One of The Flaming Lips’ trademark theatrics is for lead singer Wayne Coyne to crowdsurf the audience inside of a plastic sphere. Thanks to COVID, they decided to perform their entire NPR Tiny Desk concert inside of the bubbles as well. Next up, the band plans on performing for an entire audience inside of bubbles.
THE BEST Music
Radiohead’s 1997 classic Paranoid Android always cuts deep when we hear it, and it’s as power-packed as ever with this amazing cover version by UK brass band Old Dirty Brasstards. The trumpet does a surprisingly good job standing in for Thom Yorke’s vocals.
Released back in 2011, the Foo Fighters’ album Wasting Light might not have been their biggest commercial success, but it was beloved by fans and critics alike. UK-based musician EatMyUke put together a great medley of tracks from the album, performed entirely on the ukulele.
In February 2020, 13-year-old Joshua Inda stopped showing off his incredible beatboxing skills while shopping in a department store in Manila in the Philippines. The talented kid shows off a variety of techniques in a medley that shifts rapidly between rhythms and vocals.
William Sun Petrus previously showed off a vintage manual typewriter that he converted into a drum machine. Since it’s really just working as a MIDI controller, the keyboard can be used to play any digital instrument, in this case, the fat synths from The Weeknd’s hit Blinding Lights. That’s a Novation Launchpad S to the right.
Each year, Tom BetGeorge creates an incredible Halloween light show to raise funds for charity. As part of his 2020 show, he programmed a performance that syncs up perfectly with Metallica’s Enter Sandman. If you’re near Tracy, California, you can view the light show in person during its performance schedule.
We try to avoid politics here on, but we think most people agree that the winner of the 2020 U.S. Vice Presidential debate was the fly that parked it on Mike Pence’s head. Remixer Eclectic Method got to work quickly recapping the most notable event of the night with this amusing little ditty, vocalized by Kamala Harris herself.
(PG-13: Gore) The video for Siberian rapper Dmitry “Husky” Kuznetsov’s track Never Ever is a bloody journey into the world of a janitor who is tasked with cleaning up the aftermath of deadly gang battles. It’s a macabre subject handled with visual aplomb by writer/director Evgenii Bakirov and cinematographer Kirill Groshev.
maromaro1337 is always making great covers of popular tunes using Stylophones as their instrument of choice. The simple analog synthesizers lend themselves well to a surprisingly wide variety of genres, and we really enjoyed this performance of Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise – especially the Stylophone choir at the end.
When you think about it, music is just an assemblage of brief noises sequenced together. So even though musician Daniel Thrasher calls this composition “nonsense,” it’s really not that much sillier than a a Duran Duran of a Hanson song when it comes down to it.
Ariana Flute has some pretty great covers up on her YouTube channel, including this version of Danny Elfman’s theme song to The Simpsons. It sounds pretty awesome played on the flute, and the piano accompaniment by Ella Piknjac ain’t too shabby either. The only thing missing is Lisa on the saxophone.
Look Mum No Computer is always building strange and wonderful electronic musical instruments. His latest creation is a massive wall full of oscillator circuits, which, when played together, create an equivalently massive wall of sound. If a symphony played synths instead of strings, it might sound something like this.
The music video for the Talking Heads track Once in a Lifetime is one of the most memorable clips of the 1980s. Using Valve’s Source 2 engine, Corey Laddo managed to perfectly replicate the clip, replacing the lanky and awkward David Byrne with the mysterious G-Man from the Half-Life series. Here’s the original for comparison.
Remixer and Internet sensation Neil Cicierega fills our minds and ears with a fantastically immersive track that deftly combines all kinds of sounds from pop culture from the familiar Yahoo! yodel to the theme from Spongebob Squarepants to Psycho Killer. Hit Play, crank up the volume, and get ready for a wild ride.
Developed by Magenta using Google AI tech, Tone/Transfer takes ordinary sounds like a human voice and makes them sound like a musical instrument. It can also digest the sounds made by one kind of musical instrument and map them onto a different one. You can play with the online demo for yourself.
The Gorillaz’s Song Machine continues to entertain us with great collaborations, like The Pink Phantom, a emotional and eclectic ballad about a failed relationship that leads to tragedy. This time, the cartoon musicians are accompanied by rapper 6LACK and none other than Sir Elton John on vocals and piano.
After wowing us with their awesome 1980s music compilations, the guys from The Hood Internet have kicked off a new decade, this time cramming 60 hits from 1990 into a 3-minute, 30-second medley. From Deee-Lite to Depeche Mode and Pixies to Public Enemy, it’s a fantastic flashback to a fondly-remembered time.
Before the scourge that is COVID-19, Tame Impala used to play to packed venues. But here they jam out to an audience of exactly none (except the camera crew). They staged this surreal and intimate mini-concert in an empty football stadium to promote the launch of FIFA ’21.
The music video for Fatboy Slim’s track Weapon of Choice is one of our all-time faves. Between Spike Jonze’s understated direction and Christopher Walken’s dance moves, it’s a true classic. But what happens when you swap the 2nd and 4th beats of the track? Steve Badach did just that, and the result is just as infectious.
Last time we checked in with musician Mezerg, he was playing the watermelon. This time, he performs on a more conventional instrument – though Voël Martin rigged up this upright piano with an electronic circuit and pumps that dispense a variety of juices and liquor to make a custom cocktail based on the notes he plays.
A group of five talented musicians from the Colorado Symphony got together for a wonderful outdoor performance of the Eurythmics classic Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). While we still can’t get out to see orchestras perform in person, please remember to support your local musicians.
It’s impossible to listen to the Young MC track Bust a Move without doing exactly what its title says. Remixer Bill McClintock combined MC’s infectious rhythms with Buffalo Springfield’s timeless protest song For What It’s Worth, giving it a groovy new sound. Listen close, and you’ll catch some Def Leppard, GN’R, and Van Halen too.