April/May 2017: MCXV Music Articles by Ashley Paskill

Emmet Cahill Releases “Beauty and the Beast” Cover on YouTube


Irish tenor Emmet Cahill, known for his role in Celtic Thunder, recently released a cover of “Beauty and the Beast” on YouTube. The video is in black and white but is filled with the magic that Disney holds.

Album Review: Barry Manilow’s “This Is My Town”


Barry Manilow released his latest album on April 21. The album focuses on songs about New York City. It features both covers and originals and every song is sung with a passionate love for the Big Apple.

Roger Taylor Releases Video on iTunes


Queen drummer Roger Taylor recently released a music video to his song, “Journey’s End.” The video was exclusively released to iTunes and the song-only version will be released in June.

Wednesday Wisdom: Song Lyrics


Every Wednesday, Twitter Trends show that #WednesdayWisdom is a popular tag for users. The hashtag is filled with people wanting to share quotes and other forms of wisdom. This article looks at wisdom found in song lyrics.

2017 Billboard Music Awards


The 2017 Billboard Awards took place on May 21. It aired on ABC and honored musicians who released new music in the last year. It was less political than several other award shows, but it was filled with success and performances.

Celebrities React to the Manchester Terrorism Attack


On May 22, a terrorism attack via a suicide bomber killed 22 and injured at least 59 people at an Arianna Grande concert at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Celebrities took to YouTube to express their thoughts after.

Mandisa’s “Out of the Dark” Review


Ashley Paskill wrote this review about Mandisa’s latest album. The album was inspired by Mandisa’s struggle after a friend’s death due to breast cancer. It highlights that Mandisa used her faith to pull her out of a tough time.



Turntables and Vinyls: The Past in the Future


Just a few years ago, vinyls and turntables were a thing of the past. Everyone was focused on going digital, in music and in everything. However, a recent trend has brought back the popularity of vinyls and turntables are incorporating new technologies to be both nostalgic and futuristic.

Older turntables were big and bulky. The speakers were a separate entity altogether, making it even bigger. If you had 45s that you wanted to listen to, you had to have a 45 player. These issues are things of the past, with new technologies allowing turntables to be more compact and up-to-date with what users need.

Today’s turntables are more compact and light, even though they are more technological. The speakers are built into the system itself. Many have a feature that allows the user to switch between vinyls and 45s. New turntables also have the option of converting vinyls into MP3 files, allowing users to get a vinyl sound on a digital device.

Stores and musicians alike are capitalizing on this new trend. Musicians are releasing new music digitally, on CD, and on vinyls. Stores are bringing in records, be it new or used. New stores are being created with the intention of selling vinyls and CDs of older bands and new musicians releasing music on vinyls.

While older models of turntables are gone, new models are allowing a new generation of music lovers to experience the pure joy of placing a needle on a record, of hearing the unique sounds of a record, of flipping the record to the B-side once the A-side finishes. Technology is making the past and the future collide into a musical masterpiece. Turntables of the past are being left in the past, with new technologies propelling turntables into the future.

Musicians Aim to Make a Difference


It is a natural human desire to want to make the world a better place. Musicians are in a perfect position to do so. Between album and song sales and merchandise, musicians have an amazing opportunity to support their favorite charities and causes. Many musicians are doing just that in 2016 and beyond.

The Kiera Plan, a progressive rock band based in the suburbs of  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is donating proceeds from their song, “Not For Sale,” to St. John’s Hospice and Mercy Hospice. These organizations provide meals and shelter to those in need in Philadelphia. Every song purchase through the end of 2016 will be donated to these worthy organizations.

Almost Queen, a Queen tribute band based out of New York City, New York, does substantial work for the Mercury Phoenix Trust. This organization, founded by Brian May and Roger Taylor after Freddie Mercury died of AIDS-related complications, works to end HIV/AIDS globally. Almost Queen donates proceeds from their merchandise to this organization. Every year, in honor of Freddie’s birthday, they hold a benefit concert for MPT. This year’s concert is on September 9 at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.

Various Broadway stars who were horrified by the recent shootings in Orlando are going to be recording a song to benefit the victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando. It will be a cover of “What the World Needs Now is Love.” The song will be available on Monday on the Broadway Records website and on iTunes for $1.99 and the proceeds will go to the LGBT Center of Central Florida.

Melissa Etheridge told Rolling Stone magazine that she wrote a song to be dedicated to the victims of the shooting in Orlando. She will donate the proceeds to a, LGBT charity. The song will be available soon. Etheridge told the magazine that this song was her way to cope. She says that musicians are “mirrors for society” who try to make some kind of sense of the events that occur.

Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens wrote a song called “He Was Alone” in response to witnessing what refugees go through, particularly in refugee camps in Turkey.  This song is connected to the #YouAreNotAlone charity campaign. Funds raised from this song will go to Save The Children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal and Penny Appeal UK for their #YouAreNotAlone campaign through Small Kindness.