Over the years, when I’ve come across internet stuff that knock my socks off, I’ve tried to make a note of it. I like to look at the list every now and then, especially when I despair about the state of the human condition, like after reading the readers’ comments that follow most news items these days.
Some are serious and moving, others are just plain silly and fun. None of these are exactly undiscovered or new, but I bring them together for you in one convenient location. You’re welcome.
No. 10: BBC Cover of “God Only Knows”
I cannot begin to fathom the pre-production work that went into this cover of the Beach Boys “God Only Knows,” let alone the production and post-production. Each scene is a visual as well as an aural feast. And it’s a promo for BBC Music. They do things up right across the pond. After you watch it, come back and look at this list of who is in the “impossible orchestra.”
No. 9: Jessica’s Daily Affirmation
Jessica’s dad created a YouTube channel to preserve some old family home movies. One of them he uploaded was of his daughter Jessica, giving herself an awesome pep talk. It lingered at about a 1,000 hits for awhile, then suddenly exploded on the internet into the millions of hits. It offers me a good reminder that a lot of how my day goes is up to me.
No. 8: “A Million Ways” by OK Go
OK Go is famous for their elaborate, usually one-take music videos. Over the years, the videos have gotten more and more elaborate. In fact, it’s easy to forget that it all started with a one-take music video of the four guys simply dancing in their backyard to a song choreographed by one of the guys’ sister. If you go back and watch it now, you can see early evidence of an attention to detail and a degree of patience that would lead to such elaborate videos as this one. But before you go there, go back to this one:
No. 7: “Shia LaBeouf” Live
With the premise that Shia LaBeouf is a cannibal (that tired, ol’ premise…), this mini-opera/ballet/I don’t know what is pure silliness, but genius. Shot in a single day with several groups that had never rehearsed together on a stage that they couldn’t use until the day of production, it reminds me that there are workarounds for pretty much all limitations if you put your mind to it. The song is clever enough, but the closing shot clenches the video’s place on this list.
No. 6: The Mother ‘Hood Video
OK, so this is made by Similac, but I don’t care. It’s funny, yet packs a important reminder about looking for what we share in common in this era of us being uber successful in finding things that divide us.
No. 5: Save the Children PSA
I heard a leader in my church recenty tell the story of a young refugee girl who endured terrible things, and then, to help bring the story home, asked us to consider “What if their story were my story?” It reminded me of this video, a PSA by a London-based organization called “Save the Children,” that makes becoming a refugee alarmingly relatable by putting in a more familiar context. Maybe the most powerful 90-seconds of video out there.
No. 4: 66 Old Movie Dance Scenes Mashup to Uptown Funk
I love the patience exhibited by whoever cut this together to find the clips and sync them up. But what I love most is how this mashup seems to collapse the time of the last century and make us all contemporaries. We’re all still kids.
No. 3: The Chrome Experimental Video of “The Wilderness Downtown”
Want to see a music video full of choreographed windows opening and closing that feature an Arcade Fire song and your very own childhood neighborhood? This will leave you wondering how they did that. Here’s how. Must view in Chrome (if it isn’t your default browser, copy and paste this URL into Chrome: http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/).
No. 2: Mr. Rogers “Look for the Helpers”
Mr. Rogers had it figured out. Even during those discombobulating times when horrific things happen. He offers some practical advice his mother shared with him that becomes more relevant and needed with each passing year. I don’t think the news media have listened very well to him. But we can listen to him. We hear you, Mr. Rogers. We hear you.
No. 1: Father-Daughter Cover of “Tonight You Belong to Me”
After the fireworks show had ended, 4-year-old Adelaide Ames thought she could still hear them. Her physicist dad, Benjamin, picked up a ukulele and sang a song with her to keep her mind preoccuppied. I love the way he dads. He didn’t dismiss or ignore her concerns, but treated them as valid, and stuck with her through them.
What’d I miss? Let me know in the comments below. I’m flexible on this list.