A Harmonic Insomniac Journey

10/31/2008 By Shawn Burns

Or, reason number 143 why you shouldn’t click on any Twitter links after 11pm.

@karlerikson, aka Secondhand Karl, tweeted a link to this pretty daunting video. On Youtube. I’m sure you’ve all wandered down Youtubian roads and ended up in unexpected places. But dammit, I had to go to sleep. Nevertheless, I clicked. And watched.

How had I never heard of this multi-tracking self-recording phenomenon before? I needed to check out some basic works after that; some ground floor stuff.

And scruffy haired/bearded guy was pretty good. Also? He had recorded a couple from "The Music Man". Because if you are at all interested in barbershop type stuff you know "The Music Man". I was in the barbershop quartet in "The Music Man" myself.

But then the lingo started dropping. This is the guy who introduced me to the term "tag". He hasn’t dropped any phat multi-tracking tags in a while though. Because he has a part in "The Music Man" that’s keeping him busy.

I saw a couple of names crop up here and there, "FineyLee" and "VancePerry" so I went looking for them. This right here is a fantastic tag, if I understand what "tag" means, by FineyLee.

And this is an overtone.

But then someone in the comments was all "I just find it easier to hear overtones when I listen to bhsnerd’s tags." And I was all "Oh snap!" So, still not really knowing what an "overtone" was I clicked over onto a bhsnerd clip.

And figuring I’d learn about overtones through osmosis I just kept clicking.

Although, to me, bhsnerd sounds overproduced. Nice, but it’s not "street". You know? So what about VancePerry?

This was a little more "street", because dude is rockin’ his girth like nobody’s business. But still a little too studio. Like he’s selling out. Just keep it real, yo.

This was more like it. Just a bunch of guys who can’t afford a webcam singing some barbershop. And I realized that’s really what I was after. Not multi-tracking or single tags. But full-on barbershop. Multi-voiced rather than multi-tracked. And video. Because honestly who knows if that last one was different guys. It kind of sounds like the same guy, but with a picture of four guys up to trick you. No more tricks.

So I found a barbershop quartet.

But there, leaping out at me from the sidebar, was a fabulous word:


And once you’ve toked a quartet and snorted an octet there’s nothing left for it but to mainline a whole chorus.

But I felt like I was going to OD. So I did a simple search for "barbershop quartet", just so I could take the edge off and go to sleep.

Stop dancing. It doesn’t make it less racist.