ESPN Heads West For This Weekend’s Sunday Night Baseball Broadcast

MLB-on-ESPN_2012

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball is headed west this weekend for its weekly MLB broadcast.

This week’s broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will come live from Los Angeles for an American League showdown between the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers. Sunday’s game is the closer for the teams’ 4-game series, which kicked off Thursday. The game will air live on ESPN2. The Angels dominated Detroit in the game 12 – 2 with C.J. Wilson being credited with the win for the Angels. Wilson pitched 6 innings allowing only 2 hits, 1 earned run, 5 walks, and struck out 7 batters. On the other side of the ball, Detroit’s Buck Farmer was on the mound. He pitched 5 innings, allowing 9 hits, 7 earned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 1 batter. Matt Shoemaker is expected to take the mound for the Angels in Sunday night’s game. He last took the mound this past Tuesday against the Padres, pitching seven innings, allowing 4 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, and striking out 6 batters. Shoemaker is 3 – 4 so far this season with 51 innings pitched, 48 strikeouts, and a WHIP average of 1.17. David Price is expected to take the mound for Detroit. His last game was this past Tuesday against Oakland. He pitched 7 innings in that game, allowing 5 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 3 batters.

Currently, the Tigers sit in 3rd in the AL Central 1 ½ games back from division leader Kansas City. Detroit is 5 – 5 in its last ten games and is only slightly better on the road than at home going 14 – 9 on the road and 14 – 12 at home. Los Angeles is currently at .500 (24 – 24) at the time of this post. The team is also 5 – 5 in its last ten games and is better at home than on the road going 12 – 11 at home and 12 – 13 on the road.

Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday night’s broadcast. He will be joined by analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk in the booth. Reporter Buster Olney will be on the field with more insight into the night’s featured game. The game will be preceded by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7pm ET. Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined at the desk by analyst Aaron Boone and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian.

Monday night on Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA, the currently league-leading St. Louis Cardinals will host the struggling Milwaukee Brewers for the first of a three-game series between the teams. Jaime Garcia is expected to start for the Cardinals Monday night. His last time on the mound was this past Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. He was credited with the win in that game having pitched 6 innings. In the course of those innings, he allowed 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, and struck out 5 batters. It is not yet known who will start for Milwaukee in Monday night’s series-opener. Monday night’s broadcast is scheduled to start at 8pm ET. Dave O’Brien will have the call for that game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Aaron Boone and Mark Mulder.

More information on ESPN’s weekly baseball coverage is available online at:

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

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

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.

Verizon Indycar Series Back On The Road (Course) This Weekend

Courtesy:  Verizon Indycar Series

Courtesy: Verizon Indycar Series

The drivers of the Verizon Indycar Series will pull double duty this weekend.

With the Indy 500 now in its rear view, the Verizon Indycar Series and its drivers head to Detroit and the Belle Isle street circuit this weekend for the “Chevy Dual in Detroit” presented by Quicken Loans. Allen Bestwick will have the call for both of this weekend’s races. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever for the weekend’s events. Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch, and Jon Beekhuis will be in the pits with additional coverage of the races.

Audiences will be able to see both races on ABC with the broadcast of both set to kick off at 3:30pm ET. Race 1 of the “Chevy Dual in Detroit” is scheduled for Saturday, May 30th and the second May 31st. Juan Pablo Montoya comes into this weekend’s events at op the Verizon Indycar Series points standings with a twenty-five point lead over Team Penske teammate Will Power. He also comes in fresh on the heels of his gripping Indy 500 win this past weekend at IMS. The win marked the first time in fifteen years that Montoya had won the crown jewel of the series’ annual season schedule. All of the latest information on this weekend’s races is available online now along with all of the latest Verizon Indycar Series news at:

Website: http://www.indycar.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/indycar

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.

3 Years Hollow To Hit The Road This Summer

Courtesy:  Imagen Records

Courtesy: Imagen Records

3 Years Hollow is hitting the road this summer.

The band announced this week that it will embark on a three-week tour across America in support of its latest full-length studio release The Cracks. Also along for the ride for the tour, which kicks off June 23rd in Ringle, Wisconsin, will be Soil and Powerman 5000. 3 Years Hollow recently debuted its new single ‘Chemical Ride’ and its companion video. It is the third single to be released from The Cracks. The album’s first two singles—‘Hungry’ and ‘For Life’—were both top 30 singles. Audiences can see the video for ‘Chemical Ride’ online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2z1bepbfEM. Front man Jose Urquiza explained the concept behind ‘Chemical Ride’ explaining that its message is that of appreciating all that one has and taking every opportunity provided in life. The song is basically about seizing every single opportunity you have, appreciating the things you have around you, because anything and everything can be taken from you instantly,” he said. “It was a situation that I had witnessed and was close to and it was something I felt I had to write about.”

Urquiza expanded on the story behind the song explaining that its creation came from the death of a dear friend and his own mindset at the time of his friend’s passing. “That realization really hit me when my good friend and mentor, Rob Cimmarusti, passed away this last year,” he said. “He was the owner of Real Trax Recording Studios, where we recorded all three of our albums over the past 7 years and where I learned everything I know about music production and recording. I had been so focused on the future, so focused on things that weren’t even right in front of me, and in the end it cost me a lot of time I could have spent with him. There’s no doubt his influence will live on in 3YH for the rest of our lives.”

3 Years Hollow’s tour with Soil and Powerman 5000 kicks off June 23rd and runs through July 18th. The complete schedule for the tour is listed below.

Powerman 5000/Soil/3 Years Hollow tour dates

Tue 23 Jun – Ringle, WI – Q & Z Expo Center

Wed 24 Jun – Spring Lake Park, MN – POV’s

Thu 25 Jun – Joliet, IL – Mojoes

Fri 26 Jun – Battle Creek, MI – Music Factory

Sat 27 Jun – Beckley, WV – Muncheez

Wed 01 Jul – Winchester, VA – Blue Fox Billiard

Thu 02 Jul – Washington DC – 9:30 Club

Fri 03 Jul – Patchogue NY – Emporium

Sun 05 Jul – Portland, ME – Asylum

Tue 07 Jul – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall

Wed 08 Jul – Albany, NY – Latitude 360

Thu 09 Jul – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar

Fri 10 Jul – Flint, MI – Machine Shop

Wed 15 Jul – Janesville, WI – Back Bar

Thu 16 Jul – Ft Wayne, IN – Pierre’s

Fri 17 Jul – Traverse City, MI – Ground Zero

Sat 18 Jul – Arlington Heights, IL – Home Bar

Audiences can keep up with any updates to the bands’ tour schedule online now along with all of 3YH’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.3yearshollow.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/3yearshollow

Twitter: http://twitter.com/3yearshollow

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.

Haven Is One Of Kamelot’s Heaviest Records To Date

Courtesy:  Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Kamelot’s eleventh full-length studio effort Haven is one of the heaviest albums that the band has released in its now twenty-four years together. Across the course of its thirteen total tracks, the band–Tommy Karevik (vocals), Thomas Youngblood (guitars), Sean Tibbetts (bass), Casey Grillo (drums), and Oliver Palotai (keyboards)–the band has crafted a record that is some of its heaviest not only musically but lyrically, too. The majority of the songs that make up the record come from an emotional point that most listeners would probably rather not visit. Interestingly enough it is that melancholy (and that’s putting it lightly) lyrical content that makes this album so heavily at least in part. The musical side of the songs expertly complements the lyrical approach of the songs, making them compositions that especially the band’s long-time fans will appreciate. While most of the record’s songs come from a deeper emotional place, there are at least a couple of pieces that counter the album’s general feel of melancholy. That being the case, they are also two of the album’s most noteworthy songs. The songs in question are ‘Under Grey Skies’ and ‘My Therapy.’ There is also an equally interesting piece that takes a completely different turn in the form of ‘Age of Innocence.’ This piece displays an emotion at the completely opposite end of those presented in the previously noted songs. It is a powerful piece both musically and lyrically that is just as heavy as those songs because of its mix of music and lyrics. All three of these songs show in their own way what makes Haven one that every one of Kamelot’s fans should hear if they haven’t already done so. Together with the remaining ten tracks that make up the rest of the album all thirteen tracks prove Haven to be a record that every one of Kamelot’s fans should have in their own personal music libraries.

Haven is one of the heaviest albums that Kamelot has put out since the release of its debut album Eternity nearly twenty years ago. That is thanks to the mix of the album’s musical heaviness and its lyrical heaviness. More specifically, it is thanks to the mix of the melancholy feel of the songs’ music and lyrics combined. It’s not all doom and gloom this time out, though. The band does offer at least a pair of more optimistic pieces for audiences. ‘Under A Grey Sky’ is the first of those songs. And while it is more optimistic than most of the album’s other songs, it is still no less heavy. The call and response of sorts used between front man Tommy Kariken and his female friend in this song makes the song deep in its own right. Karivek’s female friend sings with an almost restrained optimism here, “When I drown in my fears/In the darkness of sorrow/There’s a promise of grace/Under silver grey skies/And I’m drying my tears/In the blaze of the sunlight/A reviere sealed with a kiss.” Karivek responds in kind singing alongside his friend, “You may call me a dreamer/Call me a fool/Just a blue-eyed believer in you/But I’ll die for that someone/In the blink of an eye/So tell me/Please tell me/Just what kind of fool am I.” It is almost as if Karivek and his co-vocalist are saying, “I must be crazy for letting myself feel this way. But something about feeling like such a fool makes me feel good.” that is evident in the power of the pair’s vocal delivery in this chorus. It may be that not everybody has ever been in the situation presented here. But there are plenty of listeners out there that will be able to relate to the feelings of cautious optimism expressed through this song’s combination of music and lyrics. Being that so many audiences will be able to relate to the very heavy emotions expressed here, those audiences will agree that in juxtaposition to the album’s more melancholy songs, it is a clear choice for one of the album’s best works.

The cautious optimism expressed by Karivek and his band mates in ‘Under A Grey Sky’ is a very deep and heavy emotion to which many listeners will be able to relate. its ability to reach so many audiences with its lyrical content by itself makes it a prime example of why fans new and old alike will enjoy this record. Set against the album’s other songs, it shows even more just how heavy this album is both lyrically and musically. It is just one example of how truly heavy Haven proves itself to be, too. Much as with that song, ‘My Therapy’ also exhibits quite the depth and heaviness. The difference between the two songs is that while both express a certain rare hope and optimism on this record, this song expresses that hope in a more confident fashion. That confidence is displayed immediately through the song’s musical side. There is more power to this song, musically speaking in comparison to the more cautious and reserved nature of ‘Under A Grey Sky.’ Kerivek also exhibits even more power in his vocal delivery as he sings, “Come and take me off my daily dose of pain/Take me off and shelter me/From this static nothing.You’re the antidote/For solitude injected in my veins/May the touch of your hand/Forever be my therapy.” Despite writing in metaphors, the message is clear here. Karivek is singing from the standpoint of someone telling a romantic interest that the person in question is the one that makes the song’s subject feel alive. Even as Karivek’s subject essentially pleads with the romantic interest to not leave, that power is never lost. Because it isn’t, it makes the song that much enjoyable. It also makes even clearer why this song is one more example of why Kamelot’s fans should have Haven in their personal music collections.

‘My Therapy’ and ‘Under A Grey Sky’ both exhibit in their own way what makes Haven a record that every one of Kamelot’s fans should have in their personal music libraries. While they contradict the generally melancholy feel of the album’s other songs, it is that contradiction that makes them so enjoyable by themselves and in turn the album in whole so enjoyable. Next to those more melancholy pieces, the overall picture painted by the album’s songs is one tha is actually quite deep. One of those more melancholy pieces that makes the album’s overall picture so rich comes late in the album in the form of ‘End of Innocence.’ This piece comes across as being from the vantage point of someone that is at the deepest point of his or her depression. That is made evident as Karivek sings right off the top, “Tell me do you remember/The games and the laughter/Far from the choices we’d have to make/A kiss on the lips turned a toad to a prince/And the end was a lifetime away.” He continues on singing in the song’s chorus, “I pour myself onto this page/I am writing a swan song for ages/I will leave it behind/And just maybe you will/Remember me.” By no means is Karivek advocating what it sounds like this subject is considering. He is merely describing the feeling of utter emotional loss that the song’s subject feels here. It is a point at which so many people have reached. Those that have been at that level will be able to relate to this situation. They will especially appreciate the song because they survived and didn’t go through with what the song’s subject seemed to contemplate. Yet again the ability of the song to reach audiences and perhaps even provide a source of strength for some listeners shows even more why this song is another prime example of Haven’s overall strength. Together with the previously noted songs, all three compositions make a strong argument for Haven. They show collectively why whether by themselves or with the album’s other songs Haven is a piece that every one of Kamelot’s fans should have in their personal music libraries.

‘Under A Grey Sky,’ ‘My Therapy,’ and ‘End Of Innocence’ are all excellent examples of the strength of Haven. By themselves they are just a snapshot of the album’s strength, too. Together with the remaining ten songs that compose the rest of the album, the whole of Haven proves to be an album that is definitely one of the band’s heaviest and not just because of its musical side, either. The combination of its music and lyrics together make it a work that is heavy all the way around and again a piece that every one of Kamelot’s fans should have in their music libraries. Haven is available now in stores and online. More information on Haven and all of Kamelot’s current tour dates in support of Haven is available online now at:

Website: http://www.kamelot.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kamelotofficial

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.

Cinedigm’s New Action Spoof Is A Great Escape For Anyone Wanting A Good Laugh

Courtesy:  Cinedigm

Courtesy: Cinedigm

Indie movie studio Cinedigm’s new action spoof Tooken is dirty.  It is raunchy.  And it is also hilarious.  The spoof of actor Liam Neeson’s Taken trilogy is so dirty and raunchy in fact that it’s a surprise that it earned an “R” rating instead of an “NC-17.”  That aside it is still a laugh riot that viewers won’t be able to help but watch.  That is thanks in large part to its completely nonsensical story that is very much in the vein of the Wayans Brothers’ Scary Movie and Haunted House franchises.  The only difference between those movies and this one is that writer/director John Asher and co-writer Cameron Van Hoy have taken the comic element established in the Wayans brothers’ spoofs and knocked down the wall established by those movies.  Whereas the Wayans brothers at least showed some restrain, this movie pulls zero punches and will leave audiences laughing so hard that they cry all while asking themselves why in the world they are watching the movie.  Of course as important as this element is to the whole of Tooken it would be nothing without the work of the movie’s cast.  Lead actor Lee Tergesen (Monster, Wayne’s World, Oz) does an impressive job of channeling legendary comic actor Leslie Neilsen here.  Last and hardly least worth noting of this indie spoof is it’s the very fact that it is not a big budget movie even being a spoof.  Being a proud, low-budget presentation, there’s something special about it.  It just makes it that much more enjoyable.  And together with both the movie’s story and the work of its cast it solidifies the movie as one that anyone wanting a good laugh.

Cinedigm’s new spoof flick Tooken is hands down one of the funniest movies that audiences will see this year.  It is also the year’s bawdiest and raunchiest comedies that audiences will see this year.  It is so bawdy and raunchy in fact that it is a surprise that it received an “R” rating versus an “NC-17” by the MPAA.  That aside it is still a laugh riot that viewers won’t be able to help but watch.  The comic element of the movie and the movie’s story together make up the central reason that audiences won’t be able to help but watch.  The movie sees retired CIA agent Bryan Millers (Lee Tergesen–(Monster, Wayne’s World, Oz) trying to make a life for himself in retirement.  He is divorced and working as a rent-a-cop, dreaming of his days on “the force.”   And he is trying to stay connected to his teenage daughter Kim at the same time, which is essentially what leads to the story’s plot (if one even wants to call it a plot).  In trying to connect with Kim (played here by actress Laura-Leigh—We’re The Millers, The Client List, The Ward) Bryan finds himself getting caught up in a completely bizarre plot by an evil mastermind named Brownfinger (yes, Brownfinger).  Brownfinger is played by famed comedienne Margaret Cho (Drop Dead Diva, Face/Off, Notorious C.H.O.).  Brownfinger’s completely bizarre plan involves dogs and explosives.  Yes, truth is stranger than reality.  And it is definitely strange in this case.  Interestingly enough, writer/director John Asher and co-writer Cameron Van Hoy actually has Bryan break down the fourth wall to a point, going so far as to point out himself the absolutely ludicrous nature of Brownfinger’s plan, essentially pointing out what every viewer is likely thinking, too.  That adds even more enjoyment to the whole of the story and points out a related topic that makes the story just as worth the watch as the story itself.  The element in question is the script’s comic element.

The comic element of Tooken is not entirely new to those audiences that are familiar with the Wayans Brothers’ Scary Movie and Haunted House franchises.  It is a brand of comedy that throws back to the likes of Leslie Neilsen’s Naked Gun franchise with its mix of slapstick comedy and sometimes irreverent humor.  What sets the Naged Gun franchise and those of the Wayans Brothers from this spoof is that where their writers exhibited a certain amount of restraint, Asher and Van Hoy exhibit absolutely none, right up to the end, at which the movie borders on something akin to a hardcore porn flick, believe it or not.  It’s still debatable if that is good or bad.  Regardless, the lengths to which Asher and Van Hoy go in delivering the story’s comic element does pay homage to its predecessors while establishing its own brand of comic mayhem, thus making both this element and the movie’s script in whole a solid foundation for those that want a good laugh.

The script crafted for Tooken and its comic elements offer audiences looking for a good laugh plenty of reason to watch this movie even with its ability to disturb some viewers at random points.  Having laid a solid foundation for audiences, the work of the movie’s cast rests easily atop both elements.  Tergesen is especially entertaining in his role as Bryan Millers.  Audiences will especially love how Tergesen willingly switches back and forth between an American accent and a completely intentionally terrible Irish accent as he pokes fun at Liam Neeson throughout the movie.  Those that know their movie history will especially appreciate Tergesen’s work not just for this reason but because his portrayal of Bryan harkens back to Leslie Nielsen’s work in the Naked Gun franchise just as much as the movie’s overall comic element.  Reno Wilson (Mike and Molly, Transformers, Prison Break) is just as entertaining as Lenore’s (Lauren Stamile—Scandal, Burn Notice, Community) new love interest.  He obviously fully embraced his role as Money Maker.  Audiences will find themselves laughing riotously at his full-on portrayal of the stereotypical gangsta rapper figure.  Joyce Bulifant will have viewers laughing just as much in her role as Bryan’s mother Edna.  Edna is everything that the stereotypical grandmother isn’t.  She also used to serve with the CIA.  And she is definitely anything but a little old lady.  The easiest way to describe her is that she is a tough as nails woman with the libido of a teenager.  This is despite her age.  And she shows it throughout the movie.  Bulifant is spot on in her portrayal of Edna, too.  If that doesn’t get audiences laughing, then it’s anyone’s guess what will.  But for those that love a good laugh, her work and that of the rest of the movie’s cast proves in the long run why their collective work makes for even more reason for audiences that love a good laugh will want to see this movie.  There’s not enough time or space to discuss the work of the rest of the movie’s cast (both lead and supporting).  But it goes without saying that the work of the entire cast makes for more than its share of laughs.  Together with the movie’s script and its comic elements, all the noted elements together show even more clearly than ever why comedy fans (adult comedy fans that is) should see this movie if only once.

The work of Tooken’s cast and the work of those that crafted the movie’s script—which also includes its comic element—together make for plenty of reason for older comedy fans to check out this nonstop laugh riot indie action spoof.  For all of the enjoyment that both elements offer audiences, they would mean nothing without the mention of the movie’s intentionally low budget approach.  Yes there are explosions.  Yes there is some blood spatter.  Yes there is gunfire.  But the production values tied into these elements and the rest of the movie are anything but big budget.  The interesting thing is that this is actually a good thing.  It’s another way in which the movie sets itself apart from the works of the Wayans Brothers and other more well-known spoofs. From Money Maker getting his thumb and eventually hand torn off, to the almost cartoonish way that he survived getting blown up beforehand, to the rather disturbing “sword” fight in the movie’s final minutes to so many other moments, the production values of said moments are proudly low budget. In an odd way, the fact that it didn’t try to be a big budget spoof especially in terms of its production values actually made it even more enjoyable. It really served to establish the movie’s identity within the spoof genre. It served to show that a movie can be low budget and still be entertaining regardless of the movie’s genre. Together with the work of the movie’s cast and those that crafted its script, it serves to completely solidify Tooken as a flick that indie or otherwise is still a fun piece for anyone looking to escape, turn off their brain, and have a good laugh.

Tooken may not be a big budget movie or even a big budget spoof. Regardless it is still a movie that anyone looking for an escape and a good laugh will appreciate and enjoy. That is thanks in large part to the movie’s script complete with all of its comic elements. The work of the movie’s cast is just as much to thank for the movie’s enjoyment. The fact that the movie’s cast and crew embrace the movie’s being low budget on every level makes the movie in whole that much more enjoyable. It brings everything full circle and shows clearly why anyone looking for an escape and a good laugh will want to watch this laugh riot indie action spoof. Tooken will be available on DVD Tuesday, July 7th. More information on this and other titles from Cinedigm is available online now at:

Website: http://www.cinedigmentertainment.com

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

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 Networks To Carry Full Coverage Of 2015 NCAA Division I College Baseball Tournament

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The weather around the country is finally warming up. And just as it is, so are things for the boys of summer. This includes not just the majors but the college ranks, too. The field for the College Baseball Championship tournament was set this past weekend. THIS weekend, the tournament itself begins. And when it does, ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will have full coverage of the tournament.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, and the SEC Network will combine to cover all 153 matchups from the tournament’s regions all the way to the College World Series. ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN 3 will carry coverage of the tournament’s Regional round (May 29th – June 1st). Super Regional coverage presented by Capital One (June 5th – 8th) will be carried on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. And the world Series (June 13th – 24th) will be carried on ESPN and ESPN2.

Regional coverage will feature the return of ESPN’s four-day Bases Loaded platform. The Bases Loaded platform provides audiences with no fewer than thirty-nine hours of live, unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from a number of games. This includes up-to-the-minute commentary from ESPN’s analysts. ESPNU and ESPN2 will carry a total of thirty-one hours of Bases Loaded while ESPN3 will carry Bases Loaded coverage in its entirety. ESPNU and ESPN2 will carry ten hours of coverage this Friday and Saturday, followed by six hours of coverage on Sunday amd up to five hours of coverage next Monday. Matt Schick and Brendan Fitzgerald will have the call for the games. They will be joined by analysts Kyle Peterson and Ben McDonald for the broadcasts. the complete broadcast schedule for the tournament’s Regional round is listed below.

Site: Los Angeles, Calif.
Commentators: Clay Matvick, Mike Rooney
Teams: No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Ole Miss, No. 3 Maryland, No. 4 CSU Bakersfield
Networks: ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Maryland vs. Ole Miss: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – CSU Bakersfield vs. UCLA: May 29 at 11 p.m., ESPNU
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 11 p.m.

Site: Baton Rouge, La.
Commentators: Mike Keith, Rusty Ensor
Teams: No. 1 LSU, No. 2 UNC Wilmington, No. 3 Tulane, No. 4 Lehigh
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Lehigh vs. LSU: May 29 at 4 p.m., SEC Network
Game 2 – Tulane vs. UNC Wilmington: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 4 p.m. & 9 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Louisville, Ky.
Commentators: Doug Bell, Wes Clements
Teams: No. 1 Louisville, No. 2 Bradley, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Morehead State
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Michigan vs. Bradley: May 29 at 2 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Morehead State vs. Louisville: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at Noon & 4 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at Noon & 4 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 6 p.m.

Site: Gainesville, Fla.
Commentators: Mike Morgan, Dave Perno
Teams: No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Florida Atlantic, No. 3 USF, No. 4 Florida A&M
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – USF vs. Florida Atlantic: May 29 at 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Florida A&M vs. Florida: May 29 at 7 p.m., SEC Network
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at Noon & 4 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7 p.m.

Site: Coral Gables, Fla.
Commentators: Jason Benetti, Nick Belmonte
Teams: No. 1 Miami, No. 2 East Carolina, No. 3 Columbia, No. 4 Florida International
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Columbia vs. East Carolina: May 29 at 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Florida International vs. Miami: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7 p.m.

Site: Champaign, Ill.
Commentators: Jim Barbar, Jerry Kindall
Teams: No. 1 Illinois, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Wright State, No. 4 Ohio
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Wright State vs. Notre Dame: May 29 a 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Ohio vs. Illinois: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 2 p.m.

Site: Fort Worth, Texas
Commentators: Brett Dolan, Greg Swindell
Teams: No. 1 TCU, No. 2 NC State, No. 3 Stony Brook, No. 4 Sacred Heart
Networks: ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Stony Brook vs. NC State: May 29 at 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Sacred Heart vs. TCU: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Springfield, Mo.
Commentators: Anish Shroff, Landon Powell
Teams: No. 1 Missouri State, No. 2 Iowa, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Canisius
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Oregon vs. Iowa: May 29 at 2 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Canisius vs. Missouri State: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 2 p.m.

Site: College State, Texas
Commentators: Tom Hart, Gabe Gross
Teams: No. 1 Texas A&M, No. 2 Coastal Carolina, No. 3 Cal, No. 4 Texas Southern
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Cal vs. Coastal Carolina: May 29 at 1 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Texas Southern vs. Texas A&M: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Site: Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Kevin Dunn, Keith Moreland
Teams: No. 1 Dallas Baptist, No. 2 Oregon State, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 VCU
Networks: ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1- Texas vs. Oregon State: May 29 at 2:30 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – VCU vs. Dallas Baptist: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at Noon & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Nashville, Tenn.
Commentators: Dave Neal, Chris Burke
Teams: No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 2 Radford, No. 3 Indiana, No. 4 Lipscomb
Network: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Indiana vs. Radford: May 29 at 3 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Lipscomb vs. Vanderbilt: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Site: Houston, Texas
Commentators: Doug Sherman, John Gregory
Teams: No. 1 Houston, No. 2 Rice, No. 3 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 4 Houston Baptist
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Rice: May 29 at 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Houston Baptist vs. Houston: May 29 at 8 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 8 p.m.

Site: Tallahassee, Fla.
Commentators: Mike Couzens, Eduardo Perez
Teams: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 College of Charleston, No. 3 Auburn, No. 4 Mercer
Networks: SEC Network or ESPN3
Game 1 – Auburn vs. College of Charleston: May 29 at Noon, ESPN3
Game 2 – Mercer vs. Florida State: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at Noon & 6 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at Noon & 6 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 6 p.m.

Site: Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Commentators: Trey Bender, Jay Walker
Teams: No. 1 UC Santa Barbara, No. 2 USC, No. 3 Virginia, No. 4 San Diego State
Networks: ESPN3
Game 1 – Virginia vs. USC: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – San Diego State vs. UC Santa Barbara: May 29 at 10 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 6 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 6 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 9 p.m.

Site: Stillwater, Okla.
Commentators: Mark Neely, Jay Powell
Teams: No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 2 Arkansas, No. 3 Oral Roberts, No. 4 St. John’s
Networks: SEC Network, ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas: May 29 at 1 p.m., SEC Network
Game 2 – St. John’s vs. Oklahoma State: May 29 at 7 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 7 p.m.

Site: Fullerton, Calif.
Commentators: Roxy Bernstein, Randy Flores
Teams: No. 1 Cal State Fullerton, No. 2 Arizona State, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Pepperdine
Networks: ESPNU or ESPN3
Game 1 – Clemson vs. Arizona State: May 29 at 6 p.m., ESPN3
Game 2 – Pepperdine vs. Cal State Fullerton: May 29 at 10 p.m., ESPN3
Games 3 & 4: May 30 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: May 31 at 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): June 1 at 11 p.m.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NCAA Division I College Baseball tournament is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-sports

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

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.

Coal Chamber Burns As Bright As Ever On Rivals

Courtesy:  Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Ten years ago, Coal Chamber front man Dez Fafara made it official that he and his then former band mates were done. He said that Coal Chamber was finished and that it would never get back together. Apparently nobody ever told Fafara to never say never. That’s because that “never” only lasted about six years. In 2011, he joined forces once again with guitarist Miguel Rascon and drummer Mike Cox and started up the fire in the chamber (bad pun fully intended here). The trio is currently joined by bassist Nadja Puelen, who also recorded and performed with Coal Chamber for a period of time after the departure of original bassist Rayna Foss Rose. Four years removed from Coal Chamber’s resurrection, the band has released an album in the form of Rivals that shows the band’s time apart did it plenty of good. That is because it sounds as strong as it did in its heyday. This is evident more than once through the course of the album’s thirteen total tracks including the album’s second track, ‘Bad Blood Between Us,’ its title track, and its penultimate song ‘Fade Away (karma Never Forgets).’ These are just a few examples of the fire that has been building inside the band since its breakup and subsequent reunion. Each of the remaining ten tracks that make up the rest of this record show exhibit just as much fire and fury in their own way. Whether for those tracks or for the compositions noted here, audiences will agree in listening to each work that collectively they make Rivals an album that *rivals* the band’s previous releases with ease. And because it does, it proves itself a record that long-time fans and newer fans alike should hear at least once.

Thirteen years have passed since Coal Chamber released its last full-length studio effort Dark Days. Who ever would have thought that upon its release that album’s title would be such a foreshadowing for the band? While well over a decade has passed since the release of that album and the band’s latest release Rivals, that span of time has clearly done more good for frontman Dez Fafara and his band mates–Mike Cox (drums), Miguel Rascon (bass) and Nadja Puelen (bass)–than bad. That is because Rivals shows through the course of its thirteen tracks that it is just as strong as it was in that album’s release if not stronger. Whatever bad blood was there so long ago has seemingly been healed at least to some extent. Interestingly enough that same bad blood has actually helped make Rivals the strong record that it is. It has helped in that it serves as the basis for one of the best of the album’s compositions; the aptly titled ‘Bad Blood Between Us.’ Fafara writes clearly of the emotions that he felt upon the band’s split and the time leading up to its split in this song. That is made crystal clear in the song’s chorus as Fafara writes, “There’s some bad blood that flow between us/That flows between us/Turning the other cheek just evens out the scars/Nothing drowns the sorrow.” He goes on to write in the song’s closing lines, “Say it/We’re out for blood/I’m out for blood/It’s time to unravel/This wrath is on you/Heed this warning/Take this message/I’m out for blood.” The message is clear here. There was obviously a lot of animosity both in the days leading up to the band’s breakup and the actual breakup at least on the part of Fafara. This is just a small part of the picture painted by Fafara, too. The rest of the song’s verses coupled with the fury of its musical side makes the picture in question even richer and clearer for audiences. And being so vivid, it makes for just one impressive example of what makes Rival an easy *rival* against the band’s previous albums.

The energy and emotion exhibited in ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ is a prime example of just how much Coal Chamber has to offer on its new album. While it does plenty to show just how much the band has to offer in itself, it’s just one example of how much Coal Chamber has to offer in its latest outing.  The album’s title track also makes clear that Coal Chamber still has plenty to offer audiences. The juxtaposition of the song’s more contemplative verses to its more impactful chorus in its musical side builds a strong foundation for the song. The lyrical content laid overtop each verse and chorus makes the song even more powerful. Fafara ruminates in the song’s verses, thinking about all the bad that has been done to the song’s subject, writing in the first verse alone, “You spit in my face/You reek all over this place/Try to bend my will just to get your thrills/After all this time/You’d think it would all be fine/But it feels out of line/It’s so hateful/Jealousy reigns/It causes so much pain/But it helps to eliminate/The unfaithful.” This could apply to a marital situation. It could point to a friendship gone wrong, too. It could even relate to another situation entirely. Regardless, these straight forward lyrics and Fafara’s delivery of said lyrics set opposite the song’s chorus make for a song that hits listeners just as hard as any other piece on this record. the same can be said of the song’s second verse set against the song’s chorus, too. It makes the song just as hard-hitting as ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ and in turn just as solid an example of how much Coal Chamber has to offer audiences in this record.

Both ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ and ‘Rivals’ show in their own way that despite thirteen years between the release of Rivals and Coal Chamber’s last album, the band has lost none of its edge. If anything they show that the fire burning beneath the band’s members is burning as bright as ever. If those examples are not enough for audiences, then the album’s penultimate composition ‘Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)’ should do the trick. This song proves just as strongly as the previously examined works what makes Rivals worth at least one listen by long-time fans and newer fans alike. This song is a full on assault both musically and lyrically. Puelen, Rascon and Cox are the driving force behind the song from beginning to end. Fafara’s fury in his no-nonsense lyrics and vocal delivery add the proverbial icing to the cake. He lets listeners know he means business as he screams in the song’ chorus, “Fade away/Karma never forgets/It’ll be one hell of a war/Before you rise against me.” Fafara makes no bones about it here. He is saying to someone, “Want some? Come get some.” As if there was any room for doubt, he goes on to sing in the song’s lead verse and refrain, “Stripped me apart/Left me in the dark/Because you took it too far/Now I keep your heart locked up/With herbs and bone in a black mason jar.” Whether this is aimed at a former romantic interest or the result of very hurt feelings from the band’s original breakup, the one thing that can be said of these lyrics is that they leave little to question other than the subjects(s) at whom the song is aimed. The fury in the song’s music and lyrics is very real. And being so clearly real it makes this song yet another example of what makes Rivals such a strong return for Coal Chamber. Together with ‘Bad Blood Between Us’ and ‘Rivals’ the trio of songs noted here show without a single doubt that Coal Chamber is back and in a big way. In fact together with the remaining ten tracks not noted here, the album in whole proves once more why it is a solid *rival* to Coal Chamber’s previous releases and any other hard rock record released so far this year.

‘Bad Blood Between Us,’ ‘Rivals,’ and ‘Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)’ are all excellent examples of the strength of Coal Chamber’s new full-length studio release. That is not to take away from the album’s other songs not noted here. Each of the remaining ten songs that make up the rest of the album’s body could easily be cited as examples of the album’s strength, too. All things considered, Rivals presents Coal Chamber as a band that is just as strong today as it was in its heyday and a band that is ready to make its mark on the rock and metal community again. Rivals is available now in stores and online. More information on the album is available online now along with all of the latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://www.coalchamberofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/COALCHAMBEROFFI

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.