photo: allison michael orenstein

Saturday, May 1, 2010


yo! our hit parade moved to tumblr. take that internet!
you can always find old stuff on blogger, but the new stuff from now on will be posted on

and you can always just find us at

xoxo love you blogger but it wasn't working out.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

OUR HIT PARADE - April 28th at Joe's Pub!

This video of Shockwave and Friends performance from last months Our Hit Parade has had over 37,000 views on Youtube! Come this month to the live show as Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Randy Harrison, Jenn Harris, Amber Martin, Eytan Mirsky and more tackle the top 10 songs of the month! Joe's Pub at 9:30!!!  It is going to be a great one!  I can just tell!  It will be better than Ke$ha on SNL....

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Opening Medley - Our Hit Parade March 2010 Edition

Here is the opening medley of the March 2010 edition of Our Hit Parade. I was watching those terrifyingly bad videos Whoopie Goldberg made for Poise Pads. It is was if she was just put in a costume and told to improv. Not her forte, really. I also thought it would be funny to begin with a very serious Leonard Cohen song. Nothing like the mixture of Leonard Cohen with Neal Medlyn in a fire costume consisting of a homemade flame hat and a gold lame unitard to start an evening off right!


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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Telephone Hour - Telephone

So this was the opening number of the February edition of Our Hit Parade at Joe's Pub. I don't know how this idea came to me. All I know is I wish we had a huge budget so we could have had the original Bye Bye Birdie set with Bridget, Neal and me on different levels and talking on real old-fashioned telephones. I have dreams my friends. In the end we had to settle for two cellphones and some imagination. It was a good opening to a pretty fantastic show. I will be posting the other videos as a countdown to our next show on March 24th. I will be announcing some special guests also! and they are special!


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Friday, February 26, 2010

This is Downtown!

I'll be posting the videos from the Our Hit Parade that took place on wednesday but if you're trigger-happy you can find them at

It was a GOOD one!


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Amber Martin - Consider Me Gone - Our Hit Parade

This was the number one country song of the month at last month's edition of Our Hit Parade. Amber Martin, with PJ Deboy on guitar, who you might recognize for his work in Shortbus, killed it...Reba McIntyre just keeps putting out hit and hit and hit. She really is multi-talented. Broadway, television and now a number one country hit. again....

I really kinda love this song and I love Amber and Paul's rendition.


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Friday, February 5, 2010

Hard - Bridget Everett - Our Hit Parade

I haven't really warmed to Rihanna's album. Everything just seems like the energy has been sucked out of it. Tempos are a tad slower than the songs seem to want to be. But this cover of Hard made me like this song. It happens so often that covers allow me to see in a song something I missed whilst listening to the original version. Add in a couple of kids and Bridget Everett and you have a potent mix.

When we came up with the idea for Our Hit Parade the recession had just hit and we thought back to the depression when productions would have six or seven shows a day. We, of course, are at the ready to produce under that rubric at any time! But in the meantime, it warms my heart that so many young teen and preteen singers have graced the stage of Our Hit Parade. Now all we need is a live horse or two and Ziegfield Follies here we come!!!


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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Neal Medlyn - Fireflies - Our Hit Parade

I really hate audience participation as an audience member. Too much stress that a comic full of acid is going to unleash on me. But when audience participation really works, like it does here, it is kinda magical. Neal brings a woman up to stage with a name that I can't even begin to write down, and has her read a script, lay with him and be on a live video feed. She is so good at her part, but you still can feel the joy of her being an innocent on stage.

I'm not a huge fan of the song, but this performance makes me like it a whole lot more. On the recording, the electronic production gets in the way of me having an emotional reaction to it. Here stripped down to piano (oh right, that's me playing piano!) and Neal, it moves me.

And I can't tell you the joy I felt the first time I saw a firefly! I was probably 33, the age that Jesus died, when I first saw one. We didn't have them in Los Angeles or San Francisco. They really are awe inspiring.


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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Harmonic Possession - Hey Soul Sister - Our Hit Parade

When my friend Pailo drunkely agreed to sing at Our Hit Parade I was shocked. Not because I didn't think he would do a great job, but shocked that he agreed to sing in public. Then we he got together with Adam, Eytan and Carmine and said they were going to do a barbershop quartet number, I was dubious.

Well let me just say, these guys pulled it off. Not only did they turn a fairly awful song into something listenable, but they did a cute skit to go along with it. This kind of performance is what Our Hit Parade is all about. You can almost picture this is black and white coming out of your tiny little television in the 50s. So guys, you rocked it!


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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Need You Now - Mary Testa

When I was 14 my parents would drive me to a little Musical Theater record store near the Farmer's Market in Los Angeles. I'm still not sure what drew me to it, but one of the first records I bought was William Finn's In Trousers. I had to return it three times because it was on such a small label that they were melting down old vinyl and the first two I got had old record labels sticking out of the vinyl rendering them unplayable.

I am so glad I was persistant because to this day it is probably my favorite album. Surreal, heartfelt with arrangements by Michael Starobin (who went on to do the stunning orchestrations for Sunday In The Park With George), it plays out like a fever dream; in fact the mythology is that William Finn wrote it with a 103 temperature.

I have loved Mary Testa since listening to her sing Set Those Sails on that LP since I was 14. It was an incredible honor to have her do Our Hit Parade and to be able to play piano for her.

Here is a twitter exchange that occurred after Lady Antebellum performed this song on the Grammys:

She was stunning! RT @jambajim Sorry Lady Antebellum. I preferred Our Hit Parade's w/ Broadway legend Mary Testa:
1 day ago from Tweetie

Sorry Lady Antebellum. I preferred Our Hit Parade's version of this song w/ Broadway legend Mary Testa
1 day ago from w

She was stunning! RT Sorry Lady Antebellum. I preferred Our Hit Parade's w/ Broadway legend Mary Testa:

Can not agree more!


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Monday, February 1, 2010

Use Somebody - Trapper Felides with Molly Ephraim and Gideon Glick

I love Trapper. Vocal Coach to most of the kids in Broadway shows, he has been bringing the goods to Our Hit Parade now for almost a year. Here he mashes together Kings of Leon with a darn good story from Shakespeare. I was sad to miss Nature Theater of Oklahoma's production of Romeo and Juliet that just played NYC. They based it on interviews they conducted with people about what they thought the plot was of Romeo and Juliet. I guess most people really had no idea.
This song won Kings of Leon a Grammy award for best record last night. I was just happy that Taylor Swift won Album of the year. In the cab back from viewing the Grammys at a friend's house, I made the mistake of commenting on someone's Facebook post that bemoaned the fact that Lady Gaga didn't win the award. The lashing out I got was worthy of me saying the world isn't round. A hot tip: DON'T COMMENT ON FACEBOOK POSTS BY PEOPLE YOU HARDLY KNOW!

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our Hit Parade - Today Was a Fairytale

We opened January's edition of Our Hit Parade with a medley of Taylor Swift's new song, Today Was A Fairytale with Something There from Beauty and The Beast. Not sure how this medley popped into my head, but add on Bridget dressed as a princess and Neal with a Bear Head covering his hair, and it all added up to a pretty darn good opening for the show. I will be rooting for Taylor Swift tonight on the Grammy Awards. And I cannot believe that Lady Gaga and Elton John are performing a duet! What will they be singing? Will this be as controversial as Elton's duet with Eminem? I was once kissed on the lips by Elton John. It was quite an evening in London...
Also we went as saw Tyler Perry live in Madea's Big Happy Family. It was possibly the best 3 hours I have ever spent in the theater. A compelling story, big musical numbers and Tyler Perry. He is right when he has said that if you haven't seen Madea in a live show, you haven't really experienced Madea. He was like Murray Hill,Dame Edna and Richard Pryor all rolled up into one hysterical and yet poignant package. Five star entertainment. And if that wasn't enough, we also met Martha Stewart at the restaurant we went to before the show. She leaned over to our table and asked if any of us could fix her cellphone. With the help of an online manual we fixed her phone and she showed us pictures of her new cats. She is awesome!


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kate McGarrigle 1948-2010

I wrote the following for the blog of Butt Magazine:

Kate McGarrigle 1946-2010
When I was 17 ,Rolling Stone put out at list of the top 100 albums you just had to own if you were really living. It was through this list that I discovered Al Green, Richard and Linda Thompson and Etta James. All amazing discoveries. It was also how I discovered Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Their album, Dancer With Bruised Knees was on the list and even if today I do not think it is their best work (Matapedia rocks my world), it transfixed me. Imagine a high school student in the San Fernando Valley awkwardly leaving behind his years of playing Dungeons & Dragons and coming upon lyrics like:

“No being however mighty
Where chaos reigns alone
Will see his feeble love grow
When cast upon a stone
Kitty come home”

Some of the album was sung in French!!!
The worlds that opened up on the day I put that album on my turntable still open up in front of me today. Over the years I have had the pleasure to meet Kate and Anna and Kate’s children Rufus and Martha. The many wonders of the McGarrigles and their tribe continued to thrill me and seeing them perform live was one of the greatest pleasures of my life. Even if ¾ of a concert was taken up with tuning of the many instruments, the ¼ taken up by music making was always transcendent
I have loved the McGarrigles for 25 years. I will continue to love them for 25 more. I mourn that I will never be able to see them perform live again. The joy in my life is noticeably and irrecoverably lessened.
“Talk to me of Mendocino
Closing my eyes I hear the sea
Must I wait
Must I follow
Won't you say “come with me””
My heart is with her whole family.

I will also add that one of the best days of my life was at The Fez here in New York City when I was introduced to Kate and Anna McGarrigle AND Linda Thompson all on the same night. I have received so much joy from those three women over the years and I am so sad that one of them left us yesterday....


Click to Download - Talk To Me Of Mendocino - Kate and Anna McGarrigle Cover

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Friday, January 8, 2010

It Is The King's Birthday! Naw, The King of R and B!!!

Well it is not only Elvis Presley's and David Bowie's birthday. It is R. Kelly's! Happy Birthday Mr Kelly. This is his new song in which he introduces the world to R and B Yodeling. He is a pioneer!

Who knew that there is a whole set of videos of prayer groups acting out this song whilst the original version plays over the sound system.

Here is another one:

Neal, Bridget and I did this in Neal and my R Kelly show. How stupid were we to actually learn the song when we could have just stood there and let the original play. I think the strange thing about this is that it is all very static. I mean, These people are just on the phone!!!!!!!! It is like Robert Wilson staged it!

Anyway, Happy birthday Mr Kelly! May this year be a good one, filled with joy and love not lawsuits and pee...


P.S. here is Weird Al Yankovic's parody of you!

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

OK, while we're talking about things that should be hits...

This video, which was brought to our attention by being on our friend Adam's blog is pretty much the perfect set of things I'm into right now:

vague and obscure sounding soundtrack-style instruments
lyrics about loving on dogs
VideoToaster effects

I feel like Drake or Kid CUDI should sample this song and make at least me freak out....

--Neal Medlyn

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beer Can Hair Rollers like Bridget Everett

a propensity to wear multiple outfits that aren't fit for outdoors like Neal!

lipstick outside the actual lines of the lips like Kenny!

This video, which was sent to us by the wonder that is Larry Krone, who you may have seen recently in Our Hit Parade singing the top country songs of the decade, is kinda my new favorite thing.

Make this a hit, America, so I can by those pantyhose!!

--Neal Medlyn

El Tigeraso

MALUCA | MySpace Music Videos

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

you're a jerk - newboyz

You're A Jerk - New Boyz

THE best part of going anywhere outside of my house, is eating seeing or doing something I've only seen on the internet, in a video, pictures or print, in real life. On my last trip to L.A. I had an in-n-out burger, bought super cute things on Melrose and Little Tokyo, went to The Grove AND I SAW KIDS JERKING.

The Jerk is a dance born on the west coast, I would liken seeing Jerking in the wild to seeing Breakdancing in the Bronx in the early 80's.

it's also a dance I learned in my hotel rooms this past year. mostly from videos like this


this song rules, its old school without the kids knowing and it's changed fashion for atleast this year. thank you internet.

p.s. I also ate breakfast pasta at Hugos on Santa Monica, where we saw Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights, and Josh Brolin basically stalked us on our plane ride home to new york.

you might say i'm a name dropper, you might say I'm a jerk.

i know

love brendan

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