Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ New LP Stays Good From Start To End

Courtesy: Dorado

Late last year, veteran music collective Brooklyn Funk Essentials released its sixth full-length studio recording.  The 12-song record – Stay Good – is an aptly titled work.  That is because from start to end, it is a record that stays very good thanks to its collective musical and lyrical content.  Over the course of its 56-minute run time, the album proves to be a welcome return from the group for longtime audiences and an equally solid introduction for audiences who are less familiar with the group’s catalog.  One of the songs featured in the album that serves to illustrate that strength comes early in the record’s nearly hour-long run in the form of ‘Whatcha Want From Me. It will be addressed shortly.  Much later in the album’s run, listeners get another standout offering in the jazzy ‘Y Todavia La Quiero.’  This song will be addressed a little later.  ‘Funk Ain’t Over,’ which comes a little past the album’s midpoint, is another key addition to the album.  When it is considered with the other two songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album proves to be a presentation that stays good long after the first listen.

Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ sixth album Stay Good is an offering that audiences will agree stays good from start to end thanks to its combination of musical and lyrical content.  That is proven early on in the form of the funky ‘Whatcha Want From Me.’ The song’s musical arrangement wastes no time engaging listeners with its retro disco/R&B arrangement.  The arrangement lends itself easily to comparisons to some of Stevie Wonder’s best works what with its horns, bass, percussion and keyboards.  The whole of the arrangement is infectious and works well with the song’s lyrical content, which as the song’s video seems to hint, is a statement about civil rights.

The song’s lead verse finds guitarist/vocalist Desmond Foster and new singer Alison Limerick singing about just that, with Foster leading the way.  The song opens, “I searched my sky for an answer/I asked my God to help me find my way/I can’t ignore the way I’m feeling/This bitter pill has got the best of me/I’m lost in this world/I know what is real/It’s not in my mind/’Cause I know how I feel/The truth, I believe, can only set you free/Lies can disguise/Who you pretend to be/Love, peace and happiness/Is that so strange/You speak the words/But things don’t seem to change/A long time coming/It’s my only whim/I can’t believe that we’re still fighting for this/You’ve got the power to set me free/You’ve got the answer/So what do you want from me/I’ve reached my limit/Done all that I could…what do you want from me.”  The pair continues in the song’s second verse, “I’ve been down on my knees/Praying for peace/Somebody to find some relief/I’m not alone/Won’t be held down by fear/They put us down/But we’re still standing here/The dawn is oh so pretty/But without a change/They’re only hollow words/Til I leave from the inner city/With a hopeful voice/That’s waiting to be heard/Love, peace and happiness/Is that so wrong/You speak, but change don’t’ ever seem to come/We keep on runnin’/We fight this fight/The dream we’re reaching for is still in sight/You’ve got the power/To set me free/You’ve got the answer/So what do you want from me/I’ve reached my limit/Done all that I could…tell me what do you want from me.”  In an age when social inequality remains along with so much racism, a song with such power both musically and lyrically is a work that is certain to resonate with listeners across the board.  It is just one of the songs that makes the album stand out, too.  ‘Y Todavia La Quiero’ is another key addition to this record.

‘Y Todavia La Quiero’ (roughly translated, this means ‘And I Still Love Her’) is a seven-minute-plus instrumental track that is just as enjoyable as any modern jazz composition out there today.  Saxophonist Anna Brooks’ performance is comparable to some of John Coletrane’s most enjoyable bop tunes here while drummer Hux Nux Nettermalm’s timekeeping couples with the work of Iwan Van Hetten’s work on the keys and Foster’s work on the guitar to make the song in whole just as good as any work from the likes of Yellowjackets and Weather Report.  Why the group chose to title the song in Spanish likely has something to do with the story behind the song.  Either way, the overall arrangement from the group, with its polyrhymic patters and controlled energy, stands out completely unlike the rest of its counterparts on this album.  The end result is a song that proves once more that this group can handle many styles of music and do so successfully at that.  It adds so much to the album, and is one more wonderful accent to the record’s whole.  It is not the last of the record’s most notable tracks, either.  ‘Funk Ain’t Ova’ is another key addition to BFE’s latest album.

‘Funk Ain’t Ova’ is a full-on celebratory work both musically and lyrically.  The song’s musical arrangement once again takes listeners back to the golden age of funk and r&b, with hints of Sly & the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder (again) and so many great acts.  The group even sings proudly in the song’s chorus, “Funk ain’t ova.”  Looking at the rest of the song’s lyrical content, the group makes note, stating lines, such as “Is space eternal/What’s the speed of dark…Ain’t no passing phase/Out in space/Funk ain’t ova/So let me count the ways/In which I love it.”  The rest of the song continues in similar, celebratory fashion, lyrically speaking.  When that outright love of funk is considered along with the song’s equally danceable musical content, the whole of the song stands out that much more in the bigger picture of Stay Good.  When the song is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of Stay Good proves to be a presentation that…well…stays good from beginning to end with each new listen.

Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ sixth full-length studio recording Stay Good is a work that stays good throughout its 56-minute run.  That is proven through the songs discussed here and their counterparts that make up the whole of the record.  The record’s musical compositions pay tribute to the greats of funk, soul and R&B while establishing their own identities along the way.  The record’s lyrical content ranges from the celebratory to the serious, never sticking to one topic too long.  All things considered, the combined content makes the record a work that stays good long after audiences’ first listen.  More information on Stay Good is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.brooklynfunkessentials.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BklynFunkEsntls

 

 

 

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Black Violin Debuts ‘One Step’ Video

Courtesy: Di-Versatile Music/Missing Piece Group

Black Violin debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The duo — Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste — debuted the video for its new single ‘One Step’ Friday through The Root.  The song, which features three story lines — one about school shootings, another about the issue of immigration, and the third about police brutality — is taken from the duo’s 2019 album Take The Stairs.

Marcus talked about the song during his interview with the staff of The Root.

“‘One Step’ intends to take the audience on an emotional ride and inspire them to think about a hopeful future,” he said.  “Every moment of the video touches on subjects with which we are familiar.  Both me and Wil are first-generation American citizens and have firsthand experience with our country’s immigration system.  Wil immigrated to the United states as a child and has experience with being mistreated by our broken system.”

The debut of Black Violin’s new video Friday coincided with the second anniversary of the fatal shootings at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Marcus, who is related to a student at the school, talked about that in relation to the duo’s new song and video.

“I grew up 10 minutes from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and had a family member in class during the assault in 2018,” he said.  “Children deserve to be protected, yet our society chooses to turn a blind eye to the rights and lives of our youngest citizens.  If artists like us remain quiet, and don’t use our platforms to at least keep the conversation going, then we are doing a disservice to our community.  this video is a reflection of the current world around us.  The question is: How will we change it for the better?”

Baptiste expanded on Marcus’ comments.

“in so many different capacities, our humanity is challenged at every turn,” he said.  “How we combat the revolving loss of our you ones will solely depend on us.  the HOPE is that we will accept our individual roles.  We will need each other in order to accomplish this task, which at times, may seem impossible.  it starts with being comfortable with the mirror.  We have to be truly willing to accept the past in order to move toward a beautiful future.  I believe the impossible is possible.”

In an effort to make the impossible possible, Black Violin launched the nonprofit organization Black Violin Foundation Inc. last year.  The agency works to empower young people by providing access to quality music programs in their communities.

‘One Step’ is the second single to be released from Take The Stairs.  The duo debuted the album’s lead single ‘Showoff‘ Aug. 23.  The pair performed the song live on NBC’s Today Show in December.

Take The Stairs‘ track listing is noted below.

 

Tracklisting:
1. Rise
2. One Step
3. Showoff
4. Unbreakable
5. Lost In The Garden
6. Serenade
7. Dreamer
8. Spaz
9. New Life
10. Al Green
11. Impossible Is Possible
12. A Way Home
13. Nimrod

Black Violin is in the midst of a tour in support of its new album.  The next stop on the pair’s tour is scheduled to take place Thursday in Tampa FL.  The tour’s upcoming schedule also features performances in cities, such as Wilmington, DE; Turlock, CA and Bend, OR.

Black Violin’s tour schedule is noted below.

 

 

Tour Dates:
2.20.20 – Tampa, FL – Straz Center for the Performing Arts
2.21.20 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Broward Center for the Performing Arts
2.27.20 – San Francisco, CA – Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3.1.20 – Sacramento, CA – The Crest Theatre
3.3.20 – Turlock, CA – Turlock Community Theatre
3.5.20 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at the Ace Hotel
3.6.20 – Escondido, CA – California Center for the Arts
3.7.20 – Lancaster, CA – Lancaster Performing Arts Center
3.8.20 – Monterey, CA – Golden State Theatre
3.20.20 – Atlanta, GA – Cobb Energy Center
3.24.20 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
3.26.19 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
3.27.20 – Purchase, NY – PAC at Purchase College
3.29.20 – Norfolk, VA – Chrysler Hall
3.31.20 – Charleston, WV – Clay Center
4.5.20 – Dallas, TX – AT&T Performing Arts Center
4.7.20 – Houston, TX – Jones Hall, Society for the Performing Arts
4.10.20 – Austin, TX – The Long Center for the Performing Arts
4.15.20 – Providence, RI – The Veterans Memorial Auditorium
4.16.20 – Quebec City, Canada – Palais Montcalm – Maison de la musique
4.17.20 – Medford, MA – Chevalier Theatre
4.18.20 – Union, NJ – Wilkins Theatre at Kean University
5.3.20 – Bend, OR – Tower Theatre
5.5.20 – Yakima, WA – Capitol Theater
5.6.20 – Portland, OR – Portland’5 Keller Auditorium
5.7.20 – Eugene, OR – Hult Center for the Performing Arts
6.27.20 – Vienna, VA – Filene Center at Wolf Trap
8.19.20 – Chautauqua, NY – Chautauqua Institution

More information on Black Violin’s performance, its new single, album and live dates is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://blackviolin.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/BlackViolinMusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/BlackViolin

 

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Justin Roberts Debuts ‘Glad You’re Here’ Video

Courtesy: Carpet Square/Sugar Mountain PR

Family entertainer Justin Roberts debuted the video for his latest single over the weekend.

Roberts debuted the video for his new single ‘Glad You’re Here‘ Friday.  The song is featured on Roberts’ latest album Wild Life, which is scheduled for release Feb. 28 through Carpet Square.

The video finds a young man talking to his unborn baby sibling as the baby grows in the mother’s womb, telling the child how excited everyone is about the baby’s pending arrival.  The song’s musical arrangement is a stable, mid-tempo work whose positive sounds illustrate the positive emotions presented in the song’s lyrical content.

‘Glad You’re Here’ is the second single from Wild Life.  Roberts debuted the album’s lead single ‘Heart Like A Door‘ last month.

Much like ‘Glad You’re Here,’ ‘Heart Like A Door’ also takes on the topic of parenthood with a new child.  It is a reflection of Roberts’ own recent experience of becoming a parent for the first time.

Roberts is joined on his forthcoming 15th full-length studio recording by Baroque cellist Anna Steinhoff, pianist Lisa Kaplan, percussionist Gerald Dowd and vocalist Nora O’Connor.

More information on Wild Life is available along with all of Roberts’ latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://justinrobertsmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/justinrobertsmusic4kids

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MusicianJustin

 

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Static-X Announces Release Date For New LP, ‘Project: Regeneration Volume 1’; Debuts Album’s Lead Single, Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Static-X has announced the release date for its long-awaited album, ProjectRegeneration Volume 1.

The record is scheduled for release May 29.  It features 12 brand new songs from the band, which themselves feature the final vocal recordings of the band’s late front man Wayne Static.  Pre-orders for the album are open now.

In anticipation of the record’s release, the band debuted the album’s lead single ‘Hollow’ Feb. 6 through Liquid Metal. The video for the album’s lead single ‘Hollow‘ premiered on Feb. 7 through Billboard.

The song features an arrangement that is everything that fans of Static-x have come to expect from the band.  The song’s lyrics will engage audiences just as much as its musical content.

Band founding member Tony Campos explained the placement of the vocal track on ‘Hollow’ in a recent interview.

“The vocals for the song ‘Hollow’ were were originally recorded in 2005 for the Static-X album Start A War, but Wayne and I never felt like the music on the original ‘Hollow’ demo was fully realized,” he said.  “That is why it didn’t appear on Start A War or any Static-X album that followed.  The vocals sounded great, but some of the musical compositions from that time period felt a bit experimental.  The band was going through a lot of changes at that time and, in retrospect, it felt like we’d strayed away from that authentic Static-X sound that really defined us.”

Fellow band member Ken Jay expanded on Campos’ comments.

“When we began working on ProjectRegeneration, our producers advised us to ignore any of the old demo music, so we opted for the original band to re-enter the studio with nothing more than Wayne’s isolated vocal tracks and to just be ourselves, to be Static-X, and to make Evil Disco,” he said.  “The vocals sound really great, and I think that Wayne would be extremely happy with what we’ve done with the music, and to know that these tracks have finally realized their full potential.”

ProjectRegeneration Volume 1 is the first of two volume of new music from Static-X.  Work is underway on the second volume of songs.  The two volumes together will feature more than 20 songs.

As audiences wait for the release of ProjectRegeneration Volume 1, they can hear some of that new music live.  The band is scheduled to perform live March 12 and 14 at Brick By Brick and Hell & Heaven Fest respectively.

Brick By Brick is at San Diego, CA; the Hell & Heaven Fest is in Mexico City, Mexico. Dates in Flint, MI and Mansfield, OH follow in July 10 and 11.

Following its upcoming North American dates, Static-X will take its live show overseas to Europe starting July 31 at the annual Wacken Open Air Festival in Wacken, Germany.  The band’s European tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 4 in St. Pete, Russia.

The band’s current schedule is noted below.  Tickets are available here.

 

 

Tour Dates:
03/12 @ Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
03/14 @ Hell & Heaven Fest – Mexico City, Mexico
07/10 @ Machine Shop – Flint, MI
07/11 @ INKcarceration – Mansfield, OH
07/31 @ Wacken Open Air – Wacken, Germany
08/04 @ Durer Kert w/Life of Agony – Budapest, Hungary
08/06 @ Brutal Assault Festival – Josefov, Czech Republic
08/07 @ Schlachthof w/Life of Agony – Wiesbaden, Germany
08/08 @ Alcatraz Festival – Kortrijk, Belgium
08/09 @ Into The Grave – Leeuwarden, Netherlands
08/11 @ Melkweg w/Life of Agony – Amsterdam, Netherlands
08/12 @ Essigfabrik w/Life of Agony – Cologne, Germany
08/13 @ Summer Breeze Festival – Dinkelsbuhl, Germany
08/14 @ Reload Festival – Sulingen, Germany
08/15 @ Astra w/Life of Agony – Berlin, Germany
09/19 @ Blue Ridge Rock Festival – Appomattox Park, VA
09/25 @ Podzemka – Novosibirsk, Russia
09/27 @ Tele Club – Yekaterinburg, Russia
09/29 @ Zvezda – Samara, Russia
10/01 @ Arena Hall – Krasnodar, Russia
10/03 @ Glavclub – Moscow, Russia
10/04 @ Cosmonavt – St. Pete, Russia

 

 

More information on Static-X’s new album, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.static-x.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialStaticX

 

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.

Audiences Will Agree Soul Asylum’s New LP Was Worth The “Wait”

Courtesy: Blue Elan Records

Soul Asylum is proof that a band doesn’t have to be a superstar act in order to be successful.  The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based indie rock act has, for more than three decades, sold thousands of records worldwide, built a fan base just as large, if not larger, and even seen two of its albums go platinum.  For all of that success, the band has remained largely just under the mainstream radar.  Now this spring, the little band that could will continue its success when it releases its new album Hurry Up And Wait.  Set for release April 17 through Blue Elan Records, the 13-song record will come more than four years after the band released its most recent album, 2016’s Change of Fortune.  The band’s 12th album, the 46-minute record proves to be a work that fans will agree was worth the “wait.”  That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content, as is proven in part through the album’s opener, ‘The Beginning.’  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Got it Pretty Good,’ which also comes early in the album’s run, is another way in which the record’s overall content makes the album work.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Silly Things,’ the album’s closer is one more way in which the album’s collective musical and lyrical content comes together to show why the album is an interesting new offering from Soul Asylum’s latest lineup.  When these songs are considered along with other entries featured in the album, such as ‘Social Butterfly,’ ‘Freezer Burn’ and the album’s lead single ‘If I Told You’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of this record makes it another work that Soul Asylum’s longtime fans will assuredly enjoy

Longtime fans of Soul Aslyum and indie rock fans alike will all agree that it was a good thing Dave Pirner – one of the band’s founding members – and his latest lineup of musicians did not “hurry” to make the band’s 12th full-length studio recording.  Coming more than four years after the release of its 11th album Change of Fortune, this latest album from the indie-rock darling gives listeners plenty to appreciate both musically and lyrically.  The album’s opener, fittingly titled ‘The Beginning,’ is just one of the songs that serves to support these statements.  The song’s guitar-driven, mid-tempo arrangement is an instantly radio-ready work that lends itself to comparisons to some of Foo Fighters’ early works.  To another extent, one could even argue comparisons to early works from Smashing Pumpkins, believe it or not.  Between the guitar and bass line, which form the song’s foundation and the time keeping, which builds even more on that foundation, the whole of the arrangement gives the album a solid start.  The music’s companion lyrical content shows even more, what makes the song such a strong start to the record, and notable entry to the album.

The lyrical content at the center of ‘The Beginning’ is a very positive presentation that any listener will appreciate.  Pirner sings in the song’s lead verse, “Everyone’s waiting/To see if you’re coming/Out of your shell for a while/Cupid and Casper are asking about you/You used to be so wild/I know how it is/You’d be drunk at a party/It seems there’s someone you should call/Then the cycle begins/You decide to stay in/You don’t talk to anyone at all/Never know what you might find/You never know what you leave behind/This is the beginning/Of a great adventure/No’s not the time, not the time to step aside.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’ve had my share of missteps and delusions…Every conclusion/Is better than never/Happily after all/Dig yourself out of the tangled up barbed-wire/Fighting over every wall/Then you get over/And pull yourself/Pull yourself up by the straps of your overalls/Never know what you might find/You never know what you leave behind/This is the beginning of a great adventure/Leaving with you/This is the beginning/Of a great adventure/Now’s not the time, not the time/To leave it behind/I’m right behind you/Behind you all the way/When I find you/We’ll be on our way.” Pirner leaves little doubt as to the central theme of this song with these relatively accessible lyrics.  The whole thing comes across as a song that encourages listeners to move forward in life and put the past behind them, thus the phrasing in the song’s chorus about the great adventure and it not being the time to step aside.  That positive, uplifting message, coupled with the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement, makes the song in whole both a strong start for Soul Asylum’s new album and just one example of how the album’s collective content makes it so enjoyable for the aforementioned audiences.  It is just one of the songs featured in the album that serves to exhibit the album’s appeal.  ‘Got It Pretty Good’ is another example of the album’s positive impact.

‘Got It Pretty Good’ is another work whose musical arrangement takes audiences back to the early 1990s with its bluesy-mid-tempo 4/4 construction.  The simple, guitar-driven work has plenty of infectious hooks and choruses that will stick in listeners’ minds long after the song (and album) ends.  While the song’s arrangement does more than enough to keep listeners engaged and entertained, it is only one part of what makes the song another notable addition to HUAW.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest to its whole.

Pirner sings in this song’s lead verse, “Well I went to the doctor/I was feeling bad/I got it pretty good/I went to the church/Try to see what they had/I got it pretty good/The psychiatrist sent me back to the priest/He just said keep your childhood Christian/Yes I got it/Yes I got it pretty good/I tried being mean/I tried being mean/I tried taking all of your advice/It’s time to shine/A fine time to remind me/I’m just fine/A fine time to unwind/Now’s your time to shine.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I got it/I got it/I got it pretty good/About to choke/I’m on my knees/Yes I got it pretty good/Well I tried being nice/I tried being mean/I live my life just keeping it clean/I got the fever/I got the fever/And I got it pretty good/Well I need a good hammer/And A couple of nails/Gonna build me a boat/Gonna set my sails/My time to shine/It’s a fine time to remind me/I’m doing just fine/If I can find the time/Now’s your time to shine.”  Pirner leaves little doubt at this point as to the song’s central lyrical theme.  This is a song that centers on people trying to tell us how to live, and that it is more important for us to live our own lives as we see fit.  If any doubt was left by now, Pirner eliminates it even more in the song’s third and final verse, singing, “It ain’t good or bad/Ain’t wrong or right/But I got it pretty good/I ain’t giving up/No I stay in the fight/’Cause I got it pretty good/I’m unraveling/I’m gonna unwind/I’m winding down if I can find the time/’Cause I got it pretty good/I tried being mean/I tried being nice/I tried taking all your advice/It’s time to shine/Fine time to remind me/Live your life…now’s your time to shine.”  Again, this is a reminder to take life at our own pace and live our lives for us, not based on what others tell us we should do.  In other words, it is a work that promotes individuality, a classic theme of so much rock music.  When this message is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement, with its solid energy and positive sound, it becomes even clearer why this song is such an enjoyable addition to the album’s whole.  The two elements together do a lot to make the song stand out, and in turn, serve to show that much more why the album in whole is another positive offering from Soul Asylum.  While this song is clearly notable in its own way to the whole of HUAW, it is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Silly Things,’ the album’s closer is one more example of what makes this album a welcome return for Soul Asylum.

‘Silly Things’ stands out from the previously discussed songs in that its musical arrangement is much more reserved.  It isn’t the album’s only reserved arrangement, but still maintains its own unique identity.  The simplicity of the semi-acoustic work, is its real draw.  Audiences get here, Pirner’s vocals alongside a very simple percussion line and equally simple guitar and bass, the whole lending itself to comparisons to so many classic honky-tonk country music from the late 80s and early 90s.  That semi-country sensibility couples with the song’s lyrical theme of life and love to make the whole that much more accessible to listeners.

Pirner sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve done a lot of silly things/I’ve found out just what trouble brings/You used to wear my silly ring/While I listened to my ears ring/I’ve done a lot of silly things/I used to think that I was cool/Break each and every rule/Now all the rules are just the same/It’s just a silly game/I used to do a lot of things/And when I fail/I will fail without you/And my mistakes/I’ll always answer to…I’ve done a lot of silly things/I know just what trouble brings/I’ve done a lot of silly things.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I used to like the way you walked/You used to like the way I talked/I used to do a lot of things/I used to think that I could see/I’ve done a lot of silly things/You used to like the way I move/You used to think that I was smooth/And if I ever had a chance/I would ask you out again/I’ve done a lot of stupid things/And when I fail/I will fail without you/I’ve been let down/Lord, so many times/No one to blame/But myself/To keep from getting down/I’ve done a lot of stupid thing/And I know just what trouble brings/I’ve done a lot of silly things.”  Here is someone who obviously is at the end of a relationship and is looking back at that relationship, even admitting that perhaps he was the one who has lost, as he notes he would ask out the woman again.  The story is furthered in the song’s third and final verse, in which Pirner sings, “When I play/I will play without you/It’s every man and woman for themselves/I feel I’ve learned the hard way/To put you before myself/I’ve done a lot of silly things/I’ve done a lot of stupid s***/I’m still trying to deal with this.”  Once again, here listeners have a person who is looking back at a broken relationship, realizing it is his fault that the relationship ended.  The thing is that to a point, he wishes he had that second chance.  Of course this is nothing new to the music industry, but Pirner and company have delivered a unique take on such a theme, both musically and lyrically here.  It is quite the contrast, both musically and lyrically, to the album’s opener, but still is an interesting work nonetheless.  When the song is considered along with ‘The Beginning,’ ‘Got It Pretty Good’ and other songs featured in the album, such as ‘Social Butterfly,’ ‘Freezer Burn’ and the album’s lead single ‘If I Told You’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of this record makes it another work that Soul Asylum’s longtime fans will assuredly enjoy.

Soul Asylum’s 12th full-length studio recording Hurry Up And Wait is another positive offering from the band.  That is due to the musical and lyrical content presented throughout the course of its 46-minute run time.  All three of the songs examined here do their own share to support that statement.  The same can be said of any of the album’s other featured works.  From start to finish, the musical arrangements will take listeners back to the 90s while the songs’ lyrical themes will reach plenty of listeners, too.  All things considered, the record’s combined musical and lyrical content makes Hurry Up And Wait a record that listeners will agree was worth the “wait.”

Soul Asylum launched a tour in support of the forthcoming record on Feb. 11.  The tour is scheduled to run through March 20 in Austin, TX and to feature performances in cities, such as Nashville, TN; Phoenix, AZ and Portland, ME.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

 

SOUL ASYLUM ON TOUR – Local H supports all dates except where noted:
2/17 – Boston MA – Paradise
2/18 – Portland ME – Port City Music
2/19 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom
2/21 – Philadelphia PA – TLA
2/22 – Leesburg, VA – Tally Ho Theatre
2/24 – Atlanta, GA  – Center Stage
2/25 – Nashville, TN – The Cowan
2/26 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
2/28 – Kansas City, MO – The Madrid
2/29 – Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios Live
3/01 – Denver, CO – The Bluebird
3/03 – Billings, MT – Pub Station
3/05 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro
3/07 – Reno, NV – Boomtown Casino *
3/08 – San Francisco, CA – Slims
3/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom
3/13 – San Diego, CA – Belly UP
3/14 – Las Vegas, NV – Silverton Casino *
3/15 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee
3/16 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine
3/18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
3/20 – Austin, TX – SXSW official showcase *

*Local H not appearing on these dates

 

 

More information on Soul Asylum’s new album, tour and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.soulasylum.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/soulasylum

 

 

 

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

Amaranthe, Angela Gossow Partner For New Single, ‘Do Or Die’

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Amaranthe has partnered with former Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Gossow to send a warning to the world about its current state.

The group debuted the video for the song ‘Do or Die‘ Friday.  The video features Gossow and the members of Amaranthe in a post-apocalyptic world that is filled with pollution and garbage, collecting what can only be assumed to be the skeletons of the world’s former inhabitants killed by the impact of climate change.

The song’s musical arrangement features Amaranthe’s familiar melodic, orchestral metal sound alongside Gossow’s equally familiar gutteral vocal delivery.  The song’s lyrical content is meant as a statement about what humans are doing to the planet.

Amaranthe guitarist Olo Morck discussed that lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“While Amaranthe’s music is often uplifting, energetic and positive, sooner or later everyone needs to deal with the obvious fact that the world is literally crumbling around us — and it is crumbling fast, thanks to the short-sighted abuse of our common Mother Earth!,” he said.  “We talked to legendary Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy fame to do an entire package of a video and a song, outside of any normal album cycle, and let our different perspectives on metal collide in a massive explosion; and it resulted in ‘Do Or Die’!”  together with Overbeck Media, who shot the video, we delivered something really quite special, and Angela brings in a fresh strength to the trademark Amaranthe sound that is sure to resound all across the metal world!  Death and Fire!!!”

Gossow offered her own remarks about taking part in the video shoot.

“It was thrilling to join Amaranthe for a more extreme track and shooting a cutting edge video for it!,” she said.  “This is no cozy studio performance, but real ice cold winds, sewages, cadavers and pouring rain — the reality we live in, the devastating legacy we leave to our future generations.  Time to wake up, turn — and bang — some heads!  Watch out for these guys and killer lady.  They are going to crush you this year with a new album and some heavy touring!!!”

‘Do Or Die’ is available to stream and download here.  The song’s debut comes more than a month after the band debuted the video for its cover of Sabaton’s song ‘82nd All The Way.’

Amaranthe is wrapping the latest leg of its tour with Sabaton.  The bands’ current tour winds down Sunday.

The band will take part in a series of festivals this summer across Europe.  Its festival schedule opens June 4 at the Sweden Rock Festival and runs through Aug. 31 at the Rock in the City Festival.

An extensive North American headlining tour is also on tap for Amaranthe this summer, with support from Battle Beast and Seven Spires.  The band’s North American tour is scheduled to launch Aug. 20 in Baltimore, MD and to run through Oct. 2 in Cincinnati, OH.  It features performances in cities, such as Portland, OR; Tempe, AZ and Philadelphia, PA.

Amaranthe’s upcoming live dates are all noted below.  Tickets for the band’s North American dates are available here.

 

 

AMARANTHE EUROPEAN FESTIVAL SHOWS

04.06. S Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock Festival *NEW*
05. – 07.06. D Nürburg – Rock am Ring *NEW*
05. – 07.06. D Nuremberg – Rock im Park *NEW*
05. – 07.06. FIN Tampere – Rockfest *NEW*
13.06. SK Prešov – Dobry Festival
24./25.07. FIN Oulu – Qstock *NEW*
30.07. – 01.08. FIN Kuopio – Kuopiorock *NEW*
31.08. FIN Lappeenranta – Rock In The City *NEW*
05. – 08.08. S Falun – Sabaton Open Air *NEW*

North American Tour 2020
with BATTLE BEAST and SEVEN SPIRE:
08/20/2020  Soundstage – Baltimore, MD
08/21/2020  The Palladium (MA) – Worcester, MA
08/22/2020  The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
08/23/2020  Theatre Of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
08/25/2020  Club Soda – Montreal, QC
08/26/2020  Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC
08/27/2020  Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
08/28/2020  MOD Club  – Toronto, ON
08/29/2020  The Eclectic Room –  Angola, IN
08/30/2020  Token Lounge –  Westland, MI
09/01/2020  Concord Music Hall –  Chicago, IL
09/02/2020  Apollo Theater – Belvidere, IL
09/03/2020  Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA
09/04/2020  The Cabooze – Minneapolis, MN
09/05/2020  Park Theatre – Winnipeg, MB
09/06/2020  The Exchange – Regina, SK
09/08/2020  The Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB
09/09/2020  Dickens – Calgary, AB
09/11/2020  The Venue – Vancouver, BC
09/12/2020   El Corazon – Seattle, WA
09/13/2020  Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
09/14/2020  Holy Diver – Sacramento, CA
09/15/2020  Brick by Brick – San Diego, CA
09/16/2020  Whisky a Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
09/18/2020  Club Red – Tempe, AZ
09/19/2020  Backstage Bar and Billiards – Las Vegas, NV
09/20/2020  Liquid Joe’s – Salt Lake City, UT
09/21/2020  Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
09/23/2020  Trees – Dallas, TX
09/24/2020  Come and Take it Live – Austin, TX
09/25/2020. Scout Bar – Houston, TX
09/26/2020  House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
09/27/2020  House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL
09/29/2020  Rt 20 – Racine, WI
09/30/2020  The Crafthouse – Pittsburgh, PA
10/01/2020  The Underground – Charlotte, NC
10/02/2020  Riverfront Live – Cincinnati, OH

 

 

More information on Amaranthe’s upcoming live dates, its new video and more is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.amaranthe.se

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AmarantheBand

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/amaranthemetal

 

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.

 

 

Eagle Rock Entertainment Bringing New Ella Fitzgerald Documentary To Theaters

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release a new documentary feature about Ella Fitzgerald in theaters this spring.

The documentary, titled Ella FitzgeraldJust One Of Those Things is scheduled to make its theatrical debut April 3 in select theaters nationwide.  Award-winning director Leslie Woodhead helmed the project, and Reggie Nadelson produced the presentation.

Just One Of Those Things follows Fitzgerald on and off the stage, showing how she used her musical talents and her intelligence to break down barriers and overcome great odds throughout the course of her life.  It features never-before-seen footage of interviews with Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Norma Miller and Ray Brown Jr., Ella’s son. along with many other famous figures.

Fitzgerald lost her mother when she [Fitzgerald] was 15 years old.  From there, she also endured mistreatment in reform schools.  in 1934, her life took a turn that would set her on the path of success from then on, winning a contest at the famed Apollo Theater.  She would eventually go on to work with jazz greats, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman.

While she had great success on stage, Fitzgerald was very different off-stage, wanting privacy for herself and her family.  Audiences will see that dichotomy throughout the course of this new documentary.

Audiences can view a clip from the documentary here.  The clip focuses on discussions about Fitzgerald’s time with Chick Webb and his band.

Fitzgerald earned a number of accolades during the course of her career. Among those honors were 13 Grammy awards, record sales exceeding 40 million records and an NAACP Equal Justice Award. She also received the American Black Achievement Award.

More information on Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new Ella Fitzgerald documentary is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.ellafitzgeraldmovie.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/EllaFitzgerald

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellafitzgerald

 

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.