Saturday, March 28, 2020

Around the Tube: March 28, 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 Future Man, Desus & Mero, Pearl Jam, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Loop TV, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Impractical Jokers: The Movie, Into the Dark, and The Wretched.

- Check out the official trailer for the third and final season of Hulu Original comedy series Future Man. All eight episodes of Future Man will premiere April 3, only on Hulu.

- Showtime announced that the late-night series Desus & Mero will return to air with all-new episodes filmed from the hosts’ own homes, starting on Monday, March 30 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The show will continue to air new episodes on Monday and Thursday nights. Each episode will feature hosts Desus Nice (Daniel Baker) and The Kid Mero (Joel Martinez) giving their take on the day’s hot topics and continuing to host interviews with special guests through video conference technology. Episodes will continue to be shot remotely from the hosts’ homes in New Jersey and the Bronx until further notice.

- Pearl Jam have released their anxiously awaited new album, Gigaton [Monkeywrench/Republic Records], today. Get it at Earlier this week, the band previewed the record on a special dial-in hotline: 585-20-PEARL (585-207-3275). Phoning the line allowed fans to listen to tracks in full before Gigaton’s official arrival. Following singles “Dance of the Clairvoyants” and “Superblood Wolfmoon,” they also shared “Quick Escape” as the final instant grat on Wednesday.

- Republic Records releases Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist: Season 1, Episode 7 (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.

- Remember the MTV and VH1 of the 80’s and 90’s, where you could tune in anytime and get an instant playlist of iconic, well-produced music videos to discover from “Take on Me” to “Thriller” and “Like a Prayer”? Sadly, the old MTV is gone forever, but that isn’t stopping the original brat pack of MTV executives—from Andy Schuon to Liz Heller—to team up and create the newer, better MTV. Loop TV—a streaming media company focused on premium short-form video—is launching its free channel of premium music videos on Amazon Fire Stick and Amazon Fire Stick enabled Samsung TV. This “new MTV” is bringing a resurgence of the music video to the entire industry ecosystem, from A&R, to production, to distribution, to most of all consumers.

- From Director Céline Sciamma (Girlhood, Tomboy), NEON's award winning Portrait of a Lady on Fire, on Hulu now, debuted at Cannes and was the winner of Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at festival last summer. The Cannes winner was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language Film, nominated by the Hollywood Critics Association for Best Foreign Language Film and was awarded Best Cinematography by the New York Film Critics. GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics awarded Portrait LGBTQ Film of the Year and it was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film. Portrait of a Lady on Fire has been hailed by critics as one of the best films of the year, earning 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Set in France, 1760, Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. Héloïse's portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and testament to their love.

- Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is bringing the pranks into homes this April Fool’s Day with the early digital release of Impractical Jokers: The Movie on April 1, 2020, only five weeks after its successful theatrical debut. The film, an extension of the wildly successful Impractical Jokers series, was directed by Chris Henchy (Daddy’s Home, “Eastbound & Down”). A truTV original production and produced by Funny Or Die, Impractical Jokers: The Movie carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 for the Digital ($24.99 in Canada) and is rated PG-13.

- Check out the new trailer for Into the Dark's April episode, POOKA LIVES! The fan-favorite villain returns this April, more murderous and terrifying than ever!

- The Wretched, opens May 1 on digital platforms and VOD. Following his parents’ separation, a rebellious teenage boy, Ben, is sent to live with his father for the summer and work at the local marina in order to gain some form of discipline. The idyllic tourist town offers little solace for him, however, as he is forced to deal with the local, privileged teens and his father’s new girlfriend. Ben’s problems grow increasingly disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door. A malevolent spirit from the woods has taken ahold of the parents and starts playing a sinister game of house, preying upon the children and wiping away any trace of their existence. Ben’s suspicions of the supernatural horrors go unheeded and he launches a perilous crusade in order to put an end to the skin-walking witch’s reign of terror.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2020

The movie business is being upended by the global pandemic but the music business is just humming along after pretty much converting to digital last decade. There are some major releases that do not even get physical releases now. Amazon said they would not be storing any CD's or vinyl records in their warhouses to save space for essiental product and that was met mostly with a shrug. I was a little surprised that Alicia Keys delayed her album that was supposed to come out last week for two months, just days after announcing it was coming at all. No one really knows how long we will be stuck inside, but there actually is a bunch of noteworthy albums coming out this spring to keep us entertained until the quarantine is listed. I am certainly not renting The Hunt for twenty bucks, that is like three and a half months of Hulu. Here are the ones I am most looking for:

1. Gaslighter - Dixie Chicks (My 1): Has it really been fourteen years since the last Dixie Chicks album? I guess it does not seem that long because Natalie Maines released a solo album while Emily Robison and Martie Maguire released two albums under the name Court Yard Hounds in between. The title track lead single makes it sound like they have not skipped a beat and are just as angry as they were during the Bush era. And to think, most people actually miss the Bush era compared with what is going on now.

2. Women In Music Pt.III - Haim (April 24): Ha, WiMP III. Clever title. Haim sprinkled three quality single across 2019 and those are finally culminating with their third album. Okay, the fourth song that was released with the album announcement was the weakest, but I am still looking forward to it.

3. Gigaton - Pearl Jam (This Week): Well that was a weird first single. Maybe we should have guessed end times were upon us when Pearl Jam released a song with a dance-able bass-line. While they will likely never reach the heights of those first three classic albums, late period Pearl Jam has been pretty solid.

4. Pick Me Off the Floor - Norah Jones (May 8): Thanks to that massive first (and technically only) hit, Norah Jones has has the luxury of doing pretty much what ever she wants since. This time around she worked with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and if it is like past collaborations, it should end up being pretty good.

5. Fetch the Bolt Cutters - Fiona Apple (TBD): Not quite Dixie Chicks long but it has been way took long Fiona Apple has released an album. Nothing is know but the title, based on a television quote of all things (but still not as weird as when she wrote poem length album titles) but just the thought of an album from Fiona will at very least put her on the list.

Here is everything else that is at least worth a spin on Spotify:

Last Week
After Hours - The Weeknd
3.15.20 - Childish Gambino

Local Honey - Brian Fallon
Love Is An Art - Vanessa Carlton
Stain Cloud - Waxahatchie
Aporia - Sufjan Stevens
Walking Proof - Lilly Hiatt
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (25th Anniversary Digital Deluxe Edition) - Ol' Dirty Bastard

April 3
Migration Stories - M. Ward
The Mike & Micky Show Live - The Monkees
Born to Sing: 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition - En Vogue

April 10
The Way it Feels - Maddie and Tae
LIFERS - Local H

April 17
Italian Ice - Nicole Atkins
One World - Billy Ocean
The Rainbow Children (Reissue) - Prince
One Night alone... (Reissue) - Prince

April 24
Notes On A Conditional Form - The 1975
Three. Two. One. - Lennon Stella
First Rose Of Spring - Willie Nelson
MTV Unplugged Live at Hull City Hall - Liam Gallagher

May 1
Hate For Sale - The Pretenders

May 8
Petals for armor - Hayley Williams
Recover - The Naked and Famous
That’s How Rumors Get Started - Margo Price

May 15
Alicia - Alicia Keys
Reunions - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Van Weezer - Weezer

May 29
Imploding The Mirage - The Killers

June 5
What's Your Pleasure - Jessie Ware
Surface Sounds - KALEO

June 12
Canyons - Gone West

Brother Sister - Watkins Family Hour
Ariana Grande
Daryl Hall and John Oats
The Cure

Of course this could be the quarter Dr. Dre releases Detox.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

57 Channels and Only This Is On: March 21, 2020

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist: They really need to get Lauren Graham some better music to sing instead of getting stuck with crappy last decade pop trash. And while I am making requests, can someone please give the weird barista her own show?
You can download Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist on iTunes.

Homeland: Wow, that new girl is really bad at her job. First she mess up that fake interview, then she lost Carrie’s tail, and later in the same episode she watches Carrie board a plane and just leaves when she is out of sight. Really, you just saw how sneaky Carrie was maybe five hours ago. At least watch the plane take off. But Carrie working with the Russian dude cannot be good.

Supergirl: Um, clearly the show is not safe if Supergirl leaves because Dreamer is just unwatchable. And did the dude really admit that he did this because he wanted to fork Dreamer and got mad when he found out (s)he used to be a dude? So stupid.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: So that did not make much sense. So Negan was working with Carol this whole time? But why abandon the gay dude? Why kidnap Alpha’s kid? Was the kid in that shack? So is Beta the main antagonist now? Negan? Carol?
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Good Girls: You know when gangbanger is starting to kill people in front of you, maybe this is the time to actually go to the police. Did the dead gay FBI guy not have any files on the guy? Is law enforcement this incompitant?
You can download Good Girls on iTunes.

The Plot Against America: Well that was kind of boring. Hopefully it will get more interesting when the campaign goes into high gear.

Project Blue Book: Interesting twist of the bomb not being live. But weird to have an episode the featured Russian spies and it did not involve the woman they just found out was a spy. But we did get another twist in JFK himself bringing in his own case, this time a weird one, a UFO coming out of the water.
You can download Project Blue Book on iTunes.

Survivor: Winners at War: Some really dumb moves on the Sele Tribe. First Michelle tells Wendell her plan to get Parviti’s Fire Tokens which made her look shady. Then Wendell gave such a bad Tribal performance I thought he would be going home. Just straight up admitting your vote could be bought seemed like a bad idea. When he was battering with Parviti, I was waiting for Nick and Ben would turn on him. Maybe Wendell told them that he would try to get Parvati’s Fire token and still voter her out like… well, I will get to that, but that also made Wendell look shady.

But Denise showed how to manipulate someone with Fire Tokens. Well at least do it better. I am not sure taking out the Queen, the biggest move this season, right before the merge was the smartest play because it now puts a huge target on your back. Making things worse is she unnecessary wasted an Idol on Jeremy. I think I would rather have the Idol in my back pocket than Jeremy still in the game. Plus the other tribe did not even split the vote so the point was mute.
You can download Survivor: Winners at War on iTunes.

Devs: So the fuzzy video of Marilyn Monroe is vague enough but crystal clear Jesus speaking is bad because it may be off? That scene was pretty confusing.
You can download Devs on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Oh yeah, so Red thinks he killed Lizzy’s mom who may or may not actually be her mom and Aram is forking someone’s wife. At least we had a filler episode to get us back up to speed. I just wish Aram would break up with the wife for good or finally reveal she is evil or something because that storyline was stale before the break.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.