Friday, April 10, 2015

Around the Tubes: 4/10/15

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Resident Advisors, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Chewie, MTV Movie Awards, Kids Behind Bars: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report, Welcome to Sweden, The Ride, Filter, Soul Asylum, If I Were You, and Broadchurch.

- Paramount Digital Entertainment’s Resident Advisors, the raunchy comedy executive-produced by Elizabeth Banks starring Jamie Chung and Ryan Hansen is exclusively on Hulu now. Check out the trailer below:

- FX just posted a new trailer for Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. The series premieres Thursday, July 16 at 10:00 only on FX.

- In the comedy series Chewie, the galaxy-weary Chewbacca offers us a look inside the Louis C.K-esque day-to-day ordeals of his quest to find love, someone who will let him win at dejarik and perform his hilarious brand of guttural stand-up. Produced by Nerdist Industries and shot on location in New York City, this Louie parody brings a slice of the galaxy far, far away to the City That Never Sleeps. Just don't interrupt one of his sets at the Comedy Cellar, because this Wookiee will tear you limb from limb -- like so many Trandoshan slavers.

- MTV this week announced that past “Movie Awards” host Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp and Hailee Steinfeld will thrill Pitch Perfect fans at the “2015 MTV Movie Awards” with the worldwide premiere of an exclusive sneak peek from the highly-anticipated sequel, Pitch Perfect 2. The night will also reach a fever pitch when headlining rockers, Fall Out Boy, bring the house down with a live performance from the band’s recently launched sixth studio album, American Beauty/American Psycho, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and peaked at No. 1 in 22 countries.

- On Sunday, April 12th at 10:00, Al Jazeera America gives voice to the voiceless and shines a light on an under-reported story by going inside an institution for teenage thieves, arsonists, gang bangers…and even kids who kill. In the hour-long special, Kids Behind Bars: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report, Al Jazeera America was given extensive access inside a once-notorious juvenile lock-up, the J. Paul Taylor Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where the state is now trying something new: offering education, counseling, and maybe even a second chance for juvenile offenders.

- Americans best know Sweden for exports such as meatballs, Ikea furniture and Volvo. But on May 19, Entertainment One (eOne) adds "sitcoms" to the list with its co-produced series Welcome to Sweden: The Complete First Season, a 2-disc DVD set. The acclaimed NBC sitcom, an offbeat single-camera comedy from executive producers and siblings Greg & Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") and created by and starring Greg, became one of the highest-rated summer broadcast comedies of the past five years when it debuted last July. And before its second season debuts, experience a strange land and its stranger customs, in this fish-out-of-water sitcom called "the best new NBC comedy in a long time".

- Every kid has a dream but a dream alone doesn’t provide a future. The Ride consists of 8 hour-long episodes featuring Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Linkin Park, T.I and various other trendsetting artists, which will go into the truth of how these artists got to where they are today. Filled with raw unfiltered interviews, the road to success is paved as artists recount the events that transformed their lives. THE RIDE premieres, Saturday April 18th, 2015 9:00.

- PledgeMusic is excited to announce its partnership with Filter for the recording of their 7th studio record, on Wind-up Records. Fans will be given the opportunity to purchase exclusive items such as autographed CDs and signed vinyl, your name in a special "thank you" section of the liner notes, a Skype session with Richard Patrick, a mixing mastering session and lots of other great items. They will also get exclusive access to campaign updates and videos from Patrick and the band. Go to to sign up and pledge your support.

- PledgeMusic is excited to announce their joining with Soul Asylum for an upcoming album of all new material, to be released later this year. Pledging will also give you access to a Pledger-only section of the site, like private backstage access into the creative process where the band will be posting video updates, audio clips, pictures, blogs and more. To be part of the process and see what other unique and one of a kind pledge prizes the band has to offer, please visit:

- Spreaker, the leading podcast platform, announced today the addition of “If I Were You,” the hit show from the Los Angeles-based comedy duo, Amir Blumenfeld and Jake Hurwitz. Starring in one of CollegeHumor’s most popular and longest-running shows, the pair now will bring not only their podcast series, but also their hundreds of thousands of followers to Spreaker beginning this week. In every podcast episode, Blumenfeld and Hurwitz (and sometimes a guest) offer their guidance on a wide variety of topics from relationships, to work, to school, and everything in between. They also perform and record their show live on stage around the world in front of their fans.

- Earlier I mentioned the street date for the Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season DVD, please note that the date has been changed to May 12.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 4/9/15

King Kunta - Kendrick Lamar

For Kendrick Lamar's first album I have it a one word review: meh. I do like his follow up a little more by the deep jazz drive runs a little long but I did do not get all the love as if he is raps Beatles (who themselves are the most overrated band ever. King Kunta was one of my more favorite songs off the new album though I do not sure if the video meant to be a throw back or if it was just filmed on an iPhone.

The Night We Called it a Day - Bob Dylan

God bless Bob Dylan, the guy clearly does not care, widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriter of all time, releases a Sinatra cover album (with a second one that may come out soon). Then you have the first music video, a noir silent movie type short film with Bob in it barely acting. God bless you Bob, may you stay forever young.

I'll Be There - Chic

Riding high off his participation on Get Lucky, Nile Rodgers has reunited with Chic and released a song with a bassline reminiscent of the biggest hit Good Time and even references another of their songs Everybody Dance. For googling purposes, that is model and Taylor Swift buddy Karlie Kloss who provides the dancing in the video.


It seems like no one is allowed to be as raw has Meg Myers these days for better or worse. If there were a music video station around to put it in heavy rotation, Desire could have been a new millennium Criminal. Her new music video also give off the same vibe as it is from a time when music videos seemed to actually matter.

Monday, April 06, 2015

The Voice Season Eight Knockout Round Power Rankings

Stop it The Voice, just stop it with the hyperbole. During the final episode of the Knockout Round Carson hyped a socking end to the round. Everyone know that is a lie. Everyone know that who is not picked was going to be Stolen. You pulled that "shocking" crap at the end of the Battle Round. If you want to shock us, actually end an episode without a Steal for the first time ever, now that would shock me. Having Christina, who had a Steal left, Steal the person Adam did not pick in the final Knockout is the antithesis of shocking. It would have only been shocking had Christina said pass to Lexi and demanded to just reinstate Ashley in lieu of Stealing someone who will just be gone when the public starts voting. But no, you just continue to insult my intelligence. Overselling everything just hurts the product in the long run.

The big new during the Knockout Round was not any of the performances but who did not perform, Anthony Riley who was explained away for having personal reasons for leaving the show. Those reasons can be easily found on the internet (just avoid the baseless rumors that also popped up). This led to the first ever three person Knockout. Of course the contestants were hyperbolic about how being up against two people is harder. Um, no, you went from a fifty-eight percent of advancing to seventy-six percent (assuming I correctly calculated the right percentage of advancing via a Steal).

1. Brooke Adee (Team Blake) : Sure she may not have the best voice this season, but she is easily the most entertaining and though she probably will not win, Brooke has the best chance of being the most successful from this season. By choosing songs by Bon Iver (by way of Birdy) and MGMT it will be interesting if the show lets her stay "indie" and sing songs you may not expect from this show like say I Will Follow You Into the Dark, Portions for Foxes or something by Banks or will continue to have to sing the few indie songs that have already been cleared. I hope she gets to start to blaze her own trail but I fear Blake, who likes to recycle songs that have already done on the show for his non-country singers, will maker her sing The Scientist, or worse, Pumped Up Kicks.

2. Deanna Johnson (Team Adam): The two songs Deanna picked for herself were some of the best this season. The one Adam picked for her went so bad that it was montaged and even the studio version was really bad. Now with Adam picking songs, I fear for her longevity. It will be a crime against humanity if she does not get to sing My Immortal at some point.

3. Joshua Davis (Team Blake Adam): I am down with anyone who will break out an Amos Lee song on the show, suprsisingly the second in as many seasons. Hopefully he gets to continue to sing underdepreciated singer-songwriters on the show but I have a feeling Adam will make him do U2 or The Killers or some crappy pop-rock song.

4. India Carney (Team Christina): She was number one on my previous two Power Rankings, but her Knockout performance was her weakest of the three. It just felt like she was on one hundred the whole time.

5. Hannah Kirby (Team Blake Pharrell Blake): See below:

6. Kimberly Nichole (Team Pharrell Christina): see below:

7. Mia Z (Team Pharrell): Early in the show every season was peppered with weird singers who did bizarrely entertaining performances (mostly on Team Cee-Lo). Unfortunately the show has gotten away from those types of singers. But now with Pharrell's mantra of Other, it looks like those types of singers are getting more of a chance this season with Hannah, Kimberly, and Mia all making the Live Shows after offbeat Knockout Round performances. Of course with all of Pharrell's talk of Other, he let two of these girls go, thankfully Blake and Christina saved two of them and hopefully the new coaches let them to stay weird.

8. Meghan Linsey (Team Pharrell Blake): Meghan goes on The Voice to try to relaunch herself as a soul singer after a career in country and still ended up on Blake's team. Voters tend to take country and soul singers further than their talents deserve, and with the smartest coach who has won with both types, I guess we can go ahead and pencil her into the finale. Actually you can pen her into the finals, the pencil may just be used for her winning the whole show.

9. Rob Taylor (Team Christina): I really liked Rob's first two performances but as he opened up his Knockout performance with more falsetto I have come to the realization that that is really becoming a gimmick and his regular singing voice is really kind of mediocre and I actually preferred Treeva in their Knockout. Of course if he breaks out some Jodeci in the Live Shows I could easily be persuaded to jump back on his bandwagon. It is weird how nineties RnB gets ignored on this show.

10. Nathan Hermida (Team Adam): see below

11. Brian Johnson (Team Blake Adam): I am grouping Nathan and Brian together because both or good enough not to hate but neither are good enough to actually care enough. Luckily both are on Adam's extremely weak team so one of, or both, may actually advance. After that, I do not see them making it very much further.

12. Sarah Potenza (Team Blake): The biggest question is Sarah like Blake's last rock singer Terry who rode a bunch of classic rock songs to the finals, or more like the last rocker on the show Kat who needed Cee-Lo and Twitter to advance. Unfortunately for Sarah, Blake's team has the stiffest competition, all five of who I think have a chance to advance.

13. Sawyer Fredericks (Team Pharrell): The clear front runner if you are going by iTunes, but I do not get it. Collide showed a lot of flaws, but still outsold everyone this round. In face his three songs were of the five highest charting songs of the pat two weeks. People say that the string of boring WGWG destroyed an d if Sawyer wins, it could be the first death nail for The Voice.

14. Corey Kent White (Team Blake): I am a little shocked that Cody was not Blake's token country singer in the Live Shows this season.

15. Tonya Boyd-Cannon (Team Adam): see below:

16. Koryn Hawthorne (Team Christina Pharrell): see below:

17. Caitlin Caporale (Team Pharrell): see below:

18. Lexi Dávila (Team Adam Christina): see below:

19. Sonic (Team Christina): Let me (almost) close out my Power Rankings with the boring balladeers mini-Christina's of the season. I do not see any of these ladies getting America's vote thought one or two may advance via a Coach Save (because three people have to advance on Team Christina and Adam) which will only extend them one week before being cut.

20. Lowell Oakley (Team Pharrell): His Knockout was kind of embarrassingly bad.

Looking over the teams, giving each an numerical value, here is how the teams stack up based on my list after the Battle Round:

Blake: 65
Adam: 64
Christina: 49
Pharrell: 32

At the end of the Battle Round, Christina had a commanding lead, but her dumb decisions finally caught up with her. Adam, who was at the bottom last round actually jumped up to almost compete with Blake. Of couse, who cares what I think, here is how the singers ranked via iTunes over the past two weeks.

1. Sawyer Fredricks (47)
2. Noelle Bybee and Sawyer Fredericks (91)
3. Joshua Davis (96)
4. Sarah Potenza (103)
5. Sawyer Fredricks - I'm the Man of Constant Sorrow (144)
6. Megan Linsey (177)
7. Cory Kent White (189)
8. Clinton Washington and India Carney (212)
9. Brooke Adee (242)
10. Deanna Johnson (245)
11. Nathan Hermida (253)
12. Mia Z (262)
13. Lexi Dávila (363)
14. Caitlin Caporale (418)
15. Koryn Hawthorne (456)
16. India Carney (549)
17. Hanna Kirby (761)
18. Sonic (847)

19. Deanna Johnson - All I Want (835)
20. Cody Wickline - He Stopped Loving Her Today (869)
21. Brian Johnson (952)
22. Lowell Oakley (974)

23. Brooke Adee - Skinny Love (1222)
24. Brian Johnson and Joshua Davis (1468)

Like I said before, Sawyer is the clear favorite going live. One thing that really struck me looking at this list is he is the only one this season with any staying power on the charts. Usually this late the iTunes is peppered with former rounds. Yet besides Sawyer, only two other Battles reappeared and three other Blind Auditions, one by someone who was eliminated. Then you had three singers who could not even crack the top 1500 with their Knockout performance. To see really how each singer stacks up, I took the average peak of each three rounds and where is how the singers rank that way (I put an asterisk next to anyone who missed the top 1500 and used 1500 as the missing performance in the average).

1. Sawyer Fredricks (28.6)
2. Joshua Davis (104.6)
3. Meghan Linsey (252)
4. Sarah Potenza (255)
5. Mia Z (276.6)
6. Cody Kent White (311.3)
7. India Carney (324.3)
8. Brian Johnson (536.6)
9. Caitlin Caporale (604.6)
10. Deanna Johnson (614.6)*
11. Brooke Adee (633)*
12. Nathan Hermida (662.6)*
13. Lowell Oakley (652)
14. Hannah Kirby (826.3)
15. Rob Taylor (1017)*
16. Sonic (1062.6)*
17. Tonya Boyd-Cannon (1076)*
18. Kimberley Nichole (1116)**
19. Lexi Dávila (1121)**
20. Koryn Hawthorne (1152)**

Ouch, Christina has four of the bottom six while four of the top six were on Blake's team at sometime this season. If you rank them like I do my Power Rankings here is how the teams compared:

Blake: 67
Pharrell: 57
Adam: 56
Christina: 30

One Thing I notice with the list above was that a lot of singers got hurt with being montaged during the Battle Rounds. Weirdly everyone who got montaged during the Blind Audition lost their Battle, but all but one of the Battle Round montage winners went on to win their Knockout too. Because of this and it is hard to tell why someone bought a Battle with two people on it I though I would also rank the top twenty by just their Blind Audition and Knockout performance.

1. Sawyer Fredricks (36.5)
2. Joshua Davis (104)
3. Deanna Johnson (172)
4. Brooke Adee (199)
5. Sarah Potenza (259.5)
6. Mia Z (260.5)
7. Meghan Linsey (279.5)
8. Cody Kent White (306.5)
9. Nathan Hermida (328)
10. India Carney (456.5)
11. Brian Johnson (752)
12. Caitlin Caporale (759.5)
13. Lowell Oakley (817)
14. Lexi Dávila (931.5)*
15. Koryn Hawthorne (978)*
16. Hannah Kirby (1116.5)
17. Rob Taylor (1140)*
18. Tonya Boyd-Cannon (1165)*
19. Sonic (1173.5)*
20. Kimberley Nichole (1500)**

With this calculations, Deanna and Brooke were the big winners, each jumping seven spots while Christina manages a worse team with India dropping a couple barely hanging on to the top ten. Here are how the teams stack up just with the solo performance rankings:

Blake: 35
Adam: 62
Pharrell: 58
Christina: 25

So Sawyer is the front runner individually, Team Blake as a whole looks to be the strongest, it could very well be Sawyer in the finals with two or three Blake team members joining him, though I would not count out Joshua as a spoiler.

Every season it is easy to guess who advances to the Top 12 before anyone sings a note for the Live Playoffs, sometimes it is easy to guess coming out of the Blind Auditions. This is not one of those seasons where many plausible scenarios can play out on all the teams; each member on Team Blake could go far in this competition, they just need to make the Top 12 first because two will be going home this week no matter what. The other three teams do have clear locks for the next round (India, Sawyer, Joshua) but who gets the second Public Save is a bit murkier leaving the Coach's Saves even more of a coin flip. But here is how I see this season playing out:

Team Adam
Joshua Davis: Lock to get the Public Vote; probably makes the final, could win if Sawyer falters
Deanna Johnson: seem to be the safest bet as long as she does not her nerves get the best of her, out in the middle rounds
Tonya: Adam's saves can be bizarre so I am going to predict Tonya as his Save; probably out first or second week after that
Nathan: Could sneak in the Public Save if Deanna falters live; could survive a Twitter save or two
Brian: Outside chance of getting saved by Adam but would probably get a Twitter Save and out

Team Blake
Meghan: Public Save, second place
Corey: Probably the Public Save, last one booted before the finals; if Public saves Brooke instead, doubtful Blake saves him
Brooke: Coach's Save if not by public, hard to predict if she does advance, could ride a indie contingent to the finals or she could have an uninspiring Live Show run like Reagan last season
Sarah: Probably out unless Brooke gets the Public Vote instead of Corey, if advances could be top 6
Hanna: Probably out unless Corey does not get the Public Vote and outsells Sarah on iTunes prompting Blake to Save her, if so, could make thew top 8

Team Christina
India: is a lock for the public vote; just misses out on the finals
Rob: because the other four people besides India on this team all have missed the iTunes Top 1500 at least once this season I am going to predict the RnB fans that advance India will also float Rob's boat for the second save; he survives a Twitter save for top 10
Sonic: Then Christina takes her orginal singer over two her two saves; out the first week
Kimberley: Probably need a Christina Save unless she have a Amanda Brown / Dream On type performance in her
Lexi: Closest thing to a lock not to advance this round, though Christina has made dumber decisions that if she saved her

Team Pharrell
Sawyer: is a lock for the Public Vote, unless Pharrell feeds him songs as bad as Christina did for Matthew in season five, is also a lock for the finals and probable winner
Mia Z: Maybe gets the other Public Save, if not Pharrell Saves her; out during the top 8
Koryn and Caitlin: I was thinking Lowell was going to get his Save until his weird Knockout performance so the Pharrell Save with probably come down to Caitlin and Koryn, and I am leaning to him leaning toward Koryn since he likes going with who he thinks he can help the most the teenageer the most; either would be out next week anyway
Lowell: Pharrell has made dumber decisions than to save him; worst case scenario though, he is this season's Ryan Sill, inexplicably saved by his coach and rides a Twitter Save until the top 8

If my predictions are right, here is how I see the top 12 going down (which I will undoubtedly be wrong because the Twitter Save will screw the results up unless they thankfully did away with that)

Top 12: Sonic, Koryn
Top 10: Tonya, Rob
Top 8: Mia, Deanna, India
Top 5: Corey

4th: Brooke
3rd: Joshua
2nd: Meghan
1st: Sawyer