Open Thread for October 28 2011

This Thread broadcasts in the 400 to 440 MHz range, thus making parts of it illegal in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago. I’ll let you figure out which. In movie news, the Timberlake/Seyfriend sci-fi romp In Time survived … Continued

This Thread broadcasts in the 400 to 440 MHz range, thus making parts of it illegal in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago. I’ll let you figure out which.

In movie news, the Timberlake/Seyfriend sci-fi romp In Time survived an attempted injunction by Harlan Ellison to plop into theaters this weekend. You also have Johnny Depp playing a one-off Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary and Antonio Banderas voicing a cat in Puss in Boots.

The Lou Reed / Metallica crossover album has not been drawing a lot of fans. Unfazed by that reception, Leonard Cohen announced a new album. Most importantly, Beavis and Butthead returned to MTV last night, reviving a dormant era of music criticism.

In TV news, The Walking Dead got renewed for a third season, where hopefully they’ll get more than seven miles from Atlanta, and Anya won it all on Project Runway, if you’ve watched enough PR to know who that is.

Comment of the Week goes to “Musician” (if that is his real name) in Justin Bieber, Beware the Transposition:

Most people who aren’t in the industry don’t know that autotune is more subtle than most people think. Everyone seems to just think of T-Pain sounding like a robot but autotune can actually be used as an after-effect to simply touch up a single pitch or even a part of a pitch. The effect becomes more and more disconcerting the further the autotuned interval is from the original pitch and the longer the effect is sustained. Bieber is autotuned but because of the excellent production, we don’t notice it; however, if Bieber was autotuned up a whole minor 3rd, which the writer of the article suggests is the interval his voice has dropped, we would definitely notice.

In terms of my own experience with changes of key, I have played in a number of groups that have played and recorded cover songs. It is very common practice to change the key of the song to match the vocalist but, in my opinion, the change is always a negative one. Songs are usually in their original key for a reason. The timbre of a particular person’s voice at particular frequencies has a lasting impression on the listener(s), as Levitin states in his book “This Is Your Brain on Music”, and it is a shame to have that aural memory erased. For karaoke, it can be as disconcerting as listening to a song autotuned the whole time. To the trained listener or someone with perfect pitch, there might not be a difference at all.

Insightful stuff! Glad we could drag you out of the woodwork.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

13 Comments on “Open Thread for October 28 2011”

  1. JeremyT #

    Does the return of Beavis and Butt-Head preordain a return of Daria?

    At least Mike Judge will be able to make some money again.


    • Chris #

      With this mention of the possible return of Daria, I will use this as a chance to SHAMELESSLY plug a piece I wrote for another website:

      Also, speaking of Loutallica, here’s a nice piece on it from Chuck Klosterman:

      I’ve never seen an episode of Beavis and Butthead, haven’t been just a dash too young to watch it in the same way that young kids watch South Park. Now, I’m probably a tinge too old for this iteration. If each generation gets the Beavis and Butthead it deserves, I guess my generation didn’t deserve one at all.

      Lastly, how about that World Series? Game seven tonight. Go baseball!


  2. Xyloart #

    WHEN ANYA WON AND JOSH WAS LIKE “MY STUFF IS SEWN BETTER” DIDN’T YOU JUST WANT TO PLAY THE CLIP OF HIM NEGGING BECKY SAYING ” THIS ISN’T PROJECT SEAMSTRESS”?!? Seriously though I think I’m a little in love with Anya. She makes me feel ashamed for automatically dismissing pageant folk, which I already knew was unfair but still did more than I’d like to say.


    • cat #

      I was so incredibly bored this season. The judges have always been hacks but lately they’ve been particularly hack-y. I still haven’t forgiven them for the travesty of Wretchen last season. I didn’t hate Josh. I hated his clothes but I agreed with him about Becky. He was incredibly harsh and meanspirited about it but justified. I think PR needs to be put out to pasture. There are already more designers out there than anyone has time keep up with. Why try and force these untalented fameseekers into the mix?


      • Xyloart #

        Yeah the judges have been ridiculous from day one but I guess that’s to be expected. Agreed on all points except I feel the show is still salvagable; I think not having a new season every three seconds would help and also doing a better job when they do have it. One season a year, done really well, and perhaps with a change in format might save it from the terrible hole its in right now. Honestly sometimes I find myself not even looking up from whatever I’m working on to watch the runway show at the end.


  3. Leigh #

    I read The Rum Diary this week, and then saw the film. The novel is very Hemingway, with its sparse descriptions of inhuman alcohol consumption which is ultimately fueled by a deep sadness. Which is not the sort of story-telling that Hunter S. Thompson became known for. So I guess the filmmakers decided to spice it up a bit, make it seem more like a story of young HST. They added some drugs, some cockfights, and a bunch of other fictional strangeness to sort of pad it out. So watching the film is a very different experience from reading the book. And if you didn’t like the book because it wasn’t Fear and Loathing enough, don’t let that put you off the movie.

    One thing that did bother me about it, though, is that Amber Heard, as the female lead, looked more like a 2011 beauty than a 1960 beauty. The insertion of current standards of attractiveness and sexuality into period pieces is a subject which is ripe for Overthinking.


    • JeremyT #

      With The Rum Diary, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and
      Where the Buffalo Roam (largely based on Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72) the only major H.S.T. narrative left to film is Hell’s Angels. Is that already in the works?

      Also, to Johnny Depp: hurry up and make that Thin Man remake.


    • cat #

      Hmn…considering Amber Heard was the lead on the cancelled Playboy Club there might be something to that line of overthinking.


  4. Gab #

    So I realize this is old news, but it’s new to me: The American dictionary added a bunch of Internet terms to the dictionary, as well as added new definitions to old words to reflect how they’re used colloquially. There are other articles with longer lists, but this one shows some of the “new” definitions:

    And apparently the OED added stuff like “sexting” and “retweet” as well:

    I can’t find full lists of all additions for each dictionary, but a comparison (and of course musings as to why there are differences) would be fun to do, and likely a rather good intellectual exercise. Are these attempts at relevance or realism?


  5. Megan from Lombard #

    Who’s dressing up for Halloween? Can adults dress for the holiday or is it just for kids? Granted most grown females tend to go the ‘less costume is more’ route but nowadays the weather isn’t great for that…

    I plan as going as a “werewolf hunter” (any excuse to kill the guys from Twilight really) that involves military gear and fake blood; I pride myself on being original.


    • JeremyT #

      If you want to be really original, get a cape and fangs, plus a bucket hat, aviator sunglasses, and a cigarette holder. Tell everyone you’re a “vampire Hunter… S. Thompson.”

      (With The Rum Diary out now, it’s also topical!)


    • Gab #

      Okay, so my traditional rant about the sexxy tyme costumes is that they’re okay for private use, and they don’t usually get on my nerves too much*- I’m okay with them having a section of their own in the store, since I can just ignore it if I choose, as can anybody else. But I draw the line when they’re mingled with kids’ costumes of the same theme. My quintessential example is an endcap at a Halloween store I went to a few years ago had all of the Harry Potter stuff on it. All of it. The sexy Hogwarts student costume was above the kid-sized Quidditch one and next to the kid-sized accessories (glasses, tie, wand).

      That being said, Halloween isn’t just for kids. If there was some way of making a prop labeled “Anti-Sparkle,” you could be an all-around Twilight-character killer.

      Due to an inability to find what I wanted to comprise my costume, I won’t be dressing up, but I got an idea for the future, one that’s highly fantastical and pretty much a myth: employed political theorist. ZING!

      An idea a friend of mine and I came up with was go in pretty much anything and claim to be Jack the Ripper, since nobody knows what he/she actually looked like. The other is similar, except say you’re the second shooter.; that one, you could go with someone dressed in green and say they’re the grassy knull.

      *Of course, in general, I am a little creeped out by 1) the fact that it seems as though they’re becoming more prolific and more stuff is getting turned into sexxy tyme fodder; 2) the general notion of exploitation underlying the concept; and 3) what some of them are, since a lot of them verge on staged pedophilia or sacrilege. But I’m not intrinsically, 100% against the idea. I think since in the end it comes down to a private matter, I tend not to get too outraged, though- to each, their own, as long as nobody’s getting hurt.


      • JeremyT #

        Use a can of compressed air for “Anti-Sparkle”.


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