Shout! Factory’s ‘Legally Blonde Collection’ Will Get A Positive Verdict From The Franchise’s Most Devoted Fans

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Almost two decades ago, actress Reese Witherspoon made her mark on the movie industry when she starred in MGM’s female-fronted comedy Legally Blonde.  Two years later, it was followed by the sequel Legally Blonde: Red, White & Blonde.  Now early next year, the franchise is allegedly set to see another installment.  As audiences wait and see if that movie actually happens, Shout! Factory has a collection available now featuring the first two Legally Blonde movies on Blu-ray.  This latest collection is a work that the franchise’s most devoted fans will appreciate.  That is due in part to the set’s bonus content, which will be addressed shortly.  The set’s packaging plays its own part in the collection’s presentation.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make Shout! Factory’s Legally Blonde Collection appealing for the most devoted fans of this franchise and of Reese Witherspoon.

Shout! Factory’s recently released Legally Blonde Collection, released Feb. 26 on Blu-ray, is a presentation that the most devoted fans of this franchise and of Reese Witherspoon will appreciate.  That is due in part to the collection’s bonus content.  Much of the content featured in the collection was carried over from previous releases of the movies, including the audio commentaries  The feature-length commentary in the franchise’s first flick offers some of the most engaging and entertaining content.  Viewers learn through this commentary, items, such as its director, Robert Luketic was actually a lawyer and member of the New York State Bar before making a career change.  That might account for his interest in the movie, even though he was not one of the movie’s writing staff members.  Staying on that note, it is also revealed that the movie’s writing team of Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith were on set throughout much of the movie’s principal photography to make sure every joke and every line worked.  It shows, too in watching the movie sans commentary.  That revelation comes late in the movie’s run along with the revelation that the jail scenes were shot in a real jail and that said facility was allegedly haunted and was where the infamous “Manson Girls” were detained.  Witherspoon herself even takes time to discuss how she developed her persona for Elle at various points in the commentary.  She talks about developing Elle’s walk, her body language and even the inflection in her voice.  That is interesting to learn.  This is just some of the information revealed in this one of two feature-length commentaries featured in this collection.  There are also mentions of the homage to the classic 1967 Dustin Hoffman movie The Graduate and the casting director’s tie to another female-fronted flick in Bring It On.

The audio commentary featured in Legally Blonde 2 offers its own share of interest for viewers thanks to cast members  Coolidge, Jessica Cauffiel and Alanna Ubach.  The trio reveals throughout the movie, items, such as Witherspoon was actually pregnant in reality during the filming of the movie.  The very first scene, the trio reveals, was intentionally set up to reveal her growing baby bump.  At another point, the group points out Elle’s endless kindness toward others despite their lack of kindness toward her.  That in itself makes for an interesting starting point for discussions about that personality trait in the real world.  The rest of the movie is a bit of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type presentation from the women more than anything informational.  Of course considering that the movie’s story is essentially a rehashing of the first movie’s story, just in a different setting, it would be understandable that there is not much informational to offer.  That aside, it still offers its own entertainment by and large.

The bonus commentaries featured with the Legally Blonde Collection are just a portion of what makes the two-disc set appealing for the franchise’s most devoted audience base.  The set’s packaging plays its own part to its whole.  As noted, this set is a two-disc set.  Each disc is placed in its own spot inside the case, allowing the case to be a standard-size Blu-ray case.  This in turn, allows for space-saving on viewers’ DVD and/or BD racks.  It also protects the discs from each other in terms of scratching.  To that end, the packaging for the set was done right, another positive to the set.  It still is not the last of the most important elements to discuss in examining the set.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of the Legally Blonde Collection is $16.73.  That price is obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and Shout! Factory’s own store.  Best Buy was the only major retailer not listing the collection at the time of this review’s posting.  While Shout! Factory’s listing of $15.99 is not the least expensive of the set’s listings, it also is not the most expensive.  It is also below that average line.  The most expensive of the set’s listing is $19.99 (at Books-a-Million and Barnes & Noble Booksellers).  The least expensive of the set’s listing is $14.12 (at Amazon and Walmart).  For lack of better wording, whether consumers choose Shout! Factory’s store or those of Walmart and Amazon – or even Target, which lists the set at $16.19 – they can by and large purchase the set at less than $20.  Considering that the average price of so many Blu-rays today can be anywhere from $20-$25 (or more in some cases) that shows that this collection is affordable for the noted devotees of the Legally Blonde franchise and of Witherspoon.  That positive mark joins with the positives in the set’s full-length audio commentaries and the other bonuses, and the set’s basic packaging, to make the set in whole a welcome addition to the libraries of any of the noted viewers.

Shout! Factory’s recently released Legally Blonde Collection is a positive addition to the home libraries of the most devoted fans of the noted cinema franchise and of Reese Witherspoon.  That is proven in large part through the bonus content that is featured with the collection.  There are some new bonuses and some carry-overs that collectively offer the noted viewers plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The set’s basic packaging saves space and protects the set’s two discs from being scratched.  The average price point of less than $20 makes the set appealing for the noted viewers in its own way.  Each item does its own part to make this collection appealing for audiences.  All things considered, they make the set a presentation that will receive a positive verdict from the franchise’s most devoted fans.  It is available now.  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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Denm’s New EP Will Give Reggae, Ska Fans “Endless” Enjoyment

Courtesy: Rock Mafia

Summer is inching closer to its end, and fall will soon be here.  While the warm weather will soon give way to falling temperatures and leaves, it does not mean that the summer mindset necessarily has to come to an end. Indie reggae/pop performer Denm (yes, that’s how his stage name is spelled) makes that clear with his new EP Endless Summer.  Released Sept. 6, the six-song EP is a work that will appeal to fans of similar acts, such as 311, Jack Johnson and The Dirty Heads with its musical arrangements and even its lyrical content.  One of the EP’s most notable entries that serves to support that statement is its opener, ‘Life’s Too Short.’  It will be discussed shortly.  The EP’s second song, ‘My Wave’ is another of the entries that supports the noted statement.  ‘Find Your Own,’ the EP’s closer is yet another of the songs that shows the appeal of Endless Summer to fans of the noted acts.  When it is considered alongside the EP’s first two tracks and its other three songs, the whole of the EP proves itself just as enjoyable for reggae and modern rock-reggae hybrid sounds as works from Denm’s more well-known counterparts and a work that will stay hot for the noted audiences throughout the cold, winter months of the year.

Indie-reggae act Denm’s new EP Endless Summer is a work that is certain to get endless praise from fans of his more well-known counterparts in the mainstream.  That is proven in part through the record’s opener ‘Life’s Too Short.’  Denm stated about the song during an interview, “When I wrote ‘Life’s Too Short,’ I had no money, nothing was working, and it seemed like I’d hit the final wall.  So as a form of therapy, I wrote a song about how life is too short – how it all flies by so fast I mean, I remember being a little kid like it was yesterday, and now I’m an adult just like that.  I’d been so focused on trying to make it, that I wasn’t even enjoying my life, so I decided to try and change my mindset.  I let go.  I told myself that I was going to be alright.  That whatever will be, will be.  That mindset is illustrated quite well both musically and lyrically here.  The song’s musical arrangement is reminiscent not only of the previously noted counterparts, but also to the likes of Flipsyde with its electronics and hip-hop vibe.  It is easily a radio ready composition that would fit without problem, into any Top 40 programmer’s list.  The song’s lyrical content does an equally applause-worthy job of illustrating Denm’s thoughts.

He sings in the song’s lead verse, “If all we are is all we get/Then I’m gonna live with no regret/Life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short/I’ve watched my old man cry/Don’t you live your life like mine/Life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I won’t lie/I can’t believe I made it this far/It’s a rough life/Everybody got their own scars/Some people get more, some people get less/We’re all blessed/And I know we ain’t got a lot/But I know we’re okay/If we love what we got/’Cause life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short/If all we are is all we get/Then I’m gonna live with no regret/Life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Time flies/Ain’t nobody get a free ride/It’s alright/Might get it in the next life/Some people get more, some people get less, but we’re all blessed/I don’t know if I’m right/I just write with my heart/I just write with the vibe/’Cause life’s too short to stress out/Life’s too short.”  Denm could not be more right with this message.  Life is too short.  Yes, there are problems, as he notes, but we have to make the best of each day.  This is not the first time that any artist of any type has presented such a message.  Even with that in mind, it is no less welcome here than in any previous case from those other acts.  It couples with the song’s gentle, mid-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement to make the song even more appealing and that much stronger of a start for this record.  Keeping all of this in mind, this song is just one of the EP’s most notable entries.  The record’s second song, ‘My Wave’ is another of its most notable works.

‘My Wave’ is so notable in part because of its arrangement, which sounds like a hybrid of so many works from Jack Johnson and 311.  An argument can even be made for an inclusion of Dirty Heads in that list.  It is a free, flowing arrangement that will also widely appeal to nu-reggae fans across the board, to that end.  It is just one part of the song’s notability.  Its lyrical content adds to its interest, too.

Denm notes in the song’s lead verse. “Put the chair out on my front lawn/Let the party go on/’Cause I could sit here all day long/’Cause I got nothing going on/I got nothing going on/I just wanna have some fun/Drink a beer in the sun/And maybe have another one/’Cause I got nothing going on.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Pass me another cold one…as the night comes under the setting sun/Come on let me pull you closer/Feel the sun on your shoulder/Let me, baby, what I told you/Is summer gonna last forever.”  Simply put, this is a laid back work whose lyrical content puts right out there, that same laid back message.  It is a song that celebrates taking life easy, continuing the message in the EP’s opener.  It is encouraging listeners to appreciate and make the most of every day. This is, again, something that every person needs to hear.  To that end, this positive message and its equally uplifting musical arrangement companion make the song another positive addition to the EP.  It is just one more of the EP’s most notable entries.  The EP’s closer, ‘Find Your Way’ is one more example of what makes Endless Summer an appealing work for reggae (and nu-reggae) fans alike.

‘Find Your Way’ is perhaps the EP’s most notable work because it goes more a ska route than a reggae or even nu-reggae route in its arrangement.  Specifically speaking, the song’s arrangement lends itself to comparisons to work from Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and The Aquabats.  What’s really interesting about the arrangement is that while it boasts all the horns and familiar guitar licks, it also adds some electronic elements throughout whose addition is so subtle that it actually adds so much to the song.  Of course for those who might not know, ska is an offshoot of reggae so to that end, the arrangement still stays true to the rest of the EP’s sound, just in its own, unique fashion.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

Denm sings in the song’s lead verse of a father figure leaving his family and the impact that it has.  He sings here, “Daddy was a young boy/He never tried to do no harm/But he always found a way/Daddy was a young man/Violent/Had a mean streak/Then he up and ran away/What’s a boy to do/When he has/No one to look to/You gotta find your own way.”  He continues in the song’s second verse talking about the child’s mother, singing “Girl, I was in junior high/When daddy died/Then she dyed her hair black/And her mom did her best to save her life/Oh, sweet Caroline/What’s a girl to do/When she has no one to look to/You gotta find your own way.”  The words themselves carry a certain fire and pain that can only be fully understood and appreciated in hearing them for one’s self.  Hearing Denm’s delivery of the words, they translate so strongly in their emotion.  The same applies to the fire in the song’s musical arrangement.  The arrangement works with the song’s lyrical content to make the song in whole a solid closer for this EP and one of the record’s most notable works.  When it is considered alongside the other songs discussed here, and the rest of the EP’s works, the whole of the record proves to be a work that will appeal widely to reggae and ska fans and one more of this year’s top new EPs.

Denm’s new EP Endless Summer is a strong new offering that will bring endless enjoyment for fans of reggae and ska alike.  That is proven from beginning to end of this record.  The songs discussed here are but a sample of what makes the record appealing to the noted listeners.  All things considered, they make Endless Summer a record that will stay hot (yes, that awful pun was intentional) well after summer ends and makes way for fall and winter.  It is available now.  More information on Endless Summer is available online now along with Denm’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://iamdenm.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iamdenm

 

 

 

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PBS Distribution To Release ‘Country Music’ Docu-Series Tuesday

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS’ new hugely touted Ken Burns presentation is scheduled to air on PBS nationwide Sunday night.

The docu-series will be available on DVD and Blu-ray next week, too.  It is scheduled for release Sept. 17 on DVD and Blu-ray.  The program, directed by Burns, takes listeners through the history of country music, going all the way back to its beginnings in the 1920s and all the way to the 1990s.

The story is presented through stories of County Music greats, such as Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline.  The program examines the ballads, hymns and blues compositions along with the noted stories to help tell the story of Country Music.

Along with directing the program, Burns also produced the series alongside Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfrey.  Duncan also wrote the story.

Country Music runs 16 hours over a spread of eight discs.  It will retail for MSRP of $99.99 (DVD) and $129.99 (Blu-ray), but is available at reduced prices of $74.99 (DVD) and $99.99 (Blu-ray) through PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

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Lacuna Coil Debuts ‘Reckless’ Video; Band To Launch Tour Sunday

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Lacuna Coil debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Reckless‘ Friday.  The video continues the story that was started in the video for this video’s predecessor, ‘Layers of Time.’  That song was the lead single from the band’s forthcoming album Black Anima, which is scheduled for release Oct.11 through Century Media Records.

Lacuna Coil vocalist Cristina Scabbia talked about the band’s new video in a recent interview.

“‘Reckless’ is the second track taken from our new album Black Anima, she said.  ‘We wanted the concept of the video for this song to be somehow related to ‘Layers of Time,’  That’s why we filmed both of them in the same location picked by Roberto Saku Cinardi.  We had the band’s performance at the core of the ‘Layers of Time’ video, while in ‘Reckless,’ the ideas of freedom and being true to yourself come to life through disturbing horror images to cause a reaction in the audience and actually represent the obscure atmosphere of our new record.  In ‘Reckless,’ Lacuna Coil became part and parcel of the nightmare and fears experienced by the little redheaded girl.  As usual, working with Saku in such a stunning location and with great actors that completely committed to the roles, has been absolutely inspiring.  It was definitely worth it and I hope you will like this video as much as I do.”

Pre-orders for Black Anima are open now.  The album will be available on CD, LP/CD combo pack, Ltf. Ed Book/2CD combo pack and digital.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

Black Anima Tracklisting
  1. Anima Nera (02:29)
  2. Sword Of Anger (03:54)
  3. Reckless (03:06)
  4. Layers Of Time           (04:07)
  5. Apocalypse (04:18)
  6. Now Or Never (04:42)
  7. Under The Surface (04:13)
  8. Veneficium (06:10)
  9. The End Is All I Can See        (04:17)
  10. Save Me (04:36)
  11. Black Anima (03:23)

Lacuna Coil launches its tour in support of Black Anima Sunday in New York, NY.  The tour is scheduled to run through Dec. 21 with a break between Oct. 19 and Nov. 2, when the band will launch the European leg of its tour.  The band’s current schedule is noted below.

LACUNA COIL TOUR DATES
Disease Of The Anima Tour w/All That Remains
September 15 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
September 17 – Greenville SC – The Firmament
September 18 – Knoxville, TN – Jackson Terminal
September 19 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
September 20 – Dothan, AL – The Plant
September 21 – Mobile, AL – Soul Kitchen
September 23 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live
September 24 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music
September 27 – Phoenix, AZ – The Pressroom
September 28 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Live*
September 30 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues*
October 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater*
October 2 – Berkley, CA – The UC Theatre
October 3 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
October 5 – Spokane, WA – The Knitting Factory*
October 6 – Calgary, AB – Palace Theatre
October 7 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room
October 9 – Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
October 10 – Minot, ND – The ‘O’ Riginal Bar
w/Bad Omens, Eximious, and Uncured
October 11 – Minneapolis, MN – The Cabooze
October 12 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note
October 13 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave II
October 15 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverfront Live
October 16 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues*
October 17 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
October 18 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
October 19 – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live
*no Bad Omens
 
w/Eluveitie and Infected Rain
November 2 – Bari, Italy – Demodé Club
November 3 – Rome, Italy – Orion
November 5 – Bologna, Italy – Estragon
November 6 – Milan, Italy – Live Club
November 8 – Stuttgart, Germany – LKA Longhorn
November 9 – Oberhausen, Germany – Turbinenhalle II
November 10 – Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
November 12 – Manchester, United Kingdom – O2 Ritz
November 13 – Glasgow, United Kingdom – Garage
November 14 – Dublin, Ireland – Academy
November 15 – Bristol, United Kingdom – SWX
Novembe 16 – London, United Kingdom – O2 Forum Kentish Town
November 17 – Utrecht, Netherland – Tivoli Ronda
November 19 – Frankfurt, Germany – Batschkapp
November 20 – Hannover, Germany – Capitol
November 21 – Berlin, Germany – Huxleys
November 22 – Leipzig, Germany – Felsenkeller
November 23 – Munich, Germany – Tonhalle
November 24 – Dornbirn, Austria – Conrad Sohm
November 26 – Bordeaux, France – Le Rocher de Palmer
November 27 – Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
November 28 – Madrid, Spain – Mon Live
November 29 – Toulouse, France – Le Bikini
November 20 – Rennes, France – L’Etage
December 1 – Paris, France – Elysée-Montmartre
December 3 – Saarbrucken, Germany – Garage
December 4 – Nurnberg, Germany – Hirsch
December 5 – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Kino Siska
December 8 – Vienna, Austria – Arena
December 10 – Krakow, Poland – Kwadrat Students Club
December 11 – Warsaw, Poland – Progresja
December 12 – Riga, Latvia – Melna Piektdiena
December 13 – Helsinki, Finland – Tavastia
December 14 – Tampere, Finland – Pakkahuone
December 15 – Tallinn, Estonia – Rock Café
December 17 – Stockholm, Sweden – Klubben Fryshuset
December 18 – Oslo, Norway – Vulkan Arena
December 19 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Tradgarn
December 20 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Amager Bio
December 21 – Hamburg, Germany – Docks
*festival dates

More information on Lacuna Coil’s new single, video and tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.lacunacoil.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lacuna_coil

 

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

Romano Drom’s ‘Give Me Wine’ Will Leave Listeners Saying “Give Me Another”

Courtesy: Riverboat Records

Romano Drom returned with its latest album in May.  The 12-song, 47-minute record, which is the group’s sixth full-length studio recording, is a strong new effort from the Hungarian musical collective.  That is due to the record’s musical and lyrical content.  One of the featured songs that serves to support that statement comes early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Shunen Shunen.’  ‘Gelem Le Shavesa’ supports the noted statement just as much as ‘Shunen Shunen.’  Much the same can be said of the full-on instrumental ‘Gipsy Fantasy,’ which comes late in the album’s run.  Each song noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Give Me Wine.  All things considered, they make Give Me Wine a record that is as pleasing to the ears as wine is to the tastebuds.

Romano Drom’s latest full-length studio recording Give Me Wine is a positive new offering from the group, and a positive introduction for those for who are less familiar with the group’s body of work.  That is proven in part early on through the song ‘Shunen Shunen.’  The song’s musical arrangement clearly displays the group’s ability to play slow and with expertise and more quickly, too.  The song starts out slow, with a flamenco-style guitar line set against the very mournful vocals of the group’s front man.  This lasts for almost a minute-and-a-half before the song’s tempo picks up noticeably.  What’s interesting is that as mournful as those opening bars sound, the song is actually not that sad so to speak.  That ties in to the song’s lyrical content, which is about a man who was looking for that proverbial “Mrs. Right” unsuccessfully until finally finding that woman.

The song opens, “I wandered the whole world/But found no one like this girl/Such a beautiful flower/Cannot be found/Another in the whole world.”  It continues in its second verse, “So shines, shines/The beauty of this gipsy girl/Her god given splendor/Like a flower in the garden of life/Hear it, you people/here come the gipsies/To have the girl proposed/That fair flower/Cannot be found/Another in the whole world.”  Listening to the song in whole, it is clear that the more mournful sound in the song’s opening bars is where the song’s subject is mourning not having that woman.  The sudden change is the revelation that he has in fact found that woman and is celebrating her.  The lyrical content paints a clear picture that will move most listeners.  The addition of that distinct change in musical moods makes the song even more engaging and entertaining.  The whole of the song makes itself one of the album’s most notable entries and just one example of what makes Give Me Wine such an enjoyable new effort from Romano Drom.  It is just one of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Gelem Le Shavesa’ does just as much as ‘Shunen Shunen’ to show the album’s strength.

‘Gelem Le Shavesa’ displays much the same musical mood as that of ‘Shunen Shunen,’ only slightly different, though.  It starts off with a very traditional Hungarian folk sound in its musical arrangement, but only slightly picks up in that energy as the song progresses through its four-minute-fifteen-second run time.  The most it picks up is in the song’s final minute or so.  The constant reserved sense in the song’s energy is illustrated quite well in the song’s lyrical content, which finds a father who seems to be looking back on how he handled his son announcing he was in love.  He [the father] did not seem overly enthused, either, but knew he had to accept it.

The father sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wake up, father, Wake up, father!/My son says to me/I saw a fair girl/Come with me/To have her proposed/My heart jumps out when I see her on the street/I set out to the gipsies with my son/to have her proposed/They say they won’t give her to a poor man/What shall I do/We don’t have money/I cannot do anything.”  He continues on, saying, “That boy, that boy is ours/Such a dance/This mettled boy foots the floor/When I see this, I drink all the red wine/I leave all my money in the pub/I went to the fair I drank red wine with the gipsies/Neither I bought, nor I sold a thing/I drank away all my money in the fair.”  It sounds here like the father is realizing what he has done – gone poor of his own doing.  He realizes what has happened is his fault.  What is so interesting here is that despite knowing he is the one who lost his family’s money, the song’s musical arrangement does not reflect that realization.  Rather, the feel in the song’s finale moments is upbeat.  Considering that this is supposed to be a father realizing what he has caused, one would think the song’s final moments would be more contemplative, but they weren’t.  It is very interesting to consider.  That being the case, it makes the song that much more interesting and one more piece of evidence as to the album’s strength.  The song is engaging and so is its arrangement.  The discussions that are sure to rise out of that juxtaposition is certain to make this song stand out, again, with that discussion making the album that much more engaging and strong.  It is not the last of the songs that serves to exhibit the album’s strengths.  The full-on instrumental song ‘Gipsy Fantasy’ is one more piece that shows what makes this album so engaging.

‘Gipsy Fantasy’ is an absolutely standout addition to Give Me Wine.  The song starts out slow, but gradually increases its tempo, with the violin line going faster and more intense as the song progresses.  The addition of the percussion to the song adds even more to the song’s feel.  What’s interesting is that the addition of the percussion to the song actually gives it something of a rock feel more than just a traditional European music feeling and sound.  The use of the coda-like element in the song’s finale puts the finishing touch to the arrangement, giving the song one last kick that puts the arrangement over the top.  The end result of everything presented here is a work that is certain to have listeners dancing just as much as the gipsies who likely dance to such music.  When it is considered alongside the other songs discussed here and the rest of the album’s entries, the end result of all of that is a record that is, again, as easy on the ears as a good wine is on the taste buds.

Romano Drom’s latest full-length studio recording Give Me Wine is a record that is sure to age just as well as a fine for listeners.  It presents a dozen songs that are just as easy on listeners’ ears as a good, fine wine on the taste buds.  That is proven through the songs noted in this review with their arrangements and their lyrical content.  The rest of the album’s entries can just as easily be used to prove that case.  All things considered, they make Give Me Wine a record that will have audiences say give me another throughout the album.  It is available now.  More information on Give Me Wine is available online now along with Romano Drom’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.romanodrom.eu

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Romano.Drom1

 

 

 

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Panton’s New LP Is “A Cheerful Little Earful” For Listeners Of All Ages

Courtesy: Little Things

Diana Panton will release her latest album next month.  The album – A Cheerful Little Earful – is scheduled for release Oct. 18 through Little Things Records.  The 15-song, 53-minute album is Panton’s second family music album — coming four years after her debut family album 2015’s I Believe in Little Things — and her 12th overall album.  This latest offering from Panton is fittingly titled.  That is because it will leave listeners of all ages feeling cheerful after they get an earful of the record.  The album’s featured songs plays directly into that effect.  They will be addressed shortly.  The musical aspect of the album also plays into that positive impact, and will be addressed a little later.  The same can be said of the album’s sequencing by connection.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make A Cheerful Little Earful a work that will leave every listener feeling cheerful.

Diana Panton’s latest full-length studio recording is a presentation that fits its title quite well.  That is because it does in fact prove itself A Cheerful Little Earful of music.  The record’s featured songs play their own part in that impact.  The record opens with Panton’s own take on the classic Rogers & Hammerstein song ‘Happy Talk,’ which is featured in the duo’s beloved musical ‘South Pacific.’  It is followed up by the song ‘It’s A Most Unusual Day,’ which was written and arranged by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHughes, and made famous by Jane Powell in the 1948 MGM movie A Date With Judy.  Harry Woods’ 1926 hit song ‘Red, Red Robin’ – made famous by actress Lilian Roth – is also featured in the album, along with works from Perry Como (‘A, You’re Adorable’), Jimmy Van Huesen and Sammy Cahn (‘Pocket Full Of Miracles’ – taken from the 1961 movie of the same name), Sammy Fain, Bob Hilliard and Fr. Louis Sauvat (‘All In The Golden Afternoon’ – From Walt Disney’s 1951 classic animated movie Alice in Wonderland) just to name some more songs.  As if that isn’t enough, Panton once again offers at least one work for children in the form of the timeless Sesame Street tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon.’  Of course likely just as many grown-ups know that song as do children, so to that end, that song will appeal to lots of adults as well as children.  Along with all of this, there is a Cole Porter work featured in the album in the form of ‘Experiment’ and even a cover of the Michael Jackson hit ‘Music and Me.’  That song was written by Michael Cannon, Don Fenceton, Mel Larson and Jerry Marcellino.  Simply put, Panton once again runs the proverbial gamut with this album’s featured songs.  That is just as evident in the other songs not noted here.  What is truly interesting here is that while the variety of songs is plentiful, they defy the standard definition of “Family Music.”  Most of the music here is jazz, and jazz is music for everyone, like with bluegrass (E.g. The Okee Dokee Brothers).  So it is a family music album, but also an album of music for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  To that end, the songs featured in this album gives it a strong foundation.

That foundation is strengthened even more thanks to the songs’ arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal just as much to Panton’s longtime fans as they will to those who might be less familiar with her work.  From the light, easygoing piano-driven arrangement at the center of the album’s opener, ‘Happy Talk,’ to the more gentle, reserved arrangement at the center of ‘I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon’ (which is also centered around Don Thompson’s gentle, flowing piano line), to the equally reserved, guitar-centered arrangement of ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ to the more light hearted (and also guitar-centered) ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You’ – which was used in the soundtrack to the 1945 Bing Crosby classic The Bells of St. Mary’s – and beyond, the arrangements featured throughout the album are really what make the featured works so easy on the ears.  Thompson’s work on the vibes from  point to point conjures thoughts of the one and only Lionel Hampton while Panton’s own vocal delivery once again is comparable to that of Diana Krall.  The arrangements are easy on the ears not just because of the instrumentation, but also because of their simplicity.  There are no over-the-top performances and solos at any point.  Rather, each song is simple and straight forward from beginning to end.  That adds even more appeal to each composition.  All things considered here, the arrangements presented in each song do just as much to make this record appealing as the songs themselves.  They still are not the last of the album’s most important element.  When the arrangements and songs are considered along with the record’s sequencing, all three elements work together to make the record that much more enjoyable and entertaining.

The sequencing of Cheerful Little Earful is important to note because it ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment by keeping the record’s energy stable throughout its run.  As already notes, the album opens on a high, light hearted note in ‘Happy Talk.’  From there, the album’s energy gradually changes with the tempos gradually slowing until it reaches that famed Sesame Street classic tune.  Things pick back up a little after that in the album’s title track before pulling back again in ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ and ‘Music and Me.’  The change in the energies are subtle though the next few songs before picking up again more noticeably in ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You.’  The album ends with two more gentle arrangements that take listeners out on a soft note.  Again, the album’s sequencing keeps the album’s energy just right from beginning to end, not changing too much from one song to the next.  That stability in the songs’ energies means listeners are more apt to remain engaged throughout as the variety in the arrangements and the songs.  When all of those elements are noted together, the end result is a record that truly is a cheerful little earful for listeners of all ages.

Diana Panton’s forthcoming album Cheerful Little Earful is a fittingly titled-album, especially for jazz and cinema fans.  That is because so many of the songs featured in this album are classic jazz tunes that are featured in some great classic major motion pictures.  They are not the album’s only songs, though.  As noted, there is at least one song taken from PBS’ long-running series Sesame Street and even a Michael Jackson cover.  That variety of songs and associated backgrounds means a wide ranging appeal in itself.  The songs’ arrangements add even more appeal to the record.  The album’s sequencing ensures the energies in those arrangements remains stable from the album’s opening to its end.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Cheerful Little Earful an earful that will leave every listener cheerful.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Diana Panton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

 

 

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Arrow Video, MVD Entertainment Group Partnering To Re-Issue Billy Wilder’s Directorial Debut

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group/Paramount Pictures

Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group will re-issue one of director Billy Wilder’s beloved classic movies later this month.

The Major and the Minor is scheduled for release Sept. 24 on Blu-ray.  The movie, which originally debuted Dec. 24, 1942 through Paramount Pictures (and was Wilder’s American debut), stars Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland in its lead roles. Its story, co-written by Wilder and Charles Brackett, finds Rogers portraying a financially struggling woman named Susan Applegate, who pretends to be 11 years-old in order to buy a half-price train ticket.

When she is found out, Susan runs from her accusers, only to end up running into the train compartment of one Major Philip Kirby, a military instructor who at first believes the woman is indeed a girl.  He takes Susan under his wing, but when his fiance — played by Rita Johnson — meets her, she becomes very suspicious of Susan.

While the story itself is a rom-com, it actually boasts a deeper concept — that of exploring themes of identity and deception.

The movie’s upcoming re-issue will feature a handful of bonuses, such as an archived interview with Ray Milland, a rare hour-long radio adaptation of the movie, which debuted in 1943, and collector’s booklet with essay by Ronald Reagan.  The booklet will only come in the movie’s first pressing.

More information on this and other titles from Arrow Films is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.arrowfilms.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

 

More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

 

Website: http://mvdentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

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