Category Archives: Video

Video Mate: ’80s Video Dating At It’s Worst

Kids, imagine, if you will, a time when getting online consisted of dialing into a BBS with your 900 baud modem and leaving messages for the other dungeon masters. It was long before Facebook and YouTube, when meeting a potential mate meant hanging up your Cloak of Sarcasm and actually leaving the house.

Then along comes Video Mate. You break out your Beta max camera, make an audition tape that you think will make Chuck Woolery proud, and wait for the propositions to start rolling in. You have no idea that millions of people will see just how suave you are…a mere thirty years too late.
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Ear Way In Hay Ee Thay Uney May

While waiting for #1GF! to get out the door this morning, I was sitting on the bed and singing to the baby. “Ear way in hay ee thay uney may. Ear way in hay ee thay uney may.”

#1GF! snapped out of her morning routine for a second. “Wait. What are you singing?”

I shrugged and repeated. “Ear way in hay ee thay uney may.”

#1GF! shook her head. “What is it? Did you make it up?”

It wasn’t an invalid question. It’s not entirely uncommon for me to make up songs. “No, I’m singing ‘We’re in the Money’.”

“Oh my god.”

“It’s Pig Latin.”

“Oh. my. god. She knows a handful of words and you’re already branching out into Pig Latin? Is that a good idea?”

I shook my head. “It’s from this movie from 1933 called Gold Diggers. Ginger Rogers sings it.”

“So…you’re singing it in Pig Latin.”

“She did too.”

“No, she didn’t.”

“Oh, yes she did.”

“In 1933.” #1GF! dipped her chin. “Riiight.”

“Really. It’s an old-school, big-production dance number until the camera gets right up in her face and she starts singing in Pig Latin. I’m telling you. It’s really weird.”

#1GF! shook her head. “How do you find these things?”

I mistakenly thought it was an actual question. “Well, during a writing break yesterday, I was looking for a little history on Esquivel, and Wikipedia called him the ‘The Busby Berkley of Cocktail Music.’ So, I was like, ‘Who the hell is Busby Bixby,’ and—”

#1GF! patted my chest. “Okay. I have to go.”

“You’ll see. I’m going to find the video for you.”

She kissed me as if she were patting my head. “Love you, gotta run.”

“It’s real,” I muttered as she walked down the hall.
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The Top 10 Music Inspiring Horror Movies In The Public Domain

While hunting for some free entertainment for Halloween, I discovered that there were a surprising number of horror movies that can be legally and freely downloaded because they have fallen into the public domain. I found cheese-filled creature features like The Giant Gila Monster (1959), Attack of the Giant Leeches (1953), and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962), but I also came across a number of films that I realized have been musically inspirational to some big name bands.

Here are the top 10 musically inspiring horror films in the public domain and what they inspired. The IMDB star rating is included so you can determine what to (or not to) download onto your ipod.

10. The Wasp Woman (1960)

The Wasp Woman The owner of a cosmetic factory becomes the test subject for wasp enzymes that are supposed to make her look younger. The drugs have unintended side effects.

IMDB: 3.4 stars

Musical Inspiration: This movie was said to have inspired the Misfits’ song “Queen Wasp” which appeared on Earth A.D, released in 1983.
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Why I Love Small Towns: Kung Fu Gorilla

Every week, #1GF! will sit down and read the police report from our local town newspaper. In the city this would be rather depressing, but in a small town, it often turns up some amusing items. This week, she found this gem:

“11:34 PM: Caller reports a man in a gorilla costume doing Karate moves in the street. She finds this to be very suspicious. Officer detailed reported that suspect found the costume in the basement and was goofing around.”

On a Related Note: Kung Fu Gorilla vs. Aquaman

Now, if that Kung Fu Gorilla was on the scene when the following video took place, Aquaman might have not been victorious. I had to watch this twice just to make sure of what I was seeing, and I am forced to wonder if something is seriously wrong with kids today. Doodleoodleooo AquaMAAAAA HAN!

44 Ways to Enjoy The Super Mario Brothers Theme

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the Super Mario theme, I feel like a big nerd. It’s a theme that any gamer over a certain age can hum off the top of their heads, and when people put their efforts into playing it, I end up grinning like a dope.

And I’m not alone. Below are the results of sifting through hundreds of videos to try to find the theme played on as many instruments as possible. I ended up with 43 decent renditions, covering brass, woodwinds, string and percussion instruments. The top ten is below, and the full 44 is listed at the bottom.

Before you proceed, be warned that I claim no responsibility if the Super Mario Theme is still stuck in your head next Tuesday.

Update 4/16/08: The RC car video was added at #2, pushing “Flute (with beatboxing) out of the top 10. Technically, the list is now 45 ways.

The Top 10 Super Mario Renditions

10. High school band
The odds are extremely high that the only person in this video that was alive to play Super Mario Brothers when it came out was the teacher. And a high school band is obligatory in this type of list, anyway, isn’t it? You know it is.

9. Contrabassoon
There’s something about the sound of the contrabassoon that cracks me up. And Richard plays it for us fabulously, even though he can’t get the camera situated the way he’d like.

8. Two Electric Guitars
Two guitars. One kid. I haven’t seen anything like this since Satan unleashed his metal fury in Rock n Roll Nightmare.

7. 11 String Bass
When I form my world-conquering metal band, The Mighty Fist of Thor, this guy is getting an invite to audition. He will invariably deem the music to be below his abilities, get a PhD in Music History, and die never knowing the gratification that comes with doing twelve chicks from eleven countries at the same time in a tour bus hot tub. At least he made it to evil number six on the list though, right?

6. Balalaika (Russian folk guitar)
While this version isn’t played the most accurately, I have never seen anyone play a folk instrument with such a rock star attitude. And considering he’s playing the Super Mario Theme, I’m guessing the reason is either insanity or nuts the size of Titan. In either case, this guy is also getting an invite to the Mighty Fist of Thor auditions, assuming my agent can find his tiny village in Russia.

5. Alto sax
Notice that this kid is not only in the standard rock star stance, but he plays the song in the style of Lisa Simpson.

4. Ballpoint Pen
While not yet accepted as a standard orchestral instrument, the ballpoint pen takes slot number 3. I think my favorite part of this is the “This is just an ordinary pen” move at the beginning, as if he’s about to do some sort of remarkable magic trick with it.

3. Beer Bottles
“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Oh no? Well, it gets you famous on YouTube, now doesn’t it? Yes, and it gets you the number two slot on this list.

2. RC Car and Bottles
Take a lot of bottles, a radio controlled car, an underground garage, and the Japanese and throw them in a blender and you know that something awesome is going to be unleashed. This was a late addition that knocked “flute (with beatboxing)” off the top ten list, debuting at #2.

1. Tesla Coil
These guys jack it up to 88 miles an hour and play the Super Mario Theme with 1.21 gigawatts of power. Seriously. How can you beat that? 1.21 gigawatts!? 1.21 gigawatts!? Great Scott! the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is… Mario.

If you haven’t gotten enough, yet, continue on. I take no responsibility for any further damage you do to your nerdy little synapses…

Top 44 Super Mario Themes, Listed By Instrument

Accordion
Acoustic Guitar
Alto Horns
Alto Sax, see #5
Ballpoint Pen, see #4

Banjo and guitar
Beer Bottles, see #3
Balalaika (Russian folk guitar), see #6

Brass Quartet
Cello
Church organ
Clarinet Quartet
Contrabassoon, see #9
Cornet
Drums
Electric Guitar
Electric Guitar x2, see #8
Electric Bass
11 String Electric Bass, see #7
Erhu (Chinese Violin)
Euphonium and Saxhorn
Flute (with Beatboxing)
Flute and Clarinet
Harmonica
High School Band, see #10
Mandolin
Marching Band
Mouth Harp
Orchestra
Piano
Radio Controlled Car with Beer Bottles, see #2
Rock Band
Ruler and Table
Saxomophone
Stage Production
Tesla Coil, see #1
Trombones
Trumpet
Tuba
Ukulele
Upright Bass
Violin
Viola
Vocals (A capella)
Xylophones

Did I miss your favorite instrument? Drop it in the comments.