Yankees, Mariners Open Three-Game Series Monday Night Live On ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA will feature a matchup of first versus worst and East vs. West Monday night in an American League inter-divisional showdown

The  Seattle Mariners (55-75) will host the New York Yankees (84-47) in a three-game series.  The Mariners sit in last place in the American League West while the Yankees sit atop the American League East, eight games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Seattle great Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as a guest analyst for Monday night’s broadcast, which is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. ET.  He will join Dave Fleming and analyst Eduardo Perez for the broadcast.  Fleming will have the call for the game while Perez will also serve as an analyst for the telecast.

Monday night marks the second time this season that Griffey, who played 13 seasons for Seattle, has served as a guest analyst on ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage.  Griffey and Perez both come from MLB “royal blood.”  Griffey’s father, Ken Griffey Sr. and Perez’s father Tony Perez were both members of Cincinnati’s famed “Big Red Machine.”

Ken Griffey Jr. eventually made his way back to Cincinnati during the later years of his career before retiring in 2010 as a member of the Reds organization.  Shortly after his retirement, ESPN announced Griffey was added to the network’s on-air talent roster for its MLB coverage.

Griffey collected 630 home runs over the course of his 22-year career.  He also was a 13-time All-Star, a 10-time Gold Glove winner and an American League M.V.P.  He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2016 and is a member of the Reds and Mariners’ Halls of Fame.

The starting pitchers for each team were not listed on MLB’s official website as of Sunday afternoon.  The Yankees are 35-27 on the road so far this year while the Mariners are 28-37 at home.  At the same time, the Yankees are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Mariners are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Both teams fell in their most recent games on Saturday, the Yankees falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1.  The loss followed a 10-2 win by the Yankees over the Dodgers in that series’ opener, making Sunday’s game the rubber match in that series.

The Mariners meanwhile fell to Toronto Saturday 7-5 after defeating the Blue Jays Friday 7-4, making the teams’ game Sunday afternoon the rubber match in that series, too.

More information on Monday’s game between the Mariners and Yankees is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:


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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn


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‘The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2’ Is Anything But A “Buster”

Buster Keaton Collection Volume 2 Bo Art

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group recently announced it will release a third new pairing of Buster Keaton classics later this month in the form of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 3.  the latest in the studio’s ongoing series of classic Keaton re-issues, it is scheduled for release Aug. 20 on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.  While audiences await the collection’s release, they can enjoy the second collection of Buster Keaton classics, which was released July 9.  The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 is another wonderful new offering from Cohen Media Group that every classic movie fan will appreciate.  That is due in part to the two movies that make up the body of the collection.  They will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that is featured with the collection adds a little bit more to the collection’s presentation and will be addressed a little later.  The actual restoration of the two movies rounds out the collection’s most important elements and will be addressed later, too.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2.  All things considered, they make this latest collection another must have for Buster Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike.

The second installment of Cohen Media Group’s Buster Keaton Collection series is another positive addition to that ongoing series of classic movie collections.  It is a collection that Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike will enjoy.  That is due in part to the movies that make up the collection’s body.  This time out, Cohen Media Group presents Keaton’s 1924 movies Sherlock Jr. and The NavigatorSherlock Jr. finds Keaton’s character – who is unnamed in this movie – being framed for stealing a watch from his lady love’s father.  It turns out the crook responsible for taking the watch is a romantic rival to Keaton’s character.  Keaton ends up having a dream sequence in which he is the world famous detective Sherlock Jr. Sherlock Jr. sets out to find out who stole a pearl necklace, and in the process, ends up saving a young woman who has been kidnapped.  There are lots of great classic physical comedy bits throughout the movie, as well as an extended car chase sequence that involves an unmanned motorcycle.  Obviously it’s not actually unmanned, as it is clearly in front of a video screen as Keaton sits on its handles.  That aside, it is still believable enough that audiences will be kept on the edges of their collective seats as they enjoy that sequence.  The whole thing ends with a happy ending, reuniting Keaton’s character and  his lady love in the projection booth of the theater where the character worked.  That final act ends with a great laugh, but the reason for that laugh will be left for viewers to discover for themselves.

The collection’s second story finds Keaton playing rich heir Rollo Treadway pining for the love of Betsy O’Brien (Kathryn McGuire).  After O’Brien rejects Treadway’s marriage proposal, he accidentally ends up on a boat that will soon thereafter be set adrift as part of a military move.  The reason that Treadway ends up on the boat in question is a classic comedy bit that every viewer will love.  Of course by some chance of fate, Treadyway does not end up on the boat alone.  He ends up, yes, along with O’Brien.  At first the duo has no clue the other is aboard the ship, but after some funny hijinks, the duo eventually find one another and end up living together (ironically) almost as a married couple.  That likely is part of the story’s overall joke.  The ship eventually finds its own way to a tropical island inhabited by cannibals, who the pair have to fight off on their own.  This sequence is loaded with lots of wonderful physical comedy that the whole family will enjoy, including Treadyway coming up out of the ocean and scaring the cannibals in his diving suit.  Treadway and O’Brien are eventually saved from the cannibals and get back home safely (at least it is inferred that the duo returns home safely).  How that save happens will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  In essence, the movie is a romantic comedy with a touch of action thrown in for good measure.  In other words, this is a movie that men, women, boys and girls alike will enjoy together.  In the same vein, Sherlock Jr. is an action movie with a touch of romance, but it is an action movie that the whole family can enjoy together.  The very fact that these two stories are so simply written, yet so fully engaging and entertaining for audiences of all ages is a rather large statement.  It shows that there is still a place for movies, such as these, as well as a need for them, especially considering where action flicks and rom-coms have gone in Hollywood’s current era.

The stories that make up the main body of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 build a strong foundation for the collection.  They give audiences, by themselves, more than enough reason to add this collection to their home libraries.  They are just part of what makes the collection so appealing for viewers.  The collection’s bonus content adds its own share of interest to its whole, despite said content’s brief nature.  The bonus content in question is lifted from Cohen Media Group’s already released Buster Keaton documentary, The Great Buster.  It is not the first time that content from that presentation has been pulled for bonus content.  The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1 also features bonus content pulled from the program.  This time out, audiences get commentary about Keaton’s approach to comedy in general and about his straight face portrayal.  The commentary comes from well-known figures, such as film critic Leonard Maltin, actor/comedian Bill Hader and Director Quentin Tarantino.  Maltin says in “Buster Keaton: The Great Stone Face” that Keaton’s approach was “post modern” and completely unlike the comedy of his counterpart Charlie Chaplin.  He additionally notes the conflict between Keaton and MGM.  This is another interesting anecdote that audiences will appreciate learning.  Director Jon Watts adds to Maltin’s comments, stating himself that unlike Chaplin and others, Keaton “never set out to get a laugh.”  In the second of the brief bonus features, “Buster Keaton: The Comedian,” Hader makes note of Keaton’s ability to fit his Vaudeville training and experience into his comic presentations, noting how that set his comedy apart even more from so many other counterparts.  While the bonus content featured in this collection is brief, it still adds its own appreciation to the collection.  What’s more, it proves even more why those who have not already viewed The Great Buster will benefit from watching that program.  When this is considered alongside the value of the collection’s primary content, the two elements together make for even more appreciation for this collection.  They are not the only important elements for audiences to consider in watching this collection, either.  The actual restoration of the movies is yet another important factor for audiences to consider.

Audiences will note in watching both of this collection’s featured movies, that each is preceded by a notice of the restoration work conducted in order to bring the movies back to life.  The notations make statements about pieces of the movies that were restored and that were added back.  In comparing the original films to the restorations, those responsible for that work are to be commended for their efforts.  Rather than the sepia tone look of the original films, these presentations – just as with the movies in the first collection – are quite clean and clear.  The grainy look is there with each movie, but neither has that aged look of the original film negatives.  It just goes to show how much painstaking effort was taken to restore the movies.  Those efforts are not lost on this critic and will not be lost on the collection’s target viewers.  They are deeply appreciated, and will be appreciated by viewers who love classic movies.  When the hard work put into restoring the collection’s movies is considered along with the stories themselves and their companion content, the whole of the collection proves to be another positive offering from Cohen Media Group that Buster Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike will appreciate.

Cohen Media Group’s recently released second installment in its Buster Keaton Collection series is another win for the company as well as for classic movie fans and Buster Keaton fans.  That is due in part to the two stories featured in the collection.  One of the movies – Sherlock Jr. – is an action movie that audiences of all ages can enjoy.  The other – The Navigator – is a rom-com that the same wide range of viewers can watch together.  They prove just how far Hollywood has fallen from its peaks throughout its history.  The bonus content featured with the collection is brief, but still engaging and entertaining in its own right.  It serves as another reminder of just why those who have not yet watched The Great Buster should watch that documentary.  The restoration of both films adds its own enjoyment to the collection, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 anything but a “Buster” for classic film buffs and Buster Keaton fans.  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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Of Mice & Men Debuts Title Track From New LP, ‘EARTHANDSKY’

Courtesy: Rise Records

Of Mice & Men debuted the video for its new single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new song ‘Earth & Sky‘ Thursday.  The song is the title track from the band’s forthcoming album EARTHANDSKY, which is due out Sept. 27 through Rise Records.

The video finds the band performing its new song inside a studio made to look like the inside of a spaceship.  The spaceship in question, is a pyramid-shaped vehicle that eventually shoots a giant laser beam onto Earth from outer space.  It is not known what the ray does to Earth, though what looks like shockwaves are visible blowing across a nondescript deserted highway as the spaceship sits in front of the sun.

The song’s musical arrangement is pure metalcore that is certain to appeal to fans of the band’s older material.  Bassist Aaron Pauley said in a recent interview, the song’s lyrical theme is meant to present a positive message.

“‘Earth & Sky‘ is a song about resilience,” Pauley said.  “It’s about understanding you can rise above whatever it is that keeps trying to drag you down, no matter what.  For me, a lot of the time, I’m writing about battling with my own mind.  For you, it may be a person or an obstacle or a circumstance.  Regardless of whatever it is is that’s trying relentlessly to drag you down, I hope I hope this song empowers you to rise above it with authority, like it does me every time I sing it.”

Earth & Sky‘ is just the latest song and video to come from EARTHANDSKY.  of Mice and Men most recently debuted the video for another of the album’s songs, ‘Mushroom Cloud‘ on May 2.  It was preceded by the debut of the video for the song ‘How To Survive‘ on March 6.  The audio-only stream of the song debuted Feb. 14.

All three songs are featured as part of EARTHANDSKY.  The album’s full track listing is noted below.

earthandsky TRACK LISTING:
“As We Suffocate”
“Taste Of Regret”
“Mushroom Cloud”
“Earth & Sky”
“The Mountain”
“How To Survive”

Of Mice And Men will launch a tour in support of EARTHANDSKY on Sept. 23 in Los Angeles, CA.  The three-week tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 19 in Mesa, AZ and to feature performances in cities, such as Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC and Houston, TX.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.


9/23 — Los Angeles, CA — Teragram
9/24 — San Diego, CA — Soma
9/25 — Flagstaff, AZ — The Green Room
9/27 — Salt Lake City — Complex
9/28 — Denver, CO — Marquis
9/29 — Lawrence, KS — Granada
10/3 — Columbus, OH — Basement
10/5 — Ottawa, ON — Brass Monkey
10/6 — Toronto, ON — Lee’s
10/7 — Montreal, QC — Fairmont Theatre
10/9 — Philadelphia, PA — Volatage Lounge
10/11 — Virginia Beach, VA — Elevation 27
10/12 — Greensboro, NC — The Blind Tiger
10/13 — Manchester, TN — Exit 111 Festival*
10/15 — Houston, TX — Warehouse Live
10/16 — Austin, TX — Come And Take It Live
10/17 — Dallas, TX — Cub Dada
10/19 — Mesa, AZ — The Underground
*Festival Date

Pre-orders for EARTHANDSKY are open now.  More information on EARTHANDSKY is available now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:


Website: http://www.ofmiceandmenofficial

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OMandM


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New ZZ Top Doc To Make Its Theatrical Debut Next Month

Courtesy: Abramorama/Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Banger Films

ZZ Top’s new documentary will make its theatrical debut next month.

ZZ TopThe Little Ol’ Band From Texas is scheduled to make its theatrical Aug. 13 at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, CA.  The documentary, which features interviews with the band’s members, testimonials from the band’s celebrity fans and animations, is presented by independent movie studio Abramorama, and is meant as part of the band’s 50th Anniversary Tour.

The documentary’s trailer is streaming here.  Tickets to the premiere are available here.

ZZ Top’s 50th Anniversary Tour is scheduled to launch Aug. 16 in Ridgefield, WA.  It is scheduled to run through Nov. 9 in Shreveport, LA and will feature performances in cities, such as Raleigh, NC; Peoria, IL and Burgettstown, PA.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

ZZ Top’s 50th Anniversary Tour

Aug     16 – Ridgefield, WA – Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre*

            17 – Airway Heights, WA – Northern Quest Casino Theater

            18 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Amphitheater

            20 – Yakima, WA – Yakima Valley SunDome

            21 – Woodinville, WA – Chateau Ste. Michelle*

            23 – Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre**

            24 – Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion**

            25 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre*

            27 – Santa Barbara, CA – Arlington Theater

            28 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU*

            29 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre*

            31 – Lewisville, TX – City of Lewisville

Sept    01 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theatre*

            02 – St. Paul, MN – Minnesota State Fairgrounds*

            04 – Milwaukee, WI – BMO Harris Pavilion*

            06 – Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre*

            07 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre*

            08 – Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheater at Freedom Hill*

            10 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at The Heights*

            11 – Burgettstown, PA – KeyBank Pavilion*

            13 – Ocean City, MD – Ocean City BikeFest

            14 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion*

            15 – Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion*

            17 – Syracuse, NY – Crouse-Hinds Theatre at John H. Mulroy Civic Center at Oncenter

            18 – Boston, MA – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion*

            19 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater*

            21 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*

            22 – Louisville, KY – Bourbon and Beyond Festival 

Oct      05 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre*

            06 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion*

            08 – Charleston, WV – Clay Center for Arts & Sciences     

            09 – Charleston, SC – Volvo Cars Stadium*

            11 – Cherokee, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee – Event Center*

            12 – Manchester, TN – Exit 111 Festival – Great Stage Park

            13 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre

            15 – Augusta, GA – The James Brown Arena*

            16 – Saint Augustine, FL – Saint Augustine Amphiteatre* 

            18 – Estero, FL – Hertz Arena*

            19 – Tampa, FL – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre*

            20 – West Palm Beach, FL – Coral Sky Amphitheatre*

            22 – Melbourne, FL – King Center for the Performing Arts

            23 – Tallahassee, FL – Donald L. Tucker Center

            25 – Oxon Hill, MD – MGM National Harbor

            26 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center

            27 – Mashantucket, CT – Foxwoods Resort Casino 

            29 – Erie, PA – Warner Theatre

            30 – Kalamazoo, MI – Wings Event Center

Nov     01 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee

            02 – Waukegan, Il – Genesee Theater

            03 – Peoria, Il – Civic Center Theater

            05 – Springfield, MD – Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts 

            06 – Enid, OK – Stride Bank Center

            08 – Tulsa, OK – River Spirit Casino         

            09 – Shreveport, LA – Shreveport Municipal Auditorium

* with Cheap Trick

**with Lynyrd Skynyrd

All three members of ZZ Top are scheduled to take part in the premiere of ZZ TopThe Little Ol’ Band From Texas for a Q&A session following the screening.  The trailer for the band’s new doc is streaming here.

Band member Billy F. Gibbons said in a recent interview, he is looking forward to the documentary’s premiere.

“I think even our most steadfast fans will find themselves surprised by what they learn about those men behind the beards and cheap sunglasses,” Gibbons said.  “There we are, up there on the silver screen, and it’s something we’re delighted to share with fans of all stripes.”

Abramorama CEO Richard Abramowitz and Abramorama Head of West Coast Acquisitions and Business development Evan Saxon shared Gibbons’ positive sentiments about the documentary during a separate interview.

“ZZ Top always seemed larger than life and are one of the most iconic bands to hit the stage, the pair said.  “They belong on the big screen!  We are proud to be collaborating with our colleagues at Eagle Rock Entertainment, Banger Films and Suretone Management to bring the story of these sharp-dressed men to fans around the world.”

The doc will make its Canadian premiere Aug. 23 at Cineplex Cinemas nationwide.  That premiere will be followed by a Sept. 1 premiere at Event Cinemas throughout Australia.

More information on ZZ Top’s new documentary is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.zztop.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/zztop

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.


‘Which One Am I’ Could Create A New, Positive Identity For Backstreet Boy Howie D

Courtesy: HowieDoItMusic

Howard Dorough, a.k.a. Howie D. is most well known for his work throughout the years with the bubblegum pop group Backstreet Boys.  While Dorough has earned his greatest fame as a member of the group, that is not his only claim to fame.  He alsso has some production credit under his belt along with a solo album released in 2011 titled Back To Me.  On Friday, Dorough released his second solo recording, which was also his first-ever family music album in the form of Which One Am I.  The album, which comes a little more than a month ahead of his 46th birthday, is an intriguing effort from Dorough, considering his resume.  That is proven in part through the record’s arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes add to the record’s interest, and will be addressed a little later.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Which One Am I.  All things considered, this record has the possibility to help Dorough truly start developing his own identity as an artist and a performer.

Howard Dorough’s sophomore solo record – and first ever family music album – Which One Am I is a promising new offering for the performer who has made his name largely through his work with the Backstreet Boys.  It is a promising offering in part because of the album’s arrangements.  The arrangements featured throughout the course of the 12-song, 38-minute album are distinctly different from anything crafted for any of the Backstreet Boys’ albums.  Whereas the arrangements featured on the Backstreet Boys’ albums are synthetic, autotuned cookie cutter creations crafted by the execs at the group’s label, the arrangements featured in this record feel and sound far more genuine and original.  The arrangement in the album’s opener features an arrangement that harkens back to the poppy, R&B-infused songs of the late 1950s and early 60s while ‘Worry,’ which comes later in the album’s run, boasts an arrangement that holds its own against any of today’s reggae offerings.  ‘School Bell Tango’ presents a fun, light arrangement that puts on display Dorough’s Puerto Rican roots – he makes a point in the album to note that his mother is Puerto Rican and his father Irish.  The arrangement, complete with either cello or viola, presents the familiar tango sound that was (and is) so common from Puerto Rico.  ‘Small Time Blues’ presents, in fact, a light 12-bar blues arrangement that is just as catchy as so many old school country blues songs.  Between this, everything else mentioned, the power in the subtlety of Dorough’s cover of Bill Withers’ hit song ‘Lean on Me’ and the rest of the record’s arrangements, Dorough puts on full display his talents as a performer.  The result of the record’s collective arrangements is a full set of arrangements that creates a strong foundation for Dorough’s new record.  Building on that foundation is the lyrical content featured with the arrangements.

As already noted, Which One Am I is Dorough’s first-ever family record.  For someone who has spent the better part of his career lip synching hollow, forgettable lyrics that are anything but memorable, the lyrics presented here (which clearly are sung by Dorough this time out) are lyrics that will resonate with children and adults alike.  Case in point is the piano-driven song that is ‘Shy.’  This song’s doo-wop infused arrangement works expertly with its lyrics about a young student who is battling with shyness.  He sings about the young boy being asked to read a passage from a book and trying to pretend he can’t talk in order to get out of it, but that effort failing.  Who hasn’t done that at one point or another in their childhood?  The song also features a story about that same young man trying to get over his shyness as he tries to ask a girl to a dance at another point in his young life.  He ends the song by asking painfully why he is so shy.  This is something to which listeners of all ages can relate just as much as the song’s other situations.

‘School Bell Tango’ is another prime example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  Here again is a lyrical theme to which listeners of all ages can relate.  Dorough sings here from the vantage point of a young school student not wanting to get up and go to school in the morning, but eventually having so much fun at school that he’s surprised when the last bell of the day rings. Yet again, who out there has not been in the situation in which that young student has been?  Even grown-ups don’t like getting up in the morning, hearing that first alarm of the day from the alarm clock.  The difference is that adults can’t wait to get home at the end of the day.  Kids on the other hand, get ot have fun at school along with their work.  Again, this is a song that not just musically, but lyrically, will reach a wide range of listeners.

‘The Me I’m Meant To Be’ is yet another of those songs that will reach a wide range of listeners through its lyrical content.  Dorough presents in this song, a message of taking pride in one’s own self and being willing to take risks in life, singing, “I could play it safe/But I been down that road before/And even though I am afraid/I could give it a try/Change up my game/Open that door/I gotta make my own mind up/’Cause all of my time’s up/I gotta trust I’ll find my way.”  Children and adults alike have trouble willing themselves to take risks in life and do new things.  The situations may differ, but they still happen for everyone.  What is important in those situations is taking those chances, because without taking chances, no change will ever happen.  This is a positive message for everyone.  Add in the fact that this is the only song in the album that boasts any hint of any Backstreet Boys-type sound, but even with that in mind, it is still an interesting song that captures quite surprisingly well, the emotions of people facing the challenge of new changes.  When these three songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the importance of the album’s lyrical content proves that much more critical to its overall presentation, and in a good way.  The album’s lyrical content coupled with its musical arrangements, it becomes that much more of a surprisingly interesting offering from Dorough.  The noted elements are not its only important elements.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

From beginning to end, the sound and feel of Which One Am I changes, giving listeners something new from one song to the next.  That is important to note because it ensures that much more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  The record opens with its light, bouncy title track before moving into a more funk-infused work in ‘Back in the Day.’  The change continues as the album makes its way through the kindie-rock styling of ‘Monster in My Head,’ the previously noted doo-wop style of ‘Shy — by the way, Dorough’s control as he hits the high notes in this song is honestly impressive. There is no autotune here. It is really him, which makes that moment even more impressive — the reggae styling of ‘Worry’ and the R&B-infused ‘Pollyanna’s Shadow.’  It continues on throughout the second half of the album, with the again aforementioned Latin-infused styling of ‘School Bell Tango’ and ‘No Hablo Espanol,’ the powerful simplicity of ‘Lean on Me,’ which closes out the album and even the bluesy rhythms of ‘Small Time Blues.’  Short and simple, listeners get something different from beginning to end of this album in terms of the arrangements, and their energies.  Those variances are just slight enough to keep listeners engaged and entertained throughout the course of the record’s 38-minute run time.  Obviously a certain amount of time and effort was put into this part of the record, just as much as the arrangements and lyrical themes featured throughout the record.  When the noted elements are considered together, the whole of said elements makes Which One Am I a work that is certain to establish Dorough’s identity as a real performer and composer.  It shows he can make his own identity without being a member of that pop other act.

Howard Dorough’s debut family album (and second solo album) is a surprisingly interesting offering from the man who has otherwise made his claim to fame as a member of the Backstreet Boys.  It is a record that shows he may actually have a viable career away from that group.  That is evidenced in part through the arrangements featured in the album.  The arrangements are far more diverse than anything featured on any Backstreet Boys record.  The record’s lyrical themes are items to which listeners of all ages can relate.  That adds to its interest.  The sequencing of the noted arrangements ensures even more, listeners’ engagement.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Which One Am I.  All things considered, they show this record could very well be the start of a possibly successful solo career for Dorough that will definitely create not just more of a new identity for him, but a better identity.  More information on Which One Am I is available online now along with all of Howie D’s news at:




Website: http://howied.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/howied




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.

The Native Howl Launches New Tour; Debuts New Video

The Native Howls is back out on the road.

The band launched a new series of live dates Monday in Burlington, VT.  The band’s new tour schedule runs through July 13 in Boggstown, IN. The tour schedule is noted below.

The Native Howl Tour Dates:
7/4 – Richmond, VA – Canal Club
7/5 – Washington DC – Hill Country DC
7/6 – New York, NY – Hill Country NYC
7/8 – Frostburg, MD – Dante’s Bar
7/9 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
7/10 – Nashville, TN – The End
7/11 – Louisville, KY – The Tiger Room
7/12 – Cincinnati, OH – Stanley’s Pub
7/13 – Boggstown, IN – Summer Bash 2019

The tour is just the latest in support of the Michigan-based band’s latest album, Out of the Garden and Into Darkness (2018).  It comes two months after the band held its “Torque Tour” May 2 to 11. Out of the Garden and Into Darkness spawned the single ‘Somethin’ Else‘ and its companion video, which debuted Oct. 24.

Prior to launching its new tour, the band debuted the video for its new single ‘Harvester of Constant Sorrow‘ June 23.  The song and video are not featured in Out of the Garden and Into Darkness.  the video couples elements of Metallica’s ‘Harvester of Sorrow’ with Union Station’s ‘Man of Constant Sorrow,’ which was used in Touchstone/Universal Pictures’ 2000 movie O BrotherWhere Art Thou? and the movie’s soundtrack.

Courtesy: FM Music Management

The song’s video also spoofs the famous concert hall scene in which the Soggy Bottom Boys performed “their” song and couples that with a spoof of Metallica’s video for ‘Harvester of Sorrow’ for the final product.

The Native Howl front man Alex Holycross talked about the video’s concept in a recent interview.

“”I was out for a run last Fall and was contemplating all the “mash-ups” that were popular at the time,” he said. “These mash-ups were simply audio of two different songs spliced together and over each other (a popular one at the time was a combination of audio from “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin and “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath). I then thought about an online poll we had done with our fans in which we asked which song they’d like us to cover (even though we did not really have a concrete intention of doing so at the time). The most requested song by FAR was “Man of Constant Sorrow”. I then glanced at my Metallica ring on my right hand, and thought ‘what if we did a true mash-up of this with a Metallica song?’ Then it hit me: Harvester of Constant Sorrow!” Metallica may be our biggest influence collectively as a band, and “Man of Constant Sorrow” is definitely my favorite bluegrass song of all time. We have always been against the idea of doing cover songs, but this endeavor was exciting to us both conceptually and compositionally.”

Holycross added, “The video is always the most difficult part, and we lend our unending thanks to our brother and studio partner Joe Horsch for crushing that portion of the project, as always. As far as the song itself goes, it was as much of challenge as it was a joy to find creative ways to put the Howl’s spirit and collective mind into two iconic songs, and end up with a piece that we were proud of. Selecting which vocals to use from which sections of each song was a long conversation, as well as the arrangement of the fast ‘cut-time’ (albeit ‘Metallica-esque’ in nature, it is original Howl riffs and solos). The concept for the video was quite simple: recreate scenes from the movie “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou” (which made “Man of Constant Sorrow” a hit) and scenes from Metallica’s “One” video. Both the movie and music video have had such an influence on us, that we wanted to pay homage visually as well as sonically. We hope everyone enjoys the song and video, thanks for the support!”

‘Harvester of Constant Sorrow’ is just the latest song from The Native Howl to receive its own video treatment.  The band also released a video for its single ‘Thunderhead‘ in 2016.  The song was the lead single from the band’s 2016 EP Thrash Grass.

More information on The Native Howl’s upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:






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Unearth Debuts ‘Incinerate’ Video; Announces Fall Tour Schedule

Unearth debuted the video for its latest single Friday.

The video for the band’s new single ‘Incinerate‘ is a familiar stylistic presentation for audiences across the board.  It features live footage of the band coupled with shots of the band’s members in non-live settings, but still performing. The song is taken from the band’s 2018 album Extinction(s).

Produced by KREACT and directed/edited/filmed by Daniel Vandal, the video was recorded during a stint in Canada with Darkest Hour.  Alexandre Charron, Soufiane Benrqiq and Christoph Thivierge provided additional cinematography.

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The debut of the band’s ‘Incinerate’ video comes eight months after the band debuted the lyric video for Extinction(s)‘ lead single ‘Survivalist.’

Unearth will perform ‘Incinerate,’ ‘Survivalist’ and many other songs featured on Extinction(s) across Europe this fall. The band is scheduled to launch its European tour Sept. 17 in Wurzburg, Germany.  The month-long tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 19 in Leipzig, Germany and features performances in cities, such as Milan, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden and Vienna, Austria.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

UNEARTH will be heading to Europe for a Fall tour with As I Lay Dying and Chelsea Grin in September.

w/As I Lay Dying / Chelsea Grin / Unearth
27.09.19 Würzburg, Germany – Posthalle
28.09.19 Hamburg, Germany – Sporthalle
30.09.19 Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
01.10.19 Stockholm, Sweden – Arenan
02.10.19 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
03.10.19 Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
04.10.19 Prague, Czech Rep – Forum Karlin
05.10.19 Munich, Germany – Zenith
06.10.19 Vienna, Austria – Gasometer
07.10.19 Budapest. Hungary – Barba Negra
09.10.19 Milan, Italy – Fabrique
10.10.19 Zurich, Switzerland – Volkshaus
11.10.19 Lyon, France – Le Transbordeur
12.10.19 Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
13.10.19 Madrid, Spain – San Miguel
15.10.19 Paris, France – Bataclan
16.10.19 Brussels, Belgium – AB
17.10.19 Tilburg, Netherlands
18.10.19 Cologne, Germany – Palladium
19.10.19 Leipzig, Germany -Haus Auensee

As I Lay Dying and Chelsea Grin will serve as support for the upcoming tour.

More information on Unearth’s new video, tour and more is available online now at:


Website: http://www.unearth.tv

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Unearthofficial


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.