Machine Head Debuts New Song, Video; Announces Winter Tour Dates

Courtesy: Atomsplitter PR

Machine Head is not dead!

The band, still fronted by Robb Flynn, now has a new lineup to replace Flynn’s recently departed members, who announced early this year that they were leaving the band.  Along with the new lineup, the band now has a new single and video to boot.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Do Or Die‘ Friday through its official YouTube channel.  The video presents the band performing its old-school thrash style song in what is meant to recreate a live setting.  The song’s lyrical content is pure aggression; perhaps a response from Flynn to everything that he had gone through since the release of the band’s most recent album, Catharsis (2018).

Bassist Jarred MacEachern talked about the song and its companion video in a recent interview, saying he was impressed by each.

“I’m blown away by how this video turned out,” he said.  “I was f****** pumped up after my first viewing.  A pissed off song deserves a pissed off video!  It’s a no-holds-barred, in-your-face, ‘f*** off’ kinda song…Ragers rejoice!”

Carlos Cruz, who played drums on the song, offered his own thoughts on the song as well.

“‘Do Or Die’ is by far the most extreme song in the Machine Head catalog,” he said.

Along with releasing its new song and video, Machine Head will launch its North American Winter 2020 Tour in January.  The tour, which is scheduled to launch Jan. 16 in Phoenix, AZ, will see the band celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of the band’s debut album Burn My Eyes as well as a collection of some of the band’s biggest hits.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.  Tickets for the tour are on sale now.

MACHINE HEAD ON TOUR:
1/16 — Phoenix, AZ —The Van Buren
1/18—Albuquerque, NM—El Rey
1/20—Dallas, TX —House of Blues
1/21—San Antonio, TX—Aztec Theatre
1/22—Houston, TX —House of Blues
1/26—Orlando, FL—House of Blues
1/27—Ft Lauderdale, FL—Revolution
1/28—Tampa, FL—Ritz Ybor
1/30—Atlanta, GA—Center Stage
1/31—Silver Spring, MD—The Fillmore
2/1—New York, NY—Webster Hall
2/4—Toronto, ON—Danforth Music Hall
2/5—Montreal, QC—Corona Theatre
2/7—Boston, MA—House of Blues
2/8—Buffalo, NY—Town Ballroom
2/9—Cleveland, OH—Agora Theatre
2/11—Indianapolis, IN—The Vogue
2/12—Louisville, KY—Mercury Ballroom
2/14—Detroit, MI—Crofoot
2/15—Chicago, IL—Metro
2/16—Minneapolis, MN—Skyway Theatre
2/18—Denver, CO—Gothic Theathre
2/19—Salt Lake CIty, UT—The Depot
2/21—Oakland, CA—Fox Theater
2/22—Anaheim, CA—House of Blues

More information on Machine Head’s new single, video and tour is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.machinehead1.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MfnH

 

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.

Edsel Dope Responds To Rumors He Is Static-X Front Man

Edsel Dope is responding to new claims that he is Static-X’s masked singer Xer0.

Dope released a statement Friday in response to claims from multiple media outlets that audiences identified him as the band’s front man, deriding those who have published the allegation.

His statement is noted below.

Hello world.

I have quietly sat through all of this speculation and have thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Yesterday’s internet eruption reminded me of an episode of Scooby-Doo.

It’s incredible how far some people will go to get attention or clicks, so let me remind you how easy it is to slap a little tribal neck tattoo onto someone in photoshop.

I’m honored for myself and for my band DOPE to be part of this 20th anniversary celebration, along with this unbelievable, traveling memorial to our old friend Wayne Static.

Wayne is currently on the minds and in the hearts of the metal community in a very unique and special way. His memory / legacy is more celebrated than it has ever been before.

I personally get to see the joy, the tears, and the incredible sense of healing that is occurring on the faces and in the hearts of Static-X fans, each and every night, around the world.

I’m not attempting to be a spokesperson for Static-X, but I will share that I have personally met Wayne’s parents and siblings, as they have attended a number of these shows.

I have personally seen their tears of joy and their expressions of gratitude and approval for the way that Tony, Ken, Koichi, & Xer0 are celebrating the music and memorializing the life and legacy of their son and sibling, Wayne Wells Static.

I’m including a candid photo that I snapped of Static-X drummer Ken Jay embracing Wayne’s father, while Tony Campos, Wayne’s mother, Wayne’s siblings and friends share some personal time together. Words cannot express the love and respect that I’ve experienced out here.

Courtesy: Static-X/Edsel Dope/TAG Publicity

It’s one thing to go on a Scooby-Doo scavenger hunt, or to use photoshop to attempt to prove whatever you are trying to spin, but it’s entirely different when trolls, masquerading as journalists, spew their ignorant, hateful words towards something that is so incredibly personal.

Anyone with the nerve to throw virtual tomatoes at a traveling memorial, that has been orchestrated and supported by the family, loved ones, and long-time friends of the deceased should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

In the end, I’m not the type of person to allow others to dictate the narrative of my life or my art, so I’ve decided to also include a picture of me chatting it up, while watching another SOLD OUT Static-X show from the side of the stage the other night.

Edsel

Courtesy: Static-X/Edsel Dope/TAG Publicity

‘Life With Lucy: The Complete Series’ Is Worth The Watch If Only For Its Historical Importance

Courtesy: PAramount Pictures Home Entertainment/CBS DVD

The 1980s is one of the most important eras in the modern era of television.  It was this era that brought audiences what are by today’s standards, some of the most timeless programs of all time; shows, such as Golden Girls, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The ATeam.  They and so many others have gone on to huge success since they debuted.  Of course for all of the great, timeless series that launched in the 1980s and went on to set a certain precedent for shows within every genre, there were just as many shows that premiered in the 1980s that were less successful, and with good reason.  They include the likes of Automan, Manimal and Lucille Ball’s finale series, Life With Lucy.  That series in question was released on DVD for the first time ever Tuesday through Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment on a two-disc set.  The collection is a presentation that Lucille Ball’s most devoted fans will appreciate in part because of its episodes.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the set adds to the set’s appeal and will be addressed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  When it is considered alongside the set’s other noted elements, the whole of the set becomes a set that is one of this year’s top new family DVD/DB box sets, even despite the fact that the series is easily the least enjoyable and memorable of Lucy’s TV shows.

ABC’s short-lived sitcom Life With Lucy – the fourth and final of actress Lucille Ball’s series – is unquestionably the least enjoyable and memorable of her career.  It was so bad that after only eight episodes, it was cancelled; this despite the fact that 13 episodes were produced.  Now thanks to Paramount Home Entertainment, all 13 episodes from the short-lived series are available on DVD for the first time in Life With Lucy: The Complete Series.  The episodes exhibit pros and cons with both the writing and acting.  When Ball – who allegedly had a large amount of creative control in the show – was on-screen with her longtime friend and co-star Gale Gordon (who also is famed for his role as the first Mr. Wilson in Dennis The Menace), the two shined.  Fellow co-star Donovan Scott added his own comedic touch, as did famed celebrity guest stars, such as John Ritter, Peter Graves and Audrey Meadows.  However, whenever Ball was on screen with her “family” cast mates, the result was far less entertaining.  Every bit of the acting felt forced, and the writing felt equally lacking in any real substance.  The jokes were also poor and poorly timed.  If not for the noted interactions between Ball, Gordon and Scott, those cringe-worthy performances in the family’s living room and kitchen would have made the show completely unwatchable.  As a matter of fact, in its original run, those moments were so overpowering, that they played into the show’s demise.  Of course now, audiences can see the episodes that did not air along with those that did whenever they want and decide on what they like and dislike the most.  Having that full display of episodes helps audiences to see for themselves why this piece of television history remained in the vaults for such a long time.  Keeping that in mind, releasing it was a gamble for Paramount Home Entertainment, but a gamble nonetheless that will pay off at least among the most devoted of Lucille Balls’ (and Life With Lucy’s) fans.  The inclusion of all 13 episodes of Life With Lucy plays its own important part in this set’s presentation, and is just one of the reasons that the show’s noted viewers will be willing to watch it at least every now and then.  It is just one of the most important of the set’s aspects.  The bonus content featured with the collection plays its own important role in the set’s presentation, too.

The bonus content featured with the new home release of Life with Lucy: The Complete Series is a group of brief interviews that Ball conducted shortly after the series first aired.  Three of the segments are pulled from a daytime talk show called Hour Magazine, which aired from 1980 to 1989 and featured interviews with various celebrity figures.  The other interviews were pulled from episodes of Entertainment Tonight.  Ball’s interviews on Hour Magazine are the more engaging and entertaining of the bonuses, as viewers get a slightly deeper discussion from Ball about life on and off-screen.  She talked, in one of the brief, five-minute segment, about working with Gordon, who sat next to  her and shared his own comments about working on the series and other shows in which Ball starred.  Viewers also find out firsthand that Ball’s “family” cast mates – Larry Anderson, Ann Dusenberry, Philip Amelio and Jenny Lewis – were not overly experienced in on-screen acting when they joined the cast of Life With Lucy.  That might account for why the scenes that involved them and Ball felt so forced and lacking in entertainment.  There are also some clear cheap shots that she takes at her then ex-husband Desi Arnaz that leave little doubt as to her feelings about him.  Those feelings are not good, either, not to give away too much information.

Ball’s Entertainment Tonight interview segments are entertaining, but not overly engaging, as they offer brief insight into life on set and bringing her own classic brand of comedy to the new series.  On a related note, it was allegedly Ball’s insistence on using her vintage brand of comedy to the show that played a very prominent role in the series’ lack of long-term success, according to other interviews that were not featured in this set as extra content.  Keeping that in mind, the Entertainment Tonight segments do add some interest to this set, but not as much as the Hour Magazine interview segments.  Collectively, the two do just enough to add something more to the collection and make it a little more worth watching, if only occasionally.

Keeping in mind what the set’s primary and secondary does for its presentation, the set’s average price point of $37.14 slightly questionable.  That price was obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Book Sellers and Books-A-Million. Considering the fact that the set features 13 episodes and only a handful of bonuses (the promo spots are not even worth noting as they add nothing to the set’s presentation), that price seems a bit steep to say the least.  That is especially considering the fact that the lowest of the set’s price listings comes in at $34.99 (at Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy).  The set’s most expensive listing is at Barnes & Noble Booksellers — $40.41.  Knowing the low response that the series received in its original airing more than 30 years ago and how little content is featured here overall, it would have been wiser for the set’s pricing to have been lowered to at most $25, if not lower.  Other TV series’ box sets with equal and less content (and sometimes more, such as the recent re-issue of Lost in Space: The Complete Series – which was released last year exclusively through Walmart) are priced lower.  The noted Lost in Space set retailed for $19.99 in store at Walmart.  To that end, the pricing of this set is questionable.  Audiences would do well to find the lowest price (again, noted here) and pay that if at all.  Otherwise, it is sadly not a set worth the purchase unless viewers are the most devoted Lucille Ball fans and TV history buffs.

Paramount Home Entertainment’s brand new home release of ABC’s short-lived sitcom Life With Lucy is a set that the most devoted of Lucille Ball’s fans will appreciate.  That is because it features all 13 episodes from the series.  That means the five episodes that never made it to air are featured here along with the series’ other sets, complete with all of the series’ highs and lows.  Once more, this makes the set appealing primarily for a very targeted audience.  The bonus content featured with the set adds a little bit of engagement and entertainment to its whole, though mainly through the Hour Magazine interview segments.  Those elements make the set worth an occasional viewing.  However, the set’s average price point is a bit steep.  That being the case, unless one is among those truly devoted Lucille Ball fan, it would make more sense to watch it on Netflix or borrow it from the nearest library should said institution have it in stock to check out.  Keeping all of this in mind, Life With Lucy itself proves to not be the most entertaining series, but still important in its own right, because it shows how much Ball’s career and acting ability had declined by that time.  It makes this collection important for the most devoted television history buffs and Lucille Ball fans.  More information on this and other titles from Paramount is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.paramount.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ParamountPics

 

 

 

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Static-X Announces New Album Release, Tour Dates; Debuts Album’s Latest Trailer

Courtesy: Tag Publicity

Static-X will return next spring.

The band’s long-gestating album Project Regeneration is scheduled for release May 29, 2020.  Longtime Static-X member Tony Kampos confirmed that information during a recent interview about the album.

“It was very surreal,” Kampos said.  Our producer was going through all of these old studio tapes, many of which were damaged.  He called me up and told me that I needed to get down to the studio right away and listen to what he found…I jumped in my car and raced to the studio, and what he shared f****** blew me away…It was Wayne singing on track after track, but there was little to no music on any of it…Many of the tapes were damaged and Wayne’s voice was virtually all that remained in tact.”

Static-X drummer Ken Jay expanded on Kampos’ comments, saying, he was just as surprised as his band mates to hear the tapes.

“It was just crazy!!,” Jay said.  “There we were…Myself, Tony and Koichi [Fukuda], back in the studio together, after all these years, and somehow the universe decided to surprise us with all of these lost Static-X tapes containing Wayne’s voice.  I just couldn’t help thinking this was all somehow meant to be.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how happy this was going to make Wayne’s family and all of the Static-X fans around the world!”

In anticipation of the album’s forthcoming release, the band debuted a video to tease its impending arrival Monday.  The video features the band performing one of the album’s new songs, ‘Hollow.’  Pre-orders for Project Regeneration are open now.

 

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

While audiences await Static-X’s new album, they will get to see the band live this fall and winter.  The band will launch the second leg of its Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour Nov. 8 in Austin, TX.  The tour is scheduled to run through Dec. 18 in Fresno, CA and to feature performances in cities, such as Greensboro, NC; New Orleans, LA and Flint, MI.

The tour’s full schedule is noted below.  Tickets for the tour are available here.

STATIC-X North American Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour Dates, Second Leg

Featuring co-headliners DEVILDRIVER w/ support from Dope, Wednesday 13 and Raven Black

11/08 @ Emo’s – Austin, TX
11/09 @ Clicks – Tyler, TX
11/10 @ Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
11/12 @ Varsity Theatre – Baton Rouge, LA
11/13 @ House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
11/15 @ Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale
11/16 @ The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
11/17 @ Club LA – Destin, FL
11/19 @ Cone Denim – Greensboro, NC
11/20 @ The Norva – Norfolk, VA
11/21 @ Express Live – Columbus, OH
11/22 @ Skyloft – Albany, NY
11/23 @ Providence Metal Fest at Fete Ballroom – Providence, RI
11/24 @ Sony Hall – New York, NY
11/27 @ Machine Shop – Flint, MI
11/28 @ Machine Shop – Flint, MI
11/29 @ Riverfront Live – Cincinnati, OH
11/30 @ The Rave II – Milwaukee, WI
12/01 @ The City Center – Champaign, IL
12/02 @ House of Blues – Chicago, IL
12/03 @ Green Bay Distillery – Green Bay, WI
12/04 @ The Myth – St. Paul, MN
12/05 @ Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA
12/06 @ Pop’s – Sauget, IL
12/07 @ Bourbon Theater – Lincoln, NE
12/08 @ Sunshine Studios Live – Colorado Springs, CO

Wednesday 13 ONLY – NO DEVILDRIVER, Dope, or Raven Black

12/10 @ The Royal Bar – Salt Lake City, UT
12/11 @ Knitting Factory – Boise, ID
12/12 @ Knitting Factory – Spokane, WA
12/13 @ Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
12/14 @ El Corazon – Seattle, WA
12/15 @ Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC
12/17 @ Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
12/18 @ Fulton 55 – Fresno, CA

More information on Static-X’s upcoming album and tour is available online now along with the original trailer for the album and more at:

 

Website: http://www.static-x.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialStaticX

 

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.

‘Down In The Dark’ Is A Bright Start For Dark Station

Courtesy: FM Music Management

Independent hard rock band Dark Station is gearing up to hit the road in support of its debut album Down in the Dark.  It was recently announced that the band’s new album is scheduled for release Oct. 25.  The 11-song, 40 minute record’s very dark lyrical themes and its heavy arrangements make it an effort that will help to make it shine in what is already a very crowded field of new hard rock records this year. Each item will be discussed here.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Down in the Dark a record that, given the proper support, could easily bring Dark Station and its debut album into the spotlight.

Dark Station’s debut album Down in the Dark is a positive offering from the Orange County, CA-based hard rock band.  That is due in part to the record’s collective musical arrangements.  One listen to the record reveals that the band’s members are not satisfied sticking to just one style of hard rock in this album.  There are industrial elements set alongside electronic elements, which themselves are set against a more metalcore sound.  All of that joins with a hard rock element that shows up at times, too.  The end result of all of those sounds is a record that is certain to appeal to a wide range of hard rock fans if only for its musical side.  The industrial elements show up right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘Ryse.’  The opening countdown leans to an industrial metal style breakdown that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Fear Factory, Crossbreed and Static-X.  That same sound is used in the song’s chorus sections and rounds out the song in its finale while the rest of the song boasts more of a pure melodic hard rock sound.  The balance of those two distinctly different styles works well here, with the end result being just one of many high points presented in this album.

‘Villain,’ which is easily another of the album’s high points (if not its highest point) is an example of the album’s more electronic style sound.  It takes little time comparing this song’s arrangement to works from the likes of Orgy and even Korn.  As a matter of fact, the coupling of front man Nathan Spades’ vocals with the song’s instrumental elements especially adds to that comparison.  Even more interesting is that once again, the band incorporates a certain industrial metal element through its guitars at certain points in the song.  Once again, each element is balanced well against the others, with the end result being another key addition to the album in regards to the album’s musical content.

‘No Life’ presents the album’s more radio-ready mainstream sound from start to finish.  The combination of Spades’ vocals, the drums, bass and guitars create here, a sound that is easily likened to music from the likes of Three Days Grace.  Considering that mainstream rock radio programmers are more friendly to songs of this nature, it perhaps has the best chance of any of the album’s songs to receive attention from said individuals.  That is because it is not the hard-driving work that so many of the album’s other songs are.  Keeping it in consideration along with the album’s other heavier works, it is just one more way in which the record’s arrangements prove to be a strong point for the album.  All things considered on the album’s musical side, the whole of the record is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That musical content is just one way in which Down in The Dark proves to be such an appealing record.  Its lyrical content proves just as important to its whole as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout the course of Down in The Dark is in itself dark, which may in fact explain the album’s title.  From matters, such as dealing with that part of ourselves that is the worst of each of us, to taking on our own negative emotional thoughts of our lives to handling toxic relationships and more, the album’s lyrical content is such that it will certainly appeal to many listeners.  The matter of dealing with that unwanted, darker part of ourselves rises in the album’s latest single ‘Villains.’  Spades noted in a recent interview about the song, that it was inspired by Marvel Studios’ recent cinematic adaptation of the Marvel comic book “Venom.”  Spades noted in that interview, the song focuses on how the movie’s lead character Eddie Brock had to come to terms with the symbiote Venom.  He added in the interview, the song focused on how the pair had to compromise and come to an agreement on a new kind of life.  That is something to which we all have had to do at one point or another.  He sings, in the song’s lead verse,” Kept down dark/Where I can be bold…We hide from the world/What we really are/Inside, where we’re born/Like the monsters now/I know/There’s only one way out/I know/You won’t stop me now/I know/To break the rules…It’s all become so clear/You never wanted to take the blame/You always love to play the game/You’ll never die in the glorious flame/You’ll always be the villain in me.”  He adds in the song’s second verse, “With the fire and fear/Burning blood on the sheets/The truth eats us alive/Proving grounds in the streets/Starve the agents of death…I like the misery/I hate the company it brings/I like the fear on your face/It’s all become so clear.”  Those who know about Venom know that at one point, he did play the part of an anti-hero of sorts, but by and large, he/it has always been more villain than anti-hero.  To that point, the thought of having to come to terms with that lesser part of one’s self and dealing with that part of one’s personality is something to which plenty of listeners can relate.  To that end, this song’s lyrical content proves in its own way, the importance of the album’s lyrical content to its whole.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show that importance.  ‘No Life,’ with its focus on overcoming our own feelings of depression, is another key example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

Spades sings in the song’s lead verse, “Been in my head so long/That I can’t seem to find the end/Another day I won’t see the light/Something else I couldn’t get/Anything to live/Now I’m finding out this time…something else was inside me/You’ve got to fly it alone now/It’s out of control/I know, I know/That you’re in a place/Can’t lose hope.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Hey, hi/Yeah it’s me/A little note from your history/Stop acting like you could see/When you felt out of place/Replaying things you can’t erase/Shaping up way too late/Roll the dice…chasing things you can’t replace.”  As Spades noted in an interview about the song, it focuses on seeing past our own views of ourselves and realizing the importance of the bigger picture.

“Sometimes when we’re so caught up with everything we have going on, we forget about the people around us that might need us as much as we need them,” he said of the song’s lyrical theme.  “The amount of suicides and overdoses that happen annually is a frighteningly high number.  Sometimes, when you’re really caught in your own head, you need to hear sad things to help you overcome it.  ‘No Life’ represents two sides of the same coin; what people go through as addicts and people that have to struggle and abuse themselves in ways other than drugs, trying to numb reality in any way we can.”  Again, this is something to which so many people can relate.  With drug addiction, depression and general mental health concerns being so commonplace today, it makes this lyrical content easy to relate to for listeners, and in turn hopefully inspiring, as Spades noted.  Again, here is an example of why this record’s lyrical content is so important to its whole.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important.  The focus on toxic relationships in ‘Obvious’ is another song that can be referenced in explaining the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

As Spades noted in an interview about that song, “It’s me having to force myself to admit something I had known all along.  As if it was inevitable, that something as pure and as beautiful as a relationship could be extremely toxic when blinded by love.  When it becomes clear though, no matter how strong that feeling is, it hits hard and you can finally start to see it all for what it really is.”  The matter of dealing with a bad, broken relationship is another matter that is anything but new to the music industry.  This is just another way in which it is tackled.  He sings in the song’s chorus, “I wanna tell you/Something that I’ve been holding back/You are the worst..It’s so obvious.”  Everyone has been at this point in a relationship at one point or another.  Again, this makes such statements as noted here that much more relatable to listeners and in turn proves once more, the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When such an example is considered along with the other content noted here (and the rest of the album’s content) the whole of said content makes undeniable, the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  When it is coupled with the album’s musical content, the two elements join to make the album in whole a presentation that will widely appeal to listeners.  They are not the album’s only key elements.  Its sequencing puts the final touch to its whole.

The sequencing of Down in the Dark is important to note because it ensures the noted collective content will keep listeners engaged and entertained.  The record starts off heavily with the driving, proudly defiant ‘Ryse’ before moving into the more thought provoking commentary and sound of ‘Heroes’ and into the equally driving yet contemplative ‘New Age’ as the album progresses.  The record’s musical and lyrical energies remain constant as it makes its way into the deeply contemplative ‘Villain’ and the more reserved ‘No Life.’  Things pick right back up after ‘No Life’ (again both musically and lyrically) as listeners take in ‘Obvious.’  The energy remains just as constant as the album makes its way through ‘Hollow,’ ‘Misery,’ ‘Ghost,’ ‘Locked On’ and ‘Visions.’  The subtle changes in the album’s musical arrangements from metalcore to semi-emo to more aggro rock from one song to the next ensures listeners will not get the same thing from one track to the next.  The change-up in the songs’ lyrical themes keep things just as interesting for the album as that of its arrangements.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear that much thought and time was put into making sure listeners are fully engaged and entertained by this record, not just in terms of its content, but in the balance of said content.  Keeping all of this in mind, the whole of Down in the Dark proves itself a record that could help bring this independent band into its own spotlight.

Dark Station’s forthcoming debut album Down in the Dark is a good start for the independent hard rock band.  That is due in part to a variety of musical styles that in themselves offer appeal to a wide range of listeners.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible to listeners as its musical arrangements, giving listeners topics to which lots of listeners can relate.  Those arrangements and lyrical themes together through a sequence that will ensure even more, listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  Each item is key in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Down in the Dark a bright start for this band; a record that can bring the band its own spotlight, given the right attention.  Down in the Dark is scheduled for release Oct. 25.  More information on the album is available along with the band’s upcoming tour at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.darkstationband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkstationband

 

 

 

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

Ice Nine Kills Debuts Video for ‘Stabbing In The Dark’ Acoustic Take

Ice Nine Kills debuted the video for its acoustic take of ‘Stabbing in the Dark‘ this week.

The band debuted the video Friday for the song, which is featured on the upcoming re-issue of the band’s 2018 album The Silver Scream.  The video features a family watching the original video for ‘Stabbing in the Dark‘ on a black and white television in a very 1950s living room setting.

Courtesy: Fearless Records

The acoustic take of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’ features guest vocals from Trivium front man Matt Heafy.  Heafy talked about joining Ice Nine Kills for the recording during a recent interview, saying how happy he was to take part in the song’s re-imagining.

“Ice Nine Kills is one of the absolute best bands on the planet right now,” he said.  “With their blend of styles and sounds and unique imagery, they’ve crafted a world entirely their own.  Being such a big fan myself, I did an acoustic cover of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’ on my Twitch live one day.  Next thing I knew, INK checked it out and dug it — which I was honored to hear.  I can’t wait till the world hears this newly re-imagined version of this incredible song.  Watch as INK takes the world over.  Mark my words.”

INK front man Spencer Charnas responded to Heafy’s comments with his own positive remarks in a separate interview.

“We were devilishly delighted to find out that Matt was a fan of INK,” he said.  “When we heard his chill-inducing cover of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’, we knew right then and there that we had to collaborate with him.”

He added, “We have enormous respect for Matt’s abilities, and are honored to have him be a part of this spooky, almost folk-like rendition of the song.  He slaughtered this performance, and we can’t wait wait for people to hear it during our favorite month of the year.”

INK’s acoustic take of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’ with Matt Heafy is just one of the acoustic works featured in the band’s upcoming re-issue of The Silver Scream.  The re-issue will also feature an acoustic performance of the song ‘A Grave Mistake,’ which the band recorded live on Sirius XM and a new take of ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ which features the original Jason actor Ari Lehman.

The re-issue’s track listing is noted below.

THE SILVER SCREAM: FINAL CUT album will include the following track listing:
1. The American Nightmare
2. Thank God It’s Friday
3. Stabbing In The Dark
4. Savages
5. The Jig Is Up (ft. Randy Strohmeyer of Finch)
6. A Grave Mistake
7. Rocking The Boat (ft. Jeremy Schwartz)
8. Enjoy Your Slay (ft. Sam Kubrick)
9. Freak Flag
10. The World in My Hands (ft. Tony Lovato of Mest)
11. Merry Axe-mas
12. Love Bites (ft. Chelsea Talmadge, Stranger Things)
13. IT Is The End (ft. JR Wasilewski & Buddy Schaub of Less Than Jake and Will Salazar of Fenix TX)
14. Your Number’s Up
15. Thriller (Michael Jackson cover)
16. A Grave Mistake (Live from SiriusXM)
17. Stabbing In The Dark (Acoustic ft. Matt Heafy)
18. SAVAGES (Acoustic)
19. Thank God It’s Friday (Acoustic ft. Ari Lehman)

The original release of The Silver Scream spawned the singles and videos for ‘The American Nightmare,’ ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ ‘Stabbing in The Dark,’ ‘A Grave Mistake,’ ‘IT Is The End,’ ‘Enjoy Your Slay,’ ‘Merry Axe-Mas‘ and ‘Savages.’

 

Courtesy: Fearless Records/SRO

Ice Nine Kills is preparing to launch a new North American tour in support of The Silver Scream‘s forthcoming re-issue.  The tour is scheduled to launch Oct. 29 in Cleveland, OH and to run through Dec. 1 in New York.  It also features performances in cities, such as Phoenix, AZ; Charlotte, NC and Denver, CO.

Fit For A King, Awake At Last, Light The Torch and Make Them Suffer will serve as support for the tour.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

DATE
CITY
VENUE
Tue
10/29
Cleveland, OH
House of Blues *
Sat
11/2
Milwaukee, WI
The Rave Club *
Sun
11/3
Minneapolis, MN
Varsity Theater *
Mon
11/4
Estes Park, CO
The Stanley Hotel
Tue
11/5
Denver, CO
Summit Music Hall *
Wed
11/6
Salt Lake City, UT
The Depot *
Fri
11/8
Las Vegas, NV
Brooklyn Bowl *
Sat
11/9
Los Angeles, CA
Belasco Theater *
Sun
11/10
Phoenix, AZ
The Van Buren *
Tue
11/12
Dallas, TX
House of Blues *
Wed
11/13
Houston, TX
House of Blues *
Thu
11/14
San Antonio, TX
Aztec Theater *
Sat
11/16
Pensacola, FL
Vinyl Music Hall *
Sun
11/17
Tampa, FL
Ritz Ybor *
Mon
11/18
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Revolution Live *
Wed
11/20
Atlanta, GA
Buckhead Theater *
Thu
11/21
Charlotte, NC
The Underground – Fillmore *
Fri
11/22
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Soundstage *
Sat
11/23
Pittsburgh, PA
Roxian Theater *
Mon
11/25
Philadelphia, PA
Theater of Living Arts *
Tue
11/26
Detroit, MI
St. Andrews Hall *
Wed
11/27
Chicago, IL
House of Blues *
Sat
11/30
Worcester, MA
The Palladium *
Sun
12/1
New York, NY
Webster Hall *
* = SiriusXM Octane Presents “Octane Accelerator Tour” with Fit For a King, Light The Torch, Make Them Suffer & Awake At Last

More information on Ice Nine Kills’ tour is available online now along with more information on the band’s upcoming re-issue of The Silver Scream and the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://iceninekills.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iceninekills

 

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.

‘Live At Us Festival’ Is Santana’s Third Solid Release So Far This Year

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Studios/Icon Television Music, Inc./Sony Music

Carlos Santana has been in the headlines a lot this year.  He released a new EP in January.  That record ­– In Search of Mona Lisa — was followed up in June, with a new full-length album, Africa Speaks.  Early this month, even more music from Santana saw the light of day with a new archived concert from Shout! Factory, Icon Television Music, Inc. and Sony Music in the form of Live at Us Festival.  Originally recorded Sept. 4, 1982, the vintage recording was released on Blu-ray Sept. 6, almost 37 years to the day after the concert featured in the presentation.  The recording is another welcome presentation for fans of Carlos Santana in part because of its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The recording’s editing adds to its interest and will be discussed a little later.  The bonus content featured with the recording rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted here plays its own part in making the concert appealing for Santana fans and music fans alike.  All things considered, they make the recording in whole, one more of this year’s top new live Blu-rays and DVDs.

Carlos Santana’s latest live recording Live at Us Festival is an enjoyable new offering from one of the elder statesmen of the music industry that his fans and music fans alike will enjoy.  That is due in part to the set list featured in this vintage concert recording.  The show’s set list is made up of a total of 13 songs, two of which – ‘Gypsy Queen’ and ‘Marbles’ – are actually part of some two-song collections.  The songs in total show, even then, they wide range of Santana’s talents and his fellow musicians.  The whole thing opens with a performance of the group’s own work, ‘Searchin,’ which is then followed up by the first of the two-part pieces, ‘Black Magic Woman’/’Gypsy Queen.’  What is important to note here is that ‘Black Magic Woman’ was originally composed by peter Green and made famous by Fleetwood Mac.  Fleetwood Mac is a far cry, stylistically, from Santana.  Yet Santana and company made the song their own, and did so impressively at that.  The musicianship of the percussionists – Raul Rekow, Armando Peraza and Orestas Vilat – adds so much to the performance.  The control they have on their respective instruments is astonishing in the best way possible.  Much the same can be said of the trio’s performance during ‘Savor.’  The timbales, guiro and congas really serve as the backbone for the arrangement, which in this case is one of the group’s originals.  The keyboards, handled by Richard Baker, add even more enjoyment to the performance.  This is just one more way in which the set list shines.  Between the group’s own originals and its covers, the whole of the set list makes for a presentation that without any doubt, will keep audiences fully engaged and entertained.  The only down side to the whole thing is the fact that audiences don’t get the band’s whole set in this concert.  Also featured in the concert were performances of the songs ‘Primera Invasion,’ ‘Dealer/’Spanish Rose’ and ‘Soul Sacrifice.’  They were also omitted from the concert’s broadcast on AXS TV.  That aside, what is presented in terms of the set list and performance thereof is enjoyable in its own right.  To that end, it creates a solid foundation for the recording’s whole.

While the concert footage featured in the recording is a key piece of its whole, it is not the recording’s only important element.  The recording’s editing plays into its whole, too. In examining the editing, the most notable aspect thereof is the separation of the recording between its concert and interview segments.  Each performance segment is preceded by an interview segment with Santana that is clearly much more recent than the footage from the concert.  Those breaks from the concert not only serve to help the recording’s pacing, but also to make the overall presentation more personal for viewers.  That is thanks to Santana’s very real and frank commentaries.  Those commentaries tackle a variety of topics, such as his view about the roots of what so many people label as Latin music, “real guitarists vs. not-so-real guitarists,” and the purpose of music.  Those discussions in themselves are just as certain to keep viewers entertained and are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  The bonus extended interviews featured with the recording make for even more interest.

The extended discussions that are featured as bonus content show Santana’s lighter side as he talks about “real guitarists” playing from all throughout inside instead of just their fingers.  He also goes into more depth about his sound and that of his band not really being a signature sound.  That discussion is one of the most enlightening of the discussions.  He also goes into more depth as to his view of how “Latin” music has been mislabeled by the powers that be.  Between these discussions and more, the extended discussion cuts truly are bonuses that are just as worth taking in as the concert’s main footage.  When both elements are considered along with the recording’s editing, the whole of the recording becomes a presentation that Santana’s fans will appreciate just as much as music fans in general.

Live at Us Festival is a positive new offering from Carlos Santana that music lovers across the board will appreciate.  It offers a set list that clearly puts on display the talents of Santana and his fellow musicians and the breadth of the band’s influences.  That in itself makes the concert well worth viewing.  The concert’s editing ensures even more, its appeal for viewers, as it is broken up into varying live and interview segments.  The bonus extended interview cuts that are featured with the recording put the final touch on the recording’s whole.  Each item discussed is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make Live at Us Festival one more welcome addition to the music libraries of Santana’s most devoted fans and of audiophiles in general.  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

 

 

 

More information on Live at Us Festival is available online now along with all of Carlos Santana’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.santana.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SantanaCarlos

 

 

 

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