Category Archives: Awesome Music Videos

These Are Relevant to My Interests

Misty and I have been crazy busy thanks to life and work and kids and everything, so in lieu of actual content, have two videos!

First, what if Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were really a teen coming-of-age comedy?

Second, what if Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic were possessed by the Space Core from Portal 2?

The answer to both questions, of course, is “It would be awesome.”

Terrible Videogame Voice Acting Acted Out

In my discussion of Portal 2, I talked about the game had the best voice acting I’d ever heard in a videogame. Sadly, as this video shows, that’s damning with faint praise.

My favorites are the over-written ones that sound like they should be in the Lyttle Lytton contest. Right now I’m torn between “Hold me if I’m dying, and vice-versa, okay?”, “I’m going to tell you a little secret, just to make it so you really don’t want to die”, and “I like girls, but now it’s about justice.”

Two Awesome Things and One Scary Thing

One, a new investment opportunity from Aperture Science. Buy your turrets today!

Two, have you ever wanted to see the StarCraft II cinematic trailer audio married with video from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? Of course you have!

Three, I cannot believe this driver lived through this accident without being hurt at all.

Super Awesome Robot Action Sequence Go!

Are you ready to have your skull opened up, your brains scooped out, and your cranial cavity filled with awesome? Then take a look at the following collection of the most awesome action sequences involving a robot ever committed to film.

Those are scenes from Enthiran, a 2010 Tamil SF movie about a robot who, of course, malfunctions. There is more to the movie than what’s shown above. For instance, the compilation leaves out the part where the robot and the leading actress sing heavily Auto-Tuned songs to each other while what look like Cylons dance around them.

Have I mentioned that I love the future? Because I do.

Remixing Storm Troopers and the Stanford Prison Experiment

This weekend at GMX I met George Willis, who took part in a reality series called The Colony. The conceit is that a group of people must survive a global catastrophe — in this case, a viral outbreak. They dumped ten people in a Louisiana town near New Orleans that had never been rebuilt and left them to scavenge what they could from the wrecked homes. From time to time the producers sent in other people to steal their precious supplies or, in one case, kidnap one of the core cast.

George had a lot of interesting stories about what it was like to have so little food that he lost forty pounds in two months, or having to build your own forge so you can make machetes. What really caught my attention, though, was his description of how paranoid they all became after having to fight off raids and marauders, and how he and the others are still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. “Do you know the Zimbardo experiment?” he said, and it clicked: the Discovery Channel had indeed re-created the Stanford Prison Experiment. It’s nice to know that an experiment that led to new ethical standards for psychological experiments is A-OK for reality TV.

To distract you from how we’re torturing people for entertainment, have some K-Pop. The video for “Can’t Nobody”, by the Korean group 2NE1, mashes up so many pop music trends I can’t stop watching. It’s like a manufactured girl band from the 90s jumped into a Delorean so they could take advantage of Auto-Tuning, crazy costuming, and Ke$ha-like pitch bending. If you’re short on time, skip to 1:28 and watch through about 2:02. That’ll give you a concentrated dose of everything I’m describing, and will let you see dancing Stormtroopers. Culture is weird; culture filtered through someone else’s culture is even weirder.

Finding Lyrics Everywhere

The Gregory Brothers have made a name for themselves by writing songs whose lyrics come from YouTube videos and then auto-tuning the original speakers to make them effectively sing the song. Their most watched one is undoubtedly the Bed Intruder song, featuring fellow Huntsville resident Antoine Dodson.

Their work is an example of using found lyrics — texts that weren’t originally written to be art and setting them to music. It’s a lot like what Marchel Duchamp did with urinals and bike wheels.

Sometimes the composers are highlighting the bathetic humor of combining high-art compositions with goofy texts, like how Gabriel Kahane set Craigslist ads to music in his song cycle Craigslistlieder. I highly recommend “For Trade Assless Chaps”, “You Looked Sexy”, and especially “Neurotic and Lonely”, all of which you can download for free.

(An aside: Kahane’s not the only one to be inspired by Craigslist. Sam Krahn also created a whole song cycle out of Craigslist Missed Connections.)

Sometimes the composer seeks to provoke or comment on the original text. Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads borrows the words of reporters, politicians, and survivors and is stunning, powerful, and harrowing. Phil Kline took three of Donald Rumsfeld’s responses to the pressset them to music, finding poetry in Rumsfeld’s answers. He’s not the only one, either; Bryant Kong did the same thing.

Not all musicians turn the text into lyrics. Sometimes they write music around the person’s actual speech.

I find this stuff fascinating because it blurs the line between art and not-art, because it illuminates and elevates the banal or bizarre, and because so much of the music written using found lyrics is so well done. Want to hear more songs using found lyrics? The October 2nd episode of New Sounds covered many of these and other examples.

And that should be enough to fill the void of your Friday.