PBS Distribution Releasing New ‘Wild Kratts’ DVD Next Month

Courtesy: PBS/PBS DIstribution

The Kratt Brothers are hitting the high seas again in another new Wild Kratts DVD.

Wild KrattsThe Briny Blue Sea is scheduled for release on April 9 on DVD and digital.  The DVD features four more episodes from the hit animated series that find Chris, Martin and their friends going on a variety of aquatic adventures.

In the episode “Osprey,” Jimmy accidentally loses the keys to the Tortuga, leaving Chris and Martin to use Osprey powers to find the keys before things get real bad for the group.  Jimmy is the center of attention in another of the DVD’s episodes, “Sea Otter Swim.”  He learns how to swim from none other than a sea otter.

Aye Aye, yet another of the DVD’s episodes, finds the Kratt brothers having to save an aye aye who was washed away from its home by a strong storm.  “Puffin Rescue” finds the Kratt brothers and their friends strewn across the sea by a rogue wave.  It is up to Chris and Martin to use Puffin powers to reunite everyone and get everyone back to the Tortuga.

Wild KrattsThe Briny Blue Sea‘s run time is 105 minutes.  It will retail for MSRP of $14.99.  It can be pre-ordered now via PBS’ online store.

More Wild Kratts episodes are available now along with activities, games and printables at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/wildkratts

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

 

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Shout! Factory TV To Air Super Sentai Madness Tournament

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

March Madness is back again, but it’s not the month’s only tournament.

Officials with Shout! Factory announced Thursday, that it will launch the Super Sentai Madness tournament March 23.  The “tournament” will feature a livestream of Super Sentai episodes and will feature appearances by Power Rangers stars Karan Ashley (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers) and Andrew Meadows (Power Rangers Hyperforce).  Brian Ward will host the event.

The event will livestream via Shout! Factory’s live service, its official Twitch channel and its official Pluto TV channel.  The tournament culminates April 7.  Audiences will be able to vote for their favorite villains throughout the course of the tournament.

The trailer for the upcoming tournament is streaming online here.

More information on the upcoming Super Sentai tournament is available online now along with information on Shout! Factory’s titles at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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ESPN To Broadcast 2019 Japan Opening Series Next Week

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN is headed to the far east for an upcoming Major League Baseball broadcast.

The network will carry coverage of the 2019 Japan Opening Series on March 20 and 21. The series is a pair of pre-season MLB games, which will be played live at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.  The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will face off in the matchups.

Dave Fleming and Eduardo Perez will provide commentary for the games, both of which will air at 5:30 a.m. on the ESPN app.

More information on the 2019 Japan Opening Series is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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ESPN To Air 2019 Women’s College Basketball Tournament Selection Show Monday

Courtesy: ESPN

Women’s college basketball fans will find out next week, if their favorite teams will be part of the NCAA Women’s College Basketball tournament.

ESPN will air the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special presented by Capital One at 7 p.m. on Monday.  The two-hour special starts on ESPN, and will move to ESPNU as each team and its seeding is announced.

Monday’s broadcast is part of the Tournament Challenge Marathon, which will feature 25 consecutive hours of college basketball coverage and analysis as fans prep their brackets.

Prior to Monday night’s special, fans will get an early look at he selection committee’s discussions on the 5 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on Sunday.  Following Monday night’s broadcast, the SEC Network will have its own special broadcast in the form of SEC NowWomen’s Basketball Selection Special at 9 p.m.

espnW will also air its own share of programming prior to and after Selection Sunday.  Programming highlights are noted below.

  • Charlie Creme will assess the bracket, its biggest surprises and snubs.
  • Mechelle Voepel will examine the wide-open feel of the NCAA tournament and each top seed’s path to the Final Four.
  • Around the Rim: LaChina Robinson and Charlie Creme will interview selection chair Rhonda Lundin Bennett on Monday
  • espnW also will feature expert picks breaking down every region of the bracket and predictions for the Final Four, and look at the winners and losers in the NCAA tournament bracket.
  • Women’s Tournament Challenge: espnW and the WNBA have created a group for fans. Users can join, create their bracket and then compare it to brackets of players such as Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson and more.

Coverage of the Women’s NCAA College Basketball Championship starts March 22 on ESPN, ESPN2 and the ESPN app.  Coverage of the Women’s NCAA College Basketball Final Four runs from April 5-7.  The complete schedule for the tournament will be announced soon.

More information on ESPN’s coverage of the 2019 Women’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament is available online now along with all of the latest women’s college basketball headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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No Lack Of Confidence From Sarah Potenza On Her Sophomore LP

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Singer-songwriter Sarah Potenza released her new album Road To Rome last week.  The sophomore album from the former contestant on NBC’s hit karaoke contest show The Voice, it is more proof that the real winners from those competition shows are not always the people who win it all.  It shows in fact, that sometimes the real winners are the people who do not make it all the way.  The album’s musical and lyrical content collectively do plenty to prove that statement right from its outset in the form of ‘I Work For Me.’  This bluesy, soulful tune is one of many bold statements that Potenza makes throughout the course of the album and will be discussed shortly.  ‘Keep On Holding,’ which comes later in the album’s run, does just as much to display Road to Rome’s strength with its far more vulnerable approach.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Diamond’ is yet another example of why Road to Rome is such a strong new effort from Potenza.  When it is considered alongside the other two songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of the album leaves no doubt that while she might not have won The Voice back in 2015, she is still a winner regardless.

Four years have passed since Sarah Potenza vied for fame and fortune on NBC’s hit karaoke competition show The Voice.  While she did not win the overall season title, Potenza still went on to success, releasing her debut album only a year after the season’s end. Now with the release of her sophomore album last week, Potenza has proven even more that sometimes, the real winners of the TV talent competitions are not those who win it all, but those who don’t take the top prize.  The album’s opener ‘I Work For Me’ is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  The song’s musical arrangement is a subtle, yet upbeat mix of blues and pop sensibilities that when coupled with Potenza’s soulful, gritty vocal delivery style – which can be so easily likened to the likes of Susan Tedeschi, Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt — creates a sense of so much joy.  It is a positive start to the record in itself.  The joy created through the arrangement works with the confidence clearly exhibited in the song’s lyrical content to make even more clear why this is just one of Road to Rome’s strong points.

Potenza sings in the song’s lead verse, “I work for me/Oh yes I, yes I do/I work for me/They told me I was nothing/Told me I was trash/They told me I was too young/To ever make it last/You gotta earn a living/How are you gonna pay/But I blew it all off and I did it anyway/I don’t need your jive/I got my own/I got cat eye nails and a glitter phone/When the bills roll in/I…got everything…/I work for me.”  That confidence continues in the song’s second verse as she sings, “They said that I was too much/I shouldn’t even try it/They said that I was too big/’Cause right now, I’m a giant/They told me keep on dreaming/So that’s just what I did/I’ve been collecting water from my well/Ever since I was a kid/Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will hurt me more/I turned your words into my songs and now I go to war/I don’t need no ballpoint/I can write my own joint/I’ve been signing five checks/With my blood and my sweat/I work for me.”  Potenza puts it all out there, leaving nothing to doubt. She puts right out there, her story of her having been held back and pushed down, but refusing to let the naysayers keep her down.  That clear confidence serves as a reminder that no one should let anyone be stopped from chasing their dreams.  What’s more, being that Potenza delivers this message without feeling the need to be artsy and metaphorical makes the song that much more engaging and entertaining.  When this portion of the song joins with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the two elements makes the song in whole, without doubt, a work that is certain to appeal to plenty of listeners.  To that end, it is a clear example of what makes Road to Rome a truly viable record from Sarah Potenza.  It is just one of the album’s high points.  ‘Keep On Holding’ is yet another of the record’s strong points.

‘Keep On Holding’ is the polar opposite of ‘I Work For Me.’ Where the album’s opener is a proud, no-nonsense work, ‘Keep On Holding’ is a far more vulnerable piece that shows a completely different side of Potenza.  The song opens with a gentle piano line that eventually is joined by a choir and drums for a composition that creates a very gospel style sound.  Again, Potenza’s vocal delivery throughout can be compared to the likes of Franklin, Tedeschi and Raitt.  At the same time, there’s a certain quality to her delivery here that also leads one to – believe it or not – compare Potenza’s style of singing to that of Gregg Allman.  It’s in that gritty delivery that she could so easily be the female counterpart to him.  The way in which her vocals grow along with the rest of the arrangement – which eventually reaches its peak almost three minutes into its nearly five-minute run time – creates so much emotion in the song.  That emotion is the core of the song’s musical arrangement, and in itself is certain to keep listeners engaged.  It is just one part of what makes the song another of the album’s strong points.  The song’s lyrical content couples with that deeply moving musical arrangement to make the song even stronger.

Potenza sings in this song’s lead verse, “I’ve been running down these roads/For decades at a time/Like a misfit runaway…the path then led me to my dream/I was wrong again/These roads go in circles/The beginning is the end/Stickers on the side board/Some bands you recognize/Some bands you never heard of/And some you idolize/And it makes you think that maybe/If they played here, too/Maybe there’s a chance/They were once like you/So keep on holding/Onto your heart/It’s a long road/Honey it’s a long shot/Keep on holding/Onto your heart/It’s a long road/But we got a good start.”  She goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, about the club in question filling up with people.  Not having liner notes to reference, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who the guest vocalist is in this verse.  However, if one did not know any better, one would imagine it was Dolly Parton.  That could of course be completely wrong, but it sure sounds like her.  From there, Potenza returns to the song’s chorus, reminding listeners again not to give up on anything in life, even one’s dreams.  This is very similar to the theme of the album’s opener, just delivered in a different fashion, managing to keep the theme at least somewhat fresh in turn.  When that familiar message of determination is coupled with the song’s hybrid gospel/southern/blues rock arrangement, the whole transforms into a song whose mix of confidence and vulnerability makes it stand out as yet another of the album’s key entries.  It is not the last of the album’s key compositions.  ‘Diamond’ which comes a little bit earlier in the album’s run, is yet another of the LP’s strong points.

‘Diamond’ presents is a mid-tempo piece that puts on display once more, Potenza’s blues/southern rock influences, yet does so in a subtle fashion.  The song is driven in large through its drums, which almost create a feeling almost, of a heartbeat as Potenza courses through the song.  The addition of the choral element to the song along with the equally subtle bass line rounds out the song’s arrangement for a whole that creates more than its own share of entertainment and engagement.  That portion of the song is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its familiar lyrical message of self-confidence – which very much permeates this album overall – gives the song even more punch.

Potenza sings in this song, “Once I was a young girl/I was foolish/Foolish with my heart/I listened to it closely/When all they told me was who I was/And who I was not/I went chasing after boys/Refused to recognize/They can’t f*** with girls like me/I blamed myself/I cursed my gifts/Why did I have to be like this/I was just too young/Too young to see/I was born to be a diamond/The whole damn world’s gonna see me shining/I ain’t gonna keep on hiding/I was born to be a diamond.”  She goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The thousands of days/And thousands of miles/I carried all those words upon my back/I let them defy me/I let my doubt blind me/But honey I’m done/I’m done f****** with all that.”  From here, Potenza returns to the song’s chorus again before reaching the song’s third verse, which follows in a fashion very similar to that of the first two verses.  Yet again, the message here leaves zero doubt as to its message.  This is someone who is fully self-assured.  It’s hardly the last display of self-assurance featured in Road to Rome.  The album’s remaining seven songs each put that self-confidence on display in their own unique fashions.  Keeping that in consideration along with the confidence exhibited in this song and the other two more directly noted works, the whole of Road to Rome can be said to be the real start to Sarah Potenza’s career, and a powerful start at that.

While it is her second full-length studio recording, Sarah Potenza’s Road to Rome can be argued to be the real start to her professional career.  That is due to the clear display of confidence exhibited from the record’s beginning to its end.  From one song to the next, Potenza is fully self-assured, and presents that confidence in various ways in each song, both musically and lyrically.  The songs featured here are just a few examples of the varied ways in which that confidence is displayed.  When they are considered alongside the record’s seven remaining songs, the whole of Road to Rome once again proves to be more proof that sometimes, the real winners of all those TV karaoke talent contests are the people who don’t win on the shows.  Road to Rome is available now.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Sarah Potenza’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sarahpotenza.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sarahpotenza

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory, Sesame Workshop Set To Release Another New ‘Sesame Street’ DVD

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Sesame Workshop

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop will release another new Sesame Street compilation DVD this spring.

Sesame StreetAwesome Alphabet Collection is set for release on May 7.  The new DVD will help teachers and parents alike teach their pre-schoolers their ABCs with performances by The Beetles (yes, The Beetles), Norah Jones, Tori Kelly and Pharrell Williams.

Famed author and activist Maya Angelou also makes an appearance in the new DVD.  She offers her thoughts on the importance of giving hugs, while Sheryl Crow helps the letter “I” soak up some sun and actor Ricky Gervais sings a lullaby for Elmo.

The trailer for the new DVD is streaming here.  The movie’s run time is two-hours.  Pre-orders are open now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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

Every Family Will Celebrate Sesame Workshop’s New ‘Sesame Street’ DVD

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! Factory

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.  For those who might be unfamiliar with this famed adage, it was originally spoken by none other than Benjamin Franklin, one of this nation’s founding fathers and greatest inventors and philosophers.  While Franklin was right in his statement, he was also somewhat wrong.  There is actually a third constant in life – family.  Through thick and thin, in the good times and bad, family will always be there for one another.  There are many kinds of families today, and in its latest DVD, Celebrate Family, Sesame Workshop examines the different kinds of families that exist, and what makes each kind of family special.  It is a DVD that every family will enjoy.  This is proven in part through the DVD’s primary content, which addresses different kinds of families and what sets them apart.  The secondary content that is included within the primary content makes the DVD even more appealing to every family.  The bonus content featured with the DVD rounds out the DVD’s most important elements.  It is just as certain as the DVD’s primary and secondary content to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Sesame Street: Celebrate Family.  Altogether, they make Sesame Street: Celebrate Family a presentation that the whole family will celebrate.

Sesame Workshop’s new Sesame Street DVD Celebrate Family is another new offering from the organization, that the whole family will celebrate.  That is due in part to the DVD’s primary content.  The primary content featured five segments that focus on different types of families and the things that families do differently from one another.  The opening segment Elmo and his dad together with Abby Cadabby, her stepbrother Rudy and stepfather as the two families have dinner together at Elmo’s house.  This segment in itself teaches young viewers that families do not always have to fit the traditional nuclear family mold.  Families can be a single parent and child and they can be extended, featuring two families brought together.  The segment is followed later with a segment in which Abby’s stepbrother and stepfather are introduced for the first time.  Abby, Elmo and Rosita are on a “secret mission” of sorts to find them because they are coming to Sesame Street for the first time ever in said segment.  Segments celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day focus specifically on the noted family members while the disc’s closing segment focuses on grandparents and their importance as part of families, too.  That segment is special in its own right as Elmo is so excited that his grandparents will are supposed to attend the event, only to find out that they won’t be able to attend.  Being a family friendly presentation, the story has a happy ending that finds Elmo still getting to spend time with his grandparents.

The easily accessible lessons about the different types of families and their members is just one part of what makes this primary presentation so engaging for the whole family.  The opening segment reminds viewers that not every family does things the same way.  Elmo’s dad gives Elmo and his friends the choice of what to have for dinner while Abby and Ruby’s family does things a little bit differently.  At the same time, Elmo, Abby and Rudy have their own favorite taste while their dads have their favorite tastes.  It’s another reminder that not every family is the same, and that those differences should in fact be celebrated.

The primary content featured in Sesame Street: Celebrate Family’s segments goes a long way toward making this DVD appealing for the whole family.  It truly does celebrate families and their members in a variety of ways.  The secondary content that couples with that presentation adds even more to the DVD’s appeal.  It is subtle, but is there.  As Abby and her friends work to find Rudy and his dad, one of their human friends – a woman – comes by to talk to them.  As she leaves, she makes mention of her engineering homework.  This is a short, subtle comment, but in the bigger picture, is a much bigger statement.  It is clearly part of the push to encourage women to get into science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.)-related studies and careers.

On a completely separate note, the segment featuring Elmo and Abby’s families having dinner together presents a classroom type of lesson instead of a cultural one.  As Elmo’s dad prepares dinner – pizza — the kids learn about the differences between meats and vegetables and about the differences in shapes.

The DVD’s final segment, which focuses on grandparents, is certain to entertain grown-ups as the writers joke about the technology gap between generations.  Baby Bear’s grandfather has all kinds of technology but admits that it was Baby Bear’s grandmother who bought it all, not him.  He open admits that he doesn’t know how to use everything that she got.  Meanwhile, Baby Bear has no trouble helping his grandfather learn how to use his various tech gadgets.  On a bigger picture, the statement made by baby Bear’s grandfather about Baby bear’s grandmother trying to keep up with the times is telling in itself.  He states that technology was so much easier to handle in days gone by.  He is right on both statements.  It seems that there is far too much reliance today on technology.  To that end, there is an important statement there, albeit likely unintentional, but it is still there.  It is just one more way in which the secondary content featured in the DVD’s primary content makes the DVD in whole appealing for the whole family.  The DVD’s featured bonus content adds even more appeal to its presentation.

The bonus content featured in Sesame Street: Celebrate Family follows the same theme as that of the DVD’s primary content.  The full-length Sesame Street episode included as one of the bonuses focuses on siblings.  It finds Chris and his sister talking about siblings with Baby Bear and his sister.  Chris and his sister remind Baby Bear that no siblings ever get along completely, but that they still love each other and find similarities.  They just have to look for those things that can unite them.

The “Elmo’s World” segment that is featured in this episode also focuses on siblings.  This time Elmo spends a little time with Mr. Noodle and his brother, as well as two trios of pig siblings.  One trio is the three little pigs, while the other trio is a group of singing swine.  It does not add a lot to the central lesson in the overall episode, but is still a nice accent to the episode’s overall presentation.  When it is coupled with the episode’s central message of siblings and family love that conquers all, it makes the overall episode a welcome addition to the DVD.  When the bonus episode is joined with the DVD’s primary content and its companion secondary content, the end result is a presentation, that will appeal to the whole family.

Sesame Workshop’s new Sesame Street DVD, Celebrate Family is a presentation that will appeal to the whole family.  That is thanks in part to the DVD’s primary content, which presents the different kinds of families that exist and their members.  The segments’ companion content, which teaches its own invaluable lessons, adds even more appeal to the presentation.  The bonus content that comes with the DVD continues the DVD’s family theme while also reminding young viewers that while siblings might argue sometimes, they are still family and can always find common ground.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Sesame Street: Celebrate Family.  All things considered, they make the DVD another offering from Sesame Workshop that the whole family will celebrate.  More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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.