The Mylars Debuts ‘Breathe Again’ Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent rock band The Mylars unveiled the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Breathe Again’ via Pure Grain Audio.  The catchy, guitar-driven song is included in the band’s most recent album, 2017’s Melody Records.  It is a work that will appeal both musically and lyrically to fans of Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon, Sister Hazel and other similar acts.

Front man Danny Roselle explained the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview, saying that the song focuses on taking chances and understanding everything that goes into taking those chances.

“‘Breathe Again’ is a song about going up against the odds time and time again and the sacrifices that are constantly being made to follow your dream,” Roselle said.  “It’s a song about the reality of going after that dream and how it can really affect everyone else around you.  It’s about believing in “that moment” and it’s about realizing how spcial that moment is.  The moment those lights go down and it’s just the five of you making it happen.  It’s that moment that keeps me, Quig, Chris, Nashville and Nick all constantly going forward.”

‘Breathe Again’ follows the release of the album’s lead single and video ‘Forever Done,’ last August and its follow-up, the video for the band’s cover of The Cars’ hit song ‘Let’s Go.’  Both songs are included in Melody Records, The Mylars’ debut album.  The band also released a video for its cover of The Tories’ ‘Wonderful Life‘ this past December as a special Christmas gift to audiences.

Melody Records is available now.  It can be downloaded and ordered online now via iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.  More information on The Mylars’ new video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.themylars.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.comthemylars

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheMylars

 

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Black Label Society Debuts ‘Trampled Down Below’ Video

Courtesy: eOne

Black Label Society unveiled the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for ‘Trampled Down Below‘ on Wednesday.  The song is the last to be released from the band’s latest full-length studio recording Grimmest Hits.  that record was released January 19, 2018 via entertainmentOne.

Directed by Dan Sturgess, this new video features footage recorded during a performance at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall from early this year.  The video and song are the fourth from the album, which debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Current Charts, #1 on Billboard’s Hard Music Chart, #1 on its Independent Chart and #2 on its Rock Charts.

The other videos and singles released from Grimmest Hits are: ‘A Love Unreal,’ ‘Room of Nightmares‘ and ‘All That Once Shined.’

 

Courtesy: entertainmentOne

Audiences can hear all of these songs and more live when Black Label Society heads back out on the road next month with Corrosion of Conformity for the next leg of Black Label Society’s North American tour in support of Grimmest Hits.  The nearly month-long tour  launches July 14 in Cadott, Wisconsin and spans 23-cities including Charlotte, North Carolina on August 2.  The full tour schedule can be seen here.

More information on Black Label Society’s upcoming live dates, its new video and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.blacklabelsociety.com

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

 

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ASHRR Debuts ‘Medicine Man’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent electronic music act ASHRR is giving audiences their first preview of its forthcoming debut EP.

The group — Steven Davis (vocals), Josh Charles and Ethan Allen — debuted the EP’s lead single, ‘Medicine Man’ this past February.  Its debut was followed up with the premiere of the song’s companion video on May 8 via New Noise magazine.  The song’s musical arrangement has led it to be likened to works from Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode and David Bowie (from his Nine Inch Nails influenced days).  That is clear in the brooding keyboard arrangement and Davis’ equally brooding vocal delivery.

Lyrically, the song is rather cryptic, with the song’s subject seemingly singing about being all that another wants.  He sings, “If you want a revelation to wake your soul/If you want a demonstration, just let me know/Hey, hey, lay your worry down.  Whatever you crave, I’ve got lying around/I’ve got your cure/I’m your everything man/I’m your medicine man, I’m your medicine man/Hey, hey what you waiting on/Just gotta call on me and it won’t be long/I’m your everything man, I’m your medicine man.”  To this it, the song comes across as a rather dark work.  Now in what fashion this is intended to be interpreted is left to that interpretation, as no explanation behind the lyrics has been offered.

‘Medicine Man’ can be downloaded via iTunes and streamed via Spotify.  More information on ‘Medicine Man’ is available online along with all of ASHRR’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.ashrrmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ashrrmusic

 

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A’priori Debuts ‘Black Church”s Lead Single, Video

Independent rock act A’priori is giving audiences their first preview of its latest album.

The British trio debuted the video for its new single ‘Better Man’ this past Friday, June 15.  The song is taken from the band’s forthcoming album Black Church, whose release date is currently being firmed up.  It is believed the album will be released before the end of this year.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Better Man’ almost instantly conjures thoughts of Audioslave in its choruses while the riffs in the song’s verses and bridge collectively display a direct rock and roll arrangement.  Meanwhile front man Tony Lang’s vocal tone conjures thoughts of Buckcherry front man Josh Todd.  It sounds on the surface like an odd combination, but it certainly works overall.

When asked about the song’s lyrical theme, Lang explained that the song centers on a person’s attempt to turn his/her life around after seeing what self-pity and defeatism has had on his/her own life and that of his/her family and friends.

“In life, every man, at some point – usually more than once – has a moment or moments when they fall into a circle of destruction, self-pity and laziness, and can’t see past their nose.  Everyone around them suffers for their ignorance and WE inherently tarnish ourselves as bastards,” Lang said.  “In this song, we aim to portray an apologetic and almost desperate plea for forgiveness, as tomorrow is a new day and there is always another chance to be a better man.”

More information on ‘Better Man’ is available online along with all of the latest updates on Black Church’s release date, A’priori’s latest news and more is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.apriori.rocks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/apriori.rocks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aprioribpool

 

 

 

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‘Incredibles II’ Is More Proof That The Sequel Is Rarely, If Ever, As Good As The Original

Courtesy: Disney/Pixar

Disney/Pixar’s new animated movie Incredibles II is one of the studios’ most anticipated movies since the studio released its debut animated movie Toy Story way back in 1995.  Fourteen years in the making, this sequel has been demanded by fans every year since the The Incredibles premiered, and hyped up quite a bit in the past year or so by Disney/Pixar in response to that demand.  That being the case, expectations were quite high for this latest offering from what is one of Hollywood’s leading studios in Pixar.  While this highly anticipated sequel largely lives up to those expectations – thanks to its story — it is not without at least one con – its pacing.  That will be covered later along with another of the movie’s positives, the work of the movie’s voice cast.  Keeping its pros and con in consideration, Incredibles II definitely lives up to the hype and is worth the watch, but is also more proof that the sequel is rarely if ever, as good as the original.

Incredibles II is an interesting new offering from Disney/Pixar.  While maybe not Disney/Pixar’s best effort, it is also not the studios’ worst offering either as is evidenced partly through its story.  The story at the center of Incredibles II picks up right where its predecessor left off, with the Parr family facing off against The Underminer.  The outcome of that instance sets up the remainder of the story, which sees the roles established in The Incredibles reversed.  This time, Bob stays at home and has to tend to the Violet and Dash while Helen goes out and gets to live the dream that she talked about all those years ago.  That continuity is, in itself a strong piece of the story.  The deeper evaluation of the family dynamic here, seeing Bob struggle (and eventually settle into a rhythm) as he tries to be “super” dad while Helen gets to live her dream this time is interestingly enough something to which so many couples can relate.  That’s because every husband and wife/mom and dad has gone through Bob and Helen’s situation at one point or another in life children aside.  From Bob trying to make sense of the “new math” with Dash to him chasing around little Jack Jack to Helen feeling like she has to run home at the drop of a hat, despite living her dream, every couple with kids has been there, trying to balance their lives.  This is just one part of what makes the story work as well as it does.  Writer/Director Brad Bird is to be commended for his use of a red herring to mislead audiences.  This is despite the fact that there is still a certain predictability to the story in regards to the villain’s true identity.  One has to appreciate how Bird managed to make even grown up viewers second guess themselves even just to a point in this aspect.  The only downside to the whole story is the revelation of how the villain’s plan was executed.  That revelation won’t be revealed here, but when audiences see for themselves, they will agree it is anything but original.  Rather it’s something that’s been done so many times.  Of course, in Bird’s defense, this movie is a super hero movie, so there are of course going to be some limitations in how the evil plot is executed as well as other elements.  Keeping all of this in mind, even with its pros and cons in itself, the story at the center of Incredibles II proves to form a relatively solid foundation for the movie’s overall presentation.  In turn, it alone makes for enough reason to watch this movie at least once.  While the story clearly does plenty to make Incredibles II at least somewhat watchable, it does suffer from one major problem.  That problem is its pacing.

The pacing of the movie’s story doesn’t make it unwatchable, but there is no denying that it does detract from the overall viewing experience at the same time.  The pacing really becomes most prominent as an issue around the final act of the roughly 2-hour story.  The final act takes place onboard Devtech’s ship, but is set up just beforehand.  That entire act could have been shortened without the story losing any of its depth.  It was as if Bird was trying too hard to appeal to hardcore viewers who had waited with baited breath for so many years for this story, and the end result was so much material going into the story that honestly could have been left out.  It leaves one wondering how many scenes, if any, ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor before it was all said and done.  Truth be told, the amount of material thrown into the final act (and even somewhat into the second act) makes the movie’s 1-hour, 58-minute run time feel every bit that long.  While it feels every bit that long, at least the pacing doesn’t make the movie feel any longer than that set time limit.  To that end, while the movie’s pacing is problematic in the grand scheme of things, it is not enough to leave the movie unwatchable.  It just means that when the movie eventually is released on DVD, BD and digital outlets, people will definitely find themselves thankful to be able to watch it at their speed.  Luckily for the movie’s sake, this is its only major con. Given, there’s also the issue of trying to figure out why no one saw Jack Jack’s powers in action at the end of The Incredibles in examining that pacing.  Were Bob and Helen not looking up when Jack Jack was fighting Syndrome?  Honestly, that is something else that deserves note.  That’s because of how much of the story is taken up by Bob dealing with Jack Jack’s growing powers.  They had to have seen what he was doing before Bob launched Helen up to catch Jack Jack after Syndrome’s plane was destroyed.  To that end, it makes the movie’s story and related pacing even more problematic.  Adding that issue to the overall presentation that is Incredibles II, it detracts from the movie’s presentation even more, and honestly does make one question the movie overall that much more.  Of course maybe Bob and Helen didn’t see Jack Jack or maybe they forgot.  It is conceivable.  Keeping that in mind, it still keeps the movie off of life support. To that end, the movie does have at least one more positive.  That positive is the work of the movie’s voice cast.

Audiences will note that save for maybe one character – Dash – the original voice cast from The Incredibles returned for this installment of the Parr family’s adventures.  This is important to note because it meant a certain level of familiarity and friendship among the cast.  That familiarity made for performances that were just as believable as those in The Incredibles.  Huck Milner is the only new addition to the cast this time out, as he took over from Spencer Fox as the voice of Dash, and even being the “new kid on the block,” Milner still held his own as the voice of the precocious young lad.  In fact, he makes Dash just as believable here as the rest of his family.  Audiences will laugh with joy as he tries to steal back Bob’s car (and eventually does, but for a good reason, not to give away too much) because of his enthusiasm and naivety.  In the same breath, Sarah Vowell’s presentation of the adolescent now teenager Violet is such that her character is just as believable.  Craig T. Nelson is spot on once again as the voice of Bob, who this time has found himself the stay at home dad, trying to control the kids.  His take on Bob as Bob struggles to settle into his new matrimonial role of sorts will have men and women alike laughing.  One of his best moments comes as Bob is falling asleep reading a story to Jack Jack, and Jack Jack ends up trying to wake up daddy.  Every dad out there knows that struggle.  The same applies as he is trying to make sense of the “new math” in order to help Dash with his homework.  When those performances are considered along with that of Holly Hunter (and even Brad Bird once again as Edna Mode), the collective performances of the voice cast gives audiences plenty in themselves to appreciate here, too.  Considering this along with the bigger story of the movie, which really could have used some more work (sadly) before being released, Incredibles II proves to be a movie that after 14 years of waiting maybe should have waited another year as it comes up short, at least in this critic’s view.

Disney/Pixar’s new animated feature Incredibles II took 14 years to finally see the light of day.  It was a movie that for so many, had been 14 years too long in the making.  The reality though, is that because of an issue with pacing and one major plot hole that could so easily negate most of this story, Incredibles II probably should have waited at least one more year, if not more.  Simply put, it’s a work that proves once again that the sequel is rarely if ever, as good as the original.

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Dave Ellefson Announces New “BASSTORY” Tour

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Megadeth bassist and EMP Label Group founder Dave Ellfson is launching a new solo tour.

Ellefson, who also runs Ellefson Coffee Company, will embark on what he has dubbed the “Basstory” starting September 20 in Portland, Oregon.  The tour is being labeled as an intimate “storyteller” type of presentation in which Ellefson stories of his years in the music industry along with solo bass performances.

The tour is currently very short with only five confirmed dates including two dates in Texas and two more in Washington state.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

BASSTORY DATES:

9/20 Portland, OR – Dante’s
9/21 Spokane Valley, WA – The Roadhouse
9/22 Fife, WA – Louie G’s
9/28 San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s
9/29 Houston, TX – BFE Rock Club

Tickets and VIP packages are available now here.

Ellefson said of the new tour dates and format that he has been looking forward to the outing.

“I have always done clinics, and a few years ago did an amazing spoken word tour in Australia to support my book My Life With ‘Deth, and have always welcomed the opportunity to be able to meet and connect with fans on a more intimate level.  These important parts of my professional life converged to create BASSTORY,” Ellefson said.  “Not only will fans get to hear some of their favorite bass riffs, but the stories behind them.  It’s not often I get to get into small, intimate rock clubs, the way this all started, and I’m excited for fans to get to experience this show.”

More information on Ellefson’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of his latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.davidellefson.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

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‘Ocean Machine: Live…’ Is A Strong Finale Live Statement From Devin Townsend Project

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Devin Townsend has a new live recording on the way. The Devin Townsend Project founder announced Friday that the band will release Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv on July 6 via InsideOut Music.  Originally recorded September 22, 2017 at the noted venue, the concert was a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Townsend’s landmark solo album Ocean Machine.  It was more than that though.  It also offered audiences performances of other classic DTP songs complete with accompaniment from the Orchestra of Plovdiv State Opera.  That extensive set list, which runs nearly three hours in length — 2 hours 51 minutes to be exact — forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation, and is only one of the recording’s most important elements.  It goes without saying that the performance by the overall collective plays its own important part to the recording’s whole, too, so it will be discussed later.  The recording’s bonus material puts the final touch to its presentation.  It will also be discussed later.  Each element is key in its own way to the whole of this new live recording from DTP.  All things considered, they make Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv a presentation that DTP fans across the board will enjoy and appreciate.

Devin Townsend Project’s new forthcoming live recording Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is an interesting new live offering that DTP fans across the board are certain to enjoy and appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s extensive, nearly three-hour-long set list.  The set list is anchored by a full performance of DTP’s landmark album Ocean Machine and is bolstered by a full, 12-song set of songs pulled from the group’s previous albums.  Given, not every one of the group’s albums is represented in that set nor are all of Townsend’s solo albums, but it still offers a healthy sampling of those records.  DTP’s 2016 album Transcendence gets the most nods in the first set, with four songs while Townsend’s solo albums Infinity and Terria get nods.  Terria gets two honors while Infinity receives one.  The lead set even reaches into his exclusive Japanese-only EP Chrsiteen with a performance of ‘Om.’  There’s even a selection from his 2006 Devin Townsend Band album Synchestra in the form of ‘Gaia’ included in this set. Of course, the first set is the only one featuring the orchestral backing.  Even with that in mind, the second set — which is just Townsend and his fellow musicians – is just as powerful as the concert’s first set.  All things considered, the overall set list presented here creates a solid foundation for Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv.  That foundation is strengthened even more through the performance of all involved in the show.

The actual performance put on by Townsend and his fellow musicians throughout the course of the concert is so important to discuss because, as with any concert, it does just as much to keep audiences engaged and entertained as the set list itself.  That is evidenced from the start of the concert to the end.  Townsend’s vocal chops at their peak, needless to say.  This includes not just his screams, but his more soaring almost operatic style vocal delivery, too.  The power in each musician’s part comes through clearly thanks to the work of those behind the cameras and sound boards.  The guitars and orchestral instruments together create a truly lasting musical impact.  That is the case even with the concert being experienced on screen.  The work of those mentioned makes the power in those performances translate so well.  Even in the moments between songs when Townsend interacts with the audience, there is just as much enjoyment.  Townsend comes across as such a laid back, personable figure, a total contrast to the power and often times fury in his music as is evidenced early on when he jokes with the audience about trying not to be one of those uppity type of musicians.  When the fans tell him to “talk s***,” his reaction is so funny.  Even in the concert’s more subdued musical moments, there is so much power thanks to the band’s attention to the songs’ lyrical content and the emotion meant to be interpreted in each.  That attention to the songs’ emotional impact through their arrangements deepens the overall impact of the group’s performance in this concert.  That in turn proves even more the importance of the group’s performance to the concert’s overall presentation.  When it is coupled with the show’s set list – which by the way is presented in the same order both on DVD/BD as it is on CD – the whole of those elements makes the recording in whole all the more enjoyable.  Even with all of this in mind, these two elements are not the recording’s only important elements.  The recording’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included in the recording is a nearly half-hour documentary that showed how the concert came to life.  From the pre-planning stage to the rehearsals to showtime, it’s all there.  Along the way, there is also an intimate one-on-one interview between Townsend and an interviewer during which Townsend talks about making the concert happen, his influences and also what led to his decision to disband Devin Townsend Project.  Audiences will be so moved by Townsend’s thoughtful response to that question.  He notes here his respect for his band mates and that he just felt that basically it was his own personal growth.  One can tell through his response that he was being honest and not just paying lip service to the interviewer.  In the same breath, there is also a much more light-hearted moment when Townsend appears on a local talk show to promote his concert.  His reaction to the host, who clearly was full of hot air, is classic.  The host’s reaction to being called out is just as funny.  Between these moments and the detail of the rehearsals and other preps for the concerts, audiences get in this bonus featurette, an in-depth look at just how much time and effort went into making this concert a reality.  It also shows a side of Townsend that most otherwise might not get to see.  That overall content proves the bonus material to be just as important to this recording’s presentation as the recording’s set list and featured performance.  When all three elements are considered together, they prove Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv to be a fitting finale from Townsend’s latest project, even though the album presented here is one of his solo albums.  That aside, Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is a recording that every Devin Townsend fan will appreciate and enjoy.

Devin Townsend’s new live recording Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is a fitting final live recording from Devin Townsend Project…at least for now.  Hopefully it isn’t the very last that audiences will ever get from the group.  Maybe some archived shows will be released later.  Either way, the recording proves to be enjoyable for any Devin Townsend fan.  As has been shown here, that is proven in part through an extensive two-set performance from Townsend and company.  That performance includes a full anniversary performance of Ocean Machine and a handful of select songs for a rich whole.  The performance of the songs by Townsend and company adds to the recording’s overall enjoyment.  The bonus material included with the recording puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each item is important in its own right in examining the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv a presentation that every Devin Townsend fan will appreciate and that is potentially one more of this year’s top new live recordings.  It will be available July 6 via InsideOut Music.  More information on Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is available online now along with all of Devin Townsend’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.hevydevy.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dvntownsend

 

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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.