Friday, October 24, 2008

Fun With YouTube

With the crashing economy, bouts of sniffling sneezing, aching and general plague like symptoms, jury duty, and the fact that Miss. Laurel and I are closet political junkies we have not gotten out as much as we would like of late. I did manage to make it out to the Hampton’s Film Fest on Saturday with my friend Michelle for a premiere party Nursery U a film by entertainment lawyer turned docutmentarian Marc Simon. If you’ve ever thought about chucking it all, moving to Manhattan and enrolling your child in nursery school, see this film, and then we’ll talk. Other than that we’ve been counting our pennies, consuming chicken soup and spending countless hours shaking our first at the TV (or blog, or newspaper, or radio) and precious few getting dolled up and doing the town. Fortunately, we are not alone in this, as many of our nearest and dearest have also been sticking close to home these days, so in the spirit of public service we’ve decided to share with you our other secret passion…The wonderful world of YouTube. When we need diversion close to home we have discovered a world of fun lurking in our very own computers. It’s wacky, it’s diverse, and it’s FREE. This week Laurel and I are each sharing our current top five musical faves from the site.

The Muppets - Danny Boy: The Muppets were very big in my house growing up. Partly because my mother and Mr. Henson were both born in Mississippi, he in Greenville, and she in Hot Coffee (yes, really, I’ve been there). Mostly though they were just hysterically funny. Marvin Suggs and his amazing Muppaphone’s version of Lady of Spain was the first thing to make my son laugh uncontrollably when he was a toddler. You can catch all of Marvin’s greatest hits on YouTube too, but this clip is my absolute favorite. How can you go wrong with Beaker, the Swedish Chef, AND Animal singing Danny Boy?

Johnny Cash – Hurt: One of the final recordings of his career. Simply stunning. If you prefer your Nine Inch Nails covers with puppets there is also a version performed by Kermit the frog, not for the Sesame Street Devotee.

Bobby McFerrin – Ave Maria: The vocal is terrific, but more than that he takes the audience along with him in a wonderful moment of musical improv. While you’re there take a peek at his version of Round Midnight, and Hush Little Baby with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer. Speaking of Mr. Meyer, who appeared briefly on this page a few weeks back, there is a clip of a duet he did with Victor Wooten called Coolest Bass Duet Ever that pretty much is. YouTube videos are a lot like potato chips it’s hard to watch just one. One video leads to another and before you know it the day is gone, and you’ve got nothing to show for it except cats that won’t speak to you because you were so engrossed you forgot to feed them.

Keith Jarrett – Then I’ll Be Tired of You: His physicality is unlike any pianist I’ve ever seen, but if that’s what it takes for him to make this sort of music who cares? There are also some great clips on the site of Bill Evans.

Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt – High Sierra: Three fantastic and highly individual singers making music together.

If you want to keep going you can check out the clips of Stephen Sondheim working with the students at the Guildhall School in London (wow!), A gospel medley with Dolly Parton and Carol Burnett (Huh?), and Sarah Vaughn singing The Nearness of You (Ahhhh). Send us your favorite video from the site and we’ll enter you in this month’s 0-10 challenge where we are searching for entertainment that costs less than ten bucks. Our prize is a CD compiled especially for you of cuts by Miss. Laurel and myself. And now…take it away Laurel…..

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