Win A Free Blu-ray Copy of “The Water Man”

Media Mikes is offering four of it’s readers the chance to win a Blu-ray copy of the film “The Water Man,” directed by and starring David Oyelowo as well as Rosario Dawson and Alfred Molina.

All you need to do is comment “Yes” below. Pretty simple! Four random entries will be chosen and they will receive a Blu-ray copy of the film. This contest ends at 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) on August 29th. Winners chosen will be notified by email. Good luck!

You can watch the trailer HERE.

Fountain City Mini-Con a Welcome Addition to the Midwest

As summer heads into it’s last month, comic fans in Kansas City were treated to an event that was designed for THEM. And they found it this past Saturday at the Fountain City Mini-Con, held at the Lenexa Community Center in Lenexa, Kansas.

Packed wall to wall with dealers and guest artists, a non-stop throng of fans stopped by to talk comics with some of the genre’s best. Non-comic fans were impressed with the variety of dealers represented, providing the opportunity to pick up anything from t-shirts and games to the new NECA JAWS “Quint” figure (guilty).

Artist Aaron Lopresti does a sketch for a fan. You gotta love the shirt!

What I loved seeing the most, and I love seeing this at every show I attend, were the youngsters under 12, many in costumes, that walked the aisles with their folks, hopefully making memories that will last a lifetime. Think I’m kidding. I’m 60 years old and my first con was “Alien Encounters” in Tampa, Florida in 1978. Yes, I was a late bloomer but I’ve more than made up for it!

The Flash took time out from his busy schedule to tour the dealer’s room.

If you’re kicking yourself and thinking, “damn, I missed it,” you’ll be happy to know that there will be another show on Saturday, October 23. If you’re interested in attending, please click HERE.

Mr. Macabre

Largest free-standing White Castle in the world opens it’s doors in Orlando, FL!

Growing up in Long Island, NY, White Castle was a big part of my childhood. In Massapequa, NY stood my local White Castle, which is one of their 360 stores over 13 states. When I moved to Florida in 2010, I have spend the last 11 years craving America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, White Castle. White Castle was founded in 1921 as a family-owned business satisfying cravings and is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary. Well my years of waiting are now over, since the Orlando Castle marks the iconic brand’s return to Florida since operating a Castle in Miami in the 1960s. The Orlando Castle, scheduled to open on May 3rd, is located in southwest Orlando at 11595 Daryl Carter Parkway at The Village at O-Town West, part of the $1 billion O-Town West mixed-use development at the intersection of Palm Parkway and Daryl Carter Parkway off of I-4. The 4,567-square-foot restaurant includes 72 indoors and 56 outdoors seating and 2 Drive Thru lanes. This newest Castle features the iconic tower in a sleek, modern industrial-style architectural design. To provide a memorable experience for customers, hospitality doors will take the place of Drive Thru windows to allow team members to walk out to cars in the Drive Thru lane. After seeing it for myself just know that it is literally better than any “fast food” restaurant that I have ever seen. But as bragging rights for me will lie in the fact that I know have the largest free-standing White Castle in the world right in my backyard.

Having been onsite already to this new location and trying the food, I can say that they definitely have succeeded in bringing quality of White Castle to Florida! I couldn’t have asked for more. The staff was on-point. The kitchen looks like a well-oiled machine. The management seem just as excited as us fans that came. That’s the best part is sharing stories with other White Castle fans. I just hope that this White Castle partners with UBER EATS because I will be using that service very frequently my weekly Crave Cases personal cravings. Seriously though, I going to need to be able to order these sliders daily for sure!

If you want to be one of the first try the new White Castle, the Orlando Castle will be open for take-out, dine-in and drive-through service from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on grand opening day, May 3rd, and then reopen on Tuesday with regular operating hours, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days per week. At some point in the future, White Castle will operate 24 hours per day. Guests can “crave on” with a maximum order of 60 sliders per visit. So calling all White Castle fans!! Let’s prove that bringing White Castle to Orlando was not a mistake and that we want it to stay and grow here in Orlando. See you out there May 3rd!

About White Castle®
White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, has been making hot and tasty Sliders as a family-owned business for 100 years. Based in Columbus, Ohio, White Castle started serving The Original Slider® in 1921. Today White Castle owns and operates more than 360 restaurants dedicated to satisfying customers’ cravings morning, noon and night and sells its famous fare in retail stores nationwide. The Original Slider, named in 2014 as Time Magazine’s most influential burger of all time, is served alongside a menu of creatively crafted sliders and other mouthwatering food options, including White Castle’s Impossible™ Slider, named by Thrillist in 2019 as the “Best Plant-Based Fast Food Burger.” White Castle’s commitment to maintaining the highest quality products extends to the company owning and operating its own meat processing plants, bakeries and frozen-food processing plants. White Castle is known for its faithful fans, affectionately referred to as Cravers, many of whom compete each year for entry into the Cravers Hall of Fame. The official White Castle app, available at iTunes App Store or Google Play, makes it easy for Cravers to access sweet deals and place pickup orders any time. They can also have their orders delivered using one of White Castle’s delivery partners. For more information on White Castle, visit whitecastle.com.

BLACK VEIL BRIDES TO RELEASE “THE PHANTOM TOMORROW” ON JUNE 4 VIA SUMERIAN RECORDS.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

WWW.PHANTOMTOMORROW.COM 

New Video For Song “Fields Of Bone” Directed By Andy Biersack 
Can Be Seen Here: https://youtu.be/JR37XyIXqPg

On the heels of their first-ever virtual acoustic radio tour Acoustour and after teasing fans for days on social media, Los Angeles rockers Black Veil Brides have released the full details of their upcoming 6th studio album, The Phantom Tomorrow. The new album is scheduled for release on June 4th via Sumerian Records and is a concept record based on a story idea created by vocalist Andy Biersack. The album is comprised of a dozen tracks and has spawned the current Top 20 Active Rock single “Scarlet Cross.” The cover artwork for The Phantom Tomorrow was created by Eliran Kantor – known for his work with Testament, Hatebreed, Havok and Andy Black to name a few. The Phantom Tomorrow is produced by Erik Ron (Godsmack, Dance Gavin Dance, Bush) and co-produced by guitarist Jake Pitts – is available for pre-order in various bundle configurations here: www.phantomtomorrow.com.   

To coincide with the announcement of The Phantom TomorrowBlack Veil Brides are releasing the next music video from the upcoming album. The video for “Fields Of Bone” marks the directorial debut by vocalist Andy Biersack. Backed by guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx, bassist Lonny Eagleton and drummer Christian Coma; the video picks up where the “Scarlet Cross” video (http://smarturl.it/scarletcross)  left off. The main character “The Blackbird” returns to square off against “9,” his adversary depicted throughout the “Fields OF Bone” video. He has been used in the band’s tease posts all week. The video also showcases the new look the band will be utilizing throughout the entire cycle for The Phantom Tomorrow. The video for “Fields Of Bone” can be seen here: https://youtu.be/JR37XyIXqPg

The track listing for The Phantom Tomorrow is:    

1)    The Phantom Tomorrow (introduction)                   

2)    Scarlet Cross                  

3)    Born Again                  

4)    Blackbird                  

5)    Spectres (Interlude)                  

6)    Torch                  

7)    The Wicked One                  

8)    Shadows Rise                  

9)    Fields Of Bone                  

10)  Crimson Sky                  

11)  Kill The Hero                  

12)  Fall Eternal

Photo Credit: Joshua Shultz
L to R: Christian Coma (Drums), Jinxx (Guitars), Andy Biersack (Vocals), Jake Pitts (Guitars), Lonny Eagleton (Bass)

Sonny Vincent and Bobby Liebling Discuss Their New Band The Limit and The Album “Caveman Logic”

The Limit are a newly formed heavy rock band that is set to release their debut album “Caveman Logic” on April 9th. Consisting of Bobby Liebling (Pentagram), Jimmy Recca (ex-The Stooges), Sonny Vincent (Testors), Hugo Conim (Dawnrider) and Joao Pedro (Dawnrider) the bands five members combine their diverse talents to craft a unique sound which is equal parts punk and doom. Media Mikes had the chance recently to speak with Bobby and Sonny about the group’s formation and their new album.

Adam Lawton: How did the group initially come together?

Sonny Vincent: We didn’t know each other really at all. Bobby and I have a mutual friend who was my tour bus driver on a couple of tours. He played Bobby my music and after that he gave me a call. We started talking over the phone and got to know each other pretty well. After awhile we started to get serious and thought we should make an album

Bobby Liebling: After talking for awhile we decided to give Jimmy Recca a call as he was a guy, we both knew. Sonny had worked with Hugo Conim previous and he had just gotten a new drummer (Joao Pedro) that he was going to bring along as well to start recording in Maryland. That ultimately didn’t work out and we ended up traveling to Portugal to make the album.

SV: None of us new each other well. Aside from meeting briefly over the years and talking on the phone that was really it. Now Bobby, Jimmy and I were flying to Portugal to meet these other two guys. It was sort of “Lord of the Flies” at first because Bobby and I are used to running the show in our other projects. Add in Jimmy, Hugo and Joao and everything but the music at first was this weird nightmare. We had a killer engineer and the music turned out better than we had expected.

AL: What was the writing process like?

SV: Bobby and I had written a bunch of songs together. I would have the riffs and song structures and then Bobby would come in with the melody. We had some songs together prior going to Portugal but there were some lyrics that still had to be finished.

BL: We still had to do the arrangements once we got there with the whole band. There was some switching around and extending certain parts we did in order to make them all fit.

SV: I had sent the songs to Jimmy prior to leaving so he could get all his parts down. He actually got a little mad as he had learned the songs the way they were originally sent to him then we ended up changing a bunch of parts, so he had to go back and learn them again but with all the changes.

BL: He was pretty pissed. I do remember that.

AL: Was this how you have worked in your previous projects?

SV: We both approached this in different ways. Sometimes you start with the lyrics and then add the music or its the other way around. I know Bobby has done things differently as well. In fact, he told me about one album where he virtually played everything but drums.

BL: When we go in to do a Pentagram album, I am used to the whole band being there in the same place. We then take a good three to six months to play and plan everything out that way when you get to the studio you can bang out each song pretty quickly. We sort of stumbled our way through things with this project.

SV: I know that was one of the things that was pretty difficult for Bobby being in the past he has always worked in a very methodical way. I don’t do that.

BL: Sonny has worked with a lot of different people where I have worked in a more stabilized environment. Yes, Pentagram has switched members, but we have been together for fifty years so of course you’re going to have some member changes. Not many guys are going to dedicate half a century to a project. Sonny has a much bigger network of people that he has worked with. He has worked more as a solo artist per say where he reaches out to well know players for an album and after that he moves on.

SV: Early on I wanted to have a group with a solid lineup, but something was always happening where members couldn’t stay. I knew I wasn’t going to break up with myself, so I just decided to skip the whole band thing.

BL: I have always been opposite where I am the guy continually waving the Pentagram flag and bringing in new members to keep the band moving.

SV: With us coming from such different styles there was a good amount of stress at the start for sure. We got passed it and we found that we generally did agree on how things should go.

BL: We knew this was for the cause of making each song our child. You then groom that child to have certain traits which each person feels is best for them.

AL: How did you go about choosing the first three singles that have been released?

SV: The first two released were “Black Seas” and “Kitty Gone”. Those were both quite popular and the label asked us to do one for “Death of My Soul”. They felt this song really showed the scope of what we do. For the video I knew a guy in Canada who is a professional film maker. I was originally going to give him some guidance as to what we were looking for but decided not to as I wanted to let him come up with what he thought fit the song. He shot it and sent it back and then I took it to the label and they really liked it, so we were all happy.

BL: We had a lot of artistic freedom when it came to picking songs. However, our label has a staff of nine people who have to arbitrate over decisions and of course not everyone is going to think the same thing.

SV: The singles were a bit difficult especially the first one. Hugo and I worked for about a month on that when I looked at it there was something missing. It just didn’t have the emotion to tie everything together. Even though we had made it ourselves I just wasn’t happy. We ended up sending that to the record company and they had some who worked there that took parts of what we did and mixed it with some new things and that helped a lot. The final version made you feel things as you were watching and that’s what I was going for. With “Kitty Gone” we used the same guy at the label, and we shared ideas and that one turned out much better.

BL: That one is fantastic as far as I am concerned. You can actually watch it and lyrically follow it as if you are watching a film where people are talking to one another. You can really follow it from scene to scene. It has a screenplay type feel.

AL: Prior to COVID-19 were there plans to tour and, if so, are you still planning to do so when possible?

SV: We didn’t put any barriers up against doing things at first. We went in to do the album and while listening to the rough mixes we thought it could be cool to play these for people. When we heard the final mixes, we got really excited. There are offers for the band to perform and we are interested but things are still very uncertain due to COVID-19. We just have to wait and see what is going to happen.

AL: Do you see The Limit as a one-time thing or are you interested in working more together as a group?

SV: We want to do another album. We all know each other more now and at the start of this record there were things that moved in a negative way. We had a thirty-four-hour travel time to Portugal, during that trip Jimmy had lost his wallet at one point and was back tracking his steps trying to find it. He asked Bobby and I to watch his bag. We got talking and accidentally walked away from the bag. We saw Jimmy at a coffee shop, and he asked where his bag was. He of course got mad and thought that we didn’t care about him enough to even watch his bag. That set things off in the wrong direction.

BL: That layover in the London airport was fourteen hours by itself. We were already ten to fifteen hours into the thing prior to this layover and then we had another flight to get to Portugal. It was a pretty rough start to say the least.

For more info on The Limit and their debut album “Caveman Logic” click here.

BAD RELIGION SHARE “EMANCIPATION OF THE MIND”

Preeminent Los Angeles band Bad Religion have just released “Emancipation Of The Mind,” an outtake from the band’s critically acclaimed 2019 album Age Of Unreason. The track’s upbeat messaging calls for reason and open-mindedness as a new administration is welcomed into the White House today. Bad Religion have always advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism, which has never been more essential.

“I think the song really is a celebration of enlightenment values that can be cultivated through enthusiastic learning and open-mindedness,” says co-songwriter and vocalist Greg Graffin. “So often we’re told what to think. But learning how to think (as opposed to learning what to think) is a true feeling of emancipation from the constraints of indoctrination that are so commonplace in our society.”

LISTEN TO “EMANCIPATION OF THE MIND”

ABOUT BAD RELIGION
Bad Religion,
 formed in 1980 in the suburbs of Los Angeles, has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Bad Religion has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen.

The band’s critically acclaimed 17th studio album Age of Unreason offers a fiery and intensely relevant musical response to the times, with songs that address a myriad of socio-political maladies, including conspiracy theories, racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, alternative facts and more. There is a stylistic consistency to the band’s iconic and influential sound – hard fast beats, big hooks and rousing choruses, yet each new song remains distinctive, utilizing composition, melody and lyrics to deliver a unique narrative consistent with the band’s longstanding humanist worldview.

Film Review: “Synchronic”

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan and Katie Aselton
Directed by: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Rated: R
Running Time: 103 minutes
Well Go USA Entertainment

Unfortunately I’ve known too many people who’ve taken hallucinogens and claim that it has altered their perceptions and opened their minds to the world. Having never done hard drugs like DMT, I can’t speak to whether or not they did view some other worldly, but I feel like those who’ve known people who’ve taken drugs like peyote or acid can attest to the fact that habitual use or people who’ve tried multiple times will talk your ear off about how it’s revealed the world around them. There’s even a scientific community that believes hallucinogens had a hand in helping early man evolve into homosapiens. Regardless, what if that other worldly visit was real?

Steve (Mackie) and Dennis (Dornan) are New Orleans paramedics, who’ve dealt with a lot of bizarre overdoses. First off, the drug is unrecognizable and the packaging simply states ‘Synchronic.’ Secondly, some of these overdose crime scenes are unusual. One crime scene in particular left behind a message sprawled on the wall which stated, ‘Time is a lie.’ Dennis, a happily married father, doesn’t stray too much into what’s going on, but Steve wants to pry. That prying is because Steve has a terminal diagnosis, no family, and a lot of one-night stands who offer no comfort.

I won’t reveal too much about the crux of the film, the drug, because I feel like it’s a decent reveal, even though the film really spoon feeds the details so you should be able to realize what’s going on fairly early. While this would sink most films, “Synchronic” thrives because of it’s personal stories, the atmosphere it crafts and being a unique, fun genre blend. It finds a way to be an emotional buddy film, a sprawling sci-fi, and at times, a tense thriller. While I haven’t seen the previous films made by directors Benson and Moorhead, I might have to with how well crafted “Synchronic” is.

“Synchronic” doesn’t reinvent any sci-fi wheel, but it keeps you engaged and manages to pull off a few tricks along the way. Another key ingredient to the film’s entertainment is cleverly explaining everything, without explaining to the point where they create their own plothole. The intricacies of the sci-fi and humans on screen are taken care of so-well, you’re bound to forget and ignore most of the film’s flaws. 

Film Review: “Push”

Directed by: Fredrik Gerten
Rated: NR
Running Time: 92 minutes

With a moratorium on evictions and millions still unemployed in the U.S. because of the pandemic, it seems odd that house prices are at an all-time high and are expected to stay that way through 2021. Most economists would even agree that nothing makes sense this year as COVID-19 continues to rack up an astronomically high body count. But the documentary “Push” points out how something isn’t what it seems. The opportunity for affordable housing in the future is a pipe dream right now. Any remain chance is slowly beating whittled away by global conglomerates that are purchasing, hoarding, and stealing money for their own real estate monopoly aspirations. As if 2020 wasn’t depressing enough…

“Push” opens on a very familiar sight, at least for some, the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. I remember this vividly because it was the last year I had cable before pulling the plug. My cable service gave me the BBC so as soon as I saw American outlets reporting a massive structure fire in London, I flipped on the BBC to see the horror as flames enveloped a low-income residential tower. The BBC was showing clips of people waving, pleading for help from their windows, as well as airing 911 calls. Yet it seemed like the news cycle passed it by in America, especially since terrorism wasn’t the culprit. Instead it should have served as a warning about the woeful ignorance and carelessness of modern day slum lords.

“Push” meticulously lays out the dire situation we are in on a global level. Companies are buying up real-estate willy-nilly, with no regulations to stop them. While the settings are in Europe, every story and situation speaks on a human, global level. In a roundabout way this is contributing to income equality. Historically, buying and owning real estate was a way for poor to middle class residents of all countries to build their own personal wealth. But now real estate costs too much. There’s also forced gentrification (can’t blame Millennials on this one) where companies force people out of their homes or apartment complexes in a neighborhood property grab. At one point, the documentary shows a London suburb and how the majority of it was owned by foreign entities. It then shows how some of that real-estate corporations simply sit on empty properties despite no one to rent to. But these companies find ways to make money even when their property sits empty.

If you think that sounds bad, “Push” has a lot more horrifying scenarios and realities to unveil. The documentary shows you statistics and dramatic imagery that will rattle you to the core. Even if you yourself are a property owner, you won’t believe the things that are happening in sprawling urban areas. Not only are cities being groomed to be inhabited by the super-rich, but there’s an intentional effort to muscle out mom and pop stores or people who work out of their homes. Also if you live out in the country and think you’re safe, just wait until the documentary gets to the part about how these thirsty businesses are salivating over your 401k. 

The email screener for this movie stated, “ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FILMS OF 2020!!!!” First off, I don’t like superlatives because 2020 isn’t over yet and secondly, I don’t like exclamation points. In this instance though, I almost agree. Out of all the political documentaries I’ve watched this year, this one doesn’t just impact us this year, or just impact Americans. This is a documentary that impacts every living person on this planet right now. If you don’t watch “Push,” one day you’re going to wake up and wonder why you’re being priced out of your neighborhood, your home, your apartment, or whatever dwelling you find yourself in. Unfortunately, they’re coming for you, even if you don’t think so.

ACE FREHLEY RELEASES NEW ALBUM ORIGINS VOL. 2 VIA ENTERTAINMENT ONE

FEATURING JOHN 5, LITA FORD, BRUCE KULICK,
ROBIN ZANDER & MORE

Founding KISS guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member Ace Frehley released his highly-anticipated second collection of eleven rock ‘n’ roll covers, titled Origins Vol. 2, today via Entertainment One (eOne). The record acts as the sequel to Frehley’s 2016 album Origins Vol. 1 and continues his reflections on a lifetime in music and inspiration.

Frehley is joined by friends on guest appearances, such as Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, former KISS comrade Bruce Kulick, John 5, and Lita Ford. Frehley and company tackle high energy versions of deep cuts and classics by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and other musical touchstones of rock.

No stranger to cover versions throughout his musical history — having recorded, rebranded, and repossessed such notable nuggets as “New York Groove,” “Do Ya” and “I Wanna Go Back” throughout his eight previous studio efforts — this new collection presents a thoughtful and exciting selection of songs that inspired and helped shape the legendary guitarist.

LILY CORNELL SILVER RELEASES EPISODE 2 OF HER IGTV SERIES “MIND WIDE OPEN”

Dr. Marc Brackett Author of Permission to Feel and Founder/Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Lily and Marc Discuss the Importance of Labeling and Understanding Emotions among other subjects

Lily Cornell Silver today airs episode 2 of her IGTV series Mind Wide Open beginning at 9am PT/12noon ET.

The episode features Dr. Marc Brackettauthor of the bestselling book, Permission to Feel and the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence as well as a Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. 

Continuing on her quest to helpde-stigmatize conversations around mental health and provide resources and access, Lily and Marc discuss trauma, anxiety, sexual abuse, and the power of being able to understand and label our emotions. 

Lily says, “Marc brings so much compassion and empathy to the conversation along with his science based research on our emotional lives. His concept of being an emotion scientist rather than an emotion judge so resonated with me and I deeply appreciate his work toward implementing social emotional learning in schools. His bravery in talking about his own childhood sexual abuse and how he got help in moving forward was also incredibly inspiring.”

Marc says, “Lily is a 20 year old with an old soul, wise beyond her years and able to connect in a way that will keep these important conversations going. It was incredible to talk to a young person who has experienced trauma, but yet has an understanding of her own situation and is using it to help others. What inspired me the most though was how open Lily is about her own emotions and how much she related to the idea of giving yourself and others permission to feel.”

Coming episodes will bring guests such as TikTok/Instagram influencer Sir Carter and Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver’s Duff McKagan among many others.

More guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
https://www.instagram.com/lilycornellsilver/

ABOUT Lily Cornell Silver: Lily Cornell Silver is the creator and host of the new IGTV interview series, Mind Wide Open. Her mission for the series is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Lily is a poised, intelligent, and talented young woman whose goal is to open and amplify the conversations around trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and other challenges. Lily is a junior in college studying Media Studies, Sociology, and Psychology. In addition to managing and promoting Seattle musicians, she is an activist and avid supporter of social justice initiatives including organizations such as Black Lives MatterNAACP, Equal Justice InitiativeEverytown for Gun Safety, and Planned Parenthood among many others.  

Lily Cornell Silver is the only daughter of music industry manager Susan Silver (Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Screaming Trees), and the first-born of the late Chris Cornell (Soundgarden/Audioslave). She is twenty years old and makes her home in Seattle, Washington.

Film Review: “Blessed Child”

Directed by: Cara Jones
Rated: NR
Running Time: 74 minutes

There’s a statement/joke I’ve heard when it comes to talking about cults and religion. It goes something like, “Cults + Time = Religion.” Granted, I could be butchering it. Regardless, the joke is that all religions started out as cults before legitimizing themselves. I say this first and foremost because “Blessed Child” deals with the personal story of Cara Jones and her time in the Unification Church, a new religious movement born in South Korea, which focuses on the teachings of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus range from the mainstream (Presbyterian, Catholic, Lutheran, etc.) to the extreme (Peoples Temple, Branch Davidians, Heaven’s Gate, etc.). My understanding is that the Unification Church toes the line between these two polar opposites. If you’re looking for an in-depth look at the church, “Blessed Child” is not for you. But if you’ve done a little bit of general reading on Unification Church, “Blessed Child” serves as an intimate look at its impact.

“Blessed Child” starts in 1995, where director Jones is getting married, alongside hundreds of other couples at an Olympic sized stadium before the Unification Church. She shouts, along with thousands, her marriage vows on the field, while holding the hand of a man she barely knows. It’s surreal to believe and see something bizarre and forced, especially when it happened in my own lifetime in a first-world country. The marriage, and her time in the Unification Church, didn’t last long. We’re not told exactly how she left (or escaped), but we know that she had to make a difficult choice; leaving her parents and family behind in a potential cult.

While Jones’ story is definitely the crux of the film, there’s a lot of other viewpoints included in this documentary. Jones talks with others who left (or escaped) the Unification Church. We learn that people left the church due to their own sexual orientation, for socioeconomic reasons, or a person’s general feeling of being excluded for whatever reason. The documentary doesn’t necessarily paint the Unification Church in a negative light, but it isn’t about to paint it in a flattering one.

“Blessed Child” has a surprising amount of nuance, especially since outsiders tend to label participants in these kind of religious sects as “nuts” or “brainwashed sheep.” The film establishes some solid reasoning as to why people become attracted to what it preaches. It uses this through archive footage and interviews. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t pull back the curtain enough for me to get a general enough feeling about the inner workings of the Unification Church. Halfway through the movie I opened up Wikipedia and hit up Google to answer some of my more burning questions. If anything, “Blessed Child” may be a form of self-medication and therapy for Jones, who reckons with her emotions.

Not to say that Jones’ story isn’t interesting or compelling, but at times it feels like there’s not enough information to digest, hence it’s incredibly brief running time. “Blessed Child” is a fairly interesting documentary, but not on par with others dealing with this subject matter. The reason it’s watchable though, is because Jones bares so much of herself that it’s fascinating to watch Jones break down and eventually reconcile with her parents and herself. 

Myrkur and Anna von Hausswolff Cover Björk’s “All Is Full of Love”

Folksange Available Now on Relapse Records

Photo Courtesy of Artist

Today Myrkur‘s Amalie Bruun joins forces with renowned multi-instrumentalist Anna von Hausswolff to reimagine Björk‘s classic, “All Is Full of Love“. Bruun comments, “From our homes in Denmark and Sweden we decided to record a simple, fragile and raw version of Björk‘s “All Is Full of Love”. A song we consider to be one of the most beautiful and encouraging songs, that is a reminder to stay open to receive love even in times like these.”

Listen & Share: Myrkur & Anna von Hausswolff – “All Is Full of Love (Cover)

Myrkur‘s latest album Folkesange saw its release earlier this year to high acclaim via Relapse. Just after newfound motherhood, Bruun set out on a journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her own childhood. The album relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect. Through Bruun’s crystalline vocals, an array of traditional instruments and storytelling, Folkesange offers listeners an immersive, emotional and transcendent experience that resonates in today’s turbulent times.

LISTEN & SHARE FOLKESANGESPOTIFY | BANDCAMP | APPLE

ANTI-FLAG ANNOUNCE “QUARANTINE SUCKS, LET’S PARTY!” DIGITAL TOUR

ANTI-FLAG have announced their “Quarantine Sucks, Let’s Party” digital tour. The band will stream sets from festivals at which it has performed and chat live with fans.

Below is the band’s statement about the interactive online tour.

“At times of societal unrest, Anti-Flag have always looked to the punk rock community and work of our shows for solace. Because we can’t tour right now, we wanted to find a way to stay connected and share our collective stories. These shows travel across the globe, and throughout years. We look forward to watching them with you, and regaining the energy we get from the show to have the strength and optimism to keep fighting for a better, more just world!”

Fans can re-live classic sets alongside the band, as the members will be chatting live during the streams every day at 6pm ET (3pm PT/11pm BST/12am CEST) from this Friday, June 26 until Tuesday, June 30 at veeps.com.

Those who purchase the “All Access Package” will receive a BONUS stream on 7/1. It features the Live at Red Rocks 2018 show, a limited edition ‘Quarantine Sucks, Let’s Party’ t-shirt, and a tour laminate.

Checkout the event on Facebook HERE.

The streaming schedule is as follows:

6/26 — Hellfest 2013

6/27 — Pukkelpop 2008

6/28— Woodstock Poland 2012

6/29 — Vainstream 2016

6/30 — Resurrection Fest 2018

7/1 — Red Rocks 2018 (BONUS — All Access Package Only)

Anti-Flag Online:

https://www.facebook.com/anti.flag.official

https://twitter.com/anti_flag

http://www.anti-flag.com

THE LAWRENCE ARMS SHARE NEW TRACK “LAST LAST WORDS”

SKELETON COAST OUT JULY 17

Today, Chicago bred trio The Lawrence Arms share “Last Last Words” off their forthcoming record Skeleton Coast out July 17 via Epitaph.

The track “is about coming to terms with your own obscurity – but like, in a pretty upbeat way,” says vocalist and guitarist Chris McCaughan. “It’s an escape dream to an edge of the world while being strangely content with some undergrown adulthood. It’s part undercover love song to the sometimes beautiful randomness of the universe and part offbeat, comical reminder to keep rewriting your unknown future. Like so much of the record, the song chases tiny flashes of light in the darkness.”

LISTEN TO “LAST LAST WORDS” NOW

Skeleton Coast was recorded 30 miles east of El Paso, TX at Sonic Ranch Studios with longtime producer Matt Allison. The album contains the elements of the band’s sound that fans have come to love for the past two decades but recontextualizes them in a way that somehow sounds perfectly aligned with this strange time in our collective history. Although it was written and recorded before the Coronavirus upended the world, the band’s seventh studio album sounds eerily prescient as it imagines an apocalyptic future where coyotes croon and wolf packs roam free. “For a band who has been around as long as us, this is about as urgent of a record as we could make,” vocalist and bassist Brendan Kelly explains. “It may be kind of dark but it’s really about searching for light in the darkness and finding it, as small as those moments may seem. That’s sort of where we’re at: Collecting the scraps of things that could make for a bearable existence in dark times.”

SKELETON COAST TRACK LISTING
1. Quiet Storm
2. PTA
3. Belly Of The Whale
4. Dead Man’s Coat
5. Pigeons and Spies
6. Last Last Words
7. Demon
8. Ghostwriter
9. How To Rot
10. Under Paris
11. Goblin Fox Hunt
12. Lose Control
13. Don’t Look At Me
14. Coyote Crown

The Lawrence Arms have never had any agenda apart from just having fun and making good music. Since forming in Chicago in 1999—the trio of bassist/vocalist Brendan Kelly, guitarist/vocalist Chris McCaughan and drummer Neil Hennessy—have made albums that continually challenge the boundaries of their sound. In the process they’ve carved out a distinctive identity in the punk community that’s simultaneously gritty, beautiful, melodic and mutinous

CD Review: Iggy Pop “Lust For Life” Deluxe Edition

“Lust For Life” Deluxe Edition

Iggy pop

Virgin

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Included as part of the upcoming “The Bowie Years” 7 disc set exploring Iggy Pop’s Berlin-era releases “Lust For Life” The Deluxe Edition will also be made available separately and includes the original release of “Lust For Life” along with a second disc “TV Eye” which is a live album featuring rare outtakes and alternate mixes. Also included is a 40 page book of lyrics, photos and interviews housed in special multi-fold packaging,

More than 40 years after its initial release Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” remains as one of the most influential albums ever made as to this day it continues to inspire and influence artists of all genres both past and present. Disc 1 feature’s a newly mastered version of 1977’s “Lust For Life” courtesy of Tony Dixon. Each of the 9 tracks sounded great with the new mastering as there is just enough freshness added to make it the release shine on any of today’s audio format while still staying true to the albums original sound. Personally I really enjoyed tracks such as “The Passenger” and “Neighborhood Threat” as they just sounded so good blasting through my speakers that I had to listen to them multiple times.

Disc two of the release titled “TV Eye: 1977 Live” is a collection of liver performances from the year of the album’s release. Not a bad collection however, The audio does vary from song to song given not all the live recordings are from the same concert or appearance. A couple EQ tweaks took care of this fairly quickly making for a decent addition to the set.

If you don’t already own this release I highly recommend the Deluxe Edition as you will surely enjoy the new mastering and the other bonus material included in this package. If you are a long time Iggy fan there may not be enough here to warrant a repurchase however if you are live recording fan then you will need this for your collection you also get the 40 page booklet and alternate packaging which is pretty cool on its own. Both this title and “The Idiot” are available now or if you want to wait until the end of June and get the complete 7 disc “Bowie Years” Collection both new versions of “Lust For Life” and “The Idiot” are a part of that set.

Disc 1: “Lust For Life”

1.) Lust For Life

2.) Sixteen

3.) Some Weird Sin

4.) The Passenger

5.) Tonight

6.) Success

7.) Turn Blue

8.) Neighborhood Threat

9.) Fall In Love With Me

Disc 2: “T.V. Eye: 1977 Live”

1.) T.V. Eye

2.) Funtime

3.) Sixteen

4.) I Got A Right

5.) Lust For Life

6.) Dirt

7.) Nightclubbing

8.) I Wanna Be Your Dog

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