Famous songwriter helps education startup get off the ground

Mark-Radice-PerformsThree-time Emmy nominee and Sesame Street songwriter Mark Radice performs at the SoKnox Studios Grand Opening on April 8, 2014. Photo courtesy Cathy Vangieri.

Children’s Media Studio has debuted the release of their new Christmas album, Sing And Spell Christmas Sing-Along, presenting nine classic Christmas favorites and two new original songs, with featured arrangements by Mark Radice, the three-time Emmy-nominated composer who has written songs for Sesame Street, Elmo’s Christmas Countdown, The Jim Henson Hour and The Muppets at Walt Disney World. Children’s Media Studios released all of the music videos for viewing on their YouTube channel, with complimentary holiday coloring pages also offered on their website.

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Psy Dominates YouTube’s 10 Most Liked Videos EVAR!

Psy calims the throne in YouTube's 10 most liked videos of all time! (Photo: courtesy of zastavki.com)

Psy claims the throne in YouTube’s 10 most liked videos of all time! (Photo: courtesy of zastavki.com)

Over the years YouTube has become the place to find out how the world truly feels about celebrities, especially in the music genre. If you’ve ever spent more than 30 seconds on the site you know that fans and haters alike don’t exactly hold back with their opinions about the videos or, more often than not, each other. Still, this interaction and the ability to like or dislike the videos has made YouTube an undeniable measuring stick for pop-culture trends.

Now BuzzFeed has posted a video (of course) listing the “most liked” YouTube videos of all time in one compilation. This is certain to change over time, but for now here are the videos that people all over the world have voted as the best of the net.

I’ve always found it interesting how a video with an amazing amount of “likes” can also be one of the most hated videos on the internet. For example, Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” the sixth most liked video on YouTube is also, and possibly more impressively, the #3 most disliked video! Even better, Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” the fifth most liked YouTube video, is also the single most hated video on the internet with more than 4 million thumbs down votes. Congrats, Justin.

However, it’s the Korean phenomenon known as Psy who completely dominates the list with two top 5 entries. He took the #3 slot with his hit “Gentlemen,” the comedic anthem for a-holes earning more than 3 million likes. Vastly more impressive, however, is his 2012 breakout video “Gangnam Style,” which, thus far, has lead almost 8.5 million people to hit that little thumbs up icon. That’s a difference of more than 5.2 million people from its closest competitor, Ylvis’ “What Does The Fox Say!” Now get this; the same video has been viewed by more than 2 billion people worldwide! That’s billion. With a B! As in mind-Boggling! There is no disputing that Psy is the reigning king of YouTube.

Monty Python Performs Together For The Last Time

The legendary comedy troupe call it quits after an amazing 45-year run (Photo: courtesy of entertainmentfuse.com)

The legendary comedy troupe call it quits after an amazing 45-year run (Photo: courtesy of entertainmentfuse.com)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 45 years, you’re likely to have seen or heard at least a couple skits from the legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python. From the hit BBC TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus to full-length films such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Meaning of Lifethe iconic group has been creating laughter and “wtf” moments since 1969. Now, after nearly half a century of delighting fans with sketch comedy, movies, and absolutely ridiculous songs, the surviving cast members of Monty Python are calling it quits.

After a ten straight nights of farewell performances, the quintet (consisting of Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam) performed live together for the last time on Sunday night, July 20th. Properly and hilariously dubbed “Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five To Go” (referencing the fact that fellow founding member Graham Chapman passed away in 1989), the reunion/farewell show culminated with the cast leading the audience in a stirring rendition of their classic song “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” from their irreverent 1979 movie, Life of BrianFinally, the night ended as you might expect, with a standing ovation and raucous applause.

Monty Python is not only my favorite comedy troupe of all time, but one of the most influential. Without Monty Python’s Flying Circus I think it’s fair to say that other sketch comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live and In Living Color might never have existed.

I found the farewell show to be bitter-sweet, but apparently not so much as director/cast member Terry Gilliam. “I find it depressing that we’re getting back together again,” he stated cheekily in a recent interview with the London Evening Standard. “We worked so hard to get careers beyond it, to get to this stage, and now we’re being dragged back again.”

And for those who don’t quite get British humor, yes… he was joking (mostly). 🙂

Sad Irony: George Harrison Memorial Tree killed… by beetles.

A beautifully rendered tribute to George Harrison by Deviant Art member Legitturtle (Photo: courtesy of legitturtle.diviantart.com)

A beautifully rendered tribute to George Harrison by Deviant Art member Legitturtle (Photo: courtesy of legitturtle.diviantart.com)

In 2001, former Beatle George Harrison died at the all-too-early age of 58. A tree was planted at a Los Angeles memorial garden in 2004 in order to honor the memory of the iconic singer/songwriter. Unfortunately, barely ten years later, that peaceful and unobtrusive pine has met a sad, yet fitting end; it was killed off by an infestation of beetles.

Harrison, who lived out the last years of his life in the Los Angeles area before falling victim to lung cancer, was a noted follower of Buddhist and Hindu traditions, fueling his love for nature and gardening. The simple 10-foot-tall pine was a perfect tribute to the singer as it was largely unnoticeable and blended well with the rest of the garden’s foliage.

Known simply as The George Harrison Tree, the memorial includes a ground level plaque which reads, “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener.” It also includes a quote from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement, of which Harrison was a follower. It reads, “For the forest to be green, each tree must be green.”

Thankfully, the tree is due to be replaced soon. One pilgrim to the memorial wrote a beautifully worded review of the site on Yelp, which reads:

“On the day I was there, many tourists and visitors, in fact, walked right by it without noticing it at all. There is no signage that leads people to the tree, and the memorial plaque is near the ground and out-of-sight. Furthermore, I didn’t see any buskers or fans with guitars either playing ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ ‘Something,’ or ‘My Sweet Lord’ (or any of Harrison’s many other well known songs). Instead, with my own private thoughts and reflections, I enjoyed that pine tree in peace just as George, I’m sure, would have wanted it.”

Here Are The 2014 VMA Nominees! And, of course, Beyonce leads the pack.

Check out the list of nominees for this year's MTV Video Music Awards! (Photo: courtesy of college-of-music.com)

Check out the list of nominees for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards! (Photo: courtesy of college-of-music.com)

A lot of questions will be answered in August at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. How many Moonmen will Beyoncé win? Who will be the next superstar to get all butthurt? Will Jay Z and Solange square off for another elevator kickboxing match afterwards? We’ll find out on August 24 at 9 p.m. (EST) as the ceremony airs live from The Forum in Inglewood, California.

In the meantime, we get to take a look at the list of nominees more than a month ahead of time. Beyoncé leads the way (not unexpectedly) with a whopping eight nominations, including video of the year for her collaboration with husband Jay Z, “Drunk In Love.” Close behind her are Eminem and Iggy Azalea with seven nods each.

Pharrell Williams is also sitting pretty with multiple nominations for his phenomenally popular song “Happy.” He’ll have some stiff competition in the video of the year category, however, going up against juggernauts such as Miley Cyrus (“Wrecking Ball“), Iggy Azalea (“Fancy“), Sia (“Chandelier“), and the aforementioned Beyoncé (“Drunk In Love”).

Pharrell is also up for the best male video award, going head-to-head not only with the likes of Eminem and John Legend, but also with… himself! Both “Happy” and “Sing,” his video collaboration with Ed Sheeran, are nominated in the category so it’s entirely possible that Williams could both win and lose at the same time. Something tells me he wouldn’t be too crushed, though.

Click this link to see the full list of this year’s VMA nominees, including the categories only the nominees themselves care about. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and share your picks for this year’s big winners!

Will Drake’s Butthurt Ever End? The rapper disses Macklemore at the ESPY Awards

Drake used his status as host of the ESPYs to take another potshot at Macklemore (Photo: courtesy of laineygossip.com)

Drake used his status as host of the ESPYs to take another potshot at Macklemore (Photo: courtesy of laineygossip.com)

Feuds in the music industry are certainly nothing new. Eminem and his mom, Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster, Jay Z and Solange… all of these extremely public disputes have one thing in common; they usually stem from some deep seeded personal or professional issue. Drake‘s recent issues with Grammy winner Macklemore, however, seem to be rooted in nothing more than jealousy and an inability to just let things go.

He further proved this assumption by taking yet another shot at his perceived foe while hosting last night’s ESPY Awards on ESPN. As he performed an original (and admittedly entertaining) song titled “Honorable Mentions/Side Pieces,” Drake had a picture of Macklemore holding his newly won Grammys posted on the screen behind him as he belted out the lyrics “Real talent doesn’t always win championships, like real music doesn’t always win Grammys.” Classy.

(Photo: courtesy of Twitter.com)

(Photo: courtesy of Twitter.com)

Apparently, Drake still feels slighted after losing to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the 2014 Annual Grammy Awards, at which the pair dominated the rap category by picking up awards for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Album. After the awards, Drake did an interview with Rolling Stone in which he stated that he felt “robbed” by the duo and slighted personally because he didn’t get a text from Macklemore like Kendrick Lamar did. Really, dude?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that “real talent” doesn’t need validation from other artists or awards organizations. Nor do “real artists” feel the need to belittle or begrudge others for their success. And here’s the thing; Drake is talented! Very talented. So why waste so much energy on such a pointless grudge? I guarantee Macklemore isn’t losing any sleep over it. Just my opinion.

 

 

Epicly Misheard Song Lyrics Make For A Great Mid-Week Laugh

Retro microphone on stage

One of the best things about karaoke is the fact that it’s pretty hard to get the lyrics wrong. After all, we put them right in front of your face so unless you have eyesight or alcohol problems, mishearing and singing the wrong lyrics shouldn’t be much of a problem. The same, however, can’t necessarily be said of your personal mobile concerts as you jam along to the tunes blaring from your car radio.

We’ve all done it, replaced unclear lyrics in our favorite songs with words that at least sound relatively similar to the artist’s seemingly garbled enunciation. Remember this classic scene from Friends?

Buzzfeed has released a compilation of comical vine videos highlighting seventeen songs with commonly misheard/misquoted lyrics. Some of them are pretty ingenious, such as this little jewel…

Check out the full list here and enjoy. Hopefully this will help your hump-day speed by just a little bit faster. Also, be sure to download Sing-N-Share if you haven’t already. It’s free, it’s fun, and you won’t have to worry about flubbing up the lyrics. 🙂

Fact-Check Rap Memes: Starting your week off with a laugh!

Big Sean isn't the only one laughing at Kanye (Photo; courtesy of entertainmentwise.com)

Big Sean isn’t the only one laughing at Kanye (Photo; courtesy of entertainmentwise.com)

Happy Monday, my friends! The news is full of depressing stuff right now (always), from escalating turmoil in the Middle East to rioting in Buenos Aires following Argentina’s loss in the World Cup. so I thought we’d skip all that and kick your week off with a few laughs.

We all love memes. I mean, what better way to get your point across on the internet than by posting a picture you didn’t take with a sarcastic comment you didn’t write? Still, they’re always good for a laugh, so I thought we’d take a look at a few rap music fact-check memes by Emmanuel Hudson. This is what you get when you actually pay attention to the lyrics in your favorite songs. They’re funny ’cause they’re true. 🙂

1. Ahh… terms of endearment and deep thoughts by Akon.emmanuel-hudson-fact-checking-rap-lyrics-052. Pit Bull = Ultimate Movie Trivia Champion!

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3. I bet you didn’t know that Kanye had originally planned to be a history professor: “I keep it 300 like the Romans…”

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4. Apparently at some point in his life Jay-Z was forced to choose between mic skills and basic scientific knowledge: “Thirty-eight revolve like the sun ’round the Earth.”

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5. Lil Wayne – ’cause when you’re rich, who needs an edukashun? “Weezy F baby & the F is for Phenomenal…”

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Garth Brooks Returns and Brings “Real” Country Back With Him

Garth Brooks' comeback in the works includes a new album to be released in November, 2014 (Photo: courtesy of wynnlasvegas.com)

Garth Brooks’ highly anticipated comeback includes a new album due for release in November, 2014 (Photo: courtesy of wynnlasvegas.com)

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson isn’t the only one making headlines with announcements of fresh new tunes. Rollingstone is reporting that country music superstar and double-Grammy Award winner Garth Brooks is ready to make his long-awaited comeback, including a brand new album and a world tour.

The laid-back ’90s icon made the energetic announcement at a lengthy press conference Thursday morning (7/10) in Nashville. Though specific details of his return were kept purposely vague, Brooks did offer a glimpse or two into his current mindset and the direction in which he plans to take this new journey. And what is that direction? One purposefully opposite from today’s “bro country” and “hick hop.”

While he did offer some praise for contemporary country music, Brooks made it clear that he has no plans to copy the pop-like feel that many of today’s biggest stars have attempted to generate. Instead, all indication are that his new album will pick right back up where he left off. “If you had to put it in a box for me, [it’d be] ‘Garth Music,'” he told reporters in an effort to describe his new work. He then punctuated his point by stating, “You’re damn straight we’ll do cowboy songs on this album.”

Garth apparently isn’t going to be satisfied, however, with simply giving fans more of the same old, same old. Based on statements made at the press conference, he plans to outdo himself, both in the studio and in his live performances. Brooks teased that at least one new song he’s working on may surpass one of his biggest hits. “This [album] holds a song on it that might take the place of ‘The Dance’ for me.” He went on to say that he also plans to wow audiences who attend the concerts. “For those who show up,” he said, “I hope we give you a show that makes you forget the ones that were in the Nineties.”

That’s a hell of a standard to live up to. In the 1990s, Brooks was famous for putting on raucous shows, always giving fans more than their money’s worth. Here’s hoping that this comeback is everything that Garth Brooks fans have been hoping for… and that he leaves Chris Gaines at home.

Britney Spears Minus Auto-Tune = Oh… Oh My.

(Photo: courtesy of businessinsider.com)

(Photo: courtesy of businessinsider.com)

Pop-music has changed drastically over the last decade or so. Sometimes it sees as though talent is no longer a requirement to become a superstar, and often even those who do possess talent still rely on technology to make their music sound unique. So what happens when an unedited version of a song which was meant to be tweaked with Auto-Tune leaks? Unfortunately, you’re about to find out.

On July 2, an un-edited version of Britney Spears‘ hit song “Alien” was leaked to the public… and it ain’t pretty. Warning: what you are about to hear may not be suitable for human consumption.

Spears’ track producer William Orbit claims that the, um… “performance” was part of a warm-up set and was never intended as a final take. “I’d like to affirm that ANY singer when first at the mic at the start of a long session can make a multitude of vocalisations in order to get warmed up,” Orbit wrote in a statement picked up by the Huffington Post. “Warming up is essential if you’re a pro, as it is with a runner doing stretches, and it takes a while to do properly. I’ve heard all manner of sounds emitted during warm-ups. The point is that it is not supposed to be shared with millions of listeners.”

So what’s your take on this? Is this simply a leaked warm-up routine or was Spears just phoning it in and depending on Auto-Tune to make things sound legit?