Monday, February 7, 2011


These are a few inspirational videos that I love. I watch these when I need a boost for different reasons. Most of these are singing performances, because I sing, so I'm inspired when people sing well. Some are weirdly inspirational, but I'll try and explain ...

Christina Aguilera Grammy Performance, 2007

I saw Christina's performance yesterday and got sad; here is a woman who can sing like no one else, but sometimes seems like she doesn't care enough to try. Just because you're truly talented at something, doesn't mean that you'll always perform well. In actuality, some people who are extremely talented, use that talent as a fall back instead of treating every performance like a big deal. I find it truly inspirational to see someone really pull it out for a performance just to say "oh, yeah ... I mess around quite a bit, but watch this ..." Case in point ... video number one ... Christina singing It's a Man's Man's Man's World [actual title] as a James Brown tribute. She absolutely kills it. I know that is said a lot [most people are full of shit and/or denial ... remember my "epic" blog post?] but in this case, it is necessary to use that phrase, because I can't think of another that is worthy. I mean, think about the history of this song ... people considered it chauvinistic trash when it was recorded ... to hear a woman [much less, a tiny Latina] singing the ever-loving shit out of it to honor a legend like James Brown is just wonderful. Takes my breath away ...

Before you listen you should know ... when she is down on the ground and she goes way high and it sounds like she is off-key ... she is actually screaming, not singing. James B. had a habit of breaking out in high pitched screams and squeals in the middle of a perfectly good note just to show how he didn't give a f*ck and everyone better recognize. [Isn't that awesome?!] So, she is paying tribute all the way down tot he crazy, if you will. Enjoy!

Beyonce's National Anthem Performance

No words ... well, some words: everyone messes up the national anthem. From missing words, to too much yodeling to completely switching keys while singing it a capella. I am a firm believer that NO ONE WILL EVER SING IT BETTER THAN WHITNEY AT THE SUPERBOWL!! But, Beyonce comes in a close second. I would probably put Jennifer Hudson's at third just for the simple fact of "damn", but she really didn't stay with the true melody of the song. YouTube won't let you post the Whitney video, but I'm sure if you just type in w.h.i.t. into the search box at YouTube, her super bowl national anthem performance will pop up ... it's that legendary.

This performance is good for several reasons. Bey is dressed immaculately, her hair is in a cute pony and her make-up isn't bad, so the video isn't too "dated" [Whitney, however is wearing a red, white and blue windsuit with a turban style sweatband in her hair ... not exactly timeless]. The orchestra playing with her sounds phenomenal, whoever is doing the sound is making sure that everything is lined up and so the performance seems solid, technically. What is most interesting is the fact that Bey, who can yodel, howl, trill, dramatize and choke people with melismas with the best of them, refrains from getting too out of hand while still staying true to and showcasing her unique style of vocals. The last note is just amazing. She lands on the same chord as Whitney which is obviously a tribute, but goes above and beyond for a spectacular, horn-screeching finish. I don't believe she misses one note ... and I always catch missed notes!

Michael Jackson's Motown 25 Performance of "Billie Jean"

This is the first time Michael did his moonwalk ... the year I was born! I'm thinking that Billie Jean was a single at that point, which is why he performed it. He had been a star all his life, but this is really the moment he became a legend. He would go on to be the greatest pop music performer of all time! But, at this moment, when he still looked like a moderately happy person, surrounded by people who loved him, breaking out on his own from the Jackson 5, maybe not able to realize that he was about to take over the world and basically lose his life over it, is when I find him most inspirational.

Keri Strugg's Atlanta Vault

This is probably 100 videos in one for me. I was really addicted to the games that year. I guess I was 12 about to be 13 ... completely obsessed with gymnastics, as I have always been and still am. I loved bouncing around the house, memorizing everyone's routines and wondering why I couldn't live in a place that shipped me off at age 3 to learn how to win gold for my country. [honestly, I wanted to be a soviet gymnast so badly for several years of my young life, what the hell, right?] My favorites were always from the other countries, Lilia Podkopayeva, Mo Huilan, Svetlana Boginskaya [I probably just spelled all of those correctly after 15 years!] seemed to have much better stories and I felt that they needed and wanted it more than the spoiled Americans like that wimpy, cry baby Shannon Miller [I'm definitely reverting back to my 13 year old self ...], but as long as Bela was around, I was going to root for USA. I think this was the last, good American team to be honest. I couldn't even watch the last Olympics, all the American girls made me sick. In any case, I love to watch the '96 Olympics because it takes me back to that place where I was completely pre-occupied with dreams that would never come true. And I honestly think that these Olympics were the reason I became a swimmer and also the reason I was so damn good at it. I would have flashbacks of Podkopayeva's perfect FX, or Mo Huilan's unbelievable beam routine and get instantly motivated. Ah, the life of a jock ...

You'll notice there are no Halloween videos here. Most of my Halloween inspiration comes from movies and childhood memories, not YouTube videos, however ... I do watch Disney playlists and Halloween playlists on YouTube quite often and I always have Hocus Pocus there to keep me going if I need it!

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching Christina sing that song at the Grammy's live...and being completely blown away.