Sunday, April 22, 2012

Young sibling band rocks out to Rammstein and....Medieval classics?

I came across this article that highlights a sibling band called the "Children Medieval Band," with siblings Stefan (9), Olga (8), and Cornelia (5).  They all play a number of instruments and practice and perform covers of their favorite songs.  Their parents have modified some of the lyrics of the songs, making them more appropriate for the young trio.  Check them out!

The Children Medieval Band Rock Out Rammstein Tunes

If you think there’s no correlation between metal and cuteness, you’ve yet to witness the Children Medieval Band rocking out covers of their favorite Rammstein classics.

The adorable trio is made up of three siblings, with the wee drummer Cornelia clocking in at a whopping five years old. Stefan, the elder-statesmen of the group, is nine years old and plays a bevy of instruments from violin to keyboard, to trumpet and xylophone. His eight year old sister Olga rocks the violin and keys as well.

According to some stats posted by the trio’s parents on their YouTube page, the three children practice music an hour a day and look tense because they are concentrating on their recordings and they don’t really like “shake-butt” music. Future metalheads in the making?

As far as any concerns for their youngsters playing Rammstein tunes, their parents say that the children are well-rounded and love everything from Little Richard to Rammstein. They feel that the “unique combination of immense power, tension, glorious themes and subtle infusion of good taste romanticism, makes them [Rammstein] the best musicians of the past 20 years.”

Thanks to for turning us on to these mini-metalers!

Performing "Ich Will" by Rammstein: 
 Performing "Mon Amy" by Tielman Susato, a Medieval song: 

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Documentary Depicts Fan’s Quest to Meet Metallica’s Lars Ulrich

A new documentary titled ‘Mission to Lars’ centers on Tom Spicer, a learning disabled man who goes on a quest to meet his hero, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Spicer has Fragile X Syndrome, which is a sort of autism, and is helped on his journey by his brother and sister.

Kate and William Spicer hit the road with their brother Tom, traveling from the UK to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and beyond.  “We had this fantasy of hitting the road with Tom and recreating some of the magic of our teenage years cruising around in £100 cars, eating Burger King and listening to heavy metal on the tape deck,” says Kate. “We thought it would be fun, bonding. We wanted to do something good for our brother. We were also sick of him endlessly asking.”

Kate is a journalist and William a filmmaker, so they have experience in the music industry, but still ran across numerous obstacles in trying to fulfill their brother’s dream. Mencap, the British charity who works with learning disabled individuals, were involved in the making of the film.

The movie’s website says ‘Mission to Lars’ tells the story of the confusing family dynamics around learning disability, and portrays Tom as a complex and likeable character, and not as someone one sees first as learning disabled and everything else second.

In addition to entertaining the audience and raising awareness, ‘Mission to Lars’ is also giving all the profits from the film to Mencap. In June, there will be theatrical screenings of the documentary, which will also be used as outreach opportunities. The soundtrack includes music from Bob Dylan, Devandra Banhart and Blur.

Lars Ulrich himself has seen the movie, and according to the Spicer family, he likes it. Sounds like an interesting documentary with a great message for a worthy cause. In addition to some British screenings, the filmmakers plan on taking ‘Mission To Lars’ on the road.

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Friday, April 06, 2012

Alice Cooper Speaks to School Board Meeting About the Importance of Music

Alice Cooper rocks Paradise Valley School Board meeting 

by Carina Sonn 
Bio | Email | Follow: @ 
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM

PHOENIX -- Valley rock legend Alice Cooper made an appearance at a Paradise Valley School Board meeting on Thursday night.

Cooper was speaking on behalf of The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, a national organization that donates instruments to under-funded school music programs.

The foundation awarded $20,000 dollars worth of instruments to Arrowhead Elementary School. The school received the donation in response to a grant application.

The donation means some student will no longer have to share their instruments.

"There are kids out there that really want to play that just can't afford it and here they are, here's the instrument, put it in their hands and just watch them go. Maybe some of them won't be great musicians but so what - it's something that they're doing that they love," said Cooper.

Jackie Moran, a student at Arrowhead Elementary said, "Music is like my life. I love music so much. We didn't really have a lot of instruments at our school so I'm really happy that we got it."

Cooper, who grew up in Glendale, told the school board that his band started while he was a student at Cortez High School, "The amazing thing is is I see these kids here everybody's got their instruments like it's a prize. You can take this away. Their culture is involved in their art and their music."

Cooper is getting ready to open The Rock at 32nd Street Teen Center in just a couple of weeks. The facility will provide free music and dance lessons to teenagers.

"Basically to get kids in gangs out of gangs and into music," explained Cooper. "We feel that if we can change one 13-year-old kid that will change everything. I mean there's a kid out there right now probably selling drugs that might be the best guitar player in Arizona. He just doesn't know it. So we're gonna put the guitar in his hand and say try this."

While addressing the school board, Cooper had this message for the students in the audience: "Music is way important guys so all of you kids that are learning right now stay with it it's gonna be with you the rest of your life, calculus probably won't be."

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Twins inherit different gene combinations

A few years ago, I posted about twin boys who were born with different gene sets, with one being white and the other being black.  Apparently, this is a 1 in a million probability, but a second in 2 million chance happened again (both in England!) with a set of twin girls, just celebrating their 7th birthday.

Closer than ever... The million-to-one black and white twins Kian and Remee turn seven

By Paul Harris and Lucy Laing

One is black and has big brown eyes. The other is a blue-eyed blonde with the palest of skin.  They might share the same cheeky smile, but side by side, they could hardly look less alike.  Yet remarkably, Kian and Remee are twins, born a minute apart.

The pair owe their appearance to a one in a million combination of their parents’ genes.  Mother Kylee Hodgson and father Remi Horder both have white mothers and black fathers.  The startling result is a two-tone set of delightful little girls.

They first attracted international attention when they were featured in the Mail at less than a year old.

Now, approaching their seventh birthday, they have never asked why they don’t look the same, nor have they ever experienced any racial prejudice.  ‘They are such a perfect example of how it should be,’ their mother told the Mail. ‘They are not bothered about their skin colour. It’s not the big issue everyone else seems to see it as. It isn’t important to them at all – it’s about what they’re like underneath.’

Kian and her 60-second older sister were delivered in April 2005 by caesarean section.  Kylee, now 25, recalls the moment she saw them for the first time: ‘I noticed that both of them had beautiful blue eyes,’ she said.  ‘But while Remee’s hair was blonde, Kian’s was black and she had darker skin. To me, they were my kids and they were just normal. I thought they would start to look the same as time went on.’

Time, however, only accentuated their differences. Kian’s eyes changed colour and her skin got darker. Remee’s complexion got lighter and her curly hair stayed blonde. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kylee found herself fielding questions about whose children they were, or who Kian’s fair-haired friend was, when she pushed them in their side-by-side buggy.  ‘People would ask me why I dressed the children the same,’ Kylee said. ‘I’d just say: “because they’re twins,” and leave people to work it out. It kind of irritated me at first, but everyone in my area got to know they were twins and accepted it. It was only strangers or outsiders who didn’t know.’

Their appearance may be ebony and ivory, but in character they are chalk and cheese. They learned to walk and talk at different times, even though their first word – ‘Juice!’ – was identical.  Kian, according to her mother, ‘is a bit bossier, a bit louder’. She added:  ‘Remee is a bit more laid back. She’ll think a bit longer before she does something.’

Today they are in different classes at school and have different sets of friends.  They both love dancing and sing along to the same records – mostly New York rapper Nicki Minaj and pop star Rihanna.  But their interests are different, Kian has a love of animals and her sister enjoys cookery.

Like many twins though, they have an unspoken, almost intuitive affinity.  ‘They get on so well,’ said Kylee, now separated from Remi and living in Dudley, West Midlands.  ‘They’re really close,’ she said. ‘They’re best friends – they absolutely love each other. They play together all the time, go swimming together, read their books together, help each other out.  ‘If one can’t do their shoes, the other will help.  'Sometimes they do the same things at the same time. Once, they even sneezed together. That really made me laugh.  As they’ve got older, they’ve taught each other everything. They’ve helped each other to grow.

‘And they don’t notice the colour thing, not at all. They’ve grown up with light-skinned people around them, and they’ve grown up with black people. But they’re just themselves. They don’t see what everyone else sees.’


The odds of a mixed race couple having twins of different colours are a million to one.

Skin colour is believed to be determined by up to seven different genes working together.

If a parent is of mixed race, their eggs or sperm will contain a mixture of genetic codes for both black and white skin.

However, if both the egg and sperm contain all white genes, the baby will be white.

And if both contain just the versions necessary for black skin, the baby will be black.

Monday, April 02, 2012

World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day

The fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2012. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. How will you celebrate? To share your events, please "Like" the World Autism Awareness Day page on Facebook and submit your events by posting the information on the wall.

Thank you for celebrating the wonderful people in our lives affected by autism on April 2 and throughout April which was Autism Awareness Month. Learn more about some of the events from April 2, 2012 here!

There are a few songs that have been written regarding autism, and would like to share a couple here:

"Solitary Shell" by Dream Theater (from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2002)

 He learned to walk and talk on time
But never cared much to be held
and steadily he would decline
Into his solitary shell

Read all the Lyrics here 
 "Puzzle Box" by Red Lamb (from Red Lamb, 2011)

 Every child’s mind is…
Like a puzzle box
But what of the mind that stays…
That stays forever locked?
Early intervention’s
The key to it all
Now we lift them up
HE won’t let them fall
Read all the Lyrics here

Here is an interview with Dan and Candi Spitz about their autistic twin sons and 
using Red Lamb's song "Puzzle Box" to increase Autism awareness: