Jesse Jarnow

iTube

I love the democracy of YouTube. Search for “Wilco,” and the first results (for now, anyway), include unofficial music videos, what appears to be a Dutch school play (whose keywords include “robot,” “funny,” “hardcore,” and “zelfgemaakt”), and some kids partying in the basement of a dude named Wilco. Then comes footage of the band, but first shaky audience-shot bootlegs, before finally getting to the TV appearances and music videos, and Wilco covers by random people who thought it’d be a swell idea to cover Wilco and put it on YouTube.

Anyway, some of my favorite (non-Wilco) YouTube discoveries:
o Yo La Tengo attend Mr. Show’s rock academy in the “Sugarcube” video.
o Brian Wilson performs “Surf’s Up” solo on a Leonard Bernstein television special in 1966. (Bonus: 1992′s “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” in which the Boys cram bikini babes, old ladies, children, and John Stamos into three-and-a-half minutes of glorious, uh, hot fun.)
o Wes Anderson shills pleasantly for American Express.
o Jerry Garcia rubs elbows with Hugh Hefner during the Grateful Dead’s 1969 appearance on Playboy After Dark. (Hef was later dosed by the band.)
o Jeff Mangum sings “Engine.”

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