Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Young@Heart" Singing

On April 10, 2008, National Public Radio's Morning Edition broadcast a very favorable review, entitled "Elderly Rock Singers Put on a Good Show", about the documentary film Young@Heart (2007), which focuses on The Young@Heart Chorus.

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan reviews the film "Young[at]Heart." It's a documentary about a choir made up of senior citizens that perform songs by rock, punk and soul music artists.
You can hear his review (2 min., 44 sec.), as broadcast, through a link on NPR's website for the story.

You can watch a "trailer" about the movie here, or see photographs of the choral group here, both on the Internet Movie Database.

The NPR segment derived from the full review by Kenneth Turan, published in The Los Angeles Times on April 9, 2008, as "Movie Review: Young@Heart".
The irresistible New England chorus of senior citizens proves you're never too old to rock.

The Rolling Stones, as it turns out, are not the only senior citizens singing rock 'n' roll. Another, rather unexpected group is singing lyrics that are more cutting edge and performing on-screen antics that are considerably more amusing.

You won't believe the world of "Young@Heart," but you'll have a hard time resisting it.
The Young@Heart Chorus is a 24-member singing group from Northampton, Mass., average age 80, who spend a chunk of their golden years touring the world and singing covers of songs from groups like the Talking Heads, the Clash and Coldplay.

It's safe to say that the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" has never had a more heartfelt rendition.
This may sound like a suspect enterprise, a musical gimmick impossible to embrace, but the reality is otherwise. For what the members of this uncanny chorus lack in pure ability they make up for in irrepressible spirits and a desire to simply have fun. It's as much of a heady tonic for these folks to take on these unlikely lyrics as it is for us to watch it all go down. * * *
The documentary film was also reviewed favorably by The New York Times in its article published on April 9, 2008, entitled "Retired, Yes, but Never Too Old to Rock", by Stephen Holden.
Time revises every taste and closes every gap.

To observe the Young@Heart Chorus, a fluctuating group of about two dozen singers whose average age is 80, perform “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees in Stephen Walker’s documentary “Young@Heart” is to be uplifted, if slightly unsettled.

Sung by people approaching the end of their lives, the song is no longer about strutting through the urban jungle with your elbows out; it is a blunt survival anthem. These singers, most of them well-rehearsed amateurs, refuse to go gently into that good night. For them music is oxygen. * * *
So, senior rockers live in America, too. The "British Invasion" is replayed! See: PA EE&F Law Blog posting Zimmers "Talkin' 'Bout My Generation".

I would pay good money to see a "Battle of the Bands", pitting The Young@Heart Chorus against The Zimmers.

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother,
you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin',
and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Bee Gees
"Stayin' Alive"

Update: 04/11/08:

On April 8, 2008, NBC's Today Show website, posted an article about a segment broadcast that day, entitled "
American Story: ‘Young’ senior citizens rock out", with the subheading: "Forget Sinatra! The feisty Young at Heart chorus prefers fast, loud songs."
If it’s not loud enough to wake the dead, it's loud enough to show that she isn’t among them, even though Dora and her 25 friends in this rehearsal hall have a combined age of 2,000 years.

The Young at Heart chorus sings to standing-room-only crowds in England, Europe and Australia. But in this country — outside their hometown, they are practically unknown.

A new movie is about to change that.

They didn't make it big just because it's funny watching old folks sing rock songs.

Some of what they sing shouts the honest part of growing old. Their concerts are intelligent and deep. Ninety minutes nonstop, constantly shifting from laughter to tears. * * *