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Musical Space

Musical Space: Music Video Podcasts


Video podcasts are just like the audio podcasts I talked about a few weeks ago, but with the added video dimension. This is a broad category, and I don’t even know what to call them: videocasts, vodcasts, or vlogs. They’re made by small groups for a niche audience on a tiny budget - often just someone in their living room using their phone cameras. But the good ones share a plucky, DIY spirit and they create content that is more unusual, informative, and personal than anything on commercial TV.

These are usually just YouTube channels, and since YouTube provides free hosting, why not? One of my favorites is What’s in my bag?, from a famous indie record store chain in California. Sure, this one is an advertisement - isn’t everything on the internet just an advertisement? - - but their Webby-award winning YouTube channel could become your next favorite music discovery service. I’m also digging Tales From The Tour Bus, a series made for Cinemax by filmmaker Mike Judge where he animates raunchy musician road stories.

Public radio, ironically, also makes great video: All Songs Considered, KEXP and The Current – and did you know you can watch Live From Here? I put live concert streaming in the same category as video podcasts. Tiny New York jazz clubs like Smalls and The Blue Note are reaching big audiences on the web.

Shows like these are becoming the way I interact with music. YouTube can be a lot of things, good and bad, but with the right curator, it can be cool.


Listening List:


Limited only to music mentioned by comedians on What’s In My Bag?


Sometimes it’s the non-musicians who turn me on to the most interesting things

A deep question: who are the heroes of our heroes?

Comedians make their living getting reactions from audiences, so they should know a lot about music.

From the Bob Odenkirk episode: https://www.amoeba.com/whats-in-my-bag/detail/499/

Elvis Costello, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” Spectacular Spinning Songbook


Sam Cooke, “Somebody Have Mercy,” Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 (1985)
Too raw to be released when it was recorded, tapes were shelved for over 20 years.

From the Eric Andre episode: https://www.amoeba.com/whats-in-my-bag/detail/596/

Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, Vince Tempera, Operazione Kappa: Sparate a Vista (1977),  Beretta 70: Roaring Themes From Italian Police Films (compilation 1998)
Wow this is cool. 70’s B-movie style.                                   

Éthiopiques Volume 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969–1974
Mulatu Astatke, “Yèkèrmo Sèw” (1969)
Known as the father of “Ethio-Jazz.” Studied in New York and London, fused American Jazz with his native Ethiopian sounds. This is actually a cover of Horace Silver’s “Song for my Father.”


From the Fred Armisen episode: https://www.amoeba.com/whats-in-my-bag/detail/568/

Petra Haden, “Theme From a Fistful of Dollars,” Petra Haden Goes to the Movies (2013),
Completely acapella. Wow, check out her Wikipedia page.


From the Jason Mantzoukas episode: https://www.amoeba.com/whats-in-my-bag/detail/1073/
He’s been invited to act in a million comedy TV shows and from his taste in music you can tell why.

Konono No. 1, "Lufuala Ndonga" Congotronics (2004),

Gal Costa, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7sbZkhdsFc
Or check out the “India” album

The Meters, Look-Ka Py Py , The Meters, (1974)


What’s In My Bag? https://www.amoeba.com/whats-in-my-bag/#/grid/1

Tales from the Tour Bus: https://www.cinemax.com/mike-judge-presents-tales-from-the-tour-bus

All Songs Considered: https://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/

KEXP: http://kexp.org/

The Current: https://www.thecurrent.org/ Check out their MicroShow series

Live From Here: https://www.livefromhere.org/shows

Smalls live stream: https://www.smallslive.com/events/live-stream/

The Blue Note: http://www.bluenotejazz.com/live/index.html