Something Good Indeed
March 23, 2014 1:10 PM   Subscribe

GQ, otherwise known as the Girls' Quartet, absolutely RIPS IT UP in a barbershop medley of Something Good and Happy Together.
posted by KathrynT (36 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

Holy shit, they are amazing.
posted by Sokka shot first at 1:20 PM on March 23

Ok this is very good. Thanks, KathrynT!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:23 PM on March 23

I thought it was going to be a different Something Good.
posted by sneebler at 1:35 PM on March 23

I was hoping for yet another Something Good.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:49 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]

Great stuff. Right up there with some of the best.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:58 PM on March 23

SO GOOD. And you could tell how much fun they were having singing it. Seriously. What structural changes do we need to make in American society to convince more people to sing harmony together as a genuinely enjoyable pastime?
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:58 PM on March 23 [14 favorites]

Holy wow. Killin' it!
posted by lazaruslong at 2:00 PM on March 23

The autotune fightback starts here...
posted by Devonian at 2:04 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]

Jesus. How do you even practice something like that? So impressive.

For some reason, the very tight all-female harmony reminded me of the DeZurik Sisters.
posted by saladin at 2:04 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]

My a cappella group has been passing this around for the past week. These young women have a terrific sound, and some of the harmony choices they have made here are stellar. It makes us very happy.
posted by blurker at 2:24 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Barbershop can be great fun. I tried it for a while, but, sadly, I was hampered by a lack of talent and personality.
posted by pjern at 2:25 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]

What structural changes do we need to make in American society to convince more people to sing harmony together as a genuinely enjoyable pastime?

I guess the problem lies in the fact that kids growing up would rather be, say, a Beyonce, than be a mere part of a Destiny's Child. It's mostly solo artists that top the charts and get all the pub these days, and are the focus of the more popular competition reality shows. I guess that makes One Direction our last hope...
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:29 PM on March 23

Their version of Regina Spektor's Samson is pretty good too!
posted by moonmilk at 3:06 PM on March 23 [11 favorites]

TheSecretDecoderRing, I think it's more that children are being forced into unnatural roles by their parents and culture. Why not just get together with your friends and have fun singing? You don't have to be a *star* or be part of a band. Just sing. Sing from your heart. Don't worry if your voice sounds weird or if there are notes you can't reach. Just sing.
posted by SPrintF at 3:19 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]

Wow, great power and harmony! Thanks, KathrynT!

I wonder if Jimmy Fallon's recurring barbershop quartet bit with the
Ragtime Gals
has done anything to raise awareness/appreciation of the genre in a broader audience. Barbershop is great fun to listen to even without the goofy cover band aspect that the Ragtime Gals have.
posted by fussbudget at 3:58 PM on March 23

Happy Together might be the best song of all time. It's at least in the conversation.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:00 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]

My mom and her roommate both sing in a Sweet Adelines group in Maryland, and they are both in quartets as well. They are going to a quartet competition in Ocean City in about 4 weeks and they will be competing against this group!
posted by starvingartist at 4:13 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]

moonmilk: "Their version of Regina Spektor's Samson is pretty good too!"

No kidding! That was 3 minutes of full-on goosebump-y frisson. Lovely.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:17 PM on March 23

Rip it up, indeed. Spectacular!

Thank you for sharing!
posted by Pudhoho at 5:01 PM on March 23

Aw jeezy, this is good. That rendition of Samson kills me (especially since it's done at the slower tempo, like the original recording on Songs).

A point of curiosity, though - I'm not good enough at the ear to identify dominant seventh chords, but I can't tell if this is properly barbershop singing, or simply fabulously arranged four-part a cappella. Ostensibly, barbershop harmony is centered around these dominant-seventh chords, which are typically adjusted by ear into just intonation rather than equal temperament, to create the "barbershop sound." And while I can't tell you when they are or aren't singing a dominant seventh, my gut reaction is that I hear less "barbershop sound" than most barbershop music. But I'm not sure that gut reaction is worth anything. Hm.

This is unreservedly gorgeous in all cases.
posted by Peevish at 5:21 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Malwarebytes blocks me from the OP's first link calling it a "potentially malicious website." But I like barbershop quartets!
posted by mono blanco at 5:29 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Holy shit!
posted by Songdog at 5:43 PM on March 23

Woot! great way to end the weekend. thanks!
posted by allthinky at 6:19 PM on March 23

Peevish, you're right about the links above, but they can do the traditional barbershop sound just as well, as you can hear here.
posted by umbú at 7:00 PM on March 23

What structural changes do we need to make in American society to convince more people to sing harmony together as a genuinely enjoyable pastime?

"Once men sang together round a table in chorus; now one man sings alone, for the absurd reason that he can sing better. If scientific civilization goes on...only one man will laugh, because he can laugh better than the rest." -- G.K. Chesterton
posted by straight at 7:19 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]

They would do such a great Hi-Lo's set.

May I request that here?

Thanks for posting and for everyone's links. These ladies are terrific.
posted by the sobsister at 7:28 PM on March 23

Regarding their cover of "Bei Mir Bis Du Schön" in this clip, I pose this question to those with better ears and technical know-how, how are their harmonies different from those of the Andrews Sisters? They don't sound the same to me (granted, they have an extra voice), but I don't know if that's my mishearing.
posted by the sobsister at 7:52 PM on March 23

Life doesn't get much better than this.
posted by cleroy at 8:50 PM on March 23

How do you even practice something like that?

posted by KathrynT at 10:02 PM on March 23

Foreign Lander

Whoa! I do like what the wonky acoustics in the live vids do to the overtones, but this in-studio take is amazing.
posted by hap_hazard at 2:08 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]

Wow. SA-lute!
posted by petebest at 4:47 AM on March 24

What structural changes do we need to make in American society to convince more people to sing harmony together as a genuinely enjoyable pastime?

Stop assuming corporations and millionaires shouldn't have to pay their proportional burden of taxes, and properly fund public school music programs, for a start.
posted by aught at 6:25 AM on March 24 [6 favorites]

Also, speaking only anecdotally -- for a lot of kids, their first exposure to participatory singing in groups is in church. Not only is the US getting more and more secular, but a lot of churches are getting away from more traditional hymns-and-choir service music and towards less participatory, more performance-oriented service music. That means that kids' only opportunity to discover whether or not they love to sing is at school, and as aught mentioned, those opportunities are dwindling too. It's a bad trend and I don't like the end game.

On the other hand, believe it or not, shows like American Idol and Glee seem to have sparked a renewed interest in performance-oriented singing in teens and tweens. The conductor for the symphony chorale I sing in also conducts the local boy choir, and he says that in the past five or six years, they've about doubled the number of kids showing up for auditions, and they all know what an audition is are prepared to make a real go of it. So that's something. Easily the best thing to come out of Glee, if you ask me.
posted by KathrynT at 9:01 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]

sobsister - I'm not an expert, but I was going to talk about the differences between close and open harmonies (the Andrews sisters famously sang in close harmony), but it looks like most a cappella, including barbershop, is typically close harmony. So I dunno. And from the sounds of this article, what made the Andrews Sisters sound like the Andrews Sisters may have been actually pretty weird.
posted by Peevish at 12:05 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]

Yes. Awesome.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:56 PM on March 24

Niiiice. That's some solid work.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:05 AM on March 25

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