‘Human: The World Within’ Is A Fully Accessible Look At How Our Bodies Work

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

The human body is such an interesting structure.  That is because it is so contradictory in itself.  It is made of thousands of miles of nerves, veins, and full of fluids and organs (at least two of which – tonsils and the appendix – are not even needed).  For all of its immense complexity, the human body is so frail and fragile.  As the past year-plus has shown, it is so simple for humans to fall sick and worse.  All it takes is one virus for the human body to fail, even being so complex.  PBS examines that contradicting duality of the human body in its recently released documentary, Human: The World Within, showing just how deep it runs.  Having originally aired May 5, the six-part program was released on DVD June 22 through PBS Distribution.  This five and a half hour documentary will appeal widely to medical students, those of the biological sciences, and anyone with any interest in said topics.  That is due in no small part to its content, which will be discussed shortly.  The presentation of said content adds to the documentary’s appeal and will be discussed a little later.  The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make the documentary just as appealing to the noted audiences in its home release as in its recent TV presentation.

PBS and PBS Distribution’s Human: The World Within is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  That is due in large part to its topic.  As the documentary’s title suggests, it focuses on all of the inner workings of the human body.  More specifically, it examines each of the body’s systems – circulatory, reproductive, digestive, immune, nervous, and sensory – and how each does its own part to make the human body work.  One of the most interesting of the segments focuses on the circulatory system.  Viewers will find interesting, that the circulatory system can actually be “trained” in a manner of speaking.  This is explained through a profile of a woman living in Colorado who spends her free time scaling ice walls.  It is explained here that because of her choice of free-time activity, her circulatory system works differently than that of most other people.  It can handle environments in which oxygen levels are lower, whereas more “normal” people would have far less chance of survival in such situations.  As another example of the interest in the segments, “Birth” — which focuses on the reproductive system — is more than just a refresher on how the system works.  It explains that sometimes the body’s reproductive system can and does fail, leading to an issue, such as a miscarriage.  It is an emotionally difficult incident, but understanding it from a biological aspect might help some families make better sense of those sad events, leading to more ability to cope.  “React,” which opens the documentary, presents its own interesting explanations of how the body’s nervous system works.  It helps understand how back pain is connected to the nervous system, for instance, and how the so-called funny bone is also connected to the body’s nervous system.  It is just one more way in which the content proves so important to the documentary’s presentation.

Staying on the matter of the content, it is delivered through a mix of narration, discussion from medical professionals, and average, everyday people.  From a cell phone technician, to a distance runner, to a boxer, to the noted ice climber and more, the discussions from these noted everyday figures will connect with viewers.  That is because viewers will see themselves in these figures even more than the medical professionals. The medical professionals who are also featured here present their discussion in simple terms, rather than trying to use complex language.  This ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment even more.  Making for even more engagement and entertainment is the general fashion in which the documentary is presented.

The documentary is presented through six separate segments.  Each segment runs just under an hour.  The separation of the segments encourages audiences to watch the documentary at their own pace.  This means that as audiences do watch each segment, they are more inclined to remain engaged in each discussion.  The segments’ run times create their own psychological impact.  The impact in question is that audiences will be more comfortable take the time to watch.  That overall encouragement to watch will ensure viewers will catch everything discussed in each, especially considering the segments’ pacing.  Taking that into account along with the content itself, this proves even more, just how much the program has to offer viewers.

The content featured in Human: The World Within and its overall delivery style does much to make this documentary appealing.  It is, collectively just a portion of what makes the program so appealing.  The documentary’s packaging in its home release rounds out its most important elements.  The packaging finds the documentary split into two discs, with three segments each on each disc.  The discs are placed on their own spindle separate from one another inside the standard size DVD case.  The separation of the discs inside the case ensures the discs will not get marred in any way since they cannot touch one another at any point.  The use of a standard size DVD case saves space on viewers’ DVD/BD racks.  This creates its own appeal.  These two items are each positive aesthetic elements.  When they are considered along with the documentary’s content and its overall presentation, the documentary in whole proves a complete success.

PBS and PBS Distribution’s recently released documentary Human: The World Within is a program that proves a successful presentation that its targeted audiences will enjoy.  Its appeal comes in large part through its content.  The content in question focuses on the body’s systems and how they make the body work in their various ways.  The relatively simple way in which each is examined makes that content accessible for any viewer.  The separation of the content into segments – each of which runs less than an hour – adds to the appeal.  That is because it will encourage audiences to watch each portion that much more.  The documentary’s packaging will appeal to audiences because of its aesthetic value.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the documentary.  All things considered, they make the documentary just as appealing on DVD as in its TV premiere.  Human: The World Within is available now.  More information on this and other titles from PBS and PBS Distribution is available at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pbs

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbs


To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.  

Summer Years Offers Message Of Hope In New Single, Video

Courtesy: ENCI Records

Pop punk band Summer Years is offering a message of hope in its new single.

The band premiered its new single, ‘This Light‘ and its companion video last month through ENCI Records. The song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming EP, You Can’t Live There Forever. The EP’s official release date is under consideration.

Front man Nick Lanari talked about the the EP’s creation during a recent interview.

“Moving forward with a project like this was intimidating because there was no clear future set before us, no shows or tours to work towards or any inkling of what the future of the music industry will be like,” said Lanari. “It was just us in there getting it done with a lot of uncertainty in our future. It was really cathartic at the same time because we felt really fortunate to be able to do what we love during these times and to be able to be creative and expressive is a healing force.  The word perseverance really comes to mind with this EP, and it’s really fitting for walking through the last year and a half.”

The song’s musical arrangement is a catchy, upbeat composition whose melodies and vocal delivery style lend themselves to comparison to works from bands, such as All Time Low, New Found Glory, and others of that ilk.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement reminds audiences that they can make good things happen in their lives and to not give up, no matter what.

Lanari additionally discussed this detail during the noted interview.

‘This Light’ is about the idea that it’s not too late to pursue what you have always dreamed of, and battling the idea of ‘I’ll start working toward it tomorrow’ but tomorrow never seems to come,” he said. “Live your best life now. Today. Find your way to thrive. Failure is not eternal, pain is not eternal, your past doesn’t define you, you can’t live there forever.”

The video for ‘This Light’ pairs footage of the band performing its new single in what resembles a rehearsal space and footage of people (including the band) enjoying some time on a beach and its boardwalk.

Lanari also talked about the video during his interview.

“We filmed some drone shots at the very end of the day, and none other than Tom Delonge drove by us in his big Ford Raptor in Encinitas,” he said. “It was epic. A good omen even. We just wanted to kind of say, “Hey this is who we are, and this is what our world is like. This is Summer Years.” and I think we captured that really well.”

More information on Summer Years’ new single, video, and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.summeryears.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/summeryearsband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Foghat’s Latest Live Recording Is Enjoyable Despite One Imperfection

Courtesy: Foghat Records/Select-O-Hits

Veteran rock band Foghat is an interesting band.  The band is celebrating half a century of making music this year.  In the course of that expansive run, the band has released approximately 17 albums, no less than 10 compilation records (counting 2018’s, Slow Ride), but only four (yes four) live recordings.  Those recordings come in the form of Foghat Live (1977), Road Cases (1998), Foghat Live II (2007), and Live at the Belly Up (2017).  One would have thought that over the course of 50 years, the band would have released far more live material, but clearly it hasn’t.  Looking at how much time passed between the band’s existing live recordings, audiences had to wait a long time for those recordings – 21 years between Foghat Live and Road Cases; Nine years between Road Cases and Foghat Live II, and another decade between Foghat Live II and Live at the Belly Up.  Now Friday, after only four years (the shortest wait between live recordings), the band will release what is only its fifth live recording in the form of 8 Days on the Road.  The 14-song concert was recorded pre-pandemic on Nov. 17, 2019 at Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, NY.  It was intended as a celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary.  However, the concert’s set list seems to hint otherwise.  This will be discussed a little later.  To its positive, the recording’s production largely proves positive.  It will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of the noted set list rounds out the recording’s most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, the recording proves to be a presentation that most Foghat fans will enjoy.

Foghat’s forthcoming live recording, 8 Days on the Road is an interesting new offering from the veteran rock band.  Being only the band’s fifth live recording in its 50 year life, the recording offers a certain amount of appeal beginning with its production.  For the case of this review, the audio production will receive the most attention since only an audio link was provided.  The concert will release on CD/DVD combo pack and vinyl pressings.  The audio production presented in 8 Days on the Road is its own positive.  Daryl’s House Club is not a large venue.  That means that plenty of attention had to be paid to the concert’s audio.  That is because of how easy it would have been for the audio to become muddied.  Thankfully, that did not happen, thanks again to the painstaking efforts to balance all of the audio.  Each performer’s part was expertly balanced with those of his band mates.  The result of the attention to detail is that the concert’s audio deserves its own share of applause.  While the audio production featured in Foghat’s new live recording is deserving of applause, the concert’s set list is slightly questionable.

The set list featured in 8 Days on the Road is questionable in large part because this recording is being marketed widely as a celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary.  As already noted, Foghat has released 17 albums over the course of its half century in existence.  By comparison, this 83-minute concert’s set list pulls from a very limited portion of that expansive catalog.  To be precise, it pulls from seven of the band’s albums.  Now on the surface that might sound like a lot, considering it is almost half of the band’s catalog.  The reality is that those seven albums run from its 1972 self-titled debut album to its 1978 album, Stone Blue.  That is a small percentage of the band’s catalog, considering that another 10 albums followed in the years to come, including its most recent album, 2016’s Under The Influence.  In short, what the band offers audiences in this latest live recording is a span of only six years of the band’s life rather than a career-spanning set list that could have otherwise featured at least one song each from most of its albums.  To that end, the set list is entertaining.  That is not to be mistaken.  Regardless, the limitation of the set list’s content still detracts from the concert’s presentation.  Luckily it is not enough to doom the recording.  The band’s performance of the set list does its share to keep audiences engaged and entertained.

Foghat’s performance of its set list is important to note because of how much enjoyment it brings to the recording even despite the set list’s limitations.  Front man Charlie Huhn presents a certain swagger throughout his performance for instance.  This can be inferred even in the recording’s audio-only presentation through the relaxed nature in the way he sings each song.  He and fellow guitarist Bryan Bassett pair with bassist Rodney O’Quinn to add to the relaxed sense in the performance in each song.  Drummer Roger Earl (the only original member in the band’s current lineup) is equally relaxed in his performance.  At the same time, he misses not even a single beat throughout the course of the concert, as he keeps the band moving in each song.  The band spends little time between songs bantering with the audience.  Rather, it lets its performance of each song do the talking.  The collective keeps the energy flowing throughout the concert, keeping the energy high from start to finish.  The result of all of this is that audiences at home will remain just as engaged and entertained as those who were in attendance at the concert.  When this aspect and the recording’s production quality are considered together, the pairing makes for reason enough for audiences to take in this concert, even despite the shortcoming that is the show’s set list.  All things considered, the recording still proves itself a presentation that any Foghat fan will welcome into his or her music library.

Foghat’s forthcoming fifth live recording, 8 Days on the Road is an intriguing new presentation from the veteran rock band.  Its interest stems in part from its production values.  The concert’s audio production specifically deserves applause.  That is because of how well it balances everything, considering the intimacy of the venue in which the concert was held.  The show’s set list is somewhat problematic, considering that this concert recording is being marketed as part of a celebration of the band reaching the half-century mark in its life.  Even being so problematic, it is not enough to make the recording a failure, but at the same time still cannot be ignored.  The band’s performance of the concert’s set list is another positive, and makes up for the concerns raised by that element.  That is because collectively, the band puts its best foot forward throughout the concert.  The band lets its performance do the talking instead of wasting time between songs, filling space with banter.  The band’s performance ensures audiences at home will remain just as engaged and entertained as those who attended the 2019 concert.  When this aspect is considered with the positive presented through the recording’s production, those two elements make for reason enough for audiences to take in the concert.  They work with the set list to make the recording overall, a presentation that while maybe imperfect, will still find itself welcome in most Foghat fans’ libraries.  8 Days on the Road is scheduled for release Friday through its own label, Foghat Records, and Select-O-Hits.

More information on Foghat’s new live recording and live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.foghat.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/foghat

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/foghat

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Hard Rock Super Group Unveils Debut Single, Video

Courtesy: Cosa Nostra PR

Hard rock super group Lions at the Gate premiered its debut single and video this week.

The band, which is composed of former members of Ill Nino, Machine Head, Westfield Massacre and Silence The Messenger premiered its new debut single, ‘Not Even Human‘ and its companion video Friday.

The song features a musical arrangement that will take audiences back to the aggro/nu-metal sound that Luster (ex-Ill Nino, ex-Machine Head) and Machado (ex-Ill Nino) made during their time as members of Ill Nino. It has a sharp, intense edge driven by the guitars, bass, and drums but avoids some of the pitfalls of that band’s early sounds.

No information about the song’s lyrical theme was featured in the news release announcing the song and video’s premiere. A close listen leads one to infer that the song’s lyrical content focuses on the familiar topic of a toxic relationship.

The video that accompanies the band’s song features the band — Machado, Luster, Diego Verduzco (ex-Ill Nino), Stephen Brewer (ex-Westfield Massacre), and Fernando Lemus (ex-Silence The Messenger) — performing the high energy single in a studio setting lit by a series of lights on the set’s rear.

More information on Lions at the Gate’s debut single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://latgofficial.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lionsatthegate

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lionsatthegate

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Peach Records Announces Release Date, Specs For ABB Tribute Concert

Courtesy: Peach Records

Fans of The Allman Brothers Band are getting another live recording from members of the band this summer.

The Brothers — Duane Trucks, Derek Trucks, Chuck Leavell, Jaimoe, Marc Quinones, Oteil Burbridge, Warren Haynes, and Reese Wynans — are scheduled to release its sold out March 10, 2020 Madison Square Garden concert July 23 through Peach Records. The concert is scheduled for release on CD, DVD, digital, and Blu-ray.

A portion of proceeds from sales of the recording will go to benefit The Allman Brothers Band Museum. The concert is the second recording this year from members of The Allman Brothers Band. Down in Texas ’71 was released March 26.

The track listing for the recording is noted below.

First Set:

Don’t Want You No More

It’s Not My Cross To Bear

Statesboro Blues

Revival

Trouble No More

Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’

Black Hearted Woman

Dreams

Hot ‘Lanta

Come And Go Blues

Soulshine

Stand Back

Jessica

Second Set

Mountain Jam

Blue Sky

Desdemona

Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More

Every Hungry Woman

Melissa

In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed

No One To Run With

One Way Out

Jaimoe & Warren Greetings

Midnight Rider

Whipping Post

More information on the Allman Brothers Band’s upcoming Madison Square Garden concert is available online at:

Websitehttps://allmanbrothersband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/allmanbrothersband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/allmanbrothers

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

‘NOVA: Looking For Life On Mars’ Will Leave Viewers Looking Excitedly To The Future Of Space Travel

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

NASA has made a lot of headlines in recent weeks thanks to its latest mission to Mars.  The agency’s Perseverance rover and its companion “helicopter,” Ingenuity have kept the agency in the news as they search for any signs of past life on the “Red Planet.”  While the machines’ main goal is to find any evidence of ancient life, that search is just part of their mission.  As is pointed out in PBS’ brand new DVD, NOVA: Looking for Life on Mars, NASA officials are hoping to eventually return that evidence to Earth with yet another mission to Mars when and if it is discovered.  The new DVD in question was released Tuesday, less than three months after the then latest episode of NOVA made its initial airing is another interesting episode of PBS’ long-running science-based series.  The noted story of Perseverance’s mission is at the heart of the episode, and it is a good   starting point for the program.  It will be discussed shortly.  The interviews that are featured within the bigger story add their own interest to the presentation.  They will be discussed a little later.  The program’s collective editing and pacing round out its most important elements.  They will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the presentation of NOVA: Looking for Life on Mars.  All things considered, they make this latest episode of NOVA another engaging and entertaining edition of PBS’ hit science-based series.

PBS’ newly released DVD presentation of NOVA: Looking for Life on Mars will appeal widely to NOVA’s longtime science-based series and to anyone with any interest in space science and even science fiction.  The episode’s appeal comes primarily through the episode’s central story.  Audiences will be interested to learn that the episode’s story is about more than just finding signs of ancient life on Mars, but about looking for ways in which life on Earth can survive on Mars.  The story opens with Perseverance’s landing on Mars back in February following months and years of preparation.  From there, the story turns to Perseverance’s mission, which is to find any traces of ancient microbial life on Mars.  It is pointed out (thankfully) that there is no expectation of finding any signs of more humanoid (*intelligent*) life.  That keeps the episode’s story fully grounded.  Audiences will be interested to learn as the episode progresses, that Mars did in fact once have water.  What’s more it is also revealed that the main components needed for life (CHNOPS – Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, and Sulfur) were all eventually found in Mars’ soil by Pereverance’s equipment, too.  As the program continues, it is revealed that gathering samples from Mars’ surface is only part of NASA’s latest mission to Earth’s “sister planet.”  One interviewee reveals that NASA also plans to send a rocket to Mars to retrieve the samples collected by Perseverance and then return them to Earth.  That is certain to be an interesting mission in itself.  This and other interviews incorporated into the program will be addressed shortly.  Getting back onto the topic at hand, along with finding evidence of life on Mars, NASA is also researching how to sustain human life on Mars.  This leads to the discussion on ways to convert Mars’ carbon dioxide rich atmosphere into breathable oxygen.  Filtration company Lydall is working with NASA on that project, and even placed a filter on Perseverance.  That discussion in itself adds even more engagement and entertainment to the story.  The whole story rounds out with a discussion on how the Perseverance program started and where it is going today.  All things considered, the story ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment, in turn creating a solid foundation for the episode’s presentation.

The story featured in NOVA: Looking for Life on Mars makes for a positive starting point for the episode.  Building on the foundation that it forms are the collective interviews that accompany the story.  One of the most notable of the interviews comes in the discussion on Perseverance’s “companion,” the Ingenuity.  A couple of people on the Ingenuity team come right out during this discussion and openly talk about how the very idea was laughed down.  That is because the atmosphere on Mars is so thin that no one thought there would be enough air to get the Ingenuity off the planet’s surface.  Of course as news outlets nationwide reported recently, those doubts were silenced when the mini-“helicopter” did in fact go airborne.


This examination already noted that one of the interviewees featured in this documentary noted early on that Perseverance and Ingenuity were looking for signs of ancient microbial life.  This is important to note because the woman in question stresses that they are not looking for any signs of “alien” life.  This provides for far more credibility and ensures any conspiracy theory types will be silenced early on.  It is a brief statement from  one of the many interviews featured throughout the hour-long program, but is so important because it means officials involved in the project did not want anyone misconstruing what was going on.

Another interesting discussion featured through the episode’s interviews is that of the one-time existence of water on Mars.  The interviewees talk about the reality that at one point, a flowing river once made its way into the crater in which Perseverance landed.  The group talks about smooth rocks in the channel in question prove water once flowed through and into the crater.  Along with that discussion, there is also the discussion on what may or may not have happened to cause the water to evaporate, though no definitive   answer is provided.  Between these discussions, the others noted here and so many others provided through the episode’s interviews, the whole enhances the episode’s presentation even more.  The result is that the interviews prove just as important to the episode as the story.  The interviews and story are just part of what makes this new episode of NOVA so engaging and entertaining.  The episode’s collective pacing and editing round out its most important elements.

The pacing and editing of this NOVA episode are important to note because the episode’s topic is so specific.  It means the show’s creative heads had to make sure that it flowed fluidly and kept everything together solidly.  Viewers will note that it does just that.  The episode opens with the Perseverance’s landing, moves to the search for that ancient microbial life, and closes with the story of the Perseverance’s creation, launch, and landing.  Throughout all three of those segments, the discussions on the related topics and the video are solid in their connections.  Each segment ensures through that editing that viewers are never left feeling left behind or even that the episode drags at any point.  It   brings everything together, completing the episode’s presentation.  When it is considered along with the interest ensured by the episode’s story and its interviews, the whole makes this episode another enjoyable offering from PBS.

PBS’s recently premiered episode of NOVA, Looking for Life on Mars is an enjoyable addition to the long-running series.  The episode’s interest comes in part through its story which follows NASA’s work on its Perseverance rover project.  The story is so interesting in that it is straight forward.  It is the next step in NASA’s exploration of our solar system.  The interviews that are presented throughout the story add their own interest.  That is because of the extra insight that they give into everything that went into and is still ongoing in the project.  The collective editing and pacing that went into the episode rounds out its most important elements.  It ensures viewers’ maintained engagement and entertainment as it brings everything together and keeps the episode moving fluidly.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the episode.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Looking for Life on Mars a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

Websitehttps://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/novapbs

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

‘Garbage Guts’ Is Among The Most Unique Of 2021’s New Family Music Records

Courtesy: 8 Pound Gorilla Records

Family music act Formidable Vegetable is scheduled to release its new EP Garbage Guts Friday through 8 Pound Gorilla Records.  The six-song EP is quite the interesting addition to this year’s field of new family music records.  Running approximately 16 minutes, the EP stands out in part because of its featured musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes also play into its interest.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each item noted here plays its own important part to the album’s overall presentation.  When they come together, they make the EP in whole an enjoyable offering for any young listener.

Formidable Vegetable’s forthcoming EP, Garbage Guts is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new EPs.  It will appeal just as much to younger listeners as to grown-ups.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are varied throughout the record’s nearly 20-minute run.  The EP opens and closes on a Dixieland note in ‘We’re All Friends’ and ‘Our Street’ respectively.  Along the way, listeners are treated to a bit of hip-hop and EDM together in the EP’s lead single, ‘Get a Goat.’  The act’s familiar Dixieland gets an electronic update in ‘No Such Thing as Waste’.  The use of the keyboard, strings and electronics gives the song an infectious new style that even adults will enjoy.  It is a great sound that easily lends itself to thoughts of works from the likes of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Squirrel Nut Zippers.  ‘Fonky Food’ meanwhile changes things up again by taking listeners back to the 1970s with its funk-based arrangement.  To a point, this arrangement lends itself to a comparison to works from Formidable Vegetable’s fellow family music act Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.  Between this arrangement and all of the others noted here, the whole of Garbage Guts’ musical presentation ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment in its own way.  It is just one part of what makes the EP notable.  The record’s lyrical content adds to its interest, too.

The lyrical content featured in Garbage Guts is just as diverse as the EP’s musical arrangements.  ‘We’re All Friends’ promotes and celebrates unity and friendship.  The song even notes that in order to keep friends, people should be treated equally and fairly.  It even stresses that family can be friends and “unexpected places.”  Something truly   interesting here is the subtle way in which the song reminds young listeners that real friends are better than “friends” they might have online.  This simple line can lead to a much bigger discussion on internet safety. Of course that is a latent function of the song’s lyrical content, but it is there.  

“Get a Goat’ changes things up lyrically by presenting a message that promotes environmental awareness.  It does this so simply by just telling young listeners to…well…get a goat.  For those who might not know, goats are natural lawn mowers.  They eat grass and lots of it, so to that end, many people actually incorporate the use of goats for their lawn care.  That is because the only gas involved with them is the gas they give off.  Yes, that was a terrible joke.  The waste that they give off can even be potentially used for fertilizer, so they are, again, ecologically safe.  Now while the song’s lyrical content does not come right out and make this clear, the understanding of goats’ usefulness is mostly commonplace, so that makes this song’s lyrical theme still notable in its own right despite its overly simplistic nature.

‘Shoogieman’ continues to exhibit the diversity in the EP’s lyrical content by addressing the importance of good dental hygiene.  As with so many other songs, it does this by personifying the bacteria and germs that can and do damage a person’s teeth.  Even more interesting is that older audiences might catch the use of KC and the Sunshine Band’s timeless song ‘I’m Your Boogie Man’ for the basis for this work.  There is obviously a clear stylistic difference between the songs in the musical arrangements, but those lines when the “shoogieman” sings, “I’m your shoogie man,” the re-imagining is just as evident.  When all of this is considered along with the other noted lyrical themes and those not directly addressed here, the whole of the EP’s lyrical content proves overall, it is just as important to the record’s presentation as its musical content.  The overall content pairs with the EP’s sequencing to put the final touch to the record.

Listeners will note through the EP’s sequencing that it keeps things changed up from one song to the next.  This applies, as noted, to the musical and lyrical content. The upbeat vibe that the songs create is the one thing that stays constant since the arrangements’ energies remain so upbeat.  The most that the record lets up comes in its finale, ‘Our Street.’  Even in that case, the record doesn’t let up too much.

The lyrical content that is featured throughout the record play into the EP’s sequencing because while they do generally follow one overarching theme – that of promoting environmental awareness – the manner in which it does this does change from one song  to the next.  As noted ‘Get a Goat’ promotes the use of goats for lawn care instead of lawn mowers and other machines that require the use of oil and gas.  ‘No Such Thing as Waste’ promotes environmental awareness by promoting recycling.  ‘Fonky Food’ goes in yet another unique direction by promoting the use of fermentation to make food, such as sourdough bread and sauerkraut.  It serves as a reminder that while yes, some food is not safe to eat when it ferments, there is some fermented food that is good.  To this end, the song is a starting point for discussions on avoiding food waste, which is an ecological problem in its own right.  Staying on the topic of food, the EP also takes on the topic of locally sourced foods in the EP’s closer.  Relying on locally-sourced resources reduced gasoline and oil usage, leading to reduction in carbon footprints (and potentially costs to consumers), so here again is an ecologically-minded song even here.  Looking back through all of this, it becomes clear, again, that while the songs featured here do largely follow one central theme, they change from one to the next in how that lyrical theme is approached.  What’s more, the addition of the two non-ecologically-based songs breaks things up even more, making for even more interest.   Keeping everything in mind, it keeps clear why the record’s sequencing is so important to the EP’s presentation.  Together with the EP’s songs and lyrical content, the sequencing finalizes the EP’s presentation and proves one last time why this record will appeal to any family.

Formidable Vegetable’s new forthcoming EP, Garbage Guts is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new family music offerings.  Part of its appeal comes from its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements show a variety of styles from one to the next.  The record’s lyrical content is diverse in its own right.  It largely follows the central theme of environmental awareness while presenting that message in various fashions.  The sequencing of all of that content completes the picture painted by the noted content.  It ensures that the different topics keep changing just enough from one to the next, putting the final touch to the presentation.  When it is considered along with the rest of the EP’s content, that whole makes the record in whole a work that is among the more unique of this year’s new family music records.  Garbage Guts is scheduled for release Friday.

More information on Formidable Vegetable’s new EP is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.formidablevegetable.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/formidablevegetable

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Heavy Feather’s Sophomore LP Will Have Listeners Saying, “Sweet”

Courtesy: The Sign Records

As 2021 progresses and efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic continue, music fans are slowly but surely starting to see more music acts announce tentative new live dates around the world.  That is a hopeful sign about where the world stands today in the ongoing battle against the pandemic.  One of the many acts out there that has announced some new tentative dates is the neo-classic rock band, Heavy Feather.  The band has tentative live dates scheduled right now, in July and September.  Those dates are in support of the band’s forthcoming sophomore album, Mountain of Sugar.  Scheduled for release Friday through The Sign Records, the 11-song record is among the best of this year’s new releases in the neo-classic rock realm.  That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content from beginning to end.  One of the songs that best exemplifies how that combined content makes the record so appealing comes early in the album in the form of ‘Love Will Come Easy.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Sometimes I Feel,’ which comes much later in the record’s 37-minute run time is another prime example of what makes Heavy Feather’s new album stand out.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Let It Shine,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint, is one more example of what makes the album stand out.  It will also be discussed later.  All three songs noted here are important in their own way to the whole of this new offering from Heavy Feather.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s entries, it is possible to say that the album is not perfect (there is some redundancy in some of the arrangements), but is still a positive new offering from the band that shows promise for the band’s future.

Heavy Feather’s sophomore album, Mountain of Sugar, is a presentation that stoner rock and neo-classic rock fans alike will agree is worth hearing at least once.  That is proven from beginning to end of the 37-minute album through its musical and lyrical content alike.  It is not a perfect album, but does boast its own share of engaging and entertaining content.  One of the most notable of the album’s songs comes early in the album in the form of ‘Love Will Come Easy.’  The song’s musical arrangement immediately lends itself to comparisons to some of the greatest of Janis Joplin’s works.  That is proven through the bluesy, fuzzed guitar line at the song’s center and through the sound of singer Lisa Lystam’s voice.  Her vocal delivery, both in sound and style, is so much like that of Joplin, and in the best way possible.  There is even something in the rich, raw sound from the drums and bass that enhances the song’s presentation even more.  The whole makes the arrangement in whole such a pleasant work.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement creates its own engagement and entertainment.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Love Will Come Easy’ is a direct mirror image of its title.  It is a song about someone looking for love.  That is made relatively clear early on as Lystam sings, “I’m surrounded by folks/Thinking, am I good enough?/I’m pouring my heart out to get your smile…Why don’t you love me/Just tell me why.”  Thanks to the record’s production and Lystam’s unique vocal delivery style and sound, some of that lead verse is difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference.  That aside, enough of the song is still understandable to the point that the noted theme is made relatively clear.  That final statement, asking, “Why don’t you love me/Just tell me why” is that pleading, showing that soon that this is just someone who is desperate to be loved.  Lystam continues in the song’s chorus, adding, “I know/Love will come easy.”  So again, that theme is certified even more.  The song continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse, so there is no reason to continue from here.  The point being that this is a song that is, again, simple.  It is a person who is going through the thoughts and emotions of someone who just wants to have that special someone.  It is a fully accessible lyrical presentation that when paired with the energy in the song’s musical arrangement makes the song overall that much more appealing.  The two elements do well together here and make the song just one example of what makes the song and album stand out.  ‘Sometimes I Feel,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of the record’s strength.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Sometimes I Feel’ immediately lends itself to comparisons to the best works of The Allman Brothers Band right from its outset.  That is made clear through the specific twang in the guitar line, the use of the keyboards, and the rich, raw sound of the drums.  Guitarist Mate Gustaffson takes over vocal duties here, sounding just as rough and welcome as the late, great Duane Allman.  The whole makes obvious why this song was released in February as one more of the album’s singles.  It is a composition in whole that is just as good as anything from The Allman Brothers Band and any compositions from any of Heavy Feather’s contemporaries within the roots rock/neo-classic realm.  When that content is paired with the song’s lyrical content, the song gains even more traction.

While not all of the song’s lyrical content is clear without a lyrics sheet to reference, what can be inferred from the understandable content, the song’s lyrical content would seem to focus on someone reflecting on a relationship with another.  That comes as Gustaffson sings, “Sometimes I feel/Like you belong/Sometimes I feel like I’m standing here alone/Sometimes I feel/Like something went wrong/Like all the memories we shared are just gone.”  This is all taken from the song’s chorus.  The second verse opens with Gustaffson’s subject making note of a woman rolling her eyes at the man during a discussion between the pair, adding, “I need something safe to depend on.”  Again when this is set alongside the content in the song’s chorus, it can be relatively easily inferred, again.  When one considers the mood set through the song’s musical arrangement, it makes for even more reason to believe that this song is, again, a story of someone who is looking back on perhaps a broken relationship, which is itself an all too familiar lyrical topic.  That means the song’s lyrical content is just as accessible to audiences as the song’s musical content.  What’s more, the two elements together make the song another clear example of why Heavy Feather’s noted audiences will appreciate this song and the album in whole.  Keeping all of this in mind, ‘Sometimes I Feel’ is just one more example of why roots rock and neo-classic rock fans will find Heavy Feather’s new album appealing.  ‘Let It Shine’ is yet another example of what makes the record successful.

‘Let It Shine’ is the most contemplative song featured Heavy Feather’s new album.  Lystam’s vocal delivery and the reserved guitar performance makes this song so controlled and subtle in its performance.  Audiences do not even need the song’s equally brooding lyrical content to be impacted.  That is how strong the song’s musical arrangement proves in the long run.  Speaking of that noted lyrical content, it will resonate with listeners just as much as the song’s musical arrangement.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Let It Shine’ is certain to engage listeners because it is not as clear in its language as much of the album’s other lyrical content.  Lystam sings here of a person shining “over us.”  From that one line, it has to be inferred that the song is meant as a tribute to someone no longer here.  It would also make the line noting how the person was “like a bird who flew away/but didn’t find its way.” She even adds that “still you fly over us.”  So yet again, the song seems to be a eulogy of sorts for someone close to either her or the band in whole.  The metaphorical language that Lystam uses here is similar to that of language in other songs about someone who has died, so if in fact that is the topic at the song’s heart, then such language along with the song’s topic will certainly  connect with listeners and tug at their heart strings, creating a deep emotional impact on listeners.  That impact is increased when the moving message is paired with the noted musical arrangement.  The two items together make this song even clearer in regards to what makes Mountain of Sugar.  When this song and the others examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the record in whole proves to be a presentation that while not perfect, does still show some promise for Heavy Feather’s future within the neo-classic/roots rock and rock communities overall.

Heavy Feather’s sophomore album Mountain of Sugar is an overall enjoyable new presentation from the up-and-coming roots/neo-classic rock band.  It is a presentation that will appeal to the band’s target audiences, which includes its established audience base, as well as those who already are fans of the noted rock subgenres.  That is proven collectively through the record’s musical and lyrical content.  All three of the songs examined here serve to support the noted statements.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes the album in whole proof that Heavy Feather has a promising future.  Mountain of Sugar is scheduled for release Friday through The Sign Records.  More information on Mountain of Sugar is available along with all of Heavy Feather’s latest news at:

Website: https://heavyfeatherofficial.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/HeavyFeatherRock

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.worpress.com.  

Get Better Records Debuts Another New Single From Its Forthcoming Split

Courtesy: Get Better Records

Get Better Records debuted the sixth single from its forthcoming split Sunday, Someday this week.

The label premiered the record’s new single, ‘To Carry (On and On)‘ Wednesday. The premiere of the song, performed by Koji, follows that of the record’s other singles, ‘Between The Lines,’ ‘Mountains,’ ‘Let Go,’ ‘Masc 4 Masc,’ and ‘Burn It Down, Grow a Garden.’

SundaySomeday is scheduled for release March 26 through Get Better Records. Pre-orders are open now.

‘To Carry (On and On)’ was recorded by Koji, and is the act’s second song featured in the record. The song’s musical arrangement is a catchy mid-tempo composition. That is thanks in part to its steady, simple time keeping and subtle guitar line paired with its equally subtle vocals.

Speaking of the lyrics, no comment is provided about the song’s lyrical theme featured in the news release announcing the single’s premiere.

Sunday, Someday‘s full track listing is noted below.

Sunday, Someday’ Tracklisting:

1. Nervus (ft. Erik Garlington from Proper.) – Between The Lines

2. Nervus – Love Thy Neighbour

3. Potty Mouth – Let Go

4. Potty Mouth – Saroce & Smokes

5. Full On Mone’t – Masc 4 Masc

6. Full On Mone’t – Swimming Lessons

7. Solstice Rey – Mountains

8. Solstice Rey – Phoenix

9. KOJI – To Carry (On and On)

10. KOJI – Burn it Down, Grow a Garden

More information on this and other titles from Get Better Records is available along with all of the label’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://gettbetterrecords.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/getbetterrcrds

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

The Nomadic Debuts New Single, ‘Skaterpark’

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Alt-rock act The Nomadic debuted its new single this week.

The act, founded by Robert Gaylard, debuted the single ‘Skaterpark‘ Friday. The song is the latest single from the act’s forthcoming album Beyond Blue. The album, who release date is under consideration, has also produced the singles, ‘Manhattan View,’ ‘Beyond Blue,’ ‘Waiting,’ and ‘Drifting.’

Gaylard talked about the creation of ‘Skaterpark’ during a recent interview.

“It’s a little different from the songs we have released so far!,” he said. “For a start, it is co-written by my brilliant Nephew Guy Stonor, who at 17 years old is already an incredibly talented bass player, song writer, and producer! We were rooming together on a family holiday in Australia in Dec 2018, and he turned to me and said “Hey Rob, let’s write a song!”; at first I was a little doubtful, skeptical even, because I have always written my own songs! However very quickly I realized we would work very easily together! Guy is such a natural- kids these days!! He was like “let’s try this lyric? Why don’t you come in a little earlier on the vocals there? Etc etc. a born producer/ songwriter I would say!”

Gaylard added that his nephew is just one of his talented family members.

“There really is so much talent in that family!,’ said Gaylard. “I keep telling them they should be forming a band! My brother in law Pete is a great lead guitarist, my sister Pep is extremely creative, younger nephew Alex is brilliant at anything he turns his hand to (including being an amazing soccer player!) and niece Libby at 11 years old is already writing and producing her own songs! The dog Cookie might need a bit of musical training, but she’s also very enthusiastic!! I can’t wait to get them all over to NY post COVID-19 to work on some new material!”

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Skatepark’ is a light, guitar-driven work. Its airy guitar line pairs with Gaylard’s vocals to generate a sound and stylistic approach that lends the work — albeit slightly — to comparison to works from Tom Petty. At the same time, listeners can also make a comparison to works from the likes of Gin Blossoms.

The song’s lyrical theme is meant to deliver a positive message, according to Gaylard.

“For the story behind the song- I would encourage all listeners to think back to childhood, adolescence and/or early adulthood!,” he said. “Can you think back to your earliest, best friend? Perhaps reminisce on the times you spent together, the fun you had, the memories you shared! Are you still in contact today? if not, would you consider reaching out to see how they are doing?!”

More information on The Nomadic’s new single is available online along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://thenomadic.band

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TheNomadicBand

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.