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Girl You Know It’s True


 

Our Rachel Mendleson consults the experts on Stephen Harper’s Starr-turn. Former Rheostatic Dave Bidini proves suspicious.

Harper was good, that much is sure. But was he too good? Though the experts agree it was Harper on vocals and keys, Dave Bidini, a founding member of The Rheostatics, wondered whether the performance was in fact pre-recorded. Bidini, says he knows “how difficult it is to sing, to have proper mic technique with a four-piece band, let alone a 17-piece orchestra.” But when Harper plays, says Bidini, “You can hear every word. Every note is in key. The fidelity of the performance seems remarkably, bizarrely good. It just raises my suspicion about whether it was live.”

Mr. Bidini offers similar analysis to FFWD weekly in Edmonton. But before you ask why Mr. Bidini hates Canada so much, keep in mind that he has not only written, but indeed published, three books about hockey.


 

Girl You Know It’s True

  1. Immediately after Bidini's quote, Rachel Mendleson writes this:

    But according to PMO spokesman Dmitri Soudas, “The performance was live. Unequivocally.” Suggestions of trickery were also refuted by Carl Martin, a spokesman for NAC, who says that although Harper “did benefit from a rehearsal that morning […] there was no enhancement of any sort.” Says Martin, “I think we all discovered his talent at the same time.”

    Seems pretty unequivocal to me.

  2. But when Harper plays, says Bidini, “You can hear every word. Every note is in key. The fidelity of the performance seems remarkably, bizarrely good. It just raises my suspicion about whether it was live.”

    Please, please let the meme that emerges here be "He was lip-synching, ergo the Conservatives must be defeated!"

    (Or not. The myth of "Bush's plastic turkey" is still cited as gospel truth by a depressing number of pundits, despite thorough debunking.)

  3. Wow, Wherry and the Liberals are really grasping at straws now.

    What's next?

    Haper is secretly bald and wears a wig?

    • I was not aware this was secret.

    • And how, exactly, are the Liberals grasping at straws here, Dakota?

      The only straws I see are the men you are making out of them.

    • I've seen that wig thing attributed to several sources, so I buy it, but I think this performance demands we ask another question.

      Has the PM been getting high with help from his friends? And if so, who are these friends that have been helping him get high? (Seriously, I want to know… always looking for good connections).

  4. psst. have you heard that harper is secretly bald and wears a wig? pass it on.

    • I heard he actually finds wool sweaters pretty itchy and uncomfortable, too. The monster.

      • Well, have you ever worn tortured kitten wool? It is itchy

        • You have to remove the claws first.

    • It looks like a wig!

      • Who would buy a wig that looked like THAT when there's a huge collection of Eva Gabor wigs to choose from!

        As Jon Stewart said of our pm: what kind of magical creature has hair that doesn't move in a windstorm?

    • I did hear that recently. From Dakota. Must be true.

  5. I don' t think it matters a whit whether he lip-synched or not. It was his voice, he played the piano, and he put on a performance. I seriously doubt he was lip-synching though, this is the NAC, not the MTV awards.

    • It certainly would matter. Just watch the air go out of the Tory sails if this were found to be true. Personally i can't believe anyone would be so insane to try and pull this off.

      • Just watch the air go out of the Tory sails if this were found to be true

        You must be kidding. Nobody would care.

      • You do realize that many live performances by musical artists are lip-synched, and most performances on shows that are televised… including almost all performances on awards shows.

        • Yeah, scf, but haven't you noticed the scorn heaped on the artists for doing so? Anyway, television shows are one thing, but doing it at a live performance is an oxymoron. If you wanted to listen to the recording, you'd save a hell of a lot of money and put on the CD, or mp3 or something. The utter disrepect an artist that does this shows for his/her fans is astonishing!

          Not that it matters in this context, since I'm sure Harper was performing live.

  6. An inquiry must be held. On a related note, I hear the PM's new piece, Puff the Magic Deficit Slayer is almost complete… the first verse has been leaked by Senior Tory who didn't want to be named…

    When our economic recovery is assured
    Canada will return to a balanced budget
    without raising taxes
    or cutting transfers to the provinces
    like the Liberals did

    like the Liberals did
    like the Liberals did
    like the Liberals did
    lalalala
    like the Liberals did

    • "like the Liberals did"

      With Mike Wilson's bracket creep???

    • duh. The Liberals cut transfers. (As well as continue with the tax escalator (bracket creep) started by the PCs.

      time to join the reality-based community.

  7. Milli Vanilli?

    Or, Stevie Harpini?

    Say it ain't so!

  8. Milli Vanilli?

    Or, Stevie Harpini?

    Say it ain't so!

  9. Can somebody tell me why anybody might care? I mean, unless we're going to move on from here to encouraging him to give up his day job for this (a strategy, incidentally, that receives full approval from me) then why on earth are people still wasting time with this? Are we planning to have him serenade Kim Jong Il or something?

  10. In defence of the Bidinis of the world — harper DOES like tapes.

  11. There is a device that helps your voice come across in key…forget what it is called…..you dont pre record but it helps you sound in key, takes the sound from the mike and does some tecky stuff before it goes out….sorry cant think of the name.

    Hugh grant used it in Music and Lyrics and spoke about it in interviews….I would believe that one, not that it matters a whit. pre recorded…didnt look that way.

    The range is so narrow on any "Ringo" song that anyone can sing it. And even then, not all of the notes singing were bang on, so you have to wonder. Its actually quite hard to convincingly lip synch.

    Bidini is also used ot singing in bars and arenas, not the nice acoustics of the NAC, where you can drop a pin on stage and hear it at the back.

    • I agree – if he did lip synch it than we should be praising him for his acting ability!

    • I believe the technical term is granular synthesis. It's used by a lot of recording artists.

    • I believe the technical term is granular synthesis.

  12. He couldn't reach the high notes and was helped there and that's no secret – couldn't reach the high notes on that song? Not good singing at all.

    But, in the end I don't vote for piano players and singers but some suckers fall for this stuff.

  13. 'Every note is in key.'

    Obviously your 'expert' didn't listen to the HD tape….

  14. Harper did not need a 're-do.'

    What a man!

  15. This particular 15 minutes of harper's fame is long up, folks, move it along. I'm sure K-Tel will produce an album of his most unforgettable hits for you in the near future.

    Challenge: K-Tel records had unforgettable names like Sounds Explosion! and Canadian Mint! What would the name of Harper's K-Tel record be? And what songs would be on it?

    • Minority Blues?

  16. Harper is not much of a natural by all accounts. According to Mercer he couldn't manage to produce a sandwich without aid from his handler on Mercer's show. Of course we never get to see the out-takes. Even so. I find this allegation difficult to believe.

    • Clearly the lip-syncing thing is false (and irrelevant) but frankly, the fact that Harper is NOT (at all) "a natural" is precisely what makes this episode endearing, isn't it?

      • I would have said ballsy.

  17. Our friend BigCityLib wins the steak knives for being the first Liberal blogger to run with the "Harper was faking it" meme!

    http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/

    Congratulations, BCL! That doesn't reek of desperation. Not at all.

    • Just wait until the next round of polls! SH is doomed!

      • LOL.

      • One of the accusations is that you can't see his hands so how do you know he is playing.

        Please.

        Harper doesn't even need to actually play the keys. Without any doubt the ivories were so scared of him that they just played themselves.

        Anything that was off key, by the way, was the fault of the piano tuner or the guy holding the microphone or some other staffer.

        • Awesome. I see the start of a new meme, like Chuck Norris only Harper is so "scary/controlling" that ludicrous things happen.

        • Did anyone see if he put the keys in his pocket?

    • Desperation — and did you know, steve janke was calling out Susan Delacourt on his blog, over her "was the Liberal floor-crossing made up?" story?

      These bloggers' mums ought to have a right good talk with them, eh? Getting a little big for their britches.

    • I think you only win the steak knives if you're taking the silly meme seriously.

  18. I don't care if Steve really sang or really played, so long as he does not do it again. But I do wonder why his face is so grey?

    I thought it was how the light was landing on him but he remains grey throughout; while playing, while walking off and on the stage, while taking a bow. And Yo Yo and everyone else look live.

    Maybe that was it, a bad hologram of Steve:)

    • LOL. It was the Mr Data makeup.

    • He's just a grey man, a veritable eminence grise, in fact

    • His taxpayer funded official primper and psychic is working too hard!

      She needed to use too much make-up to hold his smile in place for so long and make his demonic eyes look happy.

    • I aso wondered why he was lit so badly — he looked ghastly.

      You're right — it WAS a hologram!

  19. It doen't have to be true, it just has to be…

  20. Harper was not only brilliant but look at how many people have bought into this – how much free press is he going to get from this – this moment may play out better for him than Clinton's Saxophone gig .. the mere fact that the media is still reporting on this whether good or bad is irrelevant and will surely go down in history if Stevie boy gets a majority next time to the well no doubt historians will pull 2 items the way he was treated on wafergate and now beatlegate – who would have thought, but then again all the really great moments in mankinds history have never been deliberate, planned or on target and have always been filled with SERENDIPITY – the best part is the more it goes and and the more he acts humble and ignores it the more votes he is going to get – I talked to someone who was there and indeed there is simply no debate about it it was one of the those ' Authentic ;' moments and the affects are still playing out – poor Iffy the guy is going down to the basement and even his best friend doesn't want to hold his jacket anymore!

    • Poor little Stevie. Everybody is picking on him.

    • Good lord man! Go and read Coyne's piece. Perspective please. Harper didn't cure cancer, end poverty or fly to the moon. He sang a song…he didn't write it and i wont be throwing out joe cocker's version anytime soon. Get a life – he's only a politician.

  21. It is five notes. Even RINGO could sing it. I don't think there's any need for big theories to explain his 'remarkable' performance singing a very very easy song.

    • Bingo~! The song was _written_ for a guy who _couldn't_ sing.

      Not only was it a really easy song to sing (and he wasn't in perfect pitch all the time) and that he barely played the piano, but man alive that there was an actual band backing him up that actually could play and sing.

      Like I says before, to go up there and do this when you've never done it before deserves credit, but the accolades Harper receives for doing a bit of karaoke is un-freakin-believable…

      Mind you, at the opposite end of the spectrum we have the likes of Bidini who really should know better than to make up BS like this…

  22. It is five notes. Even RINGO could sing it. I don't think there's any need for big theories to explain his 'remarkable' performance of a very very easy song to sing.

  23. I don't know why everyone is so suprised by Harpers "miracle performance"

    He's been carrying Jesus in his pocket for months now.

  24. But when Harper plays, says Bidini, “You can hear every word. Every note is in key. The fidelity of the performance seems remarkably, bizarrely good. It just raises my suspicion about whether it was live.”

    Please, please let the meme that emerges here be "He was lip-synching, ergo the Conservatives must be defeated." Come on, let's make a campaign of that, shall we? It could hardly be more grasping at straws than "Our opponents are evil reptilian kitten-eaters from another planet."

    (Or not. The myth of "Bush's plastic turkey" is still cited as gospel truth by a depressing number of pundits, despite thorough debunking, for instance. Counterfactual 'emotional truths' are dangerous.)

    • It would be incredibly foolish for Harper's Liberal critics to claim that "the performance was pre-recorded" because it's "just too good to be true".

      First, the claim is easily disproved.

      Second, it draws even more attention to Harper's remarkable performance.

      Third, if any of Harper's political opponents make such a claim, it will come across as desperate and pathetic.

    • Please, please let the meme that emerges here be "He was lip-synching, ergo the Conservatives must be defeated."

      I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Mr. Dances With Dinosaurs, aka The Litigious One, actually grants you your wish.

      • Heh. You're probably right. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for the Litigious One. He seems more and more desperate with each passing day.

        • After the wafer and bodybags smears do you think they have learned any lessons?

  25. But when Harper plays, says Bidini, “You can hear every word. Every note is in key. The fidelity of the performance seems remarkably, bizarrely good. It just raises my suspicion about whether it was live.”

    Please, please let the meme that emerges here be "He was lip-synching, ergo the Conservatives must be defeated." Come on, let's make a campaign of that, shall we? As a ridiculously irrelevant personal insult, it could hardly be sillier than "Our opponents are evil reptilian kitten-eaters from another planet."

    (Or, let's not. The myth of "Bush's plastic turkey" is still cited as gospel truth by a depressing number of pundits, despite thorough debunking, for instance. Counterfactual 'emotional truths' are dangerous.)

  26. also.

  27. Aaron, Fast Forward is from Calgary.

  28. This blog post by Wherry is all too typical. It selectively quotes the one negative piece of speculation in an other wise positive article for the PM. Worse, he and the article fail to provide context. Bidini was part of the "Department of Culture" protest against the Conservative government last Fall, headlining an event at the Horseshoe. He is hardly an impartial observer. See http://www.cbc.ca/arts/media/blogs/popculture/200… and the group's manifesto.

    • Oh dear Bidini protested the govt. Funny how that is permitted in a democracy. Except this one, at this point in time. Apparently previous criticism of Harper automatically rules one out of court. Smear your critics and insist that all opponents are biased. Where have we seen this before? Ah! Bush has a lot to answer for.

  29. An even more typical Wherry posting would be A says B now, but has said C in the past. Oh look, a politican who is a hypocrite. Fish, barrel, gun. All parties have research groups who spend a not inconsiderable amount of time researching and sending out such “fact checks”. Either Wherry simply funnels the Liberals' research without sourcing, or he saves them money by doing their job for them. Because Wherry provides no context, you know, actually examining why the inconsistency (yes, sometimes it is blatant hypocrisy, sometimes it's the limitations associated with being in government, and sometimes it's that they're right now and were wrong then) he is less a journalist than an efficient search engine with a half-decent database.

  30. His jump-the-shark moment for me, where I lost any belief in his abilities to objectively analyze a situation, was his coverage of the Dion press conference where Dion resigned. Whereas every other observer would correctly have called Dion's performance graceless, blaming everyone but himself (note to all politicians, the voter is always right), Wherry seemed almost melancholic as he waxed poetic on the loss of such a great man. I thought his heart would burst. If only I could find it.

    • Yeah right and you're just a disinterested citizen. Got any criticism for the Harper govt at all? if you want "unbiased" cheerleading head on over to Taylor's blog…wonder if you have any objections to raise about his blogging?

  31. The video shows a canned performance. No matter whether or not the PM is actually singing into his mic, the audio remains the same. That simply could not happen if he was singing without -pre-recorded reinforcement. Yo-Yo Ma was caught faking his performance at Obama's inauguration earlier this year. No surprise that this show was stage-managed in Simon Cowell fashion. And, as has been pointed out earlier, Antares Autotune was likely also in the mix.

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