Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thank God THAT'S Over

We've all done it, or tried to, at least. No, I'm not talking about naked sushi or methamphetamines, but that iconic 80's dance, The Robot. And if you learned how to do it from the below video, then you get extra props for . . . abandoning all hope of ever being "with it"?

BTW, you'll probably want to watch this in a room full of people, at high volume, because it's totally rad.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Videos 7: Mad Decent - Angels With Filthy Souls

Merry Christmas. For all the good boys and girls, we ain't got shit. For the bad boys and girls (b-boys and girls) we have the Mad Decent Xmas video. So hot.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Top Five Christmas Songs

Twas the night before Christmas, and, eh, you know the rest. 

Being the holiday season I'm sure you're all listening to lots and lots of Christmas music. I love Christmas music. I think I mostly got it from my Mom, who absolutely loves anything to do with Christmas. As soon as snow hits the ground the Christmas music starts. Anyhow, with the holiday spirit in mind I thought I would share with you some of my favorite songs for the Holidays. In no particular order. 

Carol of the Bells- I love thing song. Such a great hook, chorus, everything. Moody, powerful, all while being festive. I love it. 

Feliz Navidad- A nice cheery little number, and the only Spanish Christmas song I know. It's fun, upbeat, and festive. What more could you ask for? 

12 Days of Christmas- Who doesn't love this song? It's a one to sing-along with, even if you don't know the "10 jugglers running" or "8 gators eating" lyrics. 

All I Want For Christmas Is You- Obviously the Mariah Carrey version. I'm not sure if there is another version. I think after years of the DJs hammering this one on the radio I've finally succumbed into somewhat liking this song. Plus it's a pop phenomenon, you gotta respect it. 

Christmas In Hollis- I think I actually knew most of the lyrics when I was younger. I think it's hard to find really good Christmas raps, but this one rocks. Definitely the best. Run in the houses. 

And the worst Christmas song ever?

Last Christmas- Wham! What an awful band name. Not only is this song so incredibly sappy and bad, it's also ridiculously catchy. It's one of those songs you detest when it comes on, and then ten minutes later you find yourself singing it. 

Holiday Videos 6: A Very Wookie Holiday

Merry Kwanankkamas!

On the night before the birth of baby Jesus (from a woman and God - man had nothing to do with it), we present you with a video from a long time ago (30 years!) and a galaxy far, far away (whatever no-longer-existent sound stage this was made on): "Happy Life Day", from the Star Wars Holiday special! OMFG, I know!

Can you believe Harrison Ford would get down with this? Or the guy who played Chewbacca? I mean, of course C3PO would do anything for a spacebuck, but Chewie? I thought he/she/it was incorruptible!

Anyway, I didn't even watch the whole video, but it's hilarious. Carrie Fisher sings, there's an original trilogy flashback, and a wookie family in the suburbs of Endor say grace before eating their bantha meat or snowglobes or whatever.

Via Wonkette.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Videos 5: High Tides and Blocked Peace Pipes

Well it seems that this is turning into more like a "holiday mashup videos" series, most (if not all - we'll have to see what Santa brings on the 25th) coming from the oft-mentioned album Santastic Vol. 4.

Our latest installment features a mashup by Go Home Productions, with music by Blondie, Paul McCartney and Jennifer Lopez. It's simple and sweet, like any Christmas song should be, and the video flows very well, starting with a clip from "Miracle on 34th Street", where Santa winkingly informs a kid that yes, it's really him. Aptly chosen for a mashup indeed.

Here's the video:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Videos 4: The Atheism Song

For all those atheists out there who feel a touch uncomfortable with the glut of religious holidays out there around the end of the year (though it should be mentioned that Kwanzaa is non-religious, though quite spiritual), here's one for you.

It's a cover of Adam Sandler's popular "Hanukkah Song", but instead of calling out famous Jews, our singer cleverly inserts famous non-believers. Which is better? You decide! (I'm agnostic, like Carl Sagan ;-)

Originally found via BoingBoing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Videos 3: Box of Delights vs. Voicedude

Today we have another video mashup by DJNoNo, this one as a remix/response to a more conventional mashup video made from the aforementioned Santastic Vol. 4. No drum 'n' bass this time, just the Trans Siberian Orchestra and Blink 182. It's altar boy choirs with whiny pop-punk acapella by the Blink boys over holiday movie clips galore!

No, irony is not dead!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Electric Christmas

I'm sure you've all seen this clip before. It came out about two years ago and made the e-mail chain, then got picked up by some corperation for a TV commercial. Well as you can assume the fad caught on and now  YouTube and other internet video sites are littered with hundreds of Christmas light spectaculars. And as you've also probably assumed they've only gotten better. Here is a clip from one of the best I've found, plus one of my favorite Holiday songs. This guy Holdman sets up Christmas lights every year then transmits the music to a radio station so that any passer-bys can hear the music that goes along with the show. The best thing? His whole rig is wind-powered! His website also has some how-to's, just in case you decide to create your own mega-light show. Check it out. And here is the video for you to enjoy. 

Holiday Videos 2: Max!m!l - Light 'Em Up (Hanukkah Worldwide)

Honestly, I am speechless at the multiple levels of irony apparent in this video. A Hanukkah-themed rap song? Bling-bling dreidle spinning? Enjoy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Videos 1: DJNoNo - Scarey Xmas

In the spirit of the holidays, we're presenting a daily-dose of holiday-themed videos from 2008. Our first entry comes as a video mashup by the British DJNoNo, a.k.a. Tim Bear Cub of Radioclash fame. The song itself comes from the excellent Santastic Vol. 4, an annual Christmas-themed mashup album, which I believe is compiled by Boston-based taste-shaper DJ BC.

The video features a mashup of Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You" and Dillinja & Unknown Error plus a few odds and ends. At last, a Christmas song we can rave to!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Tantalizing Prospect: Tuba Christmas

I think we can all agree that tubas are the coolest instrument in the brass section. Big, bossy and full of character, tubas give an orchestra the oomph it needs to connect. Of course, tubas have a funny side to them as well, and have been the butt of many jokes (though not always to their detriment).

With the holiday season in swing, I've become aware of an annual event of tuba players performing Christmas songs en masse, called Tuba Christmas. I'd never heard of it before, and their website is despairingly lacking in details (or, crucially, YouTube videos, which I found later). From what I can gather the event is staged in both official, sanctioned settings, such as at Rockefeller Center in New York City, and somewhat randomly, flashmob style, where many, perhaps dozens of tuba players assemble in a public place to belt out Jingle Bells and Silent Night.

Apparently this is a tradition, as it's been going for more than 30 years, which is terrific. Brass music in general seems to be making a resurgence in recent years. Hopefully we'll explore that more in detail in 2009.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let's Get Together and Feel Alright

With the holidays coming around the corner, this time of year always gives us a good excuse to come together as one in the name of compassion and Holiday spirit. A wonderful group called Playing For Change encapsulates this spirit perfectly. 

In a nutshell they connect musicians from around the world through sophisticated technology (e.g.  enabling a blue guitarist from Mississippi to play with a cellist from Moscow). They also try to spread music throughout the world by donating musical education resources to various communities around the world. Check out the interview with the producer Bill Moyer on PBS's site, it's very interesting. They also have a full documentary you can check out (I haven't yet, but definitely want to look into it). Check out their website (the link up top).  

Here's an awesome clip of a collabortation they did for "Stand By Me". Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bert and Ernie vs. M.O.P.

DJ NoNo a.k.a. Tim over at Radioclash is a big muppets fan, and also, I assume, a fan of the Sesame Street puppets, created by Jim Henson. He recently posted a few of his favorite kids' show/gangsta rap video mashups, which came from this larger selection, most of which are not very good (though the Sponge Bob/Eminem one is pretty good). This one, however, is excellent - Bert and Ernie's mouth movements mimic the rapping quite well, and the actions seem to mimic rapper body language well. Also, I just like M.O.P. more than any of the other artists. Peep it for yourself:

Ante up, indeed. On some further looking (i.e. in the comments section of that 12-best list) this seems to be a pretty fleshed-out meme. What are your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A WONDERful Christmas

So the other day when I went to visit my friend I by accidentally stumbled into their winter wonderland. They had just finished decorating their tree, and were sipping on some hot tea all while listening to Someday At Christmas by Stevie Wonder. 

Now let me first preface my following statement. I love Stevie Wonder. He's one of my top ten favorite artists. But I couldn't for the life of me imagine him singing Christmas songs. Boy was I wrong. We all know Stevie has an angelic/funky/just-plain-incredible voice, and it works well with all of the Christmas songs. 

Of course there is a bit of soft jazz cheesiness, but it's held to a minimum. Some of my favorite tracks include, "Little Drummer Boy", "What Christmas Means To Me", and "One Little Christmas Tree". And you've got to love "Bedtime for Toys", a song which starts as your typical Christmas Song, but then goes off and sings about the children with no toys. Now that's true Christmas spirit. It's about bringing everyone together, and sharing the love with all, no matter your race, religion, family, or economic status. 

I know what I'm asking for Christmas. A new Stevie Wonder Album. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What Ever Happened to Tapes?

I'm back at my house in New Mexico, which has recently re-introduced me to the old music form of cassette tapes.

Now I probably don't need to tell most of you this, for just in case, compact cassette tapes were an ancient device used to store music. They existed somewhere after 8-tracks, but before CDs. An entire album (or collection of songs) was laid out to an entire tape, and you had to listen to them sequentially. At the end of each side on had to flip the tape to hear the other side, this was changed after new technology allowed you to play both sides. 

I remember back in the day when I was out here the car didn't have a CD player, so I had to listen to only cassette tapes. I remember there were only three I needed in the car: "Graceland" - Paul Simon, "Live at Carnegie Hall" - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and "Exodus" - Bob Marley. Of course I had radio too, but all three albums were so good I had no problems listening to them back to front. 

I think today will all of the MP3's, iTunes, Rhapsodys, and whatever other electronic song gathering we do people very rarely buy albums any more.  I know I'm guilty of this often. My music collection looks like a bunch of singles rather than chunks of artists. I think it's kind of a shame. This is tough for artists, and it's especially tough for the music listening masses. Instead of hearing a bands full gamut of style and technique the audience knows only slices of a bands true talent. And instead of trying to experiment and try new things artists are continually looking for that hook and catchy lyric (yes pop music, I'm talking to you). 

The moral of my story is next time you go to hear some music listen to the whole album. Or if you're buying some music, buy the whole album. I promise, you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you find. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Holiday Mash-Ups Than You Ever Knew Existed

Santastic is the best series of compilations of Christmas and holiday-themed mashups I've come across. Spanning the range of late-fall/early-winter holidays (meaning Christmas, Hanukkah, and probably Kwanzaa), and with song titles like "Rudolph the Paranoid Reindeer" (Santastic II), "Frosty DMC" (Santastic I) and "Xmasploitation" (Santastic IV), you are bound to gin up that holiday cheer, even if you hate this time of year (like I do).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rear-Projected Touchscreen Mashup Hacking

Oh my word, this has got to be the coolest thing ever: a demo of a touchscreen mashup-creation system pioneered and displayed at parties by the Evolution Control Committee. Doesn't seeing this just make you want to check out a mashup party?

Snagged via the always-wonderful BoingBoing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What!?! Ok!

This is just ridiculous...

Rick Rolling

One of my frequent stops on the world wide web is a fun little site called Today's Big Thing. Well for their Thanksgiving edition they showed a video of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, in which on of the floats "Rick Rolled" the collective audience. Now for those who don't know what that is, I didn't until I researched it, let me rewind a bit (if you'd prefer a YouTube explanation of Rocket Boom go here). 

To make a long story short, Rick Rolling is basically the prank of sending your friends an interesting e-mail title with a link to a video of the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up", which looks something like this:

Apparently this trend was huge this year, and YouTube pranked everyone this year on April Fool's day by linking random videos to the video. Anyhow, this Rick Roll is apparently a phenomenon.  It's been pulled on TV, the news, at baseball stadiums, one YouTbe fan even edited some Obama footage to create the Barack Roll (even though he didn't finish it). 

Anyhow, I'm posting this cause I think it's kind of hilarious, and after hearing the song about a thousand times you kinda get hooked. Hey, it was a world-wide number on hit at one point.