My five favorite robot voice moments(SPOILER ALERT!) does not include T-Pain. Sorry T-Pain fan(s)! Also, no actual robots. Sorry, Brent Spiner fans!
1: “Computer Love”, Zapp and Roger I’m not necessarily a huge fan of this band, but game respects game. For those not familiar: Imagine if Lando Calrissian played keyboard for the Commodores, and the Commodores were from outer space. Now also imagine if Billy Dee had a plastic tube in his mouth, and instead of shotgunning a Colt 45 through it he sang with it in his mouth and tuned his voice with it. I know, mad pussy from across the galaxy, right? This really happened. Ghostface Killa basically copped this whole song, and no one cared because Ghostface rules flatfooted. Li’l Kim’s “Download”, though? Not so much(please supply your own ‘download-a-virus’ joke).—2: “Flash Ram”, Brainiac This slot probably should have been filled by “Mechanical Man” by Devo, but, especially after really listening to Bonzai Superstar lately, Brainiac wins the Band With Robot Added To Everything position. I know, I can hear you saying, “what about Captured! By Robots?”, but Brainiac uses the robot as timbre, not theme. Jay Vance can still perform my wedding, though.—3: “Fitter Happier”, Radiohead I recently stumbled upon Xtranormal, a website that allows users to direct their own video starring animated “actors”. These actors have the typical Stephen Hawking voices. I immediately made a film with the following dialouge: Boy: “That was the most refreshing pussy I’ve ever tasted.” Girl: “I know. It was like a rainbow’s pussy. How’s your eye?” Boy: “It still stings.” Girl: “That is why glasses are made of glass and not dog cum.”There is no funnier voice to hear that dialogue in than the robot voice. God bless Radiohead for being able to resist.(note: I can hear some saying, “What about Garrison Keilior and Dora the Explorer?” This post is about robots. Kiss my ass.)—4: “Sensual Seduction”, Snoop Dog I put this song on here to drive home the point that Snoop gets it; the video for this song is pee-larious. Recorded on the same VHS tape you recorded Skinimax movies on in the Eighties. Prince vs. Robert Palmer vs. Rick James video mash-ups. Never gets old.
Snoop did a show for MTV called Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, which was too awesome for this planet. The same writers from Wondershowzen wrote the sketches and Snoop, like a smooth lover, was gracious and game, doing all sort of weird things. It was funny, but not over-the-top-laughing-at-yourself sthick (see Richard Simmons’ post Hurricane Katrina visit. . . JESUS. . .). Snoop gets it. Church.
5: “Woods”, Bon Iver “I’m up in the woods/I’m down on my mind/I’m building a still/to slow down the time.” Those are the only lyrics. I love Bon Iver, be it just Justin Vernon performing, the album versions, or with the whole band. It is overly romantic to think that a guy, jilted by a girl, locked himself up in a cabin and lived off the land and his broken heart and then recorded it. Nevertheless, For Emma Forever Agois painfully beautiful and brilliant. Even though Vernon says that he prefers the ensemble version of his songs (“Skinny Love” on Letterman), the solo versions (“Skinny” Love on Jools Holland) and the album versions featuring him on every note (“Skinny Love”) seem to be the most transparently hurt and heartfelt. The EP Blood Bankends with “Woods”, just Justin singing those words over and over again. But each repeat adds another vocoded voice harmonizing along, until the end result sounds like a dozen or so cyborg Justin Vernons losing their robot minds along with the rest. Good to know that even when you’re alone, robots can be alone with you. . .