Michael Schenker Fest Debuts New Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Michael Schenker Fest debuted the video for its new single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘The Girl With The Stars in Her Eyes‘ on Tuesday.  The song is featured in the band’s debut album Resurrection, which was released last year through Nuclear Blast Records. The band is named after its founder, former UFO/Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker.

The video features a young woman dancing in a variety of settings, such as a dimply lit club, an open space with flaming twirlers and against a starlit background.  The song itself boasts a very 80s influenced hard rock sound while its lyrical theme obviously is about a young woman.

‘The Girl With The Stars in Her Eyes’ is just the latest single to be spawned from Resurrection.  The album has also spawned the singles ‘Take Me To The Church,’ ‘Warrior‘ and ‘Heart and Soul.’

Michael Schenker Fest will release its sophomore album Aug. 23 through Nuclear Blast Records.  According to Schenker, the album’s title is Revelation.  He talked about that and the album in whole in a recent interview.

“Based on the fun that we had recording Resurrection, the success of the album and the surrounding tours we undertook that were just fantastic, I was deeply inspired to make a start on writing new songs for a new Michael Schenker Fest album,” Schenker said.  “It is even a step up from Resurrection, with amazing input from all singers and all musicians.  I could not ask for a better result.  The songs are blazing, snappy, energetic, melodic, and with drummers like Simon Phillips and Bodo Shopf we got amazing results.  this time we even managed to record three great mid-tempo songs with all singers involved, singing their hearts out.”

Schenker added, “The album title and cover concept expresses things that have happened in my past as well as what is still happening at the present time.  It’s about passion and purity versus greed and corruption.  There is much to say.  It’s about time I let people know about some of this.”

Revelation was co-produced by Schenker and Michael Voss.  It was mastered by Christoph ‘Doc’ Stickel for CS Mastering/Vienna, Austria.

 

Courtesy;Nuclear Blast Records

The video’s debut comes as the band has launched a new string of live dates.  the latest tour schedule launched Monday and is set to run through May 18 in Austin, TX.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Confirmed MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST North American dates are:

4/15/2019  Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/16/2019  Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/17/2019  Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/19/2019  Palace of Fine Arts – San Francisco, CA
4/20/2019  Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
4/21/2019  Revolution Hall – Portland, OR
4/22/2019  Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC
4/24/2019  The Palace formerly Flames Central – Calgary, AB CANADA
4/27/2019  Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO
4/28/2019  The Truman – Kansas City, MO
4/30/2019  Bourbon Hall –  St Louisville, KY
5/03/2019  The Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI
5/04/2019  Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
5/05/2019  Lafayette Theater – Lafayette, IN
5/07/2019  Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON
5/09/2019  The Egg – Albany, NY
5/10/2019  The Palladium – Worcester, MA
5/11/2019  Irving Plaza – New York City, NY
5/12/2019  The Space at Westbury – Westbury, NY
5/14/2019  Ram’s Head Live 20 Market Place Baltimore, MD
5/15/2019  The National – Richmond, VA
5/16/2019  Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
5/18/2019  Empire Garage – Austin, TX

A promo video for the trailer featuring Schenker is streaming online here.  Meet and Greet packages are available here.

More information on Michael Schenker Fest’s upcoming tour dates, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

 

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Exmortus Announces New Live Dates

Exmortus is going back out on the road.

The veteran metal outfit announced a new slate of live dates Tuesday.  The almost monthlong North American tour is scheduled to launch May 6 in Indianapolis, IN and to run through May 29 in Fresno, CA.

The majority of the tour’s dates are in the Southwest and West Coast.  Silver Talon and Cultural Warfare will join Exmortus for the tour.

This latest string of live dates comes will follow an upcoming string of dates alongside Homewrecker and Venom Inc. that runs from April 24 in Colorado Springs, CO to May 4 in Brooklyn, NY.  the Misfits will join that tour on select dates.

Both tour schedules are noted below.  The upcoming live dates are in support of Exmortus’ latest full-length studio recording The Sound of Steel, which was released June 8 through Prosthetic Records. The 10-song record can be ordered now here.  It produced three singles — ‘Make Haste,’ ‘Feast of Flesh‘ and ‘Victory or Death.’

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

EXMORTUS live w/ Venom Inc & Homewrecker! 
4/24 – Colorado Springs, CO – Zodiac
4/25 Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
4/26 Minneapolis, MN – Lee’s Liqour Lounge
4/27 Rosemont, IL – Allstate Arena w/ The Misfits*
4/28 Lakewood, OH – The Foundry
4/29 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
4/30 Toronto, ON – The Rockpile
5/01 Ottawa, ON – Mavericks
5/02 Quebec City, QC – L’Anti
5/03 Hartford, CT – Webster Underground
5/04 Brooklyn, NY – The Kingsland
*No Exmortus

 

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

EXMORTUS live on the North America Spring 2019 Tour: 
5/06 Indianapolis, IN Black Circle
5/08 Oklahoma City, OK 89th Street Collective
5/09 Odessa, TX The Club
5/10 El Paso, TX Rockhouse Bar & Grill
5/11 Mesa, AZ Club Red
5/23 Oakland, CA Oakland Metro+
5/24 Eugene, OR Old Nick’s Pub*
5/25 Bend, OR The Third Street Pub*
5/26 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theater
5/27 Seattle, WA Club Sur*
5/28 Portland, OR Bossanova Ballroom*
5/29 Fresno, CA Strummer’s+
*with Silver Talon
+with Cultural Warfare

More information on Exmortus’ upcoming live dates, videos, news and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://exmortusmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/exmortusband

 

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Gears Premieres ‘Tango Yankee’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Hard rock band Gears recently released the video for its new single.

The band debuted the video for ‘Tango Yankee’ on April 6 at tattoo.com.  The song features guest vocals from Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon. Witherspoon also took time to appear in the song’s companion video.

Gears drummer Jimmy Wooten said in a recent interview that the song is effectively a tribute to America’s military and emergency service personnel.

“With ‘Tango Yankee,’ we just really wanted to write something dedicated to several members of our families that have served in the military, law enforcement and first response,” Wooten said.  “We really wanted this to be special, so getting one of our favorite vocalists from one of our favorite bands was very exciting and made this track just that — special.  Lajon came in and absolutely crushed the track vocally.  I really love the way it turned out.  Trip [Six] — Gears front man — and LJ complimented each other so well. Put that together with Clint’s epic solo, and of course Corey [Lowery] at the helm, this really turned out something spectacular.  I believe that the thought behind the song is something that most Americans can relate to, as many of of have or have had loved ones who serve.  Maybe even a little something that can get us all past all of our political disagreements unify, recognize the sacrifice and just say a simple ‘Thank You’ to all those who fight for our freedom, protect us and keep us safe.”

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

 

Website: http://www.gearsofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/officialgears1

 

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The First Time Could Be The Charm For Wargirl

Courtesy: Clouds Hill

Independent music collective Wargirl is scheduled to release its self-titled debut album next week.  The California-based group’s 10-song, 38-minute album is a work that will appeal easily to fans of acts, such as Amy Winehouse, Meghan Trainor and Nikki Yanofsky.  This is evident in the album’s latest single ‘How You Feel,’ which will be discussed shortly.  ‘Mess Around’ exemplifies those statements just as much as ‘How You Feel,’ and will be discussed a little later.  ‘No Difference,’ the album’s midway point, is yet another example of the album’s ability to reach so many listeners with its musical and lyrical content with ease.  It is hardly the last of the album’s most notable works.  ‘I Know I,’ which comes late in the album’s almost 40-minute run, ‘Last Time’ and ‘Sass Girl’ are just as notable as the trio of songs directly addressed here.  When they are all considered along with the album’s four remaining songs, the whole becomes a record will make the first time – not the third – the charm for the group.

Wargirl’s self-titled debut album, due out April 19 via Clouds Hill Records, is a solid starting point for the independent Califonia-based musical collective.  That is because it is such an easily accessible record in terms of its musical and lyrical content.  Those statements are supported in part through the album’s latest single ‘How You Feel.’  That is due in no small part to the song’s arrangement.  The old-school soul/funk vibe takes listeners immediately back to the 1960s with its bongos, keyboards, guitars and horns.  Vocalist Samantha Park’s – the daughter of classic funk group Bull & The Matadors front man James Lafayette Parks —  vocals add a certain soulfulness that is rarely recreated by today’s female vocalists.  The closest comparison that can perhaps be made is to the likes of Amy winehouse.  Even the sound of drummer Erik Nieto’s own percussive part has its own throwback sound and vibe that, when added to the mix, helps create a sound and feel that instantly appeals to any listener.  All things considered here, the song’s infectious arrangement is just one part of what makes the song in whole so appealing.  The song’s lyrical content is just as accessible as its musical arrangement.

The song’s lyrical content clearly takes the time-honored path of tackling relationships in music.  This is made obvious as Park sings in the song’s lead verse, “How you feel about me now/Got my emotions running wild/And you’re asking yourself how/I’m not your baby/Ain’t your child/Don’t contradict me when I ask you to decide…to stay or go…/How you feel about me now…listen I will not be held down.”  She goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “You patronize me when I say/I ought to let you go/Honey, I’ve decided though/You ain’t need to set nobody free/Why the hell did I keep on stalling/While you wore me out/Reality is setting in/So how you feel about me now.”  Simply put, this is someone telling another person to make up their mind after realizing how things have been for such a long time.  The certain edge in the song’s arrangement does a good job of capturing the emotion in the discussion, showing the time and thought that was put into joining the elements.  The end result is a work that is just one of a handful of works that makes Wargirl a solid start for Wargirl.  ‘Mess Around’ is another example of what makes Wargirl work as well as it does.

‘Mess Around’ is among Wargirl’s most notable additions because in part because of its musical arrangement.  As with ‘How You Feel,’ this song’s arrangement also throws back to the 1960s, much as with works from Winehouse, Trainor and Yanofsky.  Whereas the previously discussed work boasted more of a mid-tempo arrangement and was much more old school in its approach, this work is far more upbeat, and presents much more of a pop vibe.  The old-school influence is not lacking here by any mean, but rather is mixed more with a modern sound for a whole that is certain to make it another fan favorite.  In terms of its lyrical content, the song proves just as accessible again, focusing yet again on relationships in proud fashion.

Park sings in the song’s lead verse, “If you’re gonna put me down/I ain’t gonna hang around with you/If you’re gonna mess around/Baby, know that you and I are through/Well the sky is full of thunder/And the land is filled with rain/Do I always have to wonder/What goes on inside your brain.”  Park repeats the lead verse’s main two lines to open the song’s second verse, before switching things up a bit and singing, “Well you lost me with your lying/And you lost me with your truth/And you always take my money/You always take the rules.”  From there, the song enters its bridge, during which Park’s subject tells the alleged two-timer that no one wants that person.  Simply put, this is a proud statement from a jilted lover who is telling another person that she is not going to put up with that person’s ways.  It is a message to which plenty of listeners will relate.  That is especially when that message is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, which does a good job of illustrating the main subject’s emotion in delivering the noted message.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear why this song is another important addition to Wargirl, showing even more, the album’s mainstream appeal.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable works.  ‘No Difference,’ shows Wargirl’s strength just as much as ‘Mess Around’ and ‘How You Feel.’

‘No Difference’ boasts a musical arrangement that is full on classic funk complete with a driving bongo line at its center.  The addition of the guitar, keyboards and cowbell makes for comparisons to some of the best works of Sly and the Family Stone.  That in itself does more than enough to make this work engaging and entertaining for listeners.  When it is joined with the seeming social commentary in the song’s lyrical content, those positive vibes presented by both sides makes the song that much more enjoyable.

The seeming social commentary is inferred as Park sings in the song’s lead verse, “I want everything/I am the wind and rain/I see a future great/Because I want everything/There’s no difference between us.”  She adds in the song’s second verse, “I want everything/Voices inside my brain/Say, “I feel a little strange,” ‘cause I want everything/There’s no difference between us.”  From there, she continues to repeat that last line multiple time as the song’s arrangement once more takes center stage.  This is important to note, as the positive energy exuded in the arrangement works in tandem with the seeming positive message about self-confidence and not letting differences stop one’s self to generate quite the positive vibe for the song.  It is just one more example of why Wargirl is such a strong debut for Wargirl.  It continues to positive vibes presented through the other songs noted here and through the rest of the album.  When those songs are considered along with this work, the end result is an album that can potentially be the charm for the band on just its first try.

Wargirl’s self-titled debut album, set for release on April 19, is a work that is certain to appeal to fans of Meghan Trainor, Nikki Yanofsky and Amy Winehouse.  That is evident throughout the course of the album, including the three songs discussed here.  Between the positive sound and vibes in the songs’ arrangements and the equally positive messages in the songs’ lyrical content, the record offers plenty for listeners to appreciate.  Considering this and the right support, Wargirl could very well prove the first time is the charm for Wargirl instead of the third.  More information on Wargirl is available online along with all of Wargirl’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://wargirlband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wargirlband

 

 

 

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Devoted Movie Buffs Will Enjoy CMG’s New Buster Keaton Bio

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Buster Keaton is a legend among icons in the entertainment industry. His work early in his life on the Vaudeville circuit, along with his work in movies and television has gone on to be an unrivaled model for so many of today’s entertainers.  Late last year, independent movie studio Cohen Media Group paid tribute to Keaton and his timeless work with the debut of a new documentary titled The Great Buster.  The movie made its theatrical debut on October 5.  Early this month, Cohen Media Group released the doc on Blu-ray.  It goes without saying that the feature is a fitting tribute for Keaton.  That is at least in terms of its primary content.  Where the doc’s main content is an engaging and entertaining presentation, its bonus content is somewhat problematic.  It will be addressed a little bit later.  The single-disc presentation’s price point makes the item overall worth spending, especially for the most devoted cinephiles.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Great Buster.  All things considered, they make The Great Buster maybe not great, but still a very good offering for its noted target audiences.

Cohen Media Group’s new Buster Keaton profile The Great Buster is a fitting tribute for the legendary entertainer.  That is proven in large part through the documentary’s main feature, which outlines, in depth, Keaton’s career from his early days on stage with his parents in the Vaudeville circuit to his meteoric rise to fame in the cinematic world to his downfall and eventual resurrection (of sorts) following the noted decline.  The story  is told through the words of the doc’s narrator/director Peter Bogadnovich, anecdotes and thoughts from Keaton’s contemporaries and those who have called Keaton an influence in their own rise to fame. They include, but are not limited to Mel Brooks, Bill Hader, Ben Manckiewicz, Johnny Knoxville and Richard Lewis.  Knoxville talks in his interviews about the role that Keaton’s physical comedy played in the stunts performed on his famed MTV series Jackass while Hader discusses Keaton’s on-screen demeanor and how that played into his own performances.  Brooks offers his own praise for Keaton, going so far as to call Keaton a comic genius.

The celeb showcase featured in The Great Buster is a good addition to the doc’s presentation, and certainly is not the only important part of the story of Keaton’s life and career. Audiences will be surprised to learn of the struggle that Keaton faced during his years at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).  As Bogdanovich notes in his narration, Keaton lost all creative control when he signed on to work for MGM.  The result was a series of movies that ultimately flopped at the box office.  Bogdanovich discusses this a little more in depth in the doc’s bonus content, which will be addressed a little bit later on.  This is just one of the interesting items revealed in the rather fast-paced bio of Keaton.  The most devoted cinephiles will be just as interested to learn that Keaton allegedly did not stop a biopic of him from being made later in his life.  That was because the money that Keaton received paid for the home in which Keaton would live through the rest of his life.  Interestingly enough, it is revealed that the biopic – like so many of the biopics that Hollywood continues to churn out today – was anything but factual.  It’s more proof that audiences should not watch biopics, but rather learn about their favorite figures through presentations such as The Great Buster.  As if all that has been noted already is not enough, viewers also learn through this presentation that Keaton suffered multiple broken bones throughout his career – much like Johnny Knoxville – and that Keaton’s bits were even a central influence for much of what is seen in Warner Brothers’ equally timeless Looney Tunes shorts.  Watching the clips that are incorporated into the doc to help tell Keaton’s story, it is easy to see the similarities between Keaton’s work and so many Looney Tunes shorts.  The note that Keaton was honored late in life, not long before his death showed that while his star might have faded over the course of his career, it never fully burned out.  It’s just one more of so many elements that makes the main feature of The Great Buster fully engaging and entertaining.  Of course, as engaging and entertaining as the program’s main feature is, the bonus content that accompanies that content detracts from the doc’s presentation a little bit.

The bonus conversation with Peter Bogdanovich is slightly problematic because while it does add a little bit of extra to the doc’s foundation, it only adds a little bit at best.  Bogdanovich notes in his discussion, that MGM admittedly did not know what to do with Keaton once he had been signed.  That might account for why he was so unhappy making his movies with the studio, and why the end product allegedly did not do so well.  Bogdanovich also notes during his discussion why he decided to close out the profile with a focus on Keaton’s early works instead of the standard format of ending with Keaton’s passing.  That in itself is an interesting discussion, considering that he did not follow the standard bio format that so many outlets use for their profiles.  Other than these notes, not much else is added to the main story.  Making things a little bit more problematic is the audio mix on the presentation.  The discussion takes place in a live setting, complete with moderator and audience.  Because the audience members who ask questions don’t get to use a mic, they are not heard, even as the person behind the boards pumps up the volume. All that is heard as they ask their questions, is a very loud, unbearable buzzing sound.  Making matters worse, so much of Bogdanovich’s discussion is difficult to hear in itself because he seems to be holding his microphone right against his mouth throughout the discussion.  The result of that is a very garbled delivery that takes a few listens each time in order to at least mostly decipher.  Overall, the presentation here detracts quite noticeably from the overall presentation of The Great Buster.  Perhaps the only positive to the whole thing is the revelation by Cohen’s head, that the company has obtained the rights to many of Keaton’s shorts from the 20s.  It leaves movie buffs hoping that sooner rather than later, they will see those timeless shorts released for enjoyment once again.  Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus content that accompanies the main presentation of The Great Buster honestly does not do much to help the overall presentation.  It doesn’t necessarily make the program unwatchable either.  To that end, the collective primary and secondary content presented in this doc makes it maybe not great overall, but still good.

The collective primary and secondary content presented in The Great Buster makes the doc worth the addition to any cinephile’s home library for an occasional watch.  The doc’s price point strengthens that statement even more.  At the time of this review’s posting, its physical presentation is listed only at Amazon, with its Blu-ray price listed at $24.99 and its DVD price listed at $25.99.  A check of Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million showed no listing for the doc in physical form.  Walmart and Amazon both list it digitally.  Walmart’s digital listing is $12.99, the same as Amazon’s digital price.  Regardless of which platform viewers choose, neither price is a budget buster.  Given, the physical price maybe should be less expensive considering the good and bad noted of the primary and secondary content.  That aside, both prices are money well-spent, again, for any devoted movie buff.  Keeping this in mind, it is one more way in which this doc proves to be maybe not great, but still good.

Cohen Media Group’s newly release Buster Keaton documentary The Great Buster is a good addition to the home library of any devoted movie buff.  That is thanks in large part to the doc’s primary content, which takes audiences through the highs and lows of the legendary entertainer’s life and career, warts and all.  The companion secondary content that accompanies the doc’s main feature adds a little to the viewing experience, but detracts from the doc more than it adds to it.  Thankfully, the doc’s price is not a budget buster.  To that end, those who purchase the doc — either digitally or physically – will be glad to know they are not throwing away their money.  All things considered, The Great Buster might not be great, but it is still a relatively good watch for any devoted movie lover.  The Great Buster is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘The Big Bad Fox And Other Tales’

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/GKids

Shout! Factory has a new French import on the way.

The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales is set for release on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on July 16.  The animated feature, from GKids, first premiered in France in 2017. It follows a a fox who cares for a family of baby chickens, a rabbit who plays stork and a duck who wants to be Santa Claus.

Co-directed by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert, the 81-minute feature is an animated adaptation of Renner’s own famed graphic novel that throws back to the golden age of animation, presenting stylistic similarities to classic Looney Tunes shorts.  The slapstick presentations overlay deeper messages about family and the challenges of everyday life that will appeal to parents and older children.

A trailer for the feature is streaming online now here.

As an added bonus, Shout! Factory’s upcoming home release of The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales will also feature additional content, such as and interview with Rnner and Imbert, a “making of” featurette and Q&A session at the New York International Children’s Film Festival.

The feature’s upcoming domestic release will also feature English and French tracks.  The English-dubbed tracks feature the voices of British celebrities, such as Bill Bailey, Justin Edwards and Matthew Goode.

Pre-orders for The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales are open now. 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/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

More information on this and other titles from GKids is available online now at:

 

Website: http://gkids.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GKIDSfilms

 

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.

Shout! Factory To Release New Sinatra Doc

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Frank Sinatra fans are going to get a new documentary on the famed singer this summer.

Shout! Factory will release Sinatra in Palm Springs on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11.  The 92-minute feature, directed by Leo Zahn, tells the story of Sinatra during his years living at the Rancho Mirage. The property, located just off of Frank Sinatra Drive, was what Sinatra called “My Heaven.”

Zahn’s new doc tells the story of Sinatra at his California sanctuary through interviews with figures, such as Tom Dreesen, Barbara Sinatra and Michael Fletcher.  Pre-orders for the program are open now.

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/shoutfactoryofficial

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.