THE BEST Music

Tears for Fears Acoustic Cover

Tears for Fears Acoustic Cover

Musician Kent Nishimura turns in a beautifully nuanced and expressive performance of Tears for Fears 1985 classic Everybody Wants to Rule the World, played deftly on his acoustic guitar. His Careless Whisper and Rock with You covers are excellent too.

Disney Acoustic Medley

Disney Acoustic Medley

Judging by their name and their musical prowess, the four members of 40 Fingers have all of their digits intact, and that makes this acoustic guitar medley of Disney songs just that much sweeter. It’s a wonderfully warm bit of ear candy for fans of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Tarzan, Hercules, and Beauty and the Beast.

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Psychedelic Accordion

Psychedelic Accordion

When we think of accordion music, we immediately have visions of a polka band, or maybe Weird Al. But musician Beeble proves this underappreciated instrument can sound just as great in some prog rock psychedelia – when in the right hands.

Super Mario Music Live

Super Mario Music Live

There have been tons of covers of music from the various Super Mario games, but the members of the Super NES Band likes to play video game music using the actual tone generators classic consoles. Listen as they perform live medleys of tunes from Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Land.

Float On: Ska Edition

Float On: Ska Edition

Some songs lend themselves better to different styles than others. But we had no idea how perfectly Modest Mouse’s jangly alt-pop song Float On would transform into ska. Listen and enjoy as Ska Tune Network flips the track on its head.

Bridget Kibbey: Tiny Desk Concert

Bridget Kibbey: Tiny Desk Concert

One of the things we love about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert is that it embraces all kinds of music. In this episode, musician Bridget Kibbey wows us with her incredible harp-plucking skills, and fills our ears with the most soothing of sounds.

Beastie Boys Book

Beastie Boys Book

Let Beastie Boys members Adrock and Mike D walk you through their story in “revealing and funny accounts”, from their amateur days to the release of their classic albums. Also features contributions from their friends such as Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson.

Chop Suey: Grand Piano Edition

Chop Suey: Grand Piano Edition

While visiting Viennna, musician Viktoria Yermolyeva stopped by the showroom of vaunted piano maker Bösendorfer, and decided to tickle the ivories a bit with a tune we’re pretty sure has never been played in their store before, System of a Down’s 2001 hit Chop Suey.

Vintage Organ Dancing Queen

Vintage Organ Dancing Queen

A few years back, Alexey Rom’s video of Bohemian Rhapsody performed by a 100-year-old self-playing organ was a massive hit. We recently stumbled onto one of his follow-ups, a version of ABBA’s 1974 hit Dancing Queen. For each song, Alexey painstakingly creates his own custom player scrolls.

Deap Lips

Deap Lips

The Flaming Lips and Deap Vally hooked up and made an awesome musical baby, blendy sultry vocals, garage rock, acoustic folk, and eclectic electronic sounds. The album drops 3/13/2020, but you can listen to Home Thru Hell and Hope Hell High now.

Don’t Stop Me Now: Brass Edition

Don’t Stop Me Now: Brass Edition

Musician and arranger Seb Skelly presents a wonderful one-man performance of Queen’s energetic and uplifting 1978 track Don’t Stop Me Now, played on horn, tuba, trombone, and a pair of trumpets. Feeling ambitious? Grab the sheet music here.

Insanely Difficult William Tell Overture

Insanely Difficult William Tell Overture

Jacob Koller goes by the nickname “The Mad Arranger” because he loves to take relatively straightforward pieces of music and amp up the difficulty to 9000. Here, he takes Rossini’s familiar William Tell Overture and turns it into a supremely tricky jazz version. His arrangement of Mission Impossible is worth a listen too.

LIVEN 8Bit Warps

LIVEN 8Bit Warps

Sonicware’s little electronic music maker cranks out some seriously fat sounds. It packs four synth engines, including 8-bit frequency modulation, as well as a step sequencer, effects, and looping, all for less than 200 bucks. It has 27 keys, MIDI in/out, stereo in/out, headphone out, and can run on batteries too.

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Puddles x Foreigner

Puddles x Foreigner

Puddles Pity Party turned in a stellar cover version of Foreigner’s 1984 hit ballad I Want to Know What Love Is, accompanied by images of his fans’ furry friends, which serve as a reminder that rescue animals are the best, and to encourage listeners to adopt more pets.

Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams celebrates the life of David Bowie through a series of illustrated comic panels. The 160 page hardcover graphic novel chronicles his rise from pop singer to Ziggy Stardust, and his numerous personas and reinventions. Written by Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred.

EEEAAAOOO

EEEAAAOOO

We started the 2010s with Nyan Cat, and now we can kick off a new decade with another rainbow-dispersing musical kitty, courtesy of animator MyF*ckinMess, musician Patricia Taxxon, and vocalist Bert Gotrax, who only exists in digital form. Can’t get enough? Try the 10-hour loop version.

Billie Jean: Door Stopper Edition

Billie Jean: Door Stopper Edition

Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit Billie Jean is one of the most played music tracks of all time. But we’ve never heard it played almost entirely on one of those springy door stopper things – until now. Musician Beeble recorded a variety of sproingy sounds and edited them together to create this very silly version.

Making Easy Songs Hard

Making Easy Songs Hard

Thanks to their simple melodies, songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Heart and Soul are some of the first tunes that musicians learn. But Samurai Guitarist decided to take these basic songs and make them far more difficult, embellishing them with complicated chord progressions, and messing with their time signatures.

Daft Punk Heavy Metal

Daft Punk Heavy Metal

Musician 331Erock gives the Daft Punk track Digital Love a whole new sound, replacing its synth-heavy rhythms with fuzzy electric guitar. Be sure to stick around for the epic solo at 2:45, then check out Erock’s cover of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

Korg Wavestate Synthesizer

Korg Wavestate Synthesizer

Korg packs the awesomely rich and rhythmic sounds of its classic Wavestation synthesizer into a compact 37-note model called Wavestate. Its wave sequencing sound engine generates totally unique tones, and can produce up to 64 stereo polyphony. In-depth demo video here.

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The Beatles: Korean Style

The Beatles: Korean Style

After hearing Regina Spektor’s cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, we knew that ballades by The Beatles lent themselves well to an Asian interpretation. Now Luna Lee has driven the point home with this warm and soothing cover version of their tune Michelle, played on the gayageum with her usual aplomb.

A Decade of Movie Music (2010s)

A Decade of Movie Music (2010s)

Pianist Samuel Fu rings in the new decade by paying tribute to the past 10 years of movie music, performing a wonderful medley of 45 cinematic tracks from movies like The Avengers, Frozen, Pacific Rim, and Skyfall among others.

Before Dookie: How Punk Became Pop

Before Dookie: How Punk Became Pop

The punk rock era kicked off in the 1970s, and evolved from the edge of counter-culture to producing top 10 hits songs. While many point to GreenDay and Blink-182 as the seminal pop-punk bands, Trash Theory explores the many earlier bands who bridged the gap between the genres. Be sure to watch both parts.

100 Movie Themes on Guitar

100 Movie Themes on Guitar

Musician Niall Stenson presents an epic 20-minute medley of movie theme songs. While we’re not familiar with every piece of music, they all sound great with Niall’s rock and roll edge, especially the Disney, Pixar, and Batman tunes.

3 Feet High And Rising: The Samples

3 Feet High And Rising: The Samples

De La Soul’s “3 Feet High And Rising” is one of our favorite albums of all time. It simultaneously melded infection grooves and lyrics with esoteric breaks that defied conventions. Now, learn about (almost) every sample that was used on the record in this great clip from nama hecc.

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