Saturday, March 07, 2020

Around the Tubes: February 7, 2020

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 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, The Circus, Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, U2, The Weeknd, Phantogram, James Taylor, Morgan Harper-Jones, Laura Dreyfuss, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, The Trade, and Rust.

- Showtime has released the official trailer for the eagerly anticipated drama Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, premiering on Sunday, April 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars Tony® and Emmy® winner Nathan Lane, Natalie Dormer, Daniel Zovatto, Kerry Bishé, Rory Kinnear, Adriana Barraza, Michael Gladis, Jessica Garza and Johnathan Nieves. Tony and Golden Globe® winner and three-time Oscar® nominee John Logan, the creator, writer and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated series PENNY DREADFUL, continues in those same roles. Michael Aguilar (KIDDING) also serves as executive producer.

- Co-hosts John Heilemann, Alex Wagner and Mark McKinnon, along with guest contributor Jennifer Palmieri, fan out across the country for the momentous Super Tuesday primary elections, and explore what the aftermath means for the 2020 presidential race. The Circus sits down with former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to break down the dynamics of a two-way race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. For a preview go to:

- Pearl Jam and Abramorama are proud to announce the Gigaton Listening Experience – a special, one night only audio-visual event in 200+ Dolby Atmos equipped theaters around the world on March 25, 2020. The immersive event takes over the big screen just two days before the release of Pearl Jam’s anxiously awaited new album, Gigaton [Monkeywrench/Republic Records], on March 27, 2020. Tickets are on sale now, get them HERE.

- In the mid-1980s as Johnny Cash found himself between labels, Mercury Records snatched up the country legend for what would end up being a prolific string of six albums in five years. The records, released from 1986 to 1991, were a diverse collection that included a notable reunion with fellow Sun Records alumni Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, star-studded collaborations with Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, Glen Campbell, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr. and others, inspired takes on songs from Elvis Costello, Guy Clark and Harry Chapin, the Man in Black revisiting his classic hits, and some of the finest songs ever written by Cash. Despite the quality of material, Cash’s stint with Mercury has never been revisited—until now. On April 24, Cash's often overlooked and underappreciated chapter of his body of work will be showcased with a suite of releases via Mercury/UMe including a comprehensive new box set, The Complete Mercury Recordings 1986-1991, and a new greatest hits album, Easy Rider: The Best Of The Mercury Recordings, a newly assembled collection that compiles 24 highlights selected from Cash's Mercury catalog. Easy Rider will be released as a single CD, double LP and digital download. Pre-order The Complete Mercury Recordings 1986-1991: Pre-order Easy Rider: The Best Of The Mercury Recordings:

- Island Records and UMe today announce the release of ‘11 O’Clock Tick Tock’ on limited edition 12” transparent blue vinyl to celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday, April 18th, 2020. The Record Store Day release marks the 40th anniversary of ‘11 O’Clock Tick Tock’ and includes the full-length version of the track, as well as the original 7” B-side ‘Touch’; plus two previously unreleased live recordings - ‘Touch’ and ‘Twilight’ - from the band’s memorable show at the Marquee in London in September 1980. ‘11 O’Clock Tick Tock’ was produced by Martin Hannett and recorded in the spring of 1980 at Dublin’s Windmill Lane Studios. Released in May that year, the song was U2’s first single on Island Records.

- The Weeknd has shared a new short film titled “After Hours” ahead of the release of his album of the same name on March 20th. The film follows him as he leaves the stage of his acclaimed performance of “Blinding Lights” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and heads into the desolate late night streets of Los Angeles before delirium sets in. This week “Blinding Lights” became The Weeknd’s 7th #1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart, the most for any artist. Internationally “Blinding Lights” has been the #1 airplay song in both Germany and France for 7+ consecutive weeks, and it has recently hit #1 in Australia as well. Impressively, it has been the #1 song on the official charts in France and the UK for 3 consecutive weeks and counting.

- Phantogram releases their highly anticipated fourth studio album, Ceremony—listen HERE! The 11-track album features the band’s lead single, “Dear God,” which they debuted with an explosive performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night—watch it HERE. Ceremony marks a rebirth and embodies a dark, but hopeful, chapter for the band, which is comprised of lifelong friends Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. In advance of the release, the band posted a revealing letter to fans unveiling how the tragic loss of Barthel’s sister, Becky, to suicide, and peers like Mac Miller, Chris Cornell, Prince, Avicii, Chester Bennington and more, impacted their lives and influenced the album—read more HERE.

- James Taylor Shares the Story of How He Wrote Carolina in My Mind:

- Hailing from Rochdale in Greater Manchester, 23 year old newcomer Morgan Harper-Jones has today revealed her second ever track, the stunning "Lie To Me". Listen to it HERE. The track follows the release of Harper-Jones’ mesmerizing debut single "Breathe" at the beginning of last month - which came accompanied by the stark and subtly moving one-take performance video that you can view HERE.

- Award-winning singer/actress Laura Dreyfuss has announced today’s premiere of her new single. “Sidelines” is available now via S-Curve Records/BMG at all DSPs and streaming services; an official music video – directed by Marysia Makowska – is streaming now via Dreyfuss' official YouTube channel. "This song is about finding your voice in an unsupportive relationship, says Dreyfuss. "It’s my way of telling someone that their negativity won’t stop me from celebrating who I am and what I’ve accomplished."

- Republic Records releases Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist: Season 1, Episode 4 (Music from the Original TV Series) in conjunction with the critically acclaimed new NBC television series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, produced by Lionsgate and Universal Television in association with the Tannenbaum Company, Feigco Entertainment and Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment. Get it via Republic Records HERE. New EPs will be released in tandem with each new episode of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, which will air weekly on Sundays at 9pm ET/ PT on NBC.

- SHOWTIME has released every episode of the second, standalone season of its docu-series The Trade to its subscribers. All four episodes are available now for on-demand streaming or download on the SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as for viewing via SHOWTIME On Demand. Directed by Emmy® and DGA Award winner and Oscar® nominee Matthew Heineman, THE TRADE will debut on air on SHOWTIME tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT and continue to air new episodes every Friday. This season of THE TRADE, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, delves into the shadow industries of smugglers and human traffickers who prey on the thousands of Central American migrants making the dangerous journey to the United States every year. By shedding light on those who take advantage of the migrants’ vulnerability and on law enforcement pursuing them at the border, THE TRADE brings audiences inside the rarely seen underbelly of the migrants’ world and humanizes their struggle to survive.

- Golden Globe winner and Emmy® nominee Maura Tierney (THE AFFAIR) has joined the cast of the upcoming SHOWTIME drama Rust, starring Emmy winner and Tony® and Golden Globe nominee Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom, Godless, The Looming Tower). In addition, Emmy and Tony nominee Bill Camp (The Night Of), Tony winner David Alvarez (West Side Story), Alex Neustaedter (Colony) and newcomer Julia Mayorga have been cast as series regulars. RUST is scheduled to begin production in Pittsburgh in late March. Based on Philipp Meyer’s celebrated debut novel American Rust, Rust is a compelling family drama that will explore the tattered American dream through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Daniels) in a Rust Belt town in southwest Pennsylvania. When the woman he truly loves sees her son accused of murder, Harris is forced to decide what he's willing to do to protect him.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Previewing Into the Dark: Crawlers

During its first season, the first five episodes Into the Dark went with the very obvious holidays before the first curveball came in March with an Ides of March themed episode. The second season started with the five same holidays but we finally get a deviation this month as the anthology goes with the more obvious March holiday this time around with a St. Patrick Day themed episode with an even bigger surprise being that they managed to do one without involving leprechauns.

Instead this installment Crawlers features, well, not exactly anything that crawls or at least we do not see them crawl. This episode stars Giorgia Whigham who played the snarky teenager in the second season of The Punisher. Adding that kind of character to that kind of show could have easily ruined that show, but Whigham added much needed levity to the heavy show and actually improved it.

Whigham plays a drug dealing townie that is making plenty of money off of college students during the most inebriated day of the year in this small college town. But she is also a conspiracy theorist who thinks the moon landing was faked, Paull McCartney was replaced by a body double, and apparently so was Avril Lavigne (after a quick Google search it turns out stupid people on the internet think this). Oh, and tying into the theme of the episode, she also thinks St. Patrick was an alien.

She also thinks there is more to a meteorite that crashed near the quiet college four decades ago then the CIA would leave her to believe. Of course she would be right otherwise there would be no movie. Unfortunately the rest of the cast is not as compelling as her. Same for the script as I feel like I have seen the small town has to fight back from invaders movie before and done much better. But Whigham does make Crawlers watchable and they wisely also made her the narrator so even when she is not on screen, she still is around to may a wry comment on things. Now hopefully she can find something that can better use her talents.

Into the Dark Season Two Power Ranking:

1. Uncanny Annie (October)
2. A Nasty Piece of Work (December)
3. Crawlers (March)
4. Pilgrim (November)
5. My Valentine (February)
6. Midnight Kiss (December)

Into the Dark: Crawlers premieres tomorrow exclusively on Hulu.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

57 Channels and Only This Is On: March 1, 2020

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist: So is Zoey going to curse going into the title card every week because if so, I am all for it. Not the greatest week for music, I had to look up the song her mother sang. Too bad they did not have Zoey sing The Humpty Dance, that would have been great.
You can download Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist on iTunes.

Dare Me: I think Queen B know, mostly because I think she killed the dude. Other than that, the most boring episode so far which is saying a lot.
You can download Dare Me on iTunes.

The Outsider: Wow, people got jokes. Both car rides had a funny moment which may have been the first two moments of levity on the show. But I guess that was needed since there was the creeping impending doom of child rape and murder that almost happened. But I wonder if the old man got scratched. Kind of looked like it but I could not tell for sure. But in the most Stephen King ending, out heroes are going to chase El Coco into a cave for a final showdown… except there is two episodes left so maybe not the final one.

Homeland: So it was the Taliban leader’s kid that sold him out. And then he kicked the kid out of the compound. That is going to come back and bite him. The kid already tried to kill him once. And just a soon as he was captured, Saul gets released. Well that was a big ado about nothing. But Carrie’s Russian plot just gets hotter. I really doubt Russia dude is turnable, you do not capture an American spy and not have big plans for her.

Supergirl: So where was Saturn Girl? In the real timeline, she went back to the future with Mon-El and Toyman Jr. but in the fake timeline, both of them stayed and she was nowhere to be found. But what a complete waste of an episode. They solved the Lena problem with Crisis only for Lex to explain why she should be mad at Supergirl. They could have fixed it here but Supergirl decides to stick with this timeline. If you are not going to fix the storyline, stop acting like you might.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: So they ended the mid-season with the group on an island surrounded by a lake of zombie. And yet everyone survived it… well, I guess a couple people are still stuck in the cave. But we did not see the dead bodies so they may still get out. Then Alpha rewards Negan with sex which may be the grossest thing that has happened on a zombie show.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Good Girls: Beth finally learns that the gangbanger is still live. So did dude just shake down the info from his baby momma? But we will have to wait a week to find out what stupid reason he does not kill her for shooting him because no way they or going to kill off the lead. Meh.
You can download Good Girls on iTunes.

Project Blue Book: I never realized that Dr. Hynek inspired Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But I guess they needed a little something extra if the big twist to their hearing was that they called a crazy person to the stand to show they need to counteract the crazy people out there. But future Hynek surely implied that he proved the existence of intelligence life outside out planet.
You can download Project Blue Book on iTunes.

Survivor: Winners at War: So Adam wanted Parviti out to weaken Rob. Michelle thought it would be better to get rid of Ethan to weaken Rob. But you know what would have been a better way to weaken Rob? How about sending Rob to Edge of Extinction? Sending another of his buddies to Edge only helps Rob because they can start feeding him stuff. But at least Ethan gave his Fire Token to Parviti so as long as she is in the game, I guess Ethan will award his stuff to her… well if he is still in the game, the Promo Monkeys made it seem like he might die next week.
You can download Survivor: Winners at War on iTunes.

Almost Family: So Julia’s father is that the super alpha male she was raised by but her mother actually got knocked up by a homosexual? And that is not the only homosexual in the family because Edie’s one night stand with her soon to be ex-husband? Oh and Roxie new husband killed Julia at his reception? I know things are not looking good for a second season with Fox burning the last two episodes on a Saturday a month after the previous episode aired but I really hope Quibi or something else picks the show up.
You can download Almost Family on iTunes.

The Bold Type: Okay, Jane getting an infection from a facial not on her face was gross enough, but was somehow less gross than Kat getting asked to go through the back door by the bartender. I really need to stop watching this crap.
You can download The Bold Type on iTunes.