Earmageddon, Part One: Wingmageddon

Hi, everybody! Would you like to play a game? It’s a horrible game, really, but it’s been ages since Jeff and I have played it. In fact, it’s never actually been played here before, only on our former websites. But Popdose deserves it. I think you’ll agree.

Can your ears take the pain?

What the hell is Earmageddon, you ask? Well, it’s a game that started a couple of years ago, when I sent Jeff the Paris Hilton album. Jeff got angry — almost violently so — and retaliated by sending me Only in America, Volume 2, a horrible/awesome album that you can read about on my other website. I retaliated by sending him Andrew Ridgeley’s album. He sent me Metal Machine Music. I sent him Florence Foster Jenkins. Since then, he’s sent me at least three other CDs, all of which I’ve ignored, for two reasons.

1) Sometimes, it’s just not that much fun to listen to truly awful music.

2) More than sometimes, it’s fun to watch Jeff explode with frustration when I won’t take the bait.

Recently, however, Jeff sent me another album of bad music — except this time, he has not let up. I don’t know if a day has gone by in the past two months where Jeff hasn’t mentioned this album to me. He’s been so fucking annoying that I honestly think writing this post is worth it if it shuts his yapper for a day or so.

You want to know what he sent me, don’t you?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you …

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!

Do you know who Wing is? You might if you’re a fan of South Park, which devoted an entire episode to her in 2005. You can (and should) find out more about Wing on her official website, but here are the basics: Originally from Hong Kong, Wing moved to New Zealand and began “singing” in nursing homes and hospitals. She actually received a grant to record her own CD, and as the website says, she has achieved cult status and has released 15 albums. Fifteen albums, people! These include Wing Sings the Carpenters, Wing Sings AC/DC, and Wing Sings More AC/DC. She has two AC/DC tribute albums out there. How many have you done? I thought so. So unless you’ve done three, shut up.

So Jeff sends me Beatles Classics by Wing (or Wing Sings the Beatles — I can’t seem to figure out the exact title). I go to the website and I do my research. Somehow, I completely miss the part that says “Wing’s unique vocal stylings are sometimes compared with American Idol’s William Hung, 60′s star Mrs. Miller or opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins.” I close the website, load the music on my iPod, and press play.

Oh no.

Ohhhhh no.

Wing — Love Me Do (download)

This is the first thing I heard. And alongside Wing’s “singing,” I saw an image in my head. I saw Jeff doing a little happy dance and giggling his stupid bearded face off. I hate you so much, Jeff. You’re doing the dance right now, aren’t you? Stop it!

The backing track to “Love Me Do” is obviously the type of track used for karaoke, but to be honest, it’s not really that bad. I could even kind of sort of get behind some of her “singing.” The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that she made no effort to sync up her lead and backing vocals. So it really sounds like there are two different, separate Wings “singing,” which is two Wings too many. Also, the higher vocal is often flat. Listen to the word “love” in the phrase “someone to love, somebody new.” Holy crap.

Honestly, after one listen to “Love Me Do” (okay, two, because it was kind of like a car crash where you want to look away but you can’t so you look more than once), I was ready to delete this thing. But the rules of Earmageddon are pretty clear: once one of us throws down the gauntlet, the other one has to fully accept the challenge. This meant I had to listen to the entire album.

The entire album, Popdosers.

I think maybe the reason it has taken me two months to write this post has to do with the fact that I just don’t know what to say about her voice. Do you? It defies words. I disagree with the comparison to William Hung, by the way; Wing may be (really, really) off on some of her notes, but she’s not tone-deaf. And you know that the other problem is? I can’t figure out whether Wing is in on the joke. Surely she must know that the reason she’s been able to successfully record and release 15 albums is because she’s loved for not-exactly-noble reasons, right? Does she know? I’m not exactly sure. And I still don’t know exactly what to say about her voice. But hell, since her website went with the William Hung racial stereotype — hey, everybody, they’re both Asian and can’t sing real good! — why don’t I do something similar?

I am going to share a few of Wing’s songs with you. And I’m going to tell you how I feel about them. In haiku.

Wing — Yesterday (download)

What is “away-ooooo”?
Dickbag on a Casio
Mixed the strings TOO LOUD.

Wing — The Long and Winding Road (download)

Paging Phil Spector:
If you hear Wing’s version here,
You might shoot her, too.

Wing — In My Life (download)

Flanked by other men,
Wing warbles the word “lovers”
… and I just threw up.

I could keep doing this, but half of you guys probably know how to find me, and I just can’t handle the thought of performing someplace and maybe getting shot by an angry reader. So I’m going to stop there. But I encourage you to check out some of Wing’s other tracks, like “Let It Be” (“Mother Marys come to me!”), “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (unfair to make this woman try to pronounce “kaleidoscope”), and a track called “Hine E Hine,” which confounded the hell out of me until I realized it’s a traditional song from New Zealand and not a Beatles cover.

But here’s the weird thing, everybody: I think I kind of love Wing. There is something sweet and endearing about her. I kind of want her to be my grandma. My Asian, off-key grandma.

Still, Jeff, I think you’ve won this round: as much as I love Wing, about two songs is my limit before I go cross-eyed and my wife starts complaining of a migraine. You’re triumphant again, you rat bastard. I hope your wife leaves you.

The Wing Earmageddon (Wingmageddon?) story doesn’t end here, though, folks. It does for today, but guess what? There’s a Part Two to this post, coming tomorrow. In Part Two, you’re going to find out just how far Jeff was willing to go to get me to write this post. You’re going to find out how intimate I actually got with Wing.

And — best of all — you’re going to find out how you — yes, you — can be a part of Wingmageddon.

See you tomorrow … ?

(You can read the thrilling conclusion to Wingmageddon in Part Two!)




  • Spence

    That is truly astonishing. For some reason, the only close comparison I could come up with is the Smurfs album (with Father Abraham of course) from the 70s. But at least the singing on that was always on-key.

  • http://themeparkexperience.blogspot.com EricGrubbs

    Wow. And I don't mean in a positive, amazed way.

  • Maxus

    “Unless you've done three AC/DC tribute albums, shut up”. From now on, I will model all my interhuman communication after that sentiment.

  • http://avarana.blogspot.com MarlboroTestMonkey7

    DAMN, DAMN, I CANNOT UNHEAR IT NOW. PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP, I NEEEED SOMEBODY HIELP HIELP. NOT JUST ANYBAUDIIEEE HIELP !

  • http://www.bullz-eye.com DavidMedsker

    Wing! God, I love this woman. Man, you're not kidding about those strings on “Yesterday.”

    To answer your question, I'm honestly not sure if she is in on the joke. But that “South Park” episode that she's in is money.

  • http://music.consumerhelpweb.com/blog Mike

    Is it me or does she kind of sound like Miss Piggy?

  • http://www.popdose.com Ted

    My sound spa alarm clock has settings for sounds of the ocean, rain, meadow, and there's an option to add a sound. I think I have my new sound to help me gently wake up in the morning: Wing! Thank you, Jeff and Jason.

  • JohnHughes

    A haiku of my own:

    Margaret Cho's mom said,
    “They never give you a channnce!”
    See what happens when????

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    Being “in key” is for mere mortals. Wing makes her own keys, and uses them to drive us all to another (far more painful) plane of reality.

  • http://westeggediting.com Brian

    Not one reference to Wings in an article about Wing does the Beatles?I honestly thought this was going to be about any given Wings album, because they are all pretty horrible. Here's hoping the Beatles one sells and Wing next does “Wing Does Wings.”

  • lisa marie

    I LOVE WING!! I first discovered her about five years ago via the Otis Fodder 365 days project. love love LOVE wing! Her singing is so earnest.

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    Now Jeff's away message on his GMail account makes sense: Wing is for the children. She would have to be. The adults are too busy douching their earholes with ascorbic acid.

  • EightE1

    My face has been stuck in this pained smile/wince for about 15 minutes now, since I started listening to “Love Me Do.” What the hell have you guys DONE to me?

    Rob
    EightE1

  • BenW

    WING RULES! FTW!!!
    Headlining ROTHBURY next summer!

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    But more to the point, she still sounds better than Yoko.

  • http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/ arensb

    I can't wait to hear Wing's cover of “Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)”.

    Actually, I take that back. I _can_ wait. A very long time.

  • http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/ arensb

    Vitamin C cleans ears? Does it prevent auricular scurvy?

  • Old_Davy

    The strings on Yesterday are not loud enough. I can still hear her singing.

    Is she Linda McCartney's mom?

  • http://thevitaminkid.blogspot.com autodidact

    Like a sucker, I went to her website. She actually performed in the USA in 2007. Aren't we blessed? Her “Wing Over America” tour consisted of one night at the Cafe du Nord in San Fran. Wouldn't the next logical step in her career be a William Hung tribute album? Then she could return to the states for the “Hung Over America” tour.

  • http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/ arensb

    I think Jason's just softening us up for tomorrow, when he'll post Wing singing AC/DC covers. If you're a masochist, you can hear samples at her site.

    I think she must be deaf. Why else would anyone replace the guitars on Highway to Hell and Back in Black with a Casio kiddie-synth?

  • WHarrisBullzEye

    Is that Peter Gabriel singing back-up on “In My Life”? I'd like to think it is. He's always had a thing for world music, and although this album has clearly come from a world other than our own, I think it still qualifies…

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  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    Well, it definitely gives your brain that fresh, orchard-like scent.

    I only bring this up because, as a tot, I had severe ear problems. They kept putting in station tubes and the inner ear pressure kept kicking them out. It was suggested to my parents, by a well-intentioned yet ill-informed holistic nutjob friend of the family, that they should shoot an eardropper full of OJ into my ears.

    They, thankfully, abstained. Sad when I think of it – now that I have all this earwax, it would be so nice if it smelled like Orange Bubbalicious and not skull cheese.

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    “Yes, I shook me all night long”

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    “Yes, I shook me all night long”

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    Well, it definitely gives your brain that fresh, orchard-like scent.

    I only bring this up because, as a tot, I had severe ear problems. They kept putting in station tubes and the inner ear pressure kept kicking them out. It was suggested to my parents, by a well-intentioned yet ill-informed holistic nutjob friend of the family, that they should shoot an eardropper full of OJ into my ears.

    They, thankfully, abstained. Sad when I think of it – now that I have all this earwax, it would be so nice if it smelled like Orange Bubbalicious and not skull cheese.

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    “Yes, I shook me all night long”

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