Friday, July 08, 2016

Around the Tubes: 7/8/16

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 wild_life With Bertie Gregory, Money and Violence, Los East High, Conaan, Boyz II Men, Diana Ross, Cobi, In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive, Building Star Trek, The Country Network, and Turner Channels renewals.

- Nat Geo WILD inspires people to let the wild in every day. The network is dedicated to creating content for animal lovers everywhere to enjoy, whether it’s on TV, in magazines, or in books. Now, Nat Geo WILD is bringing the wild online with the launch of its first-ever digital series, wild_life With Bertie Gregory, premiering Wednesday, Aug. 3, on the network’s YouTube Channel, as well as on

- Reluctant gangsters, stick-up kids, and scammers hustle for survival on the unforgiving streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn, in Money and Violence: Seasons 1 & 2, available on Digital HD on August 16, 2016 from Lionsgate. The first 3 episodes of Season 1 will be available for free the first 60 days of release.

- Los East High returns for a fourth season with an addictive mix of love, dance, sex and true-to-life drama. It’s a first ever summer season and the Bomb Squad heads off to dance camp with sexy new teammates who tempt Gina (Alex Rodriguez) and Eddie’s (Carlito Olivero) relationship, on and off the dance floor. Camila (Vannessa Vasquez) and Jesus (J.D. Pardo) rekindle their love affair and must fight the odds against them as they attempt to live a crime-free life. And when Jacob (Gabe Chavarria) misbehaves, hearts are broken and the family business is threatened in more ways than one. This season, wedding bells ring while danger lurks in the streets of East LA and the students must rise to action for what they believe in. Someone will need to risk it all to fight for her future and for true love – making this an unforgettable summer.

- Conan O'Brien will welcome an all-star lineup of guests when he returns to San Diego for a week of shows to be taped during Comic-Con® International. The roster includes the stars of the new movie Suicide Squad, the casts of the television hits Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, "Weird Al" Yankovic and more to be announced later. Conaan's Comic-Con® International shows will be taped at San Diego's historic Spreckels Theatre from Wednesday, July 20 – Saturday, July 23. Each episode will air on TBS at 11 p.m. (ET/PT), with availability across TBS and Team Coco's digital, mobile and VOD platforms the following day.

- Formed at Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts by Nathan Morris and Marc Nelson (who eventually left), later joined by fellow school choir members Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman and Michael McCrary, Boyz II Men found their inspiration in the echoes of their school bathroom and their city’s tradition in classic a cappella and doo-wop harmonies. Inspired by New Edition, they took their name from one of the group’s songs, and then impressed the band’s lead singer Michael Bivins with an impromptu backstage audition of “Can You Stand the Rain,” leading to his agreeing to manage and produce them. UMe is marking the 25th anniversary of the release of Boyz II Men’s 1991, GRAMMY®-winning debut, Cooleyhighharmony and its multi- GRAMMY®-winning 1994 follow-up, II, with exclusive vinyl releases of both, with the latter, a two-LP set, for the first time ever on that format, on August 19.

- Diana Ross was six years into her wildly successful solo career from the Supremes when she outdid herself, releasing a self-titled project, her seventh studio album, that included two No. 1 pop smashes, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” and the dance-floor classic, “Love Hangover.” Ms. Ross also took two more tracks from the album up the charts, “I Thought It Took A Little Time (But Today I Fell In Love),” which hit the top five of Billboard magazine’s Easy Listening (now known as Adult Contemporary) chart, and “One Love In My Lifetime,” no. 5 on the Soul charts. Diana Ross, the album, peaked at no. 5 on the Billboard 200, no. 4 on the Soul album chart and no. 5 in the U.K. Marking 40 years from its original Motown release in February 1976, UMe is reissuing Diana Ross in vinyl for the first time since then on July 15, following a 2012 two-CD expanded set on the Hip-o-Select/Motown label.

- While singing the blues in dive bars throughout Northern Minnesota, a 12-year-old Cobi dreamt one day of performing on the biggest and most renowned stages in the world. He knew that music made him feel more alive than anything else and that he wanted to bring his art to a much larger audience.

- In a never-before-seen video from In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive, singer, dancer, actress and civil rights activist Lena Horne shares her disappointment in the lack of progress made toward racial equality throughout her lifetime:

- Smithsonian Channel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with a two-hour special that will take a look at the lasting influence the original Star Trek series has had on the world. Building Star Trek will premiere Sunday, September 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

- This past weekend, as America was celebrating Independence Day and shooting off fireworks, The Country Network (TCN) launched its broadcast in two more viewership markets: Oklahoma City and Memphis--KBZC (UHF Channel 42) and WQEK (UHF Channel 18/PSIP Channel 36) respectively. These two markets will add well over a million DMA market households to TCN's initial 40+ million DMA household-reach across digital subchannel tiers since the network was announced just over three months ago.

- Turner's powerhouse media brands TBS and TNT have renewed three original series currently airing on the networks: the critically acclaimed TNT drama Animal Kingdom, the new TBS series Wrecked and the hit TBS comedy Angie Tribeca.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 7/5/16

Sledgehammer – Rihanna

In a post monoculture world you need a big hook to get your music in front of a lot of eyes and ears. So Rihanna released her new music video as the very first one ever shot in IMAX, apropos for s song from the new Star Trek movie. It does look cool enough for something that could fill an IMAX screen though I have no desire to actually go to one. This was not even the only big music video event Rihanna stared recently as an atomically correct lifelike doll of her popped in Kanye West’s Famous video which I will not be sharing, not because I am offended by the graphic nature but I was offended by how boring it was. Seriously, ten minutes of fake people not moving? Yawn. My big complaint of the Rihanna song though, is you cannot have a song entitled Sledgehammer without making people think of Peter Gabriel much like when Fifth Harmony released a song of the same title a couple years ago. Ironically the both came out with songs named Work this year though Fifth Harmony ended up changing theirs to Work From Home to avoid confusion even though both songs still chanted Work obnoxiously.

Heathens – twenty one pilots

Patrick Carney of The Black Keys once philosophized that the reason rock music was dying was because we let Nickelback become the biggest band in the world. So what does that mean twenty one pilots is now the biggest band in the world? I at least got Nickelback, it was frat rock. Who exactly is listening to twenty one pilots? But I can ask that about half of the top forty (seriously people, Panda?!?). But hey, we get a couple new images from Suicide Squad. I have said it before, but DC should scrap their five year Justice League plan and just start doing Suicide Squad standalone movies, which they may actually do as word on the internets is there are mulling over a Harley Quinn female antihero team up movie. Then after the standaloine, bring the Suicide Squad back together to fight the Injustice League headed by Black Manta.

Fake My Own Death – Sum 41

I will admit it, I have a couple Sum 41 songs in my library, like a lot of songs from the punk-pop era; those early songs were dumb fun. But like many other acts from that era, that act got old fast. The band always had a heavy metal side and it is probably wise to embrace that side but I am just not that into it. And Weezer already did a way past their prime music video where they took on internet memes and did it much better than this.

Bored to Death – Blink-182

Speaking of punk-pop band still at it, blink-182 was the one of the few of those bands that made it a decade of being relevant. The may be down a core member (apparently guitarist Tom DeLong is too buy rating about UFO’s) but this sound sounds like it could have been in a time capsule for the past decade, for better or worse.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 7/3/16

BrainDead: I am not sure how practical red solo cups duct taped over your ears are and it may have been wise to set the trap, leave, and check them later, but it made for one funny sight gag. But does that ending mean the aliens invaded the cat too? Aren’t cats evil enough that they do not need to be taken over by aliens?
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Pretty Little Liars: Finally someone is calling out the Aria/Ezra relationship as really creepy. Though I fear Aria will be able to talk her ex-boyfriend into the idea.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: I knew it, one of the friends would try to become more than friends. Though I missed what went on with Alex’s dad. They made it seem like the dad told Alex the ex-girlfriend was committed when she just moved away. But then she stole the lightbulbs first?
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

The Challenge: Rivals III: I am shocked that every team but one was able to finish that challenge. I did a Cancer Walk that I was actually prepared for and still could not function for a week afterwards. And what is with that ball during The Jungle? The thing got dented really early. How is well above average soccer player Wes (insert eye roll here) supposed to show off his skills with a ball that is concaved?
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Aquarius: The chick with the historically bad accent has always been the best part of the show, but her pretending to be a cop pretending to be an anti-war activist is just awesomely bad. Almost make up for the unnecessary flashforwards of an event we all know is coming anyway.
You can download Aquarius on iTunes.