The Veer Union Debuts New Single, Video Ahead Of Box Set’s Release; To Tour This Fall, Winter

Courtesy: TAG Publicity/The Rock Shop Entertainment

The Veer Union has released some more new music for its fans.

The band recently debuted the lyric video for its latest single ‘My Last Regret’ in anticipation of the upcoming release of its new career retrospective box set Decade: History of our Evolution. Pre-orders for the six-disc collection are open now.

Front man Crispin Earl recently discussed the band’s new single, explaining the introspective message at its center.

“I think we can call relate to at least one time in our lives where we wish we could have just made a better decision than the one we made in the past; in retrospect, as an artist, those mistakes that we make are also the same things that inspire us to make music from the depths of our hearts,” Crispin said.

Courtesy: Rock Shop Entertainment

While an official street date has not yet been announced for Decade: History of Our Evolution has not yet been announced, the band has already announced an early tour schedule in support of its new compilation set. The tour is currently scheduled to launch Dec. 8 in Mercersburg, PA and to run through Feb. 17 in Seattle, WA. The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity/The Rock Shop Entertainment

The Veer Union Epic Evolution Tour Dates:
12/08 @ Mercersburg Mansion House – Mercersburg, PA
12/09 @ Monraes – Penneville, NY
12/30 @ Evening Star – Niagara Falls, NY
12/31 @ TBA – Philadelphia / Easton, PA
01/02 @ Irish Wolf – Scranton, PA
01/03 @ Whislky Warehouse – Mansfield, OH
01/04 @ Empire – Akron, OH
01/05 @ The Music Factory – Battle Creek, MI
01/06 @ Diesel – Chesterfield, MI
01/07 @ TBA – St. Joseph, MI
01/09 @ TBA – Lafayette, IN
01/10 @ Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL
01/11 @ TBA – Rockford, IL
01/12 @ Penny Road – Barrington, IL
01/13 @ Every Buddy’s Bar – Chippewa Falls, WI
01/14 @ Hijinx – Fort Atkinson, WI
01/16 @ Spicoli’s – Waterloo, IA
01/17 @ Cafe Acoustic – St. Joseph, MO
01/18 @ Rose Music Hall – Columbia, MO
01/19 @ Aftershock – Merriam, KS
01/20 @ TAB – Omaha, NE
01/24 @ TBA – Grand Junction, CO
01/25 @ Herman’s Hideaway – Denverr, CO
01/26 @ Sunshine Studios Live – Colorado Springs, CO
01/28 @ Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX
01/30 @ Limelight – San Antonio, TX
02/02 @ Scout Bar – Houston, TX
02/03 @ BFE Rock Club – Houston, TX
02/06 @ TBA – Flagstaff, AZ
02/07 @ Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
02/08 @ TBA – San Diego, CA
02/09 @ Viper Room – Los Angeles, CA
02/10 @ TBA – Modesto, CA
02/11 @ Holy Driver – Sacramento, CA
02/13 @ TBA – Eugene, OR
02/15 @ Rock Hard PDX – Portland, OR
02/16 @ TBA – Spokane, WA
02/17 @ El Corazon – Seattle, WA

More information on The Veer Union’s new single, box set, tour and more is available online now at:

Website: http://www.theveerunion.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheVeerUnion

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.

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Outlaws & Moonshine’s Debut LP Will Appeal To Every Southern Rock Fan

Courtesy: Vanity Music Group/Nemesis Records

Imagine for a moment, southern rock fans, what would happen if a band took the easygoing influences of The Allman Brothers Band, crossed that with the slightly edgier sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd and crossed that mix with more modern influences from the likes of Shooter Jennings, Blues Saraceno, and Brand New Sin (among other similar acts) and out them all together for one album?  The answer comes in the form of Outlaws & Moonshine’s debut full-length studio recording The Devil in the Moonshine.  Set to be released in stores and online next Friday, Nov. 24, this 10-song record boasts a kick that is just as strong as the most potent mason jar of moonshine.  That is evidenced in part through the album’s collective musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s lyrical content is just as important to its whole as its musical arrangements.  It will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing brings those aforementioned elements together, solidifying the album.  Each element is important in its own right in showing what makes The Devil in the Moonshine such a powerful debut for Outlaws & Moonshine. All things considered, this record proves to be a work that Southern rock fans of all ages will enjoy.

Outlaws & Moonshine’s debut full-length studio recording Devil in the Moonshine is a work that is certain to appeal to Southern rock fans of all ages.  That is due in no small part to the album’s collective musical arrangements.  As has been noted already, this album boasts a wide range of arrangements.  Right from the album’s outset, audiences get a work in the album’s title track that mixes influences of guitarist Blues Saraceno’s with those of Zakk Wylde’s Pride & Glory and Shooter Jennings.  The end result of that solid southern rock recipe is an infectious arrangement that is certain to become a favorite among audiences both on record and in live settings.  ‘(Here Comes) Bobby; the album’s second offering, slightly changes things with its driving, acoustic rock arrangement, which boasts a clear influence from Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band.  The album moves from those influences to something more akin to a cross between Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Brand New Sin as it makes its way into ‘Don’t Be Scared,’ the album’s third entry.  Things don’t let up from there.  The arrangement at the center of ‘Boom,’ which comes halfway through the album’s run, conjures thoughts of some of Black Stone Cherry’s more upbeat works while ‘Redneck Me,’ the album’s penultimate track, presents an arrangement that takes listeners back to the 80s.  That is of course just this critic’s own interpretation.  If that is not enough for listeners, there is plenty more hard-hitting southern rock throughout the course of the album’s other arrangements, half of which are also featured in the band’s 2015 debut EP 1919.  Considering those arrangements and the arrangements more directly noted here, it becomes clear why the album’s arrangements are so important to its overall presentation.  While purely southern rock at their heart, they present a wide range of influences that is certain to keep southern rock audiences of all ages engaged and entertained.  They are collectively only one of this album’s most important elements.  The song’s lyrical themes are just as important to its whole as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical themes presented throughout the album are important because of the variety in their messages and the fact that those messages are put out so clearly.  Front man Beau Van noted in a recent interview that the album’s opener/title track is a straight forward song about drinking.  He said of the song that “this is about the whole concept of ‘the devil made me do it.’ I’ve been bitten by this more than once, so I’m describing my ten-foot-tall and bullet-proof persona in the form of warnings from my pop – ‘That stuff turns you to the devil,’ he would warn me.”  The album takes a decidedly deeper turn in ‘Ride or Die,’ which Van noted is more of an introspective piece that looks optimistically forward on life while also looking back.  “This one was about putting your boots on one at a time, walking that country mile, and taking that deep breath when you realize you made it out alive,” Van said of this song’s lyrical theme.  ‘Hey Y’all’ is far lighter in its tribute to Van and company’s country roots.  That is obvious as van sings here, “Well I got people talkin’ ‘bout the way I’m talking/I’m city boy livin’, but I’m country boy walkin,’…I’m Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash/You can kiss my outlaw a**…’scuse me while I whip out my hey y’all.  This song is just as certain as any of the album’s other songs to become a fan favorite if only for its concrete solid, country proud lyrical theme.  When that theme is set alongside the song’s raucous and infectious musical arrangement, the end result is one of the album’s absolute best numbers.  When that whole is joined with the lyrical themes noted in the other discussed songs — and those not directly noted here — the whole of the themes shows clearly why the album’s lyrical content is just as important to its whole as its musical arrangements.  Those themes are collectively still not the last of the album’s key elements.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing at the center of The Devil in the Moonshine rounds out the most important of the album’s elements.  It is so important because it shows a lot of time and thought was put into ensuring listeners’ maintained engagement in this album.  The album starts loud and proud with its title track, but very quickly pulls back in the emotional family tribute ‘(Here Comes) Bobby.’  That reservation doesn’t last long as the album’s energy picks right back up in ‘Don’t Be Scared’ before pulling back just a little again in the introspective mid-tempo ‘Ride or Die.’  Yet again, that reservation only lasts so before picking right back up again in ‘Boom,’ which is about that certain woman that makes every man move.  This time around, the energy stays relatively solid right up until ‘Redneck Me,’ which drives, but is still slightly more reserved in its energy than its predecessors.  ‘Different Kind of Man’ takes the energy present in ‘Redneck Me’ and builds on it just enough to help the album end with the same energy with which it opened almost 40 minutes ago at its start.  That balance of energy from one song to the next goes a long way toward ensuring audiences’ engagement.  It shows that those charged with the record’s sequencing didn’t just throw the songs in randomly and hoped they stuck, but rather deliberately set the album’s order.  That consideration paid off greatly, too. The same can be said of the thought obviously put into the album’s sequencing in regards to its lyrical themes.  The album’s lyrical themes vary from one to the next, giving just as much for audiences to enjoy.  Considering all of this along with the value of those lyrical themes themselves and the musical arrangements, the album in whole proves to be a solid first full effort from Outlaws & Moonshine – a work that is certain to appeal to southern rock fans of all types and ages.

Outlaws & Moonshine’s debut album The Devil in the Moonshine is a solid record that boasts a kick that is just as strong as the most potent home-brewed mason jar of moonshine.  It is a record that is certain to appeal to southern rock fans of all types and ages.  As has been noted here, that is due in no small part to the variety presented in the songs’ musical arrangements.  The arrangements boast a variety of energies and influences.  The songs’ lyrical themes are just as varied as its musical arrangements, presenting stories of family loyalty, facing life optimistically, and even the positive impacts of that certain significant other among other topics.  When this is all considered along with the albums sequencing – the order in which it was all placed – the whole of this record becomes a work that is solid from start to finish.  It will be available to the masses next Friday, Nov. 24 via Nemesis Records/Vanity Music Group.  More information on The Devil in the Moonshine is available online now along with all of Outlaws & Moonshine’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.outlawsandmoonshine.com

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

 

 

 

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Tarja’s New Holiday LP Is A Beautiful, Haunting New Collection Of Holiday Standards

Courtesy: earMusic

The holiday season is officially upon us once again.  Halloween has come and gone, and now the annual flurry of Christmas ads has hit the airwaves and it won’t be long before the annual overdose of Christmas albums hits stores, either.  From one to the next, those albums exhibit little variance or originality.  Next Friday though, earMusic will offer that rare variance in the always overcrowded holiday music scene when it releases Tarja’s new holiday album from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas).  The best way to describe this new effort from the veteran Finnish performer is that it is as if famed goth director Tim Burton ended up manning the boards for a Trans Siberian Orchestra record.  Oddly enough, that actually is not a bad thing in this case.  From start to end, this 12-song record proves to be a solid standout holiday offering even with some of its more goth-style arrangements.

Tarja’s new holiday album from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas), is one of the most standout offerings in this year’s annual sea of holiday albums.  That is because its arrangements, while sometimes goth-oriented, actually are quite touching in their attempts to balance Tarja’s goth side with the arrangements’ source material. Her take on ‘We Three Kings’ is a prime example of this balance.  For the most part, this arrangement stays true to its source material.  However, it does add in Tarja’s familiar goth leanings through the use of keyboards (including what sounds like a harpsichord) and electronics.  When those elements are coupled with Tarja’s own soaring vocal delivery, the end result becomes a powerhouse composition that is certain to move even those not the least familiar with Tarja and her body of work.  That is especially the case when those elements are coupled with the fact that the song in large part stays true to the source material.  All things considered, the overall impact is one that easily shows that previously noted comparison to Trans Siberian Orchestra, and makes this entry one of the compilation’s most notable moments.  It is just one of those notable moments, too.  Tarja’s take on ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ is another of those moments.

The arrangement put together for Tarja’s take of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,’ much like that of ‘We Three Kings,’ balances her general goth leanings with the song’s already minor chord arrangement for yet another powerful new take on the song.  Right from the song’s outset, the use of the multiple vocal lines conjures thoughts of some of Celtic Woman’s greatest compositions.  Yes, a comparison to Celtic Woman was just made here.  Just as interesting is the Middle Eastern vibe created from there through the use of what sounds like a tabla, a triangle.  The string arrangements, while creating again that goth vibe, also somehow creates a certain warmth to the song.  That warmth is only increased when it is set alongside the song’s keyboard arrangements and tubular bells.  As with ‘We Three Kings,’ the overall arrangement stays true to its source material, but when it is all joined as one, the end result is a take on a holiday standard that is almost completely unlike any other take on the song out there today or days past.  Considering this, it shows even more why from Spirits and Ghosts is one of the most standout of this year’s annual influx of holiday fare, and is still not the last of the collection’s songs to support that statement.  Tarja’s take on ‘Have Your self a Merry Little Christmas’ is one more of the collection’s most notable covers.

The cover of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ included in Tarja’s new holiday album is yet one more example of what makes from Spirits and Ghosts such a standout collection of holiday musical fare.  This arrangement, highlighted largely by flowing keyboard lines, emotional accents crafted through cymbal rolls and expertly balanced crescendos and of course Tarja’s own moving vocal delivery, comes across as a work that could easily be used for a big budget holiday movie’s soundtrack.  That should come as no surprise considering the fact that the compilation was produced in part by Emmy Award®-winning film score producer Jim Dooley.  His work, along with that of co-producer Tim Palmer (Pearl jam, U2, David Bowie, The Cure), makes this one of the album’s most powerful works if not the compilation’s most powerful.  When it is set alongside the other arrangements noted here, and those not so directly noted (including the equally powerful but not necessarily holiday-themed take of ‘Amazing Grace), the end result is a collection that is certain to stand head and shoulders above its counterparts this holiday season.

from Spirits and Ghosts is one of the most notable of this year’s holiday offerings.  From start to finish, it offers takes on holiday standards that are almost completely unlike anything presented by its seemingly endless sea of musical holiday counterparts.  That is proven clearly through the songs noted in this review and even through those not noted, including the powerhouse take of the non-holiday-themed ‘Amazing Grace’ and the deeply moving take of ‘Feliz Navidad.’  Considering the world’s current political climate, Tarja’s take on this holiday standard gives it a powerful new identity that is so fitting this holiday season, ironically enough. Considering this and the rest of the record’s other covers, the whole of the record’s presentation makes it stand head and shoulders above its fellow musical holiday counterparts – a record that deserves at least one listen even if one is not familiar with Tarja or her body of work.  It is that powerful overall.  It will be available in stores and online next Friday, Nov. 17.  More information on this compilation is available online now along with all of Tarja’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.tarjaturunen.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tarjaofficial

 

 

 

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.

AT&T, Audience Network To Air Andy Grammer Live Event Friday

Courtesy: S-Curve Records

Andy Grammer is getting a special new live concert event.

AT&T and Audience® Network will feature Andy Grammer live Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on DIRECTV Channel 239 and U-Verse Channel 1114.  The live event, which is in support of his forthcoming third album The Good Parts, will also be broadcast on DIRECTV Now.

Pre-orders for The Good Parts are open now.  The album is currently set for release Dec. 1.  Two of the its songs – ‘Fresh Eyes’ and ‘Smoke Clears’ – are streaming online now in full.

Friday’s one-hour concert event was shot on location in Los Angeles, CA in 4k and features a number of Grammer’s biggest hits so far from his two full length studio recordings and various EPs.  After the concert, Grammer will sit down with Audience Network’s Audience Music host Ted Stryker for a one-on-one interview.

Friday night’s concert event is just one of a number of chances for fans to take in Grammer’s live show.  His current tour schedule sees him performing live this Sunday, Nov. 12 in Shippensburg, PA; Dec. 16 in Orlando Florida; Jan. 12, 2018 in Santa Barbara, CA and many other dates.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Catch Andy Grammer on tour in the following cities:
DATE
LOCATION
VENUE
SUN
11/12
Shippensburg, PA
Shippensburg University w/ Jesse McCartney
SAT
12/16
Orlando, FL
Autonation Cure Bowl & Andy Grammer Pre-Game Concert
FRI
1/12
Santa Barbra, CA
The Granada Theatre
WED
3/14
San Francisco, CA
The Fillmore
THU
3/15
Los Angeles, CA
The Belasco
FRI
3/16
Santa Ynez, CA
Chumash Casino
SAT
3/17
San Diego, CA
House Of Blues
MON
3/19
Portland, OR
Wonder Ballroom
TUE
3/20
Vancouver, BC
Vogue Theatre
WED
3/21
Seattle, WA
Neptune Theatre
FRI
3/23
Salt Lake City, UT
The Depot
SAT
3/24
Englewood, CO
Gothic Theatre
SUN
3/25
Kansas City, MO
Madrid Theatre & Café
TUE
3/27
Minneapolis, MN
Music Hall Minneapolis
WED
3/28
Milwaukee, WI
Turner Hall Ballroom
FRI
3/30
Indianapolis, IN
Deluxe at Old National Centre
MON
4/2
Toronto, ON
The Phoenix Concert Theatre
TUE
4/3
Detroit, MI
St. Andrews Hall
THU
4/5
Nashville, TN
Cannery Ballroom
FRI
4/6
Atlanta, GA
Variety Playhouse
SAT
4/7
Charlotte, NC
The Underground
MON
4/9
Ridgefield, CT
Ridgefield Playhouse
FRI
4/13
Boston, MA
Paradise Rock Club
SAT
4/14
New York, NY
Irving Plaza
SUN
4/15
Philadelphia, PA
The TLA

More information on Grammer’s upcoming live dates, album and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://andygrammer.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/andygrammer

 

 

 

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.

ESPN Giving Football Fans Their Own Special Halloween Treats

Courtesy: ESPN

Football fans will get a special treat of their own throughout the day Tuesday to celebrate Halloween.

ESPN’s NFL Live will present its annual Midseason Awards special at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.  Trey Wingo will host the 90-minute special.  He will be joined by analysts Ryan Clark and Louis Riddick for additional commentary.

Tuesday afternoon’s broadcast will honor the National Football League’s top players, teams, coaches and moments from the first half of the NFL’s 2017 – ’18 season.  The categories featured in the broadcast include:  Defensive and Offensive player of the year, coach of the year, Comeback Player of the year and much more.  The full list of categories and nominees in each is noted below.

2017 NFL Live Midseason Awards nominees:

·        Defensive Player of the Year: Xavier Rhodes (Vikings), Everson Griffen (Vikings), Calais Campbell (Jaguars) and Jalen Ramsey (Jaguars)

·        Offensive Player of the Year (Non-QB): Kareem Hunt (Chiefs), Todd Gurley (Rams), Antonio Brown (Steelers) and Leonard Fournette (Jaguars)

·        Coach of the Year: Sean McVay (Rams), Doug Pederson (Eagles), Mike Zimmer (Vikings) and Andy Reid (Chiefs)

·        Most Surprising Team: Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles

·        Sunday Best (game day wardrobe): Antonio Brown (Steelers) vs. Cam Newton (Panthers)

·        Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jourdan Lewis (Cowboys), Marshon Lattimore (Saints), Tre’Davious White (Bills) and TJ Watt (Steelers)

·        Best Offseason Acquisition: Andrew Whitworth (Rams), Brandin Cooks (Patriots), Julius Peppers (Panthers) and Calais Campbell (Jaguars)

·        Offensive Rookie of the Year: Kareem Hunt (Chiefs), Leonard Fournette (Jaguars) and DeShaun Watson (Texans)

·        Play of the Year: Kenny Stills catch (Dolphins), Derek Carr’s game-winning pass to Michael Crabtree (Raiders), David Njoku one-handed diving catch (Browns), Cole Beasley catches pass on back (Cowboys)

·        MVP: Carson Wentz (Eagles), Alex Smith (Chiefs), DeShaun Watson (Texans) and Tom Brady (Patriots)

·        Comeback Player of the Year: Derek Carr (Raiders), Rob Gronkowski (Patriots), Keenan Allen (Chargers) and Jaylon Smith (Cowboys)

·        Best Celebration: Duck Duck Goose (Vikings), Playing Baseball (Eagles), Hide and Seek (Steelers) and Bobsled (Packers)

Later in the evening, The College Football Playoff Selection Committee Weekly Rating will air exclusively on ESPN at 7 p.m.  Tuesday night’s broadcast is the committee’s first in-season ranking this season.

The rankings will be broadcast weekly on Tuesday nights right up to the final ranking at noon Dec. 3 on ESPN.  The Dec. 3 broadcast will also include the announcement of the 2017 – ’18 College Football playoffs.

Rece Davis will host each week’s rankings broadcast and will be joined by analysts Paul Finebaum, Joey Galloway, Kirk Herbstreit, Booker McFarland, Jesse Palmer and David Pollack.

Along with the rankings announcement, each week’s broadcast will also include an interview with College Football Playoff Selection Committee Chair Kirby Hocutt, reaction from coaches to the rankings discussion on each announcement.

More information on ESPN’s football coverage is available online now along with all of the latest football headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.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.

‘The Good Place: The Complete First Season’ Will Put Viewers In Their Own Good Place

Courtesy: NBC/Shout! Factory

NBC’s hit serial sitcom The Good Place has proven in its now season and a half or so on the air to be one of the “peacock network’s” biggest properties in years.  That is because currently, there is little if anything like it on television – broadcast, cable and even online – like it today.  Though, there is no denying in watching this series its similarity to another former NBC hit serial sitcom in the form of My Name Is Earl.  Given, the two series are not entirely alike, but there are enough similarities that one cannot ignore the series’ connection.  Even with that in mind, The Good Life is still deserving of its own applause, and later this audiences maybe not familiar with the series will see why it is deserving of its own applause when Shout! Factory releases the series’ debut season on DVD.

There are plenty of things that audiences can say to the positive about The Good Place: The Complete First Season beginning with its’ writing.  That will be discussed shortly.  Just as important to Season One’s presentation as the writing is the work of the series’ cast.  This will be discussed later.  The bonus material included in the set rounds out its most important elements, and when it is considered along with the once again welcome precise episode listing inside the case and the set’s average price point, the whole proves to be a set that will put any of the series’ fans in their own good place.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming release of The Good Place: The Complete First Series is a collection that is certain to put the series’ fans in their own good place.  That is due in no small part to the work of the series’ writers beginning with the series’ very premise.  The premise is simple: a person who was not so nice in life dies, goes to the afterlife and ends up learning to be a better person and bettering others in the process.  The catch here is that the woman – Eleanor Shellstrop – shouldn’t be where she is….or should she? (not to give away too much from the series’ second season, which recently premiered).  Regardless of whether the good place is in fact the good place or not, Eleanor’s personal growth over the course of the first season is something that audiences will love to watch.  That is thanks not only to the stories, but how the stories are executed.  From causing giant frogs and cocktail shrimp to terrorize her afterlife home to causing a giant sinkhole to who knows where to appear and more, the ways in which Eleanor learns to become a better person will leave audiences laughing uproariously while also moving them.  Again, The very concept of a lead figure trying to improve is nothing new for NBC.  Audiences saw a very similar concept in My Name Is Earl, but it was done in a different format.  Add in the fact that the writers keep viewers guessing throughout Season One if the good place is indeed the good place thanks to Michael’s story line and there’s plenty to keep audiences engaged.

The story’s plot is just one part of what makes the writing so enjoyable in the first season of The Good Place.  The way in which the episodes are separated, which is – like the show’s premise – very much like that of My Name is Earl.  Whereas the earlier program was divided up into names on Earl’s list, this series is divided up into the people who Eleanor meets in her afterlife and the connections between them and herself.  There are no overly drawn out interweaving subplots.  Rather, each episode focuses only on the noted story lines, which are clearly outlined in the episode guide inside the set’s case.  This will be touched on lightly later.

As if the storylines and the series’ plot are not enough example of what makes the series’ writing so strong in its debut season, the back stories presented for each of Eleanor’s new friends add their own depth to the series as they help with the series’ overall character development.  This leads viewers to be even more engaged as they either root for certain characters or boo them.  It is all so entertaining, and collectively shows why this show’s writing, even in its lead season, is so important to its whole.  It is just one part of what makes the series’ debut season so enjoyable.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important as that of its writers to its presentation in Season One.

The work of The Good Place’s cast is so important to note in examining the series’ first season because their work keeps viewers just as entertained and engaged as the writing.  Kristen Bell’s take on Eleanor is spot on as Eleanor goes from completely clueless, self-centered subject to someone who actually, genuinely cares about people.  Again, that care and concern for others grows in the series’ now second season, but that won’t be discussed too much here.  Fellow leads Ted Danson and William Jackson Harper are just as entertaining as Michael and Chidi.  In all honesty, Danson’s take on the somewhat manic Michael is perhaps his best portrayal since his days as bartender Sam from yet another former NBC hit series, Cheers.  He makes Michael so silly in his behavior, yet there is something so entertaining about that silliness even if Michael might not be such a nice guy after all.  Harper meanwhile has wonderful chemistry opposite Bell anytime the pair is onscreen together.  Chidi’s neurotic behavior is so funny to watch whenever he has to deal with Eleanor thanks to Jackson’s work.  That behavior, juxtaposed against Eleanor’s more carefree nature makes for such an entertaining odd couple setup.  Keeping all of this in mind, all three of the series’ leads do so much to make the show so fun.  When they are joined by the supporting cast, they show just as much talent. When all of this is considered, it becomes clear why the cast’s work in The Good Place’s first season is just as important as the work of the series’ writers.  It is hardly the last of the set’s most important elements, too.  The bonus material included in the set plays its own part in the set’s presentation, too.

Audiences get plenty to appreciate in the bonus material included with the first season of The Good Place.  The standard gag reel and table read offer plenty of behind the scenes entertainment for audiences, giving them another view of how much fun the cast had preparing for each episode.  The audio commentary included in the series’ premiere and the season finale offer just as much entertainment as well as a certain amount of insight.  The look at how the series’ special effects were brought to life will especially engage those with an interest in the visual arts, especially as they apply in the realm of computer graphics.  Those audiences will be amazed (along with fans in general) at the amount of work that went into bringing the good place to life including all of the craziness brought on by Eleanor’s choices.  It all collectively makes the whole of this set’s bonus material just as fun to watch as the series itself.  When it is joined with the series’ episodes, it makes the set’s viewing experience that much more entertaining.  Add in a relatively affordable average price point of $14.49 (determined by comparing prices at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Shout! Factory’s store), and audiences get in this set a collection that is sure to put audiences in their own good place.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming home release of The Good Place: The Complete First Season is a release that is certain to put audiences in their own good place.  That is due in no small part to the work of the show’s writers.  Whether intentionally or not, the writers have generated an entertaining plot here that bears a striking similarity to that of My Name Is Earl, just with a few alterations in terms of the setup.  Eleanor’s attempts to hide her secret, which result in her own personal growth, makes for its plenty of endearing entertainment.  The work of the series’ lead cast adds even more entertainment to the series’ lead season.  The bonus material included in the set and the set’s relatively affordable average price point put the finishing touches to the set.  Each piece is important in its own right to the collection.  All things considered, The Good Place: The Complete First Season is certain to put viewers in their own good place.  The Good Place: The Complete First Season will be available in stores and online Oct. 17.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  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 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.

Blameshift, The Nearly Deads To “Wake The Dead” Together This Fall

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Blameshift and The Nearly Deads are joining forces for a co-headlining tour.

The bands will hit the road together for what is being dubbed the “Wake The Dead Tour.”  The tour, which is sponsored by Strung, launches Oct. 12 in Stanhope, NJ and runs through Nov. 2 in Nashville, TN, The Nearly Deads’ home town.  Along with that hometown show for The Nearly Deads, the tour also includes performances in cities in Texas, Nebraska, Pennslyvania, Oklahoma and other states.

The tour’s full schedule is noted below.

The Wake The Dead Tour

Oct 12 – Stanhope, NJ – Stanhope House

Oct 13 – Pittsburgh, PA – Diesel Concert Lounge

Oct 14 – Westland, MI – Token Lounge

Oct 15 – Mentor-On-The-Lake, OH – Music LynXX

Oct 17 – South Bend, IN – Cheers

Oct 19 – Braidwood, IL – Top Fuel Saloon

Oct 20 – West Allis, WI – Rosco’s

Oct 21 – Fort Atkinson, WI – Hijynx

Oct 22 – Rolla, MO – Shots

Oct 24 – St Louis, MO – The Firebird

Oct 26 – Omaha, NE – Bourbon Saloon

Oct 27 – Kansas City – TBA

Oct 28 – Tulsa, OK – The Vanguard

Oct 30 – Fort Worth, TX – The Railclub

Oct 31 – Little Rock, AR – The Rev Room

Nov 1 – Knoxville. TN – The Open Chord

Nov 2 – Nashville, TN – Rocketown

For The Nearly Deads, the tour will be in support of their latest EP Revenge of the Nearly Deads.  The band is currently making waves with the songs ‘Diamond in the Rough’ and ‘My Evil Ways,’ both of which are included in the band’s new EP.

Blameshift will be working in support of its latest album Heart of Stone, which it released in 2016.  That album spawned for the band, the hit single ‘Monster,’ which is a commentary on the dangers associated with greed.

More information on Blameshift’s latest album, its latest news and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

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

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/blameshift

 

 

 

More information on The Nearly Deads’ new EP, its latest news and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thenearlydeads.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheNearlyDeads

 

 

 

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.