Fun With YouTube

Fun With YouTube

Written by Rich Isaacs

YouTube is an amazing place. You can see stuff there that you never imagined. You can also spend the rest of your life chasing videos that come up as suggestions on the right-hand side of the screen. It’s a real problem when there is more than one of interest in that lineup – if you click on one, the others disappear and you will get a completely different set of suggestions. I’ve taken to writing down all the titles I want to check out before I leave any page. Of course, another rabbit hole is checking out the comments for any given video.

The musical talent on display can be mind-boggling. I’ve gathered a few that made my jaw drop, along with some non-music-related ones that I found particularly entertaining.

Kid Shreds on Accordion

Thirty-eight-year-old Ukrainian bayan (button accordion) player Alexander Hrustevich was featured in one of Paul’s Posts some time back. That video showed him at a later stage in life than this one. I can’t tell how old he is here, but he looks like a teenager. The dexterity on display as he plays an excerpt from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons will blow your mind. He creates a positively orchestral sound using all his fingers.

The comments are all laudatory, but my favorite one is “That is some kick ass accordianizing (sic). What goes on in someone’s brain to make them capable of that? I have trouble chewing gum and typin…urk…gargh… …medic…”


Dirty Loops

A bass-playing friend of mine turned me on to these guys. If you haven’t heard or seen them, buckle up. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Dirty Loops is a trio comprised of Jonah Nilsson (keyboards and vocals), Henrik Linder (bass), and Aron Mellergård (drums). True to their name, some pre-programmed sounds are included in the mix, but their instrumental prowess is really impressive. With star-quality looks and a strong pop-soul voice, Jonah is the front man, but musicianship is the real star here. The rhythm section is a monster. Henrik plays a five-string (fretless?) electric bass, and Aron kills it on the drums. This track (“Work Sh*t Out”) starts out poppy and then veers into full-on heavy jazz fusion.

Even the credits on this professionally produced video are worth checking out, as there’s a good bit of humor on display (Liaison to the UN, among others).

Favorite comment: “Find someone that looks at you like this bass player looks at the drummer!”


Carry On Wayward Son

A very young (10?) Japanese girl walks onto the stage for a recital wearing black Capri pants and a purple hoodie, a long white feather boa and a black hat. She sits down at a large, two-manual electronic keyboard, flips her boa out of the way, and proceeds to perform a spot-on rendition of the Kansas hit. Sure, the drums are pre-programmed, but she is covering all the instruments (solos included) with both hands and both feet. A year later, she did a killer performance of Rush’s “YYZ.” A most unlikely prog rock fan with incredible talent.


Steve Moore – The Mad Drummer

What fun! I stumbled onto this one because the heading was “This drummer is at the wrong gig.” Watch with glee as Steve Moore (drummer for cheesy-cool cover band Rick K and the Allnighters) mugs, flails and twirls his sticks while keeping a solid beat as the band does ZZ Top‘s “Sharp Dressed Man.“ If this doesn’t segue directly into their performance of “Wipeout,” find it – frontman Rick K joins Steve on the same drum set for a crazy choreographed performance that must have taken a fair bit of rehearsal. I’d pay to see them.


Antoine Baril – One Man Genesis

This is not fair. No one, I mean no one, should have the breadth of instrumental talent on display here, without giving me one-tenth of it. The music of early Genesis is some of my favorite listening, and it is not simple stuff. Canadian Antoine Baril plays all the instruments (keyboards, bass, guitar, and drums) to create a faithful medley of instrumental passages. To top it off, he did the video shoot and editing himself! (He’s done the same with music from Yes and Rush.) A few years back, he was a member of the most authentic Genesis tribute band, The Musical Box, playing the Phil Collins drum parts.


Backyard Squirrel Maze 1.0 – Ninja Warrior Course

Former NASA engineer Mark Rober is one twisted, talented, and entertaining guy. The first creation of his that I ran across was a glitter bomb package designed to exact revenge on “porch pirates.” This one came about because of his frustration with supposedly “squirrel-proof” bird feeders. The obstacles he puts in the squirrels’ way are hilarious. There’s a 2.0 version, as well, with different challenges for the squirrels.

He’s done so many outrageous feats of engineering that you could spend a lot of time just following his videos.


Automatic Strike Bowling Ball

Another Rober invention. I’m a league bowler, so when I saw the heading for this one, I had to check it out. He took a bowling ball, hollowed it out, and installed some electro-mechanical wizardry that allows him to control the movement of the ball with a transmitter on his back, simply by leaning his body in the desired direction. I need this.


Right Up Our Alley

This is an amazing continuous-flight drone video that begins across the street from a bowling alley, zooming in and all around the lanes and snack bar, even going behind the lanes along a very narrow pathway where the pin-setting machinery resides before coming out again, only to follow a ball right into the pins. The snippets of conversations that they captured are pretty interesting, too. I’m guessing that they had to take a number of tries before getting this one.


I hope that most, if not all, of these were new to you (and of interest). There’s plenty more where they came from.

Header image: Dirty Loops.

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