12 November 2011

The Maccabeats are dynamire

The Maccabeats are a cappella group from Yeshiva University formed in 2007. Their 'spoof' of Taio Cruz's Dynamite from late last year for Hanukkah was a hit.

The style was based on the Mike Tompkins cappella adaptation.

The original

16 April 2011

Duetto buffo di due gatti

Duetto buffo di due gatti (cat duet) is often attributed to Gioachino Rossini as much of the music in that piece is drawn from his opera Otello. According to allmusic
The origins of this work are cloudy, but historians agree that it is not an authentic work by Rossini. It does, however, contain a good deal of Rossini's music, so the attribution is not completely off the mark. The Cat Duet contains elements of 1) the aria "Ah, come mai non senti," from the second act of Rossini's opera Otello (1816), 2) a nearby duet between the characters Otello and Iago, and 3) an earlier work in the same vein, the "Cat Cavatina" of Danish opera and song composer C.E.F. Weyse. The compiler was probably Robert Lucas Pearsall, a British composer better known for his output of hymns. In 1973, the Schott publishing house issued a facsimile of an 1825 edition of the Cat Duet, published by Ewer & Johanning and credited to Pearsall, but bearing the pseudonym G. Berthold.
It is a wonderful and entertaining piece of work.

Montserrat Caballe and (her daughter) Montserrat Marti on German television

Pauline Tinsley and Elizabeth Vaughan for Welsh National Opera, 1996

Hannah Holgersson and Agnes Vojtko with the Cairo Opera Orchestra, 2007

Les Petits Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois (Paris), 1996 in Korea. Soloists - Hyacinthe de Moulins and Regis Mengus (dark hair)

(This was wrongly attributed to Escolania of Montserrat, as Catalunia Catholic Boys' Choir, by NorCalBlogs)

The last video has gone 'viral' but most first-time listeners have no idea about the piece.

13 April 2011

Clueso - An und für sich

Clueso's latest album release An und für sich was released on 25 March 2011 and is a beauty.

Listen to samplers from Amazon.de.

The first single is Zu schnell vorbei (clip)

31 July 2010

The Holidays

The Holidays (MySpace) is a pop/soul band from Sydney comprising Simon Jones (guitar and vocals), Will Magnus (guitar and synths), Alex Kortt (bass guitar and steel drums) and Andrew Kerridge (drums and percussion). Formed in 2006, they have been playing the live music scene and signed with Liberation Music in 2008. Their debut album Post-Paradise will be released on 24 September 2010 (in Australia).

They have already released two singles from the forthcoming album. Video clips below.

Their sound is fresh and soulful. Simon Jones has a very interesting voice.

clip for 'Golden Sky'

clip for 'Moonlight Hours'

15 July 2010


Hurts (MySpace, facebook, YouTube, Twitter) is a duo from Manchester comprising Theo Hutchcraft (vocals) and Adam Anderson (electronics, guitar). Formed in 2009, they were number four in BBC's Sound of 2010 list. They have released two singles from their forthcoming album called Happiness (RCA, September 2010) - video clips below.

(from Hurts MySpace)

Described as 1980s inspired electro-pop, their sound is rather more sophisticated, with a stylish look to go along with it.

clip for 'Wonderful Life'

clip for 'Better Than Love'

See also live performance on German 1LIVE.

10 July 2010

Over the Rainbow

Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole's Platinum selling hit "Over the Rainbow" official video produced by Jon de Mello for The Mountain Apple Company

Iz was one of the most successful musicians from Hawaii. Sadly, he passed away in 1997, aged 38 from weight-related respiratory illness. His memory lives on through his music.

16 February 2010

Clueso - Gewinner (live)

Performed at 1LIVE KRONE in December 2009. Clueso took out single of the year with Gewinner, and also awarded artist (Künstler) of the year.

One of my favourite songs.

03 February 2010

I'm New Here by Gil Scott-Heron

The Guardian has raved about Gil Scott-Heron's new album I'm New Here and rightly so.

clip for Me and the Devil

07 January 2010


Clueso (MySpace), real name Thomas Hübner, from Erfurt is one of the best musicians from Germany. He began performing 15 years ago at age 15, releasing his first vinyl in 1998. Clueso began as an hip-hop artist before turning to reggae and then pop.

His style now is quite sophisticated in the vein of Jason Mraz, if not better. I find his word play extraordinarily clever. Clueso's last album So Sehr Dabei was released in 2008 and was number three in the German charts for that year (a live version album was also released in 2009). All of Clueso's music are available from iTunes.

Clueso (from his MySpace)

Album cover for Weit Weg

Album cover for So Sehr Dabei

clip for 'Gewinner' from the album So Sehr Dabei

clip for 'Niemand an dich denkt ' from So Sehr Dabei

04 January 2010

Short Note

Last year, I wrote about Matt Finish.

The video clip for Short Note (1981) is now available. The song has also recently been remixed with orchestra and it is amazing - if a little sad for people like me who remember the original at the time.

There is also a clip of lead singer, Matt Moffitt's hit, 'Miss This Tonight' from his solo album As Little As A Look

Unfortunately, As Little As A Look was only released as a vinyl LP in 1986 (and possibly cassette tape) and has not been released on CD by Sony BMG, which inherited the rights from CBS Records.

29 December 2009


Auletta (MySpace) is the name of a town located in Italy and the name of a relatively new indie-style band from Mainz, Germany. They formed in 2005 with lead singer (and guitarist) Alexander Zwick, guitarist Martin Kloos, drummer Johannes Juschzak and bass guitarist Daniel Juschzak.

Their style is actually more post-punk and represent a new fresh sound in German pop. They signed with EMI Germany and released their first album Pöbelei & Poesie on 2009 June 23, available from iTunes worldwide.

press photo of the band

album cover for Pöbelei & Poesie

clip for song, Meine Stadt

clip for song, Ein Engel kein König.

Auletta Ein Engel Kein König - MyVideo

check out more clips from YouTube Auletta band channel

21 October 2009

Spleen United and The William Blakes

Both are groups based in Denmark. Their cover version of Kate Bush's 1985 hit Running Up That Hill is really good.

15 January 2009

the high Fs

Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen, the second aria by the Queen of the Night in Mozart's opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) is one of the most difficult arias to perform, ranging over two octaves from F4 to the almost supernatural F6.

It is difficult enough for most sopranos. I was blown away to see it performed by a treble (boy soprano).

This clip is of Robin Schlotz in July 2005 when he was 13 years old. He was a member of Tölzer Knabenchor (a famous choir) in Munich.

Though not perfect and one would not expect so from a 13 year old boy, reaching the high Fs was incredible.

Here are another 40

And someone's top four

A recording of Edda Moser's rendition is featured in Yoyager's Golden Record to share with the universe.

26 December 2008

Nada Surf - Blonde on Blonde acoustic

Here is a great acoustic version of Blonde on Blonde - one of my favourite songs of all time.

25 December 2008

Okkervil River

Okkervil River (MySpace) is an indie rock band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 1998, they signed with independent label Jagjaguwar, based in Bloomington, Indiana. I only have the last two (fourth and fifth albums), which are brilliant.

B. Cassidy, T. Nelsen, J. Meiburg, P. Pestorius, S. Brackett, W. Sheff

album cover for the highly acclaimed Black Sheep Boy (2005)

album cover for The Stage Names (2007)

album cover for The Stand Ins (2008)

clip for 'Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe' from The Stage Names

See also YouTube channel OkkervilRiver