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Two-Year-Old DJ Still in Diapers Is Taking South Africa by Storm

Oratilwe Hlongwane, a.k.a. DJ AJ, has become a viral phenomenon in South Africa with a dedicated fan following of thousands. But here’s the twist – he’s actually a two-year-old kid! While he can barely speak, the incredibly talented toddler can work a DJ console like a pro.

AJ is so good at DJing that he has fans hankering after his heavy-bass house music. The record spinning toddler has made a few special appearances and also bagged sponsorship deals with various brands. His most recent performance was at a shopping mall in his hometown of Johannesburg, where a large crowd gathered to groove to his music.

AJ’s mother, Refiloe Marumo, attributes the boy’s astounding skills to his father Glen Hlongwane’s decision to buy him an iPad even before he was born. Glen, a gymnastics coach, wanted to use the iPad to download educational apps to speed up the kid’s education. Incidentally, he happens to be an aspiring DJ, so he also downloaded a DJ app for his own use.

Oratilwe Hlongwane

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ArnoCorps – A Band Whose Lyrics Are Based Exclusively on the Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger

San Francisco-based rock band ‘ArnoCorps’ is the world’s first musical group to feature lyrics that are based exclusively on the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The lyrics mainly parallel movie dialogs and plots from Arnold’s action flicks in the 1980s, like The Terminator, Predator and Total Recall.

ArnoCorps is generally regarded as the pioneer of Action-Adventure Hardcore Rock and Roll. Founded in 2001, the group consists of six members who look like highly-trained militant Austrian action-rock heros. Each member has a pseudonym and a heroic backstory. At every performance, they are clothed in combat fatigues and camouflage paint, and they address the audience in ‘ballsy’ accents.

ArnoCorps

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This Booty Drum Lets You Make Music by Twerking

The Booty Drum is a high-tech musical device that, unlike most instruments, isn’t operated by your hands, but by tour butt cheeks ! All you need to do is attach the drum to your behind, start twerking, and let it transform your movements into beats.

The device was created by headphone brand AIAIAI, in an attempt to give their users some “new music to enjoy on their headphones or  on the dance floor.” They wanted to make a unique music track from scratch, using nothing but body movements. So they teamed up with Portuguese electronic musician Branko, professional dancer Twerk Queen Louise, and OWOW, a Dutch design and technology company to create something really unique. Together, the team took the widely popular twerk dance and converted it into an instrument in its own right.

Booty-drum

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Meet the Moranbong Band – North Korea’s Version of Spice Girls

Believe it or not, North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, is actually a big fan of K-pop music. In fact, he’s so passionate about it that he hand-picked every member of the girl group ‘Moranbong Band’ – his country’s answer to the Spice Girls.

As a result of Kim Jong-un’s endorsement, the band has been playing sell-out gigs across the country. Their first concert was so popular that the streets of Pyongyang were apparently deserted during the broadcast. Often dressed in conservatively sexy attire – with skirts cut well above the knee and hair clipped short – the Moranbong girls have received good reviews from local critics as well.

Although the band has been around for a few years, they appeared to have fallen out of favor in late 2013. But after a six-month hiatus, they were back to performing in April 2014 to rave reviews from Korean media, thus reclaiming their status as queens of North Korea’s pop scene, and the darlings of primetime TV. Their comeback concert featured ‘colorful numbers’ such as ‘O My Motherland Full of Hope’, ‘Our Father’, and ‘We Think of the Marshall Day and Night’.

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Mac Sabbath – A Crazy McDonald’s-Themed Black Sabbath Cover Band

You would think McDonald’s and heavy metal don’t really mix very well, but a new band is actually ‘rocking’ the combination. L.A. based ‘Mac Sabbath’ is a heavy metal group made up of four rockers who dress up as McDonald’s characters – Ronald Osborne, Grimace, the Hamburglar, and Mayor McCheese – and perform Black Sabbath songs with burger-themed lyrics.

According to the band’s Facebook page, they are ‘not a joke page to sell T-shirts’. Instead, they describe themselves as “Ronald Osbourne and the whole gang in full regalia playing all their hits like ‘Sweet Beef’ and ‘Chicken for the Slaves’ in a multi-media show with video, theatrics, audience participation and sing alongs.”

Mac-Sabbath

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El Rodafonio – The Craziest Musical Contraption Ever Created

The street theatre scene in Barcelona was completely transformed in 2010, with the invention of the Rodafonio – perhaps the weirdest musical contraption in the world. Created by renowned designer and musician César Alvarez Bayer, it consists of a gigantic wheel that’s four meters high and only 15 cm wide, like a huge waffle iron.

The wheel can accommodate a crew of five – the members of the Catalan music band ‘Factoria Circular’. Three musicians sit inside the wheel in their respective metal circles, playing their musical instruments – a guitar, a saxophone, and a set of drums – to various tunes, while occasionally spinning inside the giant wheel. The other two members are actors who pedal the wheel into motion, bringing the huge mechanical device to life.

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Aptly Named Aztec Death Whistle Makes the Creepiest Sound You’ve Ever Heard

The Aztec death whistle produces a sound so horrifying, it will chill you to the bone. Described as the ‘scream of a thousand corpses’, the death whistle sounds like the cry of the un-dead, or the torment of a human being burned alive.

Interestingly, the skull-shaped whistles were discovered 20 years ago by archaeologists, but were dismissed as mere toys. Most studies focused on how they looked, but no one really thought to blow into them. Now that the fearsome sound of the whistle has been discovered, it is attracting the attention of scientists, musicians and historians alike.

According to 66-year-old mechanical engineer Roberto Velazquez, who has spent several years recreating the sounds of his pre-Columbian ancestors, the Aztecs played the mournful ‘Whistles of Death’ just before they were sacrificed to the gods. Some historians believe that the Aztecs used to sound the death whistle in order to help the deceased journey into the underworld. Tribes are said to have used the terrifying sounds as psychological warfare, to frighten enemies at the start of battle.

aztec-death-whistle

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Hatebeak – A Death Metal Band Whose Lead Vocalist Was a Parrot

I suppose nothing complements the loudness of heavy metal better than ear-bleeding screeches. And when those sounds come from a bird instead of a human, it’s bound to make an impression. Meet Waldo, a Congo African Grey Parrot, a heavy metal prodigy and the lead vocalist of a Baltimore-based band, ‘Hatebeak’.

The band was formed in 2004, by audio engineers Blake Harrison and Mark Sloan, who played the guitar and drums respectively. Hatebeak was a strictly studio project with unintelligible lyrics and no real melody. They never toured so as to not torture the bird. “We don’t play live,” Blake once explained. “It would be absolute torture for the bird to experience decibels at those levels. Waldo is the only vocalist for Hatebeak. He does parrot noises and also says some words.”

In the years they were active, Blake and Mark never revealed their last names on their releases in order to maintain the mystery surrounding Hatebeak. They were signed by Reptilian Records (which is now on hiatus), and most of their discography had an avian theme with titles like ‘Number of the Beak’, ‘Beak of Putrefaction’, and ‘The Thing That Should Not Beak’.

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Concussion Turns Ordinary Man into Musical Genius, Overnight

If getting hit on the head means that I’d get to be a kickass musician for the rest of my life, I think I would seriously consider it. It sounds impossible, but something of the sort happened to 41-year-old Derek Amato. He really didn’t have a choice about it, though.

Derek had no idea his life was about to change forever when he dove into the shallow end of a pool to catch a football at a party. He hit his head and had a concussion, resulting in Acquired Savant Syndrome – a rare condition where people display profound abilities (called savant skills) after suffering head trauma, abilities that they didn’t have at birth. In Derek’s case, the acquired ability is music.

Derek is one of only 30 people in the world with this rare condition and the only one to have acquired music as a savant skill. Before the fall, he just dabbled in guitar and had no idea how to read or write music. And now he can play eight different instruments with the ease of a professional musician. Watching him play on video, it’s pretty hard to believe this man has had no formal training in music at all.

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Japanese 88-Member Pop Group Selects Lead Singers in Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament

Japanese music group AKB48 currently holds the Guinness record for the world’s largest pop group, with an impressive 88 female members split into various teams. But fitting all the girls on a single stage is tricky, so every time they launch a new single, AKB48 members hold a knockout rock-paper-scissors tournament to select a limited number of singers.

AKB48 is the brainchild of producer Yasushi Akimoto, who wanted to create a girl band that, unlike other pop groups who are mostly seen on TV and hold concerts sporadically, could perform for its fans live, every day, at their own theater. The band debuted in 2005 with 20 members chosen from almost 8,000 girls. In April of 2006, another group of 18 girls were chosen to form Team B of AKB48, and there are currently four different teams making up the 88-strong all-female idol group, as well as various sister groups Japan and various Asian countries. The team concept of AKB48 was meant to take load off of its members, since daily concerts at the group’s theater in Akibahara, Tokyo, are performed by only one of the teams, and also allow the others to make appearances at different locations around the world. In the eight years since its inception, AKB48 has become a social phenomenon, with record sales of $226 million in Japan alone. The girls have become so popular that tickets for their daily performances are not even sold anymore, but distributed by lottery. Even their unique rock-paper-scissors tournament to select lead singers for each new single is a sold-out event held at the giant Nippon Budokan arena.

AKB48-group

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Playing with Lightning – Chinese Band Uses 1-Million-Volts Tesla Coil in Its Electrifying Concerts

If you’re ever passing through China’s Fujian province, make sure to stop by Dacuo Village and catch a performance by local band Lightningfan. The group specializes in producing electric arcs from Tesla coils that are charged with 1 million volts of electricity, and are in sync with the music they play.

31-year-old Wang Zengxiang, founder and leader of the 10-strong band Lightningfan, is a huge fan of the Tesla coil invented by geek hero extraordinaire Nikola Tesla. “When I was young, my family opened an electrical appliance repair shop. I have loved to study semiconductors and electrical equipment since I was a child,” Wang told the local press. But it was in 2001, when he enrolled in the school of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University that he discovered his first Tesla coil. He was so fascinated by the electrical device that he spent nearly all of his free time studying it. In 2007, he managed to build his very own 1.2-meter coil above his house, quit his comfortable job with an electrical company and dedicated himself to combining his passion for music with electricity. Together with a few like-minded friends, Wang founded Lightningfan, which started entertaining fellow villagers with its electrifying performances.

Tesla-coil-band

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The Future of Music – Japan’s New Robot Rock Band

They are called Z Machinese and they are about to take the Japanese music world by storm. This unique rock band is made up entirely of futuristic automatons able to play guitar, drums and keyboards better than any human.

Z Machines is the brainchild of Yoichiro Kawaguchi, an IT professor at the University of Tokyo, and mechanical designer Naofumi Yonetsuka, who wanted to liven up the music scene by creating something futuristic and exciting. So they created Ashura, a six-armed drummer who can actually play 22 drums simultaneously and sounds like four people playing the drums at the same time, Mach, a metal-and-wire guitarist who uses 78 fingers and 12 picks allowing him to challenge even the most gifted human guitar players, and Cosmo, who is literally wired into his keyboard and shoots lasers from his eyes. Z Mazhines certainly sounds like a very impressive band, but can they really play a gig? They answered that question on Monday, when they teamed up with Japanese human duo Amoyamo, for an electrifying performance at one of Tokyo’s most popular night clubs.

Z-Machines-robots

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The Great Stalacpipe Organ Plays Real Rock Music

The Great Stalacpipe Organ is a unique musical instrument that produces tones of symphonic quality by tapping stalactites in Virginia’s Luray Caverns with electronically-operated rubber mallets.

Recognized as the world’s largest musical instrument, the Great Stalacpipe Organ was created by Leland W. Sprinkle, a mathematician and electronics scientist at the Pentagon. After visiting Luray Caverns with his son and experiencing the organ like sounds of ancient stalactites being tapped, Sprinkle felt inspired to build a one-of-a-kind contraption that could turn these natural tones into playable music. After doing extensive research, he came up with a complex plan for a stalactite tapping instrument, and spent three years just examining each of the caverns’s thousands of hanging limestone columns, looking for the ones that produced specific notes. Only two stalactites were found to be in tune naturally, so he needed to carefully shave thirty-five others to precisely match the musical scale. He then wired a rubber-tipped mallet to each of the selected stalactites and linked them to a four-keyboard console built by the Klann Organ Supply Company of Waynesboro, Virginia, to meet the peculiar needs of this subterranean installation. The music-playing stalactites are spread over 3.5 acres (14,000 m2) of the caverns, so Sprinkle used over five miles of wiring to connect them to the organ console.

Great-Stalacpipe-Organ

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Mind-Reading Headphones Play Music Based on Your Mood

Finding the right song to suit your mood can be pretty frustrating, but thanks to the new Mico mind-reading headphones from Japanese company Neurowear, you won’t have to scroll through your playlist anymore. They’ll just scan your brain and play the perfect song.

The Mico mind-reading system is made up of two parts: a pair of bulky headphones and an iPhone app. The headphones come with a forehead sensor that analyzes the user’s brainwaves to detect his mood, then connects to the Mico database via the iPhone application and selects the song that best fits his current state, from a number of neuro-tagged tunes. If your mood changes, and you feel the song isn’t appropriate anymore, all you have to do is shake the phone to clear collected data and have the sensor scan your brain again. Neurowear’s revolutionary headphones also come with built-in LED indicators that display your mood through icons to everyone around you. Right now, they have an exclamation mark for when you’re focused, a “zzz” sign for when you’re feeling drowsy, and a cross icon for when you’re stressed.

Neurowear-headphones

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Sound of Silence CD Sold by Church Proves Big Hit

St Peter’s Church, in East Sussex, England, has found a novel way to found its repairs – selling CDs with the sound of silence recorded inside the 800-year-old house of worship.

Believe it or not, the 30-minute recording featuring only dull sounds like squeaking pews, soft footsteps and the hum of distant traffic proved a hit not only with local parishioners eager to contribute to the repair fund, but also peace and quiet lovers from countries like Germany, Austria and even Ghana. It seems that in this day and age, chill-out music like Buddha Bar just doesn’t cut it anymore. People have such busy and noisy lives they often feel the need for simple silence.  “There are a few noises here and there – if it was total silence people might get bored,” said one East Sussex churchgoer. “Those who have bought it have enjoyed it.”

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