Archive for May, 2013

Steven Blum, American Voice Actor

Steven Jay “Steve” Blum (born April 28, 1960) is an American voice actor of anime and video games known for his distinctive deep voice.
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Rush, 35 years of Prog Rock and counting…

Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist and backing vocalist Alex Lifeson, and drummer, percussionist and lyricist Neil Peart. The band and its membership went through a number of re-configurations between 1968 and 1974, achieving their current form when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first United States tour. Rutsey’s departure stemmed primarily from health concerns regarding his diabetes.

Since the release of the band’s self-titled debut album in March 1974, Rush has become known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. Rush’s music style has changed over the years, beginning with blues-inspired heavy metal on their first album, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, and a period with heavy use of synthesizers.

Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Over their careers, the members of Rush have been acknowledged as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning numerous awards in magazine readers’ polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. Rush’s sales statistics place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 79th in U.S. album sales, with 25 million units. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush’s total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units.

The band finished the second leg of the Time Machine Tour in July 2011 and released their latest studio album, Clockwork Angels in June 2012 with a supporting tour that began in September 2012.
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Gustavo Santaolalla and the original soundtrack for The Last Of Us

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Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla (born 19 August 1951) is an Argentine musician, film composer and producer. He has won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score in two consecutive years, for Brokeback Mountain in 2006 and Babel in 2007. Continue reading →

El gran viaje, Créditos, HBO – Original music by soundtrackmakers.com

The original soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is a 2006 American adventure fantasy comedy film and the second film of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, following Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). It was directed by Gore Verbinski, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. In the film, the marriage of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) is interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), who wants Turner to acquire the compass of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in a bid to find the Dead Man’s Chest. Sparrow discovers his debt to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is due.

Two sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were conceived in 2004, with Elliott and Rossio developing a story arc that would span both films. Filming took place from February to September 2005 in Palos Verdes, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and The Bahamas, as well as on sets constructed at Walt Disney Studios. It was shot back-to-back with the third film of the series, At World’s End.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was released in the United States on July 7, 2006. The film received mixed to positive reviews, with praise for its special effects and criticism for its plot and running time. Despite this, it set several records in its first three days, with an opening weekend of $136 million in the United States, and it was, at the time, the fastest film ever to gross over $1 billion in the worldwide box office. As of January 2013, it ranks as the 9th highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and held the record as the highest-grossing film distributed by Walt Disney Pictures for nearly six years until it was surpassed by The Avengers (though it still ranks as the highest grossing film released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner). The film received four Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and won the Academy Award for Visual Effects.
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Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band from New York City, who were formed in 2006. They are currently signed to XL Recordings. The band consists of four members: lead vocalist and guitarist Ezra Koenig, guitarist/keyboardist and backing vocalist Rostam Batmanglij, drummer and percussionist Chris Tomson, and bassist and backing vocalist Chris Baio. The band released its first album Vampire Weekend in 2008, which produced the singles “Mansard Roof”, “A-Punk”, “Oxford Comma”, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”, and “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”. The band’s second album, Contra, was released in 2010. Their third studio album, Modern Vampires of the City, will be released on May 14, 2013.
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The Incredible Voice of Jackie Evancho

Jacqueline MarieJackieEvancho (pron.: /iːˈveɪŋkoʊ/ ee-VAYNG-koh; born April 9, 2000) is an American classical crossover singer who gained wide recognition at an early age and, since 2009, has issued five albums, including a platinum and gold album and three Billboard 200 top 10 debuts.

Between 2008 and 2010, Evancho entered several talent competitions; made singing appearances, mostly in Pennsylvania (including at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game); issued an independent album, Prelude to a Dream; and attracted interest on YouTube. Evancho impressed composers Tim Janis and David Foster, each of whom included her in his concerts beginning in 2009. Later in 2010, at the age of 10, she gained wider popularity with her performances in the fifth season of the America’s Got Talent competition, finishing in second place.

With the 2010 holiday release of her O Holy Night EP, Evancho became the best-selling debut artist of 2010, the youngest top-10 debut artist in U.S. history and the youngest solo artist ever to go platinum. She first performed in front of U.S. President Barack Obama at the 2010 National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington, D.C. In June 2011, her first full-length major-label album, Dream With Me, produced by David Foster, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, and she became the youngest top-5 debut artist in UK history. Billboard ranked Evancho the top Classical Albums Artist for 2011. Evancho released another studio album, Heavenly Christmas, in November 2011. The same month, she became the youngest person ever to give a solo concert at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of her Dream With Me Tour. She has made two solo Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) specials for the television series Great Performances.

Evancho is the ambassador for Mission: Humane, a U.S. Humane Society program that encourages children to help protect animals. A national cotillion organization listed her as one of the “ten best-mannered people of 2011”. In 2012 and 2013, she is touring the U.S., performing songs from her fourth full-length album, Songs from the Silver Screen, released in October 2012, which was Evancho’s third top-ten album debut.
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Behind the music of E.T, with John Williams

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Mathison and starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote. It tells the story of Elliott (played by Thomas), a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed “E.T.”, who is stranded on Earth. Elliott and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government. The concept for E.T. was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents’ divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a new story from the stalled science fiction/horror film project Night Skies. The film was shot from September to December 1981 in California on a budget of US$10.5 million. Unlike most motion pictures, the film was shot in roughly chronological order, to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast. Released by Universal Pictures, E.T. was a blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time—a record it held for ten years until Jurassic Park, another Spielberg-directed film, surpassed it in 1993. Critics acclaimed it as a timeless story of friendship, and it ranks as the greatest science fiction film ever made in a Rotten Tomatoes survey. The film was re-released in 1985, and then again in 2002 to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary, with altered shots and additional scenes. Continue reading →

Danny Elfman and The Simpsons

Danny Elfman composed “The Simpsons Theme”

The Simpsons Theme“, also referred to as “The Simpsons Main Title Theme” in album releases, is the theme music of the animated television series The Simpsons. It plays during the opening sequence and was composed by Danny Elfman in 1989, after series creator Matt Groening approached him requesting a retro-style theme. The piece, which took two days to create, has been noted by Elfman as the most popular of his career. The theme, as used for the opening sequence, was re-arranged during season 2, and the current arrangement by Alf Clausen was introduced at the beginning of the third season. It has also been edited many times to coincide with edits of various lengths for the opening sequence, and there have been extended edits and re-recordings for lengthened opening sequences. Several versions of the saxophone solo riff, ostensibly played by character Lisa Simpson in the animated sequence, have been created over the course of the series. The theme is in the acoustic scale.

A slightly different arrangement of the theme usually plays over the end credits of the show. Originally, there were two main versions of the closing theme, with the longer version ending in a lower key. Both versions were re-arranged for season 3, but only the short version was in use by the end of season 4, and that version was edited to be even shorter during season 6. The alternate longer closing theme however resurfaced in a handful of post-season 4 episodes, but mostly in credit sequences that do not play music during the first half of the sequence (either with dialogue heard underneath or video footage playing under the first half of the credits).

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How to dub a film

Not even a dub could save The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from falling prey to one of Hollywood’s raids on foreign language films. Just as Insomnia, The Ring and even True Lies were respun with English-speaking actors, so the Swedish-language film version of Stieg Larsson’s novel is being repackaged for a worldwide audience as movie-makers hope to better the US gross of $10.1m and the paltry £1.5m it made in the UK.

The English-language remake has already caused something of a stir, with fans believing Neils Arden Oplev’s original to be a definitive screen adaptation. They say giving English speakers the option of watching with either subtitles or dubbing has made the film accessible enough. Continue reading →