NBA TV Announces Matchups For Monday’s Double Header Schedule

Courtesy: Turner Sports

NBA TV will air a special double header schedule of games next Monday.

The Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons are first on what will be a busy afternoon of basketball, with tip-off scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.  The Hornets (15 – 24) sit 11th in the Eastern Conference, 16 games back from the conference-leading Celtics, while the Pistons (22 – 18) sit in 8th in the conference, 9.5 games back from the Celtics, fighting one game at a time to keep their post season hopes alive.

The Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs face off in a David vs. Goliath cross-conference matchup at 3 p.m. to round out the day’s action.  The host Hawks sit dead last in the Eastern Conference at 11 – 30 while the Spurs (28 – 14) sit third in the Western Conference, five games back from the conference-leading Golden State Warriors.

Pre-game coverage for the day’s schedule starts at noon and includes a special sit-down interview with Dr. Bernice A. King and Ambassador Attallah Shabazz, the daughters of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.  The interviews will be hosted by Isiah Thomas.  They will include discussions on each man’s legacy, the families’ relationship and the now 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.

More information on NBA TV’s schedule, news and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.nba.com/nbatv

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBATV

 

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

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Here’s To Hoping We’ll See More Rugrats Sooner Rather Than Later

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Paramount

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Paramount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-issues.  Most people in this day and age don’t give them the attention or credit that they deserve.  Yet in an age in which prequels, sequels and reboots dominate theaters and in which reboots are beginning to develop a noticeable presence on television, re-issues are becoming critical entertainment outlets.  Whether on DVD or Blu-ray, re-issues are playing increasingly vital for those looking for an alternatives to all of the unoriginal prequels, sequels, reboots (and even overly embellished bioflicks) that are churned out on the big screen and small screen.

Because re-issues are so important for audiences looking for an alternative to the general lack of substantial new or creative material on television and in theaters, it is just as fitting that they receive their own year-ender list.  That being the case, that is exactly what is being presented here, the top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues of 2017.  Included in this year’s list are re-issues of United Artists’ 1960 romantic dramedy The Apartment courtesy of Arrow Films, MGM’s 1951 sci-fi/horror classic The Man From Planet X, and even re-issues of some classic TV series including the first two seasons of Nickelodeon’s timeless animated series  Rugrats.  Those two sets, previously released via Amazon (along with the series’ other eight seasons) take the top two spots on this list.

As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 titles as well as five additional titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES

  1. RugratsSeason 1
  2. RugratsSeason 2
  3. The Old Dark House
  4. The Man From Planet X
  5. Terror In A Texas Town
  6. Misery
  7. The Apartment
  8. Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
  9. The Yogi Bear ShowThe Complete Series
  10. Spongebob SquarepantsThe First 100 Episodes
  11. Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego? — The Complete Series
  12. The Love Of A Woman
  13. The Big Knife
  14. Car Wash
  15. Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie

That’s it for this list, but not for the DVD and Blu-ray titles.  There are still lists for the year’s top new family DVDs/BDs, grown-up DVDs/BDs, Children’s DVDs/BDs and maybe even the year’s top new independent movies and theatrical releases.  Time will tell if I have time to get to them.  Either way, there’s still more to come, so stay tuned!

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

PBS’ Richard Sherman Studio “Concert” Hits All The Right Notes For Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Live DVDs/BDs List

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Experiencing a live performance by one’s favorite acts is a special experience.  The sights and sounds — from the performance itself to the enjoyment and excitement experienced alongside other fans — come together to make the live experience something almost as magical as it is memorable.  Of course it’s not always that easy to have that experience because of work, family or maybe other items.  Enter the live DVD and Blu-ray.  These recordings are pivotal for audiences the world over because people don’t always get to see their favorite acts.  They also often prove to give audiences an experience that is at least slightly different from that offered in their CD counterparts.  Keeping that in mind, it is fully justifiable for critics to present lists of the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays as well as live CDs.  That is exactly what this critic is doing here.

This year, as with so many years past, Eagle Rock Entertainment has proven to have the majority of the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays, once again proving why it is the leader in live recordings.  Of course it is not the only label represented in this critic’s list this year.  Live recordings from The Winery Dogs, The Dead Daisies, and even famed songwriter Richard Sherman (one half of the famed Sherman Brothers creative team) are all on the list, too alongside new material from Between The Buried and Me and Michael Schenker.  Those noted recordings are all from other labels.  In other words, this year saw a healthy range of new live DVDs and Blu-rays.  With that in mind, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.  As always, the list includes this critic’s Top 10 choices as well as five additional honorable mention titles, for a total of 15 titles.  Let’s go!

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS/BDs

  1. Richard ShermanSongs of a Lifetime
  2. Tedeschi Trucks Band — Live From The Fox Oakland
  3. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  4. Mumford & Sons — Live From South Africa
  5. Between The Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic
  6. Black Sabbath — The End
  7. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  8. The Rolling Stones — Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015
  9. The Who — Tommy Live at the Royal Albert Hall
  10. The Winery Dogs — Dog YearsLive in Santiago and Beyond 2013 – 2016
  11. Eagles of Death Metal — I Love You All The Time — Live at the Olympia Paris
  12. Sting — Live at the Olympia Paris
  13. Spock’s Beard — Snow Live
  14. The Dead Daisies — Live & Louder
  15. Michael Schenker — Michael Schenker Fest Live Tokyo International Forum Hall

That’s all for this list and still not all for the live recordings.  Still to consider is the whole of the combo packs and the standalone recordings.  In other words, there is still a list of the year’s top new live recordings overall to consider.  Also still on the way are the year’s top new albums as well as a handful of DVD and Blu-ray lists.  As many as possible will be covered before the year lets out, so stay tuned for all of that.

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

Combat Records To Rise Again

Courtesy: Combat Records/EMP Label Group/O’Donnell Media Group

Combat Records is coming back.

EMP Label Group head Dave Ellefson announced this week that the label, which was one of the seminal punk and thrash labels from the 1980s, has been resurrected and will be part of the EMP Label Group family. The one-time powerhouse label shuttered its doors in the mid-2000s after its catalogue was absorbed by Sony Music.

The label’s official re-launch will happen in 2018, with its first release being British hard rock act Raven’s next, as yet untitled album. It will also re-issue a number of classic thrash and metal albums from various acts once it officially opens as well as a new compilation piece from Helstar and new recordings from Dead By Wednesday and 80s progressive thrash outfit Wrath.

Ellefson said in a recent interview about the label’s re-launch that he was optimistic about its new life.

“Today is a really exciting day, as after over a year, it was finally announced that we will be re-launching the legendary Combat Records as a new label through EMP Label Group,” Ellefson said. “We are so excited and honored to be able to revive such an iconic brand that was so instrumental to my history. Even though we signed to Capitol after Killing is My Business, Combat’s logo was on all the Megadeth releases through Countdown to Extinction, and it was and is one of the most iconic metal labels of all time, even being home to some of the other artists who would end up on the EMP roster, like Helstar. The same independent spirit that drove Combat in those early days, is truly the same spirit that drives what we do with EMP, and we are honored to launch another amazing conduit to support new and established metal artists, with great respect to the legacy of the past.”

Ellefson added with Combat’s resurrection, it will only handle new material because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on nre releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

Combat Records will be distributed through EMP Label Group via Amped Distribution domestically and via SPV in Europe.

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now at:

Website: http://www.combatrecs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/combatrecs

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

Eagles, Redskins Round Out NFL’s Week 7 Schedule Live Monday Night

Courtesy: ESPN

The Eagles and Redskins close out week 7 in the NFL live Monday night on ESPN.

The NFC East divisional foes will play live on ESPN’s Monday Night Football in the final game of the week in what will be a crucial game for both teams.  The Eagles (5 – 1) currently sit atop the NFC East and the NFC standings while the Redskins (3 – 2) sit second in the division. Washington is also in a close battle for sixth place in the conference alongside Seattle, New Orleans and Atlanta.

All four teams play this week, meaning each game is pivotal for each team as the season nears its halfway point.  The host Eagles are undefeated at home so far this season going 2 – 0 so far at home, while the Redskins are winless on the road at 0 – 1 on that record.  Considering each team’s overall records, Monday’s matchup will be pivotal for each organization for a number of reasons.

Coverage of Monday’s game starts at 6 p.m. with Monday Night Countdown, hosted by Suzy Kolber.  Kolber will be joined, as she is each week, by ESPN NFL analysts Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, Charles Woodson and Steve Young.  ESPN NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen Louis Riddick and Adam Schefter will also be on hand along with ESPN senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry and the Monday Night Football broadcast crew of Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters.

McDonough and Gruden will have the call for Monday’s game beginning at 8:15 p.m. live from Lincoln Financial Field.  Salters will be on the sidelines with all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

More information on Monday’s Week 7 finale is available online along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nfl

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

Twitter: http://twitter.comESPNNFL

 

 

 

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

ESPN Networks To Offer Extensive Little League Classic Coverage Sunday

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will present a special extended Major League Baseball broadcast Sunday.

The network will bring audiences the first-ever Little League Classic, which will see the St. Louis Cardinals taking on their National League Central foes, the Pittsburgh Pirates live at the renovated Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA – the location of the Little League World Series.

The broadcast will be preceded at 6 p.m. by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.  Karl Ravech will anchor the hour-long broadcast and will be joined by analyst David Ross and reporter Tim Kurkjian for the broadcast.

Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday’s game on Sunday Night Baseball.  He will be joined by his Sunday Night Baseball cohorts Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone for the broadcast.

Kurkjian will also be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred will also be on hand during the game.

Along with interviews with Manfred and other highlights, ESPN will present interviews with various MLB stars and personnel.  Images of those and other non-MLB figures as Little Leaguers will also be displayed throughout the game.

Sunday’s regular-season matchup between the Cardinals and Pirates will be the closer in a four-game series between the National League Central foes. St. Louis currently sits third in the division, 2.5 games back from the division-leading Chicago Cubs, while Pittsburgh sits just below the Cardinals in fourth, 5.5 games back.

Mike Leake (7 – 11) is scheduled to get the start for the Cardinals Sunday while Ivan Nova (10 – 10) is expected to take the mound for Pittsburg.

The Cardinals-Pirates matchup is just one of the games set for Sunday’s ESPN MLB schedule.  Mendoza and Boone will provide commentary for the Little League World Series on ABC beginning at 1 p.m.

Ravech will cover two of the series’ games – 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. – and two editions of Baseball Tonight – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.  Kurkjian will also be on two editions of Baseball Tonight along with his work on the Little League Classic.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Meyer will air at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. with Adnan Virk and David Ross.  Each broadcast will be from a different location at the Little League World Series.

The full schedule for the ESPN networks’ Little League World Series and Little League Classic is noted below.

ESPN’s Williamsport schedule for Aug. 20:

Time

Telecast

Network

10 a.m.

(13) International: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 3 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Volunteer Stadium

Karl Ravech, Tim Kurkjian, Sebastian Salazar

ESPN2, ESPN App

11 a.m.

(14) US: Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 4 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Lamade Stadium

Dave Flemming, Kyle Peterson, Julie Foudy

ESPN, ESPN App

1 p.m.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Mayer

Adnan Virk, David Ross

ESPN, ESPN App

1 p.m.

(15) International: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 7 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Volunteer Stadium

Karl Ravech, Aaron Boone, Jessica Mendoza, Sebastian Salazar

ABC, ESPN App

2 p.m.

(16) US: Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 8 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Lamade Stadium

Dave Flemming, Kyle Peterson, Julie Foudy

ESPN, ESPN App

4 p.m.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Mayer

Adnan Virk, David Ross, Karl Ravech, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN, ESPN App

6 p.m.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Mayer

Karl Ravech, David Ross, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN, ESPN App

7 p.m.

MLB Little League Classic on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell

Dan Shulman, Jessica Mendoza, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio

More information on the ESPN networks’ baseball coverage is available online along with all of the latest baseball news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

 

 

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

Strange Karma’s New LP Will Appeal to Any Classic Rock Fan

Strange Karma - Cold Blooded Cover Art

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Early this year, Strange Karma released its latest album Cold Blooded to the masses.  The 10-song, 41-minute record, is a work that will appeal easily to fans of Savatage, Queensryche, Poison and other similar acts.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the record.  They will be discussed shortly.  The songs’ lyrical content also adds to that appeal.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important to the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make Cold Blooded a record that 80s and 90s rock fans will find hot.

Strange Karma’s new full-length studio recording Cold Blooded is a work that any 80s and 90s rock fan will find enjoyable.  That is due in part to the record’s collective musical arrangements.  Some of the arrangements are clearly guitar-driven while others are driven more through their piano arrangements.  Just as important to note here is the fact that the arrangements vary between ballads and more operatic style songs that.  That combination, again, lends itself easily to comparisons to works crafted by Savatage, Queensryche, Poison and other similar acts.  At the same time, the comparisons are not just musical mirror images of the noted compositions.  Rather, they only display the influences of those noted bands.  Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why the musical arrangements presented in this record are so important to its overall presentation.  They are, collectively, not the record’s only key element to examine.  The record’s lyrical content is just as important to examine as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout Cold Blooded is critical to discuss because, as is the case with the record’s musical arrangements, its lyrical content throws back to themes used widely in similar compositions from the late 80s and early 90s, too.  Case in point is the album’s lead single ‘Devil From The Moon.’  The very title seems somewhat eerie yet somewhat campy.  The lyrics build on that foundation as front man Martin Strange sings, “It’s 12 o’clock, it’s midnight/The moon shines/Night is day/All to you/Everything’s gonna be alright/Wolves are howling/The wind is blwoing/You’re running and running/running to nowhere/The shadow is right behind you/I’m the devil/I’ll find you/You belong to me/Bow your heads/I’ll set you free.”  On the surface, this sounds more like something that one might expect from a black metal band.  But the reality is that it is nothing bad at all.  That is illustrated even more through the song’s video.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show how this record transports listeners back to the previously noted musical era.  ‘I Believe (London Town)’ is yet another example of how the record lyrically reaches back in time.

‘I Believe (London Town),’ with its gentle, flowing piano and bass-driven arrangement sees Strange singing, “You want to go/And you never ever get there/You run and you swim but you’re standing still/The thought in your mind/You believe in something new…”  He adds later in the song, “I believe I’m gonna make it some day/I believe I’ll make it may way.”  Such lyrical content coupled with the song’s musical arrangement harkens directly back to the days of big riffs and even bigger hair, once more why it will appeal to the noted audiences.  It is just one of those lyrically positive yet somewhat cheesy wordings that one can’t help but enjoy even as a guilty pleasure.

On another note, ‘Crying For Your Love,’ with its brooding lyrical content is yet another example of how this record lyrically reaches back to days gone by.  Strange’s subject sings here about love lost in an over the top manner, “In night and day/I think of you/Tears running down my face/Lying here/Staring in empty space…thinking of better days/Thinking of you/Thinking of our love.”  The song’s musical arrangement couples with this over-the-top lyrical content (and Strange’s delivery therein) to make this a piece that would have fit in quite easily with the songs that it strives to emulate.  Considering this, the song proves why it is another work that will appeal to fans of Strange Karma’s key audience lyrically just as much as musically.  When joined with the record’s other songs, their lyrical content proves much the same, proving why the record in whole will appeal to those listeners.  Keeping all of this in mind, the lyrical content presented in these songs is only one more part of what makes the album appealing to fans of late 80s and early 90s rock.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to note as its musical arrangements and lyrical content.

The musical arrangements and lyrical content presented throughout Cold Blooded show from one song to the next prove to be critical to the album’s overall presentation.  They are not its only key elements to examine, though.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to examine here as those elements.  The record’s sequencing is important to note because it exhibits a well thought out balance of energy from beginning to end.  The album’s first two offerings are high-energy pieces that eventually make way to a much more reserved energy in ‘Crying For Your Love,’ the record’s third offering.  As the record nears its midway point, the band mixes things up even more with the coupling of ‘Realize’ and ‘I Believe.’  ‘Realize’ is a high-energy piece from start to finish while ‘I Believe’ boasts its own energy.  The catch with this song is that it is not as heavy as ‘Realize.’  That combination of energies within ‘I Believe’ and in the contrast of ‘I Believe’ to ‘Realize’ things get even more interesting as the album progresses back into a heavier vibe in its next trio of songs.  Those songs eventually give way to an arrangement that is best described as something akin to a southern rock arrangement in ‘Hey Man.’  The album’s closer, ‘Dreams’ can easily be compared to compositions from Savatage and Trans Siberian Orchestra with its driving guitar-centered arrangement.  It is yet another change from the songs that came before; a change that once again, audiences will appreciate.  When it is considered along with the other energy variations exhibited throughout the record, the whole of those constant changes is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as the songs’ musical arrangements and their lyrical content.  When all of this is taken into account together, it becomes clear why Cold Blooded is a record that any hot blooded 80s and 90s rock fan will enjoy.

Strange Karma’s latest full-length studio recording Cold Blooded is a work that any hot blooded 80s and 90s rock fan will appreciate.  As has been noted, that is due to musical arrangements that reach liberally back to the big guitar riffs and flowing piano lines that made music from that age so popular.  It is also due to lyrical content that reaches just as blatantly back to that era as the songs’ musical arrangements.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  The energy variations exhibited in the songs’ arrangements are constant from the record’s beginning to its end.  Each element is important in its own way to this record’s appeal as has been noted already.  All things considered, the noted elements together make Cold Blooded a classic rock throwback that classic rock fans will appreciate.  It is available now.  More information on Cold Blooded is available now along with all of Strange Karma’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://strangekarma.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Strange-Karma/157783670932214

Twitter: http://twitter.com/strange_karma_

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