Sunday, February 01, 2004

Pretend to Sing the Words . . .

An article in today's New York Times discusses the growing legitimacy of lip-synching during "live" concerts. I'm not naive enough to think that this is anything new, but I do fear for the future when some fans not only accept but expect canned vocals so that their favorite talentless hacks don't "mess up" their favorite song. In the age of MTV, why even go to a concert if it is not actually a live performance? Mistakes, or at least the risk of them, are part of the charm of live music. Seeing someone play a song - really actually playing it - that gives you goose bumps is a totally different experience from hearing it on CD.

For the record, yes, folks, there are performers who can sing whilst hanging upside down. Peter Gabriel and his daughter, Melanie, did the closing portion of the song "Downside Up" while upside down on his last tour. While Peter does use his share of samples and the like, I'm pretty sure all his vocals are the real deal.

Frank Zappa wrote in the liner notes for The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life: "In a world where most of the 'big groups' go on stage and pretend to sing and play, we proudly present this quaint little audio artifact. Yes, once upon a time, live musicians actually sand and played this." Sadly, such things seem to be more on their way to being "quaint artifacts" than ever before.

No comments: