Mark Weiss To Appear Saturday On Latest “Oh Say Can You Stream” Broadcast

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

David Ellefson will welcome a special guest this weekend for the latest installment of the David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation’s “Oh Say Can You Stream” series.

Ellefson, EMP Label Group co-founder and Megadeth bassist, will join fellow EMP Label group founder Thom Hazaert Saturday in welcoming famed photographer Mark “Weissguy” Weiss” to the streaming broadcast.

Weiss’ appearance on the latest episode of the “Oh Say Can You Stream” series is in support of his new book The Decade That RockedThe Photography of Mark “Weissguy” Weiss.  Scheduled for publication June 2 through Insight Editions, the nearly 400-page book features more than 700 images captured by Weiss during the course of his career, such as those of Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen and Judas Priest.  Speaking of Judas Priest, the book features a forward penned by famed Judas Priest front man Rob Halford.

Weiss’ accolades are not limited to his photography work.  He is also known for his role in the creation of album art for records from acts, such as W.A.S.P., Bon Jovi and Anthrax.  He also had a hand in some of the exhibits displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Museum.

The first two episodes of the “Oh Say Can You Stream” series generated more than half a million viewers collectively.  Saturday’s edition of the series will feature an eBay auction that itself will feature items, such as signed Weissman prints, and clothing and gear worn and used by Ellefson on stage.  Audiences can see the full list of items up for auction here.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation in its efforts to spread music and music education in schools nationwide.  The foundation is an affiliate of the Grammy Music Education Coalition, which also works toward providing access to music and music education in public schools across America.

A trailer for Saturday’s show is available here.  Saturday’s edition of “Oh Say Can You Stream” will be available to watch at all of the sites listed below.

 

Stream at:
twitch.tv/grammymusiced

facebook.com/davidellefson

youtube.com/davidellefso

facebook.com/grammymusiced

facebook.com/thedeymf

 

 

More information on the David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation is available along with all of the agency’s news at:

 

Website: http://ellefsonyouthmusicfoundation.org

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

 

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

 

American Terror Will Create Lots Of Attention With Its Debut Album

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

The nu-metal world has a new name for everyone to check out.

American Terror officially released is debut album Influence Friday.  The 10-song record is an interesting presentation from the newest addition to Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.  It is a record whose musical arrangements will appeal widely to audiences.  It will be discussed shortly.  While the record’s musical content works to its benefit, the arrangements’ accompanying lyrical content proves to be a slightly detrimental aspect to the album’s presentation.  This will be discussed a little later.  While the lyrical content detracts somewhat from the record’s presentation, they do not make the album a failure.  The album’s sequencing works with its musical content to make up for the setback caused by the lyrical content.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered with the musical and lyrical content, all three elements make Influencer a work that will definitely have a varied influence in audiences.

Independent rock band American Terror’s debut album Influencer is a record that is worth at least one listen by its targeted audiences.  It is a record that will appeal to said listeners in part because of its musical arrangements.  The heavy, guitar-driven arrangements and even scratches in some of the songs fit the band’s sound in with the nu-metal bands that rose to prominence during the late 90s and early 2000s.  That nu-metal sound comes right in the album’s outset in the song ‘Judgement.’  The use of the scratches, the guitars and the drums couples with the vocals of front man Brad Cox to give the song’s arrangement a sound that lends itself to comparisons to works from Limp Bizkit.  The song’s lyrical content adds to that comparison and will be discussed later.  ‘The Threat’ is another example of how the album’s musical content will appeal to American Terror’s focused audiences.  Unlike the album’s opener – but also like that song – this song also presents a distinct nu-metal sound.  In this case, that sound can be somewhat likened to material from the likes of Nonpoint.  That is evident in Cox’s vocal delivery just as much as it is through Pat Valley’s work on guitar and Rob Hammersmith’s work behind the kit.  What audiences will like here is that despite the comparison, the members of American Terror did not just try to duplicate the sound of the noted influence, but rather used said influence to create its own unique sound.  ‘Break Free’ is another example of how the band’s album will appeal to nu-metal fans through its musical arrangements.  This song can be likened to works from Papa Roach.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here, other featured songs, such as ‘People.’ ‘Retribution’ and ‘Prophet For Profit,’ and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album’s musical content makes the record a work that the noted audiences will enjoy if only for the musical content.

The musical arrangements that make up the body of Influencer do their own part to make the album live up to its title.  It will definitely influence its target audience in a positive way.  As much good as the album’s musical content does for its presentation, its lyrical content tends to detract from that presentation.  That is because, as noted, this record is fueled by so much anger and adrenaline.  Now given, Rage Against The Machine front man Zach De La Rocha is known for his famous line, “Your anger is a gift,” but at the same time, there is such thing as too much of a good thing, and this record is an overload of anger and adrenaline.  There is also a certain amount of divisiveness as the album reaches its finale, ‘PC Me.’ It’s possible that Cox is spoofing perhaps Donald Trump here, but if not then his statements about how America has become too politically correct is certain to ruffle some feathers.  He notes in the song’s lead verse, “I don’t care anymore/I’m tired of catering to everyone’s feelings/I’m sick and tired of complaints/I’m sick and tired of restraints/I’m fed up with all your b****ing and crying/The only one to blame is you/For insecurities that’s eating you/Stop being so soft and sensitive/tired of staying quiet to hide our differences/I don’t wanna be silenced anymore/Go ahead/Cast stones on me.”  He adds in the song’s chorus, “Don’t try to PC me/I have the right to my own opinions/We’re not a PC world/Step up/Be real/Don’t be afraid of how you feel/Don’t you PC me.”  From there, Cox goes on to state in the song’s second verse, “I’m gonna say what I want/I don’t care if my words offend you/Can’t take a joke anymore/Without everyone being so serious/Everyone’s a f***** stereotype/We’re just too afraid to say it, right?/Call it race/Call it class/Call it gender/No one’s superior/But no one’s equal/Sticks and stones/Yeah, they break bones/if words hurt you/You’re a p****/It’s time to grow some thicker skin.”  Again, this song is certain to be divisive and a detriment to the album’s presentation.

It’s just one of the ways in which the album’s lyrical content, which is so full of anger, tends to detract from its presentation.  ‘She’s a B****’ finds the song’s subject ranting about a broken relationship, calling the woman in the broken relationship an outright slur, as well as equating the woman to “a loaded gun.”  Given, some relationships are that way, however, the outright language is another no-holds barred statement from the band that is likely to cause its own share of division.  Cox writes of the woman in the song’s chorus, “She’s a b****/But I couldn’t live without her/She’s f****** me in my brain.”  This is only a portion of the picture.  Cox sings of that woman in the song’s lead verse, “She makes up stories in her head/And go tells everyone/With every game, she breaks the rules/To make sure that I lose/The only knot I want to tie is the one that makes a noose/She’s doing coke and other drugs/That make her dead inside/She’s got me climbing up the walls/Like there’s no place to hide/I’ve tried to leave her/But she’s always threatening suicide/That’s right.”  Now given, the song’s subject has every right to be angry in such a situation.  He is tied to a woman who is a drug addict and extremely controlling.  The thing is though, did the song’s subject ever try to get help for that woman?  By doing nothing but complaining about the situation and the woman and pointing out everything going on, the subject comes across as little more than a whiner.

This is just one more work whose lyrical content proves detrimental to the album.  ‘People’ is another example of the problems posed by the record’s lyrical themes.  This song is another straight forward work, but is just as negative as the rest of the album.  The group sings in the song’s chorus, “People piss me off.”  He goes on in the song’s second verse about his troubled childhood, dropping out of school “because it wasn’t for me” and about “getting my way without kissing you’re a**.”  The rest of the song follows in very similar fashion, lyrically speaking.  It’s just the view of self reliance, true, but the delivery is the problem.  It comes across as coming from someone with a much younger mindset who has not yet found peace with himself.

Staying on that note, there is some strong content that does help the album, such as in ‘Judgement’ in which Cox addresses the so-called Christians who are the first to cast those proverbial stones and the people in general who are so quick to judge.  This is handled well.  ‘Denial,’ the album’s second song, take on someone who is fighting drug addiction and the frustration felt by those addicts who claim they want to get better, but don’t walk the walk.  The thing here is that what is expressed here is not something that someone who cares would ever actually say to an addict in an intervention.  So again, here we have an issue with the content.  It is relatable, but is a bit heavy-handed to say the least.

Getting back to the positive, ‘How Do You Like Me Now’ will definitely prove beneficial to the album’s presentation through it’s no nonsense presentation, taking on the nay sayers and bullies who would try to kick you when you’re down.  ‘Retribution’ meanwhile, seems to take on the matter of the Second Amendment and supports the right to bear arms.  This is sure to bring about its own share of discussion and possibly even division.  ‘The Threat’ is another protest song a la Rage Against The Machine’ while ‘Prophet for Profit’ takes on the religious institution albeit justifiably.  This is one matter in which most listeners will agree.  ‘Break Free’ comes across as taking on the issue of social media, which has been done plenty of times before by other acts.

Looking back through this, yes there is some positive, but there is also a lot of content that is certain to prove detrimental to the record’s presentation.  There is also a lot of pure, unbridled anger from start to end.  That unbridled anger clearly leads to a lack of filter with any of the songs.  That in itself will make the album appealing to a very targeted audience.  Considering this along with the album’s overall musical content, the album proves that its content will help its appeal, but at the same time, will also limit that appeal.  Keeping that in mind, again, the record is a good start for American Terror, but will certainly have a varied influence in itself on audiences.

For all of the mixed impact that Influencer’s lyrical content is sure to create for its presentation, it doesn’t make the album a total failure.  The album’s sequencing couples with its arrangements to add to the album’s enjoyment.  From start to end of its 31-minute run, the album’s arrangements never once let up on the energy.  From the full-on fist-pump-inducement of its opener to the Pennywise-esque sound and energy of ‘People’ to the fiery energy in ‘The Threat’ to the unbridled energy in ‘PC Me,’ every single song boasts its own energy.  Even as one song ends and the next begins, the spacing is just enough to let audiences catch their breath and prepare for the next adrenaline-fueled musical assault.  In other words, the record will keep listeners engaged and entertained from start to end thanks to its combined sequencing and arrangements.  While they take in the record’s musical content, its lyrical content will engage listeners just as much.  However, it might also limit the album’s appeal.  To that end, American Terror’s debut album proves itself to be a work whose own influence will be limited.

American Terror’s debut album Influencer is an interesting first outing for the band, which is the latest addition to David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.  That is because its musical arrangements and sequencing will keep audiences engaged and entertained from beginning to end.  As audiences take in each song, the unbridled anger and aggression expressed through the songs’ lyrical content may leave listeners divided.  Even with that in mind, the album is still worth hearing at least once.  Of course in hearing the album’s lyrical content, the album still proves to be a work whose influence is going to be limited, even despite the positive impact of the album’s musical content.  It proves itself a record that is worth at least an occasional listen.  The album is available now.  More information on Influencer is available along with all of American Terror’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://americanterrorband.com

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

 

 

 

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

Ellefson Debuts Cover Of Post Malone Song ‘Over Now’

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s band Ellefson is covering a Post Malone song for its latest single.

The group — Ellefson, Thom Hazaert, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Paolo Caridi — released its cover of Post Malone’s song ‘Over Now’ May 8 through its official Youtube channel and official Bandcamp page. The band’s cover is expected for inclusion on the band’s as-yet untitled album, which is due out this fall.

The song’s arrangement is a heavy rap-rock style composition that adds in screaming vocals and heavy down-tuned guitars accompanied by full-throttle double-bass-centered time keeping for its foundation.

According to information available at genius.com, Malone’s song, which is featured in his 2018 album Beerbongs and Bentleys, is centered on the end of a relationship that happened as the result of the revelation about the relationship by the song’s subject.

Hazaert talked about the genesis of Ellefson’s cover of Malone’s song in a recent interview.

“As I actually told him [Malone], some of my stuff on Sleeping Giants was heavily influenced by Beerbongs and Bentleys, which I spent 2 months on tour last year driving around the country listening to on repeat, which was really where the impetus for the cover came from,” Hazert said. “So, it was a huge honor to put our stamp on this song, and pay my respects to what he does, and how much I appreciate it. And I think the emotions and dynamic of the song really lend themselves to the heavier arrangement. Posty is a Rock and Metal guy at heart, and I think ‘Over Now’ is definitely a Metal song at heart.”

Ellefson added his own thoughts to the discussion.

“We’re all fans of Posty, and he’s also been a huge fan of Megadeth and all things metal,” he said. “Aside from being a great song for any genre, our cover of “Over Now” is our way of showing our mutual admiration and paying homage to our friend.”

More information on Ellefson’s cover of ‘Over Now’ is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://davidellefson.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

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

Autograph Debuts New Single, ‘Souls On Fire’

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

Veteran rock band Autograph debuted its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted its new single ‘Souls on Fire’ Friday through EMP Label Group.  The song’s musical arrangement is a classic, guitar-driven style composition that lends itself to comparisons to music from the likes of Alter Bridge, Velvet Underground and even King’s X to a lesser degree.

The song’s lyrical theme comes across as delivering a message about reaching for those things that we want in life.  This is inferred through the chorus, in which front man Simon Daniels sings, “Souls on fire/Dancing in the…rain/Heroes, villains/Switching sides in the new games/People fighting for their dreams and desires/There’s no stopping/When your soul is on fire.”  That sense is enhanced as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “All the creatures came together/All the angels fell from heaven/In the air, a new vibration/On the streets, a new sensation/Coast to coast/Across the nation/Product of a generation/Power of negotiation/Trapped in a computer file/Trojan horses running wild/It’s almost time for expiration.”  This verse seems to hint at the impact that a generation has on everybody, renewing that sense of purpose that we all struggle to find.  There is so much negative (I.E. metaphorical trojan horses, angels falling from heaven) yet there are people who are motivating others through their own actions to make a difference.

Daniels continues in the song’s second verse, “A brand new era drawing near/Courage will outdo the fear/Rising power/Domination/Moves to find new inspiration/Round the world/Across the nations.”  Again, here is that seeming message about overcoming the adversity and obstacles that are rising.  It works with the song’s lead verse and chorus to support even more, the argument that this is meant to deliver the message of people not letting life’s hurdles get in their way.  It is a message that will resonate with a wide range of listeners, as will the readily accessible musical arrangements.

‘Souls on Fire’ is streaming now on Autograph’s official YouTube channel and through the band’s official Bandcamp page.  A portion of sales generated through download of the song through the band’s Bandcamp page will go to benefit Trinity Health of New England in its efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Daniels offered gratitude to the agency’s staff for its efforts in a recent interview.

“The members of Autograph, would like to give our most sincere thanks to all the front-line nurses during this unprecedented time,” he said.  “Each of us is grateful for the commitment nurses provide across our nation.  It is through their dedicated efforts, our loved ones affected with Coronavirus are cared for and cured and able to be reunited with their families.”

‘Souls on Fire’ is Autograph’s first new song with new guitarist Jimi Bell (House of House of Lords, Maxx Explosion).  Bell replaced Steve Lynch, who left the band last year.

With Bell’s addition to the band, the group’s current lineup is composed of himself, Daniels, founding bassist Randy Rand and drummer Marc Wieland.

More information on Autograph’s new single is available along with the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.autographband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/autographband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/autographband

 

To keep up with the latest 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.

Dave Ellefson Debuts ‘Sleeping Giants’ Video

Courtesy: Combat Records/EMP Label Group

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson released his solo debut album last month, and this week, debuted the video for the album’s lead single.

Ellefson, who also heads EMP Label Group, debuted the video Sleeping Giants‘ lead single Friday.  the video features guest appearances from Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Bumblefoot, Ilias Papadakis (Memorain), Steve Conley (Flotsam  and Jetsam) and Ellefson’s fellow EMP Label Group head Tom Hazaert.

Ellefson talked about the collaboration in a recent interview.

“It was truly an honor to collaborate with DMC, and I think the track came out great,” he said.  “When Thom and DMC wanted to do a collaboration with us, I instantly thought of ‘Sleeping Giants.’  When he [McDaniels] came out to Revolution in Amityville to perform with us and shoot the video, it was an awesome energy.  I think everyone there got a show they won’t ever forget.”

Hazaert expanded on Ellefson’s comments.

“David had all these great instrumental songs laying around, and ‘Sleeping Giants’ was one of them,” he said.  “He suggested I write and record some vocal parts for them, so I called up DMC andasked if he’d want to collaborate with us on a track, and we got to work.  I’ve always loved off-the-wall metal/hip-hop collaborations (E.g. ‘Judgement Night’ — from Onyx and Biohazard) and I think ‘Giants’ definitely draws from that.  The song and video both ended up with a really cool aggressive, old-school New York hardcore/hip-hop feel.  In my book, it doesn’t get any more legendary than Run DMC.  This was definitely one for the history books.”

The video for ‘Sleeping Giants’ was shot on location in Amityville, NY and the Salton Sea in California.  Hazaert and Melody Myers co-directed the video.  It was filmed and edited by Myers/Designed by Melody (Altitudes and Attitude, Escape The Fate).

Sleeping Giants was released July 19 through EMP Label Group and Combat Records.  The record is a compilation of new music from Ellefson as well as demos and previously unreleased material that spans Ellefson’s career outside that with Megadeth.

One of those previously unreleased tracks is the song ‘If You Were God,’ which features a guest appearance from John Bush (Anthrax, Armored Saint).  The CD version features a bonus compilation of artists and songs that are in the EMP and Combat Records stables.

More information on Dave Ellefson’s new video and album is available online now along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.davidellefson.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

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.

Mark Zavon Unveils New LP’s Lead Single

Kill Devil Hill guitarist Mark Zavon is giving audiences their first preview of his debut solo album.

Zavon premiered the single ‘Message at the Tone‘ on Friday.  The song is the lead single from Zavon’s forthcoming debut self-titled solo record, which is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 23 via EMP Label Group.

Couetesy: EMP Label Group

Zavon’s forthcoming album features Brian Tichy (The Dead Daisies, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne) on drums and guest appearances by Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell) and Mike Duda (W.A.S.P., Hotel Diablo, Frost). Along with handling guitar and vocals, Zavon also handled bass and keyboards on the album.

Zavon offered praise for all involved in the record’s creation.

“I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such talented people on this project,” Zavon said.  “They really brought this record to life.

The album — mixed by Josh Newell (Intronaut, Black veil Brides) and mastered by Paul Logus (Stone Sour, Winery Dogs) — consists of 10 songs that Zavon said had gone unpublished ever since Kill Devil Hill went on hiatus following the release of the band’s 2013 album Revolution Rise.  He said that played a key role in creating his own album.

“I had a bunch of tunes that needed finishing or had just never seen the light of day, so I decided to put them together and see where it took me,” Zavon said.

The album’s track listing is noted below.

Tracklist:
1. Message at the Tone
2. Back In The Day
3. Three Days Grace
4. Big Shot
5. South of the Border
6. Color of Blood
7. Whiskey Tango
8. Seven Stitches
9. Remember
10. Brick By Brick

More information on Mark Zavon’s new record is available online along with all of Kill Devil Hill’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://killdevilhillmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/killdevilhillmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/klldvlhll

 

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.

Wrath Premieres ‘Draw Blood’ Lyric Video

Veteran thrash outfit Wrath released the lyric video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the lyric video for ‘Draw Blood‘ Sept. 17 via YouTube.  The song is taken from the band’s forthcoming album Rage, which is currently scheduled to be released Oct. 5 via Combat/EMP Label Group.

Musically speaking, this song will appeal easily to fans of Prong, Slayer and other similar acts.  Lyrically speaking, the song comes across as a certain commentary.  What exactly is the precise target was not discussed in the press release for the video’s release.  But it seems to be addressing certain religious zealot types.  This is inferred as front man Gary Golwitzer says, “Can you see what I see/Brainwashed minds spreading disease/Rise up/Time to stop the hate/All together/We control our fate/As one/We can win this fight/United front darkens the night.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Religious thoughts poison their minds/No escape from their kind/Say nothing/Don’t want to offend/Lie down/The bastards, they will win/Insane from all of their lies/Religious thoughts have poisoned their minds.”

It’s not clear which group the song addresses, but even despite that, such lyrical content, coupled with the song’s driving musical arrangement makes it a powerful entry in the overall picture of Rage.

Rage was produced by Chris Dujuricic, and mixed and mastered by Bill Metoyer (Slayer, Sacred Reich, Sacred Heart).  The album’s cover art was developed by Ipoet Poetra/Five Milligams and Wrath.

Originally crafted as the follow-up to the band’s 1990 album Insane Society, some of its tracks reach back to 1989.  It even features a cover of Motorhead’s hit song ‘Ace of Spades.’  The record’s full track listing is noted below.

Tracklist:
1. CONFLICT
2. WHAT YOU CRAVE
3. DRAW BLOOD
4. TENSION ON HIGH
5. MY RAGE
6. FEEDING THE HOST
7. CLEARING MY SOUL
8. UNHOLY ALLIANCE
9. MOTHER’S HELL
10. ACE OF SPADES (Featuring Jeff Duncan)

The band will perform a trio of live dates next month in support of Rage alongside Combat Records label mates Green Death for EMP Label Group hhead Dave Ellefson’s BASSTORY tour.  The tour launches Oct. 4 in Lombard, IL.  Its current schedule is noted below.

10/4 Lombard, IL – Brauer House (w/ Green Death, WRATH)
10/5 Sturtevant, WI – Route 20 Outhouse(w/ Green Death, WRATH)10/6 Ringle, WI – Q and Z Expo Center (w/ Green Death, WRATH)
10/7 Mankato, MN – What’s Up Lounge (w/ Green Death, WRATH, Kublai Khan)

More information on Wrath’s new lyric video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at http://www.facebook.com/wrathchicago.  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.