I know that one of the first signs of old fogey-dom is hatred and immediate dismissal of all that crap music played by the kids these days. I'm okay with that, as one of the nicknames I received from a certain member of the female gender about half a decade ago was "geezer." Still, I have a very good reason to say what I'm about to say: I am absolutely baffled by the popularity of Taylor Swift based entirely on the fact that the girl carries a tune like she's using three-foot-long tongs coated in teflon and trying to put it in a bucket with a rusted out, leaky bottom. I only bring this up because I just found it out, given that I can't generally listen to Taylor Swift for more than five seconds, anyway, and she resides firmly in the middle of the Uncanny Valley in appearance as far as I'm concerned. Seriously, she looks like she's made of plastic and her songs are terrible is what I'm saying.
Either way, on New Year's Eve I was having a conversation with a coworker who mentioned that she's a horrible singer live. This didn't shock me but it didn't mean much, either. As midnight approached the east coast I was sitting on my couch watching IFC's Portlandia marathon and basically ignoring NYE, as is my yearly tradition. Then a friend of mine texted me and told me to turn to [whichever major network had Ryan Seacrest, Jenny McCarthy, Carly Rae Jeppsen, someone who was either Hammer or Pitbull, and a bunch of other people I didn't recognize]. Taylor Swift was on.
Taylor Swift was awful. She was beyond awful. She couldn't find the key she was supposed to be on for more than about five seconds at a time and when she missed she'd pop the clutch so hard it would throw the transmission into nearby storefronts. Then from time to time she'd stop singing and start talk-singing, which was still somehow, miraculously, off key.
I mentioned it to my coworker the next time I was in the office. He said he hadn't seen it, but he hadn't heard anybody mention it. So we looked it up and found this HuffPo article (with embedded video!). The article only says this about her vocal stylings:
As Zap2it notes, Swift also appeared to have help from a vocal track, but not that much: The singer's voice cracked a couple of times on high notes, lending the performance an air of live-on-stage credibility.
That's...that's precious. It's kind of like saying, "The Titanic nearly made it to New York City on its maiden voyage, leading to hopes for many years of North Atlantic crossings." Seriously. How do you point out that "her voice cracked a couple of times" to point to authenticity while completely and totally ignoring the fact that she couldn't hit the right key with a shotgun from three paces?
And here are some other analogies so that I may horribly date myself (because it doesn't seem like anyone else wants to. Ba-dum-ching!):
New Coke is off to a rocky start, which just means that Coca-Cola will try harder to reach the people who really like it.
Milli Vanilli had a rough concert last night when their backing vocal track gave out, but the resulting confusion should cement their legacy as a genuine act who only tries harder when the chips are down.
Sales of Nintendo's Virtual Boy were disappointing, which means that there's still a very large, untapped market of Nintendo enthusiasts who will surely be lining up to buy it in the coming months.
The movie adaptation of Coneheads opened to disappointing box office numbers, which should cement Dan Akroyd's status as an icon of smart but largely inaccessible art house films.