ESPN Sets Its Sights On NL Playoff Race Sunday And Monday On SNB, MNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

August, for most people, is part of what is known as the “dog days of summer.” It is one of the hottest times of the year weather-wise. It is also one of the hottest times of the year for Major League Baseball. That is because things really start to get heated in the race for the playoffs. And this weekend things will definitely get hot in the Big Apple as the Mets host the Nationals on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell in a National League showdown that will definitely have playoff implications for both teams.

Sunday’s game will be the closer in a three-game series between the NL East foes. The series kicks off Friday evening at Shea Stadium. Noah Syndergaard is expected to take the mound for the hometown boys while Jordan Zimmerman is expected to start for the Nats. Syndergaard’s last time taking the mound was Tuesday against the Padres and was credited with the win in that game. He pitched eight innings, allowing only three hits, no runs, no earned runs, and no walks En route to the win. He also struck out nine batters and allowed no home runs.

Zimmerman’s last time on the mound was Tuesday against Miami. Zimmerman took the loss in Miami’s 4 – 1 win over the Nats. He allowed eight hits, three runs, three earned runs, and two walks over six innings and struck out only two batters before being pulled in the seventh.

The Nationals currently lead the National League East division with the Mets trailing in second place by only a single game. Right now the Mets sit precariously in seventh place in the National League standings only a spot ahead of eighth place Arizona, who sits right now at 48 – 51 on the season. New York currently sits 52 – 48 on the season and split its last ten games going 5 – 5 along the way. However, the team is currently in the midst of a three-game win streak that includes a win Tuesday night against the Padres in New York. Tuesday’s game is part of a three-game home stand against the Padres that wraps Thursday night at Shea Stadium. By the numbers, the Mets are much better at home (35 – 16) than on the road (17 – 32). That bodes well for the Mets as the team continues its home stand this weekend against the Nats as they, too are better at home than on the road, going 28 – 19 at home and 24 – 27 on the road so far this season.

Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday night’s game between the Mets and Nats. He will be joined by his SNB cohorts-analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk—in the booth. Reporters Buster Olney will also be on hand with all of the latest news and updates on the game and from around the league. Broadcast is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET. It will be preceded, as it is each week, by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet, at 7pm ET. Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast and will be joined by analyst Rick Sutcliffe and reporter Nicole Briscoe. Those that won’t be near a TV Sunday night can still catch both broadcasts online via WatchESPN. Sunday’s game will be simulcast in Spanish via ESPN Deportes for ESPN’s Spanish-speaking audiences.

*             *             *

Monday night on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates open a three-game series between the NL Central foes. This series, too has playoff implications as both teams are in the hunt for the post-season with Pittsburgh currently sitting second in the National League at 58 – 41, five and a half games back from the NL-leading Cardinals. Chicago sits sixth in the National League standings at 52 – 47. Pittsburgh has split its last ten games, going 5 – 5 along the way and has won its last two games. Before hosting the Cubs next Monday, Pittsburgh looks to finish off the Twins tonight in the teams’ two-game series before heading to Cincinnati to face the struggling Reds in a four-game series that wraps this Sunday night. While Pittsburgh is far better at home than on the road, the team’s series against Cincinnati could improve its road record if the Reds’ struggles continue. And that could play into Pittsburgh’s momentum as it opens its series against the Cubs Monday night. Dave O’Brien will have the call for Monday’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Aaron Boone and Dallas Braden for additional commentary and coverage.  Monday’s game will be simulcast on television and online via ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and WatchESPN. Currently there is no information regarding who will take the mound for the Pirates or Cubs for Monday’s game. Fans on both sides of the ball can keep up with that information online now along with all of the latest baseball news at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

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

 

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BSO To Release Its First Holiday Album In A Decade This Fall

Courtesy:  Surfdog Records

Courtesy: Surfdog Records

It may be summer. But that doesn’t mean that some people’s minds are already on the holidays.

Brian Setzer announced this week that his band The Brian Setzer Orchestra will release its new holiday album Rockin’ Rudolph on Friday, October 16th. The album, which will be released via Surfdog Records, will be the first holiday record to have been released by the band in ten years. The twelve-track record will feature updated renditions of timeless classics including: ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,’ ‘Carol of the Bells,’ ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,’ ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ and others alongside new pieces such as: ‘Yabba-Dabba-Yuletide,’ ‘ Rockabilly Rudolph,’ ‘Little Jack Frost,’ and ‘Swingin’ Joy.’ The complete track listing for Rockin’ Rudolph is noted below.

Standard ROCKIN’ RUDOLPH track listing:

 

  1. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
  2. “Yabba-Dabba Yuletide”
  3. “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
  4. “Rockabilly Rudolph”
  5. “Here Comes Santa Claus”
  6. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  7. “Swingin’ Joy”
  8. “Carol of the Bells”
  9. “Little Jack Frost”
  10. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
  11. “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
  12. “Yabba-Dabba Yuletide” (extended)

 

Rockin’ Rudolph was produced by Peter Collins (Rush, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, etc.). Along with its standard presentation, fans can also get their hands on a special Limited Edition numbered Deluxe presentation can be purchased online at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thebriansetzerorchestra. The special edition includes everything noted below.

 

The ROCKIN’ RUDOLPH DELUXE BOX SET includes:

  1. Brand New Rockin’ Rudolph album on CD
  2. Commemorative Sheet Music / Guitar Chart to “Nutcracker Suite” (just as Brian reads on stage!)
  3. Custom Brian Setzer Die-cut Christmas Tree Ornament (3″ tall, alloy metal)
  4. Brian Setzer’s Own Murray’s Pomade (Hair Product)
  5. Commemorative BSO “Martini Logo” Stainless Steel Guitar Pick
  6. BSO Christmas Album Cover Drink Coasters
  7. Six Polaroid-style BSO Concert Photos
  8. “Live in Nashville” 10×10 print
  9. Reusable 8GB USB Credit Card w/ Extras, including:
  • Hi-definition .wav files of full 12-track ROCKIN’ RUDOLPH album
  • 2 New Bonus Instrumental Tracks Not Included on Album:  “Deck The Halls” & “Little Drummer Boy”
  • Album Cover Rough Sketches by Artist Derek Yaniger
  • Brief Behind-the-scenes video footage of BSO’s Rockin’ Rudolph recording session (House of Blues studio in Nashville, TN.)
  • “Jingle Bells” – Live Performance by BSO (previously released)
  • “Nutcracker Suite” – Live Performance by BSO (previously released)
  • Behind-the-scenes look at Brian writing entire big band arrangement from scratch (previously released)
Photo Credit: Russ Harrington

Photo Credit: Russ Harrington

When asked why he waited so long to make his new holiday album, Setzer noted primarily the span of time between its upcoming release and that of his last holiday album. “It’s been about 10 years since I made a Christmas record,” he said. In regards to the track listing chosen for the record, Setzer noted the popularity of the genre and all of the songs that he hadn’t yet touched on saying, “It [Christmas music] just seems to get more popular every year. They’re classic songs and you wonder after a couple records how many of them are left. Once you dig in you find, wow! I’ve haven’t done ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ you know. I’ve never done ‘Here Comes Santa Claus!’ Ones that everyone knows and are still out there. These songs are great songs. It doesn’t matter if they’re holiday songs or when they were written, they’re just great songs.” He added that in working up the new renditions, he paid attention to their style, making sure that they would be appealing to audiences of all ages saying, “The trick is to make them sound hip. Some of them are eternally hip, you know, so you don’t have to do too much.”

Rockin’ Rudolph will be released in stores and online on Friday, October 16th via Surfdog Records. More information on the upcoming compilation is available online now along with all of Setzer’s latest news and updates at:

Website: http://www.briansetzer.com

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

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.

Judas Priest Announces Fall Tour Schedule

Courtesy:  Epic Records/ Chipster PR

Courtesy: Epic Records/ Chipster PR

Judas Priest will hit the road again this fall.

The band announced this week that it will hit the road once again this fall beginning Friday, October 16th in Paso Robles, California. The band—Rob Halford (vocals), Glen Tipton (guitar), Richie Faulkner (guitar), Ian Hill (bass), and Scott Travis (drums)—noted in its announcement that the newly announced tour is in response to the massive success of its latest release, 2014’s Redeemer of Souls. The album, the band’s seventeenth full-length studio release, is the band’s highest-charting album to date having debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart.

Judas Priest’s upcoming tour is currently scheduled to run through Thursday, November 12th and will include a total of fifteen dates. Mastodon will serve as support for the tour. The current schedule for the band’s tour is noted below.

JUDAS PRIEST TOUR DATES:

October 16th, 2015      Paso Robles, CA    Vina Robles Amp
October 17th, 2015      Las Vegas, NV        The Pearl
October 20th, 2015      San Francisco, CA  The Warfield Theatre
October 21st, 2015      San Jose, CA           City National Civic
October 23rd, 2015      Fresno, CA              William Saroyan Theater
October 24th, 2015      San Bernardino, CA  Knotfest
October 27th, 2015      Vancouver, BC         Hard Rock Casino
October 28th, 2015      Vancouver, BC         Hard Rock Casino
October 31st, 2015       Regina, SK              Brandt Center
November 1st, 2015     Winnipeg, MN          MTS Center
November 3rd, 2015     Peoria, IL                 Civic Center
November 6th, 2015     Huntington, NY      Paramount Theater
November 7th, 2015     Newark, NJ              Prudential Center
November 10th, 2015    Halifax, NS             Scotiabank Center
November 12th, 2015    Toronto, ON           Air Canada Center

More dates will be announced in the weeks to come. Fans can keep up with those updates online now along with all of the latest news from the band online at:

Website: http://www.judaspriest.com

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

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.

Fates Warning To Re-Issue Classic Concept Album This Fall

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records will re-issue Fates Warning’s classic album A Pleasant Shade of Gray this fall.

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today that the label will re-issue Fates Warning’s 1997 album on Friday, October 2nd in a special four-disc set that includes three CDs and a live DVD featuring two complete live performances of the band’s classic concept album. The lead disc in the upcoming set will feature the band’s original album re-mastered. The second disc will feature a live performance of the album that was recorded during the band’s 1998 European tour, a soundcheck recording of ‘We Only Say Goodbye,’ and a studio recording of the band covering the classic Scorpions song ‘In Trance.’ The third of the set’s CDs features a handful of demos that were crafted in the early days of the album’s creation.

The DVD that is included in the upcoming re-issue features two complete live performances of A Pleasant Shade of Gray. The first of the performances is a fully restored and re-edited recording of the concert, which was originally presented on VHS in 1998. The second of the performances was recorded in 1999 at The Whisky in Hollywood, California. Pre-orders for the 3-CD/DVD set will begin next Thursday, August 6th.

Along with the announcement of its classic album’s upcoming re-issue, the band has also announced that it will tour this fall. The band will hit the road beginning Friday, October 9th in Hartford, Connecticut for an eighteen-date tour that will see it perform at venues in the Northeast, Midwest, Southwest and West Coast. The band’s complete list of tour dates is noted below.

FATES WARNING Live:
10/9: Hartford, CT @ Webster Theater
10/10 Worcester, MA @ Palladium
10/11: Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
10/13: Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus
10/14: Amityville, NY @ Revolution
10/16: Detroit, MI @ Token Lounge
10/17: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
10/18: Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
10/20: Altoona, PA @ McGarveys
10/23: Dallas, TX @ Trees
10/24: Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
10/25: San Antonio, TX @ 210 Kapone’s Live
10/27: Denver, CO @ The Roxy
10/29: Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
10/30: Costa Mesa, CA @ Tiki Bar
10/31: San Jose, CA @ Rockbar
11/1: Los Angeles, CA @ The Whisky
11/2: Ramona, CA @ Ramona Mainstage

Exclusive VIP packages for each show are available now and can be purchased online at http://65.36.150.245/rockeventsonline/TourMasterPage2.cfm?BandName=Fates%20Warning&TourName=FW-US_Fall_2015. There are two different VIP packages that fans can purchase. The first allows fans the chance to take in its soundcheck, do a meet-and-greet with the band, take photos with the band, and includes a VIP laminate. The second VIP package includes everything noted in the first package. Unlike the first package, the second also includes a signed copy of the upcoming re-issue of A Pleasant Shade of Gray.

More information on the band’s upcoming re-issue of A Pleasant Shade of Gray is available now along with all of the band’s latest news, tour updates, and more at:

Website: http://fateswarning.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fateswarning

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.

A Chef’s Life Should Be On Every Reality TV Fan’s “Menu”

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

This fall, PBS’ hit reality series A Chef’s Life returns for its third season. This is according to a post on the series’ official Facebook page. While it might not seem like it, that’s not too far away. Luckily though, there is still just enough time for fans of the only reality series really worth watching to catch up. Fans can do just that with the show’s first season. A Chef’s Life: Season One was released on DVD earlier this spring. The thirteen episode run offers audiences shows through a variety of reasons why it stands head and shoulders above all of the garbage out that claiming to be reality television beginning with the show itself. Unlike all of the commercial shows that populate the broadcast and cable ranks A Chef’s Life shows in its debut season to have none of the pretense that is all too common among those shows. In simpler terms, it actually feels real rather than scripted. In regards to the box set itself, audiences will appreciate that the episodes that make up Season One are separated out across both of its two discs. This is one of those rare cases in which it is okay that continuous play is not incorporated into a DVD, Blu-ray or box set. The reason for this will be discussed later. Last but most definitely not least of all that makes A Chef’s Life: Season One so enjoyable for audiences is that not only are the episodes separated out as standalone episodes but the cooking segments featured within the episodes are themselves separated out for audiences’ viewing. Even better is that PBS didn’t resort to using them as bonus features. Rather they were made standard with the episode selections. Whether for this reason, for the separation of the episodes, or for the very presentation of the episodes themselves, audiences will see in watching A Chef’s Life: Season One that this first season shows why it is the only reality TV series worth watching and in turn once again why PBS has proven itself to be the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

PBS’ hit reality series A Chef’s Life is the only reality series worth watching today. It stands head and shoulders above all of the garbage out there today claiming to be “real” television. It stands so tall primarily because it lacks the pretense that marks all of those other shows (I.E. Welcome To Sweetie Pies, Cake Boss, American Chopper). Rather, it really does feel real. Star Vivian Howard and her husband are not the flashy figures that audiences are so accustomed to seeing in those shows. Nor are their daily lives the flashy type of stuff that is portrayed in those other, obviously scripted series. Everything that goes on in the lives of Vivian and her staff feels completely organic. So if there some clever editing that happens, the end result doesn’t feel like all of those other shows. What’s more, unlike those shows, A Chef’s Life includes throughout its lead season to have its own amount of educational content. For example, when Vivian wants to make the beloved southern treat called cracklins she goes to one of the local hog farms and learns how ham is cured, treated and generally prepared for market. Audiences learn the importance of keeping the meat in certain conditions versus the belief of having it in other conditions. It is a really enlightening moment. Audiences also learn the intricacies of properly cooking things like collard greens and proper growth of said products as well as what makes Muscadine grapes one of the most underappreciated of the grape family. Many audiences will be interested to discover that Muscadines are used often used for wine production. There is much more in terms of the show’s educational content that audiences will find quite intriguing. What is noted here is just a small sampling of the series’ educational content. That content, when partnered with series’ overall lack of pretense and feeling of true reality makes fully clear why the content that makes up the first season of A Chef’s Life makes it stand head and shoulders above all of the other series out there today claiming to be reality.

The overall content that makes up the body of A Chef’s Life in its first season is plenty of reason within itself for audiences to watch this collection of episodes. Collectively, they show the series to be one that stands head and shoulders above all of the other series claiming to be reality TV. In turn, the content presented here shows yet again why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today. The content presented here, as strong as it is, is only one of a handful of reasons that audiences will appreciate the first season of A Chef’s Life. The separation of the episodes throughout the set’s two discs is another reason that audiences will enjoy Season One. Unlike so many other DVDs, Blu-rays, and box sets out there, A Chef’s Life: Season One doesn’t have an autoplay function embedded within its discs. This means that after each episode’s end audiences are taken back to the title menu so as to choose which episode they want to watch after the chosen episode ends. To some viewers, the view has been that this is not necessarily a good thing. The reality though, is that it is actually a very good thing. It means that if audiences don’t want to have to sit through a certain number of episodes to get to the episodes that they want to see, they need not worry. The disc will take audiences right back to the title menu and let them choose if they want to watch a specific part of the given episodes such as the cooking segment (which will be discussed shortly) or a given chapter of the episode in question. Viewers can even do this before playing out the episode(s). Simply put, separating the episodes out without the autoplay function gives viewers more options. To that extent, this is definitely a good thing in the grand scheme of Season One. It still is not all that makes A Chef’s Life: Season One so enjoyable for audiences. There is still that matter of the episodes’ segmentation at yet another, deeper level.

The separation of the episodes in the first season of A Chef’s Life is itself a very good thing despite what some viewers might have people think. The content within said episodes makes this season in whole even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages. Both elements together offer plenty of proof as to why A Chef’s Life is the best reality TV series out there today and in turn why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television in whole today. For all of the importance of the noted elements, there is still one aspect of the set worth noting that makes it enjoyable. That last remaining element of the set’s enjoyment is the segmentation of the episodes’ cooking segments as their own viewing option in each episode. PBS has given audiences the chance in this season to watch each episode’s cooking segment by themselves completely separate from the episodes. This means that those that want to try out the recipes features in each episode can do so at their own leisure. They don’t have to speed through the given episodes to get to said segments since they have been separated out along with being presented within the course of each episode. On yet another level, there is no sense of pretense in these segments either. It would be so easy for Vivian to be like all of the celebrity chef’s on Food Network and other networks. But she doesn’t take that opportunity, instead coming across just like a down home chef. She talks to audiences rather than at them or even down to them. It makes her more relatable to audiences and brings everything in this set full circle proving once and for all why A Chef’s Life: Season One is a great start for the series and why it is the best reality TV series out there today. In turn it proves once more without any doubt why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today.

A Chef’s Life: Season One proves in plenty of ways why A Chef’s Life is the best reality TV series out there today. The lack of pretense in its overall content separates it clearly from its competitors (if one even wants to consider those other shows competition). The separation of the episodes within the course of the two-disc set makes it even more enjoyable despite what some might want to believe. The separation of the episodes’ cooking segments and the overall lack of pretense within said segments brings everything full circle proving once and for all just how what makes A Chef’s Life: Season One a great debut for a show that even now as it prepares to debut its third season, is the best show within its genre today. In turn, all three elements together show once more why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today. A Chef’s Life: Season One is available now on DVD and can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=54994066&cp=&sr=1&kw=a+chefs+life&origkw=A+Chef%27s+Life&parentPage=search. More information on A Chef’s Life is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news and more at:

Website: http://achefslifeseries.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/chefsouth

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ESPN Kicks Off NFL Training Camp Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The start of the 2015 – 2016 NFL season is still six weeks away (not counting the pre-season, which kicks off August 9th with the Hall of Fame Game). That aside, any NFL fan will agree that it is never too early to talk football, especially as pre-season camps have officially gotten underway. And thanks to ESPN, football fans are now getting in-depth coverage of every team’s training camp.

ESPN kicked off its NFL training camp coverage Saturday, July 25th and Sunday, July 26th with reporter Ben Goessling and Jeremy Fowler. Goessling was imbedded in Mankato, Minnesota with the Minnesota Vikings. Fowler was imbedded with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Trey Wingo and company take over coverage of the Steelers’ training camp Monday, July 27th on ESPN’s NFL Live. Wingo will be joined by former Steeler and member of the 2015 NFL Hall of Fame class Jerome Bettis, Ryan Clark, and Merril Hoge. Reporter Josina Anderson will also be on hand for additional commentary and news. Also on Monday, reporter Mike DiRocco will have all of the latest from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ training camp. Continuing its full, in-depth coverage from around the leage, SportsCenter will have three of its anchors–Jay Harris, Lindsay Czarniak, and Matt Barrie–on the road on site for even more coverage. Harris will report from the Broncos’ training camp on Friday, July 31st, while Czarniak and Barrie will report from the Bucaneers’ and Texans/Redskins joint camps on August 7th and 8th respectively. In all, ESPN’s flagship program will have coverage from thirty of the league’s thirty-two total camps throughout the month of August. Additional coverage of each camp wil come from ESPN’s bureau reporters, from ESPN.com, and from NFL Nation team reporters. Those reporters will offer on-site reports and daily look-ahead stories giving insight into what fans should look for at each team’s camp. The current schedule for ESPN’s NFL training camp broadcasts is noted below.

Date

NFL Team

On-Site Commentator(s)

Sat, Jul 25

Minnesota Vikings

Ben Goessling

Sun, Jul 26

Minnesota Vikings

Ben Goessling

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jeremy Fowler

Mon, Jul 27

Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL Live: Trey Wingo, Jerome Bettis, Ryan Clark, Merril Hoge and Josina Anderson

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Mike DiRocco

Wed, Jul 29

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer

 

New England Patriots

Sal Paolantonio

 

New York Jets

Rich Cimini

Thu, Jul 30

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer

 

New England Patriots

Sal Paolantonio

 

Green Bay Packers

Rob Demovsky

 

Washington Redskins

John Keim

 

Denver Broncos

Jeff Legwold

Fri, Jul 31

Denver Broncos

Jeff Legwold, Jay Harris, Tom Jackson, Adam Schefter

 

New England Patriots

Sal Paolantonio

 

Buffalo Bills

Mike Rodak

 

Seattle Seahawks

John Clayton

Sat, Aug 1

Indianapolis Colts

Mike Wells

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josina Anderson

Sun, Aug 2

Tennessee Titans

Paul Kuharsky

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Sal Paolantonio

Mon, Aug 3

Carolina Panthers

David Newton

 

Detroit Lions

Michael Rothstein

Tue, Aug 4

Dallas Cowboys

TBD

 

Cleveland Browns

Bob Holtzman

Wed, Aug 5

Seattle Seahawks

John Clayton

 

Chicago Bears

Jeff Dickerson

Thu, Aug 6

New York Giants

Dan Graziano

 

Oakland Raiders

Shelley Smith

Fri, Aug 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pat Yasinskas, Lindsay Czarniak, Ron Jaworski

Sat, Aug 8

Houston Texans/Washington Redskins joint practice

Tania Ganguli, John Keim, Matt Barrie, Ryan Clark, Louis Riddick

Sun, Aug 9

St. Louis Rams

Nick Wagoner

Mon, Aug 10

Kansas City Chiefs

Adam Teicher

 

Miami Dolphins

James Walker

Tue, Aug 11

Cincinnati Bengals

Coley Harvey

 

Baltimore Ravens

Sal Paolantonio

Wed, Aug 12

Arizona Cardinals

Pedro Gomez

 

San Diego Chargers

Eric Williams

Wed, Aug 19

New England Patriots/New Orleans Saints joint practice

Mike Triplett, Britt McHenry

*Subject to change

More information on ESPN’s NFL training camp coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NFL news at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

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

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.