It was the freshest move I’d ever seen. Like ‘e was floatin’ on air.

Remember the Utah Saints, a Wonder whose One Hit was a spiffy little track “Something Good” consisting of three minutes of a throbbing dance beat with a sample from Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” playing over it repeatedly? Apparently they’re, like, still alive and stuff, and they just put out a fun little video.

In it we learn about the mysterious phenomenon that took place on St. David’s Day, 1989, in a little Cardiff nightclub… Lost to history till now, though it has surely affected countless lives.

If I not only remember when this song came out, but remember thinking, back then, “yeah, it’s kinda fun, but it ain’t nothing like as cool as the Kate Bush song it samples…” does that make me… old?

Synchronicity: I was listening to a Kate Bush song (“Joanni”) when I saw somebody link to this song on a message board and followed the link…

White & Donny

When the video for Weird Al’s “White & Nerdy” came out, though it’s all good in a Weird Al kind of way, I found myself mesmerized in particular by the incredibly enthusiastic, goofy guy dancing behind Al in some of the segments…

a guy who turned out to be Donny Osmond. (Al: “I asked him to be in the video because he was the whitest guy I could think of.”) (Me: egads, how old must he be by now? He’s dancing with the energy of a five year old! A five year old on speed!)

Imagine my glee when I discovered that Al had posted to youtube the first take of that dance sequence — with the Donny Dance behind the Gangsta Al, in front of a greenscreen, for the whole song.

You’d think it would get old during the three minute song. You’d think Donny would run out of dance moves. You’d be wrong.

Wir Tanzen Ado’ Hynkel

I’m the only person I know who really digs Laibach. (Joe introduced me to it, of course, so he is the Ur-Laibach fan, but I don’t know if he digs it quite so much these days as back around 1990 or so…) I keep trying to share it with people, and they keep hating it.

Besides their original stuff, Laibach has covered:

One of their more accessible and recent songs, is Tanz Mit Laibach, which as the title of this blog entry notes, calls out in its lyrics to the Charlie Chaplin film The Great Dictator…

So what’s not to like?

Yeah, I know. Next week I’ll get over it, and have an unhealthy obsession with some other weird artist… But Laibach will still be their own special kind of awesome.

A Tasty Video Recipe

I like to download videos from youtube using the magically delicious DownloadHelper. Especially music videos. The only sad thing is that the video quality tends to be poor, and it can only get worse if you convert it to a less crappy format than the standard flv — such as mp4 for example.

But Youtube is being kind to us. Many, many videos on youtube, if not all, are available in a higher quality format — in fact, mp4, the format that is standard for things like iPods. The magic you do to get the higher quality is take the youtube url and add “&fmt=18” to it. That’s all. Just add that to the address in the address bar and reload and you will get a higher quality video, which you can then download with downloadhelper. You might need to change the .flv extension to .mp4 to play it back with Quicktime.

There’s also a thing in Youtube’s account preferences you can set to get higher quality stuff by default, but I don’t think it’s the same — I think (not sure) it gives you the fmt=6 version. (there are at least two different higher quality settings, &fmt=6 and &fmt=18 — I think the &fmt=6 is better than the default but not mp4-encoded like &fmt=18.)

There’s a greasemonkey userscript to do the fmt=18 for you.

UPDATE: if you see something in the menu called Video.mp4 that’s guaranteed to be the good stuff. I think it also shows up under other names sometimes too — downloadhelper sometimes offers several links to the same video so it’s confusing.

UPDATE: it ain’t just video. The audio is *noticeably* better in the higher quality downloads. Much crisper, makes the old kind sound muddy in comparision.