If you’re looking for a way to kill time this afternoon, sneak off to a conference room at work, close the door, and download the free Songify app. The product of tech company Khush and the Gregory Brothers—Brooklyn’s Auto-Tune kings—allows you to record the "most mundane malarkey and turn it into a catchy song," much the same way that producers spiff up mediocre pop albums. But I have to admit: My reading of my pay stub and the Gettysburg Address wasn’t quite Billboard 100. That’s what separates the Gregory Brothers from other wannabe YouTube sensations. Evan, Andrew, Michael, and Evan’s wife Sarah ("winner of the Girliest Gregory award") are actual musicians with an ear for melodies, the skills to add accompaniment to spoken word, and the goofy sense of humor required to recognize that a viral video about a "Double Rainbow" can be an iTunes hit.
The Virginia natives (plus San Antonian Sarah) tried their luck as a blue-eyed soul band before discovering a latent talent for Auto-Tuning news clips during the 2008 election. All it took was pitch-correcting software and a laptop. (According to a six-page (!) profile of the Brothers in last Sunday’s New York Times magazine, "[Joe] Biden is one of the top unintentional singers of his time.") The Gregory Brothers have since gone from novelty to national news—and soon, on September 3, they’ll be a Bumbershoot comedy act.
To familiarize yourself with Songify, just watch two of the Gregory Brothers’ latest creations below: "Can’t Hug Every Cat" had 6,461,763 views last time I last checked, and "Best NASCAR Prayer Ever" had 1,792,854 views since its debut July 28, 2011. Boogity boogity boogity, amen.