THE BEST Music

Iggy Pop: The Passenger (Video)

Iggy Pop: The Passenger (Video)

Iggy Pop’s timeless tune “The Passenger” is a highlight from 1977’s Lust For Life – Pop’s most successful solo album. Finally, 43 years later, it has an official video. Directed by Simon Taylor, the cinematic black-and-white montage is inspired by the nocturnal rides Iggy took with David Bowie during their memorable collaborations.

The Evolution of Guitar Intros

The Evolution of Guitar Intros

Guitars have been an important part of popular music for hundreds of years. Musician Mark Sagum looks back from 1960 to 2020 for a taste of some of the most recognizable guitar intros. If you want to get the emotions going, this is the way to kick off a tune.

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Hamilton But It’s Muppets

Hamilton But It’s Muppets

With its release on Disney+, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit Hamilton is once again the talk of the town. Perhaps seeing a rainbow connection, Ricky Downes III recorded the entire musical in the voices of The Muppets. When Beaker started rapping, coffee came out of our nose. Act two here.

Hey Ya!: Synthwave Remix

Hey Ya!: Synthwave Remix

Musician Astrophysics takes songs from various genres, and slathers them with a thick layer of 1980s electronic sounds, then complements them with appropriately retro graphics. There’s lots of great stuff to enjoy on their YouTube channel, but this synthwave remix of Outkast’s 2003 hit Hey Ya! is our favorite (so far.)

Marc Martel + UQC: Under Pressure

Marc Martel + UQC: Under Pressure

Musician Marc Martel is joined by the members of The Ultimate Queen Celebration for an awesome “work from home” cover version of the 1981 track Under Pressure. Martel channels Freddie Mercury brilliantly as always, while guitarist Tristan Avakian brings his own flair to Bowie’s vocals.

40 Fingers: Back in Black

40 Fingers: Back in Black

The members of Italian guitar ensemble 40 Fingers perform an outstanding acoustic cover version of the AC/DC classic Back in Black unlike any we’ve heard before. It has every bit of energy of the original, but with a totally different vibe.

Jacob Collier: Tiny Desk Concert

Jacob Collier: Tiny Desk Concert

Among his many talents, musician Jacob Collier is known for his multitrack music videos. While quarantined at home, he and his three identical (virtual) twins performed this stellar NPR Tiny Desk Concert that showcases his diverse musical skills through three smooth and enveloping tunes.

Fooling Yourself Orchestral Cover

Fooling Yourself Orchestral Cover

Crank up the volume and brighten your day as Styx lead vocalist and guitarist Tommy Shaw and the talented musicians of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra perform an fantastic at home cover version of the classic rock hit Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) from the 1977 album The Grand Illusion.

Puddles: Stairway to Gilligan’s Island

Puddles: Stairway to Gilligan’s Island

Back in 1978, Little Roger and the Goosebumps figured out that the lyrics to the theme from Gilligan’s Island lined up perfectly with Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. While we loved the novelty of the classic mashup, Puddles Pity Party really ramped up the vocals and theatricality. Oh, and on a related note…

Linger on Cello

Linger on Cello

Cellist Helen Newby has posted a handful of great multi-track performances on her YouTube channel, and our favorite so far has to be this enveloping cover of one of the best songs ever, The Cranberries’ soul-stirring track Linger. It’s a beautiful arrangement, and a loving tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan.

The Fresh Prince of Ireland

The Fresh Prince of Ireland

We’re used to hearing the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a hip hop song. But musician Stefan Murphy of The Mighty Stef gave it a whole different sound, as a solemn Irish folk song that will have you weeping into your glass of Jameson’s by the time it’s over.

Buddhist Monk Covers Judas Priest

Buddhist Monk Covers Judas Priest

Kossan has the unique distinction of being a Buddhist monk and a rock musician. He recently performed a buzzworthy cover version of the 1980 Judas Priest classic Breaking the Law that we will now start using as the backing track for our daily mindful meditation.

Rollercoaster Rhapsody

Rollercoaster Rhapsody

Using only the 2002 video game RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 as their canvas, ChuggersRCT managed to create a thrill ride that syncs up perfectly with Queen’s masterful operatic track Bohemian Rhapsody. Sure, the “Galileo” death spiral bit would probably do you in, but you’d be going out in style.

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Learn to Play Guitar Bundle

In the immortal words of Radiohead, “Anyone Can Play Guitar.” With this series of 14 online courses, you’ll go from the basics of playing acoustic guitar, to playing rock guitar riffs, learning music theory, and perfecting your technique. You’ll even learn to play the ukulele. Another great deal from The Awesomer Shop.

Sparks: The Existential Threat

Sparks: The Existential Threat

Danger near, danger here! Animator Cyriak is known for his outlandish and trippy visual collages, and they serve as the perfect visual complement to this offbeat track about the end of the world by the enigmatic art rock band Sparks. From the album A Steady Drip Drip Drip.

Ace Of Spades on Stylophone

Ace Of Spades on Stylophone

maromaro1337 is a master of the stylophone, having rocked out covers like Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, and Metallica’s Master of Puppets. Here’s another hard rock classic, Motörhead’s Ace of Spades, played energetically on the simple electronic instruments. Don’t forget the Joker!

Pouff: Light

Pouff: Light

Pouff creates moving images using fractal math, and makes their own music to go with. Their YouTube channel is loaded with colorful and hypnotic visuals, like this clip of intricate, organic looking structures, accented by brilliant backlighting.

Doppler

Doppler

Video artist and motion designer Theo Tagholm came up with a cool new technique that involves layering repeated images onto each other to create a sort of video echo effect. The ambient soundtrack is by musician Thanasis Christodoulou.

Arthur: Synthwave Edition

Arthur: Synthwave Edition

Hey! What a wonderful kind of day! Hot Dad turns the theme song from the PBS Kids show Arthur on its ear, replacing the warm reggae riddims of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’ original with a moody 1980s synthwave sound. It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.

Rolling Stone Rock & Roll Party Game

Rolling Stone Rock & Roll Party Game

Rolling Stone’s party game isn’t a traditional music trivia game. Instead, it just requires basic memory of popular music. After a rapid-fire advantage round, players try to figure out a band or musician based on a single word, a lyrical quote, or by humming a tune.

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Closer to Funkytown

Closer to Funkytown

(PG-13: Language) If Trent Reznor was making music during the 1970s, it might have sounded something like this industrial-disco smashup by editor William Maranci, who once again proves that there are no two genres that can’t be combined as Lipps, Inc’s Funkytown and Nine Inch Nails Closer become one.

Metal Peaches

Metal Peaches

Peaches come in a can. They were put there by a man, in a factory downtown. Leo Moracchioli dusts of the 1995 Presidents of the U.S.A. hit Peaches, replacing the twangy alt-pop sounds of the original with angry electric guitar, and energetic screams about nature’s candy and some not-so-thinly-veiled sexual innuendo.

The Baroque Theorbo

The Baroque Theorbo

Here’s an unusual musical instrument we never heard of before now. Created in the 17th century, the enormous baroque theorbo is basically a lute on steroids. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny explain the history of the theorbo, and provide a sampling of the sounds that it produces.

How to Create Blinding Lights

How to Create Blinding Lights

Musician and blank-starer Seth Everman is an expert at deconstructing songs and figuring out how to replicate them. This time out, he shows us his method for playing The Weeknd’s hit Blinding Lights using his couch, a toilet, and various other things around his house. Naturally, he still needed his keyboard for the ’80s synth bits.

Rob Zombie Aerobics

Rob Zombie Aerobics

Aerobics videos were one of the hallmarks of 1980s cheese. And while they might have been incredibly campy when set to Olivia Newton-John music, this video shows how they can be improved upon when the choreography lines up with Rob Zombie’s Dragula. It also works well with Superbeast.

Rainbow Connection Live

Rainbow Connection Live

Every time we hear the song Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie, it gives us the feels. While Jim Henson set the bar high with his original performance, 13-year-old puppeteer Kai and his dad Kelbe Schrank did the song and its creators proud during an event at Aubrey, Texas’ Fortunata Winery.

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