Thursday, February 7, 2008

Vox Populi

And that's it.

After three weeks of the goofy and the marginally talented, the "American Idol" audition rounds are over. Finally.

So as I roll my eyes at each delusional wannabe, as I criticize the pathetic and the Hollywood-bound alike, I start to wonder if there are any human voices that I would enjoy hearing. Three weeks worth of "Idol" auditions will do that to you.

I like voices that sound like they belong to actual human beings, rather than mannequins or state of the art technology. I like voices that serve a song, rather than run roughshod over it. I like voices that incorporate a little fun, a little joy in the presentation, rather than feeling like every note is a straining, reaching exertion. In other words, I like voices that would never go anywhere near an "American Idol" audition.

Here's a list. It is by no means comprehensive.

Pre-Rock Era:

Billie Holliday
Frank Sinatra
Ella Fitzgerald
Dean Martin
Louis Prima

Early Rock Era:

Chuck Berry
Roy Orbison
Buddy Holly
Elvis Presley
Little Richard

60s:

All the Beatles (yes, even Ringo)
Ray Davies
Martha Reeves
Sam Cooke
Bob Dylan (he's a FANTASTIC singer, no matter what some comedian thinks)

70s:

Lou Reed
Barry White
Freddie Mercury
Donna Summer
Iggy Pop

80s:

Chrissie Hynde
Marshall Crenshaw
Deborah Harry (also the 70s, but she fits in better here)
Joey Ramone (ditto)
Lemmy Kilmister

90s:

Kurt Cobain
Eddie Vedder
Sarah McLaughlin
Liz Phair
Billie Joe Armstrong

Now:

Dave Grohl
Jenny Lewis
Brett Anderson (aka Donna A.)
Rachel Nagy
Jeff Tweedy

Did I make any egregious omissions? Feel free to give me what for.

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