Saturday, December 05, 2020

Around the Tubes: December 5, 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 Showtime, People Puzzler, The Weeknd,  Gret
a Van Fleet, The Mamas & The Papas, Yusuf / Cat Stevens, David Bowie, bülow, Earcandy, In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl,  Norman Reedus, and Artists For a New Georgia.

SHOWTIME has released over 60 hours of original content for free online sampling, on streaming platforms and on demand to celebrate the holiday season. Among these free episodes will be the premiere of the final season of SHAMELESS, as well as the premiere of the limited series YOUR HONOR, starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy, Golden Globe®, Screen Actors Guild® and Tony® Award winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad). While full seasons of hit series such as THE L WORD®: GENERATION Q, CITY ON A HILL, THE AFFAIR and LOVE FRAUD are already available, the premieres of SHAMELESS and YOUR HONOR will be available starting on Sunday, December 6. Additionally, new subscribers who sign up for SHOWTIME before January 11 will receive the gift of a 30-day free trial and lock in a lifetime price of $8.99 per month. The offer is available at, as well as through select platforms which feature the SHOWTIME standalone app.  The final season of SHAMELESS will officially premiere on Sunday, December 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the premiere of YOUR HONOR at 10 p.m. ET/PT. All free SHOWTIME content is available on YouTube and, as well as across multiple SHOWTIME partner platforms, until January 11.

In PEOPLE PUZZLER, hosted by Leah Remini, three contestants put their pop culture knowledge to the test to complete crosswords in a show based on the iconic puzzles in PEOPLE Magazine. 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.  PEOPLE PUZZLER will premiere on Monday, January 18th at 6 p.m. ET on Game Show Network and air weekdays.

To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of its release, The Weeknd and Rosalía have teamed up for a remix of “Blinding Lights” the certified smash released as part of The Weeknd’s fourth studio album After HoursRosalía joined The Weeknd for the "Blinding Lights” remix while also recording the upcoming follow-up to her groundbreaking “El Mal Querer" album. The duo also released a behind the scenes lyric video for the track directed by Dylan Coughran (Travis Scott, NAV) you can check out the track HERE and watch the video HERE.

After three years, one-million concert tickets sold across five continents, four consecutive #1 singles, a GRAMMY Award, and performances on "The Tonight Show" and "Saturday Night Live," GRETA VAN FLEET is hurtling into the future with its second album, The Battle at Garden's Gate due April 16, 2021 (Lava/Republic Records).  The album can be pre-ordered HERE.  A bold evolution from the band's 2018 full-length debut Anthem of the Peaceful Army, The Battle At Garden's Gate came together primarily on the road or while in the studio after the runaway success of 2017's "Highway Tune" led to the band packing up, leaving home, and eagerly soaking up new experiences on an extended road trip around the world. 

On January 29, Geffen/UMe is set to release The Mamas & The Papas’ If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears on black vinyl. Also, the album will be available on opaque yellow vinyl exclusively at uDiscover Music and Sound of Vinyl. Considered one of the best pop-rock albums of all time, the 12-song 1966 debut showcases the exquisite pop sensibilities and impeccable harmonies of Cass Elliot, Denny Doherty, John Phillips and Michelle Phillips. Reaching No. 1 on the Billboard album charts within months of release and spending more than 100 weeks on the chart, the Lou Adler-produced gem opens with the No. 1 hit “Monday, Monday” and includes “California Dreamin’,” which hit No. 4 on the Billboard singles chart. Preorder here:

Following the widely acclaimed release of Tea for the Tillerman², Yusuf / Cat Stevens is celebrating the two albums that first established him as his generation’s premier acoustic troubadour and then fired him into international superstardom. Released only seven months apart in 1970, Mona Bone Jakon and Tea for the Tillerman are now both available in a suite of releases, including single CD and LP, a double CD Deluxe Edition and Super Deluxe Edition box sets, featuring more than 20 unreleased tracks each alongside a host of other rarities. 
Stream/purchase Tea for the Tillerman:
Stream/purchase Mona Bone

Deram Records originally released David Bowie's self-titled debut album on June 1, 1967, the very same day as The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band. While it was not a hit at the time, over the past 50 years it’s gained a reputation for being a perfect snapshot of the time and has earned plaudits for being one of the first contemporary pop albums to be sung in an English accent. Bowie himself revisited songs from this era in 2000 re-recording the likes of “Silly Boy Blue” for an album called Toy which remains unreleased.  The album will be released for the first time as picture disc on January 29th and will be made available exclusively via

 Today, award winning and multi-platinum selling artist bülow shared new music, a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Lost” via Republic Records/Universal Music Canada.  Listen to “Lost” HERE.  On the song choice, bülow commented, “I haven’t done a lot of covers but I brought the idea to IG and someone asked me to cover it. I had the song stuck in my head for months, so it was perfect."

After igniting TikTok with over 60 million views and 16 million likesEARCANDY unwraps the expanded edition of their debut album An EARCANDY Christmas Deluxe today—listen HERE!  The multi-talented, 11-person a cappella group added four new holiday gems to a tracklist already decked from top to bottom with holiday favorites, including “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.” The holidays just got a little sweeter thanks to EARCANDY.

KCET, Southern California PBS station and home for award-winning, original public media programmingtoday announced the new weekly PBS television program IN CONCERT AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL, a weekly music series produced in partnership between KCET and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. On May 13, the 2020 season of the Hollywood Bowl was officially cancelled for the first time in its 98-year history in an effort to protect artists, audiences and staff from the spread of COVID-19. The series, which aired in Southern California earlier this summer, will allow viewers nationwide to experience iconic moments from the LA Phil archives at the Hollywood Bowl. Six episodes featuring the “best of” live performances from the past 10 years at the Bowl’s Summer Concert Series will be hosted by LA Phil’s Music and Artistic Director Gustavo DudamelIN CONCERT AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL premieres on Friday, January 15, at 9:00 p.m. on PBS and on the free PBS app.

In this brand-new electrifying book of photography by Norman Reedus, he captures moments behind the scenes of TWD as only Norman could deliver. With his unique sense of humor, traveling into the Georgian woods with Norman’s cast of characters and zombies, alongside portraits of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hideo Kojima, Lena Dunham, Diane Kruger, Dave Chapelle and many more to reveal the individuals that inhabit his life.  Norman has an indelible way of capturing the beauty and mystery in others. His photographs are beautiful and terrifying, macabre and provoking, alternately dark, and sublime.  The hardcover first edition (144 pages, 9.5" x 12") is now available exclusively on Reedus’ website Big Bald Galley for $75. Additionally, the Special Collector's Edition: Clothbound Clamshell Box which includes the hardcover book plus a signed archival photograph is also available now. Proceeds from sales are being donated to the COVID-19 Response Fund.

Internationally renowned artists such as Alex Katz, Cindy Sherman, Marilyn Minter, Laurie Simmons, Mika Rottenberg, José Parlá, KAWS, Deb Kass, Shirin Neshat, Tony Fitzpatrick, Glenn Kaino, Renee Stout and Elizabeth Peyton are joining forces with Georgia-based artists including Cosmo Whyte, Jiha Moon, Rocio Rodriguez, Krista Clark, Holly Coulis, Sheila Pree Bright, Davion Alston and Zipporah Thompson, among others, by contributing artworks to “Artists For a New Georgia,” an online art sale benefiting the New Georgia Project Action Fund (NGPAF).  Set to be live on Artsy from Tuesday, December 8 through Tuesday, December 15, “Artists For a New Georgia” aims to get out the vote for Georgia’s two senate runoff races on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. 

Friday, December 04, 2020

Previewing Shameless: The Final Season

Back when Showtime announced that the eleventh season of Shameless would be its last, I joked: well, until it is rebooted in five to ten years.  Since then, Showtime announced that they were bringing back Dexter after canceling it seven years ago, do my joke may actually turn out to be a prophecy.   Of course there were bigger things that have happened since Showtime announced the final season that have altered the show.

Yes, the Coronapocalypse has hit the Southside.  Sure Frank thinks it is a hoax and Debbie wears her mask below her nose, rendering it useless, but I doubt this is how the writers envisioned the final season going, but they are trying to make lemon out of lemonade.  Kev and Vee even found a new revenue stream despite the city shutting down bars across the city for the third time.

Last season was the first without the main star, Emmy Rossum, but the rest of the Gallagher ramped up their antic, Lip knocked up some chick then rented out an apartment for them to live in without his baby mamma’s permission when her family gave them a house in Wisconsin.  Ian is also basking in marital bliss of his own after making an honest man out of a Mickey Milkovich.  Well, as honest as you can make a Milkovich. 

Debbie started dating her own Milkovich, but still had issues with her former girlfriend and her daughter who she also was lady forking which the city of Chicago was not too happy to find out about.  Then there was Carl who did some undercover work in hopes in getting into the police academy.  Though where the evil cop outine was pretty funny last season, it is pretty cringy watching that stuff go down now.

Sure, they may have to wear mask and Kev had to put up some social distancing markers, but like every obstacle that has come before them, it seems like the Gallagher’s are able to adapt to these times, some of which are even survive.   Sure, it is unfortunate that the show has to adapt to the new way of life in its final season, but then again, wait seven years, and we may very well see teenaged Franny and Freddy running wild on the Southside of Chicago.
Shameless airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.


Thursday, December 03, 2020

Previewing Your Honor

The first episode of Your Honor is so generic, take out the partial nudity and a couple naughty words and you probably could have mistaken it for a basic cable show from about fifteen years ago. The show follows the unfortunately even where a asthmatic runs over someone on a motorcycle while searching for his inhalers during an episode. But this is not just any asthmatic; he is the son of a judge. A very sympathetic judge, played by Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) who will stop by a house where a crime was committed to see if a testifying beat cop could possibly see what he claims he saw before arresting someone.

Oh, and the kid on the motorcycle is also not just any kid, but the son of the most vicious crime family in the history of New Orleans despite being very religious. I guess some of those Commandments, like Thou Shall Not Kill are just suggestions. You can see exactly where this is going. Well, at least for the first episode. For as clichéd as the first episode was, the second episode is packed full of surprises, none more so than where we first see the girl the judge’s kid was forking in the premiere. Though that may be the most inconsequential part of the plot.

Crime shows like this usually feature smart people keeping one step ahead of the law and/or just barely one step ahead the antagonist, but what sets Your Honor apart and keeps itself somewhat interesting is that people start getting really dumb in the second episode. Seriously, if you are driving a stolen car, how about not run a stop sign, especially if you are black in a place where cops sometime do not even wait for a reason to pull you over.

While sometimes these stupid acts keeps things entertaining and unpredictable (see The Flight Attendant who has been great at this so far), sometimes plot contrivances can be too much like when the dog finds a blood rag, somehow loses it under a cabinet and then spends multiple episodes trying to retrieve while the owner just tells him to shut up. Almost half way through the season and I am still not sure if Your Honor is good enough, but thankfully it is billed as a limited series so I will not have to spend multiple seasons trying to figure it out.

Your Honor airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

57 Channels and Only This Is On: November 29, 2020

Fear the Walking Dead:  I totally forgot Grace was pregnant.  Though I forgot who the father was.  Did Morgan hit that or did it happen before they met?  I am thinking it was the latter.  But what exactly is Strand’s game?  Is he really aligned with the evil chick or does he think it is best to stick around until everyone is out.  Pretty bold to go back after you lost the sister.
The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond:  Wait, so the evil chick is the army chick’s mom?  You think her big twist was going to be what happened last week.  But which daughter is going to turn out to be “The Asset”?
Fargo:  My biggest problem with this season is it just did not feel like Fargo.  The show and movie to me is fumblingly small time criminals being followed by the law, preferably female.  The dude tripping and blowing his own head off was the first thing to happen this season that actually felt like the Fargo I knew.
You can download Fargo on iTunes.
His Dark Materials:  So Dust is dark matter?  Okay, this got more complicated.  But will Lyra actually go back to that professor who seem a little too chill about learning about a parallel universe?  But did the evil people just kill off most of the witches?  Seems like they could have just flown away once the first bomb hit because, you know, they are witches that can fly away.
Black Narcissus:  So the title came from a cologne?  Alrighty.  But it turned out the Hulu thumbnail was a huge spoiler with the one nun hanging off the side of a building with the bell rope.  Though even if you did not see the thumbnail, it was pretty obvious that is where things were going once see started seeing the girl who jumped off the side of the mountain.
Big Sky:  The trucker needs to get out more if he needed to see the chick naked to realize it was really a dude.  Seemed pretty obvious to me.  Though I do not understand how the teen girls would not sell because they are too hot.  That was one thing the trucker got right, seems like someone rich, disgusting person would pay top dollar for one or both.
A Teacher:  Oh my goodness, the teacher just admitted she was forking her student to a co-worker like a teenager coyly admitting her crush in the ladies room.  So gross.
The Flight Attendant:  Well that ended up being weirder than I was expecting, and I mean that in a good way.  Though I have no idea how they can keep up the bat-shirt crazy pace for multiple seasons because something has to break at some point, but at least the first season is shaping up to be a wild ride.
The Mandalorian:  So we finally got what we all have assumed was coming for months now, Rosario Dawson as Asoka.  Does not seem like we will see much of her again (at least on this show, it seems like there have been quite a few potential spin offs they have set up in a season and a half) though I guess there is always a chance they cross path again.  But just who will answer the call when Baby Yoda (nope, not calling him by his real name, I think they made his and Mando’s real names stupid so we would still call them by what we all have so far) goes to the Jedi Temple.  I thought for sure when Mando said he left Baby Yoda back at the ship, the evil dude would have already been there to snatch the kid.  Maybe that is who will show up at the Jedi Temple.  Then maybe one of the few remaining Jedi (*cough*Luke*cough*) shows up and saves them.  But do they de-age Mark Hamill?  Recast someone more 
age appropriate?  Maybe I am over thinking things.