Monday, December 31, 2007

Tomorrow Is a Long Time Times Two

"Elvis recorded a song of mine," Bob Dylan once said. "That's the one recording I treasure most."

The song Dylan's referring to is "Tomorrow Is a Long Time." He never recorded a studio version; it was released on his second greatest hits album from a concert he'd given eight years earlier. Here it is, scoring pictures of him with Suze Rotolo, best known as the girl clinging to him on the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album cover.

Elvis's version was buried on the Spinout soundtrack, despite not being in the movie. He gives it a swampy Southern acoustic feel and That Voice floats above it, eerie and beautiful all at once.

Thought that'd be a nice way to close out 2007. PS - Happy birthday, John!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My finger's off the pulse

There are a whole bunch of "Best Viral Videos 2007" articles on the web as the year comes to a close. And really, two years ago, who would've guessed there'd be such a category, and with so many entries to choose from?

I tended to steer clear of posting them at their time of fame because I figured they were common enough knowledge that people would've already gotten their fill, so "Leave Britney Alone," the Filipino Thriller, the Dramatic Chipmunk/Prairie Dog/Gerbil, Miss South Carolina, and many others never made their MeTube debut.

But I can't help finding a whole bunch of world-famous clips that I'd never heard of. It's just a touch embarrassing, really. So I thought I'd take a flying leap onto the old bandwagon and show you some of the world's longtime favorites that I'm only just now learning about. Maybe they'll be new for you too.

There's the Zombie Kid...

Lily Allen's third nipple...

The Potter Puppet Pals...

Heidi Klum's great knockers...

"Chocolate Rain"...

And a mobile phone salesman singing opera.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Once again, the Japanese rule

Thanks to Barstool Sports for introducing me to this clip. It's a ten-year-old Japanese girl rendering the entire band of Kansas forever obsolete with this cover of "Carry On My Wayward Son."

I've seen ten-year-olds at talent shows who can't handle "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Of course, they didn't have keyboards this awesome, either.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Like a Rolling Lorax

Hey again!

One of the highlights of my Decembers comes my way from my friend Paul in New Jersey. Every year I send him a mix CD for Chanukah and he sends me one for Christmas. This year's entry was of the usual high quality and introduced me to a chunk of pop subculture I'd missed out on completely.

A Houston resident named Kevin Ryan recorded seven songs with the words of Dr. Seuss with music and attitude similar to that of Bob Dylan. He posted them on a website, Just as it was getting attention, Seuss lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ryan, and he took the site down. But you know how hard it is to get toothpaste back in the tube. Particularly if it's brilliant toothpaste.

Here's the song Paul sent me, of "Green Eggs and Ham."

And here's "The Zax."

Monday, December 24, 2007

DC meets S.C.

Today I'm off to celebrate with la familia, and I'll be away for a few days. But I wanted to leave a winner behind.

ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, who I've noted for his genius, has a surprisingly moving story of the time that Saint Nicholas paid a visit to stately Wayne Manor.

I'll be back on Friday. Until then, best of the season to all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Catch-All

One of the great things about doing this all these Christmas posts is that there's so many good ones. Frankly, I should have started this a lot earlier. As it is, I'm putting up a whole bunch here with no common theme save 12/25.

Here's Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, the best Christmas movie of the century so far.

Here's the stop-motion classic Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town - made freshhhhhh.

Here are some bad guys feeling the spirit of the season.

And here's Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cool Yule

There are any number of cool rock musicians who have cool Christmas songs. I'm just going to post a few of my favorites here. You'll note that neither Lennon nor McCartney is represented. That's not an accident.

We'll start with the King, by request - here's "Blue Christmas."

The Ramones kicked out the jams with "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)."

Billy Squier leads perhaps the most joyous rockin' Christmas song, "Christmas is a Time to Say I Love You." I make no apologies for loving this.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl combined to immortalize "Fairytale of New York." Check out the Wikipedia entry - it's fascinating stuff.

Finally, the greatest (and not coincidentally the most depressing) of them all, Tom Waits's "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis," with a few bars of "Silent Night" thrown in for good measure.

Friday, December 21, 2007

NOW how much would you pay?

The first really good Christmas gift I ever got for somebody was in the late '70s, when I got my dad the Auto-Cup from Ronco, which guaranteed no more spilling hot coffee on the long drive. (In the days before cupholders, a legit concern.)

Ronco, named for its founder Ron Popeil, was the company for gadgets in the '70s and '80s. Their ads brought the phrases "It slices, it dices," "set it and forget it," and "but wait - there's more!" to the collective conscious. And the zesty version of "Deck the Halls" that closed the ads was a great indicator that Christmas was close at hand.

Here are a few of their greatest hits: The glass froster...

...the smokeless ashtray...

...and the semilegendary Mr. Microphone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Give me a D! Give me an Arkness!

The Darkness, who brought metal and falsettos back to our consciousness with "I Believe In A Thing Called Love," may not have lasted long (drugs are bad, kids), but before the implostion, they managed to pen a Christmas classic, "Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)."

I particularly like the way the singer slips as he goes out the door. And I love the quote I heard, that they were thrilled they found a way to get the word "ringpiece" played on the radio. You can't fault any band with an evident sense of humor.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

When I say Christmas, scream real loud!

Pee Wee Herman had a Christmas special, and it's available in 9-minute chunks on YouTube. Don't know that everyone's got time for that at the moment, though, so I'll just shoot you the opening credits (and honestly, once you see these, how could you not want to watch the rest?)...

...and Grace Jones singing a little bit of "The Little Drummer Boy."

And you just know he celebrated Christmas at the stroke of midnight. Heh.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Once Is Not Enough

One last un-Christmassy entry that I've been waiting to post for months...

Today's the day that Once is released on DVD. This is a film about a busking musician in Dublin, and the Czech girl he meets, and the way they inspire each other, musically and otherwise. It's my favorite movie of the year, and I've seen No Country for Old Men.

This is the scene where they perform in the studio for the first time, and the hired-hand producer slowly realizes he's got something good here.

Glen Hansard, the guitarist, is a huge Van Morrison fan as well. So here are a couple covers he does: one of "Into the Mystic"...

...and a very intense version of "Astral Weeks."

I can't say enough good things about this movie, so I'll keep this simple. If you've not seen it yet, do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Non-Christmas Movie Movies

Every December I watch a copy of The Ref; this year was the first time I had my own copy and didn't need to rent it. What kept me? It's a great film that I wouldn't really call a Christmas film - it just happens to take place around Christmastime.

Denis Leary is a burglar who takes Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey hostage, and their constant bickering is enough to drive him up the wall. Davis & Spacey do some excellent work, and while, as Leonard Maltin says, it's a meatier movie than you might expect, there are some great laughs and semi-silly scenes as well. Here, for instance, Spacey finally takes on his guilt-tripping mother - and wins.

Love Actually is considered more a romantic comedy than a Christmas movie, as there are six to eight romantic comedies crammed into it. The one where a guy loves his best friend's wife is resolved this way.

Sappy? Maybe. But the reason they make syrup out of sap is because it's oh so sweet.

PS - R.I.P. Dan Fogelberg.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Please, God, stop the pain!

As anyone who's every attended an elementary school concert knows, there are ways that songs can be butchered which are beyond our ken. I'll give a couple of examples here.

Jimmy Kimmel and Mike Tyson duetting "Winter Wonderland" is one of those where you stare in total incomprehension. I suspect they picked this particular song so we could here Mike lisp his way through the "snow is glistenin'" line. The Casio is the only possible background music for this.

"O Holy Night" is one of my favorite Christmas songs, but it's a challenging one to sing. This guy accepts the challenge and fails spectacularly. It starts off seeming like just your basic bad cover, but give it time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Cookie

From the all-time classic Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, here's Cookie Monster doing everything he can to get in touch with Santa Claus, only to see him dash his own hopes again and again. Whether using a pencil...

...a typewriter...

...or a phone...

...he can't make that connection. But at least he won't go to bed hungry.

Friday, December 14, 2007


We had our first real snowstorm this winter today (well, technically it's late fall, but still...), giving us a good foot of the white 'n' fluffy. I've been holding off on posting these guys until that first snow happened, so now I'll take a break from the Christmas posts to give you a couple semipopular skiing clips.

One's an ostrich with a knack for the downhill (fake, sure, but still)...

...and the other is a French skier taking a shot in the cubes, to the (very) apparent delight of the broadcaster.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some Christmas Television

Our neighbors to the north had a few good sketches on SCTV. Here are a couple of Christmas-related ones: Los Hermanos McKenzie...

...and an early Ed Grimley.

And I suppose I can't really end this post without Bob & Doug's semifamous "Twelve Days of Christmas."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Comes Alive!

I am such a sucker for talkboxes it's not even funny. Here's a guy putting his heart, soul, and saliva into a version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

As an added unrelated-to-Christmas bonus, here's Tom Servo being used for the same purpose.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ding dong m'kay

I can't believe that there's still a clip from South Park available on MeTube. Such a great clip, too - Mr. Mackey and the Mackeys singing "Carol of the Bells."

Since I can't trust the powers that be at Viacom to leave it up, I'll add the insurance of a quality lip-synch performance. Look close and you'll see it's one guy playing the part of four guys.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Kris Sting-le

The ne plus ultra of mashups to A Charlie Brown Christmas was, is, and always will be the one that combines it with OutKast's "Hey Ya!". But this is an awfully worthy runner-up. After all, everybody knows that every little thing Santa does is magic.

Major points to its creator for synching up the vocals with the mouths so well.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Incredible Shrinking Dickies

Back in college, my friend Paul in New Jersey introduced me to the music of the Dickies. Picture if the Ramones were formed in LA, with LA sensibilities and a touch more camp - that's the Dickies.

One of the things they were best known for was for recording cover songs that doubled the tempo of the originals. This led to such classics as "Paranoid"...

...the insanely chipper theme to The Banana Splits Show...

...and the Christmas classic "Silent Night," here scored to a little girl who's a menace with balloons.

Incidentally, if you're wondering if that last one is going to kick off two weeks of Christmas videos on MeTube, well, wonder no more.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

How Snow White became a woman

Did you know that shortly after World War Two, the good folks at Disney studios made a cartoon explaining menstruation?

And remember, try not to catch a cold or you'll throw everything off.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Eggs and sausage and birthday cake

This marks the first time, I think, that I've celebrated the same celebrity's birthday more than once. But when it comes to Tom Waits, there's so much gold out there that you can't pass up an opportunity to celebrate it with him. So here he is in 1976, blowing everybody's mind on The Mike Douglas Show.

I have to say, I really appreciated Mike Douglas's handling of this. He doesn't act condescending toward this guy that's clearly on another wavelength, but rather, he does his best to draw him out, and I think he genuinely appreciates him on some level. So score one for the squares.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Oy! Stop! You're embarrassing me!

Here's a clip for some of my best friends.

Sadly, this one isn't available on any video site, so I'll just link to the transcript of one of the great Saturday Night Live sketches: "The Night Hannukah Harry Saved Christmas."

Shalom, mishpocha!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Come Closer Together

Today's a fine day for a mashup.

Longtime readers of MeTube may remember this entry, where Kirk and Spock were cut together to appear to be acting on their desires to the tune of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer." Well, here the leaders of the Enterprise have been replaced by the lads from Liverpool.

I have to say, I think John would really get behind this. Paul, not so much.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

MeTube Extra: Oh, just one more Letterman

I just spotted this and couldn't wait...

The writer of the dog poetry video (see previous entry) was Merrill Markoe, who was the original head writer on Late Night and was also David Letterman's girlfriend for a number of years.

In the mid-nineties she returned to the show as a guest. Dave spent much of the show talking about how nervous he was to be interviewing her, but the interview turned out very well; you could certainly understand the attraction. It's fun to watch the warm side of Dave coming out.

Dog Poetry

Not too awfully much to say today, so I'll just post some dog poetry from Letterman. I remember when this was in a coffee table book on Letterman, and it was nice to see it in motion.

Monday, December 03, 2007

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me Times Two

On the Agony Booth, my bad-movie-celebration website of choice, we discuss all sorts of other pieces of pop culture. One person asked for suggestions of cover songs that bettered the originals, and another person brought up Elvis Presley's take on the Dusty Springfield classic "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me." I found it hard to believe that anybody could top this...

...but then I heard the King's version, and I have to say, I think he does it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hooray for Tom Lehrer, To-ho-hom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer's had a remarkable life. Besides being the man who invented the Jell-O shot (no, really), he got his BA and MA from Harvard before he turned 20, he became a respected mathematician, and of course, he wrote a few dozen songs that made him, in Dr. Demento's words, "the best musical satirist of the 20th century."

Try and imagine how excited I was to find that someone's posted songs from Lehrer's 1966 concert for German television. To not only see him doing these, but to see him doing them in his prime, is an absolute treat.

Here he performs "The Masochism Tango." The German word he speaks toward the end means "Excuse me."

As a child, I wasn't allowed to sing "The Vatican Rag" when certain company came by. It's great to see the man himself zip through it with such vim.

Finally, here's an excellent lip-synch of "New Math."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Woody Allen - The Funny Years

Post number 500. Woo hoo!

Today is Woody Allen's 72nd birthday. I've not liked much of his stuff from the past decade or so, but the run he had before that, both in writing and on film, make him hands down one of my biggest comedy heroes.

Play It Again, Sam is an atypical Woody Allen picture. For one, while he wrote it and stars in it, he didn't direct it (Herbert Ross did). For another, it's set in San Francisco, as there was a New York-specific strike going on at the time. Finally, some of it's quite dated - jokes about rape and Polaroid don't translate too well to today's sensibilities.

Despite this, it's my favorite of his pre-Annie Hall movies. If you've got a minute, watch this clip of him trying to pick up a girl at an art museum.

If you've got six and a half minutes, here he is getting ready for a blind date. For all his verbal dexterity, this has some of the best physical comedy you'll ever see.