Over the last year we’ve continued to keep you updated on the craziness and creativity that is Our Hit Parade. The live top-ten countdown show is a cabaret created by Tony nominee and Obie winner Kenny Mellman (Kiki & Herb), Bridget Everett, Neal Medlyn, producer and MTV cameraman Brendan Kennedy, and writers Ada Calhoun and Peter Schjeldahl. It is inspired by the musical sketch series Your Hit Parade that ran on radio and then television from 1935 to 1959. On that show, cast members performed the week’s most popular songs as comically literal skits. Today the show is performed as cabaret with a rotating cast of guest musicians in New York City.
Currently in the midst of a US tour and gearing up to play a massive Hyde Park gig with Arcade Fire at the end of the month, British bluegrass group Mumford & Sons is on top of the indie world. They’ve certainly been busy in the last few months, but they found the time to visit VH1 to record an Unplugged performance that’s scheduled to premier June 24. Today they released a sneak peek of the show in the form of a cover from fellow indie heavyweights The National.
YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.
On NBC’s The Voice, Blake Shelton picked Dia Frampton after she had been singing for four seconds. Four seconds. It’s no wonder. The 23 year old singer songwriter from Utah has a talent and versatility that somehow manages to coexist with her quietly powerful style.
The Voice may end up being Frampton’s big break, but she’s been a star of the internet music scene for years in the acoustic-duo-turned-full-band she started with her sister, Meg. Fittingly, they go by Meg & Dia. Recently, though, Dia has been blowing up the band’s YouTube channel with her own solo covers and we’re all lucky for it.
Last month, Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Old Crow Medicine Show channeled their old-weird-America roots by touring the South on an old train. Dubbed the Railroad Revival Tour, it featured the bands hitting six cities aboard a few old Amtrak cars. Joe Biden would approve.
This has been a breakout year for Two Door Cinema Club and Mumford & Sons. Both were fixtures on last summer’s festival circuit, and Mumford & Sons capped off their rapid rise to fame with a standout Grammy performance. This week, Two Door Cinema Club took a break from their busy touring schedule for debut album Tourist History to visit BBC’s Live Lounge, where they covered Mumford track “The Cave.”
Last we heard from Taylor Swift, she was about two years too late with her “Viva La Vida” cover. For her latest genre-crossing endeavor though, she’s right on the cusp of a band’s transition to mainstream success. Perhaps having spotted them on their knockout Grammy performance last month, Swift covered Mumford and Sons during her latest BBC appearance.