Thursday, May 29, 2014

United We Stand

In light of the recent tongue lashing Tara Erraught had to endure this past month by some "critics" who are unworthy of that title, this video seems very appropriate.  Bad reviews are just a part of the business I guess.  We all get them.  I guess the best we can do is just embrace them and commiserate in our joint dislike.  Enjoy

Bad Singer Reviews #1

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Round 2. Ding. Ding.

Well, apparently once was not enough.  In our last post we "Reviewed the Reviewers" who brought shame to themselves and to their "craft" for their poor reviews of mezzo-soprano, Tara Erraught.  In case you don't want to read the last post, I'll catch you up: Ms Erraught sang Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier.  The reviewers loved her singing.  Then the called her fat and ugly.  FOR NO REASON.  We here at Bari-Chunks took it upon ourselves to review the looks of the reviewers.  We laughed, we cried, it was better than Cats.

Along with our minuscule efforts, many in the art world have done their best to shame the reviewers for their unnecessary personal attacks, as well as poorly written reviews.  You would think that would be the end of it, but oh no...

"Critic" Rupert Christiansen (and part time adult video store clerk) proudly said it was his job to report what he saw, and said "I stand by every word."  We, at Bari-Chunks stand by our words as well when we say that you smell horrible (once again, see previous post).

As if that wasn't enough, ass-clown Quentin Letts from Daily Mail weighed in on the issue.  Here's the link to what he said, but here are the cliff notes:

"She has the face and figure of a goodish pork pie."
"...looks as though she has been at the biscuit barrel."
The rest of the article is him just quoting himself.  What narcissistic a dick stick.

Well, shit.  I thought we were done with this crap.  Guess not.  So let me stretch out here at bit, lace up my gloves, and shove my mouth piece back in my mouth.  Someone ring the bell.  Round 2.

Quick bio of Quentin Letts-

Born Quentin Potter, Mr Letts soon changed his name when he realized he couldn't possibly face the Dark Lord due to a serious magical aliment.  (He couldn't get his wand up if you know what I mean...) His father, a wax figure of Sir Elton John and his mother, a constipated ostrich left him outside a veterinary clinic in hopes that they would find him a good home.  The Swedish vet and his wife found the young boy and immediately made him a comfortable bed.  In the stable.  There he was raised by the horse, Ralph, and a blind goose name Mrs Honkers.  

Portrait courtesy of Olan Mill Studios

Mr Letts's youth was not an easy one.  Constantly ridiculed for his hunchback by his brother Arthur, Quentin developed serious depression and struggled with his own sexual identity.  At the age of 10, he was arrested on suspicion of having the materials for building a bomb.  It was later determined that the 10lbs of manure, cough syrup, 4 Granny Smith apples, and a rectal thermometer were for "...alternate uses." 

After Mrs Honkers passed away, Quentin started hanging around with a bad crowd, causing his father to disown him.  Cut off from his daily hay supply, he was forced to do many, many unspeakable things to earn a living.  None worse than his short lived time as a male escort for show dogs.  He was fired for developing feelings for, and stalking, one of his clients...

"That is NOT a brush!" - Joe Cocker Spaniel

After several other failed jobs, including a night shift manager at Arby's, he found work ringing the bell at Notre Dame.  For once, his hunchback had come in handy!  He was able to move in with his partner, Ms Maxi Pad, whom he met on   
"I love it when you call me big Kotex"

Ms Pad had her issues with Mr Letts, and in 1995, she abruptly left him, screaming as she left "Talking to you about female orgasms is like explaining physics to a drunk chicken!"  Slipping back into a heavy depression, he began drinking excess amounts of Appletini's and Blue Pucker.  He was banned from several local pubs, and 6 of the 7 European Applebee's. He began to camp out in front of said establishments, taking sad selfies and is quoted as saying to patrons as they entered "My penis has been is half the glasses in that place.  Good luck!"

"My mom thinks I'm special" 

Mr Letts knew he had to get his life back on track.  After a 19 month stay in rehab, Mr Letts set out to find his purpose in life.  He applied to be an astronaut, but was quickly dismissed after NASA discovered he had a rare form of Hand, Foot, Mouth disease called Hoof, Nipple, Manboob disease.  How he contracted this ailment was not released.  

I'm stuck in here....

He applied to be a back up singer for the New Kids on the Block but was dismissed for not having any writing talent or original thought....and he was hitting on Danny constantly.  

Is this what the kids think is "funky fresh"? Like the Fresh Prince?...MY MOM LOVES MY HAT!

In 2008, he took his lack of writing skills and put them to work as a critic.  He was originally turned down by the Daily Mail but they later reversed their decision after he threatened to sue them because their free coffee burned his genitals.  There he has written countless worthless reviews, and several books that are used all over the UK as white elephant holiday gifts.  

In 2013, Quentin had a now famous melt down during a TV interview, where he admitted he hasn't seen a woman naked in 24 years, and that he has no talent.  What so ever.  This came as a surprise to no one.  

It's ok.  Let it all out.

Wow, he's had quite the life.  But seriously, what an ass hat!  His pictures all look like he's got a hand shoved up his pooper and somebody is working him like a muppet.  He looks like his own shadow doesn't want to hang around with him.  I bet he and his imaginary friend, Rock Marblebutt, stay up all night in their bunk beds writing down all the names of people who said he would never amount to anything so that one day they could 'show them.'  

But if I could offer a word of advice to Ms Erraught, I would just say this- pay this guy no mind.  Or any of them for that matter.  They are not worth your time.  These "men" have probably never even talked to a woman, much less one as good looking as you are.  This guy Quentin is so disrespected in the UK, he has several blogs dedicated to just shitting on him.  I searched his name and this pic came up

And the others are no better.  You on the other hand, are better.  What doesn't kill us will make us stronger.  After this, you'll be made of steel and they will hopefully be out of a job.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

A taste of their own medicine

Mezzo soprano, Tara Erraught, recently got some really bad reviews for her performance in Der Rosenkavalier, but not for her singing.  Not even for her stage presence.  She got taken to town for how she looks.  And not just by one nearsighted reviewer.  By quite a few.  Wow, this girl must have a second head growing out of her shoulder or something!  Seriously, what does this woman look like???

Tara Erraught

Wait, what?  THAT'S who you have a problem looking at on stage?!?!  She's a very good looking woman!  Well, maybe some of the reviews weren't that bad.  Maybe they were just misinterpreted.  What did they say?

"A dumpy girl."- Michael Church from the Independent
"Unbelievable, unsightly, and unappealing."- Richard Morrison from the Times
"Dumpy... Stressed my Motherhood."- Rupert Christiansen from the Telegraph
"A chubby bundle of puppy-fat."- Andrew Clark from FT

HOLY SHIT!!!! SERIOUSLY?????  Well, I guess we can rule misinterpretation out.  Wow, they just sound like a bunch of hateful assholes.  

With the freedom and anonymity of the internet, sites remarking on performers looks are popular but the difference is that they try to focus on complimenting the singers, not tearing them apart limb from slightly fleshier limb. Barihunks is cute. Its purpose is to give people eye candy regardless of vocal abilities. Everyone keep their shirts on (I will!) - I'm not saying no one featured on the site can sing. I'm stressing that it's not the main point of its existence. I poke fun at the blog, but all in all, its harmless.  The Met's last minute decision to replace an ailing Anita Hartig with Kristine Opolais over her original cover, Hei-Kyung Hong, for an HD performance of La boheme was viewed by some as a giant PR stunt. Others viewed it as a blatant case of choosing looks over voice.  I kept my mouth shut on these subject for the most part.  But this one...I can't just sit by on the sidelines.  Its too much.  The gloves are off.  So, I thought these fine gentlemen deserved a taste of their own medicine.

The Review of The Reviewers: 

Andrew Clark

"Journalist" for FT (which stands for Financial Times and not Fart Taco as I originally thought) Andrew Clark, not pictured here because he doesn't allow cameras under his bridge, called Ms Erraught's singing "...gloriously sung." He also called her "a chubby bundle of puppy-fat." As I stare into (what I assume, because seriously, there is no useable picture of him on the Google) his creepily off centered blue eyes, I wonder what gives him the right to call anyone names.  I imagine he looks like a police sketch artist rendition of a rapist on the loose in northern Michigan.  He looks like Hodor's less attractive brother, Dodor.  I imagine he has a semi hipster hair cut that reminds me of those infomercials from the 90's for the Flowbee and the cowlick in the front seems unfortunately purposeful. His eyebrows look like they were drawn on with a sharpie that has almost run out and his half smile says to me "you'll never guess the special ingredient in my's children's tears"  PS- Grow a pair and let us see what you look like.

Michael Church

Michael Church's review in the Independent compared Ms Erraught to "...a Scullery-maid."  I will compare his face to the brush used by scullery-maids to clean out chamber pots. His sullen and deep under eye circles seem to tell the story of a man who has felt the sting of being rejected by all the women at a school for the blind. More than once. Either that or they are just the shadows cast down from the Everest summit camp that is his nose. His hair, resembling industrial strength steel wool about to scrub it's last pot, has obviously been recently tousled by none other than the single pillow on his twin sized bed. Also, I'm not one to judge fashion,  but when your shirt looks like it's made from the cloths said "scullery maids" use to clean the windows, it might be time to head to K-Mart and get a new one.  I think there are only 2 possible reasons why he isn't smiling in this pic- 1) He's afraid if he does, whats left of his soul will escape through the gaps of his rotting wooden teeth or 2) Well, I'm pretty sure its #1.

Richard Morrison

The Times Richard Morrison called Ms Erraught "...Unappealing."  Pot.  Kettle.  Black.  This guy looks like he takes artistic pictures of his scrotum.  And then sends them to himself.  By snail mail.  He looks like the result of a threesome between Bill Gates, Beaker, and a sad, old banana.  
Side note, I can't tell if he's a fat guy who's lost some weight or a skinny guy cake slicing his way up the scale but this just in, CNN is reporting black box pings from his neck roll.  

Rupert Christiansen

"Stressed by motherhood" was how Rupert Christiansen (Garrison Kiellor's Prairie Home Parasitic Companion) of the Telegraph described singers. Interesting observation from a man who looks like he was raised by 3 apathetic hyenas and a pile of molted owl feathers. This guy's eyebrows look like they are trying to crawl off of his face and I don't blame them.  He looks like he rubs coffee grounds into his jawline because he can't grow real facial hair. And he smells weird.  Like an elderly person's sandal in a fire or urine after a meal of leafy greens and cinnamon schnapps. Like milk that accidentally spilled into your arm cast and spoiled in there, but you can't do anything about it for 4 weeks until you get the cast off.  That kind of weird smell.  

HOW DOES IT FEEL GUYS!!!!!!  HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT!!!!!!  Not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot, huh?

Ok, that was fun.  I feel better.  Now, I know that was somewhat harsh, but I needed to prove a couple of points. 1) Reviews are dumb.  They are pointless, and they serve no purpose.  All they do is make blurbs for people's websites.  I assume the people who write them had other goals in life and they just didn't work out for them.  I know singers need to have tough skin, and they do.  They know that their performances will not be received well by everyone.  But to attack them, or bodies?  That just seems wrong.  And 2) This putting body above singing has GOT TO STOP.  It is out of control.  Comparing someone to puppy-fat while calling their singing glorious?  That shows where these reviewers priorities are.  Looks over singing.  WHY?  This is opera, not the fucking night club.  You don't see reviews for clubs that include lines like "Very attractive ladies and gentlemen, great bar, but the singing sounded like puppy farts."  Is it HD that has gotten us to this point?  Or competition with TV and Movies?  Or is it the Kardashian's?  Can we please blame it on the Kardashian's???? 

Someone tell me what we can do?  I honestly don't know.  But I do know that if we keep this "looks over voice" trend up, we won't end up with the opera we all truly love.  

Alice Coote, world class mezzo-soprano, wrote a fantastic open letter to opera critics everywhere.  She took the high road in addressing this serious issue.  
We here at Bari-Chunks will never be able to articulate our thoughts as eloquently as Ms. Coote does in the article here.  In fact, we will probably never take the high road.  We can't even see the high road from where we are.  And we're not ashamed of that.  These so called "journalists" didn't take the high road either.  And for that, they should be ashamed.  

Post Script- We apparently posted the wrong Andrew Clark in our first run.  Apologies.  Our fact checkers were too busy eating ice cream.  We assume that Andrew Clark (Financial Editor for Fart Taco) is a great guy.  By the way, if that Andrew Clark reads this, we'd like to offer you a year long subscription to Bari-Chunks for FREE.  And also, if you see your colleague Andrew Clark, tell him to quit picking on girls and grow a pair.