On Karen Carpenter and t.f.e.

You’ve heard it. You could have been living under a fucking bridge but you would have heard it blasting from some car driving by. The vocal track shat on by that fucking effect (T.F.E.). It slightly modulates so it mostly sounds like the singer just blew back an entire Bubble Up and is either burping or hiccuping or both. Constantly. Because they seem to have a penchant for using it throughout the entire track. Because it’s so fucking cool!

Actually, it’s lazy. It probably sounded cool some years back when it was introduced. A couple of acts might have benefited from the novelty. Cool enough. But it went from some cool vocal thing to what is what? Standard? Certainly ubiquitous. Now they’re like. That vocal kind of sucks, let’s put that fucking effect on it! Now it’s gone from sucks to stupid. Can you tell I hate that fucking effect?

But it does lead me to Karen Carpenter, the most perfect singer in the history of humankind. Karen Carpenter’s voice is easy to describe. It’s perfect. She has perfect pitch. She hits every note. She sounds like the very personification of ‘I’m alive!’ which, I know, is somewhat ironic and definitely sad. But her voice is perfect. She never noodles around notes. She sings the fucking note! As it was intended to be sung! Perfectly.

There are lots of great singers around now of course but can you tell I love Karen Carpenter?

I do.

A.I.

My wife and I have an ongoing argument as to whether you can be trusted to act as impartial judge of the art of a person you hate for some other reason. I say no. It’s my American Idol theory. I often have an unwarranted hatred towards one of the singers. Each week, I know they sucked; but each week, the judges hear something else. I think we have to recuse ourselves in situations like that. I could never properly judge say Glenn Beck’s work though I do wish him good health, love and happiness. As well as those young singer hopefuls!

She mentioned a few artists that she ‘could not stand’, but she recognized they were talented and she would listen to them if ‘they came on in the car’. I have one band that I was so annoyed by a magazine interview, that I went from loving them (at least the t.r. produced lp) to getting a kind of squeamish something in the stomach whenever they surfaced.