10.15.2005

"Everyone loves bad news from a pretty mouth." (Music)

Profound truth, the title is. At least for me.

I don't know a lot about singing. I only did it for a while, and I embarrass easily, so I've shyed away from it. I don't know about classical opera, or the techniques of a jazz singer. I don't know how note progession is formed, or how songs are written out. I don't know much about singing.

But I'll tell you what I do know. I know that the best life philosophy I have is "judge a man by his depravaties. Virtures can be faked. Depravities are real." And I know that it is the singers with disease in their voice, when you can smell the alcohol through the speakers, when you can immerse yourself in what the man (Well, usually man) is saying, when you can feel the very guilt in the man...that's when I take notice. There's nothing wrong with the other view. Some prefer the song bird. I prefer the crippled, whimpering dog.

Case in point is Tom Waits. A sicklier man there has never been. His raspy voice is that of a alcoholic jailbird, who's seen it all and could not possibly be less impressed. He has his moments of softness, specifically towards women. But that's to be expected. The man is, by all means, a man. His raspy voice and haunting stories are more captivating than any opera I've ever heard. It's the minimalist beauty.

Another example is Issac Brock, of Modest Mouse fame. I'm admittedly a bandwagon jumper, and my exposure started with "Good News For People Who Love Bad News," but after hearing Bukowski, The Devil's Workday, and Satin in a Coffin, I realized how he'll be next to follow this trend. He sounds constantly like he's so close to snapping and going Tracy Smothers on everyone, commiting Ultra Mega Mass Homicide.

I don't have to say a damn thing about Mike Patton. To a lesser extent, Nils Frykdahl.

This vocal style is also the main reason I got into death metal, black metal, and hardcore. Men like Dallas Toler-Wade of Nile, Lord Wyrm of Cryptopsy, Abbath of Immortal, and Dimitri Minakakis of The Dillinger Escape Plan sound like every single bit of blackness, hatred, and evil in this world, and what comes out is disgusting, yet spectacular in such a way that is not able to be matched in any other kind of music. And with those bands, it just so happens that the music is good enough to match the insane vocal quality, despite it being on the complete opposite end of the spectrum in what is seen as a "singer's voice." I'm sure there are other, amazing vocalists out there, but it's those four that hooked me on this extreme of music.

However, this is not to say that everyone that sounds sick is good. This is not the case. The Vines lead singer sounded like he suffered from Typhoid, yet I never ever liked him. The 'group' broke up last year on my birthday; it was the best present I ever got.

Also, I do not mean to say that I only like deep, raspy voiced guys. I've always been a fan of Cedric Zavala (ATDI, Mars Volta) and Gavin Hayes (dredg). I can't appreciate it fully, and I usually get funny looks from people who -can- sing, but whatever.

My point is this; if the voices are ugly, take the story into context. Take what they;re howling, whether figuratively or literally, into context. Don't write it off because it isn't completely legible the first few times through. Just sit back and let it resonate.

1 Comments:

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10/16/2005 03:54:00 PM  

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