Friday, March 04, 2016

Around the Tubes: 3/4/16

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 Path, Spring Broke, The Brainwashing of my Dad, CeeLo Green: Live In L.A., Yanni: The Drem Concert - Live at the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Joshy, and Satan’s Sisters: A Novel of Fiction.

- The Path follows a family at the center of a controversial cult as they struggle with relationships, faith and power. Each episode takes an in-depth look at the gravitational pull of belief and what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want. Created by Jessica Goldberg, the show is executive produced by Jason Katims and Michelle Lee of True Jack Productions and stars Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy and Michelle Monaghan.

- On Friday, March 25th at 9:00, Showtime will premiere Spring Broke, a documentary about the raucous history of the infamous spring vacation revelries in Daytona, Florida. The annual gathering started in the early 60s and by the 1980s led to the arrival of tens of thousands of college students, lured by music, sun, endless parties and eventually, the hope to make it onto MTV.

- Right-wing cable news and "conservative" talk radio attract older Americans like graying moths to an angry flame. But why would someone who was either apolitical or a Democrat in younger days become addicted to conservative talk shows in their twilight years? Filmmaker Jen Senko wondered how her WWII veteran and Kennedy Democrat father had been transformed into a Fox News fanatic, suddenly and inexplicably railing against minorities, homosexuals, poor people, and Democrats. Using her dad as an entertaining example, Senko pulls back the curtain to expose the tools and tricks of the wizards behind the right-wing media revolution. And in discovering what happened to him, Senko reveals the all-too-chilling bigger picture of what’s happening behind-the-scenes to influence our national discourse. The Brainwashing of my Dad, which will open theatrically in New York and Los Angeles with a day and date iTunes/Nationwide VOD release on March 18. The film directed by award-winning documentarian Jen Senko.

- Tune in to AT&T Audience Network for CeeLo Green: Live In L.A. airing Friday, March 11 at 9:00 (DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114). Watch as the GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter thrills the audience--at the gothic-styled Theatre At The ACE Hotel in downtown Los Angeles--with his electric soul band, performing both his classic hits and new fan favorites.

- The No. 1 selling, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and global phenomenon Yanni has performed his distinctive music in exotic and historic locations all across the world. From his groundbreaking concert at the Acropolis to his most recent televised performance at El Morro, Puerto Rico, Yanni has pushed the boundaries of the way audiences experience live music. After performing at China's Forbidden City and India's Taj Mahal, Yanni realized his lifelong dream to perform at the foot of the Sphinx at the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt — the last of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World that remains today. The November 2015 concert was captured in 4K state-of-the-art high definition audio and video, and features a career-spanning selection of fan favorites, along with never-before-performed songs and new arrangements of his classic compositions. Yanni: The Drem Concert - Live at the Great Pyramids of Egypt premieres on PBS stations beginning March 5 (check local listings). A CD/DVD or Blu-ray of the historic concert is out June 3 via Sony Music Masterworks’ imprint Portrait Records, and is available for preorder March 4.

- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, and Hulu announced this week that they have joined forces to acquire the North American rights to Jeff Baena’s Joshy, featuring an ensemble cast, including Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Nick Kroll, Brett Gelman, and Jenny Slate. The film will be released on Lionsgate’s specialty film distribution label, Lionsgate Premiere, and will be available to stream exclusively on Hulu following its theatrical run.

- Tony, Grammy, and Emmy nominated singer/actress Vanessa Williams has signed on to play the lead role in VH1’s upcoming scripted series inspired by Star Jones 2011 book Satan’s Sisters: A Novel of Fiction. Set in the bright lights of daytime television, the fireworks start every weekday at noon when the hosts of "The Lunch Hour" -- a long-running popular TV talk show -- discuss life, love, family, politics, and gossip. Ms. Williams will play the role of Maxine, the creator and host of “The Lunch Hour;” a formidable, powerful, and decisive woman, but fears she's being put out to pasture. Slated for a 2017 premiere, the series will focus on Maxine and her co-hosts, five women with very different points of view, are best friends and sisters...while they're on TV. But behind the scenes, they are “Satan's Sisters” -- a backstage world filled with power struggles, personal demons, diva fits, love affairs, man troubles, cat fights...and cocktails.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 3/3/16

The Sound - 1975

I never really liked Jimmy Kimmel's Mean Tweets segment because it jut feeds the trolls and instead of shaming these idiots, all you are doing is encouraging them to do it more. I am not sure if the critiques if are actual mean tweets or just up by the band or director but it just comes off as cringey. Though I did laugh at "Robotic Huey Lewis" despite making no sense. I guess it is a good thing I never got around to sharing my thought of The 1975's Saturday Night Live performance which was basically a Fameera David Bowie rip-off mixed with a cheesy disco song where the lead singer was trying way too hard to be the lead singer of INXS. And I kind of like that song, and this one too.

Work - Rihanna featuring Drake

Artist make multiple videos for the same song all the time, but this is the first time I remember anyone releasing two aat the sme time in the same video file. But listening to this song back to back only reminds me just how annoying that chorus can be and no matter how see-thru Rihanna's top is, I really cannot sit through it twice.

Fire Away - Chris Stapleton

Alchol has become so ingrained in country culture it has become a cliche, so kudos to Chris Stapleton, who has been flipping the genre on it heels since the release of his last album, for reminding us that there are negative consequences with the drug, especially when dealing with depression and mental illness.

Spirits - The Strumbellas

It is a rare feat to get song stuck in your head after on listen but The Strumbellas did just that with their first song because that chorus has not left my head since. For the past decade or so there has been a weird indie song that somehow manages to become a big mainstream hit, if there is any justice, that will be Spirits this year. Of course if that happens, I may be sick of it by summer.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Fifty Best Blind Auditions from The Voice

It is weird to think that The Voice is already up to ten seasons but they really rack up when you are doing two per season (seriously, Survivor just started it thirty-second season. But since I do not need a good reason to make a list I thought I would count down the best Blind Auditions in the show’s history. I read somewhere that The Voice Band prepares over a hundred Blind Auditions so there have probably been over a thousand of them already even though we only get to see maybe fifty to sixty in full every season. Here are the top fifty that stood out to me. I did limit to only allow each song to appear only once (sorry Krista Hughes) due to my long standing theory of if you are going to do a song that has already been done on the show, you best be better than the first time (or at the very least different).

1. The Scientist - Holly Henry

2. Say Aah - Lindsey Pavao

3. We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off - Ellie Lawrence

4. Trouble - Tony Lucca

5. Tiny Dancer - Caroline Glaser

6. Dream a Little Dream of Me - Amy Vachal

7. Gravity - Ryan Innis

8. A Song for You - Jessie Campbell

9. Folsom Prison Blues - Midas Whale

10. Torn - Cassadee Pope

11. Angel From Montgomery - Audra McLaughlin

12. Safe & Sound - Savannah Berry

13. Photograph - Sydney Rhame

14. Titanium - Madilyn Page

15. Anything Could Happen - Caroline Pennell

16. Rumour Has It - Mathai

17. Breakeven (Falling to Pieces) - Xenia

18. It's Too Late - Madi Davis

19. Stand By Me - Ddendyl

20. Good Girl - Amber Carrington

21. Electric Feel - Preston Pohl

22. What's Going On - Anthony Evans

23. Give Me Love - Reagan James

24. All I Want - Deanna Johnson

25. Ain’t No Way - Siaundra Lewis

26. Can't Help Falling In Love - Jess Kellner

27. No One - Whitney Myer

28. Movin’ On Up - Cole Vosbury

29. Ain't No Sunshine - Nelly's Echo

30. Thank You - Andi and Alex

31. Hell On Heels - Raelynn

32. Falling Slowly - Elenowen

33. To Make You Feel My Love - Holly Tucker

34. Landslide - Suzanne Choffel

35. Listen - Trevin Hunte

36. Hard to Handle - Cody Belew

37. That’s How Strong My Love Is - Luke Wade

38. I Want You To Want Me - Morgan Frazier

39. Not Ready To Make Nice - Sasha Allen

40. New York State of Mind - India Carney

41. One More Try - Josh Kaufman

42. Like a Rolling Stone - Lee Koch

43. Skinny Love - Brooke Adee

44. Dancing With Myself - The Shields Brothers!

45. The Lazy Song - Naia Kete

46. Cosmic Love - Caitlin Michele

47. Hey, Soul Sister - De'Borah

48. I Want You - Rob Taylor

49. Saving All My Love For You - Kris Thomas

50. Come As You Are - Rebecca Loebe

And here is a little bonus list of the ten singers that no coach inexplicably turned around for:

1. Jane Smith (Season 4)
2. Ducky (Season 2)
3. Kameron Corvet (Season 3)
4. Preston Shannon (Season 2)
5. Allison Bray (Season 6)
6. Caitlin Lucia (Season 7)
7. Eric Tipton (Season 2)
8. Joe May (Season 9)
9. Betsy Barta (Season 4)
10. Yolanda Barber (Season 3)

For the stat geeks out there I had divvied up the top fifty into a couple of categories.

Artists by Coach
Blake - 14
Adam – 12
Christina - 8
Cee-Lo – 5
Pharrell – 5
Usher – 3
Shakira - 2
Gwen – 1

Artists by Season
Season 1 – 3
Season 2 – 10
Season 3 – 7
Season 4 – 9
Season 5 – 5
Season 6 – 4
Season 7 – 2
Season 8 – 4
Season 9 - 6

Artists by How Far They Went
Battle Round – 8
Knockout Round – 9
Playoffs - 7
Live Shows – 14
Semi-Finals - 9
Finals – 1
Winners - 2

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Previewing He Named Me Malala

I knew who Malala Yousafzai was, the name has been floating around for a while popping up in my news feed and I would occasionally get bits and pieces of her life. I knew she was a Pakistani girl who the Talaban tried to kill when she spoke up for education rights for girls in her country and that she went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. It is an important story but to be honest, basically only knew the Cliff Notes version of her story.

And the Cliff Notes version of her life story, but even if you just know the basics (which you should at the very least becaus eI just gave them to you) you should still check out the documentary on her, He Named Me Malala. You will learn just how important that name is and why it is important that young girls have access to an education even if militant Islamist are blowing up schools to make sure it oes not happen.

Not only do you meet Malala the activist, you also get to meet Malala the teenage girl who frets about a mediocre grade on her science test and giggles like a teen would when the interview asks if she like Roger Federer because of his tennis skill or because of his hair. He Named Malala is a powerful movie that should be required viewing for any parent with a daughter and every school age girl. And now you can watch it when it airs commercial free tomorrow on the National Geographic Channel. The documentary was directed by Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman).

He Named Me Malana airs commercial free Monday at 8:00 on the National Geographic Channel.