Friday, January 18, 2019

Around the Tubes: January 18, 2019

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 Fyre Fraud, WTF Baron Davis, The Cranberries, Welshly Arms, and Keb’ Mo’.

- The Fyre Festival was the defining scam of the millennial generation, at the nexus of social media influence, late-stage capitalism, and morality in the post-truth era. Marketing for the 2017 music event went viral with the help of rapper Ja Rule, instagram stars, and models, but turned epic fail after stranding thousands in the Bahamas. Featuring an exclusive interview with Billy McFarland, the convicted con-man behind the festival; Fyre Fraud is a true-crime comedy bolstered by a cast of whistleblowers, victims, and insiders going beyond the spectacle to uncover the power of FOMO and an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and a lack of accountability in the digital age.

- On Sunday, January 20 at 11 p.m. ET/PT Retired two-time NBA All-Star Baron Davis takes BDot, a rising social media phenom, under his wing in an unorthodox mentorship program that often ends in hilarious disaster. Featuring Davis and real-life Instagram star Brandon Armstrong (bdotadot5) as eccentric versions of themselves, WTF Baron Davis depicts the absurd antics that transpire when an opinionated and self-centered celebrity “invests” in the lovable yet incompetent screw-ups who hang around him. With guest appearances from Flava Flav, Lamorne Morris (New Girl), Jerry Ferrara (Entourage), and basketball player Nick “Swaggy P” Young. Then, immediately following, at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT, Fuse will debut brand-new series That White People Sh*t, featuring comedian King Keraun Harris (IG @kingkeraun) who is on a journey of discovery, pulling back the curtain on a variety of subcultures that are particular to the white community. Join King Keraun as he fully immerses himself in white culture like fencing, goat yoga, LARPing, slack lining, alpaca farming, and ghost hunting. Along the way, he meets new friends and makes it his mission to understand why white people do what they do, and love what they do. Better known by his online alias and persona King Keraun, Keraun Harris is a producer, actor, comedian, and Internet personality who has appeared on HBO's Insecure and ABC's Black-ish.

- Thirty years after forming in Limerick (initially as The Cranberry Saw Us) The Cranberries are set to release their 8th and final album In The End. With Stephen Street once again taking producer duties, the eleven-track record brings a remarkable career to a fitting and powerful closure. Announcing the album, the band has shared the first single "All Over Now" that blends rock, alternative and catchy almost pop-sounding melodies to deliver a classic Cranberries sound.

- Cleveland six-piece Welshly Arms unveils their new single “Learn To Let Go” today—listen and share HERE! The song exclusively premiered on Billboard, who hails it as “a punchy rock anthem.” “Learn To Let Go” follows the band’s 2018 debut album No Place Is Home released via Republic Records, which features their breakout hits “Legendary” and “Sanctuary.” “Legendary” has over 70 million Spotify streams to date and is certified platinum in Germany and Switzerland.

- Four-time GRAMMY award-winning contemporary Blues and Americana artist Keb’ Mo’ marks his 25th anniversary year with an upcoming tour and new studio album. The international solo tour will include a first-time performance at The Dubai Jazz Festival and trips to Australia, Europe, and dates spanning the United States.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Previewing Black Monday

Just last week I was talking about how Seth Rogan was the king of high concept and low brow comedy. But here I am reviewing another show he is a producer of (and also directed the Pilot episode with his producing partner Evan Goldberg) and Black Monday is actually a simple concept about the stock market crash of 1987. Okay, since the show focuses on predominately male stock brokers, there still is plenty low brow humor. Or as our present day grooming companies would call toxic masculinity masquerading as humor.

Being Black Monday, naturally the show starts with someone throwing themselves out a window crashing down on a Lamborghini limousine. Which is apparently a real thing. But this a story is about what caused the crash so we then flash back a year. Oh and we get to see the tie pin that was on the dead body on one of our main characters. Though that person is no longer in possession of that tie pin at the end of the second episode so we will get to debate all season (or more)just who jumped out the window. And le me go ahead and ask now, wait, did he jump or maybe was he pushed? After meeting the characters, I would not rule out murder.

Despite the setting and time period, this is not Wall Street or The Wolf of Wall Street or even Billions set in the eighties (though it may be a not white washed version of Working Girl). There is a meeting in the second episode that looks like a Benetton ad. There is a black man, a Hispanic, a Jew, a woman, an Arab, and a Polynesian, and even one of them is a closeted homosexual. The lone WASP at the Wall Street firm is actually a new guy and actually the mark for the group.

Don Cheadle (House of Lies) is head of this rag tag firm who wants to be a big player by any means necessary. Regina Hall (Support the Girls) is his right hand man and best mind on the team. Andrew Rannells (The New Normal) is the bright eyed newbie who has brought his new algorithm to Wall Street. Oh and Ken Marino shows up as both Leighman Brothers (someone is trying not to be sued) which makes it twice as fun.

Black Monday is reminiscent of Cheadle’s last Showtime show with him yet again playing the leader of a firm in a ruthless industry, though a little less successful this time around. And of course, a lot more eighties reference. Though closing out the first episode with a montage of New York Stock Exchange workers set to Don Henley’s New York Minute is a little on the nose. Still, thanks to all the eighties gags, the new show is a bit more funnier… and twice the Ken Marinos.

Black Monday airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Previewing SMILF: Season Two

In the #MeToo era, plenty of men have been accused of impropriety, be it white men, black men, and even gay men. But if we have learned anything from Demi more in Disclosure, women can be inappropriate too. So things are going to be awkward on the upcoming season of SMILF. It has been reported that star Samara Weaving, who plays the new girlfriend of the lead character played by the show’s creator Frankie Shaw is leaving the show because of a few incidents during her time on the show.

Weaving is leaving because of two instances. The first being Weaving objected to appearing in a nude scene. Shaw responded by pulling up her own t-shirt and remarked how her body had altered after giving birth and she still did nude scenes when required. Then this season, Shaw instructed video monitors to be turned on during an intimate scene involving Weaving even though the set was supposed to be closed, with only limited crew present and with outside monitors off. Add to that, there have been multiple staffers have made complaints to the WGA about both credit issues and alleged race-based separation, though no formal grievances have been filed.

Despite all these allegations, Showtime is still going forward with season two. Though them bringing back the show for a third season will be a bit surprising. But then again, Bryan Singer just won a Golden Globe so you never know punishment in the #MeToo era have been fairly uneven. As the Commander in Chief has shown, just deny and wait it out and people will end up forgetting or caring eventually.

Unfortunately for me, the viewer, Weaving was the best part of the show in the first season. Shaw was just completely unlikeable as a mother who just cannot get her life together even though now is the moment she has to. Weaving was the complete opposite, a ray of sunshine that would not let anything get o her. Really, Showtime should just cancel SMILF and give Weaving her own show. Unfortunately it seems like Weaving was already halfway out the door as the second season happens because she does not even show up until episode four.

Those actually did the like the scattershot that was the first season, you are in luck because season two is just as jumbled and kind of incoherent. There is one episode that turned out to be just a dream sequence that means nothing. Another follows one of Connie Briton’s housekeepers for a reason that comes clear at the end but I stopped caring why we were spending the time with her much sooner. An episode where Shaw looks for her father is another episode that just ends in a thud. I think when Weaving is official gone from the show, I may too.

SMILF airs Sundays at 10:30 on Showtime.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2019 Winter Music Preview

Last decade, Ryan Adams released an album every year except the last, as well as three in 2005 and one of those was even a double albym. So only putting out six albums this decade seems a little slow for the singer. And that includes a full Taylor Swift cover album in the vein of The Smiths and what he called "a fully-realized sci-fi metal concept album." I am not sure which one of those was more absurd. Adams is leaving this decade with a bang by claiming he will again be releasing three albums in a calendar year. There seems to be a few more notable albums being released early this year as the music industries is changing. Usually the winter was dead foe new music aside from some up and coming artists (this winter sees two debut albums I am looking forward to be Maggie Rogers and Jade Bird). They labels used to save all the big names for the fall to get that Black Friday money but I do wonder as we switch from buying to streaming if getting music out for the summer will become the bigger priority. Here are the albums I will at least give a spin to on Spotify. Click on the album title to pre-order on Amazon and click the artist name to be taken to their iTunes page.

January 18
Heard it in a Past Life - Maggie Rogers
Native Tongue - Switchfoot
Rattlesnake - Neyla Pekarek
Mint - Alice Merton
Assume Form - James Blake
Look Alive - Guster
Remind Me Tomorrow - Sharon Van Etten
Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? - Deerhunter
Weird - Juliana Hatfield
Fool - Joe Jackson

January 25
In Search of Mona Lisa - EP- Santana
Stay Human, vol II - Michael Franti and Spearhead
Why You So Crazy - The Dandy Warhols
Live in Atlantic City - Heart

February 1
Don't Feed the Pop Monster - Broods
The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change - Nina Nesbitt
Stages - Cassadee Pope

February 15
What It Is - Hayes Carll
Head Above Water - Avril Lavigne
American Love Song - Ryan Bingham

February 22
Canterbury Girls - Lily and Madeleine

March 1
Weezer (Black Album) - Weezer
This Land - Gary Clark Jr.
Heroin and Helicopters - Citizen Cope
Sucker Punch - Sigrid
The Verdict - Queensrÿche

March 8
Gold in a Brass Age - David Gray
Cheers - The Wild Reeds
Still on My Mind - Dido
The Best of Everything - The Definitive Career Spanning Hits Collection 1976-2016 - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

March 22
No Words Left - Lucy Rose

March 29
Union - Son Volt

April 19
Big Colors - Ryan Adams
Jade Bird - Jade Bird
Moonlight - Johnnyswim

Wednesdays - Ryan Adams
Notes on a Conditional Form - The 1975
Late Night Feelings - Mark Ronson
Wasteland, Baby - Hozier
Run the Jewel 4 - Run The Jewels
On the Line - Jenny Lewis
Yandhi - Kanye West
Ariana Grande
Bruce Springsteen
Carly Rae Jepsen
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Charli XCX
Karen O and Danger Mouse
Kid Cudi
Maddie and Tae
Maren Morris
The Raconteurs
Ryan Adams (yes, a third album is also coming this year)
Sara Bareilles
Stray Cats
The Weeknd

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

Sunday, January 13, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: January 13, 2019

Ray Donovan: Oh wow, the cop killed himself. A bit extreme considering he has a kid. But alrighty. So with one episode left, I take it Ray now takes down Susan Surandon.

Manifest: Welcome back you dumb, dumb show. That final scene was especially stupid.
You can download Manifest on iTunes.

Vikings: So just how many people are left in Loki’s camp because they keep on killing people off. It may just be Loki and Edge by the end of the season. Which may be for the best because those are the only two characters in Greenland that I actually remember. Although I guess the bigger question is who will rule Kattegard at the end of the season? Sure seems like a leadership change is coming soon.
You can download Vikings on iTunes.

The Good Place: When the accountant said no one had made it into The Good Place in five hundred years I figured it had to be The Bad Place sabotaging things or as a society it is just hard to be a good person. Apparently our carbon footprint in the industrial age is really hurting us. Though that still does not explain Doug Forcett who is walking to Vancouver to donate to a snail sanctuary. Unless my previously predicted that he falls under the category of Tahani of doing good for the wrong reasons.
The Good Place on iTunes.

Gotham: So that is who they teased at the end of last season, some weird old chick? I wonder if that is all we will see of her.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Blindspot: This show likes to throw in these unordinary episodes and they usually work, but having much of the episode play out in Jane’s brain was a little too weird and really did not do much. And what a random ending. Shepard gets sprung from prison and she choose to use that freedom to hang out in the apartment of a federal agent then get killed by her “daughter?” Kind of an anticlimactic ending to what used to be the big bad on the show.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

The Blacklist: So Cooper is a stand up enough guy to not lie about the immunity agreement despite hi superiors telling him but he then lies about not knowing of Red committing any crime to violate the agreement. Alrighty.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.