People love YouTube . This is undertandable. It provides one central place for anyone to easily upload video's of whatever they wish and then tell all their family and friends, who may then easily view it and leave encouraging comments such as "Keep up the great work, Love Grandma" or "OMG yurrr soooo Hotttttt, talented, stupid, etc." I first came across You Tube through my younger brother Kevin. Kev was relating a story of his friend getting into a fight at school. Immediately my interest was piqued (the word 'fight' is generally recognized as the fourth most powerful word in the English dictionary; it's inclusion in a spoken sentence is able to turn your bored and disinterested male conversation partner, who probably tuned you out 10 minutes ago, into the most rapt of listeners. The top three, of course, are the use of 'girl(s)', 'flashing', and 'beer tent' in a single sentence.) After detailing the intricacies of the fight in question, Kev then casually mentioned, "and it's on You Tube." After a quick overview of what this "youtoo" was, I was treated to 80 seconds of grainy home video featuring two adolescent brawlers partaking in one of the older rites of passage. It was terrible, barely watchable, and easily the best thing i'd seen all day. Me and the 'Tube have been acquaintances since.
Pitchfork showed its love for Y-Tubs with its 100 Awesome Music Videos. Then Sports Guy Bill Simmon's offered up his picks of You Tube interest in The You Tube Hall of Fame. In the same vein but on a lesser scale, may we present: Country Pinball Machine's Worthy Time Wasters and Videos of Note. All music related of course.
The first video is courtesy of the 30th Anniversary Concert for Bob Dylan. Back on October 16th, 1992, a who's who of rock and roll's finest got together in New York to pay tribute to arguably the greatest songwriter of all time. This performance of My Back Pages is stunning. Dylan chooses to go with the jingly jangly arrangement of the Byrds' cover over his more somber original, embracing the folk rock he never claimed to create.
My Back Pages
The next video comes courtesy of Sly and The Family Stone. Unless my memory is excessively foggy, their performance of Love City did not make the cut on the Woodstock documentary. The performance follows the modus of the doc: band's performance interspersed with zoned out hippies and naked bathers. This is Sly/Family at the apex of their fame. It wasn't long until band tensions, Sly's increasing drug problems, and a changing social scape would point the band into darker sounds and material. Love City carries the ultimate message at the defining moment of the groovy/flower child sixties that history tends to remember much more vividly.
Whoever takes care of these things should get on the ball and release each band's entire performance from the original Woodstock. The footage has to exist. The original movie features a few songs from a majority of the weekend's performers. Notable exclusions from the movie are the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival. How exciting would it be to watch entire sets. Watch the famous Abbie Hoffman/Pete Townsend exchange. I'm surprised it hasn't been done already.
This one is from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for George Harrison. As a Beatle, Harrison joined the RnR HoF in 1988. Sixteen years later and three after his death he would become a double inductee. This time for his solo work. George's son Dhani, Tom Petty, and a few others pay tribute with While My Guitar Gently Weeps. The show stealer is fellow 2004 inductee Prince. His Purpleness can wail.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I'm not sure when I began liking Prince. I had an old boss who didn't like music, except for Prince. A bit drastic, but interesting nonetheless. I tried at her urging to get into Prince several times. Watching the 46th annual Grammy Awards was the turning point. Prince shares the stage with Beyonce to perform a little medley. Beyonce, a great performer in her own right, tries her best to keep up with the little man in Purple. Hell, she even succeeds for a while. But eventually, the Beyonce/Prince show becomes The Prince show. Beyonce is sexy. Prince is just electric. Fuck. Excellent.
Prince and Beyonce
We'll close things off with a couple vids from David Hasselhoof. Yes, the Hoff. Hoff's experiencing a resurgence these days. Not sure where it started. Hasselhoff has always been on the radar. In a pinch you could always fall back on a "Hasslehoff, big in Germany" joke/reference. Lately though, he is everywhere. Was it the American Idol moment when The Hoff shed a tear. Is it his primetime gig as a host on America's Got Talent beside fellow washup Brandy? Everywhere you go the Hoff is there. Is he loved because he seems unaware of the farce he is. Is this some kind of hipster ironic appreciation club. Maybe it is David's acceptance of his inherent cheesiness. He seems so self-aware as of late. Everyone thought Gnarls Barkley's Crazy was this summer's Hey Ya(ie. irrestible pop single that crosses the various music factions and genres to appeal to mass audience). Everyone was wrong. David Hasselhoff is Hey Ya. Now technically The Hoff is not a music single. He does have a backing track though. And its probably the baywatch theme.
David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling
The above video has so many "what the F" moments. This video popped into my head over Sunday breakfast, I tried in vain to explain the video to my friends. I failed miserably as they sat out blank faced. I continued to burst out laughing periodically. I'm fully confident that a a 100 years from now this video will be understood and they will conclude that the video is actually an incredible simple formula for how to achieve world peace AND turn "lust" into an alternative energy source. Hoff the Prophet
This last one is mildly disturbing. The Hoff + attractively unattractive girls half his age + Kit the car + air guitar + baywatch moment + state of the art CGI graphics + song that would make Holland-Dozier-Holland whimper = too good to miss
Jump In My Car
So that's it for today. You Tube has got something for everyone. Whether it is a badly shot but incredibly captivating full concert Elliott Smith performance or the latest OK Go masterpiece. Whatever your poison as they say.