Saturday, August 01, 2020

Around the Tubes: August 1, 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 Helstrom, Rick and Morty, Snow Patrol, The Go-Go's, Evie Irie, somegirlnamedanna, Benee, Soundwalk Collective, Guns N’ Roses, Bastille, Little Steven, Taylor Swift, People Puzzler, Our Cartoon President, and, Vice.

Talk about some family drama! Join Helstrom showrunner Paul Zbyszewski and cast--Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, Elizabeth Marvel, Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, June Carryl and Alain Uy--for one hell of a sneak-peek look and conversation around bringing this terror-filled comic to life during our Comic-Con@Home panel which is now live..  Helstrom will premiere Friday, October 16th only on Hulu!

America’s favorite crazy scientist and his grandson return for more misadventures when the latest season of Adult Swim’s hit series Rick and Morty: Season 4 arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on September 22, 2020. From creators Justin Roiland (“Adventure Time”) and Dan Harmon (“Community”), go on an intergalactic journey across the multi-verse with the award-winning comedy, featuring all 10 episodes from Season 4, and outrageous bonus content including A Day at Rick and Morty: Inside Season 4, Inside the Episode for every episode, Creating Snake Jazz, and more. Rick and Morty: Season 4 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). Rick and Morty: Season 4 is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

Snow Patrol have announced details of a brand-new EP. Written and recorded during lockdown, The Fireside Sessions will be released on 21st August and is made up of five songs written with the band’s fans during a series of streams on Instagram Live dubbed ‘Saturday Songwrite’. In a nod to this collaboration, The Fireside Sessions will be released under the banner of Snow Patrol And The Saturday Songwriters. The EP was produced by Iain Archer. It will be released digitally and on CD and will be preceded by the single Reaching Out To You on 30th July.

The Go-Go's, the iconic all female L.A. punk band, will release their first new recording in nearly 20 years, "CLUB ZERO," on July 31st on UMe. The band can be seen working on an early version of the song in their new documentary THE GO-GO'S, directed by Alison Ellwood (Laurel Canyon, History of the Eagles) which premieres July 31st at 9 pm ET/PT on SHOWTIME. View the official trailer HERE and music HERE,  Propelled by the spirited, melodic punch we've come to expect from the Southern California band, as well as a catchy, call-to-action chorus, "CLUB ZERO" will certainly join the ranks among an esteemed catalog of Go-Go's classics.

Evie Irie has been hailed as “one to watch” by her peers and music blogs alike blogs. Like some sort of pop alchemist, the Australian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist turns self-described “weirdness” into universal wonder within her music. By 15-years-old, her talent and drive convinced mom and dad to allow her to move to Nashville where she cut her teeth at countless open mics before winding up in Los Angeles for a short time—a journey chronicled on her 2019 debut EP, 5 Weeks In LA.  Tallying over 6 million streams in a few months’ time, she garnered widespread acclaim from the likes of Refinery29, Idolator, and Atwood Magazine who christened her “one of the most promising teens of pop music today” on its “2020 Artists to Watch.” Simultaneously, she shared the stage with everyone from Sigrid to Bastille.

Receiving widespread critical acclaim and affirming herself as a rising artist to watch this year, somegirlnamedanna presents her much buzzed about debut EP, twenty one, twenty two, today. Listen HERE via LAVA/Republic Records.  Of the EP, she commented, twenty one, twenty two represents the journey that the last year has taken me on: the ups and downs, and the love and the heartbreak. To me, this ep has been about self-discovery and the path to self-acceptance. I think it’s easy to forget that people are not living the perfect lives portrayed on social media, and these songs were inspired by the real challenges and downswings that many of us face behind the screen. I want people to remember they are not alone in these times and I hope we continue to display our vulnerabilities and traits that make us human in popular culture.”

New Zealand’s sensation BENEE drops the official video for her latest single, “Night Garden” feat. Kenny Beats & Bakar—watch HERE!  The animated video, created by animator and illustrator Alisa, follows BENEE as she goes on a haunting adventure in the Night Garden. “Night Garden” has been praised by BillboardThe FADERE! OnlineTeen VogueHYPEBEASTUPROXXStereogum and many more, as E! Online hails it as a “somehow pleasantly paranoid piece,” while HYPEBEAST calls it “seriously smooth” and The Sunday Times praises it as “a spare, strung-out, pop-noir gem.” BENEE recently performed the song for MTV PUSH—watch her stripped-back performance shot in New Zealand’s Auckland Art Gallery here.

With their new album Peradam due for release on September 4th, 2020 via Bella Union, today Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith have shared new track “Knowledge Of The Self” and an accompanying video that features editing and a visual collage by Anastasia Ivanova. Watch and listen HERE.  Of the track, which features Anoushka Shankar on sitar, Patti Smith says: “We have to, in order to be free of all of the things that we are attached to, even ideas of ourselves, or masks that we put on or Band-Aid’s upon our transgressions, in order to achieve this freedom, we have to peel away everything, every defence we have, every defence that we put up for ourselves. I think that Daumal is directing us to do this but in a benevolent way, although there is no way to protect anyone from the pain of enlightenment, you have to grope about, and you have to strip down.”

 On September 25, 2020, Guns N’ Roses’ 2004, multi-platinum best of compilation Greatest Hits (Geffen/UMe) will be released on vinyl for the first time. Previously only available digitally and on CD, Greatest Hits will be pressed as a 2LP set on 180gram audiophile black vinyl, a 2LP set on silver colored vinyl with red and white splatter, plus a 2LP picture disc available exclusively through the band’s official store. The vinyl edition of Greatest Hits will also feature the band’s single “Shadow of Your Love,” which hit No. 5 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Originally recorded in December 1986, “Shadow of Your Love” made its debut on the 2018 box set Appetite For Destruction.  All three versions can each be pre-ordered here

Bastille’s electrifying new song might feel like a bit of a surprise release, not least to the band themselves, but as frontman Dan Smith says, “We finished the song, and it felt urgent. We didn’t want to sit on it.”  A thunderous, furious, short sharp shock, “WHAT YOU GONNA DO???” feat. Graham Coxon comes after the dust settled on the band’s acclaimed third album Doom Days—the final instalment in a trilogy that’s spanned eight years and brought Bastille multi-platinum sales, global success and a position as one of the world’s most-streamed bands. Fans may have grown accustomed to albums arriving with fully formed, meticulously executed, creative ecosystems, but this time it’s all change.  LISTEN TO “WHAT YOU GONNA DO???” feat. Graham Coxon HERE AND WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO HERE!

Little Steven’s acclaimed career-spanning box set, RockNRoll Rebel – The Early Work is out now via Wicked Cool/UMe. The 13-disc CD/DVD set collects all of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s solo records between 1982 and 1999, including newly remastered editions of six classic albums: Men Without Women (1982), Voice Of America (1983), Freedom – No Compromise (1987), Revolution (1989) and Born Again Savage (1999), as well as the landmark protest record, Sun City (1985), by Artists United Against Apartheid, the supergroup of musicians brought together by Van Zandt, record producer Arthur Baker and journalist Danny Schechter, to fight racial injustice in South Africa. Men Without WomenVoice Of America, and Freedom – No Compromise each include an exclusive DVD featuring a classic full-length live concert video from the same era as the album.

Seven days ago, Taylor Swift surprised fans with the unexpected release of her critically-acclaimed 5 star album, folklore. Since its release, folklore has cemented itself as the top selling album of 2020.  folklore stands out as the #1 album in the world with global sales over 2 million worldwide and over half a billion total streams on audio and video in just one week. It has reached #1 on iTunes in more than 85 countries. The album marks the biggest UK debut for a female artist in 2020 and becomes her most streamed album in it’s first week in the UK.  The stunning lead single from the album, “cardigan,” debuted #1 on the Global Spotify chart, claiming the most daily Spotify streams in 2020. It also reaches #1 on iTunes song chart and was the most added song at Top 40 and Hot AC radio airplay charts nationwide. The song was also added straight to the A list on BBC Radio 1 in the UK.

Game Show Network, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, has announced Emmy® Award winner Leah Remini as host of new pop culture crossword game show, PEOPLE PUZZLER. The half-hour original series is anticipated to premiere in early 2021.  In PEOPLE PUZZLER, three lucky contestants will put their pop culture knowledge to the test to complete iconic, PEOPLE PUZZLER crosswords.  The player who has won the most points after three rounds will move on to the Fast Puzzle Bonus Round where they will have the opportunity to win a cash prize.

The SHOWTIME animated series OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT will continue its third season on Sunday, September 13 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. Executive produced by multiple Emmy® winner Stephen Colbert, showrunner R.J. Fried and Late Show executive producer Chris Licht, OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT sets its sights on the most consequential election in history to determine who will be the next Cartoon President. Can Cartoon Joe Biden overcome his frequent gaffes and basement isolation to unseat Cartoon President Trump, who’s struggling to win re-election? Season three ended in March of this year with nine episodes and will conclude with the final nine half-hour episodes tied to the 2020 Presidential election.   For a sneak peek at the new season, go to

 SHOWTIME has picked up a second season of VICE, the award-winning documentary series that recently wrapped its first season on the network and received a 2020 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special. Delivering immersive reporting from the frontlines of global conflicts, civil uprisings and beyond, the VICE team of journalists rapidly adapted this past season to cover stories of the Covid-19 pandemic and its rippling effect on local communities around the world, reporting from high-risk epicenters in New York, Italy, Brazil, Iran, Cambodia and more. The announcement was made today by Vinnie Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Previewing The Go-Go's

The start of Alison Ellwood’s (History of The Eagles) latest documentary The Go-Go’s, it says the band was the first all-girl band to pay all their instruments and write all their singers and were successful. Not too surprising of a factoid. Then the film ends with that same fact but adds that they are the first all-female band who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to reach Number One in the Billboard chart and that no other band has matched that achievement. Now that was surprising. But when you think about it, Hole had a dude in it. Bands like L7 and Bikini Kill did not put much of a dent on the charts. Granted upon further reflection, I guess the band formally known as The Dixie chicks do not count because they are country? And to save you a google search, The Bangles topped out at number two on the albums chart, but had two number one singles and five top ten hits. So that fact does have a few asterisks to it.

I was hesitant to watch The Go-Go’s after watching Showtime’s Duran Duran documentary that pretty much seemed like an extended version of their Behind the Music episode. The Go-Go’s also had a very memorable Behind the Episode where their squeaky bubblegum pop image was dirtied up with tails of drugs and sex. But this documentary seems much more comprehensive than the salacious VH1 episode that aired over two decades ago.

We get a much more in depth look at the early life of the bandmates; include the two early members who did not make it to the first album. The band does not even release their first album until half way through the film, roughly the same time as a full episode of Behind the Music. So we get a lot more detail of that early time in the bands history with the 1979 punk rock scene where being terrible was cool.

Then we get the story of their three successful eighties album where, yes, the drugs and inter-band squabbles brought down the band as detailed in the Behind the Music episode but pretty much ends with the band. There is very little discussion of Belinda Carlisle’s successful solo career and the only time any of their various reunions in the nineties and 00’s were mentioned was a vague reference that when the band in present day is filmed writing their first new song since 2001. I may have not spent much time thinking about the band in the last thirty years, but after watching The Go-Go’s, the doc does make a decent case for their inclusion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Go-Go’s premieres tonight at 9:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

57 Channels and Only This is On: July 26, 2020

The Alienist: Angel of Darkness : Thankfully we are finally done with the boy prostitutes serial killer storyline and can move on. Oh, the new season is about a baby serial killer? That is actually worse somehow.
You can download The Alienist: Angel of Darkness on iTunes.

The Chi: Okay, we finally learn what happened to Keisha: kidnapping by a creepy dude. Thankfully they did not drag that out all season (though we may still have to wait until the end of the season until she gets free). Oh, and Ronny hears her. Although, does he know where it is coming from. It is in the middle of a blackout. But I got to say, blackout episodes are always entertaining, more shows should do it.

Black Monday: Wait, so everything last week was part of Mo’s plan? That was very convoluted. And a bit confusing. Why did Horatio Sanz confess to Black Monday? If he confessed, why is Dawn in prison too? And if the other Lehman brother was the patsy, why did no one arrest him? Granted, if he can survive being crushed in a car, I am sure he can survive a wolf mauling.

Stargirl: So am I really supposed to believe Brainwave Jr. is dead? The guy does have the power to create a force field around himself to keep him from being crushed. I am sure he will show up in the finally just as it looks like the Injustice Society is about to prevail and save the day. But is Starman really alive and sending e-mails? Seems like it would be hard to survive an icicle through the heart.
You can download Stargirl on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Well that was an interesting take on Groundhog Day which each reboot getting shorter and shorter. I also liked that we apparently started on the hundred take and we later learned that Coulsen was also part of the loop. But poor Enoch, dude gets left behind multiple times in the past and then has to sacrifice himself to save everything. Although, is he dead-dead? Can they not just put that power source back in him at some point? And what was with Simmons crying after getting the memory suppressor out? The only thing I could think of is could it be possible that Fitz is already dead?
You can download Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Doom Patrol: Please let the Constantine knock off kill Dorothy because she is really bringing down this season. Okay, the Scants turning everyone dumb were pretty funny. And we finally got an Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Mam update though it seems like the sex ghost are replacing him as the recurring gag this season..

Blindspot: Earlier this season Weller’s dad came back during his hallucination and I thought that was a weird person, of everyone who has appeared, to bring back. Weller Sr. and Jane’s first boyfriend who I had to look up. I guess they were saving everyone else for the finale. Though I feel bad for everyone who was relegated to just turning their heads in Times Square. But in the end Jane died… I think. That could have been the hallucination for the optimist I guess. Or maybe she actually died when that bomb went off last episode. Really, she breathed all that in and only need a simple antidote to survive?
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.