Saturday, April 20, 2024

Around the Tubes: April 20, 2024


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 Pearl Jam, Taylor Swift, Elton John, Joy Oladokun, Nikka Costa, Blair Lee, Blair Lee, Frank Turner, Ariana Grande, Chestnut, You Can't Run Forever, and Reginald the Vampire.

Already heralded as the band’s best in decades, Pearl Jam proudly present their anxiously awaited twelfth studio album, Dark Matter, available now via Monkeywrench Records/Republic Records. Listen HERE.  From the kinetic opener “Scared of Fear” through the optimistic exhale of album closer “Setting Sun, these eleven tracks find the musicians firing on all cylinders. A surge of energy underscores this body of work amplified by thunderous rhythms, skyscraping guitar solos, and vital vocals. Produced by GRAMMY® award winning producer Andrew Watt, Dark Matter, marks the band’s first release since critically acclaimed Gigaton (2020).

- Taylor Swift released THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT. The 16 track album of new recordings is Taylor’s 11th original studio album. LISTEN TO THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT HERE.

- Elton John is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his 8th studio album Caribou with rare footage of his first live performance of the iconic hit ‘The Bitch Is Back.’ The incredible video shows Elton on stage on May 5, 1974 in front of over 40,000 fans at Vicarage Road at his legendary Watford FC Benefit Concert, playing the song two months before its release on Caribou. The track would be the album’s second single and would reach No. 4 in the US and No. 15 in the UK charts. Elton had recently been appointed as director of Watford Football Club and put on the benefit concert to give the club a financial boost - tickets started from £1 and it included guests such as Rod Stewart and Nazareth. The concert was not filmed for official release, making the video a rare gem - watch the unearthed footage HERE.  The resurfacing of this special footage comes just before Record Store Day on April 20th, which will see UMe release a special 50th Anniversary Edition of Caribou, Elton’s eighth studio album. The reissue will be released as a 2LP set on 180 gram limited-edition sky blue vinyl. The package includes the original album which features favorites ‘The Bitch Is Back’ and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,’ plus a newly compiled LP of bonus tracks, including the previously unreleased ‘Ducktail Jiver,’ which is the only true out-take from the Caribou sessions in January 1974. Find your local participating record store where you can go to purchase the limited-edition sky blue Caribou 2LP vinyl HERE.

In response to overwhelming demand from fans worldwide, acclaimed singer, songwriter, and maverick Joy Oladokun officially shares her anxiously awaited new single “questions, chaos, & faith” on all streaming platforms today via Amigo Records/Verve Forecast/Republic Records. Listen HERE.  Joy first unveiled the song on Instagram Reels. It not only exploded as her second most-engaged post to date, but it also reacted with listeners, inciting over 125K views and counting. With the song, she pays tribute to the memory of her childhood best friend Casey by delivering a stark and soul-stirring anthem. Faint acoustic guitar echoes with raw feeling as she laments, “Nothing is certain, everything changes, only to try to accept, “There are no answers, only questions, chaos, and faith.” The accompanying music video translates this sentiment to the screen with an intimate vignette. Soaked in tears and brought to life with memories, it offers a gripping elegy to a friend gone too soon.  Recently, she contributed “I Wished On The Moon” for Jack Antonoff’s Official Soundtrack for The New Look on Apple TV+. Listen HERE.

the LA-based soul and funk singer Nikka Costa releases her third single “It’s Just Love” after returning from a six-year hiatus with "Dirty Disco" and “Keep It High”. Known for her powerful vocals, dynamic stage presence, and diverse musical influences, Nikka Costa returns from a musical career break with future-forward disco-inspired sounds. “It’s Just Love” is “a song about being able to love who you want and everyone else should just mind their own damn business. Period.” Nikka says.  These first three singles fully set the tone for her disco and soul-fused, progressive album Dirty Disco, which will be released on June 7th. It was recorded with and produced by Justin Stanley (Prince, Jamie Lidell, Beck, etc.)

Toronto’s budding lyricist Blair Lee releases her second EP LIMBO. With her light touch of the pen, Lee crafts a sonic universe unbound by gravity. A masterclass in extracting the hopeful from the mundane, the six-song offering draws the curtains back to reveal a period of time for feeling caught in the in-between — Stream.  Simply put, she says, “‘LIMBO’ is all about the in-between, indecision, looping, stalling, being stuck.”  This EP arrives alongside an official video for “Don’t Wanna Leave.” Having written this song on her birthday last year during a phase where she was staying out too late, Lee admits that the song is, “about not wanting a night to end, but my friends would argue it was about my relationship at the time. Maybe it’s both.” In the video, Lee is spending a casual night out at the restaurant/bar she works at with friends and coworkers. It’s the kind of night that feels small at the time, but ends up being a moment you always look back on — Watch

Fresh off his first #1 album in the UK, English folk/punk rocker Frank Turner embarks on a groundbreaking journey to become the third person — and the first non-American — to perform concerts in all 50 states in the span of 50 days during the summer of 2022. As he plays with his full band, The Sleeping Souls, in the United States for the first time since the pandemic, The Work: 50 States in 50 Days captures an inside look at Turner and his tour family on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.   Featuring Fat Mike, Tim Barry, The Bronx, Pet Needs, The Bouncing Souls, AJJ and more, the documentary will exclusively premiere its first two episodes this Tuesday, April 23 at 9 p.m. ET via premier streaming platform Veeps, which will be preceded by a live Q&A with Turner and filmmaker Aaron Roberts. Episodes three and four will premiere on Veeps on Tuesday, May 21. Four-episode bundles are available for purchase for $9.99, which will also include the Q&A. Get all the info and access at

Ariana Grande’s grandmother, Marjorie “Nonna”  Grande, receives special commemorative plaque certifying her history making achievement on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Ordinary Things”.  Featured on Ariana Grande’s #1 chart topping album, eternal sunshine, Nonna becomes the senior-most artist ever to have appeared on the Billboard Hot 100.

- Chestnut, starring Natalia Dyer, Rachel Keller and Danny Ramirez, written and directed by Jac Cron.  Opens in select theaters on June 21st and available on digital platforms on July 2nd.  Watch the Trailer.  Annie (Natalia Dyer, Stranger Things) just graduated college and she's stuck in her university town of Philly for the summer. She's ready to start her new job in LA come fall, but something is holding her back. As she falls into an aimless summer, she finds herself entangled with Tyler (Rachel Keller, Tokyo Vice), a woman she meets at a bar one night and Danny (Danny Ramirez, Top Gun: Maverick), Tyler's co-worker or best friend or…? Annie can never tell.  Chestnut follows Annie through a summer of self-discovery as she, Tyler, and Danny each battle for unrequited connection, ultimately helping Annie find her voice in desire and independence.

YOU CAN'T RUN FOREVER: Release Date: In Theaters on May 17, 2024  (In Theaters, On Digital and On Demand).  Miranda, a young woman already suffering from acute anxiety due to a past tragedy, faces a new terror when a serial killer chooses her as his new target. In a harrowing hunt through the woods, Miranda finds strength she never knew she had as she tries to elude her murderous tracker. Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons stars in a spine-chilling thriller about the strength of family and the astonishing power of the human spirit.  Watch the trailer.

Reginald Andres finally got his life together – when he was turned into a vampire. While he doesn’t fit into the stereotypical expectations of what a vampire looks like – he’s not chiseled or classically handsome – Reginald has found his place amongst an unlikely cohort that includes the cool vampire who sired him, the former vampire chieftain turned unexpected ally (or is she?), and his co-worker/former girlfriend. A show with a lot of heart and just enough blood, “Reginald the Vampire” proves the undead life is just as complicated as life itself.  Season 2 Premieres on May 8th at 10pm on SYFY.  Watch the Official Season 2 Trailer

Sunday, April 14, 2024

57 Channels and Only This Is On: April 14, 2024

The Regime:  Good riddance to this dreadful show.  It should have been good but just failed the execution.


Shōgun:  Considering the next episode is entitled “Crimson Sky” kind of a filler episode with Tauranga sulking around defeated all episode as if he is actually going to turn himself over to the council.


Survivor:  Things looked very dire for Venus those first couple episodes, but luckily her tribe never went to council.  Now I think she just may end up being the token no vote finalist this season.


Ghosts:   Okay, the Ghost stuck to the person was really funny.  Though we know the car ghost died in a car accident, just how exactly does someone wearing a baseball jersey get stuck to someone?


A Gentleman in Moscow:   It is interesting that everyone in speaking English, yet all the text, the book, the signage, is in Russian.  Then the precocious kid has turned into a weird teenager.  Nina also interacted with another person and we saw Rostov’s younger sister in a flashback and it definitely did not look like Nina, so there goes that theory.  So the question with her goes back to just where is her family and how did she get the skeleton key?  Now I am thinking maybe she is the child of one of the workers.


I am not sure why they bothered teasing Rostov killing himself.  It is only episode three; of course he is not going to kill himself.  But I do wonder what will happen in the last episode.  He has to leave the hotel one way or another, be it through a door or off the roof.   If it is a door, is it the front of side door?   He got chummy with his jailor; will Rostov help him so much that he will let him leave?