Nonpoint Announces New Album Release Date; Debuts Two New Songs

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Nonoint returns this summer with its latest album, and in anticipation of its release, the veteran hard rock act has debuted not one, but two of the album’s singles.

The band debuted ‘Chaos and Earthquakes‘ and ‘Dodge Your Destiny‘ on Friday. The second of the singles came complete with lyric video.  The songs are taken from the band’s aptly-titled tenth album X, which is due out August 24 via Spinefarm Records.  Pre-orders are open now.

Front man Elias Soriano said in a recent interview that expectations are high for X.

Ten — I can already tell, is going to become a flagship record for us,” Soriano said.  “Watching people’s reactions when we play them the new music tells me that we have created something that is going to move crowds and may even redefine us.  It’s the year of the X.”

The full track listing for X is noted below.

X TRACK LISTING:
“Empty Batteries”
“Chaos and Earthquakes”
“Fix This”
“Crashing”
“Passive Aggressive”
“Dodge Your Destiny”
“Wheel Against Will”
“Milestone”
“Feel The Way I Feel”
“Position One”

More information on X is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.nonpoint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonpoint

 

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PBS’ New ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ Box Set Will Make Every Day Beautiful For Every Family

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

It’s hard to believe, but this past February marked 15 years since beloved television figure Fred Rogers passed away.  When he died on February 27, 2003, the world lost a man who was more than just a TV personality.  For so many audiences the world over, he was that father figure (and in other cases even grandfather figure) that maybe was lacking in said household.  He was that reassuring voice that was needed in tough times of all kinds and just as much the caring one in the happy times.  So it goes without saying that his passing left everyone wondering if there would ever be a figure like him again or even a show such as his again.  Part of that concern was answered in September 2012 when PBS and PBS Kids debuted Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which was basically an updated, animated take on its source material from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Even with the success that the said series has continued to have now six years later, many audiences continued to wonder if said source material would ever see the light of day on home release.  PBS’ officials heard those continued calls for the series’ release, and finally, early last month, they responded with the network’s first-ever collection of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes in the form of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection.  The four-disc, 30-episode collection is not the first time that the series has ever seen a DVD release.  The Fred Rogers Company released quite a number of the series’ episodes on their own standalone DVDs in 2010.  That release format was problematic, though, and makes this collection’s episode selection all the more important.  It will be noted shortly.  The inclusion of the printed episode guide inside the case is another key element to discuss in examining this release.  The quality of the footage in its transfer to DVD rounds out this set’s most important elements.  Each element does so much to make this collection work.  All things considered, they make Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection a box set that will make every day beautiful for viewers, and hopefully just the first collection of episodes from this beloved series.

PBS’ first ever Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood DVD box set It’s A Beautiful Day Collection, is a box set that will make every day beautiful for viewers.  What’s more, it is hopefully just the first proper collection of episodes from the decades-long family friendly series.  Part of what makes this recently released collection such a positive product is its collection.  It presents 30 episodes from the series’ second run between 1979 – 2001.  “Second run” is noted as it was originally run on PBS between February 19, 1968 to February 20, 1976 before taking time off and then returning to television in 1979.  That 30 episode presentation is but a drop in the proverbial bucket for this collection, considering the series’ total episode count of 912 (including specials).  However, considering that the series’ episodes were previously released on standalone DVDs via The Fred Rogers Company (and that said approach clearly didn’t prove too successful) having even 30 episodes in one collection proves to be a successful approach for PBS.  What’s more, if PBS decides to continue releasing more sets in the same fashion over time, it will give the company something to release for years to come that will also assuredly be welcomed in every household across at least America.  As an added bonus, one of the episodes included in the mix in this debut set is none other than the series’ black and white premiere episode.  Reaching so far back and including so many other episodes shows the lengths that those behind this set’s creation went to make sure it paid proper tribute to Fred Rogers’ legacy while also making sure audiences were entertained and engaged.  To that end, this portion of the set’s presentation – its breadth of featured episodes – proves to be definitely a key piece of its whole. In direct connection, the set’s printed episode guide is just as integral to the set’s presentation.

The episode guide is printed on the inside front and back of the set’s box.  It includes a brief but concise description of each featured episode’s story.  As has been noted with other box sets from PBS (and other companies) this may seem a minor aesthetic element on the surface.  However, including even this element plays so much into the set’s overall viewing experience.  That is because it provides a starting point in deciding which episode to watch, and in turn, can and does save time on deciding which episode to watch.  This is especially important to note considering all that children go through on a daily basis.  It helps make quicker and easier, the choice of how to best approach given situations.  Kudos are in order for those behind the set’s creation for including this guide.  The only down side to the whole matter of the episode guide is that the season and episode number itself is not included.  Of course that one is just a want more than a need.  However, for those interested in the series’ history, having that included in the episode guide would have made enjoyment of the series’ history that much deeper.  That is, after all, considering that this collection focused on one part of the series’ run rather than the whole of its run.  Even with that in mind, it would be wrong to say its lack detracts any from the set’s overall presentation.  It would have just been nice to have had that included.  Keeping in mind both of the noted elements, do plenty to make this box set a welcome offering from PBS.  Both alone and collectively, they are not the set’s only key elements.  The quality of the footage in its transfer rounds out the set’s most important elements.

One need watch only a handful of the 30 episodes included in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection to notice the quality of the footage in its transfer.  It looks and sounds quite impressive from one episode to the next.  It’s obvious in taking in this set that at least some work had to have been done in terms of cleaning up the footage.  The video does retain some of that grainy look from the original episodes’ broadcasts, yet it isn’t so prominent that it takes anything away from the viewing experience.  Rather it adds a certain sense of nostalgia to that experience.  Much the same can be said of the episodes’ audio quality.  It might not seem like much on the surface, but viewers will note that they don’t have to adjust the volume at any point.  Anyone who has ever dealt with that issue will agree that it is so annoying.  To that end, it is nice to not have to deal with that issue here.  It ensures even more, viewers’ entertainment and engagement.  When it is considered along with the enjoyment brought by the episodes themselves and the episode guide to lead the way, the whole of all three elements makes Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day Collection a welcome addition to any family’s home entertainment library.  Keeping that in mind, it easily makes a case to be considered for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

PBS’ recently released Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood DVD box set – the network’s first true official release from the timeless series – is a collection that is sure to make any family’s day “beautiful.”  It is also a collection that definitely deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.  That is proven in part through an extensive 30 episode presentation that spans almost 40 years of the show’s run.  The quality of the footage in regards to its audio and video adds even more enjoyment to the viewing experience.  Each element is important in its own right, as has been noted here.  All things considered, it is a welcome first effort from PBS for this series, and hopefully not the only one. It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this box set is available online now along with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood activities, printables, news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbs.org/rogers

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

 

 

 

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Listeners Of All Ages Will Enjoy “Diving Into” ‘Splash And Bubbles” Season 1 Soundtrack

Courtesy: Varese Sarabande/Music Film Recordings/The Jim Henson Company/PBS/PBS Kids/Herschend Studios

Fourteen years ago, one of the worst moves that could have ever happened to the film and television worlds became a reality when the family of Jim Henson sold the rights to the Muppets and so many other related properties to Disney.  The result of that sale has proven to be anything but successful with a handful of Muppet movies that have flopped as well as an equally unsuccessful TV series on ABC.  The irony here is that allegedly Jim Henson wanted to sell to Disney way back in 1990, even farther back in time.  Even Disney’s recent attempt to reboot Muppet Babies has proven to be anything but enjoyable.  One can’t help but wonder how Henson would feel today if he were around and had sold to Disney all those years ago.  For all the damage that Disney has done to Jim Henson’s legacy and that of his creations, it luckily didn’t get full control of everything that The Jim Henson Company does.  That is evidenced in the form of the PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train, Sid The Science Kid and its newest creation, Splash and Bubbles.  The latter of that group debuted on PBS Kids only two years ago and has already gone on to become one of the network’s top 5 most popular series, even finally seeing its first DVD release last week.  The relatively young series even received its own soundtrack accompaniment as the month of June opened thanks to Music Film Recordings, Varese Sarabande, The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Studios.  The 22-song record is the first of its kind for any PBS Kids series.  Keeping that in mind, it shows that the network’s other shows could easily compete with Disney’s TV show soundtracks.  This is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes also support that statement and will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing supports that statement just as much as the lyrical themes and musical arrangements.  Each element is pivotal in its own right in proving the viability of soundtracks from PBS Kids’ shows.  All things considered, they make Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One a strong first ever effort in what could be a bright musical future for PBS and PBS Kids.

Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One is an intriguing new offering for fans of the family favorite PBS Kids series.  That is especially the case considering that its release early this month marked the first time that any PBS Kids series has seen a soundtrack accompaniment to the show released.  Considering that this is the first time that such a recording has been released, it is a strong first effort that will entertain the whole family.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements within each of its 22 songs.  The arrangements, from start to end, are fun, old school r&b and doo-wop style works.  That is evident right from the compilation’s opener, the series’ title song.  The fund definitely doesn’t end there.  Case in point ‘I Never Knew About You,’ with its bass-driven arrangement.  It conjures thoughts of some of the great songs included in the Blues Brothers movies, especially considering the inclusion of the keyboards and horns.  To that end, this song’s arrangement is just as certain as any other to entertain listeners of all ages.  ‘Hangin’ With Friends’ meanwhile conjures thoughts of Jackson 5, K.C. and the Sunshine Band among others.  As if that isn’t enough, ‘Living It Up’ instantly conjures thoughts of Tina Turner while ‘One Small Ripple’ leads to thoughts of Diana Ross and the Supremes with its gentle, flowing arrangement and harmonies.  One could even reach even farther back with ‘Only in the Ocean’ and compare its arrangement to the likes of The Trammps’ ‘Disco Inferno’ and Rose Royce’s ‘Car Wash.’  That’s the case even despite the fact that this song is only one-minute, 41-seconds long.  Stylistically speaking, there’s no denying the comparisons.  Between these comparisons, the others noted here and so many others that could be made throughout the record – including comparisons to works from Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament Funkadelic and so many others – the clear old school r&b style sounds exhibited throughout this record are sure to entertain adults just as much as their younger counterparts, if not more so.  To that end, one must admit that the record’s collective arrangements are critical in their own right to its presentation.  While they obviously play a key part in the album’s whole, they are not – again, collectively – its only important element.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as important to note here as the record’s arrangements.

The lyrical themes expressed throughout Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the Reef Songs From Season One present their own share of variance, just as with the record’s arrangements.  ‘My Best Friend Ever’ and ‘Hangin’ With Friends’ obviously present the theme of friendship.  ‘I Never Knew About You’ promotes diversity and taking the time to learn about others (I.E. tolerance).  In a time when it seems that xenophobia and racism have so overtly returned to the fore of society, such a theme is not just welcome, but needed as a reminder for children and adults alike.  On a much lighter note, ‘I Don’t Know What I’m Doing,’ – in its own way – seems to promote taking life as it comes and not being so serious about every little thing.  It’s not saying to be carefree about everything, but to not be so serious about everything because being a little bit looser makes life better.  While there are plenty of life lessons presented in the featured songs, there is also an emphasis on caring for the environment in the form of ‘Reeftown Rangers’ and ‘Keep It Clean.’  There are even biology lessons of sorts in the forms of ‘So Many Kinds of Fish,’ ‘Catch a Current,’ ‘The Changing Tide’ and ‘Seasonal Pond.’  Simply put, the lyrical themes featured throughout the record offer just as much to appreciate as the album’s musical arrangements thanks to their own variance.  This makes the album even more welcome in both the home and the classroom.  The compilation’s sequencing puts the final touch to its presentation, proving once more what makes this first-time effort a welcome recording from the involved parties.

Considering that Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One spans 22 songs and 27 minutes, plenty of thought had to have been put into its sequencing.  This is the case even despite the fact that the songs are not very long.  The longest of the featured songs – the southern gospel-tinged ‘Dark in the Deep’ – clocks in at only one minute, 42 seconds and the shortest – ‘Only in the Ocean’ – at 33 seconds.  By and large, the record keeps the energy flowing from one song to the next, slowing things down only three times – early in its run in ‘One Small Ripple,’ later in ‘And So We Celebrate (Coral Day)’ and in the album’s closer ‘Seasonal Pond.’  Other than those three moments, the record keeps things moving fluidly from one song to the next with plenty of mid-tempo and up-tempo arrangements.  It also works hard to keep the lyrical topics varied, so as to ensure even more, listeners’ engagement.  Keeping this in mind, the stability offered through the record’s arrangements does just as much to make this record a welcome companion to its TV series as its arrangements themselves and the album’s lyrical themes.  When all three elements are jointly considered, they make this compilation a fun, welcome accompaniment to its broadcast companion.

Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the ReefSongs From Season One is an enjoyable accompaniment to its broadcast counterpart that is just as certain to entertain grown-ups as it is children.  That is proven in part through musical arrangements that are deeply rooted in the old Motown sounds of the 60s and 70s.  Its lyrical themes present just enough variance – from friendship to environmental concern to general biology – to keep young listeners engaged and entertained.  The sequencing of those themes and arrangements shows that plenty of time and thought was put into keeping listeners engaged and entertained in this aspect, too.  When that thought is taken into consideration along with the thought put into the arrangements and lyrical themes, the whole of these elements makes the album in whole an enjoyable companion to the Splash and Bubbles series.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Splash and Bubbles is available online along with plenty of games, activities, printables and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/splashandbubbles

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

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Kids, Legacy Classics Partner To Release New Boxcar Children Adventure

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Legacy Classics

Shout! Factory and Legacy Classics are bringing the classic literary figures The Boxcar Children to Blu-ray and DVD in a brand new, Dove-approved adventure this summer.

The Boxcar ChildrenSurprise Island is scheduled to be released August 7 via Shout! Factory Kids.  The story, co-directed by Dan Chuba (The Boxcar Children) and Mark Dippe (SpawnGarfield Gets RealGarfield’s Pet Force), follows the young orphans as they spend the summer on their grandfather’s tiny, almost uninhabited island.  As it turns out, there is at least one other person living on the island, a mysterious figure named Joe.

Joe seems very friendly and helpful, but something about him doesn’t seem right.  So, the kids start trying to figure out if he’s hiding something.  The movie features the voice talents of J.K. Simmons (Spiderman 1 – 3WhiplashLa La Land), Martin Sheen (The DepartedApocalypse NowSpawn), Griffin Gluck (Just Go With ItWhy Him?, Just Before I Go), Dane Dehaan (ChronicleThe Place Beyond The PinesThe Amazing Spder Man 2), Joey King (The Kissing BoothWhite House DownThe Conjuring), Talitha Bateman (The 5th WaveAnnabelleCreation, Love, Simon) and Gil Birmingham (TwilightThe Twilight SagaBreaking Dawn Part 1, The Twilight SagaBreaking Dawn Part 2).

The Boxcar ChildrenSurprise Island can be pre-ordered online now direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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.

 

 

Quor Debuts ‘Raising The Dead’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Hard rock band Quor unveiled some more new music early this month.

The independent San Diego, California-based band released the lyric video for its latest single ‘Raising The Dead’ June 4 via Loudwire.  The song comes from the band’s latest EP, The Way We Are, which was released January 25.

The band explained in a collective statement, the song’s lyrical theme rose from a tour that the band took of a burial ground in Ireland.

“There was an impact left from the image of the bones laying under the rock patches covering the graves,” the statement reads.  “It made me wonder what those old bones might want to say to us from the grave.  How would they view their own actions in life differently now?  How would they advise the living to live?”

Raising The Dead”s video comes a little more than a year after the band debuted the video for ‘Life Is A Hard Thing,’ which also comes from The Way We Are.  Audiences will get to hear both songs live next month when Quor performs live at Kravefest 7.  That concert, which will also feature performances by Dark Avenue, Allow, Lady Wisdom Residue and Brittan Church, is scheduled to be held July 7 in Dallas, Texas.

More information on that festival is available online now along with all of Quor’s latest news and more at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/quormusic

 

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Void Vator Debuts ‘Until It’s Gone’ Video, Announces Southwest Tour Schedule

Courtesy: WURM Group

Independent hard rock band Void Vator has unveiled the video for its latest single.

The Los Angeles, California-based quartet debuted the video for its new single ‘Until It’s Gone’ on Thursday.  The song is included in the band’s 2017 debut EP Dehumanized and musically, will appeal to fans of Black Label Society, Judas Priest, and to a slightly lesser extent, Iron Maiden and other similar acts.

Lyrically, it seems to come across as being about making the most of life.  This is inferred as front man Lucas Kanopa sings in the song’s lead verse, “Fast forward, I’m living the life/Show me the way/Open my eyes/Don’t want to wait ’til it’s gone.”  The song’s second verse hints at that theme just as much as Kanopa sings about looking back at the past while moving forward.  the combination of the elements makes the song sure to be a hit.

Void Vator’s debut of ‘Until It’s Gone‘ follows the release of ‘No Return‘ late this past January.  The band premiered the video for Dehumanized‘s lead track ‘Time Has Come‘ in September, 2016.  Both videos are streaming now via Void Vator’s official website.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

The band is scheduled to launch its next tour schedule July 19 in Las Vegas, NV.  The r tour, which runs a little more than a week, is scheduled to run through July 28 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Tour Dates:
07/19 @ Count’s Vampd – Las Vegas, NE
07/20 @ The Quarry – Bisbee, AZ
07/21 @ Rockin Cigar Bar – El Paso, TX
07/22 @ Dirty Dog – Austin, TX
07/23 @ Metal Monday At The Mix – San Antonio, TA
07/24 @ Rudyard’s – Houston, TX
07/25 @ Three Links – Dallas, TX
07/26 @ Blue Note – Oklahoma City, OK
07/27 @ El Patio – Las Cruces, NM
07/28 @ Yucca Tap Room – Phoenix, AZ

Tickets are available here.  More information on Void Vator’s new video, tour schedule and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.voidvator.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/voidvator

 

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.

 

 

 

Blacktop Mojo Debuts ‘Dreams’ Cover, Video

Blacktop Mojo released another new video this week.

The Palestine, TX-based hard rock band unveiled the video for its cover of Fleetwood Mac’s hit single ‘Dreams’ on Tuesday.  The song features guest vocals from the band’s friend Alex Smith while BTM handles the rest of the song’s arrangement.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

The band said in a collective statement, posted to its Facebook page, that the cover came about after the band recently experienced Smith performing the song.

“Our good friend from right here in our hometown, Alex Smith, did an acoustic cover of this song at a local show, and we loved it, so we asked him if he’d like to come to the studio and record it with us backing him up,” the band’s statement read.  “Hope you guys enjoy it.”

Blacktop Mojo just wrapped its latest tour schedule this week.  It is taking some time off right now before heading back out on the road next month for another string of live dates beginning with a performance at McKinney, TX’s Independence Day celebration, “Red White and Boom.”  The tour also includes a performance at Hooligan’s in Jacksonville, NC with Shaman’s Harvest on July 18.

The current schedule for the band’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.blacktopmojo.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/BlacktopMojo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/blacktopmojo

 

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.