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Smile of the Week: Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus Sing “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

posted by Nell Minow

Miley Cyrus has founded a new nonprofit called Happy Hippies “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.” To help get the word out and help raise money, she is inviting her […]

Trailer: Queen Latifah Plays Bessie Smith on HBO

posted by Nell Minow

Queen Latifah plays blues singer Bessie Smith in a new movie premiering on HBO May 16, 2015.  Monique co-stars as Ma Rainey. Here is the real Bessie Smith.

Trailer: What Happened, Miss Simone? — Nina Simone Documentary

posted by Nell Minow

I was privileged to hear Nina Simone perform in concert and can’t wait to see this film.

#Notamovie on Slate’s The Gist — You Can Inspire a TMBG Song!

posted by Nell Minow

Wouldn’t you like to be immortalized with a song title for one of the coolest bands ever, They Might Be Giants? You have two more days to tweet titles of imaginary movies to @slategist using the hashtag #NotAMovie — the […]

Trailer — Hillsong: Let Hope Rise

posted by Nell Minow

“Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” chronicles the Australia-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED. Directed by Michael John Warren, the film follows the band as they record their next album and explores the history of Hillsong, a 30-year journey from a tiny church […]

AISH and Six13 Uptown Funk Up Passover

posted by Nell Minow

AISH made an Uptown Funk parody in honor of Passover: And so did Six13: Hag sameach!

The Wrecking Crew

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date:March 27. 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date: March 27. 2015

Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you’ve argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumentally talented performers had a […]

Contest: Libera Angels Sing — Libera in America

posted by Nell Minow

The Libera boys choir performed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. and it was recorded for a PBS special. I am thrilled to have a copy of this glorious performance on DVD, […]

Tom Hanks Lip-Syncs and Dances with Carly Rae Jepsen in “I Really Like You”

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Hanks really, really, really, really, really likes Carly Rae Jepsen!

Play the #1 Songs Since 1946

posted by Nell Minow

Playback.fm has all the top pop songs since 1946, with a clever app that lets you check out what was #1 the day you were born or on any other special day in your life.

A Purim Take on Uptown Funk — Shushan Funk

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Purim! May this be a year when all the Hamens of the world are vanquished. This tale, was once told In the days of Achashverosh This one needs a new girl Needs a good girl A straight masterpiece! So […]

Smile of the Week: Uptown Funk from Alex Boye and the Dancing Grannies

posted by Nell Minow

“Uptown Funk,” from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, is covered in a sensational new video from longtime Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé and back-up performers ranging in age from 65-92.  According to the Choir’s website, Between all of his […]

Trailer: Love & Mercy with Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

“Love & Mercy” tells the story of Brian Wilson, the brilliant but troubled member of the Beach Boys.

Happy President’s Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Uptown Funk from A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School and Teacher Scot Pankey

posted by Nell Minow

High school teacher Scot Pankey brings the funk to the entire school in this joyous dubstep video. I love its spirit and its inclusiveness; everyone is just there to have fun. It has become a viral sensation, tweeted by Michelle […]

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?

posted by Nell Minow

How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? “Ça Plane Pour Moi” has appeared in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf […]

Paddington Music Video: Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani Sing “Shine”

posted by Nell Minow

Alan Menken Plays His Hits

posted by Nell Minow

Alan Menken, currently composing the songs for “Galavant,” here sings some of his greatest hits, including songs from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Enchanted,” “Pocahontas,” “Tangled,” and “Newsies.”

Why the Oscar Almost Always Goes to the Wrong Song

posted by Nell Minow

The rules governing which songs are eligible for the Oscar are out of date and out of whack. Okay, it’s fine with me if “Everything is Awesome” from “The LEGO Movie” wins this year, first because I love the song […]

Elvis Presley’s 80th Birthday

posted by Nell Minow

Today we pay tribute to Elvis Presley, who was born on this day 80 years ago. Here he is with Ann-Margret in my favorite of his movies, Viva Las Vegas. This is the only dance number he choreographed personally. Here […]

Joy to the World

posted by Nell Minow

Merry Christmas 2014!

posted by Nell Minow

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear: Josh Groban

posted by Nell Minow

Oxford Sings: All I Want for Christmas Is You

posted by Nell Minow

  Behind the scenes:  

Christmastime Is Here — from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

posted by Nell Minow

Mel Torme and Judy Garland: Christmas Song

posted by Nell Minow

I love it that Judy Garland sings “rainbows” instead of “reindeer.”

Interview: Matthew Llewellyn, Composer for Wally Lamb’s “Wishin’ and Hopin'”

posted by Nell Minow

Wishin’ and Hopin’ is Lifetime movie airing December 21, 2014, based on the novel by Wally Lamb. It stars Molly Ringwald and Meat Loaf with narration by Chevy Chase. Composer Matthew Llewellyn was kind enough to answer my questions about […]

A Hannukah Version of “Shake it Off!”

posted by Nell Minow

The Maccabeats! Happy Hannukah! All About the Neis

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Hannukah 2014/5775!

posted by Nell Minow

Eight Nights Song: StandFour

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Hannukah from StandFour!

Music Video: Fenech-Soler Sing Last Forever

posted by Nell Minow

I love this video, which reminds me of some of my favorites from OK Go. It seems deceptively simple but they have some remarkable dimensional and reverse-motion effects. Nice song, too!

Us the Duo Sings the Hits of 2014 — In 2 1/2 Minutes

posted by Nell Minow

Us the Duo, the adorable Carissa and Michael Alvarado, whose song is featured in “The Book of Life,” have a new video with the top hits of 2014 in just 2 1/2 minutes.

Peter Pan Mash-Up Music Video With Alex G, DJ Tay James, and the Cast of Peter Pan Live

posted by Nell Minow

Watch Peter Pan Live! On NBC Thursday, December 4 at 8/7c.

Smile of the Week: Kristen Bell and Straight No Chaser Sing Text Me Merry Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Kristen Bell (“Frozen”) and the a cappella group Straight No Chaser have a new Christmas song sure to be a classic: “Text Me Merry Christmas.”

Sir Paul McCartney in Virtual Reality

posted by Nell Minow

Jaunt promises that you can have a virtual reality experience with Sir Paul McCartney, using their app to get a 360 degree view of his performance of “Live and Let Die” at Candlestick Park, featuring immersive audio and stereo 3D. […]

Johnny Cash’s Thanksgiving Song

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

posted by Nell Minow

All my best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving to all, and please know how thankful I am for the time you spend here.

Docudrama about Handel’s Messiah on BYUtv November 27, 2014

posted by Nell Minow

BYUtv has produced a new docudrama, Handel’s Messiah, premiering November 27, 2014, about the world’s most popular and renowned choral work by one of the leading composers of the Baroque era, George Frideric Handel. The docudrama, narrated by Emmy® and Golden […]

Beyond the Light’s “Blackbird” — Original Version

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s lush romantic drama “Beyond the Lights” features a touching cover of the Nina Simone classic “Blackbird.” Before you enjoy the new version, here’s the original.

Danny Elfman: Film Score Composer

posted by Nell Minow

We attended a superb concert at the Kennedy Center, with the National Symphony playing some of film scores Danny Elfman composed for his long-time colleague Tim Burton. So I was especially glad to see this excellent interview with Danny Elfman […]

Mickey’s Halloween 2014

posted by Nell Minow

Contest: Begin Again Soundtrack

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release on DVD/Blu-Ray of the sweet romantic film Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, I am giving away a copy of the movie’s terrific soundtrack. Send me an email […]

OK Go: I Won’t Let You Down

posted by Nell Minow

No one making movies anywhere is more creative than OK Go. This is pure kaleidoscopic joy. And all it took was a few umbrellas. Some background on the making of the video here.

Interview: Us the Duo from “The Book of Life”

posted by Nell Minow

It’s a Cinderella story times two. Carissa and Michael Alvarado had a romance right out of a fairy tale. And then their creative and professional dreams came true. One moment they were uploading six-second covers of popular songs to Vine […]

The Impossible Orchestra, Starring Everyone, Sings “God Only Knows”

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite songs, performed by many of my favorite performers. Here’s the guide to who’s who.

Interview: Matthias Malzieu of “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart”

posted by Nell Minow

First it was a concept album of ethereally bittersweet songs from the French group Dionysos, and then it was a graphic novel, and now, writer/musician Matthias Malzieu has brought his tenderhearted fantasy love story to the screen in the animated […]

Smile of the Week: New York Sings “Tomorrow” from “Annie”

posted by Nell Minow

#anniemovie

Recess Monkeys for Fire Safety Month

posted by Nell Minow

The Recess Monkeys and Sparky the Fire Dog are here to help families learn about fire safety.

Sonic Highways: Making Music With Dave Grohl

posted by Nell Minow

I’m really looking forward to “Sonic Highways,” a new HBO series premiering in October.  Dave Grohl crosses the country with the Foo Fighters to make music, recording a different track in each studio, and talks to a wide range of […]

Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang — Beyonce, Cher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jesse J

posted by Nell Minow

Two hit tunes from the hottest pop divas are both called “Bang Bang.”  One is Beyoncé’s sultry, glamorous cover of the Cher oldie in this teaser for her HBO special. Ariana Grande, Jesse J, and Nicki Minaj have an unrelated […]

Opera Flash Mob at a London Grocery Store

posted by Nell Minow

Sacla staged an impromptu Opera in the food aisles of a London grocery store. They planted five secret opera singers who were disguised as casual shoppers and store staff amongst the groceries who broke into song bringing the foodhall to […]

Cozi Zuehlsdorff’s New Song for “Dolphin Tale 2″ — “Brave Souls”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m really looking forward to “Dolphin Tale 2,” even more so after seeing this music video by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the young actress who reprises her role as Hazel from the original film. Cozi’s song, which she wrote and performs herself, […]

Taylor Swift Shakes it Off

posted by Nell Minow

Taylor Swift, who can be seen in “The Giver,” debuts her first pop album with this adorable video. There have been some online discussions about whether Swift is racially insensitive or even racist.  That is a subjective assessment viewers will […]

Yes, Another “Happy” Video, But You Will Love This One, I Promise

posted by Nell Minow

Produced by a team of Deaf campers & staff from Deaf Film Camp 2014 at Camp Mark Seven.

Frank: The Real Story of the Singer With the Paper-Mache Mask

posted by Nell Minow

One of the handsomest men alive spends almost the entire movie wearing a huge round paper maché head in “Frank,” a moving film inspired by the real-life story of the late Frank Sidebottom.  Michael Fassbender plays Frank, a sweet-natured but […]

Ethan Hawke’s “Boyhood” Beatles Black Album

posted by Nell Minow

For his extraordinary 12-year filming project, “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater encouraged his actors to bring elements of their lives over that period to the characters they played.  When Ethan Hawke said that he had prepared a mix-CD for his own children […]

Happy Birthday, Ella Jenkins!

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful singer Ella Jenkins turns 90 this week! You can wish her a happy birthday on the Smithsonian’s tribute page. You can preview her new collection of multicultural songs. And we have one to give away! Send me an […]

Girl in a Country Song — Maddie and Tae Reverse the Gender Roles

posted by Nell Minow

“Can I put on some real clothes now?”

Behind the Scenes Clip: Adam Levine in “Begin Again”

posted by Nell Minow

I have one copy of the wonderful soundtrack to give away!  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Levine in the subject line and tell me your favorite song of the summer.  Don’t forget your address!  (US addresses only).  I’ll […]

“Guardian of the Galaxy’s” Awesome Mixtape

posted by Nell Minow

One of the many pleasures of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70’s classics from an “Awesome Mixtape” played by Peter “Star Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. “Hooked on […]

Interview: Dan Cohen of “Alive Inside”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Cohen is the gifted and passionately committed man who transforms the lives of people with dementia and other severely debilitating diseases.  He is featured in the documentary “Alive Inside.” He is the founder of Music and Memory, which provides […]

More Weird Al: He Fixes Your Grammar with “Word Crimes”

posted by Nell Minow

It is literally….very instructive!

Weird Al Gets Happy, I Mean Tacky!

posted by Nell Minow

Weird Al Yankovic, gets weird about Pharrell Williams’ ubiquitous “Happy,” with some help from Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal, and Jack Black! Update: I am pleased that Weird Al, who is the gentlest soul alive, has apologized for the thoughtless use […]

Interview: Raffi and His New CD “Love Bug”

posted by Nell Minow

Raffi has a new CD! His first new music in twelve years is called Love Bug and it will be available tomorrow. It was a special thrill to talk to someone whose music has been so important to our family. […]

John Legend Thinks All Women and Girls Are Beautiful

posted by Nell Minow

Colbie Caillat is not the only one paying tribute to the full range of female beauty with a new video. John Legend’s “You & I” is a deeply moving tribute to the woman he loves, who appears in the video […]

Colbie Caillat’s Wonderful New Video

posted by Nell Minow

The video for Colbie Caillat’s new song, “Try,” from Gypsy Heart Side A, shows her struggle to be true to herself in a world that expects women, especially performers, to conform to a narrow and highly polished idea of beauty. […]

New on YouTube: 13 Thousand Videos With Concert Footage from Music Vault

posted by Nell Minow

Music Vault has added 13,000 new videos with concert footage to YouTube.  USA Today reports: The collection holds 2,000 hours of exclusive video spanning the past 50 years and rare performances by some of the biggest names in music history, […]

Happy 4th of July 2014!

posted by Nell Minow

A safe and happy celebration to all!

A Capitol Fourth! Tomorrow Night on PBS

posted by Nell Minow

Tune in to PBS tomorrow night for the live broadcast of A Capitol Fourth.  This year’s performers will include Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks, Michael McDonald the Jersey Boy himself, Frankie Valli.  And composer John Williams will conduct the choir and orchestra […]

A Blessed Ramadan

posted by Nell Minow

How Do I Feel About the News that Pentatonix Will Appear in “Pitch Perfect 2?”

posted by Nell Minow

This should give you a clue.

OK Go Has Another Spectacular Video: The Writing’s On the Wall

posted by Nell Minow

OK Go consistently produces the most creative music videos around — and some great songs as well.  Here’s their latest, fun with all kinds of optical illusions, and shot in one take. And, for a refresher, two of my other […]

Happy Flag Day! James Cagney as George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Children’s Music Star Alex Mitnick

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Mitnick stars in Alex & The Kaleidoscope, a fun and friendly series on YouTube and NYC-TV.  Mitnick uses music and colorful, inviting adventures to engage children’s curiosity.  I really enjoyed talking to him about what makes music such a powerful […]

Interview: Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five

posted by Nell Minow

It was a tremendous thrill to speak to Dave Clark, from the Dave Clark Five, one of the greatest pop groups of all time.  Their string of classic hits include “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” “Because,” and “Catch Us […]

Adam Levine Sings “Lost Stars” in “Begin Again”

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: John Ottman, Editor and Composer of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

posted by Nell Minow

I last talked to editor/composer John Ottman about “Jack the Giant Slayer” and loved hearing about his unique combination of roles, often working with his former classmate, director Bryan Singer.  They collaborated again on X-Men: Days of Future Past and it […]

Tonight on PBS: The Memorial Day Concert 2014

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight on PBS, Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise again host the annual Memorial Day concert on the U.S. Capitol lawn. It will be broadcast on PBS at 8:00-9:30 Eastern time. Each year, the National Memorial Day Concert presents a unique […]

Bert and Zachary Levi Remind Us to Put Our Devices Away and Enjoy the Outdoors — Sesame Street

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to my friend Leslie Combemale for sharing this adorable reminder that we are better off experiencing the world directly instead of staring at screens.

New Song From “The Fault in Our Star” — Lykke Li Sings “No One Ever Loved”

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: James Levine, Composer of “American Horror Story,” “Royal Pains,” and “Glee”

posted by Nell Minow

Composer James S. Levine worked on two of my favorite television series, so I was especially delighted to get a chance to speak to him.  I love “Glee’s” fabulously curated choral selections.  And I love the soundtrack to “Royal Pains,” […]

For Mother’s Day: Mrs. Jumbo’s Lullaby

posted by Nell Minow

It’s May! Vanessa Redgrave in “Camelot”

posted by Nell Minow

Everyone Gets “Happy”

posted by Nell Minow

I love it when a song and video inspires tributes that pop up all over YouTube.  And Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” an irresistible tune with a simple video of people dancing, has inspired people all over the world to do their […]

Interview: Daniel Licht, Composer of “Dexter”

posted by Nell Minow

Daniel Licht composed the music for “Dexter” as well as two of the “Silent Hill” video games and films including “Permanent Midnight” and “Stephen King’s Thinner.”  He talked to me about the difference between composing for thrillers and comedy and […]

Celebrate Easter!

posted by Nell Minow

Kristin Chenoweth Sings “Poisonous Love” in Rio 2

posted by Nell Minow

Broadway diva Kristin Chenoweth sings a love song in a highlight of “Rio 2″ with co-star Jermaine Clement.

Interview: Stephen Endelman, Composer for “Rob the Mob”

posted by Nell Minow

“Rob the Mob” is a fact-based story about a couple named Tommy and Rosie who thought they had a foolproof way to make some money.  Since Mafia members were not allowed to bring weapons into their social clubs, why not […]

How Many of These Cartoon Theme Songs Can You Identify?

posted by Nell Minow

There are some cartoony hints to help you out. But if you want to see the entire list, it is here.

Idina Menzel, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots Perform “Let it Go” with Kindergarten Instruments

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s the Oscar-winning song, a knockout no matter the instruments (or how her name is pronounced).

Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana Sing “Love is an Open Door”

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a great clip from Disney Movies Anywhere, Disney’s all-new, cloud-based digital movie service, where “Frozen” is now available.  [Spoiler Alert: Hans may be a bad guy, but this is still a great song!]  

Interview: Christopher Lennertz, Comedy Movie Composer

posted by Nell Minow

Christopher Lennertz is one of Hollywood’s busiest composers.  Lately, he has specialized in writing scores for comedies like Kevin Hart’s Ride Along, with two more big comedic projects later this year: Think Like A Man Too (with Ride Along director Tim Story) and Horrible Bosses 2. […]

The King’s Singers: American Songbook

posted by Nell Minow

I had the very great pleasure of attending a concert performance by the magnificent King’s Singers, who paid tribute to one of my favorite genres of music, what is now called the “American Songbook.”  They sang the work of George […]

From The LEGO Movie: Everything is Awesome

posted by Nell Minow

Tegan and Sara’s adorable song is pure delight — did you know that the rap section is from Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island group? And be sure to take a look at this great post from Deadline Hollywood about […]

Half a Century of The Beatles!

posted by Nell Minow

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performances in the United States — and the half century of great music — be sure to watch the CBS Grammy tribute tomorrow night, featuring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. […]

Faith-Based Oscar Disqualified Song Creates Controversy

posted by Nell Minow

For the first time ever, the Motion Picture Academy has disqualified a nominee for ethical reasons.  The nomination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” as best song came as a surprise.  Most people had not heard of the song or the […]

Tribute: Pete Seeger

posted by Nell Minow

We bid a sad farewell to activist/musician Pete Seeger today.  He has died at age 94.  His songs provided the soundtrack for protest movements over decades, pushing for peace, justice, protection of the environment, equality, and economic opportunity.  His songs […]

More on Paul Williams

posted by Nell Minow

If you saw Paul Williams on the Grammys last night and want to know more, take a look at the superb documentary Paul Williams Still Alive. Williams was ubiquitous in the 70’s, both on the music charts and the party […]

Angelina Jolie’s “Malificent” — New Clip

posted by Nell Minow

Lana Del Ray sings “Once Upon a Dream” in this new peek at the upcoming “Malificent,” starring Angelina Jolie as Sleeping Beauty’s evil fairy.

Sing Along with “Frozen”

posted by Nell Minow

“Let it Go!” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and, my favorite, “Fixer-Upper!” You know you want to sing along. Now you can. “Frozen” is going to have a sing-along night on January 31. And just in case you […]

Let It Go from “Frozen” — in 25 Languages

posted by Nell Minow

And the LA Times explains how they do it. As the film business has become an increasingly global one, [Rick] Dempsey’s job has become ever more complex, with languages in emerging territories added every year. The newest additions include Bengali, […]

Janelle Monae on Sesame Street and the Power of Yet

posted by Nell Minow

Must-Listen Movies: Great Soundtracks and Scores

posted by Nell Minow

Salon has a great list of must-hear movie soundtracks.  It’s wonderfully varied, with everything from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” to an Elmer Fudd cartoon.  Composers include Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman, Ennio Morricone, Willie Nelson, Prince, and Michael Jackson. […]

The Original “Please Mr. Kennedy” Song

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite movie of 2013 is “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and I love the scene where the very serious folksinger title character (Oscar Isaac) gets hired as a studio musician to perform a silly novelty song. Justin Timberlake plays the musician […]

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Elvis on Turner Classic Movies: 7:45 AM Live A Little, Love A Little (1968) 9:15 AM Double Trouble (1967) 11:00 AM Spinout (1966) 12:45 PM Tickle Me (1965) 2:30 PM Girl Happy (1965) 4:15 PM Kissin’ Cousins (1964) 6:00 […]

New from “Muppets Most Wanted” — Across the Internet

posted by Nell Minow

The Cast of “The Good Wife” Dances to Thicky Trick

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a treat to warm up this cold snap!  This week’s case on “The Good Wife” concerned the use of a song on a “Glee”-style television show.  The cast decided to engage in some very un-courtroom-like behavior.  I got a […]

Contest: Anything is Possible

posted by Nell Minow

Start the new year with a heartwarming family film starring musical prodigy Ethan Bortnick, who wrote the songs he performs in this film  “Anything is Possible”  is the story of ten-year-old Nathan (Bortnick), who is devastated when his mom is […]

USAF: The Holly and the Ivy

posted by Nell Minow

Muppet Christmas: Carol of the Bells

posted by Nell Minow

Pentatonix: Carol of the Bells

posted by Nell Minow

Merry Christmas from Elvis and Martina!

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Nicholas Britell, Composer of “12 Years a Slave”

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most powerful moments in the extraordinary film 12 Years a Slave has its main character, Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) joining with the other slaves to sing a spiritual.  It was a great pleasure to speak with the talented […]

The Music of “Inside Llewyn Davis”

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite movies of the year is the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” the story of one week in the life of a folk singer in 1961.  Oscar Isaac gives a performance of astonishing depth of emotion and […]

New on HBO: Six by Sondheim

posted by Nell Minow

HBO’s new documentary is “Six by Sondheim,” the story of six songs from the remarkable lyricist of “West Side Story” and “Gypsy” and composer/lyricist of “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeny Todd,” “Company,” “Follies,” “Into the Woods,” and many, many more. […]

From “Inside Llewyn Davis” — Folksingers Perform “Please Mr. Kennedy”

posted by Nell Minow

In one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies of the year, 1960’s folksingers played by Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake, and “Girls’” Adam Driver record a silly but very catchy novelty song about the space program called […]

Movie Music — Alan Zilberman on How Film Scores Tell the Story

posted by Nell Minow

Rogerebert.com has a fascinatng piece by Alan Zilberman about movie scores and the way certain notes, chords, pauses, and instruments affect our feelings and help the film tell the story. He aske Nicholas Britell of “12 Years a Slave” (soon […]

Happy Hanukkah!

posted by Nell Minow

For the first time in more than a hundred years, the holidays of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day. It won’t happen again for thousands of years, so carve the turkey and spin the dreidel and enjoy this […]

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

posted by Nell Minow

I am, as ever, deeply grateful to all of my friends and family and to my wonderful readers.

Happy Thanksgiving — Alice’s Restaurant

posted by Nell Minow

Arlo Guthrie sings about an unforgettable Thanksgiving.

Veteran’s Day 2013

posted by Nell Minow

Listen to the Folk Soundtrack of the New Coen Brothers Movie: Inside Llewyn Davis

posted by Nell Minow

This magnificent soundtrack was produced by T. Bone Burnett, who also did “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?”  It is set in the early 1960’s folk music scene and features Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake. Marcus Mumford, “Girls’” Adam Driver, and Bob Dylan […]

Interview: Composer Dominic Lewis of “Free Birds”

posted by Nell Minow

“Free Birds,” an animated film opening today, stars Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, and Woody Harrelson.  And it has a great score by composer Dominic Lewis available on iTunes.  He talked to me about what it was like to write music for […]

Bad Movie/Good Soundtrack — IndieWire’s Critic Survey

posted by Nell Minow

I always enjoy IndieWire’s critics surveys and this is an especially good question: What is your favorite example of a bad movie with a great soundtrack?  I was not surprised to find Elizabethtown mentioned by Alissa Wilkenson of Christianity Today.  I would […]

Paul McCartney’s New Song — With a Little Help from His Friends

posted by Nell Minow

Paul McCartney invites some friends to dance to his new song, “Queenie Eye.” Watch out for: Meryl Streep, Jude Law, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Chris Pine, and…..?

Smile of the Week: Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” Delights a Crowd

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: AJ Michalka of “Grace Unplugged”

posted by Nell Minow

 AJ Michalka stars in “Grace Unplugged,” the story of a girl who wants more out of life than singing with her church’s worship band.  When she has some success as a pop singer, she has to decide whether secular success […]

Smile of the Week: Miley Cyrus and The Roots

posted by Nell Minow

I just want the Roots to play on every song ever.

List: What are the Best (Fictional) Movie Concerts?

posted by Nell Minow

The A.V. Club has a great discussion about the all-time best fictional movie concerts.  Of course there are many unforgettable documentaries about real concerts like “Woodstock” and “The Last Waltz.”  But what about those left to the imagination in feature […]

Kol Nidre: Yom Kippur 5774

posted by Nell Minow

A blessed Yom Kippur to all who observe it. May you and all you love be inscribed in the Book of Life.

The “Extraordinary” Rion Paige on X Factor

posted by Nell Minow

Watch 13-year-old Rion Paige knock the socks off the X Factor judges.  The Florida girl has joint problems in her hands and partial blindness in one eye from arthrogryposis multiplex congenita.  She also has a powerful voice and a powerful spirit […]

A Rosh Hashanah Version of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” — Get Clarity

posted by Nell Minow

Three Songs About September

posted by Nell Minow

Happy September!  Here are three of my favorite songs paying tribute to this month. Many people have sung the haunting Kurt Weill “September Song,” originally introduced by Walter Huston (father of director John Huston and grandfather to Anjelica and Danny […]

One Direction: This is Us

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language
Movie Release Date:August 30, 2013
DVD Release Date:December 11, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language
Movie Release Date: August 30, 2013
DVD Release Date: December 11, 2013

“They don’t know me, but they love me,” says one dewy-eyed One Direction fan, and that says it all. This 3D documentary and concert film gives us a peek at the moment in time when One Direction, a group of five […]

What Was Really Wrong With Miley Cyrus on the VMAs

posted by Nell Minow

Another VMA broadcast on MTV, another morning-after round of horrified reactions.  This time, most of the criticism is focused on former Disney tween star Miley Cyrus, whose dance with Robin Thicke included the usual VMA trifecta for female performers: skimpy […]

Interview: “The World’s End” Composer Steven Price

posted by Nell Minow

The fifth and best end of the world movie of the summer is called “The World’s End,” and it is the last in what is now being called the Cornetto Trilogy from Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and co-writer and director […]

Interview: Atli Örvarsson, Composer of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”

posted by Nell Minow

The Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson was attending the premiere of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.  Director Harald Zwart was so impressed with the score that he offered Örvarsson the job of creating the score for his new project, a film based on […]

Smile of the Week: On the Day You Were Born

posted by Nell Minow

For more, check out Frances England’s new Blink of an Eye CD.

Interview: “Elysium” Composer Ryan Amon

posted by Nell Minow

Ryan Amon talked to me about the YouTube video that led to his first feature film score, in this week’s “Elysium,” directed by Neil Blomkamp (“District 9″) and starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster and how two notes create a […]

Happy 70th Birthday Mick Jagger!

posted by Nell Minow

Mick Jagger turns 70 today!  Happy birthday Mick — celebrate him by viewing two of this summer’s best documentaries, “Muscle Schoals” and “20 Feet from Stardom,” or some of these other great screen appearances: Gimme Shelter The third in the […]

Smile of the Week: Japanese Contraption Plays Bach

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Heitor Pereira, Composer of “Despicable Me 2″

posted by Nell Minow

Heitor Pereira is a Brazilian musician and composer who has gone from Simply Red to Hollywood, creating movie scores for films like “Madagascar,” “The Holiday,” and “Bee Movie.”  He talked to me about the challenge of scoring a sequel with […]

Johnny Cash Sings About the Ragged Old Flag

posted by Nell Minow

James Cagney as George M. Cohan Sings “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 4th of July!  

Ray Charles Sings “America the Beautiful”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 4th of July!

Two Great Documentaries Take You Behind the Scenes of Classic Rock, Pop, and Soul

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is a time of raunchy comedies, superheroes, and explosions, but you can find movies for grown-ups, too.  I highly recommend two outstanding documentaries that take the audience behind the scenes of some of the greatest music ever recorded. 20 […]

Interview: “American Idol’s” Brooke White on Hallmark Channel’s “Banner 4th of July”

posted by Nell Minow

American Idol star Brooke White talked to me about her role in “Banner 4th of July,” premiering on the Hallmark Channel this Saturday at 9/8c.  White plays Desiree Banner, who once was in a successful band called The Banner Project […]

Interview: Henry Jackman, Composer for “Turbo” and “This is the End”

posted by Nell Minow

It was an absolute delight to talk to British musician/composer Henry Jackman about his two very different assignments in creating musical scores for the comic end-of-the-world movie featuring the Judd Apatow crew, “This is the End,” and the adorable animated […]

Interview: Joel Smallbone of “The Book of Esther” and For King and Country

posted by Nell Minow

Joel Smallbone of King and Country plays Xerxes in “The Book of Esther,” his first film role.  He was nice enough to take some time off from his For King and Country tour to talk to me about playing the […]

The Ones Who Sing Behind the Scenes Or 20 Feet From the Front of the Stage

posted by Nell Minow

Sunday’s Washington Post and New York Times had two marvelous tributes to the people (mostly women) whose voices are all around us but whose names and faces we do not know.  The magnificent new documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” opens […]

PBS: Memorial Day Concert

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight, PBS will broadcast the national Memorial Day Concert, co-hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna and featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Army Chorus, The Soldiers’ […]

Listen to Jay-Z’s “The Great Gatsby” Soundtrack Free!

posted by Nell Minow

100$ Bill – Jay-Z Back To Black – Beyoncé, André 3000 Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey Love Is Blindness – Jack White Crazy In Love (Kid Koala Version) – Emeli Sandé, The Bryan Ferry Orchestra Bang Bang – […]

History of the Eagles

posted by Nell Minow

The documentary about The Eagles is out today: It is a three-disc set including History of the Eagles Part One and History of the Eagles Part Two, as well as Eagles Live At The Capital Centre – March 1977, featuring never-before-released performances from the Eagles’ […]

Tribute: George Jones

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the passing of country legend George Jones, who died today at age 81.  His life, filled with tragedy and resilience and love found and lost, was like a country song.  As the New York Times wrote: “With a […]

Hava Nagila

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:April 26, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: April 26, 2013

It is annoying, frustrating, embarrassing, and irresistible.  It is a tradition that has transcended its origins and yet calls us back to the complicated feelings of our past. All of which makes it a perfect Rorschach test and intriguing metaphor for […]

Aretha Franklin Sings “Mary Don’t You Weep”

posted by Nell Minow

The Sapphires

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements, and smoking
Movie Release Date:March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date:August 15, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements, and smoking
Movie Release Date: March 22, 2013
DVD Release Date: August 15, 2013

A very conventional story of a 60’s Australian girl group gains extra power from its context and setting in this fact-based story set to the beat of Motown soul.  Co-written by the son of one of the real-life singers and […]

Frog Song — for Passover

posted by Nell Minow

Remember The Cowsills? Here’s Their Movie!

posted by Nell Minow

The Cowsills were the real-life 1960’s singing group that inspired “The Partridge Family,” a top recording group made up of a mother and her children, ages 8-19.  Their crystal harmonies and upbeat songs like “The Rain, the Park, and Other […]

Bill Harley: Win a CD!

posted by Nell Minow

Here is how much my family loves the brilliant and hilarious singer/songwriter/story-teller Bill Harley.  Even though we played and played and played his music until we all knew it inside out, we would still sit in the driveway until the […]

Maltin on Music: Old Songs in New Movies

posted by Nell Minow

One of my very favorite writers on film is Leonard Maltin so I was delighted to see his new essay on the use of classic or obscure older songs in new movies. Classic songs and selections from what’s now called […]

Rob Sheffields’ Best Rock Movie Moments

posted by Nell Minow

Rob Sheffield is one of my favorite writers and I love his books about popular music.  For Rolling Stone, he has created a gallery of the all-time best rock moments in movies, with irresistible clips from the “Wayne’s World” rendition […]

The Beatles 50th Reunion

posted by Nell Minow

50 years after they recorded the first Beatles single, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Martin got back together.

Happy Purim!

posted by Nell Minow

Shake your groggers!!

Interview: BerNadette Stanis of “Good Times” and Gospel Musical Behind the Pulpit

posted by Nell Minow

It was very exciting, as a long-time fan of “Good Times,” to get a chance to interview BerNadette Stanis, who played Thelma.  She was a teenager herself when she was given the role.  She made me feel like an old […]

50th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles’ First Album

posted by Nell Minow

On Monday 11th February 1963 the Beatles’ debut album was recorded in just one day. On the 50th anniversary of that 12-hour session at Abbey Road, leading artists will attempt the same feat, in the same time period, in the […]

Tonight at the Grammy Awards

posted by Nell Minow

The biggest award in the recording industry is the Grammy and tonight is the 55th annual presentation.  It will be broadcast at 8 pm (7 Central) on CBS, hosted by rapper-turned-TV star LL Cool J.  I’m looking forward to the […]

Tribute: Patty Andrews

posted by Nell Minow

The last of the WWII-era singing trio The Andrews Sisters died today at 94.  Patty Andrews was the middle of the three singing sisters whose close harmonies were part of the soundtrack of the 1940’s (and many, many films set […]

Watch Elton John’s Concert Tonight

posted by Nell Minow

Nothing like this has ever been attempted before!  Tonight, when Elton John plays on a Yamaha Disklavier piano, every touch of his fingers will be replicated at other Disklaviers around the world, and you can watch. His actual piano keystrokes […]

Quartet

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date:January 25, 2013
DVD Release Date:June 18, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date: January 25, 2013
DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013

There is something splendid about seeing fine actors at the top of their game, still nailing it — in a movie about older performers, still nailing it.  Last year, it was Maggie Smith in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”  On […]

Happy birthday, Dolly Parton!

posted by Nell Minow

I love Dolly Parton’s jubilent spirit.  When she is asked if she minds being thought of as a dumb blonde, she just smiles and says, “Not at all, because I know I’m not dumb, and I know I’m not blonde!” […]

KISS Book FREE — This Weekend Only!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy birthday, Paul Stanley! The KISS Starchild superstar turns 60 tomorrow and the fans get the gift! Miniver Press is making Chris Epting’s ebook All I Need to Know I Learned from KISS: Life Lessons from the Hottest Band in […]

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite Elvis song is “Burning Love.” But I love to hear him sing gospel. Celebrate his birthday with a movie like “Blue Hawaii.” Or, even better, watch him in concert.

A Blessed Kwanzaa!

posted by Nell Minow

Kwanzaa is a holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor  and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He holds Ph.D.s in political science with focus on the theory and practice of nationalism (United States International University) and in social ethics with a focus […]

The Christmas Song: Mel Torme and Judy Garland

posted by Nell Minow

Listen for Judy singing “rainbows” instead of “reindeer.”

Justin Bieber Sings “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

posted by Nell Minow

From “Arthur Christmas:”

Andrea Bocelli Sings Adeste Fideles

posted by Nell Minow

Merry Christmas! “The Holly and the Ivy”

posted by Nell Minow

Hardrock, Coco, and Joe

posted by Nell Minow

Everyone who grew up in Chicago in the 50’s knows and loves this one:

“Carol of the Bells” With Jennifer Hudson and Sesame Street

posted by Nell Minow

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

A magical moment from “Meet Me in St. Louis” with Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien:

Merry Christmas! Vanessa Williams Sings “Go Tell It On the Mountain” and “Mary Had a Baby”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Birthday, Beethoven!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy birthday to Ludwig van Beethoven, born on this day in 1770. Movies about one of the greatest artists in history: In Search of Beethoven Copying Beethoven Beethoven Lives Upstairs And Immortal Beloved, starring Gary Oldman.  From one of the letters […]

121212 — The Concert for Sandy Relief

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to tune in tonight at 7:30 Eastern for 121212: The Concert for Sandy Relief in support of the Robin Hood Foundation.  Jersey boy Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band kick things off, followed by Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, […]

Preview of “The Bible” With Cee Lo’s “Mary Did You Know”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Bible” is an epic 10-hour television series produced by Roma Downey (Touched By an Angel) and Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice) premiering on March 3, 2013, and Blu-ray and DVD soon after. Here is a preview, set to Cee […]

Hannukah Holiday Party!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Hanukkah with the Maccabeats!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Hanukkah!

posted by Nell Minow

Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, and Mariah Carey sing “All I Want for Christmas is You”

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite modern Christmas songs is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” memorably sung in “Love Actually” by the young Olivia Olson. That performance can’t be topped, but I think it is now tied with […]

In Theaters: Jon Bon Jovi Inside Out

posted by Nell Minow

Bon Jovi fans from across the country will have the opportunity to submit their questions for a very special Q&A with Bon Jovi, hosted by Allison Hagendorf of The CW’s “THE NEXT: Fame Is At Your Door Step.” The Q&A […]

A Thanksgiving Classic: Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie

posted by Nell Minow

A New Beatles Concert Film — With Fan Footage

posted by Nell Minow

An exclusive story in The Wrap has some big news: The Beatles’ Apple Corps has authorized a production company, OVOW, to scour the globe for material captured by amateurs and professionals during the group’s concert tours in the 1960s for […]

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend at the National Press Club to Talk About Teen Cancer

posted by Nell Minow

I got to hear The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend speak at the National Press Club today, which saluted them with “Tommy” cookies.  They were there on behalf of the Teenage Cancer Trust, a non-profit devoted to improving the […]

Interview: Composer Angelo Badalamenti of “A Late Quartet”

posted by Nell Minow

Composer Angelo Badalamenti, who describes his music as bringing “beautiful sadness” to film, was kind enough to answer my questions about his work on “A Late Quartet,” the story of a classical string quartet starring Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, […]

Happy Halloween from the Disney Villains

posted by Nell Minow

Smile of the Week: Country Song Keywords (With My Photos!)

posted by Nell Minow

Out of the blue, I was contacted by The Hang, asking if they could use some of my photos for a music video.  I was delighted to say yes, especially after I heard the song, which is very funny and […]

Smile of the Week: Katy Perry Sings With Jodi DiPiazza, Musician With Autism

posted by Nell Minow

From this weekend’s Comedy Central Night of Two Many Stars benefit for autism (Sunday at 8 Eastern), this touching duet: Her father says, “I’ve taken off the idea that there’s some limit on her.”

Magical Mystery Tour Re-Release

posted by Nell Minow

In 1967, the Beatles released a brilliant record album (as we called them in those days) and a movie, both titled “Magical Mystery Tour.”  The Magical Mystery Tour album featured classic Beatles hits “Fool on the Hill,” “Your Mother Should […]

Smile of the Week: The Piano Guys Perform “What Makes You Beautiful”

posted by Nell Minow

The Piano Guys play New Directions’ “What Makes You Beautiful”

Previous Posts

Contest: Win a DVD of "Hope Bridge"
"Hope Bridge" is a new DVD from Pure Flix about the devastating impact of suicide. Christi and David Eaton produced the movie after having experienced suicide twice in their family. They knew the best way to reach out to others was through a ...

posted 8:00:59am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: No Ordinary Hero -- The SuperDeafy Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Yo3kRFW9g Coming next month on DVD, "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie" is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real ...

posted 8:00:41am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Underdog Kids
[jwvideo vid='AKNUHyky' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Underdog Kids is family film about a karate team of misfits, available on VOD and DVD July 7, 2015. Adam Irigoyen (Disney’s “Shake It Up!” and “Wizards of Waverly Place”), Ryan Potter (Big ...

posted 8:00:26am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Lorne Balfe, Composer for "Terminator Genisys"
Lorne Balfe composed the score for "Terminator Genisys," the fifth in the series, which takes place in three different time period, some very ...

posted 3:32:31pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: The Dovekeepers
[jwvideo vid='TMTJEKgu' pid='GvkPWNBE'] NCIS star Cote de Pablo gives a behind the scenes look at the making of the Roma Downey/Mark Burnett produced miniseries, The Dovekeepers. Adapted from Alice Hoffman's novel, "The Dovekeepers" follows ...

posted 11:15:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

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