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L’Shana Tova! Rosh Hashanah Wishes for a Sweet New Year

posted by Nell Minow

Nickelback’s New Video — Featuring Jason Alexander

posted by Nell Minow

“Trying Not to Love You,” Nickelback’s new video, is a tribute to bass player Mike Kroeger’s one-time job as a Starbuck’s barrista and it co-stars Jason Alexander and “Baywatch” babe Brooke Burns.

Tribute: Marvin Hamlisch

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch has died at age 68.  A tireless advocate for teaching music in schools, Hamlisch won three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards. On Broadway, he wrote the music for A Chorus Line, […]

Song of the Month: How Ya Like Me Now

posted by Nell Minow

The Heavy’s song, “How Ya Like Me Now” is quickly becoming the go-to song in trailers and movie soundtracks, sort of the new “I Feel Good.”  This month, it appears in “Ted” and “The Watch.” Before that, it was in […]

Tim Gordon Interviews The Sugar Man

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most fascinating documentaries of the year is “Searching for Sugar Man,” the extraordinary story of musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, who made two albums in the 1970’s and then disappeared from performing. It is a moving reminder that […]

Our National Anthem, Sung by Whitney Houston

posted by Nell Minow

God Bless America, Sung By Martina McBride

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 4th of July!

posted by Nell Minow

A Capitol Fourth: Tomorrow on PBS

posted by Nell Minow

Tomorrow at 8 Eastern time, PBS will broadcast the annual Capitol Fourth concert, hosted by Tom Bergeron, of the hit TV series “Dancing With the Stars.” Performers include “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips, acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty of NBC’s “Smash;” two-time […]

Call Me Maybe — The Best LipDubs/Covers/Supercut

posted by Nell Minow

The song of the summer is Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” and I love the love it has inspired by people who post their own covers and lipdub versions.  Here are some of my favorites. Jimmy Fallon and the […]

Happy Summer Solstice!

posted by Nell Minow

Rock of Ages

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language
Movie Release Date:June 15, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language
Movie Release Date: June 15, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2012

The era of big power ballads reaching to the back rows of big stadiums filled with big crowds of fans with big hair is paid big tribute in this irresistibly entertaining anthem-rock love letter to the 80’s.  Sung almost entirely by actors […]

MVPs of the Month: Charlize Theron and “Anyway You Want It”

posted by Nell Minow

  Oscar-winner Charlize Theron is the most valuable performer of the month with back-to-back releases.  In Snow White and the Huntsman, she plays the evil queen who wants to eat the heroine’s heart.  And in “Prometheus,” she plays the determined […]

“Graceland” — 25th Anniversary Re-Release

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Simon’s brilliant song and album of the year Grammy-winning Graceland album celebrates its 25th anniversary next week with a re-release that includes bonus tracks and a new documentary by Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost, Metallica – Some Kind of Monster) that […]

Tonight: National Memorial Day Concert on PBS

posted by Nell Minow

The National Memorial Day concert on the Capitol Building lawn will be broadcast tonight live on PBS. The program will be co-hosted for the seventh year by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”) and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise (“CSI: New […]

Whitney Houston Sings “His Eye is on the Sparrow” for “Sparkle”

posted by Nell Minow

Whitney Houston sings the classic spiritual “His Eye is on the Sparrow” in this poignant and uplifting selection from the soundtrack of her final film, “Sparkle,” which will be released later this summer.  

Tribute: Donna Summer

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of disco diva and five-time Grammy winner Donna Summer, whose anthems like “Last Dance” and “Hot Stuff” helped define an era.   She died at age 63 from cancer.  Her songs were featured in a number […]

“It’s May!” (Camelot)

posted by Nell Minow

Vanessa Redgrave sings “It’s May” from the Lerner and Lowe musical Camelot.

Paul McCartney’s “My Valentine” Music Video with Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp Signing

posted by Nell Minow

This beautifully balletic version of Paul MCartney’s new song, “My Valentine” features Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp performing in sign language.  The song is featured in McCartney’s new standards collection, Kisses on the Bottom. NOTE: Do not pay attention to […]

Tribute: Dick Clark

posted by Nell Minow

“The world’s oldest teenager,” Dick Clark, passed away this week at age 82.  He is best remembered as the host of “American Bandstand” and the Pyramid game show, but the scope of his influence on broadcasting and entertainment goes much […]

Happy Easter — “Don’t Cry (He Has Risen)”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Easter! Elvis Sings “Oh Happy Day”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Easter!

posted by Nell Minow

Grateful Dead Night at the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Deadheads, get ready to have your world rocked!  On April 19, Grateful Dead Second Annual Meet-Up At The Movies 2012 will take audiences on a flashback trip to the summer of ‘89 for a one-night in-theater concert event. Recorded July 18, […]

The Song That Changed My Life

posted by Nell Minow

BYUtv’s original new TV series, The Song That Changed My Life, tells the story behind an artist’s inspiration and reveals the song that changed the entire direction of their life. Following the 3/31 premiere, an episode featuring Duncan Sheik will […]

Smile of the Week: A Stunning Performance on “Britain’s Got Talent”

posted by Nell Minow

The sweetest part is the end.

Big Band Vocalists on PBS

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to watch PBS tonight to see “Big Band Vocalists” with the “crooners” and “canaries” of the 1940s, featuring the greatest vocalists of the period when they started their careers performing with orchestras and dance bands. Among the legendary artists […]

Tribute: Davy Jones of The Monkees

posted by Nell Minow

I loved The Monkees. Sometimes referred to as “the pre-fab four” because they were artificially created to imitate the “Fab Four” Beatles, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz, and Davy Jones soon became more than four actors in a television […]

Smile of the Week: A Groom Surprises the Bride with a Justin Bieber Dance Number

posted by Nell Minow

Giveaway: Soundtrack CDs from ‘Joyful Noise’

posted by Nell Minow

I have five copies of the fabulous soundtrack from the wonderful “Joyful Noise” to give away, including three sensational new songs written by Dolly Parton and gorgeous versions of “The Man in the Mirror” and “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Send me […]

Paul McCartney — A Wonderful Christmastime

posted by Nell Minow

Randy Travis — Old Time Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Perry Como — Ave Maria

posted by Nell Minow

Carrie Underwood — Do You Hear What I Hear?

posted by Nell Minow

Hark the Herald Angels Sing — Greg Peterson x 4

posted by Nell Minow

My Favorite Christmas Song

posted by Nell Minow

    And from the guy who wrote it:

Charlie Brown — Christmas Time is Here

posted by Nell Minow

This poignant tune from the Vince Guaraldi Trio has become a Christmas classic.

Suzy Snowflake

posted by Nell Minow

It isn’t Christmas for those of us who grew up in Chicago watching “Garfield Goose” until we see “Suzy Snowflake.”

Merry Christmas from Kukla, Fran, and Ollie

posted by Nell Minow

Gospel Christmas Medley with Jennifer Hudson

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Hanukkah!

posted by Nell Minow

The Snowman: Walking in the Air

posted by Nell Minow

If you are feeling frazzled with holiday preparations, take a moment to enjoy the pure magic of this excerpt from one of the finest animated films ever made:

Smile of the Week: Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Composer Alexandre Desplat

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most versatile and distinguished composers working in film is Alexandre Desplat, who composed the evocative music for “The Queen,” the two Harry Potter “Deathly Hallows” films, “Twilight: New Moon,” “The King’s Speech,” this week’s release, “Carnage,” and […]

Simon, Theodore, and….Alvin: “Christmas Don’t Be Late”

posted by Nell Minow

As the latest Chipmunks movie opens up this week, we remember how it all got started, with the Grammy-winning 1958 song, “Christmas Don’t Be Late:” The singing chipmunks were created by songwriter Ross Bagdasarian, who had appeared in the Alfred […]

Jonsi Soundtrack for ‘We Bought a Zoo’ Online

posted by Nell Minow

Check out the wonderful Jonsi soundtrack for one of this season’s best family movies, Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo” with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.

Celtic Women: O Holy Night

posted by Nell Minow

The Muppets: Carol of the Bells

posted by Nell Minow

Classic Christmas Carols: John Denver, Julie Andrews, Placido Domingo

posted by Nell Minow

Remembering John Lennon

posted by Nell Minow

We miss you, John, but you are forever in our hearts.

Britney Turns 30

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 30th birthday, Britney Spears, and I hope the next decade is less volatile than the last.  Remember when she was a Mouseketeer? And remember this? It is good to see her find some stability and return to performing, and […]

Marilyn Starts a Heat Wave

posted by Nell Minow

I hope that Michelle Williams’ exquisite performance in the new film, “My Week With Marilyn” inspires its viewers to go back and watch the inimitable original: Marilyn Monroe.  Williams does a snippet of this song in the film though does […]

Smile of the Week: ‘In Your Arms’ with Kina Grannis and Zillions of Jellybeans

posted by Nell Minow

This is the best use of stop-motion in a video since the legendary “Sledgehammer” with Peter Gabriel.  And Kina Grannis and director Greg Jardin made it a frame at a time with real Jelly Bellys (donated by the company) — no CGI. Just as […]

Happy Halloween!

posted by Nell Minow

Watch Coldplay Live Today!

posted by Nell Minow

You can watch Coldplay perform live today on YouTube at 1:00 Eastern/4:00 Pacific!  If you miss it, try later as it will replay all day.

‘Footloose’ — ‘Let’s Hear it for the Boy’

posted by Nell Minow

One more treat from the original Footloose, “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” sung by Deniece Williams, featuring the late and much-missed Chris Penn.

For Yom Kippur: Louis Armstrong Sings ‘Jonah and the Whale’

posted by Nell Minow

Kol Nidre

posted by Nell Minow

Warn greetings to all who are observing Yom Kippur.  May you and all you love be inscribed in the Book of Life.

Thunder Soul

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief language and momentary historical smoking
Movie Release Date:October 6, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief language and momentary historical smoking
Movie Release Date: October 6, 2011

A real-life “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” this is the inspiring story of a dedicated teacher who transformed the lives of his students and the gathering 35 years later, when he was 92 years old, to perform a concert in his honor. […]

Smile of the Week: ‘Sesame Street’ Does ‘Glee!’

posted by Nell Minow

Break-Dancing Rosh Hashanah Celebration!

posted by Nell Minow

The Return of ‘The Sing-Off’

posted by Nell Minow

“The Sing-Off” is back and it is bigger!  One of my favorite reality shows is Nick Lachey’s a capella competition.  This year, Sara Bareilles joins Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds as judges.  The contestants this year are:   AFRO-BLUE – Washington, […]

On The Hub: Majors & Minors

posted by Nell Minow

Grammy® Award-winning superstar Will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) and Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning Jennifer Hudson have joined an all-star lineup of industry artists and professionals serving as mentors for The Hub TV Network’s new original reality music series “Majors & Minors,” premiering Friday, […]

Tribute: Nick Ashford and Jerry Lieber

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the passing of two greats who contributed to the soundtrack of our lives.  Nick Ashford, with his partner Valerie Simpson, wrote some of Motown’s most romantic and best-loved hits, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I […]

Smile of the Week: OK Go and the Muppets

posted by Nell Minow

The tribute album, Muppets: The Green Album, will be out next week!

30 Years of The Best MTV Videos

posted by Nell Minow

Time Magazine has a great list of the best music videos in the first three decades of MTV.  It’s hard to believe now that MTV’s arrival was controversial because some people thought it would take away from the purity of […]

Yankee Doodle Dandy

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 4th of July!

posted by Nell Minow

May our celebrations this day remind us to treasure our freedoms, instill gratitude for those who fought for, fight for, and protect them, and inspire us to work for freedom for everyone.  

You’re a Grand Old Flag

posted by Nell Minow

Fireworks

posted by Nell Minow

Katy Perry’s Fireworks for the 4th of July!  

Smile of the Week: Michael Jackson Tribute from 14-Year Old Trevor Jackson

posted by Nell Minow

Smile of the Week: June is Busting Out All Over

posted by Nell Minow

From “Carousel” by Rodgers and Hammerstein — Happy June!  

Taps

posted by Nell Minow

Our deepest gratitude for the honor and sacrifice of all who have served our country.

Veggie Tales Live! Sing Yourself Silly

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:May 23, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: May 23, 2011

I love the silly songs from Bob and Larry and the Veggie Tales gang! The first-ever live show DVD from Big Idea entertainment is this delightful collection of the silliest silly songs ever sung, including my two favorites, “The Hairbrush […]

10,000 Historic Recordings — Free Online

posted by Nell Minow

The Library of Congress has a new online “jukebox” with more than 10,000 historic recordings made before 1925.  “Much of it hasn’t been widely available since World War I,” notes the Washington Post.  “Call it America’s iTunes.”  The Library hopes […]

Mao’s Last Dancer

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language, and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date:August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 3, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language, and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date: August 20, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011

Director Bruce Beresford, best known for “Driving Miss Daisy,” returns to the themes of cross-cultural connections in this film based on the memoir of Chinese ballet star Li Cunxin. Li (Chinese surnames appear first) was taken from his poor, rural […]

Glee 3D Concert Film Coming This Summer!

posted by Nell Minow

The cast of “Glee” is going on the road with a concert tour, and Fox has announced that a 3D film of the tour will be in movie theaters late this summer.  Cast members Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn), […]

What Can We Learn from #1 Songs?

posted by Nell Minow

Jessie Rifkin listened to every number one song in the history of the pop charts, from Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” up through this week’s “ET” by Katy Perry and wrote about it for the Washington Post.  He notes that […]

Enough Already with ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’

posted by Nell Minow

Indiewire has a very funny piece about the popularity — the near-ubiquity — of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” in movies and trailers.  Before I go any further, let’s listen to it and see if it […]

Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ — So Bad It’s….A Hit!

posted by Nell Minow

Would-be tween pop star Rebecca Black is having a good news/bad news situation. The good news: her song “Friday” is one of the internet’s most widely distributed and watched videos. She has become an instant celebrity. The bad news: that’s […]

Don’t Play With Bruno; Bruno is a Dweeb

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to find this great version of one of my favorite Tom Chapin songs, performed by Steve Charney — very timely with the increased sensitivity to issues of bullying and mean behavior in schools, and a great way […]

PS 22 Goes to the Oscars!

posted by Nell Minow

I am so happy that the wonderful chorus of PS 22 will be performing on tomorrow night’s Oscars! Here you can see them get the news.

More Justin Bieber — For a Limited Time Only!

posted by Nell Minow

Have you seen Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” 3D concert film? Would you like to see more? Just three weeks after its release, Paramount is sending out a revised “fans” version so all the Be-liebers out there can see even […]

Ella Jenkins: Life of Song

posted by Nell Minow

Life of Song is the latest CD from kid favorite Ella Jenkins, featuring classics like “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Ms. Jenkins was the first performer who understood […]

‘True Grit’s’ ‘Everlasting Arms’

posted by Nell Minow

I was pleased to see Beliefnet blogger Mark Roberts write about the use of the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” in its evocative soundtrack. Ironically, according to Ethan Coen, they knew “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” from another movie, […]

Duet that Inspired Glee

posted by Nell Minow

The repeat of the duets episode of Glee reminded me of how much I enjoyed Kurt and Rachel singing “Happy Days are Here Again” and “Get Happy.” I wonder how many viewers know that it was inspired by the classic […]

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

posted by Nell Minow

The Concert

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date:August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 27, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content
Movie Release Date: August 6, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 27, 2010

A Russian conductor, demoted to symphony hall janitor, intercepts an invitation to perform in Paris and decides that he will accept. Andreï Filipov (Aleksei Guskov) was once a celebrated conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra. But during the antisemitism of the […]

Hark the Herald Angels Sing — Take Six

posted by Nell Minow

12 Days of Christmas — Straight No Chaser

posted by Nell Minow

Joy to the World

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful BeBe and CeCe Winans sing “Joy to the World.”

The Celtic Women Sing Carol of the Bells

posted by Nell Minow

Merry Christmas!

posted by Nell Minow

Here is one of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by the King’s Chapel Boys Choir.

Hardrock, Cocoa, and Joe and Suzy Snowflake

posted by Nell Minow

If you are of a certain age and grew up in Chicago, these will bring back a lot of memories, back from the days when children’s programming was local. I am always delighted when WGN runs it on Christmas for […]

O Come All Ye Faithful — Andrea Bocelli

posted by Nell Minow

The Christmas Song from Mel Torme and Judy Garland

posted by Nell Minow

O Holy Night by Josh Groban

posted by Nell Minow

The Sing-Off — Finals!

posted by Nell Minow

I hope you’ve been keeping up with “The Sing-Off” — it is simply enthralling television. I just hate to think that they can’t all be winners! If you’ve been watching, be sure to check out the blog from judge Ben […]

Free on Amazon: Timeless Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Amazon is making free for download this collection of Christmas music, including Neil Sedaka, Michael McDonald, and the Irish Tenors. Enjoy!

Happy Hannukah from the Maccabeats

posted by Nell Minow

Fantasia

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010

Disney’s glorious “Fantasia” and its sequel, “Fantasia 2000″ are out for a limited time in a spectacular 4-DVD blu-ray package. Considered a failure on its original release, “Fantasia’s” eight-part combination of images and music is now indisputably a classic. Musicologist […]

Adam Sandler’s Hannukah Song

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah to Jews All Over the World

posted by Nell Minow

The Peter Yarrow Sing-Along Special

posted by Nell Minow

Yes, it sounds a little bit like “A Mighty Wind,” but this is the real deal, a PBS concert sing-along with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary, joined by Noel Paul Stookey, Keb’ Mo’, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Billy Jonas, […]

John Sebastian and Folk Rewind

posted by Nell Minow

John Sebastian of The Lovin’ Spoonful (“Do You Believe In Magic”) hosts the latest installment of the popular “My Music” series features a treasure trove of historical footage not seen in over four decades, plus exciting new concert performances. Sebastian […]

We Gather Together — Happy Thanksgiving!

posted by Nell Minow

I am so very thankful to all of you who make it a joy to share our thoughts on movies and more. I wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

‘Modern Family’ Flash Mob

posted by Nell Minow

I loved this flash mob dance to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” on “Modern Family!” And here’s the original video with the fabulous funky divas, En Vogue:

Gwyneth Sings!

posted by Nell Minow

If you enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow’s sensational appearance on “Glee” last night as the coolest substitute teacher ever, rockin’ not just a (sanitized) version of what the Cee-Lo song they call “Forget You” (fortunately, the lyric “If I’d a been richa, […]

Happy Halloween!

posted by Nell Minow

From The Nightmare Before Christmas. Happy trick or treating!

Quiz: Mr. Blue Sky

posted by Nell Minow

I would never have guessed that the delightful ELO song “Mr. Blue Sky” would be used in so many different movies. While you enjoy this video with ELO performing “Mr. Blue Sky” and look forward to seeing it in the […]

Bruno Mars: Just the Way You Are

posted by Nell Minow

I love this charmingly romantic video from Bruno Mars.

Justin Bieber — Comic Book Hero

posted by Nell Minow

Internet sensation. Recording superstar. Twitter’s top trending topic. Hair icon. Teen idol. And now, Justin Bieber becomes a comic book hero. Bluewater Productions has put Bieber’s life story from public housing to superstardom in the latest from its popular Fame […]

Tribute to Two Gospel Greats: Albertina Walker and ‘King’ Solomon Burke

posted by Nell Minow

The gospel world and everyone who loves music that lifts the spirit had a double loss this week with the passing of the magnificent Albertina Walker and “King” Solomon Burke. They will be deeply missed. But their glorious recordings will […]

Yoko’s 70th Birthday Greeting for John Lennon

posted by Nell Minow

We miss you, John.

Perry Como Sings the Yom Kippur Hymn Kol Nidre

posted by Nell Minow

Eid Mub?rak!

posted by Nell Minow

Barbra Sings a Rosh Hashanah Hymn

posted by Nell Minow

Barbra Streisand sings the traditional Rosh Hashanah song, Avinu Malkeinu – Our Father Our King. L’Shana Tova! A sweet new year to all.

Camp Rock 2

posted by Nell Minow

The Jonas Brothers are back with a sequel to their popular “Camp Rock.” Returning to jam with the JoBros are Demi Lovato and “Step Up 3D” star Alyson Stoner. Will there be romance? Will there be music? Will there be […]

‘Soul Bigger’ — A Rosh Hashanah Take on Kanye

posted by Nell Minow

Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” is re-fitted as an adorable salute to the soul-enlarging spiritual renewal of the Jewish New Year, to be celebrated on the evening of Sept 8 this year. Thanks to Slate’s Brow Beat for bringing it to […]

Smile of the Week: In My Room

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to my friend Desson Thomson for recommending this touching version of the Beach Boys classic, sung by Vance Perry with his three sons.

Smile of the Week: Dancing in the Rain

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Slate’s Procrastinate Better blog for this lovely clip:

Smile of the Week: Esperanza Spaulding is ‘Overjoyed’

posted by Nell Minow

The glorious Esperanza Spaulding sings “Overjoyed” at the White House tribute to Stevie Wonder. Heaven. And here it is sung by Stevie himself. This is one of my favorite songs, ever.

Hanson is Back — The Summer Song of 2010

posted by Nell Minow

This irresistible summer confection from Hanson (yes, the MMMBop kids are grown up and married with kids of their own) is inspired by a scene from “The Blues Brothers.” Just for fun, take another look at Hanson, circa 1997. I […]

Minnesota Girls — Take That, Katy Perry!

posted by Nell Minow

An adorable response to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.”

Happy 4th of July!

posted by Nell Minow

While You Wait for ‘Glee’s’ Second Season: Try ‘The Choir’

posted by Nell Minow

Gareth Malone is a choir director who brings music to people who never thought they could be a part of something so purely glorious. This award-winning series comes to American television on July 7. Guaranteed to produce laughter, goosebumps, and […]

Smile of the Week: PS 22 Sings ‘Viva La Vida’

posted by Nell Minow

A gifted teacher named Gregg Breinberg has made an elementary school chorus from Public School 22 in Graniteville, Staten Island (New York) into an international sensation. Here they sing the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida,” and their sweet voices and […]

Happy Birthday Stan Laurel!

posted by Nell Minow

Smile of the Week: Muppet Joy!

posted by Nell Minow

The Evolution of Movie Soundtracks

posted by Nell Minow

The New Yorker has a fine article by music critic Alex Ross about soundtrack composer Michael Giacchino, who won an Oscar for his lilting but wistful score for “Up” and who also writes the evocative music for the television series, […]

The Origins of Hava Nagilah

posted by Nell Minow

Many of us have danced to Hava Nagilah. But how many of us know where it comes from? Here is a charming excerpt from a forthcoming documentary (featuring the co-creator of “Friends,” Harry Belafonte, and Leonard Nimoy!) that has the […]

Tribute: Lena Horne

posted by Nell Minow

Lena Horne, who graced our planet with her exquisite beauty, smoky sensuality, and stunning musicality, died yesterday at age 92. Ms. Horne was the first African-American to sign a major studio contract, in the 1940’s. It specifically provided that she […]

Lady GaGa Inspires the Troops and NPR

posted by Nell Minow

Our troops take a well-deserved break to create a salute to Lady GaGa and her video for “Telephone.” And NPR takes a moment to salute them both. I love the way both videos have such whole-hearted enthusiasm and good humor. […]

MVP of the Week: ‘Don’t Stop Believin”

posted by Nell Minow

The MVP for this week is not a person but a song. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” was first released in 1981. But it’s back in a big way and has been featured in movies and on television shows. It was […]

Smile of the Week: Tap Dancing!

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to my friend Bob Elisberg for recommending this sublime video!

Vogue — Glee Style

posted by Nell Minow

A preview of next week’s all-Madonna episode of “Glee” — with Sue Sylvester starring in “Vogue!” One thing I especially love about this show is is agnosticism about music — it makes no distinction between classic rock (“Somebody to Love”), […]

The Runaways — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

“Twilight‘s” Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in the upcoming film about the pioneering all-girl rock group The Runaways. Before it opens on April 9, it might be fun to take a look at […]

Socalled: A Documentary about a Klezmer/Hip-Hop/Cowboy/Video-Artist

posted by Nell Minow

Socalled is a documentary with 18 short films about klezmer hip-hop music and video Montreal-based artist Josh “Socalled” Dolgin, featuring Katie Moore, Fred Wesley, C-Rayz Walz, David Krakauer, Matt Haimovitz, Arkady Gendler, Benjamin Steiger Levine, D-Shade, Gonzales and lounge legend […]

Smile of the Week — Video from Ocoee Middle School

posted by Nell Minow

This joyous salute to books and reading is guaranteed to cheer your day. Bravo to the teachers, the administration, the librarians, and most of all the kids at the Ocoee Middle School. Keep reading! Thanks to the wonderful Jennifer Farrington […]

We Are the World: Haiti

posted by Nell Minow

To donate: We are the World Behind the scenes:

Interview: Bruce Faulk of ‘Soul of the Church’

posted by Nell Minow

I was able to speak to the man behind the Black History Collection: Soul of the Church DVD, Bruce Faulk, who assembled a treasure trove of gospel performances into this stirring and inspirational collection. It even includes some of the […]

Soul of the Church

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:January 19, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010

This is a genuine treasure. Black History Collection: Soul of the Church is a collection of vintage broadcasts of gospel superstars of the 1960’s, taken from a Sunday morning television show called TV Gospel Time and not seen for decades. […]

Tribute: Teddy Pendergrass

posted by Nell Minow

Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass died of cancer on Wednesday. His music and his courage and dedication will continue to inspire us all.

Happy Birthday Elvis!

posted by Nell Minow

Mash-up: Top Songs of 2009

posted by Nell Minow

DJ Earworm’s tribute to the to 25 Billboard songs of the year — how many do you recognize?

Farewell to the Music Greats of 2009

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times has a superb video tribute to the music greats we lost in 2009, from Michael Jackson to Koko Taylor, Mary Travers, and Sky Saxon, all in under five minutes. Well worth a look.

Joy to the World — Manheim Steamroller

posted by Nell Minow

O Holy Night (Celtic Women)

posted by Nell Minow

Chloe Agnew and the Celtic Women perform “O Holy Night.”

Must be Santa from Bob Dylan

posted by Nell Minow

Yes, that Bob Dylan — it’s on his new Christmas In the Heart.

T’was the Night Before Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Christmas With the King Family DVD

posted by Nell Minow

Just to show I am not really Grinch-y about Christmas specials, I’m very happy that Christmas with the King Family is out on DVD. Those of us who grew up with the King Family in the 1960’s remember their cheery […]

Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews

posted by Nell Minow

A wonderful clip from one of the greatest concert specials in television history:

Glee: We All Need Somebody to Lean On

posted by Nell Minow

I love “Glee” and I especially love this great number, a wonderful choice for a week of thanks and family.

More About the AMA Performances

posted by Nell Minow

Some commenters have criticized my post about Adam Lambert’s performance at the American Music Awards because they say I should not have singled him out. There were other provocative and even outrageous musical numbers in the show. That’s a fair […]

Maurice Sendak on DVD

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2008

If you saw Where the Wild Things Are this week and loved it — or if your children are too young for it but want to enjoy Sendak on film, try the Sendak collection from my favorite Scholastic Storybook series. […]

Interview: Tiffany Thornton

posted by Nell Minow

Disney star Tiffany Thornton sings the classic “Some Day My Prince Will Come” on the spectacular new release of Disney’s very first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is a two=DVD set with both Blu-Ray and regular […]

Neil Diamond Sings Kol Nidrei

posted by Nell Minow

From the film “The Jazz Singer,” the third version of the story previously made with Al Jolson and Danny Thomas. Neil Diamond sings the beautiful prayer heard each year on the Day of Atonement. And yes, that is Laurence Olivier […]

It Might Get Loud

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, brief language and smoking
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, brief language and smoking
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2009

It goes to 11. Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) has made a documentary featuring three generations of guitar gods: Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2), and Jack White (The White Stripes). But it is not about the musicians. It […]

Danyl Johnson Gets By With a Little Help From His Friends

posted by Nell Minow

Please watch this X Factor clip of Danyl Johnson singing “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends” in what the notoriously critical Simon Cowell calls the best first audition he has seen since the show began. Johnson, […]

Miles Davis at the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I love this Slate article by Kim Gittleson on the best and worst uses of the classic jazz album, Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis, in film and television. The list includes an action film with real-life jazz-lover Clint Eastwood […]

Woodstock

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date:1970
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug content, nudity and language
Movie Release Date: 1970
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009

Forty years ago, it seemed for one brief moment as though a disastrous, mud-soaked music festival that attracted so many people it had a larger population than all but one city in the state could be the beginning of a […]

Interview: Milkshake’s Lisa Matthews

posted by Nell Minow

Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl once wrote songs for grown-ups as the indie rock group Love Riot. But now, as Milkshake, they write lively and singable songs for children. I spoke to Lisa about the similarities and differences of […]

Mary J. Blige sings ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s Mary J. Blige singing the title song from Tyler Perry’s upcoming movie, starring Taraji P. Henson and featuring Blige and Gladys Knight.

Tripod: Funniest Music Video Ever

posted by Nell Minow

As I take off for Comic-Con, I want to share my all-time favorite comedy video short. Enjoy!

Write a Theme Song for Mindy!

posted by Nell Minow

The Absolutely Mindy Show on Sirius/XM’s Kids Place Live is in big time need of an official theme song and is inviting everyone to write one for her. Send in your submission of between 30-60 seconds on a CD by […]

Recess Monkey: Great Music for Kids and Their Families

posted by Nell Minow

Seattle-based teachers-turned-music group Recess Monkey came to Washington DC to play at XM Radio and Jammin’ Java this week and I was lucky enough to see them perform before a wildly enthusiastic crowd of very excited kids and very happy […]

Adorable Music Video from Sour

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to my pal Brandon Fibbs for sharing this adorable video from the Japanese pop group Sour. This was filmed entirely with webcams and the participants are Sour fans from around the world. Think of it as a high-tech […]

Moon River — Audrey Hepburn

posted by Nell Minow

Another “moon” movie moment — Audrey Hepburn sings “Moon River” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Regina Spektor is Having a Moment

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled that songs from one of my favorite performers, Regina Spektor are featured in two of this summer’s biggest movies. “Better” appears in “My Sister’s Keeper” and “Us” is in the trailer and on the soundtrack for “500 […]

Disney Karaoke Series: Disney Channel Vol 1

posted by Nell Minow

The latest in Disney’s popular karaoke series is Disney Channel, Vol. 1, with sixteen tracks, half with vocals and half without, so you can provide your own singing. Selections include songs from “High School Musicals” 1, 2, and 3, “Hannah […]

PS 22 Sings

posted by Nell Minow

In the documentary Young @ Heart, we saw how elderly people singing rock songs gave the music a resonance and power that even its platinum-record-selling originators could not have imagined. And now we see the way that children led their […]

Taps

posted by Nell Minow

Our deepest gratitude for the honor and sacrifice of all who have served our country.

The Hip Hop Project

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to watch the amazing documentary The Hip Hop Project tonight and see the extraordinary work by Chris “Kazi” Rolle in encouraging young people to tell their stories. He gives kids who feel invisible a chance to own their […]

‘Why is it W?’ by the Baby Grands

posted by Nell Minow

The Baby Grands make music for children and their families. The songs are singable and lots of fun. Now they are giving families a chance to make their kids and dogs part of a montage in a new video for […]

Jonas Brothers 3D

posted by Nell Minow

No review because they didn’t show it to critics, but here’s a shot from the new Jonas Brothers concert film.

Girls Rock!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 27, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009

As Jack Black explains in School of Rock, rock music is about sticking it to The Man. That takes on a wider meaning when the sticking is coming from young girls. In this documentary about a music camp in Portland, […]

The Sources of ‘Put a Ring on It’

posted by Nell Minow

The Steady Diet of Film blog has a brilliant analysis of the sources for Beyoncé’s hit video, “Put a Ring on It.” It is not just wise and witty, it is an entertaining glimpse into the combination of mash-ups, wikis, […]

Carol of the Bells — Soul Children of Chicago

posted by Nell Minow

Merry Christmas!

‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ — from ‘Love Actually’

posted by Nell Minow

Olivia Olson sings Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” in this clip from “Love Actually.” And here is Mariah’s version:

Oh Holy Night — Josh Groban

posted by Nell Minow

A Very Beatles Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

The Beatles used to send out special Christmas greetings to their fan club members: And they released “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” in 1968: Former Beatles Paul McCartney and John Lennon each created Christmas songs that have become seasonal favorites.

Adam Sandler’s Hannukah Song

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Hannukah!

B.J. Thomas Live

posted by Nell Minow

We saw B.J. Thomas perform at the Birchmere tonight. His voice is marvel, wonderfully clear and supple. He sang all the hits, “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Rock and Roll Lullabye,” “Eyes of a New York Woman,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Somebody […]

BDK interviews Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer

posted by Nell Minow

Kevin McCarthy reviews films as “BDK” and hosts a weekly radio broadcast. Check out his interview of Hans Zimmer, whose score is one of the defining elements of the year’s biggest movie, The Dark Knight. Zimmer’s discussion of the development […]

Comic-Con 2008

posted by Nell Minow

I’m getting ready for one of my favorite events of the year, Comic-Con in San Diego. It began in 1970 with a few dozen comic collectors swapping comics and stories. This year, all 125,000 passes were sold out long before […]

ABBA on video (with a surprise guest appearance)

posted by Nell Minow

“Mamma Mia” is a good reason (as if we need one) to revisit some ABBA classics featured in the movie: Take a Chance on Me Gimme Gimme Gimme Money Money Money All of ABBA’s promotional clips like these were directed […]

Country Sings Disney

posted by Nell Minow

Some of country’s brightest stars sing some of Disney’s most hummable tunes on this new release. It’s a pleasure to hear soundtrack hits like Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway,” from “Cars” and Tim McGraw’s “Wherever the Trail May Lead” […]

Previous Posts

Movie Scenes in Grocery Stores -- Featuring Macaulay Culkin, Michael Keaton, Natalie Portman, Steve Martin, Ryan Gosling, and More
Check out Slate's compilation of movie scenes set in grocery stores.  It has a lot of my favorites, but leaves out this classic with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, from the fact-based "Yours, Mine, and ...

posted 8:00:01am Apr. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest 2015, Part 2
It was a great honor to be included on today's panel of movie critics, along with superstars Godfrey Cheshire, Scott Foundas, Matt Zoller Seitz, Rebecca Theodore Vachon, Richard Roeper, Susan Wloszczyna, Michael Phillips, Brian Tallarico, and ...

posted 8:36:52pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

GI Film Festival -- Coming to DC May 19-24
I was very lucky to be able to attend a preview of the upcoming 9th annual GI Film Festival, coming to Washington, D.C. and Fairfax, Virginia May 19-24, 2015.  Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millett started the festival, the first ever devoted ...

posted 3:40:40pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer -- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngElkyQ6Rhs[/youtube] ...

posted 8:11:36am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Mad Men Fan Cuts
As "Mad Men" is coming to a close, the fans who have found its depth and insights enthralling are creating their own versions of their favorite scenes, and you can watch them online.  Take a look and post your own! [iframe width="560" ...

posted 8:00:05am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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