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The Late Movies: PS22 Kids Sing the Hits

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The Public School 22 Chorus is a delight -- a choir of fifth graders who sing their hearts out. With a new group every school year, you get to see tons of talent coming from one school in Staten Island, New York. Below, I've rounded up some of my favorite songs performed by the group. Listen up, folks: this is what public school arts education can do.

"Somebody That I Used to Know" (Gotye)

Featuring Kahlil on lead vocals. Apparently Gotye posted about this cover, calling PS22 "the coolest kids on the block." Totally!

"Eye of the Tiger" (Survivor)

Stay tuned for soloist Jared around the one-minute mark. This kid can really hit the high notes!

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Simon & Garfunkel)

When was the last time you saw fifth graders so engaged and so in-tune? Totally lovely.

"Rolling in the Deep" (Adele)

Featuring Denise on lead vocals, belting it out!

"True Colors" (Cyndi Lauper)

With some bonus enthusiasm at the end.

"Man in the Mirror" (Michael Jackson)

Recorded at the kids' graduation.

"I Want You Back" (Jackson 5)

My favorite Jackson 5 tune, done beautifully by Marquis and the chorus.

"Kids" (MGMT)

Featuring Marquis on drums! A little off key in spots, but still fun.

"Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" (The Smiths)

These kids have got that mid-80's Rough Trade vibe down pat.

"Don't Stop Believin'" (Journey)

This was posted about a month after Glee premiered. See also: "Faithfully" featuring Judy Torres.

"Viva La Vida" (Coldplay)

These kids can even make me like Coldplay! Miraculous. Featuring April.

"Imagine" (John Lennon)

Apparently taken from the second rehearsal by this particular group.

More

There's way more where these came from. You can also read up on the group at Wikipedia, including an impressive list of appearances on TV and radio. Great job, kids and teachers!

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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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