2013- Get Excited

After last week’s recap of all things a cappella in 2012, I started getting excited about things to come in the a cappella world for 2013. I’ve done a little research, some secret conversations, and yes, a little speculating, to put together your very early guide to 2013.

To begin with, let’s talk about albums. For many/most of us, the vast majority of our a cappella consumerism occurs through purchasing and listening to recorded music, with occasional attendance at a live concert or festival (see below).  2013 is going to be chock full of new music for us to get our grubby little hands on.  Check out some of the artists who plan to release EPs or albums this year:

Straight No Chaser– If you didn’t know this already, SNC fans (“Chasers”) are rabid, excitable, and supportive (see the comments for my 2012 recap post). They are also incredibly helpful and generous of spirit. They have informed me that SNC has a new album, called “Under the Influence,” which is due to be released on May 7. Oh, and the group worked with Mervyn Warren and Mark Kibble (Take 6) on it. No big deal. #WHATISHAPPENING

Street Corner Symphony– The runners-up from Season 2 of The Sing Off are getting ready to release their second album, one which features all (or mostly) original songs written by group members, and which featured heavy involvement from Deke Sharon and Bill Hare. This was the first video released from this album. Count me in. Announcement on a release date coming soon.

The House Jacks– Since they released “Level” in 2010, the group has replaced everyone other than Deke Sharon and Austin Willacy. New album with the new lineup coming this year. I have been told there will be an EP released in China this spring (hopefully) followed by a full album for release everywhere else.

Sonos– The a cappella world has been anxiously awaiting a new Sonos album for more than 2 years. That wait is about to end. The new album, currently untitled (or at least title unknown) is going to feature all original music from the group, possibly as many as 15 songs. They will preview/premier tracks from this album at the Essential Listening workshop at Los Angeles A Cappella Festival in a few weeks, so if you are in the same time zone (give or take a time zone), you know where to be on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Transit– Back in 2007, Transit released a 7-song album which won a few awards (Best Pop/Rock Album CARA, for example) and which is still one of the best contemporary albums released in the past 10 years. Well, they’ve been working long and hard on a new album, and it’s coming in 2013. The album is in post-production now, and we’ll likely be hearing a lot more about it soon. The group has some other exciting plans for 2013 as well.

Blue Jupiter– Last year, Blue Jupiter released this promo video. This year, they’re a bit more ambitious. In fact, they will be releasing “something” which could range anywhere from a single album, double album, two separate albums, or even an all-digital collection of 20-30 songs. Wow.

The Exchange– Remember this? Yeah, these guys have been hard at work on their debut album, which is scheduled as of now to be released at The London A Cappella Festival on January 24-26. For now, you can listen to a few of the tracks here.

Rockapella– One of the longest-standing contemporary a cappella groups, Rockapella changed it up recently with their “Motown and More” show. The new album is coming in early 2013- will it follow the format of the new show? We’ll find out soon enough.

MICappella– The runners up to The Sing Off China are in the studio working on a new full-length album to follow their EP released in 2011. They have been working with Tom Anderson on arrangements, and Bill Hare, Tat Tong, Dave Sperandio, Freddie Feldman as well as Plaid Productions. It is tentatively scheduled to be released in March.

The Swingle Singers– Rumor has it the Swingles are getting close to releasing a brand new album. Perhaps they worked with Bill Hare last summer?

The Boxettes– Though it is still a work in progress, The Boxettes have been in the studio to work on a new EP. They’re raising money here (go ahead, kick in a few bucks…you know you want to) and we can all hope they get a release out in 2013.

The Edge Effect– These guys “neither refuse, nor require instruments” according to the video on their successfully-funded Kickstarter video.  Basically, they are a vocal band but are including some instruments on their new album, which should be released this year. The project will include a contribution from Marc Broussard. You know, like you do when you release a new album…

Voices Only Forte II– Last year, Voices Only released the first compilation of all non-scholastic, global a cappella music that I’ve seen, and it was good. I served as a nominator for this sequel, which is due to be announced and released very soon, and I can tell you- there’s some music on here that will blow your mind, and a lot of it comes from groups/performers you’ve probably never heard of.

I’m sure there are more releases planned, but this was the best I could come up with after a few days of research and communications. If you know of another exciting album coming out, drop it in the comments section or send me an email at dave@acatribe.com.

Festivals: There are a few new festivals and changes to existing festivals worth mentioning-

Texas A Cappella Celebration– In case you hadn’t heard, CASA is expanding its festival range to the Lone Star State. Not much info on this yet other than that it’s happening on March 9, 2013, in San Antonio.

SingStrong– This annual festival, the proceeds of which largely benefit Alzheimer’s research and local choral programs, has reproduced! In 2013, there will be 2 festivals, including the regular one in Reston, VA (near D.C.) on March 1-3 and the new one in Chicago, IL on March 22-24. No other details yet.

Camp A Cappella– What do you think about spending a week with The House Jacks, learning about a cappella music, singing, performing, recording, all on a college campus in OH? Hold on, it’s not for everybody. This new camp, put together by Deke Sharon and Brody McDonald is only for teens this year, but if it goes well, who knows what the future could hold.

Festival of Voices-this longstanding choral festival in Tasmania (!) is introducing a new contemporary a cappella track headed by Mr. Deke Sharon. The festival will be July 7-14.

Mile High Vocal Jam– This Rocky mountain festival returns after a 2012 hiatus on Feb. 15-16 with Urban Method and Musae performing, and members of Take 6 judging and running clinics.

* I have been involved in the very early stages of planning with Marc Silverberg for a possible a cappella festival devoted to vocal music in schools in Long Island, New York. We are looking for help with planning and logistics, as well as talent and volunteers, so please email us at liacappellafestival@gmail.com.

And for updated info on all the regular festivals, check back at the global Festival List very soon.

Other:

***Mouth Off– Ok, this is arguably BREAKING NEWS, so I could probably have placed it a lot higher in the post. I have confirmed with Christopher Diaz that Mouth Off will be returning in 2013! We can all look for some public announcements in the next month or so, and then a gradual build-up towards a full return sometime this spring. There may be some changes, and we’ll all have to wait and see what those are, but still- Mouth Off will be back!

Vocal Blog– Florian Städtler has started a very interesting new series of “Big Questions” about a cappella music. The first two posts are here and here.  He hopes/plans to get a lot of the questions answered by spring 2013. He also hopes/plans to make Acappellazone the primary resource for all things a cappella in the EU.

RARB– I can’t tell you much, but I think Mr. Dietz teased some suggestions about changes coming to  the Recorded A Cappella Review Board here.

Ben Spalding is working on a new book about Varsity Vocals which will be released late in the year. There will be chapters about all aspects of the competition process, from application videos to what to wear in performance and how to use sound reinforcement equipment, and a few chapters will be written by some very well known people in the a cappella community.

The Tufts Beelzebubs are celebrating 50 years of existence with a concert February 7 featuring alums including Guster, Peter Gallagher, and The House Jacks.

This is not strictly a cappella, but Claude McKnight (again from Take 6) has a new Kickstarter campaign to create a DVD or show dealing with how groups handle working together over time, and the pilot episode will feature Take 6 as the subjects.

Rumors:

Did you hear that they are making another season of The Sing Off in the U.S.? Another one somewhere outside the U.S.? Did you hear that they’re working on Pitch Perfect 2? Yeah, I heard all of these rumors as well. None is confirmed, and that’s coming from someone who would be connected to all such projects (if you can’t guess who, your contemporary a cappella card is hereby revoked).

Pentatonix is working on a new EP/album! Or not. This has been suggested all over social media, but is not confirmed by anyone. Considering they put out TWO last year, it would not be surprising. Also, they seem to be constantly working on touring, YouTube vids, etc., so they clearly have a lot of energy and desire to continually make music. We can certainly keep our fingers crossed.

So…looks to me like 2013 is gonna be another leap forward for a cappella. What else is coming our way? If you have some news, drop it in the comments or send me an email. I’ll be doing an update next week on some changes coming to the blog in 2013, but for now- get back to work so you can save some money for these new albums!

—-UPDATES (1/13/13)

Traces are close to releasing their debut album, which includes collaborations with Tom Anderson, Marty Gasper, Alex Green, and James Cannon.

Postyr Project will be releasing a new single next week, and a “reloaded album with 5 new songs” hopefully in March.

Texas A Cappella Celebration has launched a new website and announced headliners Delilah and Overboard.

Rockapella’s new album will feature music from their Motown and More show, as well as related music such as the Jackson 5 and others.

2012- The Year in A Cappella

2012- my first full calendar year with the blog. A lot of new a cappella adventures for me personally, but also for the a cappella world in general.

Let’s begin with the 2 best stories of the year in a cappella:

1) Pentatonix blew up, y’all. If you thought Straight No Chaser was the group most likely to bring a cappella to the biggest chunk of the public, you were wrong. While SNC has peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, Pentatonix surpassed that mark in 2012, landing as high as number 14, number 5 in overall digital album sales, and number 2 for independent albums. Then, approximately 5 months later, their Christmas EP hit #45 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, with peaks at number 5 for independent album and number 8 for holiday album. In the past few months, they’ve made appearances on the Tonight Show, the Katie Couric show, and the Talk, among other shows. They’ve also toured all over the country. Did I mention their YouTube channel has over 42 million– MILLION— views.

So, congratulations to Pentatonix for finally, unequivocally, and with appropriate humility and sense of self, breaking a cappella music into a new tier of mainstream success. Plus, they put out great YouTube videos at a surprisingly robust rate.

2) Remember when Mickey Rapkin wrote a book called Pitch Perfect, and the nerdiest of the a cappella nerds (myself included) rushed out to buy it and then enjoyed it, but were not necessarily blown away? Yeah. That book has been erased by the movie of the same name. A movie which took in over $5 million in its limited release opening weekend in the U.S. A movie which, as of today, has grossed more than $64 million at the box office in the United States and another $20 million abroad (according to Box Office Mojo).  Oh, and it was nominated for the “Favorite Comedic Movie” People’s Choice Award, Rebel Wilson was nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy by the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, it got a very respectable 80% rating from Rotten Tomatoes (compilation of movie reviews from a variety of sources), and there’s talk of a sequel. Did I mention the soundtrack hit number 1 on the Billboard Soundtrack chart?

There’s a slew of Pitch Perfect content on CASA which is worth checking out, seeing as how it was written by people who love a cappella music as much as you do.

Congratulations are certainly in order to producers Elizabeth Banks and Paul Brooks, director Jason Moore, screenwriter Kay Cannon, and especially to our own aca community members, and film music staff, Deke Sharon, Ed Boyer, and Ben Bram. By the way, if podcasts are your thing and you’re missing a cappella content on the pod-web-tubes (see my later comments), there was an interview with Ms. Cannon (the screenwriter) which you can check out here.

Other Noteworthy (not the group) Stuff in 2012

Books– There were a number of a cappella books released in 2012 which are worth checking out. The most important one, which I am still working my way through, is one which most arrangers should consider a necessary addition to their collection. A Cappella Arranging, written by Deke Sharon and Dylan Bell, is a true textbook on the art and science of arranging for contemporary a cappella, and it is written in a thoughtful, accessible, and fun way with examples and diagrams. I’m sure it is available from numerous online outlets, but I bought mine here. It is a terrific value and worthwhile investment.

Other books worth checking out (and which I have purchased, but not yet read) include Brody McDonald’s “A Cappella Pop” and “The A Cappella Book” by Mike Chin and Mike Scalise of the A Cappella Blog. And if you still haven’t read “AcaPolitics” by Stephen Harrison, you should pick that up as well. It is the first, and to my knowledge only, fictional book about the collegiate a cappella scene and it does resemble the Pitch Perfect movie (which it predated).

Festivals– As the global a cappella community becomes more connected, the number of festivals across the world have grown. Here in the U.S., CASA introduced 2 new (or revamped) major festivals, BOSS (Boston Sings) and Acappellafest (Chicago) which were, by all accounts, very successful. Other festivals of note occurred in Toronto, London, Sweden, Australia, and Taiwan, among many other places. An international collaboration between myself and Florian Städtler resulted in this list of as many international festivals as we could compile for the year. We hope to get updates going for 2013 soon.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), issued each year by the Contemporary A Cappella Society, were announced in a live ceremony at this year’s Boston Sings festival, and it appears CASA intends to do the same in 2013.

SoJam celebrated its 10th anniversary with an all-star concert featuring Fork, Pentatonix, and the Edge Effect, among others.

Sing Strong announced that it will feature not one, but two festivals in 2013, one each in Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Web– There were a number of new blogs and other web resources devoted to a cappella music, including:

http://www.reddit.com/r/acappella/

http://www.acafeed.com/

http://acappellaquest.blogspot.com/

http://lovedeacapella.wordpress.com

There was the controversial list of the “coolest” people in a cappella generated by the A Cappella Blog, and a number of streaming a cappella performances including, on the same weekend, one from the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival and one from Denmark by Postyr Project (my takes on these here and here, respectively), in April, the House Jacks’ 20th anniversary concert, and then SoJam X in November.

Groups

At one point, Overboard was a group of guys from the Boston area who did a series of free songs every Friday for a year, who released a brilliant compilation of Beatles tunes reimagined to tell a story, you know- a group with a startling lack of vision (heavy dose of sarcasm). In 2012, the members of that group were everywhere. First (and to be fair, it was late 2011), founder Nick Girard joined The House Jacks to cover both VP and tenor (and a few other parts in their live show). Because, you know, that’s totally doable. Then,  a group called Blueprint, featuring OB members Alfredo Austin, Jeff Eames, and Caleb Wheldon dropped an acabomb at BOSS, followed by a stunning 5-song EP which yielded a track (“Sweeter”) for SING 9.  Not too bad.

Later in the year, the talented Mr. Austin joined a new group called The Exchange, joining with established a cappella singers and personalities like Christopher Diaz, Richard Steighner, and Aaron Sperber. This group toured the world, released a number of videos with varying levels of silliness, from this to this to this.

Lastly, Overboard itself tried some new things, with the permanent addition of Eric Morrissey to replace Jeff Eames, and the temporary/permanent(?) addition for many gigs of Johanna Vinson (of Divisi, Delilah, and Musae) and Donovan Davis.

Talented jazz-y group Simply Put called it quits, Duwende said goodbye to an original (and very talented) member, Ari Picker, and Dan Ponce (founder of Straight No Chaser) helped produce a new group called Gentleman’s Rule. Musae released their debut album, as did The Executive Board.

The Swingle Singers said goodbye to longtime bass Tobias Hug (11 years), and welcomed new bass Edward Randell.

Misc.

The Sing Off China was a thing. There were a series of excellent blog posts following it here.

Sled Dog Studios held 2 separate production workshops, called Next Level, which featured talented instructors including Dave Longo, Tom Anderson, James Cannon, Tat Tong, Chris Crawford, Dave Sperandio, and Ben Stevens.

The ICCA’s have added a new region, the Great Lakes Region, and ICHSA added 2 new semifinals. The SoCal VoCals won ICCA’s for an astounding third time, and Vocal Rush from Oakland School for the Arts.

Six Appeal won the 2012 Harmony Sweepstakes. They will be performing the national anthem at the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, 2013.

Emerald City Productions released a benefit a cappella album for kids called “Sing Me a Song,” the proceeds of which go to organizations devoted to Cerebral Palsy research. The album features a cappella superstars like Nota, Overboard, Cluster, Rajaton, Peter Hollens, Postyr Project, and others. There’s some great insight about the project from Danny Ozment here, and I can tell you that my kids (ages 4 and 20 mo) love the album.

Voices Only Forte, a compilation of non-scholastic a cappella music from all over the world, was released. Corey Slutsky from Voices Only also put together this benefit track, the proceeds of which benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

At the end of the year, CASA President Julia Hoffman stepped down, and she will be replaced at the helm by Tom Anderson in 2013.

The Worst of 2012

Sadly, members of the Persuasions (Jesse “Sweet Joe” Russell), the Penguins (Cleve Duncan), the Cadillacs (Earl Carroll), the McGuire Sisters (Dorothy McGuire), and (Dion and) the Belmonts (Fred Milano) all passed away. These groups were critical to the history of modern a cappella music.

On a far less tragic, but still disappointing, note the Mouth Off podcast apparently went on an indefinite and stealthy hiatus. It’s hard to say exactly what happened, because there didn’t appear to be much explanation via Twitter, Facebook, etc., but presumably it was related to Christopher Diaz being extraordinarily busy traveling and touring the world with various groups and to various festivals.

My 2012 in a cappella

– I became a reviewer for RARB

– I wrote a few pieces for CASA (herehere, here)

– I attended my second a cappella festival, the very first Boston Sings (BOSS)

– I began the Spotlight series on this blog and got to interview some terrific producers and performers.

– I got to meet some really great people in the a cappella community, something I hope to do a lot more of in 2013.

I’m sure there was a ton of other newsworthy content which happened in 2012. Feel free to leave me some reminders or jabs in the comments section.

Happy New Year to everyone, and here’s hoping to bigger and better things for a cappella music in 2013!

Vocaldoings, Fall 2012

It’s been awhile since I got around to doing one of these, but there’s so much going on in the a cappella world, that if you took a day or two off from Twitter/Facebook/alloftheweb, you missed a lot. So, here goes.

The big news, of course, is the upcoming U.S. release of the film “Pitch Perfect,” which should open in most theaters tomorrow, Sept. 28. The full list of international release dates is available here.

I attended a screening for an upcoming post for CASA, and I am curious to see how the general public feels about this movie. For now, you can find the beginnings of what will be a variety of “Pitch Perfect” articles on CASA’s website right here and you can see the recent Mike Thompkins video for “Starships” which features a number of the actors from the movie here.

NEWS

Duwende announced that longtime bass Ari Picker will be leaving the group. I first saw the group 11 years ago, and only he, Ed Chung, and Abbey Janes remain from that version of the group. It’s a shame, because he and Ed have consistently produced, over the years, one of the most locked-in rhythm sections I’ve seen. We all wish him the best, and hope they can find a worthy replacement!

Notable newcomers “The Lost Dogs,” featuring (among others) Ithacappella alums Rob Deitz,  Nate Tao, and Harry Nichols and Cornell Chordials alum Ariel Arbisser have changed their name to “The Funx.” You can check out their new Facebook page here. They also released a snippet from a new original song here, and are currently touring in western New York.

Danny Ozment at Emerald City Productions has been busy lately, with his new blog “Behind the Aca-Curtain,”  and his new self-recorded, mixed, and most importantly, performed cover of “Mercy” by the Dave Matthews Band which you can check out here. The most interesting note to me personally, however, was that ECP is going to be releasing a collection of children’s songs performed by a number of terrific a cappella folks like Peter Hollens, Rajaton, and Postyr Project, among others. For those of us in the a cappella community with young children, this sounds like a must-have album and something I talked with Chad Bergeron (Acapodcast) about back in April at the BOSS festival. Looking forward to more details on this collection!

Cut Off A Cappella, from Rochester, NY, have a new Kickstarter campaign to help fund their debut CD. Check it out here.

The Vocal Company has announced a new service where they rent you, the singers, equipment and provide advice which will help you do the recording yourself. The service is called DIY A Cappella, and you can check out the details here.

The Sing Off China has concluded, and congratulations to the winning group, Freeman. The first runner-up was MICappella, a group I have featured previously on the AcaVids segment. For some great commentary on the entire season of the show, check out the blog “I Speak in Song” right here.

Sled Dog Studios is gearing up for another, shorter version of their workshop, this time called “Next Level 1.5” which will feature Dave Sperandio (instead of Tat Tong), James Cannon, Dave Longo, Tom Anderson, Kari Francis, Ted Trembinski, Jeston Lewis, and Benjamin Stevens. You can find out more on the workshop right here.

Sing Off Season 3 competitors (and terrific ones at that) Afro Blue have officially changed their name to Traces of Blue. You can check out their new website here.

LIVE MUSIC

In less than a month, AcappellaFest will be taking over the midwest in Chicago, IL. The professional showcase will feature The Edge Effect and Sonos, and there are a number of new workshops and presenters, so if you’re available and have the funds, it looks to be a great festival. Find more info here.

Overboard is currently on tour across the eastern seaboard and midwest. A few of their gigs will feature guest singers Johanna Vinson from Delilah and Musae and Donovan Davis. Check out the tour info here.

International alert: Florian Stadtler at the Vocal Blog has a new post about a German festival called Sangeslust which is coming up very soon. You can find the post here.

Future festivals alert: SoJam will be celebrating its 10th year with a ridiculous collection of talent for the main concert that includes Fork, Pentatonix, and The Edge Effect. Check out the SoJam website for more details here.

Sing Strong has officially multiplied, as 2013 will feature two separate festivals, one in Washington D.C. and a second in Chicago. No details on each festival yet, but there is also a tantalizing link which says “Start a SingStrong in my area.”  As of now, when you click, it only says “Info Coming Soon…” Stay tuned to http://www.singstrong.org/

MULTIMEDIA

The Exchange, the new “vocal boyband”/supergroup featuring Alfredo Austin, Christopher Diaz,  Aaron Sperber, Richard Steighner, and Jamal Moore have released their first clip, a cover of Jessie J’s “Domino,” which is quite good and which you can listen to right here.

The lovely ladies of Musae have a new video of them performing “Without You,” which is lush and moving, and which is located here.

The Boxettes have a new live video from a performance at the National Theatre London, which you can find here.

A few weeks ago, Peter Hollens released a second video with Lindsey Stirling, again featuring stunning nature backdrops, this time dedicated to “Game of Thrones,” which is available here. His most recent video is a parody on the hypocrisy and pandering of national politicians in a cover of Bruno Mars’s “The Lazy Song” which he and Luke Conard call “The Lazy Politicians Song.”

*Late Addition: Pentatonix released this quickly thrown-together video today. How do they make it look so easy? This.

ACA…sorta?

One of the biggest entertainment outlets to mock, er feature, a cappella music over the past few years was NBC’s The Office, where Ed Helms has repeatedly referred to his former Cornell group, “Here Comes Treble.” Well, it appears that his former Daily Show co-star (and current Comedy Central host/icon) Stephen Colbert will be appearing on an upcoming episode of The Office as “Broccoli Rob,” a former member of the Cornell group. You can read the rest of the article here.

Ben Folds is known to many in the a cappella community as a judge for all 3 seasons of The Sing Off and the guy who compiled an entire album of college groups covering his own songs. For those of us a little older, he was the former bandleader of the terrific trio, Ben Folds Five. This band was one of the best I have ever seen at harmonizing while rocking out, and their witty and punchy songs were extremely popular with college a cappella groups (including my own) in the late ’90’s. The good news is, they’re back together with a brand new  album which I already love. It is available for purchase in all the typical web outlets.

Vocaldoings II

As always, there is so much going on in the a cappella world, I felt the need for another Vocaldoings post to update you all. If I have omitted anything big, please feel free to comment and if I remember, I’ll add it to the body of the post!

Live A cappella

Sing Strong, the terrific festival put together by Jonathan Minkoff, will be staged in Reston Virginia next weekend. There are a number of top-notch performers, including Pentatonix, so check out the website and see if tickets are still available. (wish I could go!)

Duwende recently completed a series of performances at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.  A few other performers you might have heard of: Bobby McFerrin, Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock, and Pat Metheny. No big deal, right?! Congratulations to Duwende.

The House Jacks are currently on tour in the Pacific Northwest. In April, they will be heading out the east coast for a number of gigs, including one at the Bitter End in NYC (as far as I can remember, this is one place they always try to play when they are in NYC). If you have never seen them before, this is your chance- do it.

Human Nature, from Australia, are about to begin touring the U.S., and they just released their U.S. debut album, “The Motown Record.” They are also doing a contest on this tour seeking opening groups for each city. Check out the finalists here.

Get Vocal 2012– The weeklong vocal festival in Australia wraps up today. Hopefully there will be some video clips of the terrific groups from the festival, including The Idea of North, online soon.

A cappella Blog doings

Marc Silverberg, a part-time faculty member at Five Towns College in New York and alumnus of the Westminster Deaftones has started a new blog entitled “The Quest for an A cappella Major.” Some thought-provoking posts, check it out here.

Rob Dietz, over at Human Feedback, has a great new post identifying and explaining what he likes about certain a cappella tracks. Check it out here.

As always, the guys over at The A cappella Blog have a lot going on. They recently posted analysis of their ICCA competition bracket competition and offered Part II of their “Unauthorized History of the Acapocalypse,” an “episodic narrative” tracing the formation of a fictional a cappella group. Also, their Kickstarter campaign met its funding and then some. Congratulations to Mike and Mike.

Deke Sharon continued his insightful and provocative series of blog posts on CASA.org with a new post, “Commerce vs. Creativity.” Be sure to check it out here.

Albums

Euphonism, the terrific CAL group based in Washington, D.C., has released their new album, “Stuck in a Memory.” It is available on iTunes now.

As reader and fellow blogger LovedeAcapella pointed out in the comments section for the last Vocaldoings, Take 6 has a new album coming out called “One.” The album may not be entirely a cappella, but I’m sure it will be worth checking out.

Videos

Peter Hollens has a great new video up covering gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” which you can check out here.

Pentatonix did a nice live cover of Rihanna’s “You Da One” which you can check out here.

Also from the Sing Off Season 3, Urban Method offered up a video of “Me and You” performed live in Colorado, which you can see here.

It’s not brand new, but since my last Vocaldoings post, Italian aca-geniuses Cluster posted a video in which they took an…interesting…. YouTube user singing something vaguely resembling Adele and turned it into something new altogether. Check it out here.

Kickstarter

Justin Glodich, singer, songwriter, member of The Fault Line, and former Potsdam Pointercount (my college group) is also a music teacher in Eldred, NY. The high school group he directs, the Eldred Key Elements, have a project aiming to help them record their first album. Check it out and pledge here.

Harmony Sweepstakes

You can find all of the specific awards and result here, but the bulletpoints are as follows:

New York winners: Audiofeels, from Poland

Los Angeles winners: Down 4 the Count

Pacific Northwest winners: Six Appeal (featured on my AcaVids segment a few weeks ago)

San Francisco (Bay Are) winners: Sing Theory

Mid-Atlantic winners: GQ

ICCA

All of the quarterfinals have completed, and you can check out the results here.

Last night, the UGA Accidentals won their regional semifinal and will be headed to the finals in NYC. Congratulations, guys!

ICHSA

You can check out the latest results on the high school competition here.

Vocaldoings

There is so much going on in the world, even within the a cappella world, that it is difficult at times to keep track of it all. So I figured I’d do a quick summary of some noteworthy things that are going on now or in the near future.

Live A Cappella

— Festivals

-This weekend, there are not one but TWO vocal festivals going on in New England and tickets are still available for both.

Amplify A cappella Festival, in Rhode Island- details here. (Transit and Duwende headlining)

N.E. Voices, in Massachusetts- details here. (Firedrill!, Redline, and Pitch Slapped headlining)

-Sing Strong Festival in VA in March has announced a ridiculous lineup that includes Pentatonix, Afro Blue, The Edge Effect, Blue Jupiter, MAXX Factor, and more. Get tickets here.

-VoCALnation in D.C. in July has also announced a great lineup, including Cluster and Afro Blue. Info available here.

– Get Vocal, festival in Australia, just announced its lineup, including The Idea of North. More info here.

— Currently on tour

Naturally 7– details here. They will be at B.B. King’s in NYC on Feb. 16th, and then doing a free show at Penn State on Feb. 17th before heading out on an international tour with Michael Buble.

Voces 8– details here. Not only are they in the middle of a U.S. tour across the midwest, but they are also posting videos from stops along the way which you can watch here.

Studio A Cappella

Pentatonix have released a terrific track (audio for download and video on YouTube) of “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. More info here.

The collaborative track from SoJam, featuring members of The Boxettes, Naturally 7, Musae, the UNC-G Sapphires, and others is now available for listening here. And it’s very good (icanhazmoreElbowacappellaplease?!)

Groove for Thought, featured on Season 2 of the Sing Off, has released their new album. You can find out more info here.

Voices Only Forte, a great collection of non-collegiate a cappella tracks, is now available for purchase. More info here.

Peter Hollens has a new video and a (different) new track available for purchase on iTunes. His website is here.

An unreleased track from the Committed album, their cover of Usher’s “You Got it Bad,” is now on YouTube here.

Kickstarter Projects

Just announced today, U of Oregon’s On the Rocks have a Kickstarter project for their 6th CD and a midwest tour. Support them here.

The guys from the A Cappella Blog have a publishing project relating to their first book, “The A Cappella Book.” Check it out here.

The Green Tones, a mixed group from University of North Texas, are looking to produce their debut album. More info here.

Forte, a mixed group from Centerville High School, are looking to record an album of all original tunes. I will repeat: all original. Help fund it here.

UPDATE: “Those Guys,” from Winnipeg, are working on “That Album” on a Kickstarter clone called Rockethub. Support them here.

A cappella Blog doings

Over at Vocal Blog, Line Groth from Postyr Project has offered a glimpse into the exercises which her group uses to improve intonation and blend. Check it out right here.

With the first round of ICCA competitions nearly completed, the fellas at The A Cappella Blog have written some reviews and summaries right here. Rob Dietz also reviewed the West Coast ICCA regional on his website here.

Relatively new blogger (but longtime aca-Twitter-azzi) LovedeAcappella has a poll for the best #basslove song right here.

Miscellany

James Wallace, VP from Transit, has been working on a series of instructional videos on YouTube. The latest is up here.

Dakaboom (aka Ben McClain from Sonos and Paul Peglar formerly from Sonos) with a fun new video here. (and outtakes here).

I’ll do these updates periodically, but for now, feel free to email me anything I missed at dave@acatribe.com.