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10 YouTube Videos I'm Enjoying Right Now
My life is pretty much like yours. Except that total strangers send me all sorts of things.
I get press releases and paparazzi photos. I receive business plans from music startups (no, I will not invest). I get album download links up the wazoo—and down the wazoo too.
And, believe it or not, beautiful Ukrainian women send me unsolicited emails every day. They’re obviously attracted by the Honest Broker’s irresistible charms (but jealous folks at Outlook keep hiding them in the spam folder).
People also send me YouTube links. Those are my favorites, even better than the Kiev kuties.
I think you might like them too. So I’m sharing a few of my favorite recent videos below.
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A Look at an Influencer Factory in Indonesia
Can you just churn out influencers—like widgets from an assembly line? Yes, you can, it’s already happening. Here’s what an influencer factory looks like.
Do these exist in the US. If not, you could probably make money launching a service like this and charging wannabe influencers and brands top dollar for access.
Jacob Collier—the Full Lisbon Concert
I’ve long dreamed of a world of participatory music-making—in which we break down barriers between performers and audience. That’s how it used to be. That’s how it still could be, if we were just cool enough to embrace the vision.
Nobody today does this with more energy and commitment than Jacob Collier, who continues to surprise and delight with each new phase of his career. I was a fan back when he was a teenager uploading a cappella videos from his parents’ home. I assumed he would evolve into a studio wizard—producing, programming, and playing in some private tech enclave. But instead Collier keeps demonstrating that his destiny is as an onstage catalyst in front of thousands of people.
Now Collier uploads a full two-hour video concert, and it makes me envious of the people who experienced this firsthand. Even if you don’t think you have time for a two-hour immersion, take at least a brief plunge into this video. When I talk about music as a change agent and source of enchantment, these are the kinds of experiences I have in mind.
I’d love to see music classes in schools conducted like this. Can you imagine what that could do?
Who Killed Cinema?
Now here’s a movie mystery worth solving. What’s causing all the financial pain in the film business? Is it strikes and a soft economy? Is it competition from TikTok? Is it still COVID? Or could all this be self-inflicted?
That would be quite a story—nobody murdered Hollywood, the studios did it to themselves.
Patrick Willems investigates the leading suspects in this ongoing crime, and tries to identify the culprit. He also offers wise suggestions on how to bring the victim back to life. Willems’ exposition is very smartly done, and I’m not surprised that this got more than a half million views in the first three weeks after it was uploaded.
My thanks to John Presnell, who told me about this video.
A New Beatles Song Came Out Today
That doesn’t happen every day in the life. And I’m not the only person who jumps out of bed and heads to YouTube in seconds flat when the Fab Four release a death-defying reunion song. This video came out just four hours ago, and already has more than a million views.
Somehow they took an old John Lennon demo from the 1970s, and turned it into a Beatles track (with a little help from AI friends). This song may not get you twisting and shouting, but I admire the tech wizardy. And it makes me a wee bit wistful for old moptop days.
Here’s a background film on how the track was made.
Minimalist composer Steve Reich explains how he composed his influential 1965 tape piece “It’s Gonna Rain.”
Back in 1965, a tape loop required an actual tape in an actual loop. This was high tech at the time, and opened up new possibilities for composition.
Hania Rani’s Album Launch in Warsaw
Here’s another full concert that lights my fire.
I keep writing about Hania Rani, but forgive me—I’m a starstruck fan. The way teens obsess over Taylor Swift, I’m fixated on Hania. Forget Kiev—if I get an email from her, I’m heading out on the next flight to Gdansk.
What They Don’t Teach You in Art School
This is all about color. But this man reminds me of some of most gifted musicians I’ve known.
Robert Plant Performs “Stairway for Heaven” for the first time in 16 years
I hate this song, but I loved it before it hated it. And I’d like to love it again.
The songwriter must feels the same way. Robert Plant hadn’t performed “Stairway to Heaven” since 2007. But at a benefit concert a few days ago, the Led Zeppelin veteran was reunited with his most famous tune. He agreed to sing it again because a huge donor to cancer research made this specific request.
The money went to The Cancer Platform.
Jazz Standards Played as Nintendo Video Game Songs
Button Masher is on a mission, but I don’t know if I’m amused or horrified. He’s reimagining some of my favorite songs as chiptune soundtracks for video games. Here he does things to Chick Corea’s “Humpty Dumpty” that are a little creepy—but maybe this is what jazz for gamers sounds like.
My thanks to Eric Pan, who called this to my attention.
Wynton Kelly’s Transcribed Solo from “Someday My Prince Will Come” (1961 Miles Davis Track)
I still recall the lament of a sax player in a student jazz band I coached years ago. I was teaching them Sonny Rollins’s song “Doxy,” and the tenor player griped: “I need to play something tasty on this song. But I don’t know how to do tasty.”
That raises the obvious question: How do you play a tasty jazz solo? Our trustworthy teacher of tastiness is Wynton Kelly, who joined Miles Davis’s band around the time of Kind of Blue. The utmost test of tasty is making it sound sweet and swinging with a just a few notes—and Kelly delivers exactly that on this short solo from a classic track.
This is a new transcription from Jérémy Bruger.