World’s Strangest

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Boys Choirs Dealing with Earlier Puberty

Over the past few years, you’ve probably read about how the age of puberty for girls is getting gradually younger. Surprise! Boys are affected, too. And the phenomenon is causing trouble for the world’s most famous boys choirs. At the venerable St. Thomas Boys Choir, where Bach once drilled pupils in their scales, leaders have redoubled [...]

Squirrel Ballerina

(Video Link) A ground squirrel named Richardson loves to slip into his tutu and dance to Bach’s Third Brandenburg Concerto. And he’s proud enough of his abilities to show them off on YouTube. -via WTF Japan Seriously

Happy 70th Birthday, Paul Simon!

To celebrate the birthday of one of our finest pop composers, we look behind the scenes of his classic song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It was spring 1969. Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were gone. Racial tensions were erupting across the country. The war was raging in Vietnam. What was a sensitive singer-songwriter like Paul Simon [...]

10 Cultural Giants Who Died Coinless

The notion of the starving artist is nothing new, and whether it was because they toiled in obscurity, were swindled or the victims of financial mismanagement, some of the most famous contributors to culture sadly perished in poverty. 1. Vincent van Gogh Though his life was short, Vincent van Gogh left the world with almost 2000 [...]

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on the Big Piano

If you love Tom Hanks playing Chopsticks on the giant piano in Big, you’ll love this: two FAO Schwartz staffers in New York City playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Hit play or go to Link [YouTube]

Touch Wood

(YouTube link) This extremely elaborate three-minute Japanese ad for a cell phone is way more entertaining than it should be. A wooden ball plays Bach’s Cantata 147 in a forest just by rolling down a track designed by Kenjiro Matsuo. No splicing or video magic -this is the actual music played by a contraption that Rube [...]

The Late Movies: Power Ballads

While the days of truly great power ballads (and truly great hair in music videos) have passed, there is always time to sit back and reflect on the glory of a tough-as-nails metal musicians going soft for just one song. Here, we’ve rounded up a bunch of our favorites, but sure to tell us which [...]

Punched Tape Synthesizer

(Video Link) Punched tape is a form of data storage developed in the Nineteenth Century from weavers’ loom cards and used in various forms through the 1980s. The location of holes in a roll of paper indicate code. YouTube user 256byteram made this synthesizer that uses a punched tape reader as his/her entry in a contest [...]

Floppy Disk Drives Playing Toccata and Fugue

(Video Link) We’ve seen floppy disk drives altered to serve as musical instruments, but not quite as sophisticated as this set up by YouTube user FunToTheHead. In this performance, he performs Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor: Features two 3 1/2″ drives and two 5 1/4″ drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. It interfaces to any [...]

A Short History of Long-Haired Music: Amadeus, Part 1

If you missed our previous installments, check out A Short History of Long-Haired Music archives Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was what some scholars[1] have called “the fillet of the Classical epoch…easily the most impressive composer of his time.” In fact, it could be argued that Mozart was not only the most impressive composer of his time, [...]