Questions, Comments, Concerns: The Lion King feat. Beyonce

Welcome back to Questions, Comments, Concerns, a feature we usually reserve for Lifetime movies we’ve seen instead of Disney movies we haven’t. Ready?

Comment: NAAAAANTS ingonyamaAAAAA.

That feels better.

[Thing REAL 90s kids will remember: Having made-up nonsense that you thought were the real Lion King lyrics for decades. I’ll admit it. I did think it was Naaaaa S’ven’yahhh for a long time. And I do have a friend who thought the part a little later in the song was ‘Pink Pajamas Penguins On The Bottom.’]

Comment: I want to go to a mountaintop and triumphantly raise this cast listing into the air in front of awed wildlife.
Question: Can we get more Adult Nala?

It’s Beyonce, and doesn’t it feel like Adult Nala doesn’t get to do much except playfully wrestle near a waterfall and make bedroom eyes at Simba? The point is I want a new song.

Concern: I hope the new songs are good.

I want a new song, but I want it to be really good and fit in well with the Lion King vibe. I’m sure it will, because they need a new number for Oscar eligibility, anyway.

Comment: Good on them for keeping James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

Can you imagine anybody else as Mufasa?

Question: But can we get some more of the original cast back, too?

What I’m saying is, I want JTT to have a cameo as a zebra or flamingo or whatever.

Comment: These children are amazing!

When we tweeted Hairspray Live, I remember commenting that Shahadi Wright Joseph has the world in her pocket. In addition to Hairspray, she has appeared in the OBC of School of Rock and was the youngest Broadway Nala in, you guessed it, The Lion King. Kid’s going places fast.

As for JD McCrary, this isn’t his first collab with Donald Glover. He’s the kid on Childish Gambino’s Terrified and has racked up a nice number of TV credits. He also does a more-than-good M.J.:

Question: How would a live-action Lion King work??

Short answer: it’s not really live-action. I’m sure I’m not the only person who was super-confused on this point. Like, humans in costumes a la the Broadway production? I love Julie Taymor, but that sounds distracting. Living animals? Bloodbath. After some searching, the answer is that it will be realistic CGI, like the Jungle Book remake that came out not too long ago.

Concern: I love that this is happening but I’m greedy and I also want all of these actors to appear together in a film where we actually get to see them.
Comment: LEADING MAN DONALD GLOVER.

We’re both longtime fans of both Donald Glover and his rap alter-ego Childish Gambino, and in the Beyonce of it all it took me a few hours to realize that Donald Glover is the lead in a major motion picture – with many more to come, if there’s any justice in the world.

Question: Who the heck is Kamari?

I can see that it’s Keegan Michael Key (love!) but I mean as a character, I have zero recall of ever seeing a Kamari.

Comment: Banzai and Ed are still up for grabs.

Whoever it is, it’s going to be good.

[Edit: I hear that Kamari and Azizi are the new Banzai and Ed? OK.]

Comment: THE PRESS TOUR.
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Playlist of the Month: Songs by 2015 Grammy Nominees

The Grammy Awards are this Sunday, and the nominees always remind me how much music I’m not listening to. There are whole categories – chamber music, regional roots, children’s  – that I can honestly say I haven’t played once in the past 12 months. Neither of us is concerned with what music is supposed to be highbrow or cool, which is probably why you won’t see anything from the more esoteric categories. We just like what we like. Here’s what we liked from the 2015 Grammy nominees:

Molly’s Picks

Jackie And Wilson by Hozier {Song Of The Year}

I have a rule that if there are more than three songs I want to download from an album, I just buy the whole thing. That was the case with Hozier’s self-titled debut. We all know Take Me To Church, the song for which he was nominated and the Top 40 constant for the past 3 months. But this is an album with, like, 10 standout tracks. It was hard to pick just one, but it felt right to introduce everyone to one of Hozier’s more uptempo tunes.

Bed Peace by Jhene Aiko ft. Childish Gambino {Best Urban Contemporary Album}

If you can watch this video without wishing that Donald Glover and Jhene Aiko would just be a couple already, I can’t relate. As someone who listens to a lot of … um… urban contemporary? music, Sail Out is really refreshing because it’s sort of floaty and beachy in addition to the typical rap solos and R&B beats.

Seriously. Does anyone still say “urban music” though?

Afterlife by Arcade Fire {Best Alternative Music Album}

Also, does anyone still say “alternative music?”

Usually I listen to Arcade Fire when I feel like revisiting 2005 (see also: Bright Eyes, Motion City Soundtrack). While Reflektor still sounds like Arcade Fire, they’ve definitely moved further into the synth-y, electronic, dancey direction.

Bad Blood by Bastille {Best New Artist}

It always feels like the Grammys use some fuzzy math for what’s a “new” artist. So, yeah, Bastille’s been around for a minute. I’ve been watching Twin Peaks so I had to pick the song named after pretty, dead Laura Palmer, even though this one sounds sort of surprisingly Phil Collins-y.

Severed Crossed Fingers by St. Vincent {Best Alternative Music Album}

I’ll admit it. This is my least favorite St. Vincent album. But it’s still really good, and I’m always in favor of artists trying new things instead of spitting out what they think their audience wants.

Traci’s Picks

3005 by Childish Gambino {Best Rap Performance}

Being a fan of Community, I was an early adapter to Childish Gambino. I saw him live in 2010, and as he became more popular over the past few years, the venues started getting bigger and, for some reason, the audience kept getting younger. Anyways, I was a hardcore Gambino Girl back in the day and am particularly partial to his earlier stuff. His Grammy-nominated album (!) because the internet was clearly an evolution of his sound, and although it was good, I just personally liked the tracks off Camp and his EP better (Kauai is really good too, tho). But one song I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop playing is 3005, which is reminiscent of that early sound I loved. A fun thing to do is listen to it on your car and when the beat kicks in on the chorus, turn the volume way up and then immediately turn it back down because you are old now.

New Flame by Chris Brown featuring Usher & Rick Ross {Best R&B Performance}

UGH CHRIS BROWN. STOP MAKING MUSIC I LIKE, BECAUSE YOU ARE LIT’RALLY THE WORST. But hi Usher. UGH CHRIS BROWn,.

Rather Be by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne {Best Dance Recording}

I was in the unique position of reading about how this song was burning up the UK charts prior to actually hearing it. I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and immediately got addicted to it, and now am a fan of both Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne. Her voice is perfectly suited for Clean Bandit’s sound, and vice versa.

Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood {Best Country Solo Performance}

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I’m particular to Carrie Underwood, specifically that hearing her sing usually makes me cry. This song is no different. It was a track she released in conjunction with her greatest hits album, and like a couple of her other songs, it’s classified under the Christian genre, and she even samples Amazing Grace towards the end. That song is so traditional that it can be overplayed and overused, but Carrie makes it sound brand new and makes you feel something within, no matter what you believe.

Day Drinking by Little Big Town {Best Country Duo/Group Performance}

So it’s February, and there may or may not be a blizzard going on outside your home right now, but if you want to feel like it’s summer and you’re throwing back a few margs or beers or alcohol of your choice, just listen to this song.

Honorable Mentions:

Bound 2 by Kanye West featuring Charlie Wilson {Best Rap/Sung Performance}, Ain’t It Fun by Paramore {Best Rock Song}, Automatic by Miranda Lambert {Best Country Song}

A Beginner’s Guide to Childish Gambino

On Tuesday, this guy came out with a new album:
cg because the internet
Yes, this is the actual cover for Childish Gambino’s new record. I bought the actual CD, and not only are his eyes staring directly into my soul, but it’s a HOLOGRAM. Well worth my $10.

BTW, if you don’t know who this is, this is rapper/singer/artist/actor/writer/producer/all around G of all trades, Donald Glover. Most people know him as Troy Barnes on Community (#SixSeasonsAndAMovie), which is how I originally became of fan of him. I caught on to his alter ego’s music circa 2010, when he came out with Culdesac, and his impressive skills and frequent pop culture refs have made me been hooked ever since. Not to mention, he puts on an amazing live show, and I’ve seen him every time he’s played in LA – including the one time I didn’t realize I got pit tickets and was really close to him and watched his Community pals watch him from the sidelines.

IMG_1635

When I almost died after he took his shirt off and we were thisclose from him. If you look closely, you can see Alison Brie in the back!

Now here we are with his new album, a record that shouldn’t even be called a record because it’s so much more than that. In addition to the music, he’s released a 72-page screenplay on the becausetheinter.net website. The music on the album acts as a soundtrack to the scenes (or vice versa). Not only that, but a few months ago, he released a 24 minute movie that supposedly acts as the prelude to the because the internet screenplay/album. In fact, a fan has a theory that over the past year, CG has been incorporating the elements from BTI in his tweets, insta, interviews, etc. You can read more of the theory here, it’s insane.

But before you delve into the new joint, especially if you’re new to the game, it’s important to know where CG came from and how he’s grown as an artist (because clearly, there’s a rhyme and reason to everything he does). So I’ve compiled a few of my favorite tracks of his to get you started.

Sunshine {Pointdexter}

This is off one of CG’s earliest mix tapes and he sounds completely different than he does today, but this track proves that he was just more than an actor.

Do Ya Like {Culdesac}

Pre-Rolling in the Deep, Adele had minor hits off her album 19, and on that same record there’s a song called Melt My Heart to Stone. And CG managed to sample that song on this track. And it’s fucking catchy as hell.

Put it in My Video {Culdesac}

From the very start as the first note drops, you know what’s up. You can not only put it in his video but have a sick dance party (by yourself) or with friends, too.

I Got This Money {Culdesac}

The version below is the acoustic version, which I actually like better than the original, but you might like that one better. S/o to the guitar player, whose name is Ludwig Goransson who is CG’s main music man, not to mention he’s the music supervisor on a ton of TV shows, including Community.

Be Alone – Freaks and Geeks – My Shine – Lights Turned On – Not Going Back {EP}

THE ENTIRE EP RECORD BECAUSE IT IS PERFECT. Really. Every single song.

Bonfire {Camp}

What better way to lead off an album called Camp with a song called Bonfire? From the first note, you get a sense of what the record is, which is … on fire.

Fire Fly {Camp}

Just imagine bumpin’ this song in the summer, ridin’ in your drop top, passin’ by kids playing in fire hydrants… basically imagine if you lived in Do The Right Thing for about 3 minutes and that’s what this song feels like.

Heartbeat {Camp}

From the moment I heard this song, I knew it would be one of my all time favorites. It’s been two years since this album released and I STILL don’t get sick of this song. Hearing it live is even more of an experience – it gets inside your soul (Seriously, see this man live. It will change your life).

LES {Camp}

This song elicits a specific dance move out of me that may or may not look a little like this, and I don’t know why but it does and I’m fine with it.

We Ain’t Them {R O Y A L T Y}

This was the lead single of CG’s 2012 mix tape, and probably my fave of the bunch. That’s all I have to say about that.

Unnecessary {R O Y A L T Y}

CG goes hard. And serves up realness.

Won’t Stop (ft. Danielle Haim)  {R O Y A L T Y}

Danielle Haim of HAIM, you guys. This song is really deep and I appreciate that.

Real Estate  {R O Y A L T Y}

This is a song featuring Tina Fey rapping. Yes, that Tina Fey (PS: If you didn’t know, Donald used to write for 30 Rock – an even won an Emmy for it – so there’s your Queen Tina connection).

IV. Sweatpants {because the internet}

Because I’m old school and actually buy CDs of artists that I love instead of streaming it online days before it’s released, I’ve only listened to the album a couple of times all the way through. That being said, this song stuck out right away. He’s only getting better, folks.

Bonus Tracks:

Break (AOTL)

Because Kanye West’s All of the Lights was so damn good it needed to be incorporated into a CG song.

The Longest Text Message

The phrase “sad face emoticon” are real lyrics to this song, hence Gambino’s mastermind status.