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Here’s the good news about the Indian elections: it looks like about 65% of this country is going to come out and vote. That’s about 650 million people. That’s more than the combined populations of the three countries I visited last month (I think). Here’s the bad news: Varun Gandhi, Mallika Sarabhai, Meera Sanyal and a host of other seemingly inept people are running in the elections but Dr. KC (see below) is not.

Just when the heart swells with pride at what an Indian is doing with YouTube, Sasha Frere-Jones points us to a random Jewish school dropout who lives in a village called Zichron Yarov. They don’t even have a music store there. Under these circumstances, he does what most people would do. Download music for free somewhat manically. While this generally leads to the downloader turning into what nitpickers and the recording industry calls pirates, Kutiman proves he is something of a genius. He downloaded hundreds of YouTube videos of and then spliced them together. So one song leads into another song to create a new song. The results are fantastic and great fun. See Thru-you.com to figure out what I’m explaining very badly (if I wasn’t supposedly writing a book, I might have had the time to work on improving the phrasing of this post) and definitely see the 8th video. In the battle of ironic cool versus seriously cool, seriously cool wins hands down. Sorry Dr. KC.

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11 thoughts on “Rock it. Ya.

    • Not quite. For one thing, they jam on YouTube instead of a garage and they don’t even know they’re jamming. Of course the idea of crafting a new song out of noises and fragments is awesome but it also offers the possibility of YouTube becoming something like a virtual studio. So what I’m saying is that if Kutiman and YouTube had been around in the 1980s, Paul Simon could have made Graceland without spending months in South Africa.

  1. No no, you’re getting me all wrong. As a Mac user, I’m sure you’re familiar with a nifty little program called Garageband that allows you to make your own music by making use of pre-existing clips. Hence my contention that Thru You, while fab, is a glammed up Garageband (note use of caps and unlikely spacing: indicative of a proper noun).

  2. Also, The Avalanches do essentially the same thing. The only difference here is that Kutiman uses video so we can all actually see exactly what he’s done, which is what makes it so much more fascinating.

  3. Zigzackly. To actually see how a tuneless honk by an Asian kid on a trumpet can turn into music is pretty awesome.

    Apologies about not picking up you were referring to the program. I just thought hanging around non-English speakers might be rubbing off on you or something.

  4. i will have to wait until tomorrow to do the utube thing.

    but i love the above conversation 😀

    did being around non-english speakers rub off on you, then …? 😛

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