Talk about a win-win — take a look at Prizeo, where celebrities offer chances to win once-in-a-lifetime, dream-come-true prizes to people who support their charitable causes. Sir Paul McCartney, Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Jeff Gordon, One Direction, Lady Antebellum, Hunter […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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. […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
Hannukah is coming early this year! Get the family ready to celebrate with the first DVD from Mama Doni, with a warm and tuneful introduction to Hannukah, Passover, and Shabbat. Mama Doni sings and dances through the holidays, including a bluegrass […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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.
This year’s Kennedy Center honors have been announced: Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, blues musician Buddy Guy, dancer Natalia Makarova and the rock band Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin is being honored as a band, but keyboardist-bassist John Paul Jones, guitarist Jimmy […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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), […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Five-time Oscar-winning composer John Barry has died at age 77. His music includes “Born Free,” and scores for several James Bond films, with perhaps “Goldfinger” the best-remembered. He could evoke a sensual, jazzy contemporary setting, romantic classicism, an intimate romance […]
Here is one of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by the King’s Chapel Boys Choir.
“Will I be able to understand it if I never saw the first two ‘Step Up’ movies?” asked a friend. Uh, you’ll be able to understand it if you have never seen a single movie and don’t speak English. All […]
Amazon is making free for download this collection of Christmas music, including Neil Sedaka, Michael McDonald, and the Irish Tenors. Enjoy!
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 […]
Barbra Streisand sings the traditional Rosh Hashanah song, Avinu Malkeinu – Our Father Our King. L’Shana Tova! A sweet new year to all.
Emma Stone’s breakthrough role in next week’s “Easy A” makes this a good time to look at some of her earlier work. She is terrific in this story of a high school rock group. Pete Best, who was famously kicked […]
Ranker has a great list of the most over-used songs in movie trailers. I’d add “Bad to the Bone” and “Carmina Burana.” If you ever get stuck trying to identify a naggingly familiar song in a movie trailer, check Soundtrack.net, […]
Thanks to my friend Desson Thomson for recommending this touching version of the Beach Boys classic, sung by Vance Perry with his three sons.
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.
This week in San Diego it’s all about the geeks and the fanboys. There will be Klingons and superheroes. There will be people who know far more about Futurama, Groo, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and The Justice League of America […]
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 […]
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 […]
Children should be exposed to music as early and as often as possible and there is nothing wrong with pregnant women doing the best they can to surround themselves with soothing and beautiful sounds for their own benefit and the […]
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 […]
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. […]
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“Where do you draw the line between influence and appropriation?” “When is it admiration and when is it mockery?” Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity is a thought-provoking film by documentarian Robert Clift is a sympathetic look at […]
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 […]
DJ Earworm’s tribute to the to 25 Billboard songs of the year — how many do you recognize?
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.
Yes, that Bob Dylan — it’s on his new Christmas In the Heart.
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission issued its seventh report in ten years on the marketing of violent media to children. While the movie industry is doing better at preventing children who are underage from buying tickets to R-rated films […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
As I take off for Comic-Con, I want to share my all-time favorite comedy video short. Enjoy!
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
As I was watching Year One, I thought about why the Michael Cera/Jack Black teaming does not work very well. They are both very funny guys, and they have that yin/yang element that propels most comedy teams, with one expansive […]
Steve Lopez thought maybe he would get a column out of the homeless man who was playing a violin with only two strings. He did get a column, and then more, and then a book, a friend, a lot of […]
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 […]
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.
In the words of Etta James, at last. At last, albeit imperfectly, the extraordinary story of the rise and fall of Chess Records has been given the loving attention it deserves. Magnificent performances and soul-shaking music make up for some […]
There is no question that Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) are destined for True Love. For one thing, they have the same taste in music. Nick is still making mixes for the girl who dumped him (Alexis Dziena […]
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 […]
A delicious retro romp about a failed nanny who finds her true calling when she transforms the life of a flighty singer, this film is designed around two fabulously entertaining stars, Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. McDormand is Miss Pettigrew, […]
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” […]
Those who are willing to open their hearts to this urban fairy tale will find its pleasures, as long as they they don’t think about it too hard.
“The Band’s Visit” is a bittersweet story about isolation and connections. Israeli writer-director Eran Kolirin talked to me about the movie, his first feature film, which follows an Egyptian police band on their way to perform at an Arab cultural […]
Writer-director-editor-actor John Sayles has made some of the most consistently literate, subtle, and engaging films of the last three decades, including The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Casa de los Babys, Passion Fish, and Eight Men Out. I spoke […]
It’s official. The cutest thing on the planet is penguins singing “Boogie Wonderland.” Especially if one of them is tap-dancing. This movie is a straight shot of sunshine. I defy anyone to watch it without smiling. Just as important, I […]
This theatrical production of the real-life story of deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie is a real treasure for family viewing. As with the other productions from Globalstage, it may take some kids a while to get used to the more impressionistic […]