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Tom Edison's Diner
February 15, 2012 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Suzanne Vega Steps Back In Time
posted by bardophile (32 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
How did they fit that fellow into the recording device with only his head sticking out?
posted by chavenet at 9:13 AM on February 15, 2012


Am I a dork for wanting to do that to a whole list of songs now?
posted by New England Cultist at 9:16 AM on February 15, 2012


SO... COOOOOOL...
posted by Jairus at 9:19 AM on February 15, 2012


The only thing better is if, when I hit play, Suzanne Vega herself came up and sang "Tom's Diner" into my ear.

Actually, that would probably be massively embarrassing on the L, massively uncomfortable on a plane, and massively dangerous when driving.
posted by eriko at 9:21 AM on February 15, 2012


Eh. I prefer her earlier lo-fi stuff.
posted by theodolite at 9:23 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


(in which no recording is made and her voice is merely described by a fawning Stendhal)
posted by theodolite at 9:24 AM on February 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Do-do-dooo-duh-do-do-do
Do-do-dooo-duh-do-do-do...
posted by Rangeboy at 9:24 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]




(in which no recording is made and her voice is merely described by a fawning Stendhal)


So this then
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on February 15, 2012


This is appropriate because I saw a wax statue of Suzanne Vega open for Ani DiFranco years ago.
posted by Oddly at 9:43 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


When she emerged from the time capsule, it was so far in the past that the second floor apartment was still occupied and Luka was slumming it on a ground floor friend's couch.
posted by delfin at 9:51 AM on February 15, 2012


Enterprising YouTube producers: you'll need:
1 Victrola loudspeaker horn
1 fox terrier
Play this audio clip through the loudspeaker horn, and show the fox terrier who's sitting there listening. Tiny dogs + Suzanne Vega + retro technology = win.
posted by crapmatic at 9:54 AM on February 15, 2012


Previously
posted by DU at 9:58 AM on February 15, 2012


[DU beat me to it]
posted by mykescipark at 10:03 AM on February 15, 2012


Suzanne Vega is sometimes called the "Mother of the MP3" because the format's compression was modeled on her voice. Interesting to see her working with a very different format.
posted by jiawen at 10:05 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Her next new single: "Luca Tesla".
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 10:10 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Isn't recording Tom's Diner kind of stepping back in time regardless of the recording medium?
posted by Naberius at 10:11 AM on February 15, 2012


I love this so much.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:15 AM on February 15, 2012


DU beat me to it too - but I'll include my link anyway: another recording of that song that They Might Be Giants did on The Daily Show's end-of-millenium special in 1999.

I really want to get my hands on a cylinder recorder someday. I have a Gakken cup phonograph but haven't yet been able to get it to record and/or play back anything recognizable.

It makes me sad that half of the students looked bored out of their minds, and the other half were watching through their smartphone screens.

Also, on WFMU:
Antique Phonograph Music Program
Thomas Edison's Attic (with Jerry Fabris, who was the recording technician in the Suzanne Vega clips.)
posted by usonian at 10:17 AM on February 15, 2012


So would this be considered AAA, AAD, or ADD?
posted by mazola at 10:17 AM on February 15, 2012


The MP3 thing is true and is one of the reasons I can't stand OGG. If you compress Tom's Diner through OGG format and play it back, all of the fricatives sound horribly wrong; elongated and thick. I don't know what the OGG guys used for their model but it wasn't the human voice.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:18 AM on February 15, 2012


This is all kinds of awesome -- including the park ranger's ubiquitous clay-brown uniform.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 10:29 AM on February 15, 2012


I love Suzanne Vega and all that, and "Tom's Diner" was my secret soundtrack to a major unrequited college crush, but hasn't she milked this song to death by this point?
posted by blucevalo at 10:57 AM on February 15, 2012


While watching the first video on the page, I couldn't help but be distracted by the brunette who is showing a side profile and then fiddling with her hair (behind the blue banner) as if she's thinking "Time for my closeup, Mr. Demille."

Kids today. Sheesh.
posted by wittgenstein at 10:58 AM on February 15, 2012


I love Suzanne Vega and all that, and "Tom's Diner" was my secret soundtrack to a major unrequited college crush, but hasn't she milked this song to death by this point?

I was thinking that if there were one Suzanne Vega song that belonged on an archival recording, this would be it. Kind of like picking an item for a time capsule.
posted by bardophile at 11:01 AM on February 15, 2012


I've been waiting for years to add this to my wax cylinder collection. Vinyl is fine for, shall we say, less discerning listeners, but it can't capture the warmth and depth of a wax cylinder.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:32 AM on February 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've been waiting for years to add this to my wax cylinder collection. Vinyl is fine for, shall we say, less discerning listeners, but it can't capture the warmth and depth of a wax cylinder.

You don't say...
posted by Edison Carter at 11:47 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


DNA remix aside, "Tom's Diner" is a near-perfect example of solo-voice acapella (or acappella, or a cappella or whatever my spellcheck will accept). Can you think of anything better to record on an Edison cylinder?
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:23 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love Suzanne Vega and all that, and "Tom's Diner" was my secret soundtrack to a major unrequited college crush, but hasn't she milked this song to death by this point?

Yeah, as others have said, the pure a cappella arrangement makes it pretty much perfect for this experiment. I love many other Suzanne Vega songs far more, but if you're looking for a perfect intersection of style, popularity, and well-timed nostalgia, it would be hard to imagine much else.
posted by mykescipark at 12:30 PM on February 15, 2012


I love many other Suzanne Vega songs far more, but if you're looking for a perfect intersection of style, popularity, and well-timed nostalgia, it would be hard to imagine much else.

The Queen and the Soldier!

A more perfectly melodramatic ode to teen angst has yet to be penned.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2012


They Might Be Giants, "The Edison Museum"
posted by kirkaracha at 2:08 PM on February 15, 2012


Sebmojo - thanks for reminding me what a great song The Queen and the Soldier is.
posted by New England Cultist at 7:12 PM on February 15, 2012


Right, kirkaracha, and indeed they recorded "I Can Hear You" on a wax cylinder at that very place for the Factory Showroom album!

I am not going to go any further with this.
posted by Because at 6:16 PM on February 16, 2012


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