Jackyl Celebrate Silver Anniversary with “25” and Tour

JACKYL CELEBRATE SILVER ANNIVERSARY WITH ‘25’ AND TOUR

It’s an incredible accomplishment when a rock band has been successful enough to reach the 25-year mark since the release of their first album.

And this year, raunchy southern rockers Jackyl have accomplished this feat, and are celebrating with an appropriately-titled compilation, ’25,’ which drops July 28 via Mighty Loud Records.

The 18-track set (which can be preordered via the band’s official site, jackyl.com) features such Jackyl radio hits as “Down on Me,” “The Lumberjack,” “Push Comes to Shove,” and “Favorite Sin,” as well as two previously unreleased tracks – a live rendition of “Redneck Punk,” as well as a cover of Black Oak Arkansas’ “Hot and Nasty.”

“At the time we first hit the scene, we were told by quite a few interviewers and fans that we sounded like a cross between Black Oak Arkansas and AC/DC,” explains Jackyl. “While we was very familiar with AC/DC, we were not with BOA. We went back and listened, and were blown away – so much so, that we recorded a cover of one of their most kick ass tunes, ‘Hot and Nasty,’ which is now finally getting its release on this comp.”

First bursting upon the scene with their self-titled, platinum-certified debut album in 1992, Jackyl has made a name for themselves as a killer live band that delivers night after night, and has continued to offer up good old fashioned blues boogie over the years, as evidenced on such subsequent albums as 1994’s gold-certified ‘Push Comes to Shove,’ all the way to their most recent release, 2016’s ‘Rowyco.’

“With this compilation, we are celebrating 25 years of Jackyl rock n’ roll – the fundamentals of rock n roll,” adds Jesse. “And beware – we are not slowing down anytime soon.”

‘25’ Tracklisting:
Down on Me
When Will It Rain
The Lumberjack
Push Comes to Shove
Secret of the Bottle
Dumb Ass Country Boy
Cut the Crap
Kill the Sunshine
My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass
Just Like a Negro (featuring DMC)
Screwdriver
Encore
Favorite Sin
Rally
Just Because I’m Drunk
Redneck Punk (Live) – previously unreleased
Hot and Nasty – previously unreleased

TOUR DATES:
Thursday, August 10, 2017 in Sturgis, SD Full @ Throttle Saloon
Friday, August 25, 2017 in Sterling Heights, MI @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill
Saturday, August 26, 2017 in Franklin, OH @ J.D. Legends
Saturday, September 2, 2017 in Milwaukee, WI @ National H.O.G. Rally/Milwaukee Rally
Friday, September 8, 2017 in Hinckley, MN @ Grand Rocktember V Music Festival
Thursday, September 14, 2017 in Ocean City, MD @ Cowboy Coast Country Saloon
Friday, September 15, 2017 in Heath, OH @ Muddy Creek Saloon
Saturday, September 16, 2017 in Sunrise Beach, MO @ Pickleheads Roadhouse (Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest)
Thursday, September 21, 2017 in Augusta, GA @ The Country Club
Friday, September 22, 2017 in Savannah, GA @ The Stage on Bay
Saturday, September 23, 2017 in Cocoa Beach, FL @ 80’s in the Park
Friday, November 17, 2017 in Sioux City, IA @ Anthem at Hard Rock
Saturday, November 18, 2017 in Watseka, IL @ Watseka Theatre
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 in Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
Friday, November 24, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN @ 8 Seconds Saloon
Saturday, November 25, 2017 in Green Bay, WI @ The Green Bay Distillery
Sunday, November 26, 2017 in Dubuque, IA @ Q Casino
Friday, December 1, 2017 in Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
www.jackyl.com

STRIFE Guitarist Andrew Kline talks about 20th Anniversary of “In This Defiance”.

The iconic Los Angeles hardcore band STRIFE is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their landmark second LP “In This Defiance”. To commemorate the release the band has put together an extremely limited vinyl release and to find out more about the album Media Mikes spoke with STRIFE guitarist Andrew Kline.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the limited LP package you have coming out commemorating “In This Defiance”?

Andrew Kline: I wanted to do something special for the 20th anniversary of In This Defiance. We teamed up with WAR Records to produce a bubble gum pink colored record that comes in a hand numbered and hand silkscreened cover. There were only 100 made and were sold with a limited edition long sleeve.

AL: What was it like for you looking back and revisiting the album?

AK: “In This Defiance” is my favorite Strife album and we still play a lot of the songs live. It’s a record that I feel doesn’t seem outdated and still fits in with what’s going on within the current hardcore scene.

AL: How do you feel the album relates to the world we are living in now in 2017?

AK: Lyrically, In This Defiance is a pretty personal record. The songs “Grey” and “Blistered” still resonate with me as those songs really relate to the world now.
“Blistered by a raging sun’s flames
Mankind sealed its fate in its haste
Warning signs sent time after time
We just sit back in all this waste”

AL: There seems to be sort of a resurgence of hardcore bands from that late 80’/90’s starting to happen what do you feel has sparked that?

AK: I think that every few years there are a new crop of hardcore kids. They get involved with the scene and they start looking back and getting into bands from different time periods. I think this really created the demand. We’ve definitely seen more than a few bands reunite over the past few years, and I am ok with that.

AL: Are there plans to do some shows where you perform the album in its entirety?

AK: We are hoping to do some shows to support the anniversary of “In This Defiance” at some point before the end of the year. Fans can check out http://strifelahc.comto keep up to date with what is going on.

Concert Review: Reel Big Fish “Turn Off the Radio 20th Anniversary Tour”

“Turn Off the Radio 20th Anniversary Tour”
Reel Big Fish, Masked Intruder, Stacked Like Pancakes
Monday, November 14th 2016
The Haunt, Ithaca, NY

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Punk-Ska veterans Reel Big Fish brought the first leg of their “Turn Off the Radio 20th Anniversary Tour” to Ithaca, NY on November 14th where they performed to a near capacity crowd. The tour which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the bands monumental 1996 release “Turn the Radio Off” also featured Madison, Wisconsin pop-punk band Masked Intruder and Stacked Like Pancakes a 7 piece Ska-Rock band from Baltimore Maryland. All three bands were at the top of their game this evening which was packed with plenty of energy and fun for the college town crowd.

You never know what you are going to get with Monday night show performances. Questions like will the band be into it? Or, what will the crowd be like? Began to flood my mind as I made my way to the small lake side venue for a night of reliving my teenage years. Both of these were answered almost immediately as I could tell by the looks of the parking lot that I was going to be in for something special. Things kicked off promptly at 7pm with Stacked Like Pancakes taking the stage first. The group wasted no time at all launching in to their energetic performance which was a mixture of Ska infused rock which ignited the dance floor almost instantly. The groups 30/40 minute set was highlighted by a spot on big band infused rendition of the classic Blink 182 song “Dammit” which was unlike any other version of that song I have heard. Taking the stage next would be the masked hoodlums known as Masked Intruder. The group who’s sound is reminiscent of early Ramones with a twist seemed to be having some issues with the venues PA system at first as the vocals were getting lost in the overall mix however after a song or two everything came together and the band settled in as they poked fun at the crowd and themselves while delivering their unique high energy brand of punk rock. Having first been made of aware of this band this summer during the Warped tour is was great to be able to catch them again in a smaller setting where they seemed to be at home. Reel Big Fish would follow to close out the night by performing the entire “Turn Off the Radio” album from front to back. They even included the albums hidden track “I’m Cool” complete with a brief break before starting back in to close out the night. Though the group with the exception of front-man Aaron Barrett are different from the band that played on the album the latest incarnation of the Reel Big Fish sounded just as good if not better than the album they were celebrating making for a great overall concert experience.

When a band that has been around as long as Reel Big Fish has it’s great no matter what to be able to still them live. When it really becomes special is when all the bands on the bill bring their A game which was definitely the case in Ithaca, NY on November 14th. I highly recommend catching this tour when it resumes in February. Though it will feature a different lineup I feel pretty confident in saying that it will surely be just as good of a concert experience making a show you won’t want to miss.

Reel Big Fish Setlist:
1.) I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too
2.) The Kids Don’t Like It
3.) Another F.U. Song
4.) Your Guts (I Hate’Em)
5.) Sell Out
6.) Trendy
7.) Join the Club
8.) She Has a Girlfriend Now
9.) Snoop Dogg, Baby
10.) 241
13.) Skatanic
14.) All I Want Is More
15.) Nothin’
16.) Say “Ten”
17.) I’ll Never Be
18.) Alternative, Baby
19.) The Impression That I Get (Mighty Mighty Bosstones Cover)
20.) Beer
Encore:
21.) I’m Cool
22.) Everyone Else Is an Asshole
23.) Where Have You Been
24.) Take On Me (A-Ha Cover)

“Back to the Future” 30th Anniversary Trilogy Traveling to Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 20, 2015

THE FUTURE IS NOW!

BACK TO THE FUTURE 30th ANNIVERSARY TRILOGY

Traveling to Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 20, 2015 along with Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series & Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures

Universal City, California, July 16, 2015 – Great Scott! In 1985 Director Robert Zemeckis, Executive Producer Steven Spielberg and Producer/Screenwriter Bob Gale embarked on a three-part journey through time that broke box-office records worldwide and catapulted Back to the Future into one of the most beloved trilogies in motion picture history.  In 1989, the filmmakers gave us a glimpse of the future in Back to the Future Part II as Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to 2015…or, if our calculations are correct, October 21, 2015, to be exact.  “The Future” has finally arrived.

Now, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment celebrates this once-in-a-lifetime date, as well as the 30th Anniversary of the groundbreaking first film, with three new releases debuting on October 20, 2015.  Available on Blu-ray & DVD, the

Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy will include all three movies plus a new bonus disc with more two hours of content. Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series will be released for the first time ever on DVD featuring all 26 episodes from the award-winning series and Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures will include all three movies, the complete animated series, a new bonus disc, a 64-page book and collectible light-up “Flux Capacitor” packaging.  Featuring more than two hours of content, the bonus disc will include all-new original shorts, documentaries, two episodes from the animated series and more.

In addition to the home entertainment release, the Back to the Future celebration continues in theaters when the films go back to the big screen on October 21, 2015.  Check local listings for show times.  Additionally, Universal Music Enterprises is reissuing an all-new 30th Anniversary picture disc vinyl soundtrack, available October 16th in stores and through all digital partners.

About Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy (Blu-ray & DVD)

Experience the future all over again with the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy! Join Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and a time traveling DeLorean for the adventure of a lifetime as they travel to the past, present and future, setting off a time-shattering chain reaction that disrupts the space time continuum! From filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, this unforgettable collection features hours of bonus features and is an unrivaled trilogy that stands the test of time.

Includes:

  • Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III

  • Bonus Disc with More than Two Hours of Content

  • Digital HD with UltraViolet (Blu-ray Exclusive)

  • Collectible Packaging (Blu-ray Exclusive)

Bonus Features:

  • All New Original Shorts:  Including Doc Brown Saves the World!, starring Christopher Lloyd.

  • OUTATIME: Restoring the DeLorean: An inside look at the 2012 restoration of the most iconic car in film history.

  • Looking Back to the Future: A 9-part retrospective documentary from 2009 on the trilogy’s legacy.

  • Back to the Future: The Animated Series: 2 episodes (“Brothers” and “Mac the Black”) from the 1991 series featuring live action segments with Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown.

  • Tales from the Future 6-Part Documentary

Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy (Blu-ray & DVD) Bonus Features Continued:

  • The Physics of Back to the Future

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Michael J. Fox Q&A

  • Eight Archival Featurettes

  • Behind the Scenes Footage

  • Music Videos

  • Audio Commentaries

  • Back to the Future: The Ride

About Back to the Future : The Complete Animated Series (DVD)

It’s about time!  The adventures continue with all 26 episodes of the award winning Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series, in its entirety and uncut! Join Marty McFly and Doc Brown, Doc’s wife Clara, sons Jules and Verne, and dog Einstein for more hilarious escapades as they time travel to Prehistoric Hill Valley, Ancient Rome, Medieval England, the Civil War, the days of the pirates, the far future and beyond.  Featuring live action segments with Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, science experiments by Bill Nye the Science Guy and the vocal talents of Mary Steenburgen (Clara), Thomas Wilson (Biff) and Dan Castellaneta (Doc), it is family entertainment at its best and a true treasure for all Back to the Future fans!

Bonus Features:

  • Drawn to the Future: New interview with creator/writer Bob Gale and writer John Ludin.

  • Galleries: Rare archival materials featuring character art, DeLorean designs and more.

About Back to the Future : The Complete Adventures (Blu-ray & DVD)

Great Scott! For the first time ever, Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures pairs together the original beloved trilogy starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd along with the complete TV series.  Join Marty McFly, Doc Brown and a time traveling DeLorean for the adventure of a lifetime as they travel to the past, present and future, setting off a time-shattering chain reaction that disrupts the space time continuum.

Includes:

  • Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III

  • Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series DVD

  • Bonus Disc with More than 2 Hours of Content

  • Digital HD with UltraViolet (Blu-ray Exclusive)

  • Back to the Future: A Visual History 64-Page Book

  • Light-Up “Flux Capacitor” Packaging

About Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

CD Review: Judas Priest “Defenders of the Faith” 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Judas Priest
“Defenders of the Faith” 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Columbia/Legacy
Tracks: 31 (3 Discs)

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Judas Priest’s “Defenders of the Faith” album Columbia/Legacy Records has released the “Defenders of the Faith” 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.  The 3 disc release features a combined 31 tracks which lets listeners relive 1984, a year which had the band coming off a long list of successful album releases and continuing on with the Platinum selling “Defenders of the Faith” album. The 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition includes a newly remastered version of the original album, a 2 disc live performance recorded during the subsequent tour, special edition packaging and an 18 page booklet with rare photos from the Defenders tour.

Right of the bat I want to say that if you already have the original version of “Defenders of the Faith” skip this version or go out and track down an original vinyl copy of the album. I found the remastered version of the album to be quite thin with too much emphasis on Rob Halfords vocals. It would have been nice if the newly remastered tracks featured beefed up instrumentation to accompany the metal gods prowess however much of that seemed lost or non-existent. I found the real gem of this release to be the two disc live album which is included as a part of the deluxe edition. Recorded on May 5th, 1984 at the Long Beach Arena the recording captures the band in their element. Not only do you get to hear most of the songs from the Defenders album in a live a setting but you are also treated to classic Priest tracks such as “Electric Eye”, “The Green Manalishi” and of course “Hell Bent for Leather” which includes Halfords signature motorcycle revving. Everything Priest is known for with their live performances is captured on these two discs making it for me the star if the release. Also included is some really cool die-cut packaging and a small booklet with a brief story from the band along with several live photos from the tour.

Though I wasn’t a fan of all the discs from the “Defenders of the Faith” 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition I found the live portion of this release more than made up for it. So if you are looking this album and want something a little extra then the Anniversary edition is the way to go however, if you are just looking for the studio tracks of songs like “Love Bites” and “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” then make your way to the nearest record store and get yourself an original release of the album.

Track Listing:
Disc 1- Defenders of Faith (Remastered)
1.) Freewheel Burning
2.) Jawbreaker
3.) Rock Hard Ride Free
4.) The Sentinel
5.) Love Bites
6.) Eat Me Alive
7.) Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
8.) Night Comes Down
9.) Heavy Duty
10.) Defenders of Faith

Disc 2- Live at the Long Beach Arena 5/5/84
1.) Love Bites
2.) Jawbreaker
3.) Grinder
4.) Metal Gods
5.) Breaking the Law
6.) Sinners
7.) Desert Plains
8.) Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
9.) The Sentinel
10.) Rock Hard Ride Free

Disc 3- Live at the Long Beach Arena 5/5/84
1.) Night Comes Down
2.) The Hellion
3.) Electric Eye
4.) Heavy Duty
5.) Defenders of the Faith
6.) Freewheel Burning
7.) Victim of Changes
8.) The Green Manalishi
9.) Living After Midnight
10.) Hell Bent For Leather
11.) You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

Drowning Pool’s CJ Pierce reflects on the 13th anniversary of album “Sinners”

C.J. Pierce is the guitarist for the Texas based heavy metal band Drowning Pool.  In recognition of the 13th anniversary of the group’s debut album “Sinners” Drowning Pool with be hitting the road with special guests Adrenalin Mob and Full Devil Jacket. To coincide with the tour the band is also releasing a two disc anniversary edition of the “Sinners” album which features rare demos, remixes and two unreleased tracks. Media Mike spoke with C.J. recently about the upcoming tour, the anniversary edition of the album and what the band has planned for new material.

Adam Lawton: What can fans be expecting from the bands upcoming anniversary tour?
CJ Pierce: Over the last few years this band has dealt with a lot of unlucky situations. From the loss of singers to other person stuff that may come out in a book one day but really this tour/release comes at a perfect time. With it being 13 years since the “Sinners” album came out and the band being in a really good place right now we wanted to do something special. The album is a two disc release which features demos we did for the “Sinner” record along with the initial tracks featured on there and a track that was the last thing we worked on with Dave Williams before his death in 2002.  The album has also been fully re-mastered. We are planning to play the entire album from front to back along with a few other great songs so it should be a great time for everyone.

AL: Are there any songs from the release that this will be the first time they have been performed live?
CJP: When that album first came out we certainly played all those songs a time or two. There are some that we haven’t played since Dave passed away. It’s going to be a lot of fun to bring some of those older songs back to the set especially with fans getting to hear the remixed versions on the anniversary album.

AL: What was it like going back in and working on these songs again?
CJP: It was way more emotional than I thought it would be. I found the old DAT tapes from the “Sinner” sessions and we remixed and cleaned them all up. When we first did the record it was a rush job because we didn’t have a lot of time or money. It was great to go back in and fix stuff so you could hear everything. I was able to isolate Dave’s original vocal lines and it was like he was in the room with me. It was a good vibe the whole time. During the same time I found a bunch of old tour footage with Dave in it along with some footage of our last session with Dave. It was awesome to find that stuff and put it out for the fans.

AL: Can you tell us about the video for the song “Soul” and its Indie GoGo campaign?
CJP: That video is made up of a lot of the footage I found during work on the album. As part of it we wanted to make something as a tribute to Dave. Some of the footage goes back to even before we were signed so it’s a really cool video. There’s even some footage of us doing this song even though it wasn’t included on the original release of the album. As for our work with Indie GoGo we really aren’t the type of band to make money that way but we wanted to do something special with this video/song. We came up with a Dave Williams shirt which for everyone sold all of the money will go to the American Heart Association. We want to raise $13,000 to match the anniversary date. Dave passed away from a heart condition so this sort of our way of giving back to an organization that helps treat heart related issues.

AL: Is there anything in the works for new material from the band?
CJP: Definitely! We probably have more material written right now than we have in the entire Drowning Pool catalog. It’s just a matter of picking which songs we want to use and which direction we want to go in. There have been several instances where we thought we had the record but then went out on tour, came back and wrote a bunch more songs. We continue to write all the time but right now we just have to decide which ones we want to use. We want to be in the studio sooner than later.

AL: With this tour running through March and into early April are there more tour plans beyond that for this year?
CJP: We have a lot of one off shows scheduled for the coming months. That’s really what we have going till the new album comes out. We are booked as far out as October with weekend shows so a lot more will start happening once the new album comes out.

Blu-ray Review “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: 10th Anniversary Edition”

Actors: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor
Directors: Tim Burton
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Run Time: 115 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I can’t believe that it has already been 1o years since Tim Burton rebooted the 1971 cult classic hit “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” with his film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Despite most of the critics and public, I did enjoy this film. Johnny Depp is a looney in it and nails the role. Of course he is no Gene Wilder but it is also a completely different movie, so give and that there. This is a film that only Tim Burton could have remade. So even though I love this film, this 10th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray doesn’t really impress at all.

Official Premise: An eccentric chocolatier, Willy Wonka (Depp), long isolated from his own family, launches a worldwide contest to select an heir to his candy empire. Five lucky children, including Charlie (Highmore), a good-hearted boy from a poor family who lives in the shadow of Wonka’s extraordinary factory, draw golden tickets from Wonka chocolate bars and win a guided tour of the legendary candy-making facility that no outsider has seen in 15 years. Dazzled by one amazing sight after another, Charlie is drawn into Wonka’s fantastic world in this astonishing and enduring story.

The only real selling point of this release is for a snazzy new case and an exclusive 30 page photo book with photos and stills from the production and also a personal message from Tim Burton. That is all. There is no additional improved video or audio presentations here. We get the same special features as the previous 2011 release as well. Not that either of those were bad originally but in terms of upgrade to this release, there really isn’t any reason to purchase this unless you are a die-hard fan or if you have never owned this Blu-ray before.

Blu-ray Review “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: 75th Anniversary”

Starring: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell
Director: Frank Capra
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Sony
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2014
Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2014 (Click here for more information)
Run Time: 130 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is celebrating its 75th anniversary and it has never looked better. This film earned Jimmy Stewart his first Academy Award® nomination, along with 11 other nominations. It is easily one of Frank Capra’s best films. It was also Capra’s final film for Columbia. This film does in a wonderful collectible Digipak packaging with an all-new essay by Film Historian Jeremy Arnold. Easily one of the best restored Blu-ray releases this year.

Official Premise: An idealistic, newly-appointed senator (James Stewart) heads to Washington, where he single-handedly battles ruthless politicians out to destroy him. Winner of the 1939 Academy Award® for Best Writing (Original Story), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a timeless and stirring ode to the power of democracy.

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” looks simply stunning on Blu-ray. For this release it was restored and mastered with 4K transfer in 1080p. The black and white film is presented in its original 4×3 aspect ratio but looks outstanding. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio Mono surround track. It works well with the dialogue and score.

The special features are another win for this release. There is an audio commentary with Frank Capra’s son, Frank Capra Jr. There are a bunch of vintage features included. “Frank Capra Jr. Remembers…’Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'” focuses on the director from Capra’s son. There is “Conversations with Frank Capra Jr.: The Golden Years”, which looks into his father again and the 1930’s in Hollywood. “Conversations with Frank Capra Jr.: A Family History” features Capra’s son looking into his family life. “Frank Capra: Collaboration” is a look back into Capra’s life and career.

“The Frank Capra I Knew” features Jeanine Basinger, Curator of the Frank Capra archives at Wesleyan University, talking about the director. “Frank Capra’s American Dream” is easily the best feature, which is a feature-length documentary, narrated and hosted by Ron Howard with interviews including Martin Scorsese, Garry Marshall, John Milius, Robert Altman, Michael Keaton, Richard Dreyfuss, Angela Lansbury, Garry Marshall, Marshall Herskovitz, Bill Duke, Oliver Stone, and Peter Falk. Lastly there are trailers included.

Blu-ray Review “Moontrap: Anniversary Edition”

Starring: Walter Koenig, Bruce Campbell, Leigh Lombardi, Robert Kurcz
Director: Robert Dyke
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Olive Films DVD
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Run Time: 92 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

When I saw Olive Films was releasing “Moontrap” on Blu-ray, I knew I had to have it. The film stars classic cult actors Walter Koenig (“Star Trek: The Original Series”) and Bruce Campbell from “The Evil Dead” series. The film is celebrating its 25 anniversary this year. I probably haven’t seen this film since 1989 but I remember that it was pretty cool. Definitely not a straight-forward horror/thriller as it is filled with camp humor throughout some intentional and some not. Fun times for sure still. The visual effects shows its age a bit but with a cast like Koenig and Campbell, it is an instant winner.

Official Premise: A 1980s cult classic, Moontrap stars Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead) and Walter Koenig (Star Trek’s original Chekov) as astronauts sent to the moon to investigate evidence of what appears to be signs of human life. They reanimate the body of a woman (Leigh Lombardi), who warns them that the moon is under the control of a race of alien cyborgs, which have been awaiting the opportunity to stage their invasion of Earth. The humans realize that desperate measures must be taken to halt the cyborgs’ departure from the moon — even if it ends in their own destruction.

“Moontrap” looks pretty good with its remastered HD transfer by Olive Films specifically for this release. Since it takes place in space a lot, there is some noise in the darkness of space but otherwise, it is fairly clean. This is presented for the first time in widescreen format with its original monaural soundtrack. The special features are solid as well with a new video interview with Bruce Campbell and Walter Koenig as well as a new video interview with director Robert Dyke and writer Tex Ragsdale. Lastly there is an audio commentary by Robert Dyke and Tex Ragsdale, which is worth checking out as well if you are a big time fan.

The Blind Boys of Alabama’s Jimmy Carter talks about new album “Talkin’ Christmas!” and the band’s 70th Anniversary

Jimmy Carter is one of The Blind Boys of Alabama, the five-time Grammy Award winning gospel group. This year marks the band’s 70th Anniversary together and Jimmy is a founding member and has been there since the beginning. The band has collaborated with musicians like Ben Harper, Tom Waits and has performed for numerous Presidents over the year. Jimmy took out some time to chat wiht Media Mikes about their new album “Talkin’ Christmas!” and about the band’s 70th anniversary.

Mike Gencarelli: “Talkin’ Christmas!” is your second Christmas album after 2003’s “Go Tell it On the Mountain”; how did this come about and teaming up with Taj Mahal?
Jimmy Carter: Taj Mahal has been fans of The Blind Boys for a long time and we have been a fan of his as well. When we approached him, he was ready and eager to do it! Then we all got together went into the studio and did our thing [laughs].

MG: I listen to a lot of Christmas albums and if you are lucky an artist includes one new song in their album. You guys have given us seven brand-new holiday songs – six of which you written yourselves with this new album; what made you decide to that this route?
JC: That’s right. It is mostly all original stuff on this album. We all got together and wrote some great songs. I think that is what makes it a good album. The first Christmas that we did was mostly traditional songs but this one we wanted the material to be new. I hope it goes over good. We are trying to remind people what Christmas really is about. Christmas had gotten very commercial, so we are trying to put Christ back into Christmas.

MG: Since this is a holiday themed album, I am curious when was it recorded?
JC: We recorded this one in March, if I remember correctly. With the songs that we had it put us in the Christmas mood. So it wasn’t hard at all to record after the holidays and ended up being quite fun.

MG: 2014 is your 70th anniversary of The Blind Boys of Alabama, what is it like to be performing together all these years?
JC: It still feels good. Every year you get a little older but when you still enjoy and love what you do it keeps you going. Everyone is still in pretty good shape, so I foresee us being around for at least a little bit longer [laughs].

MG: If you were asked to pick the first highlight that comes to your head over the many years together, what would that be?
JC: A few come up actually. We had the privilege to singing to three Presidents. Even got to meet former President Jimmy Carter twice [laughs]. That was really cool. Then we got our first Grammy in 2002 and that was an amazing moment. Those are the two that come up the top of my head right now.

MG: You have teamed up with songwriters such as Ben Harper, Eric Clapton and Prince in the past; any more team ups planned next?
JC: I especially enjoyed working with Ben Harper. He is a great writer, a great singer and a great musician. He brought a lot to the table man. I really enjoyed working with him. I think Ben wants to do something else with us. We have to sit down and talk about it but I think he is ready…so we will see.

MG: Any tour dates planned for this album this Fall?
JC: Yes! We are going to start our Christmas tour on November 28th. We are starting that Friday night in Fredrick, MD and we will end up December 23rd in San Diego, CA.

Blu-ray Review “UHF: 25th Anniversary Edition”

Actors: Weird Al Yankovic, Victoria Jackson, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Richards
Directors: Jay Levey
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Weird Al Yankovic is so hot right now after topping the charts with his newest album (for the first time ever). It is also the 25th anniversary of his cult classic film “UHF”. The film stars Weird Al Yankovic along with Michael Richards (“Seinfeld”), Kevin McCarthy (“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”), Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”), Gedde Watanabe (“Sixteen Candles”), Victoria Jackson (“Saturday Night Live”) and more! It has been many years since I have seen this film and it still holds up today and is extremely funny. If you are looking for some laughs and some great special features, be sure to pick this up!

Official Premise: A lot of TV stations have forgotten what ’quality’means. But not Channel 62. They NEVER knew what it meant. In the cult classic UHF, Weird Al Yankovic is George Newman, a daydreamer who becomes the manager of a small TV station that’s losing money as quickly as it’s losing viewers. Before long he’s programming shows like ’Stanley Spadowski’s Clubhouse, ’ ’Wheel Of Fish’ and ’Raul’s Wild Kingdom. ’ But can Channel 62’s new popularity save it from sinister forces? To find out… don’t touch that dial!

This 25th Anniversary Edition of “UHF” makes its Blu-ray debut, thanks to Shout! Factory. The 1080p transfer looks good and relatively clean. I was not a huge fan of the audio track though since it is not even a full HD track. It is basically a DVD English Stereo track. It is not terrible but I would have expected more.  There are a great deal of special features included. There is the Retrospective Panel from the San Diego Comic-Con 2014, which literally just happened a mere few months ago. There is an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, some behind-the-scenes footage, a music video, production stills and some Easter eggs included.

Helmet’s Page Hamilton talks about the 20th anniversary of “Betty” and scoring films

Page Hamilton Music (www.pagehamiltonmusic.com)

Page Hamilton is the lead singer and guitarist for the band Helmet. The band is currently celebrating their 20th anniversary of hit album “Betty”. Page has also collaborated on numerous film scores like “Heat” and also recently created an original score for the film “Sons of Liberty”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Page about music, movies and Helmet’s anniversary tour.

Mike Gencarelli: How is it going from playing with Helmet to collaborating on film scores like “Heat” and “Titus” with Elliot Goldenthall?
Page Hamilton: Playing our music live is physically demanding, there’s no coasting with backing tracks or candlelit, acoustic-sit-down sections in the set, and with a 70+ song repertoire remembering lyrics and certain guitar parts can be challenging. Working with Elliott is a whole different kind of challenge. Sometimes he has concrete ideas and colors he describes or sings to me, sometimes there are written parts and other times he wants me to ad-lib. Elliott works with very talented people, there is a lot of trust in the room; it feels like a brilliant family that adopted me to come in and mess up Elliott’s beautiful music. Teese, Joel, Rick, Lawrence etc. are all amazing people to work with. Also Julie Taymor (Elliott’s wife and director extraordinaire) has been there for the movies of hers I’ve worked on: “Titus”, “The Tempest” and “Across the Universe”. I love working with them.

MG: Tell us about what we can expect from your upcoming compilation album of your own film scores?
PH: I chose to do new mixes of about 40 cues from the 1st 3 movies I scored for Mudbrick media in Mobile, Alabama. When we’re doing music for a scene obviously the director has ideas regarding what works and what doesn’t for each scene but he gives me a lot of freedom to experiment. We disagree from time to time so I wanted mixes for my compilation that I dug compositionally, i.e. remove the visual imagery & dialog and make sure the music is still interesting. In many cases I put back parts I had removed for him and even added a few things. I wrote, recorded, programmed & mixed everything so it’s pretty, low-tech and raw with a fair amount of my guitar mess spilling over the rim.

MG: How do did you approach your original score for the film “Sons of Liberty” and how did it compare to your other scores?
PH: I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with Patrick Kirst for several years, we wrote the “Sons of Liberty” score together, though it was mostly a dropbox collaboration between Hollywood (my place) & Venice (his place). He brings a lot of film scoring experience so I bounce music bits off his stubborn German brain & classical music ears and then create sounds that annoy him, sonically, melodically and harmonically. That’s what they get for hiring a noise-metal guitarist.

MG: This year is the 20th anniversary of “Betty”, which was (and still is) a sick album; how can you reflect on this album?
PH: We’re 20 shows into our European “Betty” tour, it’s not an easy album to pull off live but it’s been really fun to perform. I had to work on a variety of guitar and vocal sounds to get the vibe we had on the recording. I remember everyone having an idea about what we should do after the success of “Meantime”, they wanted “Meantime” part ll but it’s not in my nature to rewrite songs. Fortunately my bandmates were on board and contributed in a big way. Either that or they were just humoring me.

MG: Looking back on 1994 in general, why do you think it was such an epic and important year for music?
PH: I’m not sure though part of it has to do with the strong indie rock scene from the previous 10 + years. Labels like Am Rep, Discord, SST, Blast First and Touch & Go had a lot of good bands that could develop without industry interference. When the demand grew, major labels saw money to be made so a bunch of us signed deals to get paid & quit our bartending jobs. We didn’t know any better so we (more or less) continued as if we were still on Am Rep. Maybe this was the case with other indie bands as well? Melvins and The Pixies come to mind.

MG: How did you get involved working with Linkin Park on their new song “All for Nothing”, from their latest album The Hunting Party?
PH: They contacted my manager in NY and asked if I’d do some guest vocal & guitar bits on their new album. I met with the guys and liked them a lot. They played me a bunch of new songs including “All for Nothing”; I couldn’t get that chorus out of my head. I really enjoyed their recording process and had a great time.

MG: You are currently on tour with Helmet across Europe; tell us what we can expect from the tour and any plans for US dates?
PH: We’re playing the “Betty” album beginning to end followed by a second set of material including songs from “Strap it On”, “Meantime”, “Aftertaste”, “Size Matters”, “Monochrome” and “Seeing Eye Dog”. I’ve always wanted to tour without any opening bands so this is it; 30-35 songs a night. We have some east coast US “Betty” dates booked for December.

MG: What else do you have planned for the rest of the year and in store for 2015?
PH: I’ll be in the south of France producing a French band between the Europe & US “Betty” dates. We have a movie lined up for early next year and I plan to finish writing and recording a new Helmet album. I’ll continue to flounder around with my Jazz Wannabes group back east and my good NYC pals M’Lumbo have asked me to sit in for some recording and a few live gigs.

Win Passes to 40th Anniversary Screening of “Satan’s Children” in Tampa [ENDED]

Media Mikes would like to give our readers the chance to attend a special 40th Anniversary Screening of the locally made horror film “Satan’s Children” on November 15 at the beautiful and historic Tampa Theatre.

Made in the spring of 1974, and directed by the late Joe Wiezycki, a determined group of local TV crew people filmed “Satan’s Children,” a shocking and exploitive tale of brutal revenge, bizarre unholy rituals, hedonistic hippie culture, weird sex, and the seductive spell of Satanism and devil-cults. In other words: grindhouse heaven! A fantastic acting ensemble cast was assembled, with most coming from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Sadly, the film never received a proper release.

Now, 40 years later, we’re giving the devil his due! Two lucky readers (and a guest) will win passes to attend this fun filled event. Not only will be winners get to attend the special screening, they will be able to meet some of the cast and crew from the film that will also be in attendance.

All you have to do to be eligible is to let us know below what long-ago or obscure horror film you’d like to see on the big screen. Two random entrants will be chosen and notified by email. This contest ends on November 7, 2014. Good luck!

For more information, head to http://tampatheatre.org/movies/satans-children/

“White Christmas: Diamond Anniversary Edition” Hits Blu-ray October 14th

PARAMOUNT CELEBRATES THE DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE BELOVED HOLIDAY CLASSIC STARRING DANNY KAYE AND BING CROSBY AND HONORS THE HUMANITARIAN WORK OF UNICEF

 Paramount Pictures and The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation Donating $100,000  to Support UNICEF’s Work for Children

Blu-ray Combo Pack Debuts October 14, 2014 with a Bonus Holiday Music CD and New Special Features Including a UNICEF Documentary Hosted by Danny Kaye, Sing-Along Lyrics, a Virtual Duet Between Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé and More

  HOLLYWOOD, Calif.  –  Celebrate 60 years of the treasured musical classic Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS with the spectacular new Diamond Anniversary Edition arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack October 14, 2014 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  Starring legendary performers Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen and featuring unforgettable music by Irving Berlin, the beloved holiday film offers timeless entertainment for all ages.

In honor of the 60th anniversaries of WHITE CHRISTMAS and Danny Kaye’s appointment as UNICEF’s first Goodwill Ambassador, The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation and Paramount Pictures are proud to make a combined $100,000 donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF* to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world.  As UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador, Danny Kaye traveled to numerous countries in 1954 to see the work of the organization firsthand and appeared in and narrated a documentary entitled Assignment Childrenabout his experience, which is included in the new Blu-ray Combo Pack along with a new introduction by Michael Bublé.  Danny Kaye received an Honorary Academy Award® in 1955 for his work on this extraordinary documentary, as well as for his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people.

Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS Diamond Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack also includes new special features such as five classic Christmas television show appearances by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, including a virtual duet between Crosby and Michael Bublé, an optional sing-along subtitle track that accompanies the film’s most popular songs, new photo galleries, and a Christmas CD with 12 songs featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Judy Garland, including EIGHT never-before-released tracks.  Additional previously released special features include commentary by Rosemary Clooney, backstage stories, featurettes on Crosby, Kaye and Clooney, and more.

 

Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS Blu-ray Combo Pack

Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS Blu-ray will be presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Restored Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, French Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono Dolby Digital and Portuguese Mono Dolby Digital, as well as English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, English Restored Mono, French Mono and Spanish Mono, as well as English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes the following:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray):

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Feature film with optional Sing-Along Subtitle Track—NEW!
  • Commentary by Rosemary Clooney
  • Classic Holiday Moments—NEW!

o   “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby on December 1, 1976

o   “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby featuring Michael Bublé on December 10, 2012

o   “Silent Night” by Bing Crosby on December 12, 1948

o   “Jingle Bells” by Danny Kaye and Nat King Cole on December 25, 1963

o   Danny Kaye reads from A Christmas Carol on December 22, 1965

  • Assignment Children—NEW!

o   With introduction by Michael Bublé

  • Backstage Stories from White Christmas—The production boasted the #1 and #3 box office stars of its time and the director of Casablanca. It featured the most popular song in American history and became the highest-ranking film at the box office in 1954.  From little-known production details to behind-the-scenes trivia, this segment offers insights about the timeless holiday classic.

 

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)—cont’d:

  • Bing Crosby: Christmas Crooner—Crosby’s family members offer personal memories of the film and discuss the crooner’s Yuletide connection.  The piece also includes film historians sharing rare stories about Crosby and White Christmas and a visit to Crosby’s hometown of Spokane, Washington.
  • Danny Kaye: Joy to the World—Some people only know him as the silver screen’s ‘court jester,’ but Danny Kaye was a true humanitarian who helped children around the world as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.  This moving tribute sheds light on the multi-talented actor, who won two honorary Academy Awards®, including the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and spread joy beyond the Hollywood spotlight.
  • Irving Berlin’s White ChristmasMany people don’t know all of the lyrics to the most popular Christmas song of all time or that Irving Berlin wrote it while sitting poolside at an Arizona Resort.  This fascinating feature sheds light on the genesis and enduring popularity of the best-selling single in American history.
  • Rosemary’s Old Kentucky Home—Take a tour of Rosemary Clooney’s home in Augusta, Kentucky, which has become a historical landmark.
  • White Christmas: From Page to Stage— The legacy of White Christmas continues with a hit Broadway musical, nominated for two Tony awards.
  • White Christmas: A Look Back with Rosemary Clooney
  • White Christmas Photo Galleries—NEW!

o   Rehearsals

o   Behind-the-Scenes

o   Filming

o   Publicity Shots

  • Two Theatrical Trailers

Disc 2 (DVD):

  • Feature Film in Standard Definition
  • Commentary by Rosemary Clooney

Disc 3 (DVD):

  • Same special features listed above in standard definition with the exception of the optional sing-along subtitle track

Bonus Music CD

  1. Winter Wonderland – Rosemary Clooney
  2. Deck the Halls/Away in a Manger/O, Little Town of Bethlehem/The First             Noel – Bing Crosby
  3. Waltz Around the Christmas Tree – Danny Kaye
  4. Marshmallow World – Bing Crosby & Ella Fitzgerald
  5. The Christmas Song – Rosemary Clooney
  6. Just What I Wanted For Christmas – Bing Crosby
  7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Rosemary Clooney
  8. Jingle Bells – Danny Kaye & Peggy Lee
  9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Bing Crosby & Judy Garland
  10. Home For The Holidays – Rosemary Clooney
  11. Some Children See Him – Danny Kaye
  12. The Night Before Christmas – Bing Crosby

The film will also be available as a Diamond Anniversary Edition two-disc DVD set with Discs 2 & 3 above.

Blu-ray Review “Gone with the Wind: 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia De Havilland, Hattie McDaniel
Directors: Victor Fleming
Number of discs: 4
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Run Time: 238 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Gone with the Wind” is one of the most influential films of our time. It is a classic of classics. Who hasn’t seen this film? It is a must see for everyone! Released in 1939, it won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress. Based on Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel continues to have an affect on people after all these years. In fact, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing this 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray to celebrate its latest anniversary. It is limited/numbered and comes with new collectible packaging, memorabilia and special features. If you already own the 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition, this release is slightly different in terms of collectibles and some new extras. If you have never owned this film, this is a great re-release (at least until the 80th Anniversary).

Synopsis: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard and Hattie McDaniel star in the quintessential Hollywood epic that still stands as history’s all-time domestic box-office champion ($1.6 billion adjusted for inflation), with more tickets sold than any other movie ever made. Gone with the Wind opens on the eve of the Civil War. Rich, beautiful and self-centered Scarlett O’Hara (Leigh) has everything she could want. Except, that is, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). As the war devastates the South, Scarlett discovers the strength within herself to protect her family and rebuild her life. Through everything, she longs for Ashley, unaware that she is already married to the man she really loves (Gable) — and who truly loves her — until she finally drives him away. Only then does Scarlett realize what she has lost and tries to win him back.

If you love “Gone with the Wind”, then you will love that this The Ultimate Collector’s Edition comes with a replica of Rhett Butler’s handkerchief as well as a music box paperweight that plays Tara’s theme dressed with the image of the Rhett-Scarlett famous kiss. Also included is a 36-page companion booklet, which focuses on the style of Gone with the Wind and is written by New York fashion designer and Project Runway finalist Austin Scarlett. The new special features include footage of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh attending the original movie premiere in Atlanta called “Gone With the Win: Hollywood Comes to Atlanta” and “Old South/New South”, which takes you on a journey through today’s South revisiting the real-life locations depicted in the film and how they have been influenced over the year.

Warner is releasing this film as a combo pack including a Blu-ray + UltraViolet digital copy. The 1080p transfer is unbelievable goregous for a 75 year old film. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is also outstanding as well highlighting the dialogue and Max Steiner’s amazing score. There is also a standard Dolby Digital Mono track included. Other rolled over extras from previous releases include, a commentary track from Historian Rudy Behlmer on the first disc. The second Blu-ray includes literally over 8 hours of special features taken from the 70th Anniversary release…eight hours! Lastly there is a bonus DVD including “MGM: When the Lion Roars”, which is alone a three part, six hour documentary looking at the history of M-G-M, hosted by Patrick Stewart.

Commemorate the 75th anniversary of Gone with the Wind with the new Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray™ set – Available 9/30/14. Buy it now from WB Shop: http://bit.ly/GWTW75