Monday, January 17, 2011
I think the key to Mojo's quote is "if you can't". He didn't say, "if you don't". I think there are a lot of performers who literally can't sing without a mike, and can't really play a non electronic instrument. At least not in a way that anyone would butt dance to.
While I don't go as far as Mojo to say "you ain't doin' shit", in my opinion, being able to play an acoustic instrument and sing without a mike is a real plus, whether you end up playing electronica or not.
I believe that singing with a mike, or using a computer because you choose to, or prefer to, is much more powerful artistically than doing the same thing because you don't know how to do anything else. Any artistic gesture that is a choice rather than a limitation is, I think, more powerful. For instance, I choose to sing in a modern, pop, folky style because I like the way it sounds and it fits my songs. I can, if I choose to, sing in a more trained "full voice" style, but I don't like the way it matches my songs. Just knowing that I can sing a song differently if I want to, feels very different from knowing that I cannot sing it any other way.
Electric instruments are great and all those "computers masturbating" techno-songs are great, but I still love the elemental acoustic playing of real instruments that vibrate and shape the air right there in the room and real voices with no auto-tune or pitch correctors or sometimes, even microphones. That's the essence of music and what we'll always return to whenever the latest technological party runs dry.