George Michael vs. Beyonce

Let me preface this by saying that I’m a little bit in love with George Michael right now. I began voice lessons this week–what’s difficult about it all is the difference between ‘proper’ and what really works for me. For example, I’m learning to breathe through my nose. But I love the sound of in inhalations through one’s mouth–it’s a sexy sort of thing and I think ties in with the sounds of the mechanical aspects of the piano, of the fingers sliding against the guitar strings when changing positions, even the buzz of bass strings, I love things that remind us of the humanity behind the music, I mean, I often love mistakes, I love the way Miles Davis does something like ghost-notes in his mis-hitting notes that in anyone else would probably be a mistake, but with him and his classical background, we have to assume is intentional, or else we’re doubting his genius. Charlie Parker against the early Coltrane, both have their explosions, Coltrane even borrows suspiciously from Parker’s patterns, yet Coltrane seems somehow so precise, Parker seems almost racing himself with his head turned to see if he’s still in the lead, and when he stumbles, he really fucking stumbles (listen to Chi-Chi take 3, when they play the head at the end this is most apparent); I don’t know how I feel about Parker fucking up, the careless sound of it, is what I mean. I like dirt, but I like it to be dirty precisely where one is expecting it to be dirty, like that post-sex-day-in-bed sort of feeling, you’re simply covered in everything you’d expect to be covered in, regardless of how the performance went, and it’s delightful, and it’s that which makes Brandenberg Concerto no. 2 difficult to listen to while naked, and James Gang’s ‘Funk #49’ something that makes it difficult, at the very least, to keep one’s shirt on. I love these noises. But now I’m being asked to stop making them. Listen to Head Automatica’s ‘Beating Hearts Baby’ and you’ll hear they even dub these inhalations in to make them better. But…I want to sing like George Michael. I’m officially a high tenor. James Taylor is a tenor. I already knew I could sing anything James Taylor could, that at all times I can hit every note on a full three octaves, and on occassion, more than that. I love you, George Michael, I love you. But…there’s this one thing about you that bothers me:

On ‘Wake Me Up’ he jumps the word ‘up’ fairly consistently, sometimes worse than others. I don’t know if it’s intentional. Being ‘in the pocket’ is somehow very important in music, which means being a little behind the beat, perhaps it indicates a self-assurance, like crossing the street without looking, but George Michael is so far out of the pocket that it hurts my ears. In comparison, there’s Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in Love’ which at first I believed had a chorus in which she was simply off beat, or that someone had lined it up wrong. I don’t know if I can contribute the serious in-the-pocketness to her own vocal chops or if it’s just somebody moving everything over a little to the right on the computer. But I don’t care. One of them has something that screams out sex to me, even if it’s some dumb lyrics about being in love; the other one is about…well, being sad about not going dancing, and this is the guy who more or less brought rap to England, or made rap British, or something like that. I just don’t know if I can deal with it much longer without rationalizing it, and I’m trying really fucking hard.

And I finished something by Moliere today so I haven’t only been dicking around, I’ve also been reading a little bit. So fuck off.

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