THE BEST Music

Can Musicians Play Together Online?

Can Musicians Play Together Online?

With so many people staying at home and live concerts canceled all over the world, is it possible for musicians in remote locations to play in sync with each while in different locations? NPR’s Jazz Night in America explores this question and the physical and technological challenges that come with it.

Zeroelectrodrum and the Chickens

Zeroelectrodrum and the Chickens

Musician and street performer Zeroelectrodrum introduces two honorary members of his one-man band, Mr. Green and Mr. Pink, a pair of rubber chickens that he uses to add an extra layer of sound when playing his Blue Man Group-esque PVC pipe xylophone.

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What Was Zamrock?

What Was Zamrock?

There was a brief moment in the 1970s when a unique musical style hit the scene. Musicians from Zambia, influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple, melded rock with African rhythms, creating a distinctive sound. Bandsplaining offers up a thoughtful look back at this seldom talked about genre, known as “Zamrock.”

The Largest Chord

The Largest Chord

Musicians will get a hoot out of this clip from Leon Waves, which in which he explains the largest chord possible in music theory. Even if you could use every finger and toe to play, you’d need extra limbs and digits to perform it.

Henry Hoover Dreams of Africa

Henry Hoover Dreams of Africa

Despite being known as Henry Hoover, the kooky canister vacuum isn’t made by Hoover. But that doesn’t matter right now. Instead, the perpetually-smiling cleaner ponders bigger questions, and dreams about another life – as a musician. And he gets his wish at 2:53.

The LED Piano

The LED Piano

This slick piano has an display on top which shows the upcoming notes a la music video games, and LEDs that light up in reaction to the keys its pianist hits. Sadly, you can’t purchase this custom keyboard, so we’ll just have to drool over Rousseau’s one-off creation.

Weird Al x Portugal. The Man

Weird Al x Portugal. The Man

Feel it Still from beloved Oregon-based group Portugal. The Man is, as we know, super catchy – but how much catchier is it when Weird Al does a remix? You can decide while you let the happy accordion sounds roll around in your ears.

Namco Museum Greatest Hits Vinyl

Namco Museum Greatest Hits Vinyl

A limited-edition record packed with music and sound effects from classic Namco arcade games like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Rally-X, Mappy, Galaga, Xevious and more. Each disc is pressed in sweet “pixel explosion” vinyl, and comes with an 8-page booklet about the games.

Harman Audio: Insider Experience

Harman Audio: Insider Experience

We had the tremendous opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Harman Audio facility in Los Angeles, where we learned that it’s not just a bunch of audio engineers pointing and deciding; there is a human element to the products and the passion behind them.

Gonna Fly Now

Gonna Fly Now

Getting strong now! Russian musician Logachev Andrey turns in a memeworthy performance of Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now from Rocky, playing all parts of the triumphant track on his trumpet, flute, and accordion. If you don’t feel like a champ after watching this, you’re dead inside.

Angels in Heaven

Angels in Heaven

Wind down that long day of yours by hitting the refresh button in your head and listening to this bluesy gospel tune from Ashville-based artists Chris Rodrigues and Abby the Spoon Lady, jamming right on her porch. (Thanks Rob!)

Haim: Valentine

Haim: Valentine

Think three talented sisters rocking out is cool? Now add a drum circle and an intimate short film from Paul Thomas Anderson and put it all together – it’s Haim’s new LP Something to Tell You being recorded. A valentine (with one f bomb) for the ears for sure.

Deal: Minim Mobile Music Maker

Deal: Minim Mobile Music Maker

Create music on the go with this wireless controller which works in conjunction with MIDI music sequencing software on Macs or iOS devices. It has 8 pads, 15 buttons, a touch fader, and a 3D motion sensor, and is the same width and height as an iPhone 6 Plus or 7 Plus.

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Musical Matchboxes

Musical Matchboxes

There are lots of different things you can use to create rhythms, but we find the sounds created by musician Dominik Schad and his boxes of matches to be particularly pleasing to our ears. Even better with headphones on.

Hotel California A Capella

Hotel California A Capella

Cuban group Vocal Sampling turns in a wild performance of The Eagles’ classic Hotel California, creating not just harmonies, but every musical instrument with their voices. Their version of Every Breath You Take might even be better.

Gangsta’s Paradise: 1920s Style

Gangsta’s Paradise: 1920s Style

Vocalist Robyn Adele Anderson and Postmodern Jukebox crank out a jazzy rendition of Coolio’s classic Gangsta’s Paradise, set in the heart of the prohibition era. We kept expecting Nucky Thompson to make an appearance.

Underwater Audio Swimbuds

Underwater Audio Swimbuds

Your favorite swimmer will love the great sound and fit of Underwater Audio’s Swimbuds Sport Headphones. Four different styles of earbuds are included so surfers, runners and bikers aren’t left out. Need a waterproof player? They’ve got you.

Concert in a Closet

Concert in a Closet

Is there anything that Rob Scallon can’t play? Here he is in a tiny closet, playing a concert with the smallest bass on the market – a tiny ukulele-sized bass thumping out the jams – and the smallest amp and pedal set up too.

Worst DJ

Worst DJ

Kevin Wang, aka Best Drops Ever, collaborated with popular Vine guy Neat Dude to put together this amusing vid of what happens when a bunch of dudes are trying to have some fun in da club – with a horrible DJ. Music has charms, people.

The Listening Tree

The Listening Tree

Near the burgeoning Fremont East District in Las Vegas sits The Listening Tree from George Zisiadis. It invites the public to discover the joy of music through tree-suspended headphones, each playing a continuous unique song.

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PMJ: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

PMJ: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

We’re enjoying this alternate old-timey, BioShock Inifinite-styled waltz arrangement of Cyndi Lauper’s pop anthem Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by the Postmodern Jukebox. No Elizabeth or Captain Lou Albano either. (Thanks Molly!)

Thunderstruck on White Lightning

Thunderstruck on White Lightning

The moment that you hear the first twang from the banjoist of Finnish bluegrass group Steve ‘N’ Seagulls as he furiously plucks out the familiar opening riff of the standard in AC/DC you know you’re about to be Thunderstruck.

Weird Al: Tacky

Weird Al: Tacky

We are so pleased to share Weird Al’s parody of Pharrell’s Happy from Nerdist, featuring Aisha Tyler, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black, among others. It kicks off his 8 videos in 8 days project. We have missed you, Al. (Thanks Chris!)

History of Rap 5

History of Rap 5

Every time Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake get together it’s a crowd pleaser; their latest collaboration is no exception. Take a break for five minutes and luxuriate in their kooky choreography for Outkast and Drake.

A History of Recorded Music

A History of Recorded Music

Lovers of Rube Goldberg, music and history, have we got the thing for you – a clever 90 second chronicle of recorded music, told through spoken word and a chain reaction show made from assorted musical equipment. (Thanks Steve!)

Every Trent Reznor Song

Every Trent Reznor Song

Fred Scott professes that Trent Reznor is one of his musical heroes but that doesn’t keep him from playfully but perfectly calling out the Nine Inch Nails frontman on his rather reliable songwriting process. (Thanks G. Pelabras!)

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