As I type these words, I'm just hours away from boarding a plane en route to Los Angeles to work the press junket for Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK, and to attend the film's red carpet premiere at the famed El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Thanks to technology, I've set this to post while I'm cruising at 35,000 feet in the air, somewhere high above the American Midwest. In preparation for Director Jon Favreau's live-action reimagining of the 1967 animated feature (reviewed here), my mind has been loaded with earworms... those from the soundtrack of the original. The iconic music of the Sherman Brothers, along with Terry Gilkyson's "The Bare Necessities" are classic, and over the years, these timeless songs have been covered many times. With that in mind, and using the BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY version of "I Wanna Be Like You" as a jumping-off point (after all, that band and Favreau have the SWINGERS connection), I've curated a new Spotify Playlist that features nearly one hour of the best JUNGLE BOOK covers out there. You'll find FALL OUT BOY, ROBBIE WILLIAMS, THE JONAS BROTHERS, BOWLING FOR SOUP, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, TONY BENNETT, SELENA GOMEZ and more, all putting their signature styles to the famous soundtrack. Check it out via this link, or in the embedded player below, and for coverage of 2016's THE JUNGLE BOOK, follow #JungleBookEvent on Social Media to check-in with 25 writers on the ground in L.A.!

Published in Family Music

When a new single from CHUCK E. CHEESE hit the web this week (grab a FREE DOWNLOAD here) dangling that ''You've Never Seen Chuck E. ROCK Like This'', there was something very familiar going on. I sent a few unresponded tweets to Chuck E. Cheese HQ and to BOWLING FOR SOUP frontman JARET REDDICK to see if I could confirm that the voice of the new Chuck was in fact, the pop-punk vet. Well, it's been confirmed via Screen Magazine (a mag I was in once or twice for a disasterous film project that still better get made one day) that Reddick is Chuck in a reinvention of the popular pizza-peddling rat.

Published in James' Journal

61Q1-f5tuML. SL500 AA280 One of the bands mentioned back in February during my 2011: The Year that Pop Punk Strikes Back feature, BOWLING FOR SOUP have positioned themselves as a unique player in a packed field. While many of their peers have evolved into something far beyond their pop punk roots, BFS is unapologetic in carrying a torch for the light-hearted genre in which they've carved out a nearly two-decade niche. They're damn good at what they do, and for their diehard fans there's safety in knowing that the band will continue to deliver.

Published in Music Reviews