Interesting long read in The Guardian about how so many singers are buggering their own voices by continually stretching themselves too far. Apparently it’s as big a problem in opera as in popular music – the article points the finger at Wagner, Verdi, Puccini – and there’s a controversy over whether it’s best to prevent or cure (ie surgery). Made me think there’s another negative in a trend, promoted by TV talent shows, that says good singing is all about belting out loud, long, high notes. It doesn’t just make for boring music, but damages the singers while they’re still relatively young.
The superstar popstrel played two sold-out gigs at the Gabba at the weekend (we could hear her from 10k away). That’s 120,000 people – the population of Winchester, roughly. Two gigs each in Sydney and Melbourne, one in Adelaide and three in Auckland to come, presumably also sold out. Add in the one she’s already done in Perth, and you have to figure that she will have sold well over half a million tickets on this one tour.
Why? What is it about her that makes her so yuuuge? I listened to her stuff for about an hour this morning before I’d had enough, and I’m none the wiser. She seems like a nice woman, and she obviously has a talent for making her fans feel that she’s her mate. Her voice is ok, but doesn’t seem to bring anything to the party that Annie Lennox didn’t. Her songs, those I’ve listened to anyway, are all cut from the same mould – arpeggios, bit of quiet then a bit of bellowing (can belto not bel canto as our choir leader says), then back to quiet. I was surprised to discover she didn’t win X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, because she » Continue Reading.
Shocking commercial betrayal of the grass roots principles of the fest, or the usual ‘biggest act we can get’ story? Couldn’t give a tupenny one myself, but that’s just me, and I’m kinda drunk right now (reaches for one of the two glasses he can see, misses, and wonders if it might be time for bed).
Writing on his website, Joe Jackson does a monthly “blog” talking about some of the music that he’s listening to.
His current prose covers the latest Adele single “Hello”. Maybe a little surprising coming from Joe Jackson but I think he’s got it bang on….
By the time you read this, Adele’s new album will have been released, and there will be no escape. There will be no remote Pacific island, no benighted Congo village, no igloo in Greenland, where it won’t be on the radio every hour. The statistics will pile on top of the already staggering ones she amassed the last time around. The number of audiocassettes sold in Indonesia alone, if placed end to end, would stretch all the way to the planet Neptune, etc etc.
More power to her, I say. While one person sneers (on principle!) at popularity and embraces anything obscure, another does the exact opposite – and they’re both wrong. Sometimes an artist comes along who is both popular and really good. What do you say to that, eh, you clever bastards?
I first heard this song in a supermarket in Antwerp and thought, that must be Adele’s new single, it » Continue Reading.
Did anyone watch this last night? As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, her music, although admirable, isn’t my cup of tea, but this mixture of live performances, an interview with Graham Norton, plus a couple of pre-recorded skits made for great Friday night telly. She came across as warm, down to earth, modest and very funny, which I suppose we already knew, but it was nice to see it confirmed. Best of all was this sketch, where with the help of makeup and latex she posed as Adele-wannabe ‘Jenny’ and joined half a dozen others to audition as a tribute act.
I know you lot don’t really care. To be honest, I’m not that funked myself. But I was bored. So I got to thinking: How do we win this thing, assuming we want to?
I reckon… Get Matt Bellamy to write the song – big, hooky, cheesy, obvious, dramatic, his stock in trade. Get Mark Ronson to produce it – he can turn stuff into gold, and he’s got some cool mates. Get Adele and Tinie Tempah to sing it, with manipulated ghost backing vocals from Amy Winehouse.
I’m half serious, oh yes.