Saturday, February 28, 2015

ENDcrowd Calls Attention to Sex Trafficking in the USA With Screenings of Empowering Documentary "In Plain Sight"

As we reflect on the numerous contributions women have made in shaping the history and legislation the United States during Women's History Month in March;  this year themed Weaving the Stories of Women's is sharing the stories of courageous women whose names many don't yet know of.

A nonprofit, crowdfunding platform focused on raising awareness and funding for the fight against human trafficking, ENDcrowd is the official fundraising partner of the empowering documentary, In Plain Sight, which is screening in select locations in March. The film, available now on DVD from Word Films/WEA through Baker & Taylor,  serves to honor the survivors of these horrific crimes and as a call to action in combating sex trafficking in the US and around the world.

SPE's Faith Label AFFIRM Films Options Book "The Devil in Pew Number Seven"

This week, AFFIRM Films (a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Mass Hysteria Entertainment Inc announced a partnership to develop a motion picture based on the book, The Devil In Pew Number Seven. Written by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo with Bob DeMoss, and released by Tyndale House Publishers Inc in 2010, The Devil In Pew Number Seven tells the story of Rebecca Nichols, a young girl who loses her parents when they stand up against evil within their church. Decades later, Rebecca must address if it was worth losing everything.

"Rebecca Nichols Alonzo's story touched our whole team," said Rich Peluso, Senior Vice President of AFFIRM Films. "Her journey through healing and forgiveness recounted before thousands of people across the country proved both engrossing and engaging. We look forward to working with Rebecca, Dan Grodnik and Steve Armour to bring this story to film."

"The Devil in Pew Number Seven is a compelling look at the power of love and forgiveness," said Mass Hysteria CEO and Producer Dan Grodnik. "We are excited to begin the creative journey with Rich Peluso and his AFFIRM Films team."  Steve Armour has been hired to adapt the book.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Daryl Hall And John Oates: Live In Dublin

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inductees Daryl Hall and John Oates are the Number 1 selling duo in
music history, with 7 platinum albums, several gold albums, and a string of hit singles, including six US #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Their Philadelphia-bred blend of rock and soul captured the city’s signature sound and brought it to the masses, inspiring a wealth of modern artists, while solidifying their stature as musical icons. On March 31, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release their first new concert video in seven years: Daryl Hall And John Oates: Live In Dublin on DVD+2CD, and Blu-ray.

The film kicks off with a direct quote about the heart and soul of this group: “It’s not about stadiums and smoke bombs…it’s about real playing.” And that’s exactly what’s delivered on Live In Dublin. 

Filmed at the Olympia Theatre on July 15, 2014, this set features the duo’s first ever concert performance in Dublin. Daryl Hall and John Oates dipped into their 40+ year rich repertoire to deliver a setlist steeped in hits: “Sara Smile,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” “Out Of Touch,” “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” “Rich Girl,” “Maneater,” and many more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Last of Robin Hood Arrives in March

Featuring an all-star cast including Academy-Award winners Kevin Kline (Last Vegas, In & Out) and Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise, The Big Wedding), and Dakota Fanning (The Runaways, The Twilight Saga), The Last of Robin Hood is a gripping tale of Errol Flynn's sensational romance with starlet Beverly AadlandThe Last of Robin Hood is available on Blu-ray, DVD on March 3, 2015 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. 

Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Kline stars as Errol Flynn, one of Hollywood's greatest leading men: a lusty and vivacious actor who lived a swashbuckling life of glamour and scandal on and off the screen. But few remember the icon's last May-December romance that shocked a nation. Joining Kline, Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon and Dakota Fanning star in this glamorous, gripping story about Flynn's high-flying affair with aspiring starlet Beverly Aadland – and how her ambitious mother, Florence, enabled it every step of the way. The Last of Robin Hood is a sensational, unforgettable look at Hollywood's golden age and the desire for fame and acceptance.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Grateful Dead's BILL KREUTZMANN Announces Memoir Release

The Grateful Dead's Bill Kreutzmann has announced release plans for a new memoir, DEAL, from
St. Martin’s Press.  It arrives on May 5, 2015 and honors the 50th anniversary of the band that we all love. Bill's adventure-filled life as the Grateful Dead’s drummer, includes great stories of music and mayhem, Jerry Garcia and the band, and fellow musicians and friends Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Ken Kesey, John Belushi and many others. Rare photos and beautiful cover art by famous psychedelic artist Stanley Mouse are also part of this fantastic new book.

Available in hardcover and ebook editions from B&T.  Don't forget to stock up on Grateful Dead Music CDs and DVDs/Blu-ray.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rock n Roll Hall of Famer Richie Furay Back With "Hand in Hand" Album

Before Buffalo Springfield, Richie Furay began performing with Stephen Stills in the nine-member
group, the Au Go-Go Singers, the house band at the famous CafĂ© Au Go-Go in NYC. It was a result of their performances that lead Richie and Stephen to join up with Neil Young, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin to form Buffalo Springfield. 

After a ground breaking, musical genre creating three year run with Buffalo Springfield, Richie stepped away to form and lead the seminal country rock band, POCO. Along with Rusty Young, Jimmy Messina and future Eagle, Randy Meissner, Poco's first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces established the standard for other Country  Rock acts to follow, including The Eagles.  Poco went on to record many more albums, six records with Richie, before he, at the urging of Geffen Records president and talent manager, David Geffen, joined together with Chris Hillman and JD Souther to form the Souther, Hillman and Furay Band. They recorded two albums, the first went Gold and produced a Top 20 Single.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Miley Cyrus Announces March 24 Release for "BANGERZ" DVD

Your young patrons will be thrilled, as Miley Cyrus announced this week that she will release BANGERZ TOUR, a DVD featuring live concert performances from her tour that promoted her Grammy nominated BANGERZ album (RCA Records).  The DVD arrives on March 20th through RCA Records.  Last year, Miley Cyrus, who Time Magazine called one of the "most dynamic performers of her generation”, took the world by storm as she brought her BANGERZ TOUR to fans across the globe.

 The highly anticipated DVD features show stopping performances from tour stops in Barcelona and Lisbon, along with behind-the-scenes content focusing on the tour and her personal life. Idolator praised the tour as "weird and wonderful" and USA Today raved that "Cyrus has the charisma and maybe the smarts to be the post-Madonna Madonna”.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shelby Lynne Set to Release 'I Can't Imagine' on May 5th

Shelby Lynne will release her 13th full-length album, and first for Rounder Records, called I Can’t Imagine, on May 5, 2015.  Said to possibly be her most beautifully crafted and intensely affecting set of songs since her landmark I Am Shelby Lynne in 2000, I Can’t Imagine is powered by Lynne’s lustrous vocal performance, indelible, illuminative songwriting, and the sympathetic, versatile playing of her top-flight band. Listen to her new song, below.

The new album includes 10 new songs written or co-written by the GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter, I Can’t Imagine reflects an array of Lynne’s influences; from Southern soul, Crescent City R&B, and California country & western to the ardent social consciousness of precursors like Woody Guthrie and even the roots 'n' blues vocalizing of Billie Holiday, all brought into clear focus by Lynne’s keen pop sensibility.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sony Classical To Release The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack To The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the second installment of the star-studded British comedy that follows a group of British retirees who decide to spice up their lives in magical India. In theaters on March 6, 2015, the sequel was once again directed by John Madden, best known for his acclaimed movies Shakespeare In Love (Academy Award winner for Best Picture, 1998), Proof (based on the eponymous Pulitzer Prize winning play, 2005) and The Debt. The beloved first film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie proved to be an international success, grossing over $136 million worldwide.
The renowned cast has reunited for the film including stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Tina Desai, Diana Hardcastle and Lillete Dubey.  Additional cast making their debut include Tamsin Greig, with David Strathairn and Richard Gere.  
The soundtrack for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will be available on February 24, 2015 via Sony Classical. Thomas Newman, one of the most respected composers in the movie industry, once again composed the original score. With an illustrious career of over 30 years, Newman has scored more than 70 feature films. Coming from a prominent musical dynasty – his father was the renowned composer Alfred Newman, and singer/songwriter/composer Randy Newman is his cousin – Thomas Newman has thus far been nominated for 12 Academy Awards and has won an Emmy® Award, 2 BAFTA Awards and 6 Grammy Awards.

"The Italian Americans" Releasing on DVD February 24 by PBS

PBS Distribution announced that it will release “THE ITALIAN AMERICANS” on DVD on February 24, 2015. The series, written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Stanley Tucci, explores the evolution of Italian Americans from the late nineteenth century to today, from “outsiders” once viewed with suspicion and mistrust to some of the most prominent leaders of business, politics and the arts today.

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS” will be available on DVD February 24, 2015. The DVD has a run time of approximately 240 minutes on 2 discs and an SRP of $29.99.

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS” reveals the unique and distinctive qualities of one immigrant group’s experience, and how these qualities, over time, have shaped and challenged America. Unlike other immigrant groups, many Italians did not come to America to stay. At the turn of the 20th century, most came to work, earn money to support their families, and eventually return home. Nearly half of the first generation Italian immigrants did return to Italy. For those that made America home, their struggle to maintain a distinct Italian culture was guided by remarkably powerful ideals of family that had always been at the center of their lives. In the Italian family, the needs of the collective came before the individual – a value system often at odds with American ideals of freedom and personal choice. While the power of the Italian family became a source of strength, it also bred suspicion, popularized in popular media as a dark, criminal element. This clash of culture echoed through generations of Italian Americans and, as they entered positions of political, social and cultural influence, it has left its mark on the American landscape.

Steven Spielberg's Early Films Get Blu-ray Release

Four of Steven Spielberg‘s lesser-known feature films will be available individually on Blu-ray they made debut on the format in last October’s Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection box set; the tense 1971 made-for-television thriller Duel; Spielberg’s feature directorial debut The Sugarland Express, which with Duel helped him get the OK to bring Jaws to the big screen; the rackous World War II comedy epic 1941 with a huge ensemble cast headed up by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd; and one of Mr Spielberg's least-loved films, the 1989 re-incarnation romance Always.  Always reunited Spielberg with his Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind star, Richard Dreyfuss.

The Sugarland Express and Always will only have theatrical trailers as bonus features. But Duel‘s extras selection includes the retrospective interview featurettes “A Conversation with Director Steven Spielberg,” “Steven Spielberg and the Small Screen,” and “Richard Matheson: The Writing of Duel,” a poster and still gallery, and the original trailer.

And 1941 wins the special feature competition with both theatrical and extended cuts of the film, a feature-length making-of documentary produced originally for its laserdisc release, numerous deleted scenes, production photographs and theatrical trailers. 

All four Blu-rays are being released by Universal Studios Home Entertainment on May 5, 2015.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Home Entertainment Rental Chart, w/e 2/1/15

Domestic home entertainment rental chart for w/e February 1, 2015

Note, Uni's Walk Among the Tombstones appears due to Universal Home Entertainment's retail rental arrangement. Public Libraries are forced to adhere to a 28 Day delay (holdback) on this release.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"NOW That's What I Call The ACM Awards 50 Years" Coming to CD

NOW That’s What I Call Music!, and the Academy of Country Music are partnering for the first time to release NOW That’s What I Call The ACM Awards 50 Years. The latest installment in the best-selling, multi-artist album series will feature 2 discs of songs from
ACM award-winning artists celebrating the Academy’s 50th Anniversary.

Highlights from the track list, which spans the ACM Awards’ 50-year history, include recent smash hits such as “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” on disc one, as well as classics such as “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson, “Why Not Me” by The Judds, and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones on the second disc. Other superstar artists featured include Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Alabama, Faith Hill, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and many more.

Boz Scaggs to Release "A Fool To Care" Album in March

Boz Scaggs has announced that he will release his new studio album A Fool To Care on March 31, 2015, via 429 Records. Another spellbinding album in a prolific career, this new collection of songs boasts Scaggs' pioneering blend of rock, soul, jazz and R&B taken to new heights A Fool To Care is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2013 album Memphis, which Rolling Stone described as 'sublime' and hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Blues Chart and the Top 20 on the Billboard 200. You can listen to the first track off the album "Last Tango on 16th Street" which premiered today, below.

A Fool To Care showcases the patchwork of influences and innovations that make up a Boz Scaggs album…and sees Scaggs letting loose and having some fun. You can hear that sense of fun, as well as his ability and willingness to wander in any musical direction throughout these twelve tracks. The inspirational heart of the album lies in the sounds of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma that played such a vital role in shaping Scaggs' musical sensibility, but they venture forth boldly from there. Scaggs brings a sly drawl to a funky workout like Li'l Millet and the Creoles' "Rich Woman" and an elegant delicacy to the Impressions' "I'm So Proud." He easily negotiates the Latin flavoring of "Last Tango on 16th Street" and "I Want to See You," both written by San Francisco bluesman (and longtime Scaggs compatriot) Jack Walroth. Horns, strings, soulful background vocalists and guests like guitarist Reggie Young and steel guitarist Paul Franklin lift the album into the stratosphere.
Produced by Steve Jordan (Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, John Mayer) and recorded over four days at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, A Fool To Care features two very special guests – Bonnie Raitt contributes slide guitar and sassy vocals on the original song "Hell To Pay" and Lucinda Williams trades vocal lines with Scaggs as a kind of prayer for deliverance on The Band's "Whispering Pines." The core band joining Boz on A Fool To Care is Willie Weeks (bass), Ray Parker Jr. (guitars), Jim Cox (keyboard) and Steve Jordan (drums).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Unbroken Announced for DVD / Blu-ray Release

Unbroken follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini who survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash during World War II—only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a series of prisoner-of-war camps.  The inspirational biopic is coming to libraries on Blu-ray and DVD for patron loans on April 21, 2015 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Legendary Pictures. Directed by Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie, Unbroken chronicles the unbelievable true story about triumph over tribulation and the resilient power of the human spirit.

Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Unbroken is packed with exclusive bonus content that dives deeper into the life of Louie Zamperini and the legacy he left behind.  Exclusive to the Blu-ray Combo Pack are deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes interviews and a closer look at the life of the real Louie Zamperini after war and the inspiring themes of faith, resilience and the power of forgiveness.

Jolie follows up her acclaimed feature film-directing debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, with the unbelievable true story of Zamperini, a working class kid from Torrance, California, who transformed himself from juvenile delinquent to a 1936 Olympian by channeling his defiant energy into a shocking talent for running. Louie's unfaltering determination and ferocious will then carried him through monumental tribulations during his military service and he became a true American hero.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Disney's Legacy Collection Series Now Includes "Pinocchio" Music CD

The sixth release from The Legacy Collection celebrates the 75th anniversary of "Pinocchio" with a 2-disc set, which includes the original restored motion picture soundtrack, 3 new Lost Chords recordings, plus bonus tracks, enchanting illustrations, original concept art and more. The Walt
Disney Records two disc CD set is available now from Baker & Taylor.

"Pinocchio" was a groundbreaking achievement in the area of effects animation, giving realistic movement to vehicles, machinery and natural elements such as rain, lightning, snow, smoke, shadows and water. The film was released to theaters on February 23, 1940. "Pinocchio" became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award®, winning two for Best Music, Original Score and for Best Music, Original Song for "When You Wish Upon A Star." The beloved ballad became an instantly recognizable cornerstone of Disney's entertainment legacy. In 1994, "Pinocchio" was added to the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Alabama Shakes New "Sound & Color" Out April 21

Alabama Shakes has announced the April 21, 2015 release of their new album Sound & Color via ATO Records, and now you can stream the first single “Don’t Wanna Fight”. Listen to it below, and order the album for your library.

We took our time to write this record, and I’m really glad we did,” says Brittany Howard, lead singer and guitarist of Alabama Shakes, about the band’s new album Sound & Color. “We were able to sit down and think about what’s exciting to us, explore all the things we wanted to on our first album. This record is full of genre-bending songs – it’s even harder now when people ask, ‘What kind of band are you?’ I have no clue.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Classic American Ballads Presents Songs Of True Tales And Tragedies By Guthrie, Seeger, Lead Belly + More

album coverIn the days before YouTube, Twitter, and “Serial” podcasts, newsworthy events “went viral” in the form of song. Certain tragedies and grisly crimes captivated the American imagination, and entrepreneurial ballad writers penned songs catering to the thirst for details. On March 24, Smithsonian Folkways will release Classic American Ballads, featuring Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Pink Anderson, and Sis Cunningham, among many others performing American topical songs that may draw from the British ballad tradition but are distinctly native to the United States.

The 25 tracks on Classic American Ballads, written between 1836 and 1947, chronicle tragic and significant events such as the sinking of the Titanic, the wreck of the “Old 97” train in Danville, Virginia, and the murder of a young girl along the Ohio River. Woody Guthrie’s “Billy the Kid” narrates the exploits of the notorious 19th-century outlaw, while Pete Seeger’s “Young Charlotte” tells the tale of the young Maine woman who froze to death on New Year’s Eve, 1840. Lead Belly’s version of the popular folk song “Duncan and Brady” is based on the notorious story of James Brady, a St. Louis policeman who was fatally shot by bartender Harry Duncan in 1890.

Watch: Punch Brothers Behind the Scenes of Their New Album, "The Phosphorescent Blues"

Punch Brothers' T Bone Burnett–produced new album, The Phosphorescent Blues, was released last week to critical acclaim, with, for example, Rolling Stone exclaiming: "Punch Brothers are astoundingly skilled, non-show-offy, and pretty much pushing at the vanguard of really great music you need to listen to right now."

The band, which kicks off a USA tour to promote the album on February 20, is known to impress sartorially as well, with the Evening Standard noting in its four-star review of a London show that "Punch Brothers sounded as sharp as they looked." All the rarer then is this footage of Punch Brothers dressed casually (and looking quite happy) during the writing sessions as the band created the music that became The Phosphorescent Blues, all set to Debussy's Passepied, off the new album:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

UK's "The Temperance Movement" Announces USA Album Release, Tour

“A potent force in British rock music has arrived,” proclaimed MOJO in their 5-STAR review, and well, yes they have. Driven by the gritty, soulful vocals of Phil Campbell, the mastery of guitarists Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick and a powerhouse of a rhythm section delivered by Nick Fyffe on bass and Damon Wilson on drums, The Temperance Movement is set to splash down stateside with the release of their 12-song, self-titled debut album on February 3rd, 2015 via Fantasy/Concord records (album details below).
Live on arrival, the U.K. five-piece is bracing for maximum impact having just been selected as the next iHeartRadio On The Verge Artist, a six week program that begins on February 16th and includes on-air exposure as well as significant digital and social support across iHeartMedia's network.   The program is based on key tracks and artists that iHeartMedia's programmers are collectively passionate about and the highly successful program has proven instrumental in the development of emerging acts such as Banks, Iggy Azalea, Tove Lov, Royal Blood and many others.  The vote of confidence from iHeartMedia, the leading media company in America with a greater reach than any radio or television outlet, assures massive audience exposure for the anthemic first single, “Take It Back,” on radio stations across the country. Watch/listen to their video for "Take it Back" below, from B&T.
Electrifying fans of timeless, British-invasion song craft and superb musicianship, The Temperance Movement deftly fuse inspirations such as The Stones, Faces, Little Feat, Bobby Womack and acknowledged catalysts The Black Crowes, into their own authentic blast of blues’n’soul drenched rock’n’roll. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Listen to Rhiannon Giddens New "Tomorrow Is My Turn" Album

Rhiannon Giddens' debut solo album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, is due out next Tuesday, February 10, via Nonesuch Records. But you don't need to wait till then to hear it: the new album is streaming in full all this week as an NPR First Listen. Tomorrow Is My Turn, produced by T Bone Burnett, features a broad range of songs from genres as diverse as gospel, jazz, blues, and country, including works made famous by Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Odetta, and Nina Simone. "It's a scrupulously selected, richly realized collection of songs," writes NPR's Ann Powers.

"Tomorrow Is My Turn tells the story of how songs become crucial through certain performances that take them somewhere beyond their origin points. Giddens responds to these performances with highly nuanced, sometimes theatrical, always personal readings of her own, presenting an alternative history of folk and popular music that's particularly appropriate for today." Powers later concludes: "Though she didn't write most of these songs, Giddens owns them on Tomorrow Is My Turn ... Her voice—mobile, intelligent, ready to talk back to anyone's presumptions—is always at the center here, guiding the story. Let me be the first to say it: Today is Rhiannon Giddens' turn." Read more and listen to the complete album, streaming now here

YELLOWBIRD Flies onto DVD on April 7th

Take a journey with the most unlikely hero when the adorable and heartwarming tale, Yellowbird,
flies onto DVD on April 7 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Awarded the Dove Seal of Approval, the digitally animated film is perfect for the whole family. Headlined by the voice talents of Seth Green (Austin Powers franchise), Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga) and Danny Glover (The Color People), Yellowbird includes a behind-the-scenes look at the voice recording for the film and a “making of” featurette and will be available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $19.98.
Just when it’s time to migrate to Africa, Darius (Glover), the elder of the flock, is wounded.  He will have no choice but to share all his secrets, wisdom and new flying routes with the first bird that happens to come along. The candidate is none other than Yellowbird (Green), an eccentric little fellow, super excited about the challenge, but without the slightest hint of knowledge or natural talent for migrating whatsoever.