When I was touring with Brian Wilson, I learned a lot about harmony. Watching him tell eight singers how to sing one of his songs was a fascinating process. They would sing a verse. He would stop them and start pointing to people and saying stuff like “ Go up a half octave and sing a little louder.” I didn’t really know what he was talking about, but the result was amazing. One night, while sitting backstage with him watching a World Series game, I asked him where he learned all of that stuff, and he told me about the Four Freshmen, a fifties vocal group that he idolized. As a kid, he bought all of their records and studied their arrangements. Later that year, one of the surviving members of the Four Freshmen showed up at a show we did in Las Vegas, and I was able to make an introduction!

This brings me to last night, when I rounded the corner to park at the Riviera Theater and saw a line around the block waiting to get in to see a band I had not heard of till I heard them do 2 songs at a trade show in California in January. They are the winners of season 3 of NBC’s The Sing-Off, and are forging a successful career out of that. I met them at the theater in the afternoon and did a ½ hour photo shoot, and came back for the show that night.

An empty stage, except for some platforms and steps. Five people playing for 90 minutes with no instruments- just 5 microphones and five voices (except for 10 minutes in the middle of the show where Kevin, the beat- box guy in the band picked up a cello and harmonized between cello and beat-box vocals! Their loyal audience screamed the whole show and a good time was had by all.

They also have a great sense of humor, covering PSY’s Gangnam Style on video (they attribute their success to YouTube. Check this out:


Speaking of videos, people are always sending me links to crazy shit on the web. Here are two that are so weird and disturbing that I have to pass them along!



Very disturbing!!!


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