Sing the news.
The internets is a great place to find the strangest things & today it threw a digested look at the news of the week filtered through an Auto-tune- it's the device that made Cher's voice go all wobbly in her 1998 track Believe and it can be used to make someone off pitch sound on pitch, I'm sure it could even make some of the flatter notes I've been known to sing in the shower sound lovely.
I saw this on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC where two of the brothers (plus Sarah Fullen) gave a small clip of Katie Couric singing about thin ice at the North Pole. I was hooked. Firstly, the lovely Katie Couric singing about global warming. Secondly, making satirical use of an auto-tune? People plus technology equals lots of fun!!
These clip provokes three strong questions for me:
1) The auto tune has been around for a number of years and can be used to fine tune and repitch a singers voice. Why bother finding good singers at all? Why battle it out on X-Factor or graft playing small gigs when you can take someone, switch on a machine & "fix" the flaws in their voice? Katie Couric manages to sound good singing about thin ice just by applying a little technical wizardry. At the Grammy's in Feb 'Death Cab for Cutie' wore blue ribbons to protest the use of autotune in the music industry. I'd love to know what musicians who read the greenbelt blog or perform at the festival feel about the sly use of the auto-tune. Is there an expectation from performers that their voice will just be run through the magic box?
2) Satire is important to society. Towards the end of the Bush administration making satirical jokes about George W felt a little cruel. I thought satire might falter with the passing of the administration but it seems satire around the globe is alive and well, even under the shining leadership of Obama but now the satirical gaze appears to be pointing more at the people who report the news.
3) Who writes some of the things newscasters say? I know some of them are improvising to a point but in another clip where Katie Couric is talking about global warming she says there will be a "snowball effect" and we're "on thin ice"- the joke doesn't even really need setting up, it just spins itself.
(Make sure you catch Katie Couric on Auto-tune news #2 singing about thin ice, it's a revelation)