Chad Smith Lends His Talents To SAD’s Upcoming Debut LP

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Independent rock band Screaming at Demons recently introduced itself to the world in a big way when it partnered with the nationally known charity group Homeless Rock Stars. The band combined the video for its new song ‘Rock Star’ with footage from a Homeless Rock Stars event to make an emotionally moving and powerful to help raise money for the organization and introduce itself to the music community at large at the same time. Now the band has taken another huge step in getting its name out there. The band has enlisted the help of one of the most talented and respected drummers in the music community today to help record a pair of songs for its upcoming debut record.

Screaming at Demons announced this week that it has enlisted famed drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot) to record the drums for two of the songs to be included in the band’s upcoming album. Those songs are ‘Our Time’ and ‘All Of Me.’ Smith’s inclusion on the album, which currently has no set release date, is rooted in his friendship with AD bassist Chris Clemmence. Having previously performed live with Smith, Clemmence had a first hand understanding of and appreciation for Smith’s work behind the kit, leading to Clemmence asking Smith to lend his talents to the band’s new record. When asked about those talents, Clemmence responded telling reporters, “Chad is a legend and phenomenal powerhouse of a drummer. We are beyond honored to have him play on our two new upcoming singles. His feel and groove have brought our songs to a new level. We are so lucky to have him as well as an all-star team working on our music.”

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Currently, Screaming at Demons is hard at work on its upcoming album. The album is being mixed by five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Chris Lord-Alge. Alge is no stranger to the music community and obviously to success within that community having those awards to his name. The roster of bands with which he has worked over the course of his career says plenty of his expertise behind the boards. That list includes the likes of: Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Cher, Bon Jovi, Seal, Meatloaf, Three Days Grace, Aerosmith, Shinedown, Deftones, and countless others.  Alge was asked by reporters his thoughts on working with SAD.  his response showed just how excited he is to work with front man Shimon Moore and fellow SAD band mates Russell Ali and Chris Clemmence.  He had only positive things to say of working with the band, noting of the group, “A new level of excitement is coming from these boys and they are giving back to people in need and making music that instantly makes you wanna be a part of it!”  While fans wait for Alge, and the members of SAD to finish the band’s new album, they can check out the band’s video for its inspirational and infectious song ‘Rock Star.’ It can be viewed online now via YouTube at Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest updates from the studio and all of the band’s latest news online at:



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Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special Is A One-Of-A-Kind Holiday Special

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/CBS

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/CBS

Holiday television offerings are not what they used to be. From its golden age up to about the early 1990s gathering the family around the television during the holiday season was one of the best parts of the holiday season’s annual festivities. By comparison to today’s offerings (or the lack thereof) the holiday specials turned out in television’s past were special in more than just name only. Now thanks to Shout! Factory one of those classic specials has finally been released on Blu-ray. And it is one of the most outrageous holiday specials to ever see the light of day, too. What is the special? It is none other than Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special. And it was released earlier this month thanks to the people at Shout! Factory, the leading name in home entertainment. There is plenty to like about this new re-issue of the classic holiday special beginning with its very presentation. It has been presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio from its original broadcast. And nothing has been added to or deleted from its original presentation. On another level, the script behind the special is just as noteworthy. It presents the classic story of someone learning the true meaning of Christmas. Yet it does so in the way that only Pee-wee’s Playhouse could do. Last but not least worth noting of this presentation is its bonus material. Between the bonus in-show commentaries and the retrospective behind-the-scenes featurette audiences get a thorough look at everything that went into bringing the special to life as well as the importance of the special in regards to the series’ overall run on television. It is all collectively one more reason that Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special. Together with the special’s overall presentation and its writing, all three elements together make this presentation a great addition to the home DVD/BD library of any of the now grown up Pee-wee’s Playhouse fan and potentially one of the year’s best new DVD/BD re-issues.

Shout! Factory’s new BD re-issue of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special is a great addition to the home DVD/BD library of any now grown up Pee-wee’s Playhouse fan. It is also potentially one of the year’s best new DVD/BD re-issues. The central reason for its reception of such high marks is its overall presentation in its new Blu-ray release. Its release earlier this month is not the first time that the special has ever seen the light of day in its own standalone release. It was released on DVD roughly eleven years ago. But its release on Blu-ray earlier this month marks the first time that it has ever been released in its own standalone Blu-ray release. It is presented here in its original 4:3 aspect ratio. And being presented on Blu-ray, it looks surprisingly impressive even being presented in its original standard definition presentation. Making the presentation even more impressive is that nothing has been edited out of the original showing. That means that audiences get in this standalone re-issue Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special in its full original presentation. This is significant in that there are some classics that have been re-issued by other companies minus one part, another or more. This is not one of that mass. It is a piece that any of the series’ original fans will appreciate in large part because it is presented in full. And it is just one part of what makes Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special so special for anyone that grew up watching Pee-wee’s Playhouse when they themselves were kids. The script behind the special is another element in the whole of the special that makes it such an interesting presentation.

The overall presentation of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special is in itself plenty of reason for those that were fans of the show in their own childhoods to check out this new re-issue of the classic holiday special. For all of its importance to the whole of the program, it is just one part of what makes it so enjoyable. The script that lies behind the program is another of its elements that makes it so interesting. The central plot at the center of the program’s script is nothing new by any means. Through the course of the fifty-two minute presentation, Pee-wee learns the invaluable lesson that the true meaning of Christmas is the joy of giving, not getting. However, the fact that the show’s writers were able to maintain all of the wild, zany antics that made the series in whole throughout it all is what’s really impressive about the script. It would have been easy for the series’ writers to just take the easy way out and get schmaltzy. But they opted to not take that road. Rather they opted instead to make the special feel just like every other episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse that had come before. Even more impressive of the script is its rapid fire introduction of the show’s list of celebrity guest stars. The very use of the guest stars is in itself a classic element of the great holiday specials of yesteryear. But none of those specials introduced their celebrity guests at such a fast pace. That pacing also tied in to the story in whole, allowing for the story to advance quickly without losing viewers to either confusion or boredom. That is an impressive feat. And the writers are to be commended for maintaining such a balance in regards to the show’s pacing. The expertise exhibited in that balance alongside the balance of the program’s wild, zany elements and more serious message come together in the grand scheme of things to make even more reason for audiences to be impressed by Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special. It still is not all that audiences will find interesting in the program’s new re-issue either. The bonus material included in the special’s new BD re-issue rounds out the special’s positives.

Both the overall presentation of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special and its script play important parts in their own right in the special’s enjoyment. While both elements are both important in their own right, they are not all that make the program so enjoyable. The bonus material included with the special in its new BD presentation is just as important to the program as those elements. The bonus material in question includes two audio commentary tracks that play over the special and a collection of standalone rerospective interviews with the show’s cast and crew. Audiences get quite a bit of insight through the interviews including the fact that the Marine chorus that opens the special is in fact not a Marine chorus at all. It was in fact actors dressed as Marines. In today’s society some might find that to be a smack in the face of those that wear and have worn the uniform with pride. It definitely is one of the more interesting tidbits noted in the commentary. There is also an intriguing anecdote about the cast kidding around with Kevin Carlson, the actor behind Corky 2000 at that point because of his inability to move inside the Conky suit. There is also some humor about Pee-wee putting up a dummy to deal with a certain annoying caller that will have audiences laughing just as much as they would with other tidbits revealed through the commentaries. As if all of that isn’t enough, the insights offered via the bonus standalone interviews adds even more interest to the program in whole. That being the case, the bonus commentaries and interviews included with Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special prove in the end to be just as important as the program’s presentation within itself and its one-of-a-kind script. All three elements together show that Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special is in whole a great addition to any of the series’ original fans this and any holiday season and potentially one of the year’s best new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

Shout! Factory’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special is a great addition to any of the original Pee-wee’s Playhouse fans this and any holiday season. It is also potentially one of the best of the year’s new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues. That is the case primarily because it is presented here in whole from its look to its general content. Its one-of-a-kind script makes it just as interesting to take in. The bonus material included in this re-issue rounds out the presentation, adding quite a bit of insight and enjoyment to the program in whole. The end result of all three elements is a presentation that any original Pee-wee’s Playhouse fan will enjoy this and any holiday season. It also results in the program being potentially being one of the best of this year’s crop of DVD and Blu-ray re-issues. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special is avaiable now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:




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Anchor Bay Offers More Frights This Fall With Halloween Blu-ray Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Trancas International Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Trancas International Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Michael Meyers returns again this Fall.  No, not the actor, but the infamous serial killer.  Anchor Bay Entertainment will release the thirty-fifth anniversary edition of the classic slasher/horror flick, Halloween on Blu-ray on Tuesday, September 24th.  The release comes just in time for the countdown to October 31st.  The timeless film was originally created on a budget of three hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and has gone on to earn millions worldwide thanks to its original theatrical and later home releases since its original theatrical premiere.

Malek Assad is the President of Trancas International Films and son of the original film’s executive producer Moustapha Akkad.  He shared his thoughts on the upcoming thirty-fifth anniversary release. “Anchor Bay Entertainment has been home to Halloween for almost 20 years,” he said.  “I’m so happy that we’re partnering with them to present the definitive edition of what is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal horror films of the 20th century.”

Halloween was the starring debut for now veteran actress Jamie Lee Curtis (A Fish Called Wanda, Freaky Friday, True Lies).  Along with making her an instant household name, Halloween also solidified the careers of those behind the cameras including writer/director John Carpenter, producer Debra Hill, and film editor/production designer Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, It).

The new thirty-fifth anniversary Blu-ray edition of Halloween will include as bonuses:

  • All-new commentary track with writer/director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis;
  • “The Night She Came Home” new featurette with Jamie Lee Curtis (HD);
  • On Location;
  • Trailers;
  • TV & Radio Spots;
  • Additional Scenes from TV Version


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Tiny Toons’ Final Set A Lackluster End To A Classic Cartoon Series

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Home Video

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Home Video

Tiny Toon Adventures Vol. 4: Looney Links! Is allegedly the final installment of director Steven Spielberg’s hit Fox Kids cartoon franchise.  If this is indeed the final installment of the series, then it certainly is not the best way to end things.  While most of this set is presented in its entirety, there is one glaring problem with the set.  That issue comes in the episode, “Weekday Afternoon Live.” The episode in question actually splices the final minutes of the “Toon TV” in place of the final segment that aired in “Weekday Afternoon Live” in its original broadcast.  This is not like Warner Home Video to let such an error occur in its home releases.  This critic’s copy of Volume Four is not the only one that has done this either.  According to others who have purchased the set, they too have had the same thing happen to them.  That one major blunder aside, the remainder of the set will still bring enjoyment to long-time fans of this modern classic cartoon.

This new (and allegedly final) installment of Tiny Toon Adventures offers more than its share of laughs, poking fun at pop culture once again and even some former presidents.  This time around, Buster, Babs, and company take another stab at Batman (and director Tim Burton).  They also go after one of the biggest censorship groups of the time, the Parents Music Resource Council (PMRC).  Only instead of dealing with music, Buster and Babs have to face off certain parties that want to censor cartoons.  Long-time fans will recognize the episode “Toon TV.”  That’s because it’s quite similar to a previous episode from Season One titled, “Tiny Toons Music Television.”  It’s basically more music video spoofs.  This time, the Tiny Toons gang goes even further back in time, covering hits from The Coasters, The Contours, and Shirley Ellis and Lincoln Chase.  They even cover Tchaikovsky’s famed ‘Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies’ in this episode.  Of course, this is just a sample of what audiences can expect from this final collection of episodes.  Buster and Babs pay tribute once more to the golden days of animation by trying to save a group of “two-Tone” toons from an evil executive.  There is much more to enjoy from this final portion of the show’s final season.  But as noted already, the episodes contained in this final series of episodes aren’t entirely that original, thus making it less enjoyable than the series’ first two seasons.

For the seemingly decreased sense of originality in these final episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures and the problematic error created in ‘Weekday Afternoon Live’, there is at least one equally noticeable positive to this set.  That positive is an episode the directly addresses the problem of bullying.  To be more specific, it presents the situation in which Shirley The Loon is bullied by her classmates at her ballet class.  Upon telling Babs about the harassment from her swan classmates, Babs vows to get even with them, which she indeed does.  Of course getting even isn’t what people who have been bullied should do.  This is by no means the message.  But it does in its own way, go after bullies.  At the same time, it re-tells the story of The Ugly Duckling.  So in essence, it’s actually a doubly enjoyable episode for this.

The one major sequencing problem evident with Tiny Toon Adventures Volume 4: Looney Links! is something that will continue to plague this set unless the people at Warner Home Video make the effort to alleviate this issue.  Luckily, it does have its positives as noted already.  Looking at this set from the perspective of its packaging, the people charged with assembling this set at least got that right.  As with so many multi-disc sets being released now, WHV has released this final installment in a standard single disc case with an insert.  The insert included allows for the set’s first disc to be placed in its own spot, thus protecting the disc from scratching and, in turn, preserving the disc (along with the second disc) to be preserved much longer.  So it is for that reason, and for the laughs offered throughout this collection, that it is worthy of at least some praise.  But the massive error of having the wrong episode spliced into the end of another and the rehashed previous episodes will make any long-time fan of Tiny Toon Adventures take notice that this set is not perfect.  It is far from it by chance because of these issues.  Despite that, it is still a good addition to the collection of any Tiny Toons Adventures fan.  With any luck, Warner Brothers and Warner Home Video will take notice of all the complaints from fans, and re-issue this set as it should be presented.

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