Friday, June 22, 2018

Around the Tubes: 6/22/2018

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 U2, Eric B and Rakim, Florence + the Machine,Cold War Kids, Noah Kahan, The Supremes, Leonard Bernstein, Public Image Ltd., Welshly Arms, Hulu, and Desus Nice and The Kid Mero.

- UMC/Island/Interscope announced three new vinyl reissues from U2. Remastered and pressed on 180gsm double LP black vinyl, Achtung Baby (1991), Zooropa (1993) and The Best of 1980-1990 (1998) will be released on July 27th. Achtung Baby (1991), Zooropa (1993) and The Best of 1980-1990 (1998) are available to pre order now here.

- Ever since they burst upon the scene in the late 1980s, Eric B & Rakim have been universally recognized as one of hip-hop's greatest creative units. Eric's distinctive soundscapes and Rakim's complex raps remain unequaled, and the duo's classic recordings remain a benchmark of the genre. Although the pair's albums have remained immensely influential, all have been out of print for some time, making the UMe release The Complete Collection 1987-1992 an especially timely package. Not only a mighty monument to Eric B & Rakim's larger-than-life catalog, this ten-disc vinyl/CD set is the first U.S. career expanding box set for a hip hop artist. The Complete Collection 1987-1992 incorporates two-LP vinyl editions of each of Eric B & Rakim's four original albums—1987's Paid In Full, 1988's Follow the Leader, 1990's Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em and 1992's Don't Sweat the Technique— plus two bonus CDs of vintage remixes, none of which have ever appeared on an album, and only a handful of which have previously been available digitally. All four LPs are housed in a ridged slipcase that also houses a 36-page book and the two bonus CDs. The bonus CDs include no less than 26 vintage remixes, including such influential classics as Coldcut's "Seven Minutes of Madness" mix of "Paid In Full," the "Six Minutes of Soul" reworking of "I Know You Got Soul," Marley Marl and M.C. Shan's mix of "My Melody," and "Friends," Eric B & Rakim's Top Ten 1989 collaboration with Jody Watley.

- Florence + the Machine unveil a new song, “Big God,” and video today—watch it, choreographed by Akram Khan and Florence and directed by Autumn de Wilde, HERE. “Big God” is the third track to be released from Florence + the Machine’s hugely anticipated fourth studio album High As Hope, out June 29 on Republic Records.

- Cold War Kids: Can We Hang On?: Late Night with Seth Myers:

- As he quietly becomes an international sensation with nearly 110 million cumulative streams to his name, Vermont singer and songwriter Noah Kahan returns with his new single, “Come Down,” today—listen here.

- On June 29, in anticipation of the upcoming 60th anniversary of Motown — a.k.a. Hitsville U.S.A. — and inspired by the album’s own recent 51st anniversary, Motown/UMe is releasing a 51-track, 2-CD Expanded Edition of The Supremes’ tenth studio effort, the chart-topping The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. The collection magnifies the scope of a seminal album that made history, including 27 tracks that are heard here for the first time via a number of updated mixes and alternate versions, as well as electrifying live performances captured at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City in May 1967, the last recorded performance of the original trio: Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard.

- In a dazzling musical career that spanned more than forty years, Leonard Bernstein distinguished himself as a conductor, pianist and educator, as well as a passionate musical communicator. But it was his work as a composer that made the most enduring impression upon the public. Bernstein's timeless compositions have become deeply ingrained in the American soundtrack, encompassing the Broadway stage, the pop scene and the jazz world. Now, just in time for the 100th anniversary of his birth on August 25, some of his greatest works have been assembled for Jazz Loves Bernstein, available June 29 via Verve/UMe. The two-CD/digital collection spans the musical and emotional breadth of the Bernstein songbook, with interpretations of the maestro's classic tunes spanning more than half a century, performed by some of the era's finest jazz singers and musicians.
Starting today, Bobby’s Scott rare 1959 recording of “Ya Got Me” is available for streaming and for immediate download with digital album pre-order. Pre-order Jazz Loves Bernstein now.

- n celebration of Public Image Ltd.’s (PiL) 40th Anniversary, Abramorama and Verisimilitude have released the first official trailer and poster of the new music documentary The Public Image Is Rotten. The career-spanning documentary, tells the story of music icon John Lydon and his pioneering group PiL with a level of depth and intimacy never before seen. Following a sold-out screening at Camden London’s Odeon Cinema, the film will be released in multiple theaters across the United Kingdom and select European cities throughout the summer, followed by a North American theatrical tour in the fall kicking off at New York City’s downtown Metrograph on September 14. Watch the trailer for the film The Public Image Is Rotten HERE.

- Cleveland-based, blues and gospel-influenced Alternative band Welshly Arms debuts the video for their single, “Sanctuary,” today—watch and share here. The video exclusively premieres on Billboard, who hails the song as an “earnest, dramatically arranged track.”​ It was directed by Los Angeles-based director Dan Henry and shot in the desert near Acton, CA.

- Hulu announced a deal to acquire whistleblower doc Crime + Punishment as a Hulu documentary. After debuting at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, CRIME + PUNISHMENT went on to win the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking, and has garnered numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Independent Film Festival in Boston. Stephen Maing directed, produced and filmed, and Academy Award Winner Laura Poitras serves as an executive producer. The premium streaming service will partner with IFC Films to release the documentary simultaneously in theaters and on Hulu on August 24th.

- Showtime has ordered a weekly half-hour late-night series starring Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, scheduled for premiere in 2019. The first ever weekly late-night talk show on Showtime will feature popular TV and podcast personalities Desus and Mero, speaking highly off the cuff and chatting with guests at the intersection of pop culture, sports, music, politics and more. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc.

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

Weezer (The Black Album) - Weezer
The 1975
Avril Lavigne
The Doobie Brothers
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