Indablog // Videos - Indaba Music
News, Sessions and oddities from the Indaba Community
Wednesday October 28, 2009 at 08:00 AM
Look, I’m not going to lie. I went to the gym the other day, picked up something way too heavy for me and ripped all the muscles in my hand. Every word, every letter, I type here causes a mini-seizure in my fingers. I had something planned just for this occasion, though. I knew someday that I would screw up my hands so I prepared a pose just in case that happened. And now that it has enjoy the blissfully wordless, “My Favorite Mash-Ups.”
I adore mash-ups. They’re fun to make, they’re fun to listen to and, bonus, they make you think of each song used in a whole new way. Any music fan can see their appeal so I won’t bother analyzing them. Instead, enjoy my three favorites and, please, if you have a few of your own, post them in the comments.
3. A Stroke of Genie-u
2. Girl Talk – Feed the Animals (10)
1. And the best I’ve heard in a long time…2008
Monday September 14, 2009 at 08:00 AM
My friend Amir turned me on to this young lady on YouTube, Julia Nunes, who plays Ukelele. So far, so normal. But Julia, who has her own website, JunuMusic.com, is so more than your normal cute ukelele cover-song playing girl on the Internet (isn’t it amazing that we live in an age where I can truthfully say that). Julia seems to be headed for a nice little career as a sing/songwriter/performer all thanks to the popularity of her YouTube videos, just like Bo Burnham before her. Now let’s see why, in no particular order…
1. She has a nice voice: It’s lower than your average girl voice, but there’s a husky smokiness to it that’s compelling and refreshingly different.
2. She’s doing something different: Just check out her videos and you’ll see. She mixes songs with talking and she suppliments the small sound of her uke with harmonies, knee-and-pillow drumming and other small instruments.
3. She picks good songs to cover: The variety is great – The Beatles, Weezer, Ben Folds – it’s a very appealing cross-section of popular music over the last fifty or so years.
Now, let’s see this young lady play. Here’s her doing the aforementioned Beatles.
But here is where her story gets great. Rumor has it that Ben Folds saw her cover of “Gone” (http://www.youtube.com/jaaaaaaa#play/uploads/40/7pmpo8THQJk) and invited her up on stage when he was playing near her school to accompany her. Pretty amazing if you ask me. Make sure you watch past “Gone” for what had to have been the most terrifying and exciting moment of her life.
Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 08:00 AM
Hey Indaba, it’s Wednesday and you know what that means: video time! It’s been a few weeks since I went out and scoured the Internet for videos but it has been worth the wait. This week I want to explore something very near and dear to my heart. They’re called “Meltdown Musicals,” and they could only exist on the Internet. Basically, a Meltdown Musical is when Internet people take a clip of a freakout – from a news show, a home video, whatever – and remix it into a song. Isn’t that just exactly what the Internet is about? I’ve collected three I hope you’ll enjoy.
Bill O’Reilly Dance Remix (Beware the language!)
Ah, now you see what I mean, right? This “musician” has taken the famous Bill O’Reilly freak out clip and remixed it into an awesome song. It’s pretty much club quality, as in if I walked by a thumping club and heard this track I wouldn’t be surprised. But I think it can get better from here, don’t you?
My god, I love this video. It’s little clips from different sports press conferences, starting with Iverson. The whole thing gets the autotune treatment and is tenderly lain over a driving beat. I like this one better than the Bill O’Reilly one because it pulls from five or six very different videos yet manages to sound cohesive, like the videos weren’t taken months or years apart. It even follows song structure a little bit, returning to the “practice” theme after wandering through various other press conferences. But it’s not my favorite. My favorite, hands down, has got to be…
RU Professional (Watch out for Language)
This is a masterpiece. It takes a little of the famous Christian Bale freakout audio and builds an entire – and might I say, enjoyable – song around it. Even more impressive is that it came out about a day after the clip leaked online. That means of course that the creator did all of this in a day. Imagine doing that for a second. Imagine hearing that audio clip and having an idea for a song. That much is easy to do, but then imagine sitting down and hammering this out in a day (and making a little video). Maybe for some of you that’s an easy feat but for me it would take days if not weeks. Therefore, I give this video my higher honor: one LOL.
Join me next week as we explore more of the Internet’s best music (in video format).
Wednesday July 29, 2009 at 08:00 AM
It’s Wednesday and you know what that means: vids! This week I want to return to one of my favorite topics: cover songs. We’ve discused a few in the Monday Showdown from time to time, but I wanted to revisit them here. I don’t know what I like so much about cover songs, really. Perhaps it’s hearing something you already like in a totally different way? Or maybe it’s that they let me enjoy songs I already like for longer by ensuring I won’t get sick of one version? Whatever it is, I love cover songs and I’ve selected three of my favorite for this post. And hey, if you have some of your own, please let me know so I can A) check them out and B) post about it again.
Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends
Cocker could have picked any Beatles song to cover but he was smart; he went for a Ringo tune (probably the most easily improved-upon of all the Beatles). But Cocker does so much more than just cover a Beatles song, he totally re-invents the pop song as a soulful, blusey jam. His version is so far superior to the Beatles I wouldn’t even put them in the same league. However, you have to give Lennon/McCartney credit for crafting the base of what turns out to be a fantastic song when put in the right hands. I think you can hear the difference in the bridge. The call and response is excellent and so, so soulful. So Joe Cocker, you’ve done the impossible, you’ve made a Beatles song better. Congrats.
Ben Harper – Sexual Healing
Like a Beatles song, a Marvin Gaye song is tough to improve upon. However, I believe Ben Harper has done just that with his version of “Sexual Healing.” The original is great – on that we can all agree – but something about the stripped down style Harper brings to the song makes it somehow sexier. When you strip away the backing band you really hear just how damn sexy this song is. Harper’s breathy take on the song works beautifully with his simple guitar part and I for one really enjoy it.
The Clash – I Fought The Law
For many, many years I did not know this was a cover song. Then one day I was cruising around radio stations and I heard a much older version by Bobby Fuller. It’s not that the original was bad, it was just so cheerful. Something about it didn’t really capture the terrible story being told in the lyrics. With Joe Strummer’s “liberal” approach to singing on key and the driving music supplied by the rest of The Clash, I think they did the song justice. Although I will give Bobby Fuller credit for the triplet on “robbing people with a six gun.” That was just a brilliant little piece of percussionry.
Wednesday July 15, 2009 at 08:00 AM
Hey Indaba, it’s been a whole week since we took at a look at some videos and this week I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to stay up to date with the big stories in the news: AutoTune. As we all know (and some of us probably are sick of knowing), AutoTune is the effect of the moment, showing up in hip hop and pop songs like hand claps used to in the 60’s. And musical sketch groups weren’t wasting any time cashing in on its potential. One group in particular, The Gregory Brothers, have taken messing with AutoTune to an artform. Don’t believe me, watch this.
I feel like it’s almost stupid to analyze why this is amazing, but read on and I will!
So, to understand why this is so impressive to me, take a look at their first “AutoTune The News.”
It’s good, for sure. But I think if you watch their latest you can see how they have evolved this form of musical comedy into something truly impressive. There’s really no accepted term for it – remix comedy? found comedy? – but it’s becoming one of the most dominant form of online comedy. And AutoTune plays into it nicely: it’s quick, it sounds good and it allows for professional sounding vocals on a shoestring budget. Now, you can see in the first video they did with news clips, the “song” doesn’t really evolve or return to a common theme. It’s funny to watch and listen to but I don’t think it would draw my attention away from the thousands of cat clips online. However, by the time they made video number 5, their artistry – yes, it’s art. If you don’t believe me, try to do it one day – had really taken form. They have running jokes throughout – the smoking lettuce gag runs to the end – and the backing track is full and fun. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. Well done, Gregory Brothers. Oh, and way to go putting your music on AmieStreet!
See all their work on YouTube.
Wednesday July 08, 2009 at 02:00 PM
Hey Indaba, it’s Wednesday and that means it’s time to take a look at some videos! This week I wanted to pay tribute to one of the most oft-used songs online: “Yakety Sax.” The song was originally recorded by a guy named Boots Randolph and has been kicking around the airwaves since 1963. It wasn’t until the Benny Hill show started using the song in chase scenes though that is became extremely popular. If you don’t know the song yet, have a listen.
Yup, that song. So this week we’re going to take a look at what the Internet at large has done with the tune and first up is one of my favorites: Eminemy Hill.
I honestly think this music accompanies that Eminem song better than the original track (Sorry, Dre). Next up we’ll see a more common use of the song: taking an Internet video, speeding it up and putting the song over it. In this case, it’s “WoW Freakout Kid” who gets the Benny Hill treatment.
Finally, the last way we see the song used is to highlight what is funny about a certain video. Here we have an amazing clip of Pluto chasing a kid around at Disney World. You may not think it’s hysterical on first watch, but add the Benny Hill song in, speed up the frame rate and you’ve got yourself a hit. Enjoy!
Wednesday July 01, 2009 at 08:00 AM
I have to admit I’m borrowing heavily from my friend, Kevin, who put together this wonderful video playlist over at my day job of some of his favorite Internet videos of the late, great Michael Jackson. That said, I wanted to share his hard work with you anyway. Though I was never a major MJ fan – I wasn’t camping out outside of his hotel rooms or anything – I always dug his music and one of my earliest memories is watching a Michael Jackson concert at Indaba co-founder Dan’s house in 1990. If I remember correctly, Dan’s folks were the only ones who would buy the concert on pay-per-view so we wound up there and, again, it was a long time ago, but I think that same evening the Berlin Wall came down. Anyways, here is how the Internet at large pays tribute to one the best pop songs of all time by one of the finest musicians of all time. RIP MJ.
And check this out even though it’s not a video: Michael Jackson’s influence on Hip Hop. Amazing.
Wednesday June 24, 2009 at 08:00 AM
It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time to watch some vids. The last few weeks we’ve been taking a look at child prodigies and that was all well and good, but I’m starting to feel weird about watching videos with other people’s kids in them. So this week we’re going to look at three amazing examples of something that could not have existed before the Internet began to video seriously: the self-ensemble. What does that mean? I’ll tell you! With an ear for arrangement and a webcam a ton of musically-minded people have stormed the Internet with videos of themselves harmonizing with, well, themselves. And not just that, people have gone beyond a capella arrangements to make entire bands all by their lonesome. There’s nothing new about one person recording all the part of a song, but there is something novel and impressive about watching them do it.
First up is a guy by the name of Francois who recorded a 64-track a capella version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” What’s so impressive about this one is that using only his voice he is able to get most of the instrument sounds down pretty well. The beat he creates and the ambient chords echoing over the whole track are almost indistinguishable from the original. Cut him some slack on the main vocal track, though, it’s near impossible to nail MJ’s voice.
Next up is a young man who has taken a love of videogame music to a new level. Skilled on the violin as well as vocally, this dude gives a pretty spot on version of the Zelda theme all by himself. He’s also great at wearing different hats, which in the weird world of the Internet will get you noticed a lot quicker. It’s no 64-track masterpeice but there is something that seems a little more refined about this performance than the previous. It could just be me and my love of Koji Kondo’s music, though.
Finally, let’s take a look at my favorite one of all. This is by a dude named Jack Conte and it rules. I might even go so far as to say it rulez. Conte records everything himself here and the output is an actual catchy tune. And God truly is in the details here. For instance, instead of just playing a tambourine all the way through (which would have been easy) he stops using it points to slow the song down and then picks it up again when he wants us to feel movement. He has other awesome videos, too, but this one is easily my favorite. Enjoy.
Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 08:00 AM
For the past two weeks we’ve been taking a look at videos of amazing kids. First we saw three incredible kid drumers and then we took a look at a few kid pianists (If you say that out loud it sounds horrible…don’t do it). Anyway, this week we’re going to move on to another popular thing for little kids to be better at than me: the guitar. Now, aside from guitars being comically oversized for most kids, their little hands normally have trouble making chords and pushing down heavy strings. Not these tikes, though. These kids will make you want to close your Indaba account, throw away your instruments and join the corporate world.
First up is 9 year old Yuto Miyazawa. This clip, from Ellen, features Yuto playing “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. He has a long way to go on the vocals – the curse of youth, as far as rocking is concerned – but his axemanship is spot on. But unlike most kids who play “Crazy Train,” Yuto doesn’t just play the opening riff and call it a day. He does the whole damn song. Even at the onset, before a note is played, you can tell he knows his way around an electric guitar and all the accouterments that come with one. Comically over-sized? Yes. Amazing musician in the making? Indeed. Bad voice? Yes, but let the boy grow up a bit first, you judgmental jerk. Check out more Yuto on his MySpace page.
Yuto Miyazawa, Age 9
Next up is a little dude going by the handle T-Man (Real name: Tallan Latz), a 8 year old kiddo from the midwest. Unlike Yuto up above, Tallan rocks some heavy, smokey blues in this clip from a local news show (Side Joke Alert! The newscaster says “While other kids are watching videogames…” Watching videogames! Thanks Grandpa!!!) Anyway, Tallan clearly knows how to step up and down a pentatonic and seems to be learning the standard blues head motions – close eyes, rock head back-and-forth, scrunch face, etc. Tallan is a little older now – he’s almost 10! – but according to his MySpace page, he’s got a pretty busy summer of gigs lined up. And of course, comically over-sized axe!
Tallan Latz, Age 8
Lastly, I wanted to show you someone who is as good at fake guitar as these kids are at real guitar. And before you dismiss it, think about the hand-eye co-ordination that goes into doing this. I’m not going to say it’s more impressive than an 8 year old rocking a blues song, but it’s impressive in it’s own little way. Here is some guy playing a Dragonforce song on expert and getting 100%.
Some Guy, Age ?
Wednesday June 10, 2009 at 08:00 AM
Yes, the title was accurate. Last week we took a look at three drumming prodigies and this week it’s on to another percussive instrument: the piano. To label a kid a piano prodigy puts them up on a level with Mozart, the most famous piano prodigy, so the title does not come lightly. However, troll the Internet long enough and you will find amazing things, like the three kids to follow.
Up first is a little girl named Emily Bear. In the clip that follows (from a news show) Emily shows a remarkable amount of skill. Discovered when she was only 2 years old by her Grandmother, Emily quickly became a master musician. But she’s more than a machine that can read music, she writes her own as well. There is a brief clip of a song she composed in the video, but you can watch a full composition (done for Ellen Degeneres, when Emily appears on her show) here. She’s even bright enough to know that she and Mozart have something in common. Emily has a website and even a CD, for any adults interested in feeling bad about their own musical abilities.
Emily Bear – Age 6
Our next self-esteem-destroyer is a little guy named Shaun Hern Lee who, at 4 years old, destroys a waltz by Beethoven. Also playing since he was two like Emily above, Shaun clearly knows his way around the ivories. It’s too bad his legs are too short to reach the pedals or he could really play that thing to its full potential. Regardless of leg length though, I’m sure this is not the last we’ll hear from Shaun. Though he doesn’t appear to have a website, he does have a YouTube page where his videos are collected. And now, prepare to feel bad about yourself!
Shaun Hern Lee, Age 4
Our last piano prodigy video is something a little different. I found it while poking around for actual prodigy videos and my eyes were drawn to the word “parody” proudly tagged on to this one. It is the product of a 13 year-old girl who starts the video with a quip far more witty than her years should allow. “I want to be a piano prodigy when I grow up,” she says. Very funny. She then goes on to mock piano prodigy videos in a variety of ways: playing while reading a book, playing blindfolded, not playing at all. Prodigy? Maybe not. A fantastic piano player for being so young? Sure. A very well-developed sense of humor for her age? Without a doubt. Again, no website, but her YouTube page has more videos that aren’t meant to make fun of other piano players.
Ailecec, Age 13?
And now, because it’s been my most-watched video of the week and I cannot keep it to myself, here is a video that has nothing to do with being a child prodigy and everything to do with putting hard-learned piano skills to use. 80’s Hits for the Ragtime Paino!
Recent Entries RSS
Friday August 06, 2010 at 12:00 PM
Wednesday August 04, 2010 at 03:40 PM
Wednesday July 28, 2010 at 07:30 AM
Tuesday July 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM
Monday July 26, 2010 at 04:18 PM
Sunday July 25, 2010 at 11:24 PM
Wednesday July 14, 2010 at 06:54 PM
Wednesday June 30, 2010 at 06:30 AM
Monday June 28, 2010 at 01:50 PM
Friday June 25, 2010 at 05:00 PM
If you want to know about IP law - this is the place. CC is defining the cutting edge of music licensing.
Stop making sense David Byrne. Seriously, you make too much sense to us - it's scary. When are you coming by to hang out?
Fairly relevant to Indaba :)
If you want to know what's happening in the new music world...
Wired + Music + Eliot = amazing
Our favorite NYC music-scene blog from our favorite CMJer.
Super-hip music blog. A must for anyone serious about the NYC scene.
ll the news that fit to print ... about music, that is.
Gawker Media's music blog. Perfect if you like a little snark with your music news.
In his own words - "First in music analysis"