Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018 Summer Preview



For a couple straight years I did not do a Most Anticipated list for my upcoming music round up post because I was finding it hard to come up with five albums to get remotely excited about. So last spring I was excited to actually have five worth talking about. I thought this may be a turning point for the music industry who had been decimated by low revenues for years. But streaming was finally starting to turn a profit which in turn record labels were spending more money on diverse artist. Then I started to compire my summer preview... and the album outlook is pretty dire again. Seriously, there are only five albums that I will even give one listen two listed listed to be released in July right now and even then one of them is a live album by a two hit wonder from the eighties. Even January is not that dire for music.

Granted we did get some surprise late spring releases. For the past month Kanye West has put out an album each week with little notice. Sure if you cherry picked the best tracks from each of the for albums and you would still get a pretty mediocre compilation. I do not even care for the last one coming this week. Then Saturday, Jay-Z and Beyonce released a joint album under the name The Carters stealing a little of Kanye's thunder. Granted that album was received only slightly better than the G.O.O.D. albums. So maybe we will get a few more surprised albums this summer though after Kanye, Jay-Z, and Beyonce, there are very few artist that most people could get excited for a surprise release. But here are the albums I will at the very least give one spin on Spotify this summer. Click on the album for an Amazon pre order or click on the band's name to be taken to their iTunes page.


June 22
Passwords - Dawes
Bad Witch - Nine Inch Nails
All o This Life -The Record Company

June 29
High as Hope - Florence + The Machine
The Now Now - Gorillaz
Greetings from the Neon Frontier - The Wild Feathers
Uniform Distortion - Jim James
Our Country: Americana Act II - Ray Davies

July 6
Ascension - A Flock of Seagulls

July 13
Wide Awake - Rayland Baxter
Love Monster - Amy Shark

July 20
Take Me to the Disco - Meg Myers
All Ashore - Punch Brothers

August 10
Know. - Jason Mraz

August 17
Thank You for Today - Death Cab for Cutie

Agust 24
Parallel Universe - Plain White T's

August 31
My New Moon - Amos Lee
Runaway - Passenger
Villains - Emma Blackery

August 17
Sweetener - Ariana Grande

September 7
Raise Vibration - Lenny Kravitz
Egypt Station - Paul McCartney
Ruby - Macy Gray

September 14
Cry Pretty - Carrie Underwood

September 21
Piano and A Microphone: 1983 - Prince

TBA
Sweetener - Ariana Grande
Weezer (The Black Album) - Weezer
The 1975
Avril Lavigne
blink-182
The Doobie Brothers
Grimes
Robyn
Slick Rick
Taylor Swift
Tenacious D

And of course this could be the quarter that Dr. Dre releases Detox.



Monday, June 18, 2018

I Want My Music television: 6/18/2018





Fall In Line - Christina Aguilera feat. Demi Lovato


Were those children in the beginning supposed to be young Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato because the former has to have a decade on the latter. It is kind of weird to have this female empowerment song and video that ends with: directed by a dude. As for the song itself, meh.


Lost My Mind - Lily Allen


When Lily Allen released her last album, songs went into two categories, her usually bratty songs that she did on her first two album while the other half were more adult sounding. At the time I said I wished Lily would dump the bratty persona and just do grown up songs. Her new album is mostly adult sounding, unfortunately it is mostly boring.


Rocket Man - Little Big Town


Elton John was made for MTV. Too bad most of his best songs predated the music video format. Weird that \Little Big Town went with a Phantom Zone look for their version of Rocket Man.


Give Yourself A Try - The 1975


Is the lead singer of The 1975 transitioning into Haley Williams?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 6/17/2018



Billions: So did anyone associated with the show actually think the big showdown between Axe and Taylor would have anything near the weight of Axe vs. Chuck? Actually Wendy vs. Taylor was more interesting. But was this Taylor’s play the whole time? There was a point in season one where Taylor had a choice to stay with Axe or flip on him when Connerty offered it. Did Taylor know then (s)he could do this to Axe?

Much more interesting was Chuck. I was thinking that Chuck was going to take the Attorney General deal and give up the witness for cover for the rest of the term. Instead everyone turned on Chuck who gets fired while everyone he screwed got to watch. So Chuck and Ax team up to saved them selves in the middle of the season only for both to end the season at their lowest. I always though the series would best end with those two sharing a prison cell, this this was almost satisfying. Until you realize there is a next season where they will undoubtable fight back (and probably prevail) against the AG and Taylor. And as the final scene showed, they will probably help each other even though thwy are better antagonists than partners.

Fear the Walking Dead: Meh, I hate this duel storytelling gimmick. I spent most of the episode wondering if I missed something, Madison was at the ballpark when it fell and then she starts this episode she runs into Al and I am thinking this was after what happened last week. But no, that happened in between the season. They were cute with that but they were teasing Madison being dead all season, making it so obvious that I was thinking that was a fake out, except it finally came she was, in fact dead. And it seemed pretty flimsy why Alicia blamed Dharma for her mother’s death. And why exactly did Madison die? Couldn’t she just run out the other end after leading the walkers inside? Hopefully now that we are caught up, that is it for this duel timelines.
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

I’m Dying Up Here: Why is it every time a woman flippantly swears off men, a chick tries to kiss her? I wonder if lesbians stir things up just so they can convert more women to swear off men. And then we learned why Nick is so messed up. Oh geez. Nothing like beating someone with a lamp and then they just laugh at you.

Supergirl: Just how slow is that Asian dude? Alex tells him to get the Worldkillers blood before Alex starts fighting the Kryptonians. Yet after trapping them in the net, one of the Kryptonians was able to get to the lab before the Asian dude did. Alex was able to get the Kryptonite gun, fight another Krptonian and still got to the lab seconds after the Asian dude. But most inexplicable moment goes to Kara who tossed the blood to the bad guys thinking she could destroy it in midair but was late. Why didn’t anyone smash the tubes under their boots?
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Bold Type: So Jane already loses her job in the first week back? So I am guessing she will back at Scarlet by the end of the next episode. Or is Jacqueline going to make her sweat for the betrayal.
You can download The Bold Type on iTunes.

The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars II: I cannot believe they spent so much time with whether CT/Tony would save Wes or Kailah only for them to have to deceide between Wes and Louise which was an obvious choice. All that time wasted and they did not even finish the elimination in this episode. Meh. You can download The Challenge: Vendettas on iTunes.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Waterfords in Canada. Though I was hoping more with a confrontation with Luke. But we did get a meeting of the baby daddies. Except the driver could not tell the truth about the paternity her current gestating kid (at least he did not lie or leave anything out to june). But the most interesting part of the trip was our introduction to the first modern day American on the show. I would be interested to see a map. I believe they said the new capital is in Alaska and now we know Hawaii is also still a state. But I do wonder if Serena will ever take them up on their offer. The prospect of having her own baby has to be a very powerful bargaining chip. She definitely does not look like the strong and stoic woman she was in the first season anymore. Back in Gilead, weird for Aunt Lydia say the death of her four day old goddaughter was not her fault without any prompting or explanation. Kind of makes me think it was her fault. And after a couple of episode of being subservient after being caught escaping, is June finally ready to resist again?
You can stream The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger: Another episode where Cloak and Dagger barely spend any time together. Unless you count the weird dream land place. And what was with the creepy 3-D printer figure? Voodoo priestesses have apparently gone high tech.
You can download Marvel's Cloak and Dagger on iTunes
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Friday, June 15, 2018

Around the Tubes: 6/15/18



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Turner, EPMD, Sheppard, Dagny, French Fries, Black Monday, Black Monday, and BIG3.


- What streaming in June on tntdrama.com, the TNT App, tbs.com and the TBS App: The Hunger Games saga and the Ocean’s trilogy will be available all month on TNT. Don't miss Keanu from TBS' own Jordan Peele (The Last O.G.).

- Hailing from Brentwood, New York and armed with a vibrantly original sonic vision, the pioneering duo of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, collectively known as EPMD, arrived on the hip-hop scene in the late 1980s and quickly became an influential force in that heady era. UMe honors EPMD's contributions to the art of hip-hop with new two-LP vinyl reissues of the duo's first two seminal albums, 1988's Strictly Business and 1989's Unfinished Business. These classic albums have been unavailable on vinyl for decades, and these reissues mark their long-awaited return to the format in which fans first came to know them. Both albums have also been released in colored-vinyl editions that are available exclusively from the online retailer Urban Legends.

- Multi-platinum recording artist Sheppard is thrilled to release their sophomore album Watching the Sky last week, June 8, 2018 via Empire of Song/Decca Records/Republic Records. The album is available HERE. Watching the Sky has already spawned several hits for the Brisbane band with international single “Coming Home” leading the way. Amassing over 21 MILLION streams, radio success around the globe and platinum certification in Australia, “Coming Home” debuted on US television on the TODAY Show and been featured in American Ninja Warrior, American Idol, Champions, Bose’s latest ad campaign, and Lionsgate’s animated hit comedy Early Man. “Coming Home” is joined by GOLD hit “Keep Me Crazy,” Latin American Top 10 single “Edge of the Night,” summer singalong “Riding the Wave,” and most recently, “Hometown,” which was added by 100 Australian Radio Stations in just one week.

- Critically acclaimed Norwegian pop art-songstress Dagny has released her new soon to be hit track “Used To You” last week! Get it HERE via Republic Records. The song is the second banger Dagny has released in the past few months as she recently released “That Feeling When” which was praised by Idolator, Baeble and more! The video was shot in Dagny’s hometown of Tromsø and the live performance footage was taken from a special performance in Oslo. Check out the video here!

- On Sunday, June 17, TNT will air French Fries, the first short film in the Shatterbox Anthology, a series from Refinery29 and TNT dedicated to spotlighting the voices of female filmmakers. From Claws Executive Producer Janine Sherman Barrois, French Fries explores a young, hip African-American foodie couple’s fight to resolve communication problems in a modern marriage of six years, four months and three and a half days.


- Showtime has ordered the comedy series Black Monday, starring and executive produced by Emmy® nominated and Golden Globe® winning actor Don Cheadle – returning to Showtime after a five-season run as star and executive producer of House of Lies – with two-time Tony Award® nominee and Grammy® winner Andrew Rannells (Girls) and Regina Hall (Girls Trip) also leading the cast. The series was created by David Caspe (Happy Endings) and Jordan Cahan (My Best Friend’s Girl), who will serve as executive producers and showrunners. Emmy nominees Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg (Preacher, Superbad), who will also executive produce, directed the pilot. With an 10-episode order, Black Monday, a co-production between SHOWTIME and Sony Pictures Television Studios, will premiere in 2019.

- FOX Sports announced this week a multiplatform distribution plan for the 2018 season of BIG3. Each week, a game will stream live exclusively on Facebook, leading in to three additional games which will air exclusively on FOX or FS1 (simulcast live in the FOX Sports app) during the regular season and playoffs. The first BIG3 game to stream on Facebook will feature a match-up between 2017 BIG3 MVP Rashard Lewis’ 3 Headed Monsters and Mike Bibby’s Ghost Ballers on June 22 from Houston, TX, followed by Chauncey Billups’ Killer 3’s and Dermarr Johnson’s 3’s Company; Corey Maggette’s Power and Brian Scalabrine’s Ball Hogs; and Kenyon Martin’s Trilogy and Jermaine O’Neal’s Tri-State on FS1.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Previewing The Affair: Season Four



The Affair started out weird with its split storytelling and inconsistent narrators. Sometimes you would even forget about the murder mystery. Then they unveiled the murderer in the second season and then things got weirder. All four of the main characters went their separate ways (yet would stillfind themselves running into each other). Two got married, and the two that were married to each other and were part of the titular affair got divorced. And that led Noah to a weird trip to France that dominated the last half of last season.

And that is the thing, Noah dominated so much of last season, I barely remember what happened to the other three main characters last season. From the “Previously On” segment, I vaguely remember Cole hooking up again with Alison and her kid with Noah is actually Cole’s. Then Helen ended up getting married to a doctor. But still, Noah getting stalked by a corrections officer (or so he thought, he may be the least reliable of all the narrators) before following his lover to Paris where things got weirder than usual.

But it looks like they are bringing it back to more of an ensemble as the fourth season. The season weirdly starts with Noah and Cole in the same vicinity vaguely taking about someone who we are led to believe is Alison but since that is so obvious and her name is never spoken I think there is a twist coming. Remember Helen was randomly the person who ran over Scotty Lockhart. Then after about a minute we get a weeks ago title card and a tradition “Act 1” title alert.

The new season sees Noah move to Los Angeles to follow his kids after Vic took a job there. Helen and Vic are living in a beautiful house in the hills next to the daughter of a starlet (who is a recognizable starlet herself) with the youngest kids. The two eldest are off at college and though she is still in the title sequence the oldest is nor seen in the first six episodes. The second eldest is not seen but we do get to hear his voice on the phone. In their absence, Trevor more screen time in the season premiere

Noah inexplicably gets another teaching job, this time teaching English to inner city youth at a charter school despite being a convicted felon for that Lockhart murder. The trademark wildly different narratives are back. Noah thinks Helen pulls him into the women’s bathroom while Helen believes they went into the men’s restroom to talk.

Of course you will have to wait until week two to learn what is going on with Cole and Alison. Cole is still in Montauk running the restaurant with Alison. Though Cole does not think Alison wants to sell the Lobster Roll, Alison thinks Cole doesn’t want to sell. Then by the middle of the season both find their way out to the West Coast, not necessarily together.

The show sticks with its traditional Noah/Helen, Cole/Alison episode structure that seems to be the norm since season two. They start mixing things up later in the season with someone outside those four getting their own act. I do wonder if there is a The Affair analytics page to show which character gets the most featured acts and who randomly shows up in other people’s acts.

The Affair airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Monday, June 11, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 6/11/2018



Back To You - Selena Gomez


I used to wish Selena Gomez would spend more time acting than singing. Then she made Bad Liar, one of the greatest songs in recent memory and know I get excited whenever she releases something new. Unfortunately the two songs she has released since are vaguely EDM pop songs, including this one. But hey, at least the music video is fun.


Babe - Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift


Oh hey, boring Superman. And redhead Taylor Swift. Wasn’t redhead Taylor Swift the antagonist of the You Belong with Me video? I guess this is more Mad Men. Although Betty Draper left Don because she was cheating and do not believe she ever caught him.


New Light (Premium Content) - John Mayer


No I.D. produced Jay-Z’s entire last album and what better way to follow that up by producing what is probably John Mayer’s cheesiest song ever. It is either that or the duet with Katy Perry, but the this video maybe put it ahead.


Girls Like You - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B


I have been jibbing Maroon 5 for a decade and a half that they only make music videos so Adam Lavine can make out a new hot chick. So it is weird that they are now making some women empowerment music video with women of every stripe and Adam does not make out with any of them.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 6/10/2018



Patrick Melrose: How apropos that the series started with Poppa Melrose dying and ended with Momma Melrose’s funeral. But it was weird with every previous episode spent the majority of the time on a single day with the last one kept jumping around. Nicholas

Billions: The penultimate is usually the big one with all the cards on the table (or at least most of them) but ever since Chuck and Axe joined forces to beat their cases, it just feels the show has been treading water. Sure there were three storylines that came out of that, Chuck vs. the AG, Axe vs. Taylor, and Connorty trying to revive the cases against Chuck and Axe, but none have the same verocity of Chuck vs. Axe. Hopefully something in the finale reignites that feud.

Fear the Walking Dead: The mounting evidence that Madison is not alive is mounting. If she is not with Alicia and Stand and the stadium is overrun with zombies, then where is she? Unless she is stuck with the medical supplies unbeknownst to everyone else. Although this begs the question, where did everyone else at the ball park go? Were they all killed by the fire zombies?
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

I’m Dying Up Here: Ron really is trying to do everything he can to get fired. Bad mouthing his show on Carson? You would think the only thing that getting the couch on Carson is to start out on the couch. Of course this is the seventies so there is good damage control. Imagine if the comic store owner trashed The Big Bang Theory on Kimmel. Speaking of self-destruction, Cassie does not get SNL because she was forking another dude. Man, these comics are incompetent.

Supergirl: Wait, Miss Teschmacher went to Yale and knows nuclear physics? Why has she been a secretary for the past fout year. I know the economy is not great, but it should not take that long for a highly skilled person to get a good job. Almost as shocking was Supergirl being able to defeat Reign that easy and three episodes left. Though it seems like the high council chick helped Kara defeat Reign so she can be the new Worldkiller. But why is Kara going back to Argo with Mon-El? Um, doesn’t she think that maybe Clark would want to meet his aunt for the first time?
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars II: Vertical Twister is one of the greatest challenges in Challenge history right up there with the challenge where they had to melt a block of ice with their butts.
You can download The Challenge: Vendettas on iTunes.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Wait, Serena likes The Commodores? You would think she would like something classical or at the very least secular. Though I guess how a Gileadian would like being easy like Sunday morning. Well as long as you ignore the double entendre. I wonder after getting whipped if Serena will join the Resistance and help the Handmaid’s or if she will take that and never resist her husband again like the Bible tells her too. But One Eyed Ofwillie’s baby being saved by true loves kiss was a little too Once Upon a Time for me.
You can stream The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

Reverie: I realized I like this episode much more at the start before Mara showed up. A real shame when your lead character is a wet blanket.
You can download Reverie on iTunes.

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger: Well that was boring. The titular characters spent less than five minutes on screen together.
You can download Marvel's Cloak and Dagger on iTunes.