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Minor Swing By Minors

Minor Swing might be Django Reinhardt’s most recognizable tune. I like Django’s music, so I was especially pleased when my kids took a whack at it. This video is sort of a documentary. They pointed the camera at themselves, slung two mikes in view, and let fly. It’s the equivalent of turning in a homework assignment. This video is more than two years old. The big one isn’t a minor anymore, and the little one is six inches taller. They both play better than this now. They don’t play very often, I’m afraid.

This is the most popular video the kids have ever made, if you go by YouTube views. Well, what else would you go by? It recently passed 20,000 views, for reasons I understand with a certain amount of contempt.

I live in two worlds. One has www in front of it. I must admit I don’t like the imaginary place that’s become the ironclad version of reality for most people. The jackanapes who rule the Friendface planet are the worst people extant, if you ask me. By the way, if you’re reading this, you asked me.

I don’t like the invertebrates who run the Intertunnel. I’ve decided they need a name. Let’s coin the term right here and now: The Wobblies. The Website Wankers of the World have united into a Voltron of suck, and they rule this alternate ecosystem that’s taken over the real world. They don’t care if anything productive happens in the brave new world they’ve created. As long as they lord over the nonproduction, of course.

Anyway, IIRC, this is the first video the boys ever made that got a downvote on YouTube. It’s got 322 upvotes and 2 downvotes now. I remember pointing out their first downvote to my children. I thought it was a notable thing.

I explained the motive behind it. I told them they couldn’t always trust upvotes. Many people upvote everything for reasons that have nothing to do with quality. All of my children’s contemporaries, for instance, can’t sing or play their musical instruments, but are constantly told they are wonderful. Audiences are assembled for them, mostly in school, and they receive applause, and it’s all fake. People sit still and then applaud, but it’s only because it’s over and they can stop listening. Sooner or later, this endless stream of fake enthusiasm tempts the unwary to “follow their passion” and perform in front of strangers who aren’t in on the Wobbly gag. They discover quickly that  the world is a very harsh place, they get the tomatoes, and they wonder where they went off the rails. Of course they didn’t go off the rails. The railroad just doesn’t go anywhere.

Wobblies are Philistines. They know right from wrong, harmony from discordance, good from bad — but they deliberately choose bad, every time. That’s why I thought this video was a success. It was the first time someone knew my kids were good, and went out of their way to let them know they hated them for it.

Epiphone Wildkat Reviews, Unorganized Hancock-Style

Epiphone Wildkat Guitar Reviews Are All the Rage

My two sons have a band called Unorganized Hancock. They’ve been recording music videos for a couple of years, and they perform here and there around the state of Maine where we live. It’s interesting to see which of their YouTube music videos become more popular than others, and try to figure out why.

Unorganized Hancock: The Most Famous Band You Never Heard Of

Unorganized Hancock have almost reached 50,000 YouTube views for their YouTube channel. No matter what YouTube says, their algorithms don’t count all, or even a small minority of the views these videos generate. YouTube claims they count embedded views, but they don’t. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “embedded,” it means that you watch them directly on the website that features them, without going directly to YouTube first. YouTube might count them if you’re already logged into YouTube, which is uncommon when people are reading text-centric blogs and websites like mine. Actually, I doubt they count those, either.

Unorganized Hancock’s Grandmother Doesn’t Count, Apparently

I estimate that Unorganized Hancock has actually had well over 250,000 video views. It’s easy for me to tell, because I can see how many people watch them on my blog alone. Hell, their grandmother has watched their videos more than 50,000 times. The boys have been embedded on lots of other blogs besides mine, many with much more traffic than mine. YouTube fibs, for reasons of its own. They want people to use YouTube as a social media platform, and that’s that. If you’ve ever wondered why you find YouTube videos that say “embedding disabled by owner’s request,” that’s why. The account holder is tired of showing the video without getting YouTube hits on his counter.

They Did A Killer Version of Take Five

Unorganized Hancock recorded Dave Brubeck’s Take Five about two years ago. I re-posted it on Wednesday, a charming form of recycling, I hope. My little drummer boy was only nine when that video was made, and he was playing flawlessly in 5/4 Time with no metronome, a near impossibility at his age. His big brudder played two guitar parts, and the bass part too. The video was very well-received, and embedded at dozens of blogs and message boards. Their original dub of the song, which has a very cute joke at the beginning of it, has about 4600 views on the counter, and a hi-def upload that’s straight music has another 2600. That’s nonsense of course. Those videos got ten times that, easy, but let’s not quibble. A broken ruler makes the same, reliable mistake. Let’s go with it.

Minor Swing, By Minors, Swinging

The most popular video Unorganized Hancock has recorded, Take Five, is about to be eclipsed by their take on Minor Swing, made famous by gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. It’s a so-so take for the boys if you ask me. They were tired, and the big one had been sick, and though the audience wouldn’t notice so much, I can still see it wasn’t their lively best. It did OK when I posted it on this blog, and then it was forgotten. Here it is:

Epiphone Wildkat Guitar Reviews Are Now Unorganized Hancock’s Biggest Fans

Minor Swing is about to pass Take Five, even though it wasn’t that popular when it was posted, and we’ve done nothing to promote it. That’s because Unorganized Hancock’s version of Minor Swing made the list of the most prominent videos for people searching for: Epiphone Wildkat Guitar Reviews. It really isn’t a review, or it’s a far superior review than all the others, depending on your outlook on life. The Heir plays an Epiphone Wildkat Guitar that his mother and I gave him for Christmas a couple years back, using money that generous supporters of this blog put in our tipjar. The guitar is prominently displayed in the thumbnail of the video, completely by accident. That’s it. Every morning when they get up, their YouTube counter tells them that somewhere between 25 and 100 people watch that video while they were asleep, because they want to see a Epiphone Wildkat Review, and the thumbnail is irresistible.

Hell, they’ve played Minor Swing live and done a better job:

That second video doesn’t have the Epiphone Wildkat guitar in the thumbnail picture, so it has 384 views, no comments, and 10 Likes.

By this method — or lack of a method, just YouTube madness — Unorganized Hancock’s version of Minor Swing is watched more than any of their other videos, by people who have nothing to do with me, and nothing to do with them. You get an unvarnished opinion, straight from the world that Unorganized Hancock must enter if they are ultimately to be successful. Do strangers like you? The rest is applesauce. Strangers do.

A Busted Ruler Measures the Same Way, Every Time

Unorganized Hancock’s version of Minor Swing currently has 77 likes. [oops, while I was writing this, the counter turned to 78] There are more comments than any other video, and they’re full of enthusiastic swears in affirmation. That video has delivered more subscribers to their YouTube channel in the last month than they got in the previous year. People looking for Epiphone Wildkat reviews on YouTube are quickly becoming Unorganized Hancock’s biggest audience, if only because they’re the only ones that are being counted fully. It’s the way the Internet works. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but no one asked us how to run it. The kids just play — play Minor Swing — along.

I’m Going To Move To The South Of France

I’m going to get up every morning and shave over a basin and then put on a suit. Sharp. I’m going to walk down a street made of little stones. There will be baskets of flowers depending from iron hooks mortared into the stuccoed buildings. The dogs will lift their heads but not bark as I pass by. I will have a cane, for no particular reason. I will buy a newspaper in the wrong language and a baguette, and pay with some form of coin. No matter what it costs, it has to be paid for with coins.

Or perhaps they will give it to me because they like my last book. I wrote it in pencil, because I no longer have a computer, or a television, or a telephone, or a business card, or a PO box, or an email address, or a Pinterest page, or much of anything else, really. I will have a bank account through which you can contact me. When I return home I will open the casements wide to the morning and my wife will make coffee and we will sit by the window and eat toast made from the baguette and talk about our children.

I will be the old man that passes by, dressed too impeccably for the weather and the zeitgeist, and my wife will be the woman who is always immaculately turned out until the day she passes on to a place that deserves her.

And during our peregrinations, if you accost us with a lean and hungry look in your eyes, and malice in your heart, I will produce a misericorde out of nowhere and gut you like a fish.

Tag: django

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