December 11, 2009

Internal stuttering to tease the word "art" out of the middle of "heart."

It's the number 1 song of the first decade of the 21st century.

23 comments:

EDH said...

The BBC solo piano video at the bottom is by far my favorite rendition of the song.

Who's quoted in the headline about teasing the word art out of the middle of art? Couldn't find it at the link.

EDH said...

Also, in the BBC version, Specktor feigns a british accent when saying "beh-or, beh-or, beh-or," reflecting the fact she lived in London when her friends told her things would get "better, better, better."

former law student said...

Speaking of art, the distinguished author of Art for Dummies has passed away. Surprisingly, the NYT has left this work out of Thomas Hoving's obit.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

"Who's quoted in the headline about teasing the word art out of the middle of [he]art?"

Someone who's capable of having her own ideas.

Ann Althouse said...

"Who's quoted in the headline about teasing the word art out of the middle of art? "

I put quotes around the words "art" and "heart" as I made the observation that her use of stuttering brought out the word "art" in "heart." At one point she says it so clearly that I'm sure it was quite intentional. Plus the song has a lot of art and heart.

Ann Althouse said...

@RLC LOL. You were writing that just as I was responding. Thx,

brer rabbit said...

Carving art out of the middle of the heart can be painfully ironic. Are we sure she's not laffing "har har har har har har har har har har heart"?

John Lynch said...

But there's still a year left in the first decade of the 21st century...

raptros-v76 said...

Well, I'm going to say this was a good decade for obscure underground metal bands. For instance, Scar Symmetry came into existence and pumped out 4 albums that managed to explore some new territory in metal. Of course, this stuff only matters to people who enjoy metal. (Note that I'm not complaining: I'm disclaiming. Or something.)

Meade said...

EDH said...
Also, in the BBC version, Specktor feigns a british accent when saying "beh-or, beh-or, beh-or," reflecting the fact she lived in London when her friends told her things would get "better, better, better."

Idly watching and listening, I thought I heard, "Bed her, bed her, bed her."

And then I thought about the title of the song, my beautiful, faithful, loving, fun, and funny wife and the absurd good fortune of our happy marriage.

And I then thought I heard an internally stuttered "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha" teased out of "heart."

vbspurs said...

"beh-or, beh-or, beh-or"

Called the glottal stop, it's the trademark of cockneys everywhere (I say that because "Estuary English"-type is spreading all over the UK, sadly cutting into the regional accents). Obviously, pronouncing "better" or any other word with a glottal stop comes loaded with class implications, even today.

Americans -- think of the proper pronunciation of Hawa'ii to get he same effect.

Cheers,
Victoria

EDH said...

I never noticed it before, but when you click "post comment" and go to the "Leave your comment" page, Blogger puts the entire post's headline in quotes.

That's why I thought, when I looked up at the headline while I was commenting, that the entire headline was a quote of someone else.

EDH said...

Blogger should really use quotation marks that are a different color than the actual headline text.

From the Leave your comment page...

"Internal stuttering to tease the word "art" out of the middle of "heart.""

wv-"storwo" = a Jersey girl saying Star Wars

Palladian said...

Take thy art from out my heart!

Palladian said...

This reminds me, inexplicably, of a sign I once saw at a neighborhood house's swimming pool:

Welcome to our _ool

Notice that there is no "P"

Please keep it that way.

BJK said...

I've been silent on this point every time I've seen mention of Regina Spektor, but I do not see the appeal.

Every song of hers that I've been subjected to (including the #1 song on JAC's list) is like listening to Bjork sing Sarah McLaughlin karaoke, with a series of trills repeating the same syllable ad nauseam. Each step in the process makes it worse.

Ann Althouse said...

@EDH It doesn't do that quoting to me. Not sure what kind of setting you might have that does that.

Robert Cook said...

"Also, in the BBC version, Specktor feigns a british accent when saying "beh-or, beh-or, beh-or," reflecting the fact she lived in London when her friends told her things would get 'better, better, better.'"

That's in the recorded version, as well.

Revenant said...

The short interview preceding the live version of the song is here. Spektor is adorable as well as talented.

Personally, my favorite song (and video) of hers is Us, but I like Fidelity a lot too.

Bissage said...

TRUE CONFESSIONS IN REAL TIME # 12: When that heart pendant splashed open on the floor, and that dude appeared, well, I got all choked up.

It’s happened before and I suspect it will happen again.

The problem I have with Regina Spektor is I’m afraid she’ll make me fall in love with her.

And that can hurt.

Zach said...

Nice list.

Every song of hers that I've been subjected to (including the #1 song on JAC's list) is like listening to Bjork sing Sarah McLaughlin karaoke,

I haven't heard much else by her, but in this song it comes across as original and technically challenging, but also emotional and unforced.

Some styles work better as singles than as albums. I love the Dresden Dolls song by song, but I can barely make it through a whole CD.

jaltcoh said...

But there's still a year left in the first decade of the 21st century...


I never claimed to list the best songs of the first decade of "the 21st century." The headings on all the relevant posts on my blog clearly say it's about "the first decade of the 2000s." 2000 is, by definition, the first year of "the 2000s." Hence, the first decade of the 2000s is 2000-2009.

The Crack Emcee said...

God, this has been such an insufferable decade for me - with adultery, anomie, cultism, divorce, murder, NewAge, and solipcism, all becoming a part of my reality (and vocabulary) at once - it's only fitting the music should suck this much, too:

"Crazy" is probably the most under-produced "hit" to ever be released. Every time I hear it, I think, "Jesus Christ, couldn't they have finished the damn thing before releasing it?" There's so much empty space in that record it could be Courtney Love's vagina. If anything, "Crazy" is a testament to studio laziness, the ignorance of the listening public, and the total lack of artistic standards so obviously evident today. The only good thing I have to say about it is that "Crazy" is as good a definition for the decade as we're gonna get.

"Sufjan Stevens" didn't even get a listen: Sorry but those butterfly wings are enough to make me wanna kick their ass, rather than listen to that shit, too. (I'm sick of faggots being "faggots": I want real entertainers, who actually do something well, not a bunch of fools who think they can can get away with being cultural touchstones instead.) And, no, I'm not going back to listen to it: Based on the outfits, I'm already 100% positive they have no taste and the song sucks.

"Of Montreal" has already been discussed - weak.

"Dresden Dolls - Coin-Operated Boy": O.K., this is getting silly - and insulting: Why should I care what this ugly bitch wants? The music isn't compelling, the lyrics are pathetic ("This bridge was written to make you feel smitten-er / With my sad picture of girl getting bitter-er....") and it's more of today's culture's usual fem/fag/weak man bullshit: Find another approach, kiddies, because I'm sick-to-death of you.

"St. Vincent - Paris Is Burning": I'm just up to #6 and I'm already tiring of this exercise. (I only got 43 seconds into this one before shutting it off.) Whoever chose these songs needs his head examined: Every one of them is a gateway for relapsing into heroin addiction.

No - fuck it - I'm done: I tried to hear "The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" but it was so abysmal, right from the start, that I couldn't bear waiting for the whack-assed lyric Mr. Cohen thinks is so damn "clever" (You seem so out of context / In this gaudy apartment complex" - pure vomit on paper). Here's a tip for all of you: Americans are not "clever" - we're "smart" - and any time we attempt to be, we fail - badly. This song is a fine example of that fact. It's really bad, bad, music. The entire list is. Utterly worthless as art and (I'm sure) with the possible exception of "Crazy", we won't hear of any of these songs or artists 10 years (or even 5 years) from now.

I'd rather be stuck on a desert island, forced to listen to old Elvis Presley outtakes and b-sides (any of which will have more life in them than all of these supposed "rock" songs put together) than to ever encounter one of these monstrosities again. They shame the compiler, the decade, and art itself.

Shit, like the ass-backwards NewAge "love" of a James Arthur Ray, all these songs make me want to do is something stupid enough to die. They definitely make me depressed: Is this really the best we can do? Are my fellow Americans really this bunch of wimps? It's no wonder Al Qaeda thinks they can kick our ass! Anybody could based on this! Fuck!

O.K. - I'ma stop. I'll go try not to kill myself now.

But after hearing that shit, I swear, it won't be easy. Maybe a few listens to Tarheel Slim's "Wildcat Tamer" might wipe this awful memory from my mind, but I doubt it:

Those are really gross-out tunes.

wv: bling - I shit you not.