The Pop Ups’ Latest LP Is Fun For Children and Children Of The 80s

Courtesy:  Pop Up City Records

Courtesy: Pop Up City Records

Appetite for Construction, the latest new release from kindie-pop rock band The Pop-Ups is an interesting work. The twelve-track album from the Brooklyn, NY based band will take parents all the way back to the 1970s and 80s with its mix of sounds all while celebrating the joys of childhood with its lyrical side. That lyrical side will also entertain parents as it will take them back to their own childhoods with songs such as ‘Craft Night,’ ‘Costume Party,’ and ‘All These Shapes.’ That these songs and those not mentioned could reach audiences of so many ages and entertain them at the same time proves once more why children’s music can be and often is just as good as anything crafted specifically for grown-ups.

The Pop Ups’ latest album is such a joy for parents and children alike because of its ability to reach audiences of all ages. It reaches so many audiences thanks to a combination of music and lyrics that takes listeners back to the 1970s and 80s musically while celebrating the joys of childhood through various avenues. One of the best examples of that mix comes late in the album in the form of ‘Craft Night.’ The duo—Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein—sing about the fun of creating a picture collage. They sing about sitting at a table, taking those old tubes of glue, and gluing pictures to sheets of construction paper. Anyone that ever did this as a kid will understand and appreciate this song just as much as any child today provided schools still teach children about making collages. The men sing, “Can you find some macaroni/Glitter too/Find some pink construction paper and some glue/And you’ll make some beautiful things on craft night/Beautiful things that’ll make the world delight.” They go on to sing about cutting out a heart and combining that with the glitter and macaroni to make a child’s own work of art. From there, the pair sings about finger painting and other crafts. Any parent that ever took part in such craft making as children will be taken back in time thanks to such vivid imagery. And any children that actually still take part in such activities in schools today—apparently there are children that focus more on computer-based learning than on arts and crafts—will relate to it just as much. The addition of an old school 1970s/80s sound will entertain parents just as much. The end result is a song that as already noted, is just one prime example of what makes ‘Craft Night’ one of so many examples of the joy offered on this record.

Sitting down and making arts and crafts has been a time-honored tradition for children for generations. Hopefully it hasn’t become an entirely extinct tradition considering the increased emphasis being placed on computer-based learning in schools across the country. Just as much of a time-honored tradition among children is that of the costume party. Boys and girls alike dress up all the time. And their parents did, too. Such a tradition crossing generations, it makes for another great topic for a children’s song. Thus the aptly titled ‘Costume Party’ in which the duo sings of getting dressed up in different outfits. It’s one that both boys and girls will enjoy. That’s because there’s mention of girls getting dressed up in princess dresses and of boys getting dressed in a relative’s clothes. That set against the song’s 80s pop vibe will help the song to connect both with kids and their parents. Speaking of 80s pop, parents that grew up in the 80s will also appreciate the equally creative ‘All These Shapes.’ That song is one more piece from this album that serves as a solid example of what audiences have to expect from this record.

‘All These Shapes’ is another piece that is set against a 1980s era sound for all the grown-up children of the 80s out there. Stein and Rabinowitz sing in this song about all the possible things that could be drawn from the shapes. They sing, “What can you make with all these shapes/Little circle magnet on my fridge/Just like a baseball we could pitch/Round as an eye that you could wink/Or a head filled with a brain that thinks/Could be a planet or the moon/A floating helium balloon/Maybe a wheel to steer a car/Or the top of a big ol’ pickle jar.” Parents will appreciate how this song really encourages thinking and creativity. And they will also appreciate that in its own right, that emphasis on creativity makes the song itself creative. It’s just one more piece that shows the extent of creativity and originality that fills this record. There are nine other tracks that display that creativity and originality just as much as this song and those previously noted. Audiences will be able to hear those songs for themselves when Appetite for Construction is released next month.

Appetite for Construction will be available in stores and online Tuesday, August 19th.  It can be downloaded online via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/appetite-for-construction/id899582693.  The Pop Ups will hit the road in support of its new album beginning Wednesday, August 6th at 4pm ET at The Springfield Museum in Springfield, MA. From there, The Pop Ups will head to New York, New York for a performance at Riverside Park on August 7th. A complete listing of The Pop Ups’ current tour schedule is available online along with all of the latest news from the band at http://www.thepopups.com, http://www/facebook.com/thepopups, and http://twitter.com/thepopups. 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.

ESPN Announces Another Addition To Sunday Night Baseball Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced the latest addition to its Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast schedule.   Officials with the “Sports Leader” have announced that on Sunday, June 30th, it will broadcast a matchup between Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees and Manny Machado and the Baltimore Orioles live in Baltimore.  Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, and reporter Buster Olney will join host Dan Shulman live beginning at 8pm EDT.

The game will broadcast live on ESPN on cable and online via WatchESPN.  It will also be available on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio.  Jon Sciambi will host the broadcast on ESPN Radio.  He will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton.  Ozzy Guillen, Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, and Guillermo Celis will have the call on ESPN Deportes.

Before that game though, ESPN will have an NL Central matchup between the division leading St. Louis Cardinals and The Cincinnati Reds.  Cincinnati is currently in a very tight points race with fellow NL Central foes, the Pittsburgh Pirates for second in the NL Central, and the National League overall.  Just behind the Reds and Pirates is Atlanta, which will be facing San Francisco on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell on ESPN on June 16th.

The current lineup of games on the Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule is available below.  Games for the remainder of July, as well as for August and September will be announced at a later time.  Fans can get the latest news on what those games will be on the official ESPN website at http://espn.go.com/mlb and via the official ESPN Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.

Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date Game
June 9 St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
June 16 San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves
June 23 Texas Rangers at St. Louis Cardinals
June 30 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
July 14 St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
July 21 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

 

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King’s X, Kansas announce Fall tour

It was only months ago that King’s X drummer Jerry Gaskill was hospitalized after suffering a major heart attack.  Now, after his amazing recovery, he and his bandmates in King’s X–dUg Pinnick (bass/vocals) and Ty Tabor (guitar)–will head out on tour this fall with fellow legends Kansas.  Both Gaskill and Pinnick spoke on the upcoming tour with Gaskill saying, “Not too long ago I was thinking I might not ever get back on a stage, now I’m ready and with the ok from all my doctors.” He added, “What better way to get back than to tour with the legendary KANSAS. Let’s rock…” 

When asked about the announcement, bassist/vocalist dUg Pinnick had this to say:  “I’ve been a huge KANSAS fan since the beginning. I remember sitting on the floor with my friends listening to the just released record ‘Song for America’…Fast forward to years later, KING’S X is going on tour with them!! It is an honor to be doing shows with them. This is gonna rock!!”

The band’s tour will be in support of its most recent release, “Live Love in London.”  The live show, recorded at the famed Electric Ballroom january 22, 2009, is available now in a dual 3-disc cd/dvd package, and as a doube disc cd-only set.  the show features some of the band’s biggest hits including:  “Lost in Germany”, “Over My Head”, “It’s Love”, and “Black Flag”. 

Kansas’ original member Richard Williams was asked about the upcoming tour, too.  He said of Kansas’ anticipation, “We are really looking forward to the upcoming shows with KING’S X. They’re a great band and a force to be reckoned with. It’s a tour like this that allows us to dig a little bit deeper into our catalogue and play a few songs that KANSAS fans haven’t heard for a while. It’s gonna be a lot of fun!”

Special opening act and one man band That 1 Guy (featuring Mike Silverman) will join the band’s on select dates on the tour.  So far, ten dates have been confirmed for the tour.  It will kick off September 13th at the Best Buy Theater in New York, New York. 

Fans can keep up with all the latest tour dates as they are confirmed on the official King’s X website, http://www.kingsxrocks.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KingsxFanPage, and on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/alienbeans

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