Saturday, May 13, 2023

Around the Tubes: May 13, 2023


I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post includes blurbs Jack Johnson, MisterWives, Kenny Rogers, Pete Townshend, Noah Kahan, Lauren Spencer Smith, Clairo, Joy Oladokun, Jeremy Zucker, Eliott, Nanna, Kiana Ledé, Taylor Swift, Searching For Soul FoodAfghan Dreamersand POV. 

Multi-platinum musician Jack Johnson has released a new album track, Calm Down (Dennis Bovell remix),” available through all streaming platforms today. The thoughtful track is the latest preview to Johnson’s summer remix album, In Between Dub and follows the incredible company of released songs, “Traffic In The Sky (Lee “Scratch” Perry remix)” along with “Better Together (Nightmares on Wax remix).  British Reggae legend and multi-instrumentalist, Dennis Bovell lent his talents to “Calm Down,” a beloved track off Johnson’s critically acclaimed 2022 album, Meet The Moonlight. With Blake Mills and Johnson on guitars and vocals, Bovell added drums, bass and organ for the remix.

New York City/Los Angeles-based alt-pop group MisterWives announce their highly anticipated fourth studio album Nosebleeds due out July 14 and available for pre-order now. Plus, the band announces the Don't Look Down Tour with Bishop Briggs across North America this fall with tickets on sale now via Alongside the announcements, the band shares the booming, tenacious title track out everywhere now and its accompanying video, which premiered exclusively via Rolling Stone.  Nosebleeds, highly anticipated fourth studio album by MisterWives, propels the group into all new territory, this time, equipped with bravery, confidence and strength. Through a decade-long career, of tremendous highs and lows, the forthcoming project meets the band at their most evolved as they turn their pain into power. Over ten compelling tracks, the band digs deeper than they ever have before, capturing the nuances of life's highs and low and re-defining what it means to succeed and to fail.

Kenny Rogers’ first posthumous album, Life Is Like A Song, due June 2nd via UMe, is a heartfelt collection of songs that were near and dear to the late legend but in most cases never released. One of the unreleased treasures, available to stream and download as of today, is “Catchin’ Grasshoppers,” the centerpiece of the stunning and emotional new song cycle, featuring unreleased cuts and coveted rarities that tell the story of the love, life, loss and faith between Rogers and his family. A deeply personal ode to Rogers’ twin sons with Wanda Rogers, Justin and Jordan, “Catchin’ Grasshoppers” was written by Laura McCall Torno and Earl Torno, with production work by Rogers and Randy Dorman (a member of Rogers’ band, Bloodline, since the 1970s). The moving tune finds Rogers reveling in the quiet, precious memories made with his young children, now aged 18. Rogers sings, “Years from now I won’t remember this day/I won’t recall the field/But I’ll remember my children’s eyes/Lighting up like stars when they were five/Yes, I’ll remember/Catchin’ grasshoppers.”  Listen to “Catchin’ Grasshoppers” and pre-order Life Is Like A Song here:  Curated and executive produced by the Country Music Hall of Famer’s widow, Wanda Rogers, the album features eight never-before-heard recordings, spanning 2008-2011, and showcases Rogers’ range through an array of original material and covers, including interpretations of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight and Lionel Richie’s “Goodbye,” as well as the artist’s long-sought-after duet with Dolly PartonTell Me That You Love Me.” A digital deluxe edition includes two bonus tracks: a cover of the Mack Gordon/Henry Warren standard, “At Last” (made famous by Etta James), and the Buddy Hyatt-penned original, “Say Hello to Heaven.” Life Is Like A Song will be available on CD and vinyl as well as digitally. The release marks the first new non-Christmas studio album by Rogers in 10 years and the only non-compilation/non-reissued full-length album to be released on vinyl since 1991.


 June 23, 2023, sees the release of the first in a series of half speed mastered studio albums from Pete Townshend, Rough Mix and Empty Glass.  These limited-edition black vinyl versions have been mastered by long-time Who engineer Jon Astley and cut for vinyl by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios with a half-speed mastering technique which produces a superior vinyl cut and are packaged in original sleeves with obi strips and certificates of authenticity. Rough Mix is presented in a gatefold sleeve, and Empty Glass features a full-color inner bag with full lyrics and a 12” x 24” poster.  Rough Mix was initially released in September 1977 while The Who were on hiatus and was a collaboration with Small Faces bassist the late Ronnie Lane and features contributions from Who bassist John Entwistle, Eric Clapton, and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts among others.  AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW.

Ahead of his upcoming, sold-out “Stick Season Summer Tour, critically acclaimed Vermont singer and songwriter Noah Kahan drops a live rendition of his fan favorite song “Orange Juice” and captivating cover of Jason Isbell’s “If We Were Vampires” featuring Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers for Spotify Singles–listen HERE.  The updated, piano-ballad version of “Orange Juice” features Noah’s raw and emotional vocals alongside his signature songwriting. On the acoustic guitar-driven “If We Were Vampires” cover, Noah and Wesley’s voices fuse together, creating a stunning reimagining of the Jason Isabell classic

Today, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Lauren Spencer Smith announces her debut full length album Mirror, to release July 14 via Island Records/Republic Records.  Mirror, which will feature 15 deeply moving, personal records tells a story filled with autobiographical ups and downs. The title Mirror is personal and deliberate.  “I’ve been working on this album for years. It has been with me through so much in my life, the highs and the lows, and it means more to me than I can put into words. It tells a story of reflection, healing and growth.” says Spencer Smith. “I went through a hard breakup, and the album tells the story of that all, the journey of that and now being in a more happy relationship. The title comes from the one thing in my life that's seen me in every emotion through that journey— my bedroom and bathroom mirror.”  Songs from the album have already amassed over 1 billion streams. Released in 2023, "Best Friend Breakup" presents a song that resonates with almost anyone yet fills a creative void, while most recent single "Fantasy" confronts toxic relationships through a collaboration with GAYLE and Em Beihold. Having grown up in a small town without a music community, Smith considers her collaborators the friends she always longed for. The chemistry from their group chats comes alive in the single and video.

 Today, artist, songwriter, and producer Clairo unveils her Live at Electric Lady EP, the latest release in the Spotify and Electric Lady Studios series. The five-track EP features re-imagined versions of fan favorite hits from her discography and critically acclaimed sophomore album Sling, including “Bags,” “Amoeba,” “Zinnias,” “Partridge,” and “Blouse.” Not to mention, Clairo’s performance of “Amoeba” for the EP recording was her first time performing the song live on-camera.  Clairo says, “I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to perform at Electric Lady. A huge thank you to everyone involved!”

A new performance video for acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician Joy Oladokun’s song, “Taking Things for Granted,” is debuting today. Watch/share HERE.  "Taking Things for Granted” is from Oladokun’s new album, Proof of Life, which was released last month to overwhelming acclaim via Amigo Records/Verve Forecast/Republic Records (stream/purchase here). In celebration of the record, Oladokun performed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” last week and recently spoke with The New York Timeswho proclaims, “the singer-songwriter with Springsteen aspirations wants to make music for everyone. Her new album, Proof of Life, pushes her one step closer,” and continues, “her songs are conversational and confessional, and her hooky but profound melodies turn her lyrics into mantras.”  “Nashville’s most low-key musical revolutionary…in this time of shifting priorities away from work toward self-care and connection with others, Oladokun is offering a master class in those subjects”—Rolling Stone

Multi-Platinum Certified singer, songwriter, and producer Jeremy Zucker drops his new single, “OK,” via Mercury Records/Republic Records—listen HERE.  The introspective and emotionally charged track is a reminder to prioritize self-care and mental health in a world that can often be overwhelming and stressful. With his signature blend of indie pop and electronic music, Zucker delivers a raw and honest performance as the song explores the feelings of uncertainty that many people experience on a daily basis, and encourages listeners to take a step back and take care of themselves.

Alt-pop singer and songwriter Eliott continues to build the anticipation for her debut album with the release of the evocative new single “Control” – listen HERE. Fueled by Eliott’s soul-drenched vocals, “Control” is accompanied today by the official video directed by Charles Buxton-Leslie (known for his work with G Flip, ASHWARYA, Yergurl) and arrives fresh from supporting Irish singer/songwriter Cian Ducrot on his Australian leg of his World Tour – watch HERE.  Eliott shares, “Control is about unreciprocated love. It is about feeling isolated and vulnerable and coming to terms with the fact that you can’t force someone’s affection when you have already given them everything.” 

Since announcing her debut solo project in January, anticipation has been mounting for Nanna’s new album How to Start a Garden, out today via Republic Records. She’s given fans a sneak peek at the 11-song project with the releases of three advance tracks: “Godzilla,” “Crybaby,” and “Disaster Master.” Produced by Nanna alongside collaborators Aaron Dessner (The National, Taylor Swift) and Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, War on Drugs, Hiss Golden Messenger), How to Start a Garden is a tremendous solo introduction from this highly acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer.  LISTEN TO HOW TO START A GARDEN HERE

Platinum-selling Phoenix-raised and Los Angeles-based artist and R&B’s foremost femme fatale Kiana Ledé uncovers a brand-new single entitled “Deeper” today via The Heavy Group/Republic Records.  Listen to “Deeper”HERE.  The track’s silky guitar melody wraps around an understated beat. Meanwhile, her sensual delivery echoes by turning up the heat, culminating to a climactic chorus.

Taylor Swift has made history once again this week. The vinyl release of folklore: the long pond studio sessions debuts at #3 on the Billboard 200, logging the “The highest chart debut for a Record Store Day Vinyl ever.” Right now, she occupies three spots in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 (#3 folklore: the long pond studio sessions, #4 Midnights, #10 Lover), joining Whitney Houston as the only female soloist to achieve this milestone. Moreover, folklore: the long pond studio sessions has emerged as “the first vinyl-only release to land in the Top 10” in the modern era. At the same time, it has earned her the title for “Most #1 Albums” on the Billboard Vinyl Albums Chart. The album also more than doubled the previous highest selling record store day sales record. The previous record was 35k units and folklore: the long pond studio sessions sold 75k.

Onyx Collective debuts the teaser for upcoming Hulu food and travel series, "Searching For Soul Food."  All eight episodes will premiere on Friday, June 2 only on Hulu.  TEASER: HERE.  “Searching For Soul Food” follows rock star celebrity chef Alisa Reynolds as she discovers what soul food looks like around the world. As she seeks out the food, she’ll also explore the stories, the people, and the traditions of each place she visits, bringing her own flavor right along with her. The international journey finds Chef Reynolds exploring the culinary worlds of Mississippi, Oklahoma, Appalachia, South Africa, Italy, Jamaica, Peru and Los Angeles. 

Paramount+ today announced it will exclusively premiere the award-winning MTV Documentary Film, AFGHAN DREAMERSExecutive produced by Emmy® Award winner Sheila Nevins and Oscar® winner Ellen Goosenberg Kent, the feature-length documentary will launch on the streaming service Tuesday, May 23rd.  Winner of the Best Human Rights Film award at Galway Film Fleadh in Ireland and the Audience Award for Tiempo de Historia at Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain, AFGHAN DREAMERS tells the harrowing story of an all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan as they struggle to succeed in international competitions, while combating their male-dominated culture under the threat of Taliban rule. It has been a sensation at film festivals across the country including: Boulder, Cleveland, Dallas, Montclair, SCAD Savannah and more.

Multi award-winning series POV, hailed as America’s longest-running non-fiction series on television, enters its 36th season with a slate of 16 feature documentaries with themes devoted to caregiving, transnationalism, activism, childhood aspirations, accessibility, and intergenerational relationships.  The series’ commitment to provide a public platform to showcase bold forms of nonfiction storytelling by filmmakers with diverse voices and perspectives brings audiences unforgettable protagonists with unique points of views. Half of Season 36’s films are directed by women, and over two-thirds by filmmakers of color.  Celebrated films previously announced this season include POV alumni director Simon Lereng Wilmont and producer Monica Hellström’s timely Oscar®-nominated documentary A House Made of Splinters. As the war in Eastern Ukraine takes a heavy toll on families living near the frontline, a small group of strong-willed social workers work tirelessly in a special kind of orphanage to create an almost magical safe space for kids to live in. In Vietnamese first-time director Hà Lệ Diễm’s riveting Oscar® Shortlisted feature Children of the Mist, she details the challenges facing a Hmong girl living in rural Northern Vietnam caught between tradition and modernity.  

Sunday, May 07, 2023

57 Channels and Only This Is On: May 7, 2023


Fatal Attraction:  I have not seen the original movie, but my big prediction is that Lizzy Caplan is not dead.  The daughter ends up killing her in the future.


The Blacklist:  Oh, so Red is not the Big Bad, or least not yet.  I was shocked that the episode started with Red with Agnes in the dining room.  At least he is not the Big Bad… yet.


Saint X:  Oh joy, they added another timeline.  At least they did not have any young kid Gogo this week and the new timeline bleed into present day.  But at whvt point does Gogo start becoming suspicious of this white girl who just keeps showing up around her?


The Challenge: World Championship:  So did Darrell have to get one less piece and still lost?  Is he and Kiki just really bad swimmers.  The editing of that Challenge seemed weird.


Survivor:  Oh no, the one person that realized that Tiki was playing both sides got voted out.  Though Frannie may up being Tiki’s demise as Caroline seems like someone who will go scorched earth because they voted out her girl.  But then again she seemed like someone who would go scorched earth against Yam Yam when he went against her and started working with her again.


Titans:  So is Mother Mayhem actually dead-dead this time? 


Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies:  What exactly are they doing with Hazel?  It is weird that she is the main focus occasionally but she is not with the cheerleaders or with the pink Ladies nor does it seem like either are even fighting over her.  Why is she on the show at all?


Yellowjackets:   Some of the best viewer theories about the show centered on Shauna’s wilderness baby.  I came up with one where Jackie kidnaps the baby and raises it in the wilderness and they were the ones sending the postcards.  When Jackie died, I swapped her out and put Lottie in that same theory.  I got a tingle that maybe I was right when Lottie said, “our baby.”  Of course then I remembered Lottie was rescued and went straight to a mental hospital.  I also then remembered what I wrote a couple weeks ago that none of the theories are going to be correct because this show is not a mystery box show, it is a show about trauma and of course what happened to the baby was not going to be some shocking reveal, but just the most tragic outcome: he dies in childbirth.  Sigh.


The other big news this week is for the first time, all six survivors (that we currently know about) we in the same place at the same time.  Misty in the cult did disappoint (holy brass knuckles).  Well maybe a little, I wish we would have gotten more time with her.  I wonder how much time we will get with them all there.  I really doubt Van is actually going to leave with the way she looked at Lottie.  But there is that pesky murder thing with Shauna that three of them covered up.


For me the weakest part of the first season was Shauna’s bored housewife routine.  But I have to say, after it turned out Jeff turned out to be a pretty good husband (aside from the whole blackmail thing) and we have gotten more Callie this season, it is slowly becoming the second best present day storyline after whatever Misty is doing.  Jeff listening to Fork the Police and Callie talking about the cop’s weird balls were the best part of this week.


One thing that stood out to me this week that I had not noticed previously (maybe this was the first time she wore it) was that Akilah was where a purple neck cover this week.  I wonder if that is some subtle nod that she will end up being team Lottie.  I tried to see if there was some color coordination going on, but other than a two people in red, I really could not see any division by wardrobe and Akilah was the only one I noticed wearing purple.