Saturday, May 16, 2020

Around the Tubes: May 16, 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 Good Lord Bird, One Day at a Time, The Go-Go's, Love Fraud, Belushi, Pearl Jam, Oh Wonder, Anthony Hamilton, 
ABBA, somegirlnamedanna, Command Sisters, and St. Louis Superman.

SHOWTIME® has released the official poster and trailer for its new limited series THE GOOD LORD BIRD, premiering on Sunday, August 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Starring and executive produced by Oscar® nominee Ethan Hawke, who plays the controversial abolitionist John Brown, the seven-episode series is from Blumhouse Television and based on the National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird by bestselling author James McBride.

Pop TV today announced the ONE DAY AT A TIME animated special will premiere on June 16th and include special guest stars Gloria Estefan, Melissa Fumero and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The critically acclaimed Sony Pictures Television series had its mid-season finale on April 14th due to production stoppages as a result of COVID-19. The animated special, titled, ‘The Politics Episode,’ will be fully executed remotely and premiere on Pop TV Tuesday, June 16th at 9:30PM ET/PT following a marathon of the current season.  Gloria Estefan and Melissa Fumero, both return to ONE DAY AT A TIME, reprising their roles, but this time, they’ll be animated. As for Lin-Manuel Miranda, he makes his debut on the series. The special will center around Penelope’s conservative cousin Estrellita (Melissa Fumero), Tia Mirtha (Gloria Estefan), and Tio Juanito (Lin-Manuel Miranda) coming to visit and with the impending election, they won’t be able to avoid fighting over politics.

- SHOWTIME announced the premiere dates for the non-fiction programs THE GO-GO’S, LOVE FRAUD and BELUSHI. 
  • THE GO-GO’S will premiere Saturday, August 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Director Allison Ellwood’s documentary feature, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, chronicles the first all-female band to play its own instruments, write its own songs and soar to No. 1 on the album charts. The Go-Go’s made history. Featuring candid testimonies, Ellwood’s film charts the meteoric rise to fame of a band born of the L.A. punk scene that not only captured but created a zeitgeist. 
  • LOVE FRAUD will premiere on Sunday, August 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s four-part series follows a con-man on the run and the dynamic women determined to put him behind bars, and takes viewers on a bizarre, engrossing ride through the twisted mind of a criminal and the chaos he leaves in his wake. 
  • BELUSHI will premiere Sunday, September 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Using previously unheard audiotapes recorded shortly after John Belushi’s death, director R.J. Cutler’s documentary feature examines the too-short life of the once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts and funny bones of devoted audiences.

Pearl Jam revealed the music video for the Gigaton single “Retrograde.”  Watch it HERE.  For the visual, the band teamed up with director Josh Wakely [Beat Bugs, Motown Magic]. The animated clip opens with a lone traveler driving through the rain and descending upon a strip mall. Visiting a psychic, the protagonist witnesses the destruction of the world in a crystal ball as the seas overtake the Eiffel Tower in Paris, London Bridge in London, and the group’s native Seattle. Fluid animation moves like an oil painting in motion as the animated musicians—Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron—step out of their respect tarot cards and into a march. While the water continues to rise climate change activist and revolutionary Greta Thunberg appears behind the crystal ball as a clairvoyant.

Oh Wonder continues their acclaimed Home Tapes project with “Oceansize,” their fourth song written, recorded, produced and released under lockdown, out now. Listen to “Oceansize” HERE!  “Oceansize” is an affecting addition to the furiously creative duo’s new material—a direct reflection “on lockdown and our consequent yearning for freedom, space and nature.” Home Tapes was introduced by “Lonely Star,” and followed by “Keep On Dancing” and “I Like It When You Love Me.” The band’s fan-sourced music videos to accompany Home Tapes have received thousands of submissions from around the world, with Oh Wonder currently creating a visual for “I Like It When You Love Me” out soon.

With over 50 million albums globally and proclaimed a "national treasure" by the Los Angeles Times, GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum singer, songwriter, producer, actor, author, and R&B icon Anthony Hamilton, returns with his first original solo single in two years “Back Together” [feat. Rick James]. Get it HERE!  Written by Anthony HamiltonEd D. Kane and produced by 9th Wonder [Mary J. Blige, JAY-Z, Drake], a simmering beat and strings wrap around Hamilton’s instantly recognizable delivery on the verses. Meanwhile, he duets with none other than the late legend Rick James by way of a sample 9th Wonder dug out of the crates. Complemented by a classic James harmony, he carries the hook—“Why can’t we just get back together?”—to the heavens and back. 

Nearly 40 years since the release of their last album, ABBA are celebrating their entire studio discography with an 8LP box set that features each of their ground-breaking records for the first time on colored vinyl, and with replica LP artwork. Due for release on July 3, ABBA: The Studio Albums is an essential release for fans of one of the greatest pop groups of all time. Preorder here:  Across eight studio albums released over eight years, ABBA established themselves as a truly boundary-pushing force in music. Dominating the charts throughout the 70s, and continuing their winning streak into the early 80s, the Swedish four-piece redefined what pop music was capable of, with each new album charting an astounding artistic progression. Four decades after their last release, 1981’s The Visitors, their music remains a fabric of our culture, with stage shows, cinematic blockbusters and even themed restaurants bringing ABBA to new generations of fans.  Taken together, these eight albums represent one of the most stunningly creative runs in pop music history, setting the bar for all those who followed in ABBA’s wake.

somegirlnamedanna premieres the official music video for “kitchen table,” captured at her childhood home in Minnesota using a VHS camcorder.  Watch HERE.  “We originally had an entirely different treatment for the music video” somegirlnamedanna sets up the story behind the music video, “but when the pandemic hit I drove home to Minnesota and had to find a way to create something just as special while social distancing at home. We got ahold of a ton of old home video footage and my brother and I decided to shoot the music video on the same VHS camcorder to capture the same nostalgic feel.  I wanted the video to honor all of the memories I had from growing up, so I ran in the fields like I was a kid again and kissed my horse’s nose like I did when I was little.”  Listen HERE via LAVA/Republic Records.

- Introducing the band that will eventually need no introduction: Command Sisters. Comprised of Charlotte [vocals, keys] and Sarah Command [guitar] (yes Command is their real last name!), the Alberta-born and Toronto-based sibling duo unleash their debut single “I Can Do What I Want To” today via 21 Entertainment/Universal Music Canada/Republic Records.  Stream “I Can Do What I Want To” HERE & watch the track’s official music video HERE!

-  MTV Documentary Films Academy Award® nominated St. Louis Superman, produced by Al Jazeera Witness will premiere Monday, May 18 at 9PM ET/PT on MTV, VH1 and MTV2 via simulcast. The award-winning film directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, tells the story of Representative Bruce Franks Jr., a Ferguson activist and battle rapper who was elected to the overwhelmingly white and Republican Missouri House of Representatives.  Known as “Superman” to his constituents, Franks Jr. cuts a unique figure - an unorthodox politician who has overcome a tremendous loss to become one of the most dynamic and unapologetic young leaders in the country. Forced to deal with the trauma he's been carrying for nearly 30 years after witnessing the shooting death of his nine-year-old brother, the film chronicles his work toward overcoming both personal trauma and political obstacles in an effort to pass a bill that is critical to his community. Only by confronting his pain can Franks Jr. find peace and truly fulfill his destiny as a leader.  


Sunday, May 10, 2020

57 Channels and Only This Is On: May 10, 2020

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
: Well that was sad. The longer the season went on, the more obvious that this would be the outcome, but it stlll was sad. But oh my, that last scene, a six minute (mostly) one shot musical was just amazing piece of art. You can download Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist on iTunes

Killing Eve: They brought back Eve’s husband just to have someone stab him through the neck? Although they jumped around way too much, I kind of got lost of what was going on. You can download Killing Eve on iTunes

Supergirl: They really should not have postponed this episode for over a month because I mostly forgot everything that happened as this episode was going on. But Miss Tessmacher being a deadly assassin was sillier that her being Lex’s mole. But at least she is no longer a robot, or whatever Lena turned her into earlier this season. You can download Supergirl on iTunes

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels: Nathan Lane as a grizzled detective is a hard sell, but hanging out in a car full of old Jews seems much more his speed. Too bad they killed half of them. I would have enjoyed a season of a bunch of old Jews hanging out in a car solving crimes. 

Good Girls: Well that almost, kind of worked as a season finale. Sure, you have to forget that the assassin plot just disappeared. But I wonder if now that the new FBI agent is on to them, will she use them to get the gangbanger like the last one. Sure, that did not work out well for him. You can download Good Girls on iTunes

Survivor: Winners at War: When the first Tribal Council happened about a half an hour in, I thought, this is going to go for a while or we are actually going to get the Edge of Extinction return challenge this week. That and the second Tribal were pretty short and early affairs, and yet we did not get the return challenge. Instead we get a lengthy confessional from amber, disturbingly similar to Chris’s who seemingly at the time got a random confessional the episode before the finale and we know how that turned out. After that we got a lengthy recap followed by a lengthy preview of the finale. Meh. The editing has been pretty poor for a season that finished filming about ten months ago. Nick got a rare confessional taking about how his first vote was not about this Tribal but what will get him to day 39. Which made me think, great, he is finally going to turn on Tony and vote with Jeremy and Michele… and he voted for Jeremy instead. Meh. Michele rightfully ripped into him leading him to put Ben at a disadvantage which hilariously made her safe and lead to Nick to be voted off. Seems apropos. So is everyone just going to let Tony win? Sarah seems pretty content. Ben is probably too delusional to realize it, but might finally be realizing he is the hyena not the lion after getting the disadvantage and not have one person give him a Fire Token or advantage. Denise pretended to be checked out but, really, it does not seem like she was acting very hard. Tony and Michele seem to be the only one left trying. Oh, and there will be one more person who comes back in the game and I really fear Tony will be the Rick of this season and whoever comes back will pull a Rick. You can download Survivor: Winners at War on iTunes

The Challenge: Total Madness: There was nothing more annoying when it would take the show two or three episodes to actually eliminate someone. How hard is it to eliminate someone each week? Survivor manages to do it. I figured that when the Challenged moved to 90 minutes, we would actually get eliminations every week. But not only did we not even get to elimination at the end of the episode, they did not even get to nominations this week. Instead we got a half an hour of relationship drama that was very skippable followed by a forty-five minute ad for a movie that is not even coming out this year. Meh. You can download The Challenge: Total Madness on iTunes

In the Dark:  C’mon, evil criminal in jail shanks drug dealer guy and does not manage to kill him? About as believable as evil cop not at least putting drug dealer in isolation for helping him. You can download In The Dark on iTunes

Blindspot: So Reade was the one who “died.” I put that in quotations because I would not be surprised if he was rescued before he perished. When the evil chick lead the mercenary to someone out of focus, I actually thought that was going to be Reade first before the random person came into view. 

The Blacklist: So the warden was just doing a Suicide Squad but for criminals? Sad thing is, I kind of think this is one of the more believable episodes. You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.