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Chris and music

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This is obviously what music is all about.

When it comes to music, Chris's taste is eclectic, confusing, and awe-inspring. His favorite acts range from generic, early-2000's bubblegum pop to generic rock. Pretty much everything Chris says he's a fan of comes from Guitar Hero, his parents' record collection, or shit he's heard from television and film. Even then, Chris can't remember lyrics, melodies, or even the instruments used in his favorite songs.

Musical tastes

Chris has often cited that he likes "All popular music." While it's possible that he's just giving that answer to appear cool and easygoing, he really does seem to try to listen to whatever popular opinion tells him is good. Almost every song on either of his two horrible albums was a top 40 hit at one point or another. Additionally, in a few of his Mumble chats, Chris left his radio on for the whole conversation. This means that he both enjoys the background music, and that he's totally inconsiderate to the other people in the chat.

Chris's favorite radio station is Lite Rock Z95.1 from Charlottesville, which plays incredibly bland and inoffensive pop music (i.e. what you hear in a doctor's office or a department store too cheap to afford Muzak). The station bills its offerings as "today's hits and yesterday's favorites, music for women."[1] Chris listens to the John Tesh radio show on 95.1, and once won a set of tickets to a sporting event through a call-in contest.

The only artist Chris seems to really idolize is Britney Spears. There is virtually no doubt that this is more because she's hot than because he appreciates her (alleged) musical talent. In his date with Emily, he claims to like Louis Armstrong in an effort to look like a sophisticated jazz-listener.

If his Rhapsody account (seen below) is any indication, almost everything Chris listens to has been in a Guitar Hero or Sonic game. This adds yet more weight to the theory that Chris is spoon-fed pop culture from video games and Family Guy.

Also, keeping with the theme of liking things that most people his age are unaware of (such as the lesser-known Ghostbusters series or American Rabbit) or would not enjoy (such as Red Skelton, I Love Lucy or Gilligan's Island), Chris has twice referenced Billy Joel's 1985 track "You're Only Human (Second Wind)," an extremely dated, upbeat mid-'80s pop song written specifically to stop teenagers from killing themselves. To date, Chris has referenced the song in a YouTube video where he says shitting your pants from stress isn't a big deal, and again when asked by a fan whether he'd ever had thoughts of suicide. Chris replied, with no elaboration, that he had "a lot to live for" and told the fan to go listen to the song.

Chris has also expressed a fondness for the Insane Clown Posse, releasing two videos (Hello, Juffalo and JuggaloShoutOut) in which he paints his face and talks about being a Juggalo. Since fans of ICP are usually idiotic, out-of-shape, white-trash dumbasses who believe themselves to be outcasts of society, it is easy to understand why becoming a Juggalo would appeal to Chris.

YouTube background music

Towards the fall of 2009, Chris began to include popular songs as background music in a number of his YouTube videos. Some videos, such as SHE IS MINE NOW, featured Aerosmith in the background, possibly in a sad attempt to appear intimidating and hardcore. For videos showing off his athletic prowess, Chris favored "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. In light of Chris's virulent hatred of homos, this is a somewhat ironic choice, given the extraordinarily homoerotic overtones of both the training sequences in Rocky III and Survivor's own music video for the song. For videos intended to express his heartfelt love for Kacey, Chris employed REO Speedwagon's power ballad "Can't Fight This Feeling."

Singing

 
 
...and when singing I can have a Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby flavor.
 

 

—Chris, being sadly mistaken.

"You've seen life through distorted eyes,
You know you had to learn,
The execution of your mind,
You really had to turn"

It is impossible to overstate how terrible of a singer Chris is. It's also impossible to overstate how deluded Chris is about his ability to sing. He's so deluded, in fact, when trying to confront Liquid via artistic competition, he created the SingStar Challenge, and lost spectacularly.

Despite claiming to have a "deep bass voice", Chris's voice is unusually high-pitched, and often louder than appropriate. He also tends to speak in an odd, emotionless monotone. These issues with his voice become even more obvious when he tries to sing. In both his Christian and the Hedgehog Boys albums, he doesn't actually "sing" so much as desperately yell over the track in an attempt to drown out the actual words of the song (as he never bothers to look up karaoke/instrumental only versions of anything he sings). This is painfully obvious when he attempts to sing Sonichu's Zip, a song that uses "Sonic Drive," the Japanese theme song of the anime Sonic X, where the entire song devolves into screaming gibberish. When he does try to actually vary his voice away from the standard monotone, it becomes very obvious that Chris is almost completely tone-deaf. His voice goes up and down with little regard to the background music, or even the original artist he's shouting over. He barely manages to carry a tune on I Got A Fish, though. If Chris could sing at all, his voice type would be at best a spieltenor (used for comical roles) pushing towards countertenor, and completely outside the bass range that he deludes himself into thinking he has.

Chris also has a lot of trouble with timing. While the songs he's written usually do a pretty good job matching the originals, Chris often falls behind or rushes ahead of the music he's chosen. This could probably be avoided if he took the time to practice, but practice would be work, and work is something Chris just doesn't do. Because of this, he's terrible at remembering the actual words to the song he's singing. The only part he tends to know is the chorus of the song, likely because the repetition makes it the only part of the song he pays attention to. This doesn't stop him from attempting to make up his own lyrics, although most of the time this just him mumbling incoherent nonsense before pausing to wait for the chorus to repeat. The look of dull panic on his face is priceless.

A capella

In the Official Videobooks, Chris will occasionally break out into a capella renditions of what we can only assume is supposed to be Sonichu's theme music. These bizarre freestyle musical interludes drive home exactly how childish Chris is. There's something uniquely terrifying about a 28 year old man (who looks like he's 45) showing us his Sonic/Pokémon crossover and shouting "dun dun dun." Chris also occasionally does this in his normal videos. He also performed a poor rendition of "The Final Countdown" while showing us that he can still pick up a chair.

Despite his frequent use of this vocal technique, Chris clearly doesn't understand the full meaning of the word. During the PaRappa the Rapper Contest, a frequent source of rage from Chris was the "music" in the background of Adam Stackhouse's video. However, since the music was simple beatboxing, it would be considered a capella by most.

Rap

With the success of artists like Eminem and Jedi Mind Tricks, plus the odd continued existence of nerdcore, white guys rapping on YouTube is not unheard of. Some of these individuals demonstrate impressive talent in their ability to flow on a beat. Christian is not among them.

Of course, his most notable foray into rap is his entry for the PaRappa Contest. While his motivations and the drama it caused are covered extensively in that article, the video itself is characterized by a complete lack of rhythm or flow. The result sounds sort of like a Muppet slurring his words together and randomly shouting.

Before he starts the song in earnest, Chris does a little bit of freestyling in the beginning. Needless to say, it's not promising:

 
 
I have a PSP and she don't/So give me the PSP, unwrap the wrapper/So I can give one to her, and then we can play together!
 

 

—Chris, almost rhyming.

This was nothing compared to a later foray into the genre. Playing Aerosmith in the background instead of a breakbeat, Chris basically just shouts a lot of random short sentences with no regard as to how they flow, or if they even rhyme at all.

 
 
You just a dang dummy!/And you still chicken, you's a dang coward!/You wanna come fight me/Come fight me in person/Come out from behind the camera you fool
 

 

—Chris, "rapping"

In December 2009, Chris would rap once again to Insane Clown Posse side project Dark Lotus. As usual, he made no attempt to learn the lyrics and appears to be reading them off a piece of paper with inappropriate effect. During a portion of the video he mumbles to himself, rocking back and forth and fondling his ample breasts not once, but twice. He also refers to himself as a Juffalo, a term apparently used by Insane Clown Posse aficionados to describe the noncommittal poseurs who aren't good enough to fully appreciate the world of clown-related rap.

Two days prior to this he made another awful freestyle rap. The point of this is unclear, although he apparently visited a doctor, who suggested that he take over-the-counter vitamins. He likens the effects of these vitamins to Viagra, and then compares himself to a tiger who would rape a panther to produce tiger-panther cubs.

Instruments

**clickclickclick**. It's like I'm playing real guitar, y'all!
The [only] other musical instrument Chris is good at.
 
 
I would play my ax on the Wii; getting the high scores, scored better, real play for my benefit.
 

 

Blanca, acting as a proxy for Chris to espouse his flawed beliefs on music

Chris seems to have a very tenuous grasp on what constitutes a musical instrument. Notably, in several videos, Chris tends to treat his Gitar of Fail like it's a real instrument. This seems outright foolish, even for Chris, until you consider his mindset. All of Chris's "creations" are copies of other things, yet are still somehow completely original. So by "playing" someone else's song on Guitar Hero, his autistic mindset dictates that he is actually playing the song. Go ahead and try to wrap your head around this doublethink.

As further proof of his madness, Chris equated Liquid's actual musical skill to him playing Guitar Hero, to such a degree that he felt it necessary to outlaw both in the SingStar Challenge.

 
 
I got the idea of the challenge from him COPYING me playing Boston's "More Than A Feeling" on Guitar Hero on his old Wooden Nickel; if he wants to copy on Guitar, he may as well be challenged in a Sing-Off.
 

 

—Chris, blowing the minds of guitarists of all talent levels

 
 
-NO MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, real or Guitar Hero/Rock Band/Rock Revolution, etc is to be visible in ANY VIDEO.
 

 

—Chris, inspiring the hatred of people who like music everywhere

It is also telling that not only does Chris lack any sense of pitch in singing, but with melodies in general. This is evidenced in the Wedding Anniversary Special, where he claims to be playing the original theme to Sonic the Hedgehog, but ends up with some wildly unrecognizable tune that only vaguely resembles the Sonic theme rhythmically. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Chris is actually tone-deaf, instead of simply lacking in vocal skills. This may be a symptom of autism, as subtleties in tone and intonation indicating emotional and social cues are beyond his grasp.

Recording tech

Chris's idea of accompaniment is putting the original song playing on the background using his PS3 and the near-$1,000 Sony LCD HDTV, and the most expensive speakers his boat could tug in, while he sings with his unique voice. The singing, of course, is dutifully recorded with the long-suffering PSEye camera. The implications are staggering:

  • There's always a huge quality loss when music is played on speaker and then re-recorded from a distance, because the acoustics of the room distort the sound and the air itself blocks low and high frequencies, leaving you with only a distorted fraction of the original sound. Chris, of course, believes that everything he does is perfect on the first try and never has to be redone, just like his art.
  • The original lyrics are still on the song. At least on one occasion, Chris even screwed up harder than this, and got a cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up" from Family Guy, clobbered by dialogue and other sounds.[2] While lyrics often can't always be removed from a mixed song entirely, it's at least worth a shot trying lyrics removal software. Or, it might pay to look for an instrumental version or an instrumental cover.
  • When you have one go and one microphone to record everything, there's no way to correct the errors if you flub anything. The result is obviously perfect... who are we kidding?

Chris is, of course, unaware of the incredible leaps and bounds that music recording has advanced in recent years, and hasn't noticed that there are plenty of good multitrack sound editors available for free. Many come with lyrics removal plugins.

Chris also demands this sort of weird screwy setup from others; one might assume, for example, that the Brown-Striped One, with actual musical talent, would have more technical know-how on how to record music properly, but the SingStar Challenge was done on Chris's strange terms.

Sources

  1. Z95.1 homepage
  2. Captain's Log, Stardate September 24th, 2008

See also

External links

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