Feb 11, 2011

Any Clotheshorse Can Learn to Sing

BWS tips buttonThis Fawk You Friday is dedicated to one of my biggest pet peeves involving the music industry. Whether it be during an interview, written in an article or during an awards ceremony, I vomit a little in my mouth every time they refer to pop stars as "artists".
Singer? Yes.
Vocalist? Of course.
Performer? Obviously.
Entertainer? Indeed...
But an ar-teeest? NO BLOODY WAY.

It's an insult to "real" artists everywhere; whether they are actual composers, musicians, painters or anyone that creates something for an emotional or aesthetic purpose. So what if you can sing! Ooohh, you were born with a pretty face and a mediocre voice - congratu-fucking-lations for your gene pool. Just go line up and be the next contestant on American Idol, please. I recall one of my University professors saying that if someone already said it perfectly, don't try to top it - just quote or paraphrase it. So for the second time this month, I will recite the wise and poetic words of TISM to validate my argument:

Who writes the song? That's the thing!
Any clotheshorse can learn to sing...

Who are the ugly bastards hidden away
who write the tunes that get air play?

So if you don't write the song, then BIG--FUCKING--WOOPIE!

I'm not saying that the music is total crap. On the contrary, much of it is catchy - which is why it's classified as 'pop' music in the first place. I will also acknowledge that it takes a lot of balls to perform in front of thousands of people, and for that, I give them all due respect for being fabulous entertainers. I am just so tired of seeing the "puppet" that sings any particular hit song become the famous one while the true "artist" that wrote the lyrics and arranged the score is forgotten; or perhaps they actually do get an award, but it's presented during the commercials, because who really cares about them, right? Ugh!

I don't want to make this about American Idol but that show proved my point two-fold. One, for the contestants and its entire premise in general; and two because the world turned their noses up at Kara DioGuardi when she became a judge, but she was, in my opinion, the most talented and qualified judge they'd ever had! Did you know she has been credited on over 120 album releases*? Holy crap, Batman!

I think this is one of the multitude of reasons as to why I gravitated to alternative music and rock, rather than pop, per se; I could appreciate that the music I was listening to was (for the most part) written and performed by the same people - and to me, that is true musical artistry.

So, go on and read the liner notes on your favourite album. If the lyrics and music credits for each song do not match the name on the cover, then you have yourself a puppet performer, a vocalist; if they match, then and only then, they can be given the classification of an artist.



  1. i would have to agree there. the ones who impress me the most are the ones who can actually write & perform. that's 2 big, but very seperate talent pools.

  2. I so agree!! I give props to Those (like the R&B singer Ne-Yo) Who actually write and compose their own music. He gets hated on daily because people just think he does it only to get 100% of the pie, but I just think he's amazing!

  3. Love it! Michael Jackson was a Artist. Wayy better than Prince lol. Sorry, that is the discussion going on over on my blog.

    But I can't agree with you more. I hate that people like KESHA (I effing hate her) are considered artists. OR if they win an ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD. So, fuck off because they totally don't deserve it. lol

  4. Isn't there a reason why it's pronounced Artiste a bit like piste - you're not quite there but it sounds fancy enough :D

  5. Amen, sistah!

    I had something clever to say and forgot it. Then realized I had a migraine and gave up trying to remember. So that is what you get out of me.

  6. I've always wondered why they were referred to as 'artists.' I totally agree with you....

    On a side note..I had no idea that Kara had that much experience...the more you learn! ;)

    I think what sucks is like you said...so many people who have the looks but just a so/so voice breaking into the industry...practically anyone can be made to sound good.

    Thanks for sharing your rant!

  7. I totally agree. If you have the looks we have the technology to make you sound good. But it takes talent to actually write music.

  8. I agree with you ALMOST 100%...I'm not sure that anyone can learn to sing. I've been singing in the car for a lot of years, and there's no bloody way this could ever be developed into talent ;)

  9. I know that's one of the things I appreciate about country music. They actually give credit to the songwriters.

  10. There are such a lot of singers out there these days who really can't sing at all and the generalisation of being an artist is simply rubbish. Too many of them just want the fame and fortune; the actual artist part they wouldn't know or appreciate if it slapped them in the face!

    Great post.
    CJ xx


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.