Category: Listen to this!

HOOKED ON THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING

Published May 8, 2011

After recently watching David Fincher’s brilliant film of The Social Network, I was surprised to have Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King stuck in my head for a couple of days – a faux techno version of the song played over the Winklevoss rowing scene.  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won Best Score Oscars for their unique efforts here.

I had, of course, heard this classical bit of music many times before, but I could not remember where specifically.  So … hopping on Google, I looked up Grieg in Popular Culture.  And was shocked to see just how many different takes there have been on this Nordic nocturne – from films and cartoons, to rock covers and video games.

For no other reason save I need to get this song OUT of my head before I go mad, I am posting a few diverse examples below.

Enjoy – and good luck getting it out of YOUR head.

MIDLER AND MANILOW – ON A SLOW BOAT TO CHINA

Published May 3, 2011

Yeah, I like Bette Midler.  When it comes to sheer cabaret showmanship, nobody does it better.  If you’ve been to this site before, you may have seen an article entitled Bette Midler Bids Johnny Carson Adieu, where I posted a couple of videos of Bette serenading the Late Night King on his final show.

I’ve got another one here … that I am putting up for no other reason save for the fact that it makes me smile.

Bette – and her former piano player, Barry Manilow – together again, on a Today Show appearance in 2003, likely plugging Bette’s tribute album to Rosemary Clooney.  The best song on that album is their take on the Frank Loesser classic On a Slow Boat to China.  They both go off key a bit during this performance but, the song is so damn happy and snappy, who cares?

Give a listen.

THE MUPPETS SING BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Published November 26, 2009

Just when you thought those crazy Muppets were all but passé in this brave new millennium — merely a very fond memory from decades past — leave it to the internet to breathe new life into old felt.

Posted on the MuppetsStudio YouTube page, and passed around FaceBook like a flu bug, the video below has done over a million hits a day (… wow, this internet thing might really take off). Performing Queen’s legendary Bohemian Rhapsody, and doing a pretty good job of aping the original video, ladies and germs, I give you … The Muppets.

Prepare to smile.

JULIE ANDREWS AND TRAIN STATION MAGIC

Published September 7, 2009

You know those viral videos that your mom sends you? The ones meant to give you a smile or a laugh — most of which are cute but disposable. Well, here’s one that is possibly the greatest cheer-you-up-from-the-doldrums video I’ve ever seen. It did, in fact, put tears in my eyes. According to YouTube, this thing has already gotten more than 10,000,000 views, so perhaps you’ve seen it, but it was new to me. I’m reproducing the text as it was sent:

This video was made in the Antwerp, Belgium Central (Train) Station on March 23rd 2009. With no warning to the passengers passing through the station, at 08:00 a.m. a recording of Julie Andrews singing Do, Re, Mi begins to play on the public address system. As the bemused passengers watch in amazement, some 200 dancers appear from the crowd and station entrances. They created this amazing stunt with just two rehearsals! Enjoy all who see this!



According to the info at the YouTube source, this stunt was a promotion for a Belgian TV program seeking to cast an unknown for the role of Maria in a new production of The Sound of Music. I’m not sure what would happen if something similar was attempted in, say, Grand Central Station … Homeland Security would probably go ape shit. But I would surely love to see someone try. How cool to be on your way to work and see 200 people spontaneously break out into song and dance … just like in a musical. Truly inspiring.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

ALEXA RAY JOEL — BILLY’S GIRL GROWS UP

Published July 28, 2009

Billy Joel has been my favorite singer/songwriter for over three decades now. And while I could go on at length about this legendary Piano Man … I’m not here to talk about him. I want to talk about his daughter. I’ve known for years that the man sired a little girl with his one-time wife, and erstwhile Uptown Girl, Christie Brinkley. And that Alexa Ray Joel, in addition to being a dead ringer for her father, was interested in a music career. However … two things have shocked me of late.

1 — No young woman (she’s 23 now) who looks this much like her father (especially when that father is pug-faced Billy Joel) has any right to look this pretty. Unless, of course, her mother was a supermodel.
Alexa Ray Joel
2 — This girl can sing. I just stumbled on a YouTube video featuring Alexa singing a song called Scarlet Rose, which apparently had been used on an episode of the crime drama Cold Case. Whatever, this ballad blew me away. It sounds a lot like a torch song form the 60s, something that The Platters or The Chiffons or Etta James might have sung. Ironic, since the album that Billy Joel composed after falling in love with Christie Brinkley, 1983’s An Innocent Man, was also an homage to 60’s ballads. Have a listen.



More about Alexa can be found on her Official Site — the main page of which features another great song called For All My Days. You can also see more of her performances at her YouTube page. Alexa is touring the nation with her band right now, and if these songs are any indication, I see great things ahead.

Just for the hell of it, I thought I would include a video of Billy Joel singing Alexa’s favorite song — one that he wrote for her. And boy is it a tear-jerker. Enjoy.

PAUL McCARTNEY’S LEGENDARY LATE SHOW

Published July 25, 2009

Paul McCartney returned to The Ed Sullivan Theater last week (July 15th, 2009), the same stage where he and the other Beatles were introduced to America back on February 9th, 1964 (an estimated 73 million people were watching). David Letterman has been trying for years to get the iconic performer on his Late Show, and finally succeeded. Dave clearly knew what he had on his hands here, as he dedicated nearly the entire episode to Sir Paul. Paul did sing and play on the show, but rather than take the stage, he and his bandmates did a concert atop The Late Show’s marquee, reminiscent of The Beatles’ rooftop concert featured in the 1970 film Let It Be.
Sir Paul
Paul’s interview is both funny and informative, as he reminisces about everything from his first appearance 45 years earlier, to his lucrative-but-strained relationship with Michael Jackson. Fascinating stuff. But in addition to this very entertaining appearance, Paul (looking and sounding great at 67) also performed a mini-concert sound check for thousands of fans along Broadway, that was not aired on the show. During this performance, Paul performed Coming Up, Band on the Run, Let Me Roll It, Helter Skelter, and Back in the USSR. One viewing makes something obvious: this is history in the making.

PAUL’S FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE ED SULLIVAN THEATER
Beatles on Ed Sullivan
Missed the episode? That’s why I’m here. With a virtual treasure trove of clips, including that aforementioned (and un-aired) mini-concert in its entirety.

Bon appétit.

PRE-SHOW CONCERT – 23 minutes



PAUL McCARTNEY ON THE LATE SHOW 7/15/09
Despite Parts 2 & 3 seemingly being swapped, this is the proper order to watch.





MOLLY AND THE UKULELE

Published February 4, 2009

You never know what you’re gonna come across on You Tube. One could simply type gibberish, ^D#&*$k*(PJ@, and they would probably have a video for that. I have championed other obscure YouTubers before on this site — but with over 11,000 subscribers, this person hardly needs my help. I don’t even know much about her, except that …

Her name is Molly. She hails from Orange County. Her You Tube signature is sweetafton23. And she totally rocks on the ukulele.

Check her out — this is pretty sweet.


TOM CRUISE CRAZY by Jonathan Coulton
Hilarious and oddly touching.




ONLY YOU originally sung by The Platters




CRAZY originally sung by Patsy Cline