Auto Tunes With Flula: Way Less Awful Than PewDiePie
Auto Tunes with Flula reveals some genuine talent beneath YouTube's requisite blanket of morons screaming at computer screens
I could be entirely alone in this, but if there’s one thing that I’ll never understand, it’s the appeal of so-called YouTube celebrities. I know, I know, you’re thinking get this old man back to his rocking chair. But seriously…why? (Also, get off my lawn and turn down that damned rock music.)
Now, I understand that the internet has become the modern day equivalent of Star Search (yeah, remember that show?) or even The Mickey Mouse Club (whose mid-90s ensemble gave us no less than Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears), but I don’t think I can wrap my head around the idea that a guy who is best known for filming his overreaction to Amnesia: The Dark Descent is somehow worth $6.1 million dollars.
Seriously. I just found this out. You are working 50-or-more hours a week and doing everything you can to make ends meet. A 23-year-old kid from Sweden makes a bunch of videos of himself being preposterously obnoxious and he’ll never have to worry about money again for the rest of his life. Spare me the ludicrous assumption that PewDiePie is, even in the faintest way, funny. What he is, clearly, is wealthy and opportunistic, so I suppose there’s something to be said for the talent of exploiting the questionable tastes of more than 23 million people.
(Oh god, I just realized that 23 million presumably intelligent life forms watch his videos…we really are doomed.)
Remember all that the next time your kid says they want to be an internet star while you pore over the interest statement on your five-figure student loan debt.
Anyway, back on point (was I even there to begin with?): YouTube occasionally yields some gems (I’m thinking the “Bed Intruder Song,” the Angry Video Game Nerd series, Feminist Frequency, and Marble Hornets just to name a few), and while I’m not ready to declare Flula a member of YouTube’s upper-echelon of tolerable personalities (yes, that’s a thing I actually just said…you have the quantify these kinds of things), I found myself pretty entertained by the Auto Tunes with Flula series.
The most recent entry of Auto Tunes with Flula features native German Flula Borg (along with a friend) recording a cover version of “No Diggity” from the confines of a Honda Civic. Yes, that’s “No Diggity” as in the Blackstreet song from 1996. (Ah, elementary school days.)
While the performance itself is pretty entertaining (thanks to the clever use of various instruments, some beatboxing, and a portable multitrack recorder with looper), the best moments arguably occur at the beginning of the clip in a discussion about how to properly say Uber (“No no, not ooh, you’re like ‘ooh, look at the cute lady,’ it’s ‘ew, the spaghetti’s on m’feet.’”).
Your mileage may vary here with Auto Tunes with Flula, but I feel that there’s actually some good stuff to be had here. His cover of Gary Numan’s “Cars” is pretty damn inventive (and I do so love it whenever one finds a good excuse to break out a melodeon), and it’s always entertaining to discover that people remember the unfortunate thing that is Ginuwine’s “Pony.”
Hell, I hated Psy’s “Gangnam Style” (largely because I had the dubious honor of living in the country of the song’s origin at the precise moment that it blew up), but there’s something oddly charming about watching Fluba perform it in LA’s Koreatown and earning a second glance from a visor-wearing ajumma. Bonus points are certainly due to Borg for nailing the Korean lyrics with what sounds like pretty flawless pronunciation.
And while no doubt staged, I’m fascinated by the Mini Van Family episode’s implication of a Lynchian world where hitchhikers performing live renditions of “U Can’t Touch This” from the spacious third row is perfectly natural. Watching the almost totally impassive father take the microphone to take over on the “oh-oh-oh-oh-oohoohhh” breakdown while Borg does his best take on the Hammer Dance is a pretty special moment.
Oh, and he and Dirk Nowitzki do “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones while the Mavs Dancers drive them to the American Airlines Center. It’s…well…it’ll certainly make you feel a lot better about the last time you and your friends got bombed and tried to sing “Carry on My Wayward Son” at a karaoke bar.
Okay, so maybe I do kinda like this YouTube celebrity. So far, Auto Tunes with Flula is pretty okay in my book.
Let me know: what are your favorite songs to sing in the car? Personally, I’ve always been a “Wicked Game” man m’self.