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The Late Movies: Mixed Musical Genres

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It's a treat for your ears when a song you know is performed in a completely different style. Sometimes it seems like there's a hard dividing line between musical genres, with folk, country, bluegrass, and gospel forever separated from pop, rock and rap. But occasionally a song crosses over, not just on the charts, but in the music itself. These examples include songs from one side played in the other side's style, collaborations between artists, or mashups and remixes of already-recorded music. But I think you'll get a kick out of them all.

I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow

By Rench.
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Folsom Prison Gangstaz

Eazy E mashed up with Johnny Cash, mix by DJ Topcat.
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Long Hard Times To Come

By Gangstagrass and T.O.N.E-z. The song was used as the theme of the TV series Justified in its first season. The new song Give It Up is the theme for season two.
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Sweet Home Country Grammer

Not a performance, but a mashup of "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and "Country Grammer" by Nelly.
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Redgrass

The Jaybirds, a traditional Bluegrass band, plays with Chinese group Red Chamber.
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Iron Man

By bluegrass band Edna's Kin.
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Get Rhythm

Another Johnny Cash song set to the backbeat of Cypress Hill.
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Toxic

Bluegrass band Nickel Creek performs the song made famous by Britney Spears.
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Shine

Dolly Parton covered the Collective Soul hit and won a Grammy for it in 2002.
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For more, see the previous Late Movies post on Hayseed Dixie.

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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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