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One of the biggest changes to the a cappella world over the past few years is not just the introduction and spread of Twitter (though its Tweeting denizens have helped this blog get far greater exposure than I ever anticipated!), but the monumental growth of YouTube. Whereas just five years ago you could go your whole life without seeing a particular a cappella group perform, you can now typically pull up authorized or unauthorized videos of that group in a matter of seconds. Moreover, some artists, such as Peter Hollens, have taken to producing some fun and surprisingly high-quality music videos to accompany their new tracks available for purchase.
As a tribute to this stunning and burgeoning arena, I’m going to put up a few a cappella videos every week which are either new to the internet, new to me, or just plain awesome. If you have a video or videos to recommend, Tweet them to me @acatribe, or email them to me at email@example.com.
Please note that some of the performances in these videos may not be properly licensed, and I encourage all groups offering their music on YouTube and other online resources to take the appropriate licensing measures. Pay your licensing fees and credit the original artists!
Week of December 17, 2012
As promised, your Christmas a cappella videos. Enjoy, and have a wonderful, happy, and healthy holidays and new year.
Once again, I demonstrate my crush on the ladies of The Boxettes to begin:
I first saw Duwende 12 years ago. Only two original members left, but they still crush everything they do:
I still haven’t bought their new Christmas album “PTXmas,” but this video has convinced me of the need to do so ASAP. Pentatonix:
Peter Hollens actually did this video last year, but I love it, and this is my blog:
Misc. aca-Christmas goodness:
Week of December 10, 2012
I know, I know. Negligent. Delinquent. Absent. Well, let’s try to make up for that with volume, shall we?
First up, for me and 0.2% of the world’s population, this week is all about the Chanukkah. We’ll get to the Christmas vids next week, I promise. For now, a shout-out to my fellow Jews.
Quinta & a Half
Now, a slightly different topical subject- The Hobbit movie which is coming out very soon.
Check out str8voices
In the “far less topical, but still awesome” department, Pentatonix covers some 12-year-old music.
In the “not pure a cappella, but still great” department, Ball in the House with Ray Ligon
Lastly, in the “it’s just fun” department, check out Jimmy Fallon’s barbershop spin on Shaggy
Week of November 4, 2012
Well, after nearly a week without power or heat, I’m back online. Hoping any of you in the NY/NJ/CT area stayed safe and warm, and please keep in mind that there are plenty of shelters and lots of food available out there if you have no place to go, just listen to your local radio stations. Long Island is still a mess, and getting hit with a nor’easter that dumped snow on top of downed trees and power lines last night sure didn’t help. In any event, time to think about lighter things to distract us in the area from this disaster (and it truly has been a disaster for so many here).
First up, a new video from the Washington University Amateurs with serious production quality. Take a look at their new video for Bruno Mars’s “The Other Side.”
Next, this past weekend’s SoJam Professional Showcase concert is still archived, for now, for watching right here. I can’t guarantee it will be up for long, but it’s worth spending a few hours watching if you can while it’s still there. (Edge Effect, Pentatonix, and of course Fork).
Next, a couple of videos from SoJam, captured by my favorite acafan/casual-videographer, Twitter’s own @OooImSoExcited (Tara). Thanks as always, to her for capturing it all.
Collegiate competition winners the Northeastern University Nor’easters (I will feature them, even if their namesake did leave me in traffic for 2 hours this morning… )
As always, I like to feature The Pickups from each festival.
Week of October 21, 2012
Time to show some love for the ladies of a cappella. This week, Musae releases their debut album, so…they get 2 clips here.
Next up, another terrific ladies group who are, rumor has it, releasing a new album sometime soon.
Last, a group named “Aluka” who I had not heard of until Deke Sharon shared this link…I’m glad he did.
Week of October 7, 2012
Pitch Perfect opened in theaters around the country this weekend, and did pretty well. I recently wrote a comparison between the book and the movie for CASA, and so this week’s videos have to do with the book more than the movie. Specifically, I bring you 3 clips from the groups featured in the book.
First up, the group upon which the movie was purportedly (and somewhat imprecisely) based, University of Oregon’s Divisi, performing their breakthrough cover of Usher’s “Yeah.” This was their semifinal performance in 2005, the year they were subsequently (according to Pitch Perfect author Mickey Rapkin) “robbed” in the ICCA finals.
The Tufts Beelzebubs, also featured prominently in the book, performing at the “Bubs in the Pub” back in 2007; this scene was described in the book. And yes, this soloist (Andrew Savini) won best CARA for this solo in 2006.
The UVA Hullabahoos, the third group discussed in the book. Their performance of this song, U2′s “One,” was also discussed in the book.
Week of September 17, 2012
Wow. I’ve been neglecting this page for a month! Luckily, I’ve got some good stuff to make up for it.
Cluster’s new “Complete’s the YouTube hits” contribution
Ben Folds Five have a new album! They’re back! With Fraggles! (non-aca)
Pentatonix live at BB King’s in NYC
MICappella, runners-up for The Sing Off in China (2 minutes into the clip)
Week of August 13, 2012
The London Summer Olympics have officially ended, but if you are a Britophile AND an Acaphile (NEW WORD), you might enjoy this week’s vids.
One of my favorite new groups from the past 12 months, The Boxettes.
One of my all-time favorites, The Swingle Singers performing with Vox Pop, from Argentina, in a collaborative single the sales of which benefit Doctors Without Borders. I bought my copy already, and you should do so now.
I think this is my first video from the bold and exciting June Caravel, whose full A Cappella Sessions CD is now available on CD Baby right here and on iTunes as well. (Technically, she’s French, but this is the London Song and she made this video from the London A Cappella Festival and I believe she live(s)(d) in the UK).
Week of August 6, 2012
In the past few days, Mr. Florian Stadtler from Vocal Blog has shared a few terrific international a cappella videos over at his blog’s Facebook page, which you can join right here. As a result, I was inspired to offer another International Edition of AcaVids. Special thanks to Florian and the members of that group for sharing such great videos!
This first group, SONO, hails from Denmark and just had their album “Playground” reviewed by RARB, where it received good scores. The video features a performance from the 2010 Aarhus Vocal Festival.
Next up, my first Israeli group, Quinta and a Half to be featured on AcaVids.
Last, an African group, Soweto, performing in Edinburgh one year ago (August 2011).
Week of July 30, 2012
I’ve been listening to a lot of non-acappella the past few days, and I was reminded that there are rock bands out there who can sing pretty darn well with or without their instruments. Here’s a few bands old and new(ish) singing with and without their instruments.
Rock/folk/etc. band Grizzly Bear singing their song “Knife” on the streets of Paris
The Eagles singing “Seven Bridges Road” (a song many a cappella groups have covered)
The sadly defunct Moxy Fruvous singing “I Love My Boss” in a radio station
Week of July 16, 2012
This past weekend was VoCALnation, the a cappella festival which places a spotlight on the Contemporary A Cappella League. Sadly, I was not able to attend. Here are a few videos from the festival which have made it up onto the interwebs already, though others will undoubtedly appear soon.
Cluster (Italian superstars and festival headliners)
The Pickups (featuring Nate Altimari of Firedrill! on solo)
Snowday performing an Acabomb
BONUS: since I was too busy to get some vids up last week, here are two terrifically fun bonus vids.
I do love the Swingle Singers
Gentleman’s Rule, a new group produced by SNC founder Dan Ponce
Week of July 2, 2012
So, while those of us in the United States are enjoying the new Pentatonix EP, we are also mourning NBC’s decision to forego renewal of The Sing Off. However, other parts of the world need not despair yet. Right now, The Sing Off is going strong in China, according to Mr. Deke Sharon. I found it quite difficult to locate information about the groups in the competition, but from what I could tell, the following 3 groups were (are?) involved. And they’re pretty good. Enjoy!
Featured previously on AcaVids, here is MICappella
As far as I can tell, this group is called shacappella (ish?)
A Korean group named Maytree doing a nice live version of “Summertime”
Finally, let me just note- if you were to search The Sing Off China on a well-known video website, you might just come up with full episodes of the show. And in some of those videos, you might even seen Mr. Deke Sharon, who is a judge (and producer?) on the show. Ok, you will find both of these things, so go search now.
And, you can check out some promos for the show on the new Inside A Cappella YouTube channel right here.
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