‘Live In Maui’ Is An Essential Experience For Any Jimi Hendrix Fan

Courtesy: Sony/Legacy Recordings/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC released another important chapter to the story of Jimi Hendrix’s life and career Friday.  The “chapter” came in the form of the new live recording/documentary Live in Maui.  The brand new release is a presentation that every Hendrix aficionados.  The liner notes that accompany the hybrid recording forms the package’s foundation and will be discussed shortly.  After having read through the extensive liner notes in the set’s companion booklet, audiences will then remain engaged and entertained by the set’s two live performances by Hendrix and company, as well as the fiasco that was the Rainbow Bridge documentary.  The two elements together make the presentation in whole, and unforgettable story on what would sadly become the last chapter of Hendrix’s life.  The three-disc set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the collection’s primary and secondary content, the whole becomes a must have for any Jimi Hendrix fan.

On July 30, 1970, legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix and his fellow musicians Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox played what would be one of the group’s final performances together.  Only days after the intimate concert, Hendrix would die of a drug overdose.  Now thanks to Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC, audiences can experience the ill-fated concert any time they want on Blu-ray and CD in the form of Live in Maui.  Released Friday, the three-disc set is an important chapter in the story of Hendrix’s life and career in part because of the story behind the concert and the documentary that spawned the concert, Rainbow Bridge.  That story is told through liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet, which were crafted separately by journalists Jeff Slate and John McDermott.  Slate points out in his portion of the liner notes, a variety of interesting facts about the documentary that Hendrix was not initially on board for the documentary, which his manager Michael Jeffrey had bankrolled, in large part on Hendrix’s back.  It points out that in order to pay for the creation of Rainbow Bridge, Jeffrey had gotten a $1 million advance from Reprise Records – Hendrix’s label at the time – to pay for the creation of Rainbow Bridge, and that half of that amount was taken against potential future royalties from sales of the next album that Hendrix was working on at the time.  That is rather selfish of Jeffrey to have done that to Hendrix,  let alone trying to get Hendrix and his band mates on board for the documentary even though they already had a packed schedule.  This is just a part of what makes this set’s liner notes so important.  Slate’s revelation that few if any preparations were made for Hendrix and company ahead of their performance — a rickety stage, microphones that were unable to handle the sound impacts of high winds, and sound problems that are audible and visible in the final recording – shows how short-sighted Jeffrey was in his attempt at an art style production.  Viewers will note from Slate’s statements that the foam covering the mics was in fact from the band’s equipment cases, and was meant to muffle the sound of the strong winds that were blowing that day.  There are also issues with sound syncing throughout the performance, which Slate also addresses in his liner notes.  It reminds audiences that the production problems seen and heard in the concert are not the fault of anyone at Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC, but rather of those who were behind the creation of Rainbow Bridge and the associated two-set concert.

McDermott, in his notes, backs up Slate’s writing about the production problems that faced Hendrix and his band mates, but pointing out that the trio took the whole thing in stride, performing just as professionally as it would at any other concert.  Additionally, McDermott takes time to point out why the concert’s order was presented as was.  As a hint, that is also related to the production problems caused by those behind Rainbow Bridge’s creation and that of the concert.  Keeping in mind this, everything pointed out in Slate’s notes and even more not mentioned here, the liner notes featured with Live in Maui form a strong foundation for the recording’s presentation.  It is just one aspect of what make the recording so appealing.  The two sets that make up the recording’s featured concert build on that foundation, making for even more enjoyment and engagement.

The two sets that are featured in Live in Maui are important both for their content and their presentation.  As is noted in the recording’s liner notes, the set opens with what was then one of Hendrix’s newest songs, ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun).’  From there, the concert went into a series of fan favorites, such as ‘Hear My Train A-Comin’,’ ‘Foxey Lady’ and ‘Purple Haze’ before presenting another new song, ‘Spanish Castle Magic.’  That then new song is followed by another new tune, ‘Lover Man,’ which is itself followed by the first set’s closer, ‘Message to Love.’  In simple terms, Hendrix and company presented the audience with a well-balanced set featuring some familiar content and something new from beginning to end in this case.  The second set gives listeners a fair share of familiar songs, too, again, doing its own part to ensure audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  The two sets clearly entertained the audience who attended the event.  The intimate audience, who had originally taken part in the filming of Rainbow Bridge danced nonstop to the performance.

While the featured set lists do plenty to keep audiences engaged, it should also be noted that the editing used in the recording is impressive in its own right.  That is because, as noted in the liner notes, the whole concert was not recorded by cameras during the shoot for Rainbow Bridge.  There are plenty of points at which cameras apparently stopped rolling.  It is at those points at which the post production came into play.  That aspect was also discussed in the liner notes.  The painstaking efforts that were taken to assemble the concert’s audio in post paid off, as the transitions are seamless.  The result of those efforts is a full concert recording that even without full visual footage still proves so enjoyable.  To that end, the combination of the previously unreleased concert footage and audio proves just as enjoyable as the liner notes that accompany the concert and its associated documentary.  These two elements together just make up one part of what makes the recording so appealing.  The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements.

The packaging used for Live in Maui is important to note through the placement of its three discs.  This set’s packaging is not the standard multi-disc presentation.  Rather than using a familiar gatefold style packaging for the 2CD/BD set, it opens more like a box, with the cover section opening downward, the another portion opening up, and the final two portions opening left and right.  The companion booklet is held in the middle of it all while the CDs and Blu-ray disc each sit in their own spot in the gatefolds.  It is an original packaging style to say the very least that also manages to protect each disc.  The only downside to the packaging style is that it can put undue stress on the package, leading to the potential of each “wing” tearing over time.  Even with that in mind, if a person is careful enough with the packaging, that wear should be minimal over time.  To that end, the packaging is more of an aesthetic element here, but is still important to note in its own right.  When it is considered along with the liner notes and the concert footage itself, the whole of the recording proves that much more engaging and entertaining.  All things considered, this rare live/documentary hybrid set proves to be a welcome addition to the library of any Jimi Hendrix fan.

Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix recording Live in Maui is an important chapter of Jimi Hendrix’s life and career that until now has been unreleased.  Now thanks to the companies, it is out there for fans to experience.  The liner notes that fill the companion booklet tell a rich story in this chapter.  They set the stage for the previously unreleased live recording featured in this set.  The packaging that is used to house the set’s two discs and one Blu-ray puts the finishing touch to the set with is aesthetic value.  And of course for those who want, the much maligned documentary Rainbow Bridge is also included on the Blu-ray.  Though knowing the story, it will make some not even want to watch the program.  Regardless, its inclusion in the set along with the concert footage and liner notes, makes the set in whole a must have for any Jimi Hendrix fan and any classic rock fan.  It is available now.

More information on Music, Money, MadnessLive in Maui and other Jimi Hendrix releases is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.jimihendrix.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/JimiHendrix

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Film Movement’s ‘I Am A Dancer’ Re-issue Will Appeal To The Most Devoted Ballet Fans

Courtesy: Film Movement

Independent film studio Film Movement resurrected the vintage documentary I Am A Dancer this year.  Re-issued on Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 22, the 92 minute (on hour, 32-minute) documentary is an interesting but imperfect presentation.  Its profile of legendary ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev serves as an appealing introduction to the fame figure.  At the same time, the approach to the profile in question is such that audiences will find it problematic.  This will be addressed a little later.  The documentary’s average price point makes for its own appeal.  When it is considered with the documentary’s primary presentation, the two elements join to make the presentation such that ballet aficionados will find the vintage documentary worth watching at least occasionally.

I Am A Dancer is a work that will appeal primarily to the most devoted ballet aficionados.  That is because the vintage documentary, re-issued in September by Film Movement, give those audiences a glimpse into the man who is among the most elite figures in the ballet world.  It offers this glimpse through footage of Nureyev at work in the dance studio.  Audiences get to see Nureyev’s dedication to his art and his versatility, working on classical and modern dance styles.  Along the way, audiences are also treated to some insight from those who were close to Nureyev as to who he was.  One dancer noted in her audio commentary, that Nureyev allegedly was known for having mood swings, but even with that, was still a respected figure because he was still mostly happy.  Audiences also learn from the narration about the circumstances of Nureyev’s birth and his familiarity with traveling and working.  There are also insights into the featured performance segments in the narration, which will help keep the noted audiences engaged and entertained.  Audiences even get to see Nureyev in the dressing room as he prepares to perform.  It continues to show the man at work in all of his focus.  Between everything noted here and more, it becomes clear that the primary presentation of I Am A Dancer is certain to engage and entertain the noted audiences.

For all that the primary presentation does to help this vintage documentary’s presentation, the execution thereof is something that the noted audiences will agree is somewhat problematic.  That is because what audiences get here is, as noted, more a glimpse than a full profile of the legendary dancer.  Yes, audiences are treated to some in-depth clips  of Nureyev at work on stage and screen, and in the rehearsal room, but the problem is that it is mostly that.  Yes, the insight about his birth is there, but even the bonus content that is featured with this re-issue does not necessarily add much to the whole.  So again, what audiences get is just something brief, in the bigger picture.  It’s not a full profile outlining the roots of Nureyev’s career.  At the most, viewers get fleeting mentions of those roots.  Whether one is a ballet aficionado or just an observer, one cannot deny that this detracts from the presentation.  Without that extra content, this whole really just come across as a simple look at the legend at work more than a full profile of a legend.

Keeping in mind the primary content featured in this vintage documentary and the presentation thereof, the documentary’s average price point makes it at least somewhat more appealing for viewers.  Using listings featured at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – it was not listed through Target and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s posting – the presentation’s average price point comes to $23.97 on Blu-ray and $17.30 on DVD.  In other words, the prior comes in at less than $25 while the latter totals less than $20.  Amazon provided the least expensive listing for each platform at $14.00 (Blu-ray) and $14.95 (DVD) while Walmart claims the most expensive listing for each platform at $29.95 (BD) and $19.95 (DVD).  Simply put, at its least expensive, the set barely touches the $15 mark and at its most expensive comes in at $30.  That the noted audiences can get the documentary at that noted low price makes for its own appeal, especially considering everything else addressed here.  All things considered, I Am A Dancer proves to be a work that is worth watching at least once at the lowest price.

Film Movement’s recently re-issued presentation of the vintage documentary I Am A Dancer is an intriguing presentation.  It gives a good glimpse into the man who was the legendary dancer Rudolph Nureyev.  While it serves as a good starting point on a look into his legacy, the way in which it was presented proves somewhat problematic.  It detracts, to a point, from the overall presentation.  Keeping all of that in mind, the documentary’s average price point makes for at least some more appeal.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this documentary’s re-issue.  All things considered, it proves itself worth at least the occasional watch. 

More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available at:

Websitehttp://www.filmmovement.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FilmMovement

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Film_Movement

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‘Star Trek: Picard’ Falls Short Of Expectations In Its Debut Season

Courtesy: Paramount/CBS/CBS All Access/CBS DVD

CBS All Access’ latest entry in the ever-expanding Star Trek universe, Picard is another disappointment in the “new generation” of Star Trek series, next to Discovery.  The 10-episode debut season of Picard gives audiences little reason to remain engaged or even entertained in its writing and acting.  That is not to say that this season is a complete failure.  It is saved at least in part by its special effects and the packaging of its home release.  Other than those aesthetic elements, there is really no other reason for viewers to even try out this attempt to resurrect the TNG era of Star Trek.

The debut season of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard is a rough first outing for the show.  It is not a complete failure, though.  It does have at least a couple of positives, one of which is its special effects.  Technology has come a long way in terms of the use of special effects, and they were used quite well throughout the course of Picard’s debut season.  Audiences will marvel at the upgrades made to the Borg cube that was so badly damaged in an epic battle with the Enterprise back in the days of TNG.  In a similar vein, the effects that were used to create the home world of the “synths” and the Federation headquarters is just as impressive.  The space battles that took place were just as  enjoyable to watch, even though they looked more like something out of Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5.  The effects that were used to create the early destruction of the Mars shipyards is worth acknowledging, too.  Those sequences are pretty brutal, even though again, one can’t help but think of BSG in this case, too.  Simply put, the special effects that were presented throughout the course of Picard’s debut (and hopefully only) season give viewers at least something to appreciate here.  Going back again to the mention of the BSG comparison, that item is just one of many that brings about the season’s one major detractor, its writing.

The writing that is featured in the first season of Picard is problematic to say the very least.  The whole thing starts off as essentially a “sequel” of sorts to Star Trek: Nemesis, the finale to The Next Generation’s cinematic universe.  That 2002 movie was the lowest point for the TNG franchise at the time, but Jean Luc’s desire to find Data’s consciousness here is just cheesy to say the very least.  The real Jean Luc-Picard did mourn for Data in Nemesis, but he ultimately would have accepted Data’s passing.  So to have this story open like this makes suspension of disbelief difficult to say the least.  From there, audiences are presented with the all too familiar topic of whether artificial intelligence can become fully sentient.  It is a topic that became central to TNG, but was addressed far before Star Trek was a thing, thus the reference to Isaac Asimov throughout this season.  It has been used and used again so many times throughout the sci-fi world that it has become little more than a trope.  The over-the-top preachiness that ensues in regards to the Romulans’ blind hatred of synths is yet another echo of something that has been addressed so many times in other movies and television shows that preceeded Picard.  To that end, it makes the topic that much more unengaging. 

Of course for all of the negative in the show’s writing, it does have some positives.  One positive element of the writing comes in Jean Luc’s revelation about the Borg being “victims, not monsters” as he visits the Borg cube in which he himself became a Borg in TNG.  He realizes that the Borg were in fact real, living beings who were transformed by the sentience.  That is a direct connection to the bigger discussion on the synths’ place in the universe, but is still far less preachy than the other noted talk.  Considering that the story line in Star Trek Discovery states the Federation essentially made the Borg when it created “Control,” Picard’s statement holds even more water so to speak.

Staying on the topic of Jean Luc’s revelations, his comment early on that the Federation does not decide which society survives is powerful in itself.  It echoes back to Luke Skywalker’s disillusionment with the Jedi order in the Star Wars universe.  The Federation’s Prime Directive was to not get involved directly in any society, so for his fellow Admiral to declare the Federation does hold that power makes Jean Luc a more sympathetic character.  It shows that there is at least a little bit of positive to the writing.  Sadly though, other than these revelations, most of the writing still poses its share of problems.  There is so much exposition and waxing philosophical throughout the season that the show’s pacing starts to suffer many times.  It isn’t the lighter but direct writing that audiences enjoyed in the “old days” of Star Trek.  Audiences are even made to endure an extensive discussion on mortality in the season finale (not to give away too much) that is way heavy. 

As if everything noted was not enough, the blatant foul language and often gory content written into the scripts detracts from the writing even more.  TOS, TNG, DSN, Voyager, and Enterprise did not need violence and foul language in order to work.  To that end, why did the show’s creative heads think these elements were so necessary in this case?  It leaves one shaking one’s head in disbelief that much more.

Simply put, the writing detracts from the presentation of Picard: Season One noticeably.  That is even with its rare positives.  While the writing does considerable damage to this season’s presentation, there is at least one more positive for audiences.  It is the packaging of the season’s home release.

Audiences will note that Season One’s packaging actually is its own positive.  The set’s three discs sit on their own “plate” inside the box.  This protects them from being damaged in any form.  Brief but concise episode summaries are also printed on the inside of the set’s cover art.  This is where things get a little bit problematic.  Due to being printed on the inside of the case’s art, some of the summaries are partially covered by the package’s “bones.”  This leads to the need to shift the box so that they can be better read.  Even doing that is problematic because even in doing that, there is still some difficulty in reading said summaries.  Thankfully it doesn’t happen with all of the summaries.  To that end, the inclusion of the summaries is still mostly positive in its own fashion.  When all of this noted packaging presentation is considered along with the show’s special effects, the show’s presentation proves to have at least something to appreciate

The debut season of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard is a rough start for this series.  It does not give audiences much to appreciate.  Rather, it comes across more as a cash grab attempt by someone to get fans of The Next Generation to welcome the “new age” of Star Trek.  That is evidenced in large part through the season’s central story and writing.  The writing comes across as some kind of attempt by the  show’s creative heads to see if they could make up for the failure that was Nemesis while also rehashing the far too familiar topic of artificial intelligence and the potential results of said intelligence becoming sentient.  It all feels so forced.  To the show’s defense, there are at least a couple of positives to the writing, but they are just not enough to make this season memorable.  The only real positives to this season are its special effects and the packaging of its home release.  Even as much as they do to help the season’s presentation, they just are not enough to save Season One.  Ultimately, one can only hope that considering all of the problems posed throughout the season, the now confirmed second season will be anything but the failure that is Season One.

More information on Star Trek: Picard is available along with all of CBS All Access’ latest news at:

Website: http://www.cbs.com/allaccess

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cbs

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

CMG Announces Release Date, Specs For Fourth Buster Keaton Collection

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group will release its fourth collection of Buster Keaton films next month.

The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4 is scheduled for release Dec. 8 on Blu-ray and DVD. Its release will come more than a year after the release of the ongoing series’ first three volumes. This two-movie collection will feature Keaton’s 1925 movie Go West and its 1927 follow-up, the timeless movie College.

Keaton plays the role of “Friendless” in Go West. Feeling the desire to explore the country, Friendless heads west to find his destiny. The comedy finds Friendless having a hard time adjusting to the life of the cowboy/ranch hand, but he ends up becoming a hero when a bunch of steer is accidentally unleashed on Los Angeles.

College finds Keaton playing the part of Ronald. Ronald follows his romantic interest Mary to a university whose student body is made up largely of athletes, who Mary prefers more than bookworm types, such as Ronald. The story reaches a dramatic moment, leading Ronald to become a hero in another way while also winning Mary’s heart.

The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume Four will retail for MSRP of $29.95 (Blu-ray) and $19.95 (DVD).

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.cohenmedia.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

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Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ 40th Anniversary Box Set Is A Great Tribute To A Great Album And Band

Courtesy: BMG/Sanctuary Records

Forty years ago Motorhead released what has gone on to become one of the most beloved records in the history of rock when it released Ace of Spades.  The timeless album got its own re-issue Friday thanks to officials at /Sanctuary Records in the form of the Ace of Spades Box Set.  This multi disc box set is a fitting tribute to the album and to the legacy of Motorhead.  That is proven in part through the expansive content featured in the box set.  It will be discussed shortly.  The box set’s packaging adds to the appeal of its presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the box set.  All things considered, the 40th anniversary presentation of Ace of Spades proves itself a fitting tribute to an important album and band.

BMG/Sanctuary Records’ newly released 40th anniversary celebration of Motorhead’s landmark album Ace of Spades is a fitting tribute to the album and band.  It is a presentation that the band’s most devoted audiences will welcome in their music libraries.  That is proven in part in its expansive content.  Audiences do not just get a standard CD re-issue here.  This set is a multi-disc vinyl collection that features the band’s album re-mastered along with two previously unavailable double live albums separate previously unreleased instrumentals and demos ad b-sides.  Between the live content, the b-sides, demos, instrumentals and the album, the total track count comes to 73.  Along with all of the musical content, audiences also get a bonus comic book, 40-page book that tells the story of Ace of Spade’s creation, “Ace of Spades Tour” booklet, and dice to go along with the board game featured in the packaging.  This aspect will be discussed shortly.  Adding to the appeal even more is that the collection also features a DVD loaded with a full live concert from 1981 and a series of live TV clips.  The live content on the live vinyls is impressive in its own right because on one hand its production is top notch.  On the other hand, the content is not limited to just Ace of Spades.  Rather, it features music that the band had composed up to and including that point. 

The DVD that comes with the box set is an impressive added accent in its own right to the presentation.  The editing between the talk show content and live content is smooth.  What’s more, the quality of the vintage footage is surprisingly appealing, too.  Considering that most of the footage was recorded in 1980 and 1981, it has clearly stood the test of time.  That in itself is sure to instill a certain sense of nostalgia among the band’s most devoted and longtime fans.  One of the most powerful moments in the presentation comes early in its nearly hour-long presentation as drummer Phil Taylor noted that being in the band was what kept him out of any trouble, and how honestly appreciative he was to be able to be part of the band.  The moment when the band is sitting down for an interview on a Swedish talk show is a great light hearted moment, too.  Audiences will laugh as Lemmy Kilmister talks about being fired from his first band and starting Motorhead literally three days later.  It’s one of those moments when one can only imagine what the rock world would have been like had Lemmy not parted ways with that first band.  It was one of those blessing in disguise moments, obviously.  That anecdote that he shares is just one of the wonderfully entertaining discussions that audiences get from that talk show.  Audiences will have even more to discover for themselves when they purchase this box set.  When the content on the Blu-ray is coupled with the material on the vinyls, that whole makes for so much for audiences to appreciate.  That goes without saying.  All of this is just part of what makes this box set a win for Motorhead fans.  The box’s very packaging adds even more to its presentation.

The packaging for the new Ace of Spades box set is so stand out in part because of how it contains everything.  The vinyls are essentially stacked inside their own unique “sleeves” inside the bigger case.  Essentially they are their own packaging as their own releases within the bigger box.  They are stacked one on top of another, but still protected with enough room to move around inside the box without danger of damage.  Fans will really appreciate this aspect of the packaging.  What’s more, it opens and closes easily and safely without concern about it coming open accidentally.

On another note, the packaging also doubles as a board game, complete with the previously noted dice.  So not only do audiences get lots of great music here, but they also get to play a game while taking in that great music at the same time.  Simply put, Ace of Spades’ 40th anniversary box set stands out just as much for its packaging as for its content.  Now keeping all of this in mind, there is one last element to examine, the pricing.

Ace of Spades 40th Anniversary box set is not an inexpensive set.  Using listings at Target, Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart, its average price point is $165.  It was not listed at Barnes & Noble Booksellers or at Books-A-Million.  That seems like a high price on the surface, but considering that the box contains the Ace of Spades album, two double live recordings, a DVD loaded with live content, a disc containing rarities and b-sides, another disc of previously unreleased instrumentals from the Ace of Spades sessions, a facsimile tour booklet, board game complete with dice, and a comic book, the price really adds up.  If audiences consider the average price of a full-length album, the price for a double live recording, and everything else, the pricing is about right.  To that end, yes, the average price point is high, but it is not over the top.  Amazon offers the lowest of the prices, at $149.82 while Best Buy’s listing of $179.99 is anything but the best buy here.  Target’s listing of $153.99 is the middle ground for this set.  Walmart has the second highest price at $174.98.  Regardless of which retailer audiences choose, the quantity and quality of the content makes the box set a welcome offering for Motorhead’s most devoted and longtime fans.  When this is considered along with the content and packaging, the whole shows that even more to be true.

BMG/Sanctuary Records’ new 40th Anniversary re-issue of Motorhead’s landmark album Ace of Spades is a standout among this year’s field of music re-issues.  That is proven in part through its expansive content, which will keep listeners engaged and entertained for a long time.  The box’s packaging builds on that appeal even more for many reasons.  The pricing for the box set rounds out its most important elements, as noted here.  Each item noted is important in itself to the set.  All things considered, this box set proves a must have for Motorhead’s most devoted and longtime fans.  The set is available now.  More information on the box set is available along with all  of the latest Motorhead news at:

Website: http://www.motorhead.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/myMotorhead

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

PBS Kids’ New ‘Arthur’ Special Is An Enjoyable Way To Get Into The Holiday Spirit

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids is doing its part to get families ready for Thanksgiving with a new Arthur special.  The network is scheduled to air An Arthur Thanksgiving Nov. 16 on PBS Kids.  That is a little more than two weeks from the day of this posting.  The almost hour-long holiday special is a mostly enjoyable new offering from the long-running animated series, though is not without at least one concern, which will be addressed a little later.  The concern in question is tied in to the special’s writing and the series’ as it relates to the series’ overall history.  Taking a step back, the story that is featured in the story makes for its own interest.  It will be discussed short.  The story’s pacing couples with the story to make for even more appeal.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the special.  All things considered, they make An Arthur Thanksgiving a special for while audiences will be thankful.

PBS Kids’ forthcoming Thanksgiving special An Arthur Thanksgiving is a mostly enjoyable new way for families to get into the holiday spirit.  That is due in part to its story.  The story in question is a two-pronged presentation that one side, follows Arthur’s search for his dog Pal.  Pal goes missing after Arthur puts him outside on a chain.  Pal is put out after Arthur’s dad accuses Pal of eating a plate of food that he (Arthur’s dad) prepared.  Not to give away too much here ahead of the special’s airing, the accusation stems from something that Arthur does, which results in a communication breakdown and Pal being put outside.  When Francine’s cat Nemo comes along to tease Pal, Pal gets off his leash and chases after the Nemo, leading Pal to get lost.  He tries to find his way back home and meets some new four-legged friends along the way, and shares a Thanksgiving meal with them so to speak.  In the midst of all of this, Arthur is searching for Pal while also preparing for the annual Elwood City Thanksgiving Parade.  When things go awry with the parade, the group ends up joining the search for Pal.  The search and the problems with the parade lead to a unique Thanksgiving dinner at the Read family home.  The story involving Pal and that involving Arthur’s preparation for the parade (and the problems that stem there from) are well-balanced throughout the approximately 56-minute special and is sure to entertain and engage audiences of all ages. 

For all that the story does to make the special so special, it is not without at least one fault.  That one fault comes from one specific element within the special’s story.  It involves the introduction (or rather re-introduction) of Arthur and D.W.’s aunt, Minnie.  Minnie reveals in a letter that she is coming to Elwood City for the family’s Thanksgiving.  When she does show up, she and Arthur apparently do not know one another.  This is shown as Arthur asks her who she is.  This is problematic because Minnie was involved in this special’s most recent predecessor, The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur, which aired in January of this year.  Arthur and D.W. travel to the Read family farm in Ohio in the noted special to celebrate a family member’s birthday, and Minnie shows up for that celebration, too.  Arthur and D.W. each met Minnie in that special, so to that end, having her a stranger to Arthur and D.W. in An Arthur Thanksgiving shows that someone either forgot about that special or they knew about it and it was just allowed to pass.  It is a minor issue with this element of the special’s overall story, but is still problematic in its own right.  Of course it is not such a detractor that it makes the special a failure.  On another note, Minnnie makes a revelation that means audiences may well see more from her in the series in the not too distant future.  That revelation will be left for audiences to learn for themselves.

The one plot hole that is evidenced in An Arthur Thanksgiving’s story cannot be ignored, but is not enough of an issue to make the special a failure.  The story’s pacing couples with the story itself to make it more appealing to audiences.  Considering the number of plot elements that are at work in the story and that it is a multi-faceted story, it would have been so easy for the special to get bogged down in itself.  The writers did not let that happen, luckily.  Audiences are able to follow everything happening without ever feeling left behind or even getting lost in everything.  To that end, the story will ensure even more that audiences remain engaged and entertained.  That is even with the one negative taken into account.  All things considered, An Arthur Thanksgiving proves itself another enjoyable way to get into the holiday spirit as Thanksgiving nears.

PBS Kids’ new Arthur special, An Arthur Thanksgiving is, overall, an enjoyable way for families to get into the holiday spirit as they count down the days to Thanksgiving.  That is proven in part through its multi-pronged story, which finds Arthur’s family and friends coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving in quite the unexpected way.  The story does feature one plot hole that audiences cannot ignore.  Even as noticeable as it is, it is not enough to make the special a failure.  The pacing of the special’s story couples with the story itself to make the special that much more of a success.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the special.  All things considered, An Arthur Thanksgiving proves itself a presentation for which audiences will be thankful.

More information on An Arthur Thanksgiving is available along with lots of Arthur printables, activities, games and more at:

Websitehttp://www.pbskids.org/arthur

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArthurPBS

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Audiences Of All Ages Will Enjoy JLCO’s New Musical Tribute To ‘Sesame Street’

Courtesy: Blue Engine Records

PBS and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis partnered last year to pay tribute to the beloved children’s series Sesame Street.  The concert, dubbed A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration was part of the ongoing celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary.  With any luck, audiences will eventually be able to own the concert in full on DVD and/or Blu-ray.  Unless or until that happens, audiences can enjoy the concert in an exclusive audio presentation thanks to Blue Engine Records.  The show’s set list is in itself more than enough reason to take in this performance.  It will be addressed shortly.  The performance thereof adds even more enjoyment to the concert and will be discussed a little later.  The concert’s production rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, the recording proves to be a presentation that audiences of all ages will enjoy, whether they are fans of jazz, Sesame Street or the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s new musical tribute to Sesame Street, which was clearly recorded prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is a wonderful presentation.  It is a work that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That is proven in part through the concert’s set list.  The 13-song set list plays out like a musical history lesson about Sesame Street.  That is because the featured songs are from the series’ formative years, going all the way back to 1969 – when the series debuted – and all the way up to 1989.  There is also one song from 2006 added in for good measure.  For the most part though, the song’s set list features songs that, like Rena Strober’s recently released album Imagine That, largely pays tribute to the work of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss.  Case in point are songs, such as the series’ theme song (Joe Raposo), ‘Rubber Duckie’ (Jeff Moss), ‘One Of These Things’ (Joe Raposo), ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon’ (Jeff Moss), ‘People in Your Neighborhood’ (Jeff Moss), ‘Believe in Yourself’ (Joe Raposo), and ‘Sing’ (Joe Raposo).  Simply put, more than half of the songs featured in this set list were crafted by the famed composers and songwriters.  The other featured songs were written and composed by others, so in reality, there is a clear tribute to the work of Raposo and Moss.  Whether that was intentional is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, the picture painted by this set is sure to appeal to plenty of audiences simply because it takes audiences back to Sesame Street’s golden age.  This is just one part of what makes this recording so enjoyable.  The performance of said set list adds even more enjoyment to the recording’s presentation.

The performance of the noted set list is so enjoyable because it is not just a bunch of song performances.  Big Bird, Elmo, Rosita, The Count, Grover, and other beloved Sesame Street characters take part in the performances, adding to their richness.  Sure, the introductory moment for each performance was scripted with some feeling a little bit forced, most of those introductory moments felt so natural.  Case in point was Grover’s introduction as Super Grover ahead of ‘Believe in Yourself.’  Audiences got to see him “fly” onto the stage before sharing a little dialogue with one member of the orchestra.  Grover’s presence and his dialogue with the noted musician is certain to leave audiences smiling and laughing.  The very performance of the song adds even more to the moment.

Another notable moment in which the performance shines is in that of ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon.’  Ever since its initial performance on television so many decades ago, the song has been a gentle lullaby.  Every time it has been covered, it has maintained that gentle tone, too.  In the case of its performance here though, it has a more upbeat yet controlled presence.  In other words, while it is not quite the lullaby style work that it has come to be known as over the years, that element is still there.  The balance of the old and new makes this moment one of the concert’s most notable highlights.

Yet another memorable moment that makes the concert’s overall performance so enjoyable comes early on in the performance of ‘Sing After Me.’ Abby Cadabra and Big Bird join the orchestra for this light hearted performance.   The chemistry between the Muppet performers and the musicians is so clear as Abby and Big Bird try to learn about scatting in their discussion with Marsalis.  The duo’s interaction with the audience throughout the song, as they get everyone to sing along makes for even more enjoyment.  It is just one more moment that shows the strength of the group’s performance of the set list.  When it is considered along with the rest of the enjoyable performance and the et list itself, the two items give audiences more than enough reason to take in this concert recording.  The set list and the performance thereof are only a portion of what makes this recording so enjoyable.  The production thereof puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The production of A SwinginSesame Street Celebration adds its own impact because it takes into account every audio aspect of the performance.  What’s more the visual aspect was also taken into account.  Those who watched the pre-taped performance got the best seat in the house, going high above the audience and up on stage with the group.  The camera transitions (fades in TV terminology) are smooth and well-paced.  They help give a full, rich picture.  The audio is just as well-balanced, especially considering the size of the concert hall.  Each performer (musician and puppeteer) was adequately mic’d up and equally well-balanced.  At the same time, the audience noise was just as audible without any element being too airy.  The result of all of the attention to detail in the production (both during and post) results in a presentation that is just as enjoyable for its audio and visual aspects as for its primary content.  All things considered, the  Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s SwinginSesame Street Celebration proves to be a fully enjoyable musical tribute from a great musical collective to an equally great television series.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s new concert recording A SwinginSesame Street Celebration is a completely enjoyable new live offering that the whole family will enjoy.  It is another great tribute to Sesame Street and its legacy.  That is proven in part through the concert’s featured set list.  The set list largely pays tribute to the work of Jeff Moss and Joe Raposo on the long-running series.  The performance thereof adds its own enjoyment and appeal to the presentation.  That is because the performance is more than just a bunch of songs.  There is actually more to the performance, as audiences will learn for themselves.  The production (during and post) puts the finishing touch to the recording.  That is proven as it sounds and looks wonderful.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this recording.  All things considered, the noted items make A SwinginSesame Street celebration one more of this  year’s top new live CDs and family music albums.  With any luck the folks at Sesame Workshop will eventually release it on DVD and Blu-ray so that audiences can get the full experience.

More information on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s A SwinginSesame Street Celebration concert is available along with all of the group’s news at:

Websitehttp://jazz.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenterorchestra

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jazzdotorg

More information on Sesame Street is available along with all of the series’ latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.sesamestreet.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameStreet

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesamestreet

More information on Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

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.

Arrow Video Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘Silent Running’ BD Re-Issue

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

Arrow Video is resurrecting Universal’s 1972 ecologically-minded science fiction flick Silent Running.

The company is scheduled to re-issue the movie Nov. 17 on Blu-ray. The movie stars Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, The Burbs, Nebraska) as lead character Freeman Lowell. Lowell is on a ship carrying some of the last forests from Earth and is told that the ship is to be destroyed and that he will return to Earth. He refuses to follow orders and takes matters into his own hands in order to protect the ship’s plant life, going to very even desperate measures in the process.

The forthcoming re-issue will feature a new 2K scan. Additionally, it will feature a variety of bonus features, such as a new feature length audio commentary from critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw, a new interview with music historian Jeff Bond about the movie’s soundtrack ,and collector’s booklet with new liner notes on the movie by Forshaw and Peter Tonguette.

The full listing of the re-issue’s bonus content is noted below.

Bonus Materials

— Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director Douglas Trumbull and produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release

— High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation

— Original lossless mono audio

— Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

— Brand new audio commentary by critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw

— Original audio commentary by Douglas Trumbull and actor Bruce Dern

— Isolated music and effects track

— No Turning Back, a new interview with film music historian Jeff Bond on the film’s score

— First Run, a new visual essay by writer and filmmaker Jon Spira exploring the evolution of Silent Running’s screenplay

— The Making of Silent Running, an archival 1972 on-set documentary

— Silent Running by Douglas Trumbull and Douglas Trumbull: Then and Now, two archival interviews with the film’s director

— A Conversation with Bruce Dern, an archival interview with the film’s lead actor

— Theatrical trailer

— Extensive behind-the-scenes gallery

— Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Arik Roper

— FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw and Peter Tonguette

Pre-orders are open for Silent Running.

More information on Arrow Video’s Silent Runnning re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks 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.

Audiences Will Find ‘The Trip To Greece’ A Cinematic Journey Worth Taking At Least Once

Courtesy: IFC Films

IFC Films’ final entry in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s The Trip To franchise – The Trip to Greece — is an intriguing end to the cinematic “series.”  It is a presentation that, like its predecessors, audiences will either like or not.  Viewers who are not already fans of British drama and comedy will not find themselves coming into the fold through this movie.  The opposite applies for those who are fans of said brand of entertainment.  Regardless of which side one takes on this franchise, its stars, and British movies and television, everyone will agree that this last entry to the noted franchise is worth watching at least once.  That is thanks in part to the movie’s story.  This will be addressed shortly.  While the story proves itself a point of interest, it does create one notable concern, that being the issue of pacing.  This will be addressed a little later.  For all of the concern that the story’s pacing causes, the cinematography that is featured throughout keeps the story at least somewhat engaging.  This will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Trip To Greece a slightly enjoyable new cinematic trip.

The Trip to Greece is an interesting finale for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s globe hopping docu-dramedy “The Trip To…” franchise.  While not a perfect ending to the franchise, it is worth watching at least once.  That is due in part to its unique story.  The story that is presented here is actually a two-part work that is one part drama and one part comedy.  On one side, audiences follow Coogan and Brydon doing comic impersonations of their fellow actors (famed names, such as Sean Connery, Michael Kane, and Dustin Hoffman just to name a few) as they follow the journey of the legendary mythical warrior Odysseus.  Just as a little back story, Odysseus’ story is that of his journey from a far-off land in an effort to return to his family.  It is a very dramatic epic story.  Throughout the course of Coogan and Brydon’s retracing of Odysseus’ journey, they meet “sirens” and deal with other figures along the way.

The comic factor of the duo’s story is just one aspect that is important to note.  Along the way, audiences also see a more personal story for each, what with Brydon dealing with his wife’s illness while being away from her and his family and Coogan getting updates on the health of his own father from his son.  This is where the interest really sets in.  The emotion that Brydon and Coogan feel as they face those personal matters is a mirror of sorts to Odysseus’ journey and his desire to be home with his family in his story.  That duality forms a firm foundation for the movie, and reason enough to give the movie a chance.  Of course for all that the story does to make the movie interesting, the pacing thereof proves problematic.

The Trip to Greece clocks in at one hour, 43-minutes.  However, even coming in at just under two hours, the story’s pacing makes it feel like it is nearly two-and-a-half-hours.  Maybe it is because of all of the small-talk.  Maybe it is the travel scenes.  Maybe it is something else or everything combined.  Either way, audiences will find themselves wanting to fast forward this flick multiple times throughout its run.  Some might even give in to that urge.  It just moves that slowly.  The thing is that in fast forwarding, audiences might miss some important moments in the story that make the noted juxtaposition of the ancient and not so aged so important.  To that end, even as much as audiences are going to want to fast forward, they will have to hold steady and not give in if they want to really capture the nuances of the story.  It’s a sad trade-off, but one that is necessary.  Luckily, as much as this story’s pacing detracts from the movie’s presentation, its cinematography makes the slow, plodding take at least somewhat bearable.

The cinematography that is featured throughout The Trip to Greece is outstanding.  Whether it be the aerial shots of the bays or the seaside footage s Coogan and Brydon have their discussions, or even something as simple as the duo driving from point to point, the cinematography offers so much to appreciate.  The way in which the footage was captured presents such a rich, lush landscape throughout the Mediterranean region.  The colors are so well-balanced throughout the feature, even with so many standard style shots.  It’s like watching a video postcard of sorts.  It’s no Rick Steves show, considering how spit shined it is, but is still engaging in its own right.  When this aspect is considered along with the movie’s central story, the two aspects make up for the problems posed by the movie’s pacing enough to make the movie an interesting presentation, just not perfect.

The Trip to Greece, the finale in IFC’s “The Trip To…” franchise is an intriguing end to the “series.”  It proves itself worth watching in part because of its story.  The story is a mirror of sorts to the journey which Odysseus faces in his mythical journey.  Brydon and Coogan face the desire to be with family just as much as Odysseus.  Each is re-united with family, but in different ways.  That desire to be with family comes as the duo makes its way along the path that Odysseus took on his journey all while spoofing the work of some of their well-known contemporaries.  As interesting as the story proves what with its duality and irony, the pacing thereof cannot be ignored.  It does cause its own share of problems for the movie.  Even as much as it detracts from the movie’s presentation, the movie’s cinematography makes up for that issue at least to a point.  When it is considered alongside the movie’s central story, the two elements together make the movie a cinematic journey that audiences will find worth taking at least once.  The Trip to Greece is available now.  More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available at:

Website: http://ifcfilms.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ifcfilms

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

‘Live! Against The World’ Is HammerFall’s Best Live Recording Yet

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Live, in-person concerts have been hard to come by this year.  That goes without saying.  The global COVID-19 pandemic has all but wiped out live shows.  If not for live streams and so-called “drive-in” concerts, live music would be gone.  The noted shows are just a couple of ways that acts across the musical universe have worked to bring live music to audiences.  It would seem that as a result of the pandemic’s impact, audiences have also seen a rise in the number of live recordings released this year, too.  That is just this critic’s own take and could be incorrect.  Though, it certainly seems that live recordings have been more prominent this year than in the past.  Veteran power metal band HamemrFall will join the ranks of those countless acts who have released live recordings this year when it releases its new live recording Live! Against the World Friday through Napalm Records.  Only the band’s third ever live recording, this 20-song performance is everything that the band’s longtime fans could hope for.  That is thanks in no small part to its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of said set list adds to the recording’s appeal, and will be discussed a little later.  The performance’s production rounds out its most important elements, and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make Live! Against The World HammerFall’s best live recording yet and one of the year’s top new live DVDs/BDs.

HammerFall’s forthcoming live recording Live! Against The World is a wonderful way for the band’s fans to get their live fix now and even after the global COVID-19 pandemic ends, whenever that might be.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list.  The extensive 20-song set list clocks in at just under two hours, and is the very definition of career-spanning.  Given, the concert – recorded Feb. 15, 2019 at the MHP Arena in Ludwigsburg, Germany – was mainly in support of the band’s then latest album Dominion, but it pulled songs from every single one of the band’s 11 albums.  Dominion is only represented by five songs, as a matter of fact.  Other albums only get one nod, while others get two to three.  Regardless, what the band has done here is given audiences the widest possible cross section of its catalog.  That includes some well-known songs and even some deeper cuts mixed in for good measure.  Simply put, the expansive set list that is featured in Hammerfall’s new live recording creates a solid foundation for this presentation.  It is just one part of what makes this recording such an appealing presentation.  The band’s performance of the set list does its own share to make the recording so engaging and entertaining.

The performance of the concert’s featured set list is powerful in its own right.  Right from the show’s opening in ‘Never Forgive, Never Forget,’ the energy runs high.  Front man Joacim Cans’ vocals soar here while his band mates – Oscar Dronjack (guitar), Pontus Norgren (guitar), Fredrik Larsson (bass), and David Wallin (drums) – each shine in their own right.  The time keeping is solid while the harmonies between the guitars and bass, and the guitar solos absolutely soar.  The show’s energy stays high from that point on through, with the only moments of rest coming occasionally between songs when Cans taking the time to interact with the audience.  Even those moments are themselves rare.  What’s more, even in a slightly slower song, such as ‘Hollwed Be My Name,’ the band still manages to keep the audience entertained simply by performing the song.  That in itself is a statement.  The over-the-top guitar solos are kept to a minimum, with the band opting instead to present the songs as they were on record for the most part.  The result is a concert performance that lets the band’s talents shine through from beginning to end, rather than relying on a bunch of theatrics.  It is another solid testament to the recording’s appeal and to the band’s ability to entertain audiences.  It is just one more way in which the recording proves itself so appealing, too.  The recording’s overall production rounds out its most important elements to bring everything together.

The production of HammerFall’s new live recording Live! Against the World is important to note because it gives audiences the best seat in the house.  The camera angles and transitions keep right up with the energy in the songs, enhancing the experience even more. Audiences will appreciate the seeming drone shots that take them up above the crowd, looking down at various points throughout the concert. Whether it its a drone shot or a crane shot, the fact of the matter here is that this is a unique style shot that is not often used in live rock recordings. There is something special about being able to look down and see the audience moving en masse as the fists pump and heads bang in time with the music. It instills a certain positive feeling in audiences as they see it happen The various on-stage shots that come from just below the stage and even on the stage gives viewers that up close and personal experience that they otherwise would not have likely gotten. The wide shots give audiences an appreciation for the venue’s makeup and the sheer devotion of the fans as they see how packed the concert hall was for the show. The shots used for the pyro effects add their own touch to the presentation. They are captured at just the right locations and angles to fully capture the immensity of the plumes of fire. One can almost imagine how hot the flames must have been. Noting again the transitions between all of the noted shots, they are so smooth throughout. They help to translate the energy exuded by the band and audience alike without leaving viewers feeling dizzied. As a result, they and the shots themselves do even more to enrich the viewing experience.

On a related note, the recording’s audio production is just as impressive as its video. The audio production is exactly what audiences should hope for.  The instrumentation is expertly balanced, even as bombastic as that collective is.  The vocals are right there with the instruments, too.  Considering the size of the concert hall, all of this is important in regards to making sure the sound was balanced and did not just echo throughout the venue. Those efforts paid off, too.

HammerFall’s forthcoming live recording Live! Against The World is an impressive presentation that the band’s longtime fans will appreciate just as much as those who are less familiar with the band’s catalog.  That is proven in large part through the recording’s featured set list.  The expansive 20-song set list clocks in at just under two hours and is in fact a truly career-spanning retrospective.  The band’s performance of the set list will keep audiences engaged and entertained from beginning to end.  The production, at least in regards to the recording’s CD platform, is appealing in its own way.  It leaves the concert sounding good just as much as the content makes it “appear.”  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, this presentation is HammerFall’s best live recording to date and one of this year’s absolute best new live recordings.  It is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  More information on the recording is available along with all of HammerFall’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.hammerfall.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HammerFall

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