I didn’t know you could bring so much passion to the Darkwing Duck theme song. Which gets me to thinking: the only thing standing between plenty of TV theme music and its rightful status as high art is an acoustic guitar and a little bit of soul. (Write that down.) So, I call on you, reader of The AV, to direct me to more acoustic versions of TV themes. You will be rewarded with a post on the site and a flashback to your childhood.
Talk about holiday spirit! ortoPilot, on the heels of his third album of original music, just completed a December run of 25 songs in 25 days. Each tune is an acoustic version of either a Christmas song or a Yule-time chart-topper. Savvy as he is with video editing (you’ll notice lots of cool little tricks sprinkled throughout his vids), OP embedded a calendar to let you see his array of holiday tunes and pick whichever suits your festive fancy. The list includes Gary Jules’ Mad World, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall. The run climaxed with an epic YouTube collaboration of eight people, complete with a ventriloquist. Sweet.
For a laugh, give his costumed rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town a try:
And check out this inventive acoustic version of Bohemian Rhapsody:
oP’s music is good stuff, and he makes a lot of it. Two things I’ve noticed watching him play that the rest of us can learn from: 1) he uses a capo to great effect, giving him more vocal flexibility and allowing him to get real funky with open-string pull-offs and the like; and 2) his right hand is quick and accurate, giving the chordy parts of his tunes enough drive to keep his audience engaged. And as you know, we at The AV will crusade for better right-handed playing till Rodrigo y Gabriela come home.
I love Neil Young. He’s one of the greatest songwriters to pick up a guitar, and has authored some of my personal favorites – Old Man, for example. But his voice is definitely an acquired taste, and there’s no sense in denying that he can be kind of goofy. Anyhow, here Neil teams up with The Boss to perform a new tune, Whip My Hair, for a late night television audience. Funny: as he ages he looks more and more like Jimmy Fallon, wouldn’t you say?
João Gilberto and Snoop Dogg make an unlikely pairing. The former, a 79 year old Brazilian guitarist and singer, invented the Bossa Nova style during the late ‘50s. The latter, well.. you know who he is.
Gilberto, along with legendary saxophonist Stan Getz, made an album in the style – entitled Getz/Gilberto – which won the 1965 Grammy for Album of the Year (the same year The Beatles won Best New Artist). The Girl from Ipanema, a track on Getz/Gilberto, won Record of the Year.
Snoop Dogg was nominated for the 2009 Grammy for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Solo Performance for his song Sexual Eruption, (radio edited to Sensual Seduction). The song actually features very little rapping, with Snoop choosing instead to sing an auto-tuned melody. The subject matter is pretty self-explanatory.
Here the two get together to make a Bossa Nova version of Sensual Seduction (perhaps the original title is too risqué for YouTube). Standing offer to AV readers: submit a video of an auto-tuned performance of The Girl from Ipanema and see it featured on the homepage. Bonus points if you rap the last verse.