Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lost Before Translation

There is something about translation which just makes me giggle. Street signs and tshirts with roughly translated Chinese-Engrish phrases are funny, but when the Engrish has been written by, um, the English, then it's that much better. I see infinite amounts and genres of music every day, including English record labels' compilations of American big band. And sometimes I read the liner notes. And sometimes they look like this:

"There is invariably something rewarding to hear your favourite singer backdropped by a first-class band, to provide, hopefully, the ideal accompaniment. The kind which might even tend to make the vocal performance itself sound that much better - probably, because it has stimulated and inspired him or her to even greater heights. And, of course, there have been times, perhaps too numerous to recall, when a singer of average-only quality is made to sound conseridably more accomplished than is really the case...!

Certainly, though, there is little doubt that the presence of practically any kind of first-rate accompanying outfit often results in much fine vocal-instrumental music-making. Thus providing a delightful experience for the listener, whether we are attending a "live" performance, or merely confining ourselves to a session around a record player, or hearing the music by way of a portable cassette-type machine."

I never leave home without my cassette-type machine. The liners continue in this manner for 10 more paragraphs, but if you narrate it in your head in the voice of a self-important chimney sweep, it starts to make a glimmer of sense. I'd like to find whoever wrote this and have them write the MGMT bio. "Andrew Vanwyngarden and his partner and oftentimes personal-type friend Benjamin Goldwasser, who is also a producer, create a musical adventure which, though vocally driven, are at their core, or, perhaps, in the opposite manner, driven by the instrumental simulation created by computers via the talents of said two young gentlefellows." Is that Maverick on the line?


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