📅 Posted 2021-04-06
I was chatting at a recent family gathering about some of the great content on YouTube - to the point where I’ve practically given up on regular “TV” (streaming or broadcast) and go seeking for other interesting content from outside of the ‘regular’ media fold.
This is nothing new of course, but I figured it would be good to share some of my picks including why I turn to these creators. Some have millions of followers and others only have a few thousand. But they’re all doing such a great job that I could almost legitimise “YouTuber” as a career choice. It’s what the Cool Kids™ are doing these days, so I’m told.
While I’m on the topic of YouTube, it’s so hard to imagine it originally launched as a dating site in 2005 - crazy but true.
I’ll cover a few different categories, but even then some of these are a bit fluid as you’ll find out while you read.
And this is yet another installment that shows you can literally write a blog about anything, right!?
(Subscriber counts are as at writing and included as an interesting data point only!)
I’ve been trying to get into more music of late. I think I started to try and immerse myself in music in the last couple of years but COVID & 2020 really kicked things into gear with so much more time being spent at home. Thus having more opportunity to play piano or… watch YouTube, I guess 😊.
Video essays, lessons and vlogs on new horizons in music and music theory. NYC-based bass player and composer Adam Neely brings you a new video every Monday exploring what music means, and what it means to be a musician.
Adam is such a super talented musician that it makes me feel so honoured to be able to learn so much from him. This of course has it’s disadvantages sometimes! His videos get rather technical at times, so when the music theory is dialled up to 11, I think I probably understand about 35% of the content. But I think on repeat viewings, things do start to become a little clearer.
He also has some great historical analysis pieces too, which really make you stop to think more about the music we’re so accustomed to hearing and playing that there’s a whole wide world of other great music out there (and no, I’m not talking about free jazz for once).
I also love the random humour bits (like the “bass” in yo face clip, repetition legitimises, repetition legitimises, repetition legitimises) and other bits and pieces which you’ll pick up over time. Kinda like in-jokes, I guess?
We play jazz arrangements of video game tunes and occassionally do other things loosely related to music and/or games.
So I put it to you: video games + jazz, what could possibly go wrong?
Nothing, that’s right!
These guys played at our wedding (with an instrumental of the Pokemon TV show theme, heh) but they’re also just super tight and in the pocket. And if you like a bit of jazz with the flavour of vampires this is your bag. Trust me.
J-Pop Meets Jazz - NYC’s J-Pop Jazz Band. We’re dedicated to bringing new perspectives to Japanese music!
Continuing on the “video game + jazz” covers is the New York outfit called J-MUSIC Ensemble. Their Persona 5 covers (full album on Bandcamp) is top notch to the point where I loaded a copy on an MD so I could play it in the car. That’s probably just me though.
I could say these guys are the American version of The Consouls but who cares who came first, their style is different yet I like them both. They also happen to hang out with Adam Neely sometimes. Double down!
Definitely check this band out!
This channel is dedicated to spreading all kinds of music from around the world, including some classic stuff and some very obscure/ rare old gems.
This channel features original content and also a top-notch selection of ‘old’, rare crate digging. It reminds me of selecting random unheard-of Fusion Jazz tracks and playing them on community radio… only we’re talking about 200K+ followers! Yikes. More original content is on their Bandcamp site.
My random pick for today would be the self-titled album by Spin. Clavinet fans unite!
Enjoying the best and worst of new and old technology.
Matt’s sense of humour is decidedly British and I think the world is a better place for it to be that way. He’s also hooked on obscure and outdated media formats (like Minidisc ❤️) and this pleases me very much.
He has a rather irreverant way of reviewing technologies - particularly dud ones - and also looks back through time to provide a decent history of the context of when the technology was invented, by whom, why, how and who for.
An example is he recently reviewed a ‘smart’ mug which costs 55 GBP and required a firmware update… so ridiculously expensive and unecessary, but he delivers his videos in such a way that you could never get angry at him.
I also respect his partner/family who obviously have to share their house with his keen interest in random old tech devices, often which are broken and often in need of a new drive belt (doesn’t everyone have a pile of dead tape decks with gooey belts?).
Videos highlighting old technologies, like CRT monitors, classic video games, vintage computers, arcade machines and more.
At the moment Steve is my only creator that I’m sponsoring on Patreon. He’s leading the charge in getting the right advice out there about classic CRT TVs and monitors and his knowledge of Sony PVM and BVM “pro” / “broadcast” spec monitors is well-respected. He’s also highly responsive to questions which is super handy.
There’s definitely a bit of a following of ex-broadcast gear for vintage video games - which were designed for CRTs - and judging by the recent explosion of prices on eBay, this is one to watch.
But then, nothing really beats tearing up some Super Mario World or Final Fantasy VII on a TV which was designed for something a lot more serious!
Modern Vintage Gamer
I love Modern, I love Retro. Tech, Hardware, Gaming.
Dimitris Giannakis, better known as MVG, has a great set of deep-dive ‘programming’ analysis of “how did they do that?” and other highly technical videos on the production side of some of the best gaming feats in the past. I especially like his coverage of specific hacks for consoles, especially when it comes to ‘impossible’ game ports, the homebrew scene, copy protection and DRM over the years.
What’s interesting about MVG is he covers emerging topics and gaming news really fast - as it happens - and it feels like he gets on top of the latest topics really fast, especially when there are emerging techniques on classic platforms (people are still working on old hacks - lovely!).
The Gaming Historian is a documentary series all about the history of video games. The show is researched, written, edited, and created by Norman Caruso.
Norman covers really in-depth historical pieces of some of the most interesting (to me) era of video games, which is mostly from the 80s to the 90s. He covers all manners of things Nintendo, Sega, LJN, Wolfenstein, Pac Man… and how odd-ball would Mega Man be on DOS!?
I also love the “NES-cartridge-as-a-book” icon.
But mostly I’m attracted to the sheer effort in researching and producing these videos. So, as a result, new videos don’t come up all that often, so we’re talking a run rate of about 14 a year. Actually, that’s pretty good!
Other Random Stuff
We make Honest Government Ads.
I love great satire and thejuicemedia has really honed their delivery over the years. They’re a bit like an alternate Chaser, only with less IRL stunts. Some videos also have a “PG” version for teachers/students which I think is a nice touch because more people need to understand the really dumb shenigans that go on in politics and ask the question, “uh, wot?”.
I can’t wait for the next Honest Government Ad from the Australien Government.
I’ll make videos about anything I think is interesting.
This description is apt. I discovered the channel because of the crazy nut-baggery tour going from Europe to China in an old Peugeot 306 (I used to drive one, but it never left Australia…), however the videos are super engaging and they have this almost 2005 Flash-esque quality which makes it feel almost nostalgic to me. That is, it’s really well produced but also obviously thrown together in some sort of basic graphics editing program. Which is to say, this shouldn’t change. I like the style.
Lock Picking Lawyer
This channel aims to educate consumers about weaknesses and defects in security devices so they can make better security decisions.
Wow, I had no idea this channel has the most subscribers out of every in this blog! Turns out writing short videos about locking picking pulls the crowds. Who would’ve thought?
I think the sub 5 minute running time of lots of the videos mean they’re really snackable and despite really really really wanting him to fail to open locks, he pretty much always succeeds. It makes me feel really insecure knowing how flawed all of these locks are, though. And he’s a lawyer.
Well, that’s your lot for now. Who do you subscribe to on YouTube or a similar site?
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