This is just pure fun.
Heard this on NPR One while walking this evening, and had to share.
Phil Collins’ 1981 hit “In the Air Tonight” is currently the No. 2 best-selling song on iTunes.
Why, because of the above video, which has had 5.5 million views so far.
It’s 22-year-old Tim and Fred Williams of Gary, Indiana, just shooting video of themselves reacting to songs they’ve never heard before. Which is something they do:
The Gary, Ind., twins have also recorded their first time listening to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” which she responded to on Twitter. “No point in begging…Jolene already stole these two,” Ms. Parton said….
If you don’t watch the whole video, you at least have to watch until… well, you know what part I mean. Then, you’ll listen to the whole thing.
This is an illustration of a phenomenon that may be unexpected to you. Kids today actually have to go out and hunt for great old songs to listen to. I’ve written about this in the past — you know my shtick about how, back in the day of variety shows on TV, if it was popular you heard it, whatever the genre — rock, pop, soul, adult contemporary, Broadway showtunes. It was all out there for everybody on our relatively few broadcast outlets, and we heard it wherever we went.
Now, music has become so narrowly focused, and made available through such personalized algorithms, that to do what these kids are doing is rare — and kind of thrilling. To find something that hasn’t been preselected for you, you have to go out and dig:
“The algorithm is built around user behavior,” Ebro Darden, the global head of hip-hop and R&B at Apple Music, said. “As more consumption options became available for music lovers, platforms got narrower and more targeted.”
Discovering classic jams on the airwaves seems hard to do now, too, as radio stations have also become more personalized, Mr. Darden said.
“You are beholden to a platform, whether it is a radio station or a streaming service, whether it is a human curation or an algorithmic curation, but you can go into these services and start looking around,” said Mr. Darden, who also hosts Ebro in the Morning at the New York radio station, Hot 97.
On streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify, users can decide if they want to go down a rabbit hole and listen to music based on the era, genre, producer, or artist, but they have to take the first step, which seems to be a hurdle….
Anyway, never mind the why. Just watch the video, and enjoy. Enjoy the twins enjoying…
Plenty of great music out here,old and new.
Phil Collins is still “bad”,in the classic sense…
but,What is Real ,true,and beautiful?
” you know my shtick about how, back in the day of variety shows on TV, if it was popular you heard it, whatever the genre — rock, pop, soul, adult contemporary, Broadway showtunes. It was all out there for everybody on our relatively few broadcast outlets, and we heard it wherever we went.”
Uh-uhn, naw, man, that’s not how it is. As Bill keeps demonstrating over and over and over and over again, digital has made EVERYTHING available ALL the time like it NEVER was back in the day. YouTube, for example, lets you access even the most extremely obscure stuff — from the past and from around the world. Nothing circa 1965 or whenever comes anywhere close to the kind of access we have now. And as a result there’s more cross-generational enjoyment of music than there was back then.
Yes, that’s what you’d think, right? Technology has made it all available — which is wonderful, because I’ve discovered a lot of music I might not have heard.
My kids had me convinced that this was the case, because their knowledge of music from when I was young often exceeds my own.
But then you run into something like this, which makes you go, “really? These kids haven’t heard Frank Sinatra? Or Dolly Parton? Or Jimi Hendrix?” Which makes them kind of like me, who growing up knew so little (and still do) of the Dorseys, or Al Jolson, or Billie Holliday.
It depends on the extent to which you take advantage of the technology, and how you use it. If you’re lazy — again, like me — you might just let Pandora and Spotify play stuff they think you would like, and you think you’re discovering new things left and right. But you’re not really branching out the way the Williams twins are doing. Which is awesome to watch. They’ve made a conscious decision to branch out, and they’re doing it.
This isn’t just me saying this. Sandra Garcia got me thinking along those lines with her piece about it, which I quoted above.
Now, we have the technology that makes adventurous listening more possible. But we have to decide to go hunt for it. We won’t hear it just walking down the street, or turning on the boob tube…
Love this. I see your point, Brad. We make an effort to expose our teenage son (who plays several instruments) to a wide variety of music. He’s not really into current music. And he recently declared Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to be the greatest song ever, so I feel like I’m a good parent.
Just don’t let him do the head-banging part. He could injure his neck!
Music is the healing force of the universe…
…except Phil Collins…
I’ve been watching some of their other videos today, with the brothers digging Jimi Hendrix’ “Hey, Joe” and Neil Young’s “Old Man.” The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” and Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” Good stuff.
At first, they’re impressed that Hendrix is so cool, he’s chewing gum while he plays and sings. But then, he blows their minds by playing with his teeth…
But I think my fave so far is “Jolene.”