Talk:Au Contraire

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Linnell steals the top 3 songs on the album with this wonderfully playful song, that again sounds original and innovative. Using the that intimate sound that he developed on Factory Showroom and perfected on his wonderful State Songs album he makes it sound effortless... and we all know how hard that is. (Mr Tuck)

Only moan really is the loss of the flute solo on the spine version. (mr Tuck)

You know how we have the double mix of She Thinks She's Edith Head? Someone outta make a double mix of Au Contraire, so that we get both the flute and the guitars. - Doctor Masonstein

Cool idea. I'll take a look at it. I am not sure if I have both versions, however. I may need some help with this. We'll need to make sure we're working with legal copies, though. --SR
I actually did something like that with a program called Screenblast Acid. I recorded the solos and panned the flute* to the left and the two guitars to the right. It sounds basically like you'd expect. Why not pull a Zaireeka and sync up two CD players to play the versions simeltaneously? --An orangutan
I did not have The Spine on CD at the time, so I recorded the cookingvinyl sample directly from my computer.
Chadd Maythis has combined the 2 Au Contraire solos into one fun little clip for all to share. Let him know what you think.


Au Contraire "Error"[edit]

Comment here if your copy of The Spine has a little bit of the flute solo just as the guitar solo ends:

Au Contraire, Marcus. :-) I really don't think it's accurate to call it an error. First, I would disagree that it sounds out of place. (It is clearly treated as a "fill"; the only reason we even know it was originally the last flourish of a solo is from hearing the Indestructible Object cut.) And it is perfectly blended/mixed, and not jarring at all. My stereo speakers are ridiculously accurate and natural-sounding. ( ) Sorry, I know that sounds like a gratuitous boast but I do think it's the best explanation for those who find the flute shrill or unexpected. The flute sounds like a flute in this mix and not an "edited grab" at all. Secondly, we should remember that although the flute solo has been replaced by the guitar solo, the flute does appear again at the close with the calls of "Right on!", so it's not as though anyone can say, "Oops, they forgot that the flute's not supposed to be in this one!" In fact, it's probably the other way around. In the final mix of the album (as opposed to the penultimate mix of the promo release), someone decided to re-include the last flourish of the flute solo as a fill before the Jodi Foster verse, to help with the pick-up impetus and also to justify the appearance of the flute at the close. Rather than being an error, it's a sensible little afterthought. Anyway, what a great song, huh?  :-) bb

Yeah mine has it too. It sounds good though. -Jake

My copy does too! I just got it yesterday and it really stood out to me. My sister noticed it right away as well. I thought I was just being picky. -Carol

My copy does. It should be noted there is a promo copy with only the guitar solo and no flute. -Marcus

I'm guessing you mean the part after the FDR verse and before the Jodie Foster/Bach/Gandhi verse? My Indestructible Object copy has the flute solo, but my The Spine copy doesn't. But when they sing "Jodie Foster," there's something that sounds like the end of a flute solo. I'm guessing this is an editing error? I like both versions equally. --My Evil Twin's Twin

Yeah, thats what I'm talking about. But if you listen to mp3s from the promo copy it is not there. Someone messed up in pro-tools I guess. -Marcus

Mine has it too, but I'm not sure if it's a mistake. It sounds like an intentional, if awkward, stylistic choice to bump in the next verse. They probably couldn't make up their minds whether to keep it, somewhere in between the mixing of certain versions. Or, it's a mistake. :P -Trapezoid

At first I thought this referred to the flute that starts at 2:08, but now I hear the part at 1:20. It does sound weird and my copy (from Borders) does have it. Does the mp3 version at have it? Personally, I like the version on Indestructible Object best. -- Fwiffo

The Mp3 from does in fact have it. Wierd. - NeuroPod

I am in contact with someone at Rounder about this. Hopefully we can get this straightened out. -Marcus

At the very end of the guitar solo, there is a second of flute on my copy and my friend's copy. It doesn't sound intentional, but it doesn't really bother me. - Doctor Masonstein

I think you guys are obsessing too much about this flute... I don't think there is an "error" on the disc... the flute's notes start at the beginning of a measure, none are truncated or start oddly... they don't even step on the notes of the "solo"... it is just what musicians call a "fill" leading into the verse. IMO, the flute HAS to be in the song... it is the only thing that makes the "coffee house-beatnik-'right on's" ending feel right. - Hockalees

Yes, mine has it, and I think its intentional. It's like they thought, "Hmmm...that last flute thing sounds like it came out of left field sorta. Let's just bump out of the guitar thing with a flute note and lift into the next verse!" I really, really doubt it was such a dodgy recording that they messed up and forgot to take it out. Pandaman

I have the "error". - Tanner

I have now acquired three different versions of The Spine - advance CD, pre-release from Rounder with insert & the one from the shelf at the store - and they all contain this brief segment of flute just before the third verse. It's weird, to be sure, but I think it's intentional. As is stated above, it's a seamless edit that starts right on the beat, which means it was not only cut, but also cleaned up for a smooth transition. I agree that too much is being made of it, and that I myself might have even failed to notice its peculiarity if it weren't for hearing the Indestructible Object version first. I might have been like, "Cool, random little flute lick." - Charlie Coniglio

My copy has it too, and it sounds completely intentional to me. -- InterruptorJones <- Here is an MP3 to compare the guitar solo with and without the flute tag. I'm sorry, but the flute just comes out of nowhere.. and a wind instrument sort of fades in when you play it.. and.. it just sounds sloppy. It's still suspect if you ask me. -Marcus

if they had lowered the volume a tad, maybe it'd sound more in place. i also think it may come in a tad late... --Nathew

Rhapsody ( has the streaming and burning licensing rights to The Spine now, and Au Contraire has the flute notes at the end of the guitar solo as well. I seriously doubt that anybody at the record company or working for/through TMBG would allow a "flawed" version of a song to have made it to so many mediums. To those of you complaining to book stores, threatening recalls, and sending letters to your senators: please take off your tinfoil hats and come out of the basement...there's nothing wrong here. -- Random Whim

Mine has the flute but it doesn't say who plaied it, which I am very dissapointed cause I wanted to know. Along with Au Contraire, the lyrics were really messed up in my copy. Lemme post them: "Au contraire, Delano hate to contradict you, but..." and later "Au Contraire, Mahatma Not to rain on you parade I mean to tell you, Au contraire..." I got this on the 13th. ~~ Annie-Mae, founder of the TMBG club

Mine has it, too, but I think it sounds kind of cool. -- Rhinoceros Rex

That flutin' angers me! WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF! It wasn't on the version that was on dial-a-song two years ago! BOYCOTT FLUTES! BOYCOTT AU CONTRAIRE! BECAUSE IT REALLY MATTERS... oh... wait... IT DOESN'T! -- Super Tony.

Yeah, mine has it. But I LIKE it, and it sounds SO intentional! A recall would be overdoing things. For people like Them, who so frequently use strange and inventive studio tricks, and who have enlisted a producer like Pat Dillett, it would be very strange to not notice an "error" this obvious. - Stiddy

My copy of The Spine has the little added flute bit as well, but I thought it was a nice touch myself. It works as an interesting little fill. Plus, to be perfectly honest, if you want to instigate a recall over one supposedly errant flute part on one song, you're really taking things a bit too seriously. Just let it go, man. Let TMBG be able to keep their artistic freedom of expression (i.e. the ability to choose which instrumentation to use where) intact. - TheNintenGenius

I have the "error" and i likes it... kudos to whoever was bitching about having different lyrics... i'm sure it was just your copy - LostRamblin

The liner notes for Indestructible Object credit a "Don Wieselman" as playing the flute. In regards to the wrong lyrics posted for Au Contraire, my copy of The Spine has them listed wrong too. I noticed other mistakes in the booklet too but I can't remember them right now. Interestingly, in the booklet for Indestructible Object, the chorus about FDR is correct, but the chorus following the Gandhi verse is written the same way as the lyrics on The Spine: Wrong. Oh well. And the extra snippet of flute? It's weird, but not bad. --An orangutan

That's an error? My disc has it and you're not getting it back! Nope, no way. It's fine the way it is. -RBM

I have it. -magbatz

My version of The Spine, purchased at a FYE, also has the "error." I noticed it immediately and thought it sounded out of place and unintentional, but that may be because I heard the IO version first. -Al

It's on mine - FH

I still don't exactly understand the error. There is no flute after the guitar, however I do hear it during the "Right on!" part. Is that an error? --Checkers Piece Face

Listen to this MP3: -- are you sure there is no flute? Where did you get your copy? -Marcus

A-ha, yes, there is a flute. That always sounded so...intentional. I got my copy at Best Buy. ---Checkers Piece Face

I went and spectranalyzed, beat-check'd, and listen-over-and-over-again-to'd the flutey bit, and it DOES break the rhythm by perhaps 2 milliseconds. But then so do 3 of the bass notes around this part and a few other things. It's a bit too obvious to be a mistake, and it's not really "off" by much, relative to your standard human-produced musical note, as I just explained. And it's clearly polished up a bit and time-shifted slightly (by a whole hundred samples or so (wild guess, can't remember real number), out of about 44100 a second...), so it's not like they were oblivious to it being there. The lyrics, though, are screwed up. The swapping of "hate to rain on your parade" and "hate to contradict you, but" in the booklet makes more sense, obviously. Think about it. We should sue McDonald's for this flute thing, though. -- Tgies

I just think one suspicious thing about the flute part of Au Contraire in The Spine, is that they didn't credit Don Weiselman for playing the flute, though his flute-ing still does appear. -magbatz

I don't hear it. Oh, and the link 4 posts above doesn't work anymore. Where can I find it now? I really want to "be in the know" on this. If it helps, my copy came in the mail after I ordered it from — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 18:36, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)

To be exact, this is an mp3 of what's on my copy of The Spine: File:Au Contraire possible error.mp3. Is it there and I just don't hear it, or have I inadvertantly confirmed that this is an error? I'm pretty sure I have a normal retail copy. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 11:44, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)
After reading above that it's at 1:20, I finally realized that the spot y'all are talking about is during the lyrics. I listened again, and sure enough — there it is. My version does have the "error". I always focus on vocals so much that I never notice what's going on with the instrumentation during those parts. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 22:28, 5 Mar 2006 (CST)

I think my opinions on this flute/guitar thing have already been stated, but just to bring them all together.... I agree its very presumptious for the author to call this an 'error', and someone should go ahead and amend the entry so that it remains factual. The fact is that there are three versions of the song: one with guitar only, one with flute only, and one with guitar and a little bit of flute as a fill. My opinion is that the promo version sounds very empty without that fill and I would guess that the flute was added back into the mix before the album was finally mastered. I owned a promo copy about two months before the album was released so there was plenty time to do it!! But opinions shouldnt matter when we are trying to build a knowledge base of TMBG related facts. I'm going to go ahead and edit the page. --astralbee 17:14, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

An interesting little twist on the typical "skepticism vs hero worship" argument[edit]

This is a song that definitely wouldn't be out of place on Flood (conceptually, I mean; the instrumentation is Spine all the way). Linnell builds up this lesson on the hazards of blind praise to icons, but then leaves the listener going "Oh. Hmm." as he finishes his closing remark on the message and is met with a solitary "right on"...and then another...and then 4 more...and suddenly we've reached the end of the song, and a room full of people is seemingly nodding its head together in agreement and praising the narrator in unison; "right on! right on! right on!" An incredibly clever reminder that perhaps the narrator isn't exempt from his own rule.