Revisiting a Beatle-Esque Christmas

About two years ago, thanks to the Things We Said Today podcast, I learned of an album of Beatle-esque Christmas music, the Abbey Road Xmas Ensemble’s A Christmas Tribute to the Beatles. (There’s also this one, The Liverpool Christmas Band’s Beatle-esque Christmas, which looks like it’s the same material, but with karaoke versions of the … Continue reading Revisiting a Beatle-Esque Christmas

An Unsatisfying Star Wars Salute to the Beatles

We need to talk about Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about and haven’t read vearious articles about it (like NPR‘s or Slate‘s), PLSDSP is an album that retells the story of Star Wars using the music of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The … Continue reading An Unsatisfying Star Wars Salute to the Beatles

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) — An Unappreciation

I was driving into the office yesterday morning, and I heard “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” on the radio. I’m going to level here. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is garbage. Maybe that’s overstating it, but not by much! The lyrics are uninspired, if not outright trite, and they barely even fit the melody. (Lennon … Continue reading Happy Xmas (War Is Over) — An Unappreciation

The Making of LOVE’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

Cirque de Soleil today released a new video for the performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from their The Beatles LOVE show. While I don’t care much about that music video — I never really “got” music videos, as I like to experience music as music — the Beatles released another video today, this … Continue reading The Making of LOVE’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

The Beatles Anthology Podcast

Last week the Beatles released a new 3-part podcast that takes a look at Beatles Anthology project from twenty years ago — “British music journalists and Beatles experts Kevin Holwett and Mark Ellen discuss the classic Anthology releases, shining a light on the fascinating stories behind these albums which tell the story of the development … Continue reading The Beatles Anthology Podcast

Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

What if the Beatles didn’t get a record contract with Parlophone in 1962? That’s the subject of BBC Radio 4’s radio play, Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition, adapted by Ray Connolly from his novella of the same name. Originally broadcast by the BBC in 2013, it was rebroadcast again this week, and I streamed … Continue reading Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

On the Occasion of John Lennon’s 75th Birthday

Today, John Lennon would have been seventy-five. That seems almost impossible to credit. In our minds, an image burned in from pictures or movies or television or music, he’s always a young man, never quite reaching middle age. I’m older now than Lennon was when he was killed. We remember him young, because he never … Continue reading On the Occasion of John Lennon’s 75th Birthday

Paul McCartney and the Beatles’ Songwriting Credits

In an interview with Esquire, Paul McCartney was asked about the famous “Lennon/McCartney” songwriting credit and why he has suggested in the past that some songs should be credited with the reverse, “McCartney/Lennon.” (Without getting overly technical, it has to do with limitations of metadata on digital music files.) On some of his live albums … Continue reading Paul McCartney and the Beatles’ Songwriting Credits

Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album”

I haven’t seen Richard Linklater’s new film Boyhood yet, and despite the rave reviews I may not anytime soon, but there is an aspect of the film that touches on my interests. At some late point in the film, the character played by Ethan Hawke gives his son a 3-disc mixtape of post-Beatles songs. It’s … Continue reading Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album”

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, Michael Tomasky’s New Beatles Book

As I write this, we’re on the cusp of the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in New York City and their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Published by The Daily Beast and released this week, Michael Tomasky’s Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! looks back at those events in February 1964, how and why they … Continue reading Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, Michael Tomasky’s New Beatles Book