New Netflix Kids Series to Feature Beatle Music

There’s a new kids animated TV show coming to Netflix in August. It’s called Beat Bugs and it’s a Netflix original series with over 50 songs made famous by The Beatles, performed by artists like Eddie Veder, Sia, Pink, The Shins, Regina Spector and many more.

Rolling Stone reports that “…the series focuses on five insect best friends who come together to form the Beat Bugs and explore and learn about the suburban backyard where they reside”. Looks like fun for kids….and for Beatle fans.

McCartney Writes New Music For Skype

Paul McCartney has taken his music in another direction yet again.

In 2014 it was composing music for video games. Now come his first ever “audio Mojis” in partnership with Skype for Valentine’s Day.

The Mojis, two of which look like this, are brief animated giffs that users can send to each other during Skype conversations:
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These will be accompanied by equally short music created by Paul McCartney:

Paul had this to say about deciding to do accept the project:

And you can see and read marabout the project here.

Two Beatle-Related Holiday Finds

Apart from the lovely selection of brand new gifts received for Christmas, we also checked out a couple of second-hand outlets while on holiday at Port Stephens on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

The first was a community-run recycling centre that turns people’s trash into income for the local community. In a couple of huge sheds they have a wide range of donated used goods for sale, including records, CDs and books. Just near the shelves full of LPs we found a box containing a large collection of old theatre and music performance programs and souvenir booklets – all in really good condition. Hunting through these we discovered this:

McCartney World Tour1

This is quite a thick tour magazine that was given away free at concert venues for the Paul McCartney New World Tour, which ran pretty much through the whole of 1993. It took in places like Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, the USA, UK, Japan, parts of South America, and Australia – hence this magazine/program being re-discovered in a shed in a little place called Soldiers Point! You can see one of the Sydney New World Tour set lists hereMcCartney World Tour2

The tour was in support of the Off The Ground album: McCartney World Tour 4

Inside the tour magazine there are some great articles and photos, including this shot below of the band at work in their rehearsal room – one which I’d not seen before. It also lists the range of instruments each person plays:

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(click images to see larger versions)

There are also short bios for each band member, articles on key members of the backstage crew, plus the content goes much wider with sections dedicated to raising awareness about causes close to the McCartneys’ hearts, including saving a local hospital, the environment, and animal cruelty:McCartney World Tour6In between are some interesting articles on previous projects, like this one on the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album from 1991:
McCartney World Tour5All the content in the The New World Tour magazine is edited by Paul Du Noyer, who also featured in our Christmas list of books – and, coincidently, in another nice holiday find.

Every month the local church at Anna Bay just near Port Stephens holds a market where different traders can offer their goods for sale. One of them was a guy specialising in secondhand music books and CDs, where we found this book, also by Paul Du Noyer:

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It’s a great reference book to have in the collection with the details and stories behind every song John Lennon released as a solo artist: Lennon5Lennon4Lennon3

First published in 1997, this revised and updated edition was released in 2010. Each song entry is accompanied by some interesting photos, and it is a really handy book to have when researching the work of John Lennon. I believe there’s an even more recent update called We All Shine On.

Blackbird – The Beatles Album – CD Giveaway

Thanks to the good people at Universal Music Classics we have a copy of Blackbird – The Beatles Album, by the fantastic classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, to give away to a lucky reader:Blackbird

The album is released internationally today, January 15, 2016, on Mercury Classics/UMC.

Milos is a young guitarist who has received worldwide attention since his 2011 album debut, with coverage in such varied media outlets as CNN, Vogue, Guitar World, Billboard, The New York Times, NPR, and more. In 2011 he was named Gramophone magazine’s “Young Artist of the Year.” He‘s performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall as well as non-traditional venues such as New York’s Joe’s Pub, London’s Camden Roundhouse (for the iTunes Festival), and at Deutsche Grammophon’s Yellow Lounge “club nights.”

For Blackbird – The Beatles Album, Miloš collaborates with celebrated artists from the varied worlds of pop, jazz and classical, including Tori Amos (‘She’s Leaving Home’), Gregory Porter (‘Let It Be’), Anoushka Shankar (‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’) and Steven Isserlis (‘Michelle’).

Brazilian guitarist-composer Sergio Assad did the arrangements on all tracks (with the exception of “Yesterday” which is by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu). Tony Award-winning orchestrator and composer Christopher Austin contributed string arrangements on three tracks, and jazz bassist Chris Hill (who has worked with Jamie Cullum, Annie Lennox and others) provided improvised bass parts to several songs.

“The partnership between George Harrison and Ravi Shankar was one of the most important cross culture collaborations in music. Inviting his daughter Anoushka Shankar, who is one of my absolutely favorite musicians, to join me on ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was a no-brainer.”

The project marks the first time Miloš has worked with pop vocalists. “Recording ‘She’s Leaving Home with Tori Amos was a deeply emotional experience, and it was amazing having Gregory Porter on ‘Let It Betoo. I could not have asked for more”:

Blackbird – The Beatles Album was recorded in Abbey Road’s famous Studio Two, the very same studio where so much of the original Beatle music was recorded. You can read more about Milos and his music here.

OK. Now to our competition.

To win yourself a copy of Blackbird – The Beatles Album using the contact form below you just need to be the first person with the answer to this easy question:

On which Beatles album did the song ‘Blackbird’ originally appear?