Category Archives: Now Playing

iTunedIN | KRISTINE W – “Just a Lie” New Single

Dance Goddess Kristine W is back with a new single, more music and a new attitude! Her new single “Just a Lie” is a revelatory look inside her own experience with love and lies. She’s never been one to mince words!

The dance music landscape owes a lot to Kristine W. When her groundbreaking 1996 album Land of the Living hit the scene, it revolutionized and properly legitimized dance and house music as a formidable player in mainstream. With chart-topping hits like “Feel What You Want”, “One More Try” and the album’s title track, Kristine W inspired the club scene of the 90s and brought about the dawn of the Big Room Anthem, paving the way for super-star DJs like Junior Vasquez and Rollo to become highly sought after producers and remixers. It was an era unlike any in contemporary music, before the rapid commercialization of pop music.

Kristine W’s new single “Just a Lie” is available now.

The changing tide forced Kristine W to evolve in a way that few other artists could match. In order to remain a significant player on the field, Kristine W went the independent route which gave her more control over her music, how it was released and especially who she chose to collaborate with. It’s kept her relevant, allowed her to pursue other genres like jazz,  and reintroduced her classic dance anthems to an entire generation well into the new millennium. Her tenacity has turned Kristine W into an icon, an unflappable advocate within the LGTBQ community and she continues to break barriers with her innovative sound and visuals!

She’s Got Issues!

Never one to shy away from controversy, Kristine W has often worn her heart on her sleeve, especially when it comes to her music. She’s fully cognizant of how devoted her audience is, and how closely they hang onto every word she says — there are are some very deep themes in Kristine W’s music (and there have always been). In her latest single “Just a Lie” the first off of her upcoming album The Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies set to debut in February on her Fly Again Music label, she reveals the heartache of loves loss and deep betrayal, citing the inspiration for the track on her own divorce.

“Frankly, it has been a lot of work,” the artist said, “but I firmly believe in the power of music and it has certainly helped me through the toughest episodes of life.” The track was originally about death and loss, but quickly evolved into an examination of her marriage which lead to divorce. “I realize now how similar divorce is to a death,” Kristine W explained. “It’s mourning the loss of the relationship, the breakup of the family, the betrayal — so many things. The grieving is intense.” Like she has so many times before, she set the experience to music. Collaborating with Bob Sandee / Subgroover (aka Crossnaders) for the tracks funky, electro house vibe.

Check out the video for Kristine W’s new single “Just a Lie” here:

Kristine W | “Just a Lie” the new single from the the upcoming album The Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies is released through Kristine W’s own label Fly Again Music Production and is available for Digital Download pre-order here on iTunes for $7.99.

For upcoming tour dates and appearance goto Kristine W website kristinew.com for exclusive music and content.

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iTunedIN | KYLIE MINOGUE – “Golden” Live in Concert

During her European tour, Kylie Minogue, the Pop Goddess of Love captured the full concert experience for her stateside fans and the result is her latest release — a joyful, live and fully realized exploration off her latest album “Golden”.

It’s been some time since Kylie Minogue asked her fans to join her and do “The Loco-Motion”. Her 80s remake of the Little Eva hit single from 1962, put her on the stateside map, at about the same time that her contemporaries including Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Prince were solidifying their Pop Icon status and burning up the airwaves on the then-revolutionary new network MTV. Minogue appeared undoubtedly poised to enter into the new wave of music video rebellion; her gorgeous looks and charismatic charm were unquestionable, but the singer didn’t have the instant appeal that might have been anticipated.

In fact, even though she had some considerable success on the Billboard Charts with the aforementioned track, the  follow-ups hit which included “I Should Be So Lucky” and “Got to Be Certain” were only marginally appreciated by North American audiences, and her next albums would hardly make an impact here, unlike the impression Minogue would continue to make on the international scene, and her indelible impact on Euro-Pop and Dance. Kylie Minogue’s star would continue to soar especially with the help of super producers Stock, Aitken, and Waterman who would benefit from their muse, to elevate Kylie to an electronic-pop-synth icon on the Euro-Dance circuit.

If anyone needs any proof or Kylie Minogue’s relevancy all you have to do is pick up the recently re-issued Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection which has been re-introduced in a 3-disc set with a non-stop party mix of Minogue’s greatest hits. The package covers about 50 hit singles that span the artist’s 3 decades in music. Bringing us to her latest release Golden: Live in Concert and available on CD and Digital Download, as well as a CD/DVD combo pack with the full-length concert captured during its 2018 UK and European tour dates, where Kylie played to record attendance. 

The Concert CD/DVD

Say what will be said about Kylie Minogue, she has earned her place and dominance on the pop spectrum largely due to her eloquence as a live performer. Minogue, who got her start in the business appearing in one of the UK/Australia’s most popular soap operas, immediately turned her notoriety and talent to music and the result speaks for itself. Her career as a musician has run the gamut, but she’s proven her merciless skill as an entertainer and drawn many enviable comparisons to Madonna for her eloquence on the stage. Minogue has the one distinct advantage over many of her contemporaries — she can sing her ass off! And she does!

Her vocal acumen evident on the live recording captured for the live concert recording. The setlist primarily celebrates her most recent, fourteenth full-length album project, 2018s Golden which was a particular departure from her usually dance-heavy sound. The album was mostly recorded in Nashville, Tennessee (which some material also recorded in Los Angeles and London) and was heavily influenced by country sounds and much more organic instrumentation. Minogue benefitted from the “streamlining” of her synth-sound and successfully fused genres for a unique marriage. The result is a very pure sound with Minogue’s vocals playfully sliding across playfully.

The “Golden” Tour also gave the artist to try something that she’s very rarely examined while on the road, as she re-arranged many of her greatest hits to more seamlessly sit in properly with the tracks from Golden. Having the band mostly on stage and integrated into the performance also lent to some truly spectacular renditions of Kylie career favorites. Some stand-outs include the fan-favorite “Better the Devil You Know”, her a cappella rendition of “Where the Wild Roses Grow” and rollicking reimagines of “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”. The setlist works expertly to mix new with the old, and it’s especially a kick when Minogue goes full-on disco in the final act of the show.

Along with the full audio recording of the 30-some songs on the setlist, the combo pack also includes a DVD capturing the live show from most of her final show dates as Kylie roamed through the UK, Europe, and Australia. The decision to (as yet) not release the tour on Blu-ray or an HD Digital Download is interesting, but it serves the nostalgic quality of the tour’s overall art direction. With the advent of attendees often capturing the action on their cellphones, it’s all good! The DVD includes a “Bonus Feature” introspective look at the touring experience from Kylie and her crew, who share some insight on this journey and how significant it was for them to bring “Golden” to life for the stage.

Kylie Minogue | Golden: Live in Concert is released through BMG and is available on CD/DVD combo packs and on Digital Download here on iTunes for $10.99.

iReview | BUMBLEBEE

Sent on a mission to find a safe planet that the Autobots can call their next home Bumblebee goes back a generation and presents the origin story of one of the most valiant Transformers of them all.

As a movie franchise the Transformers have outpaced any expectations in Hollywood. No one could have imagined that a feature-length film based on a popular line of action figures from the 80s that also inspired a companion animated television series would have box office bankability a decade after the first film hit the multiplex. Five installments later, Michael Bay’s epic has continued to ignite the imagination, and in the latest spin-off, Bumblebee establishes the origin story of one of the franchise favorites.

On a mission to find a safe haven, the Autobot B-127 finds his way to Earth.

After several attempts at elaborating on the Transformers mythology, an intergalactic race of intelligent robots that are engaged in a civil war over their world’s depleting resources, Bumblebee is the first at successfully recreating the familiar aesthetic of the “Generation 1” Transformers many of us grew up with. The film opens with a look at the warring factions on their home world of Cybertron. The heroic Autobots led by Optimus Prime sends his most valuable agent B-127 on a mission to secure on outpost on Earth away from the prying eyes of the evil Decepticons.

As the battle rages B-127, the eventual titular hero of our story, is blasted into space and crashes in a blaze of glory on the planet Earth in the midst of military war games — and its 1987! The military give chase to the alien robot in their midst, but B-127 has bigger problems when an enemy agent discovers his location and attacks, merciless ripping out B-127’s vocal chords and severely damaging his memory processor. B-127 deals his assailant a final blow, but in the end he’s rendered nearly inoperable and goes into hibernation.

Hiding in plain site as expected n the guise of a yellow classic VW Bug, the Autobot is discovered by a young woman, Charlie played by Hailee Steinfeld, and the pair immediately develop a bond. Charlie names the alien “Bumblebee” and proceeds to uncover his true mission, introducing Bumblebee to 80s music in an effort to help him to learn to communicate, especially with his audio vocalizer still damaged. It isn’t long before two Decepticon agents uncover the fugitive and proceed to converge on Bumblebee’s position.

Prequel vs Origin Story?

When it was first announced that a stand-alone feature focusing on Bumblebee would be spinning-off of the film franchises, many assumed it was in an answer to the growing mass-proliferation of the Star Wars universe after Disney had purchased the brand from George Lucas. With the exception of perhaps Optimus Prime himself, it made since that if any of the characters in the arsenal of the toy brand could be made to stand on its own Bumblebee would emerge the likely asset. It also helps that he is introduced the Transformers film franchise.

Michael Bay may have set a tone with his first five Transformers movies, but perhaps passing Bumblebee along to Travis Knight may have been the right call. Setting the film in the late 80s is fittingly meta, but it also gives the mythology of the Transformers room to breathe. As a lead character Bumblebee works really well, because similarly to other benevolent E.T.s, the hero is incredibly relatable, and not to mention very cute. That doesn’t mean the VW Bug can’t pack a punch, and proves a formidable soldier.

As a sidekick Hailee Steinfeld is wonderfully appealing and organically fits in to the time and place of this particular adventure. It’s also a welcome change from the highly charged testosterone of its predecessors. Steinfeld’s Charlie may not continue with the next installment of Bumblebee but that’s OK. The real hero has been established and the audience is already invested in his journey. Perhaps the next time around, the eager young scout will be joined by other Autobot favorites like Wheeljack or Ironhide, before the next major threat, in the meantime Bumblebee can handle it.

Bumblebee starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Sena, directed by Travis Knight is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Rated PG-13

iReview | DC Universe’s TITANS S1:E8 “Donna Troy”

Dick Grayson is still off in search of something and it leads him to seek the console of a longtime friend and one-time fellow sidekick in the latest episode of TITANS.

Enter Wonder Girl! Just when you think that the DC Universe Original Series Titans couldn’t get any better, it does! The premiere season has mostly focused on the mystery surrounding an apparently supernaturally charged Rachel Roth (played by Teagan Croft) who finds herself on the run and under the watchful eye of beat detective Dick Grayson (series regular Brenton Thwaites) who is battling his own demons, especially since striking out on his own away from the mean streets of Gotham City.

Rachel or “Raven” has also attracted the attentions of a fire-starter named Koriand’r or Kory Anders (Anna Diop) and made an indelible impression on Beast Boy, Garfield Logan (Ryan Potter) a misfit among outcasts, who has now found himself a new family. It isn’t long before the quartet learn of Grayson’s alter-ego; Robin the boy wonder and one-half of the Dynamic Duo that includes the near-mythic Batman. Once again evading their captured, the four friends help in locating and freeing Rachel’s real mom, Angela (guest star Rachel Nichols) from an asylum and are again trying to pull things together.

That’s just the short of it, as the season of Titans based on the DC characters made famous by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez is not only proving “must see” DCTV, but is perhaps one of the best adaptations ever of a comic book series to live-action. Rescued from the constraints of commercial television network, deputing on the DC Universe subscriber service, Titans may have profoundly altered the way consumers digest their entertainment.  With new episodes released every Friday, Titans has put the DC Universe app on the map!

Conor Leslie joins the cast of “Titans” as Wonder Girl, Donna Troy.

She’s a Wonder!

On the latest episode of the series appropriately entitled “Donna Troy” Dick leaves the rest of the group in the hands of Kory. Now that Angela has offered Rachel and the rest of the group a home, it appears that Grayson can take care of some loose ends — namely what to do with himself, especially now that he’s been replaced as “Robin”. Dick seeks the advice of his dear friend, Donna Troy perfectly played by Conor Leslie. Even with the above title intro that establishes the two “sidekicks” have been friends for years, the chemistry between Dick and Donna is ideal.

Donna immediately takes to Dick’s arrival and invites him to her latest photo gallery opening; she’s aware of Dick’s uncomfortable ability to casually engage and hopes the party will break him out of his shell. It isn’t long before the pair find themselves taking on a criminal animal poacher, unfortunately Dick’s impulsively cavalier intersection may have complicated Donna’s scheme to bring down the entire organization, but it is incredibly gratifying to see these two characters interacting in the flesh and in such an authentic way.

Back at Donna’s apartment the pair recount their evening and Donna comes across the cryptic writing he found on the walls of Kory’s storage unit. Donna is able to translate some of it after identifying it as a type of ancient Sumerian writing. If Donna interprets the message correctly it identifies Kory as the “Starfire” sent to secure the “Raven” — secure or rather, kill the Raven! Dick and Donna are now making haste to rendezvous with the rest of the group which has made it to Angela’s farm in Ohio, just as Rachel taps into Kory’s memories unleashing her fury! 

The “Original” Titans

With a shared history that extends more than 75 years, the sidekicks of the Silver Age heroes established an entirely new fraternity for themselves, but Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy and Aqualad would soon find their lives upended with the induction of Wonder Girl into their ranks. Dick Grayson and Donna Troy immediately take a unique liking to one another, even as the rest of the boys vie for their new recruit’s affections. Robin and Wonder Girl have the unique shared experience of being the wards of two of the “big three”.

Dick Grayson comes to live with Bruce Wayne after his family is murdered in a mob hit on Haley’s Circus. The young boy’s world is shattered and Wayne takes to tempering Dick’s rage and turns him into his partner, Robin the Boy Wonder. As a baby, Donna is rescued from a house fire by Wonder Woman and takes the orphan to her paradise island, where she is raised as an Amazon and soon proves herself as gifted by the gods as her sister. Donna decides to return to Man’s World and fight alongside Diana.

In the episode of Titans the pair shared adventures together and also with their mentors. After a caper that pitted Batman and Robin against the Joker, he returns home to find Donna waiting. Dick confides in Donna and feels validated by her understanding. Clearly they had continued to work together and were perhaps part of an “original” team of teenage Titans. Now as adults, Dick has retired his alter-ego, unable to complement the dual-nature of his vigilantism; Donna admits she still has her uniform hanging in the closet.

Dick and Donna are back in the latest episode of Titans and appear as formidable as ever.

Titans new episodes premiere every Friday on the DC Universe subscription service.

iReview | FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Steeped deeply in mythology the Wizarding World of Harry Potter continues to evolve and expand with the latest chapter of the prequel series unraveling much of what we thought we knew about one fo the greatest wizards of all time!

Appropriately enough FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald begins in the shadow confines of Gellert Grindelwald’s cell! The villain who was revealed in only the final moments of the previous film as played by Johnny Depp is about to make one of the most daring prison breaks in cinematic history! High over the New York Cit skyline of the 1920s, the magic-wielder (with some help from his devotees) escapes his captors, alerting the Wizarding World that the largely menacing Grindelwald is on the loose.

Back in London the Ministry of Magic (along with the rest of the world’s leading magical agencies) are aware the if Grindelwald isn’t immediately captured, their very existence may be revealed throwing the delicate balance between non-magical beings and wizards into chaos. Everyone has agreed, Grindelwald is chasing after one thing — Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). The mystery surrounding Credence, exactly who or what he is, has fallen on the purview of one man, Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne.

Newt is recruited by his one-time teacher Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to locate Grindelwald and intercept the dark wizard, before he can set in motion a plan, but what is Grindelwald really after? As Credence follows the trail of his origins to France, through a series of flashbacks and introduction of new characters, including Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, a former classmate of Newt’s, who as the name would imply has some skeletons in her closet — the name of Lestrange will become darkly connected to followers of He Who Cannot Be Named.

Rowling’s World

The stakes have certainly been raised in Crimes of Grindelwald and the film’s screenwriter J.K. Rowling the creator of this entire mythology, has delivered onto the film’s fandom a story that will far more than sedate this deeper dive into the legends and “lead-up” to the contemporary timeline of the Potter franchise. Director David Yates has become the most visionary filmmaker and most capable mind to elaborate on the vision Rowling has placed on the page. The pair have pushed the envelope in this new chapter, revealing a far more “beautiful” magical habitat.

Even familiar locations, Hogwarts gets revisited in this feature as do some of its more illuminating faculty members, as the story continues to develop and more is explored about the connection between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Fans of the books have known all along that the pair had a far more intimate relationship as paramours before finding themselves adversaries. Now Credence stands between them, a powerful player that holds a secret and may tip the outcome of the pending war in favor of Grindelwald.

In Grindelwald’s defense, he only wants to ensure a future where both magical and non-magical beings can live side by side, but with muggles constantly in a power struggle and threatening to plunge the world into another World War, Grindelwald and his followers may have no other choice but to seat control over mankind, putting witches and wizards at the top of the food chain. Politics have always played into the drama of the Wizarding World, and Crimes of Grindelwald is able to extrapolate those complex themes and give its audience far more than the previous film.

In The End

By the time our heroes confront Grindelwald and finally track down Credence, it appears that everyone has fallen under the spell of the charismatic wizard who is promising a new world order. Demanding his followers spread the gospel, Grindelwald takes on his world be captors on his own, and convinces Credence in the end to follow him! Grindelwald reveals to Credence that he is not a Lestrange as we are lead to believe, switched at birth by a shameful act that has haunted Leta all her life, but is actually the brother of Albus Dumbledore, Aurelius.

Though we’ve never heard of this Dumbledore sibling before, at least not until this moment and what becomes of him in the future, his identity is all but confirmed as he unleashes his miraculous power under the watchful eye of a phoenix — the mystical birds have always been known to present themselves to a Dumbledore especially in their most desperate moment of need — and one has chosen to stand with Credence, even as Grindelwald plans his next steps. The revelation may have come as a shock to the diehard purists, but is very much inline with Rowling’s style.

The author popularized tricking her readership, who had become accustomed to pursuing all sorts of theories all of their own, but if Rowling had down anything especially well during the run of the original release of Potter books and films, it was pulling the rug out from under her fans. This film is far more encouraging than its predecessor proved and in every way promotes what the audience has been hoping all along, a perpetuation of the Harry Potter franchise and revisits into the Wizarding World full of magic and intrigue. 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in theatres now and directed by David Yates and stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law and John Depp. This film is Rated PG-13

TunedIN | Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B “Girls Like You” Music Video (Dirty Disco Mainroom Remix)

Maroon 5 share the stage with Cardi B and some of the most vibrant names and faces in popular culture to prove “Girls Like You” is a movement for the millennium!

It’s not about making a statement it’s about embracing the movement — the movement of music that is! Maroon 5 and lead singer Adam Levine have always maintained the profile that their music was meant to be influential. The band has often teamed up with some of the industry’s most talented acts to deliver on some chart topping hits. On their latest track “Girls Like You” the band and Levine especially, are inspired to spotlight some of the most daring women in recent popular culture. Teaming up with rap sensation Cardi B who lays down the tracks def rhymes, the hip-hop powerhouse is only one of the famous faces to make an appearance. Can you identify them all? Here’s a hint: there’s an olympiad, an Amazon and a Bronx bomber in the mix, just to cite a few!

Check out the video to Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B “Girls Like You” (The Dirty Disco Mainroom Remix) here: