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songs in the tubes

First watch the video:


Julien posted about this vid, and I watched, and listened, and had a visceral reaction … which, when I later read Julien’s comments, turned out to be very similar to his.

There are so many things to love about this vid, and much to make you ponder about how we react to unfamiliar situations – even such wonderful ones.

First off – what a great rebuilding of an old classic Phil Collins tune, given a whole new life & spirit from this performance. It’s something so much more – or at least so totally different from the original. New art builds on old art, so lets be careful about how we treat our art. Next, why do we prefer to buy music than make it? And why does music in public places make us so uncomfortable? Look at all those stiff people being treated to a truly fantastic musical performace, and how long it takes them to loosen up (note that even the song is built to shake them lose … there’s that pause when people think it’s over, and then they start up again, and people are finally grooving). But watching this (I’m one of those awkward guys, who gets nervous when stuff like this happens), I kept thinking, man these guys are bold. I’d be staring at my shoes – even if I were in the band. Other notes: do you miss Video Hits? Or do you think this is a better way to find new music? (I mean the youtubes of the world, not the Parisien metro).


Watch the Fancy Produced Video. Which do you like better? Why?

By the way, the band is Naturally 7. Question: do you think their music career has been hurt by putting this video up on the net for free?


  1. Steve Steve 2007-03-22

    I’m thinking the presence of a few cameras filming them gave this particular group a sense of legitimacy that you wouldn’t normally find with buskers on the subway.

  2. Hugh Hugh 2007-03-22

    well, to be fair they are a professional group of musicians, with albums etc – not regular buskers … and i assume the filming was planned. but i’d argue that their legitimacy comes from the music itself.

  3. Mat Mat 2007-03-22

    Well the subway version conveys a certain emotion and experience that the produced version does not. However, with production you benefit from the layering, the sound quality is outstanding.

    So the audiophile in me prefers the produced version (at least in terms of sound) but the human in me prefers the subway!

  4. Shawna Shawna 2007-03-22

    hah! nice. Almost every time I’m on a subway / metro.. I am wishing for something like this to happen, something spontaneousness and fun that connects the closely crowded individuals who all seem to be interested in their feet ;)

    Was also noting that sharing an experience has moved a step up from “you shoulda been there” … to “here… watch, listen…see!” :) cool

  5. Hugh Hugh 2007-03-23

    mat: i listened on my laptop speakers, and didn’t notice an appreciable difference … but I’m curious about how people react to the images, not so much the sound. and why they might react differently.

    shawna: yes, my pal miriam said (paraphrase): “crazy: people are too embarassed to dance or smile, but instead they’ll record it and show it to other people. they’ll enjoy it later!”

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