Saturday, May 30, 2020

Around the Tubes: May 30, 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 
We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, Palm SpringsGary Busey: Pet Judge, Let’s Stay (In) Together: A Benefit To Support The ApolloAnthony Hamilton, RoyaltiesJames Bay, The Avett BrothersBob Marley, Yusuf / Cat Stevens, The High NotePJ Harvey, Greg Warren, DC’s Legends of TomorrowA Film By Errol Morrisand Love, Victor.

Well before the world knew of the Tony award-winning Broadway musicals Hamilton and In The Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda was in an improvisational hip-hop group called Freestyle Love Supreme along with director Thomas Kail and performers Christopher Jackson and Anthony Veneziale. Filmmaker Andrew Fried began chronicling the group in the summer of 2005, documenting the early days of Freestyle Love Supreme beatboxing and rapping on the sidewalks—unaware of how their story would unfold. Fourteen years later, Fried captures them reuniting for a series of shows in New York City that led to a triumphant run on Broadway. Both poignant and inspired, We Are Freestyle Love Supreme recalls the creative dreams of youth and why this show still means so much to these accomplished performers.  Premiere Date: Friday, June 5, 2020.

Premiere Date: The upcoming Hulu Original Film, PALM SPRINGS (starring Andy Samberg) is set to premiere on Hulu and in select drive-ins nationwide on Friday, July 10th.  Synopsis: When carefree Nyles (Andy Samberg) and reluctant maid of honor Sarah (Cristin Milioti) have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated when they find themselves unable to escape the venue, themselves, of each other.  Cast: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin, and Peter Gallagher.

Each year across the country there are thousands of pet disputes. Those who want their cases tried by the best know there is only one man they can turn to, and he is thirsty for PET JUSTICE! That man- Gary Busey: Pet Judge. The six-episode season is now available and entirely binge-able on Prime Video streaming, and for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, and VUDU. The series stars Judge Gary Busey as he presides over the fates of litigant pet owners. Each half-hour show presents two cases with a veritable menagerie of animals including monkeys, goats, birds, dogs, meerkats, turtles, robot raccoons, and more. Is Gary Busey a real judge?  Absolutely not. Does he know anything about pet law? Probably not. Can he look into your soul and suss out your spirit animal while delivering a verdict with a trademark Buseyism? You bet your sweet ass (the donkey kind).

- Gibson the iconic, American-made, leading instrument brand is proud to partner with the legendary Apollo Theater for the “Let’s Stay (In) Together: A Benefit To Support The Apollo” benefit concert. The celebration marks the launch of a partnership between Gibson and the Apollo Theater which will include collaborations on future show programming, music education initiatives, music preservation and support established and emerging talent. The LIVE, free virtual benefit concert will kick off Black Music Month in June and will offer critical support to safeguard the ground-breaking institution’s future following the unprecedented cancellation of more than 100 programs due to COVID-19. Tune in to watch the “Let’s Stay (In) Together: A Benefit To Support The Apollo” livestream this coming Tuesday, June 2 at 7:30p ET/4:30p PT at  “Let’s Stay (In) Together: A Benefit to Support the Apollo Theater” is sponsored by Gibson, through the Gibson Gives foundation. The free benefit concert will showcase an array of special guests delivering poems and performances dedicated to the memory of those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19. The landmark livestream event features performances by “CAPTAIN” KIRK DOUGLAS OF THE ROOTSKOOL & THE GANG, GARY CLARK JR.ROBERT RANDOLPHRAY CHEWMICHAEL MCDONALD, LIL BUCK & JON BOOGZ, KEB MO, CELISSE HENDERSONINFINITY’S SONG, MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH and DJ REBORN as well as special appearances from DIONNE WARWICK, DOUG E. FRESH, ROY WOOD JR. and more to be announced. During the show, artists will perform the music of Apollo legends such as B.B. King, Patti LaBelle, and Stevie Wonder, and highlight the Apollo’s 86-year contribution to arts and culture. The “Let’s Stay (In) Together: A Benefit to Support the Apollo Theater” concert will also be available for free streaming by media partner, TIDAL

 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, releases the official music video for “Back Together” [feat. Rick James]. Watch it HERE!  What initially began as a story about love and getting back together with someone you knew was special, ultimately took on a new meaning during the current pandemic. The cleverly animated video opens with DJ D-Nice spinning on ‘Instagram Live’ during Club Quarantine and now tells the story of two lovers as they long for the day when they can be reunited post Covid-19.

-  Quibi debuts the trailer of the new musical comedy series, ROYALTIES, created by Emmy & Golden Globe Award-winning actor and songwriter Darren Criss. ROYALTIES is a satirical take on the oft-untold story of songwriters behind the world’s biggest hits. Republic Records to release the series’ original soundtrack, marking the first major label release for a Quibi show.  On June 1st in tandem with the series premiere, music performed by the ROYALTIES Cast during the first three episodes will be released. As subsequent episodes air, new music will follow daily through the season finale on June 10th. Following the final episode, the full Royalties: Season 1 (Music from the Original Quibi Series) Official Soundtrack arrives on June 12.  The comedy will feature twelve original songs and ten music videos, all co-written by Criss, featuring performances by Jordan FisherJulianne HoughJackie TohnBonnie McKee, Jennifer CoolidgeLil Rel HoweryMark HamillRufus Wainwright, and Sabrina Carpenter.

Three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multiplatinum singer-songwriter James Bay returns to The Ellen DeGeneres Show on June 3rd for a special performance. BAY will perform Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine."  During quarantine BAY has been giving guitar lessons on Instagram Live on Wednesdays and Fridays. In the past, he has taught fan favorites "Let It Go," "Hold Back The River," "Us," and more. View all previous lessons HERE

The Avett Brothers have announced they will make their debut appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on June 4th. They will be performing a song never performed on television from their 10th studio album Closer Than Together which was released last fall to critical acclaim.  This marks the band’s second “at home” performance as they recently performed for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition on April 7th where they performed “C Sections and Railway Trestles” which was first performed at the end of The Avett Brothers’ HBO Documentary May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers, and was written by Seth Avett after the birth of his son.

Today, episode four of Bob Marley’s Legacy documentary series was released; this time exploring Bob’s well-known love of soccer and his longstanding connection between the game and his music. Delving deep into the archives, never before told anecdotes are revealed on Bob’s life and his impact on the world. Rhythm of the Game is available on Bob Marley’s Official YouTube Channel HERE.  Tuff Gong FC has also announced a special collaboration with FIFA for a limited-edition soccer kit available exclusively on May 29 at 1 p.m. ET in FIFA 20's Ultimate Team game mode via a limited-time-only Season Objective. Celebrate Bob Marley’s legacy and love of the sport with the 75th Anniversary Kit, available in FIFA Ultimate Team for a limited time on Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. Additionally, a Bob Marley 75 Soccer Jersey inspired by the newly-added Bob Marley player kit in the 2020 EA video game will become available on June 1 HERE.

50 YEARS on from the release of Tea for the Tillerman, the 1970 multi-platinum selling, era-defining album that made a superstar, Yusuf / Cat Stevens is set to release Tea for the Tillerman² on September 18th via UMe.  Tea for the Tillerman² sees Yusuf recast the same eleven songs for a new age with dramatic results. Half a century and an entire universe of experiences after they were originally laid down on tape, T4TT² is a beautiful reunion between the artist and the songs that helped define the melodious ‘70s. The impact of Tillerman has subtly intertwined with the fabric of popular culture while its songs have magnified and developed a life of their own through their ever-expanding use in film, TV, and numerous reinterpretations by other artists. 

Republic Records and Focus Features release The High Note Original Motion Picture Soundtrack today. The film is also now available on at-home-on-demand and VOD streaming across platforms.  Prior to The High Note’s arrival, listeners everywhere experienced the first single “Love Myself (The High Note)” as performed by Emmy Nominated and Golden Globe® Award-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross—who stars in the film as recording artist “Grace Davis.” This served as the multi-talented star’s very first career song release and recording.  Right out of the gate, it attracted widespread critical acclaim. Entertainment Weekly applauded, “Appropriately, Ross hits some high notes in the original single, ‘Love Myself’,” and Rolling Stone observed, “Ross’ musical debut is done exactly as the star had always hoped: through a project that combines her acting chops with a lifelong dream of flexing her vocal talents.” The Inquisitr put it best, “Tracee Ellis Ross, whose given name is Tracee Joy Silberstein, is showing the world that she’s even more talented than her fans already knew. Not to mention, the official music video racked up over 1.5 million views to date.

UMe/Island and Beggars today announce a comprehensive reissue campaign which will see PJ Harvey’s entire back catalog - plus her two albums in collaboration with John Parish - released on vinyl over the next 12 months. For the first time, each of PJ Harvey’s album demos will be available as a stand-alone album on digital and vinyl. This catalog project will celebrate every aspect of Harvey’s recording career and afford a comprehensive and exciting look at the evolution of one of the most singular and extraordinary artists of modern times. The first release is DRY, Harvey’s seminal debut album back in print on vinyl for the first time in 20 years with the Beggars Archive/Too Pure Records reissue on July 24. Released to worldwide critical acclaim on March 30, 1992, it was recorded at The Ice House in Yeovil and features the singles “Dress” and “Sheela-Na-Gig.” DRY saw PJ Harvey burst onto the global stage to begin her unique path. “… a seductive calling card that signals the arrival of an extraordinary new artist.”  - Robert Hilburn, LOS ANGELES TIMES. July 24 also sees the release of the 11 track DRY- Demos, previously released with DRY almost 30 years ago, and now available for the first time as a stand-alone vinyl/CD/digital release. Listen to “Sheela-Na-Gig” demo here.

Greg Warren's newest comedy special and album are coming out in June and July from 800 Pound Gorilla Records and I'm sending you links to see and hear Where the Field Corn Grows ahead of time.   Greg Warren, most recently seen on Dry Bar Comedy, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Late Show and Comedy Central Presents, has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His albums Fish Sandwich (April 2017), Running Out of Time (Sept 2013) and One Star Wonder (June 2009) hit #1, #3 and #6 respectively in iTunes Top Comedy Albums. An honest mix of self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg’s colorful perspective. 

The fate of the world is in their hands as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray and DVD on September 22, 2020. Suit up for all 15 captivating one-hour episodes from the fifth season, plus enjoy the epic extra content including a post-production featurette, deleted scenes and a gag reel. A limited-edition bonus disc featuring all five DC Crossover Event Crisis on Infinite Earths episodes will be available exclusively for fans who purchase the Blu-ray. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season is priced to own at $24.98 SRP for the DVD ($29.98 in Canada) and $29.98 SRP for the Blu-ray ($39.99 in Canada), which includes a Digital Copy (U.S. Only). DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new feature documentary from Oscar® winning director Errol Morris (Wormwood, The Fog of War) about Timothy Leary that will premiere on SHOWTIME later this year. A FILM BY ERROL MORRIS (w/t) asks the question why Leary, the High Priest of LSD, became a narc in 1974 and seemingly abandoned the millions he urged to turn on, tune in and drop out. Was his “perfect love” Joanna Harcourt-Smith a government pawn, as suggested by Allen Ginsberg? Or was she simply a rich, beautiful, young woman out for the adventure of a lifetime? Morris and Harcourt-Smith will reexamine this chaotic period of her life and explore the mystery of the Leary saga: his period of exile, reimprisonment and subsequent cooperation with the authorities. Devotion or selfishness? Perfect love or outright betrayal? Destiny or manipulation? The film is inspired by Harcourt-Smith’s memoir, Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary: My Psychedelic Love Story.  In a first-look clip from the forthcoming feature, Harcourt-Smith details an early encounter with Leary, previewing an impassioned affair. To watch or share the clip, go to:

School’s back in session, so get ready for all the feels with the official trailer for Hulu’s upcoming YA dramedy series Love, Victor, set in the world of the 2018 groundbreaking film LOVE, SIMONThe series will premiere with all 10 episodes (binge) on June 19th, only on Hulu.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

57 Channels and Only This Is On: May 24, 2020

Billions: There were certainly a lot of talks about souls this week. But it looks like the Rhodes are going to move on to the painter and the professor. Wonder how long both will last or if this is a short diversion before getting back together.

Killing Eve: So Niko gets stabbed through the neck by a skilled assassin and lives? Did she mean to leave him alive or is she just incompetent? And did they imply that Constantine might be hooking up with Yara Greyjoy and that she also might be his daughter? That is kind of confusing and icky. But like I have said a few times this season, maybe not the best idea to switch showrunners every season. 
 You can download Killing Eve on iTunes.

Supergirl: Well after a really bad season, at least they ended it by killing of Brainiac 5. Okay, I am deep down know that Dreamer will save him next season, but I rather spend the next nine months or so living in blissful ignorance. 
 You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Snowpiercer: I really enjoyed the movie but came away from it thinking it would have been a better television show with every episode focusing on a new car on the train. After watching the first episode I am left wondering why they turned such a smart concept and turned into a crime show?

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels: So what are those dark things the Nazi is hiding? And if Maegery Tyrell is some supernatural being, doesn’t she already know what those things are?

Stargirl: DC Universe has created three really good shows in Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, and Swamp Thing (okay, they kind of ruined the ending of the latter by cutting its episode order while filming), and sure, one was a flaming pile of dog shirt (Titans) but I did have a modicum of hope for Stargirl because .750 is a very good batting average. I got a little worried when they announced it would air the day after of The CW because that is a little too teen leaning for my liking (I prefer Freeform for my crappy teen storytelling), but Stargirl is not even really a teen show, it seems to be geared more towards even younger children, like it should be on Disney Ploose. Hopefully when they add some antagonists, the show will pick up.

The Challenge: Total Madness: Leaving puzzles out in the open for anyone to cheat on has gotten pretty annoying. Can we please get these stations like voting booth tents? And if you are going to create a challenge where you need to go through a foam room to see lights, how about making sure you cannot see the lights from where the disks are? Oh well, at least the two of the most annoying people went home this week. 
You can download The Challenge: Total Madness on iTunes.

In the Dark: I never seen The Wire because the more people claim it is the best show ever made, the less I want to see it because nothing rarely lives up to that much hype, but one thing I do know about that show is that if you come at the king, you best not miss. Back look for that dude. I also know from N.W.A. that you do not get high off your own supply so things may not go well for her either. And just how does a Seeing Eye dog veterinarian know how to operate on a punctured lung? I cannot imagine that comes up much there. But it is becoming pretty clear that the secretary is going to die because he steals the gangbanger’s drug. But I am still not sure who kills him. Maybe the bald chick and she forces the others to clean up the mess. 
 You can download In The Dark on iTunes.

Motherland: Fort Salem: The show has been mostly a drag, but at least they went out with a bang. The killed off two of the leads only for them to not be dead a couple minutes, having flowers bloom behind where they walk. I am not entirely sure the other chick’s hair went white. And of course we end with one of the most clichéd twist ending of someone we thought was dead is not really dead. So is mommy some sort of Spree big wig? After a pretty meh first season, I am mildly intrigued for season two. You can download Motherland: Fort Salem on iTunes.