Friday, December 19, 2014

SO BABY PLEEAAAAASE:  This adorable video of a bunch of people waiting for the Tube singing Erasure's "Respect" led to TPE wondering: what songs would inspire that kind of mass singing at an American subway stop?

[I think we're looking for the Venn diagram of "well-known," "not too wordy," and "has some interesting harmonies or high notes that people will want to attempt," I think.]

A few early suggestions:

  • "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"
  • "Lean On Me"
  • "I Want It That Way"
  • Most of the Grease soundtrack, but especially "You're the One That I Want"
  • "Take On Me"
DON'T KNOW WHERE, DON'T KNOW WHEN:  Vox has gif'd all the cameos in Stephen Colbert's last big musical number. Below the fold, my friend Anthony Wright catalogs a fuller list of names:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NO, "WATCHING THE BOTTLES GATHER RAIN" IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE BILLING ENTRY:  Former Blind Melon guitarist Rogers Stevens is now a labor associate at a law firm in Philly.
NOW PLAYING IN THE LOUNGE TONIGHT (AND EVERY NIGHT)--BUCKNER & GARCIA: Level 257, a Pac-Man-themed restaurant, will be opening in Schaumburg, Ill., early next year. Hopefully the menu will consist of more than just cherries, strawberries, and peaches.
LET ME BE YOUR STAAAAAR!  NBC can cancel Smash, but they can't stop fictional musical Bombshell from making it to Broadway as a one-night only concert event.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CHRISTOPHER LEE?  A redditor asks: "A war has broken out between actors. Each actor has an army composed of every character that they have ever portrayed. Whose army would win?"

["Cartoons and when the actors voice was used will count (i.e. Liam Neeson has Aslan). Also each character has any equipment they need to be effective. (Jedi have lightsabers, Han Solo has the Falcon, etc. etc.)"]

Related: the every-president knife fight.
WRONG MOVE, YOU'RE DEAD:  Grantland goes deep with a boy band approval matrix and comprehensive history and q&a. Much discussion of Another Bad Creation, 'N Sync, 98 Degrees, Dru Hill, and others:
Bell Biv DeVoe is, as a case study, the most interesting boy band that’s ever been. The group was made up of holdovers from New Edition, and that’s not crazy, but none of the three were ever really the star in N.E. (it was always either Ralph or Bobby or, later, Johnny), and that’s definitely crazy. I’m saying, “Poison” is the greatest song by any boy band ever. When has that ever happened in history? When has a team lost its three best individual players and then gone on to even greater success? Bell Biv DeVoe is like if LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh all left Miami, then Mario Chalmers, Birdman, and Udonis Haslem rattled off four or five rings in a row.
 Turk Dance is included.
ABE POLLIN WAS THE FIRST, RIGHT?  J.K. Rowling has confirmed that the existence of at least one Jewish Wizard, Ravenclaw's Anthony Goldstein.
ACA-WHO?  ACA-YOU! Our special "making music with the mouth" correspondent Saray returns with an advance look at The Sing-Off, which makes its return tonight:

Our long national nightmare is over.  The Sing-Off returns to NBC tonight, one-night-only style, post-Michael Buble Christmas special, for vocal percussion and puns galore.  Our dapper doofus of a host, Nick Lachey, returns, along with judges Shawn Stockman and Jewel.  Replacing Ben Folds (unavailable for the taping this year, SIGH) is Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy.  Since one of his group's songs was one of the most-covered collegiate a cappella songs last year (My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark), this maybe makes some sense?

For those of you who are new to ALOTT5MA, in my spare time from intellectual property law, I produce the Finals of both the ICCA and the ICHSA, and I'm a reviewer for RARB, the Recorded A Cappella Review Board.  I'm here to give you a short preview of the groups you'll see on this year's Sing-Off this Wednesday night!

Here are your competitors this year: a.squared, The Exchange, San Fran6, Timothy's Gift, Traces, and the Vanderbilt Melodores.  Notably, two of these groups are all-female.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SOCKS?!  EIGHT PAIR. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!  Twenty-five years ago tonight, Hanukkah Harry saved Christmas.
"LUKE, THAT'S NOT QUITE MY TEMPO!" OR "YEAH, MR. YODA!  YEAH, THE FORCE!"  Jason Reitman is directing a live-read of the Empire Strikes Back script, with Aaron Paul as Luke and J.K. Simmons as Vader.
SOMETHING WHOLLY PREDICTABLE, AND IN THE END THAT'S WRONG: The Non-Country Popular Music of the 1950s and Beyond Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct six performers in 2015: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and Bill Withers.  Ringo Starr will be admitted through the former "side men" side door, and 1950s R&B vocal group The "5'' Royales are added as "early influencers."

N.W.A., Chic, Nine Inch Nails, and other ALOTT5MA favorites on this year's ballot remain on the outside.

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE NATION IS SAD:  Will Leitch pens a tribute to Stephen Colbert, as his final week of The Colbert Report begins:
There is a gentleness to Colbert, the real one, the quiet South Carolina native who still teaches Sunday school and regularly quotes scripture, that is more unique in television than his wit or even his improv talent. Colbert is seen by those who don’t understand him solely as a cutting satirist, and sometimes he is, but that misses much of the point: Colbert, at his core, is a kind humanist. Watch his contribution to the It Gets Better campaign. Don’t tell me you don’t see some Mister Rogers in there. 
WHAT DO YOU GET A WOOKIEE FOR CHRISTMAS?  The Star Wars Holiday Special is not that franchise's only contribution to this season--don't forget about the Star Wars Christmas Album, which featured songs from Tony winner Maury Yeston and the debut of Jon Bon Jovi!
I MADE YOU OUT OF CLAY!  Slate suggests how to "fix" Dreidel.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

THE ONLY TRUE CURRENCY IN THIS BANKRUPT WORLD IS WHAT WE SHARE WITH SOMEONE ELSE WHEN WE'RE UNCOOL:  Moving, thoughtful TCM tribute to the Hollywood names who passed away in 2014. (HT: Finn.)