‘The Blurred Odyssey’ Is A “Clear” Success For The Sh-Booms

Courtesy: Limited Fanfare Records

Independent neo-soul/funk outfit The Sh-Booms is gearing up for a new short North American tour run.  The two-week tour, which features a performance in Carrboro, N.C. on May 31, is in support of the band’s debut album The Blurred Odyssey.  The 10-song record was released March 22 through independent record label Limited Fanfare.  It came a little more than three years after the band released its debut EP Usage Fee.  Whether counted as a follow-up to that record or by itself as the band’s first full-length studio recording, the 38-minute record proves to be an impressive new offering from the Orlando, Fla-based band.  The record’s soulful midway point that is ‘Late Night Lover’ is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Dry Eyes,’ which immediately follows ‘Late Night Lover’ in the album’s sequence, is another of the record’s most notable entries.  It will be addressed a little bit later.  ‘Drop ‘Em Dead,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is yet another of the record’s most notable additions.  It will also be addressed later.  When it is considered alongside ‘Dry Eyes,’ ‘Late Night Lover’ and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the LP becomes a work that is easily one more of this year’s top new independent albums.

The Sh-Booms’ debut full-length studio recording The Blurred Odyssey is a work that very much paints a clear picture of the band’s future.  It is a record that, with the right support, can potentially make the band just as popular as similar acts, such as Alabama Shakes, Amy Winehouse and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.  One of the songs featured in the 38-minute record that serves to support that statement comes halfway through the album in the form of ‘Late Night Lover.’  The song’s musical arrangement is a rich, soulful composition whose horns, guitars and drums couple with vocalist Brenda Radney’s vocals to create a work that lends itself to comparisons to works from Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin.  It is a work that will certainly be a favorite for couples everywhere.  That is especially the case considering the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content of ‘Late Night Lover’ is clear to say the least.  Radney sings in the song’s lead verse, “Late night lover, what you doing to me/As I hold you close/I feel your heart skip a beat/Late night lover/How we doin’ on time/You’re under cover, catchin’ hearts on your line/All the time/It’s 10 til 2, and I’m watching the tube/I hear a knock at the door/And it’s gotta be you/You remove your vest from your chest/That’s my cue to undress and now it’s time to caress.”  She goes on to sing about feeling heat and feeling certain other physical sensations at this point.  She adds in the song’s second verse, “Now the smoke’s all clear/And you’re still here/And I think to myself/Am I a dwindling tear/But before you go/You must know/There’s something about your love/Makes my desires grow.”  Again, there is little to no doubt as to what the song’s subject is saying here.  This is one of those old-school works that is a romance song that focuses…well…on being with that someone late at night in the most intimate way.  The work of Radney’s band mates on their respective parts does an expert job of helping to illustrate the very strong emotions felt during those late night moments, too.  Credit where due, their work, coupled with Radney’s own powerhouse vocal delivery and her equally obvious story to create a song in this case that is one of the album’s highest points.  It is just one of the works that exemplifies the overall strength of The Blurred Odyssey.  ‘Dry Eyes,’ which immediately follows ‘Late Night Lover’ in the album’s sequence, is another of the record’s most notable works.

‘Dry Eyes,’ like ‘Late Night Lover,’ stands out in part because of its upbeat musical arrangement.  The arrangement — complete with horns and drums — throws back to the Motown sounds of days long ago.  There are hints in this arrangement, of The Temptations, The Four Tops and other similar acts that are certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners.  The firm foundation formed by the song’s old school arrangement is just part of what makes the song stand out.  Its equally accessible lyrical content, which once again focuses on the familiar topic of love found, is just as certain as the song’s arrangement to find wide appeal.

Radney sings in the song’s lead verse, “Oh boy, this happy Sunday/Left at home/to dry my eyes/I fell…on Friday/When his eyes/They met mine/Why’s a girl like me/With a boy like you/Mama always said/A fool can’t be true/Why’s a girl like me/With a boy like you/Mama always said/A fool can’t be true/Well as I met mine/And we danced all night/He left me home/To dry my eyes.”  She adds in the song’s second verse, “I woke up to tequila sunrise/Next his hands were up my thighs/I woke up feeling a bottle/But he was gone to my surprise/Why’s a girl like me/With a boy like you/Mama always said a fool can’t be true/Why’s a girl like me/With a boy like you/Mama always said/A fool can’t be true/As his eyes met mine/And we danced all night/He gave me hope /To dry my eyes.  This is a celebratory statement.  It is someone who has found that special other person after having been down for such a long time, and is simply exploding (metaphorically speaking) with happiness.  That is illustrated so well by the song’s equally celebratory arrangement, which boasts so much fire and energy.  When the two elements are coupled, they create a whole in this case that is without argument another example of what makes The Blurred Odyssey a clear success for The Sh-Booms.  It is just one more of the many songs that can be cited to support that statement, too.  ‘Drop ‘Em Dead’ is one more example of what makes the album in whole stand out.

Where ‘Late Night Lover’ and ‘Dry Eyes’ boast a clearly old-school R&B influence, ‘Drop ‘Em Dead’ lends itself to comparisons to works from famed guitarist Dick Dale, who is listed on the group’s official Facebook page as one of its influences, along with Aretha Franklin and other famed acts.  What’s really interesting here is that the band took that Dick Dale influence and coupled it with its R&B influences to make a whole that stands out (and quite well at that) on its own merits.  The whole in itself, is more than enough evidence of what makes the song stand out among the album’s 10 total entries.  Of course one would be remiss to ignore the song’s lyrical content in examining the song along with the song’s musical content.

The song’s lyrical content The lyrics are slightly difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference.  However, from what can be deciphered, it can be inferred that this song, lyrically, is a loud, proud statement of self-confidence.  Radney seems to sing something to the effect of “You got the story/I got the truth/I am the rubber/You are the glue…I’m gonna put up a fight” in the song’s lead verse.  There is little else to the song in terms of lyrics.  From that point on, listeners get repeated refrains of “I’m gonna drop ‘em dead” throughout the remainder of the song.  It would seem that from that single verse and the repeated refrains, that this song is lyrically a work that is one of those musical middle fingers to naysayers as a refusal to give in and give up.  It is certain to become one a fan favorite.  When it is considered alongside ‘Dry Eyes’ and ‘Late Night Lover,’ this trio of songs in itself more than shows what makes The Blurred Odyssey a strong new offering from The Sh-Booms.  When they are considered along with the seven remaining songs that make up the rest of the album, the whole of the record becomes an LP that is a clear success for the band.  It is available now.  More information on The Blurred Odyssey is available online along with The Sh-Booms’ tour schedule, news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.theshbooms.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theshbooms

 

 

 

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StarVista, Time Life Announce Release Date, Specs For The Wonder Years Season 2

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Kevin, Paul, Winnie and the rest of the characters from ABC’s beloved classic drama The Wonder Years are coming back.

StarVista Entertainment announced Monday that it will release the complete second season of The Wonder Years on DVD on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015. The series’ second season consists of seventeen half-hour episodes spread across four discs. Also included in the upcoming second season set are a number of bonuses for fans. There are also more than four dozen classic songs from artists such as: Bob Dylan, Carol King, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Cream, Bing Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Traffic, Diana Ross and the Supremes, James Taylor, Nat King Cole, The Miracles, Judy Collins, Donovan, and a number of others. The full list of songs and artists featured in season Two is noted below.

“Heart of Darkness”

  • You Make Me Feel So Young
  • Sunshine of Your Love-Cream

“Our Miss White”

  • Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)-The Temptations
  • The Times They Are A-Changin’-Bob Dylan

“Christmas”

  • Jingle Bell Rock-Instrumental
  • White Christmas-Bing Crosby
  • River-Joni Mitchell
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-Instrumental

“Steady as She Goes”

  • Yellow Bird-On-Screen Character Performance
  • Somewhere-On-Screen Character Performance
  • Ooo Baby Baby-The Miracles
  • The Thrill Is Gone-B.B. King
  • Will You Love Me Tomorrow-Carole King

“Just between Me and You and Kirk and Paul and Carla and Becky”

  • I Am a Rock-Simon & Garfunkel
  • Someday We’ll Be Together-Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • Some Enchanted Evening-On-Screen Character Performance

“Pottery Will Get You Nowhere”

  • It’s Not Unusual
  • When I Fall in Love-Nat King Cole

“Hiroshima, Mon Frère”

  • Wild Thing-The Troggs
  • Brother, Brother-Carole King

“Loosiers”

  • You’ve Got a Friend-James Taylor
  • Sweet Georgia Brown-Brother Bones

“Walk Out”

  • I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man-Muddy Waters
  • The Tracks of My Tears-The Miracles
  • I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die-Rag-Country Joe and the Fish
  • Give Peace A Chance-On-Screen Character Performance

“Nemesis”

  • My Girl-The Temptations
  • Theme from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

“Fate”

  • Born under a Bad Sign-Cream
  • Respect-Aretha Franklin

“Birthday Boy”

  • Happy, Happy Birthday Baby-The Tune Weavers
  • Bookends-Simon & Garfunkel
  • Yummy, Yummy, Yummy-On-Screen Character Performance
  • Hava Nagila-Karmon Israeli Singers

“Brightwing”

  • Subterranean Homesick Blues-Bob Dylan
  • In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida-Iron Butterfly
  • You Can All Join In-Traffic
  • Catch the Wind-Donovan

“Square Dance”

  • Star Flicker-Houston Ramblers
  • Turkey In The Straw-Ralph Pierce
  • Comin’ round the Mountain-The Sundowners Band

“Whose Woods Are These?”

  • Happy Days Are Here Again-The Banjo Barons
  • In My Life-Judy Collins

“How I’m Spending My Summer Vacation”

  • The Theme from “A Summer Place”-Percy Faith and His Orchestra
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes-The Platters
  • Never on Sunday-The Chordettes
  • I Only Have Eyes for You-The Flamingos
  • La Vie En Rose-Edith Piaf
  • Scarborough Fair/Canticle-Simon & Garfunkel

The second season of The Wonder Years sees Kevin, his friends, and his family all grow together as throughout all of the turmoil of the age. Kevin’s personal growth comes as he starts standing up to his older brother Wayne (Jason Hervey) and as he takes part in a class walkout to protest the Vietnam War. He, Paul (Josh Saviano), and Winnie (Danica McKellar) also fight to stop developers from plowing over Harper Woods, where the trio shared many of their favorite childhood memories.

The bonus materials included on the upcoming Season 2 box set are noted below.

BONUS FEATURES 

  • School Days: Roundtable with Danica McKellar, Fred Savage and Josh Saviano
  • Featurette: The Times They Are A-Changin’: The Era
  • Interviews with: Dan Lauria (Jack Arnold), Alley Mills (Norma Arnold), Daniel Stern (Narrator)

The Wonder Years: Season Two will retail for MSRP of $39.95. More information on the box set’s upcoming release and other titles from Star Vista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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.

Loner’s Society Impresses On Autumn + Colour Debut

Courtesy: Autumn + Colour

Courtesy: Autumn + Colour

The Charleston, South Carolina based indie band Loner’s Society is set to release its new live EP King City Sessions next month. The five-track recording is a good introduction for those that might be less familiar with the band and just as enjoyable for those that are more familiar with its works. What’s most interesting about the band’s new release is the sound of the songs included in the recording. The songs are interesting in their own right because of their musical and emotional depth. But they don’t exactly sound like the description of the band’s sound on its official Facebook page. According to the band’s official Facebook page, the band is “comparable to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers if The Heartbreakers had been comprised from members of: Pearl Jam, Rancid, and The Temptations.” That wording comes verbatim from the band’s Facebook page. And it’s quite a mix of influences. But as listeners will notice right from the recording’s outset, its sound is more comparable to Bob Dylan and certain classic Country Western acts than any of the acts noted on the band’s Facebook page. Where Loner’s Society does finally start to bear more of the Pearl Jam meets Rancid sound is on the recording’s fourth song, ‘Autum Breeze.’ These two songs (and the recording’s remaining trio of live tracks) make King City Sessions quite the live recording even as short as it is.

Loner’s Society opens its upcoming live EP with the song ‘LaGrange.’ This song is an interesting introduction because of the throwback vibe that it conjures up among listeners. Vocalist/guitarist Matt Megrue openly states in the song in almost Lou Reed style, “And we recorded a record/Then we loaded the van/The last thing the world needed was another punk rock band/So I spent the next five years just barely getting’ by/Cause as time goes by it’s certain/That certain things’ll change/And you can spend your whole life working/Trying to stay the same/But plan on doin’ doubles till you die/At that diner in LaGrange. The line about the last thing the world needing was another punk rock band is very telling. It goes back to the previously noted difference in the sound of the songs included on this recording versus the band’s own description of its sound. This song sounds anything like a punk rock band. It’s more of a Country Western style piece interestingly enough. Even that first verse’s remaining lines line up more with old school Country Western than punk, Pearl Jam, and especially The Temptations. For all of its deep introspection, there is one funny moment in this song in which Megrue sings about things he’s seen in his life. He sings “I’ve seen marriages, divorces, babies, and divorces.” That must be one heck of a lot of divorces. Whether or not it was meant to be joking, it’s such a subtle joke that one can’t help but laugh a little bit hearing the emphasis on divorces that have been seen. That subtlety set alongside the song’s more heartfelt introspective musical and lyrical elements make it an excellent introduction for the band in every sense of the word.

‘LaGrange’ is a solid opener for the band’s new upcoming live recording.  It’s just one of the recording’s most interesting of points.  The recording’s penultimate performance of ‘Autumn Breeze’ is another of those high points.  It is more along the lines of the band’s described sound.  It starts off gently enough, but eventually picks up and bears more of an indie-folk/rock sound.  Listeners can feel such emotion as Megrue sings, “I can feel that Autumn breeze/Blowing in from Tennessee/It soaks my nights in whiskey dreams/Old cruel winds just speak to me.”  There’s a certain pain in Megue’s voice as he sings this verse that tugs at the heart.  The song takes a more driving feel from there.  Even with that more up-tempo feel, the song doesn’t lose the pained emotional state established early on in its near five-minute run time.  It all makes for what is easily one of the highest of this live EP’s performances.

‘Autumn Breeze’ and ‘LaGrange’ are both great additions to King City Sessions.  Regardless of whether or not audiences are familiar with these songs or the others included in this new EP, every listener will agree that they and the EP’s other trio of songs make this recording a welcome new release from the band.  If the five songs contained on this EP aren’t enough for some, then fans need not worry as they’ll get their chance to hear the band live in person, too.  Loner’s Society is currently scheduled to perform at the Deep South Bar in Raleigh, North Carolina this Saturday, January 18th.  The performance is an 18+ show.  Tickets are $5.  They can be  purchased online at http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/428839?__utmx=-&__utmv=-&__utmk=206623635&__utmz=1.1387914625.3.3.utmcsr%3Dgoogle%7Cutmccn%3D%28organic%29%7Cutmcmd%3Dorganic%7Cutmctr%3D%28not+provided%29&__utma=1.1393594094.1385825001.1387914625.1387926374.4&__utmc=1&__utmb=1.1.10.1387926374&wrKey=28A0D047C3315AD262485FE7F569EDFE.  The show is currently scheduled to begin at 6pm.  Fans of Loner’s Society can find out about all of the band’s tour updates, news and more online at http://www.lonerssociety.com, http://www.facebook.com/lonerssociety and http://twitter.com/lonerssociety.  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.

Liquid Pleasure Plays Penultimate Alive At Five Concert

Courtesy: Lisa Rueh. Downtown Morehead Revitalization Association/Tom Kies

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C.–The Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association (DMCRA) is winding down its annual Alive at Five concert series. The penultimate concert in this year’s series is next Friday, August 3rd from 5pm until 8pm. Headlining next week’s second to last concert in the series will be Liquid Pleasure. Liquid Pleasure has been performing for over two decades. The band has performed with the likes of Hootie and The Blowfish, R.E.M., Chuck Berry, Eddie Floyd and Ben E. King, Whitney Houston, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and even Aretha Franklin. The band has even had the honor of performing at President Bill Clinton’s Inauguration Ball and for President George W. Bush, as well as a variety of sports teams and corporations. Liquid Pleasure’s repetoire inlcudes beach music, rock, Top 40, Motown, and more. More information on Liquid Pleasure is available online at http://www.liquidpleasureband.com

After next Friday’s concert, only one concert will remain in the city’s annual Alive at Five concert series. The Spare Change Band will close out the series on Friday, August 31st. The Alive at Five concert series is sponsored by R.A. Jeffrey’s and Bud Light, Twice The Ice and Potash Corp. of Aurora. It is hosted by the DMCRA. For more information on the Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association and its events, go online to http://www.downtownmoreheadcity.com or call 808-0440.

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