Mushroomhead Debuts ‘Devils Be Damned’ Video

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Mushroomhead is giving audiences another preview of its upcoming DVD.

The veteran Cleveland, Ohio-based band debuted the video for its song ‘Devils Be Damned‘ today. Filmed inside the infamous Ohio State Reformatory, which doubled as the infamous Shawshank Prison (yes, that Shawshank Prison), from Castle Rock Entertainment’s 1994 drama The Shawshank Redemption.  The video features the band performing its new single at various locations inside the prison as a young girl makes her way through its halls before finally finding a place of comfort inside the otherwise imposing structure.

Band founder and drummer Steve “Skinny” Felton offered his own interesting insight into the video in a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar, saying that the same tunnel used by Tim Robbins’ character Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption was also used in this video.

“There’s a scene [in the video] where the little girl is crawling through the tunnel — that’s the same tunnel that Tim Robbins crawled through at the end of the movie — you know, the whole ‘Andy Dufresne – who crawled through a river of s*** and came out clean on the other side’ line — that’s the same tunnel she crawled through.”

The video’s debut comes a little more than a month after the debut of the video for ‘We Are The Truth.’  That video is themed after Renaissance Pictures’ famed 1981 horror movie Evil Dead.  Specifically, the video debuted July 8.

Both songs are included in the Mushroomhead’s most recent full-length studio recording, 2014’s The Righteous and the Butterfly.  The videos will both be included as part of the presentation for Volume III.

Volume III is scheduled to be released August 17. The band will launch a tour in support of the DVD the same day. The nearly month-long tour includes stops in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah and a handful of other cities. The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

The Summer of Screams tour line-up:
MUSHROOMHEAD
Powerman 5000 (9-2 to 9-15)
The Browning
Psychostick (8-17 to 8-31)
Kissing Candice
Unsaid Fate
Voodoo Terror Tribe (8-17 to 8-30)/Earth Caller (8-31 to 9-15)

The Summer of Screams tour dates:
8/17 – Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theater

8/18 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
8/19 – Toronto, ON @ Rockpile West
8/21 – Manchester, NH @ Bungalow
8/22 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
8/23 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s
8/24 – Spartanburg, SC @ Groundzero
8/25 – Huntsville, AL @ Sidetracks Music Hall
8/26 – New Orleans, LA @ Southport Music Hall
8/28 – Houston, TX @ Houston Underground
8/29 – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
8/30 – Laredo, TX @ Ethos Live
8/31 – Fort Worth, TX @ The Rail Club
9/2 – Los Angeles, CA @ 1720
9/4 – Orangevale, CA@ The Boardwalk
9/5 – Portland, OR @ Dante’s
9/6 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
9/7 – Billings, MT @ Pub Station
9/8 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
9/9 – Denver, CO @ Roxy Theater
9/11 – Merriam, KS @ Aftershock
9/12 – Waterloo, IA @ Spicoli’s
9/13 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre
9/14 – Ringle, WI @ Q & Z Expo Center
9/15 – Chicago, IL @ Patio Theater

Along with its live dates, the band has also announced a handful of signing dates, which align with the band’s tour.  Those dates are noted below.

MUSHROOMHEAD Signing Dates: 
8/22 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ Darkside (611 Dutchess Turnpike) – Begins 6:00 PM
8/28 – Houston, TX @ Cactus (2110 Portsmouth St) – Begins 6:00 PM
8/29 – Austin, TX @ Waterloo (600 N Lamar Blvd) – Begins 5:00 PM
9/5 – Portland, OR @ Music Millennium (3158 E Burnside St) – Begins 6:00 PM (tentative, check local listing)
9/6 – Seattle, WA @ Silver Platters (2930 1st Ave S) – Begins 6:00 PM (tentative, check local listing)
9/7 – Billings, MT @ Ernie November (1825 Grand Ave) – Begins 6:00 PM

Volume III comes 10 years after the release of the band’s second DVD, aptly titled Volume II (2008) and 13 years after the release of its debut DVD, Volume I (2005). A trailer for the DVD is streaming online now here.

More information on Mushroomhead’s new DVD is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.mushroomhead.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mushroomhead

 

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Life Of Crime Is Anything But The Standard Crime Drama

Courtesy:  Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions/Hyde Park Entertainment/Image Nation/Starstream Entertainment/Abbolita Productions/The Gotham Group

Courtesy: Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions/Hyde Park Entertainment/Image Nation/Starstream Entertainment/Abbolita Productions/The Gotham Group

Lionsgate’s new drama Life Of Crime is an interesting movie.  The movie, which is based on author Elmore Leonard’s book The Switch is the polar opposite of all of the prequels, sequels, and remakes being churned out by Hollywood’s ‘Power Five” studios today.  It stands out completely from everything else on theaters and in the realm of home entertainment primarily because of its story.  The story centers on the kidnapping of a woman that is married to a rather unpleasant man by two ex-cons, one of which just got out of jail.  That aspect is discussed in the movie’s bonus features.  So it will be touched on later.  The story though, is rather interesting in that it doesn’t necessarily turn out the way that audiences might think.  In fact it actually turns the classic crime story a bit on its ear as audiences will see.  Another reason that the movie works as well as it does is the acting on the part of the cast.  The cast’s acting really serves to highlight the character development that takes place over the course of the movie’s near two-hour run time.  Last but not least of note in this recent release is the movie’s bonus material.  The behind-the-scenes featurette and the discussion on how the movie came to be adapted from Leonard’s book both shed their own light on the movie, making the whole viewing experience all the richer.  That isn’t to take away from the movie’s bonus commentary.  It serves its own purpose in the grand scheme of things, too.  The end result is a movie that while it definitely walks off the beaten path is well worth the watch if only once.

Life of Crime is a welcome respite from all of the prequels, sequels, and remakes currently being churned out by Hollywood’s “Power Five” studios.  The central reason for this is its script.  While adapted from author Elmore Leonard’s book The Switch, it stays true to the source material, as audiences will learn in watching the movie’s bonus material.  The story centers on the kidnapping of well-to-do wife Mickey Dawson (Jennifer Aniston).  Mickey is kidnapped by two ex-cons named Louis (John Hawkes—American Gangster, The Sessions, Lincoln) and Ordell (Yasiin Bey a.k.a. Mos Def—The Italian Job, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, 16 Blocks).  The pair originally sets out to kidnap her and extort $1 million from her husband Frank (Tim Robbins—The Shawshank Redemption, The Hudsucker Proxy, Mystic River).  There’s just one problem.  He is getting ready to file for divorce unbeknownst to both her and her captors.  As things progress, a friendship of sorts forms between Mickey and Louis.  On the other end, Ordell ends up with Frank’s mistress Melanie (Isla Fisher—Now You See Me, Rango, Wedding Crashers).  Considering all of this, one would think that the movie is a comedy.  But that isn’t the case.  Writer/Director Daniel Schecter took the story in a more dramatic direction, again staying true to the source material.  The only way that this is a bad thing is the story’s pacing.  It does tend to drag somewhat as the story progresses.  But it is still a story worth at least one watch despite this.

The story on which Life of Crime is centered is an important reason that audiences should give this movie at least one watch.  Again as Writer/Director Daniel Schecter notes in the movie’s bonus material, he wanted to stay true to the movie’s source material. That’s because, as he notes, he didn’t like all of the movies that changed the story in its adaptation from its source material.  The story itself would be nothing without a cast to carry out the story.  And the movie’s cast does quite the job of bringing the story to life.  Their interpretation of Schecter’s script makes up for the story’s issues with pacing.  Audiences will love the fact that Aniston’s Mickey is such a strong female lead.  This goes back to the fact that the story turns the typical crime drama genre on its ear.  Mickey isn’t afraid to stand up to her captors, which is what leads to her budding friendship with Louis.  Women especially will cheer as Mickey uses a lit cigarette to burn Richard (Mark Boone, Jr.) in his eye.  Her overall interactions with Louis and Ordell display so much character development throughout the story.  That mix of development and interaction will pull in audiences with ease and keep them engaged right to the end again despite the story’s pacing issue.  It’s one more way in which Life of Crime stands out from all of the other major blockbuster prequels, sequels, and remakes currently out there and that are on the way.  It still is not the last factor that makes the movie work, either.  The last factor that makes Life of Crime work as well as it does is the movie’s bonus material.

The last factor involved in Life of Crime’s home release is the bonus material included in the movie’s Blu-ray/Digital HD release.  The bonus behind-the-scenes featurette itself offers quite a bit of insight into the movie.  That insight includes the thoughts on the movie’s source material from both the cast and director.  Aniston also has the chance to discuss her character’s portrayal to some length in the behind-the-scenes featurette.  The companion featurette entitled “Envisioning The Big Picture: Shooting Crime” allows Schecter to discuss his reasoning for staying as close as possible to Leonard’s original book in adapting it and the surprise that Leonard actually liked Schecter’s script for his adaptation.  There is much more discussed in both features.  And audiences will find in taking in the rest of those discussions, they add even more interest to Life of Crime in whole.  The same can be said of the movie’s bonus commentary from Schecter and actor Will Forte (Saturday Night Live) who plays a slightly overbearing man trying to win over Mickey throughout the movie.  The end result of all of these discussions is a viewing experience that makes Life of Crime even more a story worth at least one watch.

Whether it be for the story, the acting on the part of the cast or the movie’s companion bonus material, every one of these factors plays an integral role in the overall success and enjoyment of Life of Crime.  All three factors together make it an unsuspecting and rather interesting work worth at least one watch and a potential candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of this year’s best new independent movies.  Life of Crime is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct through Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=life%20of%20crime.  More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online at:

Website: http://www.lionsgatefilms.com

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

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PBS’ Broadway History Documentary Hits All The Right Notes

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS has shown time and again that it is the last bastion of true kid friendly programming on television.  It has also shown just as many times why it is the last true bastion of worthwhile family friendly programming with series such as Nova, Great Performances, and Nature.  Now, the network has shown yet again why it is one of the best networks out there with its six-episode miniseries, Broadway:  The American Musical.

Broadway: The American Musical is just one more feather in the cap of what is not just a great television network, but a virtual American institution in itself.  This six part documentary series takes audiences on a journey through time.  It takes them from Broadway’s roots in the famed Ziegfeld Follies up to modern day Broadway.  Host Julie Andrews was an excellent choice to lead audiences on this musical journey through not just Broadway’s history, but also America’s history.  Being a seasoned veteran of both screen and stage, Andrews makes the entire presentation worth experiencing.  The inclusion of interviews with other professionals from around the entertainment world (E.g. Mel Brooks, Carol Channing, Tim Robbins, etc.) makes the story even more interesting.  There’s even discussion on some of the greatest names in Broadway’s history, including: the famed Gershwin brothers, George and Ira, Cole Porter, and of course Rogers and Hart just to name a few.  The stories shared around these figures illustrate not only their careers, but the influence of their works on America through each one’s career.  They also serve to illustrate just how important each one was and still is today to both the entertainment world and the world in general.

One of the most interesting of the stories in the special comes in its third episode.  The song, ‘Buddy Can You Spare a dime’ is discussed early on in this segment.  It’s noted that the song was a response to what was going on in the Great Depression.  And if it hadn’t been included in a Broadway play, the powers that be might have kept this extremely important song from every having become known to anyone.  It shows the power of the unseen men in suits even back then.  And that it resonated so much with American audiences today shows its continued musical and cultural importance, especially in this nation’s current economic and political state.  From this point, the program expands on this topic, explaining how musical theater increasingly became the voice of Americans as they weren’t able to voice their own opinions openly.  In simple terms, it shows how musical theater really became the voice of the voiceless, so to speak.

The story behind ‘Buddy Can You Spare a Dime’ is just one of so many at which audiences will amaze.  Equally interesting are the stories of how Disney helped to bring Broadway into a new age and of a working class man’s rise to fame with his original play, “Rent”, his untimely death, and the reaction to his play and passing.  That moment alone will leave any viewer feeling at least somewhat emotional.  It makes for one of the documentary’s more memorable moments.  Just as memorable as that moment are the extra performances included in the triple-disc set as bonus features.  Each disc includes bonus performances of acts from each highlighted era.  They are more than just bonus footage.  They serve to help illustrate the type of performances being held during each era.  And the very fact that the oldest of footage has stood the test of time so well is just as impressive as the stories included throughout the program’s length.

The stories and the footage together make for quite the viewing experience for any Broadway lover.  There is at least one more factor that makes this set the complete item for fans of the theater.  That factor is the set’s packaging.  PBS has hit the mark on the head with the set’s packaging.  All three discs included in the set are placed on their own spot inside the set’s box.  The first two discs are placed back to back on opposite sides of an insert, while the third disc is placed on the backside of the box.  Placing the discs in this fashion protects all three and thus increases their longevity.  Looking at the set from this vantage point to that of the presentation itself, PBS has assembled a documentary that is fitting both for students of the theater arts and of any lover of the theater.  It’s available now.  It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store, at http://www.shoppbs.org.

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