Dearest Ones, to prepare you for what you will see Sunday evening…. first familiarize yourself with the source materials….
Britney Spears – Toxic
Jacob Cooper then took a snip from the audio sample and time stretched it to equal roughly quarter note = 34.86. Really freaking slow!! Listening to this is sort of the equivalent to staring at your pores in an intensely strong mirror, it really highlights all the imperfections, (and also makes you realize that sound engineers are GODS) Here’s the slow stretched sample from Toxic ( just the chorus).
Cooper then re-orchestrated it for live band (keys, guitar, drumset, electronics, and vocals). At first, to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure if it would be interesting enough to keep the audiences attention, however… the gaps that are left in the slow tempo are now being filled in with some pretty freaking awesome solo licks, mainly played by my buddy James Moore on guitar. We also have plenty of effects and pedals to run through….. so “Oops I did it again” now sounds like a Beach Blanket Bingo Luau!!! In a sense, there’s new musical material with in the old, a song with in a song. It’s really cool.
Also, Hit me Baby One More Time real slow, sort of sounds like a bare-boned version of the Moonlight Sonata, it’s even in the same key.
Now, a word on how I approached the vocals… with things stretched this slow, and with the sampled vocals never really lining up with the backing track, the idea was to really emulate the disjunction and imperfections and freaking revel in it. A click track was totally necessary. It enabled me to arrive both early and late at times, and do that whacky non-rhythmic and now really slow wide vibrato thing while still maintaining a sense of tempo that I’m trying somewhat to ignore. Oh the layers!!! I mean, half of what singing is, is physics: how to manipulate a set of pipes to vibrate at a certain frequency and be heard a certain distance away…. the other half is making it look like you aren’t thinking about the physics…and trying to look purty. Throw in a blond wig, a sparkley dress that would make any 9-year-old want to key my Porsche, some purple Robitussin, and a little moonwalkin’ and you’ll see why Sunday night promises to be pretty darn special.
And in case you were interested, here’s the recording we made of Toxic back in January. It’s multi-tracked, so it loses a lot of the “band” magic that happens when six sweaty musicians are rocking out in a small studio apartment, but you’ll get the drift.
werd, see you all in pop heaven…..