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The Late Movies: Musical Seniors

We all know that musicians like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are over-the-hill, but we usually don't hear about too many people rocking away into the golden years. Some senior citizens, though, are showing that you don't have to be young to be a rock star (or party like one).

The Zimmers

The Zimmers rocketed to fame with their cover of The Who's "My Generation" (above). The roughly 50-member band, formed for a BBC documentary, is touted as "the oldest band in the world" with a cumulative age of 3700. Their first album, "Lust for Life," also includes covers of The Alan Parsons Project's "Old and Wise" (below), Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," and the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right (To Party)," among others.

Young@Heart Chorus

The Young@Heart Chorus was also featured in a documentary. Formed in 1982 at a Massachusetts elderly housing complex, the group has been performing on stage since 1983. Their current members range in age from 73 to 89. Their cover of James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" is above, while their cover of the Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" is below.

Jerrie Thill

Jerrie Thill entered the commercial music business at age 18 and continued performing for more than 70 years. From 1984 until her death earlier this year, Thill performed every Sunday afternoon at the El Cid Restaurant in Hollywood, CA. Above is a video of a collaboration between Thill and songwriter/artist Allee Willis when Thill was 91 (in 2008); below is a video of Thill and Willis performing at the El Cid that same year.

Ruth Flowers, aka "Mamy Rock"

Ruth Flowers has taken the European party circuit by storm as DJ Mamy Rock. The 69-year-old English grandmother started DJ-ing after accompanying her grandson to a club for his birthday. Now, she's an in-demand DJ with tracks on iTunes. Above is the live premiere of her single "Still Rocking" at Magazzini Generali in Milan, Italy; below is a live video of her DJ-ing at Gold & Platinum in Geneva, Switzerland.

Known of a rockin' oldster we didn't mention here? Let us know in the comments!
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Animals
Australian Charity Releases Album of Cat-Themed Ballads to Promote Feline Welfare
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An Australian animal charity is helping save the nation’s kitties one torch song at a time, releasing a feline-focused musical album that educates pet owners about how to properly care for their cats.

Around 35,000 cats end up in pounds, shelters, and rescue programs every year in the Australian state of New South Wales, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Microchipping and fixing cats, along with keeping closer tabs on them, could help reduce this number. To get this message out, the RSPCA’s New South Wales chapter created Cat Ballads: Music To Improve The Lives Of Cats.

The five-track recording is campy and fur-filled, with titles like "Desex Me Before I Do Something Crazy" and "Meow Meow." But songs like “I Need You” might tug the heartstrings of ailurophiles with lyrics like “I guess that’s goodbye then/but you’ve done this before/the window's wide open/and so’s the back door/you might think I’m independent/but you’d be wrong.” There's also a special version of the song that's specifically designed for cats’ ears, featuring purring, bird tweets, and other feline-friendly noises.

Together, the tunes remind us how vulnerable our kitties really are, and provide a timely reminder for cat owners to be responsible parents to their furry friends.

“The Cat Ballads campaign coincides with kitten season, which is when our shelters receive a significantly higher number of unwanted kittens as the seasons change,” Dr. Jade Norris, a veterinary scientist with the RSPCA, tells Mental Floss. “Desexing cats is a critical strategy to reduce unwanted kittens.”

Listen to a song from Cat Ballads below, and visit the project’s website for the full rundown.

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technology
ABBA Is Going on Tour—As Holograms
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Missed your chance to watch ABBA perform live at the peak of their popularity? You’re in luck: Fans will soon be able to see the group in concert in all their chart-topping, 1970s glory—or rather, they’ll be able to see their holograms. As Mashable reports, a virtual version of the Swedish pop band is getting ready to go on tour.

ABBA split up in 1982, and the band hasn't been on tour since. (Though they did get together for a surprise reunion performance in 2016.) All four members of ABBA are still alive, but apparently not up for reentering the concert circuit when they can earn money on a holographic tour from the comfort of their homes.

The musicians of ABBA have already had the necessary measurements taken to bring their digital selves to life. The final holograms will resemble the band in the late 1970s, with their images projected in front of physical performers. Part of the show will be played live, but the main vocals will be lifted from original ABBA records and recordings of their 1977 Australian tour.

ABBA won’t be the first musical act to perform via hologram. Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and Dean Martin have all been revived using the technology, but this may be one of the first times computerized avatars are standing in for big-name performers who are still around. ABBA super-fans will find out if “SOS” still sounds as catchy from the mouths of holograms when the tour launches in 2019.

[h/t Mashable]

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