The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen 014: Man vs. Machines


If you believe the prophet Frank Herbert, all these wondrous machines we create and refine will one day become so advanced as to attain sentient consciousness. After that, they will get tired of doing all our dirty work and throw off the tenuous yoke with which we have harnessed them. An age of human genocide and enslavement will soon follow.

Sorry to break it to you, but it’s gonna happen.

But don’t worry. Thanks to a bunch of brainy and courageous rebels, we humans will again tame the machines, and return to a more simplistic lifestyle, even if it takes millennia and the destruction of Earth, our beloved home planet.

Also, you and I will be long gone before these catastrophes take place.

So, buck up. It’s OK to enjoy this week’s The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen, devoted to the musical encounters between men and machines. And, as usual, if you missed last week’s TGVYES, be sure to check them out at your leisure.

Here we go, it’s The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen, Mechapocalypse style.

Starting off, we have The Original Junkyard Band, purveyors of the D.C. Go-go style. The Junkyard Band were just kids, and they were definitely not the first to use the Go-go rhythm, but you can see from the video that they elicited a raw response with their armada of recycled instruments and songs. Their most famous song today is “Sardines”, which is awesome. They were known for playing music on just about anything, like hubcaps, traffic cones, pots, pans, toy horns, cowbells, and paint cans. Hence, the name, The Junkyard Band.

OK, so it’s a bit of a stretch, classifying paint containers as machines destined to destroy the world, I know. But allow me to spitball for a moment:

Imagine a scenario where the paint cans become too smart for their own good. They begin communicating telepathically with the hubcaps and traffic cones. They form an unholy alliance based on their mutual hatred of getting pounded on by little kids. They enlist the help of the pots, pans, and toy horns. In the final stroke, they convince the cowbells to join the crusade. Then, they synthesize into an evil, Voltron-like creature with impenetrable armor that thirsts only for human blood. What then? WHAT THEN?!?!

I’ll tell you what. We humans take to the underground sewer system that nobody ever knew about, but is improbably vast and habitable, that’s what. We live like rats. I don’t like that version of the future, but it could happen. Be prepared.

And what better place for the Robocalypse to begin than Washington, D.C., the birthplace of the crack epidemic? I’m just sayin’…

However, this is a phenomenal video, starting with the super janky commercials that bookend it. So check it out. And, by the way, this video comes via a fabulous blog that is worth checking out, for sure.

The Original Junkyard Band [Youtube Video]

This next one also comes via Thanks, dudes.

We’ve all seen turntables, I’m sure. We’re all accustomed to turntablism, probably. But have we seen a turntablist utilize record scratching to simulate a jazzy trumpet solo? If you’re familiar with Kid Koala, you have.

But what happens when the turntables get fed up with being scratched and pitch-shifted? What happens when they get bored of spinning at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute? That’s the day when the turntables rise and overthrow this puny civilization, scratching us to death with their razor-sharp styli and establishing a tyrannical dictatorship where humans and vinyl alike are enslaved.

It’s a chilling vision of the future, for sure. And what better person to initiate the coming Turntable Transgression than a dude who did the scratches on Deltron 3030?

Not cool, Kid Koala. Be kind to your record player.

Kid Koala’s “Drunken Trumpet” [Youtube Video]


This Congolese band, Konono Nº1 is another kind of junkyard type thingie, this time from Africa. I’m gonna be lazy and jack this description straight outta Wikipedia, just cuz I have been drinking too much palm wine:

“They combine three electric likembé (a traditional instrument similar to the mbira) with voices, dancers, and percussion instruments that are made out of items salvaged from a junkyard. The group’s amplification equipment is equally rudimentary, including a microphone carved out of wood fitted with a magnet from an automobile alternator and a gigantic horn-shaped amplifier.”

This is some of the strangest and coolest music I have ever heard. I love it. I hope their electric likembé never try to dominate the planet and galaxy because I would hate to have to smash them with the butt end of my palm wine calabash.

However: what better place for The Homemade Instrument Junkyard Rebellion to originate than the continent that gave us Ebola?

Konono Nº1 [Youtube Video]




I’m most scared of this guy, Araabmuzik. He might just be the Machine Overlord to Rule Them All. I am worried that he is a robot and simply blending in right now, biding his time until the right moment arrives and – BLAM! – we’ve got computer keys for teeth and electrodes where the grey matter’s supposed to be pulsing.

I mean, look at this dude’s hands, or the blurs that pass for hands.

That’s not human. And, sorry to belabor the point, but…what better place for the impending Android Antagonism to emanate from than…France?

Araabmuzik Killin’ the MPC Live in Paris [Youtube Video]

So that was The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen, Robot Apocalypse Edition.

Pardon me now, I am furiously studying how to kill robots.


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