Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How Can They Keep From Singing?

I have not been watching a lot of commercial TV lately. Having said that, I know what you're thinking: “Yo, Mister Black Hat Dude, you make that seem like a BAD thing.” Well, it was last night.

I'm a great fan of a capella singing. Maybe it goes back to my years of doing polyphonic motets of the Renaissance period at Holy Trinity in Georgetown in the 1980s. Maybe it's because Paul and I were great fans of the Toronto-based quartet known as Moxy Früvous in the 1990s, seen here doing an early hit, "King of Spain."

I've finally discovered a reason to stay home on Monday and Wednesday nights. The Sing-Off is a competition featuring a capella groups, in its second season on NBC. Today's incarnation of this genre goes out on the edge, not only with tight harmonies, but simulated percussion and rhythmic grooves (and absolutely NO musical instruments). This opening selection from the first season captures the best such competition has to offer. Thankfully, the judges are no dilettantes -- Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, and (my favorite) Ben Folds of the now-defunct Ben Folds Five, presently with ... Ben Folds.

There are two more episodes this season, both this coming Wednesday night, and the season finale next Monday, with a recording contract for the winner. Meanwhile, catch the reaction (I'm ashamed to admit this) on Twitter.

I'll find an excuse to stay out of the cold next Monday night, I suppose.

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