Angeles Proves The 80s Are Gone, But Not Forgotten In Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

The 1980s was of the most significant ages in the modern history of music.  It was during that era that some of the biggest names in popular music rose to fame.  Bands, such as Guns ‘N’ Roses, Motley Crue (who recently announced they are heading back out on the road) and Def Leppard are among the many acts whose stars rose years.  For all of the well-known acts who rose to fame there were just as many who while perhaps successful, were not as well-known as others.  Los-Angeles based rock and roll band Angeles was one of the bands that fell into the latter category.  The band has released 11 full-length studio recordings since its formation way back in 1977.  It will release its 12th album Dec. 13 through Dark Star Records.  The 11-song album is a presentation that will appeal primarily to the band’s most devoted fans and the most devoted fans of the big hair era with its musical arrangements and lyrical content.  One of the songs featured in the 37-minute record that the noted audiences will most enjoy comes late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Wicked.’  That song will be addressed shortly.  ‘Anti-Social Media,’ which directly addresses the impact of social media on the world, is another work that will appeal to audiences.  ‘Eye of The Storm’ is yet another notable addition to the album’s whole.  Each song plays its own part in making Fire It Up a work that the noted audiences will enjoy.  When they are considered along with the album’s other works, the whole of the album proves itself a work that any hair metal enthusiast will appreciate.

Veteran hair metal band Angeles’ latest full-length studio recording Fire It Up is a record that is certain to get any hair metal enthusiast and fan of the band fired up.  That is due to the pure 80s rock sounds that make up the body of the album and the record’s lyrical content.  One of the most notable of the songs that will appeal to the noted listeners comes late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Wicked.’  The song’s musical arrangement is one of those familiar brooding down-tuned works that were so common during the age of big hair and big riffs.  It boasts an ominous tone that helps to illustrate the song’s lyrical message, which itself presents something quite heavy.

Singer Gwendolyn Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wicked things make great bedfellows/I live behind the corners of your mind/Watching and waiting/For the innocence/That you left behind.”  She continues in the song’s second verse, “I am a neutron star/Ripping at your seams/Under your rock bottom/Chewing up your dreams/My nightmare’s listening/Listens for your screams/Until time cracks its knuckles and its neck/Your knees will buckle while you’re wondering what’s next/You think that time will let you feel and heal your fate/You think you know that truth/But you don’t know my pain.  She adds in the song’s third and final verse, “I am those white lines in the sky/I am a hungry baby’s cry/I am scar tissues on your thigh/I am the killer storm/The silver on your back/I sold your soul for a bag of black/You look just like a deer/Caught in a fog light/I held you hostage in a knife fight or your life/I live between the trigger and the exit wound/I am silence sneaking through/I am wicked.”  By and large, there is a lot of metaphorical speak here, with the mention of the “neutron star ripping you apart” and the “scar tissue on your thigh.”  That latter note is a bit of a head scratcher.  However, when the song reaches the point of the subject saying, “I live between the trigger and the exit wound,” the song’s topic seems to be come a bit clearer.  The song’s subject is the negative force that is everywhere in the world.  That is, at least, this critic’s interpretation.  It would seem to make sense, considering that early note as Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “I live behind the corners of your mind/Watching and waiting/For the innocence/That you left behind.”  It comes across as being that negative force that looks to bring down a person at the first chance, so maybe this was written by one of the band’s members as he or she was at a low point in life and trying to get out of that funk that we all reach at one point or another.  To that end, the song’s brooding lyrical content and musical arrangement couple to make it a work that will resonate with a wide range of listeners.  It is just one of the songs that serves to make Fire It Up an album that will appeal to the aforementioned listeners.  ‘Anti-Social Media’ offers its own interest to the noted listeners.

‘Anti-Social Media’ is notable in part because of its musical arrangement, which is a stark contrast from that of ‘Wicked.’  This time out, the band – Dale Lytle (guitar), Casella (vocals, flute), Danny Basulto (drums) and Cal Shelton (bass) – presents a distinctly 80s garage rock sound instead of the brooding nature of ‘Wicked.’  It is just full-on bombast, but again, with that noted garage rock sound.  Keeping that in mind, it will again appeal to a very targeted audience.  The song’s raw sound works with the clear commentary in the song’s lyrical theme to add more interest to the song in whole.

There is not doubt here as to the song’s subject matter.  This is another song that broaches the matter of social media and the negative impact that it has had (and continues to have) on society.  Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “How many likes on Facebook did you get/That Snapchat filter makes you look like my cat/How many comments did you get on your blog/That Snapchat filter makes you look like my dog/What’s the latest fashion/What brand are those shoes/I don’t give a f***/I’ll wear whatever I choose/I’ll post on Instagram what I want you to see/Please “Like” it, “Share” it, comment/I need you to validate me.”  Again, there’s no doubt left as to this song’s topic.  The rest of the song follows in similar fashion, lyrically speaking.  What is really interesting here is the note of the Snapchat filters making people look like an animal.  That is a real filter, and for some odd reason, people do that.  It makes no sense to this critic and many other sound-minded individuals.  What the song does here though, is make those people who use the noted filter look like individuals who are less sound-minded.  It is used as an insult in this case.  That was smart writing.  Given, this song is hardly the first of its kind to ever be crafted, but in an age when people really have become so dependent on social media to the point that it has become so pervasive, any song that addresses the downside of social media is good and welcome.  To that end, it is just one more of the songs that will interest Angeles’ fans and those of 80s hair metal.  ‘Eye of the Storm’ will also find interest among the noted audiences.

The musical element of ‘Eye of the Storm’ is again more standard 80s hair metal a la Poison, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, etc.  The big riffs are there along with everything else that will appeal to fans of such music.  It is a sound in this case that is quite familiar not just in that aspect, but in relation to the rest of the album’s compositions.  Keeping that in mind, it will, again, appeal specifically to the band’s target audiences in itself.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest for audiences.

The lyrical content at the heart of ‘Eye of the Storm’ is relatively straight forward.  It comes across as a statement about the band’s devotion to doing what it does no matter what.  This is inferred as Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s the way I’m living/Few will understand/It ain’t just for the music/Playing in a rock and roll band/try to keep it together/Sittin’ on the ledge/And people Look crazy/going over the edge/there’s gonna be haters/S*** talkers, too/Stayin’ true to the music/Doing what you gotta do/It’s the eye of the storm.”  This makes clear the noted statement at the song’s center.  Casella continues in the song’s second verse, “The mission you can’t explain/But you stay the course/There’s gonna be casualties/But there’s no remorse/Gotta keep it together/Hanging on the ledge/But people look crazy/Going over the ledge/There’s gonna be haters/S*** talkers, too…It’s the eye of the storm.”  Once again, here we have a standard song about a band and its members sticking to its convictions and aim.  Yet again, this is hardly the first time that any cat has ever crafted such a lyrical presentation.  Even with that in mind, the thoughts discussed here are thoughts that so many acts deal with and have dealt with.  If not for maintaining their aim and convictions, audiences might not have (and have had) many of the great acts to enjoy throughout the years.  It serves as a reminder to those other acts, regardless of experience, to not give up and keep following their dreams.  Keeping this in mind, it stands on its own merits, and adds even more appeal to the aforementioned audiences for this album.  When this song is considered alongside the likes of ‘Anti-Social Media,’ ‘Wicked’ and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of Fire It Up that will certainly get Angeles’ fans just as fired up as those fans of old school 80s hair metal.

Angeles’ latest album Fire It Up presents the veteran rock outfit as a band that still has a certain fire burning with its members.  That is proven through all three of the songs noted here.  They are a snapshot of the musical and lyrical content that will appeal widely to the band’s fans and those of old school 80s hair metal.  The noted songs and the rest of the album’s works come together to make the record in whole, a work that will get a very distinct audience range fired up.  More information on Fire It Up is available online now along with all of Angeles’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.angelesband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AngelesTheBand

 

 

 

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Dines’ Latest Record Is A Wonderful Celebration Of The World’s Peoples, Cultures

Courtesy: Sugar Mountain PR

The holiday season is in full swing, and independent family entertainer Katherine Dines has a new album out now to help families celebrate the holiday season.  The album, HunkTa BunkTa Holidays, was released independently by Dines Aug. 26 to give families a chance to start preparing for the season.  This unique record is not just another run-of-the-mill presentation of holiday standards covers.  Rather it is much more than that.  It is a presentation that promotes multiculturalism.  It is also a presentation that presents a rich history lesson about the different holiday traditions that various cultures take part in annually.  Along with all of that, it also presents music that no one will expect from any holiday music compilation. Each of the items noted here is key in its own way to the whole of HunkTa BunkTa Holidays.  All things considered, they make the album another welcome work from Dines and her fellow musicians.

Katherine Dines’ latest HunkTa BunkTa record is a welcome addition to any family’s holiday music library.  That is proven in part through the fact that it openly promotes multiculturalism.  In researching Dines’ previous HunkTa BunkTa compilations, this is nothing new for Dines and her fellow musicians.  Her past records have each done their own part to promote the many cultures of the world.  In an age when xenophobia and racism are running rampant, the world needs more acceptances of others’ ways of life.  That is exactly what listeners get here.  Chinee culture is celebrated here alongside that of Muslims, Indians, Africa-Americans and Christians.  Along with those celebrations are those of the Jewish culture, that of early Mesopotamians and even Scandanavians.  Simply put, Dines and company take listeners around the world, featuring cultures from a wide range of peoples, teaching about their cultures and promoting that diversity along the way.  Again, promoting cultural diversity is nothing new nowadays, but doing so through a holiday album is relatively uncommon.  To that end, Dines and company are to be commended for that approach here.  It is just one part of what makes HunkTa BunkTa Holidays stand out among this year’s holiday music offerings.  The equally rich history lessons presented throughout the album add their own special touch to its presentation.

In promoting the world’s cultural diversity, HunkTa BunkTa Holidays also explains the roots of the noted peoples’ holiday celebrations.  The history lessons are such that they can be utilized in the classroom just as much as they can the living room.  Audiences will be interested to learn that the Christmas Tree is not just a tree, but rather a real, physical symbol of the Christian faith.  According to information provided in the album’s companion booklet – which is itself a bonus to the album’s presentation – an English monk traveling through Germany a long time ago was the first to utilize a tree as a Christian symbol.  The history lesson is brief, but is a wonderful starting point for so many discussions.  In focusing on the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, Dines tells the story of Judah Maccabee and the fight against the Syrians, and how that battle led to the birth of that holiday celebration.  The discussion on the Indian celebration of Diwali points out the celebration’s Hindu roots thousands of years ago and how it marks the victory of good over evil, despair and darkness.  Once again, the lesson is brief, but still serves as a positive starting point for yet another discussion here.  It’s just one more of the many history lessons that serve collectively to make this compilation that much more appealing to so many listeners.  It certainly is not the last of the compilation’s most notable elements.  The music that accompanies the record’s history lessons and lessons promoting cultural diversity add their own touch to the collection’s presentation.

What audiences get here in terms of musical selections, is a group of compositions that is more world music than just standard Christmas music.  That, again, is because this record isn’t just a Christmas music collection.  It celebrates the music of the world during the holidays as part of the many cultures that make up the world’s peoples.  The Indian music actually incorporates real Indian musical instruments and music that celebrates the festival that is Dewali.  The early Mesopotamian sounds with their related story have their own positive impact on listeners along with the violin sound so common with Jewish music in ‘Eight Little Candles.’  Even ‘Ramadan’ connects directly to the Muslim faith while lyrically promoting friendship between Muslims and Christians.  It is just one more way in which the record’s musical content proves to be just as important to the whole of this record as the album’s other content.  When all of the noted content is considered together, it makes the record in whole a positive presentation that easily holds its own against its fellow holiday music records and even among other World Music albums.

Katherine Dines’ latest HunkTa BunkTa compilation record is a work that will appeal to just as wide a range of listeners as the cultures that it promotes.  That is due in part to its promotion of cultural diversity.  The history lessons connected to the promotion of the world’s varied cultures adds to that appeal.  The record’s music varies just as much as its lessons about the featured cultures, helping it to hold its own even easier against other holiday and even World music records.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this compilation.  All things considered, they make HunkTa BunkTa Holidays a welcome addition to any family’s holiday music collection.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Dines is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.hunktabunkta.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kdines

 

 

 

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Wage War’s Latest LP Proves ‘Pressure’ Can Make Great Things

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Metalcore outfit Wage War released its third full-length studio recording this summer.  The album, Pressure has proven to be divisive among audiences, with some audiences alleging it presents the band straying from its roots, while others praising it for the growth exhibited over the course of its dozen total songs both in its musical and lyrical content.  Those who have taken time to criticize the records are missing the bigger picture, as they clearly have an aversion to change.  The whole of Pressure proves a positive offering from the group, whether it is audiences’ first exposure to the band or the latest.  That is proven in part through a pair of songs featured late in the album’s 41-minute run time – ‘Fury’ and ‘Take The Fight.’  The songs’ heavy musical arrangements and their inspiring, uplifting lyrical content serve to make them two of the record’s strongest entries.  ‘Prison,’ which comes much earlier in the album’s run is another of the album’s most notable additions.  When it is considered along with ‘Fury,’ ‘Take The Fight’ and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album becomes a work that will appeal easily to mot Wage War fans and metalcore fans in general.

Wage War’s third full-length studio recording Pressure is a positive new offering from the up-and-coming Florida-based metalcore outfit.  That is due to musical and lyrical content that collectively offers its own share of entertainment and inspiration all at the same time.  One of the songs featured in the record’s run that supports those statements comes late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Fury.’  Musically speaking, this song’s musical content lends itself to comparisons to works from fellow metalcore bands, such as Of Mice & Men and As I Lay Dying.  At the same time though, it also lends itself to a comparison to the best works of Slipknot.  That is evident in the song’s breakdowns and its pummeling percussion elements.  Front man Briton Bond’s vocal delivery adds to that comparison just as much as the work of his fellow band mates.  The whole of their work makes this adrenaline-fueled fist-pumper a sure-fire hit both on record and on stage.  That fiery, unforgettable musical content couples with the song’s lyrical content to strengthen the song’s standing even more.

The song’s lyrical content is important to discuss because of the confident, defiant stance that it takes against the odds stacked against a person.  Briton writes in the song’s lead verse, “My scars have shown me who to be/Held me down, pushed around, but never buried me/No compromise, no fear of pain/I fight the war when you run the other way/One judgment, no jury/I am, I am the fury/Break free/You have to face the truth/No peace/Where there’s a war in you/One judgment, no jury/I am, I am the fury.”  He continues writing in the song’s second verse, “This is a warning shot/It keeps me honest to God/You could never survive in a world of casualty/Open wounds turned to brick, built my legacy.”  He adds in the song’s brief final verse, “All my enemies hide around me/I am the fury.”  Again, here is that statement of defiance.  This is overall, a statement from someone saying that he is not letting himself be held back or down anymore, but rather is going to stand up against all obstacles.  It is a full-on aggressive statement that, when coupled with the song’s equally aggressive musical content, makes the song in whole a clear example of what makes Pressure such a solid record from Wage War.  It is just one of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Take The Fight’ is another of the album’s most notable entries.

‘Take The Fight’ stands out among Pressure’s most notable entries because like ‘Fury,’ it is a work that both musically and lyrically presents a sense of self-determination and defiance.  What is important to note here is that even with that in mind, it does not just rehash that noted song.  Rather, it gives listeners something fresh and new.  It musical arrangement actually stands out as something that could just as easily be compared to works featured in Sevendust’s 2007 album Alpha with its heavy, crunching melodic hard rock approach and hybrid screaming/clean vocals.  One could even make a comparison to the best works of The Veer Union in this case.  It is a work that will appeal not just to metalcore fans and the band’s fans, but also hard rock and metal fans in general.  That widely appealing arrangement couples with the song’s equally powerful lyrical content to make the song in whole its own key addition to the album

The song’s lyrical content is powerful in its own right in that it delivers its own message of self-confidence.  That message is most clear in the song’s chorus, in which Briton sings, “I know/I know that I am not alone/When I’m standing on my own/They can say what they say/Say what they say/But it doesn’t change/I know/I know that I am not alone/When there’s nowhere else to go/They can say what they say/Blame who they blame/But they can’t take the fight from me.”  The “they” who are mentioned are those who live to make others’ lives miserable; those people who do everything in their power to bring others down.  The song’s defiant, determined message is almost as evident in th song’s lead verse, during which Briton sings, “Is anybody out there?/Let me know/Feel like you’re over it/Had enough?/Are you afraid to wake up/’Cause it shows/Tell me what it takes to break and let go.”  This moment comes across as Briton asking from the vantage point of the song’s subject if anyone else feels like the song’s subject.  He adds in that verse, “Is anybody out there?/Let me know/feel like you’re over it/Had enough?/Are you afraid to wake up/’Cause it shows/I’m not gonna break and bow to no throne.”  Again, this is that defiance, that certainty that the subject is not going to let certain forces hold him down.  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m not gonna stand down/Living like I’m one foot in the grave/I refuse to let you do the same/tell me what it takes to break your own chains/I see pain/I see rage/See the change that you want written on your face/I see pain/I see rage/See the world as a place where we’re all the same.”  This is the song’s subject identifying with others who feel like him.  In relating to those people, the song’s subject strengthens himself emotionally.  Considering this and the song’s equally strong, confident musical arrangement, the whole of the song shows itself to be its own key addition to Pressure.  When it is considered alongside ‘Fury,’ the two songs together go a long way toward showing why Pressure is such a positive new offering from Wage War.  They are just two of the album’s key songs.  ‘Prison,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is important in its own way to the whole of the album.

‘Prison’ stands out because unlike the previously discussed songs, its musical and lyrical content come across as being polar opposites of one another.  The song’s musical arrangement is another driving, up-tempo presentation that will get any listener’s blood flowing.  By contrast, the song’s lyrical content presents a far more introspective story.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Prison’ comes across more as a person who is struggling to come to terms with himself and his place in the world.  Considering that, one would expect the song’s musical arrangement to match.  Even with that contrast in mind, the song in whole still works in its own way.  Briton sings in the song’s lead verse, “Feels like I’m caught in a whirlwind inside my head/I’m my own natural disaster beneath my skin/I can’t explain/And you just won’t get it/I can’t numb the pain/It’s all I think about/I’m too deep to believe I can face myself/It’s hard not to give up when you go through hell/I’m trapped in my skin/This is my prison.”  Again, this comes across as someone having some trouble coming to terms with his identity and his place in the world.  Usually with songs, such as this, the song’s musical arrangement would be more of a slow, melancholic composition.  That proved to not be the case here, though.  It makes for quite the interesting work in whole.  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Behind the bars I create for myself/No one else to blame/Alone and helpless/I’m tied to all this/Living in my chain.”  He returns to the song’s chorus from here.  Once again, this comes across as someone who is going through a difficult point in his life in terms of self-realization.  Considering the song’s musical arrangement, maybe this vantage point is one of someone at the start of that somewhat downward spiral.  The song’s subject is going through the anger stage of self-realization here rather than the more depressing stage.  With that possibility in mind, the song would seem to make more sense with its musical and lyrical content in whole.  To that end, that relatable lyrical content and infectious musical content proves even more crucial to the whole of the album.  Together with ‘Fury,’ ‘Take The Fight’ and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album shows even more why it is such an appealing work for Wage War’s fans and those of the metalcore genre.

Wage War’s latest full-length studio recording Pressure is a strong  new offering from the up-and-coming metalcore outfit.  That is due to the record’s collective musical and lyrical content, as has been evidenced here.  ‘Forget My Name,’ which comes late in the album’s run, ‘Who I Am’ and ‘Grave’ do just as much to support the noted statement as the songs addressed here.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album becomes its own positive new offering from Wage War.  Pressure is available now.  More information on the album is available now along with all of Wage War’s latest tour dates, news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://wagewarband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wagewar

 

 

 

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‘Country Music’ Will Appeal To Audiences Across The Country

Courtesy: Florentine Films/PBS/PBS Distribution

Country music is American music.  It is music that transcends generations and defies racial barriers while also garnering fans across the musical universe.  That far reach and impact of the oft-maligned genre is why famed documentarian Ken Burns made the decision recently to helm his latest project, simply titled Country Music.  Recently having aired on PBS stations nationwide, it was released on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 17 through PBS Distribution.  The eight-disc, 16-hour documentary is a work that audiophiles and country music lovers alike will appreciate.  That appreciation is due in part to the program’s rich, expansive story of Country music’s history that is presented throughout the course of the program.  That breadth and depth of information builds a strong, solid foundation for the program.  Strengthening that foundation is the program’s bonus content featured with its home release.  The set’s packaging gives it its final touch.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Country Music’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the documentary another successful presentation from PBS and from Ken Burns and company.  They make it yet another of the year’s top new documentaries.

PBS Distribution and Florentine Films’ new documentary Country Music is a presentation that will appeal just as much to audiophiles in general as it will to the most devoted country music aficionados.  That is due in part to the information presented through the course of the documentary’s 16-hour run time.  Audiences get plenty of history, starting at country music’s roots in the 1920s and taking them up to 1996.  Viewers learn about many of the most important figures that made Country music what it is today (E.g. Little Jimmie Dickens, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Earl Sruggs and Lester Flatt, Charlie Pirde, Johnny cash, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, etc.).  That is just one part of the interest, too.  Along with learning about those and other important figures, the documentary also points out why they were so pivotal to the evolution of country music. Audiences learn early on, the African roots of country and bluegrass through a discussion on the banjo. By connection, the discussion on Flatt & Scruggs reveals how Earl Scruggs’ banjo playing played into the evolution of banjo playing.  On another note, viewers learn that Jimmie Rodgers was the first country musician to develop the so-called blue yodel, and the impact that had on early country and western music.  Viewers learn of Hank Williams, his songs were written from his own personal experiences, making them so much more relatable to audiences.  That is why they are timeless works to this very day.  As if all of that is not enough, viewers learn about Bob Wills’ coupling of jazz and country to create what would go on to be called Texas Swing.  That genre would go on over time, according to the documentary, to become a standard country music subgenre from that point on.  There was also the contribution that acts, such as Kris Kristofferson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band made to the continued evolution of Country music during the 1960s.  They, along with the likes of Bob Dylan helped bridge folk rock and country, continuing the evolution of Country music as an art form.  Everything noted here is just a snapshot of all of the important history that is shared over the course of Country Music’s presentation.  There is far more for audiences to take in throughout the documentary that will also inform, engage and educate.  Audiences can learn for themselves just how much more is offered when they purchase this program for themselves.  The history and education offered through the documentary’s primary content is but one part of what makes the doc in whole so appealing.  The bonus content that is featured on each of the set’s eight discs adds its own appeal to the program.

The bonus content featured throughout the course of Country Music adds its own share of education and entertainment.  Riannon Giddens (ex-Carolina Chocolate Drops) discusses in one of the many bonuses included in the set, overcoming stereotypes and racial biases.  She also discusses the combination of various country and bluegrass styles that are prevalent in North Carolina.  In another of the many interesting bonus discussions featured in the program’s presentation, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member John McEuen takes to discussing music theory at one point, comparing the composition style of Johann Sebastian Bach to a distinct style of picking on the banjo.  How’s that for a comparison?  That in itself shows even more the legitimacy of Country music.  Charlie Daniels offers his own music theory discussion as he talks about how he came up with the musical and lyrical presentation of his hit song ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia.’  That discussion proves rather enlightening in its own right.  In another example of the importance of the bonus content featured in this set, Mel Tillis, yet another Country music legend, joins Kenny Rogers (yet another Country music legend) to talk about the creation of the song ‘Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town.’  Alice Randall adds her own comments to the discussion, noting its place in the bigger picture of patriotic and protest songs during the 1960s.  It is just one more key discussion that is featured in the whole of Country Music.  There are far more bonuses than available time and space to discuss.  Keeping that in mind, that content and the content discussed here collectively shows with ease, the role that the set’s bonus content plays to its presentation.  When that collective content is considered along with the breadth and depth of the set’s primary content, the whole of all of that content makes the set’s overall presentation such that, again, is a very far-reaching work and will appeal to a wide range of viewers.

The combined primary and secondary content that makes up the body of Country Music goes a long way toward making this recently released collection appealing to audiences.  For all that it does to make the set so appealing, it is collectively just one part of what makes the set a positive work.  The set’s packaging plays its own important part to the collection’s whole.  Audiences will note that the eight discs that make up the set’s whole are spread across two separate boxes, four to a box.  The discs are placed on their own spot within their respective cases, protecting the discs from marring one another and themselves.  That approach also serves to save space on audiences’ DVD and BD racks.  That is even despite the use of two separate cases to hold the discs.

Adding to the interest of the packaging is that the back of each case features an in-depth summary for each episode.  That element, though mainly aesthetic, does a lot to add to the set’s appeal because it allows viewers to much more easily choose which disc they want to play.  That means not having to put in the disc and search through each disc to find out the subject of each episode.  Those responsible for the addition of this element are to be highly commended for their efforts.  When this is considered along with the more “mechanical” aspect of the packaging, the whole of the packaging becomes that much more integral to the whole of Country Music’s presentation.  When it is considered along with the set’s overall content, all elements considered make even more clear why this presentation is so impressive.  All things considered, they make clear that Country Music is one of 2019’s top new documentaries and DVD/BD box sets.  It should be noted that there is some foul language used at points, so while it is mostly family friendly, there is some not so family friendly content.  To that end, the set will go to critics’ lists of the top new grown-up DVD and BD box sets.  Other than that one aspect, there are no other negatives to the whole of Country Music.

Country Music, the latest documentary from Director Ken Burns and Florentine Films, is one of this year’s top new documentaries and top new box sets for grown-ups.  That is due in part to the combined primary and secondary content that makes up the body of the set.  The set’s packaging plays its own important part to the whole of the box.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of Country Music.  All things considered, they make this set a presentation that will appeal widely to audiophiles in general just as much as it will to the most devoted country music aficionados.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from PBS Distribution is available at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbsdistribution.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSDistribution.org

 

 

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Arrow Video’s ‘Robocop’ Director’s Cut Re-issue Adds Greatly To The Movie’s Legacy

Courtesy: Arrow Video

Fans of Orion Pictures’ classic science fiction action flick Robocop will get a special treat early next year with the release of the Director’s Cut of the movie on Blu-ray.  Scheduled for release on Feb. 11 through Arrow Video, this latest re-issue of the 1987 classic is a presentation that will appeal to the movie’s most devoted audiences.  That is due in large part to the bonus content featured this time out.  It will be addressed shortly.  The general presentation of the movie adds to that appeal and will be addressed a little later.  The movie’s average price point is money well spent by the noted audiences.  It will be addressed later, too.  Each item noted is crucial in its own way to the whole of Robocop: Director’s Cut.  All things considered, they make this latest presentation of Robocop a must have for the noted audiences.

Arrow Video’s forthcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Robocop is the best treatment of the classic sci-fi action flick to have seen the light of day so far.  It is a presentation that will appeal easily to the movie’s most devoted audiences.  That is due in no small part to the re-issue’s collective bonus content.  Featured in this release are a series of new bonuses focused on the movie’s soundtrack, its creation, the preservation of its props and its cinematography (and other new bonuses) along with archived extras, such as an Easter egg presentation about Director Paul Verhoeven’s appearance in the movie, deleted scenes and more.  The new bonus features give audiences much to appreciate in their own right.  Audiences learn in the new bonus “Creating Robocop” a lot of new information.  One of the most intriguing tidbits that audiences learn through this feature, which finds the movie’s co-writer Michael Miner discussing the movie’s creation, is that the movie originally received an “X” rating from the MPAA.  That was largely because of the excessive blood, gore and violence.  Miner explains that he and the movie’s other creative heads had to make a lot of changes just to get the movie down to an “R” rating.  That would explain the reasoning for presenting this Director’s Cut.  It gives audiences Robocop in its original, unedited format.  Miner also discusses during his feature, the plot elements incorporated into the script, such as predatory capitalism, workers’ unions and the sociological aspect of the story.  As if that is not enough, he also reveals that if not for director Paul Verhoeven’s wife, the movie might never have even become a reality.  That will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.

The discussion on the movie’s soundtrack, another new addition to this release, finds a variety of figures discussing the attention that composer Basil Poledouris gave to the movie’s soundtrack.  Audiences learn that Poledouris went to painstaking efforts to make sure that the movie’s orchestral composition worked not just as an extra to the story, but as part of the story. It is explained that he made sure the music would rise and fall precisely with the story’s action right down to the second.  The respect shown to Poledouris for his work on the movie’s soundtrack, coupled with the explanations of the time and effort put in to the soundtrack’s creation gives audiences a whole new appreciation for this aspect of the movie.

The discussion by Robocop “super-fan” Julien Dumont on his reasoning for collection adds its own share of interest in that it is not just another profile of a movie’s super-fan.  Dumont points out in his interview that he collected the props not just from Robocop, but its sequels, too, and that he collected them not for himself, but to preserve the legacy of those who took part in the trilogy’s creation.  He even points out that some of the items he has collected reside today, in a cinema museum in France for everyone to see.  That is proof positive that he is not just a super-fan.  Rather, it shows that he is a super-fan who wants to share his love of the Robocop trilogy with everyone.  That shows a real love and respect for the work put in by those responsible for the creation of Robocop and its sequels.  He even has the script from Robocop, and points out the final scene that is presented in the final product is not the original ending.  The original ending is actually featured as one of the deleted scenes, which are also featured in this release.

The original final scene of Robocop actually finds Murphy’s partner, Officer Lewis, recovering from her wounds in a hospital bed, being interviewed by the press.  That scene cuts to the news anchors who are used throughout the movie, offering support to law enforcement.  It’s just one of the deleted scenes featured with the movie’s re-issue.  It adds a new touch to the movie’s presentation.  When the deleted scenes, which are previously released, are coupled with the rest of the movie’s new and archived extras, the whole of the bonus content makes this re-issue more than worth the money paid for the presentation.  That item – the re-issue’s price point – will be addressed later.  Before touching on that item, the actual presentation in the Director’s Cut of Robocop will be addressed.

As noted previously, audiences learn through one of the new bonus features included with the re-issue, Robocop actually received an “X” rating because of its blood and gore.  One of the deleted scenes shows there was actually some female nudity, too.  One scene was one of the media breaks, this time featuring two topless women making pizza in an advertisement, and the host even taking advantage of both women.  That scene obviously is not in the final cut, but the blood and gore incorporated into the original cut is here, complete with Murphy’s hand being shot off, a bullet being shot through his head in the “torture killing” scene.  There is also a scene with one person being run over and killed late in the movie, as well as lots more blood, gore and violence.  Simply put, the presentation of Robocop that audiences get here is the original vision for the movie.  That means audiences get in this cut, Robocop as it was originally meant to be seen, explicit content and all.  Keeping that in mind along with the expansive bonus content featured with the re-issue, the collection of all that content gives audiences that much more to appreciate.

The collective primary and secondary content featured in the forthcoming Director’s Cut of Robocop goes a long way toward making this latest re-issue of Robocop a positive addition to the home library of any of the movie’s fans.  Keeping in mind how much content the Director’s Cut of the movie offers the noted audiences, it makes the presentation’s average price point relatively affordable.

The average price point of Robocop: Director’s Cut is $31.75.  That price was obtained by averaging prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Books-A-Million.  It was not listed at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at the time of this review’s posting.  The least expensive of the listings — $26.42 – was at Amazon and Walmart while the most expensive listing was at Books-A-Million.  That retailer’s price listing for the product was $49.95. Best Buy and Target each listed the movie’s Director’s Cut at $27.99.  While Best Buy and Target might not have had the lowest of the price listing, they still came in below the average price range.  Books-A-Million’s price listing proved to be the only listing the topped that number.  To that end, separate listings of less than $30 and an average listing of just over $30 is still relatively affordable and money well spent by those who are true devotees of Robocop.  Keeping this in mind, the average price point of Robocop: Director’s Cut proves to be its own positive within the bigger picture of the re-issue’s presentation.  To that end, that price point and content come together to make the whole of this re-issue a positive for any longtime fan of Robocop.

Arrow Video’s forthcoming Director’s Cut reissue of Robocop is a presentation that succeeds greatly in its effort to entertain the most devoted fans of this classic action flick.  That is due in large part to the bonus content featured with the movie.  Between the new content and the archived interviews and other items, the expansive bonus content offers audiences much to appreciate.  The content is also available on the standard Blu-ray re-issue that was released Nov. 26, also through Arrow Video.  The full, unedited cut of the movie, which is far more explicit in its content than the theatrical version adds to the appeal for the noted audiences.  That collective primary and secondary content comes together to make the movie’s average price point, which is in itself affordable, that much more appealing to audiences.  Each item noted here is important to the whole of Robocop: Director’s Cut.  All things considered, they make the movie’s presentation a strong new offering from Arrow Video that will certainly appeal to plenty of Robocop fans.  Robocop: Director’s Cut is scheduled for release on Feb. 11, 2020 through Arrow Video.  More information on this and other titles from Arrow Video is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.arrowfilms.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

 

 

 

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Clutch Debuts ‘Fortunate Son’ Cover Video

Courtesy: New Ocean Media/Weathermaker Records

Clutch debuted the video Thursday for its cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s timeless song ‘Fortunate Son.’

The video’s debut came alongside the band’s release of the song as part of Weathermarker Records’ “Weathermaker Vault Series.”  Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster talked about the band’s cover of the song in a recent interview.

“Growing up, it was hard not to hear CCR’s ‘Fortunate Son’ on the radio, on TV or even at the county fair,” he said.  “The groovy backbeat and the sloshy hi hats that introduces John Fogerty’s timeless lyrics written so many years ago could be found everywhere.  While it may be true to say that ‘Fortunate Son’ could be seen as a political song, we think it’s bigger than that.  For us, ‘Fortunate Son’ is an inspirational song.  Fro that reason, we’d like to dedicate the song to the most inspirational person we’ve ever had in our lives, our late manager Jack Flanagan.  Jack Flanagan was no fortunate son.  He worked tirelessly and passionately all the while keeping a razor sharp sense of humor until his last days.  Thank you, Jack, for making us better than we ever thought we could be.”

Clutch pays tribute to Flanagan in its video, with a picture of the band’s late manager with the band members in the video’s final moments.

Clutch is preparing to return to the road in support of its latest album Book of Bad Decisions on Dec. 2 in Wiesbaden, Germany.  The band’s  upcoming European tour runs through Dec. 20 in Nottingham, Great Britain.  Tickets for the band’s European shows are available here.

Following that run, the band will take some time off to rest and recharge before returning to North America for a short run of dates, including an already sold out date Dec. 28 in Asheville, NC.

Tickets for the band’s North American dates are available here.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

2 Dec (Mon) – Wiesbaden, GER @ Kulturzentrum Schlachthof
3 Dec (Tue) – Oberhausen, GER @ Turbinenhalle
5 Dec (Thu) – Bremen, GER @ Aladin Music Hall
6 Dec (Fri) – Nuremberg, GER @ Löwensaal
*7 Dec (Sat) – Strasbourg, FRA @ La Laiterie
8 Dec (Sun) – Villeurbanne, FRA @ Transbordeur
10 Dec (Tue) – Barcelona, ESP @ Sala Apolo
*11 Dec (Wed) – Madrid, ESP @ Sala But
13 Dec (Fri) – Madrid, ESP @ Sala But
14 Dec (Sat) – Bilbao, ESP @ Santana 27
15 Dec (Sun) – Bordeaux, FRA @ Le Rocher de Palmer
17 Dec (Tue) – Southampton, GBR @ O2 Guildhall
18 Dec (Wed) – London, GBR @ Roundhouse
19 Dec (Thu) – Leeds, GBR @ O2 Academy
*20 Dec (Fri) – Nottingham, GBR @ Rock City
27 Dec (Fri) – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
*28 Dec (Sat) – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
29 Dec (Sun) – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
30 Dec (Mon) – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
31 Dec (Tue) – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
*Sold out

More information on Clutch’s upcoming tour dates, video and more is available online now at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/clutchofficial

 

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PBS Distribution To Release New ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ DVD Tuesday

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution will release another new collection of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes Tuesday.

Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes is scheduled for release Tuesday on DVD and online.  The DVD features 142 minutes of episodes that focus on making mistakes and learning from those mistakes.  World famous pianist Andre Watts joins Mister Rogers in one of those episodes, with the pair talking about practicing and learning from mistakes.

Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes will retail for MSRP of $9.99.  More information on this and other titles from PBS Distribution is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbsdistribution.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSDistribution.org

 

More information on this and other titles from the Fred Rogers Company is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://fredrogers.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FredRogersPro

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.