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ISSUE 118 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/5/2004

Simpson's song out of sync

By Jean Mullins
News Editor

Friday, November 5, 2004

On Saturday, Oct. 23, singer Ashlee Simpson experienced the biggest nightmare for any performer: being exposed as a lip-syncer.

While performing on Saturday Night Live (SNL), the camera cued on her and her band for her second song, only to have a recording of Pieces of Me, the song she had already played for her first song, blare across the stage.

She was not even pretending to sing at the time and although her band had started playing, it probably wasnt them singing the lines of Pieces of Me. Simpson quickly tried to cover the situation with a dance of some kind, but the damage was done: Everyone watching in the studio and all of the audience watching at home knew she was a lip syncer.

Now, what could possibly be wrong with this? Its her voice on the recording, right? So what if she doesnt sing live?

Well, musicians are rooted in a tradition of live performance.

Minstrels in kings courts did not sing along to recordings of themselves. Duh. So it seems like the audience gets shafted when an artist it pays to see lip syncs along to recordings from his or her album. If an audience wanted to hear the album blasted for all to hear, they could have saved themselves a car trip, $50, often horrendous parking conditions and stayed home.

Simpson, who is the sister of singer and reality show newlywed Jessica Simpson (for those of you who live in cave), quickly sent dear old dad, her manager Joe Simpson, out on damage control.

Her father told the press that her choice to lip sync on SNL was due to her affliction with acid reflux disease, which had swollen her vocal cords and made singing difficult. Her drummer had cued Pieces of Me again instead of Autobiography.

Simpson did not leave everything up to her dad and had tried to do some damage control of her own at the end of SNL saying, I feel so bad. My band started playing the wrong song.

OK, that is understandable. Her voice hurts, her band screws up, shes just the victim of the most embarrassing moment, like, ever.

But what about the others? Dont pretend you dont know who I am talking about. There are more artists out there lip syncing than poor Ashlee Simpson.

There are a plethora of pop superstars that sound the same singing live as they sound on their albums.

Ms. Britney Spears certainly sounds the same live as she does in her recordings played on the radio.

Hilary Duff? Oh yeah. Per-haps it is just part of the teen queen formula: One part talent plus three parts background help plus vapid songs equals entertainment for 12-year olds.

I feel that its proof that a lot of the music industry really is a manufacturing system, Elsa Kendig 07 said. The music is vapid.

Even Simpsons father, who has been in the business long before Ashlee with her sister Jessica, said of Simpsons snafu, Just like any artist in America, she has a backing track that she pushes so you dont have to hear her croak through a song on national television. See, everyone is doing it!

I just wonder why they have multimillion-dollar music contracts when they cant sing, Leigh Anderson 07 said.

So next time you are watching the musical act on SNL, you can be confident that the action is live, even if the singing is not.

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