Our latest Tinker Bell song goes international

TinkerBell-Screening_clip_image002-226x300We have vague recollections of hearing something about Disney taking the master tapes of “Summer’s Just Begun” (not yet available on iTunes), the song we wrote which opens the film “Tinker Bell & The Great Fairy Rescue.” and sending it off to get re-recorded with translated lyrics in a number of different languages. But we kind of forgot about it.

Until this morning, that is, when Val’s dad sent us some links to YouTube videos of the song being sung in Hebrew, Polish, Greek, and a wild number of other foreign tongues into which we never imagined we’d hear our song transmogrified. Needless to say, it’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes illuminating, and always humbling to know that something we wrote is literally ALL OVER THE PLANET. WOW.

“Summer’s Just Begun,” original English version, sung by the marvelous Cara Dillon

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Hebrew

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Polish

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Greek

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Russian

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Bulgarian

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Romanian

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Ukrainian

“Summer’s Just Begun” in Portuguese

Upcoming east coast gigs: only area appearances for a while.

Please come out and join us!

Friday, October 1: BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD – one of our favorite venues

Saturday, October 2: Avalon Theatre, Easton, MD – first time at this beautiful place

Sunday, October 3: The Tin Angel, Philadelphia, PA – a very rare club gig.

Saturday, November 6: Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, West Chester, PA – final east coast show of 2010.

Striking 12 in the summer! Now playing in VA through Sept 25, + American Idol contestant rehearsing in OH

This is the first summertime production we’ve heard of. Seems perfect for a heat wave: check it out at Shenandoah Valley’s Wayside Theatre, in Middletown, VA, playing now through September 25.

From John Horan Jr.’s review in the Northern Virginia Daily:

MIDDLETOWN — Wayside Theatre strikes gold with “Striking 12.”

Sure, it’s a holiday musical, but after this sweltering summer, the mere thought of colder times is a welcome tonic, an itch the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre also scratched with its production of “White Christmas” in July. And “Striking 12” is definitely cool. A most unusual show, it’s a small-scale musical, ably performed by a gifted trio, that both captivates and resonates on several levels.

Sarah K. Story in STRIKING 12

Sara K. Story in STRIKING 12

Also, we just heard about a high school production starting rehearsals in Dayton, OH for a holiday run…and starring in the show is Michael Canada, shown here rehearsing his vocal for “Fine, Fine, Fine” after winning a local contest to compete in American Idol. Click on the picture for video and full story. Fun!

American Idol contestant Michael Canada rehearsing "Fine, Fine, Fine"

American Idol contestant Michael Canada rehearsing "Fine, Fine, Fine"

Free Tinker Bell 3 sneak-preview screenings nationwide this weekend

In case you’d like to check out this direct-to-DVD movie, TINKER BELL & THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE, on the big screen…

Once again, Bren and Val have 1 1/2 songs in this film, just like in last year’s TINKER BELL & THE LOST TREASURE: for this year’s film (the third in the Tink series), we wrote the opening/closing song, which is called “Summer’s Just Begun,” and co-wrote a lovely lullaby with composer Joel McNeely called “Come Flying With Me.”

We think the movie is quite good, and look forward to seeing it at the wrap party in a few days. The official release date is September 21, but if you’re interested in this weekend’s sneak preview screenings, go here. It looks like they overbook the events deliberately so the houses will be full – so early arrival appears to be key…TinkerBell Screening_clip_image002

Walking Long Distances to Write Better Songs

Val and I live in greater Los Angeles, California. There are a lot of cars. Cars are, you might say, necessary to the economy and to a life in LA.

Recently, I found myself mysteriously without either a car or a bike. Millie Van Lily, our aging yet functional monstrous van, was on its way to take Mose and Val to Mose’s gym class. And by mistake, Val had left her bicycle in the back of the van, leaving me stranded without a way to get to Bikram Yoga that afternoon.

So I walked. It wasn’t too far, and it didn’t take too long–I kinda hustled, but there were a lot of lights. But mostly what I did was walk, drink water, and sing and ramble into my dictaphone. And by the end of the walk, 35 minutes later, I had a complete form of a song we’d been assigned to write for the Tinker Bell t.v. special, and some choice lyrics to go with it.

In addition, my walk took me on a slower, more luxurious route through parts of Glendale that I rarely pay any attention to, and I liked it. I liked looking at the natural flora and fauna that creep into the cracks in the concrete jungle. I liked walking under the train track bridge as a commuter train thundered by overhead. I liked the whole thing.

So here’s what I’m doing for my birthday next Friday, August 6th: I’m walking from my house all the way to the Santa Monica Pier. Then, if I still have any energy left, I’m going to walk down to the Venice Pier, and meet friends for dinner, and then go soak my tired dogs. Here’s my planned route:

Where I'm walking on August 6. Click for a close-up view.

Where I'm walking on August 6. Click for a close-up view.

Along the way, I’ll be tacking a few other writing chores, and taking pictures and videos of interesting stuff in all the neighborhoods I leisurely pass through. If you’re interested in seeing what I come up with, follow me on twitter at @brendanmilburn where I’ll be linking to all the photos and videos I upload as I walk.

Mostly I just like the anachronistic-ness of walking in LA. Really, nobody does it, and I’d love to have a singular experience for the celebration of thirty-nine years on this planet. Wish me luck.

Angels 4 Ana Benefit Concert Monday June 7, Pasadena, CA: Val & Bren doing 2 songs

We’ve just been invited to be a part of a benefit concert coming up THIS MONDAY(!) featuring glitterati from TV and the LA musical theatre world. We’ll be sharing the stage with Jason Robert Brown, Georgia Stitt, Michelle Duffy, Susan Egan, and others who are all remarkably badass. Daniel Tatar, who recently sang the role of Woody in Toy Story: The Musical, invited us to participate in this fundraiser for his dear friend Ana, who has late-stage lymphoma and is having trouble paying for her treatment. this promises to be a stupendous evening, for a really good cause. Hope you can join us on Monday evening:


Angels 4 Ana Benefit Concert
Monday, June 7, 2010
8:00 PM
Boston Court Performing Arts Center
70 N Mentor Ave
Pasadena, CA 91106

Use the promo code “GROOVELILY” to get $30 tickets, here.

WC Demo #6: Leap.

Leap. Creative Commons attribution license, Sabrina's Stash on flickr.

Leap. Creative Commons attribution license, Sabrina's Stash on flickr.

Forgive me for being inconsistent with these “weekly” demos. It’s been kinda tough lately–and I’ll get into that shortly. But for now, here’s this week’s song, way more “adult contemporary” than we usually roll, but it still feels appropriate to the subject matter. Here’s “Leap.”

<a href="http://groovelily.bandcamp.com/track/leap-rough-demo" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'outbound-article', 'http://groovelily.bandcamp.com/track/leap-rough-demo', 'Leap (rough demo) by GrooveLily');">Leap (rough demo) by GrooveLily</a>


If you like it, download a copy and throw us some $, which goes directly to buy groceries and pay bills. Thanks!

Here’s why it’s appropriate this week: Read More »

Near La Jolla? Come to free SHACKLETON reading Wed June 16

Sir Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton

We’ll be in a cozy 99-seat theatre space at La Jolla Playhouse, trying out the latest version of ERNEST SHACKLETON LOVES ME, our one-woman musical for Val that we’re writing with Joe DiPietro (who’s flying in direct from the Tony Awards to be there with us).
Script in hand, writing in progress…this is a free developmental reading, with brand-new material never before heard or seen.
We’re very excited about this show.
Space is limited, so if you’re interested, RSVP to:


The location is Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre – at La Jolla Playhouse at 8 PM on Wednesday, June 16th.

All shall be well.

Midsummer is consistently one of our favorite GrooveLily albums, if we’re allowed to pick favorites–partially because we got to REALLY stretch out with the music, and play with themes and variations in a way that we don’t usually get to–and partially because the experience of MAKING the show was so sublime.

Guy in rehearsal for Midsummer, with Val in the background

Guy in rehearsal for Midsummer, with Val in the background

One of the sublime parts was getting to meet and work with Guy Adkins, a gifted and wildly versatile actor. He’s done such a wide variety of work on stage, and playing Robin Goodfellow in Midsummer was just one new facet of his skill set coming to light. Read More »

WC Demo #5: Standing In The Shadow.

Standing in the shadow of the man who is first in line.

Standing in the shadow of the man who is first in line.

This week’s song is about a guy who discovers too late that he’s lost his chance with a girl he used to date. It’s my hope that this song will become part of our live set with Gene singing lead…but in the meantime, this demo has me singing lead and Val playing the role of the hot backup vocal chicks. If you like the song, buy a download and send us your $ without diverting vast percentages to Steve Jobs, eh? Thanks.

<a href="http://groovelily.bandcamp.com/track/standing-in-the-shadow" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'outbound-article', 'http://groovelily.bandcamp.com/track/standing-in-the-shadow', 'Standing In The Shadow by Milburn &#038; Vigoda');">Standing In The Shadow by Milburn &#038; Vigoda</a>

This one’s also about envy, and in much the same way that “Happy, Happy, Happy” was born from an incredible, uncomfortable bout of pure unadulterated envy when we were trying our hardest to get signed by a major label and I walked past a larger-than-life-size-poster of Vanessa Carlton back in 2002…this song was born from the same emotion, but in a slightly different set of circumstances.

Here’s a little backstory, if you’ve got a moment. Read More »