Wednesday, March 26, 2008

...and now, i give you the song "ken lee"...

why does everybody want to sing?
why does everybody think they can really sing when they really can't?
why can't anyone tell them how bad they sound?
why can't they hear how bad they sound?

with the worldwide onslaught of american idol, has bad singing become a cottage industry? is it really so mesmerizing, to listen to bad vocalists?

listening to this woman sing with such absolute conviction and be so far off the mark all the way across the board -- she even thought she was singing in english! -- was nothing short of astonishing. but then again, people lie to themselves all the time, about all kinds of things. this is just more blatant and obvious -- and funny! -- than the rest. i think it freaked me out because it made me wonder what i was unconsciously lying about to myself.

maybe bad singing is relative. for years, i couldn't stand bob dylan's voice. then one day i sat and listened to "tangled up in blue" and after i pushed "replay" for the fourth or fifth time, i knew the deal. i know some singers who feel the same way about billie holiday, and i've always loved her. but i think it's universally understood that as a vocalist, billie holiday is bringing way more to the table musically than ashanti or mya or beyonce or andre 3000 or a lot of others i could name. the question isn't whether or not any of them can sing. the question is, will anyone be sitting around listening to their music in 50 years?

chocolate rain, anyone?

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