Saturday, September 12, 2020

Around the Tubes: September 12, 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 Monsterland, Hulu, The Circus, U2, Yusuf / Cat Stevens, Shania Twain, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, James Blake, Taylor Swift, and The Chi.

Encounters with mermaids, fallen angels, and other strange beasts drive broken people to desperate acts in Monsterland, an anthology series based on the collection of stories from Nathan Ballingrud’s “North American Lake Monsters”.  The series star Kaitlyn Dever, Jonathan Tucker, Charlie Tahan, Nicole Beharie, Hamish Linklater, Marquis Rodriguez, Bill Camp, Michael Hsu Rosen, Taylor Schilling, Roberta Colindrez, Adria Arjona, Trieu Tran, Kelly Marie Tran, Mike Colter and Adepero Oduye.  Monsterland is created, written, and executive produced by Mary Laws (THE NEON DEMON, Succession, Preacher) and executive produced by Babak Anvari (UNDER THE SHADOW, WOUNDS), Lucan Toh (AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN, UNDER THE SHADOW, WOUNDS), Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle.  Ali Krug will serve as Co-EP.  The series is produced by Annapurna Television.  All 8 episodes premiere Friday, October 2nd, only on Hulu.

- Hulu is excited to announce that four Original Series and one Original Film will be participating in New York Comic Con. Be sure to check out virtual panels featuring the cast and creators of our upcoming horror series Helstrom and Monsterland, animated series Animaniacs and M.O.D.O.K. and horror film BOOKS OF BLOOD. Virtual panel timing and details coming soon.

HE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE CRAZIEST POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ON EARTH continues its fifth season this Sunday with a look at how the Covid-19 pandemic is changing the way people vote in the presidential election. Hosts John Heilemann, Alex Wagner and Mark McKinnon, along with guest contributor Jennifer Palmieri, examine the national fight over the mail-in ballots, election-year cuts at the Postal Service, and looming questions over the possibility of legal battles after Election Day. The series also explores the fallout from Bob Woodward's new book, Rage, and what it means for President Trump's re-election bid.  For a preview, go to:

Island Records, Interscope, and UMe today announce the 20th Anniversary reissue of U2's global smash hit album All That You Can't Leave Behind. This multi-format anniversary edition release, featuring a brand new 12-track remaster of the record, and a 51-track Super Deluxe box set is to be released on the actual date of the 20th anniversary, October 30, 2020.  The anniversary also sees the release of an acoustic version of "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of." Watch brand new lyric video HERE.  All That You Can't Leave Behind is the tenth studio album from U2. Released in October 2000, the original 11-track record included the hit singles "Beautiful Day," "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of," "Elevation" and "Walk On" and went to Number 1 in 32 countries around the world. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno and recorded in Dublin and France, All That You Can't Leave Behind won 7 Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album, and is the only album in history to have multiple tracks win the award for Record Of The Year ("Beautiful Day" in 2001 and "Walk On" in 2002).

Yusuf / Cat Stevens today unveils a 2020 reimaging of his seminal hit “Father and Son.” The song is the latest release from his highly anticipated forthcoming album Tea for the Tillerman² (out September 18th on UMe), an album that sees Yusuf recast the same eleven songs from his era-defining album for a new age, with dramatic results.  As the song reaches its 50th anniversary, “Father and Son” continues to endure as deeply as ever in the hearts of listeners, a true song for all times. This brand new version sees Yusuf singing both parts of the song - the role of the father brought together digitally with a recording of his younger-self, in the role of the son, originally recorded at his historic premiere performance at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles in 1970. The effect of the two generations of one man duetting is hauntingly uncanny and gives a whole new level of rarity to this most profound song.

International icon Shania Twain, the best-selling female country artist of all-time in the US, announced the 25th anniversary of her GRAMMY-winning breakthrough album with The Woman in Me: Diamond Edition, on Good Morning America August 14 during their "Summer Concert Series." Watch the performances below.  Available October 2, via Mercury Nashville/UMG Recordings, Inc., the Diamond Edition contains a newly remastered version of the genre-busting, multi-platinum album.  The Diamond Edition also includes previously unreleased tracks, live recordings, and mixes that trace the evolution of an album that changed the way country music sounded. The Woman in Me: Diamond Edition will be available in two- and three-CD configurations, with the remastered album available in LP and Limited-Edition color variant LP versions, as well.  Listen or pre-order The Woman in Me: Diamond Edition now HERE. Pre-order The Woman in Me: Diamond Edition now and receive the "Any Man Of Mine" digital EP, which includes the remastered album track, the Live From Las Vegas version, and the Shania Vocal Mix.

- Multiplatinum Icelandic quintet Of Monsters and Men return with a brand-new single entitled “Visitor.” The track is the first song off of a body of work coming at the top of 2021 in celebration of the group’s tenth anniversary together. Stream “Visitor” HERE and watch the official music video HERE! Regarding “Visitor,” co-lead vocalist and guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir commented, “‘Visitor’ is a song about disconnection and being on the fringe of change, seeing everything you once knew disappear, and finding yourself in the role of the visitor. It was written and recorded when the world was a completely different place, but the post-apocalyptic world of the video seems fitting. We shot the music video for it in Iceland in the freezing cold of February right before the pandemic hit. We are so very excited to finally share this song with you. Much love.”

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Pearl Jam launched an initiative to encourage their fans to join them and take the “Take-Three Pledge: Vote by Mail, Recruit Three Friends, and Don’t Wait”.  Voting by mail increases participation and ensures that voters can cast their ballot easily, safely and securely.  “Voting freely and easily is our ultimate right as citizens of these United States” said Pearl Jam Bass Guitarist Jeff Ament. “It’s a hard-fought gift from our foremothers and forefathers.  Join us in our Take Three Pledge: Vote by Mail, Recruit Three Friends, and Don’t Wait. Learn more or text PJVotes to 52886 and join us.”

GRAMMY® Award-winning UK singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer James Blake has officially released his cover of Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed” with accompanying music video.  Listen to “Godspeed”: HERE.  Watch the music video: HERE.  James Blake, who produced, arranged and played on the original version that appears on Frank Ocean’s 2016 album Blonde, initially performed the cover as a snippet on his Instagram Live. The clip of Blake’s reimagined version organically caught fire and incited a flurry of activity on TikTok. Almost immediately, it inspired nearly 500,000 videos and accumulated a total of over 5.2 million views on the platform. Press were quick to praise the musician’s stripped-down piano rendition with Hypebeast noting, “He exudes his ghostly vocals throughout, layering his soul-inflecting delivery over the skeletal piano chords.” 

Standing out as the top-selling record of 2020 worldwide, Taylor Swift’s critically-acclaimed, 5 star album, folkore, has achieved “the longest consecutive run at #1 since 2016” with six straight weeks atop the Billboard 200. This success has translated worldwide as the record clinches #1 on three continents. Across the pond, folklore notably became “the only album in the UK to spend three consecutive weeks at #1 in 2020,” and Taylor emerged as “the first international artist since May 2019 to log three consecutive weeks at #1 on the Official Album Chart in the UK. Down under, she became “the first female artist since February 2019 to hold #1 on the Official Album Chart in Australia for four consecutive weeks.” In addition, folklore captured #1 on the Official Album Chart in Ireland for four nonconsecutive weeks and seized #1 for three weeks in Canada.

- SHOWTIME has picked up the hit drama series THE CHI for a fourth season. Created and executive produced by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe (Twenties, Boomerang) and executive produced by Academy Award®, Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Common (Selma), THE CHI is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents on the South Side of Chicago who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. Season three cast included Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Queen of Katwe), Jacob Latimore (Sleight), Alex Hibbert (Moonlight), Yolonda Ross (Treme), Shamon Brown Jr., Michael V. Epps and Birgundi Baker (Station 19). Justin Hillian (Snowfall) will return as showrunner and executive producer for the fourth season. THE CHI is produced by Touchstone Television (HOMELAND). Season three of THE CHI was up double-digits across platforms over last season and doubled its audience on streaming platforms.

Monday, September 07, 2020

The Twenty Best Television Shows of 2019-2020

1. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist 1.x

2. The Great 1.x

3. Harley Quinn 1.x/2.x

4. The Good Place 4.x

5. Looking for Alaska 1.x

6. Dollface 1.x

7. Veronica Mars 4.x

8. Watchmen 1.x

9. Dickinson 1.x

10. G.L.O.W. 3.x

11. Castle Rock 2.x

12. Harlots 3.x

13. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 3.x

14. Normal People 1.x

15. The Outsider 1.x

16. Love Life 1.x

17. Little Fires Everywhere 1.x

18. This Way Up 1.x

19. Homeland 8.x

20. Impulse 2.x

Shows that aired a majority of their season between July 2019 and August 2020 were eligible for this list.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

57 Channels and Only This is On: September 6, 2020

Lovecraft Country:  So is this just going to be a weird, mostly self-contained, story of the week that they are putting the characters in that are just tangentially related to each other?  First episode was a road trip, the second was about a cult, and this week we got a haunted house.  I guess it keeps the story going at warped speed.  At the start of last week, I just thought we would spend the entire season at the mansion.  But creepy daughter did show back up at the end kind of tying things back to the storyline.  For now, the show has my attention.

We Hunt Together:  Well that explains a lot about Freddie.  Really both of their backstories ask can some of your adult actions be overlooked if your childhood was really bad?  I do think there is a line but murder; even of bad people is on the wrong side of that time.

Raised By Wolves:  Well, that was weird.  Not necessarily good weird.  I spent most of the first three episodes wondering why Ragnar Lothbrooke has a mullet.  And was his group supposed to be the Templars?  I mean his new group; I am not entirely sure what he was before the plastic surgery.  And just who programed the robots?