Fruit Punch Music (A Spotify for Kids)

Los Angeles-based company Fruit Punch, Inc. announces the world’s first family-focused music streaming service built just for kids. The biography section of their LinkedIn page shares that the platform was “created and programmed for children ages 0–8, Fruit Punch has the music children love, while providing peace of mind for parents – knowing every song is safe” (Fruit Punch, Inc.). The app gives families access to a wide variety of songs, all subjected to an industry-first multipoint approval process to ensure children never hear inappropriate language or subject matter.

Fruit Punch Music is completely ad-free which means that, unlike other streaming services, users will never have to see or hear advertisements. The company says they value families’ privacy. According to the press release for the app, Fruit Punch states:

“[Fruit Punch Music was designed] to collect as little personal information as possible. Any collected data is used solely to improve the service within our strict privacy policy and is never sold to any third party. The app does not integrate with any social network or use any advertising platform, and is fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)” (Announcing).

This privacy feature is a huge selling point, especially today where nobody really knows who or what is collecting their data. Fruit Punch Music is trying their best to be a safe haven for children and parents who want to enjoy music together. Hopefully, we will see other companies follow suit.

  1. Announcing Fruit Punch Music — Spotify for Kids. (2018, April 12). Retrieved April 19, 2018, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/announcing-fruit-punch-music—-spotify-for-kids-300628783.html
  2. Fruit Punch, Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2018, from https://www.linkedin.com/company/fruit-punch-inc/
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What To Expect From Wrestlemania 34

This Sunday, WWE will be hosting its premier pay-per-view event, Wrestlemania. Broadcasting live from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and being aired by millions from around the globe, it is without a doubt WWE’s biggest event of the year. That being said, I am not incredibly excited for this year’s ‘Mania. Jam packed with lackluster matches and predictable storylines, I do not have high expectations for Wrestlemania 34.

Lets start by assessing the Universal Championship match between Brock Lesnar (C) and Roman Reigns. I’m certain that anybody reading this agrees that they would rather see a ham sandwich go up against Lesnar than Roman Reigns. Holy cow. WWE knows that nobody cares about Reigns yet they keep pushing him and shoving him in our faces. In my opinion, it would have been so great to see Finn Balor win the Royal Rumble and get another (more deserved) shot at the title. The only thing that would have made this an incredible match was if they made it a triple threat between Lesnar, Reigns, & The Undertaker. Imagine, Taker gets a second chance against the only two people to ever pin him at WrestleMania.

But this is not the case, of course. Undertaker is supposed to possibly maybe sort of going to face John Cena that evening. If this match was happening 10 years ago, I would be so insanely jazzed up for this, but looking at The Dead Man’s last ‘Mania performance, age has definitely caught up with him. While the match may not be as electrifying as it could be, they should still be able to put on quite a show. However, we still don’t know if Undertaker will even accept Cena’s challenge (even though he certainly will. How are you going to hype this match up and slap Taker’s face on all the promo posters and then not have him even show up).

Oh boy, who’s ready for this “dream matchup”? Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H. FREAKING GAG ME. Give Rousey a real match. And why is Kurt Angle fighting again? He looked terrible when he joined The Shield at TLC and I’m not expecting him to do any better this Sunday. Stephanie McMahon isn’t even a real wrestler. People just want to see her get knocked around a little. And please, Lord, don’t have Triple H & Stephanie do some long-winded, grandiose (extremely lame) entrance.

I hope so much that I am wrong about everything and that Wrestlemania 34 surpasses my expectations. Tell me what you expect to see from this year’s ‘Mania or what you wish you can see (like Finn Balor in a real title match).

  1. Benigno, A., Pappolla, R., Powers, K., Chik, J., & Apter, B. (2018, April 5). WWE.com Editors’ Predictions: Who will win at WrestleMania? Retrieved April 5, 2018, from http://www.wwe.com/shows/wrestlemania/article/wrestlemania-34-predictions
  2. Silverstein, A. (2018, April 5). WWE WrestleMania 34 matches, card, rumors, date, 2018 location, start time. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from https://www.cbssports.com/wwe/news/wwe-wrestlemania-34-matches-card-rumors-date-2018-location-start-time/

Barry (Review)

Not sure about you, but we’ve been anxiously awaiting the series premiere of HBO’s Barry starring Bill Hader. The new show in a nutshell is about a hitman named Barry (played by Bill Hader) who finds he has an unlikely passion for acting and enrolls himself in amateur classes. Watch the trailer below:

If the show’s concept wasn’t interesting enough, the thing that really got us excited was that Bill Hader created and produces the show along with Silicon Valley producer Alec Berg. As big fans of Hader and Silicon Valley, we figured this show couldn’t fail. We’ve only seen the first episode, but I think it’s safe to say we were right.

This is a new role for Hader, the renown Saturday Night Live alumn whose comedic ability landed him on major films like Inside OutSuperbad, and Tropic Thunder. While Barry might be categorized as dramatic comedy, Hader does not take on the role of the funny-man (intentionally). This is his most serious role since playing Milo in 2014’s The Skeleton Twins. And if that film did not prove that Bill Hader is more than just Stefon from Weekend Update, his new role as Barry Berkman will certainly change your mind.

Barry is a disenchanted former Marine-turned-assassin who reluctantly accepts a job in Los Angeles. Assigned with the task of taking out a Chechen drug lord’s wife’s paramour, it is just another simple hit for Barry. He follows his target into an acting class and is mesmerized by what he sees. Out of pure serendipity, Barry is thrust to the stage to be his target’s acting partner. After feeling so lost for so long, the stone-faced Barry thinks he has finally found his true calling in the performing arts.

Aside from Stephen Root and – “The Fonz” himself – Henry Winkler, the show is populated with an impressive cast of unknowns. Root plays Fuches, Barry’s no BS boss, and Winkler plays Gene Cousineau, an outlandish acting teacher. Some favorites from the pilot episode include “The Chechens” who are a seemingly intimidating Chechen mob whose socially awkward tangents ring in some major comic relief that had me cracking up.

Sarah Goldberg plays Sally Reed who, as of now, looks to be Barry’s potential love interest. Sally is an eager young actress looking for her big break. Much like her character, Goldberg herself is a struggling young actress. With Barry being her biggest role to date, I am excited to see her rise to fame. Her performance in this first episode definitely stood out the most.

While there is plenty of comedy in Barry there is also a lot of intense action sequences. Remember that Barry is a hitman and this show airs on HBO. The opening shot of episode displays a naked man with a bloody bullet hole on his forehead for goodness sakes. Though there wasn’t a large amount of action in this first installment, Hader and Berg have said that there are some fairly disturbing action/killing scenes in future episodes.

Its difficult to come across a strong pilot episode. This is the episode where most people decide whether or not they would want to invest their time into watching the rest of the series. I am personally extremely excited for the second episode of Barry. All of these characters have so much potential and the writing is already quite strong. Potentially dipping into Barry’s mysterious past is something that also intrigues me. I supposed I’ll just have to wait until next Sunday to find out. Easy 4/5 Scoops.

  1. Serota, M. (2018, March 26). HBO’s Barry Plays on the Subtler Charms of Bill Hader. Retrieved March 29, 2018, from https://www.spin.com/2018/03/hbo-barry-review/
  2. HBO (Studio). (2018, February 22). Barry (2018) | ‘It’s A Job’ Official Trailer | HBO [Video file]. Retrieved March 29, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b09aJdWqVp4

Sorority Noise Announces Hiatus

Cameron Boucher, frontman of the Connecticut emo group Sorority Noise, went to social media earlier this week to announce that his band will be going on hiatus after their next tour.

A post shared by Sorority Noise (@sororitynoise) on

 

Boucher, who has been very open with fans about his struggle with mental health, mentions that he “think it’s in [his] heart and mind’s best interest to take a break from the band for a while.”

It is not unheard-of for bands to take a break to focus on their personal well-beings. Last year, Philly group Modern Baseball announced their hiatus for the same reasons.

In his off time, Boucher will most likely be focusing on his new recording studio, The Metal Shop, in Philadelphia which he runs with Jake Ewald and Ian Farmer of Modern Baseball. He is also involved with a few side projects such as Old Grey and Small Circle.

It would be unfair to be upset with Sorority Noise for making this decision, especially since they are giving fans fair warning before their next tour and releasing new material later this month.

On March 16th, Sorority Noise will be releasing a full-length alternate version of their most recent studio album, Your Not As _____ As You Think. The reworked record will include new, stripped-down arrangements and added strings. It is simply titled YNAAYT.

Sorority Noise heads on their final tour for the foreseeable future on March 8th with Remo Drive, Foxx Bodies, and Jelani Sei.

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  1. Gaca, A. (2018, March 2). Sorority Noise Announce Hiatus. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://www.spin.com/2018/03/sorority-noise-hiatus/
  2. Gaca, A. (2018, February 21). Sorority Noise Announce YNAAYT Rework Album, Cover “Chelsea Hotel No. 2”. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://www.spin.com/2018/02/sorority-noise-ynaayt-rework-album-chelsea-hotel-no-2-cover/
  3. Modern Baseball Cancels Upcoming Spring US Tour. (2017, February 23). Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://thetriplescoophawktv.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/modern-baseball-cancels-upcoming-spring-us-tour/

Runaway Brother – “New Pocket” (Review)

Cleveland indie-rockers Runaway Brother released their highly-praised sophomore album New Pocket earlier this month through Tiny Engines. Give it a listen in the player below.

 

Allow me to start off this review with a quick story:

Admittedly, I have never heard of Runaway Brother up until a few months ago when my band was asked to play a show with them. After further research, I noticed that they were signed by the stellar label Tiny Engines. Eager to open for a band of such stature, I could not wait to listen to their music.

On the 16th when they released New Pocket, my Twitter timeline was covered in Runaway Brother praise. People were literally going out of their way to promote the new record and saying how fantastic it was.

As soon as I had the opportunity to, I popped on New Pocket and gave it a listen for myself.

To be completely blunt, I found this record to be underwhelming. I look for a beginning, a middle, and an end in a record and this one did not have any. It just started and then 44 minutes later it finished. The album was also very poorly mixed. The drum sound specifically was disappointing.

It was difficult, but after looking past the poor sound quality, I was able to notice how smart the songwriting was. New Pocket is riddled with random time changes (which I am always a fan of) and even venture into measures of 5/8. That being said, I honestly do not see myself returning to this record for any specific song. Nothing really jumped out to me and I could not really find anything within the tracks to connect with.

Even though I was not the biggest fan of this record, I was still excited to be on the same bill as a band that has so much buzz around them. A lot of people really love this new Runaway Brother album.

At the show I met Runaway Brother’s bassist and drummer. They were young guys who were extremely happy to be there. We talked about the release of New Pocket and their current tour. These dudes were very humble and just trying their best to enjoy the journey they are on and I respected that. They were super friendly and our conversation led into funny stories about cops putting a stop to the basement shows we’ve played.

Their set was incredible. Runaway Brother is a great live band. They live sound is better than their studio stuff and that is really hard to do, especially today. I was particularly impressed with their vocal harmonies. Their whacky time signatures were also executed to perfection.

Runaway Brother’s set included a lot of songs from New Pocket, but also featured songs off of their first full-length Mother which I had not listened to yet.

Mother, released in 2015, is an awesome record featuring killer songs like “Harvest”, “Moth”, and “Catch”. Check it out below:

 

My all-time favorite Runaway Brother tune would have to be a song called “Summer/Autumn” from 2014.

 

I met Runaway Brother during the first week of their 40+ day tour and they were great. We wish them the best on the rest of tour and congratulate them on their newfound success. It could not be happening to a nicer group of guys. Their live performance definitely made me reevaluate my initial perception of their new record.

If you liked New Pocket, tell me why I’m an idiot in the comments. For now, we’re giving it 2/5 Scoops.

 

  1. Brooks, M. (2018, February 27). Review: Runaway Brother – New Pocket. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.getalternative.com/review-runaway-brother-new-pocket/
  2. Runaway Brother. (2018, February 16). New Pocket. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from https://runawaybrother.bandcamp.com/album/new-pocket
  3. Runaway Brother. (2015, March 31). Mother. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from https://runawaybrother.bandcamp.com/album/mother-2

Cameron Boucher // Field Medic – Split Review

On Valentine’s Day, a split was released by Cameron Boucher of Sorority Noise and Field Medic on Flower Girl Records. Check it out in the player below and know that all proceeds from the split go to Covenant House, a charity that provides shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless and runaway youth.

This split was a fun surprise. As a fan of both artists I was eager to give these songs a listen. Field Medic, a new favorite of mine, starts off the split with their signature loft drum machine beats in “everydayz 2moro”. The distorted guitar lick that follows transports me to the clouds and Kevin Patrick’s honest lyrics about eating Taco Bell and practically being homeless proceed to keep me afloat. This track was easily my favorite. It has everything I want in a Field Medic song and more. I’m still singing “let’s live like everyday’s tomorrow”.

Cam’s half of the split sounded more like material one would hear from his side project Old Gray, very quiet and somber. The string arrangements in “of alaska” were a beautiful compliment to the song. The layered vocal tracks was something new for Boucher that I hope he continues to experiment with.

Overall, this is a pretty solid split. As mentioned before, it was a pleasant surprise and the fact that all the proceeds go to charity is an added bonus. Will I being returning to this track often? Honestly, if I do it’s just so I can keep listening to “everydayz 2moro” until Field Medic finally releases a real studio LP. 3/5 Scoops.

  1. Flower Girl Records. (2018, February 14). Cameron Boucher // Field Medic, by Flower Girl Records. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from https://flowergirlrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cameron-boucher-field-medic
  2. Rapid Fire Reviews: Cam Boucher/Field Medic, Step Brother/moving away from people. (2018, February 22). Retrieved February 23, 2018, from http://www.getalternative.com/rapid-fire-reviews-cam-boucherfield-medic-step-brothermoving-away-ppl/

The Incredibles 2 (Trailer)

In 2004, Disney & Pixar introduced to the world to the Parrs who would soon become America’s favorite superhero family: The Incredibles. Now, 14 years later, they are expanding their story by bringing us a sequel to the beloved animated film (watch the trailer above). The voice cast from the original movie will be returning including Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter as Elastigirl, and even Samuel L. Jackson as the incomparable Frozone.

While the cast is returning, it seems as though the plot is as well. While we do not know the specifics of where the story will take us, we gather from the trailer that it will be an extremely similar concept. In the first movie, Mr. Incredible leaves his family to get back into the superhero game. In “The Incredibles 2”, from what we can gather from the trailer, it seems that Mrs. Incredible is leaving to fight crime while Mr. Incredible is stuck raising the kids.

And what took them so long to make this sequel? I was 8-years-old when the first movie came out. “The Incredibles” is a kids movie and I was able to enjoy it. This sequel looks to be a kids movie, but the kids who saw the first one are now in their 20s. I hope that I can enjoy “The Incredibles 2” and not worry about it being incredibly cheesy (which Pixar is really good about). Nonetheless, we are all excited to see these characters back in action.

“The Incredibles 2” will take place where the first one left off, the Underminer was reading havoc on the city. The trailer also introduces a new character voiced by Bob Odenkirk who is some sort of mogul. Is he the real villain of the movie? We’ll have to wait and see until the movie comes out on June 15.

  1. Disney•Pixar. (2018, February 14). Incredibles 2 – Olympics Sneak Peek [Video file]. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBpdL9hSac4
  2. Fretts, B. (2018, February 15). ‘Incredibles 2’ Trailer: The Supers Are Finally Back. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/movies/incredibles-2-trailer-pixar.html