Audiophiles And Entrepreneurs Alike Must See All Things Must Pass

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

All things must pass.  This is such a short, simple statement yet it speaks volumes.  That is why it was chosen as the title for MVD Visual’s new Tower Records documentary by the same name.  The documentary follows the meteoric rise and fall of the once powerhouse music distributor and what led to that rise and fall.  The story is, in itself a key element of the documentary’s overall presentation.  It will be discussed shortly.  The information that is presented is just as pivotal to the documentary’s presentation It will be discussed later.  The pictures, footage, and interviews that are used to tell the story are important in their own right to the documentary’s presentation, too.  All things considered, All Things Must Pass proves to be a documentary that any audiophile “Must” see at least once if not more.

All Things Must Pass is a music documentary that every audiophile “must” see at least once if not more.  That is due in large part to the story at the center of the documentary.  The story in question follows the meteoric rise and fall of Tower Records, a store that was once America’s (and the world’s) preeminent music store.  Audiences will be just as enthralled by the story of the company’s unexpected rise to prominence as they will be by its eventual downfall.  The story starts with founder Russ Solomon discussing how he bought his father’s drug store from him (his father) and turned it into a record store.  From there, it follows the expansion of that store into another and then another before eventually becoming a worldwide phenomenon.  It doesn’t end there, though.  As is revealed in the story’s ninety-six minute run time, the company’s peak was also the point at which everything began to collapse.  It is revealed that a combination of factors led to that collapse, beginning with the company’s outstanding debts and expenditures.  The advent of music’s digital era through Napster added to the company’s problems.  The interviewees stress here that this was just one of the elements that spelled the end for Tower Records.  It was not the sole factor in the company’s downfall.  That is something that is especially worth noting here.  One might think, going into the documentary that this would be a major point in the story.  But the surprise of the company’s other financial issues serves as a real surprise element in this story.  It really serves as a reminder to anyone wanting to start up a business—as much as growth can seem so great, that growth must be handled responsibly.  Solomon admits in one of his interview segments that in hindsight, he should have been more fiscally responsible.  He says in the segment in question that had he been more responsible maybe the company might not have met its end.  The loving recollections that he and the company’s former employees share of their time in the end put a touching accent on the story and might even leave some viewers slightly teary-eyed.  Between all that has been noted here and everything else revealed in the story, it is clear why the story by itself is so important to the presentation of All Things Must Pass.  The story at the center of this documentary is just one of its most important elements, too.  The information that is revealed throughout the course of the program is just as important to note as its story.

The story at the center of All Things Must Pass is by itself an undeniably important element in the documentary’s presentation.  That is because it is a powerful underdog story of sorts; a story of a man who dreamed big but sadly let those dreams get too big.  There is no doubt as to the importance of the documentary’s central story, considering this.  It is just one of the documentary’s most important elements, though.  The information that is revealed throughout the story is just as important to the documentary’s presentation as its central story.  Some of the information revealed in the story is funny.  Some is insightful and other information downright surprising.  One of the most interesting of the story’s funny revelations is the amount of drugs and alcohol openly consumed by the company’s employees in its infancy.  There is even a picture of a receipt displayed during this revelation showing the store’s expenditures at one point.  The receipt notes that the store spent more than $300 on cocaine (trucking fuel as it was called at the time) as an expenditure.  One of the more interesting of the story’s insightful revelations is that Foo Fighters front man and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl actually worked at Tower Records at one point and Elton John shopped for his music there, too.  Both men speak on these topics in their own interview segments.  Even Bruce Springsteen is interviewed for the documentary.  He discusses the positive reputation that Tower Records established early on in its life.  Among the most surprising pieces of information revealed in the course of the documentary is what went on in the listening booths at some Tower Records stores.  It is revealed by one interviewee that people made out in the listening booths and even alleges that people had sex in the listening booths, too.  How and why that would happen in such a public place is anyone’s guess.  But it is noted that allegedly both things happened.  Somehow one wouldn’t disagree that any of it happened.  The revelations noted here are just some of the most interesting tidbits of information revealed throughout the documentary.  They are hardly the only interesting revelations made throughout the program.  There are plenty of others that audiences will discover for themselves when they watch this program.  When all of that information is joined with the documentary’s central story, it becomes even clearer why audiophiles and entrepreneurs alike must see this presentation.

The story at the center of All Things Must Pass and the information presented therein are both key elements to the documentary’s overall presentation.  That is because they serve both by themselves and together to show why this is a “must” see music documentary.  They are not the only elements worth noting in examining the documentary’s presentation.  The pictures, footage, and interviews that are used to help tell the story are just as important to the documentary’s presentation as its story and the information shared through the story.  The pictures collectively serve as a visualization for audiences.  It takes viewers back to Tower Records’ infancy, showing just how little the store started with and how far it came. The footage and interviews work with the pictures to illustrate and progress that story even more.  The interviews especially serve to help tell the story because of how frank the interviewees are in their shared memories.  When one puts the footage, pictures and interviews together, they enrich the program’s presentation even more and ensure even more audiences’ maintained engagement.  Audiences’ maintained engagement is even more assured when these elements are joined with the documentary’s central story and the information shared throughout the story.  All things considered All Things Must Pass proves in the end to be a documentary that entrepreneurs and audiophiles alike must see at least once if not more.

All Things Must Pass is a documentary that entrepreneurs and audiophiles alike “must” see at least once if not more.  That is because on one level it is a stirring underdog story of sorts.  It tells the story of one man’s determination to make his dreams come true and provide a place for the community to come together.  On another level it serves as a stark warning for any up-and-coming entrepreneur about fiscal responsibility.  That is because ultimately it was fiscal irresponsibility that spelled the end for Tower Records.  Given, the advent of digital music availability played a part in the company’s downfall, too.  But as the story reveals, it was ultimately fiscal irresponsibility that led to the company’s downfall.  That two-pronged story couples with the information shared throughout the story to make the documentary even more engaging.  The footage, interviews and pictures that are used to help advance the story collectively serve as the final touch to the program.  All things considered, All Things Must Pass proves in the long run to be a presentation that audiophiles and entrepreneurs alike must see.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via MVD Entertainment’s online store at http://mvdshop.com/products/all-things-must-pass-dvd.  More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://mvdentertainmentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

 

 

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‘NOVA: Vikings Unearthed’ Will Impress Audiences Of All Types

Courtesy:  PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Christopher Columbus was not the first person to reach America.  The Vikings discovered North America centuries before Columbus.  This is a fact that has been well-known for ages yet still seems to be ignored by so many people.  This has been known as a Viking settlement was found in Newfoundland as far back as the 1960s proving without a doubt that they reached “the new world” well before Columbus.  However, it might not have been the only Viking settlement in the region, as is revealed in a recent episode of PBS’ hit series NOVA.  This past July, PBS Distribution released NOVA: Vikings Unearthed on DVD.  The special two-hour episode, presented in partner with the BBC, follows researchers as they work to uncover what they believe may be a second Viking settlement in North America.  If it is indeed a settlement, it would be the first discovery of a Viking settlement in North America in more than fifty years.  The story that is presented in this extended episode of NOVA is the most important of its elements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The information that is presented throughout the story is just as important to note as the story itself.  It will be discussed later.  Last but hardly least of note in the program’s presentation is its pacing.  It is tied directly in to the program’s information and story and is, in turn, just as important as those elements.  Each element is important in its own right.  When they are assembled together, they make NOVA: Vikings Unearthed a program that audiences of all interests will enjoy.

NOVA: Vikings Unearthed is an episode of PBS’ hit history and science based series that audiences of all types will enjoy.  It is a program that students and lovers of history will enjoy just as much as students and lovers of archaeology and even anthropology.  That is because its story touches on all three sciences.  The story in question follows a group of researchers from The University of Alabama at Birmingham as they chase down what they believe could be a long-lost Viking settlement at Point Rosee.  Point Rosee is a location in Southwestern Newfoundland.  As a setup to the central story, the program provides an in-depth history of the Vikings and how they eventually became the infamous seafaring people that are known the world over today.  While the central story isn’t presented until later in the second half of the program, it is still fully engaging.  It leaves audiences engaged because of the surprises that are revealed in the group’s research.  Even up to the end, the answer is still not entirely conclusive.  That means that the program’s story still leaves plenty of room for discussion even after it ends.  Considering this and the story itself, the story forms a solid foundation for this episode of NOVA.  The story is by itself an important part of the episode’s presentation.  It is not the only key element to consider in examining the episode’s presentation.  The information that is presented within the story is just as important to the program’s presentation as its story.

The story at the center of NOVA: Vikings Unearthed is in itself a hugely important part of the program’s presentation.  That is because of its ability to keep audiences completely engaged throughout the course of its two-hour run time.  It is not the program’s only key element, though.  The information that is presented within the story is just as important to note in the program’s presentation as its story.  The in-depth background on how the Vikings became the feared seafaring raiders that the world knows of today is one of the most interesting pieces of information provided within the program’s story.  It explains how the Vikings went from living in the northern regions of Europe to eventually becoming the feared seafaring pillagers that the world knows of today.  It does this by explaining how the Vikings built their sturdy ships and expertly crafted their weapons.  This is just some of the interesting information presented within the program’s story.  Just as interesting to note is the revelation that the Vikings might not have in fact been the blonde-haired, blue-eyed warriors that have become the stereotype today.  The program reveals that many of the Vikings encountered early in their history were red-head, not just blondes or even brunettes.  That is such a surprise because of the stereotype of the Vikings being big, burly, dark-haired (and blonde) warriors.  The only redheaded Viking that most people know of is Erik the Red.  So the seeming prominence of the red-head gene among the Viking community is in itself an interesting revelation.  It is yet another key piece of information that is presented within the program’s story.  It is not the story’s only other key piece of information.  There is much more information that audiences will find interesting throughout the program.  When that other intriguing information is joined with the information noted here, the importance of the story’s overall information proves to be just as much as that of the story.  It still is not the last of the program’s important elements.  The program’s pacing is just as important as its story and its information.

The story at the center of NOVA: Vikings Unleashed and the information provided therein are both key pieces of the program’s overall presentation.  When they are coupled, they give audiences plenty of reason to view this episode of NOVA.  They are not the program’s only key elements.  The program’s pacing ties in to both its story and its companion information.  That is because the pacing of the information and the pacing of the story in whole is what determines the program’s ability to keep audiences engaged.  Audiences will be glad to see that between the program’s main story, its background story, and all other elements, the pacing remains relatively stable from one segment to the next.  The end result is a program that, despite being two hours without any real segment breaks, is still very well-balanced in its pacing from beginning to end.  In maintaining their engagement, viewers will agree that it works with the program’s story and information to make the program in whole another wholly enjoyable episode of NOVA.  It is an episode that audiences of all types will enjoy.

NOVA: Vikings Unearthed is a program that audiences of all types will enjoy.  Those audiences include lovers and students of history, archaeology, and anthropology.  That is due to the program’s central story, the story’s companion information, and the balance of the pacing throughout it all.  There is no denying the importance that each element presents to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this episode of NOVA another enjoyable installment of PBS’ hit science and history based series.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

 

 

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Royals, Red Sox Face Off In Series’ Rubber Match Tonight On ESPN’s ‘SNB’ Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN rounds out another week of MLB coverage tonight with an American League matchup between the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox.

The conference foes face off tonight on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell in the rubber match between the teams in their three-game weekend series.  The Royals took the series’ first game 6 – 3 and the Red Sox took game two 8 – 3.  Yordano Ventura is expected to get the start for the Royals while Eduardo Rodriguez will take the mound for the Red Sox.

Ventura (9 – 9) has had a week off, last taking the mound on Aug. 23. He was credited with the win in the game against Miami.  He was nearly perfect in his six innings on the mound, too allowing no runs, earned runs, or home runs on just six hits. He allowed just one walk and had six Ks.

Rodriguez (2 – 5) pitched four innings for the Red Sox in the team’s win over the Orioles on Aug.16. He also performed quite well in his short time on the mound, allowing no runs, hits, earned runs, or home runs. He allowed only two walks and had seven Ks in the game.

There is no clear favorite for tonight’s series closer between the Royals and Red Sox. Boston is 39 – 28 at home so far this season while the Royals are 27 – 41 on the road so far this season.  However, Boston is 5 – 5 in its last 10 games versus Kansas City’s 8 – 2 record in its last 10 games.  It has performed far better at home with a record of 40 – 21 so far.  All things considered, tonight’s game can go either way.

Dan Shulman will have the call for tonight’s game on ESPN.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews. Anyone that won’t be near a TV for tonight’s game can still hear it on their local ESPN Radio affiliate beginning at 7pm ET.  Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the call for the broadcast.

Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet will precede tonight’s broadcast beginning at 7pm ET.  Adnan Virk will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined at the desk by analysts Eduardo Perez and Dallas Braden, and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kukrjian.

More information on tonight’s game is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://epsn.go.com/mlb

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

 

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‘Humpback Whales’ Is Another Successful Entry In Shout! Factory’s IMAX Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Humpback whales are among the most beautiful, stunning creatures on the face of the Earth.  One would be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree with that sentiment.  One need only look at the number of documentaries and movies made about humpback whales to see just the level of reverence that people have for them.  Earlier this month, yet another entry was added to the field in the form of the new IMAX offering, simply titled Humpback Whales.  This latest entry in Shout! Factory’s ongoing series of IMAX documentaries doesn’t necessarily teach anything new about the whales in question.  That has to be noted right up front.  Rather, it is more of an activist film than documentary.  That is beside the point.  The program’s most important feature is its cinematography. It is a stunning visual treat for the eyes.  The bonus material that is included in the program is just as important to note in examining the program’s presentation as its cinematography.  The program’s central story rounds out the most important of its elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the program.  When they are combined into one presentation, they make Humpback Whales another enjoyable offering in Shout! Factory’s IMAX series.

Shout! Factory’s latest IMAX offering Humpback Whales is another enjoyable offering from the company’s IMAX series.  Most notable of the program’s presentation is its cinematography.  Recorded entirely in IMAX and in 3D audiences are taken on an incredible visual trip throughout the course of the program’s 40-minut run time thanks to the work of its cinematographers.  The footage of the whales surfacing so as to feed is incredible to experience even in standard 2D hi-def.  Even in standard 2D such a moment still pulls audiences into the program. The footage presenting the whales breaching is just as powerful in its own right.  The aerial views of this action and the closer, sea level views are just as incredible to experience as is the footage of the mother whale with her young calf.  Of course there is also some more stirring footage, too that some might be unsuitable for younger viewers as the program addresses how certain nations still skirt international whaling laws and get away with killing the whales.  That should be mentioned right now.  That aside, the program’s overall cinematography stands out as its key element in examining its overall presentation.  If for no other reason, audiences should see this program—whether in 3D or 2D—for its cinematography.  The cinematography is in itself just one reason that the program is worth the watch.  Its bonus material actually compliments its cinematography.

The cinematography that is presented throughout the course of Humpback Whales is in itself an important part of the program’s presentation.  It is not the program’s only important element, though.  The bonus material that is included in the program’ home release is just as important as the program’s cinematography.  That is because the bonus material takes audiences behind the lens.  It presents to audiences just how much time and effort went in to bringing the cinematography in question to life.  The filming crew had to weather storms in order to catch all of the right shots.  It had to figure out where the whales would be feeding to get just the right shots of them in action for other footage.  And in another case, they had to work with members of a whale rescue group as it tailed a whale in distress to capture the group trying to save the whale from a bunch of netting.  These are just some of the examples of what audiences get to see in terms of the program’s creative process thanks to the program’s bonus material.  There is much more presented in the program’s bonus material that will keep audiences just as engaged as that which is noted here.   All in all, the bonus material included in Humpback Whales’ home release proves just as important to the program as its stunning cinematography.  That is because it creates an appreciation for the amount of time and work that went into capturing the footage for the program and assembling it for its presentation.  It still is not the last remaining element to consider in examining the program’s presentation.  The story that is presented at the heart of the program rounds out its presentation.

The cinematography that is presented throughout Humpback Whales and the bonus material that is included in the program are both key to the program’s presentation.  That is because of how closely the two elements work together.  While both elements are undeniably important to the program’s presentation they are not its only important elements.  The story at the heart of the program is just as important to note as those elements.  It doesn’t try to pass itself off as a documentary a la those presented by PBS or even like its predecessors—Rocky Mountain Express, Journey To Space, Flight of the Butterflies.  Rather it makes clear that it is an activist story aimed at raising awareness about the dangers that still face humpback whales today.  Most of those dangers are, as it points out, man-made.  Some are intentional while others are not.  In whole, though those dangers are there and people should be aware of said dangers.  It doesn’t allow itself to become as preachy as some other activist presentations either.  That makes the story stand on its own merits, too.  It makes the program in whole that much more worth at least one watch.  When this element is set against the program’s cinematography and its bonus material all three elements present Humpback Whales as a program that animal rights activists and filmmakers alike will appreciate.

Humpback Whales, the latest of Shout! Factory’s new IMAX releases, is a presentation that animal rights activists and filmmakers alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the program’s cinematography.  The footage that is presented throughout the forty-minute program is stunning in its angles, its lighting and so many other aspects.  The bonus material included in the program’s home release is just as important to the program because it shows how much time and effort went in to bringing the footage to the screen.  It will create a whole new appreciation for even those that are not deeply involved in the world of filmmaking.  The story at the heart of the program is an activist story.  There is no getting around that.  That aside, it is nowhere near as preachy as some other activist programs out there.  Keeping that in mind it makes the program even more worth at least one watch.  When it is set alongside the program’s cinematography and its bonus material, all three elements combine to make this program ultimately, another successful entry in Shout! Factory’s IMAX series.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/documentary/humpback-whales.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Cubs, Dodgers Close Out Weekend Series Tomorrow On TBS

Courtesy: Turner Sports

Courtesy: Turner Sports

The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers close out their three-game weekend series Sunday afternoon and TBS will have full coverage of the game.

The National League opponents will close out their series live on TBS Sunday afternoon on the network’s weekly Sunday MLB on TBS broadcast.  Broadcast of the NL matchup will begin at 4pm ET. John Lester is expected to get the start for the Cubs while Brock Stewart is slated to take the mound for the Dodgers.  Lester’s last time on the mound was Aug. 22 against the Padres. Lester was credited with the win in the game. He allowed only on run on five hits, two walks, and no home runs. Stewart’s last time on the mound was Aug. 14 against the Pirates. He put forth a valiant effort in the game, allowing only one run on two hits and four walks over three innings.

Brian Anderson will have the call for Sunday’s game.  He will be joined in the booth by MLB Hall of Famer and TBS analyst Cal Ripken, Jr. for additional commentary

Next Sunday’s edition of TBS’ Sunday MLB on TBS will feature the Cubs again. This time the Cubs will face off against the San Francisco Giants.  Brian Anderson will have the call for that game.  He will be joined in the booth by Ron Darling for additional commentary.  Coverage of the game is scheduled to begin at 2pm ET.

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‘Unleashed’ Is Another Successful Effort For Skillet

Courtesy: Atlantic Records

Courtesy: Atlantic Records

Earlier this month, Skillet “unleashed” its latest full-length studio recording to the world. Its tenth full-length studio offering, Unleashed is everything that fans have come to expect from the band. That is not necessarily a bad thing, either. Over the course of its twelve total songs the album’s radio ready riffs and uplifting lyrical content make it a record that both secular and non-secular rockers alike will appreciate.  That is exhibited right off the top in the album’s high-energy, guitar-driven arena anthem ‘Feel Invincible.’  ‘Lions,’ with its stirring musical arrangement and equally uplifting lyrical content serves to show just as much what makes the album another success for the band.  ‘Burn It Down,’ with its Orgy-esque musical arrangement and powerful lyrical content serves n its own right to show what makes Unleashed another solid new offering from Skillet.  Of course these three songs are just a small sampling of what makes this record stand out.  ‘Undefeated,’ ‘I Want to Live’ and ‘Out Of Hell’ each stand on their own merits, too.  When they are set against the other three songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the record in whole proves to be yet another successful effort from Skillet.

Skillet’s latest full-length studio offering Unleashed is in whole another solid, successful effort from the veteran rock outfit. That is exhibited throughout the course of the album’s forty-three minute run time thanks to the album’s mix of radio ready riffs and uplifting lyrical content.  The album’s opener is just one example of how that combination of musical and lyrical content makes Unleashed another solid record from the band.  That is due in part to the song’s keyboard-driven musical arrangement.  It instantly conjures thoughts of Muse’s hit song ‘Uprising.’  Guitarist Seth Morrison’s guitar line and drummer Jen Ledger’s time keeping couple with Korey Cooper’s keyboard line to make the song’s musical arrangement infectious and sure to be a favorite among audiences.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s positive lyrical content sits on the foundation formed by the song’s musical arrangement and makes the song even more solid.  It presents a message of self-determination and confidence as Cooper sings, “Target on my back/Lone survivor lasts/They got me in their sights/No surrender no/Trigger fingers go/Living the dangerous life/Hey, hey, hey/Everyday when I wake/I’m trying to get up/They’re knocking me down/Chewing me up/spitting me out/Hey, hey, hey/When I need to be saved/You’re making me strong/You’re making me stand/Never will fall/Never will end/Shot like a rocket up into the sky/Nothing could stop me tonight.”  Cooper’s subject is someone who isn’t letting anyone or anything keep him or her down here.  Even more interesting is that these lines could apply just as easily in the secular realm as in the non-secular realm.  That is a strong statement in itself. And it applies to the rest of the song’s verses, too.  Keeping that in mind, that vast inspiration couples with the song’s musical arrangement to show clearly why ‘Feel Invincible’ is such a strong example of what makes Unleashed such a solid new effort from Skillet.  Audiences can hear ‘Feel Invincible’ now online via Skillet’s official YouTube channel. It is only one of the songs that exhibit this, too.  ‘Lions’ is another example of what makes Unleashed such a strong new effort from the band.

‘Feel Invincible’ is a prime example of what makes Unleashed another successful effort for the veteran rock act. That is due to the combination of the song’s musical arrangement and its uplifting lyrical content.  The two elements together make the song a solid start for the album and its own standout composition within the bigger body of the album.  It is not the album’s only notable inclusion. ‘Lions’ stands on its own merits, too as another example of what makes this record a success.  One of those merits is the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s musical arrangement combines Korey Cooper’s work on keyboards with an equally stirring string arrangement to form its foundation. John Cooper’s vocals and bass line strengthen that foundation even more alongside Jen Ledger’s work behind the drums.  The end result is a musical composition that in itself stands just as tall and proud as the giants and lions that are mentioned in the song’s lyrical content.  Speaking of that lyrical content the song’s lyrical content is just as important to the song as its musical arrangement.  [John] Cooper sings here, “Today is ours/It’s always been/Before we face the fight/We know who’s gonna win/We live by faith and not by sight/We don’t want safe and quiet/We don’t wanna run and hide.”  He goes on to sing, “This is not an intermission/It’s our time/Not gonna miss it/You’ve already called us fearless/Unafraid.”  The message presented here is obvious.  It is a message of self-confidence and pride, just as with the album’s opener.  And it is just a small sampling of that message, too.  The song’s lead verse and third verse present much the same message.  What is interesting here is that considering the confidence presented in these lines, one would expect the song’s musical arrangement to be more intense.  But the song actually works just as well with the mix of confidence and gentility that is in fact presented in this arrangement.  It actually serves to make the song’s lyrical message more impacting.  When all of this is taken into consideration, it makes clear why ‘Lions’ stands out just as much as ‘Feel Invincible’ and the album’s other offerings.  One more of those standout offerings included in this record is ‘Burn It Down.’

‘Feel Invincible’ and ‘Lions’ are both clear examples of what makes Unleashed another success for Skillet.  While both songs clearly exhibit in their own way what makes this record a success, they are hardly the album’s only bright spots.  ‘Burn It Down’ is one more of the album’s high points.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  Audiences that know their music history will instantly catch a clear similarity between this song’s musical arrangement and that of Orgy’s cover of ‘Blue Monday.’  It is most evident in hearing Seth Morrison’s guitar line, Korey Cooper’s keyboard line, and John Cooper’s bass line.  The similarity isn’t a mirror image so to speak.  But it is so close that there is no similarity between the two songs coincidental or not.  Keeping this in mind, the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical content presents a message of proud defiance against life’s obstacles, much as the album’s other songs.  That is evident as Cooper sings, “Do you ever wish that you weren’t a prisoner/Do you feel like you’re done/All the dreams you had are hard to remember/Well, you’re not the only one/Well it’s over, it’s over, it’s over/I won’t be pushed around/Move over, move over, move over/get back or just get out/Set this plane up in flames/It’s over, it’s over, it’s over/It’s time to burn it down.”  He is saying to listeners, everyone has felt those tough times at one point or another and that no one should let those difficult times stop them.  Rather, they should face them and burn them down, metaphorically speaking of course.  That message is presented just as clearly in the song’s second verse as Cooper sings, “Do you ever feel your colors are fading/Like your world might combust/Do the voices in your head make you crazy/When they’re the only ones you trust.”  He reprises the song’s chorus right after that, reminding listeners once again not to let themselves get pushed around and held down by life’s many obstacles even when it seems like even one’s own thoughts are working against a person.  It is a message that never gets old and is always welcome by listeners of all ages.  When it is set against the song’s high-energy musical arrangement, the two elements couple to show in whole why this song is yet another of the most notable of this record’s songs.  When the song is set alongside ‘Lions’ and ‘Feel Invincible,’ all three songs show clearly why Unleashed is another welcome offering from Skillet.  When they are joined with the remainder of the album’s songs, the album proves in whole to be one more success from one of the Christian rock community’s top acts.

Skillet’s new album Unleashed is, in whole, another successful effort from the veteran rock act.  Christian rock act or not, this album is still a solid new effort from the band.  That is evident both in the musical arrangements presented in each of the album’s songs and the songs’ lyrical content.  The musical arrangement present radio ready riffs from one to the next.  The lyrical content presented within each song will is uplifting without being preachy at any point.  The end result is a record that secular audiences should and will appreciate just as much as non-secular listeners.  All things considered Unleashed proves in the end to be one more successful effort from Skillet.  The band is currently touring in support of Unleashed.  It will be in Anaheim, California tonight and Duquoin, Illinois August 28th.  Audiences can see the band’s full tour schedule online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.skillet.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/skilletmusic

 

 

 

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Kirk Herbstreit Talks 2016 College Football Season, More In Media Conference Call

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit took part in a conference call Wednesday with members of the press in which he discussed the upcoming college football season.  During the call, Herbstreit talked about College GameDay’s season opening appearance at Lambeau Field, the major matchups for the 2016 season, and a number of other topics.  The transcript of that call is included in whole below.

I’m down here in South Carolina, Deshaun Watson at Clemson looks like he’s poised for a big year. What are the challenges when somebody who may have only tangential been part of it, steps into that glare and spotlight? We saw a few years ago Jadeveon Clowney was supposed to have a big final year, and things didn’t work out as well as he wanted. What are some of the things you have to embrace to excel in that kind of spotlight?

Kirk Herbstreit: I think that’s a great question for a lot of the players that are back this year. Anytime you have a big freshman or sophomore year and you come back for your third year, you hear a lot of people talking about, just don’t get hurt and just get ready for the NFL, your lifelong dream. And while that is a big goal, obviously, and it should be for all these players, to me when you start worrying about things like that, that’s really when you hurt your own cause. Whether it’s going on to the NFL or helping your team win, I think the best thing to do is not forget what got you to that point. It was an attitude and approach that was selfless. It was not worrying about getting hurt.

In fact, Deshaun last year was coming off of an ACL, and probably pushed his rehab just to be able to try to get ready for those first couple games and maybe was a little bit ahead of schedule.

I remember early calling a few of their games, they were kind of protecting him a little bit, but he wanted to be out there. So I would be shocked if he changed his attitude and his approach because I just think that’s his DNA. That’s how he’s wired. I don’t think any agents or anybody’s going to be able to get to him and tell him to take it easy.

But you do see that happen from time to time. I personally think, as long as he focuses on the team goals and what they can accomplish this year, and that’s an important thing, then I think everything else will fall right into place.

I’m focusing on LSU-Wisconsin. One, was part of you hoping you were going to be at that game? And two, where’s LSU right now as a program considering how close Les got to being fired at the end of last season.

Kirk Herbstreit: I’m sorry — on the first part?

Were you hoping you were going to maybe be assigned to that game because it’s probably going to be spectacular?


Kirk Herbstreit: Oh, yeah, Game Day will be there, and I’m looking forward to being there for a couple of days, looking forward to just seeing — I’ve never been to Lambeau, so really looking forward to taking in the atmosphere. I would have loved to be able to stick around for the game, but as you know I’m flying to Dallas for the USC-Alabama game.

I think LSU for many people is kind of a very trendy pick. There are a lot of people with 17 or 18 starters back that feel that LSU is destined to win the SEC and get into the playoff and maybe win the national title.

I think if you look at them on paper, despite all the criticism and despite whatever Les Miles maybe faced a year ago, this team was sitting in a pretty good spot as they got ready for the month of November on their trip down to Tuscaloosa. They were, I think, number four in the country at that time. That kind of tells you what the state of their program was.

They lost to Alabama and they seemed to lose control and they lost three in a row. They bring almost everybody back from a year ago. The one question about them is are they going to be willing to open up their offense and be more balanced and be more multiple? Against many of the teams they play, they run the football with Fournette and that’s good enough and sometimes it’s not, and they have to be willing to kind of get teams off guard a bit with Brandon Harris, a veteran quarterback now and a great group of receivers.

That’s the one question mark people have about them is what will their quarterback do and what will the offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron do with this experienced group? Is he willing to use more of an imagination or will he be fairly conservative? Then of course, Dave Aranda comes over from Wisconsin, which adds a twist, I think, to this game as well.

They’re coming off a really bad year defensively. They gave up 24 a game, which is the worst, I think, since going back to the late ’90s. So they need to improve on that side of the ball too.

I’m covering Kentucky here in Lexington for the AJC, but basically in Lexington. Before Mark Stoops was fired at Kentucky, you were one of the only people to toss around his name as a candidate, even before he was fired. What did you see in him then, and what are realistic expectations for the Kentucky program now heading into its fourth year?

Kirk Herbstreit: Well, going back to, I guess five years ago, I just saw a very talented, experienced coordinator. I think getting away from his brother, Mike, who is at Arizona and he was the defensive coordinator and kind of getting out on his own and he ended up at Florida State and having a great deal of success. I knew what kind of leader he was. I knew what kind of recruiter he could be. I just thought if he finally got an opportunity to be his own guy, he would have a chance to do pretty well.

As we know, trying to get Kentucky to compete and be a consistent winner in the SEC East is very challenging. They’ve made some strides. But I know that that fan base would love to get to a bowl game and love to be more competitive in the SEC.

If you look at the team, I think the change at quarterback with Drew Barker taking over I think will help them. I think they really turn the ball over too much and they just seem to be a little bit out of sorts offensively.

So you have a new scheme, a new quarterback with Barker. They’re loaded in the back field with Kemp and Williams. So there’s a lot, I think, to be excited about offensively with, as I said, the new attack.

Then, this is a young defense. They’re not quite there as far as where they need to be on the defensive line, and they’re going to have to be kind of creative and aggressive.

But I look at their schedule, and if there’s a game that’s going to decide if they go to a bowl game or not, I hate to say it’s the opener, but I think it is. I mean, if they beat Southern Miss, I think that schedule all of a sudden looks a lot more attainable and a bowl becomes more attainable than if they were to lose that game and go to the Swamp in week two.

So I think they need to get off to a good start and hope for the best. But I think you’ll see improvement this year for sure.

I wanted to get your impression of the Sooners and the very ambitious non-conference schedule with Houston and Ohio State in September?

Kirk Herbstreit: I love it. I appreciate Joe and Bob agreeing to play those games. It’s great for us as fans to be able to get excited to watch OU and in two big games before they even get to conference play. One big thing about scheduling that in September is the winter conditioning. The spring football and especially the two-a-days, you get the players attention because they know what’s coming up they know what’s going to be challenged. OU has been able to accomplish that this year with the schedule.

I think everybody knows about Baker Mayfield, Samaje Perine

Samaje Perine, the talented back field that they have. I think that’s the obvious thing. The questions are: Where would they be with the offensive line? Who is going to step up and take over for Sterling Shepard? They lost a lot of not just play makers, but leaders on defensive side with Dominique Alexander and Striker and Tapper and Zack Sanchez. They lost kind of the heart and soul of that side of the ball. So who is ready to take over would be big.

I think they’re going to be really good on the back end, but I’m anxious to see their front seven and how they develop. And the schedule of Houston and Ohio State, two of the first three weeks, they’re going to have to be ready to go on the defensive side of the ball, because they do not want to get into shootouts against teams like Houston and Ohio State.

Are you picking them to get to the playoffs?

Kirk Herbstreit: As you know, I did a year ago, and I am looking at the Big 12 at TCU, I think, to kind of surprise people. Now that they went through so many injuries a year ago, I think they’ll be a lot better on that side of the ball. I think Kenny Hill could make them pretty dynamic on offense. So I think TCU could be the team to beat in the Big 12.

Checking in to see why you decided to pick Minnesota to come out of the west? What do you like about them? How do you think Coach Tracy Claeys will do in his first season at Minnesota?

Kirk Herbstreit: I’m excited to see what they can do this year. I think first the Big Ten West is wide open. You can talk to any different analyst and maybe get a different answer on what they think might happen. I think conventional wisdom, I guess, would be the Iowa Hawkeyes because of the year that they had a year ago and having C.J. Beathard back and a lot of great players on the defensive side of the football.

There are some people that like Nebraska. There’s talk about Wisconsin, Northwestern, you name it. The reason I like Minnesota is I think that their front seven defensively is going to be very, very stout. I think they’re going to be physical up there. I know they’re inexperienced on the back end, but I think they have a history of playing outstanding pass defense, and I’m kind of counting on, even though they’re young, I’m counting on them to still be solid in the secondary. And I think a lot of people are really sleeping on their offensive play makers.

You’ve got a veteran in Mitch Leidner who has played a ton of football, and I think he could have a great year. They’ve got some great backs that not a lot of people know much about. They always seem to have a good nucleus on that side of the ball. There are some concerns like every team in that West has. But they don’t play Ohio State. They don’t play Michigan State. They don’t play Michigan. They get Iowa at home.

So if they can beat Oregon State to open the season on Thursday, I think there’s a real shot that they could be sitting there looking at maybe 8-1 when they get ready to go to Nebraska on November 12th. Maybe I’m crazy, but I have kind of a weird feeling about them having a great year.

I think you’re aware there’s been a lot of hype for Michigan this season and a lot of them haven’t been in the playoffs. Do you think that’s too early or do you think it’s a fair assessment going into Harbaugh’s second year?

Kirk Herbstreit: No, I think if you look at what he did in his first year and what they have coming back, there’s obvious reason to be optimistic about what they can accomplish this year. I still would make the argument that the roster that he inherited in these first couple years will be the least talented roster that he coaches while he’s in Ann Arbor because of the way they’re going to recruit, or they do satellite camps or sit in their backyard in Ann Arbor. He’s going to recruit his tail off and he’s going to get very, very high-caliber skill players at receiver, running back and quarterback. I think — I personally think they’re about a year away.

With that being said, it’s pretty obvious that they’re going to be 7-0 getting ready for the big arrival game against Michigan State in East Lansing. They’ve got to go to Iowa, and they’ve got to go to Ohio State. If those three games were in Ann Arbor, I might be saying something a little bit different. But I just have a hard time imagining them going on the road in those three games and being able to win all three of those. Even two of them, I think, would be tough to do.

I think they’re about a year away from being the team that everybody is kind of excited for them to be. But I still think they’re going to be one of the Top 10 best teams in the country.

I wanted to ask you about the games that you’re going to be at next week. First off, do you think it’s more important for Ole Miss to have Chad Kelly have a big season or do you think it’s more important for Chad Kelly to have a big season? And second of all, what do you think of the dynamic of Lane Kiffin facing his old team?

Kirk Herbstreit: As far as my job analyzing these teams and watching teams excel, if Chad Kelly has a big year individually and their team goes 7-5, nobody cares about Ole Miss or Chad Kelly. If Ole Miss knocks off Florida State, they find a way to beat Alabama, week three, all of a sudden, they’re 3-0, ranked in the top 5 in the country, now everybody cares about Ole Miss and Chad Kelly.

So I think it’s much more important for Ole Miss for Chad Kelly to go out and play well and not feel the pressure to live up to the standard that he set a year ago where he was such a great player in his first year of Hugh Freeze’s offense, running and throwing and avoiding the disastrous play for the most part. So as long as he doesn’t feel like he has to push it himself or force himself out there to make plays, then I think he can have another monster year.

As far as Lane Kiffin going against his former team, USC, I think he’ll downplay it to everybody in the media. I think he’ll try to kind of poo-poo it even. Like this is just another game. We’ve got to get ready. We’ve got to find a quarterback. We don’t know what we have. But I do think that deep down there is something a little bit special for him going up against USC. Just to remind the USC folks what they let go. He’s a human. He has a competitive spirit. If anybody ever left one job and got fired to go to and he got hired in another job and you’re going back to play that school that fired you, I think anybody would be crazy to say that it wasn’t a little bit special or there’s a little bit more incentive there.

So it will be there. How it will impact the game, I don’t think it will. But I think privately deep down, I think Lane Kiffin’s incredibly fired up to have an opportunity to coach Alabama offensively against USC.

Saw that you picked Auburn as your sleeper in the SEC. Just wanted to have you expound on that as to why you’re optimistic about Auburn when seemingly most of us in the media, certainly in the SEC media picked him to finish quite low in the SEC West. Why are you optimistic about the Auburn Tigers this year?

Kirk Herbstreit: I think that’s a big part of it. I think that this team just seems to be Jekyll and Hyde over the last four, five years. They’re either really, really good or really, really inconsistent. If you go back and think about where they were, I think it might have been 2013, we actually had a “College Gameday,” I think it was ’13, where they played Mississippi State in Starkville. There were a lot of people excited about that team and what they were going to do. Actually it was 2014. They were at No. 2 in the country and Mississippi State was at No. 3, and they lost that game. It seems like from that game on they have not been able to get back to being the kind of team that they can be.

I think, in fact, in the last two years in conference play, they’re 6-10. Just have struggled.

I think if you look at that and you look at their roster and you look who they have at quarterback, I can see why the media said that this team’s not going to compete, even in the back field with the tailback situation. For me, it’s more of I think the defense is going to be really, really good. I think they’re going to play with a chip on their shoulder. I think they’re going to be mad at the world when they play this year, and I think defensively they’re going to stay in almost every game that they play.

Then it’s just a matter of the head coach, Gus Malzahn and offense finding ways to put enough points on the board to win. But I would be careful just by looking at 8-5 two years ago, 7-6 last year, 6-10 in conference play over the last couple years. I think it’s easy to look at this and say that this thing’s heading into the wrong direction. I just think there’s a little bit more backbone to the program than maybe all of us realize on the outside. And I think it will be led this year by the defense. I think, as I said, I think the defense is going to be one of the best in the SEC.

Obviously, calling from Louisville, I was wanting your thoughts on Louisville and Lamar Jackson and the chances they may have to make some noise with Florida State and Clemson in that division?

Kirk Herbstreit: Well, they’re the sleeper this year in the ACC with all the talk about Florida State and Clemson. There are a lot of people talking about Florida State and Clemson both getting into the playoff. I think this year the ACC is deep as I can remember it. Because, while everybody wants to talk about Florida State and Clemson, there is Louisville who is obviously going to be competitive, Miami, North Carolina. I think Pitt could be better. Virginia Tech has a new coach and a new offense. It’s going to be an interesting run this year.

We know about Lamar Jackson. They’ve got all the skill coming back. I expect James quick to have a big year this year. I really think that they get Florida State at an interesting time. I was at the game two years ago when they played on a Thursday night and they had Florida State on the ropes and it looked like they might win that game. And Papa John Stadium, as you were probably there, it was live and it looked like this was going to be their moment and they just couldn’t hold on. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be another game like that. We’ll see this time if Bobby Petrino’s team can find a way, and then a couple weeks later they’re on the road at Death Valley and Clemson.

So they’re going to know really where they stand within the first five weeks of the season, and whether or not they have what it takes to be competitive enough to be that surprise team and push Florida State or Clemson down. They get a chance to play them both.

So other than those two games, I know they have Houston late in the year. I mean, worst-case scenario, I can’t imagine this team not getting to ten wins this year. So I think they’re going to have a great year, and I think it’s going to come down to how they play against Florida State and how they do on the road against Clemson.

Is there anybody that Lamar Jackson brings to mind that you’ve seen like that?
Kirk Herbstreit: There have just been so many of them in the last few years, the guys that can run and throw. I feel like when I watch him, you better hold your breath when he takes off to run with the football. I think he averaged close to six yards a carry a year ago. What’s ironic is Bobby Petrino’s known over the years of having quarterbacks, whether they’re dual-threat guys or pocket guys, he’s trying to find ways to dissect a defensive secondary to throw the football.

To me, I think Lamar Jackson, if I were coaching him, and I’m sure this is what they’re focused on, it’s really more about consistency. I think at the latter part of the year, we start to see them really figure out his skillset. I think in the last five games they average like 35 points a game. In the first few games it was more like 28 points a game. So I think they have a handle on what he does well. But, no, the kid at Houston this year, Lamar Jackson and Greg Ward are similar in how they attack defenses. But I still want to watch Lamar play more this year to see more of him and to see how he develops as a passer before I really compare him to anybody.

I want to ask you about Saquon Barkley out of Penn State. What traits distinguish him from others in college football? And just in general, what do you consider the potential and pressure points for Penn State this season?

Kirk Herbstreit: He reminds me of some of the great Penn State backs back in the day. He has tremendous balance, kind of low center of gravity; players seem to bounce off of him because of his strength. He’s got great quickness and acceleration. He’s just a guy that’s been blessed with that rare combination of quickness and speed and power. So he’s a handful, and when he gets his momentum started, he’s tough to bring down.

That was in more of a pro-style offense. I’m really looking forward to, of all the players that I’ve talked about today, Saquon Barkley in this new offense where they’re going to be a lot more tempo, a lot more spread, more quarterback run threat, I think he may be the beneficiary of the new system and what Joe Moorhead’s bringing in there. I think he’s going to get the ball in space more, which could be really dangerous, and I expect him to have a really big year.

Not to mention, they’ve got great wide receiver play, so they should be able to have balance. And as teams load up on the running of the quarterback and Barkley, they should be able to make him pay for that with one-on-one opportunities on the outside.

I think if their pressure points to me, the obvious one is the defense save line, after what they lost a year ago, and just lose a group of guys like that and experience and the production, and then a year later just throw anybody out there, no matter what four-star, three-star, five-star, whatever it is, and expect him to live up to what they did a year ago. So that’s the biggest one for me.

I think the back end, the back seven at linebacker and secondary, I think they’re going to be outstanding with a new scheme, new defensive coordinator. And I also think the quarterback spot. It was almost these last couple years with Hackenberg, it just seemed to be — it just didn’t fit with what James Franklin was trying to do, after what Bill O’Brien had done. It just kind of seemed to be out of rhythm or out of sorts offensively. And there’s been a lot of talk about a more mobile quarterback and that’s what James Franklin wanted and he has it. So until we see it, I would say the quarterback spot in this new system, that’s the one question mark for me on offense and the on defensive line. We’ll know a lot September 10 when they go over to Pitt.