Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin to feature new songs by Greatest Showman lyricists

Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of Disney's 'Aladdin' will feature two new songs written by 'The Greatest Showman' songwriters.Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are receiving continual praise for their Academy Award nominated song 'This Is Me' from the Hugh Jackman-starring original musical.But despite failing to win the Original Song category on Sunday (03.04.18), they revealed they have collaborated with long-time Disney composer Alan Menken for the upcoming new movie.Pasek told Variety: "We're really thrilled that we got to collaborate with one of our heroes Alan Menken."We collaborated with him and wrote the lyrics for two new songs for 'Aladdin' that's coming out next year."We're really excited for that, and really thrilled to be a part of the Disney family."The new movie stars Will Smith as The Genie, Mena Massoud as the titular character, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Marwan Kanzari as the villain Jafar.The impressive cast also includes 'Homeland' star Numan Acar who is reportedly set to play Hakim - head of the guards and right hand man to the feature's villain Jafar.Former 'Saturday Night Live' star Nasim Pedrad has been chosen to play new character Mara, a handmaiden and friend to Jasmine along with Billy Magunssen as Prince Anders.'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory' writer John August penned the script for the musical movie, which is believed to be non-linear in its structure, something that is a hallmark of Ritchie's early work on movies like cult British crime romps 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch'.The story is based on the Middle Eastern folk tale of Aladdin who is granted three wishes by a genie who is captive inside a magic lamp.The 1992 original animated feature - which saw the late great Robin Williams voice The Genie - won two Oscars, Best Music and Original Song for 'A Whole New World'.'Aladdin' has also been turned into a hit stage show playing at theatres all over the world.The movie is just one of the many films that Disney Continue Reading

WATCH: ‘Frozen’ Broadway musical debuts new song for Elsa

Just when you got “Let It Go” out of your head, there’s a new “Frozen” song to check out. Mashable reported that “Monster,” the first original song from the “Frozen” Broadway musical, was released on Friday, along with a music video featuring Caissie Levy, who’ll play Elsa on stage, belting out the tune. The Broadway production of the beloved Disney movie will feature 12 new songs along with all the favorite tunes from the film. Just as they did for the movie, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have brought their magic to the play, writing all the songs. “Monster” comes into play during the second act when Elsa begins to wonder if she is a monster due to her magical abilities. Audience members also will get to hear several other new songs from Elsa, including “Dangerous to Dream.” Anna fans will be excited to hear that her character is getting her own new solo as well, “True Love,” and she’ll join Kristoff in a new duet called “What Do You Know About Love.” “It’s a moment of anxiety where the freedom she found in ‘Let It Go’ is shaken, and she hears in the distance the voices of the men coming for her, and she realizes now is the time she has to decide what her next move is,” Lopez said of “Monster," according to the New York Times. “It’s full of conflicting emotions,” Anderson-Lopez added. “It’s got fear. It’s got rage. It’s got her self-flagellation. It’s someone who has been living a double life of secrets and shame that no one knows about, and this is the moment of reckoning with all the destruction that she left behind her.” In addition to Levy, the “Frozen” cast includes Patti Murin as Anna, Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), John Riddle (Hans), Robert Creighton (Weselton), Kevin Del Aguila Continue Reading

Recorded in Utah, country music’s hottest new song is a joke gone gloriously right

1 of 3 View 3 Items Provided by Dustin Christensen Dustin Christensen's "Parked out by the Lake," a self-made parody of one of his other songs, has quickly become one of the most talked about songs in Nashville. SALT LAKE CITY — Up and down Nashville’s Music Row, a question has been reverberating for the past few weeks: Who is Dean Summerwind? No one is confused about where he is, though. He’s made that point abundantly clear. “I’m still parked out by the lake, 80 miles from Santa Fe,” he sings on country music’s most viral new song. “I’m sitting here just parked out by the lake.” “If you’re wondering where I park, I’m out parked out by the lake,” he continues. “It’s the lake that’s 80 miles from Santa Fe.” The song is titled, you guessed it, “Parked Out by the Lake.” And it continues like that — just repeating Summerwind’s location over and over — for another hilarious three minutes. Its YouTube video, posted in early February, has more than 75,000 plays as of press time. It’s doing even better on Spotify, where it’s eclipsed 90,000 plays and is growing exponentially. Well, Dean Summerwind isn’t actually Dean Summerwind. His real name is Dustin Christensen. He was raised in Orem, now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and recorded “Parked Out by the Lake” at June Audio Recording Studios in Provo. And he emphasized that none of this was planned. “We just thought it was funny in the studio,” Christensen told the Deseret News. “But I didn’t think anybody would even get it, to be honest.” The song’s unlikely success started as an ongoing joke between Christensen and Scott Wiley, June Audio’s owner and head producer. For years, the two have recorded joke versions of Christensen’s songs. Their format is simple: Take the song’s Continue Reading

‘Frozen’ cast is excited to perform new songs

Caissie Levy, left, and Patti Murin of the upcoming Broadway musical "Frozen," at the show's media day event on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin Caissie Levy, about to star as Elsa in “Frozen” on Broadway, has found her “rock star” moment. And it’s not where you think it is. Levy, along with fellow castmates and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, previewed a couple of the new songs to be performed in the musical at the show’s media day Tuesday morning in Manhattan, among them the second act solo “Monster,” a song Levy proudly calls “badass.” She sings the song when she’s “tired, on the run and heartbroken,” after having learned that she’s not only just hurt her sister but also has frozen all of Arendelle, Levy explains. “She finds strength in the song to go back.” “Monster” is one of four new songs that will be released on the show’s website,, on four consecutive “Frozen Fridays,” the first on Feb. 23, the day after the first preview at the St. James Theatre. The others include a new duet for Anna (Patti Murin) and Kristoff (Jelani Alladin), another solo for Elsa and “True Love,” a second act solo for Anna that Anderson-Lopez proclaims is her favorite. Still, as director Michael Grandage notes, there’s no escaping “this thing called ‘Let It Go.’ It just sits there.” Levy says she hopes the musical will take the Oscar-winning song out of its “rock concert, karaoke moment.” She talks about focusing on the “beautifully written” lyrics and story. “The audience gets to hear in a new way the song they already know and love.” Barbara Schuler is Newsday's theater critic, reviewing openings on and off Broadway as well as on the Island. Continue Reading

Howard Jones goes it alone, revealing how ‘New Song’ and other hits were created

By George Paul | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterFebruary 1, 2018 at 7:18 am The mark of a true musician is whether one can command attention during an acoustic performance. “I always encourage young artists that I’m mentoring [about how] you have to be able to hold a room on your own — without lights, production, a big band, a brass section or an orchestra — if you’re going to go somewhere,” said Howard Jones, in a phone interview from his home in England. “If you’re comfortable with it, then you’ll go far.” The veteran synth-pop singer/keyboardist just started Solo — The Songs and the Stories, an extensive American tour of smaller-than-usual venues, which includes his first Riverside appearance tonight at Romano’s and several other local shows. “I like to play in a stripped-down way, with piano and singing, every couple of years,” Jones, 62, said. “I’ve got about 50 songs worked up that I can draw on. It’s the complete opposite of my band shows and really intimate. I talk a lot. I get a chance to show the songwriter side of me. I love it.” Jones came to prominence during the New Wave era with the jaunty “New Song” in 1983, the first of nine top 20 singles in his native U.K. Two years later, Jones appeared at Live Aid. Here in SoCal, KROQ was an early supporter and multiple top 40 U.S. pop hits including “No One is to Blame,” “Things Can Only Get Better” (from the U.S. platinum seller “Dream Into Action”), “Everlasting Love,” “You Know I Love You…Don’t You?” “What is Love?” and “Lift Me Up,” stretched into the early ’90s. Many of the life-affirming tunes were originally composed on piano, so this tour will give fans insight into how they were created. “I can play them in any sort of style,” said Jones. Continue Reading

Kacey Musgraves includes fond memories of San Antonio River Walk, Rodeo in new song

By Tyler White, / San Antonio Express-News Published 10:19 am, Thursday, July 2, 2015 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-17', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 17', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Valerie Macon, Stringer Image 1of/17 CaptionClose Image 1 of 17 LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: Kasey Musgraves arrives at the Universal Music Group 2014 Post GRAMMY Party at The Ace Hotel Theater on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images) less LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: Kasey Musgraves arrives at the Universal Music Group 2014 Post GRAMMY Party at The Ace Hotel Theater on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty ... more Photo: Valerie Macon, Stringer Image 2 of 17 Kacey Musgraves recently name-dropped San Antonio in a song on her new album, "Pageant Material." Kacey Musgraves recently name-dropped San Antonio in a song on her new album, "Pageant Material." Image 3 of Continue Reading

Bon Jovi: New tour dates, new songs as band heads into Rock Hall

This “House” was meant for touring. Bon Jovi, which was recently nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has announced dates for a North American “This House is Not for Sale 2018 Tour” that includes two shows, April 7 and 8, at the Prudential Center in Newark.It’s a sequel to the hit 2017 “House” tour. The tour begins March 14 in Denver and concludes May 14 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Other area shows include May 3 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and May 9 and 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Ticket presales begin Jan. 16 and go on sale to the general public Jan. 19 through Ticketmaster.Also, two new tracks, “When We Were US” and “Walls,” have been added to the hit “This House Is Not for Sale” album for a Feb. 23 re-release. “The current news has obviously been filtered for the past year to a place where I’m able to process some of it and put melodies to it, so there is some mention without being too opined,” said Bon Jovi of the new songs in a recent Facebook live.  “It’s definitely prevalent in one of the two new songs.” More: Jon Bon Jovi on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 'Timeless and classic was always the goal' Each online ticket purchased for the tour will include a CD of the original “This House Is Not for Sale.” Bon Jovi, whose members are from Central Jersey, will be inducted into the Rock Hall Class of 2018 with the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe April 14 in Cleveland. Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Tico Torres, Hugh McDonald and Richie Sambora, who exited the band in 2013, and original bassist Alec John Such, who departed in 1994, will receive recognition by the Rock Hall.Sambora and Such will be asked to participate and play at the induction ceremony, Jon Bon Jovi said.The 2018 “House” Continue Reading

Frankie Moreno’s next adventure: 100 new songs in nine shows

Singer Frankie Moreno. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) Singer and piano showman Frankie Moreno wows the crowd at The Showroom at the Golden Nugget on Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Las Vegas. Benjamin Hager Las Vegas Review-Journal @benjaminhphoto Frankie Moreno plays next to fans at the Suncoast Showroom in Las Vegas, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. Joel Angel Juarez Las Vegas Review-Journal @jajuarezphoto Singer Frankie Moreno. (Michale Rogers) Singer Frankie Moreno. (Benjamin Hager) Singer and piano showman Frankie Moreno wows the crowd at The Showroom at the Golden Nugget on Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Las Vegas. Benjamin Hager Las Vegas Review-Journal @benjaminhphoto Singer and piano showman Frankie Moreno wows the crowd at The Showroom at the Golden Nugget on Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Las Vegas. Benjamin Hager Las Vegas Review-Journal @benjaminhphoto Frankie Moreno used to perform a little sleight-of-singing in his Las Vegas lounge shows. Performing at such venues as La Scala at The Venetian or Rush Lounge at Golden Nugget, the veteran Vegas showman was charged with covering radio hits of the time or classic-rock favorites. Once in a while, he’d slip in an original song he’d just written, announcing, “This is the latest from Maroon 5!” or, “If you haven’t heard the new hit by Matchbox Twenty, here it is!” Moreno has long graduated from those days, and fuses his live shows with a blend of covers and originals. In his 100-show run at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center, he’s performed fully realized theme nights, centered on the music of such superstars as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis and the like. Nights have been dedicated to country hits, Motown, even a full orchestra summoned for an evening with Mozart. Moreno has been struck by new inspiration for his upcoming nine-show series at Cab Jazz, a twice-monthly run that begins at 8 p.m. Continue Reading

Still-vital U2 embraces optimism with new ‘Songs of Experience’

There’s a giveaway to U2’s long roots in the music business that comes with the Irish band’s new “Songs of Experience”: frontman Bono’s extensive liner notes, a vestige of the days of compact discs and vinyl albums that is almost lost in the age of streaming and digital downloads.Bono’s personal words are quaintly demystifying, offering context for the optimistic new project (and first release since 2014’s “Songs of Innocence”) from the quartet whose member are all 56 or 57 years old and represent the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation. With refreshing directness, Bono speaks as a man who has pulled through a mid-life crisis and feels pretty good about the human spirit … well, apart from war and pervasive racism.Bono also references a vaguely defined “shock to the system” he got last winter that left him “clinging to my own life like a raft,” though he declines to give specific details. And between that incident and Bono’s loss of heroes such as Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Prince, mortality hangs over the new release.Yet “Songs of Experience” is uplifting, a call to action for listeners to open their hearts and accept love, cheesy as that may sound. It’s not easy – there’s darkness swirling around in the funereal opener “Love Is All We Have Left” and the sweepingly infectious “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” but the bottom line comes with “Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way,” where Bono sings, “When you think you’re done, you’ve just begun.” World events and the plight of refugees dim the view: Conflict in Syria bleeds through the restraint of “Summer of Love,” and the taut “American Soul” (featuring an intro by Kendrick Lamar) tackles the advent of U.S. xenophobia. However, the foreboding tone is pierced in the sheen of “The Continue Reading

WATCH: Eminem hits ‘SNL’ with new song, classics; still no word on new album

On his new song, "Walk on Water," 45-year-old Eminem defiantly wrestles with insecurities about his skills and place in the world.The Detroit rapper took that internal battle to one of the biggest pressure-cookers going, performing "Walk on Water" Saturday to launch his seventh career appearance on "Saturday Night Live."As with his performance last weekend at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Eminem was backed by a string section and pianist-vocalist Skylar Grey, who handled the parts sung on record by Beyoncé. With backing from just piano and strings early on, it was a number that demanded careful rhythmic flow from Eminem, who managed it well on the live New York stage.Clad in all black, Em seemed to grow comfortable and empowered as the performance went on: "Walk on Water" eventually segued into 2000's "Stan" — with Grey stepping to a mic for Dido's vocal parts — before modulating into 2010's "Love the Way You Lie" and leading to a reliably tempestuous Eminem rap.The "SNL" performance was another much-anticipated but ultimately head-scratching moment for increasingly impatient Eminem fans, who have been awaiting his presumed new album "Revival" for more than a month. An album release this weekend seemed imminent based on assorted clues, notably a fake pharmaceutical campaignthat included a half-page Detroit Free Press ad — and an "SNL" commercial on Oct. 14. But Saturday brought no news.The "SNL" set came 18 years after Eminem's first appearance on the NBC-TV show, when he paired with Dr. Dre as "The Slim Shady LP" was soaring.Eminem's Saturday medley of "Walk on Water"-"Stan-"Love the Way You Lie" was his only performance of the night. It was part of a hip-hop-fueled "SNL" hosted by Chance the Rapper, who showed off his singing abilities with a makeshift Thanksgiving carol and a Boyz II Men-style ode to the former president, which we might call “Come Back, Barack.”[Video of Chance the Rapper's Continue Reading