Paul McCartney and The Roots Sing A Cappella ‘Wonderful Christmastime’

On a recent episode of The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon was joined by The Roots, the cast of the upcoming animated film Sing, and, incredibly, the one and only Paul McCartney to give a spirited a cappella rendition of “Wonderful Christmastime.”

Just to clarify – including the Sing cast in this number means such names like Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughy, and Seth MacFarlane made appearances onscreen.

The medley features each singer in a different moving tile – quite the accomplishment to put this entire thing together! We’d like to take a minute to thank the editing team behind this glorious vid, whomever you are.

Take a look below – if this doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit… well, other things still might. But this is pretty cool.

Fashion, Supermodels, Celebs, and Collectors Love Jeff Koons

Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

He’s made a name for himself becoming one of the most successful living American artist, selling his shiny works for millions of dollars, and is a discussion for bitter art students and fashion lovers alike. Jeff Koons has had collaboration with H&M — something that is regularly reserved for fashion houses like Alexander Wang or superstars like David Beckham. Jeff sealed the deal when he caught the attention of Lady Gaga’s lil’ monsters after designing her album cover for ArtPop.

The artist’s name is becoming omnipresent in pop culture, so it only makes sense that Koons is nearly a celeb himself. See below to further explore the phenomenon.

1. Jeff with supermodel Naomi Campbell Joe-SchildhornPhoto: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

2. Jeff with fashion designer Stella McCartney Joe-SPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

3. Jeff with movie star Drew Barrymore and supermodel Natalia Vodianova AN EVENING HONORING STELLA McCARTNEY PRESENTED BY AMERICAN EXPRESSPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

4. Jeff with supermodel Stephanie Seymour JEFFPhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

5. Jeff With his wife Justine, actor Taylor Kinney and mega star Lady Gaga The Worldwide Editors of HARPER'S BAZAAR Celebrate ICONS by CARINE ROITFELDPhoto: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

6. Jeff with director Sofia Coppola and supermodel Naomi Campbell PROJECT PERPETUAL Inaugural Dinner & AuctionPhoto: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

7. Jeff with actress Ashley Benson H&M x JEFF KOONS 5th Ave Flagship EventPhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

8. Jeff with American icon Tommy Hilfiger and wife Dee 2014 HIGH LINE ART DINNER sponsored by TOMMY HILFIGER HOMEPhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

9. Jeff with journalist and publishing powerhouse Arianna Huffington JEFFPhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

10. Jeff with his wife Justine and the legendary Sir Paul McCartney Joe-Schildhorn-3Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

BlackBook Party Tonight, One Of NYC’s Biggest Party Nights Tomorrow

‘Tis the season to be confused as too many events attempt to wash away the memory of the storm that nearly washed us all away and continues to define the lives of so many. The Sandy events will culminate in that Paul McCartney, Bruce, Bon Jovi, Who, Roger Waters, Kanye, Alicia Keys, etc., etc., etc. thingy at the Garden on December 12. I wonder if Kanye will complain about Paul McCartney’s billing or something like that. Kanye is doing three shows at Revel in AC for New Year’s weekend for those who do that.

A couple years ago, New Year’s Eve nights were defined by how long the open bars were and what kind of music was played. DJs are still the stars, but it’s great to see mega, super-duper, uber acts raising the good time bar. I can’t believe its Thanksgiving already. The storm seemed to wipe away the calm before the holiday storm. Up is down and down is up and gee, I have to pay rent already? Uptown comedy club Stand Up NY is taking its show on the road tonight with a one-off (which I’m guessing will eventually turn into a two-off or more) at Hair of the Dog, 168 Orchard St. at Stanton. A whole lot of great comics will bring cheer to your holiday starting at 6pm. You can get tickets here.

My Thursday rock and roll DJ gig at Hotel Chantelle with Sam Valentine is canceled due to turkey festivities, but it’s being pushed forward to Wednesday, tomorrow night. Hope those rockers get the message. 

Tonight, BlackBook has teamed up with Stoli for a Mixers and Shakers event at the Thompson LES on Allen Street. I hear the new hotel they are doing by City Hall is wonderful. I never get invited to these BlackBook things and I’m getting paranoid about it. I’m gonna crash it. Flash my column or something to the intern at the door. 

The confusing-on-purpose Murray Hill and his cohort Linda Simpson will make their Monday night BINGO extravaganza extra-extraordinary this coming Monday again at Hotel Chantelle with a joint birthday celebration. I, of course, never miss a BINGO and I am considering turning pro. I even had BINGO tattooed on my shoulder a couple months ago. I roll like that. 

Tomorrow night, the night before Thanksgiving, is traditionally one of the biggest nights of the year. Many have four or more days off work looming, and many are traveling in to dine with friends and relatives. Many places let college kids take over as they are flush with holiday loot. Others know their patrons will be absent for a moment or more as the snowbirds flock south to mark the Miami season and try to grab all the gusto and cash from them before they leave. Big DJs and quality entertainment abound, but call to see if the joints you usually like haven’t sold out to the frat-boy set. 

So if this is Thanksgiving, then December must be near and I am in no way ready for December. I must remind you as you feast and celebrate that many of our neighbors are still climbing out of the mud. Find time to help, donate, and contribute.

Some Songs About Margaret Thatcher

Welcome to the internet, where lists published on Wikipedia can quickly be turned into blog posts. Did you know that recently deceased Margaret Thatcher was a very divisive figure in cultural history? I am sure you did, especially if you saw that terrible movie about her that starred Meryl Streep. Naturally, people wrote a lot of songs about her. Here are a few. 

Morrissey – "Margaret on the Guillotine"

Paul McCartney – "All My Trials"

The Beat – "Stand Down Margaret"

Pete Wylie – "The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies"

Elvis Costello – "Tramp the Dirt Down"

Pink Floyd – "The Fletcher Memorial Home"

Smooth Monday Jams: Duets Edition

Sup y’all. Kim inspired me last week with his Canada-centric post to try and keep these consistently themed as long as the ideas are flowing. This week is all about the tenderest of smooth jams: the smooth duet.

Be sure to check out Sea Level this Wednesday March 6th at The Tender Trap. Come check us out and vibe to the smooth jams that will have you smiling throughout the rest of your week. 

Samantha Sang & The Bee Gees – "Emotion" (1977)

Samantha Sang sang the lead, while The Bee Gees provide a falsetto cloud of backing vocals as this tune floats into the sky. Emotional.

Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack – "Born To Love" (1983)

Peabo, a master of the smooth duet, teams up with Roberta, no duet rookie herself, and the results and unsurprisingly very smooth. That slap bass line hits so hard that DJ Premier had to sample it

Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney – "The Girl Is Mine" (1982)

Who says a duet has to be a man and a woman? MJ and Sir Paul prove that a couple o’ blokes can pull off a duet, albeit one of the goofiest tracks of all time (especially the dialogue at the end). Top level smooth though.

Cherelle & Alexander O’Neal – "Saturday Love" (1985)

Cherelle & Alexander O’Neal provide the perfect soundtrack to your groovin’ Saturday night on the town. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis on production. Flawless combination.

Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald – "On My Own" (1986)

I mostly picked this one because it’s one of the greatest videos of all time. Also, one man: Michael McDonald.
 

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Weekend Update Was Pretty Great This Week, Or, More Cecily Strong, Thanks

For those who missed it because you have lives and weekend plans or something, ­this week’s Saturday Night Live had a lot going on. Martin Short was an unusually effective host, the Royal Baby sketch was goofy and fun and a whole lot of special guest stars showed up, including Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie Brownstein on “What’s Up With That,” Larry David and Alec Baldwin. Paul McCartney and the former members of Nirvana played together again, and Macca did three (three!) songs.

And, with the horrific school shooting in Newtown still painful and raw in our collective memory, too raw for any incensed commentary or even for words, the show paid a touching tribute to the victims by opening with a children’s choir tenderly singing “Silent Night.” It was one of the most moving openings the show has ever done, to the point where we’re really hoping that some opportunistic website doesn’t do a “10 Most Moving SNL Responses to Horrifying National Tragedies” slideshow. Nope nope nope.

But even with so much heaviness of heart and a stacked guest star bill, some of the show’s best moments still came from the regulars, and they came during Weekend Update. Vanessa Bayer reprised her role as Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy, explaining the miracle of Chanukah to viewers in the format of a d’var torah, the speech Jewish kids give on the day of their bar/bat mitzvah explaining what they learned and what their reading is about. You’re told to write jokes into it, but the sort of jokes a nervous, socially awkward 13-year-old in front of his grandparents would tell. It becomes—and Seth Meyers put this perfectly—“a low-level roast of your family.” And Bayer nails the moment, to the point where I had some serious flashbacks to the bar and bat mitzvah circuit.

The other Weekend Update interview was with newcomer Cecily Strong, who reprised her role as the “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party.” And the timing couldn’t have been better, nor could her commentary on the holiday season ("You asked for an iPad Mini? I asked for an end to genocide."). Between the holiday season, New Year’s Eve and recent current events that will unfortunely lead to some negative and ill-informed discourse during family and social gatherings, she once again served as a funny but somewhat painful reminder of what’s in store for us during the most wonderful time of the year. Strong had some other solid moments too, particularly as Fran Drescher in “You’re A Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown.” And if as a featured player, she already has at least one memorable recurring character that people like, she’s on the right track to becoming a headliner. Basically, SNL, more Cecily Strong, please and thank you. Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant too.

Lone Beatle, Surviving Nirvana Members Plot To Ruin Both Bands

In news that 100% cannot be real in this or any other universe, it transpires that Sir Paul McCartney will be filling in for the late Kurt Cobain when “Nirvana” plays a reunion set at the 12.12.12 Concert for Sandy Relief tonight in New York. Earplugs are recommended.

Drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic will also be joined by “unofficial fourth member Pat Smear” on guitar, making this frankengroup all the stranger. Luckily, McCartney won’t be singing “Rape Me.” The band will play something new that they’ve come up with together, ensuring the total dissatisfaction of anyone charitable enough to shell out for a ticket.

The best part? McCartney said of his collaboration with the grunge icons in The Sun: “I didn’t really know who they were. They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said ‘Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time? And somebody whispered to me ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.” See that? Nobody stays cool when they get old.

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Upcoming Hurricane Sandy Benefits Shows From Aziz Ansari, Neil Young, Grizzly Bear, and More

If you still want to help out East Coasters affected by Hurricane Sandy and do so in an environment with adult beverages and high-caliber entertainment, this week, a couple more enticing Sandy benefits have been announced. So if you’re looking for something to do next week and live in the greater New York, Atlantic City, or Los Angeles areas, here you go.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse will perform in Atlantic City on December 6th at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

On December 10th, a group of comedians you might recognize are getting together for “We Hate Hurricanes,” a night of comedy to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. The venerable Jon Hamm is emceeing the event, with headliners Aziz Ansari, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, and music from Beck along with even more acts. All proceeds from the show will go to AmeriCares, and pre-sale tickets go on sale today; general sale starts tomorrow.

One of the biggest announced shows is the 12/12/12 benefit gig for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, on December 12th at Madison Square Garden. The headliners play like an all-star Super Bowl halftime show: Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Who, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. If you still want to help out and rock out but the idea of a Bon Jovi show at the Garden sounds a bit too overwhelming, New York’s Terminal 5 is hosting a “4Artists1Cause” benefit on December 14th, featuring performances from Grizzly Bear, Sleigh Bells, Antlers, and Cults. More acts will be announced soon. Tickets are $40, with proceeds going to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

London To Paul McCartney, The Boss: Shaddup!

Just because you are an international icon doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the rules. That’s what Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney learned when they had their mics cut out onstage on London last night after the Boss’s concert went past its 10:15p.m. curfew. Shit, and people think Bloomberg runs a tight ship.

Springsteen played to a crowd of 65,000 London’s Hyde Park on Saturday night with his E Street Band and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Towards the end of his set, he brought McCartney out onstage to sing Twist and Shout and I Saw Her Standing There, as fireworks went off the the background. But at 10:40p.m., before the musicians could thank the crowd, the mics went dead.

Concert organizers reportedly didn’t want to get bopped for violating the license for the event. London is strict about noise complaints, especially in the posh Hyde Park neighborhood.

Guitarist Stevie Van Zandt tweeted about the incident, putting it succinctly: "[W]hen I’m jamming with McCartney don’t bug me!"