Metal Blade Founder Releasing New Book

Courtesy: BMG Books

Metal Blade Records Founder Brian Slagel is set to release his new book, Swing of the Blade: More Stories From Metal Blade Records this spring through BMG Books.

The follow-up to his 2017 memoir, For The Sake Of Heaviness, the new, 192-page book continues the story in its predecessor, telling the story of how Slagel’s love of metal music helped him found the label and his experiences with bands that have called and continue to call Metal Blade Records home, as well as others. Among the bands discussed in the new book are the likes of Armored Saint, Metallica, and King Diamond.

The book’s forward was authored by Slayer guitarist Kerry King. King inducted Metal Blade Records into the Hall of Heavy Metal History in 2017.

Along with being available in a paperback pressing, Swing of the Blade: Stories from Metal Blade Records will also release in a box set presentation that includes a cassette tape featuring songs from many of the bands discussed in the book. That list includes the likes of Fates Warning, Unearth, and Amon Amarth. Pre-orders for the box set are open here.

More information on Slagel’s new book is available along with all of Metal Blade Records’ latest news at:




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Slayer Debuts Video For Repentless’ Lead Single

The wait is over at last. After a long five-year wait, Slayer has returned to reclaim the metal crown with its new album Repentless. And now, the band has officially debuted the video for the album’s title track and lead single.

Slayer and its new label home Nuclear Blast America debuted the video for the album’s title track/lead single on Friday alongside the release of the band’s new album. The video can be viewed online now via Rolling Stone magazine’s website at

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast America

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast America

The video sees Slayer performing inside a prison in which the inmates have gotten free and taken over. Parental discretion is advised. In regards to the graphic nature of the video, front man Tom Araya noted in an interview with Rolling Stone writer Kory Grow, “We’re telling the story that we’ve always told about society and how humans treat each other,” frontman Tom Araya said. “It can get pretty violent. It can get pretty stupid. But that’s OK. That’s human nature.” Fans can check out Grow’s entire article online now at the link noted above.

The video for ‘Repentless’ marks the first time ever that director BJ McDonnell has delved into the realm of music videos. His most recent directing role was on the 2014 horror flick Hatchet III. He has also worked as a cameraman on Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and The Interview. Stunt coordinator Nils Allen Stewart was brought in to help with the video, too. His credits include work on: Planet of the Apes, Anger Management, and Daredevil.

Viewers that watch closely will note cameos by some mbig name actors including: Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Til Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico), Tony Moran (Halloween’s Michael Meyers, American Poltergeist, Dead Bounty), Jason Trost (Hatchet III, All Superheroes Must Die, The FP), Sean Whalen (Men in Black, Halloween II, Twister), and Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2, Commando, Weird Science).

More information on ‘Repentless’ and the rest of the songs on the band’s new album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:



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Slayer Reclaims The Metal Crown With Its New LP

Ladies and gentlemen, the kings have returned. Just as Richard reclaimed his rightful place upon his return so has Slayer officially reclaimed its rightful place atop the metal pantheon with its new album Repentless. The album, which is currently slated to be released in stores and online this Friday, September 11th, is a welcome return for the band. That is especially the case considering everything that the band has faced since the release of its last album, 2009’s World Painted Blood. First the band parted ways with drummer Dave Lombardo early in 2013 due to a boiling over of internal tensions between himself and his then band mates. Then in May the band lost guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman when Hanneman passed away. Facing such a double whammy in one year would likely have been cause for any lesser band to call it quits. Slayer isn’t any lesser band, though. If anything facing such adversity has only made Slayer’s members stronger. That is clear in the twelve tracks that make up the body of Repentless. The album’s title track and first full song is one example of just how strong the band still remains. With its mix of full throttle thrash metal and thought-provoking lyrics that are supposedly about Hanneman, this song is certain to be a fan favorite. ‘Take Control is another example of what makes Repentless one of those rare albums that really lives up to the hype. Its mix of adrenaline-fueled musical content and seeming socio-political commentary in its lyrical content makes it just as hard-hitting as any of the album’s other compositions. Much the same can be said of ‘Implode’ save for its musical content. In regards to its musical content, it doesn’t come right out at audiences unlike ‘Take Control’ and ‘Repentless.’ Even with that progression, it still boasts a certain heaviness that when coupled with the song’s lyrical content still makes it one more example of just how much Slayer’s fans have to look forward to in this the band’s twelfth new full-length studio recording. It is hardly the only other song that could be used to exemplify why Repentless has been so highly anticipated. From one fan to the next, every fan will find his or her own example(s) of why this record more than lives up to its hype. Considering that, it can be justifiably said of Repentless that it is one of this year’s best new metal/hard rock albums.

One would think that having been making music and touring the world over countless times over the course of the past three decades plus, Slayer would have lost at least some of its strength since its original formation. But as the band’s new album Repentless proves quite the opposite. That is even with all of its lineup changes and other obstacles. This record shows from its short instrumental opener to its closer ‘Pride and Prejudice’ that the band hasn’t lost a step over that time. The album’s title track is just one example of how much Slayer still has to offer audiences. The song, which has been said to be about former guitarist Jeff Hanneman, takes the band’s signature full-throttle sound with some thought-provoking lyrical content to make it a song that is sure to make it a fan favorite. Front man Tom Araya screams over Kerry King’s razor-sharp shredding and drummer Paul Bostaph’s impeccable time keeping, “My songs relive the atrocities/Can’t take society any f*****’ more/Intensity, anarchy, hatred amplified/Playin’ this s*** is all that keeps me alive/I leave it all on the road/Livin’ on the stage/This is my life/Where I kill it every day/So take your shot/bottom’s up/This is no lie/I’ll be beating this guitar till the day I die.” This verse in whole makes easy to see how the song would be in reference to Hanneman as it perhaps attempts to capture his mentality as his personal struggles began to get the better of him. Araya notes in the song’s chorus, “I hate the life/Hate the fame/Hate the f*****’ scene/P****** match of egos/F*** their vanity/Aint’ got time/I don’t want anything from you/Feeding on my tolerance is all you f*****’ do/No looking back/No regrets/No apologies/What you get is what you see/We’re all killing ourselves a little more every day.” That line in which Araya notes, “I don’t want anything from you” strengthens the argument that the song is about Hanneman. The intensity of the song’s musical content set against that lyrical content solidifies it even more as it projects the seeming mentality of someone who was really angry at everyone and everything. Regardless of whether or not the song is in fact centered on Hanneman, it can be said that the song’s combination of musical and lyrical intensity makes it a hard-hitting work and in turn one example of why Repentless lives up to its expectations and then some.

Repentless’ title track is an excellent example of why it lives up to its expectations and then some. It is just one example of why the album proves so impressive, too. ‘Take Control’ is another example of what makes Slayer’s new LP such a solid new effort from one of metal’s elite. Speaking in terms of its musical content, it is another full throttle, balls to the walls thrash anthem that is just as sure to be a fan favorite as the album’s title track. King shows why he is one of the top axe men in the metal community here with his work on the guitar while Bostaph is once again flawless in his time keeping. One can’t ignore Araya’s vocal prowess here either. Araya puts to shame even some of the top names in the metal community with the power in his deivery. Of course the musical content is just one part of the whole of ‘Take Control.’ The song’s lyrical content plays just as much of a part in its overall enjoyment as its musical content. As Araya screams, “My voice is a weapon/The bombs are away/My mind is the trigger/So fire away/The world in a crossfire/Of panic and fear/The war is upon us/I say it starts here.” The bombs in question are the words to his voice being the weapon from which the bombs are discharged. And the bombs get quite powerful later in the song as Araya screams, “Why do they call it the land of the free/Political banter-that’s if you ask me/Diffusing the problem/The question is how/With imminent conflict/The answer starts now/I can’ say/We’re not the reason for the world’s decay/Here to stay/We’re just the ones who won’t go away.” It can be inferred from this verse alone that the song is a commentary about the current state of the world and Slayer’s place in the world especially considering the band’s reputation. That argument is made even stronger as he screams in the song’s chorus, “We will take control/Of this abortion called society/I despise the mediocrity/We are the torch that lights the fuse/A social terror with nothing to lose.” It is as if Araya is saying that the band, rather than being the band that so many have tagged it to be, is a force to motivate people to make a change. This is of course just this critic’s own interpretation. Others could have their own take on these lyrics. Regardless, the fact that the song’s lyrical content could potentially generate such discussion and thought is more than enough reason for listeners to hear this song. Together, the song’s musical and lyrical content make even clearer why ‘Take Control’ is one more solid representative of Repentless’ success. It still is not the last example of what makes Repentless such a solid new effort from Slayer. ‘Implode’ is one more example of why Repentless was well worth the wait.

‘Implode’ is one more way in which Repentless shows itself proves to have been worth the wait. The main reason for that is the same as that of the previously noted songs–the combination of its musical and lyrical content. ‘Implode’s’ musical content stands out against ‘Take Control’ and ‘Repentless’ primarily in that the band doesn’t just jump right into the song. Rather, it starts out with a somewhat slower tempo before eventually building into that all too familiar full throttle, adrenaline-fueled sound that makes up the majority of the songs on this record. What’s really impressive about this is the fact that the band doesn’t waste too much time in building up to that full-throttle sound. There are far too many bands out there that can’t seem to get that balance just right. Thankfully Slayer has not one of those bands as is exhibited here. Moving on to the song’s lyrical content, it is hardly the most optimistic piece. However, one can’t help but agree with Araya to a point as he screams, “sick of this s*** called policy/Life support for a dead economy/Brain dead leaders of the world conspire/Acting with malice only fuels the fire/No wonder people of religion obsess/All it wants a man to do is confess/Arrogance will never let the fools concede/You know you’re gonna have to stand and watch them bleed.” Araya’s commentary in the song’s lead verse is quite similar with him noting how the world is essentially doing itself in. While the sentiment presented within these verses is, again, not quite optimistic, it brings everything full circle, illustrating expertly Araya’s earlier statement in ‘Take Control’ of Slayer being that force that ignites the flame within listeners so as to get them to make a change. It could even be argued that it can be linked to the vantage point of ‘Repentless,’ too as it points out those negative things that drove that song’s subject so angry. Considering this, it is clear why ‘Implode’ is one more important and impressive addition to Repentless. Together with the likes of ‘Take Control,’ ‘Repentless,’ and the rest of the album’s songs, it is yet another example of why Repentless was well worth the wait. Together with the rest of the album’s songs, it serves that much more to show also why Repentless is one of this year’s best new metal/hard rock records.

Slayer’s fans have waited five years for the band to release its next album. in the world of the music industry, five years is an eternity. And considering the obstacles that the band had to overcome only a couple of years ago, fans couldn’t help but wonder if they would ever hear from Slayer again. Luckily for them, the band didn’t let said obstacles stop it. Instead, as fans will hear in the likes of ‘Implode,’ ‘Take Control’ and the album’s title track, the band obviously instead used its obstacles to create what is one of its strongest records to date. Those three tracks are collectively just a glimpse of why Repentless lives up to its expectations. Fans will agree in hearing the album for themselves that any of the album’s songs could be used as examples of why this record is such a success. Considering this, the album in whole can be said to be one of this year’s best new metal/hard rock records. It will be available this Friday, September 11th in stores and online. Fans can order Repentless online now and keep up with all of the band’s latest news online now at:




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Slayer Confirms New Album Complete, Coming This Year; Announces Tour Dates

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

It has been four long years since the members of Slayer last released any new material. But that long wait is about to come to an end.

Four years after the release of its Grammy-nominated record World Painted Blood and two years removed from the passing of Jeff Hanneman, the current members of Slayer–Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), and Paul Bostaph (drums)–have announced that the band will release its twelfth full-length studio release later this year via the band’s own label through Nuclear Blast Records. No title or official release date have yet been confirmed for the album. However, it is known that famed producer Terry Date (Miss May I, Smashing Pumpkins, Pantera) manned the boards for the record. And guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus) will handle guitar duties alongside King. The record marks the first time that Date has ever worked with the band. It is also the first time since the release of the band’s 2001 album God Hates Us All that Bostaph has recorded with his band mates. Audiences will be just as interested to note that there is at least one song penned by Hanneman included on the band’s upcoming record.

Nuclear Blast America General Manager Gerardo Martinez had nothing but good things to say of the upcoming album, saying essentially that it is some of the band’s best work to date. “Tom’s vocals are probably the best I’ve heard in two decades, and Kerry, Paul and Gary are playing their asses of with powerful, intense performances and riffs and beats that are absolutely lethal,” he said. Fans have already gotten to sneak peeks of Slayer’s upcoming album, the most recent being the Record Store Day release of the song ‘When The Stillness Comes.’ That song was released in a very limited quantity of only 500 copies s worldwide. It was released on a special seven-inch vinyl picture disc exclusively for Record Store Day but can be heard online now via Rolling Stone at The other sneak peek came in the form of the song ‘Implode.’ ‘Implode’ was offered as a free download last year following Slayer’s studio sessions last March. Audiences can hear the song now for free online via YouTube at

In anticipation of its new album, the members of Slayer have also announced that the band will embark on an extensive tour including dates on a number of major summer festival tours and its own “An Evening With…” Slayer-only dates. The band’s current confirmed tour schedule is listed below. It all begins this Friday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Confirmed Slayer tour dates:

24 Iron City, Birmingham, AL*
25 Monter Energy Welcome to Rockfille, Metropolitian Park, Jacksonville, FL
26 Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA*

1 Lunatic Luau, Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA
3 Carolina Rebellion, Charlotte, NC
22 Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
23 Socorro Casino, El Paso, TX*

13 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
16 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
17 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
19 State Theatre, Portland, ME
20 Amnesia Rock, Montebello, Montreal

(Mayhem headline dates):
26 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
27 San Manual Amphitheatre, San Bernardino, CA
28 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
30 White River Amphitheatre, Seattle, WA

1 Idaho Center Amphitheatre, Boise, ID
3 Ak-Chin Amphitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
4 Isleta Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM
5 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
7 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs, IA
8 Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
10 Kilpsch Amphitheatre, Indianapolis, IN
11 DTE Energy Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
12 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
15 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON CANADA
17 Susquehanna Bank Arts Center, Camden, NJ
18 First Niagara Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, CT
21 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
22 Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion), Gilford, NH
24 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
25 Xfinity Center, Boston, MA
26 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
29 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
31 Whitewater Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX

1 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
2 Gexa Energy Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX

* “An Evening with…” headline dates

More dates are likely to be announced. When those dates are announced, they will be posted online along with all of the latest news on the band’s album at:



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Paul Bostaph Returns To Slayer


Former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph is now the band’s “new” drummer once again.  Front man Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King have announced that Bostaph has rejoined the band on a full-time basis and that he will start performing with the band again beginning on June 4th.  That is when the band kicks off the first leg of its international tour.  The tour will kick off in Warsaw, Poland.  Gary Holt will continue to perform with the band on guitars in the place of the band’s fallen guitarist Jeff Hanneman.

The band’s world tour sees it perform thirty-five dates across Europe and South America between June and October.  The dates include headlining dates and festivals across Europe and South America.  Araya commented on Bostaph’s return to the band and facing the upcoming dates without Hanneman.  “Paul’s a great drummer and a good friend, and we’re very happy that he’s decided to rejoin the band,” he said.  “We’re still pretty numb from the loss of Jeff, but we don’t want to disappoint our European and South American fans, and we need to begin moving forward…having Paul back in the band makes that a whole lot easier.” 

Bostaph recorded and toured with Slayer from 1992 to 2001.  He recorded four albums with the band during that time—Divine Intervention (1994), Undisputed Attitude (1996), Diabolus in Musica (1998), and God Hates Us All (2001)—and the 2001 Live DVD, War at the Warfield.  He has also recorded and performed with Exodus, Forbidden, Testament, and Systematic. 

The band’s international tour dates are listed below.


 4         Impact Festival 2013, Warsaw, Poland

 6         Muziek Theatre, Enschede, Holland

 7         Rodahal, Kerkrade, Holland

 8         Sonisphere France, Amneville, France

10-11   The Academy, Dublin, Ireland

12        Limelight, Belfast, Ireland

14        Greenfield Festival, Interlaken, Switzerland

15        Geox Theatre, Padova, Italy

17        Antlantico, Rome, Italy

18        Obihall, Florence, Italy

19        Alcatraz, Milan, Italy

21        Metalfest Germany, St. Goarshausen, Germany

22        See-Rock Festival 2013, Graz, Austria

23        Culture Factory/Tvornica Kulture, Zagreb, Croatia

25        Kombank Arena, Belgrade, Serbiz

26        Hegyalja Festival, Tokaj, Hungary

27        With Full Force, Leipzig, Germany

29        Hi Voltage, Istanbul, Turkey


 1         Heavy By The Sea, Athens, Greece


 2         Resurrection Festival, Viviero, Spain

 6         Vega Main Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark

 7         Grona Lund Tivoli Outdoor, Stockholm, Sweden

 9         Jalomethallifestival 2013, Oulu, Finland

10        Oya Festival, Oslo, Norway

11        Bloodstock Open Air 2013, Derby, UK

15        Pukkelpop Festival, Kiweit Hasselt, Belgium

16        Low Lands Festival, Biddinghuizen, Holland

17        Elb-Riot Open Air Festival, Hamburg, Germany

18        X Rockfest, Herford, Germany


17        Foro Sol, Mexico City, Mexico

20        Jockey Club, Sao Paulo, Brazil

22        Rock In Rio 2013, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

24        Pedreira Paulo Leminski, Curitiba, Brazil

27        River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina

29        Jockey Club, Asuncion, Paraguay


 2         Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile

To keep up with the latest news and more from Slayer, “Like” the band on Facebook at  Fans can also follow the band on Twitter at and on the band’s official website,

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Report: Alcohol Related Cirrhosis, Not Spider Bite Led To Hanneman’s Death

Photo Credit:  Andrew Stuart/ANDREWSTUARTPHOTOS.COM

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart/ANDREWSTUARTPHOTOS.COM

The official cause of death has been released regarding the passing of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman.  It was previously believed that a spider bite had led to health concerns over the years, including the recent Necrotizing fasciitis infection, it has now been discovered that this was not the cause of Hanneman’s death.  Rather, the cause of death has been found to be alcohol related cirrhosis.  Hanneman’s band mates, Tom Araya and Kerry King have both released statements regarding these new developments.  Below is what the pair had to say in remembering him.

KERRY: “I had so many great times with Jeff…in the early days when we were out on the road, he and I were the night owls, we would stay up all night on the bus, just hanging out, talking, watching movies…World War II movies, horror movies, we watched “Full Metal Jacket” so many times, we could practically recite all of the dialogue.”


TOM: “When we first formed Slayer, we used to rehearse all the time, religiously, 24/7. Jeff and I spent a lot of time hanging out together, he lived in my father’s garage which was also our rehearsal space. When he got his own apartment, he had an 8-track and I would go there to record songs I’d written, not Slayer songs, other stuff I’d written. At a certain point, you still have the band but you start your own lives outside of the band, so that 24/7 falls to the side, you don’t spend as much time together as you once did. I miss those early days.”


KERRY: “He was a gigantic World War II buff, his father served in that war, so when Slayer played Russia for the first time – I think it was 1998 – Jeff and I went to one of Moscow’s military museums. I’ll never forget him walking around that place, looking at all of the tanks, weapons and other exhibits. He was like a kid on Christmas morning. But that was Jeff’s thing, he knew so much about WW II history, he could have taught it in school.”


TOM: “We were in New York recording South of Heaven. Jeff and I were at the hotel and we had to get to the studio – I think it was called Chung King, a real rundown place. So we left the hotel and decided to walk, but then it started raining. We walked maybe five blocks, and it was raining so hard, we were totally soaked, so we decided to get a cab. Here we are, two dudes with long hair and leather jackets, absolutely soaked, thumbing to the studio. No one would stop. We had to walk the entire way.”

TOM: “Jeff was a lifeline of Slayer, he wrote so many of the songs that the band will always be known for. He had a good heart, he was a good guy.”


The remaining members of Slayer want fans to know that there will be a celebration of Jeff’s life later this month.  Jeff’s family and friends will be there.  It will be open to the public.  Fans can keep up with the latest on the memorial service and all the latest from the band on its official website,

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Slash, Chuck D. Join Anthrax On Stage At Metal Alliance Show


Photo Credit:  Stephanie Cabral

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral


Metal Alliance Tour headliners Anthrax had a couple very special guests last night at the tour’s sold out stop in Hollywood, CA.  The tour made a stop at the Hollywood, CA House of Blues last night.  Much to the surprise of audiences in attendance, Anthrax was joined on stage during its set by none other than Public Enemy front man Chuck D. and guitarist Slash.  Slash joined the band on-stage for its performance of AC/DC’s hit, ‘T.N.T.’ Slash covered lead guitar duties for this performance.  Later in the night’s performance, Chuck D. surprised everyone when he came on stage and performed ‘Bring The Noise’ with the band.  The band originally recorded this song with Public Enemy in 1991.

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Cabral

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

Slash and Chuck D. were just a couple of the celebrities in house for last night’s stop on the Metal Alliance Tour.  Kerry King (Slayer), John Tempesta (The Cult, Rob Zombie), Justin Chendellor (Tool), Brendon Small (Dethklok) and actor/musician Brian Posehn were also on hand for last night’s show.

The Metal Alliance Tour runs through late April.  It was in San Francisco, CA tonight.  Friday, the tour—also featuring Municipal Waste, Exodus, High on Fire, and Holy Grail—will be at the Roseland Ballroom in Portland, Oregon.  Fans in North Carolina will get the chance to see the band live when it makes a stop at the Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte.  And right now, fans can get the chance to see Anthrax for Free when the tour comes to Charlotte next month.  The Phil’s Picks Facebook page and the Tremont Music Hall together are giving away a pair of tickets to see the band free.  Along with the tickets, one lucky fan will also win a copy of the band’s new EP, Anthems.  Fans need just go to the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at and “Like” it.  Once that’s done, fans need only send a message or write on the Phil’s Picks timeline indicating that they want in on the contest.  One lucky person’s name will be drawn Friday morning at 9am.  The tickets to the show will be at Will Call at the Tremont Music Hall.  The winner can either pick up the CD in person or have it mailed to them.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, reviews and contests, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and giveaways in the Phil’s Picks blog at