Monday, May 17, 2010

So.. are singers guaranteed the same respect as musicians?

Riffing (ooh, musician term) off a link to a discussion on Rate Your Music that I mentioned a few days ago, do you respect singers as musicians? Most of the commenters answered yes, which should restore my faith in humanity, or at least my faith in music fans. But something about, oh, I don't know, having to ask the question in the first place made me roll my eyes just a little. A little background first...

I love singers. I am frequently amazed by what the human voice can do. My reluctance to wholeheartedly embrace all things indie has a lot to do with its frequent deadpan, or just plain awful, vocals. Not that technical ability trumps passion and heart -- in fact, it's quite the opposite. But for a while there, I think a lot of singers, well, forgot to sing.

(If I'm going to be completely honest with myself, I admit I'd much rather hear the cast of Glee belt out old Madonna tunes than latest Pavement reissue.)

So seeing this thread, and others like it on various boards and blogs of which I've been a member, gave me pause, and though not explicitly mentioned, there's also that old trope of "girl singer, not really an integral part of 'the band.'" Can we stop this ASAP?

Two of my favorite vocalists in rock: Beth Ditto and Lisa Kekula:

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