Lawn Clippings: ZekeIsAwesome Blog

Thoughts from the $300 Lawn Mower of Comedy: Zeke Thomas

Everything is better after Auto-tune (and drugs)

with 4 comments

Today’s pop music is total garbage and I know I’m not alone in my assessment.  I know, you’re probably saying to yourself “Zeke, pop music is all garbage.  It always has been and always will be.”  And I’d completely agree with you. Pop music, much like a pair of Pull-Ups, is a disposable commodity.  When it first comes out it is shiny, plastic, and looks great.  You know it’s shitty, but its got a hook.  After a few hundred thousand spins its luster starts to fade.  The cream tends to rise to the top and some songs stand the test of time because they are good songs.  It’s all the other songs that blend into the background music of our lives.

But this is where we start to have problems.  The increased use of the Auto-tune, has created an era of songs where the artists are indistinguishable.  Of the pop music genres, hip-hop and R & B are the worst offenders followed closely by Britney-Spears-4th-generation-analog-copy-cats. If I played you new unpublished tracks from, Kei-dollar-sign-ha, T-Pain, Usher, Katy Perry, Heidi Montag, and JoJo would you be able to tell me know who’s who? Probably not.  The abuse of this technology has created homogenized syntho-pop that drives me totally insane. Every time I hear a track from one of the above mentioned artists I immediately call it “The Cher Effect” and remember that she did it better in her own homo-fem-anthem way.

Now besides not being able to tell who’s singing, you also can’t tell who has any talent.  I mean for christ’s sake, Auto-tune can make me sound like I can sing and I am completely tone-deaf.  I recently got to test out the Auto-tune in a recording studio and was blown away by the results.  More than anything it gave me a false sense of confidence that I could sing and that soon enough I should be singing the National Anthem at the next WNBA game.  Once the effect was removed I was horrified to hear what I really sound like.  Goddamn . . . I am terrible at singing . . . but man, with my friend the Auto-tune, anything is possible. Lesson learned.

This little experiment made me long for halcyon days of the late ’90’s when everyone in the rock community was up in arms over the use of the vocal sweetening software Pro-Tools.  Little did we know it was just the tip of the iceberg.  But I digress . . .

Their are a few exceptions to the rule and of course they involve drugs.

Jimmy Kimmel tweeted the original Double Rainbow video that, on its own, is amazing.  Listening to this guy in the video lose his shit over a double rainbow reminds me of the power of hallucinogens.  I know it may come as a shock to many of you but I too, may have had a couple of life changing experiences under the influence of ‘shrooms, ecstasy, and/or some diabolical Amsterdam weed.  But youtube user YosemiteBear takes it to a new level by documenting it with his handycam and posting it for the world to see.

You’re probably thinking that it can’t get any better than that.  Well hold on to your 1,000 calorie lattes, because the Gregory Bothers (aka youtuber Schmoyoho) got ahold of the clip and “yes and”-ed this crap out of an already outstanding clip.  Here is my new favorite song:

Not only do these capture the spirit of the times with this incredible song, but they are also the geniuses behind one of my favorite comedy bits “Auto-tune the News“.  These guys do a yeoman’s job of bridging news, comedy, and music into a completely accessible format.

So where do we go from here?  Well, I think it’s obvious: Don’t use the Auto-tune unless your source material involves psychotropic drugs.

Live Show shout out:

Tonight I’ll be performing with The Stranger than Fiction Show at the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks, CA.  Tickets are available at the door for $10 or go to www.stfworld.com for a 2 for 1 deal. Next month, we return to the Comedy Store for a show on August 25th in the Main Room. Come check out some improv comedy with a touch of hair metal rock tossed in for good measure!

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Written by ZekeIsAwesome

July 30, 2010 at 6:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Keep up the good work and the promo Zeke. I am encouraged by your efforts. Jonathan

    Jonathan Klein

    July 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm

  2. Thanks Jonathan for the kind words. I just keep on pushing forward and doing the show biz hustle. More good stuff in the works.

    zekeisawesome

    July 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm

  3. A music producer friend of mine calls auto-tune “singing through the thing.” So far he and his artists don’t do it. But will they have hits this year?

    Jenny Purple

    September 7, 2010 at 1:37 am

    • It has it’s uses from what I’m told. It’s saved me time in the studio. I’ve laid down countless 90% good tracks and only a handful of 100% tracks ever. It can “sweeten” those 90%-ers to 100%-ers. But I think we all need music producers to not allow their talent to “sing through the thing” and produce an “album”.

      ZekeIsAwesome

      September 7, 2010 at 7:15 pm


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