Saturday, March 22, 2014

Best of the Week: 3/22/14

Quote of the Week: I don’t care if the Lollipop Guild are guarding her, I can lower that shield on my own. (Regina "The Evil Queen" Mills, Once Upon a Time)

Song of the Week: Nothing Else Matters – Vienna Boys Choir (Crisis)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Brackets Busted Already: This year, Warren Buffett was going to give away $1 Billion to anyone who had a perfect bracket for this year’s NCAA Tournament. But probably about 99% of brackets filled out were already out of the running after day one when two twelve seeds, ND State and Harvard, upset their fifth seed counterpoints. There was also a sixth seed that went down to an eleven. And those brackets that were not busted on Thursday burst on Friday when Duke (3) went down to Mercer (14) and FS Austin (12) took down fifth seed VCU. So now there are no perfect brackets left in the Warren Buffett challenge after just the first round.

Preview Picture of the Week:

"On The Carpet" Archer Vice featuring the voice of Christian Slater, Monday at 10:00 on FX

Free Download of the Week: Woo Hah!!! Got You All in Check – Busta Rhymes (Google Play)

New Album Release of the Week: Out Among The Stars - Johnny Cash

New DVD Release of the Week: The Wolf of Wall Street

Video GIF of the Week: This is now my everything:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Switched at Birth, Monday at 8:00 on ABC Family: At the end of last season, Daphne got caught blackmailing a state congressman which sent her to do community service at a health center. It may have been worth it for her because it landed her smack dab in the middle of a love triangle. And where Daphne spent most of her time sending her time thinking about two boys, it looks like Bay may be juggling more boys in the season finale. There is current boyfriend, the frat boy with the heart of gold. But her old boyfriend is still in the picture and may need some comforting conserving it looks like he may have gotten Catfished. And she just found out that the other boyfriend that cheated on her was actually faithful and lied about the affair so she would forget about him. But those are just silly school kid crushes compared to Toby whose marriage may already be over after about a month.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Around the Tubes: 3/21/14

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 The Safecrackers, Pioneers of Television, Ray Donovan, Master of Sex, Lindsey Stirling, The Bright Smoke, Lorde, and Conan.

- When truTV debuts its brand new series The Safecrackers, the fascinating pair of Alabama locksmiths at the center of the show won't be the only ones on the hunt for hidden treasures. truTV is inviting viewers to put their own safe-opening skills to the test for the chance to win cash and prizes through the The Safecrackers Sweepstakes. During each of the first three episodes of The Safecrackers, which premieres on truTV Monday, March 24, at 10:00, truTV will reveal a four-digit combination. Viewers will then have until 4:59 a.m. (ET) the following morning to tweet that week's combination with the hashtag #ImASafecracker in order to be entered for the chance to win one of 30 weekly prize packs (10 each week) filled with cool truTV swag. Viewers who enter the correct codes for all three episodes will be entered for the chance to win the Grand Prize of $5,000. Complete rules and promo for The Safecrackers Sweepstakes are available here.

- Explore trailblazing moments of television history when Pioneers of Television returns to PBS, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, featuring standup comedians who landed sitcoms, TV doctors and nurses, standout comedic actors and those who broke the color barrier on television. Offering inside stories from some of America’s most beloved television stars, the fourth season of the Emmy-nominated series reveals intriguing behind-the-scenes stories and fascinating facts about television’s best-known and influential celebrities. The fourth season combines new interviews with legendary stars, such as Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, Robin Williams, Jimmie Walker, Leslie Uggams, Roseanne Barr and Dick Van Dyke, with never-before-seen images and timeless footage that continues to entertain TV viewers’ decades later.PIONEERS OF TELEVISION’s first-hand look at the medium is guided by the stories of television icons and their reminiscences about the iconic genres they helped popularize.

- Mark your calendars, Showtime announced its premiere date of its two sophomore programs. Ray Donovan will premiere Sunday July 13 at 9:00 followed by Masters of Sex at 10:00.

- For her upcoming album, Lindsey Stirling, a classically trained violinist who blends electronic beats, dance, animation, theatrics and visuals, chose PledgeMusic's direct-to-fan platform to take her fans on an incredible journey as she completes her highly anticipated collection of songs. Fans can pledge support to receive exclusive items such as signed posters and t-shirts and unique experiences such as a Google hangout on the set of her new music video, a personalized video and a Skype chat with Lindsey.

- Hailing from NYC, Mia Wilson and Quincy Ledbetter of The Bright Smoke create unique noir-blues inspired tunes, that combine influences ranging from Patti Smith, to Leonard Cohen, to Cat Power. God Willin’ is a powerful and emotional track, complete with a heart-pounding beat and an escalating intensity, is the first track off of the band's recently released EP, Virginia Et Al., the follow up release to their first full-length album Late For War. Take a listen below:

- The innovated hybrid publisher Riverdale Avenue Books is proud to publish the first book on Grammy winning artist Lorde. Lorde: Your Heroine: How This Young Feminist Broke All the Rules and Succeeded by New York Times bestselling author, Marc Shapiro examines the career of this 17 year-old New Zealand musician who just won her first two Grammys for her hit song Royals.

- Conan has announces Guest Line-up for Week of Shows from Dallas March 31-April 3. Check them our below:

Monday, March 31 – Adam Sandler and comedian Tig Notaro
Tuesday, April 1 - Seth Rogen and musical guest Phillip Phillips
Wednesday, April 2 - Simon Helberg and musical guest Eli Young Band
Thursday April 3 – Charles Barkley

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Previewing Wild Hawaii

Ever since Planet Earth, there has been a steady stream of beautifully shot nature mini-series. Until most of these have transverse the globe highlighting little scene wildlife. Wild Hawaii is the first of these nature shows to take the micro approach to the nature show focusing on one very small part of the globe: only 1,500 miles in length featuring eight major islands as well as one hundred and twenty-four smaller ones (which begs the question, why hasn’t Survivor taken up shop on one of the smaller islands yet).

Despite taking up a small part of the globe’s surface, Hawaii is a great place to film because of its isolation 2,400 miles from the nearest continent. And where else on the globe can you go snowboarding, travel a couple miles and go surfing minutes later? And that isolation has created a diverse array of species that would likely not see anywhere else on the planet, at least not evolved in the same way.

Wild Hawaii takes you from the top of the still active volcano all the way under the ocean just of the shore (you even get to view the ocean via seal cam). The special is made up of two episodes: Land of Fire will explore the fiery heart of Hawaii, explain how the lava shaped the islands and how the animals have adapted around the lava. That will be followed by Secrets of the Deep which will go to undersea rivers to see the fish that thrive in the rare waters just off the shore. The scenes are as beautiful as you would come to expect from these types of show and should be check out by any nature lover.

Wild Hawaii premieres Sundays at 8:00 on Nat Geo Wild. Check out the trailer below:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Previewing The Safecrackers

It seems like once a month a get a new screen for a job related reality show that makes me think they have finally run out of professions to follow around for television. Then a couple months later a new one comes that makes me say the same thing. The latest is premiering next week entitled The Safecrackers which follows around two locksmiths. After the show arrived I came to the realization I should stop saying television executives have finally run out of professions to exploit until one finally greenlights a reality show on waste management. That would quite literally and figuratively be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

The Safecrackers follows Phil Crawford, who has “888” tattooed on the knuckles of one hand, and “RIP” on the other, and his buddy Blaze as they travel the south (the map covers basically every Confederate and Border state) to unlock some of the hardest long lost safes. In the first episode they are tasked with opening up three different locks, well the first one leads to the second one when keys are found in the first safe.

To give you a sense of how one makes it as a locksmith, the first safe, which is an very small floor safe set back the owner $250. A larger job could put you back four digits. And in a rare (and more interesting) instance, they will open a safe for a percentage of the value inside. This is much more interesting because you can find very rare valuables inside or it could be a Capone’s vault situation which only ended up to housing dirt and empty bottles.

Phil and Blaze are your typical reality television southern goofballs you see on these types of show (there is a humorous scene where Blaze goes through Phil’s CD collection in the car), and the moments leading up to the unveiling of what is inside are gripping. Anyone who likes these kinds of profession based reality shows like Pawn Stars and Storage Wars will certainly enjoy The Safecrackers.

The Safecrackers airs Mondays at 10:00 on TruTV.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The 5 Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2014

Beyoncé changed the game late last year dropping a visual album out of nowhere on a Thursday night about a week before Christmas. But that change looks to be slow because most of the albums released early this year were announced at least a month in advance aside the new Kid Cudi album (which went as quickly as it came) and Skrillex whose new album drops today after just announcing it last week. Granted there are still plenty of names that are supposedly at work at a new album that could break the internet much like Mrs. Carter (considering they just teamed back up at SXSW, could a second Watch the Throne album be far behind) like Adele and Taylor Swift. Here are some albums that will not be air dropping out of nowhere over the next couple months since they already have hard release dates. Click in the artists name to be taken to their iTunes page and the album tile or cover art to pre-order on Amazon.

1. Sheezus – Lily Allen (May 5): Forget Yeezus, 2014 will be the year of Sheezus. After teasing new songs for the past four months, Lily Allen finally announced her comeback album which will feature the previously released Hard Out Here, Air Balloon, L8 CMMR, Out Time (as well as the Somewhere Only We Know cover on the Bonus Track Version). I am most interested in the title track, if it is half as good as her takedown of Window Shopper’s Window Shopper off her debut, it will be a great start for the new album.

2. Ghost Stories – Coldplay (May 19): The band has always been considered the poppier version of Radiohead, but it still came as a shock when their first new music was the non-pop song Midnight which sounded like Radiohead by way of Bon Iver. A week later the released a more conventional Magic but with its throbbing bass and drum machine mixed with Chris Martin not in falsetto, it still was one of the least Coldplay songs the band has ever recorded it. It should be interesting to hear what the rest of the album sound like, will they be pushing their limits even further or is the rest what we have come to expect from the band?

3. A Dotted Line – Nickel Creek (April 1): 2013 was the year of the reunion and that has seeped into 2014 with the first new album from the Afghan Whigs in sixteen years and Outkast headlining basically every festival this summer. I am more interested in the reunited Nickel Creek who will be putting out the first album in almost ten years. Where most reunion albums are just an excuse to go on a more profitable reunion tour, the album's first single Destination is as good as anything in the band’s library.

4. Supernova – Ray LaMontagne (May 6): Ray started out as the folk guy but on his last album he recruited a full band for a fuller sound and produced the album himself. The Pariah Dogs are sitting the new album out and benched himself when it came to production. Instead The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach is doing the producing the album and if first single, and title track, are indication, Ray is going for a seventies pop-rock vibe.

5. TBA – U2: This album should be higher on the list but it is becoming more and more unclear just when we are going to hear the first U2 album since 2009. When they dropped Invisible during the Super Bowl, a spring or summer released seemed inevitable, but after the song was met with a resounding, “eh” it was reported by Billboard that the album and tour would be pushed back to 2015 and they would go back into the studio with Ryan Tedder (ugg) and Paul Epworth (Adele). But that story was refuted by a spokesman for the band who said, “U2’s album is planned for this year, is still on track and touring plans haven’t been confirmed yet.” Though still no date, or even timeframe was given. So maybe there will be a U2 album this year, but maybe not until the holiday season. Maybe after all this gossip, maybe they will just end up Beyoncing the album just before Christmas.

Here is a list of more albums coming out this spring that will at the very least worth a spin on Spotify.

Symphonica – George Michael
SupermodelFoster the People
Good Road to FollowJohn Oates
Sex and Love (Deluxe)Enrique Iglesias
The Muppets Most Wanted

March 25
Out Among The StarsJohnny Cash (Lost 80’s Album)
Shakira. - Shakira
Teeth DreamsThe Hold Steady
About Last NightSleeper Agent
This Is What I DoBoy George
ColouristThe Colourist
Night SongsBarry Manilow
Rio 2: Music From the Motion Picture
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)Elton John
Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia: Live at The WonderThe Dandy Warhols (first live album)

April 1
Himalayan – Band of Skulls
Life JourneyLeon Russell
CopeManchester Orchestra
The Infamous Mobb Deep – Mobb Deep
Education, Education, Education & WarKaiser Chiefs

April 8
DuetsLinda Ronstadt
Pure FictionEric Hutchinson

April 15
Rivers in the Wasteland - Needtobreathe
Do to the BeastThe Afghan Whigs
Make My Head Sing - Jessica Lea Mayfield
Lights OutIngrid Michaelson
Fools Gold – Duck Sauce
Boys Night OutThe Oak Ridge Boys (first live album in 37 years)
Illmatic XXIllmatic XX - Nas (twentieth anniversary rerelease)

April 22
Pop PsychologyNeon Trees
Food - Kelis
Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver EverettEels
SugarG. Love & Special Sauce
Shine On – Dwight & Nicole

April 29
Most Messed Up – Old 97's
Everyday RobotsDamon Albarn
Phosphorescent Harvest – Chris Robinson Brotherhood
ShriekWye Oak
Song in My HeadThe String Cheese Incident

May 6
Shine OnSarah McLachlan
Natalie MerchantNatalie Merchant
I Never LearnLykke Li
Nikki NackTune-Yards

May 13
Blue SmokeDolly Parton
Everything’s Corrupt – Ice Cube

May 20
Upside Down Mountain – Conor Oberst
California BreedCalifornia Breed
A Matter Of Trust The Bridge To Russia: The Deluxe Edition (2CD/Blu-ray)Billy Joel

May 27
Are We There - Sharon Van Etten

June 3
Platinum – Miranda Lambert
Road BetweenLucy Hale
Superunknown (20th Anniversary - Remastered CD) - Soundgarden

June 10
Manslaughter – Body Count

Plectrumelectrum – Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL
A Letter Home – Neil Young
You’re Welcome – De La Soul
4:13 Dream – The Cure
B.O.A.T.S. III – 2 Chainz
World Peace Is None of Your Business - Morrissey
Better Than Ezra
Charlie Wilson
Ed Sheeran
Florence + The Machine
The Gaslight Anthem
The Jacksons
Jenny Lewis
Kendrick Lamar
Linkin Park
Raphael Saadiq
Taylor Swift

Let me end with the obligatory this may be the quarter when Dr. Dre finally releases Detox.