Saturday, May 20, 2023

Around the Tubes: May 20, 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 on Futurama, Imagine Dragons, John Mellencamp, Lord Huron, Lyn Lapid, Willie Nelson, Noah Kahan, Greta Van Fleet, Revival Season, Charlie “Bird” Parker, and The Venture Bros.

Season 11 of “Futurama” is set to premiere on Monday, July 24th with one episode. New episodes will be released weekly on Mondays on Hulu.  After a brief ten-year hiatus, Futurama has crawled triumphantly from the cryogenic tube, its full original cast and satirical spirit intact. The ten all-new episodes of season eleven have something for everyone. New viewers will be able to pick up the series from here, while long-time fans will recognize payoffs to decades-long mysteries – including developments in the epic love story of Fry and Leela, the mysterious contents of Nibbler's litter box, the secret history of evil Robot Santa, and the whereabouts of Kif and Amy's tadpoles. Meanwhile there's a whole new pandemic in town as the crew explores the future of vaccines, bitcoin, cancel culture, and streaming TV.

Hulu announced a forthcoming documentary film “Imagine Dragons Live in Vegas”, a love letter to the band and the city that helped make them one of the biggest acts in the world. An intimate look at performances of the band’s chart-topping hits during their current “Mercury Tour” and archival interviews, Dan, Wayne, Ben and Daniel recount the evolution of the band, from where they started to where they are now, the highs and the lows. The Hulu Original Documentary premieres Friday, July 14. Internationally, “Imagine Dragons Live in Vegas” will be available to stream on Star+ in Latin America and on Disney+ in all other territories at a later date.  Far from the days of playing in dive bars and casinos across the Las Vegas Strip, Imagine Dragons returns home to perform at the city’s largest stage, Allegiant Stadium, in a triumphant concert film that showcases the band's rise to fame and the city that helped shape their sound.

John Mellencamp is gearing up to release his much-anticipated album Orpheus Descending. Today, he shares another taste from the LP with new song “The Eyes Of Portland”—listen/share HERE and watch/share the official lyric video HERE.  Orpheus Descending will now be released June 16 via Republic Records. Pre-order the album HERE.  “The Eyes Of Portland” follows “Hey God.” Listen/share HERE, watch/share the official lyric video HERE.

Lord Huron unveiled a new song entitled “Ace Up My Sleevewhich was featured in the new film The Starling Girlnotably scored by Lord Huron vocalist/guitarist Ben Schneider.  The Starling Girl opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, May 12, with additional markets following on Friday, May 19. The film was written and directed by Laurel Parmet and stars Eliza Scanlen, Lewis Pullman, Wrenn Schmidt, Austin Abrams, and Jimmi Simpson.  Listen to “Ace Up My Sleeve”HERE.

20-year-old buzzing songstress Lyn Lapid continues her new musical chapter with her latest single “ok with it,” accompanied by the official music video, both out now on Mercury Records/Republic Records–listen HERE and watch HERE. The song is the newest track from Lyn’s forthcoming EP, to love in the 21st century, out this summer.  Across “ok with it,” acoustic guitar brushes up against a fluttering synth loop as Lyn’s vocals practically hover atop the verses. Her voice swoons on the refrain, “it's the end and i'm ok with it” as horns carry her harmonies off to the heavens. With its emotionally charged lyrics and unshakable hook, “ok with it” illustrates her natural progression as a songstress and performer all at once.

 In celebration of the legendary Willie Nelson turning 90 this year, several of his beloved albums from the 1990s and 2000s that were never released on vinyl at the time will be pressed on vinyl in a variety of options over the next few months. The releases will kick off June 23 with his 2002 collaborative album, The Great Divide, followed by 1998’s acclaimed, cinematic, Daniel Lanois-produced Teatro on August 4 in honor of its 25th anniversary. Willie’s 2000 ode to the blues, Milk Cow Blues, will come on September 15 as a double LP, while 1996’s stripped-back and emotionally raw Spirit will bow on October 20, just ahead of the American icon’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on November 3. The Great Divide and Milk Cow Blues will be making their vinyl debuts while Teatro and Spirit return to vinyl due to popular demand after being available in limited capacity but now long out-of-print.  All albums will be available on 180-gram black vinyl as well as a limited edition color variant on 140-gram vinyl, exclusively available at uDiscover Music and The Great Divide and Spirit will be pressed on clear vinyl while Teatro and Milk Cow Blues will be on translucent red vinyl and orange vinyl respectively. The LPs are available for pre-order now here:

- Critically acclaimed, Vermont singer and songwriter Noah Kahan reveals the upcoming release of Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever) out June 9th via Mercury Records/Republic Records. The highly anticipated, extended version of 2022’s breakout album will feature seven new tracks, including “Dial Drunk,” which has already received an incredible response from fans online after Noah began teasing the song on social media, amassing millions of views to date. Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever) will arrive just in time for Noah’s summer leg of the “Stick Season Tour, which is completely sold out and includes two nights at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and one night at Los Angeles’ The Greek Theatre.  Noah says, “I deeply appreciate your patience and your support for this project, and I am so incredibly grateful to be able to continue telling this story. I can’t believe I get to do this for a living, and I can’t imagine a better community to make music for.”

Grammy-winning rock band Greta Van Fleet is debuting their new track “Sacred The Thread;” listen HERE and watch/share the visualizer HERE.  “I always like to think that some people’s first impression of Greta Van Fleet in concert is, ‘Wow, these guys really like dressing to the left and blowing shit up,’” notes frontperson Josh Kiszka, adding, “this song is particularly important to me because it’s about my jumpsuits.”

A new era has begun, platinum-selling singer, songwriter, and Gen Z pop king Conan Gray unleashes an infinitely catchy new single and music video entitled “Never Ending Song” out now via Republic Records.  Listen to “Never Ending Song” HERE. Watch the music video HERE.  Powered up by bright and bold neon synths, it updates eighties New Romantic vibes with 21st century style and spirit with production courtesy of the legendary Max Martin.

Revival Season – comprised of rapper BEZ and Jonah Swilley, a founding member of Mattiel and also known for his production work with Moonwalks and Night Beats – today share "Chop", their latest single for Heavenly Recordings.  Claustrophobic as hell and crunching down in all the right places, "Chop" is a close-quarters, rapid fire hip-hop track from the Atlanta based duo. Talking about the track they said: "This one came together naturally, and gives you a look into future lyrical and production themes coming from us The video happened the same way, just us walking through downtown Nashville making people uncomfortable."

Throughout his brief but influential life, Charlie “Bird” Parker made an enormous impact on popular music and laid the foundation for modern jazz. The jazz titan, inarguably one of the greatest saxophonists of all time, grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and spent much of his adult life in New York. Nonetheless, the city of Los Angeles looms large in his musical life as he spent more time in L.A. than anywhere outside of K.C. and N.Y. From 1945-1954, Parker made half a dozen trips to the City of Angels where he recorded many of his greatest musical triumphs. In December of 1945, Parker and Dizzy Gillespie changed music forever by bringing the sound of bebop from the East Coast to the West Coast for a fabled two-month residency at Billy Berg’s Supper Club in Hollywood billed as “Bebop Invades the West.” Parker would end up staying in L.A. for an extended amount of time during which he gigged around town, recorded at a Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) concert, and made pivotal recordings for the nascent Dial label. Following a drug-fueled physical and mental collapse at the infamous July 29, 1946 “Lover Man” session, he was committed to Camarillo State Mental Hospital for a six-month stint for his struggles with addiction. Shortly after being released in January 1947, Bird would stick around for a few more months, which included a well-documented two-week engagement at the Hi-De-Ho Club, before heading back to NYC. He would return to L.A. four more times: briefly in November 1948 with JATP, for a three-month stay during the summer of 1952, and for shorter visits in 1953 and 1954.  Stream/purchase Bird In LA now:

- *Date Changed*  For the first time ever, all episodes from Adult Swim's award-winning original adult animated series are brought together in one set with The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series. Get ready to experience thrilling action-packed adventure along with acute family disfunction and binge all 82 episodes from the seven season run along with all the previously released special features. The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series will be available to purchase Digitally and on DVD from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment on June 13, 2023.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Previewing Ghosts of Beirut


“This is a fictional account of deeply researched events.”  That is how Ghosts of Beirut starts off.  It is not quite The Great’s “An occasionally true story,” but an interesting way of telling us this ripped from the headlines story may or may not actually be how the story went down.  The titular character is Imad Mughniyeh, the founder member of Lebanon’s Islamic Jihad Organization, second in command of Hezbollah, and was credited to killing the most Americans before the 9/11 attacks including the 1983 U.S. embassy bombing.


The show follows Mughniyeh follows him as a 21-year-old though his over quarter century reign of terror threw his eyes and the CIA and Mossad agents they tried to hunt him down.  The fictional retelling of his story is intertwined with real talking head comments from journalist and the agents who were in the CIA at the time and well as real footage of newscasts reporting many of the terror attacks credited to Mughniyeh.


Covering multiple decades in four episodes means a lot of jumping around and with much of the emphasis on Lebanese characters and many Mossad agents the show has plenty of subtitles.  Still Ghosts of Beirut is an important highlight on someone most Americans do not even know the name even if they lived through the eighties and definitely remember his warpath.  The limited series stars an international cast including Dina Shihabi (Jack Ryan, Archive 81), Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave), Iddo Goldberg (Snowpiercer), Hisham Suleiman (Munich, Fauda), Amir Khoury (Image of Victory) and Rafi Gavron (A Star is Born).


Ghosts of Beirut airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime, but you can stream or watch all four episodes On Demand starting Friday.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

57 Channels and Only This Is On: May 14, 2023


Fatal Attraction:  Oh thank goodness, Lizzie Caplan killed the old lady (allegedly).  I thought she might have killed the dog.


The Blacklist:  I was befuddled when Red was still part of the task force assuming killing the one dude in a federal building without the FBI’s knowledge would be a step too far.  I guess it was as Red scrubbed himself from the record and did not show up to the meeting with the Committee Chair.  It just took a week longer than I expected.  But maybe the bigger news is that the new chick was adopted.  I have to assume this will somehow tie back to Red.  He cannot possibly be the father, van he?


Saint X:  My pick of the brunette chick got a good bump this week when she said she made a horrible mistake.  Though the preppy dude and the creepy pregnant couple were also implicated in that cold open.  Maybe everyone was there when she died. 


Class of ’09:  Well those first two episode were kind of a borefest.  Hopefully things pick up and soon.  Quantico was a pretty bad show, but at least it was not boring.


The Challenge: World Championship:  The show really needs to stop people like Tori and Kacee with their predetermined alliances on the show.  It makes it so boring to watch.   The veterans really ruined what could have been an entertaining season.  Those country specific shows were much more entertaining without them.


Survivor:  So are they not going to explain why the two chicks would rather the tribe breakdown to be 3-2-1 instead of 2-2-2.  That makes about as much sense as the guy with an Idol not playing it even though an Idol got played for the person he voted for.  What did he think would happen?  Clearly Tika was on to him so he basically had a one in four shot that the votes would come to him.  That may be a top ten dumbest play in the history of the show.  Almost as silly was the Tika saying they would be in the majority if the votes go their way.  It is still three-three and I believe they know that one of those three has an extra vote.  So they could easily get voted out with a three to four split.  Of course those two have to wise up and vote out a Tika next week and wise moves and been few and far in-between this season.  Thankfully only one episode left.  I am ready for this season to be over.


Titans:  That ending made no sense.  How did Superboy come back to life?  I knew he would, but at least put him under some yellow sun so it makes sense.  There are just too many of this inconsistency to name.  Good riddance to this poorly executed show.  It should have been much better.


Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies:  I did not think I needed an episode dedicated to the T-Bird and after this episode, I gotta say, I was right.  Those kids have absolutely no charisma, especially compared to John Travolta.


Yellowjackets:  I was getting ready to write that this was the first episode where the modern day scenes were more interesting than the 90’s… and then Shauna had to go and punch Misty out of nowhere and just wailed on Lottie, so I think it may be a draw.  But still, I am disappointed that it took so long for all the girls to get to the cult (one of them noticeably said “we’re all here,” does that mean everyone else is a goner?).  The Misty tank may end up going down as the most entertaining scene of the series.


Speaking of the “we’re all here,” prior to that I believe Lottie mentioned that most everyone was there, but they hid the face to begin and for a second I thought maybe she was talking to Ben, whom Misty just talked off a cliff, before revealing it was her psychiatrist who turned out to not be there.  So it looks like my prediction that Ben kills himself is wrong… for now.  Though I did not see him in the brawl at the end.  What a weird scene, we all assume Ben is a goner, this seemed like a perfect time for him to go, his imaginary lover seemingly abandoned him, but in the end, Misty talking about there been too many deaths stopped him.  So is he actually going to survive?  I cannot image he will kill himself now, after being talked off the ledge.  Will they actually give him some sort of heroic death?  Coach Ben making it to season three may be the biggest shocker on the show, but almost seems likely now.


So much going on this episode which unfortunately means no time for Javi to explain what happened to him once again.  So one even mentioned that if javi could survive two months, Crystal could survive a couple days, no one in that moment thought to ask, yeah, Javi, how exactly did you survive in the freezing cold all alone for that month?  They really are going to drag this out all season, aren’t they?


Then we have to add the question of what happened to <strike>Crystal</strike>Kristen.  At least Javi is a healthy teenage boy even if dead-ass Jackie could not survive the same storm, <strike>Crystal</strike>Kristen was spitting up blood when given chest compressions, there is no way she could have gotten far.  Though maybe the question should not be did she move, but did someone move her?  I know I have been saying that this is a mystery box show and it would be silly to suggest that the same people that kept Javi alive for months saved <strike>Crystal</strike>Kristen, but I will put it out there just in case this does turn into a mystery box show.


With so much going on, it is almost easy to forget that the two remaining redshirts were the first to bring up cannibalism.  Kind of a big moment for two characters that have been so insignificant so far.