sheet to reference. That aside, enough is still understandable enough that the general message can be interpreted. He is making a statement here about everything that is going on. His use of metaphorical language plays into that statement well enough here to make that evident. He continues in the song’s second verse, “Words cascade like a poison rain/Wade away through the light/Even though it’s all too plain/Turn our eye/We must deny our eyes/The self serve righteous use false charm/To oil the wheels and the grease the bar/At the temple gates/The homeless freeze/Oh to live in such times as these.” If the noted message in this song was not clear enough already in the song’s lead verse, then this second verse makes the theme crystal clear. He even goes so far as to note in the song’s third verse, “I can remember/A landscape much fairer” before continuing to comment on how ne’er do wells were not as prominent. It all comes together to make for an original approach to an all too familiar lyrical topic. When these statements are made alongside the bittersweet folk/Celtic style musical arrangement, the whole becomes a strong example of what makes the album worth hearing. It is just one of the album’s most notable works. ‘My Mystery Train’ does its own part to show the album’s interest.
‘My Mystery Train,’ which is essentially a cover of Junior Parker’s original, takes a musical path that is completely opposite of that of the album’s title track. This composition lends itself more to comparisons to the country/rockabilly style songs of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and even perhaps the greatest country bluesman of all time, Jimmie Rodgers. Yes, the brakeman himself. The bluesy/country twang in the song, including in Tilston’s own vocal delivery makes this song an assured hit. That is just one part of the song that throws back to the classic country blues songs of days long gone. The song’s lyrical content does much the same, adding to the appeal here.
Tilston sings in the song’s lead verse, “The train that rumbled/All through my younger days/Way off in the distance/All through my younger days/One day that train might come carry me away.” If that is not vintage country blues, it is not clear what is, then. Tilston continues in the song’s second verse, “There’s a man in the station/Got a pad/And he’s takin’ down names/Well he’s there on the platform/And he’s takin’ down names/Well he knows when my train’s gonna come/But he just ain’t sayin’/I’m waiting for that mystery train/I’m just waiting for my mystery train.” The full on country blues bridge that follows that verse and chorus makes the strong even more enjoyment. He closes out the song singing, “There’s a train and a river/Runnin’ side-by-side/Train and reflection/Runnin’ side-by-side/I’m gonna make that connection/Take that train and ride.” Once more, this is classic country blues all the way. It’s a simple song about someone just jumping a train and taking it wherever it may go. This is a classic theme from the noted genre, and is just as entertaining to hear Tilston sing about today as when it was sung by so many who have come before him. It is just one more example of what makes this record so worth hearing. ‘Daylight Rising,’ the album’s opener, is one more example of the interest that Tilston’s new album generates.
‘Daylight Rising’ presents audiences with another unique musical style, changing things up even more for listeners. This nearly four-and-a-half minute opus presents a sort of soulful country/folk style composition. The upbeat composition is just as much unlike the other two songs already addressed here as they are from the rest of the album’s entries. It is a bright, uplifting work that is equal parts strong opener for the album and standalone musical composition. The joy that the song’s musical arrangement brings listeners pairs with the song’s equally uplifting lyrical theme to make the song even more notable.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘Daylight Rising’ is an uplifting statement that reminds listeners that things will get better. Tilston points that out right from the song’s outset as he sings, “Daylight/Will come rising/With a long night/A last goodbye/Daylight/Will come risin’/And an ill wind will lay down tonight/There will come a time to open wide the windows/get u out the bed and weave across the floor/Leave behind the shadows/Take your aching bones outside the door/Daylight will come rising/Bid the long night a last goodbye.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “There will come a time to shun all the false faces…Knowing that their way was always wrong. There is a section in this verse that is slightly difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet, but that is beside the point. The fact of the matter is that enough is understandable here to know for certain that this song is in fact meant to lift up listeners. It succeeds in that goal, too. Everyone needs that occasional reminder that things will in fact get better, and this song does just that, and does so in impressive fashion. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album proves itself a presentation that is one of this year’s sleeper hits.
Steve Tilston’s latest full-length studio recording Such Times is a surprising, unassuming record that is well worth hearing. That is proven through its musical arrangements and its lyrical themes. As shown here, the record features a respectable range of styles in its body. There is a touch of folk music, some blues, and even some country music. At times the genres stand alone and other others, they meld together. The whole of those arrangements makes the overall musical presentation reason enough to hear this record. The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content guarantee its own appeal. That is proven here, too. All things considered, the album will likely fly just below the mainstream radar, but deserves its own share of attention. It all comes together to make the album one of this year’s sure sleeper hits. Such Times is scheduled for release Friday through Riverboat Records. More information on the album is available along with all of Steve Tilston’s latest news at https://stevetilston.com.
World Music Network’s forthcoming compilation record The Rough Guide to Avant-Garde Japan is the first great new World Music compilation of 2021. It is also another interesting addition to the label’s ongoing Rough Guide To… series. That is proven in part through its featured songs. The sequencing of that content adds its own touch of appeal to the record and will be addressed a little later. The booklet that accompanies the recording rounds out its most important elements. It brings everything full circle. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the compilation. All things considered, they make the record in whole unique new entry to WMN’s ever-growing series of compilations that will appeal to most World Music fans.
World Music Network’s latest addition to its ongoing series of The Rough Guide To… is easily one of the most unique entries in the ever-growing series to date. It is a collection of songs that takes listeners beyond the barriers of the typical music that they think of when they think of music from the “Far East.” Case in point is the subtle ‘Daidai.’ Roughly translated, the title means ‘From Generation to Generation.’ It makes sense, too. That is because it incorporates traditional Japanese instrumentation alongside some modern electronic effects for a unique whole that would make Trent Reznor proud. Composed by the Japanese act Ken Sugai, that melding of modern and classical elements really is its own representation of generations passing yet joining as one. It stands out as one of the record’s peaks. On yet another note, EMiKO VOiCE’s gentle flowing ‘Sanosa’ boasts more of a modern jazz sensibility than anything Asian or even specifically Japanese, save for the song’s lyrics, which are sung wholly in Japanese. Other than that one element, this composition could easily be likened to works from any modern American jazz act out there today. What is even more interesting about the song is that the gentle use of the brushes against the snare alongside the bass, piano, and vocals gives the song thoughts of the smoky jazz clubs of the 1930s and 40s. It is such an enjoyable presentation that will appeal not only to people who have love for all things Japan, but for all things jazz. Add in the fact that it is such a starkly different work from the likes of ‘Daidai’ and the importance of the songs becomes even clearer. That variety –even on that micro level — shows in its own way how much the compilation has to offer audiences in regards to the record’s musical presentation. On yet another note (no pun intended) ‘Akkan’ proves just as sharply opposite ‘Sanosa’ and ‘Daidai’ as they are from one another and from the rest of the album’s entries. At one point, the use of the strings lends itself to thoughts of the gypsy style music of Eastern Europe. As the song progresses, the addition of the horns gives the song a more modern and truly avant-garde sensibility. The hip-hop beat that is added on top of everything here makes for even more interest. The result is a song that stands out just as much from the songs noted here as they do from it and the rest of the album’s entries. It shows yet again, the diversity of the music in this recording. That diversity is important to note because it serves to show how much Japan’s culture has grown and changed throughout its history. Now in the 21st Century, it shows that despite the change in time, there is still a link to and respect for the roots of the nation’s music and culture even as the nation’s culture, including its music has evolved. This in itself makes for more than enough reason for audiences to hear this compilation.
While the diversity in the musical arrangements featured in The Rough Guide to Avant-Garde Japan creates a strong foundation for the record, the sequencing of those songs adds its own share of engagement and entertainment. It has already been noted that the arrangements are starkly unlike one another from one to the next. That those behind the compilation’s sequencing clearly put so much thought and time into that diversity makes for even more appeal. The changes in the songs’ stylistic approaches and moods are constant from start to end of the 75-minute presentation. At no point do things ever get monotonous or boring as a result of the nonstop changes. The picture that the sequencing paints here is one that is so fully immersive. When this is considered along with the very diversity in the arrangements, the compilation becomes that much more appealing. Those items are just a portion of what makes the compilation appealing. The companion booklet that comes with the record has its own value.
The booklet that accompanies The Rough Guide to Avante-Garde Jazz is important because its information really serves to set the stage for the presentation contained on the record’s disc. The booklet’s liner notes open by stating the irony in the contrast of Japan’s very structured culture and the free expression presented through the music in this collection. It is a true, powerful statement. As the notes continue, statements are made about the stylistic approaches taken by some of the record’s featured artists. Those brief but concise discussions make for their own share of appreciation for the works. That is because it sort of takes listeners behind the scenes so to speak in the songs’ creation. That background, while brief, is still its own strong addition to the compilation’s presentation. When it is considered along with the record’s songs and their sequencing, the whole makes the record overall a presentation that any World Music aficionado will agree is well worth hearing at least once if not more.
World Music Network’s latest addition to its ever-growing The Rough Guide To… series, The Rough Guide to Avant-Garde Japan is a good start to the year for the label and its series of compilations. As noted, that is due in part to the songs that make up the album’s body. They show the connection to Japan’s past while also reaching to the nation’s future. The sequencing of those songs makes for even more appeal. That is because it ensures there is not one mundane moment in this record. The background information provided in the compilation’s companion booklet puts the finishing touch to the compilation’s presentation. Each item noted here does its own share to make this presentation interesting for listeners. All things considered, they make the record in whole, a presentation that any World Music fan will find worth hearing. The record is scheduled for release Friday.
More information on this and other titles from World Music Network is available online at:
Two years from now, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will complete a years-long mission when it returns to Earth with samples of material from the surface of the asteroid Bennu that it collected late last year. The mission, which was itself years in the making, was important because it, like Japan’s Hyabusa missions, was aimed at better understanding the composition of asteroids and how their compositions may have played into the creation of our solar system’s planets. Additionally, that understanding will help in efforts to protect Earth from potential future threats. Now thanks to a new episode of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA, audiences get to see first hand, the journey that the project took, from beginning to hopes for its end. Released to DVD on Jan. 12, the nearly hour-long program is a presentation that will appeal widely to anyone who has any interest in space science as well as the geological sciences. This is proven in part through the noted central story, which will be discussed in more length shortly. The episode’s pacing adds its own appeal to its presentation and will be discussed a little later. Keeping everything noted here in mind, the average price point for this DVD proves to be its own positive. It will also be addressed later. All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of NOVA: Touching the Asteroid. All things considered, they make this episode one more example of what makes NOVA such a beloved series. Additionally, they make the episode a presentation that will appeal equally to lovers and students of the space and geological sciences.
NOVA: Touching the Asteroid is a presentation that will appeal widely to anyone who has any interest in the realms of space and geological sciences. That is proven in part through its central story. As has already been noted, the story in question focuses on NASA’s ongoing OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission. The mission in question started years ago after NASA staffers located a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu that really caught their attention. Audiences are taken through the story of the agency’s project, which resulted in the spacecraft touching down on the asteroid in October 2020. A visual timeline is presented throughout the story that follows each step of the project, all the way from 2016 right up to the touchdown of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in October 2020. This will help audiences keep track of everything happening. The project members who are interviewed help to tell the story as they explain the significance and purpose of the mission. From the very discovery of the asteroid, to the development of the spacecraft, to the surprise discovery of water and carbon contained within the asteroid, to its makeup, which they realized would potentially make it far less of a threat to the Earth than originally thought (apparently it might actually be on track to collide with Earth in a couple of centuries from now), to the stresses of making sure OSIRIS-REx would be able to touch down on Bennu due to its rocky surface, the whole story of the spacecraft’s voyage to Bennu is presented here. All of the discussions presented throughout will themselves keep viewers engaged and entertained.
Staying on topic of the featured discussions, the pacing of all of those discussions remains steady throughout the course of the program. That is due in part to the aforementioned presentation of the visual timeline that is used to help track the project. It is a simple element, but goes a long way to keep viewers engaged in its own right, too. As long as audiences know the point at which the story sits throughout each segment, the discussions are that much more certain to keep viewers watching. Getting to the discussions, none of the noted discussions allow themselves to get too in-depth. That is not to say that the discussions are just point to point to point. Rather, they give audiences just enough of a picture of where the project stood at each point in the timeline and what everyone was thinking as the OSIRIS-REx finally touched down on Bennu. That means that the discussions themselves kept the program moving steadily from beginning to end. The addition of the noted time line visual aid played alongside the discussions to help put the final touch to the program’s positive pacing. Between the positive pacing and the story itself, the two elements collectively give viewers plenty to appreciate as they take in this episode of NOVA. Keeping all that in mind, the program’s average price point on DVD will appeal even more for viewers.
The average price point of NOVA: Touching the Asteroid is approximately $22.00 when rounded up. The price is reached by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS’ shop. Amazon’s listing of $17.96 is the least expensive while PBS’ listing and that of Barnes & Noble Booksellers is the most expensive, at $24.99 each. The DVD was not listed through Target and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s posting. This DVD is the rare case when even Walmart proved to exceed the average, listing the DVD at $23.94. Best Buy offers the second lowest of the listed prices at $17.99. Between that listing and that of Amazon, audiences can be assured that the cost will not break their budgets. Even buying the DVD through those outlets, a portion of the sales will still go back to support PBS, so PBS still benefits in the end. Audiences win because they will get an entertaining and engaging program for less than $20 through the noted retailers. The engagement and entertainment is offered through the content already noted, and its pacing, also noted. When all of this is considered collectively, the result is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of viewers.
PBS’ NOVA: Touching the Asteroid is yet another example of why the network’s hit science-based series remains one of the network’s most respected program’s to date. That is proven in part through the story at the center of the documentary. The story centers on the creation of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and the spacecraft’s interstellar journey to the asteroid Bennu. Along the way, audiences learn about the discoveries that were made about the asteroid before and during the spacecraft’s mission goal. The story’s pacing makes for even more appeal. For all of the information provided throughout the documentary, that mass never causes the story to get bogged down in itself. Considering this and everything discussed throughout the program, the program’s average price point proves to be not too bad. The noted price listings at Amazon and Best Buy ensure that the purchase of the DVD will not break any viewer’s budget. Each item noted here is critical in its own way to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make the DVD another positive presentation from PBS and another enjoyable episode of NOVA.
More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:
The Ian Abel Band debuted its latest single this month.
The band, fronted by its namesake, debuted the song ‘Not Afraid to Die‘ Jan. 3. The song, available to stream and download here, made its unofficial debut in a promo for a match between Cody Rhodes and Darby Allen for the TNT title at November’s All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view event, Full Gear.
Clocking in at just over two-and-a-half minutes in length, the song features a simple southern rock style arrangement. The dual acoustic/electric guitar pairing and its sound immediately lends itself to comparison to Bon Jovi’s timeless song ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’ The airy, echo effect used in the arrangement adds to its depth and appeal.
The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement makes a statement about not being afraid of anything because the song’s subject has been to the lowest point possible in life. That sentiment pairs well with the ominous sense in the song’s musical arrangement.
Abel talked about the song during a recent interview.
“I wrote and recorded this song specifically for Cody Rhodes,” he said. “It was originally intended to be the Double or Nothing, Cody vs Dustin, promo, but Cody preferred ‘Shoes.’ At the time, AEW was just beginning and I wanted to write something that I thought captured Cody’s trailblazer like spirit. In hindsight, the song was better suited for the video package which included, Steve-O, Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin. Three very original performers who have paved their own way into history. Something I admire and am attempting to do myself.”
Abel released the song ‘Shoes‘ in 2019 as the music bed for a promo for the noted match between the Rhodes brothers.
The debut of Ian Abel Band’s latest single comes more than two months after the debut of the band’s then latest single, ‘All For Love.’ ‘All For Love’ is available to stream and download here.
Dead By Wednesday debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.
The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Mars in Exile‘ Sunday. The song’s debut comes more than three months after the debut of the band’s then latest single, ‘S.O.S.,’ which the band released Oct. 5.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Mars in Exile’ is an interesting presentation. The pairing of the screams and clean vocals, coupled with the guitars lends itself to comparisons at times, to works from Killswitch Engage. At other points in the song, the thrash style riffs take listeners back to the heyday of that genre.
The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement will generate its own interest. At times, it leads to the supposition that perhaps it focuses on the familiar topic of a broken relationship. At other points in the song, it comes across more as a person telling perhaps a detractor that he is defying that person’s expectations. No full explanation on the song’s lyrical theme was provided in information that was sent about the theme, so this is only this critic’s own interpretation.
‘Mars in Exile’ is available to stream and download here.
More information on Dead By Wednesday’s upcoming live dates, its new single and video, and latest news is available along with the band’s latest news at:
Alt-metal band Alborn debuted its latest single and its companion video over the weekend.
The band debuted its new single ‘Cause to Create‘ and its visualizer Friday. The song’s musical arrangement, like that of Alborn’s previous single — ‘Full Circle‘ — presents a distinct aggro-rock approach with that boasts plenty of heavy, crunching guitars and gritty, screaming vocals.
Front man Justin Taylor talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.
“We wrote ‘Cause To Create’ about someone not only getting in the way of your own decisions, but making those decisions for you,” he said. “I think the pandemic has left everyone feeling vulnerable and angry, and we wanted to paint that picture from our perspective.”
As with ‘Full Circle,’ the band’s latest single was co-produced by Morgan Rose (Sevendust) and Jose Urquiza (3 Years Hollow) and engineered by Urquiza at The Attic Recording Studios. James “Fluff” Harley mixed this latest song from Alborn while Vlado Meller mastered the song.
Formed in 2016, Alborn features the lineup of Taylor on vocals and guitar, Alex Raser on drums, Zame Lewis on bass, an Nate Guske on guitar. The band’s win in a battle of the bands competition earned the band a recording session with Urquiza. Rose heard the demos that the session spawned and came on board to work with the band.
Rose said of the sessions that he and Urquiza worked on with Alborn, “I was brought in to do some producing with Alborn and what grabbed my attention immediately was that they refused to conform to a formula. They wanted to be themselves from the start. It’s rare to find a band so young not wanting to follow an easy trend. I was impressed right out of the gate.”
Those sessions led Rose, who not only plays drums with Sevendust, but also serves as an A&R rep for Imagen Records (ADA/Warner Music), to get the band signed to the label.
“When the opportunity opened up for me to sign Alborn to Imagen, I jumped on it, said Rose. “I’ve known these guys for years and have worked closely with them. The songwriting is so unique to me. It’s fresh and not predictable. I think people will get so much out of what this band has to say.”
The record deal led to the release of the band’s then new EP Impairative in August.
The band debuted the video for its cover of ‘We Die Young’ on June 25.
More information on Alborn’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Shout! Factory and MLB Productions will bring the 2020 World Series home next month.
2020 World Series Collector’s Edition is scheduled for release Feb. 9 through Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball Productions. The set will feature the 2020 World Series in whole on separate DVD and Blu-ray presentations. As added bonuses, each platform’s presentation will also feature Game 3 of the National League Division Series and Game Seven of the National League Championship Series to enhance the set’s presentation.
2020 World Series Collector’s Edition is expected to retail for MSRP of $59.98 (DVD) and $74.98 (Blu-ray). Its release follows that of its companion documentary film 2020 World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers, which was released Dec. 8.
More information on these and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at: