Top Picks: Fourth of July celebrations, the Olympics on Facebook, and more
An iPhone game gets a 'Brave' makeover, musician Mike Stern has mass appeal, and more top picks.
Courtesy of VoicePlay
Tune into the fourth
July 4 is awash in live TV specials. Celebrate the Fourth with PBS as it broadcasts from the nation's capital with the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor John Williams, featuring performers such as Matthew Broderick and Olympians delivering a send-off to the US team as it heads to London. Then you can head over to CBS for its Boston Pops extravaganza on the Charles River Esplanade, where singer Jennifer Hudson will perform. PBS's "A Capitol Fourth" airs at 8 p.m. ET. The "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" airs on CBS at 10 p.m. ET.
As if you needed another reason to reexamine Stravinsky's perspective on his own ballets, Sony Classical has unearthed everything it has recorded on the matter. That's right – everything from "The Rite of Spring" to "Agon" (all conducted by the maestro himself) has been condensed and neatly packaged for your sonic delight in Sony Classical's new Masters series. The box set includes seven CDs for a grand total of eight hours of an iconic past.
An orchestra of voices
VoicePlay (formerly known as 42Five), a whimsical a cappella group, releases its debut full-length album Once Upon An Ever After July 10 with a national tour launching in September. The album is a compilation of original medleys inspired by Disney movies. Each track offers twists on Disney's classic soundtracks by featuring only vocals re-creating an entire orchestra.
Get ready to 'like' the Olympics
As the Olympic Summer Games approach, Facebook has launched a new page designed to connect fans and athletes. Explore London 2012 links that take you directly to the Facebook pages of Olympians, national teams, and individual sports. You can "like" any of the pages to have their photos, videos, and comments appear in your Facebook news feed. Visit facebook.com/pages/olympics.
One of the best iPhone games, Temple Run, just got a fresh coat of Disney paint. Temple Run: Brave recasts the generic main character with Merida, the hero of Pixar's new animated film "Brave." The Scottish princess must sprint, leap, and slide away from the clutches of the ancient bear Mor'du. The game's brilliance lies in its simplicity. Merida runs on her own, but players swipe to avoid obstacles and tilt the phone to grab bonuses. Available for Android and Apple iOS devices.
Music without borders
Like jazz? You'll like Mike. Like funk? You'll like Mike. Like world music? You'll like Mike Stern. All Over the Place, the guitarist's aptly titled new album, is impossible to file under one category. It is an inspired, eclectic, irresistible expression of music without borders. With guest stars such as supernova Esperanza Spalding, African Richard Bona, as well as sax great Chris Potter along for the joy ride, you will be moved.