Sunday, January 03, 2010

best of 2009

this is a post that works backwards, in the manner of blogs; rather than cover everything that happened in 2009, though, i'd like to focus only on movies, particularly youtube movies; youtube in my opinion a phenomenon in its own right, and has come into its own really in the last few years, or since google bought it a few years back. what's important about youtube is the way its captured a role as a cultural repository, particularly of music. i'm not so interested in the 'america's funniest home movie' type stuff, but where it captures and keeps the best of millions of folk songs, in a place where we can all find and reach them with a simple search, i think that's really important. but the fact is that people everywhere are taking this personal movie-making thing to heart, and doing it better, and more often, and for good entertainment, and it's revolutionizing and transforming what we can watch as we sit down late at night, exhausted, kids finally in bed.

so i made my own youtube, which i'll show you directly and invite you to watch. I told my friends to give it a five rating, but by tonight it's already down to three; don't ask me what that means. but i didn't post this to call my own the best of 2009, but rather to show some of the cool stuff that got me to make my own you-tube, pop-art slide show that it is.

to start with, i was impressed with the jk wedding entrance dance, which has now been seen apparently by 37 million people, rated by 140,000, and getting all fives. the truth is, i'm too busy to keep track of whether this was true or a put-on, or whether they really had a 'jk divorce' six months later or that was a put-on, or whether they really appeared on all these tonight-show gigs or what. all i can say is, when i first saw it, i felt like saying, thanks for letting me see your wedding.

next is the rise up singing project archive, where these people have just decided to put every song on the famous (?) rise up singing songbook on youtube. the first people to do it were the coeditors of the book, apparently, but they are selling their version, and other people are simply putting the 1200 songs online themselves. impressive. it may be amateur, personal, even out-of-tune- but in the spirit of making a public folk archive of every good song out there, it's a good start.

next is the dooce movie (not a youtube, btw), which my wife showed me; she is an avid follower of dooce, who is probably one of the most famous bloggers, and who gets hundreds of commenters even for a simple post such as this. she apparently writes well, but more importantly is willing to put her family, and her baby, out on the line in the process of becoming a media item. my wife pointed out that i was doing the same with mine; no, not really- i put myself on the line, but often keep my loved ones protected. oh yes, if you watch carefully you'll see most of them eventually, but i'm not sure i could go as far as dooce goes in that regard. i have to say, though: i admire her. she's sharp. she's got good movie-making skills on top of blog skills. a good sound track goes a long way- does it matter if it's original?

another one that impressed me, but, as it turns out, is not youtube either, but facebook, is path across the water, an iowa singer's tribute to his dad. good music, good movie, made public but not really over-publicized; i just thought this was an excellent use of public space, and one's own musical talents. i didn't know the dad, and never knew the singer either, though i lived in that small town once many moons ago.

finally is dylan's must be santa which struck me somehow as very unusual. first, that a professional would embrace youtube, make a professional albeit small clip, show himself as a somewhat bemused drunk, and finally, tell a story, all wrapped up in good music. interesting!

this came out because i did a general search for christmas music, which led me further in and caused me to list what i'd found...more on this later; i found quite a bit. it's all out there- but i'm through for now...

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