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Imogen Heap's Twitdress
February 1, 2010 12:26 AM   Subscribe

Imogen Heap (Previously: 1 2) was nominated for two Grammys this year, and won for Best Engineering for a Non-Classical Album. To share the occasion of her first Grammy nominations with her fans, she designed a dress and handbag onto which they could tweet pictures and messages of support by including the #twitdress hashtag or sending pictures to a Twitpic account. Video of the Twitdress in action - note that her name does NOT actually rhyme with "toboggan".
posted by DecemberBoy (29 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
It was only shown via the live web stream, so that's the best quality video available. I think I saw my "Congrats EE-mag-EN" tweet while she was accepting her award, but it wasn't much more legible on the actual feed, unfortunately.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:28 AM on February 1, 2010


(I don't have any connection with Imogen Heap other than wanting to move to England and live on a little shelf in her bedroom. Sorry about that last one.)
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:44 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's very cool. She's coming to the Cambridge Junction on Friday.
posted by honest knave at 2:25 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, I'm the only person in the world who finds her music unlistenable? Very well, carry on.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:49 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of her three solo albums, I think I like the second the best. Her first, I Megaphone, sounds rather harsh to me. It's got some interesting stuff, but I stopped playing it after just a couple days. A number of the tracks are a bit repellent, rather unpleasant on my fairly good stereo. I don't think it was mixed with good gear in mind.

The second is Speak for Yourself, and the production values were much higher. I reacted to that album in much the same way that I did to Peter Gabriel, lo those many years past, more or less mesmerized. I'm not terribly into lyrics, just music, which is a good thing, because neither of those two are especially talented in that area. Honestly, Heap's lyrics strike me as trite. She's certainly no Kate Bush. But the music.... god, it sinks claws into my ears.

The third album, Ellipse, is the one she won this award for. It's smooth and extremely listenable, perhaps a bit melancholy, but I didn't find it had the same catchiness. I was humming tunes from Speak for Yourself for months, where Ellipse grabbed me for only a week or so. I still listen to it, and think it was totally worth the purchase, but what it gained in production quality, it lost in power.

I think new listeners might enjoy going backwards from #3 to #2 the most. I'd suggest sampling some of the tracks on #1 before buying... I found it difficult to like.
posted by Malor at 2:51 AM on February 1, 2010


Malor: You should check out some videos from her still-ongoing tour before you judge the songs on Ellipse, or optimally go see her. She's a live performer and the live versions are the canonical versions. She basically records the album, then develops the songs further on tour. I think Ellipse is her best album, even though Speak For Yourself has my favorite songs, if that makes sense.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:10 AM on February 1, 2010


I don't know who the hell that was presenting, but my advice is less dancing and more pronouncing shit correctly.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:11 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


She also just re-released I Megaphone as a live recording with new versions of the songs. She sort of recorded that before she knew what she was doing (it came out around 1999).
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:13 AM on February 1, 2010


So, I'm the only person in the world who finds her music unlistenable? Very well, carry on.

Uh, I'm pretty sure you are :P (I can see how some people might find it boring but Unlistenable? srysly?)

Also, I thought it was more "IM-eh-JEN" or "IM-Moe-JEN". Of course, people with different accents will pronouce those pronunciations differently.

You can hear Zach Braff pronounce her name, plus a great live performance here
posted by delmoi at 3:46 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh, I'm pretty sure you are :P (I can see how some people might find it boring but Unlistenable? srysly?)

srysly. I keep trying to like her music and just can't. Every time it comes up on metafilter and people rave about her I try again and fail again. Different tastes and all but more people dislike even the most popular music than like it so it isn't that surprising.
posted by srboisvert at 3:54 AM on February 1, 2010


Though I think Imogen is great, I find :

“I was trying to get my twitter feed to work. I haven’t got anything to say.”

more delicately poignant than the rather silly dress.
posted by silence at 3:54 AM on February 1, 2010


I love this. It's damn geeky.

I love working with software, when you can fix stuff from thousands of miles away with an amazing level of flexibility & speed given enough thought.

Hardware, on the other hand, can be so much more accessible - explained so much more quickly. Also, when it breaks, you can hit it.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:57 AM on February 1, 2010


I don't understand how it makes sense to give a Grammy award for Best Engineered Non-Classical Album.

I mean, what does the sound engineering have to do with whether or not the music is classical? Are particular styles of music more demanding or difficult for the sound engineer?
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:58 AM on February 1, 2010


Are particular styles of music more demanding or difficult for the sound engineer?

twoleftfeet: most definitely yes. c.f. Acoustics & the Performance of Music: A Manual for Acousticians
posted by honest knave at 4:03 AM on February 1, 2010


twoleftfeet: "Are particular styles of music more demanding or difficult for the sound engineer?"

In pretty much every style of popular music, the artifacts of the amplification / recording system have worked their way into the style. Unlike classical music, where transparency is expected. There are thousands of ways to do "dirty" and make it sound good, but not very many ways to do clean, it is much more demanding.
posted by idiopath at 4:17 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


And won for Best Engineering for a Non-Classical Album.

But she can't engineer a website (see the first FPP link.)

Remarkably bad. Worthy of an FPP itself.
posted by three blind mice at 4:26 AM on February 1, 2010


Wow, are you serious? I can't see anything going on at all. Is her dress supposed to have a marquee on it or something?
posted by King Bee at 5:00 AM on February 1, 2010


The dress itself just looked pretty - it was the collar that did all the work!
posted by pinky at 5:03 AM on February 1, 2010


Snarking aside, that's a pretty cute gimmick to have a LED scrolling display board worn as a costume around her neck which takes live feed from the internet. The umbrella was a nice touch, too.

Snarking engaged, GAGA WAS ROBBED11111!! FREE GAGA!!

Bad Romance better be eligible for next year, s'all I'm sayin.
posted by cavalier at 6:02 AM on February 1, 2010


I was humming tunes from Speak for Yourself for months, where Ellipse grabbed me for only a week or so. I still listen to it, and think it was totally worth the purchase, but what it gained in production quality, it lost in power.

I disagree -- I think Ellipse is the stronger work. Technically, it clearly is, musically, that's something we're both absolutely right on.

Are particular styles of music more demanding or difficult for the sound engineer?

You've never tried to record an entire symphony, have you?

Indeed, right now, the best recording work in done in that context -- often, the primary target media is SACD or DVD-A, not CD Audio -- and the listener base, as a whole, has much better systems to play the music on.

Part of it is historical, but part of it is that recording and engineering four guys is a hell of a lot easier than 70, and when the userbase has both the tech and the desire for higher quality reproduction......
posted by eriko at 6:03 AM on February 1, 2010


I disagree -- I think Ellipse is the stronger work. Technically, it clearly is, musically, that's something we're both absolutely right on.

Heh, well, that was why I was so careful to phrase things the way I did; I could easily see others liking Ellipse better. That's why I suggested it as maybe a better starting point.

#4 will be an immediate purchase for sure.
posted by Malor at 6:33 AM on February 1, 2010


I just wish I could get the full version of "Deal With It". Does that exist?
posted by cashman at 6:44 AM on February 1, 2010


I quite enjoyed the one album she did with Guy Sigsworth (as Frou Frou)
posted by Bonzai at 9:15 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the Twitter dress designer: Moritz Waldemeyer
posted by netbros at 3:39 PM on February 1, 2010


Also, I thought it was more "IM-eh-JEN" or "IM-Moe-JEN". Of course, people with different accents will pronouce those pronunciations differently.

It's correctly pronounced "im" as in "him"-"oh"-"gin".
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:41 PM on February 1, 2010


And yeah, not to post too much in my own thread, but if anyone can identify those goofy jackoffs presenting the award, I'd be less curious at least. No one seems to know who they are.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:45 PM on February 1, 2010


Are particular styles of music more demanding or difficult for the sound engineer?

Arguably, as argued above, but this is actually more about political constituencies. If you didn't break them out then pop music engineers would win every time.

(The Grammys award categories are an ever-changing source of mystery in the world, anyway.)

By the way, I loved "Hide and Seek" but that awful "Whatcha Say" concoction robs it of any subtlety and I cannot wait until the day it is played no more.
posted by dhartung at 11:07 PM on February 1, 2010


"Heya! It's me, Imoen!"

Er, Imogen. Nevermind.
posted by The otter lady at 10:06 AM on February 2, 2010


I once saw a YouTube "discussion" on how the participating troglodytes agreed that "Hide And Seek" was about the Holocaust. There was particular significance to the "trains and sewing machines" line because the Jews were loaded onto trains, you see. My response was essentially that yes, every single other song she's written has been about everyday things and personal relationships, but she just decided to bust this one out about the extermination of European Jewry. (Note: She hasn't said, but it's assumed it's about her parents' divorce.)
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:14 PM on February 2, 2010


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