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False Idols

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“The radio plays what they want you to hear” — Reel Big Fish, “Sellout”

Mike and I have the same argument at least once a month. Inevitably the subject will turn to music, and inevitably, I will bring up the genius of Tom Waits. (On a sort of related note, our friend Adam once suggested in jest a Tom Waits drinking game, that is, whenever I mention Tom Waits, everyone takes a drink. Jason replied that within moments, they’d all have alcohol poisoning.) Mike hates Tom Waits. He hates Tom Waits and Morrissey and David Byrne and Karen O for the same single reason: He can’t stand their voices.

Mike is my alt-rock love god. Green Day is his favorite band. Personally, Billie Joe Armstrong’s nasally screechy little-girl-wants-a-pony voice makes me want to pop my own eardrums. The boy listens to terrible, terrible music. Okay, so I like Muse and OK Go is good party music and anyone who reads Mix Tape Blues knows I spent a lot of time lying on the floor listening to the Killer’s “Mr. Brightside” but let’s face it — these guys all suck.

The biggest problem with the American music industry is the lack of voice. Brandon Flowers and Gerard Way and Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff all have the same, innocuous singing voice. One without character or sensibility or emotion, simply a vehicle for carrying tepid, mass-produced, asinine pop lyrics. Matthew Bellamy and Chris Martin orally raped Thom York and stole his vocal cords to use for their own sick purposes, making what was once unique now commonplace.

I blame American Idol. American Idol promotes the most middle-of-the-road, ineffectual, inoffensive vocal styling to bored housewives and teenage girls who think singing is about standing on the stage with one’s arms in the air. This is not music. I argued once with My Professor because he put Kelly Clarkson on a mix he made me, and he complimented her “big voice.” Most people can carry a tune. It’s not hard. Being able to fill a vacant space or hit the high note so hard you have to bend backwards is simply a practice of breathing, not vocal ability.

Simon would have laughed Tom Waits off the stage. Morrissey would have lasted a few rounds because he’s attractive to the gay audience, and Janis Joplin might have done well with the judges but voters would have texted her less-than-perfect ass right out the door. Never mind that these are some of the most influential and critically acclaimed singers of the latter half of the twentieth century, they don’t package well, and that’s what matters in the music industry these days.

Being able to convey emotion, that’s what music is about. Billie Holiday could make a song her own simply by opening her mouth. Debbie Harry’s voice made you want to kiss her for fear of getting your ass kicked if you didn’t. Cyndi Lauper’s Bettie Boop squeal gave her ditzy pop songs a solid character, something you could stand behind. Remember when Britney Spears butchered Joan Jett’s immortal “I Love Rock and Roll?” Me neither, because no one saw Crossroads, but you get my point. The gates of pop music hell opened right there.

Music is more than lyrics or guitar licks. The appeal of Tom Waits is the honest passion in his voice. If Taylor Hicks were to sing “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” you wouldn’t ever believe that this guy’s been drunk on anything stronger than cough syrup, but when Waits rasps, “No, the moon ain’t romantic/it’s intimidating as hell” you feel a hangover coming on, you understand the song, you find a part of yourself in his voice because it’s your voice. Waits understands heartbreak. Chris Daughtry does not. When Danny Elfman shudders, “I’d love to mess your pretty hair/I’d love to see you dead” you get the beautifully violent sense of what love really is, not Clay Aiken crooning how he’d like to be eating your shit and buzzing in your ear. All the American Idols are interchangeable, season after season it’s slight variations on the same thing, wan interpretations of small-town claustrophobia and hearts with hairline fractures.

The music industry knows we hunger for the median, we simply want noise to fill empty spaces conversation once occupied. We cram our iPods with as much soulless crap as we can to drown out the sound of homeless people on the subway or our children in the backseat. We don’t want to listen, we don’t want to feel, we just want to hear something besides the sound of our own overcharged heartbeats, the growling of our junk-ravaged stomachs, the ticking of the clock that says life is passing us while we wait in traffic with Sirus set to six.

We can align with the false sense of misery My Chemical Romance feeds us because we can’t face our own real sorrow, that is, the vacuous commercial shells we’ve become. We channel our nameless frustrations through the baseless hate of Linkin Park. We equate love with grinding on the dance floor. If it doesn’t hurt our ears, we love it and if we don’t love it, we’re stupid, we don’t have fun. Where we once controlled the radio, the radio now controls us, telling us this is how we have to feel, this is what we have to think. Big Brother with a guitar.

Turn the radio off. Pour a stiff drink, and toast to heartbreak whether it’s yours or not. Drive with the top down and remember summers you were too young to know. Dim the lights and see the orchestration like gossamer in front of you. Kill your idols.

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About Retro Music Chick

  • Benjamin Cossel

    How ANYONE can not see Tom Waits for the genius he is, is just beyond me. Even if you don’t care for his gravely tone (try his early work then) any thinking human being should be able to grasp there’s much much more at play in Tom’s world.

    No one puts flowers…

  • Chris

    I agree with much of your sentiment, but I also think that (at least some) popular artists *can* sing in the sense you mean. For instance, I think Kelly Clarkson’s cover of “Up on the Mountain” is an outstanding example of exactly the kind of thing your talking about: singing as truly emoting. And I think the same is true of a number of songs on her last album.

    Just because someone is popular — or because once upon a time they sang something for a pop audience — doesn’t mean that they aren’t a “real” singer.

  • crap

    I can’t stand Kelly Clarkson. she sucks hard core. I agree radio shells out her crap because that’s what they want you to hear. …over and over and over until I can’t stand it. Radio lost me 3 yers ago. I have on only the oldies/classic rock stations. That is where I stay. Be careful though the Idol worshipers will come and dispute thier favs(like the Kelly fan that posted first.)

  • Nina

    Lol your gonna have a hard life in the music world today :D if you don’t like american idol, then why write a whole piece about it.

    I can understand that you hate hillary duff and britney, but i think kelly clarkson is in a completely different universe than those thwo

  • amy

    Hey, I can almost buy what you are saying, but…there needs to be music for all kinds of people and not just what kids like or what you like or what I like. AI fills a big gap for baby boomers who have been forgotten musically. I don’t get the complaints. If anything, complain to Idol for not keeping their artists adult contemporary, where most belong!
    The Idol artists do just fine and have great talents. Idol should stop pushing them into places they don’t belong. There is money to be made in all types of music.

  • Cindy

    I read your article and I do take issue with it, in that you feel American Idol has affected what has been played on the radio. For years now the American public has been subjected to “lousy” music crammed down our ears. American Idol was certainly not the start of that.

    There have been talented singers from the show that get hardly any radio play at all. Only the chosen few, that the producers decide to support for their own personal gain. But I do think that the show has become a forum for the American public to say “we are tired of what the music industry pushes at us, so now we can pick who we want to hear!”

    Yes it is a “show” and a reality show at that. They play us at every turn. But just once in a while you do hear a voice that stirs something in you. A voice what makes you stand up and say “wow”. Not the fabricated voices you hear on the radio.

    If the show on any given season provides us with just one outstanding voice, and I think they have achieved that (not necessarily the winner), then they have served their purpose.

  • JC Mosquito

    Naaah… AI is just the most outward symptom of the mediocrity brought about by virtuosity in popular music. When you’re really, really, good at singing, or guitar playing or anything musical, if you’ve got soome talent and ambition and luck, you cover a lot of the same ground as other players and singers of similar calibre. Of course you will develop your own voice/style/approach, but the average public doesn’t necessarily hear nuances. Actually, the average person can tell easily whther you’re out of tune or have a cold, but – well, which of the Three Tenors was the best? I don’t know – I can’t always tell who’s singing what part unless I have the video to watch.

    However, when you are faced with technical limitations like Neil Young, or Dylan or Tom Waits, you have to develop you own style which is unique to yourself – you can’t hope to sound like Pavarotti or Sinatra. Really, you can always pick Waits out in a vocal line up (unless that Cheetos guy is in there too).

    “The appeal of Tom Waits is the honest passion in his voice. If Taylor Hicks were to sing “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” you wouldn’t ever believe that this guy’s been drunk on anything stronger than cough syrup, but when Waits rasps…”

    Actually, I don’t care whether he’s been drunk or not. Waits does a good job of writing /choosing material to keep this illusion going. Somebody once told me when they saw Celine Dion how she put all her emotion into her voice. I replied that she’s a professional – she better be convincing because she’s probably thinking of getting on the plane and going home right after the encore. Same with Waits or Hicks or Dylan – they are all great because they all know how to play their audiences.

    Great article – I would agree with the bulk of it. And now I’ve been inspired to dig out my vinyl of swordfishtrombones.

  • Dave

    Snobbery at its worst. If you aren’t an ugly, broken, unknown, struggling, f**k up, you aren’t a real artist. WTF ever.

  • risa

    Retro Music Chick~
    In the infamous words of Ronald Reagan (yes, I am old enough not only to remember him – I VOTED FOR HIM)There you go again, you say:
    “Billie Joe Armstrong’s nasally screechy little-girl-wants-a-pony voice makes me want to pop my own eardrums”
    I wish you WOULD pop your own eardrums so you would stop singing (and I use that term LOOSELY)the praises of your taste in music against OUR taste in music. So you would stop whimpering about your whiny-ass music tastes. Billie Joe is a genius. He as consistantly called out the music industry to STOP the mediocrity. He has had the balls to stand up against the machine, YOUR MACHINE that perpetually puts out the same shit day after day, year after year.
    “We can align with the false sense of misery My Chemical Romance feeds us because we can’t face our own real sorrow, that is, the vacuous commercial shells we’ve become.”
    What false sense of misery are you talking about?? My Chem is not and never has been emo, you rattle on as though you know what the hell you are talking about. Which song, which album are you referring?? I have listened to My Chem since 2002 and still don’t understand why bloggers who claim to have some sort of musical expertise downgrade My Chem when most of you have never even listened to a single track. And it is not simply listening, it is disecting and analyzing these songs that you discover the underlying meanings and ideas. Maybe you just too shallow to comprehend this music.
    My Chem writes metaphorically, they empower the listener on many levels, none of this Tom Wait’s crap of trying to sound like Jack Skellington with every song repeating the same thing.
    Is it, perhaps, that they only way you can get people to read your goofy blogs is by mentioning My Chemical Romance? Because you know My Chem fans are dedicated and will reply which puts you higher on the blogger pedestal. You understand that most fans don’t give a rat’s ass about attacks on their favorite bands, but My Chem fans are different. We are passionate about the inspiration we find in their music, in their ideals and their belief in US, we ARE the broken, beaten, and the damned. And people like you will not try to trample our belief in our music.
    I personally promise to never read or reply to one of your blogs if you would simply stop attacking My Chemical Romance.

  • Carissa

    I agree 100% with Risa. ^^

    “There you go again, you say:
    “Billie Joe Armstrong’s nasally screechy little-girl-wants-a-pony voice makes me want to pop my own eardrums”
    I wish you WOULD pop your own eardrums so you would stop singing (and I use that term LOOSELY)the praises of your taste in music against OUR taste in music. So you would stop whimpering about your whiny-ass music tastes. Billie Joe is a genius. He as consistantly called out the music industry to STOP the mediocrity. He has had the balls to stand up against the machine, YOUR MACHINE that perpetually puts out the same shit day after day, year after year.”

  • THE OTHER

    Retro Music Chick~
    “Billie Joe Armstrong’s nasally screechy little-girl-wants-a-pony voice makes me want to pop my own eardrums”
    My advise? PLEASE BE MY GUEST!
    Here is a quote from Billie Joe Armstrong that suits you perfectly:

    REJECT
    “Who the hell are you to tell me what I am and what’s my master plan.

    What makes you think that it includes you? Self-righteoous wealth – Stop flattering yourself, so when the smoke clears here I am.

    Your reject all -American.
    Sucking up your social sect, making you a nervous wreck.

    To hell and back and hell again I’ve gone.

    You’re not my type. Not my type.

    What’s the difference between you and me?
    I do what I want, and you do what you’re told.
    So listen up, shut the hell up. Its no big deal.

    and I’ll see you in hell, so when the smoke clears here I am, your reject all-American. Sucking up your social sect, making you a nervous wreck. To hell and back and hell again I’ve gone.

    You’re not my type. Not my type. not my type

    so when the smoke clears here I am.
    Your reject all -American.
    falling from grace right on my face
    To hell and back and hell again I’ve gone”.

    or better yet ~

    Ha Ha You’re Dead Lyrics

    “How do you get your sleep at night?
    How did you get your noose so tight?
    Like chewing on tinfoil, it’s so much fun
    Gonna be dead before your gone

    Cause look how things have gotten
    And I’ll be happy so I won’t pretend
    And I’ll be cheering that you’re going down
    And I’ll be laughing, I’ll be laughing

    How many feelings can you steal?
    Gotta be part of your appeal
    I can see through you cause you’re wearing thin
    Like chewing on tinfoil once again

    Ha Ha you’re dead
    And I’m so happy
    In loving memory
    Of your demise

    When your ship is going down

    I’ll go out and paint the town
    Ha Ha you’re dead
    Ha Ha you’re dead
    Ha Ha you’re dead

    (ha ha ha)

    Ha Ha you’re dead
    The joke is over
    You were an asshole
    And now you’re gone
    As your ship is going down
    I’ll stand by and watch you drown

    Ha Ha you’re dead
    You’re gonna be dead
    Just remember what I said
    Ha Ha you’re dead
    Ha Ha you’re dead
    Ha Ha you’re dead”

    Both these songs suit you PERFECTLY!

    Why can’t you attack shitty American Idol without draging punk music into your judgemental realm – why can’t everyone be allowed to like what they want without you whining and bitching CONSTANTLY?? I can only hope there is no man in your life to listen to your perpetual self-rightous complaining, but if by some small chance there is – I will hope for his escape!

  • again

    jesus christ. You sure are an opinionated one. I remember you said you were an English lecturer or something of the sort. If a student has a passion for a writer you detest, do you prefer not to converse with them? Seems to me you enjoy belittling people.

    I like how you use your fancy vocabulary to make it seem like you know something about the music industry. Honey you have no god damn clue. Although it’s evident you try not to be, you are so obviously biased. Clinging strongly to your “generation”…when I read this all I could see was “back in my day….”

    Admittedly, I’m a young-un. Barely in my twenties, brought up in the MTV generation. I’ve been involved with music since i was 14, so I’d like to think I know a thing or two. When you’ve been around music for so long, you learn to become cultured, unbiased and to give everything a shot. I recommend everyone take a course in music and production at some stage in your life. You learn to see beauty in every aspect of music. Because music is art. being art it has its critics, with critics comes debate. Here we have a queen critic.

    Bravo queen critic. Today, I’m afraid, you can’t rock my boat. Take a lesson or two in classical music, then try to write something educated.

  • Benjamin Cossel

    preach on R.M.C., I think you’re the bomb. I may not agree with you 100% but definitly more often then not.

    MCR fans – relax. perhaps your troubles wouldn’t seem nearly as bad as they do if you all just took a collective deep breath.

  • JC Mosquito

    Interesting… is this thread about music or credibility?

    As you likely know, blogcritics is pretty much a site for open posting. Anyone can claim any creds they want. But assuming we’re all telling the truth, does an English lecturer necessarily have more credibility than anyone else? How about someone who’s been involved in music since they were 14 and are now in their twenties – are they the arbiters of quality?

    Like most who read bc regularly, I have my own set of creds, which I don’t care to recite here – after all, what some people would marvel at others would only ridicule. And so it has to be the written word that rules here, and not perceptions of credibilty laced with veiled personal attacks.

    I myself like Tom Waits and MCR for different reasons. And I’ll be the first to admit that doesn’t give me any musical or moral superiority over anyone else’s tastes. There are perfectly intelligent people who actually dislike Tom Waits and My Chemical Romance equally and at the same time.

    The one point that you’ve got to keep in perspective is that Tom Waits has been around for a long time and has a large body of work. Whether My Chemical Romance can say the same thing in 30 years remains to be seen.

  • again

    point taken JC. The night is a restless one.

    “The one point that you’ve got to keep in perspective is that Tom Waits has been around for a long time and has a large body of work. Whether My Chemical Romance can say the same thing in 30 years remains to be seen.”

    Kudos.

  • Benjamin Cossel

    JC – good points and follow on. I would say my particualr TW comment was melo-drama of the higest, sarcasm doesn’t read well at times. Personally, I got nothing against MCR, their fans, at times, is a different ballgame.

    As to longevity, that’s kinda what i was thinking. If MCR is able to continue making great music and aquire a growing fan base long into the future then they deserve every accolade accorded. How many people remember the Soup Dragons?

  • JC Mosquito

    Yeah – it’s often difficult to express wit via internet postings. That’s happened to me on a number of occasions… awww, who’m I kidding? I’m just not that funny.

    Soup Dragons? Gone but not forgotten…. well, honestly, I DID forget about them.

  • http://www.myspace.com/roxieway Roxie Way

    Why the hell are people picking in My Chemical Romance for they have done nothing to you so leave them alone.The Black Parade was trying to help us cause they care about us so why don’t you pick on people who don’t care about their fans for once.

  • KartofflMuter

    I love Tom Waits. I love Clay Aiken. Call me eclectic. I even own an i-pod. Obviously you don’t know what mine is loaded with. Soulless crap? Who are you to decide? I’m listening to Rang de Basante. Then on to some Glen Gould. Maybe some West Side Story.Straight vocals? You just can’t beat Sohne Mannheims.I recommend their album, Noiz. Vielleicht got me hooked. Santanta has been a lifelong obsession. Jiya Dhadak Dhadak Jaye by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is
    -I don’t think there is a good English word for it. Hear and enjoy. Joe Cocker. I heard him in Chicago when I was 18. The Who were playing the same bill. Yes I’ve heard some good stuff. And that includes Clay Aiken. I don’t need to put down the ones I don’t regard highly to make my favorites shine more brightly. You see-the greats are really a very small community. They recognize each other. And Tom Waits. There’s room for everyone. Cream rises to the top if you let it.

  • JC Mosquito

    First – I like what I’ve heard from MCR.

    Second – I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not picking on them.

    Third – I’m guessing that they’re being used as an example of something that is currently very popular – which they are.

    Fourth – a discussion about fans of MCR is most likely about the bands’ fans in general, or certain types of fans that are attracted to their music. Don’t take it personally – and as much as it’s nice to think the band cares for each and every one of its fans…. well, maybe you know them, but there’s a few million others that don’t. It’s like that for any band that every was popular for any length of time.

    Lastly – Lighten up – it’s only rock and roll!

  • Moi

    I can agree with some of what you are saying. I don’t really believe in idols myself, find American Idol a useless manufacturer for whiny wannabes and that some vocalists can sound quite similar.
    But tbh, for the thousands of teen fans who like, say, Gerard Way, I don’t think they idolise them for their singing talents [or lack of, your opinion at the end of the day]. It’s for the determination that they have, and the willingness and selflessness they have to tour for months on end and never go “Whoa, let’s slow down here.” They like the thrill of where the music takes them, and that it touches people so. That’s what I would class as more of an idol, anyway…x

  • JENNIFER BUNCH

    I MY SO SHOCKED AT YOUR ARTICLE I CAN HARDLY WRITE THIS REPLEY BUT GUESS WHAT I AM. YOU HAVE PUT DOWN MY FAVORITE BAND AND FAVORITE SINGER THAT IVE LOVED FOR THE PAST 13 YRS AND YOU KNOW WHAT I REALLY DONT CARE WHAT YOU THINK BECAUSE YOUR VIEW SEEMS SO TOTALLY WRONG ITS NOT EVEN FUNNY. GUESS WHAT IM NOT EVEN A TEENAGER IM ALL GROWN UP AND I HAPPEN TO LOVE THE MUSIC THAT YOU ARE PUTTING DOWN SO IF THAT MAKES ME NOT AS SELF RIGHTOUS AS YOU WELL I SAY GREAT FOR ME AND ALL THE OTHERS WHO HAPPEN TO LOVE THESE BANDS. I SO TOTALLY AGREE WITH RETRO MUSIC CHICK’S COMMENT ABOVE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO AND ACTUALLY LISTEN TO SOME OF THE MUSIC YOU PUTTING DOWN MAYBE YOU WILL SEE THAT FOR SOME PEOPLE THOSE SONGS HAVE MEANING AND THAT MAYBE THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR LIVES.

  • JENNIFER BUNCH

    EDIT MY COMMENT I PUT RETRO MUSIC CHICK IT WAS SUPPOSE TO BE CARISSA

  • http://madcashier.blogspot.com/ Joe Harris

    Risa, I’m floored that you’ve admitted to being a fan of My Chemical Romance in a public forum.

    If you appreciate this artform so much, shift gears and listen to some real music. Rest assured everyone, American Idol is the root of much evil.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    “I agree radio shells out her crap because that’s what they want you to hear. …over and over and over until I can’t stand it. Radio lost me 3 yers ago. I have on only the oldies/classic rock stations.”

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. that’s had me loaughing for a while now. over and over and over and over .. but i listen to classic rock. Damn, that’s fine fine humor.

    Wait, there was an article here. The biggest problem with the American music scene is you / we grew up. That shouldn’t lead to discounting the tastes of pre-teens and teenagers – whatev. They’re going through the same thing most of us did.

    There’s way to much “we” in the orginal post. We is multitudes.

    A nice reflective piece, though. It reminded me of the Spice Girls ;-) kidding.

  • http://killyouripod.blogspot.com Retro Music Chick

    Normally I abstain from replying to comments, after all, I’ve said everything I have to say. However, I’ll break my silence to say that JC and Karl, I admire your eloquence and your ability to disagree with me without resorting to “OMG UR MEEN!”

    And you’re right, it is only rock and roll–but an example must be made, and if that means hurling empty bottles at Gerard Way, I shall drain them personally! I shall march on, criticizing everything and everyone in my path! It is my DESTINY!

    XOXO (sincerely)
    You Retro Music Chick

    PS: Stop over to the blog and drop me a line sometime–I like you guys.

  • crap

    Temple Shark is it? QUOTE”ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. that’s had me loaughing for a while now. over and over and over and over .. but i listen to classic rock. Damn, that’s fine fine humor.”

    No , I didn’t grow up with the classic rock / OLDIES music… I grew up with more current tunes. I hated the 90’s and it still sucks today. Don’t give me the bull about begrudging teens THIER music.( my teen doesn’t listen to anything recent, it’s his tastes that make me see the crap that is out there.) There is a reason music as an indusry is failing. And radio overplaying songs and the recent Payola arguments are the very reason people like Kelly CL.etc. are heard on an hourly basis. not because it’s cool. Paris Hilton was played on the radio too, but by god lets give the teens thier music tastes. you know as well as I do that most teens are sheep when it comes to Trends and flashy “what’s cool”product placement.they’re desperate to fit in, if the powers that be say it’s cool a la radio payola, it must be cool. rarely do you find a radio station playing what is not the boxed pop/hip hop etc. labels encourage. It seems that my son would agree, based on his Ipod list, not one song on the radio’s current pop market today. what’s on yours?

  • Chixx

    I’m sorry but you really don’t know what your talking about at all do you.

    To say “Brandon Flowers and Gerard Way and Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff all have the same, innocuous singing voice. One without character or sensibility or emotion” is totally rediculous Kelly Clarkson should not be mentioned in there at all she could sing circles around all those singers anybody who can’t admit that this girl can sing is just in denial or obviosly doesn’t know what singing means and also this girl shows so much emotion when she sings she poyrs out emotion, Have you ever even watched her perform and I’m not talking about her Idol performances have you seen her perform Pan Benatars “Up to the mountains” Or Annie Lennox’s 2Why” or even her own song “Becuase of you” if you had you would not have included her in this article or said she has the same voice as Hilary Duff thats just ridiculous and whats wrong with Pop music anyway everybody has different preferences I don’t like it becuase the radio plays it theres alot of crap played on the radio that I don’t like but alot of it I do because it appeals to me and I find it offensive and rude to diss what other people like just because you don’t

  • me

    i LOVE AMERICAN IDOL!!!
    i also think kelly clarkson rocks, if you think she is lame, you are the lame one!! i have never heard of YOU but i know exactly who she is. i would be careful with what you say…

  • JC Mosquito

    Looked over your blog quickly, RMC – time is tight tongiht, but I’ll drop by for a closer read when time lets go of its stranglehold on my… er, time.

    Sk.

  • Scott

    Kelly seems to have really good pipes,
    I don’t really know most of her songs (I stopped listening to FM radio years ago).

    BTW Cyndi Lauper really has a great singing voice
    I saw her in concert recently
    and she totally blew me away with the power of her singing voice,
    and she also has lots of great songs
    most of which I never heard before,
    so I was happy I went!

    Anyway I learned that you really shouldn’t judge any recording artists just by a few songs
    you hear on the radio,
    it seems like the radio doesn’t like to play the most interesting songs by any artists.

  • kfc – a Clay fan

    When Danny Elfman shudders, “I’d love to mess your pretty hair/I’d love to see you dead” you get the beautifully violent sense of what love really is, not Clay Aiken crooning how he’d like to be eating your shit and buzzing in your ear.

    It never ceases to amaze me ..people think the best way to defend their own taste in music is to tear down the choices of everyone else. Why? I’ve never heard of My Chemical Romance, probably because I’m ancient and over the hill, but that doesn’t mean I ‘m going to insult every other singer in the universe to get across the point that I, personally, think MCR just may suck. Personally, I’d probably still prefer CCR.

    Let’s see, I’ve been an Elvis fan, a CCR fan, Neil Diamond, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, the BeeGess, good ole Rod Stewart and forevermore, a Clay Aiken fan. Do I really care if you approve? Not one iota… but it pisses me right off when some sweet young thing has to denigrate a beautiful person like Clay Aiken just to appear…..’anti-establishment’ (seems that word still fits certain situations, n’est-ce pas, eh?) The word ‘gauche’ somehow comes to mind, too.

    For someone who espouses ‘the beautifully violent sense of what love is’ consistent with punk rock, hard core gansta rap, heavy metal etc. etc., it’s pretty ludicrous how squeamish you pretend to be about Clay supposedly sounding like he wants to eat your shit etc….What a farce! What pedantic, inane, hypocritical commentary!

    Leave Clay out of this pointless diatribe. And Kelly. If Clive decides to spend more money pushing her music more often than Clay’s…fine. That’s his choice, not Kelly’s. And, although many AI contestants don’t meet your stringent expectations, that doesn’t mean they won’t appeal to other..cough, cough..seniors like myself. Not every singer in the world aspires to promote violence, murder and death…shudders…dang, I’ve lost my punker dog collar again…

    I agree totally with Kartofflmuter…I love Clay Aiken..he is one hell of a concert performer…and funnier than hell, too…just absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. If you can’t see that, then you better wear my glasses….

    As for Tom Waits and his gravelly voice….well, that’s one reason I followed Rod Stewart for decades…and Kris Kristofferson…but, sometimes you have to deviate and listen to the pure sounds coming from the likes of Clay Aiken….

  • Scott

    I do think it would be a good idea for more different kinds of music, and TV shows.

    Radio and TV are getting lower ratings now,
    so maybe they should start mixing things up more?

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    When Danny Elfman shudders, “I’d love to mess your pretty hair/I’d love to see you dead” you get the beautifully violent sense of what love really is, not Clay Aiken crooning how he’d like to be eating your shit and buzzing in your ear.

    I hate to have to play devil’s advocate, but when Oingo Boingo were in their heyday, lyrics like those (and I realize “Insanity” is from the self-titled 1994 Boingo album – it’s one of my favorites) would have gotten exactly the same response as your own response to Clay Aiken today by those who grew up in the previous generation of music fans. This is all perspective – the relative quality of popular music is dependent on our perspective and relationship to it.

  • Angeredcommenter

    Dude, I don’t know if you have some sort of hearing problem. Kelly Clarkson’s voice does affect people emotionally but not negatively. What’s your problem with the best show out there, American Idol. Ask the millions of people who watch it and ask them if it’s good or not. You’re a real bum.

  • JP

    Whatever you think of Matt Bellamy’s vocals, the man is a musical phenom to be witnessed live. Muse are overpowering and amazing; the American market isn’t used to modern-rock or alternative acts in which the vocalist actually *sings*, so they’re taking awhile to catch on. But–finally–it is happening.

    Their fall tour is hitting arenas of 6 and 7 thousand seats, their biggest in the States by far. Watch out!