Like many other young adults, my first exposure to a cappella came in the form of Rockapella on the TV show "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" The theme song was (and still is) completely addictive, and I admired the music they were able to make just using their voices, but it wasn't enough at the time to really pique my interest in a cappella itself.
Flash-forward several years. When I was in college, I met a fellow RA (who's name I've completely forgotten now) who was always playing a cappella music in her car. I asked her about it one day, and discovered that all the songs I had been hearing were actually the same group, Straight No Chaser. My favorite of their performances is "Africa":
The group Straight No Chaser was formed at Indiana University (the RA who introduced me to them went there for her undergrad; that's how she had heard of them). As it turns out, college a cappella is a big deal. I've found dozens of other groups through sites like last.fm. There's even a group at nearby UGA! I haven't seen them perform (yet), but I'm keeping my ears open. One group I've found and really enjoyed is TakeNote, a female group from Clemson University. Do yourself a favor and listen to their cover of "Hallelujah" on their MySpace page. With apologies to Leonard Cohen, it's one of the most amazing things I've ever heard. (You can also download it here)
And here's one last video, the Tufts Beelzebubs singing "Umbrella":
Just cause I love the arrangement. And that it's an all-male group singing a song popularized by a female singer.
And no, I'm not going to mention Glee. As much as I loved that show (hint: it's a lot), it's not a cappella. But it is awesome, and if you haven't seen the show yet you should really get on over to hulu.
Music Mundays are hosted by Chris. You can learn more about them here.