Shout! Factory Kicking Off Kovacs Celebration Early

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is getting a head start on the celebration of Ernie Kovacs’ upcoming birthday.

January 23, 2019 will be the 100th birthday of the late, great entertainer, and in honor of the occasion, Shout! Factory is releasing a new box set this week featuring Kovacs’ most memorable moments in Ernie KovacsThe Centennial Edition.  The nine-disc collection is scheduled to be released Nov. 13.

The in-depth retrospective 22 hours of Kovacs’ comedy culled from his many moments on television, including, but not limited to, his his local and national morning shows, his prime-time TV work, his ABC specials and the rare color version of his silent show Eugene 3.  Also included in the set are highlights from his hit series Take A Good LookA Pony For Chris and the pilot for the series Medicine Man, which co-starred Buster Keaton.

Along with the primary content, the collection also features an extensive list of bonuses, which are listed below.

ERNIE KOVACS: THE CENTENNIAL EDITION Bonus Programming:
  • 1987 ATAS Hall Of Fame Induction
  • Andy McKay 8mm Home Movies
  • Audio Lost
  • Baseball Film
  • Charlie Clod In Brazil
  • Dutch Masters Commercials
  • Ernie’s Opening Monologue
  • Home Movies: Golf With Edie And Ernie
  • Howard, The World’s Strongest Ant on “A Hot Date” and “Howard’s Campground”
  • Interview: Algernon Gerard, Archaeologist
  • Interview: The World At Your Doorstep
  • Introducing Coloratura Mimi Cosnowski
  • Irving Wong: Tin Pan Alley Songwriter
  • J. Burlington Gearshift
  • Making Of “Baseball Film”
  • Martin Krutch, Public Eye
  • Matzoh Hepplewhite
  • Miklos Molnar’s Glue
  • Muriel Cigars Commercials Featuring Edie Adams
  • Original Theatrical Trailers: “Wake Me When It’s Over” And “Five Golden Hours”
  • Our Man In Havana” Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Percy Dovetonsils : “Ode To A Housefly”, “Ode To Electricity” and “Ode To Stanley’s Pussycat”
  • Remembering Ernie With George Schlatter And Jolene Brand
  • Rock Mississippi In “Fingers Under Weskit”
  • Silents Please
  • Skodney Silsky, Hollywood Reporter
  • Strangely Believe It: Writers To Blame
  • Superclod Test
  • Surprise Audience Member
  • Take A Good Look: “Clues” and “Sales Film”
  • The Kapusta Kid In Outer Space Meets Olivia Scilloscope
  • The Mysterious Knockwurst
  • Trailer For “Operation Mad Ball” – “It Happened To Ernie” 

Limited Edition sets of never-Before-Available-Or-Seen lithographs are also available in celebration of Kovacs’ career starting at $250 for the unframed pictures.  Professionally-framed lithos start at $1,000.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

 

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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Perry Recovering Following Medical Emergency

Courtesy: MSO PR

Officials with former Aerosmith and current Hollywood Vampires guitarist Joe Perry have released an update on the guitarist’s condition after he was transported to the hospital last night following a performance with fellow veteran musician Billy Joel.

The statement that follows is the latest update on Perry’s condition.  It states that at last report, he was still in the hospital this morning and recovering.

“Following a guest performance during Billy Joel’s show last night at Madison Square Garden, Joe Perry experienced shortness of breath and was treated backstage by paramedics who gave the guitarist oxygen and used a tracheal tube to clear his airway before taking him to a hospital. This morning Perry remains in the hospital where he is alert and responsive. The Aerosmith guitarist will be unable to appear today at Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp in Florida and apologizes to those attending. Perry is expected to return to the road later this month.”

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‘Prehysteria’ Re-issue Is An Enjoyable Offering For The Whole Family

Courtesy: Moonbeam Entertainment/Full Moon Features/MVD Entertainment Group

Dinosaurs are big business for Hollywood.  From the Jurassic Park franchise to Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur to Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age franchise and more, dinosaurs have brought in big bucks for Hollywood throughout the years.  Now thanks to MVD Distribution, a slightly lesser-known dino-centric flick has been brought back to light in the form of Prehysteria for audiences to enjoy again for the first time.  Originally released as a direct-to-VHS flick more than 25 years ago from Moon Beam Pictures – an imprint of Full Moon Features – it was re-issued on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Oct. 9 via Full Moon Features, and is a welcome offering for most families even today.  That is proven in part through the nearly 90-minute movie’s story.  The story will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s bonus material adds to the movie’s presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Prehysteria.  All things considered, Prehysteria proves to be a work that while maybe not as well-known as other dino-centric flicks, is still a fun family flick.

Moon Beam Pictures’ newly re-issued indie dino flick Prehysteria is a welcome, fun family flick.  It is an underrated and underappreciated addition to Hollywood’s much hyped prehistoric realm (and yes, that awful pun was intended).  That is proven in part through the story at the center of the movie.  The story centers on the Taylor family — Jerry (Austin O’Brien — The Last Action HeroMy Girl 2The Lawnmower Man), his sister Monica (Samantha Mills — Step By StepCalifornia Dreams, The Family Man) and their father Frank (Brett Cullen — Ghost RiderThe Dark Knight RisesPerson of Interest) as they deal with a group of newborn dinosaurs brought home by their family dog, Ruby, who is clearly mourning the loss of her puppies.  As is explained through the movie, Frank gave away Ruby’s last litter of puppies, so she takes on the pigmy dinos as her own.  Plenty of hilarity ensues in the Taylor household after the dinosaurs — named after the family’s favorite musicians – are born.  From the little dinos making a mess of the Taylor family’s kitchen, to the adorable little creatures finding the beat as Elvis plays just outside their room and more, the smiles and “awwwws” are plentiful.  Meanwhile, an evil museum curator named Rico Sarno (Stephen Lee — War GamesThe NegotiatorBurlesque) is out to get the tiny dinos back, leading to even more laughs, and some action in the process.  What’s interesting here is that plot point involving Sarno trying to get the little dinosaurs is somewhat similar to one of the plot points of Jurassic Park, which actually came out after this movie.  So to that end, it makes that plot point even more interesting when added to the whole of the story.  Of course, the whole thing has a happy ending, though the ending is left somewhat up in the air.  Not too much will be given away here, but the story is left rather open-ended in its very last scene.  The result is that audiences will be left feeling uncomfortable because it does not leave viewers with that full sense of closure that a finale needs.  Director Charles Band and star Austin O’Brien talk about this and much more in the bonus audio commentary, which, as one of the movie’s bonus features, adds its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

Getting back to the movie’s story, there are some plot holes, not the least of which being the issue of how the dinos survived in the Taylor’s house for such a long time if they in fact needed a very hot, humid climate in order to survive – according to Vicki (Colleen Morris) late in the movie.  In retrospect, it leaves one scratching one’s head even more.  Even with that and other plot issues in mind, the movie is still a fun flick that the whole family will enjoy taking in every now and then.

While the story, even with its plot holes and other issues, does plenty to make this little-known family flick well worth at least one watch, it is only part of the movie’s success in its recent re-issue.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new home release adds even more interest to the presentation.  The bonus commentary, noted above, offers just as much entertainment as the story at the movie’s center.  Throughout the movie, director Charles Band and lead star Austin O’Brien share plenty of insight and entertainment.  O’Brien reveals that one of the scenes involving the family truck was so hot that ice had to be put into the truck bed for “Ruby” to sit on so that the dog could stay cool.  That was because the movie was shot largely in Los Angeles.  Another interesting tidbit to learn is that the very first appearance of the dinosaurs was shot on a stage placed five feet above the ground.  That was so as to allow all of the puppeteers to do their jobs controlling the dinosaurs from below.  Staying on that same note, Band also reveals during that noted sequence that he is – even in August, 2018 – against studios’ use of CG.  This is a rare view from film makers today, even despite the cost.  As noted above, the duo also takes on the movie’s rather odd, uncomfortable ending, actually pointing out how bad that final scene was.  Again, that final scene won’t be revealed here, but it really does ruin the otherwise happy closure offered just before that scene.  It’s just one more interesting note shared throughout the course of the movie’s 83-minute run time.  There is also a note from O’Brien himself that prior to the movie, he himself was unfamiliar with Elvis and Elvis’ career, so he had to do a lot of cramming in order to get familiar with Elvis for the movie.  Band also notes, surprisingly, that prior to watching the movie with O’Brien back in August of this year for the commentary, that he had not actually watched Prehysteria in full since its debut.  That is kind of odd, considering the movie’s cult following.  One would have thought he would have had more pride in the movie.  That aside, that revelation, the others noted here and so much more offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  Keeping this in mind, the audio commentary is just one of the bonuses worth discussing here.  The bonus “Videozone” featurette offers its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

The “Videozone” featurette included in the movie’s re-issue is important to discuss because it is, for all intents and purposes, a “making of” featuerette.  Audiences get in this featurette a vintage look back in time at the original cast interviews that are in themselves eye-opening.  There are notes about which cast members did and did not have that much fun making the movie.  Band also offers his own thoughts in the vintage interviews alongside his father and Prehysteria co-director Albert Band that gives even more insight into the movie’s creation.  As if these interviews are not enough, audiences are also treated to a companion feature that shows how the dinosaurs were created, using wires and special modeling clay.  The whole of the features here shows even more, the importance of the movie’s bonus material.  Between everything offered throughout the “Videozone” featurette and the bonus feature-length commentary, the bonus material included in this re-issue makes the movie so much more entertaining and in turn worth the money spent.  Speaking of money, the movie’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point for Prehysteria’s re-issue is $27.15.  That price is determined using prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and MVD Entertainment’s online store.  MVD is included as it is the company handling the movie’s distribution.  On the surface, some might say that this price is a little high.  However, taking into consideration everything noted in this review, and that the bonus commentary and “Videozone” featurette are included not just on Blu-ray, but also on DVD, that price actually becomes quite affordable.  It is actually on par with prices for movies that are far more well-known and released in their own BD/DVD combo packs.  In other words, audiences will not break the bank at such a cost.  Keeping this in mind, along with the entertainment and insight offered through the movie and its bonus material, and that dual availability through the packaging, this presentation proves to be one that proves well worth the money and being added to any family’s movie library.

Full Moon Features/Moon Beam Pictures’ recent re-issue of Prehysteria is an enjoyable presentation for families seeing it for the first time and for those seeing it for the first time again.  As has been discussed here, that is due in part to a story that even despite its plot holes, is still fun and endearing.  In turn, it is sure to keep the whole family entertained from start to finish.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new re-issue adds to that enjoyment.  When the main feature and secondary material is taken collectively into consideration, they make the average price point of just under $30 well-spent.  Keeping that in mind, the package in whole proves to be a positive presentation that the whole family will enjoy.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles being distributed via MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://mvdentertainment.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MVDEntertainmentGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

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The Not-Its’ Success Continues On Its Eighth LP, ‘Ready Or Not’

Courtesy: Burnside Distribution/Sugar Mountain PR

The Not-Its are at it again.  The veteran kindie-rock act released its latest full-length studio recording Ready Or Not late this past September, and the 12-song, 36-minute album another entertaining new offering from the Seattle, WA-based band.  That is because overall, the album is a celebration of the innocence of childhood, with the highs of childhood and the lows.  The end result is a work that is without argument, another welcome offering from the group.  The album’s opener and title track is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘The Battle of Curriculum Night’ is another important addition to the album that cannot be ignored.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Runaway Bike’ is yet another work that shows what makes Ready Or Not another positive effort from The Not-Its.  It will also be discussed a little later.  Of course, it is not the last of the songs that show what makes Ready Or Not so enjoyable.  Any of the album’s remaining eight songs can be used just as easily as the songs noted here, to exhibit the album’s strengths.  Between those songs not noted here and the songs more directly discussed, the whole of Ready or Not proves to be not only another welcome offering from The Not-Its, but another welcome offering that is also among the year’s top new family music albums.

The Not-Its’ latest full-length studio recording Ready Or Not – its eighth – is another welcome offering from the veteran kindie-rock quintet that is also without argument one of the year’s top new family music albums.  That is proven in part through the album’s opener/title track.  The song’s “poppy” upbeat guitar-driven musical arrangement is an infectious indie-rock type of opus that wastes no time getting stuck in listeners’ ears and minds.  That includes not just children, but grown-ups, too.  Drummer Michael Welke’s work, pushing the 16th notes on the hi-hat couples with the guitars to keep the song moving forward.  This critic’s own view of the work (being a drummer/percussionist, too) is that using eighth notes on the hi-hat would have been just as good as 16ths thanks to the song’s fast-moving 4/4 time signature.  Either way, it still works.  That high-energy arrangement compliments the energy exuded in a game of Hide-and-Seek.

The lyrical side of ‘Ready Or Not’ couples with that well-thought-out arrangement to make the song stand out even more.  Front woman Sarah Shannon steps back on this work, letting her band mates – Danny Adamson (rhythm guitar/vocals), Tom Baisden (lead guitar/vocals), Jennie Helman (bass/vocals) and the previously discussed Welke – take the lead here.  The band illustrates the joys of a game of Hide-and-Seek expertly, singing, “Are you ready or not/’Cause here I come/Gonna find you/You can’t hide all day/Did you think that you could pull a fast one on me/Like you did when we were 3/Uh-oh/So let’s go/The game is on.”  One can almost see a group of young children, going back and forth with one another here, smiles bright on their faces.  Again, going back to the song’s arrangement, that musical side couples with this almost celebratory lyrical content to start the song on the highest note possible.  The group goes on to sing, “Are you ready to get caught/’Cause here I come/I see you hiding in the closet, yeah-yeah/Did you think I wouldn’t see your feet/I even heard you try to hold in a sneeze/Now you’re it/You’re it/The game is on!”  Again , here is that clear joy and innocence of childhood.  It is something to which listeners of every age can relate.  Children will relate because they enjoy that play and innocence every day.  Adults will relate as it will take them back to those days of innocence and joy.  Through it all, it will put a smile on every listener’s face.  That is even more the case when the lyrical content is coupled with that catchy, indie-pop rock arrangement.  All things considered, it makes the song a clear example of what makes Ready Or Not another welcome offering from The Not-Its.  It is just one of the songs that supports that statement.  ‘The Battle of Curriculum Night’ is another work that shows what makes Ready or Not so enjoyable.

‘The Battle of Curriculum Night’ stands out primarily because of its lyrical content.  The song takes on a “battle” about which every parent knows – the battle of funding for America’s public schools.  The band notes in the song’s lyrical side, “Budget cuts seem to be driving my parents nuts/My school is over-enrolled without enough teachers to go around/Thirty-three students, all in the same class as me/The principal gathers us in the gym/the moms and dads, their arms crossed/Faces turning red/I think there’s gonna be a fight at curriculum night/Try to work it out, but the budget is tight/There’s gonna ba a fight at curriculum night, yeah!”  From there, the song continues vividly painting that picture in which every parent has taken part, noting “It’s such a crazy day/Every single person has something to say/The tension is rising, and no one can hear each other anyway/Everyone is there/Grown-ups squeezing into tiny chairs/The teacher seems nervous/Handing out packets to be scrutinized/Parents glare/Don’t see my kid’s artwork anywhere/Don’t you know how gifted they are?”  What’s really interesting here is the fact that this whole song is told from the vantage point of a child.  This shows on one end that children are far more aware of what is going on than that for which adults give them credit.  On another end, presenting the song from a child’s eye also gives a clearer view, showing just how volatile those school meetings can and do get.  Add in the fact that few, if any, other family music acts have ever tackled the issue of public school funding – let alone in such a fun fashion – and the song becomes even more important an addition to this album.

While the lyrical content presented in this song is obviously important to the song’s whole, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its musical arrangement adds to its enjoyment.  Many listeners might not be familiar with the reference, but the song’s mid-tempo arrangement here conjures thoughts of Dinosaur Jr’s classic hit ‘Feel The Pain.’  Given, that song is not as upbeat as this one, but stylistically speaking, the similarity is there, and it is sure to be a welcome comparison for grown-up listeners who are familiar with the band and its work.  Considering this along with the thought-provoking lyrical content in this song, the whole is yet another clear example of what makes Ready Or Not another positive effort from The Not-Its.  It is not the last example of what makes this record either, just as the album’s opener/title track was not the only example either.  ‘Runaway Bike,’ which comes a little later on in the album’s run, is one more example of what makes the album stand out.

‘Runaway Bike’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  Much like the arrangements in the previously discussed works, this upbeat work’s bass and guitar-driven arrangement is very clearly an indie-rock style presentation that is sure to appeal to older audiences of said genre.  Its lyrical content is just as interesting as that catchy arrangement.  That is because it is wide open to interpretation.  Shannon sings here of a child who is sitting on his/her bike in the driveway of his/her home, imagining what it would be like to go off on a journey around the world.  What is so interesting about this is the manner in which this story is presented.  On one hand, the song leaves one wondering if this is supposed to be a child imagining running away, which after all, what child has not done this after an argument with his/her parents?  On another hand, it could just as easily be a song about a child simply dreaming of that great voyage, instead of the thought of running away.  The interpretations are made as Shannon sings from the child’s vantage point, “Get on my bike and ride/I’ll go it alone/And by tomorrow I might reach the state line/I’m leaving home/I don’t know why/Now that I’ve left the state I’m in Idaho/My next destination is the Atlantic Coast Line/Runaway Bike, let’s ride.”  The single line in which she sings, “I’m leaving home/I don’t know why” is one of the reasons that the interpretation of the song’s story is wide open.  Such a statement leaves one wondering if this is perhaps just a young person having that familiar dream of going out into the world.  Shannon goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I’m standing on the beach/In search of a boat heading to Europe/With room for me and my bike/Starting to miss my old life/Landed in Portugal/I pedaled my way to Prague/Now I’m in China-I can see the Great Wall/Runaway Bike go home/I’m a little runaway.”  The song closes with its subject opening his/her eyes after seeing the visions in his/her head of those travels, realizing he/she not run away.”  So again, the interpretation is left up in the air.  Is this a child dreaming of running away, having noted that he/she would miss home and his/her family?  Is it the story of a child simply dreaming of going out and exploring the world?  It would be interesting to discover which story was being told here.  Either way, the fact that the song can be interpreted in either way because of the band’s talent with words here, shows such talent and obvious thought put into the work.  When this talent is considered along with the enjoyment of the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements together make this song one more example of what makes Ready Or Not another enjoyable offering from The Not-Its.  When it is considered along with the other songs discussed here, and the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole proves to be a work that is a positive new offering from the group, and without argument, one of the year’s top new family music albums.

The Not-Its’ latest full-length studio recording Ready Or Not is another strong, welcome offering from the Seattle, WA-based kindie rock band.  It is a record that is without argument, one of the year’s top new family music albums.  That is proven through the songs noted in this review and those not directly discussed.  The songs, in whole, present an album that celebrates the innocence of childhood, in all of its highs and lows.  It is a work to which children and grown-ups alike can and will relate through that celebration.  It is available now.  More information on Ready Or Not is available online now along with all of The Not-Its’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wearethenot-its.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/The_Not_Its

 

 

 

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Sleep Signals Touring With Memphis May Fire, Ice Nine Kills As Support For Atreyu’s “In Our Wake” Tour

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Sleep Signals has hit the road with Atreyu for its “In Our Wake” tour.

The band is serving as support for Atreyu for the tour, which launched Friday and is currently scheduled to run through Dec. 13 in Anaheim, California.  Also joining the tour as support are Memphis May Fire and Ice Nine Kills.

Sleep Signals is touring in support of its most recent release, its six-song EP At The End of the World, which was released independently  by the band on Sept. 8, 2017.  The band recently premiered the video for the EP’s latest single, ‘Edge of My Sanity.’ The song is streaming now via Spotify.

The schedule for Atreyu’s “In Our Wake” tour is noted below.  The tour is sponsored by Monster Energy and Spinefarm Records.  Tickets for Sleep Signals’ dates are available here.

Dates with Atreyu, Memphis May Fire, Ice Nine Kills:

11.9 Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren
11.10 Albuquerque, NM El Rey Theater
11.12 San Antonio, TX The Aztec Theatre
11.13 Houston, TX House of Blues
11.14 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theater
11.16 Fort Lauderdale, FL Revolution Live
11.17 Tampa, FL The Ritz
11/18 Destin, FL Club L.A.
11.19 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theater
11.20 Greensboro, NC The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
11.21 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Sound Stage
11.23 Harrisburg, PA Capitol Room
11.24 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
11.25 Boston, MA Paradise
11.27 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre
11.28 Rochester, NY Anthology
11.30 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre
12.1 Fort Wayne, IN Pierre’s
12.2 Chicago, IL House of Blues
12.4 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
12.5 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
12.7 Seattle, WA El Corazon
12.8 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
12.10 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
12.11 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
12.12 San Diego, CA House of Blues
12.13 Anaheim, CA House of Blues

More information on Sleep Signals’ new tour dates, video and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://sleepsignals.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sleepsignals

 

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.

‘The Silver Scream’ Will Be As Memorable For INK As The Movies From Which It Is Inspired

Courtesy: Fearless Records

More often than not, when people use the term “horror rock,” to define a certain act’s style and sound, thoughts generally tend to turn to the likes of Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Mushroomhead, Cannnibal Corpse and other acts of that ilk.  Of course, while they are the more well-known acts within the horror rock realm, they are not the only bands of which audiences should take note.  The Boston, MA-based band has made quite the name for itself in the horror/theatrical rock realm since the release of its 2006 debut album Last Chance To Make Amends.  Now with the release of its fifth full-length studio recording – and seventh overall studio recording – The Silver Scream, the band has proven itself one of the leaders of the next generation of the horror/theatrical rock genre.  That statement is supported in part through an examination of the collective songs and their source material that make up the album’s 49-minute run time.  This will be discussed shortly.  The songs’ lyrical content is just as important to discuss as the songs and their source material, and will be discussed a little bit later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be discussed later.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of The Silver Scream. All things considered, they make The Silver Scream a work that is certain to appeal to metalcore fans and horror fans alike.

Ice Nine Kills’ fifth full-length studio recording The Silver Scream is a positive new offering from the Boston, MA-based horror/theatrical rock quartet.  One could honestly say that even despite being the band’s fifth full-length studio recording, it displays the band close to its apex if not already there.  One can only hope that as good as this album is, the band will be able to top itself with its next album.  Part of what makes the album such a strong outing is its featured songs and their source material.  The songs once again delve into the horror realm, this time using the cinematic realm as their inspiration instead of the literary or other realms.  The original musical works were inspired by moves reaching all the way back to the 1970s (Jaws) and as recently as the 2000s (Saw).  Also included are songs inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Shining (1980), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005) among others.  Simply put, the band takes listeners through four decades of silver screen horror with its own original musical works inspired by the featured movies.  This is important to note because on one side, it could be the starting point to an introduction to horror for a whole new generation of audiences.  On the other side, the originality of the songs puts on display the band’s creativity and originality, and in turn showing once again why it is so quickly becoming one of the leaders of the next generation of horror/theatrical rock acts.  While the songs and their source material are unquestionably critical to the overall presentation of The Silver Scream, they are collectively just one of the album’s important elements.  The lyrical content presented throughout the album is just as important to its presentation as the songs and their source material.

The lyrical presentations within the overall presentation of The Silver Scream is important to note because as previously stated, it shows once again the band’s ingenuity and originality.  Case in point is the album’s opener, ‘The American Nightmare, which again is inspired by New Line Cinema’s 1984 slasher flick A Nightmare on Elm Street.  While the movie the story at the center of the movie makes the kids the victims, the song crafted by Ice Nine Kills is presented from the vantage point of Freddy Krueger, the janitor who died as a result of the acts of the teens’ parents.  Front man Spencer Charnas gives Freddy a voice here, singing, “Fast asleep/It’s all in your head now/Past the street where they cursed my name/But I won’t be forsaken/Craven my revenge from the shallow/Grave, where I went down in flames/The beast has been awakened/When night comes creeping/My cruel hand will rock you to sleep/I’m the American Nightmare/With American dreams/Of counting the bodies while you count sheep/the American Nightmare/Yeah, I’m living the dream/I’m slashing my way through the golden age of the silver scream.”  It is an interesting new take with an infectious arrangement that gives the classic movie a whole new life (so to speak).  It’s just one of the interesting stories presented here.  The lyrical content presented in the album’s second entry, ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

‘Thank God It’s Friday’ takes the classic line, typically used by people as a stress reliever of sorts at the end of the work week, is instead put on its head here as something very foreboding.  That foreboding goes full throttle as the band launches into the song, which finds Charnas providing audiences the overall plot of the original 1980 slasher flick from Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers in just under four-and-a-half minutes.  The whole thing starts with the ghostly voices of the counselors that Jason Voorhees killed singing mournfully about Jason’s death before Charnas launches into his verbal assault, telling the counselors’ story and their afterlife revelations.  He screams, “We’ve all been laid to rest/Our epitaph reads, “Mommy knows best”/A word of warning from beyond the grave that must be understood/Throats get slit in this neck of the woods.”  From there, Charnas continues the counselors’ story, illustrating the story told by Jason’s mother (played in the movie by Betsy Palmer – Friday The 13th, Friday The 13th Part 2, Queen Bee) of what led to his death and her view of the scenario.  The band even incorporates Mrs. Voorhees’ own words into the song, as she tells one of the potential victims, “Did you know my son was drowned in this lake?  He should have been supervised, but the counselors were off having filthy sex. His name is Jason, and today is his birthday.”  From there, the deceased counselors’ continue their mournful revelations.  When they are coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, which expertly illustrates the emotion in the words, those words create a story that is so sad, yet just as powerful and fear-inducing as the original slasher flick from which the song was inspired. It is hardly the last song included in the album that serves to show the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  The lyrical content at the center of ‘The World in My Hands’ is yet another example of that importance.

‘The World in My Hands’ was inspired by 20th Century Fox’s goth/romance 1990 flick Edward Scissorhands, and while the movie was a goth/romance hybrid, it also featured a story – from Edward (Johnny Depp, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame) of a figure trying to find his place in the world.  That journey of self-discovery is well illustrated in this song, as Charnas sings right from the song’s outset, “Lost on my own.In search of something real/How cruel to be exposed/To something I can’t touch, but still feel/How’d I end up here/So uncomfortable/I’m a stranger in this body/The world’s an ugly place/And that’s a fact that fate has brought me/I had to disappear/So will it all just go away/Now the end is drawing near/And God, I wish you would’ve stayed/It cuts deep, ‘cause our lives are still attached/A deadly touch spreads an itch that can’t be scratched/Sometimes I wish it would just fade to black/I won’t go back.”  From here, the story goes to Edwards thoughts of Kim (Winona Ryder – Alien: Resurrection, Little Women, Girl, Interrupted), and his thoughts of her versus everyone else in her town.  Given, the whole thing is rather emo, but in the bigger picture of things (no pun intended), this is a song to which so many listeners can relate because it is something that does not necessarily have to be from a movie.  It (and the story at the center of Edward Scissorhands) is something that can and does happen in the real world.  People try to find their place as they get older.  They see how the world is as they try to find their place.  To that end, this song’s lyrical content is doubly important to the album’s whole, and in turn shows even more the overall importance of the album’s lyrical content.  Of course it still is not the last of the content that shows the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Love Bites’ is itself a bittersweet love song inspired by An American Werewolf in London while ‘It Is The End’ (based on Green/Epstein Productions’ 1990 horror flick It) is another work that uses its lyrical content to tell the story of It, in turn introducing the band’s fans to the classic horror flick.  ‘A Grave Mistake’ takes inspiration from the groundbreaking 1994 goth/romance movie ‘The Crow’ to create its own Crow story about a vengeful spirit come back to avenge his death.  Between these songs, those more directly noted and those not directly addressed, it becomes clear throughout the album that its lyrical content is just as entertaining as the songs, their source material and their musical arrangements.  To that end, this album gives audiences quite a bit to appreciate.  Of course it is not all that stands out in this album.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Listening from start to end, audiences will note that the record starts and ends with the same haunting and powerful energy in their own original arrangements.  Along the way, the energy rises and falls at all of the right point, ensuring listeners’ maintained engagement.  Case in point, the energy continued in ‘thank God It’s Friday’ from ‘The American Nightmare.’  That energy is maintained (and even stepped up to a certain point) through the album’s third entry, ‘Stabbing in the Dark,’ which is inspired by Compass International Pictures’ 1978 slasher classic Halloween thanks to its Slayer- guitar breakdowns and story, which tells Halloween’s story.  At some points, those noted breakdowns show a certain Slayer influence, and at others a more distinct djent style presentation.  Things barely let up from there until the album’s midway point that is ‘A Grave Mistake.’  This song’s energy is much more reserved than its full-on thrash/metalcore predecessors.  The thing here is that while it is more reserved in its energy than those songs, it does still maintain a certain energy.  It is just not as heavy and frenetic as those songs.  Rather, it is more of a radio-friendly addition to the album, put more simply.  Of course, the respite that the band offers here is short-lived, as the band makes its way into the Jaws-inspired ‘Rocking The Boat.’

After the band works its way through ‘Rocking The Boat,’ it lets back off again slightly as it makes its way through the more radio-friendly works ‘Enjoy Your Slay,’ ‘Freak Flag’ and ‘The World in My Hands’ before gradually picking things back up in Merry Axe-Mas (inspired by Tristar Pictures’ 1984 holiday-themed horror flick Silent Night, Deadly Night).  Listeners get one last break before the record’s finale in ‘Love Bites’ before the band leaves listeners breathless at the album’s end in ‘It Is The End.’  By the time the song ends, listeners will realize they have been taken on quite the powerful and engaging musical and cinematic ride.  Looking back, listeners will agree that the record’s energy rises and falls at all of the right points, ensuring again that maintained engagement.  The end result is an album of horror-inspired songs that metalcore fans and horror flick fans alike will appreciate.

Ice Nine Kills has developed quite a name for itself over the course of now 12 years as one of the leaders of the next generation of metalcore and horror/theatrical rock thanks to its past four albums (and three EPs).  Now with the release of its latest album The Silver Scream last month, the band has certified its place in those genres even more.  That is proven in part through its 13 original songs, inspired by some of the most important horror flicks to ever make their way to the silver screen, as has been discussed here.  The lyrical content is just as original as the songs as they tell the stories of the movies and present brand new angles from those stories through that content.  The stories and angles create their own interest that, along with the arrangements and vast inspiration for the songs, ensures even more, listeners maintained engagement throughout the album.  When the album’s overall sequencing is considered along with the previously noted items, the balance in that sequencing shows plenty of time and thought was put into the album’s arrangement.  It paid off, too.  Each item is key in its own way to the whole of The Silver Scream.  All things considered, they make The Silver Scream a work that is certain to be just as memorable for Ice Nine Kills as the movies from which its songs were inspired.  The band is currently on tour with Sleep Signals and Memphis May Fire as suppor for Atreyu on its “In Our Wake” Tour.  The schedule for the tour, which just launched Nov. 9, is noted below.

 

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Dates with Atreyu, Memphis May Fire, Ice Nine Kills:

11.10 Albuquerque, NM El Rey Theater
11.12 San Antonio, TX The Aztec Theatre
11.13 Houston, TX House of Blues
11.14 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theater
11.16 Fort Lauderdale, FL Revolution Live
11.17 Tampa, FL The Ritz
11/18 Destin, FL Club L.A.
11.19 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theater
11.20 Greensboro, NC The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
11.21 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Sound Stage
11.23 Harrisburg, PA Capitol Room
11.24 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
11.25 Boston, MA Paradise
11.27 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre
11.28 Rochester, NY Anthology
11.30 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre
12.1 Fort Wayne, IN Pierre’s
12.2 Chicago, IL House of Blues
12.4 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
12.5 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
12.7 Seattle, WA El Corazon
12.8 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
12.10 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
12.11 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
12.12 San Diego, CA House of Blues
12.13 Anaheim, CA House of Blues

More information on The Silver Scream is available online now along with all of Ice Nine Kills’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://iceninekills.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ICENINEKILLS

 

 

 

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.

Eagle Rock’s New Joni Mitchell Concert/Doc Is An Engaging New Profile Of The Veteran Singer-Songwriter

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Famed singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell marked a major milestone this week as she marked her 75th birthday, and she celebrated in style with a star-studded event to mark the occasion.  Thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, fans of the veteran singer-songwriter can celebrate Mitchell and her legacy in their own way with a recently released live recording.  Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is a memorable presentation that Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate.  That is due in part to the recording’s set list.  This will be discussed shortly.  The documentary film that is woven into the concert adds just as much interest for audiences as the set list.  It will be discussed a little bit later.  The recording’s average price point rounds out is most important elements, and will also be discussed later.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970.  All things considered, they make this recording a piece that will appeal largely to the most devout fans of Mitchell and her work.

Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is an interesting presentation from Eagle Rock Entertainment and veteran singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.  That is because the recording, released Sept. 14 via Eagle Rock Entertainment, presents a very interesting portrait of the then very young and still up-and-coming performer.  At the time of her performance, Mitchell had only released four full-length studio recordings – Song to a Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), Ladies of the Canyon (1970) and Blue (1971) – making her still a very young performer, despite her experience.  Her 11-song set list featured in this performance lifts liberally from the latter trio of albums.  Clouds gets four nods while Ladies of the Canyon and Blue each get three nods.  ‘Hunter,’ which apparently was a b-side from Blue that never made the album’s final cut, is also included in here.  Interestingly enough, her 1968 debut record Song to a Seagull is nowhere to be seen in this set list.  Either way, audiences at the time still got a relatively well-balanced representation of her catalog at that point due to that clear focus that was put on the set list.  What’s more, a whole new generation of audiences now get a glimpse into who Joni Mitchell was at that time thanks to this new recording.  To that end, the set list proves itself to be a critical part of the recording’s whole.  It is just one of the important pieces of the presentation’s whole.  The documentary that is interwoven into the concert adds even more interest to the recording’s overall presentation.

The documentary that is coupled with Mitchell’s performance is important to note because it is really a dual story line of sorts.  On one side, the story shows Mitchell growing both as a person and as an artist, as she is forced to face a crowd that was not expecting her so early; a crowd that was likely expecting a more lively act than her.  Over the course of her rescheduled performance, audiences see the crowd slowly turn and accept her, almost making her an underdog figure of sorts.  Mitchell’s interviews, originally recorded in 2003, add their own depth to this story, making her even more of an endearing figure.

The other story included in the documentary is that of the unrest throughout the festival.  Audiences are introduced to a group of people within the audience that was protesting the festival and its managers.  That is because they were not being allowed inside the venue.  That led to some unexpected moments in which some of those protestors actually made their way on stage to make their protests heard loud and clear.  Simply put, the protestors were people who were a little bit too enthusiastic about the festival. Interestingly enough, this ties back into Mitchell’s story because it was her performance and her music that seemed to help quell the problems with the protestors.  That ability to calm the crowd – and win over the audience in the process – helped her overcome the nerves that she noted having in her 2003 interview segments.  The result is a performance that audiences will agree improved with each song.  Keeping all of this in mind, the combined performance and documentary presentation of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 makes for a work that Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate just as much as those perhaps less familiar with her and her work.  Staying on that note, the Blu-ray offers audiences the choice to watch the concert by itself and to watch it coupled with the doc.  This critic’s own interpretation is to watch the two presentations as one.  It makes for a much richer experience than watching the concert by itself.  Having noted all of this, the content that makes up the whole of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight gives audiences plenty to appreciate here.  Even with that in mind, there is still one more item for audiences to appreciate.  That item is the Blu-ray’s average price point.

Using prices listed at Amazon, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, the set’s average price point comes to $18.79.  Research on the set finds that it is not listed at the websites of Walmart, Target or at Books-A-Million.  Considering the depth of the recording’s overall presentation and the pacing of the more than two-hour program (the exact run time is listed at two hours, 12 minutes), that average price of less than $20 is relatively affordable and money well-spent.  When this is all considered together, it makes Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 another positive offering from Eagle Rock Entertainment, and one that any of Joni Mitchell’s fans will appreciate.

Both Sides Now:  Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is a good addition to the collections of Joni Mitchell’s most devoted fans.  It is also a welcome watch for today’s younger audiences who might be getting their first taste of the veteran singer-songwriter.  As noted above, that is due in part to the recording’s set list.  It shows Mitchell at a point in which she was growing in popularity, but still young enough that she was showing her personal and artistic development.  The documentary that is tied into the doc adds to that story while also presenting an equally interesting story about the festival itself.  The Blu-ray’s average price point is relatively affordable.  When it is considered along with the recording’s overall content, it proves the Blu-ray to be money well-spent, and a recording that, again, Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate as much as a whole new generation of audiences.  Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is available now.  More information on this recording is available online along with all of Joni Mitchell’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://jonimitchell.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JoniMitchellcom

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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.