TimberBrit- It’s on!!

As of this afternoon, if you logged into NPR.org, you’d see my pretty face (in a god awful platinum blond wig) next to Paula’s. Why is my pic on NPR? well-there’s been a lot of media hype about a recent spread on Jacob Cooper‘s TimberBrit. We shot a video two weeks ago that launched slightly before the NPR blurb on All Things Considered.

Here’s a link to the NPR interview – complete with slideshow of Melly, and below is the youtube video.

what’s been amazing to me is the comment threads, we’re even a twittering topic..and on reddit? Various blogs have picked it up, and man, has it sparked a lot of discussion into what ‘opera’ is. It seems we have two audiences commenting, those of the NPR ‘opera must be written by dead guys crowd’, and the real Britney fans who think it’s weird, but somehow have missed the point that this isn’t actually Britney…I’m a little disapointed in that I expected more from the crowd that supported us nearly a year ago…when we packed TWO SHOWS in a row on a Sunday night in Tribeca. So apparently, there are more than nine people willing to pay for it.

Hanging up the wig for the evening, as always, yours in platinum love,


previously on Mellysblog

timberbrit podcast

a beatiful show indeed


A Beatiful show indeed….

Below is an excerpt from Jacob Cooper’s TimberBrit, recorded at the Tank in May of 2008, with the help of Ted Hearne, David Skidmore, Trevor Guereckis, James Moore and JJ Lind. Come check out a staged performance of it August 16th as part of the East River Music Project, in which I’ll also be performing in Matt Marks’ The Little Death…. that nihilistic post-Christian pop musical I’m always talking about. Very exciting times indeed….

Every time I talk about TimberBrit I feel an explanation is needed. What you are listening/viewing are time stretched samples from pop songs that have been re-orchestrated for rock band and superimposed with highly tragic lyrics. Stupid-titles, as I’ve always lovingly called them, are in this case very helpful!! A beautiful show/TimberBrit’s melodies are derived from the choruses of Brit’s Hit me baby,one more time, and The Killer’s Mr. Brightside. So follow that bouncing ball everyone!!

TimberBrit Forever!!

Ok….. all done TimberBrit for now…. (until our multiple city tour) Our last performance was in New Haven Saturday night, and it rocked! We have a great review in the New Haven Advocate, and HOT photos. Check it out…. it’s really nice to read an article by someone who had some real insight into the performance.

And yes, that’s a new wig… I drunkenly lost mine in the cab post first performance at the Tank.

Melly go sleepy now….

More TimberBrit Press….

For those of you following Melly’s tour of front page Ivy-League newspapers, the New Haven Advocate has a great front page spread on TimberBrit, including a great interview with Jacob Cooper. Not sure why they chose the photos they did, when we provided them with stills from the video performance, which were HOT, but they DID call my singing deranged. Fabulous!

Your Homework for TimberBrit

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…..