A Very Backstreet Holiday

“It’s been almost 30 years since the Backstreet Boys burst onto the music scene and the much-loved boyband was ready to celebrate the holidays in true 1990s style.

“In early December, the band filmed a Christmas special, titled A Very Backstreet Holiday for ABC and Disney+ that was set to air on December 14. The special saw bandmates Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough perform songs from their new album, A Very Backstreet Christmas, as well as some of their biggest hits.

“The special also featured guest appearances from Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Nikki Glaser and others.” See full article on Newsweek

Credit: Editor

South Park 25th Anniversary Concert

Art by Jim Mazza

“On August 9th at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, absurdist animated dreams became reality as Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Ween, and Primus celebrated 25 years of South Park. The cardboard legacy came to life as the show’s creators conducted the respective alternative rock icons through a marathon performance of songs from throughout the show’s history.

“Primus and Ween served a necessary purpose as it is probably not medically safe to laugh as hard as we all did for three hours straight. Between fits of unbridled joy, Matt and Trey delivered the Kanye-skewering autotune club anthem “Gay Fish” before touching on The Book of Mormon with “Man Up”. Within the context of Matt and Trey’s 2011 Broadway musical, what we all witnessed on Tuesday made more sense. Sure, these are the guys that became the gold standard for comedy that is somehow both low-brow and astutely insightful satire, but they are also lifelong lovers of musical theater who will take any opportunity to deliver a performance worthy of New York’s Theater District. Matt and Trey brought South Park‘s raunchiness to life on Tuesday, and put it to sheet music.” Read the full article here

Watch the full show

Credit: Editor

“The Ritz” Short Film

Official poster

“Shawnee native Allex Tarr premiered her short film ‘The Ritz’ in a private screening at the Ritz last Friday. According to Tarr, the film is based on a story her grandparents told her when she was a child.” See the full article here on the Shawnee News-Star.

Directed by Allex Tarr, “The Ritz” is a short film based on a true love story from the 1950s. The film was shot in Shawnee, Oklahoma, on the very same grounds where the original couple courted each other all those decades ago.

Follow them on Instagram for updates about the upcoming release and festival circuit.

Official poster

Credit: Editor

Saks Fifth Avenue’s Holiday Light Show

“On Monday, November 22, Saks unveiled its world-famous holiday window display and theatrical light show, featuring a special appearance by Michelle Obama, former first lady of the United States and founder of the Girls Opportunity Alliance, and a performance by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.”

“This year, the light show features a dazzling display of over 700,000 programmed LED lights on the 10-story facade of the building. The legendary center six windows focus on the theme of reconnecting with friends and loved ones during the holiday season. Inspired by drawings and descriptions from children in the New York area, including members of the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, the windows feature fantastical renderings of carnivals, getaways, sweet treats and games.”

“Saks’ support of the Girls Opportunity Alliance includes a $1 million donation to the Obama Foundation, a curated multi-vendor merchandise collection, holiday window displays at the Saks New York flagship, a Saks career shadowing opportunity for three young women from the GOA community, and a digital campaign with special content throughout the holiday season. From now through January 1, 2022, Saks will donate 100% of this collection’s net proceeds to the Girls Opportunity Alliance.” Read the full article at NY Post

Credit: Editor

APPLE MUSIC First Listen, Season 2

Apple Music “First Listen” has hosted many album releases in 2021, featuring artists from streaming locations across the globe: NY, LA, London, Australia, Germany and Japan. The diverse group of talent offered surprisingly intimate looks into their life, creative process, and genuine thoughts on their newest contribution to the music scene.

From Icon vs Icon article, linked below

LADY GAGA + TONY BENNETT, Love for Sale: “In 2014, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga teamed up to take on the Great American Songbook with the duets album Cheek to Cheek. The album immediately went to #1 on the Billboard chart and the world has never been the same. For their follow-up act, these to artists are coming together once again, this time narrowing their focus to one seminal songwriter: Cole Porter. Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, Love for Sale features a mix of jazz ensemble, big band, and orchestral arrangements.” Read full article here.

Photo from Side Stage Magazine article, linked below

ED SHEERAN, =: “Ed Sheeran is counting down to the release of his new album with a very special Apple Music ‘First Listen’ global live-stream celebration next week… First Listen is a series of free Apple Music hosted virtual launch parties, harkening back to the album listening parties of yore but now with almost unlimited, ways for artists to connect with and treat their biggest fans to something special before releasing new music to the world. Acting as a live event extension of some of Apple Music’s most popular and influential playlists, these virtual listening parties could include everything from unreleased tracks, to special surprise guests and more.” Read the full article here.

KAROL G, KG0516: “The #FirstListenKarolG event was hosted by Zane Lowe, who spoke with the artist about the creation of the album and the interactive experience behind the project; in addition to [her] career, sources of inspiration, among other topics that have marked [her] career… ‘I made this album with a lot of love. I don’t know if it will be number one, but in my heart it is the best album of 2021 and I am very happy to release it together with you, Zane and my fans,’ said Karol G.” Read the full article here.

From Vanyaland article, linked below

EASY LIFE, life’s a beach: “Leicester alt-pop misfits Easy Life release debut album life’s a beach this Friday (May 28), and to get us all worked up into a smooth lather, have unveiled another colorful new video, this time for ‘ocean view.’ The themes of both album and video are sure arriving at the right time, as the so-called easy life in this country on the left of the Atlantic gears us for a three-day weekend where virtually all of us will finally be allowed to go outside.” Read the full article here.

MIGOS, Culture III: “The Migos have finally released their long-awaited album, Culture III. Culture III dropped on Friday and features from Cardi B, Justin Bieber, Drake, Future, Polo G, and YoungBoy Never Broke Again, as well as posthumous appearances from Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke. The album follows the release of the project’s first single, ‘Straightenin’ and was paired with a live, First Listen album release event on Apple Music with Zane Lowe.” Read full article here.

From the BiSH official site

BiSH, GOiNG TO DESTRUCTiON: “To commemorate the release of ‘GOiNG TO DESTRUCTiON,’ Apple Music’s distribution event ‘First Listen’ will be held for the first time in Japan from 21:00 on 8/3 (Tuesday)!” Read the full article here.

Photo from Billboard article, linked below

Dan + Shay, Good Things: “When it came time to pick the title for their first album since 2018’s self-titled set, which debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney knew there was only one choice: Good Things. ‘After the past year and a half that we’ve all had, I feel like that’s kind of where our hearts were and what we thought out fans wanted to hear,” Smyers says… Dan + Shay’s fourth studio set for Warner Music Nashville stays on brand for the platinum duo, with its 12 tracks offering irresistibly upbeat ditties and piano-based, brooding heartbreakers. It’s all bound together by the pair’s unabashedly romantic sensibilities — as well as smooth, layered harmonies (led by Mooney’s crystalline vocals) and Smyers’ pristine, innovative production.” Read full article here.

Photo from Total Entertainment, article linked below

Rag N Bone Man, Life By Misadventure: ” ‘What I’ll take from this whole album experience is it’s made me a more open human being,’ Rag’n’Bone Man tells Apple Music. ‘It’s about sort of finally being able to be really honest about yourself and realising your flaws… There’s a common theme of growing up … We’re all winging it and I’m trying. We grew up in a time where it was very difficult to show your feelings, our generation have a responsibility to make sure our kids don’t feel like that.’ ” Read the full article here.

Olivia Rodrigo, Sour: “Rodrigo also expressed the surreal feeling of having her album finally being out to the world. ‘To be honest, it doesn’t register as being real life yet, but I just feel so proud of the record, and whatever happens if people love it or if people hate it, I’m just so happy with the sort of slice of my life that I’ve really memorialized in music,’ she said. ‘I just had so much fun making it. At the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.’ ” Read the full article here.

Credit: Union Editor


Dear Earth, which will premiere on YouTube this Saturday, aims to inspire viewers from all over the planet to make it a better, healthier and more sustainable home to us all and educate them on how to solve climate problems through keynote addresses, musical performances, special appearances and comedic shorts.” Read the full article here on Billboard.

“YouTube first announced the special as part of its Originals’ October sustainability-centered programming during the 2021 Summer TCA press tour last month. Former President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Desmond Tutu and Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai are some of the global leaders presenting during the 100-minute celebration of the planet…”

“Jaden Smith, Tinashe, Dicky’s pal and Dave co-star Gata, The Muppets, SpongeBob SquarePants and more celebrities, content creators and climate change activists will be featured.”

View the full special here

Credit: Union Editor

JOHN LEGEND & ALOK “In My Mind” Music Video

“The Voice coach John Legend released a new song on July 30 with Alok. The techno tune is very lyrical, talking about yearning to be with someone. It has an easy to listen to groove and the possibility to hit the charts very quickly. This song begins with a light beat, accompanied by Legend’s equally as light vocals. Legend begins the song out in a lower register, and he sings the entire song with passion. His vocals are insane in this song.” Read the full article here.

Edited by Kyle Cogan + Kari Heavenrich

Learn more about Kyle Cogan and his amazing team at Simian.LA