Audiophiles And Entrepreneurs Alike Must See All Things Must Pass

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Website: http://mvdentertainmentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

 

 

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The Whizpops’ New LP Is A “Wildly” Fun New Offering For Audiences Of All Ages

Courtesy: Th Whizpops/Sugar Mountain PR

Courtesy: Th Whizpops/Sugar Mountain PR

Four years ago The Whizpops first broke out in the world of children’s music with the release of the band’s debut album Adventures of Stretch McCoy.  The sixteen song record was an impressive first impression for the band as it took listeners into the forest and presented songs about just some of the animals that call the forest home.  It was also the first time that the band had teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation and its mascot, Ranger Rick.  Now flash forward to 2016.  The band has teamed up with Ranger Rick and the NWF once again for its latest album Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1.  The band’s fourth new full-length studio recording, it is another fun musical trip into the wild.  That is due in part to the varied sounds presented throughout the album’s eleven songs.  The topics tackled within each song are just as important to the record’s presentation as its varied musical styles.  Last but hardly least of note in the record’s presentation is its sequencing.  Each elements plays its own important part in the record’s presentation.  Altogether they make Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1 yet another “wildly” fun record from The Whizpops.

Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1, is a “wildly” fun new offering from The Whizpops.  The band’s fourth full-length studio recording, it is also the third time that the Missoula, Montana-based band has taken listeners into the wild.  The first time was in 2012 in its debut album Adventures of Stretch McCoy.  Then in 2012, the band took listeners under the waves in Sea Blue Sea.  Now the band is headed back to the forest once again, even teaming with The National Wildlife Federation and its mascot Ranger Rick for the record, thus the album’s title.  One would think that considering that the band has already taken listeners out into nature not once but twice before, originality would be something hard to come by for a third time.  However the band managed to prove that misconception wrong in this record beginning with its varied musical styles.  The styles in question include hints of pop, blues, reggae, and even rock throughout the course of its eleven songs.  What’s more audiences will note some very familiar sounds in at least two of those songs.  ‘Black Footed Ferret’ is a prime example of that familiarity in musical styles.  The song sounds very similar to Maroon 5’s hit song ‘This Love.’  It’s not the only song that boasts a familiar sound.  ‘Everything’s Better With A Moustache (Walrus Song)’ is quite similar stylistically speaking, to certain Weezer songs right down to the use of the keyboards and vocal delivery style.  And ‘Monarch’ instantly conjures thoughts of Bob Marley and the Whalers both with its musical arrangement and vocals.  Ironically, it’s a song about Monarch Butterflies.  Strangely enough the juxtaposition of that lyrical and musical content works.  That will be discussed later.  For now however, it should be clear through these examples just why the album’s musical diversity is so important to its presentation.  They are just a few of the songs that could be cited in supporting that argument, too.  ‘Polar Bear’ takes listeners back to the days when Disco was king.  ‘Gulo Gulo (Wolverine)’ is based on a solid hip-hop/Dixieland hybrid sound and ‘Extinction Really Stinks’ offers up its own interest.  The song’s chorus makes listeners think of older, celebrity-driven songs such as ‘We Are The World’ and ‘Do Thy Know It’s Christmas.’  At the same time the song’s piano intro is somewhat similar to Motley Crue’s ‘Home Sweet Home.’  There are even other sections in the song that conjure thoughts of Elton John due to the piano arrangement in said sections.  It is enough to really stand out quite starkly from the album’s other songs.  Whether through that song or any of the others cited here, it should be clear just why the musical arrangements presented in Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1 is so important to its presentation.  The arrangements in question are collectively just one part of what makes this record so “wildly” fun.  The topics that are tackled in the course of the record’s thirty-five minute run time are just as important to its presentation as its varied musical styles.

The varied musical styles presented throughout the course of The Whizpops’ new record are important in their own right to the record’s overall presentation.  They boast sounds that some might find very familiar and sounds that are entirely original.  They are, collectively speaking, just part of what makes this album such a “wildly” fun offering from the band.  The topics (animals) that are tackled in the record play their own part in the album’s fun.  What’s really interesting in noting the different animals here is that not all of them live in the forest.  The walrus and polar bear are both native to the Earth’s Arctic region while the Monarch Butterfly is native to many regions of the United States, even breeding in Mexico.  Even more contrast is that of the bison, swift fox, California Condor, and Pika.  These animals are spread out across America’s various regions from the plains (Bison, Swift Fox, and Black Footed Ferrit) of the Midwest to the mountains and cooler climes of the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest (Pika—pronounced py-kuh), to the west coast and southwest (California Condor) the animals featured here come from every corner of the country and beyond.  That’s just the top of the iceberg, too.  The song’s don’t just feature the animals in question but what makes each animal unique from the others.  The case of the ‘California Condor’ is just one example of that specific notation.  The song notes how the California Condor is nature’s garbage man.  ‘Bison’ addresses the impact that humans have had on the once great masters of the plains.  ‘Gulo Gulo’ discusses Wolverines’ scavenging nature and the importance of that behavior within their larger ecosystem.  ‘Black Footed Ferret’ approaches the relationship that the role of the animals in question to their prey (prairie dogs) and other unique properties of the ferret.  It’s just one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important to the album’s presentation.  The rest of the album’s songs could be cited just as easily in that statement, too.  All things considered the combination of the songs’ musical and lyrical content makes even clearer why this new record is such a “wildly” fun new offering from The Whizpops.  They are not the only key elements to the record’s presentation.  The album’s sequencing is the last of its most notable elements.

The musical and lyrical content presented in The Whizpops’ new record are both key in their own way to the album’s overall presentation.  That is because of the entertainment and educational content that they offer.  They are not the album’s only important elements.  The album’s sequencing is just as important to note as its overall content.  Audiences will note in listening through the record that it maintains a relatively steady energy throughout the majority of the record’s body.  The only point at which it even remotely lays back is in ‘Monarch.’  And even at that point, the energy only pulls back a little at the most.  That reserved vibe follows the band on through to the end of the album even as powerful as that last song becomes in its chorus.  The end result of the album’s sequencing is an album that will keep listeners engaged with its expertly balanced energy.  That energy, when coupled with the album’s musical and lyrical content, makes for an album that will not only keep listeners engaged but entertained, too.  All things considered, Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Volume 1 a “wildly” fun new offering from The Whizpops.

The Whizpops’ new album Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Volume 1 is a “wildly” fun new offering for audiences of all ages.  That is due in part to a musical variety that will entertain listeners of all ages.  There are some original pieces that will entertain younger listeners set right alongside other pieces that older audiences will appreciate, too.  That is thanks to the the similarity of those songs, stylistically speaking, to acts that only those older audiences will know (I.E. Weezer, Maroon 5, Motley Crue, Elton John).  That mix of far-reaching musical content is just one part of what makes the album so enjoyable.  The album’s lyrical content plays its own important part in the record’s presentation, too.  That is because of the equally wide range of animals featured throughout the body of the record.  The expertly-balanced energy in the album’s sequencing rounds out the record’s presentation.  It is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as the songs’ musical and lyrical content is to keep them entertained.  Each element proves its own importance in the bigger picture of the record.  Altogether they make this album, again, a “wildly” fun record for audiences of all ages.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Volume 1 is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.thewhizpops.com

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

 

 

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.

Mika’s ‘Sinfona Pop’ Is An Orchestral Perfomance Unlike Any Other

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Popular musical acts using string (and sometimes orchestral) arrangements in their songs is nothing new in the music industry today.  It is a practice that has been going on as far back as one can recall.  However the actual performance of a popular musical act with orchestral organization isn’t so new.  It wasn’t until the past twenty years or so that audiences started to see any major musical act join forces with an orchestra for a live performance, let alone a recorded performance.  Elton John has done it.  So have Metallica and KISS.  They are just some of the acts that have added an orchestra to their music for live performances.  It goes without saying that there are quite a few more out there that have.  One of that mass is pop star Mika’s new recording Sinfonia Pop.  Mika (a.k.a. Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr.) recently released his new live orchestral recording.  The recording is just the latest in a long line of accolades for the British-born singer-songwriter.  Over the course of just four albums, Mika has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, and going Gold or Platinum in 32 countries.  That is quite the resume.  And this recording is sure to add to it as there is plenty to say to its positive beginning with its set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The actual performance of the songs is just as important to note in this recording and will be discussed later.  The interviews with both Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are equally important to the recording as the performance and its set list.  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  Altogether they make Sinfonia Pop a solid live recording from the internationally known pop star.  They also show collectively why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Mika’s new live recording Sinfonia Pop is a solid live recording from the internationally renowned pop star.  It is also more proof as to why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  This is due in part to the concert’s featured set list.  The nearly two-hour concert runs twenty-one songs deep and lifts very liberally from all four of his current studio recordings.  The most well represented of his albums is his 2007 debut Life in Cartoon Motion.  It is represented by no fewer than 6 songs—‘Grace Kelly,’ ‘Love Today,’ ‘Relax (Take It Easy),’ ‘Any Other World,’ Happy Ending,’ and ‘Over My Shoulder.’  The Boy Who Knew Too Much is the least represented of Mika’s records here, with only two songs—‘Rain’ and ‘Toy Boy’—being pulled from that album.  The Origin of Love is represented by a total of eight songs.  They are ‘Origin of Love,’ ‘Stardust,’ ‘Make You Happy,’ ‘Underwater,’ ‘Overrated,’ ‘Love You When I’m Drunk,’ ‘Heroes,’ and ‘Elle me dit.’  Most interesting of those tracks is the last of them—‘Elle me dit.’  That is because this song was not included in the album’s standard release.  It was included as a bonus track in the album’s French and Italian release.  In other territories it was only included in the album’s deluxe edition.  No Place In Heaven rounds out the concert’s set list.  It is represented here by ‘Last Party,’ ‘Good Guys,’ ‘Ordinary Man,’ and ‘Boum Boum Boum.’  The latter of those tracks was only included in the album’s French and Italian release.  So for many, getting to experience the song here, much as with ‘Elle me dit’ might actually be the first time hearing the song for many audiences.  The concert’s opening ‘Overture’ is a completely new composition, bringing the total song count up to twenty-one.  While the chosen set list is itself extensive, the process of picking out songs for the concert was just as interesting to learn about.  That is discussed by conductor Simon Leclere n the recording’s bonus interviews.  It will be discussed later.  Staying on the topic at hand, the concert’s set list is extensive to say the very least.  Two of Mika’s albums were obviously far more represented than the other two.  Regardless, he did include some a pair of exclusive songs in his performance here from those two lesser represented.  That and the more represented albums combine to make the show’s set list an important part of the recording’s presentation in its own right.  It is not the only important element of the recording’s presentation, either.  Mika’s performance, and that of the orchestra, are just as important to note here as the show’s set list.

The set list that is featured in Mika’s new live recording is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  That is because it lifts from all four of his albums so far.  It even includes a pair of songs that were only made available in exclusive editions of two of those albums, and an original composition in the concert’s opening ‘Overture.’  The end result is a set list that runs nearly two hours (an hour and forty-nine minutes to be exact) and twenty-one songs deep.  It is just on of the recording’s most important elements.  The actual performance by Mika and the orchestra is just as important to note in the recording’s presentation as its set list.  The actual performance is so important to note because it stands out so starkly from the other mainstream/classical mash ups that are out there.  It doesn’t come across as just another mainstream act performing in front of an orchestra.  Instead at times it feels as if one is watching Mika and company performing numbers from some major musical stage production.  Obviously they are not from said productions.  But the arrangements, when coupled with Mika’s own powerhouse performance, makes each song feel (and sound) like it.  That is a testament both to Mika’s own vocal talents and those of the musicians performing with him.  Staying on that train of thought the orchestra members actually exhibit a certain enjoyment in performing just as much as Mika.  That can’t exactly be said of some other orchestral groups who have performed with other well-known acts.  In those cases it is obvious that the musicians in question are just going through the motions.  The fact that the musicians in this orchestra were clearly enjoying themselves just as much as Mika, makes the performance that much more enjoyable to experience even in a home setting.  On a side note, the performance in whole is powerful to say the very least.  It sounds great on any standard hi-def monitor when the monitor is set to “Music” setting.  Those with a home theater system will get an even more powerful experience.  Keeping this in mind, it should be clear why the performance both by Mika and the orchestra is so important to this recording’s presentation.  It still is not the recording’s last notable element.  The bonus interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere is just as important to note here as the performance and the chosen set list.

The set list featured in Sinfonia Pop and the performance put on by Mika and the orchestra are both key in their own right to the recording’s presentation.  The set list is so important to note because all four of Mika’s albums are represented here, even with a pair of exclusive songs.  The performance by all involved comes across like a collection of songs from any number of major musical stage productions.  Considering this, one could even see Mika performing in said musicals considering his vocal talents and the talents of the orchestra’s members.  As important as both elements are to this recording’s presentation they are not its only important elements.  The interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are just as important to the presentation as those previously noted elements.  Audiences discover in Mika’s interview his incredible sense of humility.  There is no sense of ego from him in listening to him talk.  That’s just one of the interesting tidbits revealed in his interview.  Audiences also learn the improbable way in which the concert came together.  It’s quite the interesting story, too.  It is centered on a simple mealtime discussion with another individual.  The rest of the story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  In regards to Leclere’s interview audiences learn that Leclere and Mika didn’t just sit down and pick out a few songs randomly for the concert.  Rather Leclere notes in his interview that he actually went through the entirety of each of Mika’s albums in order to decide which songs would best translate to an orchestral situation.  That attention to detail paid off quite well, too as is clear in the previously noted performance.  It allowed Leclere to fully grasp and appreciate Mika’s music and develop arrangements that would not just compliment Mika’s songs but take them over the top.  And take them over the top they most certainly did.  It’s just one of the interesting items revealed in his interview.  As with Mika’s interview, there is much more for audiences to take in here.  Each interview ultimately proves to be important in its own right to Sinfonia Pop.  Altogether they prove to be just as important to Sinfonia Pop’s presentation as its set list and featured performance.  Collectively speaking, all three elements prove equally important to the recording’s presentation.  They make this recording a solid, new live recording from the internationally acclaimed performer.  Thy also show once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leading name in live recordings.

Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika.  It is also more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  That is due in part to the concert’s featured set list.  Neither Mika nor Eagle Rock’s reps wanted to give audiences just some random performance.  It is a set list that lifts liberally from all four of Mika’s albums, thus giving audiences a rich experience, in terms of its songs.  Mika’s performance of said set list and that of his fellow performers is just as important in showing this.  The performance of all involved is akin to watching a major musical stage production.  In all honesty it is just as entertaining.  The interviews that were included in the recording are definitely deserving of being called bonuses.  That is because of the information revealed in each interview.  Each element is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation.  That goes without saying.  Collectively speaking, they show in whole why, again, Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika.  They also show why once again Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

More information on Sinfonia Pop is available along with all of Mika’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.mikasounds.com

Facebook: http://www.mikasounds

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mikasounds

 

 

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.

Rejoice Grobanites, Josh Groban Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  BBGun Press

Courtesy: BBGun Press

Josh Groban is heading out on tour this summer.

The internationally-acclaimed singer announced today that he will embark on a twenty-four date tour across America.  The tour is just the latest in support of his latest full-length studio recording Stages.  Sarah McLachlan will join Groban on the upcoming dates as will newly-announced singer-songwriter Foy Vance.  Vance’s performances will be in support of his upcoming album The Wild Swan, which will be released this Friday, May 13th on Gingerbread Man/Atlantic Records.  Gingerbread Man Records is Ed Sheeran’s record label.  The album was executive produced by Elton John.

Vance hails from Bangor, Northern Ireland.  He released his debut album Hope in 2007.  It led to tours with equally renowned artists such as: Bonnie Raitt, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran, and Elton John.  His sophomore album Joy of Nothing took a little while to be released, having come out in 2013.  His first live recording Live at Bangor Alley was less of a wait, having been released in 2015.

“Josh Groban: On Stage” is produced by Live Nation.  It launches Friday, July 15th in New Orleans and currently runs through Saturday, August 27th in Los Angeles, California.  It also includes a performance in Greensboro, North Carolina on Tuesday, July 19th.  Tickets are on sale for the tour now at http://www.livenation.com.  The current itinerary for Groban’s tour is noted below.

 

 

07/15 New Orleans, LA Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square+
07/17 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre+
07/19 Greensboro, NC White Oak Amphiteatre @ Greensboro Coliseum+
07/22 Wantagh, NY Jones Beach Theatre+
07/23 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center+
07/25 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center+*
07/26 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center+*
07/29 Uncasvile, CT Mohegan Sun Arena*
07/30 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion+*
08/02 Pittsburgh, PA First Niagara Pavilion+*
08/03 Camden, NJ BB&T Pavilion+*
08/05 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Hotel & Casino*
08/06 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live+*
08/09 Chicago, IL First Merit Bank Pavilion @ Northerly Island+*
08/10 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center+*
08/12 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center+
08/13 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre+*
08/16 Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre+*
08/19 Denver, CO Pepsi Center+*
08/20 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre+*
08/23 Seattle, WA Chateau Ste. Michelle Amphitheatre*
08/24 Portland, OR McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheatre*
08/26 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre+*
08/27 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre+*

 

 

More information on Josh Groban: On Stage is available online now along with all of Groban’s news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://joshgroban.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/JoshGroban

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/joshgroban

 

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.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s Latest LP Is A Welcome Return

Courtesy:  Rainy Day Dimes

Courtesy: Rainy Day Dimes

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band has had quite the ride in the last year or so.  Early last year, the band released its most recent album, the full Spanish-language release Aqui Alla.  Not too long after that, the band suffered a huge loss as it had a large amount of its equipment stolen and much of the sets for its children’s TV show either destroyed or stolen.  The massive losses were costly to say the least, leading the band to go to its fans to finance the creation of its new album Adelante.  Needless to say the band’s fans heard its calls and more than stepped up, allowing the band to finish Adelante and release it last month.  While not an entirely Spanish-language record, the majority of the record’s lyrics are sung in Spanish.  That should be noted right now.  Despite this it doesn’t take away from the album’s enjoyment even for those that are anything but fluent in Spanish.  Regardless of whether or not audiences are familiar with the Spanish language, audiences will find plenty to appreciate in this album beginning with the songs themselves.  The language barrier aside, some of the songs are in fact pretty easy to understand even when sung in Spanish.  On another level, the homage paid to certain classics of eras gone by will entertain audiences of all ages.  That will be discussed later.  The album’s sequencing rounds out the ways in which Adelante (which translates roughly to “Go Ahead”) impresses.  The album wastes no time from one song to the next as it progresses.  Because it moves so quickly, its roughly thirty-three minute run time seems to fly by.  Simply put, it feels like the record ends almost as soon as it begins thus leaving listeners wanting more but in the best way possible.  Being that said pacing is partnered with such enjoyable songs, the end result of that combination is an album that is a wonderful return for Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s latest full-length studio recording Adelante is a welcome return for the beloved kindie-rock band.  The album, the band’s sixth, is yet another that despite being largely a Spanish-language still proves itself to be an album that audiences of all languages will enjoy.  Every one of the album’s twelve songs is a fun, upbeat composition that will have listeners of all ages dancing.  Those that do speak at least some Spanish will even find themselves singing along, too.  Speaking of that singing along, both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking listeners alike will find themselves singing along to the likes of ‘Pinata Attack’ with its surf-rock style sound.  The song mixes both English and Spanish-language into its infectious guitar riffs, drumming, and keyboard lines for a song about breaking open a piñata that crosses both language and cultural barriers.  ‘Cantamos Hasta Seis,’ (roughly translated ‘We Have Up To Six’) is another one of those pieces that both English and Spanish-speaking audiences of all ages will enjoy because of its simplicity.  The song comes across more or less as a piece that teaches counting skills (unless this critic has misinterpreted its lyrics).  That can be inferred as the refrain of the song’s chorus sees Diaz and company counting in song both to six and to ten.  The lighthearted, almost playful nature of the song’s musical content adds even more enjoyment for families.  That is especially the case thanks to the use of the kazoo (yes, even a kazoo is used here) as part of the noted content.  Who out there doesn’t find themselves smiling at the sound of a kazoo?  The very name of the instrument itself causes smiles and laughter.  Just say it once and see.  Getting back on track, the examples noted here should make clear exactly why the songs featured as part of Adelante make it such an enjoyable record for both English and Spanish-speaking audiences.  It is of course only a small portion of what makes Adelante a record that audiences will want to “go ahead” and purchase.  The homage paid to certain songs of days gone by make the album even more worth the listen.

The songs that make up the body of Adelante are largely sung in Spanish. Though, there are some compositions included across the record that also feature some lyrics sung in English. This aside, the songs that are featured throughout the record are lyrically simple enough that regardless of whether audiences speak English or Spanish, audiences of both tongues and all ages will enjoy them. In turn, audiences will agree that the album’s songs are, in the bigger picture of the record, reason in themselves to pick up this latest release from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. They are only part of what audiences will enjoy about the album. Audiences that are familiar with their music history will take note that Diaz and company not only educate, but they entertain, too. The band has included at least two songs with this record that pay homage to music’s past. Those two songs are ‘Sol Solecito’ (roughly translated becomes ‘Only Sun’) and ‘Speedy Gonzalez.’ ‘Sol Solecito’ features lyrics sung both in English and Spanish. English-speaking audiences will instantly catch the homage to the timeless classic ‘My Only Sunshine’ in hearing the English lyrics. Its musical content makes it stand out from nearly every version that has ever been recorded, though. That is because as it is presented here, it is far more upbeat than the standard slower, sappy, saccharine-sweet lullaby style versions to which audiences are so familiar. In other words it is actually better than those renditions. ‘Speedy Gonzalez’ might be named after Warner Brothers’ famed rocket-fast rodent. But musically, it pays direct homage to veteran musician Elton John and his classic hit ‘Crocodile Rock’ with its musical content. The two songs are not entirely identical stylistically speaking. But it is obvious in listening to both songs that Diaz and company pay homage to Sir Elton with this composition as well as that famed fast-moving and equally fast-talking mouse. Older audiences that are familiar with the work of Sir Elton will especially enjoy it not just for the near direct throwback but also because it serves as a great way to get younger listeners into John’s music and eventually that of so many other legendary artists and bands. It is yet more proof of why the homage paid to music’s rich history even with only these two songs, makes Adelante a record that every listener should go ahead and add to their own music library.

The music that makes up the body of Adelante and the homage paid to the music industry’s rich history are both clear reasons that every listener should go ahead and add this record to their own personal music library. While both aspects of the album make it well worth the listen (and addition to one’s own music library), there is still one more element of the record worth noting that rounds out the presentation. That element is the album’s sequencing. Most listeners don’t take a record’s sequencing into account in its general effect. However as the sequencing here proves, it is extremely important in examining any record, not just this one. Audiences that pay close attention to the record will note that very little time is wasted between any of the album’s twelve total songs. Being that there is so little down time between the songs, the energy exuded in each song is in turn maintained solidly from beginning to end. It leaves the record feeling as if it is over just as soon as it begins. The end result of this is that audiences are left feeling completely fulfilled yet wanting more in the best way possible. That is the mark of a great album; an album that for Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is a welcome return for a band that has been through so much.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s new album Adelante is a welcome return for the band. Its songs and its homage to music’s rich history both prove that true. The sequencing utilized throughout the record keeps the record’s energy running solidly from start to finish. All three elements together prove it to be a record that audiences of all ages will want to go ahead and add to their own music libraries. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Adelante is available online now along with the latest news from Lucky Diaz and the Family jam Band at:

 

Website: http://www.luckydiazmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucky-Diaz-and-the-Family-Jam-Band/182600891967

 

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.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Off To A Solid Start In 2015 With Live At Knebworth

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Woodstock. Live Aid. Farm Aid. The Concert For New York City. These concerts are just some of the biggest concert events of the 20th century. As memorable and important as they are to the music industry and the history of modern popular music, they are only a small handful of the most important concerts held throughout the 20th Century. Next Tuesday, Eagle Rock Entertainment will add another concert to that list when it releases Live at Knebworth. The concert was held June 30th, 1990. Tabbed as “The Best British Rock Concert Of All Time,” it was held to raise money for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and for The Brit School For Performing Arts. Even a quarter of a century after it was originally held, it proves to be just as enjoyable a concert experience as any that have been held since, including those previously noted. One of the reasons it proves so enjoyable twenty-five years after it was originally held is its lineup. The show’s lineup consists solely of British acts, many of whom had themselves received the coveted Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Award at one point or another. Along with the acts tapped to perform at the benefit, their choice of songs for the concert adds to the concert’s enjoyment. Having noted both the concert’s lineup and the performers’ chosen songs, they would be nothing without equally notable production values. Thankfully, the audio and video both prove to be quality even a quarter of a century after the concert was first held. The audio has even been tweaked, creating a sound that especially those with home theater systems will appreciate. The combination of all three elements in this one presentation makes the package in whole even a great start to 2015 for Eagle Rock Entertainment.

When it was originally held on June 30th, 1990, Live at Knebworth was tabbed as being “The Best British Rock Concert Of All Time.” When compared to other major concert events such as Woodstock, Live Aid, Farm Aid, and others that have been held since, it proves to be more than just “The Best British Rock Concert Of All Time.” It proves to be one of the best concerts of all time, too. One reason for the concert being bestowed both titles is its lineup of performers and acts. The concert’s lineup is composed of some of the greatest British acts of the 20th Century including but not limited to names that today are music royalty. The list includes the likes of: Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, and Genesis. Audiences will be interested to find out that many of the acts tapped for the concert also were recipients of the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Award. That aside, audiences will especially enjoy every act’s performance. From Clapton’s full on performance of ‘Tearin’ Us Apart’ to Paul McCartney’s emotional performance of ‘Hey Jude’ to Pink Floyd’s ethereal ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ to its equally driving show closer ‘Run Like Hell,’ the acts chosen for this concert and their performances keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish, clearly showing the importance of their inclusion in the show.

Speaking of the songs , the songs chosen by the acts on the bill are just as important to the presentation in whole. That is because in large part, the songs chosen by each act are songs that were familiar to fans then and are just as familiar and popular with the current generation of fans. Dire Straits’ set included the hugely popular ‘Money For Nothin.’ Genesis included its beloved hit ‘Pinball Wizard’ in its set along with ‘Mama’ and ‘In The Midnight Hour’ among a number of other fan favorites. The Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and ‘Hey Jude’ are even older than this recording. But they are just as popular with Beatles fans of all ages today as they were when Paul McCartney was part of the then Fab Four. So having both of those songs included in his set will create a sense of both joy and nostalgia among fans of both McCartney and the Beatles regardless of age. The sight of McCartney’s late wife Linda singing along, handling keyboard duties serves to enhance those feelings even more, this showing even more the importance of the set lists chosen by each act. Robert Plant’s mix of solo material and Led Zeppelin classics generates just as much enjoyment for anyone that has any knowledge of Plant’s career both on his own and as part of what remains one of the greatest rock bands of all time. The songs noted here are songs that are still played on classic rock radio stations across America and even the U.K. to this day. The fact that they were just as insanely popular back then as they are even today speaks volumes. It’s just a microscopic view of the impact of the acts’ set list on the enjoyment of this recording. There are plenty of other songs that could make that argument just as easily. And audiences will agree with that sentiment, even finding their own songs to make that argument when they pick up this recording for themselves next week. It still isn’t all that makes the concert so enjoyable for audiences. The quality of the footage both in terms of its video and audio lies at the base of everything. If not for the quality of the footage in both avenues, neither the acts nor their set lists and performances overall would be worth the watch.

The acts chosen for Live at Knebworth, their performances and set lists are all equally important to the concert’s overall enjoyment. However as important as each element proves to be, not one of them would be of any importance without the hard work of those charged with restoring the footage for its presentation here. Of course, being a live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment, only the best is expected. And the best is what audiences get here. The audio has been re-worked and presented in DTS-HD. This will make anyone with a home theater system very happy as it will re-create with ear precision the feeling of actually being there. Even those without such a system will appreciate the work in question as the concert sounds just as good on a standard HDTV; especially one that allows audiences to switch to a “music” setting with their remotes. And while the original concert footage was recorded in standard definition, it doesn’t show thanks to the work of those charged with restoring the footage. Unlike so many older recordings that have been up-converted, the picture is relatively clear instead of grainy. While there is at least a little bit of that grainy look, it is hardly enough to work against the footage. Rather, it actually enhances that feeling of nostalgia created by the acts’ set lists. So to that extent, the work of those charged with restoring the concert’s footage has paid off even more than they might have known. Coupled with the set lists, the performances, and the very list of performers, the restoration work done for this concert becomes part of a whole that any classic rock fan will wholly appreciate, and that proves once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leader in live recordings.

Live at Knebworth will be available on SD-Blu-ray next Tuesday, March 17th. Proceeds from the sale of the concert will continue to raise funds for Nordoff-Robbins Therapy and the Brit School for Performing Arts. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Releasing Classic All-Star Benefit Concert This Spring

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release what is one of its biggest recordings to date this spring when it releases on SD Blu-ray Live at Knebworth.

Billed as “The Best British Concert Of All Time,” Live at Knebworth will be released Tuesday, March 17th on SD Blu-ray. It is presented in upscaled standard definition with uncompressed stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio. The concert was originally recorded on June 30th, 1990. It was held as a benefit concert for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and The Brit School for Performing Arts. Its lineup included some of the most well-known and respected musicians and acts from the UK. Many if not all of the acts in question had each themselves received the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Award. They included: Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Elton John, Phil Collins, Genesis, Dire Straits, Tears for Fears, Cliff Richards and the Shadows, and Status Quo. Most incredible of all was that of these performers, each one performed free of charge to support the cause.

McCartney offered up renditions of ‘Hey Jude,’ ‘Birthday,’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ for his performance. When Clapton took to the stage, he gave audiences ‘Tearin’ Us Apart’ and ‘before You Accuse Me.’ Elton John moved audiences in his own way with performances of ‘Sad Songs (Say So Much’ and ‘Sacrifice.’ Genesis gave one of the most interesting performances of the concert with a medley of ‘Somebody to Love,’ ‘Pinball Wizard,’ and ‘Turn It On Again.’ Robert Plant was joined on-stage by his Led Zeppelin band mate Jimmy Page for performances of ‘Wearin’ and Tearin,’ and ‘Rock and Roll.’ Pink Floyd’s performances of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ and ‘Run Like Hell’ were some of the concert’s most memorable moments. And they were just some of the key moments that make up the concert’s thirty-two song concert. The concert’s complete track listing is noted below.

TRACK LISTING

Tears For Fears:

1) Change

2) Badman’s Song

3) Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Cliff Richard & The Shadows:

4) On The Beach

5) Good Golly Miss Molly

6) We Don’t Talk Anymore

Phil Collins & The Serious Band:

7) In The Air Tonight

8) Sussudio

Paul McCartney:

9) Coming Up

10) Birthday

11) Hey Jude

12) Can’t Buy Me Love

Status Quo:

13) Whatever You Want

14) Rockin’ All Over The World

15) Dirty Water

16) In The Army Now

Eric Clapton:

17) Before You Accuse Me

18) Tearin’ Us Apart

Dire Straits:

19) Solid Rock

20) Think I Love You Too Much

21) Money For Nothing

Elton John:

22) Sacrifice

23) Sad Songs (Say So Much)

Robert Plant:

24) Hurting Kind

25) Tall Cool One

26) Wearing And Tearing (with Jimmy Page)

27) Rock And Roll (with Jimmy Page)

Genesis:

28) Mama

29) Throwing It All Away

30) Turn It On Again Medley: Turn It On Again / Somebody To Love /  Reach Out, I’ll Be There / Pinball Wizard / In The Midnight Hour / Turn It On Again (reprise)

Pink Floyd:

31) Shine On You Crazy Diamond

32) Run Like Hell

 

Proceeds from the sale of Live at Knebworth will continue to raise funds for Nordoff-Robbins Therapy and the Brit School for Performing Arts. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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.