Sunday, January 24, 2010

YouTube -- the best thing ever invented?

I can't remember an invention with as near universal appeal as YouTube. Just about everyone can find something to adore about it.

Nobody goes around dissing youtube. None of the hipster-or-homeless crowd that populates vast swaths of this city. None of the right wing circus freak sideshow that's taken over our country again (this week). None of the granola patchouli stink hippies. Nobody.

Everyone loves it. Not One Nation Under God. Not One Nation under YouTube. One World Under YouTube.

I love it especially for music. It seems like every week there is something better. Middle school choirs singing Bjork? Check. Unholy covers? Check. DJs with too much time on their hands? Oh hell yeah. Indie superstars on kids shows? I think we can do that. Doc Watson playing a Chet Atkins tune on a Henderson guitar Check -- maybe my favorite video ever.

Today's time waster, in between writing 20 odd notes for 2 busy inpatient services (14 hr days on weekends aren't that fun, especially if you are doing the 14 hr days on weekdays too) is Boing Boing's feature Adventures in Music. This guestblogger, Stephen Worth, head of the ASIFA Animation Archive, has put up some truly incredible clips of old music on YouTube. I haven't watched all of it yet, but what I have watched is mind blowing. Mind blowing.

His "big finale" today was a big finale indeed. It's 10:51. Watch it all. You'll be a better person for it: Cab Calloway, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lena Horne, and oh-my-word the Nicholas brothers. If you're not interested in being a better person, watch from about 5:30 in. You'll miss most of Bill Robinson and Lena Horne but you'll catch Cab skatting like nobody's business and nobody should miss the Nicholas brothers.