The More I Drink, the More This Congress Is Makin' Sense ...
February 23, 2010 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Auto-Tune the News #10. The Auto-Tune folks come out with their next tune, and, like most of their ouevre so far, darn if they don't make Congress sound catchy. Sing about that turtle fence, Hoekstra baby!
posted by WCityMike (36 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Frankly, if their latest effort sucked, I wouldn't've bothered with a FPP, but really, they really outdid themselves with this particular tune. One of their better ones.
posted by WCityMike at 12:42 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

A turtle fence is exactly what you would think it is.
posted by signalnine at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2010

I was kind of disappointed--catchy though it was and even with the requisite Katie Coo appearance--until the very last:

They got the best ethics laws. Nepotism is strictly disallowed....
except for family members.
...and sexy turtles...

posted by WolfDaddy at 12:56 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

well now I want a turtle fence.
posted by clockworkjoe at 12:58 PM on February 23, 2010

Metafilter: Strictly disallowed, except for family members... and sexy turtles.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:00 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

On a more relevant note, I have to agree with WCityMike. This is a return to excellent form; I have to wonder if the long wait for it was the creators knowing they'd gotten a little iffy, and making sure their next one would be a resurrection.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:01 PM on February 23, 2010

signalnine: "A turtle fence is exactly what you would think it is."

I'm imagining a fence made of turtles. Actually searching the Internet for turtle fence leaves me underwhelmed.
posted by pwnguin at 1:02 PM on February 23, 2010

Weren't these guys just at CPAC? What's that about?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2010

Weren't these guys just at CPAC? What's that about?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth

posted by june made him a gemini at 1:08 PM on February 23, 2010

I wish people would stop making fun of turtles.

My turtle disapproves.

of pretty much everything except worms and fish.
posted by 1adam12 at 1:09 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

i like turtles
posted by empath at 1:13 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a rabid embracer of many a meme, lover of subcultures and fan of surreal curious fare, not to mention lolcat addict, I still don't get the appeal of auto-tune the news. It doesn't seem funny, quirky, odd, fascinating (even in the train wreck manner), cute or anything else.
posted by Bovine Love at 1:14 PM on February 23, 2010

A few tidbits: here's an RSS feed for their Auto-Tune videos (generated courtesy of this).

The tune is based on Kapluckus' "Aquarium Girl" – and Kapluckus either has or had as a member Michael Gregory, one of the "Gregory Brothers" who do Auto-Tune.

And, gotta say, my own favorite line:
Franks: We need a rattlesnake fence.
Although "it was all meant to be / it's all destiny" is a beautiful bit of an editing-created lyric.
posted by WCityMike at 1:14 PM on February 23, 2010

Bovine, I'm kind of with you. I really only enjoyed the original. This one seemed to focus way more on getting jokes in then actually editing and auto-tuning the victims saying ridiculous things in ridiculous ways, which is why it was so funny to begin with.
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:15 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

And, by the way, the Canadian Skeleton gold medal winner had a turtle (or turtle spirit) painted on his helmet. Just so you turtle lovers knew.
posted by Bovine Love at 1:16 PM on February 23, 2010

That would be the 2010 olympic gold medal winner, who happened to be a canadian (scarily stereotypical on in fact, even down to grabbing a pitcher of beer on his way through the village...). In case the clarification matters.
posted by Bovine Love at 1:17 PM on February 23, 2010

Can't watch it now, but I'm excited to see if they redeem themselves after that Sony mess.
And yeah, what was up with these people playing CPAC?
posted by Theta States at 1:23 PM on February 23, 2010

#10 already? They grow up so fast!
posted by bicyclefish at 1:34 PM on February 23, 2010

Enjoyable as always, but they didn't say "Shar-ta'-eee" to Katie-Coo once...
posted by LakesideOrion at 1:45 PM on February 23, 2010

I still don't get the appeal of auto-tune the news

Part of the appeal to me is that being forced to follow Congress every day can get very boring and repetitive and ATTN turns that repetitiveness on its head and turns it into something enjoyable.
posted by ekroh at 1:57 PM on February 23, 2010

I also think they do a pretty good job of presenting the overall narrative of news stories. Y'know, for an auto-tuned video.
posted by ekroh at 2:17 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

You know, their last few were kind of forced and not so great as the old Katie Couric global warming one, but damn this one was great, some of their best work.
posted by mathowie at 2:29 PM on February 23, 2010

Awesome... thanks wcitymike. Can't wait to check it out tonight. I had been wondering whatever happened to them... #5 and #6 had so much energy and catchiness, then #7-9 were really not memorable. It must have been the smooooke... the smooo-oooke...
posted by crapmatic at 2:43 PM on February 23, 2010

I have #5 Lettuce Regulation on my iPod, and boy does that pump me up during the final mile of my long runs. Glad to see they are back to form.
posted by yeti at 2:45 PM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just to demonstrate a divergent opinion, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (don't forget about LOVE) ATTN but this one on first viewing was pretty meh comparatively. I guess I didn't have as many issues with the few previous ones as others did. Still, I hope this means I won't have to wait sooooooooooo long for the next one, as I still have great faith in them (and this one will probably grow on me).
posted by haveanicesummer at 2:46 PM on February 23, 2010

then #7-9 were really not memorable
posted by crapmatic

Blasphemy! Rewatch! Number 8 features ACTUAL T-PAIN talking about Katie Coo and saying the VERY THIN ICE line, and the Biden "Made in america!" interspersed with "Those geese are cooked" is catchy as all hell. So good!
posted by haveanicesummer at 2:52 PM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

In response to Bovine's question, as to what the appeal is...

There's a guy on Youtube, Mike Penny, who learnt to play all of them on shamisen, and this video in particular (the first I saw) has a description of why he wanted to do so which points out some things I think most people miss when they see these videos. I found it very interesting to read his comments as I hadn't put my finger on the fact that the appeal to me is, as a musician. They really are writing rhythmically, and melodically very complicated compositions, which just hook something in my brain and bring me back. It's all complexity which remains very subtle if you're not looking out for it, or predisposed to notice it, and just comes across as catchy. I think to achieve both those things in one is quite remarkable.
Also, the line "Not if I can help it, it's unconstitutional to take away my God-given pharmaceuticals" makes me deliriously happy for no good reason. Just scans really well.

Mike Penny:
"Lately, I've kind of been obsessed with these masterful compositions by the Gregory Brothers because I'm a geek. Not to draw unnecessary parallels, but their music seems strangely Messiaenic to me. Messiaen's music was rhythmically complex largely due to his fascination with birdsong, right? He considered himself to be an ornithologist, and birds to be the greatest musicians on the planet. While there are obvious dissimilarities between Messiaen and the Gregory Brothers, The Gregory Brothers' songs' freaky rhythmic phrasing (amazing and great, of course) derives, at least in part, from the speech patterns and cadences of the various Auto-Tuned characters. They're quantized and sometimes manipulated (I assume, anyway. I actually haven't bothered yet to research Auto-Tune technique or anything like that, so I'm just a scholastic failure!) so as to create rhythms very different from those originally uttered by the agent. However, assuming that the Gregory Brothers use at least some of the organic rhythms spoken, they are, like Messiaen, creating a new music that derives its musical substance straight from the sonic and visual landscapes that surround them. Birds for Messiaen, television politicos for the Gregory Brothers. Though I tend to listen and play mostly folk/classical instrumental music, the Auto-Tune the News series has held my interest by posing to me some serious musical challenges. Trying to replicate them note-for-note, ornaments and all, is so strange and awkward yet so new and crunktastic that I've recently become totally engrossed in learning all of the Auto-Tune episodes! All of the "sung" melodies are always so cleverly composed and interact brilliantly with the underlying harmonic structure. I'm kinda surprised how much I like this stuff!"
posted by opsin at 2:53 PM on February 23, 2010 [5 favorites]

Also, seconding (nthing) anyone saying #5 is best, with #6 very close behind. I loved #7-#9, though do agree about them being less memorable (by a long shot)... just didn't make them anything less than great to me.
posted by opsin at 2:55 PM on February 23, 2010

Okay on my third listen I definitely like this one as well. I formally retract me meh. Apologies all around.
posted by haveanicesummer at 2:57 PM on February 23, 2010

Another big fan of the earlier clips, feeling sort of unimpressed here. Can't shake the feeling that their stints at Sony and Cpac haven't done the ATTN people much good.

#10 ends up feeling surprisingly toothless and muddled, and I can't help wondering whether part of the problem is that the ATTN people are being a little more careful to keep it inoffensive?

No doubt the people at ATTN need and deserve to eat; still It's painful to see ATTN drifting in the direction of Jib-Jab and the Capitol Steps. Here's hoping they see the wisdom in keeping a slightly sharper edge.
posted by washburn at 3:00 PM on February 23, 2010

Woah, ATTN did XPAC. Wha?
posted by cavalier at 4:13 PM on February 23, 2010

I've got a huge crush on the auto-tune the news girl.
posted by elwoodwiles at 7:05 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Can someone explain the turtle fence thing to me?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:59 PM on February 23, 2010

Metafilter: Build that turtle fence!
posted by SisterHavana at 9:52 PM on February 23, 2010

Can someone explain the turtle fence thing to me?

I'm not sure it makes enough sense to be explainable, but Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R) seems to feel that states should resist health care reform, because tax dollars they put into the system might be used to fund unnecessary projects in other states, such as turtle fences.

Perhaps if you read or watch his comments on C-SPAN, they will make more sense, although I tend to doubt it.
posted by washburn at 11:11 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

this sucks
posted by the cuban at 11:30 AM on February 24, 2010

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