Great Remix: The Mother of All Funk Chords

Ever since Stanford Professor Larry Lessig spoke about remix (among other intellectual-property topics) for us at the ILO Institute a couple of years ago, I’ve been fascinated by the subject and have watched out for particularly creative examples.

Yesterday I commented on a new one I’ve found called “Auto-Tune the News.”

However, my favorite example remains “The Mother of All Funk Chords” — a great music mix that brings together clips from across geographies and cultures and age-groups — and across decades of time:

AB — 3 Sept. 2009

The couple in the iconic ‘Woodstock Photo’ – What’s wrong with this picture?

The other day I ran across a kind of cute story in the Daily News about the couple holding each other wrapped in a quilt, the photo of whom was used on the cover of the Woodstock album and has become one of those iconic 60s images — see “Woodstock concert’s undercover lovers, Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, 40 years after summer of love.”

Upon looking at the photo, though, what occurred to me was not how romantic or evocative the image might be, but how much litter is on the ground and what a mess the festival made. Here’s a link to the photo:

And here’s the same couple today (still married):

AB — 20 July 2009

The Ukulele Tsunami

Who knew that the humble ukulele would become the object of a worldwide surge of musical passion? An upcoming documentary, Mighty Uke, explores this phenomenon. Take a look at this fun trailer to get an idea what I’m talking about:

Margaret Meagher, writer and producer for the film, informs me that the team has nearly finished the editing for the movie. “Post-production,” she says, “will take a couple of months and the DVD should be available in early fall [2009].”

The filmmakers have this to say about the growing interest in ukulele music:

In the internet age, the ukulele is making a comeback. Clubs and ensembles are sprouting up around the world, and a new generation is pulling their grandparents’ ukes out of the closet, challenging our images of the humble ukulele. Ukes top the charts in Japan, Swedish punks thrash uke angst, California popsters serve it to ya ukulele style, classical composers carefully pluck out musicbox sonatas, and all of them meet together at the myriad ukulele festivals from New York to London to Tokyo.

AB — 22 May 2009

Global collaboration produces a beautiful cover of “Stand by Me”

The organization Playing for Change is producing music videos by inviting artists worldwide to record accompaniments to a base track, then mixing their tracks together. The effect is like a more polished version of the remix “The Mother of All Funk Chords,” which I reported on previously.

One nice feature of the Playing for Change videos is that each artist or group is recorded in his or her own environment, mostly outdoors, so you really get a beautiful international flavor in the videos.

Here’s a great version of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” that they’ve done:

AB — 28 April 2009

Best argument for remixing: Watch this video

Just today I saw a video that is probably the best argument I have ever seen in favor of remixing. Please watch and listen to Mother of All Funk Chords. Fantastic!

Here the author explains how he makes his remixed music videos.

If you prefer an intellectual argument over an experiential one, see this video lecture by Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig. Lessig has spoken at some of our meetings at the Institute for Innovation in Large Organizations (ILO). See Lessig’s blog here.

Lessig is probably the best thinker around remixing and interesting to listen to. But watching Mother of all Funk Chords is a lot more fun.

AB — 10 March 2009