Just an aca-fan navigating the aca-world.

Music Monday: Duran Duran A Cappella by Request

My hubby is more than tolerant of my a cappella obsession. He was the first to encourage me to create an a cappella blog, and he even spent New Year’s Eve at a Straight No Chaser show with me amidst a dozen or so of my Chaser buddies. He is also a total Duranie. So, when he asked me to post some Duran Duran a cappella, how could I say no?

GFS A Cappella (Germantown Friends School) “Rio”
This is a high school group with several 2012 CARA Nominations to their name.

Williams College Ephlats “Notorious”

UNC Clef Hangers “Ordinary World”
You can find this on the BOCA 2010 compilation.

Here’s one of several really great multi-tracks by Luca Pagnotta, from Duran Duran’s 2011 album All You Need is Now:

Luca Pagnotta & Laura Addino “Blame the Machines”

And of course, from Duran Duran themselves, an a cappella version of one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Electric Barberella.” #iplugyouin

Duran Duran “Electric Barberella”

Some other Duran Duran a cappella covers worth checking out:

Here are some I know of that I haven’t listened to yet, but would like to:

  • MIT Logarhythms “Hungry Like the Wolf” (incidentally, the hosts of BOSSaca 2012)
  • The Brown Derbies “Hungry Like the Wolf”

If you know of others, post them in the Comments!


First Listen Friday: Simply Put

People have asked me where I hear about all of the a cappella groups I listen to. There are various sources, so maybe I’ll do an entire blogpost on that in the future.

In this case, I discovered Simply Put while watching the livestream of the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF) Collegiate Competition in January 2012, which Simply Put hosted and during which they sang “”It Don’t Mean a Thing (If You Ain’t Got That Swing),” but would you believe this group somehow worked in “All the Single Ladies” and “I Whip My Hair” (arrangement by David Stal)?! I kid you not, it was RIDICULOUS (in a very good way)!

So, of course, I purchased their album Simply Put and took a first listen.


Simply Put A Cappella

Meet Simply Put: (L to R): Loren Smith (bass), Andi Gibson (soprano), Melissa Stewart (alto), Marisa Esposito (mezzo), Drew Tablak (tenor), David Stal (baritone/VP)

And interestingly, there is a style — a little jazzy, a little big band, a little theatrical — that is somehow more. There are recognizable influences from other artists that hint at the versatility of Simply Put. It sure makes me want to put the music on repeat so I can catch new things each time through. The ability to listen on repeat is a must for me when I purchase an entire album. This one’s a winner.

Simply Put was recently nominated for three 2012 CARAs (Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards) for Best Jazz Song for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,”  Best CAL (Contemporary A Cappella League) Album for Simply Put, and Best CAL Song for “Human Nature.”

You can also find Simply Put’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the brand new album, Voices Only Forte, a compilation of tracks from professional, semi-professional, and amateur a cappella groups (i.e., non-collegiate).  I can’t find a video of it to post for you, so instead, here is “Killing Me Softly.”

My favorite tracks on Simply Put are “Killing Me Softly,” “Human Nature,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” but really, pretty much every song.

Band: Simply Put
Twitter: @SimplyPutSINGS
YouTube: SimplyPutSINGS

I am happy to say I will be present for the Live CARA Awards — with red carpet — at BOSSaca, cheering on Simply Put and all the other nominees. Don’t you wish you were going? #beep

In the meantime, leave a comment and let me know what you think about Simply Put!


*NOTE: Hey, everyone – made a correction in paragraph 2. “Sing, Sing, Sing” arranged by Deke Sharon is a completely different song than “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” arranged by David Stal. Credit where credit is due. I also corrected the CARA nomination info – 3 noms, not 2.


Do You Suffer from #basslove?

Fellow #basslove-rs of the world, unite! Did you know @mccannmusic was the originator of the #basslove hashtag on the Twitter in 2009?

Well, today I thought I’d post 5 of my favorite #basslove songs and take a little poll. I know I’m a little heavy on the Chaser followers, but try to be objective and vote for your true favorite. You’ll notice I included the all-female group Delilah because women can sing bass, too!

1. Club for Five “Brothers in Arms”

2. Delilah “Grenade” #ladynads

3. Duke Pitchforks “Home”

4. Straight No Chaser “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

5. Tonic Sol-fa “Highway Patrol”

So, which was your favorite?

Some other current favorites of mine:

  • Blue Jupiter “Lil’ Red Riding Hood”
  • Duke Pitchforks “Hysteria”
  • The Heebee-Jeebees “Mr. Bass Man”
  • Naturally 7 – basically anything
  • Straight No Chaser “Hi De Ho”
  • Straight No Chaser “Live Your Life and Flow with Whatever You Like”
  • Take 6 “Spread Love” #bangkbangk
  • Vocal Union “Get Ready”

Let everyone know your favorite #basslove songs in the comments!