Nighttime YouTube

01/25/2011 By Shawn Burns

Adrian was awake for the wee hours of the morning. Every now and then he just wakes up after midnight and decides he’s not tired. That wouldn’t be so bad, if he didn’t also loudly protest being in his crib when he’s not tired.

So, it was a party.

And no party would be complete without music. YouTube to the rescue!!

Neil Gaiman tweeted about the words of a partial tattoo he saw on a girl walking in front of him, and I was off down the corridors of YouTube. The quote reminded me of “Fallin’ and Flyin’” from Crazy Heart: “Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’, for a little while.” I tracked down a lot of versions, but watching this video of the concert scene being filmed at a Toby Keith concert was my favourite. Even more than in the film, Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell look like real country singers here.

Then, since I was already in a Crazy Heart mood I watched a few different versions of “The Weary Kind”. Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell sing it well, but for pure gravel there’s no topping Ryan Bingham’s version.


I also watched a few YouTuber covers of it, and they made me want to do nothing more than buy a decent microphone and start covering songs myself. So when I saw the video demonstrating the finger-picking pattern for the song I watched it to see if the pattern was too complex for an amateur like me.


As a commenter pointed out, the pattern is actually wrong. It sounds nice, but Bingham’s version (and the movie version) starts with the high notes first, not the bass note.

Thinking about guitar songs had me looking for a video I saw once of Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) and Eric Clapton playing “Sultans of Swing” together and Knopfler running it out forever like Clapton did with “Layla”. It was from 1988, at Wembley Stadium during a concert in honour of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday. Now that’s a party.


Something distracted me (easy to do at 2am) and I started watching a capella videos again. I went through a couple of Sam Tsui videos first. This guy blew me away when I first saw him, but the “Michael Jackson Medley” here shows that much of the credit has to go to his arranger and producer, Kurt Schneider.

And who can resist a capella versions of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”? Not this guy. So I found myself watching Berkeley’s a capella group Noteworthy performing their version.


This all made me want to watch Glee clips for a while. Emily hates “Hey Soul Sister” and I don’t blame her. That song is everywhere. But it makes me happy, and the Glee version is really stellar.

Thinking about Glee clips got me thinking about Hulu and some of the SNL Digital Shorts I go back to over and over again. For instance, there’s “I’m On a Boat”, which I love so much I make Erin say “I’m on a boat, mommyhugger don’t you ever forget!”


There are lots of “I’m On a Boat” fan videos, but I found three new favourites.

The Australian and U.S. Navy “I’m On a Boat” videos are pretty awesome. They are definitely on boats. And badass.



For sheer adorability though, there was “I’m On a Plane”, written and performed by a couple of kids.


Somehow I went from “I’m On a Boat” to watching Irish folk music videos: Luke Kelly singing “Black Velvet Band” and Paul Brady singing “Arthur McBride”.



These videos led, somehow to Susan Boyle. Say what you want about her, but her first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent is a really fun watch.


And then, as one does, I transitioned from Susan Boyle to Slash guitar solo videos. Who doesn’t have “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in their blood? This was a cover “Wild Horses”.


Guitar solo after guitar solo followed. I won’t post all of them. But I went back to Mark Knopfler a few more times. Everyone knows Clapton, Hendrix, and Jimmy Page are world class guitarists. But Mark Knopfler deserves way more recognition than he gets. And he’s not just an electric magician. Here’s Knopfler playing an acoustic set with Chet Atkins. It’s truly outstanding. And Knopfler, no slouch, just stares at what Chet is doing, drinking it in. Chet fingerpicks with his whole hand, but Knopfler only uses his thumb and two fingers, for the most part. I don’t know what the first song is, but the second song they play is a duet of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

All of that finger-picking made me look up Narciso Yepes. Segovia is probably a more famous 20th century classical guitarist, but I had a Narciso Yepes tape when I was in high school, right when I was trying to learn how to play the guitar. I would listen to it over and over and over again. He plays a ten-string guitar and it sounds amazing.


Narciso lulled me a little too much, and Adrian was still wide awake. I was done. I woke Emily up and traded YouTube for MeSleep.

I hear tell Adrian stayed awake until 5:30am. Then he had the gall to wake up at 8:30 instead of sleep until noon like a respectable night owl would have.

Hi. I’m sleepy, my kids have too much energy, and Emily is at work now.

Where? YouTube.

That’s kind of funny.