George Harrison passed away on the 29th of November, 2001. Though a simple private ceremony was held shortly after where his ashes were scattered over the Ganges river, a more public memorial occurred at Royal Albert Hall exactly one year after his death. [more inside]
The world of video game music has blossomed in recent years, enough to support live concert tours and bestselling albums. But while most such work is licensed or contracted out to third-party composers, a rare breed make their living at a single company, imbuing entire franchises with their unique sound. And apart from Nintendo's venerable Koji Kondo, there is perhaps no dedicated gaming composer more renowned than Martin O'Donnell. From humble beginnings writing the jingle for Flintstones Vitamins, O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori joined developer Bungie in 1997, penning music for Myth, Oni, and most notably the Halo trilogy -- an iconic blend of sweeping orchestral bombast, haunting choirs, and electronic ambience that became one of the most acclaimed and successful gaming soundtracks of all time. O'Donnell also helmed Bungie's audio department, managing voice actors, sound effects, and an innovative dynamic music engine, and was most recently working with Paul McCartney on the score for the upcoming Destiny. So it came as a surprise today when it was announced MartyTheElder was being terminated without cause (flabbergasted reaction: HBO/DBO - NeoGAF - Reddit). With O'Donnell following Joseph Staten, Frank O'Connor, Marcus Lehto, and other Bungie veterans out the door, what might this mean for the company and its decade-long plan for Destiny? [more inside]
Perhaps the greatest Irish band in history. They came from Liverpool, a city with an Irish population so large that it's known as "The Real Capitol of Ireland," and with an accent, "Scouse," that betrays its Irish influence. There were four in the band, and three were of Irish descent. [more inside]
My Valentine: Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp perform Paul McCartney's "My Valentine" in ASL.
The Oriental Nightfish. A Chanukah/Christmas gift of sorts. "Listening to Linda proceed tunelessly through "Endless Days" (she "sings" the "song" the way that Ken Lay "protected employees" or Ryan Leaf "quarterbacked") is an experience to be treasured, if by treasured you mean buried in a chest by pirates."
AOL Sessions has live videos from more than 150 different artists specially recorded for the series. Here are just a few of the artists on offer: Paul McCartney, Mary J. Blige, Modest Mouse, Tori Amos, Robyn, Tom Petty, Rhymefest, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Natasha Bedingfield, Cat Power, Toby Keith, Lil' Wayne, Robert Plant, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kelly Rowland, Weezer and Brian Wilson. To the left of the videos there's a Q&A link that has short interview videos with the artists as well as behind the scenes footage and longer interviews.
Lennon and McCartney's Studio Reunion. On March 28, 1974, John Lennon was in a Burbank studio producing Harry Nilsson's "Pussy Cats" album when Paul McCartney dropped in. The room froze and remained silent until John said, "Valiant Paul McCartney, I presume?" Paul responded: "Sir Jasper Lennon, I presume?" The tension broken, a jam session [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] ensued featuring Lennon on guitar and vocals, McCartney on drums and vocals, Stevie Wonder on electric piano and vocals, Harry Nilsson on vocals, Jesse Ed Davis on guitar and Bobby Keys on saxophone. A bootleg of the session has circulated under the title "A Toot and a Snore in '74".
The Beatles in film: A Hard Day's Night (1964), Help! (1965), Magical Mystery Tour (1967), Yellow Submarine (1968) and, finally, Let It Be [Apple rooftop concert only] (1970)
"Window in the Sky" is a YouTube style video synch mash-up done on a professional budget with the magic of copyright clearances. "It's a triumph of postmodern reconstruction" says the Washington Post.
If you happen to have a lot of time this afternoon and feel like revisiting an old music conspiracy chestnut, this is the most comprehensive page on Paul Is Dead that I have ever seen (link via Bifurcated Rivets).