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kottke.org posts about remix

Finnish Bluegrass Band Covers AC/DC’s Thunderstruck

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 21, 2024

This video is 9 years old and has 169 million views so I’m possibly the last person on Earth to see it,1 but I ran across a clip of it on Instagram the other day and just had to share. Steve ‘n’ Seagulls is a country band from Finland that went viral for their covers of classic rock tunes, including AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”:

I love the way this starts off — and it seems to have become somewhat of a bit in subsequent videos. Open Culture has more in a post from August 2014. Kottke.org: only the freshest viral content for you!

See also AC/DC’s Thunderstruck on the bagpipes, ukelele cover of Thunderstruck, and Thunderstruck accompanied by a washing machine. (Does the internet get any better than this?)

  1. The Earth’s present population being, of course, 169,000,001.

Mr. Bean, to the Tune of Bush’s Glycerine

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 20, 2024

Ok, this video is targeted at a pretty small audience and is super goofy, but it hit me square in the forehead and so I can’t help but post it here: it’s footage from Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean with Bush’s 1994 alternative rock hit Glycerine playing over it. And yes, there is a change of lyrics at a critical point. 100/100, no notes. (via @jamesjm)

The Age of Realistic AI-Generated Video Is Here

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 16, 2024

OpenAI unveiled their prototype video generator called Sora. It does text-to-video and a ton more. Just check out the videos here and here — I literally cannot believe what I’m seeing.

For reference, this is what AI-generated video looked like a year ago. For more context and analysis, check out Marques Brownlee video about Sora:

(via waxy)

Doom Runs on E. Coli Bacteria Now

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 01, 2024

Yeah, you heard me: the 1993 video game Doom, which has been ported to every platform imaginable (an Apple Pippin, a jailbroken John Deere tractor, a Peloton), can now run on a display made of phosphorescent E. coli bacteria.

Ramlan’s paper doesn’t go to the enormous trouble of actually encoding all of Doom to run in bacterial DNA, which the author describes as “a behemoth feat that I cannot even imagine approaching.” Instead, the game runs on a standard computer, with isolated E. coli cells in a standard 32x48 microwell grid serving as a crude low-res display.

After shrinking each game frame down to a 32x48 black-and-white bitmap, Ramlan describes a system whereby a display controller uses a well-known chemical repressor-operator pair to induce each individual cell in the grid to either express a fluorescent protein or not. The resulting grid of glowing bacteria (which is only simulated in Ramlan’s project) can technically be considered a display of Doom gameplay, though the lack of even grayscale shading makes the resulting image pretty indecipherable, to be honest.

Technicalities aside, that’s still pretty cool.

What Would a Car-Optimized Hellscape Look Like in the UK?

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 01, 2024

Kyle Branchesi has created some fanciful “urban oddities” that imagine different locales in the UK being fully optimized for cars. For instance, here are Buckingham Palace and Westminster:

Buckingham Palace in the midst of a huge parking lot

The Palace of Westminster with massive expressways running through it

Writes Branchesi:

Amidst a political landscape where the ‘war on motorists’ is wielded as a populist tool, this series captures a future where this rhetoric has prevailed. The transformation of UK landmarks like Stonehenge into vast vehicular realms underscores the absurdity and danger of prioritizing short-term political gains over sustainable urban planning. These images mirror the contentious debates in the UK, challenging the narrative that prioritizes car ownership at the expense of public health and environmental sustainability.

Of course, in an America engineered by Robert Moses and his acolytes, many of those images don’t even look that far-fetched.

Perfect Friday Thing: Emoji Kitchen

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 12, 2024

Ok, if you haven’t seen this before (or even if you have), I need to warn you that Emoji Kitchen is just a little bit addictive. They’re mashup apps for making new emoji like these:

a variety of emojis created from exisitng emojis

Curiously, the eggplant seems to be missing from both kitchens… 🤔

Update: I switched the Emoji Kitchen link to the proper URL at Google. From Jennifer Daniel:

Sadly, the site you link to about emoji kitchen (.dev) is not mine. This developer has taken my artwork without permission 😐 and worse, hosts a repo so others can steal it too

Here’s more from Daniel about the project.

The Ferris Bueller Finale With Music From Inception

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 12, 2024

One of the many reasons that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off works so well as a film is that the music kicks ass *and* it meshes so well with the action. In the heyday of MTV, this was no accident — parts of the movie function almost as elaborate music videos. No scene illustrates this more than when Ferris is hurrying across backyards and through homes to beat his parents & sister back to the house. As good as that scene is, I think Todd Vaziri improved it by re-cutting it to music from Inception. So good!

The SUPERs

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 11, 2024

Bert from Sesame Street and Velma from Scooby Doo posed like Superman

Steve Zissou and Pee-wee Herman posed like Superman

a number of familiar characters posed like Superman

a number of familiar characters posed like Superman

Using an iconic Superman pose, artist Mike Mitchell has translated all sorts of familiar characters onto that pose, including C-3PO, Velma from Scooby Doo, Charlie Brown, Ned Flanders, Pee-wee Herman, Bert from Sesame Street, Steve Zissou, and Spongebob Squarepants. Here’s an animation of all them. (via moss & fog)

Regulate: Warren G × Kenny G

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 02, 2024

I had no idea this existed: back in 2015, rapper Warren G and saxophonist Kenny G came together to perform Warren G’s Regulate. Now, I’m not sure the smooth jazz saxophone improves the song at all, but I love that some mad genius was like, we need to get the two Gs together and then made it happen.

Ministry of Sound’s The Annual - Millennium Edition

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 22, 2023

I listened to Ministry of Sound’s The Annual - Millennium Edition on heavy repeat in my mid 20s. What a treat it is to rediscover it on Soundcloud:

It’s an unofficial upload so who knows how long it will last. The three song mix by Judge Jules at the beginning of the first disc is still one of my all-time favorite mixes — I’m dancing in my chair to it right now.

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor × Insomnia by Faithless

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 22, 2023

The Ministry of Sound did a show back in September at the Royal Albert Hall where they re-imagined classic 90s dance music (Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, etc.) backed by a 50-piece orchestra and vocalists. I found out about this via organist Anna Lapwood’s Instagram, where she posted a clip of her participation in the show: playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor as a lead-in to Insomnia by Faithless. I enjoyed the captions but the sound on her video is not great; I found this video on YouTube with much better sound (relevant part starts at the 4:15 mark):

I would love to have seen this live…I’d have lost my mind at this part. Sometimes I think I love remixes, mashups, and covers more than the original versions.

Dolly Parton’s Cover of Purple Rain

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 20, 2023

For her new album Rockstar, Dolly Parton has covered a number of “iconic rock anthems”, including Heart of Glass (feat. Debbie Harry), Stairway to Heaven (feat. Lizzo on the flute), I Hate Myself For Loving You (feat. Joan Jett and The Blackhearts), and Every Breath You Take (feat. Sting). She also recorded a lovely rendition of Prince’s Purple Rain, embedded above. The entire Rockstar video playlist is here.

See also Prince’s cover of Radiohead’s Creep. (via anil dash)

Time Lapse Video of a Massive Lego Build of The Great Wave off Kanagawa

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 30, 2023

Lego master Jumpei Mitsui spent over 400 hours building a 3D version of Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa out of 50,000 Lego bricks — you can watch a time lapse of the construction in the video above. The build was included at an exhibition of Hokusai’s work at the MFA in Boston:

In order to create Hokusai’s Wave in three dimensions, he made a detailed study of rogue waves and their characteristics. He also drew on childhood memories of waves near his family home at Akashi on the Inland Sea.

The video slows down to realtime in spots, so you can see how fast he’s actually building (quite fast). And you can also see the level of trial and error involved as he builds and then un-builds the waves until he’s happy with them. (via the kid should see this)

Our Frasier Remake

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 12, 2023

Over 130 animators, actors, filmmakers, and even puppeteers joined forces to remake a 1994 episode of the TV show Frasier called My Coffee With Niles. The episode was split into 185 sections, each 6-12 seconds long, and a different animator or filmmaker took charge of each section. Love this…just an incredible array of styles on display here.

You can read more about the project on their Instagram account. (via @spiritduplicator.bsky.social)

Update: Cartoon Brew has an interview with the project leader about how it all came together.

Eminem’s Lose Yourself, the Super Mario Bros Edition

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 25, 2023

There I Ruined It is fast becoming one of my favorite web delights — musician Dustin Ballard remixes and mashes beloved songs in an attempt to ruin them. The video embedded above features Eminem’s Lose Yourself sung to the tune of the Super Mario Bros theme song…and it makes me laugh every time I watch it.

You can check out more of There I Ruined It on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

P.S. My idea for a song to ruin: the Happy Days theme song, but it just keeps repeating the days of the week (“Sunday Monday happy days / Tuesday Wednesday happy days…”) in a loop, using the Shepard tone to (seemingly) keep the pitch ever-rising.

The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie Cover Depeche Mode

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 18, 2023

On their current US tour commemorating the 20th anniversaries of their two seminal albums (Give Up and Transatlanticism), The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie have been coming together to perform an encore rendition of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence. The video above is their version of it from last weekend’s show in New Haven, which I attended and very much enjoyed, but there are several other versions to choose from on YouTube: Boston, Wash DC, Portland, Rhode Island, etc.

The iPhone Alarm as a Piano Ballad

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 14, 2023

If you expand the default iPhone alarm into a piano ballad, it sounds quiet lovely actually. The sheet music is available here.

See also Steve Reich Is Calling, two iPhones ringing at slightly different tempos.

Disney+ to Air a Real-Time Toy Story Version of an NFL Game

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 14, 2023

This is pretty clever actually: Disney+ and ESPN+ will air a real-time, Toy Story-ified version of the Oct 1st Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons NFL game. From Deadline:

Using the NFL’s Next Gen Stats and on-field tracking data, every player and play will be presented in “Andy’s Room,” the familiar, brightly colored setting for the Toy Story franchise. The action will be virtually simultaneous with the main game telecast, with most plays recreated after an expected delay in the neighborhood of about 30 seconds. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and many other characters will be visible throughout, and a press release notes they will be “participating from the sidelines and in other non-gameplay elements.” Along with game action, the announcers, graphics, scoreboard, referees’ penalty announcements, celebrations and other parts of the experience will all be rendered in a Toy Story-centric fashion.

I stopped watching the NFL years ago, but I might tune in to see how this works.

Repurposed Retro Tech Portraits by Nick Gentry

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 12, 2023

portrait of a person's head made out of cassette tapes and VHS tapes

portrait of a twop people's heads made out of cassette tapes and VHS tapes

portrait of a person's head made out of floppy disks

London artist Nick Gentry takes old recording media (VHS tapes, cassette tapes, floppy disks) and turns them into portraits (Instagram). Gentry gets his materials from members of the public:

Made from floppy disks contributed by members of the public. As a social art project, the process is open to everyone. Find out how to recycle and include your obsolete materials in future artworks by getting in touch.

(via colossal)

Very Minimalist Movie Posters

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 18, 2023

movie poster for Superman featuring a red streak over a blue background

movie poster for Return of the Jedi featuring two colored lines representing light sabers

movie poster for The Hunt for Red October featuring a red circular display that looks like sonar

movie poster for Back to the Future that features two streaks that look like flaming tire tracks

There’s minimalism and then there’s these classic movie posters from Michal Krasnopolski. Each poster is based on a simple grid of a circle, a square, and four intersecting lines. It would be a challenge to come up with a poster for every movie in this style, but the ones he picked work really well. (via moss & fog)

The Most Iconic Hip-Hop Sample of Every Year (1973-2023)

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 14, 2023

This started off a little slow for me but once it hit the early-to-mid 80s, I was hooked — and bobbing my head uncontrollably throughout. The visualizations really help you see how the various samples were modified, repeated, and layered to achieve the desired sounds — geniuses at work. Man, watching stuff like this makes me want to learn how to do this. (via waxy

Radiohead x Kendrick Lamar

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 02, 2023

A NYC DJ named Dwells released this mashup of Radiohead’s Everything In Its Right Place and Kendrick Lamar’s N95 back in March and I love it:

You can also find it on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I ran across it when Radiohead shared a snippet of it on TikTok.

FWIW, Dwells seems to be the same DJ Dwells that won the NYC regional of the prestigious DMC DJ competition when he was just 13 years old. (via @jessicabrillhart)

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Recreated in Wisconsin

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2023

a photographic recreation of Georges Seurat's famous impressionist painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

In 2006, photographer Mark Preuschl recreated Georges Seurat’s famous impressionist painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte in Beloit, WI with a group of volunteers. Here’s the original for reference:

Georges Seurat's famous impressionist painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

From My Modern Met:

In conceiving this tableau vivant, the organizers wanted to keep things modern. Thus, all participants are wearing contemporary clothes with umbrellas substituted in for the 19th-century parasols. Though the team was organized, they weren’t quite prepared for what mother nature threw their way the day of the shoot. Preuschl recalls winds of 20 to 25 mph coming off the river, as well as clouds that didn’t allow for the shadows they were so desperately looking for. Luckily, there was a window of about 25 minutes when the sun came out and cast those shadows.

He really couldn’t have scouted that location any better…it matches the original pretty well. Who knew you could find Belle Époque Paris in southern Wisconsin?

New Woodblock Prints of Hokusai’s Previously Unpublished “Book of Everything”

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 28, 2023

a woodblock print of an original drawing by Hokusai depicting a figure resting on the head of a dragon

This is pretty cool: in collaboration with the British Museum, a team led by woodblock printmaker David Bull (who I first wrote about back in 20051) is carving woodblocks and creating prints from a series of previously unpublished drawings by legendary Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

The Museum has in their possession a group of drawings by Hokusai that were apparently intended for use in the production of a series of books. For reasons unknown to us now that project was cancelled, but the drawings survived, and we have selected 12 of them for a new subscription series.

For more details of the collection of images, please refer to this page of the British Museum website. But here, we can simply note that the drawings fall into a number of categories, and our set will reflect that diversity. Hokusai’s series was intended to take his readers through aspects of Japanese historical culture, and we will meet Buddhist deities, warriors from ancient China, and historical landscapes, along with more prosaic scenes of the natural world.

The print shown above was the first one to be sent out in January. But look at this original drawing from the collection:

an original drawing by Hokusai depicting a man getting killed by a flash of lightning

Wow. That is shockingly modern — like a 60s superhero comic or a still from 60s anime. I hope they reprint this one!

Here’s a video from the British Museum of Bull talking about the project:

If you make woodblock prints for a living, you know the name Hokusai, and if you’re a woodblock carver and you hear about original drawings from Hokusai that have never been carved into prints you would most likely do a little happy dance.

(via open culture)

  1. Hooo boy, there are parts of that post that did not age well. Bull, however, is still doing his thing.

Medium-Res Pixel Illustrations of Jun Kumaori

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2023

pixel illustration of a lemon cut in half

pixel illustration of some birds on a beach

pixel illustration of a dog in the snow wearing colorful lights around its neck

I’m taken with the style of Jun Kumaori’s illustrations — they look like drawings of (stay with me here) small JPEGs converted to GIFs and then clumsily enlarged, complete with all of the resultant digital artifacts. This makes me nostalgic for the late 90s web and Photoshop 3.0. (via the fox is black)

Barbie Girl, in the Style of Six Classical Composers

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 21, 2023

This is fun: Aqua’s pop hit Barbie Girl, redone in the style of six classical composers: Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, and Ravel. (via @Erikmitk)

The Wordy Collages of Toon Joosen

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2023

two men appear to be cleaning the words off of a book page

words from a book page appear to falling on two kids holding an umbrella

a child fishes words off of the page of a book with a net

Among the many creative collages by Dutch art director Toon Joosen is this series of images of people interacting with the pages of books in fun ways. You can check them out on his Instagram or purchase some of them as prints on his Etsy shop.

Barbenheimer

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 13, 2023

mashup movie poster for Barbenheimer (Barbie + Oppenheimer)

Barbenheimer poster by Sean Longmore. Perfect, 10/10, no notes.

Will AI Change Our Memories?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 03, 2023

Photographs have always been an imperfect reproduction of real life — see the story of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother or Ansel Adams’ extensive dark room work — but the seemingly boundless alterations offered by current & future AI editing tools will allow almost anyone to turn their photos (or should I say “photos”) into whatever they wish. In this video, Evan Puschak briefly explores what AI-altered photos might do to our memories.

I was surprised he didn’t mention the theory that when a past experience is remembered, that memory is altered in the human brain — that is, “very act of remembering can change our memories”. I think I first heard about this on Radiolab more than 16 years ago. So maybe looking at photos extensively altered by AI could extensively alter those same memories in our brains, actually making us unable to recall anything even remotely close to what “really” happened. Fun!

But also, one could imagine this as a powerful way to treat PTSD, etc. Or to brainwash someone! Or an entire populace… Here’s Hannah Arendt on constantly being lied to:

If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie — a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days — but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.

As I said in response to this quote in a post about deepfakes:

This is the incredible and interesting and dangerous thing about the combination of our current technology, the internet, and mass media: “a lying government” is no longer necessary — we’re doing it to ourselves and anyone with sufficient motivation will be able to take advantage of people without the capacity to think and judge.

P.S. I lol’d too hard at his deadpan description of “the late Thanos”. RIP, big fella.

What If Ruff, But Too Much?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 28, 2023

painting in a Rococo style of a woman with an absurdly large ruff

painting in a Rococo style of a woman with an absurdly large ruff

painting in a Rococo style of a man with an absurdly large ruff

Love these absurdist portraits of over-luxuriated nobles in the style of Rococo and Baroque European painters by Volker Hermes. You can check out more of his work on Instagram. (via colossal)