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Don't keep your feelings bottled up
May 29, 2014 4:36 AM   Subscribe

It's hard to imagine a cover of Michael Jackson's hit song Billie Jean that could any be more satisfying than this one by the Bottle Boys, who do it on, guess what? Bottles.
posted by flapjax at midnite (24 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Truly this is the best of all possible worlds.

I love people.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:51 AM on May 29


I confess I'm a bit skeptical. What we might be seeing?

You could sample all the sounds of the bottles and program them into a synth. Then play the song on a keyboard, and do the bottle equivalent of lip-synching for the camera.

That's what I think we really just saw.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:12 AM on May 29


You could sample all the sounds of the bottles and program them into a synth. Then play the song on a keyboard, and do the bottle equivalent of lip-synching for the camera.

That's what I think we really just saw.


You think the flapjax would steer you wrong? On a music post? Oh, ye of little faith. Tsk tsk.

These guys have several live videos up on their YT channel, though, you should check those out, you doubter you! Also, it's worth noting that what they're doing, although obviously done very, very well, is by no means beyond human ability! Peruvian pan pipe bands, for example, as well as hocketing (look it up!) ensembles from various African musical traditions do stuff like this.

Anyway, long as I'm here, check out their Pokemon, Tetris, The Legend of Zelda… fun!

oh, also… a sampler and a synth are two different things!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:53 AM on May 29 [8 favorites]


I confess I'm a bit skeptical.

I think they hired a bunch of session bottle players and fronted it with some models they found off of craigs list.
posted by empath at 6:00 AM on May 29 [13 favorites]



I confess I'm a bit skeptical.

You are Simon whatzisname and I claim my five pounds.

Well, then, how about this one?

Or this one?

Or this one?

Or this one?

Or this one?

And here's a record from the 1920s: there's just one guy and he's not even using glass bottles, just cane stalks he probably cut and trimmed himself. No synthesizers here.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?


Practice.
posted by Herodios at 6:02 AM on May 29


Not to beat up on you, CP, but let's look at it from another angle; Most pop songs have very very simple melodies. Usually in phrases of just three or four distinct tones.

Let's look at the hook:
Bil lee jean is not my luv er
She's just a girl who says . . .
You've got enough now to recognize the song even without the words. Note/bottle count so far: 3.

The verse melody also goes quite a long ways on just three tones.

The bass part sounds good here, and if you look closely, it appears the two fellows in the back row on each end alternate playing the notes.

Next up: "Donna Lee" on beer bottles.
posted by Herodios at 6:33 AM on May 29


Chocolate Pickle: "You could sample all the sounds of the bottles and program them into a synth. Then play the song on a keyboard, and do the bottle equivalent of lip-synching for the camera.

That's what I think we really just saw.
"
I've seen them busking in Copenhagen. They've been on live television as well.
posted by brokkr at 6:58 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Obviously this is what Michael Jackson had in mind all along.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:20 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


I think they hired a bunch of session bottle players and fronted it with some models they found off of craigs list.

Milli Vanilla Soda?
posted by pracowity at 7:21 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


There is a man on key west who trains cats to jump through hoops who is rumored to make more than a million dollars a year. I imagine these guys might have a similar story.
posted by Halogenhat at 7:58 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Aawwww! This is not at all how I was supposed to spend the next several hours!
posted by allthinky at 8:04 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I realized the other day that I have something like 15 cover versions of Billie Jean in my iTunes. I think this beats them all.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:43 AM on May 29


These guys are so cool! I'd love to see them in person.
posted by royalsong at 10:08 AM on May 29


I am squirrelling this away for the next time I feel down. I'm guessing it will work better than Zoloft or Prozac. Thanks, flap.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:12 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Sly & Robbie have a really nice reggae version of Billie Jean.

Quick search and I couldn't find an online link; sorry.
posted by CrowGoat at 11:53 AM on May 29


Most pop songs have very very simple melodies.

I see what you did there.

Wow. Seriously, wow.
posted by Mchelly at 3:04 PM on May 29


I can see why it has nay-sayers. It's not that it is implausible to perform that casts some doubt. It's that it seems implausibly perfect sounding. The reverb being heard is ostensibly due to the apparent location filming, but it just seems a bit too perfect.

That said, the minute audio artifacts heard when you amplify it far too loudly lead me to believe it is real and live.
posted by mediocre at 3:30 PM on May 29


it appears the two fellows in the back row on each end alternate playing the notes.

Hocket in the pocket!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:38 PM on May 29


The reverb being heard is ostensibly due to the apparent location filming, but it just seems a bit too perfect.

It's in a church. God himself crafted that reverb.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:39 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


I really just love knowing that this is a thing that exists. A really super fun thing. Yes.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:48 PM on May 29


Fucking delightful. Just delightful.
posted by tristeza at 6:14 PM on May 29


Yay. Thank you, flapjax.
posted by Lexica at 10:48 PM on May 29


"Peruvian pan pipe bands..."

Yes and no. You see, there are no Peruvian pipe bands. There is A Peruvian pipe band. However, the band is quantum non-local and hence appears at many locations at the same time.

physicsmatt apparently had more free time than common sense when he was a freshman.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:36 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Ok, I am now watching their whole back catalog of videos. I am glad that there are people in the world who have such talents and put them to such use. So awesome.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:07 PM on May 31


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